Wednesday, December 23
As most of you know, we will be traveling to the Ronald McDonald House of Delaware on Saturday January 2. We will be preparing dinner for approximately 60-80 guests. Our plan is to prepare a spaghetti/lasagna type meal, complete with the garlic bread, salad and desserts.
We have also been collecting non-parishable food items and cleaning supplies to help stock the RMH food pantry. Click here for a complete "wish list" of items that the RMH is requesting. If you would like to make a donation of food or supplies, please feel free to contact me. You can email me here through the blog, or just leave a comment.
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions. Thanks!!
Saturday, December 19
Saturday, December 5
(Baby Todd on his "birth day" - December 5, 2008)
After we released the balloons, we headed for Delaware. The closer we got to Wilmington, the more painful it was. However, something changed when we stepped into the RMH. That peace we experienced a year ago, came back. It was such a HUGE blessing and joy to be able to give back, and potentially impact the life of another child.
We were able to deliver over 100 toys and games to the Ronald McDonald House!! Thanks to those who helped make that possible!
**The girls outside the Ronald McDonald House, after delivering the toys!
During our visit, the girls were able to see the RMH "Santa's Workshop". They were very excited to be giving Christmas to another sick child! How better to show them the true meaning of Christmas!
As we were pulling out of the parking lot to head home, the girls thanked us for giving them "the best Christmas EVER!".
Again, thank you so very much for all your prayers and support over the past year & a half.
Sunday, November 22
For the last several months we have been collecting toys take to the children that would be staying at the RMH over the Christmas holiday. As of now, we have collected well over 100 toys to be donated. We have also collected other supplies to be donated as well...such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap and cleaning supplies.
We will be visiting the RMH of Delaware on the following dates:
Tuesday, September 29
This past sunday, we went with our bible study group to Cunningham Falls State Park, in Maryland. We had a great time grilling, hiking, and just relaxing and enjoying the beautiful scenery.
Tuesday, September 8
Check back, I am intending to start updating more frequently.
Tuesday, May 5
Part way into the walk, we decided to give up on the idea of keeping the girls dry. They walked most of the way in their barefeet!
Kadenn & Kylei at the Finish Line
Saturday, May 2
Tomorrow is the March of Dimes walk in Chambersburg. We will be walking 5k starting at 1:00 and raised $150 for the cause. A BIG THANKS to everyone who supported us.
Also, we are still planning to help at the Ronald McDonald House sometime in December. We are collecting toys to take with us and already have over 100 toys donated. May God be blessed through our continued journey!
Saturday, April 18
Sunday, April 12
Saturday, April 4
Thursday, March 19
knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.
As the numbness slowly fades away, I am starting to realize what our "new normal" will feel like. It has become a bit slower, less comfortable, and even a bit vulnerable at times. But, as I adjust to that "new normal", I see that is where God wants us anyway. He wants us just outside our comfort zone, at a point where we are in complete brokenness and humility. Where we have no choice but to cry out for Him. So He can pick us up, dust us off and put the pieces back together, and more or less mold us into the person He wanted us to be from the beginning.
Friday, March 6
Tuesday, January 27
As we drove to Whitetail, I looked into the backseat at the girls. They were all smiles and giggling with excitement. I also envisioned Baby Todd, sitting in his carseat, with no idea of what was to come. This would be his first visit, of many, to Whitetail.
There have been other "firsts" that we have already experienced with out Baby Todd. Like our first sunday back to church, and our first dinner with Pap & Nan at their new house.
Sunday, January 25
With. “Daddy, come with me,” were the words of a young girl who had forgotten to do her chores and was terrified to go outside alone after dark. “With” meant heaving protection and comfort.
With. It’s what girlfriends do. It is those trips to the bathroom together for a quick therapy or giggle fix – whichever the situation at hand might require. It is the spontaneous adventure taken together. It is the “partner in crime,” the one who will get into trouble with you and will still be there to laugh at it in the years to come. It is knowing exactly what type of ice cream flavor to get for you on a bad day. It is those tears cried for you when seeing your heart break. It is long talks and plenty of lattes. It is shopping trips and projects. It is noticing that new haircut or outfit. It is knowing just what to say to boost the other’s confidence when they are feeling low.
With. It’s what I’ve watched the guys do. It is the wrestling matches in the middle of – well – anywhere. It is the quirky handshakes and the awkward hugs. It is those times of getting together to shoot a few hoops or one another with paintballs. It is the competitive sparing, the robust laugh and the good natured ribbing. It is getting up early to go hang out in the woods and then staying up late to tell the stories. It is the “knowing” nod or handshake when life gets tough and the quick strong thump on the back to let the other know that they care.
With. It is what your spouse does. It is sticking by you throughout all the ups and downs of life. It is knowing how bad you look when you first wake up and kissing you good morning despite the morning breath. It is holding your hand when you need extra strength and giving you their shoulder to cry on. It is knowing your weakness and your faults but still loving you despite it all. It is the long talks, the relaxed evenings, the weekend adventures. It is those quiet and intimate moments you share. It is working along side each other and watching as your work develops into your hopes and dreams. It is companionship.
With. It is what your child needs. It is those moments of getting up in the middle of the night just so they know that you are still there and everything is okay. It is playing silly games, reading little books, and horse playing on the family room floor. It is countless hours of holding, innumerable boo-boo’s to be kissed, and ceaseless giggles to be shared. It is comfort and reassurance. It is boundaries. It is believing in them. It is helping them grow and embrace all that God has created them to be.
The significance of this word takes on a whole new meaning as I ponder the name God chose to describe Himself – Immanuel, which means, “God WITH us.” Tucked in between all powerful “God” and lowly “us” is this word that seemed before to simply speak to the location of God. Now by all standards God’s being in the same location with us is nothing short of amazing! But what is more amazing to me is understanding the fuller meaning of this name when we look at “with” as more than just another preposition.
Immanuel – God is with me. He is “Abba, Daddy,” my protector and my comforter when I have to walk through those dark moments of life – even when it is my own negligence that gets me there.
Immanuel – God is with me. He is a friend who sticks by me. He’s there to share long talks or just go for a walk. He knows just what to say through His word and nature to encourage me. He knows just what blessings to give me when I’m having a hard day. He listens. He laughs with me and cries with me. He is along for the adventure.
Immanuel – God is with me. He is my companion. He loves me through thick and thin and in spite of it all. He KNOWS – really knows all of my quirks and faults, my failings, bad attitudes, and poor decisions. He is there working along side me helping me to accomplish the hopes and dreams He instilled in my heart. He is there when the hurt is too deep to express. He is there to share the joy that sometimes can hardly be contained. He is there in those quiet moments and shares His heart.
Immanuel – God is with me. Like a parent, He is there in the middle of the night when I need reassurance that He simply IS. When I need someone to teach me the boundaries and guide me in the way that is right. He is there to surprise me with good and fun things. He is there to help me grow and become the child He created me to be.
Immanuel, God is with us. It is more than a Christmas carol or something that happened several thousand years ago. It is a way of life and it is 24/7, the whole year through. One more thought though… God is WITH us, but are we WITH God? Have we made God our lifestyle the way He has made us His? Do we take Him with us through every moment of our day or do we limit Him to our devotional time – provided we have time for one? Does God with us and we with God impact the way that we relate to our spouse when they haven’t measured up to our standards, our children when they aren’t obeying, our friends when they aren’t there for us the way we want them to be, our co-workers when they get really annoying, and those random people whose mission every morning is to make us late for work? It is a challenge to me, and I hope to you too to make a conscious choice to live each day and each moment intentionally WITH God.
Here are several verses that I have come across recently that reflect the concept of God with us and we with God – all day long!
Joshua 1:8 “Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”
Psalm 119:164 “Seven times a day I praise you for your righteous laws.”
Monday, January 19
Thank you Selena, this was a wonderful gift!
Wednesday, January 14
Monday, January 12
To answer the question of the how the girls are doing, very well. As Jerri shared earlier, their faith and understanding are amazing. Kylei is a very good big sister and since the passing of Baby Brother, she has latched onto her baby doll, Kaya. She cares for her like a big sister cares for her baby sister ....changing her diaper, feeding her, and tucking her in bed at night.
Kadenn is a great big sister also and she has her puppy, Buddy. You might recognize him from earlier when the girls visited us in the hospital. Buddy was Baby Todd's stuffed animal that Kadenn bandaged up with the medical supplies they were given by the patient care provider. We gave him back to her when we explained to her about Baby Brother going to heaven. He goes everywhere with her and he still has most of his bandages. When she missed her brother, she gives Buddy big hugs and says she loves him. We love to watch our girls with their ways caring out the big sister role.
"Dear Lord, protect my childern and give them ever lasting faith throughout their journey of life, Amen"
Friday, January 9
Wednesday, January 7
Yesterday, we celebrated Kadenn's 6th birthday. It's hard to believe that she is already 6. She has such a young, fun-loving and energetic personality. Yet, through out the last 4 weeks, she has taught Dustin & I so much.
One of my favorite things is watching children put their faith into action. The faith of child is so simple and sincere. Over the last several weeks, and this last week especially, we have been blessed with countless 'special moments' with the girls. We have had conversations that will never be forgotten, and seen them handle themselves in ways that are truly encouraging. Their faith is amazing!
Sunday, January 4
Friday, January 2
I was blessed with many memories in my short three weeks with Baby Todd. Memories that I will forever cherish and hold close to my heart. Carrying him to the Operating Room for his very first surgery, being excited for his first “wet diaper”, tickling his feet, holding his hand and looking into his big blue eyes and encouraging him to “hang on…it wouldn’t be much longer”.
Over the last several months, and the last three weeks especially, we continually prayed that God would give us a miracle. God was truly faithful and answered our prayers, and gave us our miracle. Through the overwhelming and ever changing emotions we have experienced, we still consider ourselves blessed to have been chosen to be Baby Todd’s earthly parents.