Friday, November 28, 2008


As Andre and I look back over the past year... we have an unbelievable amount to be so thankful for. We also have so many friends and family to thank. Where we would ever start or end, I am not sure. My brother is making a video for my grandma(this is our Christmas with her because she leaves for Florida next week) and he asked if we wanted to write up a thank you to thank my extended family. We of course said yes, not thinking about it bringing us both to tears. So I decided to share with you some of the blessings that were on our list. (Andre wrote this, he did a great job!)

As impossible as it would be to ever repay you all, we begin now by simply saying “Thank You”. The love that you showed us through our “crazy summer” was in many forms: prayer, selflessness, sacrifice, holding doctors/nurses accountable, comforting hugs, encouraging words, taxi service, money, comic relief, listening ears, and sometimes just a shoulder to cry on. I wish I had one of those shoulders as I am writing this because I am overwhelmed with love for family, friends, the doctors/nurses/therapists who we befriended, and our Almighty Father in Heaven who has a perfect plan for all of us. Over the next few minutes, please join me in praising and thanking our Great God as we remember some of the specific ways he saw our family through this tough time……

the beautiful old evergreen shrub that protected Gabe and Mommy

the brave elderly gentlemen who helped lift the car off of Mams

the doctor who cried with me when he informed me that he was going to have to put the breathing tube back in little Gabriel

the “People Mover” train to allow easy back-and-forth between Mams and Gabe

the Lord’s healing touch through the hands of Gabe’s throat surgeon, Dr.Bruce

the encouraging texts I received in the middle of the night

Dr. Rachel – (one of Gabe’s amazing doctors at Riley)

Nurse Peggy – (one of Gabe’s amazing nurses at Riley)

Nurse Lauren – (one of Gabe’s amazing nurses at Riley)

the Lord’s miracle healing of Mandi’s back through the hands of her neurosurgeon at Methodist, Dr. Mobasser

Abe – (the guy who made Mandi’s brace)

Nurse Amanda – (one of Mandi’s amazing nurses at Methodist)

All those wonderful pain killers they were able to give Mandi and were still safe for baby Ella

the wonderful air mattress thingy they special ordered for baby Gabe to put under him to help make him more comfortable

the life-saving little green water sponges!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

the two super-comfortable lazy-boy recliners in baby Gabe’s room

the little Seal (stuffed animal) that helped to hold up Gabe’s breathing tube

the dream God gave Tyler in which He promised to bring healing!!!!

those silly little duck and cow puppets

that little toy baseball that Gabe snuggled with before waking up

and of course seeing Gabe throw that little white baseball for the first time again while lying in his bed (remember he would throw it all the way to the end of his bed and sometimes even off the bed)

the ability to get on the internet in Gabe’s room

mass text messaging prayer requests

the song God showed me in Psalm 40

those first smiles we began to see return to Gabe’s face

the Ronald McDonald House

the calming walk from Riley to the Ronald McDonald House (shade there and back)

Mandi’s uncanny ability to keep her sense of humor in those pain-filled days immediately following her surgery

Mandi’s safe transport back home to Washington Community Hospital

Answered prayer when Gabe fought off infection and high fever spikes

the two anonymous people whose blood provided baby Gabe with two successful blood transfusions

the discovery that our special little boy has a special and rare blood type

the wonderful sight of that pudge returning to the top of Gabe’s feet

the big fish tanks

the red wagon

the water for Gabe to throw coins in (he probably threw over 30 bucks in there)

the tag-team all-nighters - where would we even begin

the support that my brothers family provided for us (Alex, Tera, Braylee, Brynna)

that stupid car toy that Gabe loved to shift and watch us jump forward then backwards

the waiver I had to sign to go against doctors orders (I was nice about it!!!)

those who were so willing to rub Mams' legs every time she awoke from sleep

for all the unthinkables that mom and dad (Marv and Lou) did for us, especially your prayers

the sincere love and care Mandi received from PT’s Clint and Stephanie Young

Nurse Jilaine – (an amazing nurse Mams had at DCH)

OT Cara – (an amazing therapist Mams had at DCH)

PT Darlene – (an amazing therapist Mams had at DCH)

PT Micki – (an amazing therapist Mams had at DCH)

Future PT Josh – (an amazing therapist Mams had at Methodist and DCH and continues to have as we continue our journey)

Aunt Jeanette and girls - providing extra fun for Gabe and loving support for Mams

our new orthopedic bed that was given to us

my brother Adam provided me with a variety of things - clothes, food, errands, etc.

to the anonymous people who cleaned out our fridge and trash so our house wouldn't stink

a place Mams, Gabe, and I were able to call home for about 3 weeks. A place that was dripping with the presence of the Lord, and a place that was a safe haven. A perfect place for my family to recover. A place for us to find rest, and unconditional and sacrificial love. Thank you Dean, Nelda, Josh, and Tyler.

the blessing of having a golf cart to use (I’m not kidding when I say that thing brought more joy and comfort and rest and escape than you will ever know)

those little “munchkin” things that Gabe was able to eat mashed up fruit in

the pool (wow!) - all of those hard working men who did such a wonderful job of providing Mams a place for therapy and an escape for the family

the wheelchair accessibility features (pool stairs, back door ramp, threshold ramp, front step rails, up-stairs bedroom, shower handles)

the meals (wow!) - thank you Rosi for getting it organized

Uncle Jay who mowed our grass ALL summer

……….this list could go on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on

All of the things listed above are examples of God working through individuals to bless and change for the better the lives of people around them. The challenge then for us all is to allow God to use us everyday in ways that will change the people around us just like He has used you all to change me and my family forever.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
We are forever changed. We are forever grateful.
~Andre`, Mandi, Gabe, Ella, (and Bruce)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Williamsburg, Virginia

As most of you know we went on vacation with Andre's family last week. We were supposed to go over the summer and then the accident overtook all plans. So we were able to move the dates back to November. We enjoyed each others company and some sight seeing. However, it was really cold most days so we bundled up! Here are a few pictures I wanted to share with you.
This first pic is just Gabe and I snuggling on the couch... and the other one not labeled is our family in front of Governor's Palace at Williamsburg. ( I don't know why it wouldn't let me label them.)

Gabe, Braylee, and Brynna watching a movie. Do you like Gabe's outfit?

Gabe's first bus ride. We rode the shuttle to our sight seeing stop.

WoW! check out this huge animal! Gabe wasn't to sure...

This picture was taken at Jamestown by the ships.

Gabe and daddy in an Indian hut!

The kiddos at the Yankee Candle store.

Cuties at the Yankee Candle store.

Gabe and uncle Adam

our family in front of the fountain at the Yankee Candle store

the kiddos at jumping joey's... braylee loved it, brynna warmed up in the end, and gabe hated it and wanted to play with the toys gated off for babies.

taking a bath together in gramma's tub.

our stop at a hotel on the way out.. gabe was ready to relax and be out of his carseat.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! We are looking forward to spending time with family and friends!!!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Well- to all of those wondering... I am NOT having contractions and Ella is still as warm as can be inside of me! We have been in Virgina since Saturday and it has been really cold. We have even seen snow flurries the last two days. So we have been trying to keep warm by doing fun things with the kids INSIDE. However, today we ventured out to Jamestown. It was very cold but all of the kids did a really good job being cold! We are now back at the condo and ready for naps. Just a little update on where we are and what we are up too! Pictures to come soon!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

I thought I would
post some recent
pics since my lovely
wife is so far behind
with her blogging...
I can't figure out how to make
these pics big...I'll ask mams...until then....squint.