My Sweet Baby Girl,
It seems like just the other day we took the drive home from the hospital with you, and now you are a year old. From the start you were a joy. You loved to just sleep and cuddle with Daddy and I. We savored every moment of your tinyness, and fell in love with you the moment we laid eyes on you. What a privilege to watch you learn about the world. Your wide eyes just take in everything around you. You were so nosey from the time you were born. You never want to miss a thing. If you hear a noise or see something new you are fixated on it until you figure out what was going on. May you always take in everything with such wonderment!
You have been petite all your life. Always low in the percentages given to us by the doctors, but we think you are so perfectly formed. You may be little but you have a huge personality. From a very young age you could communicate what you wanted. If you had a toy or were somewhere you didn’t want to be you would let me know. I learned early to listen to your cues and change according to what you were telling me. I pray that you always know the desires of your heart and that those desires would be to first and foremost please your Savior.
Daddy and I have taught you about Jesus since the day you were born. You were prayed over in the hospital just moments after you were born, that you would grow up strong not just physically but strong in the knowledge of Jesus Christ. Your bedtime routine is to read the Bible, pray and get tucked in. You love looking at the pictures of bible stories. Daddy and I treasure this time of teaching with you and look forward to the day you choose to give your life to Christ. We pray for you daily and we also pray for ourselves that we are being good examples of how to serve Christ.
You are a fast learner and a chatterbox! You have loved the sound of your voice since you realized that you could produce sound. What started out as cooing and gargling has turned into words. You are willing to try and say anything we ask of you and you can remember how to use it correctly. You continue to make us laugh with your communication skills. It is adorable how you whisper a word quietly when you are unsure if you are saying it correctly but as soon as we tell you, “Good girl!” you clap for yourself proudly. What a pleasure it is to see you accomplish things. You have mastered rolling over, crawling, standing and now walking. The happiness you display as you clap for yourself just makes me smile.
One of the best parts of having you for my daughter is seeing you with your daddy. He loves you so deeply! You return the feeling. When Daddy comes home from work you get so excited. You stop what you are doing (even if it is playing with your favorite toy) go to him and wait for him to pick you up for a cuddle. When your daddy plays music, oh how your face lights up! How attentive he is to you and he even allows you to help him play his music. You help him strum on the guitar and dance like crazy to his loud music. Even when you were too little to even move around, daddy could get you to calm down by playing you songs. What a privilege it is to see such love between you and your precious daddy. I pray that it is always this way. That your face always lights up for your daddy and that you always see the love and devotion he has for you. What an amazing Daddy he is.
This first year of your life has been such and adventure. We have been able to travel with you to Florida, Amish Country, go on a cruise to the Bahamas, take you to Williamsburg and Busch Gardens and to Tennessee. You have been a trooper on all your travels, so content and easy to please. One of our favorite things to do as a family is hike. You enjoy the outdoors and Daddy loves having you ride on is back in the backpack. Every time we are out at a store, in the doctor’s office, at a restaurant, or anywhere, you are given complements on what a beautiful baby you are. You are so friendly with everyone. When strangers talk to you and tell you how gorgeous you are you simply smile and wave, sometimes even talk to them. They just think you are the greatest, and I agree! Your Grandma, Grandpa, Nana, Papa, Aunts and Uncles all are just enthralled with you and the love you share with your cousin Hannah is just precious. She loves seeing you and talking to you on the phone. You sure are such a sweetheart.
God has given us an amazing gift in you, my little Moriah. I cannot thank Him enough for the blessing you are. I can’t imagine you not being part of our family. I love staying home with you each day, spending that quality time, just the two of us. You love to cuddle close to me and give me kisses and I love it that you find security in my arms. You have grown and changed this year from a tiny infant to a bubbly baby who is just tons of fun. I love you my little baby girl. I am so excited to see what God has planned for you this coming year because this past year has been so fabulous.
Happy First Birthday Sweetie!
Monday, September 22, 2008
That is the name of the mold in our house. The health inspector assured us that we can move back in. We do however need to watch and see if we have any adverse reactions to this type of mold and get tested for any allergies. As I stated in my last post we have no internet right now so as he was telling me this over the phone I couldn’t just look up that specific type of mold. After Zack got off work we went over to a friends house to use their internet and found out that this type of mold is linked to causing lupis, cancer, and scoliosis. Yikes! So we are still praying about what to do. I talked to Moriah’s docotor this morning at her one year check up and she gave us a referral for allergy testing to see if Moriah is predisposed to having a severe reaction to the mold. My OB recommended that I not be tested since I am pregnant. Zack needs to get in touch with his doctor to set up testing. The question comes if we should move back in the house till we find out if we are allergic, move off base, or still try and fight it out for a new home on base. I have to be honest and say that I am over it all. They have cleaned out all the mold and we can clean all our belongings and just have a home again. Being a drifter is getting old. Thanks again for your prayers!
Saturday, September 20, 2008
As of this past Thursday we have moved into a temporary home. It is exactly like our old home just across the street. The base has filled it with furniture and all the kitchen goodies we need. It feels like we are staying in a huge hotel room/house. It is really a blessing because Zack’s mom and my parents are coming this week to visit for Moriah’s first birthday (crazy that she is a year!) and we were stressed about where to put them. Well, we now have room. The three bedrooms have beds and dressers so they can just stay with us in the temp home. We are hoping to hear something any day now about what kind of mold is in our home. They have already torn open the ceiling, cleaned the mold with bleach, put mold retardant on, sealed the ceiling back up and painted. An air sample and a mold sample were sent off to a lab for testing. Once the tests get back we can see exactly what was growing and if it is safe to live in our home. If the mold was toxic we have to seek a new home, since toxic mold can cause severe health problems and permeates the home. All the carpets have to be replaced and the entire home has to be bleached. If it was just regular mold the worst that would happen is we have allergy and respiratory problems while living there. It will not cause permanent damage and my OB assures me that it is safe for the little baby inside me. So if it is just regular mold we get to move back home and just give everything a good scrub down to try and get rid of as much of the mold spores as possible. Thank you all again for your prayers, sorry updates have been slow in coming. We don’t know anything yet and the temp house doesn’t have Internet. God has truly provided for us during this time of displacement and we are trusting He will continue to do so as we find out exactly what is going on with the mold.
Friday, September 19, 2008
Three kids, correction, three crabby kids, cooped up in a house can make anyone crazy. Now, imagine three crabby kids cooped up in a house where two daddies worked the night shift and are trying to sleep, so the mommies are trying desperately to keep the kiddos quiet. An impossible feat even for a seasoned mom! Between the screaming because of not sharing, and the crying because of hunger, it was enough to send us to the Aquarium. So we packed up all our kids, packed a lunch and headed out. It was such a relief to have them be free and do something new. Moriah enjoyed her first peanut butter and jelly sandwich. She ate half a sandwich! I think she liked it. The boys and Moriah were enthralled with the sea life and even had some run time where Moriah said, “Let’s Go!” for the first time. She is learning all sorts of new words just from being around the boys.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
What a blessing it is to have great friends. Since being abruptly sent out from our home, we had a place to stay almost instantly. We were able to stay for a week with some friends who also live on base. They are blessed with a four-bedroom home so there was plenty of room for all of us. Moriah adores their two boys and loved playing with them. They got into plenty of trouble too. Here are some pictures of her living it up with the boys, including playing, chili dinner time, Ben dubbing her King of the Muffins by placing a puffin cup on her head, and some chip time with Adler (they found a bag, busted it open all over the floor and went to town eating them). It was fun to live with them for a week. We are still waiting for mold results, more updates on that later.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
First, I want to apologize. Seems like all this blog has been about lately is our roof problems. I want to give this update though because we desperately need your prayers.
On Wednesday they replaced our roof. The job went smoothly and the workers couldn't have been nicer. To our surprise, they even finished the job in one day.
Yesterday, they came to repair the damage done to our ceiling and opened a can of worms, well mold really. Moriah and I were not at home, we didn't want the dust in our lungs. So that left Zack to oversee the replacement of our ceiling. The workers cut into the drywall and low and behold, black mold. The health inspector was called and we were literally kicked out of our home. The mold was sent for testing, which could take up to two weeks. So until we find out if it is safe to live in our home we are kicked out. I am so thankful to our friends who did not hesitate in offering their home to us. We have none of our belongings, just a change of clothes for each of us. Zack is returning to the house today for some more testing of the mold. The workers cleaned everything in our ceiling and around where the leak was with bleach and are also returning today to put mold retardant and close the ceiling back up.
Surprisingly, or really not surprisingly, military housing is still refusing to give us a new home! We are really struggling with the housing office here and are taking proactive steps to ensure that we are not going to be living in an unsafe home, especially with me pregnant. Our prayer is that they grant us a new home and the test show the mold is not toxic. If the results come back toxic, we have to have all our belongings cleaned and how the throw away all our food, ect... Until we find out we have to treat it like toxic mold, which means we can only take things out of our home that can be cleaned with bleach. Zack is going to bring us some more clothes today, which all need to be washed again before we wear them.
I can't put into words the stress this is putting on us. Right now we just feel so overwhelmed with everything. We literally had no notice, just all the sudden it wasn't safe for us to be in our own home. We really aren't sure where to go from here. We are just waiting to hear back from the inspector and the housing office. Thank you all for your prayers, they are GREATLY appreciated!
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Well, the military housing here made the decision that we can not move into a different home on base. They will be replacing our roof and our ceiling over the next week. Moriah and I will be staying at a friends house the day they rip off the ceiling. There is a possibility of mold and we also don't want her (and the baby in me) exposed to all the sheet rock dust that accompanies a ceiling replacement. Zack is going to be here to monitor the workers and check out the interior damage, to make sure we are living in a structurally sound home. I have come to terms with this, although I must say I was really praying for them to grant us a move into a new home. Even though they(the military housing powers at be) think they made the decision, God is in control and He knows why we are not allowed to move, even if I do not understand it.
What this means for us is that we need to make a decision. If we are staying in the military we are going to begin to look for off base housing. Anyone know of anyone renting a home? But, if we are going to get out of the military we are just going to tough this home out till the spring when we move to FL. Please keep Zack in your prayers as he feels the weight of the decision much more than I do. Thanks for everyone who has been praying and asking how things are going. I will continue to keep you posted =)
Monday, September 8, 2008
The other day we were eating lunch and I was using a spoon to eat yogurt. Moriah kept reaching for my spoon and signing please. It was so cute. So we got her a spoon to "eat" with. She didn't have much success but she is learning. This simple lunch interaction got my wheels spinning.
I have been thinking recently about how much she wants to be like me. If I am on the computer, she crawls over to me and pulls herself up, looks at me and says, "Up" and signs please. She thinks she needs to be on the computer too. If I am eating anything, she makes her way to me smacking her lips reaches for it and signs please. If I am on the phone she melts down until I let her say hi to whoever I am talking to (or give her a toy phone, which is rapidly loosing its appeal to her). I know this is her way of learning, copying what we do and say but I can't help but ponder, what am I showing her to be like? Am I showing her kindness, patience, love, and acceptance? Or does she see my frustration with her sometimes, my anger at the dog for being a silly dog, or my stress with our problems with our home? Am I showing her how to be like Christ?
I can't help but think of Paul, who said to be like him as he is striving to be like Christ. That is what I want for my precious daughter who just wants to be like me. I want to be like Christ, so she will see Him in me and want that for herself.
1 Corinthians 11:1 Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.
Sunday, September 7, 2008
By Zach Neese
The more I seek you, the more I find you
The more I find you, the more I love you
I want to sit at your feet
Drink from the cup in your hand
Lay back against you and breathe
Feel your heartbeat
This love is so deep
It's more than I can stand
I melt in your peace
Psalm 27:4 One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Wow, Zack and I just had about a 45 minute long talk with the head maintenance dude where we live and he seemed to genuinely care about our roof plight. He talked to some other "higher-ups" and we are having two people, the Deputy and the Director (I am not sure exactly who they are but their names sound important) come and look at our home on Monday. We are praying they say we can move ASAP, but we know it is in the Lords hands. We are just excited that we talked to someone and something was done the same day, amazing! Praise the Lord!!
I hope your Thursday has been great, I for one am turning in early. Having a little one and growing a little one sure is tiring!
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
It was a gorgeous, but kind of hot, day today. The weather here has been so nice. Cool in the morning and evening but still some heat in the middle of the day. We are totally looking forward to fall. After a morning at the Dr., and an afternoon of napping (for all of us), we we decided to take Moriah to the park across the street. I think all three of us needed the fresh air. As we approached she began squealing and kicking her legs. She was trying to call out to the kids who were already there playing. It was so fun to watch her on the swing and slide. She thought she could climb up the slide, only to keep sliding down. I sure do love this girl!
We got to go to the doctor today to make sure things are progressing properly with the pregnancy. Everything is looking great. My measurements are right on track and the baby had a strong heartbeat, 160 bpm. The doctor was concerned about a few issues I was having earlier in the pregnancy and wants me to get another ultrasound. It hasn't been scheduled it yet, and I am not worried about it, God is in control and our last ultrasound showed a healthy baby. The baby's heartbeat is strong and I am feeling very pregnant. Hopefully the hospital will be able to work me in for one next week, I am awaiting their call back.
We keep talking to Moriah about being a big sister. She is so great about loving on her stuffed animals but I am not sure how that will translate to an actual baby. Her favorite word right now is "no," so when we ask her if she is going to be a good big sister she proudly says, "Oh, no!" It is too cute. I am sure she will be a wonderful helper.
There was no inspection and we are back to square one. They say they are taking bids on a new roof contract and then after the roof is replaced they will come in our home, while we are still living here, and rip off our ceiling to check for mold and replace the damage. This is exactly the same thing they said they would do in July and here we are two months later. We feel like we are just spinning in circles and getting no where. I cried after I got off the phone with the guy in charge of our situation. I don't think it helped that I had been cooped up all day with Moriah waiting for the inspector to come and he never came...
Ahh, what is God trying to teach me that I am not getting? I will rest in Him and trust that our health will be protected during all the "remodeling" and mold checking. My heart longs for our own home where we can make the rules and fix our own problems. Is God using this to speak to us about getting out of the military? Hum, I guess we shall see what the Lord reveals.
Zack is going to the housing office tomorrow to see about who we give our letter requesting a transfer to. Thanks again all of you who are praying for us. We can sure use it.
Monday, September 1, 2008
So, our home is being inspected tomorrow to determine if it is livable or not. We are having our leak looked at and some other safety issues we have. I am just praying that the leak will be fixed! After four leaks, mold is my biggest worry, as well as damaging the things in our linen closet( the leak is right above the closet). Having a baby and being pregnant in a leaky home where we could be breathing in mold is a major concern. We are also filing a letter for permission to be transferred to a different home, even if this one is "livable." We are praying for favor to granted to us and that it will all go smoothly. I will continue to keep posting updates, thank you for those who are joining us in prayer.
We spent this Labor Day weekend as tour guides. It was so fun! We went to Annapolis, Baltimore, DC, Larriland Farms (yummy peaches and raspberries!) and shopping at the mall. It was a packed weekend where we spent much time laughing. It was so great to hang out with my best friend for four days straight! Moriah had a blast with Alisha and Shaun too. She was full of giggles all weekend.