Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Christmas at the Shorts

 I love this time of year...  the fresh & crisp air, the lights up on & in houses, the mince pies, an open fire, the spirit of generosity & giving, time to spend with family etc etc.  I hope you have all managed to have a wonderful Christmas! 

We began our Christmas this year with a busy day cooking and baking on Christmas Eve
Topping the raw pastry (for the chocolate boston pie)
with baking bean ready for the oven.

Making mince pies and apple pies for our neighbours

underneath all those pies the plate reads 'Jesus is the gift'

Rosina, not wanting to be left out, helped daddy with the brussels sprouts

After all that prep (and much more) it was time for the children to be in bed and time for Daddy to build Rosina's Christmas pressie....

There were so many parts!!   I have to give little tikes some credit here though as it was amazingly packed and so well organised. 
Nearly there... apparently the average chap gets this done in 2-3 hours, so of course Alex sets himself the challenge of getting it done in only 1 hour...  alas he failed and came in at 90 minutes - a good try though! :O)

A few hours kip was in order next and then Christmas morning arrived!  No naughty children sleeping in til 8:30 this year (unlike last year when mummy had the patients of a 3 yr old waiting for her eldest to finally wake up so we could get the day started! lol) so we declared Merry Christmas and enjoyed some stocking pressies!  Thanks Santa!  After breakfast and a quick play time we jumped into the car and went to a beautiful Christmas service at our church where we celebrated Jesus coming to earth to be our Saviour!

After church it was time to gather around as a big family (my parents and 2 of my sisters joined us) and enjoy a big meal (we are so blessed!)  Here we all are looking silly with our cracker hats on:

Our Starter
Onion & Mozzarella Tarts

Making the mango & lychee dumplings

Needless to say Rosina enjoyed her Chocolate Boston Pie!!
Now that we were all filled to the brim with food and drink it was time to sit around as a family in the lounge and give gifts one to another. 

Excitement and gratitude overflows!

Here's Rosina about to get her pressie

She was very chuffed
As was Caden with his 'how things work' book! 

After we'd finished pressie time we enjoyed some tea/supper with mince pies and/or Christmas cake for dessert.  We lit a candle on the cake and sang 'Happy Birthday' to Jesus.  We prayed and thanked Jesus for leaving his throne in glory to humbly come to earth to save us!  

O I love boxing day.  We take it easy after a busy Christmas day.  We laze around in our pj's and enjoy the gifts we'd been given.  Is always such a fun and relaxing day!  :O)

Here the boys get to try out their main pressie, the lego table - it was just a box with words on it on Christmas day!  So much more exciting to find it all made up and ready to play with on boxing day!

Caden tries out Daddy's rowing machine

The kiddies sit down to watch a new movie (Rosina got herself in the box)

Christmas with Alex's folks

Rosina very pleased with her pushchair! :O)
Thank u Nanny & Grampy

All the grandchildren on the Short's side

The children were so excited that night as we were stopping for a sleep over at Nanny's house!  It is so lovely to have the opportunity to visit with family and create some lovely memories.


Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Met in the Darkness

(For the first part of this story please click here to read.)

Don't be afraid, for I am with you.  
Do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  
I will strengthen you. I will help you. 
I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.  
Isaiah 41v10

After a long and difficult 3 weeks my wait was over.  My body was finally ready, at 14 weeks into the pregnancy, to deliver the baby who had died 4 1/2 weeks earlier.  I was so relieved the wait was finally over, but crushed and broken hearted that I would now have to deliver my dead baby.  The process was quite gentle to me physically, which was such an answer to prayer.  I've heard so many stories of how painful a miscarriage can be and I was so blessed to not go through horrendous agony.  I delivered my precious, tiny baby on the 23rd of November.  Alex and I held a private burial for our loved little one and lit a candle that stood in a little memorial we had made.  We then took the memorial into our living room where the children joined us.  We all sat around the memorial as a family and prayed.  God had a plan - for sure this was not what we had expected it to be, but we felt the love & peace of God with us.  It was very emotional, but beautiful in it's own way. Our little 4 year old Quinn asked to pray.  He said.. "there is only one thing I want to pray...  Dear God, please send another baby to mummy's tummy. Amen."  Alex and I took a brave look at each other, both welling with tears, both blessed by his and his brothers hearts at this sad time.

As a family we value all life no matter how briefly here.  We decided to give our baby a unisex name that gave some meaning to this chapter in our life.  We decided upon the name Eman (e.mun) which means 'faith'.  It seems that the story of little Eman's brief life on this earth was so well summed up by faith.  Because of our faith this child was conceived and in faith we trusted God with all our concerns and fears.  In faith we trusted God when He choose to take Eman home with Him, in faith we waited on the delivery, and in faith we know that God is working in this time in our lives for our good - 'for all things work together for the good of those who love God'. (Romans 8v28)

So with that said....  

In Loving Memory

Since the miscarriage was now over I had thought that I would be able to slowly get back to 'normal' life...  it wasn't to be though.  Little did I know that I was about to embark on a dark, lonely and overwhelmingly painful time. 

(please forgive me for the wordy detail below.. it was the only 
way I felt that I could describe how God came to my rescue)

 A few days after the miscarriage had occurred I had the most horrendous migraine I've ever had in my life.  I do not usually suffer with migraines (thankfully!!), but I've had a few in the past.  Some have sent me to bed to get through them, but the one on this day was absolute agony.  Thankfully it was a Sunday and I was able to spend almost all day in bed, in the dark, riding out each painful 'pound' one by one.  By the time night came it was easing off and I had every reason to believe that I would be fine the next day.  Migraines in the past have only lasted a few hours - 1/2 a day so I assumed it was nearly over and I just need to recover.  The next day my head still hurt and was still pounding.  It wasn't anything like as bad as the day before so I was able to cope, but getting back to the  home schooling as originally planned was not going to happen.  Monday came and went without saying good riddance to the horrible headache, but it did seem to be improving so I had hope that all would be well the next day.  Tuesday came and it was definitely improved, but not gone.  I managed some schooling, but not much.. something was better than nothing though right!  I was so relieved when evening came and with it came relief - the headache left me!  Thinking that the headache must have been down to hormones I figured my body had sorted itself out and that, after a few days delay, my life would now be able to get back to 'normal'. 

 It's a good job we don't know the future!  Wednesday came and so did the return of the migraine...  I was in a lot of pain again and feeling incredibly low.  Hubby had to be at work and I just didn't know how to keep coping...  I wanted someone to come and make it all better for me.  My heart was aching for the child I had just lost and my mind was frustrated that my health was preventing me from getting back on my feet.  My spirits fell to the floor.  

All the children were happily playing hide and seek together so I retreated to the kitchen and plopped myself down on the floor in a corner of the room... it was quieter in there.  A few tears rolled down my face and I began to pour my heart out to God.  "Father I feel so alone!  I'm in a lot of pain physically and emotionally and there is no one here for me.  I can't do this!  I need help!  I have nothing left to give!  I just want someone to come here and rescue me from this pit of despair.  Father... I need someone to be a physical Jesus to me!  Someone to walk in that door and take pity on me... someone to wrap me up in blankets and tell me it's going to be ok.  Ahhh, who am I kidding?  There's no one... no one can be my physical Jesus...  no one even knows I'm struggling through a migraine today and even if they did, who would come?  And even if someone did come, would I really want them to see me in this hideous state of self pity?  O Father!  It's hopeless... no one can be that physical Jesus I so desire.  Father... please give me Your strength to get me through the rest of this day... I can't do this without you.  Amen.  My spirit felt a bit better for talking with God.  I got up and managed to get through lunch.  

About 2 hours later a miracle arrived!  I was resting in the lounge and I heard the kitchen door open!  It was nearly 3 hours until my husband was supposed to be home and I almost froze in wonder and confusion as to who just let themselves into my house!  There was no speaking warning me of who was about to appear around the corner.  I began to walk toward the door and to my surprise, sheer delight and immense relief - it was my wonderful husband!  I started to cry from the relief that he was home and from the gratitude that was overflowing from my heart that God had answered my prayer to send me a physical Jesus... and not just anyone - the one human being on the planet that I can be completely comfortable being myself with... the one person I don't care if I look and feel a mess in front of (well in a situation like that anyway).  Poor Alex was rather surprised by my emotional greeting.  He didn't know how much I'd been struggling.  I asked him how come he was home and he told me that the boss, unbeknown to Alex, had asked all the other workers to come into work for 2am.  Due to their early start everyone else finished work at 1pm and Alex was told he could clean and chop fire wood for the afternoon if he wanted to stay and work or he could take the rest of the day off.  Since it had only been a week since the miscarriage, he wanted to come home for me.  
Wow!  Some of you may think this was just an amazing coincidence.. but we don't really believe in those - we call them God-incidences.  Alex sent me to bed and cooked dinner for me.  I felt so loved and so cared for by my God and by my husband.
So blessed!

This is not the end of how God showed Himself and His mercy to me that week though.  The next day the migraine became pretty much as bad as the one I'd suffered that first day back on the Sunday.  It was awful when I woke in the morning and progressed to horrendous.  I desperately wanted to call Alex home, this was not the sort of head pain I felt I could just 'suck it up' and get on with it.  I had 4 children to look after and feed and I felt it was going to be impossible to do that day.  Under normal circumstances I would have called Alex home, but I didn't feel I could because he had only just started a new job the week before.  After his first day he had to call in and say that I was having the miscarriage and he'd need to take a few days off.  4 working days later he went back and this was only his 3rd day back...  it just would have looked awful if I'd called him home... again!  I prayed for God's help and determined to give absolutely everything I had before calling him home.

I found myself to feel very emotionally strong and I got through breakfast and then up to Rosina's morning nap.  I then sat the boys down to a movie and told them to be extremely quiet, mummy had a hideous migraine and I needed to go to bed while Rosina slept.  I moved slowly and carefully to my bed (must have looked like I was 100 yrs old).  I didn't manage any sleep, but I was so glad to be able to just lie down.  Rosina slept well that morning (coincidence?) and it was 2.5 hours before I had to brave moving.

Half an hour before I heard Rosina stirring from her nap I wrote out a text to Alex telling him that I didn't think I could manage and needed him home.  I went to click send, but hesitated.  I told myself... 'just give it another half an hour'.  I put the text into draft.  I heard Rosina stir...  my every move was agony...  I pulled up the text and went to send it...  again I felt something stopping me.  'Just see if you can manage to get through lunch and then send if you need to', I told myself.  I prayed for God to give me His strength and, of course - He did.  Moment by moment, bit by bit I got through lunch and then somehow through the afternoon.  Time seemed to move slowly, but the children were good and God gave me an inner strength, that was so not mine, to be able endure the immense pain.  I simply had not had anything like this mental strength the day before.  5:35 finally rolled around, I was huddled up against a radiator in the boys bedroom trying not to move while Rosina pottered about.  When Alex found me he was mortified.  He didn't know I'd been in anything like this kind of pain and was upset that I'd not told him. His face turned almost as white as mine when he looked at me.  'a ghost who'd been punched in both eyes' is apparently what I looked like.  :S    I thanked God for giving me His strength to get me through so I didn't have to call Alex home...  it spoke powerfully to me (and Alex when I explained it to him).  If Alex hadn't been in a new job there would have been no question in me calling him home, but I would have then missed out on God's amazing provision for me that day.

Praise God for His mercies!

God hears our prayers.  He doesn't always answer them how we'd like - I wanted Him to heal me from the migraines (because I'm a wimp), but instead He came and met with me in my pain in an amazing way and provided for me.  2 different days...  2 different provisions - both so amazing and spoke powerfully into my heart.  He always give us what we need.  I'm so grateful to God for how He shows me how much He loves and cares for me.  He cares so much about every detail, every feeling, every pain!  He is my Saviour and my friend who never, ever lets me down.

Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning. 
 Lamentations 3 v 23

If you made it this far - thank you for reading!  God Bless

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Silence in The Secret Place (a silent miscarriage)

I will hide beneath the shadow of Your wings
until this violent storm has past.
I cry out to God Most High,
to God who will fulfill His purpose for me.
Psalm 57v 1a-2

Life can take a sudden turn so quickly.  I had been looking forward to explaining to you all the reason my blog has been rather quiet lately is because I've been feeling so ill.  Ill with awful nausea and fatigue because God had blessed us with another little miracle growing in 'the secret place'.  I have been stripped of that joy though and instead write to tell you that our precious baby's spirit has left his/her body and gone to heaven to be with Jesus.  The baby's body still lies still within me and I do not know when the day of delivery will be.  I hope it will be soon.  My heart is broken for the loss of another child.

I was 11 weeks into the pregnancy when I saw, with my own eyes, my baby's chest with no movement.  The sonographer confirmed the baby was not alive and I sobbed and sobbed.  My heart felt as though it had been pulled out of my chest and crushed to bits.  My baby was no longer with me.  The painful memories it brought back of the loss we had 2 years ago with our dear son Uzziah... looking at the screen and knowing it was all over.  How could this be happening to me again; why is this happening to me again!?  I cried so hard on the journey home I gave myself a headache.  I didn't understand and there are no words to describe the pain.

I knew I was going to have to tell the children that the baby had died.  I didn't know how I was going to be able to walk through that conversation.  It filled me with great sorrow just thinking about it.  Of course the time had to come and it did...  God gave me the strength I needed.  I showed the boys the scan picture and told them that I had very sad news to tell them.  I said that our precoius baby had died and had gone to heaven.  Caden, my eldest, started to cry.  I explained that we don't know why but that we do know that God loves us and for some reason He has decided that this was what was best.  I told them it was okay to be sad and to cry.  At that Caden started to sob and I held him in my arms.  All the boys were so sad.  We managed to break a painful smile thinking about Uzziah and this baby being together and that we'd see them one day.

Later that day, at the boys bed time, little Quinn was praying and said, "God, please put the baby back in mummy's tummy!"  Such heartache to hear these words of grief from my 4 yr old.  In a similar act of expression, the next day Charlie came and gave me a cuddle.  He proceeded to stroke and kiss my tummy, perhaps out of habit.  He told me, "mummy I just kissed the baby", I replied that that was nice.  He then dropped his shoulders, tilted his head, sighed and asked... "mummy... why does a heart stop bleeping?"

Life is so precious and when it is taken from us, along with immense grief, there are often many questions.  I am finding that to be especially so with this loss and I think that that is perhaps because of how this little baby's story began.  Alex and I had thought after the birth of our last child back in Sept 2010 that that would probably be it for us.  I had had a difficult pregnancy and along with the grief we carried from Uzziah's pregnancy we both felt that we couldn't keep putting ourselves through more pregnancies.  Over the summer, however, Alex and I felt convicted that we were not being open to more children.  We did a lot of praying and a lot of studying.  The more we prayed about it the more we felt that God was leading us to have another baby.  We listened to God's calling on our life at that time and God blessed us with this pregnancy straight away.  I think because God asked us so specifically to have this child it makes it all the more difficult to accept and understand that He has taken the baby home.  It doesn't make sense in my simple little human brain.  How could this have been what God wanted us to go through?  How could this have been His plan?

"for my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith Jehovah.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."  Issiah 55 v 8-9

Several days before I learned that our baby had died God had reminded me of a verse that I haven't been able to get out of my mind all week - And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.  Romans 8v28
No matter how it feels to me now, seeing things through my eyes, God is working in my life for my good.  It the midst of my grief it is very hard for me to see how this outcome is what is best, but I know it is true because I know the Bible to be true.  I can trust God entirely and draw comfort from His promises. 

For He loves us with unfailing love; the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever.   Praise the Lord!  Psalm 117v2

I do not know if God will answer me with why or for what purpose He has allowed us to suffer through this time, but in the midst of my grief this is what God told me Saturday morning - "Daughter, if you had not obeyed me, this precious child I sent to you would not have existed and therefore would not have eternity in heaven with me."  This utterly floored me and so deeply encouraged my heart.  Because of our obedience our child has an eternity with Christ which s/he would not have otherwise had.  We will meet this child one day and we will be able worship God together with him/her.  How precious to think of these things and how grievous to think that if we had not listened to God we would have denied this child eternity.
Please listen to this song
it is beautiful and speaks my heart.

Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty
This I declare of the Lord:
He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
He is my God, and I am trusting Him.
Psalm 91 v 1-2

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Nutty Laundry!

With 4 energetic, playful, exploring and rather messy children it goes without saying that we get through many loads of laundry in our house.

I want to quickly tell you about an all natural and yet still very effective product that I use to do my many loads of laundry which I have been using for 3 years.

Soap Nuts!
God created a special nut that grows on trees and is perfect for washing.  It's chemical free (yay), washes really well (bigger yay!) and is cheap, cheap, cheap! (biggest yay)  

Pictured below is a small load of mine sloshing away - look at that lovely foam!

So what are soap nuts and where do I get them from?
I buy them on ebay.
Here's what one ebay seller says about them:
'A natural soap that very literally grows on trees. The Soapnut is a multi use detergent product, with no added chemicals. it helps relieve skin issues caused by standard laundry powders, such as eczema and rosacea. With the soapnuts being a natural product they are free from the toxic chemicals you would find in your standard laundry detergents.
Soapnuts are the product of the Ritha Tree (sapindus mukurossi), a rather lovely tree that grows very happily throughout Asia. The soapberry is the fruit of this tree and it defends itself naturally from bugs and whatnot by producing saponin within the fruit. This is jolly good stuff from our point of view as it is essentially a naturally occurring soap. The soapberries are collected from the tree and the seeds within removed. The outer part of the berry is then dried. This is the bit we call the soapnut.
With the soapnuts being a natural product they are free from the toxic chemicals you would find in your standard laundry detergents. Chemicals like Phosphates, Phenols, Sodium Sulphate, Ammonia, surfactants and artificial fragrances. All of these carry potential health risks which can include allergies, asthma, skin and eye irritation not to mention the damage that is caused when these items enter the water course, which is significant. Individually they can be quite dangerous enough but combined they really can be more harmful than you may have previously considered.
The production of soapnuts is a friendly one too, providing work which is not enormously skilled to local people. This of course gives an income to the local populace which of course is a good thing.
They are excellent value for money - giving up to 200 washes from a 500g bag.' 

Here is a link to their selling page - LINK

This seller sells the sticky kind which are better washers than the very dried out ones.  There many sellers on ebay to choose from, but be careful to get the sticky kind if you can.  I bought my last lot as a bulk order - cost me £30 and should be enough to last me about a year!  

This is the seller I used - Click Here 

Do I use anything with the soapnuts?
I do add soda crystals to a lot of my loads of washing which helps to soften the water....  it is good for the washing machine and gives a little extra boost to loads with some stubborn stains.  If you have a grease mark to deal with you should get the affected area wet and then rub in some washing up liquid (I use Ecover)  It is important to treat the grease spot before it's first wash for best results.

Why not give them a go?

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

For our eight years

For our anniversaries Alex and I like to follow the gift lists.  We don't care if it's from the modern list or the traditional, but it's fun to try and find something accordingly.  This year was pottery.  I ummed and erred about what to do this year... thought of doing a pottery class, but that was going to be a challenge since we had little Rosina.  In the end we decided on a custom designed, handmade fruit bowl.

We wanted the design to incorporate/signify the 8 yrs of marriage and we also wanted to somehow represent the 5 children.  This is what we came up with:

We had each of the children's names written inside of a star.. here you can see Caden and Uzziah's.  Each of our living children picked the colour they wanted their star to be (well except for Rosina who obviously had to have pink!).  :O)

I don't know if you can see in the centre of the bowl there is an abbreviation - I.W.B.H.  This is something that Alex and I write to each other often.  We leave the abbreviation in places where we know the other will find it.  The abbreviation stands for - 'I Will Be Here'.  The reason we adopted this abbreviation is because I sang that song to Alex on our wedding day.  It has special memories for us and we both enjoy reminding each other of our love for each other and our commitment to each other in this fun way.

Our anniversary was actually back in July, but our special bowl wasn't finished til mid August... next year we need to plan a little earlier me thinks!  Hand crafted pieces don't materialize in a matter of days!

Friday, 23 September 2011

Little Son

2 years!  Can it really have been that long?  
Time surely has gone fast.

2 years ago today I gave birth to my son Uzziah.  When his body entered this world, he was not there.  His body lay lifeless in my arms.  His spirit had left his little body and gone to dance with Jesus 3 days before.  I remember lying in the hospital bed just starring and starring at Uzziah's face trying to burn the image on my brain.  I wanted to remember that moment forever.  It is such a strange place to be in - holding your child, but knowing that this is it.. after today, no more cuddles, knowing that for all my days down on this earth this one day was it.  To say I wanted to savour every moment barely describes it.  It may have been 2 years, but my heart hurts like it was yesterday.  There is a Uzziah shaped hole in my heart, which I will carry with me all my days.

 You keep track of all my sorrows.  You have collected all my tears in your bottle.  You have recorded each one in your book.  Psalm 56 v 8

I so enjoyed watching the boys today carefully making a picture to place at Uzziah's grave today.  They were really careful with what they were doing and wrote some sweet messages.  They may not have met their little brother, but the sure do love him!

We made our way down to the grave when Daddy got home from work.  We stopped by the shops for balloons and flowers.  We'd decided right from the beginning that we would visit Uzziah's grave every year on the day of his birth.  We decided that we wanted our whole family to remember him and what his life meant to us.  We decided that we wanted to visit the grave, not just to go where his body lies, but to give thanks to God for all He did for us during that time in our lives and for all He taught us.  We want to give thanks to God that Uzziah's life's mission was complete and he was able to go home to The Perfect Place.  We want to openly remember him, remember that his life had a purpose.  All my children are and always have been a great blessing and Uzziah is no different.  Of course from my perspective I'd rather have him here with me, but I know that God's plan is so much wiser and so much better than mine...  how could I argue with that?  Sometimes I'd love to know what God's ultimate purpose was in Uzziah's life, but it may be that I won't know that until I too reach The Perfect Place, and that's ok.  I do not need to know why God did not let me keep this precious boy, all I need to know is that He is faithful in all things and that He has a great plan, which I cannot see. 

He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.  Deuteronomy 32:4 

Daddy took some time to read God's Word from Romans
 encouraging us that we all have a purpose and to rejoice
in the purpose that God has made us for.

The pictures the boys did all protected in a
sealed sandwich bag.
We sent off a balloon to the skies

Here the boys and I watched the balloon float away for the last minute
or so before the balloon disappeared from our sight.

Happy are those who are strong in the Lord, who set their minds on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.  When they walk through the Valley of Weeping, it will become a place of refreshing springs, where pools of blessing collect after the rains!  They will continue to grow stronger, and each of them will appear before God in Jerusalem.  Psalm 84 v 5-7

Monday, 19 September 2011

The Princess Turns One!

I know everyone says this, but my goodness this little girls 1st birthday has come around SO fast!  It feels so unreal that this time a whole year ago I was in full blown labour and waiting for that amazing moment when I'd see my baby's face for the first time!  And what a beautiful face it was when that moment did finally arrive:

Rosina's older brothers just couldn't have been any happier with their new baby sister!  :O)

So here we are a year later!

Our morning began with a pile of pressies on the living room floor.  We stacked all the wrapped pressies all around a ride on car, which we'd purchased from Ebay (for £5!!), as it was not wrapped up. There was no fooling Rosina though as the first thing she did when she was put on the floor was hurridly move/throw all the wrapped presents out of the way so she could discover the item hidden underneath.  As you can quite clearly see from the pictures... she was rather chuffed with her new toy!  lol

She was also very impressed with her very girly chair..... a chair just for Rosina!  Thanks Nanny!  :O) 

We bought for her, as her main pressie, a personalised rag doll.  Pictured below is her giving her new play mate a big wet kiss. Rosina's kisses involve coming at the receiver with a big open mouth and planting that open mouth on the receivers cheek or mouth and holding that position for a few seconds. lt's very cute, although it does appear as though she's going to take a big chunk out of the receivers cheek! hehe

The writing on the dolls dress reads: 'I BELONG TO ROSINA'

And here's my little princess in her party dress waiting for all her little friends to arrive!  She loved playing with the balloons.  She would very carefully find the knot and then wave the balloon around like a mad thing!  Was very cute!  :O) 

And lastly the official birthday picture.....

My 1yr old and her cake! 

You should be known for the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.  1 Peter 3v4  This verse was Rosina's dedication verse
Happy Birthday my precious little one.  You have brought so much joy into our lives and we're so glad you're here.  This last year has been amazing and we couldn't imagine life without you.  Your smiles and giggles are enough to cheer even the gloomiest of days.  One of my favourite things to do is to watch one of your brothers playing with you and see you both laughing away.  Peek a boo is a good one for this!  You are a great, great blessing, as are all your brothers.

Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from Him.  Psalm 127v3