Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Here's the Big Catch Up! Christmas!

So, when I started to think about how long it's been since I've blogged on normal every day events in the life of our family, I realized it's been a good bit! I haven't even posted Christmas pictures for crying out loud. In an attempt to "not let you down," I've put together these collages, to give you the big picture, without 450,000 posts!! Click on them to see them a little larger, especially this first one, which shows Eden's great dislike of the man in the big red suit! (Surprisingly, my first Santa image is remarkably close to this one!)Santa pictures, Gingerbread houses with Daddy, Grammie's Birthday breakfast!

Christmas Eve at Granny and Granddaddy Shack's House- Eden got lots of dolls to snuggle with and the boys were surprised to see a train table!!!

Christmas morning with Grammie and Pop Pop, then at GG's house! Yay! Check out Eden's first Cabbage Patch Doll and other fun babies to kiss on. Collin got the fishing game- the ONLY thing he asked for and really, really wanted. Griffin enjoyed lots of Diego stuff and check out their suitcases with Personal Rescue Packs that Santa brought them. How fun! The older "kids" enjoyed entertaining everyone with Bill's rockband set! Check out my drummer hubby too! :-) Bet you didn't know that about him!!

It was Eden's first Christmas, so she had to have a few pictures taken at G.G.'s house to remember the big day. I love that in the middle of the "shoot" she picked up the wood chips to munch on- I guess all that teething was bothering her!


Well, that does it for the first part of our Christmas break. Next, I'll tackle the Miami and Disney pictures. Then, I'll just have January and February to fill you in on! Whew! This could take awhile!

Friday, February 08, 2008

The Meeting

Today was a big day for the boys- they finally got to meet Caleb. They have been praying so hard for him, literally all day long for a week or so now. I'll find the boys playing in their room, talking about him. They'll ask me if we've gotten any updates online. They remember him at every meal, during car rides and always at bedtime when we kneel at their beds to pray. It's been really interesting to see how they've grown to love him because of the conversations they've had about him with the Lord. A few days ago, Collin was asking God to protect Caleb from needles because he knows they hurt! Today, on the ride over he mentioned that Baboo must be really sad because his friend is sick, but that we should let him know Caleb will be alright because God is taking care of him, only to be reiterated by Griff's comment that God will make him all better. They seem to understand so much, way beyond their years! I find myself in awe of their faith and their complete trust in the power and strength of our mighty Lord!

As we were approaching All Children's Collin was quick to remind us that in order to spot Caleb, we shouldn't look for gold in the hospital, but only garnet! I had to break the news that he wouldn't be glittery today! The boys both got over that disappointment when they loaded up his care package with beef jerky (something they've been wanting to give him for awhile) knowing they were going to get to watch him open it in person!

Children are funny though because for as much as they talked about this moment in the car, they were pretty frozen in the speech department during our visit! Collin just stared, I think in amazement that he was in the room with a "celebrity!" And I mean that with complete seriousness! Just to prove it, the one thing he asked on his own was something along the lines of "How do you get all that glitter on you?" With a little prompting, he also chimed off the memory verse they learned this past week, as we talked about Caleb's trust in the Lord, even during the hard times. That was pretty special!

Griffin, who was not in the stroller put on a pretty good circus act for Caleb, his family and his "boo" Gator friend! Please don't request details! I suppose that our afternoon of running errands, which equals being in a car seat for a pretty long time also means that there's alot of energy to be released in a 2 year old!! :-)

At any rate, the boys and Eden were all dressed up in their Nole's gear. What else could they meet Caleb in right?! Here are a few pics from the visit- note Caleb's smile, something that apparently can not be shaken, even if surgery had just been performed a few hours before! Amazing!

I turned the pictures to black and white and then using a Photoshop action, called Take Action on Cancer Awareness, placed a lime green ribbon over the image, to fight Lymphoma. The creator of this action was deeply touched by cancer and asked that whenever you used it on a photograph that you say a prayer for her relative who was recently diagnosed and for those in your own life who are also battling the illness.

Not sure what Griffin was doing at this point! But Eden was glad to be out of the confines of the stroller!
This is my favorite pic! Eden and Caleb have clearly locked eyes and I think their expressions are priceless.

Before we left, Caleb's mom, who is completely amazing and an obvious tower of strength, gave us each a green lymphoma awareness bracelet. The boys put them on right away. During our walk back to the car, Collin asked me what it said and I read it off to him, "Say it, Fight it, Cure it." This unleashed a discussion that touched our hearts so much! He began to ask how cancer can get into your body and how you can fight it, to which we explained in very "theological terms," that a 2 and 3 year old can understand, that God can give Caleb strength to make it through each day, but that ultimately, God will fight the battle for Caleb. That seemed to satisfy them both. As we were making our way to pick up some food for dinner, Rahul and I heard Collin in the back praying over and over, "God, please fight the cancer for Caleb. Please fight the cancer for Caleb." I'll admit it, I just cried! How could I not?
Here is an amazing guy, that really, we just "met" today, but he's touched our hearts and our children's hearts in ways that words couldn't even begin to explain. He has given them a new perspective on prayer and trusting the Lord. He's shown them that you can display strength, concern for others, love and joy even when life isn't perfect. He's shown them, in fact, he's shown all of us, that Jesus is enough- He's all we need- no matter what! Most of us know that down deep, but to see it being lived out so vividly is encouraging and challenging!
Once we got home I was thinking about the course of the day and was reminded of a verse that my brother loves.
It's found in Exodus 14:14 and it says, "The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still." As I glanced down at the words on the bracelet I was wearing and reflected back on the conversation I had with the boys earlier, I thought, this is the next verse they need to memorize! The picture above is going to be our visual reminder for the week!
And of course, for Caleb, I couldn't resist taking one with the good ol' garnet and gold!
"You got to fight, fight, fight for FSU!"

We're going to keep praying for Caleb and we ask that you do too!
Don't forget to visit his site!

Saturday, February 02, 2008

We're Still Praying!

The boys have really grown to love Caleb over the past week as we've been praying for him. They think he's the #1 best garnet guy ever, even though they've never met him, and since we just found out Caleb is going to be staying at All Children's in St. Pete for a little while, Collin and Griffin are already asking if they can go meet him!!

Sharing Caleb's story with the boys has been a wonderful way to explain faith and trust in the Lord! We've shared with them how much Caleb loves Jesus and how he's trusting Him to do great things. Today, they memorized Proverbs 3:5 as a reminder to always trust in the Lord, just like Caleb. The boys wanted me to post these pictures to remind you to keep praying too!

You can visit Caleb's website to get more updates!

The Kiddos

So, I've gotten alot of emails asking for blog updates, new pictures of the kids specifically! Since I'm a little swamped right now trying to get ready for a photography event on Tuesday, I thought that these quick collages might hold everyone over until I get a chance to do a serious update!

Here are a few of Collin! Notice he's so busy running around, he can hardly stop long enough for a picture!
Some of Griffin- he even wrote his name in a birthday card- check out the first pic in the last row!
And of course, here's Eden Grace... Notice hers are all in one outfit! She just cooperates so much better! These were actually taken a few weeks ago, BEFORE she started walking! Picture taking isn't so easy these days!

Hope this helps!
I'll try to post more soon!