Wednesday, July 28, 2010

She's getting it

Today was a good day in the life of Carleigh Renee Dunnam. We were riding around town this morning, running errands and listening to the local Christian station. They were asking those who can to give to their Baha building fund. There is a group working down there even as I type to build homes. It only costs $6,000 to build a house! Well, Carleigh heard and was paying close attention. After a few minutes she said, "Mama, I've been listening to them talk about needing money for homes, and I've been thinking that I want to give a donation." She and Luke earn an allowance, and she wanted to give some of her own money. So this afternoon when we got home, we got online and made her donation. Of course, my heart is swelling so big, I think it might burst.

Carleigh has also been growing her hair long so she could donate to Locks of Love. Today Luke had a hair appointment, and Carleigh asked our beloved Veronica if her hair was long enough. Once she measured and showed Carleigh how short it would be after chopping it all off, Carleigh gave Veronica the go ahead. We have her braid and Locks of Love donation form ready to mail tomorrow. Here are a couple of the pictures I took with my phone, so they're not all that great, but I think you'll be able to see how excited she is...

Take a look at that braid! Locks of Love bound!



After shot of my precious little girl



Last week, our church sent a group to Haiti. They got back home around midnight Sunday morning. I can't wait to hear and see what God did through them and in them while they were there. They have the entire time next Sunday at church to tell us all about it. One of our good friends went. Marc shared his account on their blog here. Hopefully his video will be up soon.

Another good friend of ours from church had the opportunity to go to Sudan in March. She shared with us how the trip impacted her life, and her testimony made me reflect on the importance of giving to missions, whether physically, prayerfully or financially. God tells us to take care of the orphans and the widowed, the poor and the hungry. How easy it is to think we're doing that by letting the government take care of it. How wrong we are!

Take care of those sweet babies whose parents can't afford new shoes or clothes right around the corner, or the single mom who can't afford the car repairs she so desperately needs, or the orphans across the ocean or next to our country who need love. God calls us all to do something. What will it be for me, for you?

Have what you want, but want what you have. "To whom much is given, much is required." Luke 12:48 So these are some of the things I've been thinking about lately. What's going on in your mind?

Friday, July 23, 2010

Whirlwind

Feels like I'm in a whirlwind lately. There's so much going on, I feel like I can't keep up. There are some really wonderful new developments with Emma's Hugs. If you aren't a friend of Emma's Hugs on Facebook, become one so you can keep abreast of all the cool happenings. Just today Emma's Hugs gave over 160 days of parking at Memorial Hermann Children's Hospital and Texas Children's Hospital and surpassed 10 years of parking gifted to families!

Today as I drove around the streets of the medical center, I was behind a car that had a bumper sticker that read something like, "Believe in Miracles," or "miracles happen," I can't remember exactly. Sometimes I get a little bit bitter when I see phrases like that. I realize there is such a thing as a miracle, and I know people who have had them occur in their lives, and if I stop and think about it long enough, I'm probably one of them, but the one I prayed for didn't happen here. I guess that's the hard part about believing. I have to believe I got my miracle even though I can't see it. I wish I understood why things happen the way they do. Maybe it would be easier to get through each day. But I don't understand. It's nice when someone tells me what an impact Emma had on his/her life, but what I really want is my daughter here and healthy.

My heart is breaking for a beautiful little girl I met today. Her health is very bad. She needs all sorts of transplants but won't get them because she is so sick. I pray she finds healing soon. I know she is very uncomfortable. I hope she gets the miracle healing she needs...

Sunday, July 18, 2010

When you least expect it...

In mid sentence, while watching my kids play, seeing Cora doing something new, visiting a place I've been before with Emma, you never know what may stir my emotions and bring a new wave of grief and tears. I just want to scream sometimes. I miss her so much. I ache that she isn't here. I yearn for her to be with our family experiencing all the fun and excitement that each new day brings. I want her here, well, and ruffling my feathers, just like my other three lovies. Today she missed out on my dad's 70th birthday party. Someone asked at one point during the course of picture-taking who was missing, and I wanted to say, "Emma." My sweet sister-in-law made a beautiful plate for my parents' 30th anniversary (tomorrow) at Mud Pie and gave it to them today. There were froggy footprints of her and my brother's adorable little 4 month old, and then six beautiful little butterflies representing the other grandchildren. Six. I wish all six were still here.


Along with all the fun we've had this summer, it's been hard too. Almost everywhere we've gone has been somewhere Emma was with us the last time we were there. We visited the beach yesterday evening. I don't think I've been ready to go there before now. There was so much devastation from Hurricane Ike. I guess it coincided with the devastation I have felt from losing Emma. 2008 was a very tough year... Marvin, Kelvin's dad, the greatest father-in-law in the world, passed away in April, Emma was diagnosed with Batten Disease in July, and we lost our beach house in September. Of course, in the midst of the chaos, we also found out we were expecting our 4th child, a complete and total surprise! She is a special blessing now, but I was terrified, to say the least, that we might have another baby with Batten Disease. Quite frankly, I don't think I could have handled that. So, until we had the amnio confirming she was indeed a healthy baby, I was a bit of a basket case. Anyway, all that to say, I haven't really been ready to go back to the beach and explore the options of possible re-building or buying another beach house. We had a great year at our beach house with Emma the year before her health began declining. Such fond memories...

My favorite picture of Carleigh, Luke and Emma
on the beach at sunset



Yesterday we were reminded of how much fun Emma had splashing in the water and eating the sand! Cora did the same thing! What is it with babies and eating sand? It can't taste good!

More tears...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Lovin' Summertime

We've been having so much fun this summer, I haven't had the chance, or I've been just too darn worn out, to sit down and post anything. The kiddos and I have stayed pretty busy doing all kinds of fun stuff. We went to the Houston Ship Channel and did the boat tour the other day with a group from our church. It was pretty cool, but I'll have to say, I think it's better suited for big kids and grown-ups. We've been to the skating rink, done VBS, splashed and tubed and swung from the rope swing at the lake, visited our friends on July 4 and nearly turned into fish swimming so much, visited our handy dandy library on numerous occasions, tumbled at gymnastics, and the summer is not over yet. We still have to go to Space Center Houston tomorrow, make our first ever trip to the new water park in town, go to Kelvin's family day for work at a very cool party place called Main Event, go to the deer lease, go to the Aquarium downtown, splash around at the splash pad at the park, do some more tubin' down the bayou, swim some more, check out some more books and movies at the library, and go to Garner! Carleigh also has music camp at our church. I think it's going to be so much fun! So, maybe I'll get a chance to post some pictures of all this cool fun for you in the very near future, but you just might have to wait until school starts before I can catch my breath! Hope your summer is going well too!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

VBS

Vacation Bible School is in full swing at our church this week. It's fun watching the kids get excited. Won't you join me in praying for these sweet little souls?

More to come!

**update from earlier today**
Check out all these cutie pies having fun...



















Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Independence Day

We wish you all a Happy 4th of July! The choir at our church sang a very inspirational patriotic program today. A movie was shown about some veterans who were trying to get the message across that they gave for us, and would do it again. It was very touching...I cried. I love this dear country of ours. I know it's not perfect, but neither are any of the people who make it up! Today is for remembering...why we celebrate freedom, that we get to celebrate our freedom, that we are free to worship, speak and think according to our own free will.

So go out and have a fun day celebrating and remembering.

"So Jesus said to those Jews who had believed in Him, If you abide in My word [hold fast to My teachings and live in accordance with them], you are truly My disciples. And you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free." John 8:31-32

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Future World Cupper

Watch out World Cup, here he comes...



This was last fall. Luke really got into the game! He has asked about soccer several times this year, so we'll be signing him up for the fall 2010 season. He's such a little Pele! :)
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