As for me, I know of nothing else but miracles. - Walt Whitman

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

A Post About Beans...

...the cute, cuddly kind, that is...

Specifically, this kind:
(I'm really not sure when the nickname Beans started, but I know that Shana started calling Quintin this a long time ago. And it has stuck.)

He is brilliant. And funny. And huggable. And squishy. And SO much fun. I'm glad God blessed us with Beans.

Some funny things he says:

"I love to pick boogers with my friends." (A true boy.)

"Listen me, dear. Orange juice is not spicy. And tigers no eat grapefruits."

"I'm having ploblems!"

"Mom! Mom! Listen me! I need your attention!"

And he actually uses words like understand, definitely, ridiculous, actually, and literally. What other 2-year-old does that?!?!?

One day, Shana was putting chili into a bowl. Quintin said, "Shana, stop!" She responded with, "Why? You can't eat that much?" His reply? "No! I would literary die!"

On another day, he ripped a sticker in half and thought we could use a screwdriver to fix it.

He also thought he could charge his toy drill with my computer cord. 

 What a kid.

He has my heart. 

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Ethiopian Christmas and Florida Bound!

January 7 is Gena, Ethiopian Christmas! We took the twins to The Queen of Sheba to celebrate.

The kids also opened a few gifts...

...which included personalized bags for them to use when we go to Disney in a couple of weeks.

We got our Magic Bands, too! Yay!

While the snow is beautiful, it will be nice to escape from the cold for a bit...

Saturday, January 20, 2018

It's A Miracle!!!

Guess who's heading home from the hospital today???

Tayla Marie, you are truly a miracle, and we are once again amazed by God's faithfulness and goodness. 

I wanted to share two beautiful posts written by Seth and Casey this week. First, Seth's...written on Wednesday morning:

"When I got here last night, Tayla had just fallen asleep, so I didn’t bother her. She slept peacefully from about 8:30 until about 2:30. I got up with her at about 2:45, and held her little hand until about 4:00 when she fell back asleep. I saw my first smile in nearly 2 weeks. It was pretty overwhelming. She was playful, and we removed her restraint on one hand. She continuously tried to put my hand or her little rattle into her mouth, which of course doesn’t workwhen you have a breathing tube. I was pretty overcome with emotion thinking back on the last 2 weeks, and on the duration of her little life. I’m amazed at both the love of our Father, and the strength and fight that is packed within the 14 pounds of this little girl. She was born at 27 weeks gestation, but at 1 lb 6oz, she was actually sized at 23 weeks. She had to spend 5.5 months in the NICU, and even then she overcame so much... we were told that because of her size, we should expect her to have an intracranial hemorrhage. She didn’t. We were assured she would need a tracheotomy. She didn’t. We were guaranteed she would need a g-tube. She didn’t. She came home and was the happiest baby we’ve had. It doesn’t matter what you throw at her. Oxygen cannula, plagiocephaly helmet, eye patch, etc... she takes it all in stride with a smile on her face. This hospital stay has been no different. Last week we thought she was gone. The doctors thought she was gone. God had a different plan. She now smiles at us from beneath a breathing tube. She is playful, kicking her legs and shaking her little butt while still being heavily sedated. I am amazed. I praise God for the answered prayers, and for the countless miracles He has performed in Tayla’s short life. Tayla, I don’t know what God has planned for you, but I can’t wait to see. I count it a privilege to be able to call you my daughter. As Casey has often said, we want to be just like you when we grow up."

And Casey's:

"I’ve tried to write this out a hundred times, but my thumbs suddenly become a hundred pounds each and my head becomes foggy, the words seem lost somewhere in my brain. So here I sit trying to piece it together again. 
I almost lost my daughter. My daughter was seconds from death. My daughter was inches away from being nestled in the arms of Jesus. 
I remember reaching a point of pleading with God to take my child as I couldn’t stand to see her suffer for another second. I reached a point where I didn’t want her to have to worry a thought more about this life and its cruelty. I whispered in her ear that I understood if this fight was too much and that I would love her into eternity. You can say that our faith never wavered, but it did, and quite frequently. My trust in Him was never a hundred percent. It fact I yelled and screamed and cried until I just couldn’t feel anything anymore. I couldn’t stand to read another update about my child and the comments that went with it, about God’s will or what a miracle she is, or what big plans God had for her. Because His plan was being laid out by an innocent babe laying helpless, fighting literally for every breath. And suddenly I realized.....this must be how God felt. Sending His perfect son into this harsh world as a helpless babe to know a few decades later he was going to die a cruel, unfathomable death for us. And while was still so upsetting for her to be suffering, it also made me realize that God does have a purpose for her life and that He chose me to be her mother for a reason.
Tayla, I am so sorry I ever doubted your strength. I’m sorry I was weak when you needed me to be brave. I will forever marvel that God chose me to parent such a miracle. I love you, my darling girl.
I will never take for granted the mercy and grace God has extended to me for my lapse in faith, trust, and love. While time will fade wounds, my knowledge that God is always good will never cease. Our lives are precious and very fleeting; put your trust in He who holds your forever. It won’t be an easy life, or a semi-normal one, but it will be one that you can praise His name for.”

Our God is an AWESOME God. We have definitely witnessed Him moving mountains, and we are so grateful for all your prayers along the way.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Pray for Tayla!

2018 started off with a bang when my niece, Tayla, got sick and was admitted to the ICU. Tayla and her twin, Tianna, were born 13 months ago at 27 weeks gestation. Tayla weighed 1 pound, 6 oz. at birth. She was in the hospital for 5.5 months, and due to the high amounts of oxygen and pressure she needed, her little lungs are pretty badly damaged. She has a chronic lung disease called Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia (BPD), which involves abnormal development of lung tissue. It makes breathing difficult and causes problems with lung function.

Tayla also has a very fragile immune system, which makes her highly susceptible to many infections. She was admitted to the ICU on January 3 with bronchiolitis caused from rhinovirus (the cause of the common cold) and enterovirus. Her condition worsened and hit a peak when she almost lost her life on Saturday, January 6. She was placed in a medical coma to help her body rest completely. She has also been diagnosed with ventilator associated pneumonia. Tayla is on the road to recovery, but it will take her little body a long time to heal. Please pray for little Tayla, her parents (Seth and Casey), and her siblings (Zavier, Lexie, Drew, Kayden, and Tianna.) Prayers are powerful, and we know that the Great Physician hears each one. 

Photo credit: Nicole Morehead Photography, LLC

 Photo credit: Nicole Morehead Photography, LLC

 Photo credit: Nicole Morehead Photography, LLC

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Christmas 2017 Recap...

Well, Christmas of 2017 is over, and 2018 is here! Overall, we had a great Christmas break, filled with family gatherings, games by the fire, presents (including a surprise trip to Disney World for Adrian, Ashton, Malia, Jalen, and Jordan in February, and one for Shana in May when she's finished with college), a 2-week vacation for Chris from work, some projects at Chris’s parents’ new house, and some master suite projects (scraping the popcorn finish off our bedroom and closet ceiling, sanding stripes off the walls, painting walls, redecorating, building a bookshelf, and adding some decorative tile in our maybe Chris didn't get a vacation after all). We also experienced some sickness. Poor little Quintin had bronchiolitis and a double ear infection, so he wasn't able to go to all of our Christmases. 

Reading the Christmas story:

Our gift from the kids included a basket full of goodies, gift cards to Catablu and Debrands, clothing, candy, free massages and babysitting, and essential oils! 

The kids opened Mickey shirts and ears, and were excited about our upcoming trip to Disney.

Stocking time!

Quintin couldn't go to my family Christmas since he was sick, but he got to FaceTime with his cousin.

And here is Chris, working hard at completing his wife's wishes for our bedroom:

Happy New Year, everyone!