"Once our eyes are opened, we cannot pretend we don't know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows that we know, and holds us responsible to act." Proverbs 24:12

“There are no strangers here; Only friends you haven’t yet met.”- William Butler Yeats

Friday, August 17, 2007

Happy 13th birthday to our teenager!!!!

Yes, friends. Amanda is 13 today! It's almost hard to believe. It seems like it was just yesterday that I delivered into the world, through our Lord's grace, a beautiful 8 lb., 19" baby girl. A little girl who has given us more joy and filled our hearts with more pride than we could have ever imagined. That precious baby girl is 13 today and she has developed into a beautiful, smart, witty, funny, loving, young lady. We celebrated by going to her Aunt Ily and Uncle Herbie's house, had her favorite meal, pizza, and cut a cake.

Amanda, words can't express how much we love you. We thank God every day for the gift of you and are completely and totally blessed to call you our daughter. May God always fill your heart with his grace, peace, humbleness, humility and love for those around you.

Here are some pictures of our small celebration. And for those of you that have not seen the video that I did of Amanda early last year, click here. :)

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Dedicated to "Our Miracle Baby"

Please remember to scroll to the bottom of the page and pause the background music.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Praises, Prayers, and just plain craziness!!!!

Wow! Where do I start? First, thank you all that have written to me because you have been worried about me. It's such a humbling feeling to check email and see that although life seems like it is whirling at record speeds, there are still loyal friends that take the time to check up on you! I am indeed blessed.

It's been 10 days since I last posted and I don't even know if there are any readers still out there, but I will continue to journal. :) So, you want to know what's happening?

We'll start with Anna Grace. We are still going to all sorts of doctors just to check everything out and make sure that she is perfect (although we know she is!)

This picture was from our visit at the opthamologist office. Her eyes were dilated and she was hanging out with Mama at the hospital cafeteria. Her vision appears to be good, BUT...here is where the prayer part comes into play. I am asking all prayer warriors to please lift up our little girl. She seems to have some "droopiness" in her right eye. I am taking her back again tomorrow to rule out any neurological issues. Also, the "cupping" behind her eye is a bit larger than what is considered normal. The doctor says that sometimes this could be a symptom of glaucoma, which is indeed treatable, but he thinks it might just be formed like that from birth. If that's the case, then it's fine and we have nothing to worry about. I feel in my heart that our Lord is watching over her and that all will be well. I will let you all know the results of the appointment tomorrow, but again, please keep her in your prayers.

Some good news now on Anna Grace! One of the visits we attended this week was an orthopedic visit for her syndactily on her right hand. Many of you have asked me what IS Anna Grace's special need exactly. Well, it was confirmed what we thought it would be. She has Poland Syndrome. It is mostly a cosmetic issue and in no way does it affect her health. Poland Syndrome is a rare congenital birth defect that affects approximately 1 in every 60,000 people, mostly boys and mostly the upper right side of the body is affected. She manipulates her right hand with great ease and uses it for just about everything, including writing.

We are blessed to be able to say that she was accepted to Shriner's Hospital as a patient!!! The Shriners orthopedic hospital in our state is one of the top 3 pediatric orthopedic hospitals in the country. The bad news is that the soonest appointment available is in November, but the way that time is flying by, it'll be here before we know it. Otherwise, she is adjusting well. Holding time has been cut down to maybe 1-2 times per week and she now loves to hop on my lap and snuggle for our bedtime routine. I've been told she ask for Mama consistently when I am not around. She is loud and boisterious like the other ones and fits into our family like a glove! Aaahh....and before I forget, we are baptizing her on the 26th of this month! Another little soldier of God!

Next is Kai. This little man has matured in ways I've never imagined. He is starting school next week and we are all so excited. I am a bit anxious to let him go, but I know he will love it and will blossom even more. He is definitely ready. We visisted school last week and he did not want to leave. He has his "Cars" backpack all ready and we will be going out for his school supplies today. Open House is on Friday! I can't believe how fast these little ones are growing up!!!

Kai has been doing great in every aspect and loves his siblings to death. They are all together all the time and when one is missing or off somewhere, he is consistently asking about them. I can't even stress how much I love this little guy. Although sometimes his energy is a bit much...heh! Yesterday afternoon he was running into Amanda's room to cuddle up for "movie time" with her and watch Toy Story, and he went hurdling into the corner of her desk. Needless to say, we ended up in the emergency room. It was a pretty clean cut and we were fortunate that he got away with only steri-strips to hold his gash together instead of stitches. Never a dull moment! We are still awaiting a date for his VPI surgery.

Ok. Amanda and AJ. I will start off with AJ since he has the least amount to report. On July 17, it was the 1 year anniversary of AJ being ours legally forever. I have put together a short video of the day we were blessed with him, and of the finalization of his adoption. I will be putting that up as soon as it is uploaded, so please check back.

AJ is doing wonderfully. He is really starting to speak now and repeats just about everything you ask him to. He's got a very strong personality and is extremely stubborn, but can also be the sweetest, most loving baby boy you have ever seen. He almost always has a big smile on his face and loves to hug and give kisses. This picture was taken at the hands-on science museum we have here. Their Ayi and I took all of them last week and they had a blast!

Amanda's turn. Ah, yes. Amanda. Another one of those "where do I start" moments. Amanda is turning 13 this week. I can't believe it! I have to keep reminding her it's 13 and not 23. She is also starting a new school this year and is in her last year of middle school. It just blows me away to think that next year my baby girl will be in high school. That's just plain crazy!!! She is doing great. She has been involving herself in more activities at church and will be getting braces in a couple of weeks! Yes, definitely the emblem of being a teenager.

We are so very proud of her though. I can't believe that summer is almost over. I am going to miss having her around 24/7 so much! She has been an IMMENSE help with the little ones. She is a mother hen and they all adore her. They have no idea what a blessing it is for them to have such a special big sister and I pray that their relationships always remain this close even through adulthood.

Who is this little guy, you ask? Well, first of all....he's not ours! Whew! Although I have to admit that I love him to pieces!!!!

I am honored and pleased to announce the latest family member....Baby Seth!!! Baby Seth was born on August 6 and weighed 7 lbs. 11 ozs. His Mommy & Daddy are just over the moon as is the rest of the family, and I just couldn't post all of the new updates without adding that precious little face and news about him. I see AJ next to Seth now and AJ seems huge. I can't believe that he was even smaller than that just a little over a year ago.

God always keeps his promises and Seth James is definitely a witness to that. He is so very much loved and we look forward to watching him grow alongside all of his cousins. Thank you, Jesus for this amazing gift to our family!!!

And last but not least, I have to admit that between running to doctors appointments, seeing a chiropractor for my back 3x a week, taking care of the house and all that goes with it, including 3 babies and a teenager......yes, I have found the time to spend with Jack!!!! ::BIG SIGH:: I can't even tell you how mesmerized I am by Kiefer Sutherland. Remember I received Season 5 for my birthday? Well, I'm done with the all of the episodes. I've even done late night research on Kiefer and unsuccessfully have even tried to figure out a way to meet him.

Scott laughed and told me that if I could manage to find him, meet him, and have him spend the weekend with me, he would consent. He also muttered under his breath, "I hope he likes kids". HA!!!! Kiefer....are you listening???????

The funny thing is that he is sooooooooooooo not like the type of man I like. He drinks a bit too much, he smokes 3 packs of cigarettes a day, and he loves women, thus the reason he has not been able to stay in a marriage. Yet, I find him totally and completely fascinating. So, if any of you have any contact with Kiefer, can you pass along my request? :) Oh! I do have to mention though that there is a catch to my "weekend deal". Scott said the deal would have to include him spending the weekend with Jessica Alba, whoever that is. Heh.

Ok, coming back to reality. I can't wait till Season 7 starts in January, and of course, I will be buying myself an early Christmas gift of Season 6 on December 4 when it comes out.

So that's about it from our nest. Life is moving at record speeds here and I have to keep stopping to remind myself to smell the roses.

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