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Mom in the Middle

17 May

But Mary treasured up all these things
and pondered them in her heart.
Luke 2:19

 

Even though this past weekend was full of fun times and lots of Mimi/Mom love, the ultimate Mother’s Day celebration started in my heart a month ago when our entire family gathered in Baltimore for several days.

Our 2nd airport pick-up!

Our 2nd airport pick-up!

The anticipation mounted for days as groceries were purchased, meals were prepared, gifts were wrapped, and beds were made.  Two trips to the airport completed our guest list as Ryan and Brittany arrived from Seattle and my mom flew in from Indianapolis for what we considered a montage of celebration … Christmas, birthdays, Mother’s Day, and Baby Lillie’s dedication.   And celebrate we did!  Regardless of holiday or occasion, family love is the best, and this Mommy’s heart was a sponge, soaking up every morsel possible … to tuck away for the weeks and months ahead.

After picking Ryan and Brittany up on day one, we loaded my van and took an afternoon trip up north to my everyday world.  Ryan wanted to see his dad before the weekend, so a tour of Tim’s workplace followed by an evening visit and a sleepover at Mimi and Papaw’s house completed our very busy day.  The following morning, long after Papaw had left for work, the day began to buzz with the busyness of playtime, a yummy leisurely breakfast and a timely departure to once again head to the airport.  It was now time to pick up Mimi Wells!  As always, she arrives bearing gifts for the little ones.  For the rest of us, her very presence is our gift … what a privilege to have my mother with me to enjoy my precious family.

Homemade biscuits and gravy greeted us all for breakfast on Friday morning, taking advantage of the fact that Mimi Wells was among us!  Playground and a duck pond, a trip to the shopping mall, Papaw’s arrival, and Kim and Troy’s stromboli for dinner completed another family fun day!

Christmas & Birthday in April!!

Christmas, Birthdays and  Mother’s Day in April!!

Saturday was full and overflowing with excitement and anticipation!  Ryan and Brittany prepared the traditional Christmas breakfast of green chili breakfast burritos…and yes, I did say Christmas.  Since our northwest kids spent the not-so recent holiday with Brittany’s family in Spokane, we postponed our own family celebration until now.  We also had a few birthday gifts included in the mound of secrecy, celebrating Ryan and Cole’s March birthdays and Lillianne the end of April.  I believe there were even a couple Mother’s Day gifts, too!  Presents were appropriately wrapped in their unique festive wear, and then clustered underneath a creatively drawn and colored Christmas tree.  A potpourri of gifts were given and received … and great fun was had by all!!

Cousins and their kids...Jason, Jax, Lillie and Kim

Cousins and their kids…Jason, Jax, Lillie, and Kim

We suddenly had to switch gears, literally … and travel 30 minutes, which was half-way to Washington DC to meet up with my nephew and his family for lunch.  They were in town from Indianapolis to meet their newborn nephew, so they accepted our invitation for the cousins and kids to all see one another.  With 3 kids under the age of 4, what better place than a nearby playground to spend some extra time after lunch!  Even the big kids had fun playing on the swings, slides, and see saws!

Our family at Lillie's dedication

Our family at Lillie’s dedication

Sunday was a very special day for our family as we all stood beside Lillianne’s parents as they presented her to the Lord in dedication.  As I listened to the words of their Pastor, I was taken back in time to two separate occasions when Tim and I stood with our families with a tiny newborn in our arms.  So long ago, we too made promises to God that we would raise our two children up to know and love Jesus.  With tears in my eyes, I am reminded of those sacred moments every time we witness another baby dedication … and this time was no exception.  As our own little granddaughter, beautiful in her special dress, was held and prayed over that morning, joy filled my heart as I realized that her parents, we her family, and this church would truly do all we could to ensure that Lillie understands what it means to walk in the way of Jesus and to entrust her life to Him.

Grandma and Pop Arndt joined us on this special day, filling the dining room table to capacity as we all gathered for yet another tasty meal.  When the excitement of the day began to settle and the guests had all gone home, the realization hit that our time together was quickly coming to an end.  We migrated into the kitchen where we simply sat around talking, laughing, discussing, telling stories … just to be together, with no distractions.  Finally, extra suitcases were brought out so the Christmas and birthday gifts could be added to the take-home luggage.  Thank goodness for Southwest Airlines and their ‘bags fly free’ policy!!

As always, family time ALWAYS comes to an end too quickly.  With my van loaded with precious cargo, I headed back to the airport early Monday morning … only this time to say “until next time!”  To hold, hug, and kiss each of my loved ones … I longed to stay in that moment, but I knew that life was waiting for them on the other side of their flights.  I had to let go.

Mimi and her loves in Annapolis, MD

Mimi and her loves in Annapolis, MD

That day was nearly a month ago now.  As we all know, life doesn’t take a holiday nor does it slow down.  The calendar announced Mother’s Day last weekend … and we did celebrate.  A week ago this morning, I drove down to Baltimore, where Kim, the kids, and I spent the day at Dock City in Annapolis ~ walking along the water’s edge, touristy shopping in the many establishments, and tasting yummy treats throughout the day.  Then on Saturday, mother and daughter attended a ladies’ tea at Grace Pointe Nazarene, where Kim was the hostess of our Hawaiian-themed table.  After dinner out that evening with Papaw, Mimi came back home.  The fun weekend with my loves was a wonderful closure to a celebration that started back in April.   Having the privilege of us all being together for those few short days was a gift to my own heart that will last forever.

I am the Mom in the middle.  My heart swells with an inexpressible love, honor, and respect for my precious mother … and the deepest gratitude to her and Daddy for raising me in a home where I knew I was loved and most importantly, that Jesus loved me.  Then my heart is humbled and in awe of the miracles of life that have literally come from God, through me.  The deep deep love for my own two children will always grip the depth of my soul and keep me on my knees for them until I die.  And the loves of their life have wrapped themselves around my heart and have captured my affections.  And now there is Cole and Lillianne.  I am the Mom in the middle … what a blessed place to be.  I have great reason and cause for celebration!!

I’m beginning to realize that we should be celebrating Jesus and Christmas every day.  Jesus and Easter every day.  Moms and Mother’s Day every day.  Won’t you join me today in living a life of continual celebration of what really counts?

Until next time,
Debbie

This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24

If you would like to see the entire album I posted to Facebook on this wonderful family time, please click here … https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10200291340340933.1073741829.1076414018&type=1&l=b1e084fd75

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Happy Birthday to My Ryan!

18 Mar

I have no greater joy than to hear
that my children are walking in the truth.
3 John 1:4

At my weekly OB appointment I was told that I had already dilated to 3 cm and would most likely be having a baby within the next 24 hours. Our little 2 ½ year old daughter and I made the most of the day, making sure that everything was ready for the next few days of excitement. The nursery was well stocked with cloth diapers and sleepers, and arrangements for childcare were made for the big sister. Arby’s was our fast food of choice that evening for dinner, followed by a bath for Kim. As I bent over to kiss my precious little girl goodnight, a very fast-paced labor began when my water broke. Although excited, I’m sure Tim moaned with regret, as he had just taken a dose of Nyquil in hopes of a sound night’s sleep to ward off the symptoms of a head cold. He knew there would be no rest for the drugged … and he was right. Less than 3 hours later, our little boy was born.

That was 27 years ago today. Ryan just missed being a St. Patrick’s Day baby by an hour and 2 minutes.  And oddly enough, his favorite color has always been green. As I looked up my previous blogs for March 18, I decided to repost this one from 2011. Enjoy …

Back in the day, it was not in the usual routine of anticipated visits to find out if the baby growing inside was a girl or a boy. Observations of how high or how low, round belly or round body, fast or slow heart beat … all were used as a means of forming opinions. But the only one true test was that of birth. Having only been in labor for 2 ½ hours, I rejoiced with my husband at 1:02 am on March 18, 1986 to find out that we were the parents of a baby boy! With a little girl already wrapped around our hearts, adding Ryan to our family was a joy beyond words! Blonde hair, blue eyes, and 2 dimples in his chubby cheeks, he was undeniably a Van Hook.

Kim and RyanKim ~ 2 years 7 months Ryan ~ 10 days old

Kim and Ryan
Kim ~ 2 years 7 months
Ryan ~ 10 days old

Growing up with a sister who was quite vocal, Ryan really had no need for many words. Kim understood the language of little people and did a wonderful job of interpreting his gestures and mutterings. But it’s safe to say, now at the brand new age of 25, he is well versed in his vocabulary and does well in communication. Ryan is an assistant store manager for Verizon Wireless in Seattle … looking forward to managing his own store in the near future. Easter Seals speech therapy to Android and iPhone sales!

Super Mario, baseball and Chuck, Caravans, soccer, basketball, cousins, Work and Witness teams, green chilis, Sandia youth group, Mario and Conrad, Gonzaga, …

The memories are endless and the future is before him!

Ryan Daniel17 months old

Ryan Daniel
17 months old

Now that a new generation has graced our family with the life of Kim and Troy’s own son, Cole, I continue to be in awe of God’s Signature upon my life. Being a Mimi is incredibly special … a special all of its own!! So many other grandparents have commented that if they had known having grandchildren was so much fun, they would have had them first. I do not agree. Although being a parent has been hard work, frustrating and heartbreaking at times, there is no greater joy to my heart than my own two children. I love them so!!

I live this day, Ryan, in celebration of you and in honor of God who blessed my life with yours! I thank Him every day for your life, asking Him to surround you with His protection, His love, His grace, and His mercy. Morsels of Mercy!!!
Happy Birthday, my precious son!

Until next time,
Debbie

For this reason, since the day we heard about you,
we have not stopped praying for you
and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of His will
through all spiritual wisdom and understanding.
And we pray this in order that you may live a life
worthy of the Lord and may
please Him in every way:
bearing fruit in every good work,
growing in the knowledge of God,
being strengthened with all power
according to His glorious might
so that you may have great endurance and patience,
and joyfully giving thanks to the Father,
who has qualified you to share in the inheritance
of the saints in the kingdom of light.
For He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness
and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves,
in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
Colossians 1:9-14

O Be Careful Little Feet

5 Oct

So be careful to do what the LORD
your God has commanded you; do not turn aside to the right
or to the left. Walk in all the way that the LORD your God
has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong
your days in the land that you will possess.
Deuteronomy 5:32-33

 

Cole and Lillianne are at Papaw and Mimi’s house for a couple days while Momma is away at Women’s Retreat and Daddy is working. What a time we will have together, enjoying life on such a different level than the usual Monday through Friday routine.  I marvel how quickly they are growing, becoming their own little persons.  I am in awe of how God created each of them in His own image … and I know that it is my responsibility as Mimi to help nurture, to help lead by example, and to pray diligently for them both to become the big people that God has dreamed they would be.

Mimi and her loves!

During another fun moment with the kiddos this past summer, I took this photo of our feet.  Three pairs of feet, each pair belonging to a different individual, each pair a different size, each a different shade and skin tone, all the while all three pair share the same blood line and are attached to bodies that were all scrunched together for the picture.  I can’t help but smile, then sigh every time I see this picture, because I know that it will only be a blink in time before those little feet will be as big or bigger than their Mimi’s.  Where will those little feet take them in their lifetime?

I quickly think back to just a couple months ago when our family spent the weekend at the shore.  Cole’s first reaction to the sand this summer was not a pleasant one, irritated by the immediate feel of grit.  But it wasn’t too long before he found that the same gritty sand was fun to play in with his loader and dump truck, and great to run on in the wet surf.  As we left the beach, Cole appreciated the security of his favorite yellow crocks from the hot temperatures of the sand, and at day’s in, he was happiest with clean dry feet all snug and warm in his socks.

Our feet carry great loads, some heavier than others, depending on the activity of the moment ~ how important it is for our feet to wear the appropriate attire for proper care.  Boots, sneakers, flip flops, high heels, flats, and house slippers are among the most common gear for our feet, all serving their purpose in protection, comfort, and decoration.  Scrubs, lotions, and polishes all lend a helping hand in keeping the rough edges smooth and adding grace and color.  And for some, a toe ring adds that special touch of décor and individuality.

It’s imperative to do more than just walk on our feet.  We must care for them…

If standing on them too long, feet hurt.  If the right amount of support is not offered, feet ache.  If not bundled up enough, feet get cold.  If not sufficiently protected by sunscreen, feet burn.  If calluses and corns are not properly tended to, feet get infected.  If walking on a rough and rocky path, feet trip.

Remember the little Sunday School song we sang as kids?

O be careful little feet where you go,
O be careful little feet where you go …
There’s a Father up above
He’s looking down in love,
O be careful little feet where you go.

What an incredible message in this simple song.

O be careful little eyes what you see …
O be careful little ears what you hear …
O be careful little hands what you touch …
O be careful little lips what you say …
There’s a Father up above
He’s looking down in love,
O be careful…

Be very careful, then, how you live–not as unwise but as wise,
making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.
Ephesians 5:15-17

Each day of our lives, we are faced with decision after decision ~ choices that can be influenced by others, by our surroundings, and by our circumstances … but the responsibility of these decisions belong to us personally.  They all reflect our heart and our core beliefs.  Therefore, we must do all we can to guard our heart…

My son, pay attention to what I say;
listen closely to my words.

Do not let them out of your sight,
keep them within your heart;
for they are life to those who find them
and health to a man’s whole body.

 Above all else, guard your heart,
for it is the wellspring of life.

 Put away perversity from your mouth;
keep corrupt talk far from your lips.

 Let your eyes look straight ahead,
fix your gaze directly before you.

 Make level paths for your feet
and take only ways that are firm.

 Do not swerve to the right or the left;
keep your foot from evil.

 My son, pay attention to my wisdom,
listen well to my words of insight,
that you may maintain discretion
and your lips may preserve knowledge.
Proverbs 4:20-5:2

 

Listen to this song by Casting Crowns … “It’s a Slow Fade”
Click on this link to read the lyrics and listen
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0wo26sCH-Fw

We must pay more careful attention,
therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.
Hebrews 2:1

The simple message in the Sunday School song is a serious one.
Won’t you join me in being careful?
It is a slow fade … people never crumble in a day.
But they do crumble.
Lives are forever changed.
But the good news is that we can throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.
We can RUN (little feet) with perseverance the race marked out for us.
BECAUSE WE FIX OUR EYES ON JESUS.
HE is our ONLY hope in being careful.

Jesus is the Only hope for Cole and Lillie … for Kim and Ryan …
for me … for you.

“O be careful little feet…”

Until next time,
Debbie

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses,
let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles,
and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith,
who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame,
and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men,
so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Hebrews 12:1-3

 

Four Special Ladies

29 Jun

Know therefore that the LORD your God is God;
He is the faithful God, keeping His covenant of love
to a thousand generations of those who love Him
and keep His commands. 
Deuteronomy 7:9

A special gift was delivered just two days after Christmas in 1937.  Belonging to a family of two young boys and their parents, this newborn baby brought grace, sweetness, and all the other charms only a little girl could bring into their lives.  She grew up in a little town in Brown County, Indiana, later met a young man, fell in love, and they married …

Missing her older brother’s birthday by only four days, this chubby baby was the answer to that young couple’s prayers to have a little girl.  That autumn day in 1960 was only the beginning to her journey of love, family (including a baby brother a few years later), and a relationship with Jesus that has grown more and more dear through the years.

A tiny and perfectly created baby girl was an unexpected and special birthday surprise to her Daddy  ~  that most popular day in August of 1983.  Later joined by a little brother,  this sweet girl grew up surrounded by a family that loved and supported her, and the strength of faith to face the joys and challenges of life …

A most specific request of prayer was answered just two months ago as weeks of a troubled pregnancy finally delivered a beautiful baby girl.  Having been excitedly welcomed into the family by parents and big brother, this special little lady has a lifetime of Love and life just waiting for her to experience …

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The townhome in Baltimore was bustling with activity as the hour finally arrived when the flight from Indianapolis was due.  Mimi Wells was the anticipated special guest of honor.  And honor it was as she held her great granddaughter for the first time.  Once again, love that spanned the years of generations melted four hearts, but this time it was even more special …

Mimi, Mommy, Baby Lillie and Mimi Wells

Since the birth of Cole Michael in 2009, our family has shared in the heritage of four generations.  But we now have a little girl that brings a different dynamic to the celebration.   A celebration that embraces giggles, recipes, hair ribbons, and shopping … and a specific way of caring for those we love.  These four special ladies have each other to go to for wisdom, for prayer, for shelter, and for love.  We not only share in the same heritage of family, faith, and love, we still have today and tomorrow to continue adding to those memories and moments of life.

The wildfires of life are burning out of control all around us … but in the midst of these difficult days, there is Jesus.  Jesus is there, giving us strength, hope, and His very presence in the middle of it all.  And then sometimes, there is an added blessing of four special ladies … with their common threads being Mimi Wells, Mimi, Mommy and Baby Lillie  — all unique and individual, but all connected by love.

Until next time,
Debbie

Four Generations

LILLIANNE HOPE … the story

11 May

Your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in Your book
before one of them came to be.
Psalm 139:16

Lillianne ~ one name among several scribbled on a note pad belonging to a junior high girl, dreaming of the day when she would have her own daughter.  That name, along with that hope, became reality several days ago when my granddaughter was born.

Purpose was involved for several months ~ what occurred so effortlessly 3 years previous was not going to be so easy this time.  Repeated non success led to disappointment, and disappointment led to frustration.  Perhaps there is magic in the month of August … magic that Divinely and mysteriously combined that school girl’s dreams with hope, and then that hope into reality.  Reality was confirmed and then anticipation immediately hit the calendars for the first week of May…nearly the exact same day that the older sibling had been due to arrive.  As the pages of the calendar began to turn, so did the Momma’s stomach, limiting the items on the menu, and once again not able to even tolerate the aroma of brewing coffee.  Necessary changes were made without much grumble, and the family of three (plus dog) adjusted.  By early December, ultrasound photos revealed the hidden secret of gender and all were thrilled beyond words to officially refer to the ever-growing baby belly as Lillie. Along with her big brother Cole, Lillie had gifts under the Christmas tree, and was quite noticeable in the annual holiday family photo.  The New Year started and with it came some concern from Momma’s doctor which sent her to bed for a couple of weeks.  Those weeks of rest proved to be helpful, but only temporarily.  As spring dropped hints of its existence throughout our very mild winter, Kim’s body began to show signs of early dilation and possible pre-term labor.  Once again, orders were made to rest and do very little … Prayers were prayed, food was brought in, and child care was provided during those long weeks of caution.  For all of this and more, we are so appreciative!  The phrase ‘full-term’ finally made its way into our vocabulary and the little momma received professional permission to emerge from her couch. A slow but deliberate re-entry into activity began to take place, as well as ‘practice’ contractions and pressure.  Substantial dilation secretly moved in on the scene and was detected and announced by the attending physician during the final weekly visit.  A suggestion was made to have all bags packed and to expect a quick trip to the hospital before the scheduled day of surgery.  A fun-filled weekend, including movie night with popcorn and milkshakes, a family picnic on Saturday, and kickball in the park ended with timely contractions and extreme discomfort during the wee hours of Sunday.   A call to the doctor in charge during those sleepy hours instructed the waiting parents to arrive in Annapolis as soon as possible for an exam, at which time the number 8 seemed to boost workers into sudden activity.  The preferred C-section delivery was prepped, as was the patient, and at 5:50 am on Sunday, April 29, 2012, Lillianne Hope was born.

Welcome, Baby Lillie!

Having driven the hour and a half to Annapolis and arriving at the hospital around 4:30 am, I knew there was nothing I could do but sit and pray, so I did everything I knew to do ~ sit and pray.  I received an occasional text from Kim or Troy, informing me of the latest detail … until all went quiet when she said “we are going in soon”.  For the next hour or so, my mind played back to the scene three years before when they rushed my very ill daughter down the hall to deliver her first-born by emergency surgery…6 weeks early.  My heart soared in prayer as the minutes clicked by that God’s presence would be with these kids as they experienced another special moment in their lives together.  An excited text interrupted my sanctuary as the new Dad informed me that Mom and baby were fine and that I would get to come see them both soon.  As I entered that hospital room and saw the glow on my daughter’s face as she sat there holding her own daughter, my heart was full and ready to burst with joy!  No wires, no tubes, no alarms, no special machines!  Although everything worked out and Cole is an active and healthy little 3-year-old boy now … this time, it’s a new and different beginning to life!  Thank you Jesus!

Cole meeting his little sister, Lillianne

I drove back to Cole’s house where he and Papaw were playing and waiting for me to come get them.  We explained to the little guy that Baby Lillie had finally arrived and she was at the hospital with his mom and dad.  As we were getting out of our van to go inside, Cole looked over at me and asked … “Baby Lillie is not in Mommy’s tummy now?”  It was so fun to be able to tell him that she was now out … and that he was going to get to see her eyes, her nose, her hair, and her little fingers!  I believe in his little boy heart and mind, he understood.  Sporting his ‘big brother’ sticker that the nurse’s station handed him, with excitement and the thrill of many, many months of anticipation, Cole squealed with delight as he reached for his baby sister and touched her for the first time.Visitors came and went.  So did the nurses and doctors … providing care, instructions, and advice.  The little family was reunited in their home on Wednesday, just 4 days following Lillie’s birth.  One couldn’t help but remember that it was on day 4 that Mom and Dad were finally able to hold Baby Cole for the first time …still connected to wires, tubes, and machines.   Again, thank you Jesus.

Mimi with Lillie, Cole, and Uncle RyRy

The weekend was extra special as Uncle RyRy and Britt flew in from Seattle to officially meet little Miss Lillianne.  Ryan arrived on Thursday morning, giving us a couple extra days of playtime with Cole at Mimi and Papaw’s house so Mom and Dad and little Miss could get settled without added commotion. Brittany then joined the party Saturday morning ~ allowing this Mom and Mimi to feel blessed beyond words to be surrounded by her entire family for a few days.  It was a busy time – cooking, loving the babies, cooking again, loving all the babies some more, and cooking again.  Sunday night came all too quickly as Tim and I headed back to PA in order to go back to work the following day.  Reality always has a way of interrupting.  The salve to help soothe the aching Mommy heart this time is our upcoming family vacation to Seattle in July!

Another week has nearly come and gone – Lillianne will be 2 weeks old this Sunday … Mother’s Day.  I look forward to spending the day with both of my grandchildren and their parents ~ Mimi and Papaw taking turns to hold the itty bitty one while the other plays with tractors, cars, and dinosaurs.  It will be a special day, full of life, love, and little ones.

Just as her name was first written on a piece of scratch paper many years ago, all of Lillianne’s days were ordained by God and written in His book before one of them came to be … Psalms 139:16.  I count it a privilege and honor to also document this little life’s days in my own journal!  As specific and detailed her tiny ears are, or to hear every squeak and whimper from her perfect little lips ~ may I begin this journey of writing with a heart full of praise and awe of the One who created her.  Won’t you join me?

Until next time,
Debbie

Lillianne Hope … 1 week old

Baby Lillie

LILLIANNE HOPE the announcement

29 Apr

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
Psalm 139:13

A simple announcement for a very special little girl …

Lillianne Hope Arndt  ~  born today ~ Sunday, April 29, 2012 ~  at 5:50 am.
She weighed 7 pounds and 4.2 ounces.
She measured 19 inches long.
She has alot of dark hair, chubby cheeks, and very long skinny fingers and toes.

Baby Lillie and Momma’s body have been preparing for this grand event …
God’s timing dictated her arrival one day before the scheduled date of surgery.
Baby and Momma are doing just fine!

Lillie’s big brother is in my custody for a few days ~ or maybe I’m in his custody.  Any rate, we are going to enjoy each other’s company for a while until his parents bring home the tiny new member of their family.

We are anticipating a wonderful time of new adventures and special memories made as Uncle RyRy and Britt come in later this week for a visit and introduction to little Miss Lillianne.

Nothing about this beautifully made little girl is simple  …  except this announcement.  I promise to write a whole lot more next week when Mimi takes her heart back home, total saturated and overflowing from God’s own hand of blessings.

Until next time,
Debbie

  For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand.
When I awake, I am still with you.
Psalm 139:13-18

Mimi and Lillianne Hope

Lillianne Hope

Lillie ... precious!

CARS Birthday

28 Mar

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace
as you trust in H
im, so that you may overflow
with Hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 15:13

I wish little-boy excitement could be bottled up and later dispensed whenever Mimi starts to run low of her own.  Afternoon playtime at the park, a trip to McDonald’s, or a birthday party are all occasions for squeals, loads of fun, and endless energy.

Flo's V-8 Cafe

Cole Michael turned 3 years old this past Saturday.  For him, the day began like any other Saturday when he spends Friday night at Mimi and Papaw’s house ~ stickers, breakfast, and playtime with Papaw.  But the rest of the day was anything but normal.  Cole must have sensed the electricity in the live currents of his parents and grandparents, for he absolutely refused to settle down for a nap, but instead cried and warted around in his bed till he was a mess.  Last minute details were loaded into Mimi’s van, including the birthday boy himself, while Papaw and Daddy went to the scene of the party before hand, to transform the church Sunday School room into a bright and colorful Hall of Fame for the Movie CARS.

Tow Mater Cupcakes
Made by Momma

As Cole walked into the decorated room, complete with friends, family, gifts, tasty treats, and balloons, his less than agreeable mood quickly was checked at the door as he began to shriek with happiness and excitement.   Not knowing where to go or what to look at first, Cole was bouncing all over the room, totally filled with little boy wonder and awe.  Since his Momma has been on moderate bed rest for the past several weeks, she had meticulously drawn out a diagram of each table, each display, and each station, creating the best birthday celebration possible for Cole, in spite of the circumstances surrounding the upcoming birth of Baby Lillie.  Playing on the various personalities of particular CARS characters, signs portraying Flo’s V-8 Café to Guido’s Pit Stop Challenge guided children and adults alike toward food, games, coloring station, and drinks.  The flow of the party went smoothly, all the while the birthday boy was bouncing with energy… now sufficiently fueled by sugar.

Camera in hand, I followed the birthday boy around, capturing as many ‘Kodak Moments’ as possible as Cole and his little friends played games, ate birthday cake and Tow Mater cupcakes, and even at times made it a group effort to unwrap the gifts.  His expressions and interactions with the little people and the big were priceless, as 30 guests came to gift him with a day of  love.

Exciting Gift Time!

Cole’s play area at home now has a lot of additional items that will bring him much fun and happiness in the days to come … not to mention the new pieces to his ever-growing collection of CARS characters.  I find it quite interesting how a small child mixes his energetic imagination with a movie that he has seen a gazillion times and how it places words into his vocabulary, influences the way he runs, and brings such joy to his playtime.  This has caused me to really think about my relationship with Jesus.  Has my love for  Him introduced new words and thought processes into my  life?  Has my love for Jesus influenced the run of life that I am participating in?  Do I find joy in my relationship with Jesus?  Won’t you join me as I reflect on the life of a little 3 year old boy ~ full of energy and love for life … do we embrace Jesus with as much gusto as Cole embraces life?

Until next time,
Debbie

Family Photo

Fix these words of mine in your
hearts and minds;
tie them as symbols on your hands and
bind them on your foreheads.
Teach them to your children, talking about
them when you sit at home
and when you walk along
the road, when you
lie down and when you get up.
Write them on the doorframes of
your houses and on your gates,
so that your days and the days of your
children may be many in the land
that the LORD swore to
give your forefathers,
as many as the days that the
heavens are above the earth.
Deuteronomy 11:18-21

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight,
O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.
Psalm 19:14

Listen, my son, accept what I say,
and the years of your life will be many.
I guide you in the way of wisdom
and lead you along straight paths.
When you walk, your steps will not be hampered;
when you run, you will not stumble.
Hold on to instruction, do not let it go;
guard it well, for it is your life.
Do not set foot on the path of the wicked
or walk in the way of evil men.
Avoid it, do not travel on it;
turn from it and go on your way.
Proverbs 4:10-15

 

but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
Isaiah 40:31

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses,
let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles,
and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
Hebrews 12:1

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace
as you trust in him, so that you may overflow
with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 15:13

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**  Blog photo of Cole’s birthday decor  –  March 2012