Saturday, July 26, 2008

Now I lay me down to sleep

Tonight, a Friday night, the children and I were looking forward to Daddy coming home, possibly a bit early, to begin our family time weekend. It has been a long week with numerous distractions including my Mom's eye surgery, that left very little time for our family to be together all at the same time.

It was not to be.

Earlier in the day the call came. There was a family. They had a little girl who was 18 days old. She might not make it to day 19.

For quite some time we have participated in a program called "Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep". If you have a moment, it is well worth your while to look at the website.

I must admit when we first learned of this organization back when it was just beginning, it sounded strange. Then, I suddenly realized my own family would have benefited greatly from this decades earlier. My Mother and Dad lost a baby boy (who may have survived with today's medical care).. The Doctor asked if he could "take care of things". My Mother was so grief stricken all she could do was nod her head. To this day, she feels she never had closure and each year during the same season and anniversary of his passing, she still, has regrets of not holding him, memorizing every little finger, feeling his soft skin, and saying goodbye until she meets him one day again in Glory.

So, back to this evening, Dave arrives at the hospital as the family is gathered around this precious little girl. She is on oxygen and the nurse removes it for a brief moment to capture her delicate sweet face. She cried a bit, and looked perfect. On the outside this tiny little girl was perfect. Her parents told us the Doctors said she most likely wouldn't even survive gestation, and suggested terminating the pregnancy. The answer immediately was "No". Her mother's response was that if God wants to take her, He will. As of tonight, the parents are able to cherish 18 days with their beautiful baby girl. They were praising God for every moment.

Her condition is incompatible with life, and barring a miracle, she will soon be held in the arms of her Heavenly Father.

Tonight, we were so blessed by meeting this couple. This was their first child.

May God Bless and comfort this dear family.

The first time Dave was involved with one of these situations I jotted down a few thoughts as he spoke them to me immediately after.. I'll share these with you tonight as I reflect back..


He arrived while the Mom was still in surgery and was there when the baby was born. Quietly, he photographed hundreds of images while the parents cherished every second with their new son. Samuel was born and able to enjoy about 80 minutes in his parents arms before entering into the arms of his Heavenly Father.

Dave's prayer was that he could keep his own emotions in check at least during the time spent with this dear family. God was gracious.

At one point, the father was holding his new son with Grandfather looking on, then Grandfather broke down sobbing with his hands over his face. I think that was one of the most moving images I've ever seen.

The social worker could not have been more helpful, and even the Dr. was much more open to things than he had been earlier in the week. The nurses were wonderful and Dave remained in the shadows all the while being given the honor of capturing these only moments this family will ever have with little Samuel.

After Dave was finished, he left and it wasn't until he got to his car that his own tears began to flow.

Was it hard I asked. His answer was "yes".

Would you do it again? (I asked),, his answer was no doubt. In a heartbeat.

Each family reminds us of how fragile and short life on this Earth really is.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

If you happen to be a swinger~ and a very cool free gift from kids meal!

I'm not sure if all Chick-fil-A's are offering this, but they are giving away Kids foreign language CD's! We LOVE them!! John is glued to his Chinese one! He surprised me with all the new words in Mandarin he has learned just today! It was very interesting listening to him with headphones on repeating phrases in Mandarin.

They are offering Chinese, Italian, Russian, and Spanish. We might just have to make another trip to get the rest :)

Also, if you happen to be a swinger you DON'T want to miss THIS!!! :) :)

They have amazing Teak outdoor furniture and they are having an incredible sale! We have the swing and I can tell you we looked and looked before getting it to be sure of the quality and comfort. We have been so pleased and have enjoyed many hours just -a- swingin!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Barnes & Noble concern and a question

We have a fairly new large Barnes and Noble in our area and I would estimate it has approx. 15,000 sq. feet +/-. The children's section is a about half way to the back and as far left as you can go. The most direct path to the children's book department and play area takes you right through the section about the occult, and other demonic books. It is virtually impossible to get to the children's section without walking thru this as it is right beside the only entrance to the play area.

Even if you go way out of your way to circumvent this it is directly adjacent to the children's section entrance and you still pass by it. The first section of books for children almost physically touches these topics (within inches).

Given the many, many, many, subject options Barnes and Noble has to place in that area with this ample spaced facility, why must they make parents with young children walk right through this subject matter? It appears to be intentional and deliberate.

Why not put History books, Nutrition, Health, Travel, etc.. almost anything but the above.

So, my question to those of you in other areas, is this an isolated situation with our particular Barnes and Noble management, or is this layout by Barnes and Noble nation wide?

Friday, July 11, 2008

Explaining Hippies 101

Let it be.. let it beee...let it be, let it be.. there will be an answer.. let it be..
Peace Y'all.
{a must click on the photo to fully appreciate}

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The days are growing shorter

and soon, Summer will give way to chilly nights, pumpkins, and other amazing gifts of the season. Its hard to believe Summer is more than half over for us (we count 'Summer' as when school is not in session ;). School begins in just over a month, and the task of gathering school supplies, working on the 'new' morning routine getting ready on time for the 8:00 a.m. bell, packing lunches, homework, etc etc, is knocking at the door. I actually love the routine and feel like something has been accomplished even by 8 am during the school year ;)

John will be such a big boy in 1st grade! He is doing beautifully and loves his school. We have grown to love this wonderful school as well. It only has 2 first grade classes and depends heavily on parental involvement. Elizabeth will join her brother 2 years from August when she officially begins Kindergarden. This year is most exciting for John as he has been told he gets to bring home the class rodent (guinea pig). Hopefully I can keep a smile on my face as we load it into our

So, the last half of Summer '08 is here. It truly amazes me how much faster time goes by when we grow up!

I recently read some excellent reviews on this.. and got it for John. He LOVES it and has made learning math a breeze! He doesn't want to put it down. It seems to be a positive alternative to the old fashioned way his Mom and Dad learned :) John seems to have a love for math, and we hope to foster that interest! (He also has a love for Tom and Jerry DVD's that we hope will!)

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Precious Freedom

This was the moment Elizabeth became a citizen as she first stepped foot on US soil in L.A. moments after exiting the airplane that brought us home from China. No the clothes and shoes don't match as she had thrown up just before getting on the plane in Guangzhou and we were into our 'reserve' before we even got to our 15 hour seat. None of it mattered. We were home. She was free. We didn't take it lightly after 21 days in China. We loved China, and hope to return someday, but nothing will ever change how grateful we were to live in the United States. Freedom. We saw first hand how very blessed we were here in America. I took for granted so many of my liberties until we saw how most of the rest of the world lives.

As our nation is going though such changes in a very turbulent time, my prayer is we never loose sight of our founding forefathers vision for our country.

One Year Later..