Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
She warmed up to the animated characters but remained terrified of the life-sized mouse that comes around to greet the kiddos - she SCREAMED every time he came around. Of course Raelyn was fascinated by him and kept wanting to go over there :)
Eliana and Augustine discovered a game that they both loved and got rather engrossed in... I lost count of how many tokens went into this game....
To make sure the kids had enough tickets to pick out a prize, the adults had to play some ski ball and the guys had to play a little basketball. We had a great time - both the kids and the adults. The picture below demonstrates how worn out we all were by the end of the night - just check out Ellie's incredibly tired eyes and face!
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
While searching for cakes to make for Raelyn, Eliana saw this "flip-flop" cake and wanted it for her birthday. Never mind that she was born in DECEMBER! I had a good time making it and I think it turned out pretty cute. With the left over frosting, I wrote a little birthday "card" out on some paper towel... I am betting you can guess what happened next.....
Monday, November 24, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Eliana: "Mommy, why can't I have soda?"
Me: "Because I am a mean mommy and I don't want you to have that much sugar"
Eliana: "You are not a mean mommy and I love you (with a big hug)"
aaahhh - the girl knows how to sweet talk her mommy but she still didn't get to have soda :)
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Monday, October 13, 2008
Sometimes I would imagine being there during the summer when I could sit out on the deck with the sun naturally shaded by a large tree. I would take my book out there and do some "reading"... which really means read one sentence about 20 times and then just give in to the sounds of the water lapping at the edge of the lake and the breeze rustling the leaves above me and go off into a deep sleep.
Sometimes, I would imagine being there in the fall taking a hike in one of the nature areas. The air would be crisp, the fallen leaves would rustle under my feet and falling leaves would float gently down from the trees. I would breathe in the crisp clean air and remember God's provision for every part of His creation. I thank God for these visual reminders of His beauty and provision in creation as they made my small hospital room seem less claustrophobic.
Below are some pictures from our weekend get-away to Northern Michigan. It was 75-80 degrees everyday so it wasn't exactly fall weather but we had a great time!
the girls "hiking"... I think if I go on another mind vacation, I am going hiking in a stroller too! Rugg pond... it has looked the same since I was a little girl but as those pictures aren't digital you will just have to trust me!
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Sunday, October 5, 2008
You are a joy in my life. Even when you wake up in the middle of the night crying, it is a joy to snuggle with you. I love your smile, your laugh, and the way you crinkle your nose. I love how you try to imitate sounds and are trying to learn sign language but you just don't have it right yet. I love that you light up when Daddy is on the phone (in fact you kiss it, grab at it, and try to find out how Daddy is in it). I love that you get excited when you sister walks in the room. I love that you give me a huge smile whenever you see me. I love you and you are God's blessing to me.
I hope you never know the pain of losing a child but that loss has made me treasure you more. You will never meet your sister Abigail face to face this side of heaven but you have heard her voice (although it was probably a little muffled as you were tucked away in mom's womb). In fact, you used to kick mommy furiously every time Abbie was on my lap "talking" to me. It was as if you knew she was there and you were saying hi. In fact, that is how you got your middle name, Elizabeth. In the Bible, Elizabeth's baby John kicked the first time he was in the presence of Mary (who was pregnant with Jesus). One day while Abbie was snuggling with me and you were kicking me, I remembered that story and thought it would be a great middle name for you. I pray, like baby John, you would know Jesus from an early age. I pray that you would grow in faith as you grow in statue. I pray that you would grow to be a woman who above all things loves the Lord. I pray that you would know how much your Mommy loves you.
You are a precious gift from the Lord and I thank God that in His wisdom, He gave us you.
Friday, September 26, 2008
Darren: "How about we eat at a restaurant"
Eliana" (with all the cuteness a 3.5 year old can muster) " I LOVE you Daddy!"
I guess she really didn't want to eat my cooking and was pretty sure her Daddy was saving her from mommy's cooking!
Just to prove I can find may way around the kitchen, below is a picture of Raelyn's first birthday cake. Come to think of it, my mom helped me with the cake (she is in the picture) so I don't think I can take credit for that either.
I guess I am just a good cook... not even a sometimes-creative one!
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
I know many of you have been waiting to see who the winner of the gas gift cards give-away would be so I had the girls draw the winners yesterday....
Raelyn was super-excited to get her hands on the bucket and pick out a name...and the winner is.....
Adam & Bethany White!!!!! Thank you so much!!!!!
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Monday, September 15, 2008
Saturday, September 6, 2008
Monday, July 28, 2008
we look forward to awarding those gas cards!
Raelyn's site: www.active.com/donate/ltnClevel/2475_raelyn
Eliana's site: www.active.com/donate/ltnClevel/2475_elianamorgan
Friday, July 18, 2008
real verse: If God is for us, who can be against us
kid version: If God is for us, who can be a princess
real verse: You shall have no other gods before me
kid version: You shall have other gods before me
real verse: The LORD preserves all who love him
kid version: The LORD deserves all who love him
Those make me keenly aware the difference one little word can make ;)
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Mom: "why can't you walk?"
Eliana: "Because I have mosquito bites on my leg!" (still sobbing)
One year ago.....
Eliana: "why crying?"
Mom: "Because my heart hurts from Abbie going to heaven"
Eliana: "mosquito bites?"
I am guessing that Eliana thinks mosquito bites are pretty darn dangerous.....
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Thursday, July 3, 2008
Monday, June 30, 2008
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Eliana: I want a Popsicle
Eliana: I want a Popsicle
Meanwhile, Darren and I have been planning on taking the kids out for ice cream all day (one of Ellie's favorite things to do)....
Eliana: I really want a Popsicle!
This little scenario reminded me of a quote (I believe it is from C.S. Lewis but I read it in Desiring God by John Piper).... we are far too easily pleased - we are content with making mud pies in the city because we don't know (or understand) about making sandcastles by the sea (paraphrased version).
How many times have we asked for something only to discover later that something so much better was on the way? As a young adult, I remember praying for a certain boy to ask me out. I am so thankful that God didn't "answer" that prayer as God granted me a much better husband in Darren.
Oh, and Eliana still would like her Popsicle and we are off for some ice cream - I hope she is not too disappointed :)
Thursday, June 19, 2008
As a side note - Darren's birthday is tomorrow... so, if you would like, leave a comment to wish him a happy birthday!
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Mother's day 2006... the baptism of one-month old Abigail. We gathered together as a family and were blessed by the sacrament of baptism. We celebrated the blessing of Abigail and had a beautiful lunch prepared by Abbie's Uncle Rod. It was a day celebrating the blessing of children and family.
Mother's day 2007... a day filled with hope. Abbie was out of the pediatric ICU at Mott Children's hospital and was visibly getting better everyday. It seemed as if our 4 months of hospital living were drawing to an end. Eliana was in Ann Arbor with us and I got to spend part of the day with both of my beloved girls.
Mother's day 2008... a day filled with grief, but not without hope. It was one of those days that takes you by surprise. Who knew that mother's day would be a day in which I missed Abbie so much I felt the physical pain of empty arms. I was caught unprepared and, though I tried to hold it together, the tears flowed the first time someone asked the typical Sunday greeting of "how are you?" I spent a good portion of the afternoon in bed with the sheets over my head... sometimes sobbing and sometimes sleeping (thankfully both of Abbie's sisters took great afternoon naps!). That evening, God blessed me with His word while I was at Bible Study (which was on Romans 8). I was struck by Romans 8:18 "For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us". The suffering of watching a precious daughter fight and succumb to leukemia and the suffering of missing her so very much it hurts are not even worthy to be compared to the glory that is to come. The pain I feel is going to pale in comparison to the glory to come (and by 'pale in comparison', I mean it isn't even able to be compared!). The suffering I have gone through (and am going through) makes heaven so much more real, so much more alive, and it gives me a greater understanding of how amazing heaven will be. Little Abbie is there in heaven experiencing the whole thing and someday I will get to be there experiencing it with her. So, this mother's hope is a secure hope that I don't suffer in vain - that God causes all things to work for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). It is a hope that someday I will sit in the presence of Christ and all the hard times won't even compare to how amazing it is to be in heaven.
Monday, June 2, 2008
Above is a picture of Henry Moore (www.caringbridge.org/va/henry), Madeline Thelen (www.caringbridge.org/visit/madelinethelen), and Russ Baxter at Henry's transplant celebration. Henry and Maddie both received bone marrow transplants about the same time as Abbie (and both are doing really well). Russ is the man who saved Henry's life by donating his bone marrow not just once... but twice (Henry's first transplant failed to engraft). It was so great to meet Russ and to thank him for donating his marrow. It is through people like him, and others who donate their baby's cord blood (like the cord blood transplants that Maddie and Abbie received), that the battle against pediatric cancer and immune disorders is being won... one little Henry and Maddie at a time! If you are not already on the bone marrow registry, go to http://www.marrow.org/ to register (it is a painless cheek swab and depending on where you live, might even be free!!!). You could be a perfect match for someone and give them the best gift... the gift of hope and life.
This is the Thelen family... Emma, Eric, Renee, and Maddie. It was great to see them and to watch the girls play with each other. Maddie will be 4 years old in July and has been leukemia free for over a year (way to go Maddie!). It was so great to see her run, play on slides, and enjoy being a kid. It is also a little hard because every time I see her (and the other 7 Mott kiddos) it makes me think of what Abbie would be doing now if she was still here. She would have loved her "transplant celebration" and I am sure she would have greeted everyone with her trademark queen wave! Of course, she is having the ultimate celebration as she sings and dances praises to God in heaven. I just miss seeing her smiling face.
P.S. Stay tuned for more post from the Morgan Family Vacation!
Sunday, May 25, 2008
me: "yes Ellie but can you say symphony?"
Eliana: "yes mama.... sin-of-anthony"
I don't think she got the difference!
We are currently on a family vacation - kind of a tour of the southern states. We started in Nashville, TN for a wedding of a friend from college and are traveling in the next couple of days to visit with my cousins in S. Carolina. From there we are headed to Virginia to celebrate with Henry as he is now one-year post bone-marrow transplant (whoohoo Henry!!!). I will post pictures when I get back - I have an adorable one of Eliana meeting "princess Sarah" (the bride) and by her facial expression you would think she was meeting Cinderella all over again!
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Monday, May 5, 2008
By the way - I found my camera and I promise to update with a picture for Ellie's recital soon!
Friday, April 25, 2008
I don't think she gets the concept of "best" yet!
I am hoping to post a picture of Eliana's first dance recital tonight but I have lost my camera. Hopefully, I left it at the dress rehearsal and some nice person will give it back to me :)
Monday, April 21, 2008
Darren and I had a really good day celebrating Abigails 2nd birthday. It was a gorgeous spring day and we were able to spend the whole day together as a family. We went to the cemetary and Darren read Psalm 103... once again I was reminded of God's goodness to us and the way our prayers for Abigail were answered - she is healed and dancing in praise to our Lord. After walking around the cemetary for a little while, we headed to Ann Arbor and met up with Pam (Abbie's main nurse from U of MI Mott hospital) for lunch at Roly Poly. The sandwhiches were yummy as usual and it was really good to hang out with Pam for a while. We then went to the Arb (a park by the Ronald McDonald house) and took some pictures of Darren with the girls where we had taken pictures with Abbie. We went for a little walk because it was such a nice day and it was wonderful to be together as a family. After all of that, we went home, grabbed Abbie's cake and headed to Toledo Hospital. There we celebrated with Ruth, Abbie's birthday-twin (Ruth is a nurse who celebrated her 50th birthday the same day Abbie celebrated her 1st). We got to celebrate Abbie's birthday with some of the people who took such great care of her and we got to eat cake! Eliana amazed me with remembering to ask Jenny for some chocholate milk.... it has been months since we were at the hospital but that chocolate milk must have really made an impression on her! After celebrating at the hospital, we headed to our weekly Bible study. It really was a good day and I am confident that it was because many people were praying for us. Praise the Lord for answered prayer!