It has been sixteen years ago, today that she came into our lives.  

Her stay was brief.

Her life will impact mine forever!

Sixteen years.  

I let my mind go and wonder what it would be like if she was still here.

How would we celebrate the big day?
What flavor of cake would she choose for me to make for her?

  What meal would she ask for me to make for her birthday dinner?

I let my mind wonder some more....

What would she look like?
Would she be tall or short?
Would her hair be curly or straight?  Blond or red?
Would she be outgoing or quiet?
Would she be....

 I stop.   I must not continue in this way of thinking; for in so doing, it is too easy to forget.

I don't want to forget!

I want to remember - not wonder.

I want to remember what it was like the very first time I saw her.  The moment I held her for the first time.  Looking into her eyes I was captivated by the miracle of life and overwhelmed with gratitude for God's gift to me.

Her life was a gift from God.

I want to remember when we dedicated her in our Pastor's office.  When we ceremonially gave her back to God and asked Him to use her.

He did.

I am so very thankful for the time we had with her. She is my blessing from God.  

Happy Birthday, Ally.  I love you!

She Calls me Mommy

Sometimes it just hits you.  A spoken phrase that stops life and causes you to reflect on something really important.  You know the instant, when life stands still and everything that really matters comes into clear focus and all of those unimportant things that seem to demand our time and attention pale and become blurry - not only in our mind's eye but in value and importance also.

It happened to me this week.  Time stood still.  Everything important made sense and seemed important.

We were walking down a street.  Her and me.  My youngest.  The baby for whom I had prayed so hard.  The one I thought would never come.   My baby.

The feel of her hand in mine still makes my heart leap and my day always seem brighter.  She holds my hand often.  I cherish every squeeze.

She held my hand that day and I co
uld feel her little fingers wrapped around mine; and as she did she looked up at me.  Our eyes met and locked.  It seemed like forever but in reality it was for only a second.  Those big brown eyes.  The eyes that seem to take over her face and convey her every emotion.  Those eyes.  The eyes I looked into over and over that first week we met her.

Mommy?  She said my name in a question and I looked down at her.

Locking eyes with hers I answered, "yes, Anna..."  I waited for her response.  Perhaps she would ask for a treat after we were done with our mission; or perhaps would as for a book to be read before bed that night. 

What followed stopped time for just a moment; but will stick in my heart forever.

"You're my favorite Mommy!" and with her proclamation she squeezed my hand as tight as her little fingers could muster with the strength in her.

I very well could have never even met this little girl who has captured my heart.  Our paths may have never crossed had it not been for God.  Every single day she calls me Mommy.  It could have been someone else who was listening to her today; but God chose for it to be me.  Someone else could be holding her hand and walking with her down a street; but God allowed for it to be me.  I get to tuck her into bed every night and look for her in her hiding place.  I get to snuggle with her every morning as the sleepy eyes open to a new day.  I get to make her lunch; and fold her clothes; and comb her hair.  I get to tell her about God and how much He loves her.  I get to watch those big brown eyes take in life and learn to read, to write and to express herself.

At that moment, time stood still and I realized just how blessed I am to hear her call me Mommy.  It could have been someone else; but God let it be me.

I will be forever grateful!

Thanks for stopping by.  I am so glad you did!

Our New Little Home

It has not been a year yet since we moved down South.  The move down here from up North was the biggest move we had ever made  - 18 hours away, three vehicles, five kids and lots of stuff.

God gave us a beautiful homestead to rent and when we signed the papers it was told to us that the owners would be retirning and moving back; but that it would probobly not be for another two years.  Well, throuogh the year things changed and the owners found it was possible to for them to retire a year early.  They were excited to finally be able to move to the homstead that had been in their family for years.  We were looking at the prospect of having to move - again.  That was not in my thoughts last June when we signed the lease.

It was in God's though.

God has provided us a beautiful little home just up the road from the house we were renting.  We love it!  It is considerably smaller than anything we have had since Rachel was just a baby; but it has been nice to look through our belongings and question:  "Do we really need this?"

So, while I did not plan on moving just ten in a half months since the last move; and I did find this move to be the most physically draining of any move we have ever made - I do love our new home.  (Even more than the other house we were at; but don't tell anyone I said that!)

I wanted to post pictures of our new home.  If this does not interest you - I understand.  For the most part, this post is for our daughter over in Rachel so she can see her new house.  The rest of you will just have t come along for the ride. 

The Front Porch - Welcome  

The View if you turn from the front door.  Beautiful!  We can see for miles!

Come on In!  Glad you are here!

To the right - the front room.

Looking back to the front door.

The Girls' Room

The door way leading into the dinning room.

The dinning room.  I finally got my picture hung.  I have not had that on the wall since Kaukauna.

The Unique feature of the house.  Yes, in the dinning room; but the laundry is easy to stay caught up on - and no cobwebs, spiders or steps to contend with when I need to do laundry!  LOVE IT!

The medicine cabinet.  Doesn't everyone keep their meds by their washer?  LOL

The shelf that my husband put up for extra storage.  I will paint it white when I finish unpacking and hanging pictures.  :)

Boys Room

Zak has a make shift trundle bed.  Bunk beds are being planned out and Rob will be making some here soon. 

No Cupboards for the time being.  I am having to be resourceful by figuring out my kitchen.  It has been a fun challenge to figure out.  The boxes on the shelves are temporary until I get something else. 

The fire place mantel in the kitchen.

The dresser I am using for drawer storage.  This too will get a fresh coat of white paint soon.

The hutch - with stuff on top - sorry; but the hutch is where I store all the dishes - and underneath all my serving bowls.  

The island table that James found at the dump.  It has been sanitized and will get some white paint here very soon.  I love it though.  

The shelves my husband put up for me.  They too will get painted white.  I have really enjoyed baking with everything there and ready at my finger tips. 

Our bedroom.

The desk - with a few boxes of books waiting to be put on shelves.  

We love books.  A picture will go in the middle of the wall above our bed.

The back door off the kitchen.

Our back porch

The woods from off our back porch.

The driveway and van.

Hydrangea bushes outside my kitchen widow

Side view of the house.  The steps lead to the front door.  Love the view.
I plan on doing some posts on organization of a family in a small house.  It has been fun figuring out where everything goes and finding a place for everything. 

Hope you enjoyed the tour of our new home that God has given to us.  We are so thankful for all the blessings He bestows upon us.  God is so good.

Thanks for stopping by and taking the tour.  I am so glad you did.