Wednesday, November 27, 2013

This Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving I will get up and do morning meds like I do every morning.  I will walk into her room and be greeted by that smile that lights up my world.  We will prepare her food, we will give her breathing treatments and we will place her on oxygen just like we do every single day.  I will sit by her side like I do every morning.  A bit later the boys will get up and we will see that smile over and over again as she sees and hears the house waking up.

Things will be very much the same in our world even though it's Thanksgiving and that's okay.  I want gratitude to be a way of life for us.  I want to be thankful for what I have while I have it.  I want to be thankful for this house that's constantly cluttered and in need of a good cleaning because that means it's full and it's loud and everyone is home.  I don't want to take a single moment with these five people for granted.
1 Chronicles 29:12-13 " Your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all.  Now our God we give you thanks and praise Your glorious name."

Monday, November 25, 2013

Party of 13

Our next day at Disney found us at Chef Mickey's for breakfast bright and of 13 please.
I can assure you this group put a hurtin' on that buffet.  The bacon never saw it coming.
 Showing my girl the love...

We celebrated my dad's birthday at Chef Mickey's.  This is what he wanted to do for his birthday.  I can't tell you how much I loved this, not many PawPaw's want to experience Disney with their grandchildren, but this one did!  Please note Cooper in the background of this picture,  I would put money down that he's got a plate of bacon in hand, ha ha.

Just us with the characters...

PawPaw with 3 of the grandsons, don't know where Grey had run off to.

Here they all are MiMi and PawPaw, with Minnie and all 7 of their grandchildren...we finally wrangled them all into one picture.

One of my favorites...
I run a tight ship and everyone played along and somehow we got all 13 of us up and out and at Chef Mickey's for a 7:30am breakfast was so worth it.  I was thrilled to be able to do this with my whole family, such a fun morning.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Hollywood Studios

We went to Hollywood Studios for our first day in the parks, because of the extra magic hours, of course.  Doing Disney with us is not for the faint of heart, we like to get every minute out of the parks that we can...9am-11pm, sure why not?  Florida weather treated us right.  While there were freeze warnings back home, we experienced a perfect 70 degrees in sunny Florida.
I think the consensus from this group is that the Rockin' Roller Coaster truly rocked!!  I did ride it more than my fair share and I do love it but I think my favorite ride at Hollywood Studios is Toy Story Mania.  What Toy Story Mania lacks in roller coaster thrills it makes up for in cuteness.

The force is strong in our Padawan's, after all these years they still resist the dark side.  
The newly updated Star Tours ride was great.  It got high praise from all the Star Wars fans in my family.
I love watching the Beauty and the Beast Live Stage show with my girl. She just lights up.

 Our little Sophia meets Sophia the first...
Fantasmic is the night show at Hollywood Studios.  It's Disney at it's very best, love this one.

Open the park and close the park, they only way we roll at Disney...
Day one in the parks...done, next up breakfast at Chef Mickey's and Animal Kingdom.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Walt Disney World

Christmas came early this year.  My parents took our entire family to Disney World for a week.  There were 13 of us and I can assure you we played hard, slept little, ate way to much food and loved every minute of it.

This was the first airplane ride for 3 of our 4 children so Grey insisted on documenting the occasion with way to many selfies of him and me.  I kept the pictures to a're welcome.
It took a lot of prep work for our girl to fly, but by being prepared beforehand everything went really well getting her and all her stuff through security and on board the plane.  She did great on both the flight there and the flight home.  Would you have thought she would have been anything other than awesome?  Nope, me either.
Cooper flew when he was one, so he was the seasoned flier of the group.

(you wouldn't believe how many of these I had to delete off my phone)

We went shopping at Downtown Disney on our first day there.  It's amazing how willing kids are to go shopping when there is a Lego store involved.

Turns out the boys were able to help one of the master Lego builders in constructing a giant Tie Fighter (it's Star Wars people, remember SK and I are outnumbered by the boys, we have to put up with stuff like this all the time).

 My girl enjoying her day of shopping too. 
One look at that face and daddy wanted to buy out the entire princess section for her.  I can't say that I blame him.
We spent the afternoon and evening, swimming (in November), eating our dinner outside and watching a Disney movie poolside.
This was just the beginning of our week at Disney and just the beginning of Sophie Kate's birthday surprises too...first time on an airplane (she rocked it, of course), a week at Walt Disney World and a trip to the Bippity Boppity Boutique. 

Next up...our first day in the parks...Hollywood Studios.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Six Years

She came into this world six years ago without a sound. She grabbed hold of us and changed us in an instant.  For six years we have walked this road with her in our arms crying, smiling, fighting and even laughing.  For six years I have looked into those big brown eyes and I have seen happiness along with sadness, days when she can't quit smiling and days when she doesn't feel good and when she hurts.  I have seen her before surgery and after surgery.  I have seen her struggle.  Her eyes tell a story.
This year on her birthday (Nov. 3) there were more smiles than tears.  It's always a time of mixed emotions because that day and the days that followed were and continue to be so incredibly difficult, but smiles mix with tears here.  

We will be celebrating Sophie Kate's birthday in a big way in a week and I will certainly let y'all in on that, but yesterday was just simple and quiet with a few friends.
These girls were by my side the day SK was born,  as well as the days and weeks that followed and haven't been scared off yet.  I love them dearly and appreciate that they have put up with me and still loved me when it was hard to.  A change of address had made it difficult for us to be together the past two years, but we are all back together this November 3rd and it meant the world to me and my girl to spend it with them.

We have felt the love in all the birthday wishes that came SK's way.  It was wonderful spending her birthday with our church family, we are so encouraged by this group of believers.  Over the weekend, I was told by a friend that she just loves sitting in church and hearing the different sounds SK makes.  She said it's comforting to her to know SK is there, because everything is good and all is well when SK is at church.  She'll never know what that meant to me.

My beautiful girl...
six years later it is still a privilege to be your mother.  I am honored to be by your side, you give far more than I could ever return to you.  

We ever and always point to our Lord for His goodness and His unfailing love.  He has exchanged our sorrow for joy.