Christmas Time

Friday, October 22, 2010

not quite the day i had expected...

this morning the kids and i prepared for the day. henry dressed for school and recited 1 corinthians 13 which he would recite at speech meet shortly after the school day got started.

after dropping him off i found a parking space and began the lengthy process of unloading the three girls, pulling out the stroller and making sure we had the diaper bag, the snack bag and my purse. all things were accounted for and so we began heading across the parking lot to the other property where speech meet would take place.

one of henry's classmate's little sister, embry, was hanging out with daphne and anna and so we told her to ask her mom and dad if she could head over to the other side with us. with their permission we again headed toward the other building. at the edge of the school's drive i told the girls to stop so we could make sure it was safe. (this is standard protocol for us.) a car was approaching from the right and another car was coming to the exit drive across the street. the approaching car stopped in the road and waved us across but before going i looked to the driver across from us. he looked up at us and then stopped his van. with this i understood it to mean we could proceed and so we did. when we had reached half way across the street the gentleman began turning left right towards the girls and me. i had noticed his window was down before crossing street. when he began turning into us i began screaming, "stop! stop! no! no!"

embry was hit first and his front drivers wheel ran over her and then he hit our daphne who was pushed to the ground. i turned and could see daph was not pinned or seriously injured but embry was partially under the man's vehicle. without thinking, i pulled her out from under the car and the man said, "i'm sorry. i'm sorry" i just replied, "ok. could you pull over please." at this our friends, embry's parents, were there and i handed her over into her mother's arms. i went to daphne and just held on to her and asked another parent to take my two little girls in where my friend was waiting to see our big kids recite the selections for speech meet.

the shock and fear that i was experiencing rivals very little else. people began congregating around us calling 911 asking questions and praying. the prayerfulness of the people was amazing. as i stood shaking and crying i could see people stopping and praying. at one point i looked up and saw standing there in his white starched shirt, our friend, tom askew. i could see that he was praying. he was a source of strength and calm for me mentally.

fire trucks, two ambulances and a couple of sheriff's deputies arrived on the scene and began assessing the girls. it was evident that embry was more serious and so they began loading her in the ambulance. they assessed daph and determined she needed to go to the er as well to be on the safe side.

all this was happening and i was being asked a ton of questions and giving the officers all the info i had and then i look up and there across the way is the gentleman that had been driving. my heart was broken for embry and for her family and my heart was aching for my family but my heart was so broken for this man as well. he never even saw our girls. he didn't do it on purpose. this man is paralyzed from the waist down from an accident years ago and he is a grandfather. this was breaking his heart.

we went to the hospital and daph was in shock for a while. her injuries were so very minor. she has a bruise on her hip and a scrape on her elbow. our little friend was taken to a different hospital and after a long day she left the hospital with no internal injuries, no broken bones and 13 stitches to her knee. our mighty God protected our girls this morning.
i love our school family for many reasons but i found another reason this morning. in light of a very scary and serious accident the parents first response was to pray and then to comfort all involved. it was a place where i saw and i experienced grace. none of these responses were generated by these people but rather from Christ, our Cornerstone. John 13:35 says, "by this all men will know that you are my disciples- if you love one another."

please pray for the man who was driving that he might know and feel the grace of God in this traumatic experience. pray for me and ross to have an opportunity to express our love to him and his wife. pray for embry to heal physically. pray for daphne, anna, ramey and embry to heal emotionally as any fear could surface days or weeks from now. pray for me as i struggle with having been the one who was caring for e along with my own girls.

tonight, hug your babies a little tighter for we do not know what tomorrow will bring.

now these things remain: faith, hope and love but the greatest of these is love.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

10 things i love about you...

10. i love that when you suck your thumb you have
to hold your foot. you rub that big toe along the
edge of your lip and that is just how you roll.

9. i love how you wrap your little arms around my
neck when i hold you and you squeeze so tight
like you just don't ever want to let go.

8. i love that when asked a question you whisper your answer.
the older you get the less you do this but when
the big kids are not around you go back to your sweet little whisper.

7. i love it when i am holding you and you are
sucking your thumb- you
reach and pull my face right
up to yours as if to snuggle for a brief moment.

6. i love that you are an adventurer. too many times than i
would like to admit i have come into the kitchen only to find you
standing in the middle of the kitchen table.

5. i love that you are ALWAYS asking me "where's ____?" and "why?"
you are in a constant pursuit of learning!

4. i love that you start dancing when you hear music.

3. i love that as we drove past the gelato shop today
you began happily yelling, "ice ceam shop! ice ceam shop!"

2. i love that you seem to think taco tongue is a great way to greet others.

1. i love that God put you right here in our arms to love!

Monday, June 28, 2010

there's a first time for everything...

he's off! yesterday morning our boy headed off to camp. he was so excited when i woke him up at 5:30am that he jumped out of bed and threw on his traveling clothes and was ready in minutes.
once we arrived at the drop off spot i think his nerves began to settle on him. he got real quiet and he stayed pretty close by. daphne did the same. even though they can bicker like an old married couple, they really do love each other a ton. while we were waiting to load the bus i watched daphne go over and just lay her head on henry's chest and he just wrapped his arm around her and set his head on top of her head. i am so very thankful to have been able to see this sweet moment between them.

i hopped on the bus with him just so i could get him settled in and of course love on him a bit more. he found his seat right over the back wheel with a tv in perfect viewing location and got his backpack just right so that he could grab a snack or two during the drive. (before they even pulled out of the parking lot i could see him chomping down on some beef was only 7am!)
henry and john have gotten to be pretty good buddies these days. we enjoy having john around and were so excited that he was coming to camp too! as i was getting off the bus i heard a little girl say, "henry, john wants to sit with you, okay?" henry was pumped and john grabbed his backback and that was the beginning of his camp experience!

this morning i received an email from another mom who was just checking in to make sure i was doing alright and she told me about being able to see pics of the kids on the camp website. i immediately went to the site and found this one of my boy. it was so nice to see his face and to see a smile on it!

oh how i miss him and it's only been 24 hours. not being ale to talk to him i think is the hardest part of it all. i have always checked in when i have traveled but it will be 5 days of not hearing his voice.

i have already planned what i will fix him for dinner upon his return at week's end. i have made sure his room is clean and vacuumed his floors and washed his favorite blanket. is this what sending them off to college is like? is this what it is like to let them grow up and be independent? it's not for the faint of heart! praise God for an opportunity to do this now so that i am not a complete and total wreck when he leaves home for college.

Lord, this adventure sure is reminding me that he is on loan to us from You, the Lender. it is good to be reminded that he is not mine alone. i know that you love henry more than i can imagine and i rest in knowing that You have Your eye on him. take care of our boy today and grow his little heart into one that knows, loves and follows You all the days of his life.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

he just has heaven before we do...

seven years! i am just amazed at how quickly the time has gone by. ross said today, "it still hurts after seven years." i think to some extent i, too, am surprised at the sorrow that is still there. i guess since God created us to live eternally the sadness over death is evidence of His design.

today was a little harder than last year for me. i'm not quite sure why but it was. when i woke up this morning i began to pray for God's grace to pour out over the day. then my iphone let me know i had a text waiting. it was my sweet and very dear friend, allison. she started my day off with a sweet note remembering ollie's birthday. it means so very much to me when ollie is remembered. then throughout the day people wrote on my facebook remembering ollie. many of those people i thought had probably forgotten him.

many people over the last seven years have asked me what to do for a family who have had a child die. i say the same things every time. 1) be willing to cry with them 2) always call the child by name because a mom's biggest fear is that her child will be forgotten

tonight we celebrated ollie's little life with a family birthday party. ross even made a chocolate cake! once we put the kiddos to bed we began to look through the scrapbook i made of ollie's story.

the day he was born was a whirlwind to us. we talked tonight about how surreal it all seemed. because we weren't expecting to deliver him that evening we did not have our camera with us. ross had to run down to the gift shop to buy a disposable camera. unfortunately that means we did not get any good pictures from his time with us. oh how i am sad over that. i wish i had known about Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep (an organization of professional photographers who give their services to families like ours and they capture photos of the final moments or moments shortly after the death of a child for families who desire). tonight as we looked at the few pictures we have of our precious little guy i cried over not having a picture i could frame. if any of you know how to use photoshop well and want to take a crack at editing one of our pictures i would be grateful.

i did think that i would share with you my journaling from the scrapbook so you can share that day with us. so just as his little tombstone says "to God be the glory".

I would do it all again. In my 24th week of pregnancy Dr. Gore informed us that our son was suffering from Nonimmune Hydrops Fetalis. This meant that fluid was accumulating throughout his tiny body. At a follow-up appointment with a perinatalogist in Ft. Worth two weeks later we were told that Ollie was in distress and needed to be delivered by cesarean section immediately. As I lay on the operating table with tears in my eyes I told the Lord that Ollie was His gift to me and if it be His will then I would let him go. At 7:56pm, 25 minutes after he was born, Oliver Thomas met Jesus face to face. I have never felt such sadness and such peace in the same moment. Ollie stayed for only a short time but his memory in our hearts will stay for a lifetime.

Once the doctors had done all that they could do for ollie, we were able to finally hold him in our arms. His body was still warm and his fave was still pink. As we held him his little body twitched and when we asked if there was still a chance the nurse told us it was just his muscles starting to relax. the fluid that had been in him was beginning to drip from his sweet nose and mouth. Because of that Ross and I were able to do a parental chore that we never thought we would do for Ollie. We wiped his nose. I am so thankful to have been able to do that for him.

After a while of holding him we bathed him. What I do remember is leaning over and kissing his little hand. His skin was soft on my lips and his hair was strawberry blonde. His second toe was longer than the first and he had a cleft in his chin like me. He was beautiful!

The nurses at the hospital wanted to make a plaster mold of ollie's feet for us so they took him to the nursery for a short time. It was then that many of our friends came to be with us. When the nurse brought ollie back to us my friend Krissy did not walk away. She stood next to me and cried with me and touched his skin. Words cannot express what her actions meant to me that night.

When we had been told that ollie was going to be born that day we had called family immediately. My sister, Keesha, dropped everything to be by our side through whatever outcome we faced. At 11pm she walked in the doors of my hospital room and met her nephew that she had been praying for from the beginning. She held him in her arms like he was one of her own. After our friends had gone and i had been moved to a new room Keesha reminded us to take a picture of Ollie's precious feet. That is one of my most favorite pictures of him!

At 1am Ollie's skin was much cooler and his color had changed from pink to blue and we knew it was time to say goodbye. We each held him and then as the nurse came in to take him I kissed his precious fave one last time. I did not want to say goodbye but I pray that I never forget the way his skin felt on my lips in that moment.

Keesha stayed with us that night. There in that hospital room the three of us did a lot of crying and a lot of laughing! Praise God for laughter! Over the next few days Keesha took care of Henry and our home. She even helped Ross make the funeral arrangements. God sent Ross some angels during those days in the hospital and He sent me one in my sister.
His Obituary
Oliver Thomas Newman, infant son of Mandy and Ross Newman, died Tuesday, March 4, 2003. A graveside service will be at 2:30pm Saturday, March 8. Judd Rumley will officiate. Survivors include his parents; one brother, Henry Jacob Newman; grandparents, Lynda and Larry Newman and Julia and RW Ramey; and great grandparents, Claude Newman, Carol and Alan Robbins and Billie and Bill Windham. Mulkey Mason Jack Schmitz and Son Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

there you have it. there are many other written pieces in his scrapbook. emails i sent out when we first learned of his condition and prognosis, emails from family and friends who were praying for us and cards and letters of sympathy. this book is a treasure i am so very thankful to have and to share with those who have asked to see it. ollie's life has left a legacy farther reaching than what we thought 25 minutes would leave.

thank you, Lord for 27 weeks of carrying ollie and for the 25 minutes of life you gave him. we praise you for the work You have done and continue to do through his little life and we thank you for loving him. would you hold him in your arms until we can? to You be the glory! Amen

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

i would make a great ostrich...

habits that get broken can be some of the hardest to start again no matter how much we might want to.

example- i have continued to workout 4 times a week for the last 7 months but about a month and a half ago i began running on my off days. i suffered severe shin splints but pushed right on through. about 3 weeks ago i finally got a new pair of running shoes and my shins are significantly better now but i did take a break from running on off days for the last 2 weeks. today i need to run and yet i just don't want to. for no other reason than....i don't even know...broken habit.

blogging would be another one of those things that i have gotten out of the habit of doing. i miss it! i enjoy writing down some of the adventures we face or just some of the mundane details of life not so much for any person but really for me. it's like verbal scrapbooking.

here's the thing i would love to avoid facing many issues in life...for many reasons. i know struggle is exhausting mentally and emotionally and to be real honest i am mentally exhausted by just doing the laundry for six people. i also would love to live in fantasy land where everything goes smoothly and easily. (are you catching on to why i title this blog "i would make a great ostrich"?) i am out of the habit of weighing in at aquatica and being accountable to someone regarding my progress. if i don't know what the scale says then there is no measure of my failure. all of this to say that there are some areas in my heart and life that God is dealing with me. some areas that He is refining and some areas He is pruning.

as of late i have taken on a role within a group that i am involved that requires me to deal with people who have their own ideas and plans...i am a mom to four little people who still let me tell them what to do and how to do it. i have gotten out of the habit of interacting with people who don't see things eye to eye with me. this causes me stress. if you know me then you know that i tend to face conflict head on but something has happened over the last few years...i struggle with conflict. (fyi- my husband my find that as a surprise.) i don't want to cause problems. i am having to really take time to practice listening. yes- i do believe that may be the key to avoiding conflict...listening to the other person. i'll let you know how that goes.

we also are facing another adventure... we rent our home from a rental agency here and we have just learned that the homeowner has not been able to pay their mortgage. what this means is that the bank is foreclosing on this house. in about 6 weeks this house is scheduled for auction. this is such a bummer. we really love our house and feel as though it is the size we need for our family. in the very near future we will be moving most likely unless God blesses us with a miracle. pray for us to trust His sovereignty in all the details of this adventure.

in other news... daphne knocked out her other front tooth. yep that's right...she has successfully knocked out both her front teeth in 3 years. good thing she is so stinkin cute!! she doesn't need those front least not yet. daph has her kindergarten screening set for tomorrow and she has now decided that after swim team season this summer she would like to take a break from dance and give soccer a try. i am excited that she wants to try something new and totally different but a little sad that our time with dance may be coming to a close. time and experience will tell.

ramey finally hit 20lbs! this is exciting for us all. she is really growing up into quite a newman kiddo. cute & spicy at the same time!! she adores her big sister anna. pretty much the first things she says in the mornings when i get her out of bed are "eat" and "heado anna". her language development is exploding!! i love to hear her talk. she is a whisperer meaning that when she talks she usually whispers whatever she is trying to say. it is precious! some of her other favorite words/phrases are "night night evbody", "bruder henry", "mo bible" and "hi otis".

anna continues to humble me. i do struggle with this little one and yet find deep joy in her as well. she is passionate in all things. when she laughs she means it. when she loves on you it is with all of her heart. when she feels injustice she holds nothing back. she is also a watcher of people. she will engage others once she feels comfortable but prefers to watch the action. at home...not so much- but that does stand true when we are out and about. she still loves being outside running, playing, riding bikes. i wish we had a place for a garden because i am almost positive she (and all the kids) would love to build, plant and cultivate something.

henry is growing into a fine young man. he is really fun to be around these days. i truly enjoy my time with him. he makes me laugh! he's signed up for another season of baseball and swim team is just around the corner. i continue to pray that he will become a servant leader in all that he is involved in. a couple of weeks ago his class preformed a mini play about the life of martin luther king jr. henry played the part of martin as a boy. at one point in the play martin is broken hearted because his playmates(some white boys) would no longer play with him because they were told not to by their parents. when henry was reciting his lines he was very emotional at this point and i found myself so very thankful for the heart God has given him. henry loves people. he sees them just as we all ought to...made in the image of our Creator.

i will work on getting some pictures uploaded from my camera because i know that is what you all would prefer to see instead of read my ramblings but for know this is the update from our little corner of the planet.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

one more...

here i am at about a year and a half...maybe 2. if you notice my right index finger looks shiny. i had evidently i put my hand up against a hot humidifier and burned my hands. what a great smile!

retwo week...

so this week is retro week on facebook. i only have these pictures from when i was a kid. that makes me very sad because i just take such delight in looking at the pictures of our kids from over the last eight years. i am so thankful to atleast have these to share with my kids. in fact the months before ramey was born i began working on a scrapbook that was all about me. things i love, things i don't. quirks & habits. the way i met Jesus. how ross & i met. chores i do around the house and then a little something about being mom to each of the kids. i really enjoyed sharing these pictures in the album because strangely enough i think that at each age there really is a little bit of me in each of my kids. that brings me such joy. if you see them most say they look just like their daddy which i do agree with but then i see these pictures and i see me too.
me at about 4 trying our my new strawberry shortcake bicycle with banana seat i should add!

here i am at 10 months old...i think trouble might have been my parents second choice for a middle name.

here i am in kindergarten with a horrid bowl cut and velour shirt. i was so mad that morning when my mom made me where this and curl my hair under. these days this kind of hair is cool for preteen boys. i was a trend setter...what can i say!

two months old.
this is me at 3. i love this one. wish it wasn't cut in an oval (darn early scrapbooking).