Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I Saw God Today

Daddy and Jackie

I Saw God Today
Lyrics by George Strait

I just walked down the street to the coffee shop

had to take a break

I'd been by her side for eighteen hours straight

I saw a flower growing in the middle of the sidewalk

pushing up through the concrete

like it was planted right there for me to see

the flashin' lights, the honkin' horns

all seemed to fade away

in the shadow of that hospital at 5:08

I saw God today

I've been to church

I've read the book

I know He's here, but I don't look

near as often as I should

Yeah, I know I should

His fingerprints are everywhere

I'd just slow down to stop and stare

opened my eyes and man I swear

I saw God today

I saw a couple walking by they were holding hands

Man, she had that glow

yeah I couldn't help but notice she was starting to show

I stood there for a minute takin' in the sky

lost in that sunset

a splash of amber melted in the shades of red

I got my face pressed up against the nursery glass

She's sleeping like a rock

My name on her wrist wearing tiny pink socks

She's got my nose, she's got her mama's eyes

My brand new baby girl

She's a miracle

I saw God today

"Jackie, are you 3 today?" reply, "No, I five." Happy 3rd birthday, Jackie.
With marvel and joy for all 4 of our baby girls,


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Jesus Loves Me This I Know

Jackie's Hands by Evie

In honor of Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week February 7-14, 2011

Jackie's Journey

Jacqueline Rose was born at 1:39pm on Saturday, February 23rd, 2008. She was a beautiful 18 inches long and 6 pounds, 12.7 ounces. Being 5 weeks early, she was kept in the Memorial City Hospital NICU for several days. During that time, she got better, needing less oxygen, no warmer, and even began feeding. However, her lower oxygen saturation levels led the doctor to do an echocardiogram. It revealed that she had Transposition of the Great Arteries. She was immediately transferred to Texas Children's Hospital in Houston, where they repeated the echo and found an atrial septal defect, a ventral septal defect, coarctation of the aorta, and that her PDA was still open. In laymen's terms, Jackie was born with the two major arteries attached to her heart backwards. The ASD, VSD and open PDA are essentially holes in her heart. While the TGA should have prevented any oxygenated blood from getting to her body, the holes in the heart created a mixing area, giving her an inefficient, but operating, heart. We were told in no uncertain terms that Jackie would not survive without surgery. On March 5th at 10 days of age, she underwent a 12 hour open heart surgery, 6 hours of which she was on bypass with her heart stopped. Dr. Charles Fraser and the congenital heart surgery team at TCH performed the surgery to repair her heart. We brought her home 13 days later! We are so thankful and blessed beyond words.

A sampling of blog updates from our Care Page

Posted Mar 5, 2008 10:46pm

We heard from the surgeon, and now seen our precious little baby girl. According to Dr. Fraser, the surgery was long and complicated. She had several anatomical issues that he had to deal with, over and above the several known issues he had to solve. He was very optimistic that she would recover fully.

I've put a picture of her in the photo gallery; it can be a little disturbing to see her with all the tubes, wires, and monitors all over her body. But she has good color, and according to Dr. Fraser, "her heart is happy."

We take comfort in the knowledge that for the first time in her short life, she is starting to get better. She has a long way to go before she gets to go home; there are a lot of things that still have to happen before she's totally healed, but we are trusting God to take care of her even now.

Thanks to everyone who prayed for us and reached out to us, please keep it up while we wait to take her home with us.

Posted Mar 6, 2008 7:16pm

Well, finally Mommy is posting an update. Daddy has done a marvelous job journaling our journey thus far. I am overwhelmed and exhausted, yet somehow by the miracle of God's grace, not overcome. I now understand the last few words of the poem Footprints, " was then I carried you." In my mental fog, many Scriptures come to mind from God's Word, but one has been sticking to my thoughts like glue: Psalms 27:13-14 "I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord." We are daily seeing the goodness of the Lord through each of you, your words of comfort and encouragement, visits, calls, emails, meals, and most of all prayers. We are forever grateful. May we all have "happy hearts" in the Lord like baby Jackie.

As she fought for her life, we spent the hours at our baby's side in the hospital playing soft music for her, notably "Jesus Loves Me" and "Over the Rainbow" and this...

and looking back I think the cries of our hearts were...

Jackie's Journey

With a happy heart,

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Texas Our Texas

 Round Top, Texas

One of our favorite places to go on day trips from Houston is Round Top. Known for its great antique shopping, it also boasts sweeping views of beautiful, quintessential Texas country landscapes. Of course, no trip to Round Top is complete without a meal at Royer's Round Top Cafe.
"the royer experience" is something that touches you but something that you can't touch.... it is about family, food, fun, friends, breakin' bread together... and most of all memories!

Bud's Chocolate Chip Pie

Our favorite recipe from Royer's Round Top Cafe cookbook

Bud's Chocolate Chip Pie

1 cup sugar

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 cup flour

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 cup melted unsalted butter

1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts

1/2 cup chocolate chips

1 (10-inch) pie shell

Mix sugars and flour together. Stir in eggs and then the butter, combining well. Fold in the nuts and chips. spread in the prepared crust and bake at 325 degress for 60 to 70 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

I can't help but think of Simonton, not far from Round Top, my husband's hometown. And when I think of Simonton, I want to make...

Mrs. Dean's Famous Fudge Brownies

2 sticks butter

6 TBS Hersey Cocoa

2 cups sugar

4 eggs

2 tsp. vaniilla

1/2 cup chopped pecans

2 cups flour

Melt the cocoa and margarine....remove from heat as soon as it all melts and is mixed together well. Pour over the sugar, add eggs and vanilla and stir with a fork until well mixed. Add pecans if desired and stir and then add the flour. Continue stirring with a fork until all flour is mixed into the other ingredients..

Pour into a greased 9 x 13 pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven, dust with powered sugar when the brownies have cooled.

This recipe came from a 1939 PTA cookbook. They are so yummy but if they are the least bit over cooked they are not very good. Watch carefully that last 5 minutes and check often using a toothpick.

(In the photo above, I poured a bag of Andes mint chips over the brownies immediately after removing from the oven, then I spread them with a spatula after a few minutes for chocolate mint brownies.)

Blessings and Happy Valentine's Day,