Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Photo Shoot

A couple of weeks ago, Gamma (my mom) decided she needed some pictures of all of her grandchildren.  She made sure they all had coordinating outfits, then asked Ms. Ginny to come to her house and take the pictures.

Here are some of our favorites:

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And for the outtakes:

This one would have been cute if someone would have instructed the princess on how to sit like one, instead of acting like she came straight from the backwoods.  Cade also looks as if he is pretty uncomfortable with that stump at his backside.

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This has to be the BEST picture of the day.  This is one of my ALL-TIME favorites.

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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Camper Cade

This week is Spring Break, and it stinks that both Rob and I have to work.  But, we are thankful that we both still have a job in this economy:)

Cade is going to Camp this week, and he has been so excited.  It is a day camp that is held at a local lake.  The bus picks him up and drops him off.  The best part is that he gets to take his fishing pole and worms every day and go fishing.


camper cade 

This picture is blurry because it was taken with my lovely iPhone.  You can probably see that his eyes are swollen and red.  That is because he has a love/hate relationship with my mom’s cat, and has to love on it every morning when we drop Gracie off. 

I’m so glad Cade loves to go to camp.  They are learning Bible verses, praise and worship songs, and they get to be kids. 

We are excited we get to meet up with the Collins crew on Thursday at the T-Rex cafe in Downtown Disney.  Rob and I are taking just Cade to meet up with his old buddy, Christian.  I will definitely post pictures on Friday.

Hope everyone has a great day!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Gracie vs. the Bed Post

…and the bedpost won!  SG got to make her first visit to the dentist this week thanks to an altercation with the bedpost.  She and Cade were cleaning her room, when she tripped over a toy, and landed mouth first into the bedpost.

We visited a pediatric dentist, and he was wonderful.

She cried the entire way there, but once she got there, she put on a show.

You can see where the tooth punctured the bottom lip.  Doesn’t she look like Cindy Lou Who?  Her lips are still swollen.


Her attempt at smiling.


What you can’t see is that her front tooth had been displaced behind the others, but had already started to move back into place.  Talk about grossing a momma out!!!


The end of our day, with her lips still swollen. 


This girl needs a helmet and a facemask.  If you find any good deals on one, just let me know:)

Thursday, March 24, 2011


The hardest part of our journey can sometimes be the waiting. Waiting for answers, waiting for drs, waiting for phone calls, waiting for appointments, and most of all, waiting on the Lord to tell us what He wants us to do. I ran across this poem the other day on a blog I read, and it was as if God just answered my question, in black and white, as to why we always have to wait.

Wait by Russell Kelfer

Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried;
Quietly, patiently, lovingly, God replied.
I pled and I wept for a clue to my fate . . .
And the Master so gently said, "Wait."

"Wait? you say wait?" my indignant reply.
"Lord, I need answers, I need to know why!
Is your hand shortened? Or have you not heard?
By faith I have asked, and I'm claiming your Word.

"My future and all to which I relate
Hangs in the balance, and you tell me to wait?
I'm needing a 'yes', a go-ahead sign,
Or even a 'no' to which I can resign.

"You promised, dear Lord, that if we believe,
We need but to ask, and we shall receive.
And Lord I've been asking, and this is my cry:
I'm weary of asking! I need a reply."

Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate,
As my Master replied again, "Wait."
So I slumped in my chair, defeated and taut,
And grumbled to God, "So, I'm waiting for what?"

He seemed then to kneel, and His eyes met with mine . . .
and He tenderly said, "I could give you a sign.
I could shake the heavens and darken the sun.
I could raise the dead and cause mountains to run.

"I could give all you seek and pleased you would be.
You'd have what you want, but you wouldn't know Me.
You'd not know the depth of my love for each saint.
You'd not know the power that I give to the faint.

"You'd not learn to see through clouds of despair;
You'd not learn to trust just by knowing I'm there.
You'd not know the joy of resting in Me
When darkness and silence are all you can see.

"You'd never experience the fullness of love
When the peace of My spirit descends like a dove.
You would know that I give, and I save, for a start,
But you'd not know the depth of the beat of My heart.

"The glow of my comfort late into the night,
The faith that I give when you walk without sight.
The depth that's beyond getting just what you ask
From an infinite God who makes what you have last.

"You'd never know, should your pain quickly flee,
What it means that My grace is sufficient for thee.
Yes, your dearest dreams overnight would come true,
But, oh, the loss, if you missed what I'm doing in you.

"So, be silent, my child, and in time you will see
That the greatest of gifts is to truly know me.
And though oft My answers seem terribly late,
My most precious answer of all is still . . . Wait."

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Prayer Request

My friend, Sarah, shared this baby’s story with me, and I am asking you to pray for his family.  Baby Carter passed away yesterday after suffering from bacterial meningitis.  Even though we don’t know this family directly, I do know how uplifting it is to know that people are praying for your family.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Little Miss Stomach Virus

If you will remember, I posted a while back about SG being in a pageant.  Well, I just got the pictures off of Beas’ camera, so here they are.

Let me start by saying that the Princess woke up with the stomach virus that morning.  She was throwing up left and right.  I tried to talk her into staying at home, but she was having none of it.  We drove to the hotel, got her dressed, and prayed for the best.  She hadn’t thrown up in a while, so we thought we were good to go!

Beas Camera 2011 023She sat with Granny and Wimmy while we waited, and waited, and waited.  It seemed like an eternity!  It was finally about our turn to go, and she erupted like a volcano, all over the front of her dress.  We took her outside and told her we were just going to go home.  She begged and pleaded, “But Mommy, I practiced so good!  I want to go on stage.”  She has some of her momma’s good ole’ competitiveness in her.  Victoria helped us strip her down, and off to the hotel bathroom we went.  We washed that youngin’s dress in the sink of that bathroom, and put it back on her.  She was so proud she was going on that stage.

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She was a real competitor!  Other than the puke-stained number on her dress, you would’ve never known she was sick!

We then had to wait for them to announce the winners.  It seemed like an eternity.

She was so patient, and tired.

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Her biggest fan! 

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SG got  2nd runner up, and she was so proud of the two Barbies she got!

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This is probably one of my favorite pictures of the two of us.  She was such a trooper and was so adamant that she finish on stage.  I was so proud of her!

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Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Final Report & Plans

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

We got the call last night from Dr. D with the news of the final report of the MRI. He had finally met with Dr. K, and called with their thoughts. All three doctors are in agreement we should deliver at Shands. However, his words were, “Let’s be honest, we all know this is going to be a difficult repair because there is so much going on.” Deep down, I have known this all along, but there are days when you just want to forget about the bad and the ugly, and focus on the good. He did say that while we have many things to be pessimistic about, there are some things to be optimistic about. So it’s still a waiting game.

The plan for now, is to not really have any plans until Faith arrives. They all know that ultrasounds and MRI’s can’t see everything they need to see. And I DO believe, they are battling with the fact a lot has happened in the last couple of months that is medically unexplainable, thanks to the Great Physician! We will meet with Dr. K to hear his opinion, but it seems as like no plans will be made until they can see her up close and in person to make a decision.

Needless to say, last night was not a good night. I know we have so many things to be grateful for, and believe me, we don’t take any of those for granted. The last thing you want to accept is that we will not know anything until she gets here.

I do know that God is still in control, and He knows the plans He has for all of us, including Faith. And He promises us that they are plans to give us hope and a future. Now we know that our hope cannot come from a doctor, an MRI or a surgical plan, but it must come from God. God’s plans may be for Faith to simply be born into His arms, and if that is the case, we will be given Hope and a Future in the Kingdom of Heaven.

We are not going to lose our trust in Jesus today. Just because things don’t go our way, doesn’t mean he has let us down. This is not the end, only a stepping stone to grow our faith and our Faith in Him. Sure, I feel like I’ve been beaten down, but I know He will pick me up, carry me through this fire, and see me through to the other side.

Please pray (as I know you are and thank you from the bottom of our hearts) for our family today. We are tired, emotionally spent, and are feeling weak. I feel like I am being overcome by the burden of our situation, and I am sucking right now as a mom, a wife and just everything else I am supposed to be. Satan is on me like white on rice today, and I am trusting in Jesus to take him out!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Baseball Days

We have just ventured into the world of baseball, and Cade is having a blast!  We had our first game on Saturday and though we lost, the boys all played great!  We  are playing rookie ball so they have to hit off of a pitching machine.

He looks so grown up!

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His biggest fan!!!  He says she embarrasses him because she yells for him all of the time.

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With Uncle Jah….  He’s a coach!

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At bat.  He got a hit both times up to bat, and got on base!!!  I was one proud Momma, especially considering that he had no more paid attention at practice all week:(

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Waiting on the ball…

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For some strange reason, this boy wants to play catcher.  I’m all about trying all things once, but let’s face it, he’s the littlest one on his team, and catcher usually is pretty big.  But my little man’s got a big heart, so that counts for something!

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Though we are football people through and through, we are beginning to like baseball (maybe a little).  Uncle Jah has been great at working with Cade, and my handsome little man is in love with his new sport.

While I'm Wating

While we are waiting on the doctor to give us the final report, as well as the medical determination of our delivery details, I wanted to post this video. This song is from Fireproof, and it is POWERFUL!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Preliminary MRI Report!!!

We received the preliminary report yesterday from our MRI. I wanted to wait until we heard from the Pediatric Surgeon, as it seems as though he is the final MEDICAL authority on our case. We have not heard from him yet, but I did want to share what we found out. Regardless of what he says, God is good and I think it is important to share all He has been doing with Faith.

Dr. D called me yesterday morning, after he had been out of the country all last week. His tone seemed very encouraging, but it seemed as though I held my breath throughout the entire conversation. So here is what the report showed:

  • Faith’s head and brain look perfect! They are normal and healthy. Praise the Lord!
  • Her spine is still curved. They thought she might have spina bifida, but her spinal cord is healthy and intact. Therefore, she is not paralyzed, and they can treat her scoliosis at a later date. Praise the Lord!
  • She has a diaphragmatic hernia, which they believe is caused by the pentalogy of cantrall. She does have a partial diaphragm, and it is only missing on the left side. Praise the Lord!
  • Her right lung is perfectly healthy and normal, and her left lung is compressed. This is caused by the abdominal organs that have pushed up through the chest cavity. Dr. D says that if they can get those organs resituated, that lung should heal and function as it should. Praise God!
  • Her heart is 100% inside the chest cavity, and is PERFECTLY HEALTHY. No heart defects were detected. Thank you, Jesus!
  • Her right kidney is healthy, but they could not see her left one. Dr. D explained that there are tons of people walking this earth with only one healthy kidney. He did not feel like this was a huge obstacle. Amen!
  • Some of her abdominal contents are still outside the body. Dr. D wasn’t too terribly concerned with that as well. Praise God!

Some of these findings sounded pretty scary on the phone. But Dr. D said he feels like the biggest hurdle at this point is that there is no bony structure (sternum) over the chest cavity. But this is where Dr. K comes in. He is the guru in chest wall and abdominal wall reconstruction. He has yet to review our report, so we haven’t heard from him what his prognosis is. I asked Dr. D how he felt about the report, and he said that he was much more optimistic, and all of this news was like rays of sunshine. We are so thankful that God is still in the miracle business. We are seeing miracles being performed in our little girl, and what a blessing that is! God is faithful! Regardless of what Dr. K reports, we will continue to pray for God’s will to be done in the life of our Faith. He’s still knitting her together, piece by piece, and what a testament she is to the power of our Father and the power of prayer.

I will update again as soon as I hear from Dr. K. Please continue to pray for Faith and for our family. We have definitely been blessed to be covered in prayers from all over the world! Our little girl is so loved and we are so thankful for each of you!!!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

It’s Done!

We have successfully completed the MRI, but not without some typical Vaughn-style drama. Y’all, I liketa passed out in that tube! It was soooooo HOT! No one prepared me for that.

My sister was in the room with me, so she was responsible for stripping the blankets off, and fanning me down. I had to come out of the tube for a break. The nice guy running the machine asked if I could just hang in there. If you know me, you know very well that if I even FEEL like I am going to pass out, it is bound to happen. I told him firmly that he better get me out of there. Those poor fellas! Why is it they leave men only to care for a pregnant woman? But they were really patient with me. They got me water, a cold wet cloth, and helped Kiss with the fanning. You would’ve thought Cleopatra had made a visit to Shands.

Faith was not a fan of all of the activity. She wallered and rolled around in there, making her momma all the more nervous. But they are confident they have all of the information they need to be sure they can make an informed decision.

I’m so thankful that Rob was able to go with me. Even though he couldn’t go back with me, I am glad he was there. I want to thank Kiss for all she did to get me in so quickly, and for being there to fan my sweaty behind down so I didn’t pass out. I also want to thank my BFF Amy for sitting with my darling husband and keeping him company. I have the best family and friends in the world!!! Thank you to everyone who has called, emailed and texted this morning. We have felt the love! We can’t wait to share with you what God has in store for Faith and our family!

The God of Peace

(***For some reason, Satan does not want me to post this morning. This is my third attempt so we will see who will prevail.***)

As we wait to go to our MRI this morning, we are so thankful for the peace that our Heavenly Father has blessed us with. There are some days in which I do not know how to pray, but I always pray for peace that comes only from Him. God has granted us this request today, and I am so grateful.

The next few days may seem like an eternity, as we await the results, but I know that He has His hand in it, and that He will make the FINAL determination of the direction of Faith’s little life. Thank you to each of you for the prayers and encouragement. You are all a blessing to our family!

Philippians 4:4-7

4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!
5 Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.
6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Me & Faith Have a Date

We have a date with the MRI! YAY!!! We will be having our MRI done on Thursday at 9:30 am. It seems like a year away, yet God is preparing our hearts to show us once again how He is at work.

We will not know the results until early the next week. Dr. D is in the Dominican Republic on a medical mission, so he will not be back until Monday.

If indeed the MRI shows that Faith has suffered from Amniotic Band Syndrome, we will continue with the plans we already have in place. But if the MRI shows that it is PoC, we will have to go for an amniocentesis to make sure that Faith does not have Trisomy 13 or Trisomy 18. Both of these genetic diagnoses have lethal consequences on their own, so they would not allow her to be a candidate for surgery.

Regardless of what is to come on Thursday, our God is AWESOME and I’m so glad He loves me and my Faith!!!

Please pray for our family as these are some trying days. God is good all the time!!!! and we will never forget that!

Thursday, March 3, 2011


Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. Luke 18:1

I copied this verse from Kelly’s Korner this morning, because it pretty much summed up our day yesterday. I know it’s hard to believe, but we got even more great news last night. My perinatologist called while I was in choir practice, so I called him back once I got in the car. He has met with the pediatric surgeon, and the chief doctor over the NICU, and they are very encouraged at the thought this may very well be Pentalogy of Cantrall! Dr. K told Dr. D that he operated last week on a case similar to this and was very successful. But Dr. K needs more information to make an exact diagnosis, so I am going for a fetal MRI to get an exact picture of what Faith’s little body looks like.

Dr. D was quick to say that this prognosis would still be guarded, but far less grim than the Amniotic Band Syndrome. He said he didn’t want to give us any false hope until we could get the MRI. I just told him that God is proving everyday that He, and only He, is in control. If indeed we go to the MRI to find out our diagnosis remains the same, we will be confident that we have done everything we can to be informed, and we will be thankful for the opportunity to gather more information. I will update once I know when the MRI will take place.

Thank you to each of you for your continued prayers and words of encouragement. This is a true testament to God’s power, and the power of prayer! I hope that you can see how real our God is, and that He is MIGHTY!!!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Our Hope is in the Lord!

Ten weeks! That is the amount of time we have left before we meet our newest daughter. It’s hard to believe it is coming so soon.


This week has been exciting and amazing in the life of our little Faith. We had an appointment at Shands yesterday, and God has been working many more miracles on her little body. Her spine looks much better than it did 4 weeks ago. It now appears she is only affected from her underarms to just below the chest cavity, versus the pelvis as previously diagnosed. He also pointed out that most of the abdominal contents have “settled back into the body.” Folks, those organs haven’t settled into the body, the Great Physician has been at work and proving to us and to these doctors that He will have the final say! We even heard the doctor say that she did not appear to be as extreme as they had originally diagnosed. His feeling is that the outcome will ultimately be the same, because she doesn’t have anything covering her chest to create a pressure system for her lungs to work. She does not have a sternum, and they are not 100% sure that she has a diaphragm. But they are sure that the heart is within the chest cavity. But he gave us the name of the surgeon he will be meeting with, and is going to do his best to meet this week.


But…my sister, Kiss, works at Shands and miraculously ran into our named pediatric surgeon this morning (again, God is with us and working diligently). She introduced herself, then proceeded to tell him about our Faith. He said that without looking at our films yet, it sounds as if she may suffer from Pentalogy of Cantrall. This birth defect has a series of 5 things that can ultimately be wrong: the organs on the outside of the body, little to no sternum, little to no diaphragm, no pericardium (the membrane surrounding the heart) and possible heart defect. He said he believes that all of these defects can be fixable, but he would need to look at our case. He gave her his number and had me call and schedule a consultation with him. He will hopefully meet with our perinatologist tomorrow. My sister was quick to inform him that the last thing we want for our daughter is to prolong any pain or suffering, or for her to have no quality of life. He was thankful she shared that with him, and said he would be in contact with us.


I share all of this to let you know that while this is all very exciting, it comes with some great decisions that are to be made. Some would say it gives false hope, others say it draws out the grieving process. But I want to say that our hope is in the Lord Jesus Christ. Not a doctor, not a cure, not a fix. He will ultimately determine the outcome of Faith’s life! And we are grateful to Him that He is faithful. He knows what’s best for her, even better than we do. If He sees fit to take her to Heaven, we know beyond a shadow of a doubt He has been working through her and in her the entire time. We have seen with our own two eyes, the miracles that have taken place in her little body, and no one can argue that it was only God! Even the doctors!!!

Our prayer is now that we will have a clear direction in decisions that may be coming our way. God has been faithful to provide us guidance and peace thus far, and I know He will not stop doing that now. We want His will for her life and for ours, and we are willing to be a part of whatever He decides.

(These pictures were taken this morning, and I will treasure them FOREVER! Girlfriend got the trademark O’Steen nose, and I for one think it’s adorable!)