Thursday, October 07, 2010

New Blog!!

Just a quick note to let you all know that I will be switching my blog address! I too have joined the crowd that finds "wordpress" to be much easier of a site to do what I want my blog to do! So please, change my address to: for our future blog posts!!!

Hope you are all having a wonderful day!!

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

8th post of graciousness!

This past weekend, Nathan and I both had the priveledge to take part in the wedding of a really great couple we know :) Nathan officiated the ceremony for Dan & Julie Hough, and I stood as a bridesmaid for Jul.

This wedding was something beautiful!

I wish I could have recorded the genunine looks of love and pure looks of affection that this beautiful bride and handsome groom shared on their wedding day! It was something out of a fairytale! Not one person doubted that their love was REAL that day! What God had brought together surely no one will dare to seperate!!

As I mentioned above, I stood in this wedding as a bridesmaid for Jul. Julie and I have been friends since we moved to Essex 3.5 years ago! Since meeting her she has been a constant source of encouragement to our family and has been a strong rock for us to depend on during some pretty tough times! We`ve become really great friends!

She was more than willing to put on some old clothes and scrub the dust off of our `new to us`home! She was willing to be a play-buddy for Benjamin while we were feeling the stretch of being needed in two places at once during Sophie`s recovery! She has been a great Master Chef- teaching me many secrets of the kitchen! And she has always been that friend that just `knows`when its more appropriate to listen, then it is to offer advice!

Julie, I couldn`t think of a better husband for you than Dan! You deserve to be pampered and loved every single ounce that he is willing to offer you! Embrace that- every day! You are a beautiful, real, kind and very giving lady and I love you very much!

Thank you for being one of my favorite peeps :) I am so grateful for you!

The beautiful bride and groom on their wedding day!

Julie and her ladies! Jenn, Rachel, Mandy & Ashley!

Another shot of us ladies at the wedding!

A shot of the bride and I :)

The handsome officator, and the bridesmaid!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A need to be SUPER Mama!!

Secrets Out!!!

I too strive to be the cliche "Super Mama". But....who doesn't?!?!?

This past week, i've been wrestling with the idea of this "Super Mama". What characteristics make a Super Mama? Who is she? What does she look like?

For years "Super Mama" to me was- the Mama who could do it ALL. Cook gourmet meals daily in time for Daddy's arrival home to enjoy both lunch and dinner in style as a family... , have the house completely clean from top to bottom- ALL the time, someone who looked great (hair done, make-up applied perfectly, pressed and fashionable attire), someone who never wrestled to complete the laundry on a daily basis, and someone who had a relationship with God that influenced their little ones.

....and then I realized. This is a big moment for me... of that list of qualities that made up "Super Mama" to me the most important was kind of an add-on at the end. Sure, since I surrendered my life and heart to God 13 years ago I have been living for him... but how important am I making that relationship with God in my life now with children?

At the end of the day- who cares if my clothes are pressed, my hair is brushed, or if there is a load of laundry uncomplete! (I can hear my dear Mother gasp at the thought of a load of laundry left ALL NIGHT unattended! Ha!) What really matters is taking the time to show my love and affection and become a Christ-like influence in my two little darling's lives! How many of us rush through the routine of our day and without realizing it spend little or no time with our children? I don't just mean routine things like bathtime, mealtime etc, but get-down-on-the-floor-and-play time with our children? Time to chat, and get to know that little personality that you've created and God has knit together...?

I don't want to be one of those Mama's who look back when their teenager rebels and think- "I suppose it didn't really matter if I mopped the floor and folded the laundry that Tuesday morning 13 years ago, as much as the time with my child matters now that they're 'lost'. I really missed out on that golden opportunity!" I've gotten to know a couple of those Mama's, and [she] isn't a happy lady!

Proverbs 22:6 reminds me that if you "Train up your child in the way (s)he should go, when (s)he is old (s)he wont depart from it."

I remember a conversation while having coffee with a wonderful friend and someone who has impacted my life for many years, shortly after Benjamin was born. She is a great Mama herself- certianly an example to follow, and she LOVES children but only has two. I asked her during that visit why her and her husband didn't have more children? She answered with one of those life-altering answers that I will never forget. "We are busy with our jobs and with the church. We made a promise from the beginning of our marriage that we would not have any more children than our schedules permitted us to properly pour our lives into."

With these thoughts... I have made an amendment to my own daily routine! Each day I will set aside 1.5 hours at least to spend time with my two precious ones. During this time I will forget the other "needs" that usually haunt me throughout the day! I tried it this morning and they were completely delighted!

Thank you God for this gentle, yet very important reminder!

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Quick Update!

I don't have much time to post today, so instead, I will just give a very brief update on the two little loves of my life!

Sophia- as you have read in the previous most recent post- has recieved a very great report back from the test she had mid-August! The test showed that she does not have any damage done to her right (underdeveloped) kidney and that it is functioning perfectly normal.

She is a little ball of mobility lately! She is crawling backwards all the time now, and when up on her hands and legs will rock back and forth. I heard Daddy predict to Sophie while eavesdropping on playtime yesterday "I give you two more weeks Sophie, and you will be crawling around here like a pro!" (smile)

She sits up on her own unassisted, and has uttered "Da-Da" several times over the last two or three days!

She has tried all of her veggies, and all of her fruits and seems to enjoy them all!!! No dislikes for this little one!- and she had a jar of 'chicken casserole' last night for the first time as well which she wasn't too sure of at first, but does seem to enjoy as well :)

Her eye appointment went ok. If the tear duct doesn't open by Jan. 10, she has an appointment that day to see the specialist about having surgery to correct it. Its been pretty goopy lately, but we have been massaging it more often also, so that could be part of it.

She keeps getting cuter by the day! I'll include a picture below :)

August 29, 2010 (Birch Run, Michigan)

Benjamin- has also been doing so so well! He is also a ball of fire, and during waking hours has one or both of us running like the wind after him all the time! :) But, we don't mind!! He is just SO much fun!

He recently had his appointment to see a Speech-Pathologist here in Windsor regarding some concerns we had with his lack of communicating through words. The speech pathologist we saw named Kelly, was pleased, and further- quite impressed with his level of intellegence and comprehension. She tested him several ways to check his understanding of certian objects, actions and activities. He excelled knowing exactly what she was instructing him to do in all areas. Next she came along side him during play time and asked him to repeat several very simple words. He smiled very nicely at her, but kept very quiet and continued to play.
In the end, she sent me home with a home-based improvement plan with some ideas on how to bring him back to the level where he will mimick our words. For example, when we walk to the door instead of just walking out the door as he expects, we will wait for his attention and simply say "Out".
She has no problems with how smart he is, in fact she says that he has been getting along so well with communicating his needs through gestures and grunting for so long that taking the time to talk would just slow him down. So, we will work through that with him and look forward to seeing (and hearing) some improvements soon :)
He is already saying some new words since the appointment, so for that we are happy!!

Well, it is nap time for both of the kiddies, and I would like to take advantage of this quiet time and enjoy a nice bath! This post ended up being much longer than expected... but I guess there was more to update you with than I initially thought!

Enjoy your day!
I will leave you with a picture of my oldest, and most handsome :)

August 29, 2010 (Birch Run, Michigan)

Monday, August 23, 2010

A "Sophia" Update!!!

Hey Everyone!!!

We are so so excited to share the news from a phone call that came in this afternoon!!! Windsor hospital (MET) where Sophia had her most recent renal test, called today to tell us that her right kidney (the one that has been giving her all the problems) is a "fully functioning normal kidney!" Which means, there is NO damage to her kidney from previous infections!!!

One more test in November (on the 18th) to see how the development of the right bladder/kidney valve is doing and we are in the CLEAR!!! We are continuing to pray for good results from this test as well!

Could you join us and pray?!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Being Gracious.... (Day 7)

Children! Children! Children!!!

What a wonderful week it has been seeing literally hundreds of children come together at our church for this summer's VBS program! You can learn so much from children!

There was one particular little one that completely blew me away this week! So, if I may, I'd like to highlight him on my blog!

~ Connor Rivest ~

You can certianly tell who his Mama is, because this little boy certianly has a soft spot for babies! ...and Sophia is no exception!

During the VBS closing session each day Pastor Shaun and Michelle would draw the kids names out of a hat and they were able to spin the prize wheel for the chance to win things such as "small", "medium" or "large" prizes!!

Under the "large" prizes laid a H-U-G-E multicolored catepillar! Each day, Connor would get excited during prize time and sit on the edge of his seat! I mean, what kid DOESN'T want their name to get called, right?!?

Tuesday during the prize time, I asked Connor what prize he was hoping to win, and his answer brought a flood of tears to my eyes!! He said very matter-of-fact, "I want to win that big caterpillar for baby Sophie!!"

...and every day thereafter, he reminded me of what prize he was DYING to win! No, this 9 year old boy was not hoping to win the flashy soccer ball, water gun or surf board for himself.... he was playing to win a prize for the baby he adored!

Not only is this kid strikingly cute, extremely well-behaved and polite, but he has a pure heart of gold!!!

We're thanking God a little extra for YOU today Connor!! You made our day!!!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Being Gracious....(Day 6)

~ Sarakins ~

You know how sometimes you meet some people, and they just steal your heart immedietly? This sweet girl is just that person to me!!

Although my initial introduction to her caused some doubt in my mind on her mental stability (haha)- I've come to learn this girl is one of the sweetest young ladies I have ever known!

She has been through SO much, but you would never ever know! She goes about life with a most positive attitude and allows nothing but her sweet personality to shine through!!

I was prompted to write this post yesterday as she spent the day with my little Sophia and I at the hospital. And when I say 'the day', I mean the WHOLE DAY!!! She offered me many smiles when I felt like crying as we watched her being worked on, and she made me laugh instead of giving me the time to worry! How many teenagers do you know that work hard summer jobs, that would spend their DAY OFF with a worried mother and her sick baby? My guess is, not many!

We also make the very BEST teammates for games like dutch blitz and cranium! Mainly because we have aquired a secret skill that only we know about :)

She is beautiful on the inside and out, she is so sweet, she loves being an Aunty to Ben and Sophia and they love her big time in return! Some day, she will make a wonderful Mommy to her own little ones, and I will smile and say "I told you so!" :)

Sarah, thank you for the blessing you have been to our family!
We LOVE you!!