Thursday, March 24, 2011
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Molly has a bunch of wonderful little friends, and one of her close buddies is Keilani. When we were down in Southern California spending time with Shirley during her last days, Molly lived with Keilani and her family for 9 days. That was a big deal for us because it was such a huge help. Anyway, we carpool with Keilani's mommy and this morning the girls were dressed in identical outfits. We always joke that these two could be twins... and today it seemed to be the case.
Monday, March 14, 2011
The best part of the last few weeks has been spending a large quantity of time with family. Our kids LOVED hanging out with Christie's kids. They all played so well together, and kept us entertained as well.
While we were down south, we had the opportunity to celebrate Luke's second birthday. Molly and Hailey enjoyed "helping" him open his cards and gifts.
And Luke definitely enjoyed the singing and attention. That little guy is definitely an extrovert.
I also got to take Luke's 2-year portraits. He was SO easy to shoot because he smiles non-stop. And even Hailey, who usually hides from my camera, wanted in on the action. I think she may have gotten a wee bit jealous of all the attention he was getting.
What a blessing for our kids to grow up with cousins the same age as them. We are looking forward to spending more time with them under happier circumstances.
she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
I was blessed to have my friend Kirk sing and play a couple of songs with me during the service, including Jim and Shirley's favorite hymn, Amazing Grace. It meant a lot to us to have good friends present to help during such a difficult day.
Christie picked out the flowers on behalf of Aunt Nancy, and she did an amazing job. They were seriously beautiful! After the service, Aunt Nancy had a FABULOUS idea of what to do with the flowers, and the next day I took the bouquets to the hospital that Shirley had spent time in. I dropped them off at the nurses desk and explained that they were from her memorial service and that she was the kind of person that would love it if they could be passed on to someone who needed some love and encouragement. Perhaps they could go to a few patients that were discouraged, lonely or sad. The nurses remembered Shirley and were so touched at the sentiment, promising to deliver the flowers to the "right" people. After returning to my car, I prayed that those flowers would touch someone's heart like Shirley had touched all of our lives.
Steve came up with a wonderful idea and instead of having a sign-in guest book at the service, each person or family wrote on an index card which will be scanned in and included with photographs to create a memory album. It's going to be done digitally so we can all have a copy of it. Also, along with the program, Christie had the great idea of passing out packets of Forget Me Not seeds with the saying "Shirley Belknap, she planted the seeds of love, hope and faith in all of us".
After the service, Christie's family hosted a wonderful reception at a restaurant nearby. The food was fabulous and it was nice to relax after a stressful morning. Shirley shared her birthday with Christie's son Luke, so we also took the opportunity to sing Happy Birthday to him that evening.
And of course the highlight for my kids was running around with their cousins.
All in all it was a wonderful (but tearful) celebration of an amazing woman. It is heartbreaking to think she will not be around for us and our kids any longer. But we are thankful that she is in a much better place now.
Garrett was 31 lbs 6 oz which was the 84th percentile. He measured a whopping 3 ft 1.25 inches which was the 97th percentile. He's going to be a BIG kid, and looks likes he's already three years old. He's also extremely smart. By his second birthday he was already able to count to 20, recognizes ALL his uppercase letters, and almost all his lower case letters. I'd love to take credit for his knowledge, but he learned it all from playing with Molly's toy laptop. He's obsessed with it, and has pretty much taught himself everything. He's also become quite enamored with his father, and wakes up every morning and afternoon wailing for "Daaaddddddyyyyyyy!". This is fine when Steve is around, but when he's not and I show up to get him, Garrett is less than pleased.
Paige was 28 lbs 3.2 oz which was the 68th percentile. She gets the prize for being my petite child. She measured 2 ft 11.3 inches which was the 87th percentile, and like Garrett is becoming quite lean. She also gets the prize for being my easiest child right now. As long as she's receiving a LOT of cuddles (read: clings to me 24-7) she is quite mellow. She plays well by herself, shares well, and is really empathetic. Her language skills are growing daily and she's actually becoming "chattier". Her favorite thing is mothering her baby dolls or stuffed animals, and she's just such a loving little girl.
While digging through old pictures of their grandma, we also recently figured out who Paige looks like! Her Grandma Shirley! Here's a couple of pictures of her when she was little. Can you see the resemblance?
Thursday, March 3, 2011
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:26
Surrounded by loved ones, with each hand being held this morning at 12:27 a.m. Shirley went home to be held and healed by Jesus. As many of you have been praying, she was able to be without pain and was at peace as she took her last breath here on earth. This house has been filled with so much love, laughter, family, visitors, cards, emails, and phone calls to ensure that each and every one of us were able to say what we needed to her... to tell her how much we loved her and how thankful we all are to have her in our lives. We have been kissing her and hugging her, both physically and with virtual hugs and kisses that all of you have sent her way. I smile when I really think about last night; she is always being the protector, and she waited until all of the grandkids had said goodnight, gave her kisses and said ‘I love you Grandma’ before she died. We were able to spare our children the pure heartache and reality of what took place this morning.
Again we thank you for helping to carry us lifted in prayer through this journey. Love you all, and be at peace knowing that Steve's mom is now at peace with the Lord smiling down on us!