Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Sad To See Them Go!

Kinda! It has been a blast with our twins (click to see what I'm talking about)! I asked the boys today what will they miss most about is what they said: "I will miss their little cries for help", "feeding them", "kissing them", "I think Mickey (our big cat) will miss them too!", "I will just miss them being around here...they are like our family now"! How adorable that my boys fell in love! It is a little hard to let them go, but my boys weren't the one's having to give them a bottle every 5 hours - (which means sometimes at 11:00pm) and they didn't have to greet their little cries of starvation in the morning, and they didn't have to clean up after them every time they went potty! Plus little babies have very very sharp nails! However, I have to agree, having them around was kind of adorable and sweet! (I also cannot wait to get my home smelling like a home - glad to be done with poo!) Sounds a lot like having a newborn huh?

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Five Teeth in Two Weeks!

Ok, the tooth fairy is having a hard time keeping up! The one thing about having this many children around the same age is that it can get very expensive. No, I don't mean college tuitions (well, I do mean college tuitions, but no right now)! The teeth, they keep falling out! Brendan lost 1 and Kyle lost 1 the same day! Shane lost a tooth two days before that and then one day after Brendan and Kyle and then just lost another one. I hope that equals five! All I know is that my boy now looks like a hillbilly! I hope that is ok to say! (You know those fake smiles you can buy at Walmart - the Bubba Teeth....that is kind of like his smile!) Check it out!

This would be Brendan assisting in the tooth pulling ritual! I will not engage in any such thing!

Then there is the fact that 2 years ago when Brendan lost his first tooth, he prayed and asked the Lord to please tell the tooth fairy to leave some money for his brothers too, 'cuz they would be sad! So, now whenever someone looses a tooth, that person gets a dollar and a note and the other boys get some change (all sprinkled in fairy dust of course)! Well, since all of this craziness of teeth coming out so every day, Kyle found a tooth under his bed! Ooops. I guess the tooth fairy just couldn't keep up! She already left the money, but hey Kyle was going to try again. (The tooth fairy is very smart, she took the tooth and left a note saying that she could not be fooled - but that it made her smile that Kyle tried!) Anyway, it has been fun around here let me tell you!!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Introducing Our NEW set of TWINS!

I cannot believe I was talked into this. We are "foster"caring a pair of kittens for the next week. Actually, they are the cutest little buggers I have ever seen. However, it is feeling a little like dejavu!
We are talking a feeding every 5 hours. That means warming up two bottles of formula and in the evening trying to feed some crushed up food in some formula by spoon. Then when they go #2, I don't have to change diapers, no that would be too easy, I have to clean the kitty's booty with warm water and soft towel. Fun! Hey Mike would you do that? HA! They do sleep a lot, but when they are done with sleeping and are hungry or just want to be held it is that familiar cry of two babies, oh, I mean to kittens!
Right now it is still a novelty. I am praying that the novelty will wear off and my children will stop saying "Mom, is it my turn? Mom, can I hold the white one? Mom, can I feed now? Mom, Mom, MOM, MOM, MOM, MOM, MOM, MOM....."

Anyway, they are adorable and getting their fair share of love in the Engel home. Even Pop and Meme held them and oohed and ahhed!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

More Gifts

Continued from previous posts....1000 Gifts (my gratitude list)....I am thankful for....

101. Our cat's soft fur.

102. Energy outlets for children (ie. the jumpy place, the pool...)

103. My friend who said that she once prayed that she would have an autistic child! (she did not get one, but now she has my Kyle in her life!)

104. The imagination of a child.

105. Bible stories that I've known for years, still teaching truths to my heart! (Who can deny that the Word is Truth!)

106. A teachable spirit.

107. Not so "easy" times, to remind me of the things that are important.

108. Special moments of snuggling with a book - even if it is all about spiders!

109. Growing independence! (this is ouchy, but it is good) (Brendan has made scrambled eggs at the stove for everyone for breakfast for 4 days in a row!)

110. Pool side chats with girl friends.......ahhh....if feels so good!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Who Or What Is Your Goliath?

I have said it before, my boy Kyle has some severe obsessions. They vary from time to time, but when they are present it tarries for quite a while. Sometimes, the obsession may be balloons. Heaven forbid we see a balloon, the boy cannot drop it - he must have a balloon and plenty of them. This month's obsession, David and Goliath. He chose a book and a DVD about David and Goliath at the library at the beginning of the month. We have read and watched and renewed these several times. He knows the DVD by heart! Below is his reenactment using Little People to display the battle seen. Kyle narrates: "By my foot are the Israelites (these three are David's brothers), over here (by the blue bin) that is King Saul, this is David (tiny monster) and this is Goliath (Buzz Lightyear). Over here are the Philistines (right behind Buzz)!"
Who will fight me? says Goliath.
1 Samuel 17:45 says "David said to the Philistine, 'You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty!"
David defeats the Giant Goliath. Small boy, defeats evil giant with a sling and a stone, in the name of the Lord. Point - we serve a much bigger God. So, who or what is your Goliath today? Is it a relationship or lack thereof? Is it finances? Is it a physical condition? Is it loneliness? Is it your past? Is it fear? Do you trust the Lord? Do you know that He is bigger than any amount of debt? Bigger than divorce! Bigger than cancer! Bigger than autism? Bigger than loneliness! Bigger than fear! Bigger than sin and death! Isaiah 57:4 says "No weapon formed against you shall prosper!" So, go ahead and say it to the Goliath in your life: "You come against me with ________ (fill in the blank), but I come against you in the name of the Lord God Almighty, who Was and Is and Is To Come, who is the Great I AM!"

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Wonderful Thing About Kids... kids are wonderful things, they're bouncy, bouncy, bouncy, bouncy....Oh I forget the rest of the words, but did you get the tune? We had so much fun at the Jumpy Place! It is the best way for children of all ages to get their wiggles out. Jump, jump, jump for an hour and a the air conditioning! We went last week and again today. We met friends this time and brought a bag lunch and snacks to share! Moms had fun and kids had fun! What more could we ask for!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Exhale! boy is back! I will make this nice and short (you can chuckle, I can't hear you). It is so good to have my Brendan home. He is already fast asleep. The reunion was storybook like! I went to pick him up at my friend's home (she drove to pick my son and her children) and as I got out of my car, I think my feet only barely touched the ground. When inside the door (I just walk in, she is like family to me), my face scanned the surroundings, looking for my boy. Not knowing what I might find. Was he taller, stronger, did he grow a beard....ha....nah not at 7 years old, but those were the feelings. (Perhaps because he hadn't mentioned to Ms. Lorrie that he really missed his Mom or anything, in fact I think he and Ms. Lorrie's son were wanting to spend more time together (sorry Dude, this Mama has first dibs!)) So I said my obligatory, polite hellos to Ms. Lorrie and her daughter without really looking at their faces. As I searched the house, I shouted something like "Thank you so much for picking him up.....Where in the world is he?!" My heart pounding, I shouted "Brendan"!! I opened the door to a room and there he was!! I just wanted to cry (I did actually cry)!

Ohhhh! His eyes lit up more than it does at Christmas! His face looked not a beard.....his teeth looked bigger.....OH he lost a tooth at camp! phew! It was the fattest, sweetest smile ever! "Mom" he shouted (not Mommy, but I'm good with that!)! We held each other so tight! It felt amazing. Even though for a brief second I thought, "is there any way I can just stick this child back in my womb and leave it at that - I don't know if I can take this growing up stuff!!!" It was brief, don't send my your therapist's name and number!

SO, I get him all to myself until brothers come home. "How was camp?" "Did you sleep?" "Did you miss me, because OHHHHH I missed you!" Did you eat new foods? What was your favorite part? Did you write in your journal that I gave you! Did you take pictures? Did you go tubing? Did you make new friends? Did you take showers, and wear your deodorant? know the list went on!! Here are a few of the answers!

Sleep? Yes, but not much really!
Miss me? Yes (well lets hope so!)
New food? Yes, meatloaf and mashed potatoes and green beans (Hello, I have made that very same thing!)
Favorite part? Tubing, canoeing, worship time
New friends? Yes!
Shower? Yes!...............But only the first day!
Brush teeth? Yes!..........But only the first day!
Deodorant? Yes!..........But only the first day! (Did he check my check list - apparently not!)
Pictures? Yes!...........Lost the camera!
Journal? No!............too much other stuff to do!

Ok, so 1 shower + 1 teeth brushing + 1 application of deodorant = 1 stinky boy! (My pastor earlier today pointed out that he did probably swim once or twice a day - that is kind of like a bath) My pastor is a man! My son's camp counselor was a man! My boy is a man! (I don't really get it because I am married to a man, who showers once if not twice a day!) Go figure!

Well, we have one healthy, happy, adorable, stinky little boy and he is mine and I love him! I am so happy he is home! PS. He showered and and scrubbed and applied the appropriate hygienic stuff and we snuggled and read some books and watched.............The Adventures of Winnie The Pooh...the original! Yes!!!! He is still my little boy! Can you just imagine my smile right now?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Blessing of two.......

...means more time with each one. I do miss my boy who is away at camp this week, but I have learned something invaluable. Because Kyle and Brendan have always been twins, my time has always been split. I don't know what it is like to have one child. I never have really felt guilty about sharing myself with my boys. Really when you have a second child, the second child never really knows what it is like to be an only child either, so no biggie! But then along came Shane. Well, as you know, I am thrilled to have my three sons and life would not be complete as we know it without each of them. (I'm getting to my revelation....hang on!) Because there are three almost the same age and one with special needs, life is crazy and sometimes you don't see very clearly.

My point! Since Brendan has been gone, I've been able to see Kyle a little more clearly. Kyle usually is the one that dominates my energy. He is on the autism spectrum and has some developmental delays. He has some speech and language issues, some sensory integration dysfunction issues and some obsessive compulsive issues. (We usually just say, Kyle has issues, because, let's be honest, we ALL have issues!). I think it is his OCD issues that wear me down the most. So that is my Kyle. Let me say this before moving on....most everyone that meets Kyle (with a few exceptions) says the same thing...."there is something about that boy's heart"! It is true, Kyle has an amazing heart. He can be so loving, so kind, and so genuine and he has this spirit that is always in awe and always learning that is so attractive! Not a shy boy at all! He will make fast friends with you if you are willing and not turned off by his "specialness".

Well, since twin brother is out of the picture and there is nothing that is clouding my judgment on how my son should talk, feel, or act, I can totally see how much Kyle is maturing. Having Brendan and even Shane to a degree, sometimes clouds my vision of Kyle. I know that I need to judge Kyle by Kyle and watch his improvement based on himself, but honestly, Kyle and Brendan were a package and they were my first package. So they are all I have to base milestones on. You know what I'm talking about Moms, you have said it yourself...."Well, by now he should be using a spoon.....or....shouldn't he have learned his ABCs by now...." Because Brendan is so advanced, Kyle always seems so behind. However that is not true! I have seen so much in Kyle this past week. I have heard him talk to me that sometimes I think...who is this boy? I have been able to watch him as he reacts to something spilling on him and I was able to almost see the process in his mind that helps keep him from absolutely exploding into a million pieces. My boy works so hard at overcoming his disabilities! I have not really seen that in a long time, sad to say, I have only seen a lot of frustration on his part. I think that some of what I interpreted as frustration or anger or impatience, is really just a process his brain has to go through in order to cope.

I want to give him a medal. He is such a brave boy. I go back to what the doctor said about his disabilities, he said, that all day long Kyle is faced with so much that makes his skin crawl or causes such an attack on his senses and he is forced to live with that. Many things are so beyond his control (things that we can easily control that we don't even realize that we are doing it) that I need to give him some sense of control when he is home. I get so tired of this part. The outbursts from spillings, the germ phobia, the obsessions, tasting of weird and scary wears me out! However, now I see just how hard he works at being who he is. We are who we are and we don't even try. Kyle works hard at it and he is so amazing!

So, thank you Lord for allowing me to see through the window of Kyle's life a little more clearly this week. Thank you for all of the maturity that has gone on in his body, mind and spirit that I may not have seen had I not had this time with just two of my kids. Thank you Lord for Kyle, who helps me see the beauty in so many little things and the miracles in his life that are so taken for granted by most of us!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

It's All About the Marshmallows!

Brendan is happily camping, so I heard! Ms. Jamie was kind enough to give me a buzz today as she was sitting on the beach with the children at church camp under her charge.(Her call, I'm sure, has nothing to do with the fact that she called yesterday before he left and caught me crying) Brendan is doing great! He made it through his first sleep over EVER! He loves his camp counselor and he is swimming in the lake, diving off the dock, he had a part in a skit (he was a holy--no holey knight), heard a missionary speak, had some worship time and went to the snack shack and is loving his time at camp. Not a word of missing Mom. boohoo!

So Kyle, Shane and I are having our own set of experiences. My boys were a little jealous that Brendan got to go, and more than likely enjoy a gigantic bonfire and roast marshmallows. (That is what we do during our Women's Retreats up at the Lake) Well, we were not going to let Brendan have all fun fun!! No way!

Yup! Here we are on the grill roasting our marshmallows! It was fun and yummy! So eat your heart out Brendan - we are going to do this every night that Brendan is gone (or as long as the marshmallows last)! We are making some fun memories of our own. We went to the Jumpy Place - OH MY! What fun!! I forgot my camera! Don't worry we will go a few more times I'm sure!! We went for a long walk last night and we stopped at our Pastor's home, refueled and kept going. The boys wanted to keep going and going and I knew what was going to happen. "Mom, I can't take another step - please I have to stop!" "Mom it's starting to get dark!" Yes, we walked so far, we couldn't make it home! Ring ring.....Hi Aleatha? (My good friend and sista) Ummmmm...can you come get us?" What fun!

We miss Brendan, but this is good for everyone! I think I might send them all to camp next year -- OH JUST IMAGINE WHAT THAT WOULD BE LIKE! AHA HA HA HA HA!!!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Gratitude List Continued

1000 Gift List Continued from previous posts....(I am thankful for...)

91. The awesome ability to cry. Oh it does wonders!

92. Children who love me and care about me! May that never change!

93. A glass of cold water and a warm hug! Thank you Karen!

94. Friends who know your pain and care to pray!

95. Teenage girls who love to babysit!

96. Date night with husband and friends!

97. My Baby "B", my trustworthy, reliable boy who is (hopefully not on a sugar rush right now) growing up as I type!

98. God's amazing protection and provision in our lives!

99. Other Moms who know what it is like to have a "special" child.

100. Having the time to have lunch/coffee with a sweet friend who shines like the sun - she is contagious!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

He is only 7!

UGH! I am having a hard time! I must be crazy - my 7-year old Brendan is going off to summer church camp for a whole week. Other than me leaving my children with my husband, I have never been away from my children for more than 5 days. There is something different about me leaving and him leaving. I am having a very hard time with this.

Brendan is very excited! We are all packed up and ready to go. He leaves at 10:30am tomorrow! I am sitting here typing as the tears roll down my face. Please say a little prayer for this Mama! Brendan held me tight the other day and said "Don't worry Mom, I will talk to Kyle and he will be the big boy while I'm gone - he'll help take care of things around here." I didn't realize just how much Brendan actually helped me all day long. He is my reliable, pliable, helpful one. I am feeling lost without him and he hasn't even left yet.

I am not the only one feeling this way. (By the way, don't worry, I am acting very excited and cool, it is just inside that I'm suffering.) Kyle (Brendan's twin brother) woke up today at about 3:00am and ran into our room crying "Where is my Brendan? Oh no, my Brendan is going to camp!" We got to church this morning and Kyle was hugging Brendan and saying "Oh no, this is not going to be a good day, Brendan's going to camp!" We all said in unison, "It's not until tomorrow Kyle!"

I also didn't realize how much I actually do for Brendan, after all, he is only just turned 7! I have constantly reminded him to keep up with his hygiene. I hope that he just will hear my voice whenever he is in the shower or at the sink! "Don't forget to brush your teeth!" "Did you clean.....?" I hope that he returns with everything I sent with him. My husband came in an shook his head. I of course, have two check lists for Brendan. One says "Items to Remember to Bring Home!" and the other says "Don't forget to.....".

I can do nothing else but pray for him now. "Lord, please take very good care of my boy. May he grow closer to you and worship you with all of his heart! May he have a wonderful time full of exciting and wonderful memories! Summer Church Camp is where I gave my heart to Jesus, may Brendan have a life changing time this week! Please protect him when he is in the lake, on the property or in his cabin. I pray that he will be himself and never feel pressure to do something he does not want to do! Lord I pray that you will speak to my boy's heart! I pray that he comes back with a passion for serving you and loving you! Lord, please tuck him in every night and Lord, please help me to stop crying!" In Jesus name, Amen!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The Beauty of a Woman

I am so in need of a hair cut and color (yes, one year away from 40 and way to much gray showing for a mom of young ones!) So, a remedy can be found in the following quote:

A famous quote by Audrey Hepburn:

For attractive lips,
Speak words of kindness.
For lovely eyes,
Seek out the good in people.
For a slim figure,
Share your food with the hungry.
For beautiful hair,
Let a child run his or her fingers through it once a day.
For poise,
Walk with the knowledge you'll never walk alone.

This might be the problem....
The quote said "fingers through the hair", not toothbrushes right?

Monday, July 7, 2008

What To Do When You Don't Have a Car...

Lots of baking, lots of pretending and apparently lots of drinking....

Homemade chocolate chip cookies! YUM!

Muffins for breakfast! Warm and Yummy!

This is all before 10:30am! Get it....lots of drinking!

Let's see how long I can pretend to be a merman without falling on my face!

Eating snacks in boxes - does it get any better? Oh and did you notice that we were always in flannel pajama bottoms! This is an Engel favorite!!

Thank you Lord for allowing us to have our car back, but thank you more for the time we were without it!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Who's Walking on Water?

My morning devotions had me seeking and turning pages today! I want to quote two more scriptures that really blessed me this morning:

Jude 24-25 (such a tiny book with big encouragement): "To Him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen. (Say this one out loud a few times and boy you might just feel a little stronger!)

2 Corinthians 4:16-17
"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all."

Ok, now for what Jesus said when He called this morning in my morning devotions: an excerpt from "Jesus Calling" by Sarah Young

"Stay calmly conscious of Me today, no matter what. Remember that I go before you as well as with you into the day. Nothing takes Me by surprise. I will not allow circumstances to overwhelm you, so long as you look to Me. I will help you cope with whatever the moment presents. Collaborating with Me brings blessings that far outweigh all your troubles. Awareness of My presence contains Joy that can endure all eventualities."

A few weeks ago, my husband got his results back from an x-ray of this lump (the size of an egg) on the back of his neck. The results were inconclusive, so he went for a CT-Scan to get a better look at it. Dr. is not overly concerned, however, he doesn't know what it is and why it has been there for over a year or why it is causing so much pain. Incidentally, My friend Lorrie's dad went to see his doctor about a lump on the back of his neck a few years ago and has been going through extensive chemotherapy and radiation for two years now. SO, I could worry and guess and wonder. But, why bother? It won't help, it won't change things - I have to wait to see what the CT-Scan says and then we move forward. My point is, I'm am resolved to not sink! I want to walk on water - never take my eyes off of He who is faithful to prevent me from falling!

Well, the results are back. The doctor called and told Mike that he wants to see him in his office to discuss the CT-Scan. My husband however, has been unable to go to the doctor. He doesn't feel like he can take time off of his new job to get the results. The doctor will not budge! It is his policy - NO results without an appointment - NO exceptions! Please pray that my husband will be able to see the doctor somehow or the Dr. will make this one exception!

I am not worried! I know that whatever lies ahead - God is faithful!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

The Engel's 4th of July!

For those who missed it - here is a portion! Of course my batteries died before the amazing finale! Edgewater Fireworks Rocked in 2008! WOW!

I think it is totally funny how I forgot to make my family dress in red, white and blue. If you know me, you know that we usually match when we go out and especially for holidays! Green on St. Patrick's Day, red onValentine's Day, red and green on Christmas and of course, red, white and blue on the 4th! HA! We clearly didn't match today! My boys had to wait for about 2 hours. (It was well worth the wait I must say)
The street was crowed with people - many that we knew! That is always fun! Another perk of living in a beach community - we just seem to run into people we know - everywhere!! (Doesn't Shane look a little like a bully here? - I love this picture!!)
Ok, so I'm convinced that in order to get a great shot, we need a faster shutter speed. Anyway, it still looks pretty cool to me!

This one looks a little celestial to me!
This was one of the best Independence Days we've ever had! We had a blast all day swimming and then it couldn't have had a better ending!! I'm glad to be an American! God Bless the USA!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Meet Nellie!

This is Nellie, the little 9 year old girl who stole my heart at VBS. From Day 1 at Vacation Bible School, Nellie had my heart. I had never met her, she doesn't go to our church, but we made a connection immediately. I love VBS. I love the kids, I love being a station leader/teacher and I love the excitement and joy that these children bring with them every morning! As always I had an amazing (exhausting) time and I am ready to sign up for next year again! I have done this for many years, 4 years at this church and many many times at Wyckoff Assembly in NJ! I have a passion for Vacation Bible School, I think it is because when I was a little girl, not too much younger than Nellie, I gave my heart to Jesus at a Summer Christian Camp. People who loved Jesus, loved on me and I was never the same again. This brings me back to Nellie.

Nellie and I connected immediately. She is a sweet, smart little cookie who wore the best little grin every day. She greeted me every morning and asked me to divulge any secrets of the day (of course I would not!)! She would sit by me as I prepared my experiments (We did Power Lab this year - possibly the best VBS ever!!) and just ask me questions or want me to ask her questions. Then during snack she would ask her crew leader if she could come and see me - she did and we would talk. She just made me smile! Then at the end of every day she would come and find me and give me a big hug and remind me that my goal for tomorrow would be to try, just try and stump her with a question! Ohhhh I just fell in love with this little girl.

On Thursday I told the children that the Lord had woken me up at about 3:00am to pray for them! True indeed! I was honored to do so and humbled because of just being able to be a part of His plan for these children, well, it makes me want to cry just thinking about it! I told the children just how special they are and how loved by God they are that he would have me praying for them at 3:00am. I couldn't get my mind off Nellie. God was putting her on my heart in a big way. Thursday came and went, 7 children prayed to receive Christ as their Savior! Praise God!

By Friday, I was undone! I was in tears before the day even started. Partly because of the fact that it was over, partly because I was going to miss being with those children and partly because I wasn't sure I would ever see Nellie again, and I was going to miss her smile every morning. Nellie, handed me the sweetest note on Thursday during snack time. I was blessed beyond words and moved to tears. I didn't know anything about Nellie's life, I didn't know if she came from a home where she was loved, I didn't know if her parents went to church or were saved, I didn't know much about her except that the Lord cared very deeply about this little girl that He was putting her on my heart all the time. I wrote Nellie a note back, and at the end of the day on Friday I handed her my note and told her, in my awful cry voice, "Nellie, I just want you to know that I love you! You have blessed my life this week and Jesus loves you more than you may know! You are a very special girl, who is deeply loved by the Lord. I hope that we will see each other again some day, but if we don't, always remember just how special and loved you are!" She and I embraced and it was one of those hugs where you just want to hold on a little longer. I never had a chance to meet Nellie's Mom, but I told the woman who picked her up to please tell Nellie's Mom how much that little girl blessed me. (I was a crying mess talking to this perfect stranger)!

Well, today we had our town's 4th of July celebration and Riverside Dr. was packed. We found a spot on the river bank and sat on our beach chairs only to find that sitting next to us was none other than my little Nellie! We had been sitting next to this family for about an hour waiting for the fireworks to start and then this little girl shows up with them and my heart skipped a beat! Oh my goodness! Of course I cried out, "Nellie?" Then the next words were "Are you Nellie's Mom?" Nellie's Mom proceeded to tell me Nellie's story. She for all intense and purposes is Nellie's Mom, but Nellie has a birth Mom. I won't go into the details out of respect for the families involved, but lets just say that now I know why the Lord put Nellie on my heart the way He did! I talked to this woman tonight for about 40 minutes just hearing the tale of how Nellie fell into their lives about 3 years ago. Nellie and I share a very similar childhood in many ways. It makes total sense that she and I connected the way we did, she was just like me when I was little. OH, it was absolutely no mistake that Nellie and I connected at VBS and absolutely no mistake that we sat right beside her family so I can connect all the dots in the story of Nellie! Thank you Lord for caring so much that you would fill in the blanks for me. I have vowed to pray very specifically for Nellie and the situation she is in right now and for the family who has fallen in love with her as well. I have much hope for Nellie! Hebrews 11:1 says "Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." Oh Nellie, the Lord has His hand in your life my little friend. He will never leave you or forsake you! You sit safely in the palm of His hand and I am confident that He will take very good care of you! - Thank you Lord!