Back home

We spent the week down at my dads, since Dave has been gone all week. It was relaxing for me and so fun for the girls. They rode trikes, took turns on Myrtle (the swing horse) played in the "pool" (which is their hot tub), and got to watch cartoons! We even got to pick strawberries one morning, which they loved.

Last night, Selah got to open presents from pop-pop and grandma and have a little cupcake and ice cream...her birthday is next Wednesday!


Memorial Day

Dave left early this morning for a week long business trip. So, my mom and I took the girls to a Memorial Day parade today. Mckenna and I have been reading a book we got at the library about a boy who goes to a parade on Memorial day and about what the the day signifies.

As soon as she woke up this morning, she said to me, "mom I know what today's Memorial day!" Both girls were excited as they love parades...and it was a beautiful day for one.


My sleepy bookworm


Great stories in heaven

I read this earlier today and it filled me with anticipation for what we have to look forward to in heaven. It filled me with hope that Alivia's short life and all this pain was and is not in vain. Yesterday I was laying on the couch, looking up at all her pictures. I was brought back to my last days with my little one and was recounting even the last time I held eyes welled with tears. It was one of those hard moments. So, as I read this quote this morning, it made me wonder if one day we'll find out about how Alivia's life and death has effected others in ways we never knew about here on earth.

Randy Alcorn tells this story in his book, Heaven:

"Occasionally we hear stories that provide a small taste of what we'll learn in eternity. One morning when I was speaking at a church, a young woman came up to me and said, 'Do you remember a young man headed to college sitting next to you on a plane? You gave him your novel Deadline.'

I give away a lot of books on planes, but after some prompting, I remembered him. He was an unbeliever. We talked about Jesus, and I gave him the book and prayed for him as we got off the plane.

I was amazed when the young woman said, 'He told me he never contacted you, so you wouldn't know what happened. He got to college, checked into the dorm, sat down, and read your book. When he was done, he confessed his sins and gave his life to Jesus. And I can honestly tell you, he's the most dynamic Christian I've ever met.'

All I did was talk to a college student on an airplane, give him a book, and pray for him. But if the young woman hadn't told me what happened later, I wouldn't have had a clue. This made me think about how many great stories await us in Heaven, and how many we may not hear until we've been there a long time. "


According to Selah

Some of Selah's cute sayings lately:

* Upon watching me eat a tuna sandwich with lettuce on it, she asked, "mom why you eating salad on your lunch?"

*"Momma, it's a beautiful summer for wormies!" (her love for bugs continues).

*Selah came up to me, gave me a great big hug, and announced, "Mom, I'm your baby wormy."


If you won $500...

While spending some time with the girls outside today, I had the random thought, "what would I do if someone gave me/I won $500 today?"

And I'd love to know from you, what would you do if someone gave you/you won $500 today? The only stipulations are that you have to spend it on yourself/family and you have to spend it in a week.

For me...

1. I'd spend about $150 on a Flip video camera. I've wanted one of these for some time to capture more memories of my girlies.
2. Around $250 of it, I'd invest in some nice perennials and plants for my gardens. That sound like a lot, but they are pricey and I LOVE flowers.
3. The last $100 I would use to take my family out on a nice day trip somewhere...where we could built lots of fun memories, have lunch out and enjoy a day of life together!

So, I want to would you use $500?


My little seamstress

Mckenna took to sewing today for the very first time. I was stitching together some curtains for our basement apartment and she was begging me to try. So, later I taught her some basics on some leftover scraps. She did great...and she loved it!

Her very first stitches.


Timely grace

As Mother's Day approaches, I have found myself facing very bittersweet emotions. I've come across reminders of the reality that this day will be with only 2 of my 3 girls. Simply put, it makes my heart sad. I don't think I thought about or even expected these emotions...a few random thoughts and circumstances seemed to bring them on. It's a reminder that this grieving process is a long one and brings waves that are often unseen.

BUT, my heavenly Father knows this and continues to provide amazing, timely grace and mercy for each of these hard days....

Christy, thank you for stopping by with the sweet gift, all wrapped up as only you can do. You continue to amaze me with your thoughtfulness and care. It's hard to put into words how much all the things you've done mean. Ya know, I've wanted an apron just like this! I love's simple, vintage and makes me want to take a trip to Anthropologie.

Jenni, thanks for the timely quote and email this morning. I love the thought that our babes have been ransomed from sin and death. Oh the blessedness of redeeming grace!

"Your parting is not for long. This ruined body will be raised, and all its ravished beauties more than repaired. As for my other loved ones, whom I see exposed to disease and death, I know that death cannot touch them unless my Heavenly Father, who orders everything for me in love and wisdom, sees it best. So that I can trust them, though trembling, to His keeping, and be at peace. Our little one is now a ransomed spirit...this is a hope inexpressible and full of glory. As we feel our deep anguish, our hearts bleed. But as I ask, 'where is the soul whose beams gave clay all its beauty and preciousness?' I triumph. Has it not already begun, with an infant voice, the praises of our Savior? Perhaps one of the loving angels that bore home his spirit has been teaching and training him to heavenly manhood. Perhaps he has been committed to our sainted father, or to my wife's sainted grandmother, as one of their redeemed posterity, to keep and train till we can embrace him again. At any rate, he is in Christ's heavenly house and under His guardian love. Now I feel, as never before, the blessedness of the redeeming grace and divine blood, which have ransomed my poor babe from all the sin and death which he inherited through me."


Caesar salad dressing

Tonight's menu was simply Chicken Caesar Salad. But I wanted to try to make my own dressing. I am not one to usually buy bottled dressing and we usually just use good 'ole olive oil and vinegar. It's cheaper! But that won't do for caesar salad. So, I looked on the internet for a good dressing. It seemed that every one I found had mixed reviews (as does every thing that is reviewed on the web). But after not finding one that seemed just right, I decided to add a little from this recipe and a little from that one. What I came up with, we ended up really enjoying. It was simple and flavorful. So here it is. If you end up trying it and adding an additional ingredient or 2 to spice it up, let me know!

I broke away from the traditional Caesar Salad of just romaine lettuce and added some cherry tomatoes, cucumbers and thin strips of red cabbage.

Caesar Salad Dressing

¾ - 1 cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
salt, to taste
Fresh ground pepper, to taste
1 Tbls. Dijon mustard
1 egg, beaten
Juice of 1 lemon
1-2 Tbls. Water, to desired consistency
Dash of Worcestershire sauce
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan, extra to sprinkle on salad

I think there is probably a specific order/way you are supposed to add and mix the ingredients and I think it's preferable to use a blender. But I just added all the ingredients, except the cheese, in a bowl and used a whisk to mix it really well. Then I added the cheese after making a few adjustments and before serving.


6 months

Yesterday marked 6 months that we've been missing our little girl. At one point yesterday tears flowed as I considered the degree to which I love my little one and how much I miss her. I tried to imagine what she would be like at 7 months old.

Dave was gone a few nights last week. One of those nights, I watched a movie after I put the girls down, to pass a few hours before going to bed. In this movie a mom is separated from her baby at birth. The baby's name just happened to be Alivia. The mom lived a good portion of her life without her little one. But at the end of the story, she is reunited with her. As I sat watching this particular scene, I just cried as I considered the day when I'll be reunited with my own Alivia.

I have still been reading Randy Alcorn's book, 50 Days of Heaven. It's hard to put into words how much I have benefited by gaining a better and deeper understanding of what Heaven will be like, particularly the new Heaven. It has left me with a longing for it that I have never had before. So, after watching that movie, I imagined living life in an unblemished, sin-free world, unhindered from fears and evil that is now so real to us. And I imagined enjoying that with Alivia by my side...FOREVER.

"....I’ve walked the valley of death’s shadow
So deep and dark that I could barely breathe
I’ve had to let go of more than I could bear
And I've questioned everything that I believe
But still even here
in this great darkness
A comfort and hope come breaking through
As I can say in life or death
God we belong to you.

It’s all Yours God, Yours God, everything is Yours
From the stars in the sky to the depths of the ocean floor
and it’s all Yours God, Yours God, everything is Yours
You’re the maker and keeper, Father and ruler of everything"

Lyrics added to Steven Curtis Chapman's song, Yours, after losing his daughter


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