Wienermobile

Thursday

“Ohh hiii!! It’s me Nornor! Here’s me at my follow up eye appointment right before I got the hiccups and lurched my milkies all over Mommy!”
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“I still can’t keep my pretty eyes always lined up together, but I’m not favoring one over the other, so I don’t have to wear any patches anymore! Yay!!”

“I had an early morning appointment so by the time I got back home, everyone was just waking up! It’s so nice to have my sister and brudder back from Texas! I missed them sooooo much!!!

“Dat’s my SISTER!!!”
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“I get a kick outta naps!”
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For Your loving kindness is great to the heavens And Your truth to the clouds. Be exalted above the heavens, O God; Let Your glory be above all the earth.
(Psalms 57:10, 11 NASB)

Friday

“And dat’s my brudder!!”
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“Heyyy! How come everyone got to go see the wienermobile?? Is there a milkiesmobile?”
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“There’s milkies in the baff tub though and dat’s all dat matters!”
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“I do think I really like baffs!”
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“Late afternoon while the deck is in the shade I spent some good time out there!”

“Looks like it might be time for a naps!”
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“Yep!”
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“Mommy thought Gavin wanted a nice picture of his Muthr. Mommy later found this gem on her phone.”
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“Um.. Excyoooz me!!! Someone?”
(I made pukes all over everything and had to be stripped down! I’m kinda stinky.)
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“Ahhh my Daddy LOVES me!!!”
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“I like having dinners with my family!”
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“Much later that evening I went on a run with my Dad and my brudder who was on his bike! We should have had some piña colada for when we got caught in the rain!!!”
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“It felt so good to cuddle up with my sister!”
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“She teaches me things!”
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Do everything in love.
(1 Corinthians 16:14 NIV)

Saturday

“Mommy and I had to stop for a milkies break on our walk this morning!
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* 3 second bottle propping for picture purposes only!!! And yes, there’s Mt. Dew in the bottle too. 😉
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“Later in the day brudder and sister and Mommy got to ride on the Eagle Savings float in a parade.”
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“They got DOUSED!!!”
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“Dat doesn’t look like fun for me! I’ve already had my share of getting caught in the rain!!”
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==========

I was saddened by a protester standing on a street corner during the parade with a megaphone screaming so loud you could barely hear what he was saying. How sad and broken that person must be inside to be so hateful to his fellow mankind. What sickened me is that he thought he was doing it in the name of the Lord. Who in the world might possibly benefit from that audacious display of malevolence? Who in the world would ever be interested in seeking a relationship with God when they see a supposed Christian carrying on like a rapid dog on a street corner with a megaphone? NO ONE wants any belief system shoved down their throat, especially one that is iced in hatred. That is NOT what Jesus would have done, my friend!!! Very sad.

If anyone boasts, “I love God,” and goes right on hating his brother or sister, thinking nothing of it, he is a liar. If he won’t love the person he can see, how can he love the God he can’t see? The command we have from Christ is blunt: Loving God includes loving people. You’ve got to love both.
(1 John 4:20, 21 MSG)

Not to end on a dour note!!!
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“I love everyone!!! I hope you’re enjoying your weekend!!!

Beautiful

With a lack of sleep, an extraordinarily fussy baby will stir up all sorts of worries and fears. Is she getting sick? Do you think she feels warm? Are those boogies? Is she pulling at her ears? Do her ears hurt? Then I got the phone call that Greta had puked on the airplane (before it had even taken off) and slept the whole way to Atlanta. My mind processed that as a virulent stomach bug that was going to worm its way into everyone’s bloodstream and we were all going to be sick for months on end. I tried to stay focused and remind myself that no amount of worrying was going to make any of this better. There was absolutely nothing I could do in that moment other than pray and trust that God was going to somehow work this all out. This was how I spent the bulk of my day down here on planet earth beneath a heavy layer of joyless thunderstorms.

At 1:30 this afternoon I sat in my car at the airport waiting for the call to go pick up the kids in the passenger pickup area. I was so excited to see them, but also overwhelmed. It just hadn’t been a good day so far. As I waited, I watched the rhythmic pattern of flights disappear off into the clouds, one after the other. I wished in vain that it was me heading off into the clouds on one of those planes, heading someplace warm and relaxing. Tears streamed down my cheeks as I sat there feeling sorry for myself. I quickly wiped away my tears and mustered up a genuine smile at the sound of Gavin’s voice on the other end of MeeMee’s phone telling me they were waiting to be picked up. Oh, it was so good to see those sweet kids again! I jumped out of the car and hugged them both tightly. Greta looked a little tired, but definitely not sickly, I noted with a sigh of relief. As it turned out, she had been very nervous about flying. She too was operating on a sliver of sleep and things may have been a little intensified. What normally would be a mildly apprehensive situation suddenly had the potential to become Armageddon. (I feel ya, sister!) The plague that I was imagining turned out to be a nervous belly. Once she was home, she showered, ate a good lunch and was running around with the excitement of being home and seeing Norns again! Definitely not sick! My prayers were answered!!!

This evening while cooking dinner I discovered that we had no vegetables to go with our meal and Nora was running low on diapers and wipes. Ordinarily I would have gone to the store closest to our house, but I had to go to the other one which carries the big giant economy size boxes of diapers. I was in a foul mood again, longing for what I once knew as “normal” that clearly doesn’t exist anymore. Of course things could always be worse, and at least Greta wasn’t sick! But I was feeling unimportant to God, figuring that maybe He had bigger and better things to occupy Himself with other than this spoiled brat who was intent on throwing temper tantrums on the way to grocery stores.

Without much care that it was pouring down rain, I sauntered into the grocery store to get what I needed, and boy did I ever get what I need. Here is my grocery list:
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You will notice that it says nothing about mango peppers or romaine lettuce, which is precisely what I first walked over to get upon entering the store. As I stood there assessing the merchandise a woman approached me. “Are you Nora’s mom?” she asked. I smiled and said that yes, I am! She was soooo excited to meet me and raved about Nora’s sweet little cheeks! As she wrapped me up in a wonderful hug, my tears suddenly went on autoflow. She told me that she’d always hoped she’d run into me one day there at the grocery store and now here I suddenly was… buying mango peppers and romaine lettuce right in front of her. God knew that I was feeling sad and dejected and went through great lengths to make sure the timing was just right for our paths to cross and somehow even convinced me that I needed salad ingredients in the process! It was as if though God came down to personally give me a hug through Holly!

As I collected the actual items on my list I intently strategized on how to keep my tears of joy from spilling out all over the place. “Clean up in aisle 7.” I gave up on the tear management project when I met Holly again in another part of the store. After she swore she wasn’t stalking me, she held me in her arms again and boldly prayed over me right there in the middle of the main aisle. I suddenly felt very far from being trivial and unimportant. This was God letting me KNOW how much He loves me, let there be absolutely no question!!!

Just to make sure I was completely clear on this, another person approached me. A man. “Excuse me, maam?” I turned around expecting him to hand me a bag of lettuce that had fallen out of my cart or something. “You are absolutely beautiful,” he said. I looked back at him from my tear streaked makeupless face, wondering at first if he was being sarcastic… or creepy? But with genuine sincerity he repeated, “You are a very beautiful woman.” Taken by surprise, I thanked him and made my way to the checkout line in my frumpy t-shirt, sweats, and flip flops . I certainly hadn’t given any careful attention to my appearance to warrant that comment, which made it all the more special – an otherworldly message that God knew I needed to hear, and so very obviously was not in reference to my current semblance!

How could it possibly, possibly, possibly be coincidence that this song was on the radio when I turned the car on:

(WordPress won’t let me imbed the clip for some reason!!??) Here is the link: Gold

What I had intended to be a quick jaunt to the grocery store turned out to be a beautiful reminder that I don’t ever want to forget!

Once back home, I smiled at the female cardinal sitting out on our deck looking in the window as if to make sure I was okay. I certainly didn’t feel so insignificant anymore. Thank you, God!

Pictures from yesterday and today:

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Honked for my Dad and for my hubz!

“Catch up with them and honk, Mommy!!!!!” – Gavin

I wasn’t much in the mood for picture taking today – but will have more of the big kids w Nornz tomorrow. Nora was soooo happy to see her brother and sister!!!

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
(James 4:10 NIV)

===========

Sarah Update: Monday it was determined that it was E. coli infecting Sarah’s blood. They put her on a specific IV Antibiotic to treat the E. coli and by Tuesday she was able to come on an oral antibiotic, just in time for her BIRTHDAY on Wednesday!! Her kids were SOOO happy to see their Mom!! She’s still feeling very week, but is making progress. Our awesome Mom has been able to stay out there with her these past couple of nights to help out with the kids. Thanks again for all your prayers, and HAAPPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU, SARAH!!

Pool Party

Sunday

It was MORNING FUN TIME for Nora and Daddy this morning. She got her little necky kissed and raspberried.

“Woah! What the heck was THAT??!!”
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“What time is it? Oh, it’s Morning Fun Time with Daddy!!”
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A couple of weeks ago we gained another member of our household, thereby gaining another member of our family. Kelly has been one of Nora’s sitters for quite some time now and has always been a joy to have around! We excitedly opened our home to her when she mentioned in conversation that she was looking for a new place to live. I honestly could not have asked for a better arrangement and I hope she feels the same! She is SO witty, and SO funny and fits right in as if though she were one of my sisters. Gavin and Greta ADORE her too!

Yesterday afternoon Kelly and I set up Nornor’s pool on the back deck and had a fabulous pool party! Thank you for taking all the pictures, Kelly!

“I don’t want to use that nasty hose water!” misheard as, “I don’t want to use that nasty hoe’s water!” provided hours of uncontrollable laughter!!!

Anyway – back to the pool party ~
We tuned in some reggae on the outside speakers, and wouldn’t you know the very first song that came on (listen closely in the video):

“I totally like LOVE this new suit! Like, let’s go SWIMMING!!”
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“Oooh dat feels nice on my tootsies!”
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(I spy a knee muffin island.)
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“Anyone care for any sweet rolls?”
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“Dis is kinda FUN!”
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“Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
(John 4:13, 14 NIV)

Sweet nakey cakes wrapped up and ready to go back inside.
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We were poolside and “inpool” for well over an hour and Nora loved every minute of it! She agreed that this was the perfect way to spend a sticky, humid day! Thank you so much for the pool, Aunt Maggie!!!

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Come evening time, Nora and Daddy were ready for a run. This is a baby with an active lifestyle, for sure!
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A Supermoon to end a Superday!
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The moon and stars to govern the night; His love endures forever.
(Psalm 136:9 NIV)

Monday

Morning time!
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Running time!
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Baff time!
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Need more baff time!
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Cute time!
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Pictures from Texas:
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What in the WORLD is going on down there?! 😄
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I can’t wait to see those big kids on Wednesday!!!

Update on Sarah: She is still in the hospital and is expected to be there until Tuesday. Tomorrow’s lab results should be able to pinpoint exactly which bacteria has invaded her bloodstream. Yesterday, Sarah’s oldest daughter fell and hit her head which required a visit to the ER and 3 stitches just above her eyebrow! We weren’t sure whether to laugh or cry!! It was reassuring to see Gracie smiling in her “after” photos! Thank you so much for your prayers!

Loves

Thursday

The big kids are having lots and lots of fun deep in the heart of Texas with their cousins!
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It’s been kinda sad and lonely around here without them. I keep expecting to see them come around the corner any second!

“Where’s my brudder n sister??”
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“Are they in da baff?”
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“Are they on a run?”
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“I miss you, brudder n sister!!!! Come home so we can play!”
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Friday

“Good morning!”
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“Good baff!”
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For my Dad’s birthday we got him tickets to see Jerry Seinfeld, and of course included ourselves in on the gift, (and my brotherz). We had an awesome time LAUGHING together!

That’s Jerry down there – but my phone’s camera isn’t on its way to winning any awards for dimly lit distance photography!
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Afterward as we were walking out we were approached by some “crazy stranger girl” 😉 who recognized us from the blog! Shanna and Ross, it was so so nice to meet you! You totally made our night!! I am usually one of those people that will make every excuse in the book NOT to go say something to someone in an occurrence such as this. Maybe because I’m an introvert in person (yes, really!) or maybe it’s my fear of rejection or MAYBE it’s not even “him” / “her” / “them” and I’ll look like an idiot! I totally admire and love the people like sweet Shanna who are willing and able to step out of any comfort zone that might possibly exist for them! Thanks for introducing yourselves and for extending your joy and friendship to us! What a blessing you were on top of an already awesome night!

Shanna and me!
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Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
(1 Peter 4:8 NIV)

Saturday

The big kids are obviously still having a great time with their cousins!

Here they are swimming in a natural spring-fed pool that was reportedly “colder than Michigan water”. In that crazy Texas heat that doesn’t sound like such a bad thing!
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What a cool picture we were sent of all the kids standing next to some kindly graffiti! Love this!!
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“Speaking of love…”
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“I know all about loves!”
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“How could you not love a sweet face like this?”
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“There’s loves AAALLLL around us!”
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“You need to know something about loves, you come talk ta meee!!!”
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“I KNOW things!”
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“Have a happy Sunday! I love you!”
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I have yet another prayer request. This one is for my sister Sarah. She went to the hospital yesterday to get fluids. She’d had a fever with lots of vomiting and was feeling really awful. Her blood pressure was low and they decided to keep her overnight in addition to some blood work. Today it was discovered that there is bacteria in her blood. They’re not sure how it got there. She’s getting a course of antibiotics which will hopefully get everything back to normal! I know she hates being away from her girls and of course little Parker. If you could please keep them all in your prayers, we would so greatly appreciate it!!

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
(1 Corinthians 13:13 NIV)

Big Kid Adventures

Monday

Sleeping in!
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Waking up!
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I took the big kids with me to buy a bathing suit. They were exceedingly patient with me, but by the 3rd store and 20-tried-on-suits later Gavin said, “Just pick one out and let’s go!!” as if it were simply just a pair of swim trunks! Hahahahaha!!! If ONLY it were THAT easy!!! Must be nice to be a guy in that regard!!! I did eventually find one that wasn’t Aztec print with metal decorative anchors and chains hanging off of it!

“Gavin, go over there and see if you can give that guy a hand.”
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It wasn’t the most exciting of outings, but we had fun anyway!

“Oh, it’s good to have my people home!!!”
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Tuesday

Three generations of runners! Nornor brought her baby along with us on our morning run.
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“I get all filthy stinky after my run and I have to get a baff!”
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“I have a lot of stinky muscles to soak!”
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“And I needed an evening baff too. I made pukes and tinkles all over me and Daddy! Scyooz me, Daddy!”
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“I get some sweet loves from my sister!”
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Nora was pretty fussy throughout the day which had me a little down. Her belly issues were undoubtedly the root of her troubles. We hadn’t seen/smelled any stinky diapers in a few days and she was uncomfortable as a result. Despite her sadness, she was in capable, loving hands and I had to get out and do something fun for the big kids. Shopping yesterday didn’t quite cut it; TV and video games weren’t an option, so I took them swimming.

From the moment we walked in I was hit with a pang of sadness. The “should be’s” and “supposed to be’s” will really do a number on me if I don’t quickly turn my focus to God. I remember being there while I was very newly pregnant with Nora, still in my bikini, imagining frolicking in the baby pool someday with who ever was growing inside me. Nothing cuter than a big toddler belly and chubby little bum packed into a swim diaper and bathing suit. That image put such happiness in my heart back then. As the tears welled up behind my sunglasses I was reminded to be so thankful for what I have instead of saddened and bitter about what I don’t have. This isn’t the life that I imagined, but that doesn’t in any way depreciate it.

Wednesday

Greta and Nornor getting some last minute cuddling in before the big kids took off for Texas this morning.
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G & G flew down to Austin, Texas with their MeeMee to visit their Aunt, Uncle and cousins for a week! I dropped them off at the airport this morning. They were so excited!
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Daddy checked everyone’s luggage then we hugged and kissed goodbye several, several times!
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I drove away with a big lump in my throat. They run me ragged when they’re here all day, but the second they’re gone I’m a mess of tears. They were a little sad to leave us too. Gavin commented that he wished there was some way he could sniff Nora’s sweet fuzzy head over the phone! Oh, I LOVE those kids!!!!

They did arrive safely. Greta called me before bed time, as she promised and read me her Jesus Calling book for kids. Gavin said goodnight too. I love those sweet kids so much!

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Since Sunday my cousin’s young daughter has been hospitalized. I’m not exactly sure of the specifics, but one of her kidneys wasn’t functioning properly and they have been running a barrage of tests on her trying to figure out what is wrong. It could be anything from an autoimmune disorder to a kidney infection, but so far they have not been able pinpoint exactly what it is. If you could please keep L in your prayers, I know her family would greatly appreciate it!

“Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”
(Matthew 18:19, 20 NIV)

Weekend Update

Friday

“Oh, hi! It’s me, Norns!”
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“I like milks and I love my brudder!”
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“My brudder is silly!”
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Today I got to try some sweet potatoes! I kinda liked them! I do NOT care for pears!”
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“I wonder if there’s anyone to play with?”
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“Wh.. Is that a… Is that a baby in there????”
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“Oooo! Hi, cute baby! Wanna play?”
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“My Nana & Papa came to visit me Friday evening!”
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“Look at what a big girl I am, everyone! Look at me drink all my milks!”
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Saturday

“I went running with my Mommy and all a suddens my brudder showed up, an then I heard my Dad too! And look! There’s Miss Jaime pulling out of her driveway! Hi, Miss Jaime!!”
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“Daddy and Gavin were on their way to work and slowed down to harass us for a few minutes. Dat’s kinda funny!”
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“It’s important to stretch after a run!”
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“An den it’s important to nap! All that running makes me seepy!”
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Sunday

“Dis guy is my Dad! I really, really love my Dad! I like it when my Dad whistles random 70s songs in my ear.”
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“This is an all time favorite!”





“An I like to go running with my Dad too! I got him some running stuff for Father’s Day!”

“Haha!! That shrubbery in the background looks like it’s Daddy’s hair!”
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“My brudder loves me! I think my brudder will make a great Dad someday. In fact, Gavin wanted to be celebrated today too on the theory that SOMEDAY he will be a Dad! I wonder if he’ll try to sneak in on Grandparent’s Day too?”
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“Daddy is my #1!”
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Wwwoooahhh!! Look at the GIANT fish my brudder caught at Aunt Sarah & Uncle Dan’s!!!”
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“Wait! It’s not THAT big! Silly camera tricks!!”
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“Everyone had a nice time at Aunt Sarah & Uncle Dan’s celebrating Father’s Day! I had a nice time getting kisses and loves!”
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“Happy Father’s Day to all the Daddies out there!!”
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As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him.
(Psalm 103:13 NIV)

Rejoicing!

Wednesday

What a beautiful, beautiful thing to finally have Happy Baby back — AGAIN! I am praying, praying, praying that Happy Baby sticks around for a good long while now! She’s such a sweet thing to have around!

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In my angst and worry over Nora’s health, I couldn’t see past the fevers, the discomfort and the overwhelming desire to somehow make it all go away. It seemed so unfair, so pointless for her to suffer through this and for us to suffer through it along with her. When you are in the middle of life’s storms, it’s hard to imagine that there will ever be a break in the clouds. But then suddenly there it is. The rain stops, the birds are singing and wisps of steam begin to rise up from the pavement. Had the sun always been shining, it would be taken for granted. Now that Nora’s storm has passed, I am incredibly thankful and appreciative of just having a content baby! So happy that at one point I had tears streaming down my face THANKING God for answering our prayers yet once AGAIN! I wish I could somehow hold onto this perspective a little better when the dark magenta pixels are looming overhead (think weather radar image).

We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.
(Romans 5:3-4)

And to each of you who talked to me and wrote to me about your experiences with your own children — did you ever think antibiotic resistant ear infections, digestive troubles, allergies, etc. had purpose? I’m sure that was the last thing on your mind when you were (or are) going through them, but each scenario offered such insight into what might or might not be wrong with Nora. Although there are a few missing pieces, we at least have some of the puzzle figured out.

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Nora and I ran a quick errand while the big kids were having fun swimming with some wonderful friends (and perhaps a cat).

(picture from the other day of Kittykins the Incredible Swimming Cat – coolest cat I’ve ever met)
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Nora did okay in the car, but would rather I did not stop at red lights or stop signs. [Still considering getting hydraulics on the car to keep her happy.] She likes to MOVE! Nora got pretty upset at one point. The blaring Baby Einstein CD wasn’t working for her, but the next CD in the changer did the trick. It was a CD given to me by one of Nora’s sweet nurses around Easter time that features a choral piece telling the story of Christ’s death and resurrection. No kidding, she stopped crying almost immediately, her eyes were wide and alert and she just listened. Needless to say, we left that CD on for the rest of the way home!!!
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“It’s time for milks!!!! I like milkies!”
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Thursday

Happy Baby woke up early and put in a request for a run. It was bright and sunny outside, so we wanted to get a run in before the heat kicked in. Greta made sure Nora was safe, secure, kissed and loved before we headed out the door.

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As we were running there were several sightings of 3 birds and I even caught a glimpse of a rainbow spot — which is barely discernible just beneath the obvious cloud formation.

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Nora was happy and content. I was tired and maybe a little slower than normal, but we were enjoying our run none the less. I took my time up the hills, taking in the sights and sounds of nature…. and then of my phone, “BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP!!! (robot voice) Severe. Thunder. Storm. Warning. In. Your. Current. Location.”

“Pffff,” I thought. There were maybe a few distant clouds, and the sun was shining. I had just downloaded a weather app on my phone that CLEARLY wasn’t working properly.

Nora drifted off to sleep and I took my time with lengthy rest periods of just walking.

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As we turned down the street leading back to our street the northwestern sky no longer looked so friendly!!

“BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP!!! (robot voice) Severe. Thunder. Storm. Warning. In. Your. Current. Location,” my phone pleaded again.

(raised eyebrow) (quickened pace)
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Not 10 minutes after we were in the house, the sky unleashed its fury! It was almost dark as night inside with the lights off.
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After William and Nora’s recent rain encounter I did invest in a rain cover for the stroller. This time around I think Mother Nature would have jeered and laughed at it before whipping it off up into the sky.

Good thing to know the weather app works!

Nora slept through the storm in her stroller, woke up for a little while longer and then got tired playing.
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Later in the afternoon the day was vibrantly brightened by a very special visitor!
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We had a great visit together and look so forward to seeing you again soon, S! Thank you for coming out to see us!

I came home from Gavin’s baseball game this evening to Toddlers in Tiaras!! 😳 It’s Itsy Bitsy Boo Boo!
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You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.
(Deuteronomy 8:17, 18 NIV)