Thursday, June 20, 2013

The big 7!

Dear Ellery,

You turned 7 last Friday.  7!  Why does that number sound so big?  You are my girl, and I love you so very much.  You went from being the last one in your class to lose a tooth to losing 4 right in a row.  You have this wonderful gap in your mouth and lisp to go with it, and I seriously do not want it to ever go away.  I prayed for the gap, and the Lord delivered.

6 was a great year.  Lots of memories made, a great school year, and most importantly the greatest decision you will ever make - to ask Jesus in your heart.  You will be baptized this Sunday by your Pops, who also baptized your daddy.

Your mom and dad couldn't be prouder as we see the Lord moving in your heart and life.  You have a great gift of compassion.  You sang Price to sleep the other night.  I looked in his room and you were singing hymns so softly while he dozed off right beside you.  You also love volunteering in his Sunday School classroom and although it is only suppose to be once a month, you ask to do it every Sunday.  Seeing you love and care for the special needs children of our church just makes me beam.  I would have never done that.

You are still loving gymnastics and scheduled to make a few competitions in the fall.  I have enjoyed watching your confidence grow throughout the year.  You are attending a theatre camp this summer.  I dropped you off as the baby of the class and not knowing a single soul.  When I came to pick you up, I heard these beautiful voices auditioning for parts.  I thought you might just crumble, but instead you came out of the class practically skipping, exclaiming that you loved every minute.  You were even brave enough to get up on stage and audition for the first time.  I love your enthusiasm, and I can't wait to watch you perform in the musical "Pinkalicious" tomorrow.

You love reading, playing school, and sort of like practicing the violin.  Crafts are at the top of your list too.

You are a wonderful big sister, although Street sometimes gets on your nerves.  He does ask a lot of questions and want you to play baseball with him every second of the day, so I get it.  You lead the troops well.  On the rare days when mom and dad sleep a little too late, you have Price occupied with an I-pad and Street out of his crib watching a movie with you.  Your brothers really do adore you.

You celebrated 7 by having a few friends over to spend the night.  Instead of bringing presents, you requested demanded that they each bring some money to donate to As Our Own.  You wanted to help the orphans.  Poppy matched their gifts, and you came up with a whopping $300.

You are still as hard-headed as they come, a perfectionist, and you can be just like your mama at times, but I could not love you any more.  I know I said this last year, but I want to soak up every minute with your now 7-year-old self.  If I had to go around the world and pick one girl to be mine, I'd of course pick you, hands-down, every time baby girl.


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

What's up?

Hello blogging world!  It's been awhile.  I still think of this blog and have the desire to write, but it has been pushed to the back burner.  I love writing and love sharing our life journey, but I never want it to feel forced.
So what has our little family been up to?  Well, let's see.  There was my trip to India with As Our Own.  It was an absolutely amazing time, so rich in so many ways.  I fell deeply in love with the girls in India and it was a perfect reminder that Jesus is enough.  He is enough for the girls that have been rescued from horrific, unimaginable circumstances.  And He is enough for me as a mom.  Completely, totally enough.

We are wrapping up school this month with the excitement of a new one next year.  Well, for Ellery that is.  I felt the Lord calling us out to something different next year and well, I just am going for it.  I'm trusting Him to provide as He always does.  I am learning more and more to put aside all the voices around me and really just listen to the One that is the most important.  We are doing what we feel is right as a family, and it's definitely going to look different from the next.  I've come to love how different our family looks.  When you have an almost 5 year old crawling down the street, you kind of stand out.

I was recently asked by my sister to come to her group Bible study to share my testimony.  I found about 50 different excuses of why I couldn't come, but she wouldn't back off.  Those pesky little sisters, right?  No, I am kidding.  I love her to the moon and back.  She wouldn't back off and the Lord wouldn't let me say no.  So I took Ellery out of school for the day and we made a 24 hour road trip out of it.  I will tell you that public speaking is not my friend.  I get bright red and nervous and well, it's just not pretty.  I kept telling myself that "I'm not great, but He is," and that's the truth.  It was an amazing time of sharing with some pretty amazing women.  I am thankful that they let me do a little test drive on them.  Writing and then speaking about what the Lord has done in my life was super therapeutic and such a reminder of how good He is to me and our family.  He wants good for us, my friends!

Price is trying out a walker and oh so happy about it.  We long for him to be more independent and this is literally a step in the right direction.  He is still beautifully wrecking our lives and the Lord is using him to sanctify me through and through.  Isn't that amazing how He does that through our children?

Street is loving dirt, tractors, fishing, golf, baseball, and anything that is all-boy, besides his pink slippers that Ellery gave him and pink paci.  He is so spoiled and sometimes I think that he can do no wrong.  Although, I am very certain he can.  It's true what people say about the baby of the family.

Ellery and I took a trip to Disney World a couple weeks ago and had a blast.  It was the perfect girl time that we needed.  Nathan went around telling people that "the drama was in Florida".  Whatever.

I'm off to do carpools and getting ready for the afternoon craziness.  I will leave you with one of the best quotes that I read yesterday by Sally Clarkson.  She said to ask yourself, "What did I do to whisper the secrets of the kingdom of heaven into the hearts of my children?" Good stuff.  So long for now...

Friday, January 25, 2013

10 minutes

I am giving myself 10 minutes to write this blog.  10 minutes because I really do miss this thing called blogging.

We woke up to the new year with Price calling for "mama".  He has been using it regularly and it brings pure joy every time.  He is so proud of himself too. Just today I picked him up from school and he was quick to declare, "Ma-ma!"

I think the theme of the year for me will be Ephesians 3:20-21.  I believe the Lord keeps bringing it to mind.  
"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us..."
We've been praying that verse over Price, over our other two, and over our life in general.

We are stepping out in faith with a few things so far this year.  Scary, but good.  I believe the work will be hard, but the reward great.

Nathan and I don't watch t.v. much (except ESPN for him), but we (yes, he's proud to admit it) have become a little obsessed with Downton Abbey.

Street and I are attached at the hip these days. What a fun, persistent little companion I have.  I think someone tells me everyday how well he talks and runs.  If they only knew...

I am anxious to try out some new communication apps with P.  He is doing so well with his fine motor skills and I think he might be able to finally make an Ipad app work for him.  He used to have no control over his little fingers and so he would be handing me his Ipad every 10 seconds because he clicked out of an app or a video paused or something.

I'm dreaming least for today!  I am a mom on a mission to save his little school.  If anyone knows where we can find a new director...please do tell.  Never underestimate a special needs mom (or a mom in general really).

I've been reading a lot lately (when I am not watching Downton Abbey).  Maybe this is why I'm not blogging.  One of my favorite little jewels out of a book called Anything is this: "To accept that life is going to be hard is the beginning of joy."  Although I don't think most of us really know hard.

10 minutes is up. Pushing publish. Ready, set, go...

OH, and here's our family Christmas picture.  All I can think about is how Price wouldn't smile and I was a little ticked off that we were standing there in the 110 degree weather and no one was performing well, especially the one that I can usually count on for a smile.  We got home and Price had about 15 fire ant bites on his leg.  How's that for a good mom?  I think (or hope) behind every awesome looking Christmas card picture involving young kids that there's an imperfect story.  Or maybe we are the only ones.

Monday, November 26, 2012


We put up all of our Christmas decorations yesterday when we got home from being with our family in Austin for Thanksgiving.  Ellery would have rather skipped right over Thanksgiving just so we could get started on decorating.  I love her enthusiasm.  I had a moment to myself as I was putting some last ornaments on the lit tree and I started to get emotional.  Two years ago around this same time, we were anxiously awaiting Price's genetic test results.  These specific results meant life or death for our boy.  And then the year before around this time, we were awaiting some different test results that would give us a good glimpse into the future with our boy.  As I looked up at the tree and my eyes became a little blurry with tears, I just thanked the Lord that Price is still here.   That he is still very with us.  The reality is that we still don't have any medical answers or glimpses into the future, but we have learned who will carry us through the painful moments and give us the grace we need to put one foot in front of the other.  Yes, disability has changed our lives and some days are oh so hard.  But it is in these hard moments that we must run to the Lord, and our hearts overflow with thankfulness for the things He has done.

"Now to him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us,.." Ephesians 3:20

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Happy 2nd Birthday, Street!

Dear Street,
My baby is 2 and I cannot believe it.  You are just so much fun, little guy!  I always say you are the perfect combination of sweet and naughty all wrapped up into a little, mostly-bald, red head.  Your daddy and I are truly (most of the time) delighting in your naughtiness and your "all-boy" behavior.  It's refreshing, really.  I am afraid you are going to get away with much more than your older sister did.  Maybe it's because I am realizing not to sweat the small stuff, to delight in your 2-year-old-ness.

You have no idea how much you have blessed our family already, sweet boy.  You absolutely are a perfect gift from the Lord.  You have healed our hearts in so many ways.  Watching you develop and grow has been nothing short of a miracle to us.  Hearing your sentences, the way you run and love to get dirty outside, your love of trains and trucks, your singing and dancing to the Wiggles and Psalty, and the way you follow your sister around everywhere - it's all so great to us.  Watching you serve and love on your brother is even more amazing. (You can also drive him completely crazy at times.)

Your teachers have commented that you are so full of joy and even obedient.  The full of joy part I was ready for, not so much the obedient part.  You love learning.  You know all your colors and shapes and can even count.  You regularly include spanish in your daily talk, using the words "agua" and "aqui".  You are persistent, hard-headed, particular, and up for just about anything.  You get a little shy around strangers but give unsolicited hugs and kisses out to your family.  You are funny, too.  You are always catching me off guard and making me laugh.  You love to pull out your "monster voice" when you say, "Thank you mommy."  It makes me giggle every time.  You don't like when I answer, "Hmmm?" when you say my name.  You will tell me, "No hmmm mommy.  No hmmm."  I could go on and on.

You remind us to say our prayers at meal time and before bed.  In fact, you make me sing about 4 songs before bed and usually request that I jump up and down or twirl while singing them.  Did I tell you that you are particular?

I am so thankful for your 2 years, Street.  You have brought healing, laughter, friendship for your sister, motivation for your brother, and so much more.  The Lord could not have made a more perfect fit for this family.  You are so so loved.


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

And they are off...

All 3 are officially now back in school.  Ellery started Kindergarten a few weeks ago and is loving every minute of it.  All summer she prayed for a good friend to be in her class this year.  We even did a prayer walk around the school.  The first day came and as Ellery sat down in her new classroom she told me, "The Lord said no.  That's okay, mom.  I will make new friends."  In a matter of days, she was telling me stories about her new best friends.   
Fast forward to this week.  One of our closest family friends decided to send their little girl to Ellery's school and we found out that she was placed in Ellery's class.  It was a neat surprise and blessing.  When we told E the news she was able to say, "The Lord did say yes.  He actually said wait."  I love how faithful the Lord is, even to my 6 year old little girl.  He not only put a close friend in her class, he put one of her BEST friends.

 Price started back to school a couple weeks ago too, after a short summer break.  He has his same teachers and classroom as last year and it's perfect for our boy.  He even started taking naps on a nap mat this year, which I am hoping will transition to a big boy bed (or even just a mattress) in the near future.  Price totally got the short end of the stick with first day pics.
 And then my baby started a 2 days-a-week program today.  This was definitely the hardest one for me.  I truly missed him all day.  The house was so very quiet.

Street did great and even napped at school.  He did not want to leave when I came to pick him up, which is a pretty good sign it was a success.  He is going to the same little preschool that Ellery went to, and I have to say it is pretty sweet to walk through those doors again.  I am so thankful to the Lord for allowing to us to get to experience it all again.  

Here's to a great school year!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Happy 4th birthday, Bro-bro!

Bro bro,

I woke up on your birthday praising the Lord for your life.  So much good has come out of your 4 years on this earth.  You are so perfectly and wonderfully made.  We make a big deal out of birthdays in this family, and yours was no exception.  You woke up to a balloon (there is a national helium shortage, haven't you heard?), powdered donuts, and to your family belting out the birthday song.  You smiled so big and seemed so pleased with your one balloon.  I love that about you.  You are such a simple boy and find so much joy in simple things.

You went to school on your birthday and were loved on by your incredible teachers.  They threw you a party on Friday.  Your four girl classmates showered you with gifts and wore what I guess to be your favorite color, blue.  Your teachers love you so much and always tell me what a happy boy you are.  You keep them smiling and laughing throughout the day.  You are sunshine, sweet boy, to so many.

We took you to your favorite dinner place, Pappa's Burgers.  You downed a vanilla milkshake and hamburger and smiled contently throughout your entire meal.  We gave you gifts when we arrived home. Ellery picked out a cool Star Wars shirt for you and dad and I gave you a mini trampoline.  Your brother and sister are always jumping, whether on the floor or on a mattress, and I so badly wanted you to feel what it's like to really jump.  You seemed so thrilled, especially when Ellery bounced with you.

In Austin this weekend, we celebrated again with your Lulu and Poppy, Bebe and Pops, and Aunt Meredith.  Ellery and I decorated the lake house with dinosaurs, and we had fun watching you attempt to blow out your candle and open more gifts.

Price, we are so proud to call you ours.  I can't imagine our family without you and the things that make you different.  Honestly, I used to feel some sadness on your birthdays.  Sadness that you were turning another year and that it meant you were that much further behind.  But, praise God, this year was different.  I felt nothing but joy.  You are your own 4.  And I love your 4.

We are praying big things for this 4th year, my blue-eyed boy.  Happy birthday!

mama (Did I tell you how thrilled I am that this word has come out of your mouth so clearly twice now?  There is nothing better, my boy.)