Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Eleven Months Old

Will turned eleven months old yesterday! He is such a ham and makes us all laugh quite frequently.

Below is his typical face when he sees us pull out the camera. He thinks he's smiling for us!

So big!!

Playing Pat-A-Cake. Still one of his favorite games - it sends him into fits of giggles every time!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Sophie's Got Plenty of Hair, Right?!

That's obviously what Will thinks, because I found this in the little booger's hand.

And yes, Sophie made sure this incident did not go unnoticed.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Response

I was driving home from shopping with my children when I saw them. He was standing in the median holding a sign: “Unemployed. Need money.” I barely glanced his way as I drove past, but then she caught my eye. Bundled in multiple rags to keep warm in the winter chill, sitting on the side of the street, waiting on him. Two large bags beside her, obviously holding the entirety of their possessions.

Just love. I heard Him… and I cringed. I blinked back tears and drove on past. I drove away from their uncomfortable pain, toward the escape of my home. After all, I had my two small children with me.

It is a busy street corner, He replied. You will be safe. Just love. I continued driving. It was past nap time, and I couldn’t ask my children to wait any longer.

Your children will be fine, He told me. But YOU will not be if you don’t listen. Please, love them. And so, a half-mile from my house, I reluctantly pulled the car over and turned around.

As I made my way back to their corner, I found myself wishing they would suddenly be gone. Yet there they were - there she was - still sitting on the corner by the gas station. So, I prayed for guidance, for humility, for love. I pulled up near her, left my car running, and slowly made my way toward her space in the grass.

She looked up at me, nervous. I knelt beside her and smiled. She was beautiful; her name was Annette. I asked a couple questions, and she responded by telling me about her hardships. I knew whatever I could say would never be enough, so I listened, and sat.

Then I told her how precious she was to Christ. I whispered how I wished I could do more. Inadequacy and compassion flooded my soul. I gave her a few dollars, and I left – home to the warmth, peace, and solace that I knew I would find. Yet as I drove home, I found myself weeping.

Thank you, Father. You were right, and I am sorry. Thank you for not giving up on me. Thank you for helping me see her.

Please, read these books (see below). Christ desires for YOU to see His people, as well. Simply love them.

What Difference Do It Make?

Love. Why do we choose to complicate love’s beautiful simplicity? Christ did not intend for love to be a confusing concept for us. Yet somehow we’ve taken it and turned it into something unnatural, selfish, and misunderstood.

“What Difference Do It Make?” is the sequel to the book “Same Kind of Different As Me,” which you’ve seen here before. When Thomas Nelson Publishers sent me this book in exchange for a blog review, I thought it would be a cake walk. God did not intend it to be so.

With the first review I wrote, I said I was inspired. Oh, how much more there is to say! “What Difference” continues the story of two men, Ron Hall and Denver Moore, who should never have been friends. One is a billionaire; the other, homeless. They were brought together by one woman who chose to love. Because love truly is a choice. Ron and Denver realized the truth in that statement, and began to change people’s lives by choosing to love them.

As a result, people around the country read the first book and decided that they, too, must love God’s people! "What Difference" tells many of their tales - the journies of ordinary people just loving, and making a difference in the lives of those in need of physical help as well as the knowledge of God’s amazing grace.

Like it’s predecessor, “What Difference Do It Make” continued to speak to me of how little I simply love those around me. It brought me to my knees, asking God to use me, to teach me to see His people, to be love to each person I meet. I am still seeking God's will for how he can use me. In the meantime, the answer has been gentle and simple. Just love.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Kansas City and Genetics Doctor

It's true, I'm a little ashamed of this post. I typically try to find some humor or something interesting to post about. This has neither of those two things, unless you consider our visit with the Genetics doctor of mild curiosity. We played in KC for the weekend, leading up to the appointment on Monday. Pictures first, info later.

Sophie slept on a roll-away in the hotel. We put chairs next to it to keep her from rolling out. Both mornings, we found her with her legs on the bed and her upper body on one of the chairs. Silly girl.

On Sunday, we took the kids to Wonderscope, a hands-on children's museum. I must admit that when we first went in, I thought it appeared... errr.... sketchy. However, Sophie had a fabulous time and we were overall pleased with it!

In the water-play room:

There was a room for 2-years and under. Will ADORED this place, especially the little mirrored-in area that he's in below. He got quite upset with me when it was time to leave. It was perfect for our little crawling monster.

In the market room, Sophie got to go shopping and do her own checking out - I think this may have been her favorite room.

Will tried to get his own bite of the produce:

In the market car... not really sure why this car was in the market room.

Below is in the room called Raceways, which had many different tracks to put balls on. Will surprised me here - he really loved watching the balls! You can't tell in the first picture below, but he would watch a ball on the track and then just break into a fit of giggles! So cute!

Here he was cracking up at the balls:

This was not a posed picture... those two are 2 peas in a pod:

Swimming in the hotel:

So, on to the Genetics appointment. In the past, Will has been tested for the "hearing loss gene," called Connexin-26, and he was negative, so his ENT thought we should look at what other possible causes there could've been for their loss. He wanted to make sure their hearing loss was an isolated issue and not part of a bigger problem - some other disease.

At one stage in the game there was a heart disease mentioned as an extremely slight possibility. At this Genetics visit they completely ruled out that disease, praise God! They also looked at all the physical components of the kids (they were trained at noticing any physical abnormalities) and at family history. After a quite lengthy evaluation the Genetics doctor decided she did not see fit to test for any other diseases at this point.

She did mention that Will's testing for the Connexin-26 was not quite complete enough, so they're going to retest him for that. Other than the hearing loss, she felt the kids were completely healthy and had nothing to worry about! Yay!!!

They also mentioned that because the hearing loss is obviously a genetic factor, it is most likely that Ben and I are both carriers of something recessive. So, they gave the new baby a 25% chance of having hearing loss. Not much of a chance, but Will and Sophie managed to make it happen!

We continue to be completely humbled when we see how God takes care of our family the way He does. Oh, how blessed we are to be His children, and to have been entrusted by Him with our precious babies!!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Meet Scleve... and Pray

This is Scleve. She's a 16 year old girl that we sponsor through Compassion International. Scleve really needs your prayers right now. She lives in Haiti. I'm sure you've all heard about the magnitude-7 earthquake that hit Haiti on Tuesday. There is so much devastation, thousands left homeless, thousands left injured and dead.

She is SIXTEEN. Can you remember what you were doing at the age of sixteen? Not experiencing such total chaos and fear in your home, what's supposed to be your one safe place.

If you feel so moved, you can go to Compassion's website to donate to the aid going into Haiti. Compassion has told us they'll contact us when they know more about Scleve's current status. Please, pray for her. Pray for everyone in Haiti.

Scleve last year, at 15:

Scleve when we began sponsoring her, at age 11:

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Sometimes God Gives Un-"Expected" Blessings...

...and you're so grateful He knows better than you.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

I'm Open, I'm Closed

I couldn't help but chuckle at her 2-year-old interpretation of these opposites.

(Isn't it cute how amused Will is by his sister?)

Pretty, Pretty Princess

Friday, January 1, 2010

Ringing In 2010

This took place four hours early, of course, right on schedule for little bed times.

Happy New Year, 2010!!