Monday, August 30, 2010

The Princess turns 1!

It seems like just yesterday we were making our way to DeKalb Medical. It's definitely hard to believe that our sweet Maggie has been a physical part of our lives for over a year now. I still remember her first cry and how so special it was to have just our party of 5 enjoy a family moment with her until the others came in. What a special day that was.

Maggie is doing so many things these days. She crawls around everywhere. She's slowly gaining the courage to let go and just stand there. She loves to "walk" around holding on to at least one finger from someone else. Or she likes to walk from one person to another within a few feet from each other. I'm not sure the word walk is accurate considering she takes maybe 2 steps and lunges forward.

She loves people. She says "hey" to just about everyone she sees. I think she's going to be smart like her brothers. She learns so quickly. Just today I did the "shhhh" with my finger at my lips and she copied exactly what I did. She will hold up her first little finger as if saying "1" when you ask her how old she is. She can point to her eyes, nose and ears when asked and she knows who everyone is. We will ask her "where's Bryce or where's Ethan" and she looks right at them and points.

Its been so different having just one baby this time. There's so many things that keep coming back to me from when the boys were that little. I still cannot believe we did it with two at once.

So, we had Maggie's party. Her birthday (8/17) was on a Tuesday and we did it the following Saturday. We did bright pink, green, purple and yellow colors. There were balloons everywhere. An amazing woman from our church, that was also Maggie's first Sunday school teacher) made her birthday cake and smash cake. It might of been the most beautiful AND delicious cake ever (and I'm a picky cake person!) We had a full house of family (and friends but they're so awesome they're considered family!) We took a few pictures but we didn't get any picture of the guests. Go figure!

We also celebrated her birthday on her actual birthday. Joe took the day off and we went to La Parilla for lunch. Maggie had her first cheese quesadilla and she ate every bite! Then for dinner we went to Olive Garden and Maggie had her first fettuccine Alfredo and garlic bread, which she also loved. We bought her an over sized cupcake and let her dig into that. She liked the cupcake OK. I noticed at her party she was the same way with her cake. I don't think she cares too much for the icing. That will make her daddy happy. He doesn't like icing either. We just enjoyed that week of celebrating our little girl.

Maggie definitely completes our family. Unless God chooses otherwise, we are finished with our baby making factory.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Never be the same

This summer has been quite a busy one! The boys went on many trips with their Grandparents and Joe and I got to go on our first Missions trip to the Dominican Republic.

It's amazing to see how God works but I really love seeing it when it is happening. That's what happened with this Missions Trip.

A few months ago, our children's minister put on his facebook status that he was looking for people that wanted to go on a Missions Trip to the Dominican. Of course, I was very interested but Joe was skeptical. As time passed we still were undecided about going. During the week of VBS, our friend Patti came up and asked me if Joe and I were going on the trip. She said that her daughter was probably going to go and wanted us to make sure she would be OK. Not that she isn't capable of doing so (she's an extraordinary girl) but because she's 16 and going off to another country. Then the same day, our children's minister came to me and said the airlines dropped the ticket prices $200. So, we booked the trip.

We arrived in Santo Domingo. We had a local Pastor waiting for us to take us to our Taxi. We went to our hotel to check in and I think we all thought the hotel was OK, nothing to brag about. We went sight seeing and then back to the hotel. Joe and I were terrified to brush our teeth with the running water so we kept a bottle of water in the bathroom.

The next morning we headed about 2 hours north to camp. We were going to a VBS type Christian camp to help with about 400 children from ages 5-16. I was not expecting to live the way we did for the next few days. It was so hot and so humid. The room we were in had a portable fan and that was all the air we had. The running water was cold and more of a drip than running, and the thought of washing my hands made me nervous. There were bugs, spiders and lizards everywhere. The shower water would come and go as it needed. We had to keep Off bug spray on us 24/7. If you know me, you know that this is a far stretch for me. I'm not the outdoorsy type much less the camping type. The first day at camp was one of the longest days of my life. I didn't know how we were going to survive 4 days living this way. That is until after dinner that first night. A little girl came up to me and grabbed my hand. I looked down at this beautiful little girl (about the same size as my boys) and said "hola." She spoke hardly any English and I speak little Spanish but I was able to learn her name and that she is 7 years old. She followed me to our room where we met the rest of the people in our group (there was 6 of us!) The little girl (Marie) showed me so much. She trusted me. She didn't know me and she came up to me, took my hand and followed me. The first night went a little quicker than the day.

The next day, many of the children were coming to our group. Throughout our time there we led praise time, we led an entire worship time (with a translator of course), we presented cardboard testimonies translated in Spanish and we prayed with the older kids. We helped with crafts and played sports. We sat talking to the kids, teaching them English while they taught us Spanish. The time flew by. We had such a great time with the Dominican children and Joe and I had a great time with our new friends or family which we now call them.

This trip has forever changed me. I realized what a spoiled American I am. I have so much to be thankful for and all though I am, it wasn't enough. The people in the DR have so little material wise. Their houses are as big as a shed. For most, camp is the only time they even get to look at a pool. But they're happy. The love of Jesus is more than enough for them. They didn't complain they praised. That first day, we all complained and we didn't realize it until our attitudes had changed. I am so thankful God showed me how He blesses me each day. I have forever been changed. I've learned that material things are just that...material! Life is about relationships, especially with Jesus.