It’s a Pizzeria!

Welcome back to Party Week here on KimzKitchen. I’ve had some parties in the archives to post about for awhile now, and thought I’d feature them all in the same week. I hope you’re not gaining as many pounds as I would be if I were really having all these parties in one week. :) If you’ve missed some of the fun, check out the Valentine’s party and the baby shower.

Next week will be some before and after photos of my January organizing project – that will be fun too, but parties are a great way to prequel that. So, this party, for my six year old budding chef, took place last October. It was SO FUN! All she wanted was to cook with her friends. This is what we came up with.

And truth be told, this was the simplest party ever. I mean, the kids made their own lunch, they played the games they wanted to, and they even filled their own treat bags. But shhhhh! Don’t tell any of the moms that showed up. They thought I did all that work!!

664855_10150934453277614_20401700_o

DSC_0015

DSC_0018

Every kiddo got their own apron (I used the apron Chloe already had as a pattern to cut out the fabric with pinking sheers (so no-sew!), then I quickly sewed on some red bias tape for the ties.

It took me about 75 minutes (and $8 worth of fabric) to make 12 of them.

DSC_0041

Papa Murphy’s to the rescue – they provided these awesome pizza kits, already set up and ready to go for $3 a piece. And they gave me a “you’re-a-super-cool-person” discount, (or maybe it was a “you’re-about-to-have-12-kids-make-pizzas-at-your-house-and-we-feel-sorry-for-you” discount) so they were only about $2.40 a piece.

DSC_0042

Why they were awesome – they came with sauce, cheese, and pepperoni all measured out, the dough already flattened, and on it’s own cooking tray. I <3 no dishes to wash!)

DSC_0051

DSC_0053

DSC_0067

Chloe decided to take charge and give the kids directions on how to prepare their pizzas. She’s a good teacher. :)

DSC_0019

While the pizzas were baking, the kids tried their hands at the Arcade “Room”. My husband built all these awesome silly games out of cardboard boxes.

The kids got tickets that they turned in later at the prize counter.

553551_10150934463162614_1979949058_n

530759_10150934462382614_88930871_n

Thankfully, we had a lot of moms and aunts and uncles to help out.

DSC_0105

Chloe’s Uncle gave the birthday girl a few extra tickets I believe. :) (I got these tickets at the dollar store – you can find them here, too.)

DSC_0107

DSC_0109

10490_10150934463882614_625635398_n

Once the pizzas were baked, it was time for lunch!

DSC_0082

598723_10150934466112614_1549847855_n

DSC_0146

The kids having access to all-you-can-want parmesan cheese shakers (that I got for $1 a piece at Walmart) made the lunch quite the blast for them.

DSC_0152

DSC_0169

DSC_0172

(See those glasses again? This could have also been called “100-uses-for-used-Frappacino-Bottles” week.

426176_10150934466942614_1150548284_n

Chloe didn’t want a birthday cake this year – she’s not a huge sweets fan anyway. So when I suggested a Birthday Dessert Pizza, she jumped on the idea!

DSC_0213

377523_10150934451882614_733108281_n

Next was prize table time. The kids used the bags that were at their spots at the table to put their prizes in. See? Filling their own treat bags. Hee hee hee. :)

DSC_0193

The prizes were all dollar store finds that Chloe and I went shopping for the week before.  We selected things that were as brightly colored as we could.

Putting them in glass jars and trifle bowls and vases made them super visible (and I had all those glass things at home already.) The pinwheels were the biggest hit.

DSC_0196

69728_10150934467097614_1575568872_n

576313_10150934467857614_938794849_n

DSC_0309

The birthday girl got a new bicycle (that she loves!) and a day spent cooking and playing with all of our family. I’d say it was a hit of a party!

Discussion 2 Comments Category Birthday Parties, Do-It-Yourself-Moms, Family Snapshots

A baby shower for my sister.

Seeing that it’s turning into Party Week here on KimzKitchen, I thought I’d feature a baby shower.

A few months back, my sweet little sister (the one with whom I share a bday, actually!) was pregnant with her first little boy. As hard as it was, I wanted to do a special shower for her. She was married pretty quick-like out of state with military obligations, so a wedding shower didn’t work out. So, this baby shower was a big deal for my other sister and I. It turned out pretty cute, I think.

Here’s a few photos from her day.

DSC_0053

DSC_0059

DSC_0056

DSC_0060

DSC_0045

My mom, and my sister, and my nephew. :)

DSC_0036

DSC_0034

See, told ya I use these glasses for everything! These straws came from here.

DSC_0033

DSC_0025

(Super easy!) Doughnut Tower Instructions

DSC_0020

DSC_0021

Savory Mini Vegetable Quiche

DSC_0022

DSC_0012

Southern Grits Bar (Basics for Beginners Recipe coming soon)

DSC_0013

Sunrise Punch

DSC_0049

I was pretty nervous about gift-opening time. I still don’t do well with looking at baby boy clothes – and especially then, was absolutely terrified of watching this part of the shower.
Thankfully I was given a downright Heavenly idea of heading up a craft gift – which kept me supremely distracted, but also without being a distraction. 

DSC_0071

DSC_0076 DSC_0080

Had to include this one – seeing little Kyle there ^ made me smile.

DSC_0081

These little pirate faces will go perfectly in my nephew’s nautical nursery.

DSC_0084

Everyone at the shower signed their own handprint pirate, so now my sister can remember the love shown to her that day.

DSC_0085

I still have to send her the birth stats to put over on the side there…now that my house is organized, I should get on that. :)

Discussion 2 Comments Category Birthday Parties, Do-It-Yourself-Moms, Family Snapshots, Kimz Kitchen

A party day with my Valentines.

Valentine’s Day was going to be a pretty big day with a guest post going live on another blog, Kyle’s due date, and a plan for a big dinner night in with my husband that night.  I needed another distraction though. Well, maybe I didn’t. But I kinda did. And I love parties. :)

We started with a quiet breakfast. There’s just something about waking up to a decorated table that makes my girls excited. Well, that and drinking milk in martini glasses. Gotta love de-cluttering finds. :)

IMG_5235 IMG_5241

Heart Pancakes with strawberries – easy breakfast. *Whew!* Along with a handmade card from me, and roses from their daddy.

IMG_5239

So, I’ve learned, if I want my girls to have a Valentine’s Party, I just have get to throw one.

Several gals from my church with little ones, and semi-big home schooled ones joined my girls and I for the “big” party at our church Thursday morning. (According to Chloe, breakfast was the “little” one.) It was a blast. But then anytime you have 13 kids from 2 months old all the way to 7 or so, it’s bound to be, right?

DSC_0003

Starbucks frappacino bottles – these guys have been used for every party I’ve had in the past 2 years. I get my straws here.

DSC_0001

DSC_0034

DSC_0036

DSC_0011

DSC_0008

DSC_0016

What can I say? My girls are hopeless romantics.

DSC_0020

We played a few games – “Make a giant stuffed animal pile relay” and “a Southern Snowball Fight”
(real creative names, huh?)

858878_10152557204875008_466056993_o

856888_10152557204650008_1283332866_o

857750_10152557204070008_1187625037_o

859241_10152557201350008_506017143_o

DSC_0023

856589_10152557212235008_905760820_o

DSC_0047

DSC_0031

I can’t say enough about these paints – I LOVE them! They don’t drip, poison if eaten, stain if spilled, or make any sorta mess. :)

DSC_0029

Make your own Valentine Mail Bags…

DSC_0049

…Then fill them with Valentines for your friends. :)

859090_10152557207600008_983329576_o

Discussion 2 Comments Category Birthday Parties, Do-It-Yourself-Moms, Family Snapshots

Kyle’s Due Date

0010_IMG_0983

Today. Valentine’s Day.

I love my husband more than anything – so you think this post would be all about him. And I know that most likely Kyle wouldn’t have been born on his due date.

But I just can’t help but share his story again, today.

It just seems right.

Because the last roses I held I put on his grave.

DSC_0128

So here it is. For me. For you. Kyle’s Story:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5iniW-4ln8s?rel=0&w=560&h=315]

Discussion 19 Comments Category Celebrating Our Little One, Family Snapshots, Trisomy 18

Good grief.

Sometimes I’m gathering up all my energy to cook a meal. Or sometimes I’m walking through a crowded IKEA store. Sometimes it’s at the park with my girls.

I never know when I’ll see something that will trigger memories of Kyle, or worse, my memories of my dreams of Kyle.

Sometimes I feel like it never happened – that it was all a bad dream – and that now I’m awake and I should go do dishes. Then, I open my freezer and bags of frozen breast milk fall out that I’m holding for a friend.

Kyle’s milk. it says, on the name line.

Then there’s those wretched anniversaries. For the one month anniversary, I was home for several days by myself – my husband was visiting his dying grandfather in Florida. He desperately didn’t want to leave, but I thought I’d be ok.

It’s incredible the things that go through your mind, the moments you relive, all because of silly numbers on a clock or on a calendar!

Every. Single. Memory. It all came back as if I were looking on again while it happened. I felt contractions. I remembered that blessed morphine dose I got to give me a break from the pain for an hour or two so I could get a visit from my girls. I remembered my sweet sister’s laboring over photos – that I still can’t look at. I remembered the tears that were shed by nurses on my behalf behind curtains and closed doors. I remembered holding him. And around the time he was born in my arms, 1:30 AM, I finally let myself fall asleep. Then when I woke up, I just wanted that moment – that awful moment – when I passed on his little body to the funeral home man to come and go quickly.

I had made plans with a good friend visiting from China to meet us at the park that day. Hoping it would keep me from being in terrible despair in my room all day. But, honestly, I didn’t feel like doing anything. Thankfully, my girls are very self-sustaining. They were completely happy to find a movie and their two favorite boxes of cereal.  I heard them talking… “Mommy’s still sad today, Kami. I’ll just get you breakfast today.” “OK! Col-we! Let’s just watch a movie!” “Kami, I can’t find any bowls. We’ll just have to eat the cereal like this, ok?”

IMG_8897

Later that morning, Chloe came in and checked on me. I told her, “Chloe, Mommy’s gonna be really sad today. It’s Kyle’s one month day. But he’s not here to have a little party for him. So I just miss him.”

She gave me the prettiest smile and said, “Oh mom, how about we have a baby Kyle picnic, then, at the park? We can have a picnic and play and run. It can be a baby Kyle party.”

While that would probably get most mama’s hearts and turn them around for the better, I was beyond easy convincing at this point. “But, Chloe, Kyle won’t be there.”

Apparently, Chloe was beyond easy convincing too. “But Mom. It’s OK. It’s just a celebration. For Kyle. Cause he’s in Heaven. So it can still be good. And here….”
(She ran to the kitchen and grabbed some blue daisies another friend and delivered to my house the day before and brought them into my room.) “….we can just take these to him today at his flower place.”

DSC_0206

My daughter is a genius. The other title for this post was going to be “(Not so much) Like Mother, Like Daughter.”

Chloe proceeded to make a picnic lunch. She’s quite the inventive cook. Peanut butter and rotisserie chicken sandwiches with lettuce? Hmm…..hey. At least they were triple deckers. This was one family outing I was happy to be on a diet. :)

DSC_0001

DSC_0015

DSC_0022

DSC_0026

DSC_0034

Seeing those smiles and yogurt mustaches was just what I needed. It got my mind off the ticking minutes. And got my mind on what I had right in front of me. Two beautiful gifts I’ll never deserve. And sometimes I think they’re angels. I guess I’ve been blessed with a lot of angels.

DSC_0085

Chloe even got a hopscotch lesson. And a spanish lesson. And a quarter.

DSC_0192

DSC_0196

DSC_0202

Then it was off to what we call the “Flower Place”. Where in the place of harsh, cruel, death, even in January, new grass was growing. And I felt like it was somehow a picture of my heart. I was feeling a little bit of healing. A little bit of growth. And it had all been watered by my never ending flow of tears. Without those tears, without that death, that grass wouldn’t be there. And my heart would never have grown to a place where it would be able to feel like it does now.

So, while in the depths of difficult hard grief, I’m learning that even when I go through deep waters, God will be with me. When I go through rivers of difficulty, I will not drown. When I walk through the fire of oppression, I will not be burned up; the flames will not consume me – because God is my God.  So, my grief, while mostly terrible – is sometimes good.

DSC_0204

DSC_0233

 – Isaiah 43:2,3

Discussion 6 Comments Category A Quiet Spirit, Birthday Parties, Celebrating Our Little One, Family, Family Snapshots, Trisomy 18

Happy Birthday, “Sam”

DSC_0034

January 26, 2012 was a holy day for me. A day where I held both life and death.

A day where I truly understood what life meant to me.

And a day where I truly understood death.

And while today I go about making craigslist deliveries, buying stamps, working out, fixing broken hairbows, cleaning bathrooms, cooking dinner, and all the other things Moms do on Saturdays if they’re lucky enough to have a dad home to help out, my heart grieves for my losses.

But, I also think about my gifts. I’ll take my 3 year old gift out with me today to teach her a few things about the post office. I’ll read on the couch with my 6 year old – actually, she’ll probably read to me. That’s two gifts right there.

DSC_0034

Because, while January 26th was the most awful day of my life (thus far), it grew something beautiful in my heart – a desire to count my gifts. And that day, the first gift I counted, was one I gave to God.

Happy Birthday, little Sam. Sesame Sam as we called you. Celebrate big. Because I don’t think anything Happy in Heaven is small.

DSC_0012

 

Discussion 3 Comments Category A Quiet Spirit, Celebrating Our Little One, Family Tags ,

Working through emotions and washing out closet baseboards

Yeah. Most of my closet baseboards are clean now. It’s funny, I started deep cleaning/organizing my house from one side to the other. But now that I’m officially half way to being finished, the “other” side is looking rather terrible. It’s like a giant mudslide. As I work from one side of the house to the other, things slowly end up piling up on the other end. But despite the impending doom that seems to be upon the “other” side’s outside walls, there have been quite a few happy moments around here in the last few days….

DSC_0002

I’m learning that the best method is the one of sheer determination. So, I’ve taken everything out of one place and put it on a blanket in a central location. For instance – when I worked on the kitchen, I took everything out of the kitchen cabinets and put it all on a blanket on the kitchen table. Then, I put back everything I needed. Then, I dumped the blanket (and all that was left – I mean, really, who needs three 9×13 pyrex dishes??!) into my yardsale box.  Too bad I don’t have a photo of the mountain that was on my table. Whoever comes to my yard sale is gonna think they’ve hit the jackpot. From Pampered Chef cheese knives to microwave steamers, they’ll walk away with their $0.50 treasures, and I’ll think “Hee hee hee – they’re about to fill their kitchen with stuff a semi-professional caterer didn’t even use. Have fun finding a space for that.” :)

After I cleaned things out, before I put them back, I did a bit of cleaning. Under my fridge. Do you have any idea what happens under your fridge? I didn’t. Now I do. Never again will I let it go on and on for five years (yeah, that’s an admission). Here’s what it looked like.

DSC_0076

Then, I swept.

DSC_0077

Still gross. So I pulled out my wonder mop. Well, actually, it’s a Eureka Steam Mop. (Which, I must point out, is currently $49 – which is 38% off the regular price of $79 on amazon right now, with free shipping. So if you have hardwood/laminate floors, go get one.) But it’s wonderful. And it wonderfully works wonders with water while I work.

*Pauses briefly to bow to high school English teacher who loved aliteration*. :)

Basically it only uses water, plugs in, produces steam that’s so hot it not only cleans, but it also sanitizes. I didn’t even scrub this five years of neglect away. All I did was set that wonderful water worker wonder on top of sticky stuff and let the steam do it’s work.

DSC_0078

DSC_0081

Awesome, right?  Then all I have to do is take one of the two washable pads that comes with it, throw it in the washer, and attach it right back when I’m finished.

And it’s so clean that, theoretically, you can eat off of it. I didn’t try. But if we ever have any bug visitors, at least now they won’t get sick taking away the crumbs from under my fridge. (Thankfully, we have a bug man – so, no worries, we don’t get bugs.) Now that you’re totally grossed out for the rest of the day, let’s move on…. :) 

I have a large open kitchen space. But not a lot of drawers. In fact, there are only two small drawers in my kitchen. One holds my silverware. The other is prime real estate. But so is some of my cabinets. And my 32 jars of spices were taking up too many of those cabinets. Yep. Thirty-two. And none of them are expired. Because I use them all all the time. Along with the 9 extracts. Nine.

So until I get my laundry room/pantry painted and fixed up just like I want it, this is my temporary solution. And it’s worked wonderfully. So worth my one drawer.

DSC_0065

DSC_0068

DSC_0067

DSC_0069

So now, I’m on to the task I’ve been dreading – the girls’ clothes. I’m thinking they don’t need enough shirts to dress them for three weeks. Especially considering that they only wanna wear their three princess dresses anyway. So, I’m simplifying, de-cluttering, driving my husband crazy with the current disarray, etc. :) But in all of this, I’m keeping my mind busy, and for this week, and last, and the next, this is really good for me.

Meanwhile, back to my kids….

DSC_0005

Discussion 13 Comments Category Do-It-Yourself-Moms, Family, For the Home Tags , , ,

Organizing and light-living.

I’ve been keeping my mind and hands busy this week – organizing. After basically 14 months of a seemingly never ending cycle of physical fatigue that looked something like: morning sickness/recovery over and over, my poor house has been in a state of “barely surviving”. When we walk into the pantry to pull out a loaf of bread, and a pack of batteries, along with a stack of paper plates (that I had forgotten we even had) falls on our heads – we wonder how we found the loaf of bread to begin with.

Oh, it’s semi-clean, but definitely my cleaning and organizing from day to day has been in a very mere maintenance mode.  Enough to keep the bugs out and my kids clothes clean. Needing something mentally and physically exhausting, but not so challenging I couldn’t manage in my barely postpartum state, this seemed to be the trick. I’ve decided to put my eyeballs on every square inch of floor space (and the cubic space above it) and make it spotless. I’m about a third of the way through now. We’ll see if I finish before the end of the month.

I found a few new solutions to some storage problems I’ve been facing for five years.

DSC_0065

And I even snapped photos to show you. Because they just might make it to pinterest.

Oh, wait. I got the ideas from there. Nevermind.

But that’ll have to wait for later in the week.

Because I have more Kyle stuff to talk about. I know, I promised “not-so-teary-eyed” stuff. And this shouldn’t be. I just had to share, though.

This has been an interesting week – kind of a week between intense grief and grasping at normal. We started school again this week (Chloe, K5). Only another two weeks before we get to celebrate our “100 Day” in school. I can’t believe we’ve come this far after the year we’ve had. Chloe read several words out of our Bible this week – she was so excited about that! Now her children’s Bible has almost no interest to her. She’s doing so well. It seems she has wisdom and peace beyond her years – and has been such a comfort to us. Even during the Memorial service last weekend, she drew pictures on the programs we had printed for the guests.  If you look closely, you’ll see tears that she drew on our faces. She said these were “happy tears” though – because we “got to hold Kyle, and you were so happy you got to do that”.

DSC_0087

Kami, though, has been struggling a bit more emotionally, it seems. She doesn’t want to go anywhere without one of us with her. To which we are happy to oblige. I’ll take all the kid-loving I can take right now. She talks about her brother all the time. She wants to go to Heaven. She asks “Is the flower place (the cemetery) Heaven?”

Our family is a one-car family, and she knows that if she wants to go anywhere to do something, it has to be on one of our 2 car days a week. Sometimes she forgets what days are which, so she always runs to the window to check and see if our car is in the driveway (which means it’s a car day for us) or if it’s gone (which means dad has it at work).

She checked outside the other day for the car, and saw it, and said, “Mommy! I just wanna take our red car and drive over seven mountains so I can get all the way up to Heaven and see Baby Kyle. Let’s go right now, please.”

Then there was the time that she said, tearfully, “Mommy, I didn’t get to give Baby Kyle a goodbye kiss and a hug.”

She was looking through my Bible at church this morning and flipped to the back where the various maps of the Holy Land in ancient times are located. She pointed to the full color images and said, “Mommy? Is this Heaven? I think it is. See the blue? That’s just the sky. And Heaven is behind it.”

DSC_0082

Like Kami, Chris and I are trying to piece it all together in our minds, too. Sure, we’re surviving, kinda like our house. But we’ve never been closer. And I wouldn’t trade that for anything. But we’re also still hurting in our own ways.

Remember those lights I talked about awhile ago? We’re still getting them. And some of them are really bright.

We’re hearing from strangers all over who are being impacted by our son’s life. Really?  I had no idea 20 ounces of baby could make such a difference. But he is. And every time we hear from another dear hurting mother, or an OB nurse in another part of the country who is sharing our story with her patients, or we get another card or gift from a reader in the mail…it just lifts our spirits so much. (And thank you cards are coming – I promise!)

But the biggest light this week was from my doctor – the really awesome one who gave us all those ultrasounds whenever we wanted. We stopped by to see him Friday, just to check in and take him some pumpkin muffins. (Which, were awesome, btw. Those will be in a new post this week too. Seriously – no crumbs, because they were so moist, easy, delicious, not-to-sweet – maybe they’ll make it on pinterest…)

Anyway, he watched our video and wanted to show it to some of his doctor friends at a big meeting he has next month. Basically, he’s noticing that all of his patients who choose to carry their difficult and rather “doomed” pregnancies to their natural progression seem to fare immensely better emotionally afterwards then those who choose to terminate. (Note: I’m not saying here that our choice was one that was easy to make, or even the one that is always right in a situation like ours. It was just how God led us after several days of agonizing and praying over our options. For many women, this choice isn’t presented as an option.) He wants to get other doctors on board with him to make the choice to carry the pregnancy to term an option to their grieving mothers. And he wants to use Kyle’s story to help him do that?

I thought about the babies that my sweet Kyle’s memorial fund might help save in the next 32 months in South America. And those that perhaps now mothers might choose to save – who, even in light of yet another “incompatible with life” diagnosis, might have the same or greater impact our son is having. And the mothers who have lost before me, but have finally allowed themselves to grieve, and in turn, heal. Because our son, here on earth at least, wasn’t.

And when I think about those things, my day gets a bit brighter. My God seems a bit bigger. And my heart grows a bit warmer and stronger.

“Just as you cannot understand the path of the wind or the mystery of a tiny baby growing in its mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the activity of God, who does all things.” 

DSC_0674

~ Ecclesiastes 11:5

Discussion 3 Comments Category A Quiet Spirit, Celebrating Our Little One, Family Snapshots

My last letter to Kyle – and a special gift for you.

Image 1

Dear Heavenly Father,

I just wanna tell you a couple of things about my little guy. You know everything there is to know about him – But I wanna still tell you anyway?

He loves sucking his thumb. I’m ok with that. I let my girls do that until they are around 4 or so. But you can let him do that as long as you want.

He loves kicking. I can only imagine how good he is at it now that both his legs will work well.

He was a snuggler. He’ll probably need a lot of hugs like his sister, Kami. He liked to smile, though, too. Whenever he ate. Another Kami-trait.

I have a lot of his milk in the freezer. I know You’ll make sure just the right tiny NICU baby receives it. I kinda hope it’s a boy that ends up with it.  And I hope his mama appreciates the love and warm tears that were sent with it. If my Kyle’s milk can keep another baby boy alive, though…Wow.

IMG_4747

I love stars. I show his sisters the stars all the time. Maybe, if You end up making any more, You could let him help You?

Can you just tell him we miss him? A lot. Kami’s pretty upset that she didn’t get to give him “a goodbye kiss and a hug”.  So she kisses her Kyle bear quite a bit.

I got a new nephew yesterday. He’s cute. Like his aunt, of course.  I think I’ll kiss him twice every time I see him. Once for him and once for my baby boy. I can’t wait to kiss them both.

We love our Kyle. And a lot of other people do too. But because of him, a lot of people love You more. I know we do. So thank you.

Tomorrow’s Tuesday. For 20 weeks, I saw my baby every Tuesday. I won’t see him on Tuesdays anymore. And that makes Tuesdays really hard days for me here.  But I know You’ll carry me through Tuesday. And Wednesday. And the other days. Like you have the last 220 days (and all the ones before that). Thank you for not putting me down.

I’m so thankful to you for those days. I’m so thankful I could write him letters every week.  And, if I could write him another letter, it would simply say…

DSC_0035

“Enjoy Heaven today, little guy. I know you’re well taken care of. And one day, I can’t wait to hear what you’ve been up to.  

I’ll see you again (not) soon (enough). Until then, know that I love you, and I always will. 

 XOXO,

Mom”

_______________________________

Below is the video we showed at Kyle’s Memorial Service this weekend. May it be a blessing to you as it was to all of us in attendance on Saturday. I appreciate you all so very much – and in a way, couldn’t have done this journey without your support and prayers. I’ll be blogging again – about not-so-teary-eyed things – starting next Monday, but will be taking the week off. May God bless this video, and you.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5iniW-4ln8s&w=560&h=315]

Discussion 15 Comments Category A Quiet Spirit, Celebrating Our Little One, Family Snapshots, Trisomy 18

Our first week as a family of four.

We began the week with remembering our family as one of five.

The service was beautifully worshipful.

The girls were sweetly helpful. Big sisters. Taking care of their little brother’s special space.  And making him the most heartfelt and special of gifts to send to Heaven on the strings of 31 balloons. Each one representing a week of his precious life.

All this as we felt our family and closest friends circling around us with their arms, their prayers, and their hope. For us. In our God.

DSC_0005

DSC_0035

DSC_0045

DSC_0061

DSC_0117

DSC_0155

DSC_0173

DSC_0177

DSC_0186

DSC_0184

As we then looked forward to the birth of yet another baby boy in the coming days, we kept quietly to ourselves. Injecting as much happiness and joy into our girls’ lives as we could while we desperately craved some of our own. I learned something (again). It’s hard to think about Jesus and not feel joy.

We started the day with our Happy Birthday Jesus party. As we ate a breakfast given in love by a church friend. We ate a piece of joy that day. We continued with a bit of gifts. Celebrating the gift given to us. And were greeted with the most beautiful thankful hugs from our sweet girls. I don’t know how many other kids give “great big thank-you hugs” for pajamas. We drew pictures of heaven. And we tried delivering a piece of heaven. To a dear lady friend who was in the hospital from a very harsh gift – leukemia. Our four caroling voices certainly wouldn’t be called heavenly, but our hearts felt closer to Jesus and our Kyle.  It wasn’t quite the grandiose plans we had had in mind for our Christmas project this year. But it was just what I needed.

DSC_0242

DSC_0248

DSC_0278

DSC_0281

DSC_0286

DSC_0284

DSC_0285

DSC_0294

DSC_0282

DSC_0227

For those interested (and you, my praying friends, are certainly all invited), Kyle’s Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, January 5th, at 2PM. The location is Morningside Baptist Church.  We want this service to be a testimony of our son’s short life, but really of the amazing things God has done through it all. (And I promise, it will be incredible when you see what your prayers, gifts, and encouragement have done.) We won’t be wearing black. We’ll be in baby blue.

We have set up a memorial fund, in partnership with Compassion International, to help pregnant women and infants whose lives are at risk because of poverty and treatable illnesses in South America.  This fund will be used to support these women and babies by providing clean drinking water, basic prenatal and postnatal care and education, and basic food supplies to make breastfeeding their new infants possible, where infant formula is not an option. They will also hear of the love of Jesus. The love that made our little Kyle’s life possible. The love that’s making their little one’s life possible.

In lieu of flowers at the service, we are requesting that donations be made to the Kyle Rackley Memorial Fund. These donations can be made in a number of ways

* Through our special secure Memorial Fund Fundraiser link.  – Where you can also see how others’ generosity are going to further the cause of Christ. It’s exciting for us – when exciting is hard to come by. Come take a look.

* Through Paypal – send a personal gift to kylerackleymemorialfund@gmail.com.

* Through the mail at

The Kyle Rackley Memorial Fund
c/o Greenville Federal Credit Union
1501 Wade Hampton Blvd.
Greenville, SC 29609

* Keep up with where the money is going through Kyle’s special Memorial Facebook page.

Again, thank you for your grace. Your gifts of prayer, love, support – you all honored my son and brought joy to my heart more than you’ll ever know.

Discussion 2 Comments Category A Quiet Spirit, Celebrating Our Little One, Family Snapshots, Trisomy 18 Tags , , , , , ,