Birthday gifts

Yesterday was Noah's birthday. We continued the tradition from last year and released balloons. The boys really liked doing that and asked if we were going to do it again this year. Trent wanted blue and Drew (of course) asked for green. They each drew a picture/wrote a note to Noah and we tied them to their balloon. It was sooo windy and so Mike and I were trying to untangle the balloon ribbons. Meanwhile Trent was getting anxious and said, "Can we start singing NOW?!" He lead in singing "Happy Birthday."

Later on in the evening we went to the hospital to drop off all of the goodies that my friends helped make or donate. The boys were excited to help carry the teddy bears! My nurse friend said she is "so excited and honored to be able to share these, in memory of Noah, with other moms who are hurting." A big Thank You to all of you who helped me even be able to do this, it is truly a blessing!

(Drew was so sweet, he had to make sure that my friend knew that "this one has a heart on his foot!")
Someone who attended our church wrote this "song" for Noah and gave it to me just after his memorial service. It hangs in my bedroon under a picture of Noah and I thought I'd share it today.

Hello Noah.

I'm glad to see, you've finally come to be with me.
With other boys who laugh and play,
and great adventures along the way.
By the shores of crystal sea,
in heaven here with you and me.

I've made a place just for you,
prepared before the world was new,
where all that's joy runs through and through,
and you can be with grandpa too.

By the shores of crystal sea,
in heaven here with you and me.
We'll dance amidst the fields of green,
such beauty mortals have not yet seen.

Play "hide and seek" and "king of the hill"
"catch the flag", or better still,
run through clear streams with great amaze,
with shouts of joy - our hearts ablaze!
Catch salamanders with speckled spots,
and frogs that jump from rock to rock.
We'll climb a tree or fly a kite,
Then take a sailboat late at night,
to hear the call of

Father's Love,

Which surely brings our gaze above.

You'll sing to him who gave you grace,
it's here we find our resting place.
By the shores of crystal sea,
in heaven here with you and me.

And someday soon, your mom and dad,
will rest with us in this land of glad,
and clasp the hand that once

let go

My perfect love they'll soon know,
Where all who come can be truly free.
By the shores of crystal sea,
in heaven here with you and me.


A chance to celebrate

We are coming up on a very important date for our family. If you remember, two years ago this Sunday we welcomed and said goodbye to our third little boy. Noah was such a sweet boy and he forever changed our lives. Because of my involvement in the Christmas musical at our church, (which also happens to fall on the 14th - Noah's birthday) we decided to go as a family and get away a week early. Some friends of ours gave us a gift certificate to a water park in Indy. It was a much needed reprieve. We all enjoyed time as a family, and it really gave me something fun to look forward to amidst the anticipation of an emotional anniversary. So, I say Thank you friends, for your generosity to our family. It was a time to celebrate among our tears.

Far away friends

Just after thanksgiving we had a get together with the Palmers. They live in Alabama now, so it was great to see them again. Trent and Mackenzie have been buddies since we moved to Indiana. He has really missed her. They had so much fun playing together again. The kids ran upstairs so excited for us to come see their play. Well, you just have to take a look for yourselves here. Ruth posted the video on her blog. Trent was really funny. Here are some feeble attempts to get a group picture.

What a bargain!!

The whole fam was walking around Walmart the other night I came across a great buy! If you don't know, my boys love Star Wars, Lego Star Wars, Clone Wars...you get the idea. They were easily persuaded away from the toys to take home these new pjs. They were on clearance for 3 dollars, so I quickly caved. They changed right away when we got home and were eager to show me their Jedi moves!

Like father like son...

I guess that is about all I really need to say, unfortunately! Trent has taken the plunge and decided to become a Michigan fan. We had a great time together watching the BIG GAME and I didn't rub in the fact that Michigan LOST again to THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY! I still love both of you...and I'm really working on Drew. (This is a subtle shout out to my dad and brothers to help me here!)



Last week I put some ingredients in the bread machine and when I got home from the Y, I had dough! Last Christmas my sister-in-law gave the boys each a pizza kit, which included a personal size pizza pan. The boys had fun making their own pizza!

Drew sure looks guilty, huh!!

We also took the boys to an indoor miniature golf course. They had a blast, though Mike spent more time fishing balls out of the water than actually hitting, I think :) I, on the other, had had quite the streak of 2 shots per hole!! Trent was so excited when he got a "HOLE IN TWO!"

**Note all the 2's under MOM!!**

I asked Trent to take a picture of me hitting, and this is what I got! (it's probably still better than what I would have gotten from Mike. :) Sorry, hon!


In Memory...

Last year a few of my friends got together to help me make some presents to take to the hospital where Noah was born. We had so much fun, the girls wanted to do it again this year. It really was fun for me to take everything we had made and collected and drop it off at the hospital...it gave me something happy to do on a day that I anticipated dreading.

I keep in contact with one of the nurses at the hospital and so she was able to share with me about giving these items to moms who had just lost their baby. I'm so thankful to be able to make a small impact on the lives of moms who now walk the path I did almost two years ago. At a time when they feel all alone and that know one understands, they receive a gift from a mom that "knows." And I hope it helps, seeing in a tangible way, that they are not alone!

It is such a special thing for me to have friends who want to remember Noah's life with me. I can't thank them enough for their prayer, encouragement, and friendship. You (and you know who you are!) have been Christ's hands and feet to me - your gentle reminders of love, concern, and comfort have taught me so much!

A few pictures of us hard at work...

What the books look like...

The reason why I wanted to do something with pictures stems from this scene...

"After our friends and family had all left the hospital for the night, the hospital photographer peeked in with a small white envelope in her hand. She had printed four or five pictures she had taken of our son. When I saw the pictures of his tiny hand, wrinkly feet, and his face, I could not hold back the tears. They were a priceless treasure! His time with us had come and gone. Now, I held in my hand the only link to remembering his face. He was beautiful!! It was just what I needed, and it couldn't have been better timing. Our time was winding down, we were about to give Noah over to the funeral home, and I felt as though she made it a little easier. We would trade his little body for the pictures we could hold onto for the rest of our lives. I had these beautiful pictures to look at anytime I needed to see him."
Think about how a mom would feel when she receives her baby's pictures, not in a white envelope, but a precious "photo book." It says to a mom who wants something special and unique for her baby...someone cares about your baby too! They are precious and valuable and the "cover" matches the beautiful pictures. I carry my little photo book in my purse even today. Anytime I want to show someone, or look at them myself I have them with me! I hope this becomes something special to the moms that receive them too.


Playing catch up...

Here are a few more pics of the last month...family visits, Fall Festival, and Halloween!!

Watching Trent's last soccer game of the season. It was great to finally see Loren after his year of teaching in China!

We picked out a couple of pumpkins to carve with Grandma, but the boys wouldn't get in and take out the seeds! They did enjoy eating them though.

Drew wanted his pumpkin to have lots of teeth!

Loren and Trent had a fierce game of driveway hockey goin' on.

We attended a Fall Festival...complete with 2 moonwalks, lots of carnival games, and need I say CANDY!! Drew had to have 2 glare protectors just like Trent...he wanted to put them on himself.

Nice aim! Lots of practice I guess!

Love the tongue sticking out...such concentration for a 4 year old!

Trick-or-Treating!!!! The boys each managed close to 200 pieces!!!!



This is just one of the beautiful sunsets we've enjoyed while eating dinner in our dining room. The beauty of nature makes it easy to talk to our boys about the awesomeness of God's creation. Talking of and living out our relationship with Christ, in front of our kids, can be an overwhelming task at times. I'm thankful for the "small" opportunities God gives us to instill truth into the hearts of our children. I wonder how many teachable moments I have just let pass me by. Yet, I'm thankful that tomorrow is a new day. I love the reminder I get from each sunset that His mercies are new every morning. I can't help but think about our son Noah and what he must be experiencing right at this very moment. This sunset reminds me of the majesty and creativity of our Creator, and I am thankful as a stand in awe. I wonder what "pictures" God has shown my Noah...the majesty and glory of God must be truly incredible. This picture doesn't do it justice, but it wets my appetite, and I look forward-with joy-to be in the presence of God.

Psalm 145:3 -7 "Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; And His greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall praise Your works to another, And shall declare Your mighty acts. I will meditate on the glorious splendor of Your majesty, And on Your wondrous works. Men shall speak of the might of Your awesome acts, And I will declare Your greatness. They shall utter the memory of Your great goodness, And shall sing of Your righteousness."


Soccer Saturday

Last Saturday Drew and I went to Trent's third soccer game. They tried hard, but the bigger team (and I do mean like 2nd graders) had quite the advantage. The final score was 1-10. Here are a few shots of Trent playing like a champ - regardless of the score!

Trent threw it in so hard, he fell right over. :)

Birthday Boy!

Well we celebrated Drew's 4th birthday last week. Hard to believe he's already 4. We took him to Tokens 'n tickets because I refused to go to Chuckie Cheese. To my delight we were the ONLY ones there until about 10 minutes before we left - just 2 high schoolers showed up. It was great fun, without the madness of a gazillion other children running around! Of course the boys enjoyed picking out some prizes with the 192 tickets they won. They chose bubble tape...yum...(no doubt I could have just bought 2 at Meijer for less than $2, instead of the $10 I spent on tokens! At least they had fun playing all the games, and I appreciated not fighting a big crowd.) Enjoy some childish wonder...