Brian and Nikki

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Jack and Baby Tayler

We had such a great time being back in Idaho to meet Tayler the last few days, but no one was more taken with him than Mr. Jack. It seems that every human, even a 5-year old one, knows that when you are holding a sweet little baby, the proper protocol is to nuzzle his sweet head and just take in that addictive new baby smell. Welcome to the family, Tayler! We've been waiting for you, and your cousin Jack is already making big plans for the next time you are together!

Updates on Halle

Thank you so much to everyone who is following Halle's progress right now. We will not be posting specific information about her condition on this public website. Brian, Nikki, Cindy, Don, Gord, JoAnn, and Aaron and I are here in Portland with her. No one can accept phone calls in the ICU area, as cell signals interfere with the machinery that is helping her breathe, so your calls to family members will likely go unanswered. Please do not take this personally. If you are wanting to have the most recent information as it is available, please make sure you are Facebook friends with me (Sarah Longwell) and/or Halle's other aunt, Paula Merk. We are communicating and sharing information as quickly as we receive it. We will also pass your messages to them, so feel free to let us know if you have something to share. If you are not on Facebook, please get in touch with us using the email link below and we will find another way to keep you informed.

As always, Halle and her family are grateful for all your well-wishes and fervent prayers for strength and healing.


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Another year to be Thankful...

Sometimes it seems so easy to forget what a miracle we have experienced.  I took a moment to look back to the beginning of Halles life.  I can't think of a better testiment to Gods love and faithfulness.  We were told Halle would have less than a 5% chance of surviving.... and here she is 5 years later and is so much more than we could have hoped for.  She is filled with this indescribable JOY.  I will spend forever in awe of Gods grace and forever thankful for my Halle. 

Happy Thanksgiving.

Family photos

Our Visit

We had a really great time together in California.  It's not that often that we get daddy to ourselves for that long!  It was so nice to escape to the beach for a few days to relax together.  We could have definately done without the long car ride... probably won't be doing that for awhile...

Welcome to Holland

I know there are some special MOMS that will relate to this ever so true story about raising a child with a disability..... Hope it encourages you as much as it did for me!

'Welcome to Holland' by Emily Perl Kingsley

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel.  It's like this....

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy.  You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans.  The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David.  The gondolas in Venice.  You may learn some handy phrases in Italian.  It's all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go.  Several hours later, the plane lands.  The stewardess comes in and says, ''Welcome to Holland."

"Holland?!?" you say, "What do you mean Holland???? I signed up for Italy!!!  I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy!"

But there's been a change in the flight plan.  They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease.  Its just a different place. 

So you must go and buy new guide books.  And you must learn a whole new language.  And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met. 

It's just a different place.  Its slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy.  But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....Holland has tulips.  Holland even has Rembrandts. 

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy...and they're bragging about what a wonderful time they had there.  And for the rest of your life, you will say, "Yes that's where I was supposed to go.  That's what I had planned."

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever go away....because the loss of that dream is a very significant loss.

But...if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things... about Holland!


This is bad quality taken with Brians phone... but I love it!

This picture melts me... It so captures my Halle. She loves to go go go! Shes sporting her new skates and being ever so safe with her knee and elbow pads...both had to be turned forward (defeating the purpose of the elbow pads) because she wanted to be able to see dora at all times :)

and more Christmas...

Walking the doggies on Christmas

We have had such beautiful sunshine here for Christmas weekend!  I'm sorry that some of you East of us have had such crazy weather!  Though its cold, the sunshine is still so enjoyable!  We got to go for a nice walk on Christmas Day.  As you can see, Halle is so in love with doggies.

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