Christmas Time

Monday, April 30, 2007

saying goodbye...

monday morning we received a phone call from ross' mom telling us that her father passed away. we each have many fond memories of grandad but the best for me would be the time we were blessed to spend with him this past fall. my henry and daphne spent quite a bit of time in his lap enjoying being held by their great grandad.
grandad has been battling with leukemia for as long as i have been a part of this family. he was a strong man with a determination to fight. over the last year his health was failing more and more and so when he and grandma drove out here from florida we made sure to capture as much as we could on the camera.
Lord, your are our comforter and the lifter of our heads. we know that you are near to the brokenhearted. may each of us take shelter under your wings today and each day. be glorified in our sorrow.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

lots going on around here...

well with sweet baby zach now here, grandma and papa have arrived for a visit. the kids are always so excited to see them. if you remember, my father-in-law named daphne the kamikaze and she hasn't let him down yet!!
both daphne and anna love to sit with their papa. while in papa's lap anna even decided to see the world from a different angle. now i know that every mom thinks her babies are the cutest but let me just tell you that mine are the absolute cutest. sunday mornings can present some craziness with trying to get everyone up, fed, dressed and still happy before heading out the door so i can get to work on time. this past sunday morning i found my henry holding his littlest sister on the couch. they were so precious together!

in just moments my daphne was right up there with the other two ready and waiting for another picture. i must say that to get all three to look at the camera with semi good smiles is just about as impossible as it can get.
i have been trying to wait patiently for miss anna to sit up all by herself. much to my surprise sunday evening while over at a friends house my mother-in-law set anna down in this beautiful patch of grass and she actually sat up all by herself for 2 or 3 minutes. it was so fun to capture it on film!

i just can't not put a picture of zach on here. i haven't seen him in a little over 24hrs and i think i am having with drawls.
in this pic of him he is having his chocolate kiss, given by his cousin daphne, wiped from his sweet cheek.
catherine and tod took zach this weekend to have portraits made and let me just say that they will have a hard time choosing. tonya, of ,did a fabulous job capturing their love for their precious son! (i have to plug my friend...she's awesome!)

that's it from our neck of the till next time!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

ode to the bluebonnet...

this time of year always brought tradition in our home state of texas. it was about now when we would venture out to find a field of one of the most beautiful flowers and then take about a million pictures. i have pictures of henry and daphne in the bluebonnets but sadly enough there will be no picture of our little anna in a field of blue this year. i think i am going to have to plan for a spring trip to texas next year just so that each of my kids have the opportunity to experience a true texas tradtion.

for keeps...

to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than what we can ask or imagine, to Him be the glory!

what a roller coaster the last 11 days have been for our family. days after william zachary was born his birth mom decided to keep him. 2 days later she brought him to the agency and said she couldn't do it. tod and catherine excitedly drove and picked him up. on their way home she changed her mind again. they were losing their son once more. the birth mom was suppose to call them to arrange a time for them to drop him back off but she never called. for the next several days she would say she was going to sign consent and then she the next day she would say she wanted to keep him. all this time tod and catherine (and a very proud aunt and uncle and several others) were falling in love with him. well, today the birth mother made a very courageous and difficult decision to sign the consent for adoption papers. willaim zachary is here for keeps!

with zach here to stay we have begun all the party planning. we are hosting (with some friends) a "welcome zach" party this weekend and tonight i am up late putting together some baby shower invites that have to go out in the mail tomorrow. so many of us have been waiting to celebrate this baby and so this shower is going to be fabulous!!

on sunday night tod, catherine and zach came over to hang out. henry couldn't put him down. he just loves babies. when we got anna up to feed her we decided to take some pics of her and zach together to show how different in size they are. anna is only about 16 pounds and she looks like godzilla next to this tiny little guy.

all glory and praise is due Him this day!

Monday, April 9, 2007


there are just some times in life when we are forced to come to God because there is nothing else we can do.

i shared last week wonderful and exciting news about our new nephew that was soon to be adopted by my brother and sister-in-law. after being there for his birth, feeding him the very first time, holding him, changing him and simply falling in love with him they came home without him. the birth mother changed her mind before her discharge time and tod & catherine were left devastated. our whole family is so sad. with the loss of baby zach came the loss of many dreams.

i remember a similar feeling of loss and devastatment that came when our son, ollie, died four years ago. to trust God is to "have a resolute faith and confidence in His ability to work every circumstance that comes into our lives for our good and his glory." Jeremiah 29:11 says "for i know the plans i have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." the essence of trusting God is confidence in this promise.

all of these things are exactly true but never can we grasp them until we have no other choices before us. i remember talking with my sister shortly after ollie's funeral hoping that she could say just the right thing to make me feel even slightly better. towards the end of our conversation she told me, "mandy, you have to take all of this to Jesus' feet and tell him all that you are thinking and feeling." i hung up that phone and thought "that was not what you were suppose to say. you were suppose to make me feel better." i turned away from my desk and began to cry, then weep and then fall on my knees- face to the floor crying out to Him who could comfort me- the Lord my God. that moment and those that followed changed my understanding of God's sovereignty- His trustworthiness.

pray for catherine and tod that they might find rest in their Lord. pray that their hearts would be softened, not hardened in the midst of their grief. pray that their lives would continue to be a testimony of God's goodness and His love.

Blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they go right on producing delicious fruit. -Jeremiah 17:7-8

Thursday, April 5, 2007

so i thought i was beginning to emerge but then...

what a wild couple of weeks it has been. all of our stuff is finally in the new house but it is slightly impossible to open boxes to unpack for the same reason it was impossible to pack them in the first place. oh well, we have toothbrushes, clean underwear and deodorant so we can at least go out in public!

shortly after my last post i began to feel rather awful. i figured allergies but then i had this strange thing with being cold and shivering to sweating and so i thought...hmm, a fever? no way i am a mom i can't have a fever. well yes in deed i did have one, 103 i might add. by monday i was incapable of doing anything but lay on the couch and sleep. ross made me a dr. appt. and sure enough i had strep throat. the dr. said "i haven't seen a quick test come back that positive in a long time." well my thought is, if you're going to do something then do it well. i was out for a few days and then we were up and running again.

now my little anna is not feeling so good.
she has been running a fever for a couple of days but with no other real symptoms. we took her in to the dr. just in case she could have caught my strep but she just has a cold. pretty crazy how i get all worked up over a little fever with anna. she is baby #3 and i never got too ruffled by the first two kids and their fevers.

the most exciting thing that has happened lately is that our brother and sister in law received a call this morning from the birth mom of their baby. she was in labor! tod and catherine headed to phoenix and as soon as we got all our kids situated with friends we headed up there too. william zachary came into this world around 5pm weighing in at 5lbs 12oz and 19 and 1/2 inches. he is a long skinny little guy. he has lots of dark hair and is just adorable. tod and catherine have been able to feed him and spend lots of time holding him. when i held him he seemed as lite as a feather. he is only a tad bigger than half the weight of my babies. the birth mom seems to be doing well but please pray for her as these next few days will be difficult for her.
we will keep you all posted as zach comes home! have a wonderful easter celebration.