Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Boy Vs. Scooter

Helmet: Check!
Knee Pads: Check!
Elbow Pads: Check!
Mouth Guard: Ummmm ... nope!

Jack with his "broken" smile (check out his "missing" front tooth)
The Scooter Won
(What a blessing to have a wonderful dentist to "fix" this little mishap!)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

It's All in a Name ...

Analysis paralysis? Been there? That's where we seem to be at with names. Oh, we have a fairly solid list of girls names ready. Who wouldn't after having not been able to use one ... ever? But, boys names? That's a different story. We thought we were all set with a perfect boy name for our family, if in fact this is another boy (sorry Rita, I know you're insistent that this is a girl and we need to just stop worrying about this ... but worry, yep, that's me - remember the Martha post? I'm still a work in progress). Anyhow, back to names, we have been having second thoughts on our boy name.

The boy name we thought we were set on - Matthew Jon. We still love this name, but when you put all of our boys’ names in the line-up – Jack, Samuel, Owen, Matthew – Matthew gets tacked onto Owen and considering that is Owen’s middle name, we’re rethinking our decision. I know, too much analysis!!! It is important to us that our children have names that are strong, and we have a tradition of using middle names which are after strong figures in our lives - family or friends. Jack's middle name is Franklin, which was my grandfather's name. Samuel's middle name is Charles which is Jason's grandpa's name (and also a family name on my side). Owen's middle name is Matthew which is my uncle's name. So, we are 100% sure that if this is another little boy, his middle name will be Jon after Jason's brother and after a friend who we would also consider a brother to Jason, both wonderful men that we are encouraged by and that we love dearly.

So, back to first names. Our other name out there – William Jon (and we’d call him Will), so – Jack, Sam(uel), Owen, Will(iam). Two things with this name, the first, which we are not as concerned about is that our cousin's husband is Jon William (now Jon, don't be getting all proud here!). The second concern is that Jason's sister is also expecting and is due only a couple of weeks after us. She found out that she is having a precious little boy. And, we found out, one of her boys names on the docket is Will. Hence our challenge with a boys name.

I had an appointment this week and my doctor told me that the ultrasound technician took a picture of the baby’s bottom “just in case” we change our minds and want to know the gender of this little one. Oh, so tempting. But, there really are too few surprises in life and this is one that we will continue to anticipate and wait on and agonize over a name on should this, in fact, be another little boy. I bet God is just shaking his head saying "Heather, Heather! You are worried and only one thing is needed ..." So, like anything else, both significant and seemingly insignificant we will turn this over to God and trust that all will work out as He has so purposefully planned. And, we'll hold tight to knowing that we will in fact one day get to use one of our girls names, if not this December, then for our daughter from China (as the boys still affectionately refer to as China Girl).

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Breast Cancer 3-Day

60 miles ... 3 days ... torrential downpours and storms resulting in tent evacuations ... hazardous heat levels ... sore muscles ... two blisters ... tears of exhaustion ... tears of gratitude ... Breast Cancer awareness raised ... research dollars raised ... lives changed ... LIVES SAVED ... these are some of the incredible memories I have from the two years that I did the Breast Cancer 3-Day walk in Chicago (2006 & 2007). Walking the Breast Cancer 3-Day was physically and emotionally exhausting, but so, so moving ... so incredible. I walked with Team Pedicure founded by my dear friend Elizabeth. This past weekend was Elizabeth's 6th consecutive year walking in the Chicago Breast Cancer 3-Day to raise awareness and raise funds for Breast Cancer research. Elizabeth and I were trying to figure out how much she alone has raised for Breast Cancer research and awareness over these past six years ~ we couldn't get the exact number, but we do know it is well over $20,000. Isn't this girl amazing?
This past weekend again brought rain and a nearly unbearable heat index, but Elizabeth did it! You go girl! I'm proud of you, and I cannot wait to rejoin Team Pedicure!!!!!!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Whose Plan?

Perhaps too often I find myself wondering if I'm following my plan or God's plan. I could write about this at more length and throw out example after example, but that is not my intent here. When it does become obvious what God's plan is, we may find ourselves questioning why and why not our plan? I question this. It's human tendency, and that's okay. We find ourselves still asking this question a year and a half after Owen's diagnosis, a little over a year after losing my friend Becca who was tragically killed by a drunk driver, and now only a couple of days after another young life was lost. We have questioned why life has been taken, in each of these circumstances, so grossly out of order.

Please join us in praying for the friends and family of Katie Immel (please read Katie's story here), Katie, a young, courageous woman who passed away Friday evening. Katie had been running the race of her life these past eight months. In December she was diagnosed with acute leukemia. And, now, only weeks after turning 25, she won the ultimate race, victory into the arms of our loving Savior. Katie leaves behind so many who loved her and who were praying for a different outcome, praying for a different plan. But, it was not to be. God's plan is not always our plan.

This then leads to the question of the purpose in this. Just like we may not ever fully understand God's purpose in losing Owen, Katie's family and friends may question God's purpose in losing Katie, a young woman with so much life in her. God's plan, although sometimes so very painful, does have a purpose which we are growing to learn may be greater than we can ever imagine.

Please join us in uplifting Katie's family and friends in prayer ...

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Family Tradition

Family: A group of persons of common ancestry
Tradition: The handing down of information, beliefs, and customs by word of mouth or by example from one generation to another without written instruction

Every family has its traditions, some quirky, some sentimental, some silly and some just plain 'ole fun ... and a bit competitive. Common summer traditions may include annual family get-togethers such as family cookouts, family reunions, or family vacations. A family tradition on the Lilyquist side is the Annual Family Olympics which has been hosted now for decades. This is one tradition in our family that will never need written instruction, and it is sure to continue for decades to come.

The Family Olympics typically take place on a Saturday afternoon in summer and consist of food, fellowship, and friendly competition. The competitors are the young and old alike (with the most fierce competition at the adult ranks). So, what kind of games are common at the Family Olympics? Well, the competitors enjoy a variety of "sports." The men may enjoy golf (with marshmallows), the children may participate in donut eating (off of strings hanging from a clothesline), and the tweens and teens might do a science project (explosions of Mentos in Diet Coke). This is just a sampling of what this year's Annual Olympics brought. There have been other years of messier and sillier games enjoyed by all.