Monday, January 26, 2009

A New Gift to Us

My heritage is beautiful to me, 
for that I am so grateful.
Many are born - unfortunately -
into homes that are so hateful.
But mine is one where the Lord is served
and His Name is highly praised.
This is the kind of family 
in which I am thankful to be raised.
My grandparents, aunts, uncles, and even cousins too
honor God with their lives as I hope to one day do.
And though this world is full of sin -
with pride and vanity -
I am so thankful, while on this earth, 
to have my family . . . 
For each of you play such a role in molding and shaping me
into the one that Sovereign God predestined me to be.
So to you, my mom, my dad, and my big brother anew, 
I cannot wait to meet you all...
I'm Kizziah Baby #2!

Yes, we are expecting another baby!  He/she is scheduled to arrive towards the end of September.  We are really excited and trust the Lord's perfect timing.  We would greatly appreciate your prayers as we all prepare for our growing family.  

Much gratitude,
David, Katie & John David (who is going to be a fantastic big brother!)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Amazed again

Today we were pulling out of the Target parking lot, and I said, "Do you see the STOP sign, John David?" to which he replied, "Octagon" (not perfectly, but unmistakably :).  He has always loved STOP signs...I think because it is a shape, a bright color, AND it has big capital letters on it. Three of his favorites :)  

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

John David, junior

Thank you to all of you who are joining us in faithful intercession on behalf of John David and who have chosen to walk with us through our present journey.  We could not ever be able to adequately express our gratitude.  

Within the past month, it seems as though a light switch has gone off in little John David.  He is verbalizing SO MANY THINGS!  He attempts to repeat so much of what we say, and he is voicing and often so clearly expressing his own thoughts, as well as attempting to put words together.  We are really amazed.  And in new social situations (specifically around other toddlers, which was where our concern has been), he is doing incredibly well.  He still is anxious at times, but the improvements are remarkable.  We are so grateful.

I was telling David tonight that I have been hesitant to share many of John David's accomplishments, for I did not want to appear to be one of those parents that every other one wished would shut their trap.  I know that every parent believes their child to be exceptional, so maybe that is just our case as well.  However, in the past posts I have not been hesitant to share John David's areas of struggle, so why should I not equally share about those areas where (we believe) he excels.  Tonight was a bit overwhelming to us.  David had taken the pillows off of the couch and started counting them.  After he counted to four, John David proceeded to finish counting up to twelve.  We couldn't believe it - and he spoke each number so clearly.  We were able to catch some footage of this that we will try to post later.  (David nor I have ever claimed to be technologically savvy.  We will be calling cousin Hillary soon. :) 

John David has an incredible memory.  The other day I mentioned something about putting his blanket in the washing machine, and he replied "Mike"...which is the guy's name who gave us the washing machine and helped install it a few weeks ago.  Wow! (to me, at least:)  We are excited to see what God does with this little mind with which He has gifted John David.  He is really into opposites right now..."on/off, hot/cold, light/dark, loud/quiet, etc.,"  and he is very quick to describe things to you, usually stating their condition and often their color.  When John David was 13 months, he recognized each of the shapes in his shape sorter by name.  I would say the name and he would point to the correct shape.  After seeing that, I went out and bought a letter puzzle.  By 16 months, he was able to recognize all of his letters - and not just the letters on the puzzle, as if he memorized them.  Any letters (capital ones, that is) anywhere. What was atypical, however, was how much shapes and letters kept his attention.  Workbooks - at that point - were his favorite to read.  He later quickly learned his colors (at least those that are common...not random ones like that faint in-between-orange-and-yellow color that some crayon company labeled "macaroni and cheese").  Just the traditional "red, orange, yellow, blue, etc." It is amazing though now to see how all of these things that have been stored in his little brain are now coming out in words.  Like we said, he is verbalizing and expressing so many things, which was one of the big concerns when he first received his diagnosis.  I am so thankful how the Lord is growing precious John David and allowing him to blossom so beautifully.  We are so thankful for our son, and - like mentioned above - we look forward with great expectation to how our Sovereign God is going to use him for His glory.  
(Hope I didn't sound like a bragging parent.  For John David's sake, though, he has been very kind to allow me to be so open with his life; therefore,  I wanted to share a more complete picture with you.)     

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Fun times in T-town

We are so thankful to be settling into our new has been good for all of us!  John David seems to be more confident and less clingy now that we are no longer living a nomadic lifestyle. I'd say we all function better with routine and schedules...not that we've gotten a handle on a consistent routine or schedule to date, but we are working on it.  John David starts at a preschool at the University of Alabama next Monday.  He, with his 4 other classmates, will be meeting two mornings a week, two hours both days.  Perfect.  When we were told that John David needed to be in a preschool, my heart sank, for I always envisioned being at home with him, doing our own fun activities together.  I didn't want him to start having to be away from me.  But this situation is perfect - just two days, two hours, and during that time, I am able to observe and/or interact with him and his teachers.  (Each student is assigned a graduate student from the University; there are also other adult/medical supervisors.)  So, thankfully, plenty of supervision and one-on-one attention.  I am hopeful that this will be the perfect environment for little John David and will be just what he needs.  I told David that I feel like God made this program just for him.  I believe that He has.  

Here are some pictures from a recent "family date" that we went on, shortly after starting the new ministry at Circlewood.  I felt like we had been so busy - and we had! - and that we had just hit the ground running - and we had! - that we needed a a family!  So we went to Barnes & Noble, sipped on something hot, and let John David explore the children's section.  Of course, the time that I don't bring the diaper bag, John David has a blow out!  David ran across the street (for he thought it would be quicker than starting the car and fighting traffic) to the grocery store, purchased a pack of diapers and wipes, and made it back to the store in record time.  I was glad that he made it back so quickly, for I was trying to avoid people to spare them a sniff of my son's deposit.  So, the night was memorable for many reasons and much needed. One of my favorite parts though was watching my boys play.  John David is becoming so grown up.  Each day is filled with more and more fun and discovery.  It is as if we are starting to have real, two-way conversations now...simple, one-to-two-to-three word phrases, of course.:)  It is so delightful.  Music, guitars, microphones, trains, lions, monkeys, animal books, steering wheels, and the "Itsy-Bitsy Spider" song rank at the top of his list these days. But at the very top are Daddy and Mommy - right where we want to be!

John David and Daddy working together - makes my heart glad :)

An up-close look at John David's train wreck.  He and
David are working on something together in the background. 
At this point, working in teams may bring about better results. :)

"I'm so blessed to have such a fun Dad!"

Monday, January 12, 2009

Holiday Happenings

A good deal of time has passed since we last posted anything on our blog.  Therefore, we will take several posts to fill you in on all that has taken place during the elapsed time. Because our last post was a few days before Christmas, we will start there.  We ended up not moving the day before Christmas Eve - praise the Lord! :) - and we waited until that following Monday. It's funny how moving ranks close to the top on my "last thing I'd want to do today" list, but when it actually comes time for moving day, I always seem to be pretty pumped about it.  I guess it is a simplistic picture of how God gives you the grace for circumstances when you are walking through them; He doesn't give you grace for your imaginations. Envisioning moving is always dreadful to me; but the actual event on the Monday after Christmas was not bad at all.  We were so grateful to have such wonderful help!  Thanks to all of you guys that lent us your muscle and brains. . .the truck was efficiently loaded with great strategy.  I and the china cabinet were grateful.

Some of my favorite memories from holidays past are special times with my cousins.  I am so thankful for my family and all of those sweet memories.  I am also so thankful that John David has such great cousins to begin making special memories with.  Here are some pictures from the holidays. 

Abigail insisted that I take her picture while making this face. :) 

Doesn't a slice of bread just taste better when you eat it with someone you love?!

Easy-goin' Silas...what a cutie!

Ella and John David show different uses for a golf club...
.... a trumpet (and more to come, I'm sure)

You better watch out!  They both got...

car keys, 

golf clubs, 

and cell phones.

At least they'll be getting in trouble together! 
(Just kidding - we've got the most precious children
in our family!)

Christmas morning with Daddy.

I love this picture ~

  because it's proof that you can save money on Christmas presents, 
pass out a few paper towel rolls, and have just as much fun (if not more!)