Saturday, October 31

Pumpkin Picking

A few weeks ago we went to pick pumpkins. We went to my home church and the church we were married in, Mt. Hebron UMC. They had a huge inventory and great prices. Their youth group was running the pumpkin patch.

Bradley loves pumpkins, and Austin seemed to like them too. Bradley kept wanting more and more, and was constantly trying to put another one in the stroller.  We thought 7 was plenty; one for each person in our family. Austin seemed amazed with the bright orange "balls".  He was probably thinking that he can't wait until next year when he'll be walking, and can "copy" big brother (oh, the things he is learning! :-))

Our Pumpkin Family
Left to Right, Top to Bottom:
Mama, Daddy
Brayden, Bradley, Baby "Daisy", Austin, & Lexi

7 months adjusted, 10 months actual age

Bradley, 3 1/2 years old
"Look at all the pumpkins"


Tuesday, October 20

Spotlight for the week, part 2 . . .

BRADLEY! Bradley has been our God given rock through everything we've been through. He is such a loving child, and I promise when his eyes light up you know that God is working in and through him. His eyes just sparkle with a love for life, and I'm not sure I've shared that he has also started to show a love for God. He is only 3 and that just amazes me. He tells strangers and anyone that will listen that God is in his heart, and he started that on his own. Bradley is amazing in so many ways. He has been through quite a lot emotionally in the last year. Bradley went through months of being cared for by other people, even while I was home, and then weeks of being gone from me while I was in the hospital. I have always stayed home with Bradley, and he certainly wasn't used to us being apart. His routine was thrown off and there was very little discipline, which children thrive from when done with love. After I came home I left him everyday to visit the NICU while Austin was there for 108 days. I doubt Bradley understands that he got through that by God's grace, but I pray that as he grows older he remembers that time when God was giving our family strength and how He continues to do so. A wonderful verse to remind us of our Father's grace:

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weakness, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12: 9-10

Bradley has been busy lately with preschool, soccer, and just being a crazy 3 year old! Preschool is going OK; he still tries to get out of going. He either tells me he is too sick to go to school or runs and hides after I've gotten him ready. It makes me a little sad, but I finally have figured out an easy bribe to encourage him to go with a smile. After school, he is allowed to have a picnic in the living room for lunch. I put a blanket out with a tray, and he gets to watch a show of his choice. He gets very excited about his special treat, and tells me thank you over and over. Soccer is going well. He has improved a lot since the start of the season and even scored or assisted in goals the last few games. Occasionally he gets side tracked when he flirts and gets hugs from a little girl on his team. Bradley has always been a very affectionate child, and I'm so blessed for that. He often will tell me that he needs cuddles or hugs, and I get wake up kisses in the morning and after nap.

Bradley also had H1N1 last week. We have no idea where or how he got it, but it wasn't bad. And, everyone else managed to stay well too. However, we're going to be really strict with the rules now, and we have some new ones too. So, if you will be coming over please let me email the rules to you ahead of time. We are anxiously waiting for the H1N1 vaccine to become available to us; all of us are in the high risk group. So, we will all be getting it this year. We are also praying that God will keep us well. No matter what we do with the God given knowledge of medicine we know that God can make miracles happen. So, a dear friend shared Psalms 91 with me. I encourage everyone to turn to Psalm when needing to read God's positive word and this chapter is especially encouraging. To try to sum it up, it talks about how God will shield you with his wings and that no harm will fall to you if you pray, love Him, and make him your highest priority. So, this is a good thing to read and pray over yourself and family. Psalm 91:10-11 specifically states, "then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways." Our Lord is truly amazing. His love is something, as humans, I don't believe we can ever fully grasp or understand, but if you trust fully in Him he will do amazing things in and through you. As Christians, we shouldn't worry because he will bare our burdens. That is something I have to work on daily, because when it comes to my family worldly worries can take over me. I know that this is the Devil trying to get into my mind, and Psalm 91 works for that too. "Surely he will save you from fowler's snare (entrapment) and from the deadly pestilence (evil). He will cover you with his feathers and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart (defense)." I'll be using Psalm 91 to pray over our family to help keep us stay well and keep the Devil away.

A lot of people know of the miracle that Austin is, but not everyone may recognize that Bradley is a miracle too. To keep it short and sweet we used IUI and hormones to have Bradley after trying to have him for two years and suffering a miscarriage. We had begun to think that God was telling us that we weren't meant to have children, so we prayed for God to lead us in the right direction and for His will to be shown to us. And, He did. He lead us to our fertility specialist and things fell so easily into place that we knew only God was capable of making things happen. All children are miracles and blessings from God, and we're confident that no matter what medical intervention you use that God is in control. Bradley was on the way after our first month of treatments, and what a blessing that child has been. We love watching him grow and develop. Everyday he is saying something new, and it is just amazing to us. He has an amazing love for others, especially his family. His prayers at night consists of “Dear God, thank you for Daddy, Mama, Austin, Daisy, and Bradley." I can't wait until Bradley fully realizes the importance of thanking God for himself and his blessings. Then, Bradley generally goes on and thanks God for something random for the day; it may range from his rabbit to his rabbit's bodily functions then things as sweet as the rain and sun or his extended family.

We're so blessed to have each and everyone one of our children, and we've been so blessed for God to have shared Bradley with us. We prayed so much for our firstborn and continue to do so; we also continue to pray for God to give us the knowledge to raise him right and in His way.

"I prayed for this child, and the Lord granted me what I asked of Him. So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord."
1 Samuel 1: 27-28

Here are some shots from Bradley's soccer games:

Can't believe he is getting so old! He is growing into such the little man that makes his Mama so proud!

Pumpkin Pickin' Post to follow soon . . . (hopefully in a few days :-)