Monday, January 23, 2012

A Christmas we will never forget!!!!

This Christmas was one that we will never forget.  As I write this post I am ever so thankful for the Lord's hand on our lives.  A few days before Christmas I began preparing everything for our trip to Arizona and California.  Our intention was to leave on Christmas night and drive straight through to Flagstaff, arriving on the night of December 26th.  Our kids were excited to see grandparents, aunts and uncles, along with their cousins.  We were also set to visit Disney Land for a day.

Stepping back several weeks, Jeff had been exceedingly tired.  He would come home from work and lay down and be asleep in seconds.  At first we attributed it to jet lag, the busyness at work along with the stresses of teaching people his job, starting a new job and the fact that our newly adopted daughter was not sleeping well.   Fast forward back to the week before Christmas, Jeff developed what we thought to be his annual broncitis cough, so I schedule a doctor's appointment on December 22 for him.  The doctor found his symptoms to be typical of his annual illness and prescribed medications accordingly.  The next few nights he coughed A LOT and we thought GREAT, THE MEDS ARE WORKING.

Christmas Eve we opted to not go to Christmas Eve service so that Jeff could rest up.  My parents and Johnny (our exchange student that lived with my parents a few years ago that is now in college in the USA) came for dinner.  When we went to bed that night we both still thought that the meds would do their job quickly and he would feel better in the morning. 

Before bed we set out milk and cookies for Santa.  Alexander also left a note for Santa. 

 Jeff was up through the night throwing up what we thought to be mucus.  At 5:30, while Jeff was getting sick 3 of the 4 kids were wide awake, so we all got up and opened presents! 
 For Santa had surely been here... and ate all of the cookies and drank all of the milk and took the note that Alexander left for him!!!
 The kids were excited!!!
 Samuel loved everything and might have like unwrapping more than what was inside the gifts!
 Alexander enjoyed getting several new cars from the Cars 2 movie!

Zachary had a toss up of favorites.  Was it his new ties..... 
or his new DS?  He loved them both... just in different ways!

Myah seems to like her new doll... but she is also fond of her new panda.

Daddy was trying to be excited!  He felt really bad!
While Jeff was opening gifts he became very sick and than went to bed.  After awhile the kids noticed that I still had unopened gifts, so they wanted me to open mine.

Since we got up at 5:30, the kids had plenty of time to play with their new toys before getting ready for church.  Of course Jeff stayed home in bed!  After church Jeff was not up to going to my parents house, so the kids and I went ahead.

We opened stockings...
 Tried on big brothers tie.....

and attempted to pose for a few pictures

and than were going to eat breakfast for lunch.  I called Jeff to see how he was feeling and he was not answering.  Dad, Johnny and I went to check on him and decided it was time for him to go to the ER.  Jeff and I headed to Menorah Medical Center where he was diagnosed with acute renal failure and congestive heart failure.  That doesn't even mention the fact that his other organs were not doing their job.  The Kidney doctor chose to have him go to a different hospital so that he could undergo a kidney biopsy the next day.  After 4 nights in the hospital, many blood tests, major medications and an eager to get home attitude, Jeff was released on December 29th.  After all the results were in... the initial cause was strep (which Jeff didn't even know he had). 

Now that we look back on nearly a month ago, we are thankful that Jeff is much better and that God spared his life.  So, it wasn't the best Christmas we have ever had... but certainly one we won't forget.

Myah's baby dedication at church!

Way back in November (I am behind) we were able to dedicate Myah at our church.  Just a few days before "D-Day" we received an email from our preschool coordinator at church that talks about baby dedication.  It is so well said that I decided to just include it here!

What is Baby Dedication all about?

You’ve probably often heard that babies don’t come with manuals telling us exactly how to keep them running for 250,000 miles.  While we don’t have a manual, God does give us principles by which to live with this new little life we have been entrusted to raise.
Psalm 127:3 “Behold, children are a heritage of the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.”

Principle 1: Children are a heritage and a gift…
Ø  Heritage: Psalm 127 is a Psalm of Ascent, which simply means it was often quoted as Jewish families would ascend to Jerusalem on a pilgrimage.  This Psalm specifically speaks of the blessing of family.  The presence of godly children in the home meant security for the parents in old age and unity in hard times.  Children are a heritage of the generations to come.  Keeping this in mind when raising our children helps us remember to treasure them but not spoil them.  Responsible children bless the next generations by caring for their aging parents.
Ø  Gift: God entrusts parents to raise them well, teaching them to observe all that He has commanded.  Children are literal gifts from God.

Principle 2: Children need parents, not friends or caretakers…it will take your very best…
Ø  Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old, he will not depart from it.”  This proverb teaches that parenting will require training.  This will take our very best as parents.
Ø  Proverbs 13:24, 29:17 – Proper discipline is crucial to raising godly children.
Ø  Ephesians 6:4 – “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”
Ø  Proverbs 3:11, Hebrews 12: 6-7 – A parent’s discipline models God’s discipline performed in love.

Principle 3:Children are His…
Ø  1 Samuel 1:28 – God blessed Hannah with a child, and she dedicated him to the Lord.
Ø  Luke 2:22 – Mary and Joseph took Jesus to the temple to dedicate Him according to Hebrew law.
Ø  The ceremony of baby dedication follows in the spirit of these two texts.  It is a time where parents decide to commit to raising their child in a God-honoring way.  It involves being committed to the most important things.

Baby dedication does not impart salvation or play any practical role in salvation.

Ø  An infant or young child is not held accountable for her sin until she reaches an age where she can understand faith in Christ in order to make a decision.  This has been called the Age of Accountability.  While no specific age is mentioned in Scripture, the principle is demonstrated in 2 Samuel 12:15-23.
Ø  Salvation happens when a child is old enough to make a decision on his own; and the child chooses to receive Christ.  Salvation is not a matter of any good thing a child does but a matter of grace through faith in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9).  A child receives Christ into his or her life and begins a new life in Christ.

         We pray that at a young age Myah will make a decision to follow the Lord Jesus!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Samuel is so much fun... and into EVERYTHING!

Our sweet Samuel is lots of fun.  His smile makes my heart melt.  His cuddles are so precious.  His climbing abilities make my heart skip a beat.  When he swipes and runs with the remote you can sense his orneriness .  His love for playing in the bathroom sink is so frustrating.  Listening to him sign songs about Jesus makes my heart fill with joy.  His creativeness of turning a box into a boat makes me happy!

There are times that this cute child does things that he should not do....
 He knew that he did something that he should not do... so he was hiding his eyes!
 That quickly changed to him wanting to show off his artwork.  "It's pretty!"
 I don't think that he wrote on his face... I think that this marker is from him rubbing his hands on his face!
 He was hanging his hands funny... once again because he knew he was not supposed to write on his hands.
  Mommy is glad it was washable marker... but there is still some on his hands.

 Don't forget that he can also play Santa really well!  Ho Ho, Merry Missmas!

 I sure do love our sweet Samuel, Sammy, Sam!  Don't you just want to kiss that face!?!?!