Friday, December 31, 2010

Late night reflecting...

Hi everyone...  can you believe it's almost here.  2011!  

This is going to be a HUGE year for our family:
-We have some major cleaning out and organizing to do.
-For the new baby that will be here in July.
-Jude will turn four!
-Lane and I will celebrate 5 years as husband and wife.
-And my ummm second 29th Birthday.  Okay, okay I'M TURNING THE BIG 3-0 this year.

This turning 30 thing has caused me a bit of pitiful reflecting.  You know, the kinda thoughts we have like "Where did the time go?" or "I thought that by now I would surely be..."

Yes, yes.. I shamefully admit I was having one of those moments earlier tonight while thinking about all that 2011 will hold.  Here is what was in my head:

I thought by the time I was thirty, I would be living in a four bedroom home serving my husband and 2.5 kids breakfast, giving the beautiful flowers on my porch some water, then dropping the kids off a preschool and daycare, and heading to teach the cutest kindergarten class.  My house would be full of beautiful candid photos of my family taken by me, and one special wall would hold a framed cover of my first great American novel.  In the evening, I would cook a dinner that would make Paula Deen jealous yet keep my family healthy and our neighbors would stop by to hear how our recent missionary trip to Africa went.  At night I would pray with my family and sleep in a peace than can only be found in knowing Jesus.

At first I focused on my shortcomings and became frustrated in myself and my "lack of zeal" to get the things I want accomplished.  But I started realizing that my reality at thirty will not be as far from my fantasy as I thought.  

At thirty I will be feeding my husband and 1.5 children in my 3 bedroom home.  I love to garden! I bring Jude to therapy, and preschool will start soon.  I have still been working towards my degree and if it takes me to 40 to accomplish, then oh well.  My photography is not awful and everything looks good in black and white print ;-).  Maybe with a few writing classes I can write a book about my experiences with Jude, or an encouraging book for mother's expecting or caring for a special needs child.  I actually do cook a few meals that Paula Deen would appreciate.  My wonderful neighbors are my brother and sister in law and they come over for those meals quite often (before I was pregnant).  I feel like God has given me a ministry more impacting than the one I had hoped for, but I still hope to go on a missionary trip.  And I do pray with my family throughout the day and we do have the Peace of knowing Jesus.  I don't think I could ask for much more.

Jude has had quite a year too:
He started eating much better and drinking from a cup.
He has added words to his vocabulary and uses them correctly.
He learned to sit up on his own and play more independently.
He learned to follow simple commands.
He can turn pages in a book and blow candles out.
He can get own his knees to play (the step before pulling up).
He learned to walk in a gait trainer.
He plays peek-a-boo and gives bear hugs.

Since new years bring refreshment and a time for change and improvement, I have a few simple plans of my own.

1.  I want to turn the TV off more and spend more time with Lane and Jude playing.

2.  I want to eat more dinners at the table and less in the living room.

3.  I want to transition Jude into a toddler bed.

4.  I want the family to play outside more.

5.  I want to spend less money.

6.  I want to develop a best friendship and prayer partner with a Christian sister.

7.  I want to cook more meals and eat out less.

8.  I want to start a one-year Bible reading plan and stick to it.

9.  I want to visit our grandparents more.

10. I want catch up on my scrapbooking and photo albums before the new baby doubles the photos.

As for the blog... nothing will change too much.  I do hope to be more transparent; I mean, how inspiring can I honestly be if I'm not completely honest.  So my posts will still contain pictures of your favorite redhead and our latest accomplishments, but I hope my words go beyond them to tell you what we as a family are facing, hoping, feeling, praying, and loving.  I blog to keep friends and family posted and inspired by our family's adventures, but it is also an outlet for me as the mom and wife who tries to keep it together.  I hope you will keep supporting that.

Thank you for loving and praying for us in 2010.  We pray you will continue to bless us in 2011.

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

In everything give thanks:

for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 KJV

give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 NIV

As seasoned Christians, we all probably know this scripture by heart.  It's probably one of what I would like to call "Staple Scriptures".  These staple scriptures are in my bag of well known scriptures when I need to encourage myself or someone else.  

What does it really mean, though?

It is such an easy scripture to pull out when things are particularly good or tragically sad.  But what about the struggles and small triumphs we face on a daily basis?  I mean, the scripture doesn't say "in somethings give thanks" or "on somedays, when you feel like it, be thankful". 

NO!  It specifically says "in EVERYTHING give thanks; in ALL circumstances".

I have been doing a lot of thinking about this scripture and how I'm lacking on my end of the bargain.  You see, for the past four weeks, I have been really sick with this new baby.  So sick that doing the things I love to do have become challenging and cumbersome.  All I have been focusing on is getting to the point that I'm not sick anymore.

I've been selfish.  Don't take pity on me.

You see, carrying a child is not something that I was ever sure I would get to do again.  Oh how my heart longed to be with child and know that feeling again, and now that it is here I've been focusing on myself and how bad I feel instead of the miracle God has gifted me.  So, I give thanks for being sick and having that blessing that is to be with child.

Another thing I have been overly concerned with is consistent prayer and prayer requests for a healthy baby.  I have once again been too selfish to just stop and say thank you for any child I am given. 

There is more... 

Thank you, Lord, that you have chosen to strengthen my faith in You through this waiting time.

Thank you, Lord, for the grace to be able to get through these months of waiting to find out if our baby is healthy.

Thank you, Lord, for Jude and even though there have been some sad times, there has been more joy than sadness.

Monday we got to see the baby for the first time on an ultrasound.  

It was so exciting to see it wiggling and hear the heartbeat- a fast 178!!  And if you look closely, you can make out the beginnings of a profile: eyes, a little nose, and lips

It was a relief to hear that the baby was developing fine!  However, it is not a guarantee that the baby is healthy.  Jude looked fine at this stage too.  Without invasive procedures such as a CVS or an Amnio, we will not know the baby's chromosome make up until it is born.

In everything give thanks!  And I will continue to give thanks that I have to wait on the Lord, and the Lord only, for answers.

The morning of our ultrasound, a friend of mine sent me a text message that said:
"Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He will strengthen your heart; wait on the Lord!"
Psalm 28:14

She didn't even know I was going to get the ultrasound that day.  How cool is that!

Thank you, friends, for all your prayers and thoughts.  


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So EMAIL ME at if you would like to receive notifications when new posts are made to the blog!  


A Deactivation... for now.

Hi!  and Merry Christmas!  It's almost here...

Well this is just a quick little post with some info for the need to know.  I have decided to deactivate my Facebook page for awhile.  I will still be doing my blog posts (hopefully more of them once I start feeling a little better) to keep everyone updated on their favorite redhead and sweet pea.

Since I won't be able to share my blog post on Facebook, I have added an email subscription tool to the right----->

When you sign up with your email, you should be able to get email notifications when a new post is made to the blog.  Or you can just become a "Follower".  

I'm not sure how long I'll keep Facebook deactivated, I just know that it's something I feel is needed.  Facebook is very distracting and time consuming- and tons of free time is something I don't have much of right now.  

Well...  that's pretty much it for right now.  I hope everyone is having a Merry Christmas and remembering Jesus during these days.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Meaning of the Snowflake

Here in the Deep South, winters are usually cool and sometimes even warm...  However, for the last two years (2008 and 2009), we were miraculously blessed with a few Sneaux Days as they are affectionately referred to here in Tiger Country.

The first Sneaux Day in 2008 was, by far, the most magnificent.  It covered the entire south with a thick blanket of white fluff!  It was truly beautiful.

Becuase our area is not exactly equipped to handle such a snowfall, pretty much everywhere lost power.  Thank goodness we live on family property!  Most of us ended up at my inlaws around their wood burning stove.  My sweet mother in law made us breakfast (thanks to gas utilities) and chocolate milk (the milk was stored in the snow to keep it nice and cold) while we played in the snow!

That Sneaux Day is full of precious memories... memories that will surely stand out even into my golden years.

One of my favorite memories is taking a picture of my Judey Jude in his wintercoat in the snow.  I used that picture in my Christmas cards that year.  I usually do photo cards, but that year I found the perfect regular Christmas card to go with the picture.

This was the outside of the card:

This was the inside of the card:

The Meaning of the

Every new snowflake comes to the earth

As a picture of our Savior’s birth

Because they are sent from up above

And remind us of God’s care and love.

Each one is so intricate and small

Because Christ sees the details of us all,

And just as two are never the same

The Lord knows and calls us each by name.

Snowflakes gently cover the world in white

And hide what’s unlovely from our sight,

Showing us how He covers our sin

And gives His grace when we come to Him.

So may every snowflake bring Christ to mind

And in every bit of white may you find

A reason to celebrate anew

And a reminder of His love for you.

-Holley Gerth

Praying your Christmas
and New Year
are filled with God's
many blessings.

From the fullness of His grace we have
all received one blessing after another.
It was a wonderful Christmas memory; one that will always remain one of my favorites.
Monday, December 13, 2010

Everybody loves a little good news

And you are sure to love this news...

Everything.  Looked.  WONDERFUL! at the doctor's office today.

I did not get to hear my little sweet pea's heart beat yet- we will do that next Monday.  But I did get some official good news:

The doctor said my measurements were great, even a little big for my gestation!  This was extremely good news and I will explain why.

When I was expecting Jude, I always measured very small for gestation.  [Looking back, with that 20/20 hindsight,  it was the first tell tale signs of Jude's medical conditions.]  So it was wonderful to hear that I am measuring on the big side.

On the encouraging side: let me just brag on my wonderful doctor for a minute...  The doctor was so positive and encouraging.  She intends to treat this pregnancy as normal until something suggests to her otherwise.  She suggested I do the same.

She explained to me that around 17-20 weeks, she would do an in depth anatomy scan of the baby and refer us to Maternal Fetal Medicine just to confirm its perfect diagnosis.

I also had all my labs drawn today which I'll get the results of in a couple days if something looks a little abnormal like low iron.

And I've also LOST 3 pounds!  (I refuse to get on the scale at the house.)  For those of you who do not know, I have been very sick with this baby... sicker than I was with Jude.  The doctor said that this was a great sign of high healthy hormones.  But since I'm actually vomiting, not just feeling sick she was a little concerned and gave me some Phenagren (sp?) to follow the generic Zofran should it not work.  Which it doesn't but I've heard Phenagren is a little risky in the 1st trimester so I'm trying to avoid it.  I trust Dr. Ann would never prescribe me anything not safe for sweet pea, though!!

Well that's it... lots of good news.  Hopefully labs will come in great and I can share that with you as well!

Thank you! Thank you!!  THANK YOU for all of your sweet prayers, scriptures, comments, notes, and words of encouragement.  They bless my heart in so many ways.  I read them over and over again!  But please continue to pray for my sweet pea.  We are not out of the woods until blood work can prove it's healthy after it's born.

We know God is in complete control!  Those are not just empty words to our family.

I love y'all!

Prayer Request

Today is the first big day.

Today I have my first prenatal visit.  I am not scheduled for an ultrasound today- that is next Monday, but I will get to hear my sweet pea's heartbeat.

Nothing other than routine blood work and other regular tests will be done today, but I still ask that you pray that everything goes well today!

We have a high miscarriage risk: 45%!

So please pray we find a sweet little heartbeat today and that all the tests come back perfect.

Please also pray for next week that nothing looks out of the ordinary with the baby when I get my first ultrasound.

Thank you so much, friends!

I'll be sure to update the GOOD NEWS IN JESUS' NAME we find out today!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The tree isn't the only thing GREEN in this house...

Hi.. hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!  We had a wonderful day of thanks (obviously)!  We were able to get the Christmas tree up and some decorations out {I'll post pictures soon}!  

Unfortunately, our Christmas tree is not the only thing looking green in our house lately.  Jude has been very sick the past couple of days with a stomach bug...  poor baby has been absolutely miserable.  Meanwhile, the blessings of pregnancy have caught up with me and I've been sick in the mornings.  

I thought that if I made it into my sixth week without getting sick, I would be home free.  Well, I'm almost seven weeks now and I'm feeling a little rough in the mornings.  I was VERY sick with Jude ALL day so I still have my fingers crossed for that little girl.

Back to Jude, after two days of vomiting and sleeping and some Zofran, Jude has decided to transform back into that wild redhead we love so much.  Hopefully he will still feel well tomorrow and we can go to therapy.  We haven't been able to get a successful therapy session in now for over a week!!

On some more Jude news...  we still have not completed the necessary meetings to transition him into the school system.  As you can imagine, this is beyond frustrating.  I am just so thankful I have him in private therapy so there has been no real lapse in services for him.  Hopefully we can complete the process this week or next depending on Jude's health.  So please pray that Jude gets well and stays well through Christmas.

Okay...  I just wanted to give a little details to last weeks "surprise" post:

1.  This pregnancy was a COMPLETE SURPRISE!!

2.  I have estimated my due date to be around July 21, 2011-- evidence that this wasn't exactly planned because I would never choose to be 40 weeks pregnant during the middle of a Louisiana summer.

3.  I see the doctor on the 13th and have an ultrasound on the 20th.  So I'll be asking for a lot of prayer before those two days.  

4.  We are SO EXCITED about this pregnancy!  However, that does not mean that we don't have moments of anxiety and worry over our little baby.. please pray for a peace and a confidence in the Lord for us because we want to enjoy this pregnancy.

I think that's it for now!  Hope everyone is getting in the Christmas spirit!

Hugs and Kisses,

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Giving Thanks For All My Blessings

“... I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move.  Nothing will be impossible for you.”
Matthew 17:20-21
This Thanksgiving, our hearts are overwhelmed with blessings.  Three years ago, I thought that the struggles and hardships of our new life would drown out and suffocate any blessing we had to be thankful for.  

Praise God I was wrong!  
Praise God for His grace!  
Praise God for my multitude of blessings!
You see, when God gave us Jude, He gave us a very precious gift.  Because we have walked down this path, we have been given the vision to see how beautiful the small joys in life can be.  This gift of insight has also allowed us to focus on our blessings instead of dwelling in our shortcomings and disappointments.
Another precious gift we have been given through our walk with Jude is the ability to live in the moment.

“To enjoy your work and accept your lot in life--that is indeed a gift from God.  People who do this rarely look with sorrow on the past, for God has given them reasons for joy.”
Ecclesiastes 5:19-20
 I wasted so much time three years ago worrying over the future: the unseen, unknown, uncontrollable future.  I was missing beautiful moments in the present.  So I made a choice (yes, attitude is a choice) to live in the here and now.  Today is so good!  Why spoil it with worries over that uncontrollable future?  
And when that future day comes, God’s grace is there and his joy pours into that day as well as the days before.

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
Jude is a huge blessing to Lane and me as well as our families and even to the people who know him.  We are so proud of Jude and so thankful for our precious son!
However, there is one area of my life that I have had to struggle with:  the prospect of future children.  It has always been a desire of my heart to fill my home with children.
After learning that Jude’s genetic diagnosis was inherited from me, I painfully tried to accept the fact that Jude may be our only child.  I prayed and prayed on direction and guidance on this delicate matter.  
Yet my fear of having another stressful pregnancy followed by an intense year of hardships and a lifetime of adversity kept me from stepping out in faith.  At one depressing point, about a year ago, I had even let this circumstance become bigger than God.  Thankfully, my focus was returned to the Lord; and my joy was returned as well.  

The Lord has rewarded our faithfulness with another gift...
It should be here some time in July!
Lane and I were not sure if we should tell people yet with our history and our high risk situation...  the fact that I am even expecting is still sinking in!  We are praying for and claiming a healthy pregnancy and baby.   We decided that the more people praying for this baby and our family, the better!  So please remember us in your quiet time!
**I LOVE LOVE LOVE all your comments-- they make me feel so loved and encouraged!!

Happy Thanksgiving,
Lane, Angel, Jude, and Baby
Friday, November 19, 2010

Projects of Procrastination - Silhouette Pillow

Okay!  Sooo, who here is guilty of chronic procrastination?  
Oooh! Oooh!  I am!  Me, right here!

I don’t think there has been a day in my life that I haven’t procrastinated on at least one task!  I consider this to be my biggest personality flaw!  It has caused me so much grief in my life: I lose sleep over last minute projects, have double the housework to do, and I am late for EVERYTHING because I procrastinate.  You would think I’d learn my lesson, but I still battle that weakness everyday.

Well back in October, Kellie at This Blessed Nest issued a craft challenge with her Silhouette Linky Party! I had two great ideas (only finished one), but a super busy scheduled coupled with some good old procrastination kept me from getting them done in time for the party.  But I still wanted to do them!

So last week, when we got home from vacation, I decided to finish my project!
I made a family silhouette throw pillow for our bed!
I just took this family picture and followed a tutorial from Loo-la-bee Simplicity to make it into a silhouette on Picnik.  

I also used picnik for the text.  I mirrored both the image and the text and printed it on some iron on transfer sheets from Hobby Lobby.

Then I ironed on my silhouette and 3 onto some pillows I made from unbleached broadcloth.  (I accidentally smudged the bottom of my silhouette with my iron so I might be redoing this pillow.)  Then I finished the pillow and viola..  

I love this scripture!  I think it went along perfectly with the family silhouette and “3” pillow.

And I think they looked kinda good on the bed (despite the smudge).

Thanks for letting me share!  

PS.  I know my walls are bare, but I will put something up as soon as I finish procrastinating ;-)


Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Little Christmas Inspiration

Lane and I were blessed to be able to vacation with Jude and Lane’s parents a couple of weeks ago.  We went to a place I had never been before and one of the parents’ all time favorite destinations: Branson, Missouri

The trip up there was pretty long.. but my sweet hubby let me sleep most the way!  We rented a little cabin which was a first for Mr. Gary and Mrs. Lucy!  They actually really enjoyed it!!

The first day, we spent in Eureka Springs, Arkansas shopping.  It was a beautiful little town with lovely shops along the steep streets.  One of my favorite shops housed handmade quilts by the Amish people.  The baby quilts were beautiful, making me wish I had a reason to buy one!

The next two days we spent shopping and visiting Silver Dollar City.  Silver Dollar City was starting their Old Time Christmas Celebration.. and as you can see from the pictures it was beautiful!  There was Christmas music and Christmas trees everywhere, people were dressed in old fashion Christmas costumes, and the place glowed with over four million lights and a five story Christmas Tree!!

We tried to center the afternoon around Jude and he rode amusement rides for the first time!  He had a blast and that made my heart happy!

One of my favorite moments was seeing A Dickens’ Christmas Carol at Silver Dollar City.  The costumes, singing, and acting were amazing!  I racked with sobs as Tiny Tim sang “God Made Me Special”.  It was truly the highlight of the whole trip.

The last day we went shopping at the outlets, and did a wine tour and took in a show with Mrs. Lucy and Mr. Gary that evening.
Although the vacation was wonderful, I am glad to be home so I can start decorating for Christmas..  (Being around four million christmas lights will have that effect on you!)
I hope y’all are getting warm hearts and joyful spirits as we enter this happy Christmas season!
Friday, November 12, 2010

I have fallin' in love

with SEWING!!!

I was asked by a sweet lady at church (who, I also just found out, is Lane's distant relative) to make two pillow case dresses for her adorable granddaughter.

She brought me some pretty fabric and ribbon.. 

And I used freezer paper to trace my pattern.. this lengthens the life of my pattern so I can just trace the size I need without cutting and pinning the actual pattern itself.  I can even use the traced pattern again a few times!

**Freezer paper for pattern tracing is by no means a new idea.  However, I have used both freezer paper and parchment patter for this purpose.  Although  the freezer paper was about the same price for much more quantity, the parchment paper was easier to trace on and overall easier to use.

And, of course I'm still using my mom's bar of soap as a pin cushion.  The needles slip in the fabric so much easier and quicker with it.  It also keeps my little sewing box smelling fresh.

I learned a great deal making these dresses.  They were lined and that was something totally new to me.  I knew lining the dress would make it seem prettier by hiding all the seams, but I was terrified of the process.  After facing my fears and some trial and error, I got the dresses finished.  I am so proud of them!

She chose contrasting materials which turned out beautiful.  I can't wait to go fabric shopping for more contrasting pieces now.

I have always LOVED being crafty and creating things, but sewing has given me an outlet I hadn't expected.  I receive such a great feeling of accomplishment and gratification when I finish my outfits.  The sad thing is that Jude is getting a little old (or so Lane says) to be wearing jonjons and longalls, so I need to have another one soon... preferably a little girl ;-)

Now everyone knows that I'm a stay-at-home mom.  It is hard for me to sit on the sidelines of the financial plays in the family, so I've been thinking about starting a little Etsy shop with some children's cloths, burp clothes, bows, accessories, chair cushions, dishtowels, aprons and such of the like  to help contribute.  Let me know what you think in a comment below because I could use all the ENCOURAGEMENT or REALITY CHECKS I can get.

For all my redhead fans:
I will have some updates on him along with some precious pictures from our recent vacation that will be up soon!

Have a great Friday!