August 31, 2010

first grade fun

abbie has had such a great start to first grade, we are really thankful! i have a lot of photos to go through of all the activities of the first week, but wanted to post these two just for now.
the first one, she is excited to see her friends on the first day.
the second one is her participating in the fun run, a friday night activity hosted by the school.
it is going to be a great year!

back to the bottom

it has been another rough weekend, with james not feeling well. he was doing so great, actually feeling great for about a month and a half. but while outside, he reacted to a wasp that flew towards him, and it really sent his back out of whack. and when that is bad everything else is bad.

he hasn't been sleeping much at all, because he is unable to sit or lay down without intense nerve pain shooting down his left leg. he describes it as 'being on fire' and there is no suffering through it.

today we spent the morning in the ER, trying to get some relief, but he is such a complex case, that no one who doesn't know all the ins and outs of his cancer is willing to do anything except give him a shot of narcotics. not that he isn't on enough drugs already...

so last night and today he's spent most of his time on his crutches, falling asleep standing up. this always makes me nervous because if he fell he would hurt himself much worse. so now, at 4pm, he is finally getting some rest. he isn't laying in bed, but he seems to have found an okay position to kneel in to close his eyes and recover.

it is hard to get anything accomplished with life or work during times like this, but we continue to have such a strong support group around us, helping with meals and kids. hopefully i will be able to get caught up with work one of these days, i really hate not being on top of things for my clients. but in the grand scheme of things, it is all about helping james make it through one more day, and providing the peace and love that our kids need through it all.

thank you for your continued prayers and support.
we are humbled and encouraged daily.

August 24, 2010

not so easy

it has not been so easy around here lately. especially today. we grieve the loss of our aunt ann, who's birthday is today, along with the loss of little ezekiel (zeke) john. it has been a very hard year, filled with sadness and pain, loss and confusion. james has had one of the hardest years too, which adds to the challenge of getting through each day.

for me, it is so hard to really spend a lot of time thinking about all of it, because i just can't keep it together when i do. i know this goes for everyone who is involved, but it is always a part of our day, so you really cannot think about it.

this fall our community group girls are focusing on scriptures and studies about prayer, so i was going back through my beth moore study from this summer and found some great things to think on:
Psalm 34:17-19
17 The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them;
he delivers them from all their troubles.
{"God's great deliverance in itself presupposes a trouble from which the person was delivered"}

18 The LORD is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
{"God's closeness to the brokenhearted presupposes a difficulty that broke the heart. The depth of God's aid to the crushed in spirit presupposes the occurrence of something crushing."}

19 A righteous man may have many troubles,
but the LORD delivers him from them all;

God never promised to remove us from human experience. Pain is a part of that. Loss is a part of that. "God's delivering us from every ounce of trial will never develop the relationship that occurs when God shows Himself faithful right in the midst of difficulty, delivering us through it. That's where we come to know Him, to love Him, to appreciate Him."

One of my favorite songs is "You Hold me Now", and the lyrics are so powerful and give such a promise and good picture of what heaven will be like, when we will get to rejoice and be with these sweet souls we have lost.

Until then, we miss and remember them. And we struggle to get through the days and weeks, seeking to find joy and peace, and a new closeness with our Savior.

August 23, 2010

happy birthday mom!

my sweet mom had her birthday last week, and we invited her over to be treated like a queen. never have we kids ever been in want for anything- from babysitting, to clean laundry, to fantastic meals out on their patio, to encouragement she has always given us exactly what we need. and we love her so much for who she is and how she loves us. she is the best gigi to our kids and they love her deeply (especially when she takes them on personal shopping trips!).
we had a great night of grilled pizzas and laughter, and then treated her to the new frozen yogurt shop by us. this was abbie's idea, and she was SO thrilled to take her there. it was a beautiful night, and we loved celebrating her!
thank you mom, for being the absolute best at absolutely everything. you make our lives better. you make our lives easier. you make life beautiful.
we love, love, love you!

August 16, 2010


can it really be that abbie starts first grade tomorrow?!! she is so ready, and i love seeing her excitement. we were able to log on saturday to finally find out who her teacher is and the suspense was fun! she will have mrs. rodriguez, who according to abbie, has purple hair... 'well, it's really dark black and sometimes looks purple.' we get to meet her tonight at the 'sneek a peek'.

to celebrate this milestone, we did a fun little session at the studio, and here are a few of my favorites of little miss abbie. so full of energy and love, creativity and attitude. we love you, sweetie!

August 14, 2010

sweet zeke

today is zeke's first birthday, and he is celebrating with Jesus. my sister leah is undoubtedly having a difficult day, thinking back on her little baby that she lost when he was only 10 days old. our hearts still ache for her and tom and little cassidy, knowing that their loss will never be able to be explained, nor their lives ever the same.
abbie and i went out to visit him today, and left a little 'z' present we made. we also left a little soccer ball for wyatt, who is buried right next to him. it was difficult to be there, but we needed to go. it still is very difficult to wrap my head around the way God has chosen to work in their lives, and it still brings deep sadness every time i remember what they have lost.
please continue to be praying for everyone, as these next two weeks will be extremely hard in so many different ways.
we will keep waiting to see how God is going to use this tragedy to bring people into closer relationship with Him, as we know He already has.
we miss and love you, sweet Ezekiel John.

leah has a great blog about her journey:

August 8, 2010

congratulations rachel & derek!

this weekend, one of james' little sisters got married, and we were able to share in all of the fun! she was one of 4 flower girls at our wedding 11 years ago, and now our kids got to be in hers!
this was the first time abbie and asher have been in a wedding, and though it was a lot of hard work, we had a fun time. this was the first wedding where i was doing the photography AND had my kids in the ceremony. it proved to be very challenging with 5 little ones walking down the aisle together, but everyone knows that the cute things they do down the aisle is more fun to see than the perfect walking flowergirl... right?!!
i knew that asher would probably walk right towards me, so we practiced many times the night before. he did great, and walked right up to the front with no hesitation. but on the wedding day, we were able to sneak in a nap before the 2:30 ceremony, so when he woke up he instantly wanted to be with me. i was unavailable before their big moment, so when we started walking down (with a mouth full of smarties!) he was slow, but then he spotted me and came straight towards me. i tried to get him to keep walking down with the rest of the flower girls, but he just wanted to stay with me. it was cute, and the girls had their own cute moments too- tossing flowers high in the air, and dumping their whole baskets of flowers in one spot. it was a high energy day, but so much fun to share with them.
so, congratulations rachel & derek!
it was a beautiful celebration and we loved being there with you.

summer time

summer time
(click on image)


click on image for hawaii pics