Sunday, October 31, 2010

Little Sully

Walt does not understand what is going on, yet, on October 31, so when he dresses up it is for Noah and me and for the sake of pictures. Thankfully, we have not invested a lot of money, if any, into costumes for him. Last year we found his monkey costume at Wal-Mart for $8, and this year we were able to borrow the Sully costume from my sister. My niece was born around the same time of year as Walt, and Lori was able to find this costume at Wal-mart when my niece was about a year old! Mosters Inc. was really popular at the time. What a deal! Cheap for her and free for me!! And look at how cute he was in the costume!!
We couldn't actually treak-or-treat when we arrived at Mimi's house because Walt was a little fussy, but once he had had some milk and graham crackers to eat, he "happily" got into his costume to get some candy! Can you believe he is already eating graham crackers? My mom is so good at helping me to let go and give him the next type of food. I always get so nervous! But really, he can eat just about anything now! He is cutting four upper teeth, and it is obvious that it hurts!

Walt is a fun happy kid, but his "off" days seem to land on the days we wish he would be in his fun mode so that he could enjoy the fun! He just had a different kind of fun. For the longest time he did not like the outside, fisher-price swing, but he decided on this particular night that he LOVED it and laughed the entire time!

One of the things that my mom has done with our family is have traditions, and on Halloween each year they make a big pot of Chili and everyone comes over to eat. It is just another way that she gives us time to reunite before the younger kids go do their on thing. (Other traditions include: red beans and rice on Superbowl night, blueberry muffins and chocolate milk while watching Thanksgiving parade)




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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Updates

Right now our house is busy! Noah is swamped at school because the end of a semester is approaching quickly, and there is still much to be done in so many of his classes! Walt and I savor every moment that we get to be with him right now! This past Thursday I was able to leave Walt at home so that I could go and spend some time with sweet baby Layne. Layne's mommy, Kristina, and I have been having coffee every week, and I was missing our time together! So with caffeine in hand we were able to chat while I got some snuggle time in with Layne. I have definitely forgotten what four pounds looks like because she is so tiny and sweet and a great little snuggler! It seems as though Layne may have her days and nights mixed up, so Kristina is up in the middle of the night. She enjoys this sweet time with Layne, but it makes it hard to be awake and alert during the day! Also, Layne went to see Dr. Brooks, who we love, and Layne loved her too! They were able to talk about feeding her a little more and all of the other details concerning her health. Please continue to pray for strength for this family as they continue to care for Layne.


Wild Walt is at such a fun age, and I am so thankful to be able to stay at home with him! Our daily adventures keep me on my toes! Here are some pics of some of them.

Walt showing us that he can pick up the instrument that he likes to play!


Walt's first time to color!

Walt was a strong little man getting 4 shots. He was much stronger than mommy! I wonder if him enjoying this toy means that he is a future doctor!


While in Houston I bought a bread machine, which I was very unsure about. Baking bread was something that I have avoided, but now, I am hooked! It is so simple, and it adds a personal touch to a meal for us or someone else. And most of all, it is tasty!
Here is the first loaf of wheat bread that I baked. I got the recipe here at the Money Saving Mom website.

Last night I made a homemade, bbq chicken pizza with Feta cheese. It was good, but I made way too much dough. It was really enough dough for 2 pizzas. Noah liked the pizza, but I couldn't really get a good taste because I was overwhelmed with the dough. I will try it again though!

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Saturday, October 23, 2010

What a Day

This weekend has been full and exciting for both Walt and me. Noah went out of town for his church planting class. They went to work with a church in Tennessee. It is an amazing experience for him, but we miss him so much!

You guys know me through my writing because I write, but I am not the speaker in the family. However, I was asked to be a part of a panel of women from our church to share a few things within a 6 minute period. Each of us discussed the season of our life when we grew the most. I have not spoken about my life with Magdalena before, and I was a nervous wreck. With Noah being out of town I was only going to go for this one part of the woman's retreat, and I was just trying to survive it. I had down what I was going to write, and the night before I completely changed my approach, which made me have multiple, random sheets.

I am not an eloquent speaker. My thoughts do not come in an organized fashion. As I sat there waiting for my turn, I was sweating and as my stomach churned I realized there was not garbage can near me in case I should throw up. All I can say about is that I did not throw up. I almost got out all that I wanted to say, and of course, I cried.

When I picked up Walt, he was definitely ready for his nap, so I cleaned the house and worked on my school stuff while he rested. Then, as soon as he woke up, we got going!! We were going to Layne's house again! For the first time ever I made some homemade cinnamon rolls, and we wanted to share with the Gaston family. Layne's family is enjoying her being home so very much, but who wouldn't with that sweet face?
Afterwards, we left where Walt chowed down on a delicious peanut butter cracker the entire time! It was so cute! I should have taken a picture! Well, all of that to say, it was hard but we survived without Noah. We are ready for him to be home though!!

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Hoping for Something Better

I can't believe it, but with all of the Layne excitement, I forgot to announce that the winner of the ornament is

Ashleyj@...........

Congratulations! I will be sending you an email. Please respond within a week to receive the ornament!


Holding On To Hope
I always feel a special bond with someone who has a special needs child or who has lost a child, which is one of the MANY reasons why I like to read books by Nancy Guthrie. Noah and I are studying to book of Hebrews, and knowing how much we love us some Nancy, we decided to use her book, Hoping for Something Better as a reference. Life experiences does affect a person in every aspect, but this book is not intended for those who have lost a child. It is for anyone who wants to go through the book of Hebrews more deeply. There are questions that are intended to be answered before reading each chapter, which take you through a particular section in the book of Hebrews. (Noah and I answer these individually, and then, we come together to discuss.) Separately and then together we study Jesus and who he is. The point of the book is for you to learn more about the life of Jesus so that you draw closer to him, and I am so glad that Nancy tackled this book of the bible. Noah and I have blessed so much already and we are only on chapter 5 in the book!

One of the verses that really stood out to me this week is one that I wanted to share with you. I hope that my written word does justice on my thoughts on this verse.

Hebrews 5:7 In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence.

I have asked why me? why my sweet baby girl? Why Magdalena? There were times I couldn't understand why God wouldn't spare her life and take me instead, but that was not his plan. Age does not determine when we leave this earth but what would most glorify him and fulfill his purpose.
When I read this verse, I gasped. How had I missed this before? I knew that Jesus spoke to God. I knew that God had given his son. But this particular verse is so special to me because Jesus, God's only son, asked to be saved from death. It tells us here that God did hear him, and we know that in order to fulfill his life's purpose Jesus had to die for us. God does here us, and he does answer our prayers, although, the answer isn't what we expected.

God did hear me, and he does hear us. He has not left us in the midst of our suffering, but he continues to wrap his arms around us even tighter. We just have to trust that He knows better than we do what is best for us, and how through our lives he is glorified.

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Held her Today

I was sad that I did not get to go to the hospital yesterday to see sweet Layne, but that face today made up for it! I didn't even think that I was going to get to see her! Walt and I went to take her some clean clothes. I didn't want Walt to go inside because he is definitely a germ carrier, but Hamp was SOOO nice to sit with him so that I could visit sweet baby Layne. Walt is going through his "needy" stage, so he did get a little fussy out there. That was the only way I could have stopped holding Layne! She is so snuggly and sweet! I didn't have my camera with me, so you will just have to take my word for it!

Please pray for Hamp and Kristina as they are spending all day at the hospital caring for Layne and learning her special needs. They are going to have THE BEST hospice nurse EVER when they go home....can you take a little guess who it is?? Magdalena's nurse, Rosa, will now be Layne's nurse! Noah and I love sweet Rosa, so we are so excited that the Gastons get to be blessed through her work also!

Layne is still blessing our world right now as she snuggles with everyone. Her body did not fully digest her food fully twice in the evening, but it returned to doing it properly in the morning. Pray that her food gets fully digested! Also, pray for Layne's big brother and sister. I haven't been sure exactly how to pray for them because this time can be so confusing for kids! So I will pray that God will watch over them and their little hearts and that He will use their little sister's special life to bring them into his arms.

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Monday, October 18, 2010

continue to pray!

The Gastons will be sleeping at the hospital to learn how The special care Layne needs. Please pray that they will rest and learn. Pray that God will give their hearts peace in him.
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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Layne's Updates

Thank you so much for praying for the Gaston family as they brought Layne into this world! They are such a sweet family and so special to me! Her family is updating their caringbridge site, so you can follow them as often as they let us know what is happening! Please continue to pray for this family as they care for Layne with all of her special needs and make decisions.

www.caringbridge.org/visit/laynegracegaston

Friday, October 15, 2010

Layne's Update for Day 2

Kris just called to give me a few updates, and so many of you have been praying for her so I had to share. They are many good things happening, but with these special, T18 babies, prayer is continually needed!

  • Layne is considered to have severe defects
  • For about 5 to 7 days after birth the lungs will contract to keep fluid out, but after this time the fluid will build up in her lungs
  • Layne attempted to take a bottle, but they had to quit because she turned blue. However, she regulated herself! (this a a great thing that she was able to do!)
  • After a few tries, they got the NG tube down, and she had 10 cc of formula. They have to wait to see how she tolerates the formula and the tube. If she tolerates it well, they will take out the IV.
  • Currently, Layne is not on any oxygen
  • Kris and Hamp stayed in the NICU for about 2 hours, but they left for Layne to rest
  • Kris met with the hospice nurse at the hospital (Pray as they make these arrangements!)

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Thank you so much to all that has prayed today for sweet Layne. When I left the hospital she was in stable condition. She had a bath while using no oxygen! And fussed at Nurse Wren the entire time! She is such a beautiful girl and I will continue to keep you updated!

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layne with bow

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I met the beautiful Layne!

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meet layne

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layne update

Layne is here! She weighs 4 pounds 1 ounce. She received oxygen and is in the nicu right now.
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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Praying for Layne

Because Layne is breach, she will be delivered tomorrow, October 14th, at noon via C-section. Will you pray for Layne, Layne's mommy's healing after surgery, the doctors, nurses, the family, and all of those involved at this specific time? There are so many unknowns with Trisomy 18 babies, so it forces everyone to their knees. That is a beautiful site with the short lives of these special babies. Please click on Layne's name so that you can read her mommy's prayer request. We don't know what God has in store for her, but we do rest in the fact that her sweet life is in her hands.

I am so excited that Kristina is allowing me to be a part of this very special day! I can't wait to take a billion pictures, video tape, get food, or whatever it is that is a need at the moment. Layne is a beautiful little baby, and I can't wait to meet her!

As I get updates, I will send them to you. But for now, please, pray.

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A Grief Observed

First, don't forget that the GIVEAWAY winner will be announced this Thursday! Look HEREfor more information to put your name into win!!

A grief observed [Book]

I finished my second Lewis book in a quest to finish 800 pages of his writings by the end of the semester. A Grief Observed is not written in a book form with how people should feel when they lose someone they know, but it is written in a blog format with short small writings of his feelings. He didn't claim this book when it was first published, but wrote under a pseudonym. His feelings were open and honest. Some days he wrote when his heart was running this thoughts, and on other days he writes of what God's word and what he knows to be true. It was beautifully written, and I recommend it to those who have lost a dear one or anyone who wants to be reminded of God's truths.

A few quotes from the book that I highlighted and wanted to share:
"Getting over it too soon? But the words are ambiguous. To say the patient is getting over it after an operation for appendicitis is one thing; after he's had his leg off is quite another. After that operation either the wounded stump heals or the man dies. If it heals, the fierce continuous pain will stop. Presently he'll get back his strength and be able to stump about on his wooden leg. He has 'got over it.' But he will probably have recurrent pains in the stump all his life, and perhaps pretty bad ones; and he will always be a one-legged man. There will be hardly any moment when he forgets it. Bathing, dressing, sitting down and getting up again, even lying in bed, will all be different. His whole way of life will be changed. All sorts of pleasures and activities that he once took for granted will have to be simply written off. Duties too. At present I am learning to get about on crutches. Perhaps I shall presently be given a wooden leg. But I shall never be a biped again. "


"The less I mourn her the nearer I seem to her."


"For in grief nothing 'stays put'. One keeps on emerging from a phase, but it always recurs."


"What sort of a lover am I to think so much about my affliction and so much less about hers? Even the insane call, 'Come back,' is all for my own sake. I never even raised the question whether such a return, if it were possible, would be good for her. I want her back as an ingredient in the restoration of my past. Could I have wished her anything worse? having got once through death, have all her dying to do over again? They call Stephen the first martyr. Hadn't Lazarus the rawer deal?"


There is something new to be chronicled every day. Grief is like a long valley, winding valley where any bed may reveal a totally new landscape. As I've already noted, not every bend does. Sometimes the surprise is the opposite one; you are presented with exactly the sort of country you thought you had left behind miles ago."

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Monday, October 11, 2010

Concert Vacation

First, don't forget that the GIVEAWAY winner will be announced this Thursday! Look HEREfor more information to put your name into win!!


Well, I couldn't wait to share some pics with you guys about my recent vacation. It is hard for me to say the word too because I can't believe that my reason for going was to play with friends! On the Thursday of my set back a friend sent me a text. God's timing is perfect because it was just what I needed! Stephen Curtis Chapman and his family were going on tour, and his wife, author of Choosing to See, would be speaking in Houston. Noah thought that it would be an amazing time with a friend and to hear about all of the work that the Chapmans are doing, so after we worked out the details, I packed my bags and left. This was the longest drive that I had ever made alone, but with the help of audio books, it was so enjoyable!

The concert was more than amazing, and so is the work that God is doing through the loss of their daughter Maria. They have begun SHOW HOPE, and all I can say is check out the website. It will leave you breathless and wondering how you can get involved, especially if you have or love a special needs child. But what is even more special is that they help families to overcome the financial barrier of adoption! Check out the website!!

The following day Kim, my Texas friend, and I went to Greek fest. I love to eat Greek food, and we enjoyed ourselves to trying everything there! Yummm.... I could eat some more right now!





And, as always with Kim, we went shopping for incredible deals on awesome products! I had a Macy's gift card from the March of Dimes, which I spent on a bread maker! I can't wait to begin! And my last night there we went to Block 7 where I ate Buffalo. Again, SOOO tasty! Kim definitely kept me fed while I was there. Time went by quickly, and it was sad to leave, but I was ready to snuggle with my little man again!







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Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Somewhere??!

I cannot wait to share pictures of where I am right now, but I am refraining until tomorrow. Just know that it is so good that I drove 7 hours here, and I hate to drive!!

Before I left I received an email from Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope saying that they had received my answers to some questions about my life after Magdalena, and that we would be there. I noticed that they have posted it, but I haven't read it, yet. Since I am in my special location, I don't want to spend too much time on the internet.

However, in honor of Magdalena being recognized on the website Anne Downey Luckey is giving away another customized ornament worth $32!! Look at the last giveaway here to see some pictures of the ornaments.

A winner will be chosen using random.org on Thursday, October 14th.
Ways to enter the contest (if you have already done both, just leave a comment letting me know):
Subcribe to this blog (and confirm through email sent to your inbox)
Like Anne Luckey on Facebook

For each entry write a separate comment letting me know which you did!

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Tuesday, October 05, 2010

A little Set Back

If you have ever suffered in an unimaginable way, you know that not every day is the same. For hours, days, or weeks you are moving back into society. You learn to breathe again and live in a different way. Then, out of nowhere BAM! you get hit hard. It sets you back, and you wonder if you will ever make progress. Well, maybe noone else feels this way, but I definitely do, and it happened this past week. Maybe you noticed that I haven't blogged? I just had to spend some time regaining my strength to begin moving forward again. This may sound cheesy but it just came to me...that although I get hit, I keep moving forward because I have complete coverage (like a car with insurance)...see? I told you it was cheesy. I usually write what I am honestly thinking so there you have it. Because all of my hope lies that I am a child of God and that he wraps his arms around me and cares for me, I know that I will move forward again. Maybe it doesn't always meet my expectations of moving forward but I do. Throughout this semester I have been able to begin participating more in bible studies and be with other wives whose husbands are in seminary, and God has really been feeding me through all of this. This past week I arrived early to a bible study to hear them preparing for us to sing "O LOVE THAT WILL NOT LET ME GO". This song was a favorite of mine in college, and during the last two years God has constantly had me singing this song as a reminder of His love, which is why I named my blog after this song. We also chose to sing this song at Magdalena's funeral, and so, it is even more meaningful to me. As I heard them preparing this song for the worship during our study, I began to prepare my heart for how difficult this was going to be. I didn't know if I could do it, but I would try. This song would be sung in other places in the future, so I couldn't run from it in public worship.

As the worship time began the first song was "ON JORDAN'S STORMY BANKS". I wasn't prepared for this. The other song that we had chosen for Magdalena's funeral. Knowing that I couldn't make it through both songs I left. It wasn't just the songs though. That had been a day full of Magdalena around me. She is always on my mind and heart, but sometimes I am heavy with her, and this was one of those days. Just before bible study, I had sent my mom a text to see if she would create a flower arrangement for me to take to Magdalena's grave the next day. Well, when I left the bible study and stopped by Magdalena's grave on my way home, which was so dreary in the near darkness part of the day, and this made me feel worse instead of better. (Graveyards at dark are scary! I should have used my common sense on that one, but I wanted to go.) I got home. Noah held me. I rested. God has encouraged me through his scripture through the past week. This is where my strength is renewed.

I do want to add that if you are wanting to dig into scripture but you aren't sure where to begin, simply throwing open the book to the first spot that it lands each morning isn't always the best method. I would encourage you to find a book that leads you through it. Holding onto Hope is a study through the book of Job. Hoping for Something Better is a look through Hebrews. Jesus, the One and Only is a good look at the book of Luke, but when I read this book I used my study bible a ton to dig a little deeper. These are just three of many offered. Use wise judgement when choosing a book as help because there are many that claim Christ but are not true to His word, and as always, please, email me if you have any questions. I will always try my best to help.

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