Mark, Jennifer, Ethan, Emily

This blog is about our family, who have dealt with the loss of two sons with Muscular Dystrophy, the adoption of a son diagnosed with Agenesis of Corpus Callosum and the birth our a healthy little girl. It's a crazy life, but we are loving it.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Pretty Crafty

OK, let me start out by saying that I am not a crafty-artsy person. The desire is there, I want to, but I just don't really know how. Like it states in the Bible, "The Spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." I want to learn to sew, can jams & jellies & craft my little heart out.

So I came across a new blog that really gave me some good ideas for some cute & easy crafts. Even the title of the blog sounds like something I'd say. Check it out here

I found a couple of crafts I couldn't wait to try. So, the next day I headed out to my local craft store. I started with this.

And ended with this.

Not too shabby, huh?

I also found a different craft that I spent a whole whopping $2 on at my local Dollar Tree. I found a patriotic platter and bowl, a little super glue and...

Taaaaaadaaaaaa! A new patriotic cake/cupcake stand.

It takes so little to make me happy.

On the Stinkbug side, it looks like Ethan is going to get lots of great help next year in 3rd grade. We had his ARD meeting last Wednesday and we made some plans for Ethan that includes speech & occupational therapy, as well as pulling him out of class for reading and math in order to pre-teach him ahead of time so he can keep up with his class. According to all the testing the school did with Ethan, that is how he will learn best.  SIGH OF RELIEF!!!!

It came to me today in church, while I was giving a praise of thanksgiving for the awesome ARD meeting we had this week, and I SUDDENLY remembered. Last summer before Ethan started the 2nd grade, I prayed for Ethan's 2nd grade teacher. I didn't know who he was going to get at that time, but I prayed for that teacher to be patient, kind, loving and have a heart for Stinkbug. He got that and more with Ms. Watts. She loved on him all year, tried different things, kept us informed and most importantly, she advocated for him all the way. She believed in him. God gave me such peace today and reminded me of my prayer for her before I knew her. God has His great hand in everything.  

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Shoelaces, Justin Bieber, Hail and Bears... Oh My!

OK. Let's start with the proverbial teenage Canadian white elephant in the room. Literally.  Why does my 4 year old have Bieber fever?

Granted, I thought it was cute when she saved some money she had and spent it on a JB microphone. I thought it a little irritating when she kept asking to watch JB videos on the computer, but I didn't mind every once in a while. Then I was aggravated when she cried when I didn't buy here a JB CD. And I was totally mad when she brought this jacket home from daycare. Nice jacket, but it's not hers. I think she got the Bieber fever from daycare. No one at our home even heard a JB song before Emily caught the fever. I hope it leaves soon.  *Sigh*

On the brighter side, Emily learned to tie her shoes. You go girl!!!! Ethan still doesn't have this down.

Peekaboo. There's my toe. You'll see my toe again in another photo. I need to learn to keep my feet out of pictures.

OK. Living in Central Texas, we needed some rain. Desperately. Friday night, we got some rain. Heavy rain. Along with thunder, lightning & .... hail.

There's my darn foot again!

The view from my front porch Friday night.

Thank you Lord for the rain!

Last but not least, my cub scout has graduated from wolf to a bear!

Ethan & Mark doing the Cub Scout Sign.

Ethan waiting to go from Wolf to Bear. He's so handsome.
Ethan graduating by walking across the bridge.
Ethan getting his Bobcat badge.
The new Bears!
After the graduation ceremony, we had a picnic, I then took the kids to play mini golf, the arcade, get ladybug her haircut then went to Wal-Mart. Got home &  Mom & Dad invited us to Austin where we found treasures at a local thrift shop & then went out to eat yummy Mexican food.  Too tired to post pictures of all that. Maybe tomorrow. Goodnight all. God Bless.

Sunday, May 8, 2011


So my birthday was on Thursday. It turned out to be a really great day. I'm very lucky to have family and great people I work with that went out of their way to make my 33rd birthday special. But, I couldn't help but reflect on my life at 33 years of age and all I have been through. I thought back at my life, just 10 years ago.

10 years ago, at 23 years of age I was pregnant with my first child. I knew I was having a boy. What I didn't know was that there was very specific reason for his lack of movement. I didn't know the baby I was carrying had Muscular Dystrophy. I didn't know the fight he would have ahead of his tiny little life. And most of all, I didn't know I would be burying him the next January.

My 23 year old self didn't know that after losing Chandler to MD, we would go through the grueling process of adoption of a little boy who would later have learning disabilities and behavior issues. I didn't know I would have the amazing privilege of carrying and giving birth to a healthy baby girl only to become pregnant and lose another little boy to MD after her.

Whew, that's a lot to go through in 10 years. Then, I always ask myself the silly question, "If you knew then what you know now, would you do it over again?"

My first instinct would be to say no, but that would not be my answer. My answer would be yes, I would do it all over again. I had the amazing privilege of  being Chandler's mommy for almost 7 months. That's about 5 months longer than the doctors thought I would have him. I got to know that amazing baby who was so sweet and beautiful with his big blue eyes and dark curly hair. That baby's life led my husband to Christ. My husband gave his life to Jesus in a breast pump room at St. David's hospital after hearing that our son would not likely live 1 year.

Here is our first family photo taken in the NICU in 2001.

Here is our precious boy at home. A nurse (who by the way took care of Chandler & Max) gave Chandler that dalmatian puppy. He loved that toy so much we had him buried with it.

Little did I know that after Chandler, Ethan would come into our lives. This little baby would give me back the life I had lost after Chandler died. When Ethan came to us, I wasn't living. I was just existing. Even though I knew Ethan had ACC and we didn't know what the future would hold, we knew we loved him and wanted him in our family with all our hearts.
Ethan's Adoption Day!

I also didn't know that I would have a beautiful baby girl. I really thought that after Chandler, I wouldn't try to have another baby. The risk was far too high for us. Well, God had different plans. Mark and I tried for another baby and were so very blessed with our healthy Emily.

Emily Claire
10 years ago I also didn't know that I would lose a second little baby to MD. Max was a complete surprise to us because we weren't trying to have another baby. After he was born, he was only with us for 6 weeks. Unlike Chandler, he never came home from the hospital. He wasn't as strong as his big brother. Carrying Max was hard emotionally on me. I knew I was carrying a boy, but we decided not to have additional testing done. We were praying for a miracle. Hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst.

Our Max

Family time with Max
People always use to tell me how strong or brave I am. That's not true. The truth is sometimes I'm barely hanging on. Some days I'm fine. Others, it's like the dam broke loose and I can't control my heaving sobs. But I know that someday, I WILL see my boys again. I WILL see them running and jumping and laughing and I WILL hear them say "mommy" and all the things I missed out on with them not being here.

I know people question Mark and I, wondering how could we stand having a second little boy, knowing he would die. Well, termination was out of the question. And most of all, I was praying for a miracle. God hears all our prayers. Even though he didn't heal Chandler & Max the way I would have liked, he did heal them and gave them eternal life with Him in Heaven. I chose to carry my boys because God chose to carry me.

Would I do it over again? Yes. My 23 year old self didn't know all the hills and valleys I would go through. But as I look around now, on Mother's Day in my 33rd year, I am happy. I am content. I don't know what the next 10 years will bring, but with God all things are possible. I am living proof.

Mother's Day 2011

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Purple Dragons & Blue Toenails!

Congratulations to the Purple Dragons, Ethan's soccer team! They made it to the finals and placed 2nd! I am so proud of my stinkbug!

And after spending 4 hours, that's right, I said 4 hours in the Texas sun watching stinkbug play in the final tournaments, I decided to pamper myself and have my toes done. I took Emily with me! Check 'em out, I decided on a ruby color.

And Ladybug decided on.....

sparkly blue!

I'm feeling very hopeful for stinkbug. Mark and I had a meeting at his school with his teacher and a behavior specialist. I asked lots of questions and we received some good information. Looks like Ethan will receive some great one on one help next year to help him in the 3rd grade.

So, I am posting some things that I am thankful for today.

My pretty little ladybug who tells me she's writing a song for Jesus.

This picture on the wall of our church fellowship hall. I've always loved this picture.

Our church family, who loves our children as much as we do. It's like they KNOW when I could use some quite time and someone will volunteer to take one or both or kids for the afternoon after church.

My husband, who is not only my pastor, a great dad, but my best friend, too.

And finally, my stinkbug! Whom I am so proud of!

Thank you, God for all the blessings in my life!