Monday, March 17, 2014

All dogs go to heaven

Last week we said goodbye to our Cooper.
Such a sad and hard thing to do. 
I left for work on March 11th, never expecting that I would never see him again.
That dog drove me crazy 7/7 days but he was truly the BEST dog and I loved him
No one loved him like Ryan did.
And there wasn't a soul on this earth that Cooper loved more.
Freedom was not Coop's friend.
He took off into the woods that warm Tuesday afternoon on the hunt for something. 
Ryan trudged through the muddy terrain for nearly two hours tracing his tracks.
Finally, came to the clearing and saw him dashing in the distance.
Moments later his life would end at the train tracks.
Ryan called me minutes later just shattered.
I left the kids with Nana and went to the tracks.
I watched my poor husband carry his beloved friend out of the muddy ditch.
Break. My. Heart.
Then I had the task of telling our children that their dog wasn't coming home.
Ryan and I met them in Collin's bedroom.
We gathered on the floor, and Collin immediately began to breathe faster, he knew something was wrong.
 I held their sweet little hands and told them I had sad news, Ryan started crying and Collin knew Coop was gone. 
Such sad cries, but we did it together as a family. 

We sure will miss this boy...

One of my greatest concerns in those first moments after hearing he was gone was that my children would question God and his goodness.  I begged Him to protect them from the lies that satan tells. 
After all, they had prayed he would come home safely. 
I told them "trust Jesus".
And we can.
In all things.
When He answers as we ask,
and even when His plans differ from ours.
We can trust Him.
My children never questioned. 
They cried.
But they never questioned.
They continue to pray for Cooper every night...
"keep Cooper very, very safe in heaven..."
"help Cooper to have lots of fun running in heaven..."
And shouldn't we all be that accepting of God's plan.
Take the good with the bad all the while believing that God is good.
Because He is.
And He is faithful.
Yes, He is faithful.
Look what He has done...
His name is Tucker

He gives and takes away.
And then He gives again.

I worried that they would question His goodness.
How would I explain?
Why O why did I ever doubt...
God provided for our family.
Financially and emotionally.
He did what God does.
He showed up for us.
Thank you, thank you.
And to those who helped bring this puppy home,
thank you seems so small.
You were a part of His big plan.
The spirit whispered and you not only heard Him, but you answered.
So very generously gave of yourselves. 
We. Are. Grateful.
May He bless you ten fold. 


Monday, October 21, 2013

Goodbye baby teeth

This guy lost his first tooth...
and then he lost another tooth! 
 Oh my goodness, another part of my "baby" is gone.
He lost the first tooth just before we started school.
It had been loose for some time and his adult tooth had actually started to grow in (very crookedly) behind the baby one.  OY!  We referred to them as his "shark teeth" being that he had two rows haha.
We were at Grammy and Papa's one day goofing around on the beds upstairs.  Madelyn fell off and when Collin leaned over to laugh his tooth got snagged on a pillow and pop, out it came! 
He was thrilled and couldn't wait to show everyone! 
The tooth fairy was very generous and left $10 since the first one is rather special.
Apparently teeth are worth a lot more these days then they were in days gone by.  :)
Thankfully once that baby tooth was gone the adult tooth had room to move forward and it really straightened out.  Whew!
The second tooth fell out not long after while our guy was eating lunch at school.
He literally lost it.
As in, we are pretty sure he swallowed it.
Our principal was SO sweet and took the time to write a handwritten card to the tooth fairy explaining what happened. 
While on the subject of teeth....
both kids had excellent reports at the dentist and have stayed cavity free!!

Collin was nervous and overall very serious.  Reminded me of myself at the dentist. 
Seriously, put another cotton ball in my mouth and ask me another question...

The dentist could tell he was feeling less than thrilled to be there and did an awesome job of calming his nerves and making him feel comfortable in the dreaded dental chair.

 And as for Miss Madelyn, well, she was just Madelyn.
Happy to be there and making friends with everyone!
Here's to hoping we stay cavity free for the next 6 months!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Back to School

We are back to school and in full swing!  Collin confidently started first grade without any tears and is really enjoying his class and his friends.  Week two brought a few hard mornings but we are getting into a routine and all is well with the world.  He is in the classroom right next door to me with one of my dearest friends, I know he will be well cared for and loved this year just as he was last year!
Here he is on his first day, handsome as can be...
Sweet Madsy girl, well she started pre-school! 
How in this world is she old enough?!
Be still my heart, I can hardly stand it.
She is in the same class that Collin was in with Ms. Pam and Ms. Cathy, so again, I know she will be well cared for and loved this year.
Sweet beauty, we couldn't love her more...

As summer came to a close I felt an unshakeable sadness in my heart.
I always have a heavy heart as we step into a new year.
This year felt especially hard with sending both kids off to school.
We have been beyond blessed by our children's teachers. 
I absolutely, beyond a shadow of a doubt, know that they are both right where they should be.
They enjoy school, they love their friends, and they are both happy!
It just makes my momma heart sad.
I just want to keep them close, nestled safely in my home.
This place where they are cherished with a rich love that runs deeper than they could ever understand.

But it's that time my dear loves.
Time to spread your wings just a little bit further.
Though it's hard for me to do I'll nudge you on.
Not because I want to see you go but simply because this is part of God's design.
My momma heart wants desperately to cling tight yet I am reminded of His goodness.
This is part of His design.
You are healthy, happy, well adjusted and off to make your mark in this world.

So we hug you tight, we kiss your sweet cheeks and we remind you...
Be kind to others little ones.
Love your friends well.
Listen to your teachers.
Show respect.
Let your light shine bright for Jesus.
All the while remembering just how very, very loved you are!!


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Around here...

This boy finished kindergarten!
I can hardly stand it.  
Time is going much to quickly.

He had a fantastic year.
His teacher did an outstanding job with him and I so appreciate all the work that she put in to every detail of this school year.

Our boy has grown so much since last summer!
I am so proud of his every accomplishment.
He ended the school year "proficient" in every area!

What astonishes me most is his natural ability to read.
I'm telling you, the boy can READ!
He's reading chapter books!
Chapter books!
We are so very proud of him and his love for learning!!

Here he is on his last day of kindergarten.
Be still my heart, the boy is so handsome...

Look out first grade, here he comes!!
But, in the meantime,
We sure are enjoying the lazy days of summer!

Collin most certainly is enjoying his swim class.
He goes twice a week and is making great progress as a more confident swimmer.

Madelyn's class starts in two weeks.
I'm sure there will be plenty of stories to tell.  :)

She was out front today playing with the neighbors and Ryan yelled "Hey Megan, come here quick!"

I come out front and this child is RIDING A TWO WHEELER!
Didn't tell a soul that she was practicing and in mere minutes had taught herself to ride.
At four years old.
She wasn't about to be the only one riding with training wheels this summer!  

So proud to be the momma of these two precious lives.
One of my most frequent and heart felt prayer requests is that I mother them well.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Tiny Dancer

Yesterday was Madelyn's very first dance recital.
To say she was excited would be an understatement.
She was made for the stage people.

Our morning started early with makeup by Selina.

She was so proud of that makeup!
Part of her bedtime prayer included,
"thank you that Selina could do my makeup and thank you that I could dance on stage with all that beautiful makeup."

 This girl lit the stage right up.
Our smiles were just as bright as hers!

Madelyn and her girlfriends.

She was showered with flowers at the end of the show.

A quick pic with her bro who insisted on being silly.

A final bow.
At which point she slammed her knee into the floor and sobbed.
Black mascara tears ran down her face.
She wouldn't talk to any of her fans.
Such is life for our tiny dancer...

Friday, June 7, 2013

Down on the farm

I went on a field trip today with my favorite kindergartner.  
We had the best time at the Real Life Farm.
There was certainly no shortage of smiles.

We were there for all of five minutes and two pictures before my camera battery died.  Awesome.

So, iphone pictures will have to do...
 Bottle feeding a baby goat.
There was some hand feeding too!
 Milking the cow with farmer Dan.
 A little hayride fun...
 Fixin to ride the horse!
 Momma even got to lead!
Leading this horse around the trail almost made me want one of my own.  Almost.

Loved spending the day with my sweet boy!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Nice to meet you captain

This weekend our family had the great honor of meeting
 Captain Cory Baxter.

Cory will marry my sweet cousin Sara this fall.
The two now live in San Diego where Cory is a helicopter pilot in the United States Marine Corps.

We have heard so many wonderful things about him and simply could not wait to finally meet him!
Our family has been anxiously anticipating this weekend.  After hearing how smitten Sara is, we were all quite sure that he would give us grande reason to adore him.  He did not disappoint.

Cory greeted us with the warmest hugs and within minutes was handing gifts to my children.  Collin was given a true treasure.  Cory not only gave him a child size helicopter flight suit but also graciously gave him a handful of his very own patches, one of which has Baxter branded across the front.   He also humbly gave him a special coin that, from what I understand, is given out by a commanding officer.  And here it was being placed into the hands of my six year old.  Collin could not be more proud.  He may be only six years old but the boy is a collector of treasure, and he knows one when he sees it.  He loves to sort and keep.  This gift could not have been more perfect.   Many would imagine a gift such as this may be "wasted" on such a young boy who can't understand the magnitude of what it means.  Not our boy.
He beams every time we talk about it.
I actually immediately felt a lump form in my throat and realized I was about to cry.  I quickly decided that I should probably not embarrass myself within the first five minutes.
We don't want to scare anyone with the ugly cry, and we all know it goes from zero to ugly all to quickly.

But truly, that's all it took.
That gift.
It was every bit as special to me as it was to my six year old son.
Yes, his gigantic smile tells the story.

And here is where he keeps it.  Folded safely away in a box in his room to ensure it will not be touched by anyone.  This is how Collin stores all of his special keepsakes.  :)
Every person who has stepped foot into our house has been invited to his bedroom where he lays the suit out on the floor while strategically attaching all of the patches just so.  He is sure to explain that "these are real patches, and this name "Baxter" it's his real name".

When he saw me uploading this picture he was quite disturbed that I had been meddling without his supervision.
I was immediately interrogated...
"how did you get that picture, where is the box now, did you move it, did you touch it, is the metal coin still on top where I put it"
Suhweet mercy child, I opened the box, snapped a picture and placed it exactly where I found it!

Thank you Cory.  
Your gift is beyond words ~
Very much appreciated and held dear to our boy's young, impressionable heart. 

This girl was quite taken by these two guests of honor as well...

Look who else flew in for the fun.
The one and only...

 The day just kept getting better as we gathered at cousin Kara's house for a surprise wedding shower for Sara and Cory!
 Some may say I am biased but I'm quite certain that you won't find a better family to be apart of!  We couldn't be more excited to welcome Cory in!  Distance has never come between any of us, and though we live miles apart we will love you as though we see you every day!

We spent the rest of the night laughing and talking and enjoying the company of the people we hold dearest to our hearts while we celebrated the fact that our group is expanding with the addition of Cory!

Today we spent our Memorial Day  at mom's.
What better way to celebrate than to be in the presence of a real american hero?!

Cory and Sara spent the whole day loving all over my kids, playing game after game.  All the while making both kids feel as though there wasn't anywhere in world that they would rather be.

At one point this sweet girl threw her arms around Cory's neck and hugged him as though she has known him her whole life.
That made it official Cory, you're family.

Our sweet Sara,
Though miles have always separated us, we have always felt every bit as close and connected to you as we would if you lived minutes away.  We couldn't wait to wrap our arms around your neck and shower you with congrats!  I speak for our whole family when I say that we could not be more happy for you.  Your smile is brighter than ever and it is plain to see that you have found your forever with Cory.  We will love him every bit as much as we love you.  Our hearts pound with joy for the both of you.  You will no doubt be the most beautiful bride! 
This weekend ended all to quickly.
Although it would never feel like enough time.
But one thing is for sure, we only needed mere moments to realize just how very blessed we are to be able to call Cory our family
Congratulations and much love to you dear beauty!!

Dear Cory,
What a pleasure to finally meet you!  Within minutes I could tell that you were going to so easily fit into our family.  You have a heart the size of Texas.  Our Sara is happier than ever all because of you!  We will love you and support you as though you have always been here.  My children adore you and I'm quite sure they were hopeful that you would be moving in with us!  Should you ever need a place to stay, well you have the hook up here in Michigan.  :)
We hope you felt at home with us this weekend and look forward to spending more time with you soon!

And just like that, the weekend is over.
Though I'm pretty sure we will all be going to bed with full hearts tonight!