Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 High/Low

Oh 2009, you were most definitely an interesting year.  I'm glad to wave good bye to you and say hello to 2010. 

  • High: Chad was finally able to gain decent control over his Type 1 diabetes.  He's much more healthy and better able to take care of himself
  • Low: Critical low blood sugars.  We'll always have to deal with them, but it's nice that they are few and far between
  • High: Finally learning to coupon successfully.  I'm ashamed to admit that I've tried this so many different times and failed miserably.  But now I can do it with a small margin of savings.  
  • Low: The amount of money I wasted before couponing and paying attention to the cost of things.  Sigh.
  • High: Watching Clayton change from a baby into a boy.  How does that happen in 365 days?
  • Low: Knowing I'll never have these days back with Clayton.  Time is passing so quickly and I don't want to miss a thing.
  • High: Seeing Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho from the front seat of a Nissan Quest.  That trip was so much fun.  I hope to be able to do it again one day.
  • Low: Driving in endless amounts of road construction in Yellowstone in a Nissan Quest and being severely out numbered in the boy to girl ratio.  If it wasn't for Amy I would lost all of my marbles.
  • High: Learning how much people care about our family and want to see us thrive.
  • Low: Unfortunately we had to hurt to learn all of these things.
  • High: Positive pregnancy test
  • Low: Positive for Full Trisomy 18
  • High: Johanna
  • Low: There is no low for this one, only a high.
2009 was hands down the hardest year of my life.  I obviously don't know what the Lord has in store for our future.  I know He has great plans for me.  I have learned a lot this year.  And even though I have had to hurt to learn all of these lessons I can say that it's all been worth it.  I don't know why God chose Johanna and T18 for our family, but He did.  I'm glad I didn't know this was coming on 12/31/08.  But I'm glad I'm going through it on 12/31/09.  It's crazy how different things are in the span of a year.  It's crazy to think how different I am now.  The goofy silly girl is gone(maybe not completely).  I feel like I've aged 15 years during this past year.  And that's OK.  It's the experiences of our life that make us who we are.  It's the things that God gives us that shape our character.  And with each passing year, I'm one year and day closer to my eternal home.

So bring it on 2010.  Let's see what you have to offer.  I'm sure there's a lot of pain, but I'm sure there will be more joy.  I expect some tears, but I expect more laughter.  I'm sure to see some hurt, but there will be more healing.  There will be disappointments, but there will be excessive triumphs.  It's gonna be a great year.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Picture Overload

I know I said that I'm glad Christmas is over and I am, but I would still like to share a pic or 2(or 10) from our Christmas.  It really was a great Christmas.  It was fun to enjoy everything with Clayton.  He understood a little more this year about what was going on.  He had boxes and boxes of toys and mainly loved the paper.  It's really is the simple things.

Christmas Eve chillin' in a tree tent(that was quite difficult to assemble).

More Christmas Eve cheesin'.  See that red truck and trailer?  We've carried that everywhere since he got it last Wednesday. 

A classic Christmas pose

Playing with that same truck but now we've added a cornbine(yes I know it's a combine but there's a certain someone who calls it cornbine and I happen to like that).

Clayton's Christmas loot before the madness began.

This is how I found him sleeping on Christmas morning.

You need a side story before the next few pictures.  We have a 7 month old puppy that chews on everything when Clayton is around.  When he's not here she chews on nothing.  Weird.  Because of that and because Clayton has no door on his room(because there was a sliding pocket door there instead of a normal door when we bought this house double weird) there is a baby gate at the doorway to his room to protect his toys.  I took the gate down and let him wake up on his own. I also set his milk just inside the door so it was ready for him(this boy is addicted to his milk first thing in the morning like a lot of people are to coffee).

First glance of Christmas morning.

What is all of this?

Loving the stove that I had to fight so hard to get.

This is what Chad did all Christmas.  Assemble.

That same truck again.

An awesome tricycle from Mawmaw and Pawpaw.  We're still working on that whole pedaling thing.

You would never know but there is a banjo inside that wonderful wrapping job.  Way to go Andrew.

Told you there was a banjo(and a box of Cheez-Its)

Yes Clayton got a Clayton sized guitar for Christmas.  We're still working on form and technique.  Now him and his Mawmaw can serenade us with bluegrass.

After the present mayhem at Chad's parents house Clayton was buried in wrapping paper.  And he loved it.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Adios 2009

I am so ready for 2010.  I'm not wishing my life away, I'm just ready for a change.  It seems like the changing of the calendar represents a clean start.

I won't lie to you, 2009 was a hard year.  There was so much more to sending Johanna to be with Jesus than just her death and funeral service.  There were a lot of emotions, thoughts, and ideas that I had to, and still am, working through.  I'm always amazed at God's timing.  Had I known 365 days ago all that 2009 would hold I don't think I could have done it.  But God always sees fit to send things our way on His time table.  And I think it's nice to not know what's coming.

2009 didn't just have hard days(and there were a lot of them).  There were also some very happy times as well.  The Nissan Quest in Wyoming is a joy I will never forget.  Chad buying me 3 different kinds of mascara for Johanna's funeral is something I will never forget.  Opening our glass door and have it crumble in my hands is something I will never forget.  All of these and so many more things bring belly rolling laughter.

Even though I don't want to relive 2009 I am more thank thankful for all that it has taught me.  I'm thankful for every experience God has placed in my path. 

What will 2010 hold?  Only time shall tell.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas 2009 is Over

And for that, this one person is extremely thankful.

I'll just be real with ya, I completely dreaded Christmas this year.  I knew the entire holiday would bombard me with thoughts of missing Johanna.  And since everything is still so fresh I wasn't sure that I even needed yet another reminder of how much I missed my little girl.  But we survived.  If I recall correctly I only had 1 really sad episode.  I was looking over Clayton's loot a few days prior to Christmas to make sure he had what I thought was enough presents.  And in true mommy fashion I decided he needed just a little more and had to add 1 more thing to the pile under the tree.  But as I looked at the large pile of plastic toys, I became a little wistful for Johanna.  It would have been awesome to have matched my babies in Christmas clothes, attempt to take a decent picture(you know that's not happening with 2 little ones), showed off my little girl at Christmas gatherings, and of course give her some totally wicked girl toys. 

But then I think a different way and remember where Johanna is and what she's doing.  And then I don't miss all of those things quite so much.  Of course I miss her.  I always will and I imagine each holiday or special day will always serve as a reminder of the things I'm not fortunate to have with her.  But I know she's so fortunate to miss all of the junk the rest of us in this world have to deal with every single day.

I'll never forget Chad's reaction to the T18 diagnosis.  Very calmly and quietly he said "Everything's OK".  I was so mad at him for saying that to me.  How in the world would anything be OK ever again?  I didn't know at that point how Chad could think in such a way.  I obviously feel differently now.  And even Christmas, the biggest holiday on the calendar was OK.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Big Big Big Big Big Big Big News

I apologize for the incredibly long bloggy break.  Christmas week is an insanely busy week.  That's behind us now(and I'm really glad but that's another post for another day).  I do here by solemnly swear to be a better blogger in the future.

I have an exciting announcement(if you couldn't tell from the title).

Drum roll please...............................................

I have been given the opportunity to speak at the Ladies Conference our church is hosting January 15th and 16th(insert big WOOT!!).

The theme of our conference is "There is a Fountain".  You probably know the hymn very well.  It just happens to be one of my all time faves.  I am so excited to be able to speak about the last year of my life and all the things God has done for me.  My glorious speech(insert laughter here) will be focused around Johanna and how God has used her to forever change our lives.  The conference will also give me an opportunity to talk about "Johanna's Gift" and my love for the Caldwell Pregnancy Care Center.  I'm excited to be able to tell of the PCC's ministry and hopefully other people's eyes to the work they are doing there.  And on a side note Johanna received a lot of Christmas monies that are to be given to "Johanna's Gift".  WOOT!!  I've decided to use another hymn about fountains as my jumping off point.  I'm not gonna tell ya which one just yet because some of my loyal readers(all 7 of you) will be attending the conference and I don't want to spoil the surprise.

I'm thankful to begin to see a way for God to let me tell Johanna's story.  And really what mommy doesn't want to talk about their babies?  When we found out about Jo's T18 I never asked God to heal her.  I knew He could if He wanted to and that would have been great.  But I also believe that God has a sovereign plan.  I just asked that God use Jo's T18 for His glory.  It has been my personal desire to share her story with the entire world.  I want to tell everyone how God's love can provide peace and comfort.  I'm thankful for the opportunity to tell others about the things God is doing in and through me.

Now I just have to find something to talk about for a few minutes.  That should't be too hard for me.  I might have to find a way to be quiet at the end of my talk time.

One more thing, a shameless plug.  If you live in the Western NC area and want to attend the conference.  You certainly may.  We still have some seats available.  The cost is $25.  The admission fee includes Friday and Saturday conferences and lunch on Saturday.  I would love for you to come.  Shoot me an email and I'll get you the deets if you're interested.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

Sorry I've been absent for the last few days.  I've been a little busy with all of the Christmas festivities.  I did want to share my favorite Christmas scripture with ya'll.  It's not really Christmassy(insert air quotes here).  But I can't help but think of this Psalm when I think of God's gift of a Savior.

O LORD, our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! 
who hast set thy glory above the heavens. 
Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.
When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?
For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, 
and hast crowned him with glory and honour.
Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; 
thou hast put all things under his feet:
All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field;
The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.
O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!
Psalm 8


PS:  Johanna has already learned of the extent of God's excellence.  Merry Christmas baby girl.  We love you and anxiously await the day we meet again.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

A Lotta Food Pics(and1 or 2 of Clayton)

Being that today is my last day of maternity leave and church services were cancelled because of the Great Snow 2009 I decided to cook an awesome(at least in my estimation) dinner.  I cooked turkey for the very first time ever.  Because the turkey was actually edible and somewhat good I thought ya'll might like to take a look.  Just humor me if you will.

 The turkey(as if you couldn't guess).  It didn't burn, wasn't dry, and actually tasted like turkey.

  I also made gravy(yes the real kind, no I didn't open a can like usual).  I have only recently learned how to make gravy.  Since I'm southern it has to be some kind of regional crime to be 27 and just now able to make gravy.

  Here's my plate of goodness, just for the fun of it.

I also made an apple pie that Chad and I will devour shortly.  It's not from scratch though.  I'm not that good yet.  I did open the pie dough box and Chad opened the can of apple pie filling.

And in true couponer fashion(which I am loving by the way) I saved ALL of the leftovers and they are taking the deep freeze as we speak(or type, whatever).  Wanna see?  I thought so.

The leftover turkey will become turkey pot pie down the road.  So absolutely easy to make, and it's very good too.

The chicken stock I used in the bottom of the pan will become Mexican Chicken Soup later on down the road.  Also an incredibly easy meal to make.

These are the left over mashed potatoes.  I've never frozen mashed potatoes before so we'll have to wait and see how this turns out.  I use leftover mashed potatoes to thicken potato soup.

This is what I caught my boys doing while I was cleaning up.  I'm assuming that Chad is teaching Clayton how to dance to the electric piano demo music.  Precious.

And one of a sneaky boy just because I think he's cute.

So that what was I did on this cold, snow filled, last day of Maternity leave.  It's back to the salt mines(or doctor's office) tomorrow.  I can say that I am more than a little excited.  I really do enjoy my job.  Also, I'm hoping to get back into a routine.  I don't feel like I've been in a routine since April when we found out that Johanna had T18.  I'm more than ready for a little normal.  OK, I know normal never exists in this world, but you get the point.

Christmas Movies

Well since we're still snowed in here in the southeast I thought I would tell you my favorite Christmas movies.  Let's make a list shall we.  These are no specific order of my favorite.

  1. A Charlie Brown Christmas
  2. Rudolph, the Red Nosed Reindeer
  3. Prancer
  4. The Family Stone
  5. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
  6. The Polar Express
  7. Fred Claus
  8. Four Christmases(I know some of you, and you know who you are, didn't like this movie, but I thought it was hilarious)
  9. How the Grinch Stole Christmas(the original and the remake both equal to me)
  10. The entire Santa Claus empire.  I think there's like 10,000 of them by now.
But my favorite by far is "A Christmas Story".  I just love Ralphie and Randy.  TBS plays this movie for 24 hours solid starting Christmas Eve.  I think I could sit and watch over and over for the entire 24 hours.  The leg lamp, the bunny suit, and the Santa.  This movie has a little of every thing in it.  I can't wait to see it again this year.  

Friday, December 18, 2009


I DO NOT LIKE SNOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

For all of ya'll that live way up high I just don't know how you deal with this mess all the time.  I live in the North Carolina.  The part of NC that I live in rarely sees a heavy snow fall.  Except for 2009.  1 weeks before Christmas.  Why now?  I realize that I shouldn't be complaining about the snow.  The water's great for the water table, and come summer we will be praying for much needed rain.  But right now I just don't like snow.  I can make a list of all the reasons I don't like snow, and I think I will do just that.

  1. It's cold
  2. Where we live everything comes to a screeching halt when there is snow.  
  3. I'm a planner, and the snow really messes with my plans
  4. It's wet, and last but not least
  5. It's cold
Honestly there is nothing I like about snow.  Well, maybe 1 thing.

I do like to see sweet boys up to their knees in fun.

As you can see we.......OK well the boys(I'm not going out in that mess) didn't stay out there very long.  It's too cold.

I have a prime example of why I strongly dislike snow.

Here we have Exhibit A.  You will notice there are 2 truck in the picture above.  The one on the far right is actually in our YARD!!!  That's right peeps, not in the driveway, in the yard.  We don't normally drive in our yard.  OK, on occasion Chad will but that's another story for another day, and if we had a circle drive he wouldn't have to drive through the yard.  Chad's brother dropped off some deer meat.  Due to circumstances unbeknowest to me this delivery must take place tonight during the worst winter storm in years.  As said brother was trying to leave he accidentally(and it really was an accident) slid off into the yard.  After much attempts to retrieve the truck from our yard a kind wayfaring stranger extracated the truck from our yard.  It's safely on its journey home.

And just think we were taking Clayton to Tanglewood tonight to see some awesome lights.  Oh well.  Maybe another time.  I think I'll go sulk.  Or eat more Christmas candy. 

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Houston We Have a Problem

Well is it really a problem if you(you being me) think it's a good thing?  And if you can make sense of that sentence you're much smarter than I am.

Around the first of November, Mom suggested that we start using coupons to help offset the cost of groceries(which are ridiculously expensive in my humble opinion).  Since I've been out of work, and have kinda needed a little something extra to do(ya'll know why) I said sure why not.  So we started.  I'm nowhere near as good as these guys: Kelly, Myra, and Southern Savers.  But I am learning.  Along my coupon quest I have discovered one fundamental problem.  How in the world am I supposed to organize all of those blasted coupons, and still be able to find them when I need them.  After much distress and despair, OK that might be overstated just a little, I think I've found a workable solution.  I have progressed from the original accordion file to a COUPON BINDER!!  What you don't know what a coupon binder is?  How could you not know what a coupon binder is?  Have you been like living under a rock man?  Actually I didn't know what one was until just a few days ago.  And now I have one.  Wanna see?

First off, we have the coupon binder at a glance.  A simple non assuming zipper notebook.  Or is it?

Oh the treasures that you hold.  I like it because you can see all of your coupons at the simple turn of a page.  Hopefully no more standing in the grocery store aisle sorting through all of my coupons because I found an awesome unadvertised special.  I do make a list and pull out all the coupons I think I'm gonna use before I ever leave the house.  But sometimes you just have to sway from the list to buy that 5lb block of cheddar chesse that you're gonna get for .13 cents.  You just have to.

And we even have a special pocket in the front for my CVS Extra Buck thingies.  I'm still trying to figure this CVS thing out.  I admit I'm more than a little confused by it, but I'm learning(I hope).

So will the COUPON BINDER(you really must shout it from the roof tops), be the way to do?  Is it the start of a renewed love affair with my coupons?  I'll have to let you know after I test drive it at the grocery store.

OK, now it's time for a little grandparent indulgence.  Gram and Popa(aka my parents) are out of town this week for a much needed vacay.  So I figured they were probably missing their little red head.  Here you go guys a few pictures to get you through until Sunday.

When my 'rents go out of town, we dog sit Mattie(the large bulldog on the left).  Mattie is Clayton's BFF.  In fact Clayton's hand is currently rammed down Mattie's throat.  I'm not sure why, but it's a common state of affairs.

Cheesin' just for the fun of cheesin'.

Don't you wish you could play the piano in your Dr. Seuss pajamas and look this good? 

Movin' to the groovin'.  He loves the demo music, knows where the button is, what the button does, and how to dance with said button(thanks Popa).

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

That Answers So Many Questions

I admit it I need to lose a few(or a lot) pounds.  In my Internet quest to look for some satisfying yet healthy recipes I somehow stumbled across this website This Is Why You're Fat.  I'm so glad that somebody finally answered my questions.  I've been wondering for years why I tend to uhm......retain a little extra water(that's what I'm calling it anyway).  If you have a spare moment please head on over to this site with your culinary mind left open.  You won't be disappointed.  I promise.

The "Scotch Mega Egg" looks like a must try(actually I almost tossed cookies.....gross). 

I didn't know bacon and twinkies had that many practical applications.

Monday, December 14, 2009


I'm missing my JoJo today.  I selfishly wish she were here.  I wouldn't bring her back for anything, but my mommy heart still misses her terribly.  I can't wait until that day when I get to be with her again forever.

Even though I miss her I know she's safe with Christ our redeemer forever. 

I miss you baby girl.  I wish I had the right words to express how I really feel, but I don't.  I can't begin to  imagine what your day is like today.  Soon we'll be together again, and will be able to worship our Lord forever.  I love you sweet girl.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Take That!!

Alabama has its first ever Heisman Winner.  The very young(he looked like a baby to me) Mark Ingram won the honors last night.  He cried and then I cried(I'm a sap).  It was a very sweet moment for him and his family.

 Now on to the National Championship.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Watch out......

.....Moravians here we come.

At the moment I'm coming to you live from the crackberry. I'm on the church bus, captained by our fearless leader(that'd be Chad) and we're headed to Old Salem. For those of you not fortunate to live in the great state of North Carolina, Old Salem is an old school working town/village/community/whatever.

Our yutes(that's what I call them) had to earn their trip today. Every year they have the opportunity to earn what we call "Disciple Points". They earn their points by exhibiting good church attendance and learning good church habits. It's our prayer that the things they are learning will stay with them as some of our peeps start to enter adult hood. I am proud to say that all of our kids have earned their trip this year. Because of the timing of the trip they weren't all able to come, and we miss all the ones that aren't here. Chad's also gonna throw in some church history today for good measure. I'm sad to say that I don't know near as much as I should about church history so I'm hoping to learn a little as long as there isn't a pop quiz later.

So we're headed to freeze our noses off, but I'm hoping there are some Moravian cookies coming my way some time today.

Friday, December 11, 2009


This week we received the first of hopefully many gifts for "Johanna's Gift".  That's super exciting.  The amount was enough to provide a diaper bag for 1 precious lady.  That means this new mom will be getting some much needed baby supplies and most importantly hearing the precious truth about our Savior.  I don't think I can express how much I just love this ministry.

Yesterday I was able to go to the Caldwell Pregnancy Care Center for a few different reasons.  First, I needed to drop off the gift card that one of my besties had given to "Johanna's Gift".  Second, I very gladly gave them all of my maternity clothes.  Chad and I do want more babies sometime in the future.  However, we need a break for now.  We've had 2 babies in 21 months.  And well, ya'll know how interesting the second one was.  So we want to take some time to heal for now.  Anyway, I don't really want to see these maternity clothes again.  They have a lot of memories and reminders in them.  That's not necessarily a bad thing, but I'm ready to start healing and moving on.  And some reminders I don't want around, and the maternity clothes happen to be one of them.  And third, I was hoping to speak with the center's director Ms. Fran.  And I was able to.  She gave Mom, Clayton, and me the grand tour. 

It was awesome to see how this operation works, and how they use their resources.  The ladies in their classes receive vouchers to "purchase" things in their store.  They earn the vouchers by attending classes, parenting and what not.  They can also earn extra vouchers if the babies father comes with them.  It's a pretty neat system.  There are no handouts.  These ladies have to work for their vouchers.  I just love that because it instills a sense of pride in what you have.  As for myself, the things I've worked hardest for are the things I appreciate the most.

There are so many people around us that are hurting, empty, and don't know where to turn.  They don't know that Christ is the answer they are looking for.  CPCC shows the ladies there is a better way.  Christ has already done everything for us.  He's already paid the price.

(Super jumbled I know, but it's early)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Who's A Dork??

Yeah that would be me.

Chad, Clayton, Jesse(my bro whom you can follow here) took lunch to my grandparents today.  Grandaddy's 69th B-Day was yesterday so we decided to try and do something nice for him.  I had made Mexican Chicken Soup last week and stashed it away in the freezer for just such an occasion.  So we loaded up my tee tiny little car with all 4 of us, and all my lunch supplies.  Things went swimmingly until we decided it was time to leave.

Because my car is tiny, and it really is quite small, Chad decided to put my bag with the bowls and what nots in the trunk.  I tried to open the trunk with the keyless entry thingy(what is that think called anyway?) and it wouldn't work.  I didn't think too much about it because my car does have a few years on it(that's a lot less expensive than driving a newer car), and sometimes when you drive an older vehicle things just don't work quite right all the time.  I thought, no biggie I'll just unlock the trunk manually and we'll be on our way.

Or so we thought.  I got in the car, turned the key...........and............nothing.  Apparently someone(that may or may not have been me) forgot to turn off the lights when we got to my grandparent's house.  And so in the few hours that we were there my battery went kaput.  Never fear.  Chad and Jesse quickly moved my car into position, Grandmother provided jumper cables, and we were good to go in less than 5 minutes.

What's the moral of the story? 

  1. Always turn off your head lights when you turn off the car.
  2. Always surround yourself with peeps that love you and want to help.  Even if they do laugh at the crazy things you do.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Church Signs

I love me a little humor thrown in to my every day life.  That being said, I just love church signs.  I think they are so funny.  Here's a list of my faves.

  • Sign broken, come inside for message (I get the meaning, but this one always confuses me.  If the sign were truly broken then you wouldn't be able to put anything at all on it now would you.)
  • What's missing from CH  CH.....UR(The first few times I saw this line, I thought the sign maker must have had a seizure while hanging the letters and dropped a few.  I really didn't get it for a very long time)
  • Visitors Welcome, Members Expected(Uhm.........I've got nothing for this one)
  • Always remember that Hell is uncool(I'm assuming this one is trying to reach the Gen X and Y)
  • If you're wrinkled with burden.......come in for a Faith lift(and one free Botox injection in the fellowship hall immediately following the service)
  • Never throw always lose ground(unless you're trying to dig to China)
  • You try making something half this great in just 6 days(I personally think this one is hilarious)
  • Worship is a VERB(thank you Captian Obvious)
  • Soul Food served here(We got a pot of greens, black eyed peas, cream corn, sweet potato pie, cornbread, and fried chicken, all yours for a $7 donation)
  • Laugh a lot: Especially at yourself(Especially at church signs)
  • Happiness is an inside job(I really don't get this one)
  • Filling Station(Again I get the meaning, but I can only think of Exxon when I see this one.  Seriously, are there gas pumps out back because that would save me some time.)
  • Call 911........the church is on fire(hahahahahahahahahahahaha)
  • Jesus is coming .....are you REDE(get it red "E"....ready  That's clever........not)
  • Looking for a sign from God?  This might be it!(Or maybe not..............lay out that fleece Gideon)
  • Bring Bible, Scissors(This is seriously how the sign was written, and I seriously don't get it at all)
And since Christmas is swiftly approaching, here are few with a seasonal slant.
  • Jesus is the rizzle for the sizzle(Taking an urban twist)
  • Christmas Eve Program: Dancing with the Stars of Bethlehem (I'd like to see the dancing pair match up)
  • Midnight Service and Toga Party: B.Y.O.B.J(Bring Your On Baby Jesus) (I'm not sure that I want any part of a church sponsored Toga Party, I'll just use my imagination)
  • If you're one of the politically correct we hope you sharpen the tip of your holiday tree and fall on it(I'm pretty sure the church sign maker at this church was NOT asked to resume their position the following year.)
I hope you enjoyed our little renezvous into church sign humor.  Good times.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Chapel Door

In keeping with family tradition, my fabulous younger brother has started himself a blog.  I'm so absolutely excited about this. Jesse and I have always been super close.  However, he got all of the wit and all of the brains.  He is seriously one of the funniest people I have ever had the privilege of knowing.  It's disgusting at how intelligent he is.  I mean it's great for him, but disgusting for the rest of us.

If you're into "tipping sacred cows"(his words, not mine) then check him out.  This is how Jesse describes his blog: "Sometimes the idols we love need to be destroyed, theses' need to be posted, and heretics need to be burnt.  This is a place for all of those things to happen."  Our whole immediate family is a bunch of right wing fundy nut jobs, so don't expect anything different from Jesse either.  So, if you're into that kind of thing go to The Chapel Door .

Enough shameless plugging for one day.

Oh......a really cool thing happened yesterday.  We've kinda sorta started working with Clayton on potty training.  While I was getting ready to go to the grocery store Clayton walked up to me and said "I pooped".  And sure enough he was right.  I was so excited I immediately sent a text to my Mother.  Is that strange?  Probably, but I was excited.  Maybe we'll be diaper free by the summer.  I'm giving us a long time because I've never done this before and I don't know what potty training is like. 

Friday, December 4, 2009

Johanna's Gift

(First a back story, and this is gonna be lengthy)

Last summer I had the privilege of hearing the director of the Caldwell Pregnancy Care Center speak at one of our ladies Bible studies.  At the time I was absolutely amazed by the organization.  They are a Christian, pro-life organization that ministers to ladies that find themselves in a crisis pregnancy.  They encourage the choice of life, and not abortion, and also present Christ to each of the ladies.  It really is an amazing ministry.  I was personally surprised to learn about how needed this ministry is.  I had thought of this ministry often and had at one point prayed that the Lord would show me how my family and I could be a blessing to them.  Little did I know what the Lord had planned for us.

One day while I was talking with Mom, I revealed to her my ongoing fear that Johanna will be forgotten by everyone but me.  As the conversation progressed I also revealed my desire to use Johanna's story to minister to other.  She suggested the Caldwell Pregnancy Care Center, and suggested contacting them to see if there was a way that we could be a blessing to them.  With Mom's help(actually she did all of the leg work for me), we have been able to find a way to work with the Caldwell Pregnancy Care Center.

Each lady the center ministers to is given a diaper bag that contains very basic but very needed baby supplies.  Things such as diapers, wipes, an outfit, a pacifier, and bottles.  These are things that I personally took for granted when Clayton was an infant.  We have been given the opportunity to help the center financially by providing a portion of the funds necessary for these diaper bags.  The bags will include a short version of Johanna's story, and hopefully her picture.  They are going to call the diaper bags "Johanna's Gift".

This is the version of Johanna's story the ladies will have in their bags.

"Our daughter Johanna Raye Carswell was diagnosed with Trisomy 18 at 13 weeks gestation.  Trisomy 18 is an incurable chromosomal disorder that is termed "incompatible with life".  The only "option" for a child diagnosed with Trisomy 18 is termination.  We believe that every baby is a gift from God, and ending her life was not an option or even an afterthought for us.  We chose to continue her pregnancy and our daughter was born on October 23, 2009.  She lived 63 precious, wonderful, and priceless minutes.  Her short life forever changed us.  Johanna continues to teach us many lessons about God's grace, mercy, and love.  That is Johanna's gift.

I wanted to share this with ya'll since you've walked this journey with us.  I'm thankful God is still teaching me how to give.  I'm thankful that He's still using Johanna.  Even though she's praising Him, He is still using her here on Earth to minister to others.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Who Am I Kidding?

I couldn't do a wordless post if my life depended on it.

These are the pics I was trying to upload yesterday.

"Uhm.........I think we got caught"

"Who cares if we got caught.  It's so much fun to play with the dog while I take a bath every single night.  Mom, please don't tell Dad, you know he'll freak out."

"Toast tastes better is it enters the body through osmosis."

"I wonder if anybody would notice if I opened just one?"

I know I said that I would post something about JoJo today, but I'm still working on the wording of a few thing.  Tomorrow I promise to introduce you to "Johanna's Gift".

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

It Was Supposed To Be.........

....................a Wordless Wednesday, but Blogger is being kinda screwy and I can't seem to get the pictures to load.

I do have a really cool something or other to post about Johanna and how her life will be used to minister to others.  I've gotta check one thing, and then I'll share that with ya'll tomorrow.

Have a great one!!