Friday, December 31, 2010


Maddie Kate and I had the BEST New Year's Eve present ever today (not that our family usually gives NYE presents...but still). After a long night of waiting to hear that they had made it to London and a few tears (or a lot...I was rather emotional between the hours of three and five AM) and then a long morning as they made their way to Uganda, we got to Skype with Luke!!! It was so awesome to see his face and hear his voice! I was not expecting to hear it at all while he's on the trip, so it was amazing.MK had been running around the house in her Super Woman costume and entertaining company.
She was so excited to see him.
I cannot wait to hear of all that he will get to see and do! God is SO big. And good. Happy New Year's Eve!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

And he's off...

Today was the day that has been much anticipated around our household. I couldn't believe that it came and went so quickly! Luke and I stayed up rather late the night before. We hung out. Hugged about 78 times. Finished packing everyone up. I made a blanket for Luke to take to Emmanuel while he worked on a project downstairs. We laughed and teased (what I quite possibly will miss most while he is gone...who knew that someone making fun of you could be so fun to the one being made fun of??). He is such a goof ball.When we woke up this morning I was so excited for Luke to skip the whole travel thing and just be there already! That may have had something to do with the 15 plus hours of air time that I wouldn't be able to hear from him. MK and I saw him off with the group from Tyler. He is one of the "old men" of the trip. The others, minus one, are college students (some in their first year). I pretty much had an epic fail when I tried to take a picture of the team before they left for the airport. Where's Luke? Oh yeah, that's right, I didn't manage to get his face in the picture.
I snagged one off the ministry website so that everyone can see my hubby's handsome face!
We tried to get a family self portrait before he hopped in the van. I would say it's not as big of a fail as the group picture that I took but it's a close second. I will blame it on the wind (because it was super windy!).
We followed the van to Dallas and met the team for lunch at Chipotle.MK grabbed Violet, turned on "five minutes of bed time music" and was out until we made it to the restaurant where we were meeting them. We ate lunch, said "see you soon", gave Luke some big kisses and then hit the road. I had prepared myself that I might cry for a little while and need to pull in to a parking lot and allow myself a few minutes to recover, but I actually did really well. I was so excited for him. Luke and I have known each other for 10 years now. We hit it off as friends right from the start. He made fun of me. I was OK with laughing at myself. We were quite the pair. Since day one he has had a heart for Africa. That passion and desire to travel there only grew through the years as we were surrounded by friends who had gone and some who had built lasting relationships and continued to return. He loved getting the chance to give towards others trips, sponsor children from Uganda and read about the works God was doing there. To see him off and on his way to a place God has placed in his heart for so long was almost surreal.

The hubs has my camera (I guess it's actually our camera, but I take most of the pictures) with him for the trip so the next several days will have lots of phone pictures and some from my point and shoot which I bought at a garage sale for less than $5. Basically...just a warning that they won't exactly be high quality. I was hoping the point and shoot had manual functions and it does but they don't work. I guess I can't return it though considering the lady on the corner with all the yard art doesn't care if the camera she sold me for $3 works or not.

After about 45 minutes on the road MK was ready to run and scream and play like 15 month olds do. I spotted a Cracker Barrel and knew their porch would be the perfect place.
Madelyn loves to sit in rocking chairs. She would rock in one for a minute then move on to the next one.
About 45 minutes later she was ready to hit the road again. I gave in and let her have her paci in hopes that she would nap. It didn't work, but she was a happy little camper!
We made it to MeeMaw's house in time to see some family, have dinner and put the munchkin down for the night. Before she went to bed I popped in the DVD Luke made for MK. She has the most amazing Daddy. He made her a video for every morning and evening he will be away. Tonight it was a story from her Jesus Storybook Bible. She loved every second of it and kept blowing him kisses.
We will definitely miss him like crazy but are so humbled at the opportunity laid before him. You can follow their journey at Pray for him. Pray for the team. Thank you to everyone who made his trip possible...we are so grateful!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

I fit!!

Dear Daddy,
Just thought you should know...I fit! Can I come too? Mommy said maybe next time, but since I am growing like a weed I may not fit next time. I love you!


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

15 months

Dear Madelyn Kate,
On Christmas Eve you turned 15 months old. It's absolutely unbelievable to me how much you have grown since last Christmas. With each passing month your personality develops in to that of such a charming little girl. You are vibrant and full of life. We have loved watching you play with your new toys from Christmas. You adore playing with your baby doll and pushing her around in your new shopping cart. Sometimes you seem so grown up and carry her around so delicately. You feed her a bottle, try to change her clothes and love on her like a little mommy would. Other moments I reminded that you are still a rambunctious little 15 month old as you toss the baby to the ground and run after the next toy you want to play with.
You have become SO verbal lately. You make noise non stop. Some of the words that you say are momma, dadda, dog, bow, more, thank you, woof woof, meow, yay, banana, bye-bye, love you, oh no, aww, aaha, Papa, some form of Rachel (Raay shll) and our absolute favorite is ta-daaa! You say ta-da all the time. Scream it, whisper it softly and sometimes you just say it. All day long we hear your joyful "ta-daas" coming from all over the house. I love every second of it. Even when you are screaming it at the top of your little lungs and we cannot have a conversation because you are so loud. It makes us laugh every time.

Any time we strap you in to your car seat lately you immediately begin to protest. Long trips, you do well. Around town, you usually don't like it to much. However, recently we have started singing songs together and you love it. Once the song trick stops working, we start making faces at each other in the rear view mirror. You make the silliest faces at me and then giggle like crazy.
After the silly face game stops entertaining you, I am ashamed to admit that I usually resort to snacks. Your car seat has so many tiny crumbs packed in the sides that I would be absolutely mortified if anyone saw how truly messy it was. Daddy and I pulled it out of the car the other day and there was quite the little pile of gold fish crumbs.
Once you realize that you are in the car seat and that it's all going to be give in and do just fine! Amazingly enough, when we are with Daddy or you are riding with just him, you skip the whole protesting stage. I am not sure what is up with that but it would be OK with me if you grew out of that this month. No big deal if you don't, but it wouldn't make me sad if you did.
I was hoping that you would like car rides around town a little more than you do because you really enjoy getting out. You seem to get stir crazy if we don't get outside several times a day. Unfortunately it's been too cold to play outside much, but you love to walk around the mall, Wal-Mart and our favorite, Target on those days! The hard part is trying not to spend any money while we are out. The other day we braved the post Christmas shopping crowd and ventured out to the mall. You almost instantly fell asleep and got a good nap in while I pushed you in to lots of stores.
Earlier this month you had somewhat of a food strike. You did not eat very much for several days in a row. Thankfully you gave that up and have returned to your good eating ways. Your absolute favorite food is mandarin oranges. You also enjoy macaroni and cheese, edamame, grilled cheese, green beans, bananas, chicken nuggets, peaches, pineapples, cereal bars, bagels, crackers, chicken spaghetti, teddy grahams and lots more. This month you tried donuts for the first time and to no surprise you loved them. We have actually discovered that you have quite the sweet tooth. When you lay eyes on a cookie, you anxiously make the sign for more over and over again. You also love to drink from our straws (which is not a good thing considering if I have a drink with a straw it is almost always Diet Dr. Pepper). You have gotten really good at eating with utensils. Forks are your favorite!

This morning I gave you a spoon with your yogurt and let you have at it. You ate one whole cup of yogurt so well on your own. I ran to the restroom while you were working on the second cup and I came back to one messy little girl.
Apparently you were finished and thought it would be fun to paint with the leftovers.

You wear size four diapers, have five teeth, wear 12-18 months tops and 9-12 months pants, weighed 21.5 pounds two weeks ago and still short! We have your 15 month checkup soon so we will know all of your stats then. You nap one or two times a day anywhere from 45 minutes to 3 hours. You sleep 11-12 hours a night no matter what time you go to bed and you are still sleeping in our room.

You still have very sensitive skin, so we don't give you a bath every day. Due to your tubes, we have to plug your ears when you do take one. You don't seem to mind. You still love the bath tub.
One of your favorite things to do these days is color. Actually, I think you like to organize the crayons in the box more than you actually enjoy coloring, but you enjoy it anyways.
You have an absolute fascination with books. Each day you spend lots of time thumbing through them on your own and we read at least four or five together. You are curious about your surroundings and know when something is out of place. There are so many little details about this stage that I do not want to forget that I could keep typing for hours.

The most important thing I want to remember is how much fun you are!! You give the best kisses and hugs and your smile is contagious. You are a joy to be around and everyone loves being in your presence. You keep us laughing constantly and your laugh is the sweetest thing we have ever heard.

We love you dearly little one. You will always be my sweet baby girl.


Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Day

Madelyn definitely was not lacking attention at all on Christmas Day. She had an audience and was glad to perform for them.
Luke and I had a good time sitting back and watching MK interact with Gigi and Papa.
After breakfast Madelyn checked out the goodies in her stocking. She had teddy grahams, triangular crayons for beginners, bubble bath, and a kazoo.

I am pretty sure the crayons were an instant hit. She loves to color, but the angled crayons seemed easier for her to hold. She loved coloring with Gigi.

When they were done coloring, MK put them all back in the box! Woo hoo! I am so excited that she likes to have things organized.Madelyn took a good nap while we set the table and prepared our Mexican Fiesta themed lunch. We had four different kinds of tamales from down South, beef enchiladas (my first attempt at enchiladas...I got a yummy recipe from Marlo), homemade Mexican rice, tostadas, my hubby's amazing guacamole, queso, beans, hot sauce and jalapenos for the men!
It was fun to prepare and turned out great.
When Madelyn woke up she was eager to show off her coloring skills to Aunt Kenda!

We gathered around in the living room in the afternoon to exchange gifts.
Madelyn opened the first present (of course) and it was so cute to watch the expressions on her face when she saw what she was given.
She loved everything, but I think she had the best reaction to the Fischer Price Barn and the Little People Happy Sounds Home. She was SO excited!

She played with them for a few minutes and then moved on to helping everyone else open their gifts.
I am pretty sure she was running away with someone's present. She didn't care who it belonged to, she wanted to open it!

Aunt Kenda read her the Snow White book from her Great Aunt Ann.

Luke's parents got him a new journal for his trip to Uganda. I was so excited about that because I cannot wait until he returns to read what his thoughts were while he was there. Such a thoughtful gift.
Luke and I gave Madelyn a wooden sushi play set. It's one of our favorites (especially Luke) so we thought it was only appropriate that we introduce her to it's goodness at an early age.
She has played with it every day since.
Kenda's "surprise face".
Madelyn helped every single person open at least one of their gifts. She was such a little hoot.

While everyone else was finishing up opening presents, I spotted Madelyn and Luke sharing a few bites of sushi. How cute are they?
Christmas day was so special this year. I remember last Christmas when Luke and I were so happy just to have made it to that point. We were humbled and in awe of how completely blessed we had been. This year, those same feelings were there. The last 15 months have brought with them a combination of joy, uncertainty, fear, excitement, growing, learning and so much more. Since last Christmas we have experienced moments of complete helplessness as we have watched Madelyn quit breathing, started CPR on her, sought the advice of specialists, held her as she had a seizure and feared what might happen to our sweet girl. We have also rejoiced as she grew, celebrated milestones, laughed at the vibrant personality that she continues to develop, sang happy birthday as we were surrounded by those who stood by us in our darkest hour, and dedicated her life to the Lord. Despite the ever changing emotions and circumstances, one thing has remained the same. The Lord has been faithful. He has not wavered in who He is. His constant care for our family of three and provision has been perfect.

On Christmas night we watched The Nativity Story. I had never seen it before and it was completely humbling and a perfect way to finish the day. I am pretty sure this will be a new tradition in our house.

"For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord."
Luke 2: 11

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