Friday, December 23, 2011

Caleb Anthony Taylor

My precious sister went into labor 8 weeks before her due date.  After a scary night and day, Caleb Anthony Taylor was born.  Weighing in at a whopping 3lbs. 5oz. and measuring 17 inches long HE IS BEAUTIFUL.

He is also in intensive care.  He is currently on oxygen as well as antibiotics to ward off any infections along with dopamine to help regulate his blood pressure.  He has great color and is doing remarkably well.

Andrea was a champ!  She is feeling pretty good and recovering well.  Her and Aaron could sure use your prayers.  As you can imagine, a surprise like this is a lot to take in and they are understandably overwhelmed at the journey they are embarking on.

I read today, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."  Jn. 14:27

Please pray...
For Caleb's blood pressure to regulate so they can take him off of dopamine
For Caleb's lungs to begin functioning well apart from the respirator
For Andrea to heal well and find a balance between trips to the hospital and taking care of her 3 kids at home
For the Lord to be near Andrea and Aaron and bless them with new mercies each day 
That in the midst of this journey of waiting that God would bless this family with peace
For Jesus to bring His glory and peace in the midst of this situation to the nurses at the hospital

Here he is.  A precious little boy.

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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Tis The Season

The girls (and I) have LOVED all the fun of this season!

Our house is decorated top to bottom
Christmas music is always playing
Snow is on the ground
Cookies have been baked
Gifts have been given
We are doing a Jesse Tree Advent... so great
The daily countdown is ON

And... Avery and I have done some really fun Christmas crafts.  Here are a few...

1 ice cream cone, 1 cup frosting, Handful M&Ms and sprinkles... you've got a Christmas Tree

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Swim Lessons

Just finished some more swim lessons with the girls.  They both did great, although Avery still freaks out every time her face touches the water.  Madi is pretty much a fish.

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One Final Fall Post...

So I know that these pics are a few weeks old, but I had to post them because I loved them so much!

My last post for the fall of 2011.

A pile of leaves is a great toy.  Sheer JOY.

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Thanksgiving In Vail '11

A long overdue update...

We were blessed to spend our Thanksgiving up in Vail.  It was great!  Here are just a few of my highlights...

Two good friends coming up with their kiddos
Great conversations with those women!  I am beyond blessed to have these ladies in my life.
Swimming EVERY day
Eating yummy food
Watching it snow outside
Drinking hot cider by the fireplace
Doing puzzles
Reading books
Continuing our Thanksgiving Advent
Time with my parents
Playing Pretty Pretty Princess at least 100 times with Avery
Lots of game playing!
Walking the Vail Village all covered in snow and lights
Going on a date with Brian to an "upscale" bowling alley... sounds funny, but it was seriously the best food EVER!
Thinking daily on Thankfulness
Running races in the hallways with the girls
Days spent entirely in our jammies
Pancakes for breakfast

So much to be thankful for... and I am.  A few pics to document our time!
Avery & her friend Grace getting ready to swim

Avery & her new friend Cora (Barb's youngest)

Swimming or skiing?

Not sure if the kids look happy or sad

Barb & Ian... love them!

Love my sweet friend

Hot Chocolate!!!

Avery is making her best "frog face"

Glued to a movie

Yes... Brian is a Pretty Pretty Princess (or Handsome Handsome King as Avery calls him)

The cousins watching a movie

Our Thanksgiving Advent Tree.... FULL of Thanks

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Monday, November 28, 2011

Joyful Parenting

One of my favorite blogs these days is Ann Voskamp's:  It's beautiful.

Today, I'm grateful I did.  I read some very timely and encouraging words... just what I needed for today.  I had to share them. 

10 Point Manifesto for Joyful Parenting

(any text in turquoise links to posts for more explanation & encouragement)::
1. Today, I will make our home a house of prayer. I will pray at set times. And I will invite our children to come move into an interior space that lives with God.

2. Today, I will transfigure all things into beauty, and I will refuse to see anything else.

3. Today, I will not have any emergencies. There are no emergencies! Only amateurs hurry.

4. Today, when stress mounts, I pray to dismount it with gratitude. My stress management plan will be intervention with verbal thanks. I can only feel one feeling at a time, and I choose to give thanks at all times. Fight feeling with feeling!

5. Today, I will pray to speak words that are only STRONG words, words that make these children feel strong. Grace words. Grace is the only non-toxic air. All other words I breathe are death words.

6. Today, I will pray to be consistently consistent. I will create safe rhythms that our children can find security in. I will create daily ceremonies because everyday we are CELEBRATING the gift of now!

7. Today, the moment when I am most repelled by a child’s behavior, that is my sign to draw the very closest to that child.

8. Today, I will hug each of my children as many times as I serve them meals — because children’s hearts feed on touch. I’ll look for as many opportunities to touch my children today as possible — the taller they are, the more so.

9. Today, my priorities will be all Things Unseen.

10. Today, I will laugh! And I will let the little children laugh! I will create a culture of JOY!

Click here to Download a Free Printable Copy of  the Manifesto of Joyful Parenting

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Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Birthday Turkey

In the spirit of Thanksgiving we have begun the turkey onslaught.  Avery named this one the "Birthday Turkey."

1 craft stick + 2 googly eyes + lots of colorful paper = turkey!
Add a "birthday hat" and you get the Birthday Turkey!
And what turkey would be complete without a dress?  So... we added one.

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Sunday, November 06, 2011

Halloween 2011

Avery picked out the costumes for the entire family this year.

The rundown:  Ladybug (Avery), Strawberry (Madi), Pirate (Dad), Rock Star (Me... of course).

As you can imagine, Madi was the cutest strawberry you've ever seen.  Avery also gave Brian a pirate name:  Cubby.  Cubby the Pirate.  Sounds fierce doesn't it?  And I had to smile that she picked a rock star for me... I'm not going to complain about that!

I must say that when I got decked in my rocker gear I had a bit of an alter-ego moment.  It was pretty awesome to pretend to be something that is SO not me.  In fact, when friends saw me at our church carnival, they hardly recognized me.  Pretty funny.  I'm keeping the wig and the purple eyelashes for sure!

On the other hand, Brian wasn't so thrilled that his new nickname is Cubby!  Even as I type this I have to giggle at that.  So, of course, being the gracious wife I am, I encouraged Avery in her desire to see her dad be a pirate... "we should get an eye patch!"  "how about a parrot?"  "dad definitely needs to say "arrrgh matey!" "Avery, that is a great idea!"" To which Brian just shook his head.... and went along.  What a good sport!

Avery and Madi had a blast going trick-or-treating!  Madi would walk up with her big sister and knock on the door with her.  And when Avery would grab a piece of candy, of course, Madi joined right in.  Avery excitedly dumped her candy out on the floor when we got home and counted every piece... 20 pieces!  She was pretty excited!

Anyhow, here is a glimpse of our fun Halloween in pictures...

Malachi, Avery, Rachel, Rafe, & Benson... good friends.

Avery and her good friend Lacy... so cute!

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