The past two weeks have been full of activity...some good and some that have made my heart, once again, look to the Lord, who ordains all things. My sister and brother-in-law received some very hard news about a family member and this has added to their lives, once again, a new trial that has and will consume much of their lives for some time. Your prayers for them would be greatly appreciated. My heart is heavy and I find myself looking and thinking of ways to help ease what they are walking through. I have to rest in the truth that our Savior knows and will provide strength.

In the midst of that, my dear little niece entered the world. This week has been spent recovering physically from that all-nighter and also preparing to leave today for 4 nights with the family and some friends. We are heading to Hershey Park to camp for 2 nights and then up to Lancaster for an additional 2 nights with my mom. I am looking forward to this time to build memories for the girls and enjoy seeing them have a blast! Mark and Kel were supposed to come, but have had to cancel because of what they are walking through. But we will bring Keenan and Larsen and the girls are thrilled about that!

On top of all this, I have been scouring craigslist lately, looking for baby items. I have had to get rid of much of my previous baby items, as it was just too hard to hang on to them and use again. In fact, I happened across a few things a month or so ago, and tears just welled in my eyes. I knew then that it would probably be easiest to start fresh with this little one. My dear sister has served me in trying to sell much of my baby items or donate. I've even sold my whole nursery... furniture and all and am looking to buy a new "used" set. Call me crazy! Dave has been so gracious in letting me do all this. I'm trying to get as much done as possible before fall comes, as our schedule will be packed and full.

So, yes, it's been busy around here. But with all of this, I have experienced grace, for which I am thankful for!

We'll return from PA on Wednesday, the 26th ,and my mind will be very much be thinking about Alivia, who would have been 11 months that day. With all that is going on in my little world right now, the following quotes from Spurgeon ministered to me this morning. With sudden tragedy, like we have walked through, hanging on to the truth of God's providence and sovereignty has helped to bring needed comfort...He has indeed comforted our hearts. And it was this truth that I needed to hear this morning as I look ahead to the next week and also the next few months. I know the approaching weeks of the fall months will be hard. As I anticipate them, it's helpful to look back over this year and recount how faithful the Lord has been to me, to comfort, calm, and bring hope to my heart.

"Rest peacefully. All things are ordered by His wisdom, and 'precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints' (Ps. 116:15). No forces are outside of his control. God does not permit any foe to trespass on the domain of Providence. All things are ordained of God. Our deaths are under the special oversight of our exalted Lord and Savior. He Himself will guide us through the iron gate of death. Let us rejoice that in life and in death we are in the Lord's hands." - CHS

"As a pilgrim in Canaan, you have passed through the Red Sea, where you once feared you would drown, and the bitter waters were made sweet with God's presence. You fought the Amalekite. You made it through the terrible wilderness, passing by the fiery serpents, and you have been kept alive. As the clear shining comes after rain, so shall peace succeed your trials. As the black clouds fly before that compelling power of the wind, the eternal God will make your grief fly before the energy of His grace. The smoking furnace of trouble will be followed by the bright lamp of consolation.

To say, 'My Father, God,' to put myself into His hand and feel that I am safe, to look up to Him, though it be with tears in my eyes, and feel that He loves me, and then to put my head on His bosom as the prodigal did and sob my griefs into my Father's heart, this is the death of grief and the life of all consolation. Jehovah is called the 'God of all comfort' (2 Cor. 1;3), and you will find Him so! He has been 'our help in ages past, and He is our hope for years to come.'

I bear testimony that you cannot go to Him and pour out your heart without finding a delightful comfort. When your friends cannot wipe away the tears, when your heart bursts with grief, pour out your heart before Him. Go to Him, and you will find that even here on earth God will wipe away all tears from your eyes." (Rev. 7:17). - CHS


Time is of the essence

A friend shared this quote with me recently and I was very provoked and freshly reminded how short this precious season is with my little ones. May I endeavor to honor God, enjoy them and make the most of it.

"Now is the time to get things done...wade in the water, sit in the sun, squish my toes in the mud by the door, explore the world in a boy just four. Now is the time to study books, flowers, snails, how a cloud looks; to ponder ‘up,’ where God sleeps nights, why mosquitoes take such big bites. Later there’ll be time to sew and clean, paint the hall that soft new green, to make new drapes, refinish the floor - Later on...when he’s not just four." -Irene Foster


More on Lily

So, as I mentioned before, little Lily Louise brought quite a story with her entrance into this world. We got a call in the middle of this past Saturday night, 2:21am to be exact. I answered the phone knowing it would be the Falciones. I asked, "is this it?" Expecting to hear a, "we're on our way to the hospital, I heard Joe say, "it was it!...I just delivered Lily on our bathroom floor." I was shocked and in about 20 minutes arrived over at their house, just as the ambulance got there.

Apparently, Charisa's usual contractions (which she had been experiencing for over a week previously) very quickly turned to intense and they were making preparations to leave for the hospital. However, after a quick shower, and a "Joe call the doctor and your mom," her water broke and Lily's head was starting to come out! Joe quickly called 911 and was talked through how to deliver this little girl.

I drove Joe's car behind the ambulance to the hospital and spent the day with them, as Charisa got settled and recovered in her room. Both she and Lily are doing great and are home now! What a story they have to tell!



Lily Louise Falcione

My newest niece was born at 2am this morning, to two proud parents, Joe and Charisa. There is an amazing story behind the birth of this little one, but I've been up since 2:20am this morning and must go to bed. More to come tomorrow! For now, here is this beautiful little one...


Anniversary trip

Dave and I will celebrate our 7th wedding anniversary next Monday, August 17th. It's hard to believe it's been 7 whole years! We celebrated a little early this year, going away for 2 nights this past week. We originally were going to go away for just Friday night, but the Lord blessed us with a wonderful deal and we were able to get away for both Thursday and Friday night.

We went to the Carrollton Inn, just 4 blocks away from the Inner Harbor in Baltimore. It was a wonderful Inn, the food was great, and we had an incredibly relaxing time. I told Dave that I don't think I have ever appreciated getting away as much as I did this time. This pregnancy has been a very challenging one in many ways, one of which is the physical toll it has had on me. So, just being able to relax, sit, read, talk with my husband, and not have any of the usual life demands on me was so refreshing. Kristen Snyder heroically took care of our girls the entire time we were gone. She did fun things with them, painted, colored, took them for ice cream and even cleaned and did laundry right before we returned - amazing girl! She never ceases to amaze us by her servant's heart and the way she cares for our family!!

We returned Saturday evening and then on Sunday I left again to take a planning retreat with my dear friend, Jenni. We had a wonderfully productive time, Sunday afternoon through Monday. I got many things thought through and planned out for the fall and winter. Thanks to my husband for releasing me on Sunday and to the Littrells for taking Selah and Michelle DeCarlo for taking Mckenna on Monday. You all served me so well! Here are a few pictures of Dave and my time away in Baltimore!

Our room looked like something out of Europe...very lush and extravagent!

We had a gas fireplace in our room, which Dave insisted on using for awhile, even though it was 90+ degrees outside!

We had a full spread each morning for breakfast. The food filled us up so much that we didn't need to eat for the rest of the day!

These 2 pictures were at the harbor. I had a hard time walking around, so we didn't walk too much, but it was a beautiful day on Friday and we sat at a cafe and got a drink and chatted.


Bedtime Wishes

Somehow a tradition was started around here that each night, after nighttime verses, prayers and kisses, our 3 and 5 year old will whisper in Daddy's ear their sincerest wishes.

I had to record and share Selah's because, for one it just keeps getting longer, and secondly it is so cute and humorous. Tonight after all the reading and prayers and kisses she said: "We eat treats and watch a movie and go to Mrs.Reynolds house and watch a movie and eat dinner and ride sharks and go to the park..."

I finally learned from Mckenna the other day that when Selah says "ride sharks" she means ride a dolphin...I guess they saw that on t.v. somewhere.

Little Mckenna has had the same mantra for at least a couple years: "We go to all the people's houses." I can only guess that she must really enjoy us bringing her along to visit friends.

-written by Dave


9 months

9 months ago yesterday, our little Alivia entered the presence of our Savior. What joy she must continue to experience. And I relish the thought that she will never ever again suffer, know pain, or experience the curse of sin that all of us still daily face. How my heart longs to hold her little body and see her once again. For now, she is safe in the arms of the One who continues to be our sovereign, loving and gracious Savior.


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