Thursday, May 21, 2009

One year ago today, sweet little Maria Sue Chapman went home to be with Jesus. I'm sure some of you have been following the Chapman's journey of grief and healing. For those who haven't, you'll be inspired, humbled, and moved to tears by the courage, faith, and honesty shown on Mary Beth's blog.

I am so encouraged by these words written today by Steven's manager, Jim Houser:

And in Steven and Mary Beth's words, now that they as a family have stood at the door of eternity... they are more sure than ever that the Gospel is true. That when you go to the darkest, deepest, ugliest place... to the Very Bottom. God is there. He is still there with you. That it's all true. All the things that Steven has written and sung about all these years, it's true.

As someone who has been honored to walk alongside an extended family and circle of the Chapman's friends I have watched them closely. The words I've just typed aren't things they just say for interviews or for people at concerts or at church. They also say them when no one else is around... on planes to California with no one in the seat next to us, in their living room to each other, and on buses alone in the back lounge in the dark of night. They believe it, they are living it. Their new normal.

PLEASE continue to pray for the Chapman family as they navigate through the often uncertain and dark waters of "their new normal".

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

May 9th, 2006...

Without a doubt, one of the most amazing moments of my life.

Being handed for the very first time the sweet child you've prayed for, L O N G E D for, ached for, shed countless tears for...there are no words for that moment.

It has been THREE years since my hands first held that which my heart had already held for SO long. Unbelievable! What a priceless gift we have been given.

May 9th, 2009...Look at her NOW!!...

Little Miss Brielle ~ You are the gift that keeps us smiling, brings us unspeakable joy, and allows us to relive life one more time through the eyes of a sweet child. I thank God everyday for giving us YOU!

Forever Family Day Swim!

Time to celebrate!

A gift from China for our gift from China!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Happy Birthday, Brant!!

On May 1st, we celebrated Brant's *14th* birthday! Unfortunately, due to a couple local cases of the Swine Flu (am I allowed to call it that???? hopefully PETA doesn't frequent my blog) and the resulting hysteria, some of our planned festivities needed to be postponed. Brant did, however, have a great night (all night) of his favorite pizza, Monster, Coldstone cake, airsoft, swimming, video games, and movies with three of his closest friends. Teenage boys are so much fun! I love listening to their nonsense talk, movie quotes, and incessant witty comments.

We are so very proud of the young man Brant has grown up to be. He is:





*full of interesting facts


*an entertaining and loving big brother

*a fun and entertaining "little" brother

*a meticulous pool boy

*a tireless landscaper

*competent and efficient at any given task

*a great running partner





Happy 14th Birthday, Brant! We love you so very much!!

"Two Grandmas and a Grandpa"

wow...not sure what's up with Brock's face...maybe he sees that white, shadowy figure in the corner (inside joke for two grandmas and a grandpa :o) )

In case the title has you wondering...???...

Recently, Max's Mom and Dad, along with my Mom all flew together from TN to see Brittany's drama production (see next post) and to visit with us. In anticipation of their coming, Brock excitedly asked a LOT of questions. For some reason, he was having a hard time grasping that not ALL of our relatives from TN were coming just because some were. He kept asking about cousins, Aunt Cindy, Uncle Pat, etc. Likely, it was because when we went to TN for Thanksgiving, we saw ALL our TN relatives. Finally, I told him that just "two Grandmas and a Grandpa" were coming from TN -- a total of three people. For some reason, this clicked, and so it was repeated again and again before their arrival.

We had a great time, as always, with our extended family. What a blessing it is to share the simple things in life with loved ones. Simple our time together was. In between drama rehearsals and productions, we simply fixed meals together, ate together, talked (a lot), took nature walks, learned the names of some TX wildflowers, etc. Simple and relaxing.

Oh...I almost forgot to mention our greatest accomplishment together...

As tradition requires, we put together this beautiful 1,000 piece just 3 days!!! Okay, I admit...they were three VERY LONG days...days with not nearly enough sleep, but with so much good late-night conversation ;o) .

Thank you so much for coming, Two Grandmas and a Grandpa!!
Come back time with Grandpa #2!


This school year, Brittany had been involved in a Drama Troupe which met three hours each week. Their final production was a Murder Mystery entitled, "A Party to a Murder". Brittany played the part of a mystery writer (a perfect fit for her) who eventually figured out who-dunnit. Everyone in the cast did a magnificent, believable job!

Brittany and some of her cast-mates...

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

GET Global!

As most of you might already know, my sweet sixteen year old daughter will be off to Guatemala this summer with Wycliffe Bible Translator's GET (Go Experience Translation) Global program. What an amazing opportunity this is for one who has felt called to missions ever since she was a little girl. I am praising God for this open door and asking Him to continue to reveal His perfect will as Brittany walks through it.

You can read more about Brittany's upcoming mission's trip, as well as her other thoughts about "God's Call" on her own blog (scroll down to "God's Call", "Guatemala", and "SOOO Excited for this Summer").

Your prayers in behalf of Brittany and her team (as well as of those of us left here at home :o/ ) are hugely appreciated!