Monday, December 21, 2009

POWER

Gracie has been doing amazing things lately. We pretend that it's because she turned the big SIX years old... ;)

She didn't cry when I did her hair (just 6 little rubberbands along the front of her hair to pull it back from her face). She didn't throw an arching full force tantrum when she was starving after church on Sunday. She's standing with very little support at times. AND she's trialing a power wheelchair - she's doing really well with the trial. She gets it conceptually. Doesn't get the quick reaction time required for stopping and the whole turning thing... but so far we're really encouraged by how she's doing with it. She seems to really like being able to get herself from point A to point B!

I'll post a video at some point when I get it off the camera.

We haven't given up on her walking someday, but not soon enough or quickly enough to let her keep up with her intellectual and social development.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Respitality

It has been way too long since I posted. Life has felt like a run-away train lately.

We were SO blessed to spend a whirlwind week in PA over Thanksgiving with a chance to meet up with so many people, some people I haven't seen in years from highschool, some new friends, and several churches. We are excited to see our support pick up as we prepare for the mission field!

It took us a week to recover from that trip (and get the kids back into shape, although they did fantastic with sleeping in different homes and playing with lots of new people!) and then DECEMBER hit fast and furious!

We are leading our LAST Christmas Eve choir and service in the USA for the foreseeable future! We love putting together a God-centered Christmas Eve service every year and we are amazed every year by the faithful people who step forward to dedicate so much time to practice to produce beautiful music! I'll share more about our Christmas Eve service in a later post.

We were also thrilled that FOUR different churches participated in a project to provide Christmas celebrations to kids in the ACTION ministries in Gulu, Uganda (where we are headed) - so exciting to visit two of the churches on our PA trip and see the excitement of the American kids to get photos of their Ugandan peers who are the recipients of their generosity. Between the four churches, every child in the Orphanage (Home of Love) and many children from the IDP camps (Internally Displaced People) in the surrounding area will get a Christmas meal, Christmas gifts (toothbrush, little toy, etc.), and a fun day of activities, Bible studies, and songs! HORRAY! It has been fun to be involved in ministry in Gulu even before we get to arrive there!

Gracie has been in excellent health - we rejoice! She turned 6 years old (gasp!) and Ana turned 2 years old (going on 15) and they are extremely spoiled with gifts and love from family and friends!

But most importantly, Josh finished his Hebrew class, is almost finished his Systematic Theology III class; I finished my Healthcare Administration class and we are away WITHOUT children! We received a night at a beautiful B&B in the White Mountains, covered with fresh snow, through a program called "Respitality" which provides one night a year to provide respite to families with a child with special needs.

We spent a night in the area last night at a cheap motel and enjoyed the quiet immensely with an early bedtime and no fussing during the night. I still woke up at the usual 4:30-5:30am when I usually get up with a fussy Grace, but it was nice to doze instead of stumble out of bed! We "hiked" to the Basin (part of Franconia Notch State Park) in snow half way up our legs, built a snow man and threw snowballs. Something we haven't done in year since Gracie can't tolerate the cold!

Now we are at The Lion and The Rose who donated the night for us and we're staying in "the Lion's Den" - perfect for us! I'm finally starting to relax (and get some things done).

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