Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Laura Turns One Year!

Today our sweet little Laura Elizabeth turns one year old!!!!

What a year it has been! None of us could have imagined. And yet, our life is richer and deeper, more so than we would have thought.

(one month)
Laura smiled early (3 1/2 weeks) and hasn't stopped. We certainly see that as a gift from God in light of all that Laura has been through.

(two months)
It's been so fun to have a little girl again to dress up in beautiful clothes!!!

(three months)
Laura is so very much loved by her siblings. It is wonderful to see how they interact with her.

(four months)
It was at four months that the doctors began to discover the medical problems Laura faced. Sweet thing. No wonder she couldn't put on any weight.

(five months)
Laura has enjoyed many lovely hand-me-downs from her cousin Sophie, including the beautiful white dress she wore for her five month birthday.

(six months)
Here is Laura right before her surgery. She was at the beginning of her time with an NG tube.

It still grieves my heart that our precious girl had to go through so much, even before she was one. And yet, at the same time, I am learning to trust that God has His purposes in everything that happens, and often we don't see the reason in this life. Looking back, the pain is not easy, but I feel as though more good has come from this than bad.

Laura's journey is not over, and at times that is hard for me to think about. But, I know her life will be a reason for me to grow closer to my Heavenly Father and to trust Him more. That is good.

(seven months)
Our happy little girl returning after surgery.

(eight months)
Sitting up on her own at Christmas! A perfect gift!

(nine months)
It is good to see progress over time.......and around this time Laura got off her NG tube!

(ten months)
Is that a chubby tummy????

(eleven months)

(one year)
Thank you all for your love and prayers for us and Laura over this past year!!! We can't imagine our life without her and every day we praise God for blessing our lives with her. Happy Birthday dear Laura!!!!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A Day of Joy

Sunday was certainly a joyous day! To begin with, there was the resurrection of the Lord Jesus to celebrate, and then worship to enjoy, and then a great big feast with family and good fellowship all afternoon long.

Rachel worked hard on these flower cupcakes for Easter lunch:

Hot cross buns are a tradition in our house:

Christina and JK hosted us and we were treated to a beautiful and delicious feast, beginning with yogurt creams, mimosas, muffins, and homemade donuts.

Spring flowers were everywhere:

I finally tried Paska for the first time and now know why Lovella's family is always asking her to make it. It is delicious!!! The perfect accompaniment to tea (or a meal as we had it), and several of us wanted it for dessert as well. You can find Lovella's recipe here.

Here was the table with the appetizers:

And then the tables decorated for us to eat our meal:

Everything was festive and looked like spring:

Here is Laura sporting her new spring jacket, standing by the chair that was her grandmother's:

All the children together. Laura came down with a virus that has brought out blisters on her lips. Poor thing does not look very good in the pictures:

Laura wearing a white dress from Italy that I found for about $1 in a charity shop in Scotland over eight years ago, hoping for a little girl to wear it someday.

Lunch was delicious: ham, quiches of all sorts, strawberry-spinach salad, paska, hot cross buns, gluten-free scones, asparagus, and fruit salad.

The Easter Bunny made an appearance:

Here's the food:

And someone put together baskets for all the children:

I secretly knitted John a chicken with little chicks underneath. I love the face!!!
A hen hat is a good idea:

Easter goodies:

Happy faces:

Time for the Easter egg hunt:

John was pleased to get into his boots and tramp about in the yard:

Christina's tree was blossoming:

Yes, it was a rainy day, with a few breaks in the clouds:

Laura with her new hairband:

I love this picture of the two of us:

Big brother takes a turn:

Lots of pictures of Laura,

My favorite picture of the day!!!! Isn't it wonderful!!!!!

Oh, yes, and then there was dessert: cheesecake, cupcakes, and lemon-meringue ice-cream pie!

Rachel's hard work paid off:

The lemon meringue ice-cream pie:

And, we made chocolate easter eggs for later on. Christina and I have a memory of going to someone's house to make these when we were young. We decided to recreate the recipe this year and had so much fun doing so.

We made peanut butter, lime-coconut, and maple-walnut.

And here's the hen with one of her chicks:

Thanks Christina for all the lovely memories!!!

And now, Michael arrives home in just a few hours and tomorrow Laura TURNS ONE!!!!!!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Happy Easter

"Let us press on to know the LORD;
His going out is sure as the dawn;
He will come to us as the showers,
as the spring rains that water the earth."
Hosea 6:3

"May He be like rain that falls on the mown grass,
like showers that water the earth!"
Psalm 72:6

In this spring season of rain, rain, and more rain, I've been reflecting on the verses above and relishing in the renewal of the earth as it drinks in the moisture and comes back to life. In the same way, may we be thirsty for the refreshment that comes from our Savior, the spring rain of our souls.

Happy Easter!