A look back at the past week

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    Nowadays she’s obsessed with Theo the hedgehog. She wants to visit him first thing every morning and say goodnight to him every night before going to bed.

    Seeing this man love this boy made me fall in love with him again.

    It’s been a great honor to interview Max Lucado for the podcast – watch out for his fantastic episode out soon!

    I love this picture so much because Kathrynne is cheering Silas through the fence. She had surprised him and had shown up to his game with some of her friends and she had said such encouraging words to him when she got there. Seeing your kids encourage each other and be the greatest cheerleaders is one of the greatest gifts as a mom.

    I taught her how to feed Theo his food … so she always makes sure he’s had enough now. Maybe more than enough! 🙂

    As Baby D grows and learns new skills, they can play more and more together and have the best time! She loves him and he is so excited to play with her.

    That might not be a big deal … but it’s really huge for Baby D. This was the first day he was able to hold himself in this position (on all fours)!

    We are so proud of this boy !! In the last four weeks he has reached some important milestones: got his first two teeth (a great sign of nutrition and that he is no longer malnourished!), Learning to sit (he can hold a seat without support up to 5) Minutes sometimes!), Holding a hand and knee position for at least 20 seconds, starting a mixed diet (real food) through his feeding tube instead of baby food, pushing up with arms outstretched and holding, improving his spatial awareness and fine motor skills.

    A typical example of this was when he got upset about the meal in nutritional therapy last week and snatched a bite biscuit that was offered to him and put it in his mouth (he has never reached for anything and put it in his mouth on purpose! He cannot chew or swallow You still have it, but wanting it and knowing how to pick it up and put it in your mouth is a good start to getting there!)

    Some of these may seem like small wins or things that you would take for granted, but they are a big deal to him! We are so grateful to his therapists and doctors for doing everything they can over the past 6 months to help him and us (really … he went through a difficult period!) I have never had more respect or appreciation for medical teams and therapists like these days and we know this boy wouldn’t be here without her (he was born at 27 weeks weighing a pound !!)

    It is a miracle in the truest sense of the word and the joy it brings to our home is difficult to put into words. We love you to the moon and back little boy and we are so grateful for your life. You are such a gift for our home!

    Baby D’s new food! What a milestone to switch from formula to this one and he did it so well!

    They started playing in the playpen together – and it’s cutest to watch.

    Mommies, let your children testify that you can rely on God.

    Last week, I spoke to @jennrothschild at the Fresh Grounded Faith event in Chino, CA.

    It was my first speech of its kind in about two years – and two days before the event, I almost completely lost my voice.

    Silas – who came with me to the event – said to me: “Mom, I don’t know how you can speak with your voice like that.” I told him: “I just trust that God will come up and help me.”

    I’ve done all of the things: rest my voice, drink hot larynx tea, take local honey, take throat lozenges, drink probiotic drinks, eat Ruffles potato chips (my singer friend @katerapier told me about this trick), and I even drank one Kind of mushroom potion that Jesse bought for me at Whole Foods.

    Even after all of this, my voice was still hoarse and I felt like it was going to go out any moment.

    You. God showed up for me when I took this stage. Not only was my voice strong for the entire 35 minutes, but I barely looked at the few notes I had written down. Instead, I just felt his power flow through me to convey a message about the freedom I found in Christ as I stopped believing lies and started camping and immersing myself in the truth, how much I am loved by God.

    And my boy was in the front row and looked at it all. He saw God’s faithfulness to his mom in such a profound way.

    God doesn’t need us to be strong, able, or have it all together. He’s just asking us to be ready to say yes and come out in faith. We can trust Him for the rest!

    Thanks to @crosspointchino for these two photos (above and below).

    I would never have dreamed that when I was 40 I would pack a breast pump in my trunk! Only God!

    Traveling with a 12 year old boy is all about food. His most frequent questions on the trip were something like: “When do we eat? Where do we eat What do we eat?”

    It was beautiful in Chino, CA!

    The ladies in the church rolled out the welcome mat for us – including a gift bag as soon as we got to the hotel!

    My editor created this new speaking banner to promote love-centered parenting.

    The church served us an amazing dinner and breakfast! We felt so welcome and taken care of.

    Jennifer Rothschild was one such inspiration. She has been completely blind since she was 15 … but she doesn’t let that hold her back a bit!

    It was a real honor to hear Joni Eareckson speak Tada. In the midst of paraplegia, two cancer diagnoses and severe chronic pain, she decides to be a winner instead of a victim.

    During our Q&A session, I literally tears of laughter ran down my head. These two women are true inspirations and it was humiliating to be on the same stage with them!

    Silas’ only request was that if we wanted to go to CA, we had to stop at an in-n-out. One of the ladies heard that he was really excited about going to In-N-Out and asked if she could give me money to buy him a shirt!

    It is such a gift to be one on one with our children! I think it’s great that talking to one of my kids is a special time to make memories too!

    During my absence, the girls were homecoming at school. Isabel (pictured here with Kathrynne) is almost like a daughter to us / sister to our children. I am so grateful for the wonderful friends our children have … and that we get to know and love so many of them because they spend so much time in our home! Having teenagers is for the best – except Isabel is going to college next year. But we try not to think about it now. 🙂

    Every morning the two of them would lie on the bed together and watch a show. Usually she has her hand on him. The relationship they have is just wonderful. I never imagined that I would ever get the blessing of mothering little mothers again!

    My friend Kate passed this Baby D activity center on to us because her Gigi had outgrown it. He loves to! And it’s perfect for him to sit down during his feeds.

    Kierstyn was convinced she would find a way to sit in it with him! 🙂

    Thanks to Jamie Ivey, Kierstyn has her first colored pencils – and she loves them!

    It was a baked oatmeal week! We ate this for breakfast one day last week (it’s a family favorite!) And I shared it on Instagram … and then people all over the country started making it and posting about it. It’s the perfect time of year to make it because it’s such a warm, hearty, and calming breakfast!

    Rebekah Lyons also came over for a podcast interview last week. Your words of encouragement to lead a dedicated life and mothering a child with Down syndrome have blessed and encouraged me so much!

    I love this picture so much! Seeing my friend Kate enter motherhood last year was such a gift. She is a foster mother and her smile says it all.

    Dependency is difficult. Very hard. And it’s been especially tough since she’s single and being alone in foster care. But she bravely said yes to a call for a little girl a year ago … and who could have imagined that Gigi would celebrate her first birthday as Kate’s DAUGHTER a year later !!

    I’m just constantly inspired by her love and how she loves so much. And I am so grateful for the gift of their friendship. Who would have thought that a foster home would give me such a beautiful community of women who have become dear friends ?!

    Speaking of foster mothers, I also went to a new meeting of foster and adoptive mothers last week. We had a dip tasting from Trader Joe, in addition to a time of sharing and encouragement. It has been a blessing to hear from other mothers who are following similar paths.



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