Day 5 {hip hip hooray for friends & family}

Several days a week FireCracker plays on the playground with one of my oldest sons friends, “H”. On the playground “H” watches over my girl, takes her under her wing and loves on her. It was a happy moment for both girls when they got to see eachother in the hospital. “H” brought her own fluffy unicorn to cheer up my girl. FireCracker clung to her friend….

4.15.11-01

It didn’t take a hospital visit for me to know that I have incredible friends and family. It didn’t take this stay to make me grateful for them, but I am blown away by all they’ve done to pour love on my family. I am pretty sure I will be leaving the hospital several pounds heavier from all the food. While meals are brought to me, others are taking meals to my boys at home. We are very much cared for…even a bouquet of giftcards…iTunes & Amazon for online books:)Things I would not think of (like a big bin of snacks for the boys when they are here) have been dropped off. I’ve got it good.

4.15.11-02

FireCracker is running out of room in her bed! She has been given so much – all of which are saving graces for providing changing and constant entertainment for her. I have had zero creativity in ideas for things for her to do…I haven’t needed to even think of things because so many are thinking of things for me.

4.15.11-04

Yeah for friends and family who bring comfort, smiles, love and support. It is hard not to be positive when we’ve been given so much.

4.15.11-05

This week my second oldest boy turned 5. I usually decorate the house and make the day full of special little things. It was so very hard for me to be at the hospital and unable to do the little things I love to do on birthdays. Those close to me knew it would be hard on me so you know what….they took care of my little guy. He got into the car the morning of his birthday to discover the garage door decorated in celebration of his day. He got a special doughnut breakfast with grandparents. He had cupcakes at preschool. A friend picked him up from school with balloons. He had a mini-party with friends on the playground. He had a family party at the hospital (because he wanted his mommy & sister to be there). Before he left the hospital he told me, “This is the greatest day of my life.”

Thank you sweet family and friends.

4.15.11-08

My youngest son has needed a haircut in a terrible way (see photo above). My mom went beyond grandma duties of watching him and took a 3 year old to get a haircut. He did great and he looks so handsome. He’s taken care of….he is happy.

4.15.11-06

I was laying in the crib with my girl and she was kissing and hugging me. I started crying and in an instant her smile turned to a lip quiver. She is looking to me to know how to respond to this. She is looking to me to be her example, stability and comfort. I am so, so grateful for family & friends that are doing everything they can to care for my family so I can keep it together for my girl. I’m grateful for a God that knows exactly what I need and when I need it…and gave me friends and family to hold onto right now. And I am thankful for a spunky little girl that despite a tough circumstance still has that sparkle in her eyes.

4.15.11-10

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  • caro - i’m crying. Thanks for share some moments of your life.
    God is with you
    Bless for you and your lovely family.

  • Kristen - I am continuing to pray for your strength Ashely. My heart aches because I can understand how helpless you feel right now. Having family and friends that are so supportive in so many ways is such a blessing. Keep your heart open for God’s grace and love…

    Kristen

  • Courtney - “This is the greatest day of my life.” ACCKKK!! Made me cry…what a sweet, sweet little guy. I am so sorry you, your family, and your sweet girl are all going through this. I thought of you yesterday and said a little prayer. May these next several days go by very quickly…

  • hearttypat - I’m extremely happy for you that you have so much support! You are truly blessed, ashley!
    and by the way, is that masking tape on firecracker’s diapers?! lol

  • Ashley - I’ve been reading your blog for quite some time now, but don’t think I’ve commented. Your beautiful little girl has always caught my eye and when I read that she was in the hospital unable to be held by you, my heart broke. I have a 17 month old and couldn’t imagine if he was in this situation. Keep up the good work MOM! You have a beyond wonderful support group. Thinking of and praying for you and your family daily.

  • JamieMcDougall - Tears. Like the others this made me cry. Thank you for posting all of this. It’s inspiring to see your attitude and how your friends and family have rallied around you. My heart aches for you and your family, but luckily this too will pass. On a positive, you’ll have such great memories and stories from this! Good luck!

  • annie - When things happen you can always count on the love and support of true friends and family. It is obvious you and your family represent something so special – and are so deserving of the love you’re receiving. Many blessings to you and Firecracker’s recovery!

  • Corey Moortgat - Everything happens for a reason, right? This is the motto I live by- look at the wonderful affirmation you’ve gotten out of all of this! I should only hope that I would feel such love if our family goes through something similar… may you hold onto that love when it gets tough… You’ll get through it, hard as it is, stronger and more thankful for all your blessings! :)

  • Cottage Gal - So sweet! Hang in there! It sounds like you have a wonderful support system. Your family is so blessed to have such love surrounding you. Take good care of your little girl – 5 days down!

  • Rachel - Beautiful post! Continuing to lift you all up in prayer :-)

  • RachelC - So glad big brother had “the best day of his life.” Also, I love the pic of your dad (at least, I think that is your dad), in the background playing peek-a-boo with firecracker. So sweet.

  • amanda torres - I cried too. It’s hard not being there for every moment, but it says a lot about your family that Bigger Brother wanted to be with his complete family to finish off his celebrations. I’m sure your example of family is a testimony to the staff and other patrons of the hospital.

  • Jill R - Tears are running down my face and all over my screen! We make a big deal about birthdays here as well, so that is the point I totally lost it. Tears of sadness for your current situation as a mom, but tears of joy for your FIVE year old’s ” best day”. Firecracker is so strong because she learned it from you! Prayers for you all.

  • Katie - so neat to see how God’s providing for you guys right now! Thanks for posting!

  • Darci - I just wanted to let you know that I took your advise from the blog the other day and when my 2 year old son was trying his best to stall bedtime and said “should we rock and sing mama”…instead of staying strong and making him go to bed, I totally caved and off we went to the rocking chair. Thank you for reminding me that I’m lucky to be able to hold him. Thinking about your family in this difficult time, can’t wait for you to hold your little girl again.

  • Jemm - Hi Ashley. I found your blog yesterday while searching for a ruffled embellished tank top tutorial. I liked the look of your blog so I clicked on “home” to see more recent posts. I am enthralled with your story now. This is such a heart warming post. It is so sad to see your baby in that little cast and unable to move. You are right about how blesssed you are with family and friends. I just don’t know if I would be as strong as you are being. My youngest daughter just turned 10 on Friday so I am really feeling for you not being able to do “what you normally do” for your boy. How wonderful that your friends and family made his day special anyway. It’s just beautiful what God can do. Praying for you and your family…

  • Ana M. - Lucky, lucky you for having such a wonderful and blessing family and friends too…
    I can see that you’re never alone…
    So much easier to go through rough times when you can count on that…
    Keep being the person and the mom you are…good things will continue to happen…
    love

  • Amanda - Seriously… I’m all teared up here! I live vicariously through your photos because I suck at capturing my own family! and I’m the photographer! LOL!

    You are blessed! FireCracker will be fine, and she’ll have a great story to tell and ‘brag about’ to her brothers later on… :)

  • Emily - I just pinned the bouquet of gift cards on Pinterest! You have very crafty and loving friends. Firecracker is so blessed to have you for her mommy! I was in the hospital with my 15 day old earlier this year. She had RSV and actually crashed on me at home after an ER doctor sent us home earlier that day. Nothing was harder than watching her with the monitors, ivs, and oxygen hooked up all over her tiny body. They also wouldn’t let me hold or nurse her for the first day. I can only imagine the challenges that come with a spunky toddler to comfort and entertain, but God is using his many helpers to strengthen you in so many ways! This post is so inspiring! Thank you for sharing your journey Ashley.
    PS When this is all over, you may have to start planning for his 6 yr old birthday. It sounds like this one is going to be tough to beat!

  • Dacia - this made me cry. first when your son said it was the best day of his life and second when your daughters lip quivered. it touched me. :) i’m happy to hear you have such a great support system. that is so nice to hear! firecracker is lookin’ great!

  • Melissa - I have tears in my eyes. You have a way with words that make me see into your heart/world/moments. My heart goes out to you during this hard time. I can’t wait to get to my computer everyday to read your blog (it’s been that way since I found it last year) to see how your holding up. I’m glad to see your family and friends are supporting you….wish I could bring you something cute/fun/entertaining/creative too (if I wasn’t all the way in St. Louis, MO)! Hope your days goes fast with no tears!

  • Angela - Praying for you and your family. I hope for a very speedy recovery.

  • Jenny Joy - Those photos of Firecracker clinging to her sweet friend… so, so sweet. It’s all about the human connection, isn’t it?

    And happy birthday to second oldest!!! I’m so glad to hear that family and friends helped make his birthday so super at a time that it could have been so yucky. Blessed, indeed! :D

  • Alice H - Having great friends and family is such a huge blessing. I am fortunate to have both of those as well.
    Lip quiver :-( so sad.
    That gift card bouquet is so cute.
    Happy 5th Birthday to your second oldest.
    Keep that sparkle Firecracker! You will help keep your momma strong!!

    Just curious…why is her diaper taped on? Is she trying to get out of it? Or is this something the hospital had to do? My son is 14 months old and he tries to take his off all the time. LOL!

  • Rebecca - You have such a wonderful network of friends and family to stand beside you when you need it. Bravo to all those who are helping out and that includes “H”. Looks like her visit was just what Firecracker needed.

  • Jamie - Goodness gracious, this is such an emotional post; the love yall have been surrounded by comes through so evidently. I cried! And I’m not a crier! Firecracker “hugging” H’s arm. Seeing the boys’ smiles. I heard a quote once that came to mind while reading this. I like it bc I struggle with insecurity, self-confidence, but it helps in many other situations too. “You must do it bc you have to tell her she can do it.” (referring to moms and their girls)

  • jenn - Ashley I haven’t commented a lot but I look forward to reading your posts each day. Thank you for showing us the real in your life every day. Thanks for sharing your sweet family with us. Praying for quick healing and limitless strength and joy!

  • ~abi~ - i’m teary again after reading this post. it is obvious that you must be an amazing friend and individual in order to be receiving all this love and care in return. :) continuing prayers for you and firecracker and your boys.

  • meg duerksen - i was crying before you said you started crying!
    i hate that you are aving to do all this ashley!
    how awesome it is to know you are so deeply loved. :)
    a blessing.
    and so happy your babies all know how special they are!
    it’s a big love fest down there in oklamhoma!
    ha ha ha

    sending you BIG HUGS TODAY!

  • Belen - Ya queda un día menos, sólo 9…
    Besos a la chiquitina.

  • Lori - I have tears pouring down my cheeks. I love that pinwheel giftcard bandages arrangement. Too awesome. I love it. Yes, you have awesome friends – incredible. I know some of them and I really think they are some of the greatest down to earth people I know. I am honored to be in any of them as company. I am praying and will come by next week. Bless you and I pray for strength. I love that your 5 yr old had an awesome birthday desite it all. I, too am a little bit party psycho and would be down about that – he had a memorable time. Awesome friends, awesome God and awesome family. hugs.

  • Dawn - I am late getting to your party – well it was a party! I found your blog thru your fireplace collage and went back a little and read forward… gosh, no words. Stay strong and know many of your readers are thinking of you and hoping your days in the hospital go by quickly. Of course you are still blogging! It’s what you DO! And we thank you for that – we can be sending up positive thoughts that B will heal quickly and be content in her new circumstance. Peace and hugs. D.

  • mindy t - YOu are so truly blessed to have such wonderful people in your life. I just found out I am pregnant with my 3rd baby and I have been so emotional. All of your posts have made me cry this week. You are an amazing mother!

  • the inadvertent farmer - You are such a blessing to all of us…thanks Ashley for giving us a peek into your heart.

    Hugs to firecracker! Kim

  • jenny - God is amazing! He takes care of us always and does so in the most amazing ways.
    Thinking of you and your family and that sweet little girl…praying for you too.

  • april - How blessed you are to have so many wonderful people in your life…it looks like your son had an awesome bday…many prayers for you friend…

    april

  • tara pollard pakosta - This has got to be so hard for yoU!
    I am so sorry!
    Praise God that you have friends & family to turn to and that they are helping you out in every possible way!
    it’s still a hard situation though!
    and I know you are a sweet person who deserves all the help right now, so just take it and smile.
    MUCH LOVE!
    tara

  • Faith - Goodness. I’m wiping tears! I’ve thought of you countless times this week. I’ve spent 4,000 man hours the last few days in preparation for M’s big birthday bash tomorrow. What a blessing for you to have friends that made it so special for H when you couldn’t. That. Is. Awesome. Praying for you guys.

  • Staci - I thought I was just being emotional & silly until I scrolled down & realized I wasn’t the only one crying as I read your heartwarming account of the day. You are so inspiring. My little princess is 21 months today & I just can’t imagine going through that with her. I do know that God gives us strength to get through times like these. My husband is disabled & has had many stays at the hospital including 4 days last week. I can totally understand your need to stay there. Hugs to you & all of your family. This to shall pass & make you all stronger for it.

  • Felicia - Firecracker hugging her friend’s arm is breaking my heart. My daughter is almost the same age and I don’t know how you are doing it. Thank goodness for all the fantastic people you have in your life! You are stronger than I could ever be because I’d be a total crying mess the entire time!

  • karen - tiny tear is what i have right now…so sweet

  • Jessica - Such a lovely and touching post! You are so inspirational Ashley in every way. You are a wonderful mother, and you have such a beautiful family. All the best to your little Firecracker. I hope she is feeling better very soon. The pics of her and her friend just made my heart melt…

  • Jill - What a sweet post that made me cry. So glad you are all being taken care of. I know it really takes a load off. Thank you for the post!

  • Courtney Henson - So I guess I’m not alone in this post being tear inducing! Reading about your son’s birthday made me tear! So glad he had a special day and that you are surrounded by such great friends and family!

  • Raechel Myers - So so sorry for this hard time for y’all. I know there are a billion things you’d rather be doing and places you’d rather be spending your days. You’re being a great Mama to your girl AND to your boys by loving them in the ways that you can right now.

    A friend told my husband yesterday something that was so helpful to us and may be an encouragement to you as well – God only cuts what he also intends to stitch. This blow to your normal is going to shape you all as a family in a brand new way that could not have happened otherwise. I know it’s still not a great consolation when your baby girl is lying in a hospital bed, but it might be later.

    I’m sure you’ve thought of this, but my close friend’s son was just hospitalized for two weeks and they found that audio books/stories were a big help. Maybe the Winnie the Pooh series? Adventures in Oddessey might still be a bit old for Firecracker, but I imagine there are good things to listen to.

    Blessings, girl.
    Raechel

  • cailan - I can hardly take these posts each day – they’re always SO PRECIOUS and just make start to cry at the trial and sweetness of it all. Bless your heart and your sweet baby and your sweet family and friends. Rejoicing with you in the Lord’s sustaining, abundant Grace.

  • The Old Block House - It is wonderful that you have so many incredible friends and family to jump in during a time of need!

  • Kimberly - WOW~what a post! I’m totally in tears. SO happy that your friend & family are there for you & your family! Keeping all of you in my thoughts & prayers.

  • Amanda @ Our Humble A{Bowe}d - You made me cry, too. Your boys seems so sweet, loving and protective of their little sister. You seem to be raising your family with a great example and I wish more people (myself included) could do the same. Thank you so much for the encouragement. Hugs to Firecracker and your family.

  • Erica - Mmmm. Hideaway Pizza.

    Prayers are with you guys as Firecracker heals and hopefully she’s home soon!

  • Jen - Glad to see that I wasn’t alone in crying. Your posts are so touching. I’m so sorry that you’re going through all this and am praying for your family.

  • Kelley - I’m so touched an overwhelmed by your hospital posts. I’ve cried reading each one, thinking of how I’d feel if this was one of my own children. Thank you for the reminder this week not to take the health and mobility of my children for granted. Thank you for sharing such a deeply personal/family matter–it has helped me so much to keep things in perspective through the mundane daily tasks of changing diapers and filling sippy cups.

    I’m praying for you and your girl. I’m so very sorry this has happened.

    I’ve never commented before but couldn’t not comment on this week.

  • kristiina - Ashley, thank you so much for letting us share this tough moment with you–you and your family/friends are an inspiration. I also teared up–especially w/Firecracker looking to you for guidance….it’s so true. We set the tone–whether it’s at home or in the hospital. Kudos to you for taking such good care of that little wonder woman!!

    Keep us posted :)

  • Lacy M. - I too like everyone that is reading this just teared up!!! Family and good friends ARE such a blessing and it seems that you are blessed beyond!!! I’m praying for Firecracker and you and the entire family.

  • Erin - Praying for you! I can’t even fathom how hard it is, as I was reading the post I actually got teary eyed myself! My baby girl who was 13 months at the time had her first ER visit at the same moment I was having my second child! She was admitted and was put in a room 2 floors directly above me, it killed me that I couldn’t be up there with her while I was downstairs. Luckily I had family with me to help too. This too shall pass, God is watching over you! :)

  • Lisa - I absolutely LOVE that you have such an amazing community of family and friends. What a true blessing from God. I don’t even know you but it brings tears to my eyes reading all they are doing for your precious family! I hope I am that kind of friend to my loved ones.

  • Kelly - I’ve been reading your blog for a while and my heart broke when I saw your little one in traction. You are a terrific mom and are teaching all of us “followers” how to be better. I love the post yesterday with her playing with all the stickers…genius! Anyway, we’re praying for your little one up here in Kansas. Take care!

  • KaraM - Your friends seem world class!! That is so great that your son, in the middle of hardship, saw his birthday as the best day ever. Definitely shows how much God cares. He provided a wonderful day for your son!! I’m praying for strength, entertainment for Firecracker, & healing!

  • Krystina - You’re truly one of the most awesomest mom’s out there. You deserve an award or something.

    BTW, is FireCracker’s diaper held together with masking tape?

  • Mara - You did it again! I am in tears and so thankful your are still sharing with us. As always I am better for reading your blog. Inspired to be a better person, wife, and mother.

  • Jeannette - The blessings you are receiving are a small return for the way you touch and impact so many lives!

  • Cassie - Is the masking tape on her diaper to keep her from taking it off? Haha!

    Have you heard of http://www.fntv.com? They have a TV show, and one of their recent episodes was based on the importance of community. I think you’re definitely living out that importance right now.

    Lots of love and prayers your way!

  • Sarah - Crying again.
    I’m so glad that you have such a wonderful support system around you.
    I can’t even imagine how rough this has to be on you. Still praying :)

  • Vicki - God bless you today in these 24 hours that you get to be in, may you feel a deep, deep peace that comes from a source greater than you. May it spill over to your daughter, your sons and all those that enter that hospital room. Love to you and yours. Vicki

  • Caitlin - I MUST stop reading your post’s before I got out anywhere, my mascara is running everywhere!
    Prayers for your loving family :)

  • amber - Man. I’m so glad you have Jesus & such a wonderful family. And your wisdom. I’m grateful to be able to read your blog everyday. The way you live your days is so rich with God’s promises. And I love it. Such a precious family you have. And happy, happy day to that big 5 year old! Praying that girl’s leg heals fast, fast, fast!!! Keep hanging on…

  • paige rodriguez - I’m so sorry to hear about Firecracker… it breaks my heart for her! I just wanted to tell you what a wonderful job you’re doing as you stay positive thru this (mommy’s don’t get a choice do they, it’s just what we do!) … and I wanted to comment on something OTHER than a giveaway (haha), as I love reading your blog ALL the time … not just when you offer fun free stuff! I hope the rest of her stay is smooth sailing. :) Happy Weekend.

  • Heather - xoxo friend!
    God is good all the time.

  • Jenn - Ahhh you do have the best friends and family. And I have to say I am always so impressed with you but it shows so much that your kids have the best mama ever to respond to your situation the way they have. One week is almost over! YOU CAN DO IT!

  • jessica - as i was going crazy today, trying to coral 22 2nd graders and amazed at how my well planned activities barely lasted 15 minutes, just hoping for 3:10, i thought of you and how long your days must be. you’re in my prayers!

  • Sabrina Glass - I sent Cris an e-mail that Jerry & I are praying for you and all of your family. If there is anything you all need please let us know, Cris has our cell’s… you have to know all of (TCABC) is praying and here for all of you!!!!!!

  • Amy - This post made me cry… especially that first picture. I can’t wait till Firecracker is up and about again, and it’s so wonderful to see the love of others surrounding all of you!

    That gift card bouquet is fantastic. The next time I visit someone in the hospital, I’m taking that and some cheerful bunting. (Just letting you know that even at the “zero-creativity” level you’re continuing to inspire, Ashley!)

  • jdzjane - The other day I was showing my hubby pics of your baby cakes and what happened and my littlest boy saw pics of her in her hospital crib and started sobbing – big huge alligator tears. He was heart broken for your baby girl. So he put his hand on the screen and we all praid for her. I’ve been praying for a quick and miraculous healing for her. God still performs miracles today.

  • Anna - God took a bad situation and blessed yall tremendously. Thinking of all of yall and lifting yall up in prayers!

  • Emma - I am praying that you and your little girl are both getting what you need from your loved ones! I cant even imagine what you are going through. Your little boys are too cute~!

  • giozi - I’m crying. I don’t know what to say. There are so love, I can feel it. You have a wonderful family and children. Kisses for your princess and for you little boy.

  • Heather - Thank you so much for keeping your posts coming. I have been praying since your first entry about her leg. You have the most adorable kids and I am so glad that you are being well loved and taken care of. That’s what friendship and family are all about. Praying for all of you!

  • Debbie - We are praying for you all. I cannot imagine how difficult this COULD be without all the help, love and support from your friends and family. God provides abundantly, what a blessing!

  • Trinity - I love the picture with the Star Wars present. I love that you can see the man (maybe grandpa?) playing peek-a-boo and keeping Firecracker entertained…that is just the sweetest thing!

  • JenniferK - You get me every time! I’m just crying my eyes out. I’m always touched to the core by your words and pictures. Love and prayers to you and your family from Georgia.

  • CharlaL - WOW, You are a blessed woman! God is so good to us…more than we can fathom!

  • Liz - Every time I read an update about her and your family, my eyes fill with tears… Sometimes it’s because of how stressful I know it would be to have to go through this, and sometimes it’s because I am overwhelmed at the generosity and love shown through those in our church, small groups and the others around you. I am so, so grateful to be a part of a place where love is encouraged to grow and spread, and I am blessed to be able to see it played out over and over again.

  • Jenny B. - Wow. Tears in my eyes. Thank you for sharing your life with all of us.

  • crystal - WOW! I’m so sorry your family is going through this, but it sounds like you are all handling it very gracefully. I pray that your little firecracker has a speedy recovery!

  • Joy Andrews - God is good…ALL the time :)

  • Joy Fisher - I haven’t commented yet, but I have a spunky little 17 month old who often reminds me of Firecracker when I’m looking at your blog, so this really hits home for me. It’s the first thing I do in the morning to check in and see how y’all are doing. As you can see from all of us who are crying at these posts, it really hits home for ALL of us and so you should be racking up some REALLY GOOD KARMA at this point ;) I think we all appreciate how you are handling things and sharing with us how you are making it through. Not only that, but your photography even makes a cold hospital room seem filled with hope, light and beauty when one might otherwise not be able to find any. The strength you’re entire family will gain from this event is significant and, as someone already mentioned, it will do a lot for the togetherness of your family, which I know you value. We are counting down the minutes and days with you and are anxious for the post titled “We’re going home!”

  • Leah R - Tears are pouring down my face as I put myself in your shoes! So overwhelming and humbling all at the same time! God is holding you tight =)

  • Mindy Harris - you have the cutest kids ever. seriously. you are doing a wonderful job. hang in there. i rejoice with you for the overwhelming flow of love and support you have received. God always remains good. ALWAYS.
    love from Kansas.

  • Alex - You are an amazing mother. Stay strong through this difficult time. I’m sending you and your sweet family good vibes.

  • sherry - Crying as well. So thankful that you have been blessed with such a wonderful community and support system to walk with you through this.

  • Ana - God is so good in providing the things we need through people. AND He blesses those people in their act of service! I’m so blessed to see Him working even in this difficult situation. Thank you for sharing your gratefulness; it’s definitely a reminder to me how attitude can totally change a situation around.

  • Leanne - Hang in there! You are so strong and seem to be well-taken care of! Your family is beautiful.

  • racheldenbow - I’m crying, too! Oh, what special memories you will have despite this rough hospital stay. This…this is also a great way to help everyone who thinks someone else will take care of them realize every gesture is important and appreciated!

    Thinking of you guys and hoping for continued support in special ways!

  • Allison - gosh what a beautiful post and testament to God’s Grace. Praise Jesus!! He is truly good.

  • Erin Leigh - oh sweet momma, keep going! You are making it through such a tough time with grace and gratitude. my prayers are with your family.

  • Annie D. - Oh, Ashley, what a week! Your Firecracker has always reminded me of my own youngest daughter who is 23 months. I can’t imagine the challenge of keeping her still! We, too, celebrated a birthday this week and I can only imagine the difficulty of letting others take over for the important day. But isn’t it beautiful how the Lord shows us how He loves us and takes care of us in ALL situations? My family will continue to keep your family in prayer! Hang in there!

  • Heather Bowser - Is there an address where we can send Firecracker a little card?

  • Harriet - I love this post. What a blessing friends and family are. You are loved. The photos of Firecracker with her friend are just precious. She is clinging onto her. I will continue to pray for you all. Praying that these 2 weeks will go by fast (week one almost over!!) and you can get your girl home.

  • Grace - Hip hip hooray INDEED!
    Our God is a God of blessings isn’t he? :)
    Continuing to pray for you, your girl, & your family!

  • Amy M - I have happy tears for you and your family right now. I can’t even imagine all your going through, and all the feelings and emotions you have going on. Our God is so awesome! I know He is watching over you and your family.

  • Becki - I read your blog everyday, but I don’t comment often. I love everything about your blog; your crafts, ideas, stories, pictures, and your children. Funny how you can grow close to a family you’ve never met!
    I just wanted to let you know that I am overwhelmed by the love and support of your family and friends. It truly is amazing! I cried reading about how they made Little Brother feel so special on his big day…there really aren’t words!
    You are loved, Ashley, by all those close, by all those far, and by most of all, your Father. I pray that you feel His peace and strength, find His grace in your weakness, and rely on His arms to hold you tight and close. Kiss that lovely lady twice for all of us!

  • Susan Caing - sweet family

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - I am so very glad that people are showering you with love. You are such a special person, Ashley!

  • andiejaye - though i don’t personally know you, i’ve followed your blog for some time now. i’m so thankful that you have a strong and loving support system. sending prayers your way…

  • Rosalind - ohh, got me too *sniff*. Glad to hear you are all being taken care of x

  • Alison - Been reading for a few months now, first time poster:

    My youngest brother-in-law was in a terrible car accident that killed his biological mother when he was about 2-years-old. When he was adopted by my husband’s family (they’re biologically cousins), Ben became a big brother to a boy a few months younger. The videos of these two boys, Ben in a full-body cast and then a lower-body cast, are adorable, hilarious and heartbreaking. Jacob is running around full speed, Ben dragging himself after just as hard as he can…you know. After the initial shock of it all, it was pretty amusing. And Ben tended to completely ignore it, so there you are.

    And now he’s just fine. Not only can he barely remember the months he had the cast on, but he’s the biggest and strongest of the entire family as a healthy 22-year-old. FireCracker will be just fine.

  • Tess S. - what a blessing to have so much love surrounding you. stay strong, momma.

  • Denise - Crying. So touched.

  • Karen Aldrin - Hi Ashley,So sorry to hear about firecracker.I’ve been away so hadn’t seen you latest posts.
    I just wanted to say my son broke his femur at 5 months old.He was put on double leg traction.My dad fell on him,the first time I let anyone take him out without me!
    I was breastfeeding at the time,and he couldn’t be moved to feed him.I had to be kept away from him because of the smell of milk.I was like an engorged cow.
    I just wanted to warn you,firecracker may have a little weak muscle tone when she can be up and about again.My little boy wnet like a new born for a while.But he was soon back to his normal strength.
    He’s a 23 yr old semi professional soccer player here in the UK now.It has only recently come to light that his boken leg is now several inches shorter,tilting his hip.Something to keep an eye on for the future.
    Best wishes Karen

  • Susan - I am SO sorry to hear about your lil girl. I read your blog daily, but was out of town this week, so I was frantically catching up once I realized your family was going through a tough time. I had tears in my eye for you. You are such a wonderful mother to your children. Stay encouraged. Praise the Lord for wonderful friends, and a smiley little girl. Saw this garland on another site, could be a fun addition to the room for your lil ones to look at.

    http://www.giverslog.com/?p=10806

    Much love from a stranger!

  • Kara - My son was in the hospital for 21 days over 2 months so I kindof know what you’re going through. Bear was hooked to an IV pump the whole time, but at least we could take him out of his room. He was the toughest one of all of us. Glad Firecracker still has a sparkle.

  • Kelly - She looks great! She’s surviving well and so are you.
    You’ll all be back together at home soon!
    There’s light at the end of the tunnel!

  • B - First blog post to ever bring tears to my eyes. All the sweet things your family and friends are doing for you, and the lovely things they did for your boys birthday… beautiful. Thank you for writing such a heart warming post. I hope that you are all at home, safe and sound very soon x x x

  • Damaris @Kitchen Corners - I’m catching up on your posts. This one made me cry big big tears. I’m happy your son had a good birthday and that your other son got a haircut. I’m glad you have a community to help you and support you. That’s what it’s all about isn’t it?

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