12.19.2009

Cousins


Just wanted to share this picture of Benjamin with his cousin Colton at Thanksgiving. Benjamin LOVES his cousin and constantly asks for him and follows him like a shadow when he is around. It is quite sweet actually, don't you think?

11.13.2009

Adventures in Potty Training

We recently bought Benjamin a potty chair, and while he hasn't shown too much interest, he has been watching us! We have some reading material on top of the toilet bowl for Keith and I and I guess Benjamin has seen us reading it. He does like to sit on the potty when Keith and I are in there. Anyways, he decided he wanted to sit on his potty, so I took off his pants and diaper. However, he didn't want to stop there! I guess potty training is a naked affair? Enjoy the picks of Benjamin learning to use the potty!


Getting ready for a long sit

This is funny stuff!

No, Benjamin has not actually used the potty yet, but we are keeping at it!

Progression of a Smile

Abby is smiling! Here is the progression as I was having trouble getting a really good picture of her smiling....

I see you mommy!

So happy!

Little smirk

Just being cute

It's just so much work being adorable!

11.09.2009

Open for Comments

For security reasons, we needed to keep the comments option closed during our time overseas. However, since we are now back in the States, we have re-opened this option on our blog. We would love to hear any comments you may have in response to our posts, so please feel free to write away.

[Note: In monitoring our comments, we will remove any comments that we feel are inappropriate, especially if they pose any sort of security risk to our teammates and prior work overseas. Thank you.]

11.07.2009

Abby Update

We wanted y'all to have an idea of what Abby's treatment looks like, so here goes!

At least once a week, we go to TSRH to have Abigail's casts taken off, her legs and feet evaluated and then more casts back on. This is how they take her casts off:

Waiting at the hospital for the doctor

First, they use a mini-electric saw to create a "fault" in the plaster


Next they use something like pliers to open the casts
Most recent picture of her feet
Passed out after having her next casts put on- it takes a lot out of her!

Latest set of casts

We are so amazed by God's work to heal our precious baby girl. Thank you Lord for your goodness to our family!

Let's Go Stars!

For our Anniversary I got Keith tickets for us to see a Dallas Stars game. It was my first Stars game, although not my first NHL game. This was my second. :o) I have to say, I enjoyed myself immensely and foresee many more Stars games in our future. Go Stars!


10.29.2009

Celebrating Three Years

On the 28th Keith and I celebrated three years of marriage. And what a ride it has been!

My mom drove up from Houston to watch the kiddos for us so we could go out on the town. I had no idea what the plans were, Keith was being so secretive. He loves to surprise me because he knows how much I love surprises! A picture of the family before we headed out:

First stop was dinner at Olive Garden! I had missed it so much while we were gone. We enjoyed a delicious feast of Italian goodness. After that, we went to The Cheesecake Factory for dessert. Another craving I had been having! Here is a picture of Keith enjoying his cheesecake:


After dessert, we walked across the street to a mall and I could not figure out what we were doing. But Keith had arranged for us to see the 3D movie "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs". It was such a cute movie and we had a lot of fun, as you can tell from the pictures. When we got in to the theater we were the only ones there!


Thank you Lord for the wonderful blessing of three years together! We look forward to many, many more...

10.25.2009

Our New House

Just a few pics of the house we get to live in while here in Dallas. More commentary later, but until then, enjoy!


Front Yard
Driveway
Master Bathroom
Kid's/Guest Bathroom
Benjamin's Bedroom
Living Room
Kitchen
Master Bedroom

10.04.2009

Benjamin Quote of the Day

Abigail went to "the bathroom" in her diaper and Benjamin gets up off the floor and walks over to Abby and says, "Bless you!"

Too cute....

9.30.2009

Milestone

Yesterday marked the first day of Abigail's treatment for her club feet, so we thought we would take pictures! Here is a picture of her legs before treatment and her first set of casts. It usually takes about 6-8 casts to correct club feet, but we will see as we are trying to correct her knees as well.


Please continue to lift up Abby's healing and thanksgivings to Dad for His provision during this time! We love all of you...

Sweet Baby Girl

Fun with Friends... and a Hose!

9.29.2009

Spaghetti!


Brother and Sister


9.28.2009

Abigail's Song

All of our children have songs that I sing to them that are their songs. A "life song" just for them. They are songs that have meant a lot to me and were impressed upon my heart as lyrics I want for my children to know. For Benjamin, I sing, "Nothing But The Blood." For Jonathan, I sing, "Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus."

This is Abby's song:



Take My Life
by Chris Tomlin

Take my life and let it be
consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
Take my moments and my days,
let them flow in ceaseless praise.
Take my hands and let them move
at the impulse of Thy love.
Take my feet and let them be
swift and beautiful for Thee.

Take my voice and let me sing
always, only for my King.
Take my lips and let them be
filled with messages from Thee.
Take my silver and my gold
not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect and use
every power as You choose.

::Chorus::
Here am I, all of me.
Take my life, it's all for Thee.

Take my will and make it Thine
it shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart it is Thine own
it shall be Thy royal throne.
Take my love, my Lord I pour
at Your feet its treasure store
Take myself and I will be
ever, only, all for Thee.
Take myself and I will be
ever, only, all for Thee.

Here am I, all of me.
Take my life, it's all for Thee.
x3

(Take my life, Lord take my life. Take all of me)

Here am I, all of me.
Take my life, it's all for Thee

9.22.2009

Hospital Pictures of Benjamin

Some fun pictures from the hospital stay. Benjamin enjoyed coming to see Mommy and "baby sister" as he put it. He enjoyed drinking water from the little plastic cups they gave us and pressing the call button for the nurse. All the nurses would ask me where Benjamin was when they would come in during the day. I guess he had developed quite a reputation! Enjoy Benjamin having fun at the hospital:




9.21.2009

And My Soul Knows It Very Well

The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of activity and emotion. What started as a simple 36 week check-up with my doctor ended a few days later with the emergency c-section of our daughter, Abigail. With the exciting news of a safe delivery also came the news that she had a congenital condition of her hips, knees and feet (multiple dislocations and club foot). I didn't know a person's emotions could have such a wide range in such a short amount of time.

Abby had to stay in an isolette incubator for the first 24 hours, so I wasn't able to hold her, or even see her outside of the pictures Keith took for me. She was so beautiful in my eyes! I was so fiercely protective of her and I prayed that everyone else would see past how different her legs and feet looked and see just how beautiful she was. I struggled with guilt thinking that because of my uterus she was born this way. I struggled with fear that my baby girl would never walk. I struggled with selfishness- why did I have to have an infant that would require so much extra care? A lot of sin and a lot of tears. A lot of crying to Dad with nothing other than the groans of my heart as there were just no words to describe the pain and heartache as well as the deep joy and excitement of our precious baby girl.

At some point I was able to move past the physical and emotional pain I was in and sit down to really be with my Daddy and be filled with what was true. He reminded me that Abigail was fearfully and wonderfully made. She was not hidden from Him when He was knitting her together in my womb. I knew that the way He made Abigail was for a hope and a future, not to harm her. That no one had sinned or done anything wrong for her to be born this way- she was made to bring glory to the Father and display His works. (Ps. 139, Jer. 29:11, John 9:3)

Do I still struggle with fears and uncertainties about what the future will bring? Of course. I struggle with the flesh daily and wish that I didn't. But His word gives me hope and I trust in who He is. The world may tell me one thing, but what I know in my heart is this: the Father loves Abigail more than I ever could and I entrust her to His care all of her days.

9.12.2009

Cheesecake Brownies


Just wanted to share a really easy way to spruce up a box of brownie mix. I made these this afternoon and they are quite scrumptious...

Combine:

  • 8 oz cream cheese

  • 1/3 cup sugar

  • 1 egg

Prepare brownie mix as directed on box. Pour into 8x8 or 9x9 pan. Spoon cream cheese mixture on top of brownie batter. Use a knife to make a swirl pattern. Bake brownies as directed on box.

Delicious!!

9.01.2009

Ultrasound Update

The results are that Abigail is healthy and right on track. I see the doctor in a few days, so I will know more then. She is still breech with her head up in my rib cage, so we are hoping that she will be motivated to turn around and soon!

8.28.2009

Something I Have Never Had To Do Before

I have never had to look at my watch (figuratively speaking, as I don't own a watch) and decided if it is OK for me to take a drink of something in public. Or how about this one: I have never had to sneak off and hide in the bathroom to take a drink of my soda (I did that yesterday afternoon). That's right. Here in Sharjah it is against the law to eat or drink in public before sundown as it is the holy month of Ramadan. At a mall we were in the first day of Ramadan a man was arrested for smoking a cigarette. You can buy food at grocery stores and the like, though all restaurants and food courts, etc. are all closed until right before sundown.

Now, being pregnant I am exempt from fasting, but I really don't want to be "that lady" out in public. So, until mid-September, I will eat and drink out of the public eye. Please continue to lift up those celebrating Ramadan, that during this time their hearts would be turned towards Chr!st. That they would have dreams and visions that would lead them to truth. That Keith and I would be open to all opportunities to share the hope we have in Je$u$.

Thank you for your prayers!

8.25.2009

A Little Update on Life in the UAE

Well, we have been here in Sharjah for about 4 weeks, part of which was spent at a company retreat, which included time to praise Dad and be in His Word. It was wonderfully refreshing and such a blessing to be around like-minded folks working in our country.

Due to some political issues in our country, Keith was unable to go back as planned, so he has been able to stay here with Benjamin and I. It has been difficult for him as there is a lot of work to be done that needs his attention, but Benjamin and I have been so blessed to have him around. We have been to see doctors, gone on walks, been sick, gotten better eaten multiple times at Chili's and even gone to an aquarium. And of course, we have been to several malls. :o)

A few days ago, the Musl!m world ushered in Ramadan. We have already seen the physical changes around the city as food courts and restaurants are closed during the day. We ask that Dad would use this time to speak to the hearts of the many Musl!ms in this city and around the world.

Keith will be going back in country in a few days and will be there until September 15. Please be lifting our family up as we are apart! Ask Dad that strength would be given to me as I take care of Benjamin while in the last stages of pregnancy. Ask for Keith that Dad would keep him safe and to work hard and deepen relationships while back in country. Ask for continued health during this pregnancy.

Thank you all for investing in our lives, it means more than you know!

8.19.2009

Tears of the Saints

"Then [Jesus] said to His disciples, 'The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.'" (Matthew 9:37-38)

8.13.2009

32 Weeks

Well, we are definitely in the home stretch! A few pics of the growing belly and for fun I added a picture of my belly bump about the same time with Benjamin. Abigail is growing and kicking and we bought our first outfit for her the other day, which was a lot of fun. We can't wait (well, at least 5 more weeks we can) to meet our sweet baby girl!



33 weeks with Benjamin