Thanksgiving always reminds me of the all blessings that God pours out on all of us. I wanted to write down a few of them as a small expression of how thankful I feel for the blessings I have received this year. Without saying more, here they are:
Thankful that God blessed Danielle and I with Tabor, a very welcome and wonderful addition to our family. Just his presence in our lives has changed our thoughts and actions in a positive way that makes us want to be the best people we can be in order to be the best example and parents that we can be for him. We have been entrusted to raise Tabor in the nurture and instruction of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4), and it is a responsibility that we feel blessed to have. Also, we feel that Tabor has been a wonderful baby and never fails to bring a smile to our faces.
Blessed with a beautiful and incredible wife. I am constantly astounded by how much she does and the amazing job she is doing at being a Mom. In such a short time she already knows so much about being a mother and what Tabor needs. People have even complemented her on how she seems to know everything about being a Mom, which makes me feel very proud. On top of just being a mother, she continues to be a loving wife to me and helpful in more ways than I can count. She is truly a gift.
Grateful and humble that Danielle’s parents have let us live with them. They have truly been a blessing to us in ways that go far beyond providing a roof over our head. They have volunteered their time at any time to watch Tabor for us so we can run errands, visit friends on road trips, and go on weekly date nights. They have bought in and been supportive of our parenting methods, though they may have raised us much differently or disagreed with some of them. We know that they have much more experience with parenting than we do, but they still let us try things our way and support that however they can. They are really wonderful with Tabor and have him laughing all the time. Rick is like Tabor’s personal "payaso" (clown). Though we all try to share duties, they cook really wonderful meals for us on a regular basis. Rick did all the work to get me a car when I needed one. Anita is always cleaning up behind all of our messes (even if we just tried to clean it ourselves ). They have agreed to help me learn Spanish and are always patient in helping me with it. Both of them make enough jokes and play around enough to keep everyone laughing all of the time. When we were moving in with them, I was anxious about whether we would be able to invade their lives without causing too much stress and chaos for everyone, but it has turned out to be one of the best decisions Danielle and I have made.
Thankful that we have been able to see so much of our family this year. Family is such a special gift that we must never take for granted, and after being away from home for so long, it has been wonderful to get to make up for lost time. Since moving back to Texas home we have been able to see just about every member of our family, between family reunions, birthday celebrations, annual traditions (corn, okra, cinnamon rolls), road trips, holidays, and just because we are closer. I have loved every second that we have been able to spend with everyone.
Thankful to have such wonderful friends. We have been all over the place and met some really incredible people all along the way, from the very beginning until now. In spite of the distance, we still have been able to keep a really fantastic group of friends who we feel blessed to know and to get to be a part of their lives. Our friends are the type of people who drop anything and do anything to help us and be there for us in whatever ways they can. They give us great and sound advice, help us with our moves, help us adjust to new places, give us a place to stay when we need one, include us in sharing special moments in their lives, weddings, birthdays, births…. I am grateful for the blessing that our friends are in our lives and the richness that they add to who we are.
Most of all, I am thankful for that I can live and worship the God who created all things. Thankful that I know Jesus Christ, who he is, and what that he has done for me. I am thankful that God shapes me, transforms me, and renews me every day. He humbles me and softens my heart so that I may be changed and molded into who he created me to be. He has the power to do all things, but still seeks me and shows me the way that I can seek him. I am thankful that he provides for me in every way, from the every breath to every perfect moment. I am thankful that God has found me, that he blesses me, and that he gives me the wisdom and the knowledge to live life with purpose. I pray that with may live out the purpose he has for me.
We just got a sweet email from our amazing Italian friends- Luis, Melissa & Enrique Rafael aka (MO7S).
We just want to say that we love you guys and we're so thankful and blessed to have such wonderful friends like you. Thank you for sharing your lives with us. We couldn't have survived Italy without you and we are so blessed that our friendship has only grown from there.
Thank you for sharing your wedding and baby boy with us.
We look forward to all the many adventures together ahead of us. God bless & Grazie per tutti!!
I got to help Monica take Quin's 1 year birthday pictures. They turned out super cute! I've said it before but Mon you really are talented! My job was to squeak, clap, and act as silly and loud as possible to get him to laugh and look at the camera. See I'm talented too! ha!
We snapped a few shots of Tabor for his 7month blog as you've already seen, but the pics I hadn't posted were the ones of Quin and Tabor together.
These boys had fun eating rocks and being silly together.
The funniest part though was what we caught Tabor doing to Quin on camera. Looks like my kid is the bully :-( Sorry Quin!
What a fun trip. We celebrated my grandmother Mami's 80th birthday with our entire family. It was amazing to have everyone together and to spend it with someone that we all love and admire. All of Mami's 10 children were there along with 17 out of the 25 grand kids and all of the great grand kids.
Isn't my Mami beautiful! I love you so much Mami! I'm so glad we were all able to celebrate your 80th birthday together.
Our little family. Happy to be together.
The photographer was so talented. I love how all these pics turned out and that she took a few of Tabor just for us to have.
My Mami & my Mama! The two women responsible for who I am today. I admire and love these ladies so very much!
My entire crazy family. Mami's 10 children with their spouses and children.
The grandkids. 5 are GREAT grandkids and more are still on their way. Mami & Georgie thank you with blessing us with so much great family.
My favorite pic of Tabor :-)
My grandparents and their 10 kids. What a fun house to grow up in. I love every single one of my aunts and uncles and can't imagine life without them.
My grandparent's holding hands. Awww... I love seeing how much they love each other.
Our family. (Can't wait until those other two start having kiddos too!)
Aww my cute parents. So sweet.
Engagement pics. Domingo was a good sport. ha!
Father and son playing around. Tabor looks like a little man in this picture.
Tabor was having a very heated political conversation with someone apparently. His dad was amused.
This was such a special night. I hope I can link the video we made for Mami soon. We had a blast with everyone and look forward to the next time we're all together again. God truly blessed us with a beautiful family full of so much love. Happy 80th Birthday Mami.
You've been in our life now for over half a year Tabor and I have to say it has been the best 7 months of our lives. Watching you grow and watching how you change each and every day is such a joy to us.
We love all the changes and have agreed that each stage of your life is our new favorite. We are having so much fun with you.
- Are now rolling in one direction (to the right). Over and over. You can do both directions but you prefer the right.
- Are turning 360's on your tummy and try so hard to crawl but instead it just looks like you're swimming on your belly. We're enjoying the last few weeks of you staying in one place because we know it won't be long before you figure it out.
- You've now flown 9 times and you deserve a gold star for your last trip which was to Orlando, Florida. You were so good. You giggled, napped, and just did amazing even though we took 3 flights there and back totaling in 16hrs of travelling. You even adjusted to the time change without a problem. Everyone keeps telling us you're a trick baby. (meaning you'll trick us into having another baby which won't be quite as easy as you are)
- Sleep on your right side. You keep getting stuck in the top corner of your crib though and how you get there is a mystery to us. We had to put the bumpers back in your crib because we were tired of having to come and rescue you in the middle of the night.
-Won't eat baby food from a jar. I've turned you into a food snob. So even in Florida I had to make your food. Luckily you love avocados, bananas, sweet potatoes and egg yolks. All easy foods to make.
-Can sit for a long time now and play. You can't get back onto your tummy or back without face-planting or falling though. Hopefully you'll learn how to do this soon. In Florida you got your first taste of sugar when you hit your head and Virginia stuck a spoonful of sugar into your mouth to stop your crying. I nearly died but what could I do. It worked. ha! (She said it would protect you from Meningitis - how in the world you get that from hitting your head - I have no idea but it must be something she grew up doing in Dominican Republic)
- Have a bald spot on the back of your head. Instead of getting smaller this seems to be getting bigger. You rub your head when you sleep. So that part of your hair is short and the sides are so long it looks like you have side burns.
- Just dropped your 3rd nap and are now down to 4 feedings a day. (3 with solids) Yippee! I love this schedule! We dropped it a few weeks before going to Florida so you'd be used to it and you have done great! So you wake up at 8:30, nap at 10:30, lunch at 12:30, nap from 3-5 and bedtime is around 8 or 8:30.
-LOVE Mum Mums. I think you could eat an entire box in one sitting if we let you.
- Love your new highchair spinning toy and your rolling ball. You also can play in your exersaucer for as long as we leave you there. We also had to buy a new Sophie because we lost her in Orlando and couldn't imagine life without her. Ok really we couldn't imagine a flight without her. She was what stopped you from crying when your ears hurt you. :-) So for everyone's sake Abuiki ran to Toys R Us for a new sophie!
-Play in your playpen and love it. Sometimes with just your rolling ball and sometimes with all your foam blocks. I don't know what your max time is in here because you'd probably stay there all day if we let you. We'll see if that continues once you learn to move around.
Thanks Monica for helping me take these photos! You're amazingly talented! Thanks for editing these pics! If I'd done it they wouldn't have turned out half as cute! Check out Quin's first bday shots that we took that same day. I can't believe how fast these guys grow!
I'm a woman of God, a baker, a daughter, a sister and now also a Mommy! I love to travel, pray and eat chocolate! You can usually find me bouncing around my house playing mommy & teacher! (My new favorite job!) Danielle's Verse: "“Daniel, I have now come to give you insight and understanding." -Daniel 9:22
My hubby, my prince charming and my best friend. He's a man that lives for God and is an amazing father! He loves to sing worship songs, is learning to play the guitar and probably wishes he could be playing football or lifting weights instead of sitting in an office all day! He's a blast to be around and is the best part of my day everyday! Ty's Verse: "God testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do." -Acts 13:22
Tabor Nolan Touchstone was born on April 5th, 2011 at 5:58pm. He was 7lbs 15oz and 19 inches long. We love this new addition to our family more than words could ever say. God has truly blessed us with this perfect little miracle. We love you TNT! Your Verse: ""one will come who is like Tabor among the mountains" -Jeremiah 46:18
Titus Slade Touchstone was born on October 29th, 2012 at 7:53am. He was 7lbs 13oz and 19.5 inches long. What a blessing this little man is to our family and what a precious gift it is to be blessed by God with love for another little boy. God is so good. We love you sweet Titus! Your Verse: "But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus" 2 Corinthians 7:6