Monday, December 31, 2007

Welcoming our Gift from God...

God has blessed our family with the arrival our son, Nathan Josiah, who was born on December 26, 2007 at 5:24 p.m. He weighed 8 lbs. 2 oz. and was 21 inches long. My labor went very quickly, I arrived at the hospital around 3:30 p.m. and had him a little less than two hours later without the help of any modern medicine. My good friend and sister in the Lord, Sue actually said when we got to the hospital, "Wouldn't it be nice if you could just do this without any medication!" My response, "Don't start with me!", because I had wanted an epidural. Honestly, I couldn't have asked the Lord for a better plan. It was actually the way I desired for everything to go quickly and smoothly. I am so thankful that God is in control and not me and that he give us women the power to overcome tremendous pain. Nathan is a beautiful, healthy little boy and he is already so loved by his big brothers as you can see. Joe has been able to see him on our web camera when we talk and he is all the more ready to come home now. We thank all of you for your continual prayers for our family especially during my pregnancy and with Joe's deployment. We know that the Lord has our best interests at heart and we are so thankful to Him for His great love and grace.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Remembering Isaac......

Yesterday would have been Isaac's first birthday. I prayed for several weeks about how to remember the day, it first being difficult because Joe isn't here, and secondly, because you wonder how he would have looked and so on. The questions are endless. I was able to go to his gravesite by myself and have some time there to reflect on his short but beautiful life. Then in the evening, I was able to use it as a testimony during AWANA Counsel time. I am a leader with the Truth in Training girls/boys and that group was who I spoke with first and the second time was for the younger SPARKS club. I read them a story from one of the books we had received after Issac died about a bunny and his brother and sister where the sister bunny ends up dying. It was a very cute story and helped me to relate to the kids about Isaac's death and that babies go to heaven when they die but they have to make a choice to accept Christ as their Savior to go to heaven. After I got done with the story, I had purchased balloons for the TNT kids to go outside and let them go for Isaac as we sang Happy Birthday. It was a blessing for me. The SPARKS got to celebrate with cupcakes because of timing purposes but I pray that the Lord was glorified through my testimony time with the kids and that seeds were planted. Joe and I both have always wanted Isaac's life to be just that...a testimony of God's grace and sovereignty.

Thank you all for continuing to pray for our family during this past year and now. We constantly feel your prayers in our lives. I praise God for all our family and our brothers and sisters in the Lord.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

A Dream Come True....

It has always been a dream of mine to visit the White House. I always felt that it would be such an honor to visit the place where so many different Presidents have lived and worked for our country. Well, tonight that dream came true. Thanks to a very nice friend, we were able to go on a tour of the Eisenhower building and the West Wing of the White House which is not exclusively available to the public like the other tour of the East Wing. I couldn't really believe that I was actually there for a little while until I saw the Oval Office and stood in awe of the fact the this is where our President works and makes so many important decisions everyday for our country. I felt truly blessed to be there and it was neat to see all the things you get to see on television news but up close and personal. I only have a few pictures because of course certain areas are off limits to photographs but anyways it was a great evening.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

AWANAs Fall Festival

Last night, our AWANAs club had a Fall Festival Theme with a regular club night but with special games for game time with candy for prizes. Can't forget the candy!! They also asked all of the kids to dress up in biblical character. We decided to have Christian dress as Moses, and Aaron as his brother, Aaron. They looked so cute although they were annoyed by the beards after a while and they came off. Pastor Ben decided to goof off and use it for his new hairstyle(picture above.) Anyways, it was a fun night for all of the kids and Christian and Aaron won the prize for best costumes.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Finally....A New Post!!!

Well, I know it's been a while but here is what has been happening along with a bunch of pictures. In Sept. the boys and I went on a vacation to see family and Disney World. We left on the 17th and headed to Williamsburg, Virginia for a homeschool field trip. We spent the night with Joe's brother and his family and then got up the next morning and drove 7 hours to Joe's mom's in South Carolina. The next day we drove the rest of the way to Orlando to get to the Shades of Green Resort which is the military resort on Disney property. The first night we got there it was actually my birthday and we had friends from Virginia that were there at the same time so we had planned to meet them for dinner at Planet Hollywood. We had a really good dinner and then went down to the Lego Store in Downtown Disney and did a little shopping. The next morning the boys were scheduled to go on a Disney Pirate Adventure. They went out on a boat for a couple of hours searching for clues along the way to find the hidden treasure. They had a really great time and I had fun just having some peace and quiet. That afternoon my sister, Cyndi and my niece, Samantha came up to meet us so that they could go with us to Magic Kingdom the next day. We were able to go into the park early too because we were staying at one of the resorts. It was nice because we were able to ride a lot of rides before we had to go to our Character Breakfast at the Ohana Restaurant at the Polynesian Resort with Mickey, Pluto, Lilo and Stitch. Then we went back to Magic Kingdom and finished up on some rides, went back to the hotel and went swimming for a little bit and had a nice dinner. The next morning we got up and drove down to my sister's house and met my parents and brother in law at SuperPlay USA where my dad, Neil, the boys, and Sam stayed and played for the afternoon. We spent the next few day with my parents, we went to Playmobil Land, and I was able to visit my Grandmother. Then we started home and stopped at Joe's moms house again and spent another day with her. We went to Swan Lake and had a picnic lunch and the boys played at the playground. Then we finally made it home. All in all it was a good vacation but of course, it is nice to come back home. Since then, we have tried to get back into a normal routine of school and appointments that seem to happen almost everyday sometimes. Joe is doing well were he is at just extremely busy at work. We are just very thankful that he is safe at the moment. Anyways, enjoy the pics!!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

"I'VE BEEN HAD!!!!!"

On Sunday night after church I was under the impression that my friend Nicole and I were going to go to Kohl's to look for a picture frame for a cross stitch that Nicole had done and to look for shoes. Afterwards, we were going to eat at Panera Bread. Well, we left church and we were both starving so we decided to go to Panera first but it was almost 8 p.m. so I kept asking Nicole if she wanted to go to Kohl's first because I thought it would be closed by the time we got done eating. Nicole insisted we go eat and that Kohl's was opened until 9 or 10 pm. which was plenty of time. Well, we get to Kingstowne where Panera Bread is and we park the truck. As I am walking through the front, I noticed that had changed some of the tables around and then I noticed all of my friends from church sitting around this table with a birthday cake. I turned to Nicole and was like, "What have you all done!" Needless to say, I was very surprised that my wonderful sisters in the Lord had planned this special birthday surprise for me and it was a very encouraging time. Thanks to all of you for being so willing to plan this for me and for the love that you constantly show me. I am very humbled by it and Praise God for all of you.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Samantha & David's Wedding

On Saturday, we had the priviledge of attending our friend Samantha's wedding where Christian was the ring bearer. He had been looking forward to it all week as well as Aaron who was given the task of having all of the guests sign the guest book. Both of the boys did a great job and received many complements on their behavior and how handsome they looked. It made me a very proud mom! We had a great time together. I hope you enjoy all of the pictures.

Thursday, August 9, 2007


First, let me say thank you to all of you for praying for Joe. He arrived safely at his destination early Wednesday morning and has begun get the lay of the land already. The boys and I were able to talk with him last night and it was such a blessing for all of us.

Christian celebrated his 9th birthday on Tuesday and it is hard for me to believe that he is already that old. It seems like just yesterday he was this little itty bitty baby. We had a great day which began with me finding the boys nestled together in the bed because that is how they wanted to celebrate Christian's birthday together. Then, we met our good friends Debbie and Caleb for lunch at Chicken Out. Next, it was finally seeing Shrek the Third after only seeing the first two movies in the series over the last two weeks. Finally, after the movie we took the boys to Friendly's for ice cream(seeing as how it was 100 degrees here)!!! I hadn't been to Friendly's since I was a kid in Rochester, New York. The waiters and waitresses came and sang Happy Birthday to Christian and Aaron was so embarrased that he hid under the table until they were finished(if you look closely at the picture above you can see him under the table). As usual it was yummy for the tummy and the baby was doing flips in my belly afterwards to prove it. Today, we went to the Becker's house to play with our friends Adam and Will. All the boys enjoyed being knights with swords, having some fun in the swimming pool, and eating NERDS ropes and Ring Pops which left for some interesting teeth and tongue colors. Needless to say, it has been a pretty good week considering we had to say goodbye to Daddy for a bit.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Prayer Request

I would like to ask everyone to pray for traveling mercies and safety for Joe as he leaving this evening for his deployment. He has already left here and is on his way to the airport since they have to be there so many hours ahead of time. We covet all of your prayers during this time of separation and thank you all for your support.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

NFL Youth Football Camp

Yesterday, the boys and I had the opportunity to attend a NFL Youth Football Camp here at Fort Belvoir that was sponsored by the USO. If you know our family we are all huge football fans. The NFL Network is basically on the tv 24/7 at our house. At first, I thought that there would not be anyone from any teams that we would know but it ended up that Joe Theisman was there along with Tony Page who use to play for the Miami Dolphins. I already thought that is was pretty cool that the NFL would actually come to Fort Belvoir to begin with but then to meet some famous players was just totally awesome. The boys each got to choose which position they wanted to learn more about, Christian chose the Running Backs and Aaron chose to be a Quarterback. Christian got to work with Tony Page and Aaron got to work with Joe Theisman. They started with stretching drills and then broke off into their individual positions. At the end of the camp, all the coaches sat the kids down and gave them a great talk on doing their best at home, in school, and in football. It was very encouraging to Aaron and Christian and they had a great time. Joe was able to come over during his lunch hour to see the boys and was really impressed with the program. Joe Theisman came up to us afterwards, introduced himself, and complemented Aaron on his hard work. The boys also received a NFL Youth Football Jersey, a gym bag, an NFL Football, and a certificate of completion of the clinic. It was a big blessing for all of us to be involved in such a great event.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

It's Time to Spill the Beans!!

Well, I guess it's time to spill the beans that we are expecting a baby sometime around December 21. We went today to Bethesda to have our 18 week Ultrasound to check to make sure that there were no problems with the baby and the doctors were pleased to see no abnormalities and that everything looks good. We also found out that we are having ... you guessed it....another BOY!!! Needless to say, we are very thankful to the Lord that through His sovereign will we are able to have another child and that he seems to be healthy. Please pray for us as we prepare for Joe's deployment in a couple of weeks and the transition that will be for the boys. Thank you all for continually praying for our family during this time. I hope that you will be able to make out the pictures below but it is amazing to see everything on the ultrasound as they are doing it. I am truly amazed at how God forms these little ones and the blessing that they are to us.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

A Week in the Outer Banks

We spent the last week in North Swan Beach, North Carolina. We didn't realize that the house we rented was actually down the beach 7 miles in soft sand, but thankfully we had our 4Runner which is 4WD. Needless to say it was an adventure getting down to the house but once we got there it was so awesome. The house was so nice and the view was great. We were about 500 yards from the beach and we were able to listen to the sound of the waves as we went to sleep at night. The part of the beach that we were in the Outer Banks is also home to the Wild Horse Sanctuary. At first, I was a little sceptical that we would even see any. Well, as we were on the beach last Monday, they all of sudden just started walking out from where the house were. Then the next morning, I woke up early because of a certain dog I know(GRACIE) who was ferociously growling at something outside. Well, it was the horses and they were about 100 feet from the house just grazing on the grasses. As I sat there taking pictures of them they just kept getting closer and closer until they were in the back yard and then they went under the house. The houses there are all on stilts. I was so amazed by the horses and that they were not even bothered by any of the people around them. Joe's mom came up from South Carolina for a few days to enjoy with us and while she was there we went to the Currituck Lighthouse and the Wright Brothers Monument. We had a very relaxing time and Aaron and Christian enjoyed the beach, making sand castles, helping Dad fly the kite, and the hot tub at the house the most. We had many beautiful days at the beach decided that we will have to do it again next year after Joe gets back from his deployment.

Monday, May 21, 2007

A Special Opportunity

Yesterday, we had a special opportunity to speak at Georgetown University Hospital at their annual Memorial Service for all of the babies that died in the NICU over the last year. It was a very nice service and Joe did a great job, although at times rather difficult, at presenting a message on God's Sovereignty over Issac's death. We pray that the Lord used his words to be a blessing to the other family members at the memorial. We met another family whose daughter also had a congenital diaphragmatic hernia and were able to witness to them about God being in control of Issac's life and death from the beginning. We can't really believe that it has been six months since Issac's death but God is being faithful to us and continuing to provide His wonderful comfort to us. His grace is so AMAZING!!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

I Scream, You Scream, We all Scream for Ice Cream

Today we had the opportunity to go out to Fairfax and get free ice cream cones from the Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Shop. We went with our friends Debbie and Caleb and we had a great time. You could get in line as many times as you wanted. Needless to say we all had our fill of Cherry Garcia, Strawberry Cheesecake, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Triple Caramel Chunk, and Mango Mango Sorbet. The boys ended up with 3 cones a piece but Caleb won the contest with a total of 8 ice cream cones. It was a great day and we all had fun with it. It will definitely be marked on the calender for next year. Hopefully it will be a lot warmer then too.

Friday, April 6, 2007

A Testimony of God's Amazing Grace....

As we get ready for the celebration of Resurrection Day, I wanted to express my gratitude to my God for sending Jesus Christ to die for my sins on a rugged cross so that I may one day spend eternity with Him. What a glorious thought that is for me especially to see my Lord Jesus and then my son, Isaac, and my other child that the Lord brought home to be with him the year before last. I find it very humbling that sometimes when we feel that our faith is gone that the Lord is ever so faithful. When I wasn't expecting to be used by the Lord, He used me to lead a very close friend of mine and someone I had been praying for a long time, to accept Christ as Savior in her life. I was overwhelmed by God's grace and I am in awe of His great love each day. I wrote this poem shortly after Issac died and to me it is appropriate for this Easter celebration.

There is a Light so bright yet we do not see it.
It is there in the midst of the darkness;
What keeps you from it; Your sin, Your suffering, Your pain;
Though you think you cannot see it, the Light is there.
What will you do with the Light; Seek It, Touch It, Run to It;
If you do the Light will surely shine upon you.
There will be no more darkness, only the Light.
Take It, Hold It, Love It!
There is a Light so bright and now you see;
That Light came for you and for me.

The Light is Jesus Christ and to remember that He came to die for your sin and for mine. He took the punishment for us all! Please take time to reflect on this wonderful gift that Christ gave to us and accept it as your own. God loves you!
I praise God for what He has done in our lives over these last few months and how His faithfulness is always there. Our God is a Great God and I pray that each one of you will testify of that in your lives as well. We hope and pray you have a great Resurrection Day on Sunday!!! All our love to you!!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

A Week in Review...

Some of you knew that Joe had been at ANCOC(Advanced Non-Commissioned Officers Course; for those of you not familiar with Army Acronyms)for the last 6 weeks and last Thursday, I was able to fly to St. Louis for his graduation on Friday. Joe's brother and sister-in-law were kind enough to come and watch Christian and Aaron for us so that I was able to go. After Joe's graduation on Friday, we started our long drive back to home. We had a great two days of driving and the weather was beautiful except for the gusty winds that plagued the east coast for most of last week and into the beginning of this week. On Monday, the boys and I went to Williamsburg, Virginia for Home Educators Week and we had a great time with the other families from our church. The boys,of course, enjoyed the Gunsmith Shop the best. They also help to learn how the tables were set for dinner and then went to the kitchen to help prepare parts of the afternoon dinner meal. The liked playing sticks and hoops too, although it is harder than it looks.

The rest of this week was spent getting back into regular school work and getting ready for Joe's birthday yesterday. He is not real big on birthday's so we kept it low key and just had a Strawberry Cake. Aaron had made Joe a little floam strawberry cake with candles and gave it to him for his birthday and then Joe requested the real thing. LOL!! We also were able to go out to dinner thanks to the youth at our church putting on Parent Date Night..thanks kids!!! We had a very good week and it is very nice to have Joe back from school.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

A New Adventure.....Ice Skating!

On Monday, the boys and I were invited to go ice skating down at a rink in Pentagon City. This was definitely an adventure. The last time we went skating was in Germany with our friends the Dawson's and the boys were very little so it was easier for them because they could balance a lot easier being shorther then than now. At first, they were both a little apprehensive but a little bit later, Aaron shouted, "Mom, ice skating is awesome!!!!" It was a beautiful day too. We have had so many really cold days that we weren't sure how warm it would be but it was just perfect for skating. Now, the boys keep begging me to take them skating again. So, I guess we found our new adventure to be a great success!

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Gracie's Playdate

Hi Everyone. I know it's been a few weeks since I posted anything on here but we really haven't been doing anything special except working on homeschooling. Today, I made a playdate for Gracie. Her mom, Joy came to play with her. We are blessed that we are close friends with Joy's mom and dad. They had a great time together and it got pretty loud a few times but all in all they played very well together. Gracie is still very submissive to her mom so it's funny to watch them try to figure that out even though Joy was in Gracie's territory today. We had fun watching them play in the backyard too especially since Joy doesn't really get to do that since her backyard is not fenced in. Since it was so cold we didn't let them play out there long. By the way, Gracie is wearing her winter sweater. Anyways, that was the excitement for today. :) Blessings to you all.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Our First Snow...

Well, we had our first snow of the winter season today. Just after church it started to snow and we were all so excited. We had lunch at friends of ours and then the boys were able to go out and sled and have a snow ball fight. They had a blast. Then we came home and they played with there friend next door. They love playing out in the snow, they would have been out there all night if they could have been. Gracie enjoyed eating the snow mostly and was jumping up in the air trying to catch the snowflakes in her mouth. We had a wonderful day enjoying the snow!!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

"How are you?"

I put this question here because I know that many of you are wondering how we are doing, are deeply concerned for us, and have continually kept us in your prayers since Isaac's death. I started reading a new book today that was recommended to me by a sister in the Lord, called "Holding on to Hope" by Nancy Guthrie and she addresses this same question. After she lost her daughter, for the first year she answered this question by saying, "I'm deeply and profoundly sad." It is a question that has been frequently asked of both Joe and I over the last 6 weeks since we lost Isaac. Many times it is hard for us to discern the answer to the question. Most days I think we are both doing ok and we respond in like fashion, but on other days we aren't doing that well and I will admit that I have just put on the happy face and answered "I'm fine." when in reality I have been far from it. So, to answer the question, we are sad but more so we miss Isaac so much. We miss the chances to hold him longer, to even have brought him home from the hospital to his room where all of his things are, for him to be a part of our family with his brothers, and to take him to church with us were we worship as a family. I think as believers we sometimes think that our faith will help us hurt less(stated in the book by Mrs. Guthrie's husband)but I know that God has allowed Isaac's death to occur in our lives for us to see Him in a new way. God knows our sorrows and He understands it. I believe our hearts will heal over time through our reaching out to God and listening to Him when He answers our cries for help but until that appointed "time" we choose to cry when we need to and face our grief because the Lord has given us this task of greiving to do. Thank you all for praying for us and bearing our burden as Christ has called us all to do.

"The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord." I Cor. 15:56 - 58

Friday, January 12, 2007

Bowling for Dollars....Well Not Really!!!

In September 2006 we joined a homeschool bowling league. Every Friday we go to
Woodbridge and they get to bowl three games and they are on teams with other homeschoolers their age. This has been a great time for them and they really enjoy it. They still have to use bumpers but they have slowly but surely improved their games and both Aaron and Christian broke 100 today. They were really excited about that. Here are some pictures of them and their teammates. Happy Bowling!!

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Our First Visit to the Gravesite

Yesterday we went to Quantico National Cemetery to visit Isaac's gravesite for the first time. They set his headstone during this past week and we wanted to wait for that. The site is a beautiful place on top of a hill with wooded areas around it. It was a beautiful day yesterday but as you can see from the pictures that it was quite muddy since it had rained the day before and there is no grass as of yet. In the spring it will be quite pretty. We feel so priviledged that Isaac is buried with so many veterans of this great country. As a matter of fact, to the left of Isaac is a World War II Veteran. Thank you all for continuing to pray for us as we are healing. We also wanted to update you on Issac's roommate at Georgetown. The little girl is doing very well, she has had her repair surgery and was put in the step down NICU on Christmas day. I was able to visit her this past Tuesday and talk with her mom. It was a special visit for me in that her mom called me her "Auntie Lori" and that meant so much to me. The family is doing well and I would ask that you continue to pray for them as they are still going to be there for just a little bit longer. We hope and pray that have enjoyed the first week of this new year and God Bless You!