Saturday, December 27, 2008

December 27, 2008

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. We did here at our house. It was a little different this year for us. This was the first year we had Christmas at our house, just with our family. We usually make it to at least one, if not both sides of the family on Christmas. On my side, it all depends on when my brother Tim is on shift (he's a Ft. Worth Firefighter). This year he was working on Christmas day, so we had Christmas with my family on Christmas Eve. We always have a great time together and this year was no different. Lamar's family was in various places for Christmas day, so we are celebrating with this a little later on today. So that left us at home with just our family. I was a little hesitant about it because this is the first time in 20 years that we have not been with some kind of extended family for Christmas. But we had a great time together. We cooked a big Christmas lunch, played games, watched movies, and just enjoyed a great time at home together. Our time together as a family means more to me than anything else. It is a great gift that I do not take for granted anymore. I am so thankful God gave us the opportunity to have this Christmas together.

Well, I'm going to back up a little and share with you the events of the last couple of months. Just a week or so after I last posted, we were headed to Ft. Worth on Saturday Oct. 25 when I got a call from my Mom saying that my Nanny had been taken to the hospital. She was 93 and had been sick with a cold the week before. We went to the hospital and stayed with her for a little while. After reviewing all the test, they determined that she had had a heart attack and had congestive heart failure. She made it through the weekend and I was able to make it to the hospital about 30 minutes before she passed away on Monday morning, October 27. We were so blessed to be able to spend a lot of time with her over the last 6 months or so. Each time we would go to Ft. Worth for a drum lesson, we would stop by and see her. I am so thankful that we had that time with her and so glad, again, for the gift of heaven given to us by our precious Savior. It is weird to think that I will not be going anymore to the only house I ever knew as my grandparent's house, and that I won't see her sitting in her chair before I ever get through the door. I will miss her terribly...we all will. I don't have many recent pictures of her, but I do have some special ones of her when Jonathan was in the hospital. She had just turned 90 years old a few weeks before he got sick. She came one day bringing gifts that her Sunday School class had sent for Jonathan. It is one of my precious memories of her.

Here she is reading Jonathan one of the books she brought. It was about Jesus healing a crippled boy. How appropriate!

Here is Nanny and all the special gifts she brought from her Sunday School class.

At the end of that week, we celebrated Halloween. We had two 80's girls and a drummer at our house. We had a great time trick or treating and we went and visited our friends at Lakeland's Fall Festival.

The remainder of that weekend, Lamar and I celebrated our 19th anniversary. We had the chance to go camping and spend a couple of days by ourselves while Aunt Keby took care of the kids. One of the things they did together was a Starlight event at the Dallas Aquarium. They had a great time there and they made some special new friends - a couple of other kids with special needs. I have amazing children. They are drawn to children with special needs and I am convinced it is because of what they have been through with Jonathan. God has used that event in their lives to shape a ministry that I believe He intends to grow in their lives. They bless me to see their love, care, kindness, and tenderness toward these special children. We picked the kids up on Sunday night and spent the last evening camping together. It was just what we needed after a difficult week.

For Thanksgiving, we took a little trip to Lake Cherokee which is between Tyler and Longview. Lamar's Uncle has a lake house there and all of the family from Lamar's Mom's side were there, including Lamar's Mamaw. We didn't want to pass up an opportunity to see her, knowing how important that is after just losing my Nanny. The weather was wonderful on Thanksgiving Day and we spent the entire day jet skiing all over Lake Cherokee! It was not what I expected we would be doing, but it was a blast! We had a wonderful time visiting with the family and we loved every minute of it.

We spent the month of December singing in several Christmas programs, doing mission work at Operation Care, and going to several Christmas parties. We also got to go to Holiday in the Park with the Starlight Foundation which was a lot of fun. Again, we got to see some of the new friends the kids have made and we met some more new friends. December has been busy, but wonderful. Everyone is doing pretty well in school and we are looking forward to the new year.

In just 3 days, it will have been 4 years since Jonathan's illness. Can you believe it has already been 4 years? Even though it has been 4 years, this time of year always causes me to remember more vividly the events of those days. There is a feeling of dread that fills my heart and tears fill my eyes as I remember the sadness and great emotions of those first days. And yet there is great thanksgiving and praise for all that God has done in Jonathan's life and in the life of our family. It's a mixed bag of emotions and will be for the next few days. We will spend the day together again this year, just enjoying our family and redeeming the time, as we have pledged to do every December 30 as long as we have that chance. I will post more about that later.

Thank you for letting me update you on our lives. We are thankful for each and ever day and for all that God is doing in our lives. Thank you for walking this journey with us and for keeping us lifted up before the Lord. We love each of you dearly and praise God for you. May your holidays be precious as you remember God's faithfulness over this past year.

Lamentations 3:21-26 - This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. The Lord's lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning, great is Thy faithfulness. "The Lord is my portion," says my soul, "Therefore I have hope in Him." The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the person who seeks Him. It is good that he waits silently for the salvation of the Lord.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

December 24, 2008


I hope this post finds you all having a wonderful Christmas season with your family. I know it has been a while since I have posted and I apologize for that. Much has happened in our family over the last 2 months. We have been busy, mostly just trying to keep up on school work. That alone is a full time job for all of us! I think we finished well and will be ready to start the second semester in January. We are all thankful for the time off, however. Hopefully, over the next few days, I will have some time to sit down and catch you up on our lives these last couple of months.
For today, I pray that you and your family have the most wonderful Christmas ever. God is so good and He remains faithful to our family day after day. One of God's most amazing gifts to our family is all of you who have loved us, cared for us, prayed for us, and continue to support us in such a faithful way. We would not be where we are today without you. So this Christmas Eve, as we thank God for the gift of His precious Son, we thank God for the precious gift of friends like you. We pray that God will bless you in a wonderous way this Christmas. All our love to you - Lamar, Kristi, Elizabeth, Sarah and Jonathan.