Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Blessed by Blogs

I am thankful to live in the era of internet connectivity. How easy it is to stay connected to old friends, to instantly look up any random bit of information that I need to know, and to share one’s life story so that anyone who is interested can read it. I love blogs. In the last year I have developed a list of blogs that I check almost daily. Some help me keep up with those I hold dear, some make me laugh, and some inspire me. It’s that last category that I am most thankful for.

Recently, through a friend, I discovered the blog of Katie Davis. I like to think of her as the next Mother Theresa. Following her lifelong dream, Katie moved from Brentwood, TN to Uganda a year and a half ago to work in an orphanage and teach kindergarten. Since moving there she has established a ministry to pay for the education, food, clothing, and medical care of 150 children. She has adopted six of her own that live in the house that she purchased since she moving there. Katie just turned twenty.

I have read Katie’s blog from beginning to end, and I dare you to do the same. She is an amazing writer with faith and insight far beyond her years. Her obedience, her faith, and her love have changed my life. Here is another article that I found sharing her story that helps to fill in some of the gaps.

I hope that Katie’s story blesses your life the way it has mine.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Six Days of Christmas

We arrived back home this evening after our six day Christmas Extravaganza. So much fun, so much family, so much food. We are exhausted. It was great, but I must admit it’s nice to be back home now. I do love the quiet that comes during the week after Christmas. Daniel is off all this week and we are just going to spend time hanging out just the three of us. Nothing sounds better right now.

So here are the last six days chronicled in photographs:

On the 23rd we celebrated Christmas with my mom’s side of the family. We had some major excitement this year - right before we sat down to eat dinner, my 38-week-pregnant-cousin Hope’s water broke! She and Brad, her husband, rushed off to the hospital, and baby Annie was born seven hours later. What a Christmas gift for all of us!

The Santa suit – we definitely got our money’s worth out of it. She wore it three days in a row!


My mom, her mom, and Miss Madeline

Rachel and Charlie got Guitar Hero Rock Band for Christmas! Fun times…

Cousins Becca and Andrew opening presents

Madeline’s first Christmas present from her grandparents – a rocking horse

Rachel being herself

Our little family – it’s fun being “three” now :)

Opening a present with dad

Rachel (my sis), my grandmother, and me

Rachel and Charlie baking for Christmas Eve. We have gone to Bowling Green, KY to be with my dad’s side of the family every year on Christmas Even for as long as I can remember.

The sisters and my granddad, “Pap”

Madeline and her Pap

Madeline and her Uncle Mike

The sons-in-law up to no good

Aunt Sally and Rach – two peas in a pod

Rachel and Charlie

Rach, M, and me

On Christmas Day we started out at home. It was great fun to enjoy the morning just the three of us. We spent the rest of the day with my immediate family at my parents' house.

You know what they say about babies liking the wrapping more than the actual gifts? It's true.

The sisters in our matching Christmas vests and matching Christmas shoes

Dad in his new leather coat. I’m not sure I should I have posted this one….

More Guitar Hero!

The day after Christmas, we traveled to Owensboro to be with Daniel’s family for a few days.

Daniel’s g’ma opening our gift to her

Madeline working her very first puzzle with her grandpa. I must explain… Madeline started out in her Santa suit AGAIN, but after we decided to build a fire in the fireplace despite the 65 degree weather, all that polyester had to come off. It was about 85 degrees in the living room!

Madeline and her Aunt Emily

The foot stool that Daniel built for Emily for Christmas – more photos to come

Madeline trying out the step stool that Daniel built for his parents

Christmas breakfast with Daniel’s family – his mom and sister Emily

And last, but perhaps most importantly, tonight I got to meet my new cousin for the first time – little Annie. She is a beautiful baby!

And the proud mama



Welcome to the world, baby Annie.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Poor Baby

Madeline is sick. We’ve been to see the doctor this morning, and we found out that she has the croup and an ear infection. Poor baby. She cried and cried last night. I knew something was wrong, but I didn’t know what. Then during the night she started having an awful sounding cough and wheezing. She was terribly hoarse and so stuffy she couldn’t nurse. We’ve started her on antibiotics already, and hopefully the ear infection will be getting better soon. However, our doctor said to expect that the croup will continue for a couple more nights. I guess illness is no respecter of holidays. Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Photo of the Day

Does he win the best husband of the year award or what?



What a guy.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

9 Months Old



Well, I am a week late on reporting on Madeline’s nine month birthday, but what can I say… it’s December. We had a brunch for some of Daniel’s co-workers today, and it was the sixth and final event that we have hosted at our home within the last month. I love to open our home to others. But I. Am. Tired.

Miss Madeline has loved having guests at our house so frequently. She is quite the little entertainer. Truly, she comes to life when she has a roomful of people watching her. She acts shy for the first ten minutes or so when she is around new people, clinging to me or Daniel and burying her head in my shoulder. But after she has a chance to get comfortable with the situation, she is in performance mode. She goes from one “trick” to the next, smiling and laughing and doing all she can to keep all eyes on her. Her current repertoire includes:

- Clapping her hands and playing patty cake
- Cocking her head far to one side or the other and waiting for whoever is watching her to do the same
- Dancing by either bouncing up and down or swaying her head from side to side
- Waving bye-bye by opening and closing her hands
- Waving her entire arm up and down and up and down
- Laughing, both real and fake (she has a fake laugh that sounds like Woody the Woodpecker that is hilarious)
- General squealing and babbling; usually the quieter the room, the louder the squeal

The kid loves to eat. A few of her favorites include: black beans, cheese, bread, graham crackers, all kinds of fruits mixed with plain yogurt, applesauce, avocado (especially guacamole!), all kinds of potatoes, meats, and, well, pretty much everything that we have fed her except for the green stuff. Like I said, she just loves to eat. We are starting to give her more table food now, only making sure that nothing is high in sodium or too sweet. She thinks it is great fun to feed herself finger foods, and she is getting pretty good with her pincer grasp. I have noticed in the last week that she seems to be favoring her left hand like her daddy.

She has settled back into better sleeping patterns again. This time last month we were struggling with her waking up several times per night. Currently she goes to bed about 8 pm, and she sleeps for twelve hours each night. She usually wakes up around 6:30 am to eat and goes right back to bed. I really don’t mind that because I feel like it helps her to sleep longer in the morning than she would if she didn’t eat. She naps twice a day around 10 am and 2 pm. I have been working hard for the last couple weeks to keep more consistent nap times, and it has helped her to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. It’s definitely worth the effort. She usually sleeps on her tummy or on her side now. I think it is the cutest thing to see her on her side. It just looks so grown up.

We went the doctor for a checkup earlier this week, and we found out that her weight has slipped from the 96th percentile to the 90th. She now weighs 21 lb. and 13 oz. My arms are certainly stronger than they used to be. She is 27 inches long – 40th percentile. The doctor said that the minor rash that she has had on her cheeks for a couple of months is probably a mild case of eczema, and he told us to put fragrance-free moisturizer on it several time per day. She has not started crawling yet, and she really isn’t even interested in trying to be mobile. She is content to sit and only play with whatever she can reach. He recommended that we let her stand up and hold onto furniture so that she can strengthen the muscles that she will need to crawl. Honestly, I am not in a big hurry for that to happen. I know that she will eventually, and for now I am just thankful that I don’t have to worry about the Christmas tree coming crashing down.

Thanks for reading all of that. The details of Madeline’s growth and development are constantly on my mind now, and it’s nice to have an outlet to share. As a reward for making it to the end, here is a video we took of her yesterday. I got this dancing and singing snowman as a gift from Daniel’s grandma, and Madeline LOVES it. She starts dancing as soon as it is turned on. What a cutie!

video

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Family Christmas Party

Saturday we went to our annual Christmas party with my extended family. Every year we gather with my grandmother's brothers and sisters and their families.

Here is Miss Madeline in her Christmas dress from Grandma Suzie



A so-so picture of daddy, mommy, and Madeline all at the same time = an amazing and unusual picture



Madeline and Daniel



I love my sweet little girl



Here we all are minus our photographer, Daniel

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

My Girls

I love these ladies. Every one of them. They are my sisters.



We have been meeting together on Tuesday nights for a year and a half now to study the Bible and pray. Along the way we have lost one of our members to an untimely death; we have dealt with severe marriage problems, financial struggles, and health concerns; we have added a new baby; we’ve lost a husband and rejoiced at a baptism. Among us, we are in our teens, twenties, thirties, forties, fifties, and seventies. We are married, divorced, widowed, and single moms. Some have been Christians for decades, two have come to Christ within the last couple of years. We are one in Christ. We are the church.

We each bring something different to the table. Our life experiences are diverse, and our struggles are varied. But never have I experienced such honesty, such prayer, such true Christian love as I have with this group.

I think our little group is a picture of what Christ intended the church to be. We are in each other’s lives and business. We confess and we hold each other accountable. And we love no matter what. It’s easier, I think, to have that sort of climate in a small group of people than it is with the whole body. Our little group is just one “body part” of the whole. I don’t know how to make intimacy and accountability happen among the rest of the church. But I can keeping clinging to my dear sisters as we strive to be a witness to the world by the unity and love that we have.



Jesus on the night before he died:

“I am praying…for all who will ever believe in me….I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one – as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me. I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and you love them as much as you love me.”

- John 17:20-23

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Bliss

Sleepy-head Madeline went to bed at 7 pm tonight. I then turned off all lights in the house except for the little white lights adorning the Christmas tree, mantel, and piano. I settled in on the couch beside my hubby, and I read for three hours straight. The house is clean, peaceful, and full of Christmas ambience. It is cold outside and warm and cozy inside. Oh, and my evening included decaf coffee and chocolate, as well. Yep. Life is good in Pegram tonight.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Life at Our House

We got off to a rough start today. Madeline has a cold (Daniel has it too), and she was not in the best of moods this morning. This is what I listened to most of the morning:

video

She was not happy, and I was not either. After her morning nap, however, she woke up in a better mood. We got bundled up and went out for a walk around the neighborhood. I often do that when I am at the end of my rope. It seems that no matter how fussy Madeline is at home, she is always content when we are walking. I think she enjoys a change of scenery as much as I do. Plus it gives me a much needed break to think and pray.

Here is Miss Rosy Cheeks after we got back:



I have been baking this morning too. I am going to a cookie swap later this week, and I made my cookies this morning. I LOVE to bake, and I especially love to bake anything with chocolate. So a cookie swap is a great opportunity to try out a new chocolate cookie recipe. Here are the fruits of my labor:



And Mommy's little helper:



Now I am off to finish decorating for Christmas and then to deal with the huge mess that has been created in the process. Good day!