Jan 18, 2011

christmas in pictures...

home, lafayette IN, Hope MI and Concord Twp. OH. 4 great times of rejoicing with family...

Dec 6, 2010

christmas gift from a perfect stranger

Today is Matt's birthday. I thought since his mom and girlfriend don't live near, I, as his older sister, would assume responsibility to try to make the day a little more special for him. I baked him a cake but needed icing to go on it, and knew he would love to add another Best Buy gift card to his DSLR camera fund. I decided to go to the Greenbrier area and kill 2 birds with one stone... grocery store and Best Buy right across the parking lot from each other. Here's the catch. Caleb was working at a job so that meant I was going to have to take all 3 kids with me to. Not a huge deal to some, but with Gioia in her current fit throwing stage it can get pretty ugly. Anyway,  I put on my SuperMom cape (aka, my nursing cover) and set out expecting the worst. (Okay, thats a lie, I didnt actually put on my nursing cover, but I did expect the worst).
By God's grace, we made it through Harris Teeter without a fit and without the normal running away. Went to Best Buy, got the gift card and got back out to the car without much of a fight either. They really did great besides the normal kid stuff. You know what I mean... staring at the candy and picking up every single bag of candy thinking maybe I will say yes to the peanut M&M's even though I already said no to the plain ones (if they were really smart they would have picked up the peanut butter ones. Hard to say no to those!) :) Not a difficult trip but with 3 kids there is a lot of juggling that goes on.

Anyway, I was just got the last one strapped in and climbed into my seat when I heard "Excuse me?!" There was a nice older lady who had come up to my car door. She was tastefully decked out in holiday cheer and looked rather cold. I thought she was going to hand me something I dropped along the way or tell me to enjoy these days because they go quickly. Instead she said "I remember these days. I used to have 3 little ones of my own and I can remember how hard it can be. I want to give you a little something." She then handed me a $20 bill. I said "are you sure!!??" "Yes, I'm sure. Please take it. I want you to have it." "Really?!" "Yes" she said " please get yourself a little treat." By this time we were both teary. I managed to squeek out a "Thank you" and then she smiled and walked away.

Talk about an unexpected blessing. I don't know if she believes in Jesus but either way He used her to encourage my soul today. I can't wait to do this for someone else.

Dec 3, 2010

all mushed together

That's kind of how I feel life has been these past few months. I don't remember the months changing to October let alone December. I mean, seriously, think about it... you cant tell what time of year it is if you go to Wal-mart, the Christmas trees have been up since before Halloween. You couldn't tell around here in VA because I saw green leaves still on trees on the way to church on Sunday.  If it weren't for the fact that the camera keeps track of what day the pictures were taken, I would still be marking them all about September 27th. Then today I walked outside and got a nice brisk reminder that it is indeed December. So, since i haven't posted since august, let me sum up...

He has been telling us lately that his legs hurt and has been seriously scarfing down any food put in front of him. That can only mean one thing... growth spurt. It is really becoming quite a little man... becoming more interested in helping Daddy fix things around the house, asking for big boy things for Christmas this year like a knife with a blade in it, and really developing in his thought processes. The most exciting thing is that the truths of Scripture really seem to be penetrating his heart. He seems to be very remorseful over his sin and also is seeing his need for Jesus. Nothing makes our hearts happier than to hear him talk about loving Jesus and telling Gioia about the Gospel. He believes Jesus died to pay for his sins that He is the only way to Heaven. He is beginning to realize that he cannot obey mommy and daddy and in turn please the Lord without Jesus. We pray this continues his entire life!!
My favorite prayer of Cole's: “Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for a nice day. Thank you for creating the world. Thank you for all you’ve done for us. We know we sin all the time and we all have problems. Uncle Matt has problems, Rachael has problems, Uncle Matt has problems, Momm- uh- Mrs Incredible has problems, Mr. Incredible has problems, Uncle Matt has problems. Thank you for all you’ve done for us. Thank you for creating the world. Heavenly Father, In Your name, Amen.”

What a sweet spunky girl we have on our hands! Though she is a constant battle, she is also a constant joy!  She is quite the little mother to both her pretend babies and her baby brother. She loves Cole very much, but also knows just what to do to make him upset. We are working every second of every day to be slow to anger. She is a fit thrower for sure, but is starting to understand she gets NOTHING she wants when she throws herself on the ground. You would think she would have learned her lesson when she dislocated her elbow throwing a fit a few months ago, but apparently, she did not. Thankfully, however, she doesnt hide anything from us. She is very upfront about how she feels about things, what she wants to do, where she wants to go and what she has done wrong. Its not uncommon for her to willingly come up to me and tell me she just disobeyed and hit _______.  I would take that characteristic in a girl any day! Hopefully it continues into her teenage years!! She is all or nothing and I love that. When she is happy, she is really happy, when she is mad, she is REALLY mad when she is excited she is really excited. I cant wait to watch her Christmas morning!! The other day I took her shopping and she put her arm around me and said "Mama, you're my best friend." MELT MY HEART!!! My favorite prayer of Gioia's:  “Jesus, thank you for happy. Mama’s happy, Daddy’s happy, Cole’s happy. Uncle Matt, thank you upside down. Amen.”

He is SIX MONTHS OLD! Talk about days running together?!? Where has my little newborn gone?! Well, there seriously is no baby sweeter than my Judah. He has the best little temperament and always has a smile for mama. He can roll both ways, say da-da, giggle, play with things, almost sit up on his own and he sure can scoot around the floor. He's not close to crawling at all, but that's just fine with me. We don't need to throw that into the mix yet!! He also has his first bottom tooth and its little neighbor on the way in. Not super exciting for me since he wont take a bottle. :) He LOVES his brother and sister. He seriously sits and watches them ALL DAY! He has tried cereal which he hates, and sweet potatoes which he might like, but at least tolerates.  I just love the way he lights up when I catch him staring at me... what a charmer.

So there's the CostonKid's fall in a nutshell. As for Caleb and I... we are still madly in love and extremely ready for seminary to be over! Caleb just registered for what should be his LAST semester in seminary! Come quickly, MAY!!!

Aug 8, 2010

July- part 1

And what a great July its been! VERY busy but so great. It all started with our last minute trip up to Philly for the 4th. We literally said good bye to my parents on Saturday morning, said to each other "so what are we going to do this weekend?" and half an hour later we were packing to go see our good friends Danny and Becky Adams. We hadn't seen them for over a year and decided that was way WAY too long. We had a great time with them. With great friends like they are, we don't have to run all over town to have a good time. All we need is a place to sit and the laughs start flowing! Sunday morning we enjoyed worshiping at their church then afterward, got a picture of our growing famlies. Are we seriously old enough to have all these kids?! It was yesterday we were running around Northland!

On Sunday night, we decided to go downtown to see the fireworks. There were TONS of people there. The Roots and the Goo Goo Dolls were playing which brought quite a crowd. So we were sitting there waiting, and waiting and waiting. 9pm... no fireworks... 10 pm... no fireworks... 11pm... we decide to pack up our 5 kids and leave. well wouldn't you know... as soon as we start walking away, they started.  I thought 'alright, being in the place where the Declaration of Independence was signed, these fireworks are going to be great!' Take my advice. NEVER go into downtown Philly for the 4th of July. Stinky fireworks and way too much traffic. If we go up next year, we will watch them on TV. :) But we were with our friends so the time was still really fun!

Then on Monday we crashed the Adam's family get together and Ian and Rachael's. We had a great time swimming, watching the kids play and fellowshiping.

Then about a week and a half later, Miriam, Caleb's sister, and her 4 kids came to visit for a few days. We went to the beach (of course!) where Marky and Maelyn looked like pros on the boogie boards. We went to the aquarium with Chick-fil-a afterward. We got to celebrate Cole's 4th birthday together with a morning spent crabbing, and a night of cake and ice cream. I think we started a new Coston birthday tradition. Each year, I think Caleb and I are going to make them a really fun, crazy, big deal kind of cake. This year, Cole's was hole 4 at the golf course, complete with a likeness of him, a golf cart, an alligator coming out of the lake and of course no golf hole would be complete without a sand rake for the bunkers. :) Not trying to toot my own horn, but it was awesome. :)

The day Miriam and kids left (Sunday) little did I know that night we were going to have more company stay with us for a few days...

Jul 12, 2010

so, who does he look like?

Its the question everyone has an opinion about. Who a baby looks like... mom, dad, brother, sister? You be the judge...

Cole Michael
Gioia Claire
Judah Caleb
I think he looks like his brother, but is going to have blue eyes like his sister. Whatever your opinion, you have to agree that they are just cute as can be. :)

Jun 28, 2010

one year ago today...

Its hard to believe that its been a year since I was standing at our church picnic wondering if my oldest son was going to live. Hard to believe its been a year since I was watching Caleb give him rescue breaths. A year since the worst day of my life.

We are so thankful our Cole Michael is alive. And not only alive, but living with no indications that he ever had a closed head injury. He is still smart as ever, and remembers more about as he calls it 'breaking my head' than I really wish he did! The only thing that was affected by the fall was his emotions. He has always been a quick crier, and we had been making great strides in that area, but after everything happened it was as if a year's time had been shaved off of his emotional development.   Honestly, he was an emotional wreck and, as the doctors reassured me, it was to be expected. I mean the kid almost died, spent over 48 hours in the PICU and another 48 on the regular floor in the hospital. Thats pretty traumatic stuff. Sometimes he would get so upset for no reason and at the silliest things and he would sob and sob and yell and yell and all I could do in those moments was hold him close and cry with him. As time wore on he got better and better at controlling his anger/emotions and though he is not completely done with the outbursts, I do feel like we are at least back to where he was before the fall.

I didnt deal with anything that happened until about 3-4 months afterwards. Don't get me wrong, for a long long time I recounted the events of that day in my head every day. I just couldnt get it out of my mind. But one night, it was just overwhelming. We were lying in bed, almost asleep and I started bawling. I mean seriously crying and crying. I had to hold him. I spent a long time in Cole's bed that night, praying, crying, thanking Jesus for letting me continue to be Cole's mama.

Like every mom, there are times when I start to long for different days. Days when I can go to the bathroom alone, or sit at dinner and not say the words 'take a bite, please' 800 times. And it never fails... its the days when I long to be kid free that I look over at my sweet Cole Michael, he smiles, and the Lord reminds me how fortunate I am to be a mommy. He reminds me to enjoy these sweet gifts He has given to Caleb and me because in an instant they could be gone.

Oh how we love our sweet children. The Lord has blessed us beyond measure. He indeed is gracious in all things!