Dec 22, 2009

Happy Christmas!

Monday night we went to visit more of Sara Madalin's family. At least that's how she thinks of them and they think of her. We went to the home of Mrs. Stacey and Anna and Ryan. Stacey and Reagan and I have been friends since our college and career Sunday school days. While Reagan and I were on our honeymoon, Stacey and her husband got engaged. They married in March 1997. In 1998, they had Ryan and less than 2 years later, had Anna. I fell in love with both of these children as babies. I remember holding Anna during choir practice at church each week. She'd sleep as long as we were singing, then she'd wake up when we'd stop. Once Sara Madalin was born, she just gravitated toward Ryan and Anna like they were her older brother and sister. Stacey is her Sunday school teacher. She's more excited to see Stacey sometimes than me. And we discovered Saturday night that Sara Madalin now calls Anna by name. I'm sure it's just a matter of time before she says Stacey and Ryan too.

Stacey's husband, Kevin passed away this year. It was very sudden. Our church was heartbroken. There are times it still doesn't even seem real. But rather than dwell on the loss, Stacey and her kids have inspired many of us to stand strong and press on in the midst of this loss. She has displayed a strength that I could only hope to have in the same situation. But she'll be the first say, it's not her strength. It's the strength of Christ living through her.

While we're beyond sad that Kevin is gone, I can't help but remember the humor he displayed in so many situations. Reagan and I had an opportunity to travel with him to Honduras on a short-term mission trip several years ago. He kept the whole group entertained with his remarks and observations. He would always tell me, "You need to get right with your Brother." Meaning that I needed to apologize to him for something or other. I would tell him, if he was my brother, I'd get right with him. Or I would say, "I'm through with you." And then we'd laugh. Sara Madalin laughed for the first time for someone other than family, when she laughed at him. He could just look at her and she'd smile and laugh.

Because we love them, and because we want to celebrate God's faithfulness throughout this year, despite the loss we all feel, we wanted to get with them just to spend some time together. So we made plans to visit with them and we picked up a few things for Sara Madalin to give them for Christmas. To prove how well they know our little girl, look at this picture.

They set out every animated Christmas toy they had. Anything that moved or played music, it was there for her to see. They know as well as we do how busy her little hands and mind are. Do you think she was a little excited?

She touched everyone of them. She danced. She laughed. She kept us entertained.

Then she opened a couple presents from Ryan and Anna. She got a puppy that she can dress up. And she also got a new baby doll.

I thought it was so sweet that the doll has "Sugar" written across her shirt. Stacey said they saw it and she told Anna, "We have to get this for Sara Madalin." Oh, and the doll sings. And sings........ And sings. Thanks, Stacey.

Here's Anna opening up her gift. She's got a few girly-girl things.

I think Sara Madalin has Ryan wrapped around her little finger. On more than one occasion, she's nearly jumped out of my arms at church to get to him. Monday night was no different. Anna tried to get Sara Madalin to play in her room. Then Ryan opened the door to his room. She made a b-line for his room.

And she finally found a chair that will rock.

Stacey's brother and his wife welcomed their second baby last week. I held her while we were there. For the longest time, Sara Madalin didn't even pay attention to me or the baby. Then, when I started feeding the baby a bottle, she got really jealous.

So, I had to hold them both. And I kind of liked it. But don't tell Reagan I said so.

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Paige said...

That is a precious photo of you with the two babies!

I will be praying for Stacey, Ryan and Anna during this holiday season. Merry CHRISTmas to you and your family.

Courtney said...

You look like a natural holding 2 kids! What a great night to spend with this special family! You guys are wonderful friends.