Thank you so much for taking the time to visit our family blog. This may be your first visit here, or you may be a friend from across the globe, or family that we have just seen. Who ever you may be, thanks for taking the time to read about our little family, and all we are learning on this adventure the Lord has called us to live! Here you will find, the random thoughts, funny stories, prayer requests, and the journey our family and Jack is on with his battle with Leukemia.

One Year Old

What a precious day, a precious gift from above, a tender reflection of the fathers love for us...

Even as I type the title of this post, I am shocked that it has already been one year. Our lives were forever changed this day, one year ago... time really does fly, and passes you by before you even know it! As I reflect back on all the changes, the challenges, the joys, the memories... my heart is overwhelmed with happiness and gratefulness. I still am amazed that God would entrust to us this little boy, to care for and love. I feel like I have learned so many things this past year... things about my own heart and my desperate need for God.... things about His lavish love in giving up his perfect son for me, things about my husband as I have watched him tenderly love our child...

One year ago, at 6:50 am, my water broke... quite unexpectedly, as I was not due for another 3 weeks! We were in shock and so excited... and as my contractions had not begun yet, things were quite surreal, as we drove to the hospital with no pain and much anticipation!

And at 10:52 pm, just 1 hour and 8 minutes shy of the new year, Tyler James arrived weighing in at 8lbs 1 oz and 21.5 inches.... When I heard how big he actually was, I was so grateful he was born early!!!

And then we came home.... and our lives were never the same, and I cannot imagine my life without this little boy. Now, with the New Year looming in the day, I have a yearly reminder of the past faithfulness of God, and his future grace promised to us. My son, is truly a gift from God to us, that reminds us of how much we have been given and how much we can praise our heavenly father for.

And now, the birthday boy!!!!

He just bring so much joy to our lives, and to those around him. He is such a gift to us!

How can I express the heart full of love in words for my son, and my family???

Happy Birthday Big Boy!

Love, Momma and Dada!

Christmas Weekend!!!

We have had a FULL weekend, as I am sure most families around the world have had as well!

Our little family of three began our festivities a day or two early, as we gave Tyler his gift from us Friday morning!!! He came down stairs with Dada to find a mountain of bricks!

At first he was quite unsure about them, but once Jordan began knocking them down and re-building everything, he jumped right in.

The first of many gifts this weekend for our boy...

Then Saturday night we went up to stay with my parents to celebrate Christmas with them and my sister and her husband. We started went to a favorite restaurant and just had a blast.

Then on the way home, my dad took us all on a tour of the local Christmas light displays (some of them were very impressive and some not so impressive at all) Here is Tyler in my parents sleigh- it is pulled by some cute reindeer.

Sunday morning was our families Christmas morning... but since I was the only one with a child, we were waiting for the rest of the adults to wake up and join us downstairs. My mom, who woke up at the crack of dawn, had found some of my old toys, and took them out for Tyler to play with while we waited. Did you have one of those?

And then the gift giving began! Tyler did great and we had a blast helping him open the gifts!

Here is Aunt Lala "eating" one of Tyler's toys.... he was sharing!

His favorite toy was, by far, his little piano. He has played with that toy the most so far. I really do think we have a musically inclined son. When I have anything on with music(the tv, cd's the radio), he starts to dance and bounce up and down and pays close attention to what is happening- but as soon as the song ends- you have lost his attention and the bouncing stops!

And then the naps began...

A little family picture before the Christmas Eve service at church!!

Christmas morning #2 we went to the Kauflin's house bright and early and celebrated the day with them. We started things off right with fresh baked cinnamon rolls... notice the babies faces... they had some too!

After all the gifts were given, Ethan and Jordan got into a paper ball fight! Ethan was using a box as a shield from Jordan's hard throws!

Then, while Tyler was exploring the house, he made his way into the piano room , where he stood up and began hitting the keys... a born musician I think.

We will see what the future holds for this one... maybe his inherited a little talent from Pop-Pop.

Little fingers, big keys...

After thinking about a comment made by a "Friend" that our son looks like a Hungarian Orphan because of his shaggy hair- I decided to try to give him a little hair cut...

After a wrestling match in the bathroom, and the rescue of Julie to finish the job I could not get done... we have a little boy with a big boy hair-do.

We hope your Christmas has been filled with as many memories and fun times as ours was!

A tribute to my mom...

I just wanted to take a few moments to honor my mom... She is the BEST mom, the BEST Grandma, and the BEST friend a girl could have. She has faithfully been our #1 babysitter for Tyler, rarely turning down an opportunity to serve us. She comes all the way down from Frederick several times a week, just to hang out with me and Tyler, shop with us, and bring us little things we might need.

She shows my son the most tender love, and he simply adores her. Here is a picture of the face she gets every time she walks in the door.

When she is over to watch Tyler for our date night, and I am up stairs getting ready to go, I can hear them both laughing so loud.. it brings me so much joy to know that my son loves my mom.

And she has been faithful to watch over and care for my son since he was first born. We have been able to take a weekly date night together, knowing that my mom would be there for the past year. Mom, I cannot tell you what a blessing that is to me and to my husband...You are helping to make our marriage stronger.

Here is what we call "mountain climbing"...Tyler climbes all over you if you let him.. Mom my found a funny pair of old glasses for Tyler to play with... she is wearing them here.

Mom, I would not and could not be the mom I am today without your support, love and care. I am so grateful to God for you, and for the friendship we share. You are such a dear friend to me, and I love you so very much. Thank you for all the sacrifices and time you have laid down for me and my family. We all love you so very much.

Cashing In

Two Sunday's ago, Jordan finally got his birthday present from me... (his birthday is in August)... We went to the Redskins/Panthers Football game with Devon and Kristine. It was perfect weather...

The last time I got tickets to a Skins game, we were kind of sitting far away-- actually, we were in the very last row-- our backs were against the fence... I almost got a nose bleed!!

So, yeah, I decided not to sit that far away again, so we were in the lower level on the 5 yard line... it was pretty sweet!

We had such a great day, and had the best weather.

Yeah, we were that close!

Thanks Beth for watching Tyler all day!!! You are the best!

Cutting Down our Tree

Each year, for the past 4 years, we have gone to Pine Valley to cut down our Christmas Tree. It has been such a great tradition, and I am so glad we got to show Tyler all the trees. It was so much fun!

He was pretty interested in the trees.. he didnt try to eat them, but he liked touching the branches..

We started him off small, introducing him to a Tyler sized tree...

Mommy and the boy....
The Russell Family...

My cutie pie...

Notice the difference in our skin tones... pink and gold... He got his daddy's skin that is for sure... and notice the eyes.... that certainly didnt come from me... Thanks Mimi and Aba!

Tyler was so excited the whole time... he just kept laughing and kicking his legs!

Jordan cutting the best tree ever down for us!

The Kauflin family ...

Until next year....

Thanksgiving Activities

So- I know these pictures are over a week late- but I lost them on my computer for a while there- and after much searching and a few moments of panic, I found the file they had gotten put into.... all 178 of them... so here are a few of them...

Each year, Jordan looks forward to the annual Thanksgiving Football game... where the faithful guys come out , rain or shine, and play a few hours of tackle football...

This year, if you can remember, it was cold, and very wet... surprisingly good contitions for the guys to play-- the ground was soft (so when they got tackled it did not hurt as bad as landing on frozen ground) and the cool wetness kept them from getting too hot as they ran all over the place!

However, this was not ideal conditions for a mommy and boy!!! Tyler was VERY bundled up, as we watched them play- Devon had set up his tent and heater, so we were able to stay dry and somewhat warm...

We got to hang with Chel and Beth (and Jacob...)...
Here we are, all bundled up!!

Then off we went to eat Thanksgiving Dinner and relax! It was a very restful day!


Tyler has been discovering a whole new world recently- our house... as he has gotten quite good and crawling, and he has begun to move on to climbing... I caught him going for the stairs... and couldn't believe my eyes as he just started to go up... like he had known hwo to do this for years...

He is NOT good at going down- so we only let him do this with supervision of course!

And we have now baby-proofed our house- baby gates and all!

He does laps around the first floor of our house, stopping to find whatever he can and play with it/eat it...let the adventures begin!