Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Anna is a TEENAGER!

 Today one of the sweetest girls in the world is turning into a teenager. 
 Anna Fay, you have been such a JOY to our family for the last 13 years.  You are full of spunk!
 You ALWAYS make things fun and enjoyable for those around you-especially Lindsay.  You selflessly serve others without complaint.  You have the biggest heart of anyone I have ever known.
 Your talents are endless!  You have become quite a little cook!  I LOVE IT!  Your dinners are so delicious, and you are a wonderful baker! 
You have a GREAT work ethic, and you are proving yourself to be worthy of lots of responsibility at camp, running the dining room! 
 There are lots of beautiful girls in the world, but few are beautiful FROM the INSIDE- OUT, like you!
 I am excited about this new phase of life you are entering-the teen years!
 I feel so incredibly BLESSED that God chose YOU to be my girl.  Oh how I needed YOU!
I love you more than you will ever understand.

I hope you have the BEST BIRTHDAY!  Happy 13th Birthday, sweet girl!!! 
Welcome to the TEENS!!  WooHOO!!

.....hope we can survive THREE TEENAGE DAUGHTERS in the house for a few months......

Friday, June 8, 2012

The End of an Era...

 For most parents, 8th grade graduation means celebrating the academic achievements of their child and looking forward to the high school experience.  
This year Lindsay graduated from 8th grade. 
We didn't see her get any academic awards.  No accolades for honor roll or being on student council.
Instead, we reflected on WHERE she has come from.  These middle school years brought many changes for us....not the least of which was Lindsay's gained ability to use the restroom all.by.herself. (most of the time)  YaHoooooooo!!!!

 The 8th Grade "Bulldogs" have been practicing for graduation for quite a while, and it has been a big topic of conversation at our dinner table.  Lindsay was so so so excited about taking part in the ceremony.  I was worried because it didn't even start until 6:30 (and Lindsay is usually in bed by then!)
Shae had her to the school an hour early, as directed.
But when Shae came to sit with us before everything started, she reported that Lindsay did NOT want to wear the hat, and that she was so tired.  

 By the time those precious kids walked in, Lindsay was ALL smiles-with the hat on!
 It was so touching to listen as the kids sang the song, "Do I Make You Proud" especially seeing MY girl's mouth moving and singing with everyone else!   YES, Lindsay...you DO make us proud!
 The sweetest girl accompanied Lindsay across the stage to collect her diploma.  The other kids walked to the microphone to read their "quote" after receiving the diploma but since Lindsay can't read, this sweet girl read Lindsay's "quote",  "Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, says The Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans for a future and a hope."  
 Lindsay absolutely LOVED taking pictures after the ceremony (almost 3 hours long!!)  She is NEVER cooperative for pictures. Never.
Here she is with her "Vision Ladies" and aide.  Julie (on the right) has worked with Lindsay on mobility since she was brain injured and became visually impaired at 8 months old.  Those two walk all over Redding and cross streets!  They have been to Macy's to ride the escalator too. And, occasionally Lindsay brags about how she "went to the store and bought a  soda!"
 Lindsay'a ALL time favorite- Don the school custodian. 
 Grandma and Grandpa Welms came to town for the big night (and thank The Lord they are here for the summer!)
 These are two of Lindsay's school bus drivers.  A HUGE highlight for Lindsay has been riding the bus home from school!  These sweet ladies were actually CRYING because they are going to miss her!  So precious!
 Lindsay's classroom aide (and wonderful Christian :)  Rebekah!  She is another reason I KNOW God plans out the paths of our lives!  I am so humbled by these precious ones who have looked after my very vulnerable girl.
 Little sister/second mama- Anna
 All four grandparents ...THIS is what heaven looks like to Lindsay!!
 Carolyn and Braden made the late night trip over to the big par-tay after the endless  graduation.
 Shae's BFF, Maeghan came by too...Lindsay "just wuvs Maeghan Hutchins!"
 Laura came over too.  Lindsay was thrilled that all those people came to celebrate HER!
 Her own special cake.  This was a BIG DEAL to her!
 Next year we are on to HIGH SCHOOL, I can hardly believe it.  We picked out the perfect classroom situation for Lindsay. Her classroom is right at the front of the school and she will be able to walk from the car to the classroom all by herself.   They work on lots of life skills and do A LOT of socializing in the community.  She will be bowling every week, shopping at the dollar store, riding her bike on campus and baking lots of cookies!
We are so humbly thankful to all those who have worked with Lindsay at Mistletoe School.  She was loved by many!  She spent  happy years there and grew in more ways than one.
  God's plans never  cease to amaze me when they come to Lindsay.  All those fears and concerns when she was laying in that hospital crib all those years ago have dimmed over the years.  I have learned that my worrying  only robs today of it's joy. And believe me, there's ALOT of JOY!  When I think back to the petty little things that concerned me back then, I am ashamed.
Romans 8:28
"And we know that ALL THINGS work together for good to those who love God and are called according to HIS purpose."
We are so proud of you, Lindsay Leigh, You big graduate!  
See ya later Bulldogs, Here we come Cougars!!!