Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Re-boot of the family blog!

Well, Maddie saw this blog the other day and really liked it and wanted me to post here so I thought I would at least try.  Last Thu-Sat was the kid's dance company "Dance Nationals" with Stage One, it is the annual finale to their dance season.  The kid's dance groups did quite well.  Maddie is in the "Juniors" category and her dance did great- they ranked as the champion in their category and Noelle ranked as the champion in her category- called "Petite".  I am going to include a couple of pics of the kids in their groups and also a couple of links to the actual dances on YouTube.  This is the Lifesong Junios dance- you can click this and watch it.

This a link you can click to Noelle's dance, the petite group.

Right now we're on vacation in Spicewood, TX near Austin with the extended family.  Last November was Jerry and Gwenda's 50th wedding anniversary.  The entire family took them out to dinner at Del Frisco's steak house and as part of that we delivered them a letter offering them a vacation with the entire family in the Summer- this is that trip.  We have Jon and Lisa and their kids, Jerry and Gwenda, and then Jamie and myself with the kids.

The trip officially started Tuesday the 15th, we got to watch Jase's golf tournament at Avery Ranch, he placed 9th out of 21.

We rented this great house that backs up to a deep, rocky stream that is full of fish.  We are wearing ourselves out fishing- it is just awesome.  We went shopping earlier at Dick's Sporting Goods and geared-up for fishing.  We cooked steaks tonight with baked potato which turned out well.

We fished up and down the stream and caught a lot of fish: Panfish of various kinds and Bass.  Maddie, Noelle, and Ellis also swam in the stream and rafted on it.

Right now we are watching the first Star Wars movie as I type this and Jamie with a bunch of the kids are playing Uno.

I guess we should capture a piece of major news here just because it is very recent- even though it is bad news.  My business mentor Bill, who has been a great personal inspiration to me and who helped me launch passed away last Thursday suddenly.  It was devastating to his family and friends.  Jamie helped the family for several days up to the point of the funeral which they all appreciated.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Voices and Smiles

Maddie said "bye daddy" when I dropped her off at school today and smiled sweetly. It just shot through my heart and reminded me of something that I have thought about several times lately. My children's voices are like music to me. Hearing their voices brings me so much joy. My children's smiles are a sunshine of joy and they shine right through me.

Thank you Lord for our children and the special connection you have between us. I wonder if our voices bring joy when we talk to you?

Friday, December 12, 2008

Happy 3rd Gotha Day Noelle!!

Yesterday was our 3rd Gotcha Day anniversary for Noelle. This is the anniversary we celebrate the day we got Noelle in China. I asked Noelle today what Gotcha Day was and she said the day I got a Mommy, Daddy, and Sissy. Sweet, I've always thought of it as the day we got her and not of the day she got us as we are truly the blessed ones!
We celebrated "Gotcha Day" with the Gibbons (Ryan, Amy, Nate, and Lily) minus Ryan who was sick, Ms. Ann (The Gibbons close family friend), and Grammy and Papa. The Gibbons were a part of our travel group to China. They received Lily Wei Xu at the same time. Every time the girls get together they just seem like sisters. They are so much alike. Both Noelle and Lily are from the exact city in China and are one week apart. We are so blessed to have the Gibbons live so close and get to share these special times with them. We of course had Chinese food and Amy, Lily, and Nate made the cutest snowman cupcakes. The girls played dress up and filled up their bags. It's funny Noelle has the nick name of "The Bag Lady" which she has joyfully embraced. She always has a bag and packs up her toy room into all her bags. So it was so funny to see Lily doing the same thing last night, packing up everything into her bag and carrying it around. They were super cute with their sunglasses and bags. Of course Nate and Maddie were there to celebrate their sisters as well. At one point they were all chasing each other around the house giggling, screaming, and laughing. Never a dull moment around here.

This day is a very special day in our family. We are so grateful for Noelle. She has added so much joy to our family. She is the spunkiest (nicest word I can find at the moment) girl I know. =) She is an extrovert at it's finest. She never meets a stranger, she can find friends of any age and anywhere and those friends are usually all following her around doing exactly what she tells them to do. She says and does things that other people's children do....not mine. I have been SO embarrassed on many occasions by some of the things she has said and done out in public. At her last doctor's appointment I was prescribed the book Love and Logic instead of Noelle an antibiotic for a bladder infection. We figured she must have a bladder infection since she started tee teeing in her pants. She keeps us all on our toes with her energy and stubbornness, but we would not trade her for a second. This little strong willed child has the cutest dimplples you ever did see, the sweetest voice, is so affectionate, nurturing, charming, smart, and loves us unconditionally! We love you Noelle and love celebrating Gotcha Day!!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

New Pics and Happy Thanksgiving!

Well, its been tooo long since we updated the ol' family blog! Here are a few updated pics. Love ya'll!

P.S. Maddie says I should run for Santa. (hmmm, wonder if I could get enough votes?)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

President's Club 2008 in St. Thomas

Jamie and I were blessed to have been able to attend my new company's President's Club a few weeks ago. It was such a miracle the way I was able to qualify for this special sales award. It was humanly impossible and the Lord intervened through special circumstances to bless us with this. We had a great time. The trip was in St. Thomas and we stayed at the Frenchman's Reef Marriot. St. Thomas has a population of about 55,000 right now. We also had a day trip to St. John which was incredible- it was even more beautiful than St. Thomas and is unspoiled with a local population of only about 5,500. These islands are U.S. Territories and are part of the United States Virgin Islands. The final island in this group is called St. Croix which we did not visit.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Noelle update from Dad

Noelle is doing great. She is speaking incredibly well and can pretty much have a full conversation now. She is very fiesty. She loves to grab something from Maddie or someone else and run away laughing.

She is very tender and loving as well. She loves kisses and hugs and is very affectionate. She is very secure in our love also which is priceless.

Tonight was so sweet, I was lying on the floor next to her toddler bed and saying her prayers and patting her as I do every night and I was going to go and she pretty much laid down on my hand and held it close to her face and neck area and said, "no, I want to keep you." Oh my gosh that was so sweet. She is my precious little angel. When she finally let me go we exchanged a shower of kisses and "I love you so much's". Precious.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Ummmm... we had a SNOW day on March 6th in Texas... yah, us too

But, at least you get cute kid pics.

A letter to Maddie

Maddie, your Daddy is so proud of you. You have so many awesome qualities. Thank you for being such a leader and helper to Noelle. You are so sweet to her. You really remind me of your Mommy a lot of times and in many ways, especially when it comes to helping or protecting Noelle. You often say, "Come on sweetie, ok?" in such a sweet voice and other things like that. I see you holding her hand and leading her, sitting down reading to her, and playing with her. I see such unusual helpfulness in you toward her and such care. Thank you so much for that. I am proud of you and I love you.



Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Miracle of Her Heart

We were having dinner out 2 nights ago with our kids. It was a nice time after work and everything was fine. Suddenly, Noelle started choking, her face got red, her eyes were distressed and Jamie said, "Brian, she's choking!" I was sitting next to her so I started fishing in her mouth for the food. However it was a stringy piece of food and it broke off in bits and stayed buried in her throat. I frantically was sweeping the back of her throat although Noelle slightly fought me in the process. I urgently said, "Noelle, you are choking..daddy is helping you get the food out!"

In a split second out of the corner of my eye I saw Maddie turned to the side wall kind of burying her head and I was irritated. She tends to be very uncomfortable around medical-type situations and certain other situations, I can't completely describe the pattern to you. I was frustrated with her for tuning-out in this way for some reason although now if I think about it of course she would be scared and disengage from the situation. Oh well, I have a lot of growing to do, I admit it.

Anyway, Noelle suddenly choked in a different way, a piece came out and I wondered if she was out of danger so I asked her to say something. (if someone is choking but they can speak it may still be somewhat of an issue but it shows they can get air) She said something and we could tell that the last piece had become disloged.

We were so relieved and explained to Noelle, "We have to be careful when we eat. That is called choking, that is why we have to take smaller bites and chew it up good," etc, etc.

I didn't notice Maddie whispering to Jamie during my coaching of Noelle. After I was done with the coaching I turned on Maddie slightly irritated and said, "Maddie, why did you turn away like that when your sister was choking." Jamie said, "Brian, Maddie has something to tell you." I said, "Ok, what is it." Maddie said, "When Noelle was choking I prayed."

I was stunned. Oh my gosh, as Jamie and I were wild-eyed with fear Maddie turned her head away from the real trauma of the situation, turned her heart to God and called on him for help. (I am so touched while writing this) I praised Maddie up and down and held her hand across the table and squeezed it and shook it over and over and told her how wonderful that was and how proud I was of her.

I said, "Maddie, today you fulfilled your name before the Lord! Your name means "Strong Tower." (she is well aware of the meaning of her name and if you have followed our family at all you remember some time ago a challenge that came to us around that topic) I said, your Bible verse that goes along with your name is, "The name of the Lord is a Strong Tower, the righteous run into it and are saved." I said, "You ran to the Lord Maddie, that is so amazing, we are so proud of you!" She just beamed and beamed over this.

Honestly, the truth is the Lord DID answer Maddie's prayer- I was failing to fish that out of Noelle's throat and I don't have any reason why it suddenly sprang out like that. So, I credit the Lord with answering Maddie's prayer which is a wonderful miracle but the most important miracle here is far more important.

The miracle of her heart is the miracle I care about here. I so want my children to call upon the Lord in their time of need- and at all times for that matter. This miracle inside of my sweet six year old daughter is one that, with God's help, I will never stop remembering with thankfulness to God.