Sunday, May 29, 2011

What's In Her Name?

Are you the mama of a girl?

Often times when we pray over our future children during pregnancy we choose names with special meaning - reflecting growing strong in the Lord, carrying on family names, etc.

This weekend on my MODSquad post I'm sharing how we chose Ava Marie's name and I'm inviting you to join in the conversation.

The stories have been INCREDIBLE & extremely fun to read. Please stop by to enjoy what has been written and while there don't forget to share how you selected your precious angel(s) name(s)!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Our Graduate

This has been an incredible memory making month. Not only did we welcome precious Ava into our family and enjoy Grace's dance recital, but we also celebrated our first graduation.

Grace graduated from preschool.

The kids processed into the auditorium to "Pomp and Circumstance" (insert hormonal mommy tears here!) wearing graduation hats...or "square hats" as Grace called them. :)

One of the benefits to having her in Christian preschool was the opportunity to discuss and grow in her Christian faith. They sang songs praising Christ and who He created them to be before giving speeches. Yes, they each took the mic and said, "When I grow up, I think God wants me to be _____." Grace said a ballerina teacher.

Then they all got their diplomas and were introduced as the class of 2024.

Can I just say that I'd never thought of her high school class before! I totally had to get the kleenex out again!

Grace had an incredible teacher in Mrs. LuAnn (on the left) and her helper Mrs. Anne (right).

Her school uses Proverbs 22:6 as their theme verse. However, as a parent that watched her child adopt an extreme love for school in her first year there, I am confident this will hold true not only for her love of the Lord, but also in joy found in the classroom.

We are so proud of our little graduate

Who is now officially an elementary schooler!

Way to go, Grace

and thanks for the beautiful permanent memories

made in your preschool graduation day!

We love you!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Thanking Inspirational Teachers

“A good teacher is like a candle – it consumes itself to light the way for others.” ~ Author Unknown

Teaching. It is an incredible calling that demands patience, organization, and a heart full of love. Teaching necessitates that one pair of eyes see and respond to a multitude of kids. And, good teachers will somehow – in only one body – see and respond to the needs of many bodies. Their mark will never leave the lives they inspire and hid inside future doctors, nurses, teachers, counselors, executives, pastors, priests, homemakers, etc is their loving, confidence-building influence.

This was Grace’s first year in school. While my husband and I prayed about where to send her and knew that Train Up a Child was the right fit, we had no idea that we could be so thankful for one teacher.

Mrs. LuAnn is one in a million. Under her teaching, Grace has continued to excel in her reading, Bible knowledge, writing skills, project making, and the list goes on. But, most importantly, through her style and approach, Grace has developed a genuine LOVE for school. In fact, she is really sad that once Thursday comes she is done for the summer.

As a parent, I am thankful. It is one thing to send your child to school and know that they are learning. But it is a whole different thing to know that they are being fed all that they need to lay a foundation of love for the academics. Having a child that is excited about learning is a gift and the foundation that she has laid will continue to bolster Grace’s confidence and serve her well as she leaves to start kindergarten next year. Her influence is irreplaceable.

People that feel called to the teaching profession are gems. It is only for those with a special gift. This week, as your child prepares for summer break, I pray that you will join me in taking the time to do something special for a teacher that has left their mark on your child’s heart – whether it be a nice card, a flower, a Starbucks card, whatever. I know that we always feel short on time, but the time that they have invested with our children has been a bright spot in their life and lit the way for their future.

I’m getting it done today. Will you join me?

Monday, May 9, 2011

Meet Ava

Last Monday night my husband, Charlie, and I headed for Olive Garden to enjoy a date night. I'm thankful for the opportunity because shortly thereafter we snapped this picture and headed for the hospital.

The night was filled with contractions, which meant no sleep for me. But, that was okay because I was ready to be done being pregnant and meet our newest family member.

When morning came, I received an incredible epideral that allowed me to rest a few hours and regain my energy before pushing through a few contractions and meeting our newest princess.

At 11:36am on May 3, Ava Marie entered the world healthy and beautiful. She weighed 7 pounds 9 ounces and was 19.5 inches long.

We were surprised by the head of dark hair since both of our other two girls were born pretty much bald with a little bit of blond. I guess there was good reason for all the heartburn! :)

My husband was an incredible support (as he has been each time) and when I saw him holding Ava I was overcome with love for him as a father.

There is something about seeing your spouse hold, love, and adore your child that makes you fall in love with them in a whole new way.

The girls came up to the hospital sporting these shirts

and were completely enamored by her.

That has continued to be the case at home where we have help with EVERY diaper change, clothing selection, pajama pick, and, of course, with holding her.

Our dear friend Dr. Seger was there, making it three for three with helping to bring our children safely into the world. (If you look closely you can see one of Ava's cutest features, her dimple!)

We will forever be thankful to have a physician that so dearly loves us and our children.

And we will forever be grateful for the incredible nursing staff on labor and delivery, post-partum, and in the nursery. Everyone helped to make our birth experience exactly what we hoped it would be.

I know I will miss watching the girls' excitement when Ava was moving around inside my stomach

But we praise God that she is here and we now have a beautiful trio of girls my brother has cleverly dubbed "Charlie's Angels."

"Every good and perfect gift is from above..." James 1:17

We Are Blessed!
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