Monday, January 19, 2009

The Sanctity of Life

Yesterday was a moving day at church!! It was the day that we focused on the sanctity of life and how precious life is. Sadly, there are many in our world today that do not have the same opinion. That is made clear as so many innocent babies are killed while still in their mother's womb. I could go on and on about why this sickens me so much, but I would have to write a book to do so. Where it really hits home with me on a personal level is something that James shared with our church yesterday. He covered the whole gamut of this discussion including not only abortion, but also murder, suicide and euthanasia. He did a wonderful job explaining and showing from God's word how each and every life is to be valued. And he shared that just how God chose to bring us into this world, He and only He has the right to decide the time and the way and individual should leave this world.

We never imagined that we would be faced with the question of abortion, but when we found out that our second daughter Dana was going to have Down Syndrome, that is the option that was placed before us. We would never even consider such a terrible thing and of course that was the answer we gave before the question was even finished being asked. I was so shocked to hear how many people thought of us as some kind of heroes for making that decision. We weren't being heroic, we were having our baby that God so blessed us with. Why would we ever think it to be our choice to give or take away her life? God knit her being together in my womb and she was no less "fearfully and wonderfully made" by Him because she had Down Syndrome. As James shared this yesterday he went on to share what a blessing she was and is and what our lives would have missed out on if we didn't have her. At that point he told the congregation that he wanted to show them that little blessing and I let Dana go from the rear of the auditorium to walk down front to him. I wasn't sure what she would do, and it didn't really matter. But she was perfect, just like she knew her role and "performed" it right on cue! It was precious!!! As he held her for a few minutes and continued to share, there was hardly a dry eye there. Below are a few pictures our other precious daughter, Emily took. We need to be thankful for our lives and those of our loved ones and consider every day that we have as an honor and a privilege that God has given us the gift of life!!!

Friday, January 16, 2009

True Friends....PRICELESS!!!

One of the best parts of our Christmas holidays was the day we got to spend with our precious friends, the Sutton's. A few days after Christmas while they were in Jacksonville seeing family they came to Keystone to spend the day with us!! As always, we all had such a sweet time of fellowship and of course, a barrel full of laughs!! We also arranged for some friends to surprise them at the church when we took them by to see the new building. They really enjoyed seeing many old friends and special people in their lives. We wish we could see each other every week, but we cherish whatever time we do get to be together! God has knit our hearts together in a way that only He can, and for that we are truly thankful!!!!

The girls ~ Jerra, Emily, Julianne, Jenna and Dana! It is so sweet the special love they all have for each other. Even in their young hearts the miles between us have not changed that!

The girls being funny!!! (minus Dana!! She had returned to Barney inside!)

The girls had fun performing in the Epicenter while we were at the church

Emily, Jerra and Abby

Jen, Grady and "the crew!!"

Watch out Hollywood!!!!

The Sutton's with dear friends ~ Stephanie, Luke and Wyatt!

More friends ~ Dustin and Amber!

What a mess!!!

Best friends and partners in crime!!!!!! Jen and me!

Born less than 2 hours apart ~ Dana Woo and Jenna Bean!!

Dana's feet were cold so she warmed them up by putting them in Uncle Grady's shirt!!! Dana loves Uncle Grady!!! Ha!!

She finally moved on the her blankie!

Hilarious!!!!! Let's just say we weren't as good of jumpers as the girls!!!! Haha!!!

We decided to make our gingerbread Christmas tree since it definitely wouldn't still be good next year!!! The girls had a ball!

Working intently!

...and tasting to make sure it was alright!!!! Thanks Jerra for "quality control!!!"
I could eat you!!

The finished product! It turned out so good and tasted rather good!!!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

I got Tagged!!!

Ok. So the rules of this little game were as follows:

1. Choose the 4th folder where you store your pictures on your computer
2. Select the 4th picture in the folder (no cheating, cropping, editing, etc.)
3. Post the picture and explain it
4. Tag 4 other people to do the same

I was wondering what the folder would be and I was blessed when I pulled it up and saw my precious older daughter, Emily's face. For those of you that know her well you know that for about the past 5 years she has loved the American Girl dolls as well as the books, get the idea, anything they make. My mom started buying her one for each birthday and she has a few others that she got for Christmas and different occasions. She really does treat each one as her child and fondly refers to them as my grandchildren!!! The books are great and have opened her eyes up to many things from the eras they lived in and so forth. This particular picture was taken last spring as we had been visiting our best friends, the Sutton's in Georgia. When we left to head home we made time to stop by the newest of the American girl stores which is in Atlanta called American Girl Boutique and Bistro. As she does on most trips, she had brought one of her dolls on the trip so she brought her in the store to look around. The excitement on her face always makes my heart smile. She is a special young lady and it's sweet to watch her "mother" her babies. I know she will be a wonderful mommy one day! In MANY, MANY years from now!!! :)