Church

Catching Up… Karis Joy’s Birthday

Liam starts preschool today!! It’s at an Early Learning Center for typical kids and kids with special needs so I am thrilled for him to have this opportunity! He is really ready for it as I just can’t seem to teach him enough at home. They do a different activity every 15 mins. which will be SO good for him. He will be there for 3 hours 2 days/week which means I get some down time and some one on one time with my little girl! It’s a win win for everyone. 😉

Jeremy is watching Karis for me this morning so I get some much needed ME time and catching up on some blogging. Hopefully this means you will hear more from me this summer! One of the blogs I’ve been meaning to post is about Karis’ FIRST birthday and since she is 15 months old now I think it’s about time! So here are some pictures and a little bit about her party. Love my big little girl!

I love an excuse to get creative and decorate cakes, so I really enjoyed doing this cupcake for my little cupcake!

I made her a tutu to wear at her party and at first she wasn’t too sure about it but then she just decided to ignore it, which I’m glad because it looks SO adorable on her cute body!

Can’t get enough of her pretty smile!!

She LOVED her balloons! I took her to Publix to get the cupcake balloon the day before her party and she freaked out pointing at it and saying “OOOO” as loud as possible. It was pretty funny! Now everytime she sees a balloon it’s kind of a big deal. 😉

Opening gifts while her buddy Truitt looks on. Karis was the only little girl at her party! Most of her friends are Liam’s friends too.

The Spread!

The finished product!

Before she destroys her cupcake!

She wasn’t too sure at first but when she got a good taste of it… she ate some and the rest she just played in. It was nice change from Liam dry heaving on his first cake. 🙂

Liam enjoying his ice cream but a little overwhelmed at all the people at his house once he got up from his nap.

Karis enjoying her new swing and slide castle from Grandma and Grandpa!

On Karis’ birthday weekend the church also had a dedication ceremony for children and families. They made it a very special time and talked about each child and shared the life verse the parents picked out as a prayer over their child. It was neat time to be a part of the body of Christ as we choose to raise our children in the ways of the Lord. I’m so thankful for this church family and their commitment to help my family know the Lord more.

So the truth about this moment… Karis and Liam were tired because their naps were cut short. Karis was the loudest kid there! She wasn’t crying she just liked hearing her loud voice. I put her paci in her mouth and she got louder… how does that happen!!?

 


Daddy’s (Been) Home!

My strong man!

My husband Jeremy travels with a band called downhere as their drummer and road manager. This past year he was gone for roughly 150 days! Yes, you can have some pity on me. Last year was the hardest year of my life just trying to be a mom to two babies who didn’t walk at the time and help Liam reach some key milestones while nursing a new baby who doesn’t sleep well. Motherhood is the hardest and most rewarding job and I’m blessed to be able to be a stay-at-home mom, but to have to do it with only part-time help is draining. Don’t get me wrong… I truly believe in my husband and his line of work! He gets to play music for a living while ministering to people all over the world… and he is good at it if I do say so myself! I believe God has called us to this right now and that is why we are making these sacrifices.

He has been in town for the past month and has been a HUGE help for me! Thank you, Jeremy!! I need to brag on him because he really is such an amazing Daddy to these babies and is very helpful around the house. He has made sure I have some away time from the kids, so I don’t go crazy which nearly happened several times last year. We’ve had a couple date nights… I always treasure those! We’ve been able to reconnect with some friends and actually attend church together! We even took the kids out to dinner with us one night which we have never done before just as a family, and we actually had a conversation… a rare moment even during dinner at home! It was a pleasant experience but not one I would recommend doing regularly for several reasons. We also took a trip to Peek-a-Boo Playtown for special needs night where they give discounts to people who have extra special kids, sweet deal! 😉

Even though he has been in town this past month he still had to do some work for downhere since he advances the shows and is their merchandise manager, so he’s been able to stay working from time to time. He has also picked up a second job a couple days of the week to help supplement income. Thank you again, Jeremy!

This past week downhere started recording their next album, so he was busy in the studio and we really missed him since we were spoiled having him around so much the previous weeks. I took the kids and joined some good friends of ours and we went to the studio one night and got to hear Jeremy lay down some drum tracks for a song. Liam loved it, of course! I took some pictures so you’ll see them below!

I love you, Jeremy! Thank you for all your help! You are an amazing husband and father to our babies!

Liam watching daddy record drum tracks.

The other side of the glass.

Where the producer sits. Nice place, huh!?

Daddy getting ready to send Liam down the slide at Peek-a-Boo Playtown.

Karis and Daddy at Peek-a-Boo Playtown.


Life Verse

One of my mother’s many creative outlets is painting. When I was a little girl she painted me a watercolor with Proverbs 3:5-6 on it and hung it above my dresser in my room. It read, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” I remember reading this painting on my wall over and over and it soon became ingrained in my mind. It became my life verse. I wish I would’ve kept the painting – I don’t know what happened to it.

Now that I have my own children I want to “give” them a verse. A life verse, like the one my mom painted for me. God’s word is eternal. I want my children to have His truth imprinted on their hearts and have it be a prayer over their lives. After Liam was born my older sister gave us a set of Veggie Tales books, and the verse at the end of every book was the first part of Psalm 139:14. The NIV (New International Version) translation of this verse says, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” But the version on the Veggie Tales books says, “How you made me is amazing and wonderful.” At the time we read these books to Liam over and over (and still do). That verse really touched me because of the unexpected surprise of Liam’s Down syndrome. It fit him quite well and so I made that his life verse using the version from the Veggie Tales books. I also wanted to find a way to display it in his room so you will see what I did below. This picture was taken just about a year ago.

I am currently in search of Karis’ life verse. Her name is the Greek word for ‘grace’. The word ‘charis’ is used over 170 times in the New Testament – needless to say there are plenty of verses to choose from! We want to get her dedicated at our church in March at which point we will share her life verse, so I have some time to keep praying about it. I’ll keep you posted as to what we decide.

I don’t know if my mom expected me to memorize that particular passage or even make it my life verse when she hung that painting in my room. But she gave me a gift of truth that I will never forget and I want to pass that on to my children.


Randomness…

Just to update you on Liam’s appointment with the ENT… they scheduled him to have his adenoids removed on September 28th (next Monday). We’re looking into possibly getting his tonsils removed at the same time, but we’re not sure the doctor wants to do that because he’s so young. So we’ll be back at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital for at least a night next week maybe more. Please pray everything goes smoothly… and it corrects his apnea!

Another note, Jeremy took Liam to his swimming lessons last week and he did great. It was his second lesson and he seemed to be a little more comfortable than the first. The first lesson he had a lower lip and tears most of the time while looking around to make sure we were still there;)… it was so cute! Coach Beth is amazing and really does a great job working with him. We are so thankful to have the opportunity to work with her. This past lesson Liam went under the water 10 times and he didn’t seem to mind a bit… what a tough guy!!

Last Friday I had the chance to get together with some other moms who have children with Down syndrome. It was so cool to hear some of their stories and challenges. What amazing moms they are! It’s also fun to watch our kids hang out together! Here a couple pictures of the kiddos at the playdate.

Liam and coopLiam and his new friend Cooper!

4friendsThis is all four of them left to right… Etta, Cooper, Brewer (in the background facing the camera) and Liam.

Next weekend is a big weekend in our world! We are helping our good friends David and Amy Watson with their huge yard sale they are putting on to help raise the money they need to adopt kids from Ethiopia! If you are in the Nashville area and have things you can donate please contact them via their blog. They are dear friends and we are thrilled for this new season in their lives as they are responding to God’s call on their lives to adopt. Also, next Sunday our church begins meeting at our new location The Warehouse in Franklin!! We are SO excited to be moving to a place to meet permanently! We have been waiting 5 years and now God has just opened the doors and provided a building… and it is nice!


May Memories Made!

Painting class

This was my Mother’s Day gift from Jeremy! I got to attend a painting class put on by a lady named April James… go to www.apriljamesart.com to learn more! She provides the materials and teaches us how to paint one of her paintings. It was lots of fun!

Eatingsolids1

Liam had his first experience with solid foods and did really well! I was so proud of him. I am needing to give him an ounce of prune juice every day to help try and keep him a regular guy;). So I mixed the rice cereal with the prune juice and he seemed to like it. This bib is great too!!

Eatingsolids2

Liam had been smiling a lot more this month! It’s been a lot of fun! After he was done eating he flashed a big smile, so I think he liked it… either that or he was happy to be done;)!

Exersaucer

A friend of mine is lending me her exersaucer and Liam seems to like it. Right now he is more focused on the toys in front of him than he is bouncing and using his legs, so I don’t leave him in it for long periods of time just yet. The reason being, I’m not so sure that it would be beneficial with his low muscle tone and the growth and strength of his hips until he is a little bit stronger.

BarryTrotz

In this picture with Jeremy is the coach of the Nashville Predators, Barry Trotz. Our church had a Family Fun Night with the Predators and Barry was there playing street hockey with some of the kids. He has a little 8 year old boy who has Down syndrome so we really wanted to connect with him, especially since he is a fellow Canuck! Barry grabbed Liam right away and gave him lots of love! It was past his bedtime so his fuse was short for unfamiliar faces;).

Daddykissing

Liam and Daddy!

Reading

I finally got Liam some sunglasses, so now he can go outside without looking down all the time because of the sun. And he LOVES books… I think he could just sit there forever and look at the pictures and listen to the words. So as you can imagine, I’m having fun reading to him!

5K

Wendy and I finished another 5K, and beat our last time by 9 mins! This run was for the TN Baptist Children’s Home. Wendy’s daughter Lauren is holding the sign in the picture! She was part of our cheerleading team along with Jeremy and Liam.

JeffandLiam

Here is my favorite moment of the month! We had Liam dedicated at our church on the last Sunday of May. A dedication is a commitment, or covenant, we as parents make before God and our church to raise our little boy in a godly home. The church also responds and commits to help us along the way. Pastor Jeff officiated our wedding and led the dedication ceremony… such a neat moment as we make another covenant now as parents! And Liam even gave Jeff a big smile right when he told Liam that we would teach him about the Lord… great timing;)! We have chosen a life verse for Liam and were able to share it during the ceremony. It’s Psalm 139:14 – “How you made me is amazing and wonderful!”

Prayer

Pool1

This is Liam’s first time at the pool! We took it slow by sitting by the pool and splashing water on him then eventually ended up putting him in his floaty. He did really well! It was a warm day so we only kept him in the water for about 20 mins. When we got back home that day he slept for 3 hours! Guess we need to go to the pool more often!