Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The Greatest Experience a Parent Can Have... Part 2

The Natalie's Baptism
Sunday, December 7, 2014 

"This is the day.. This is the day that The Lord has made, that The Lord has made. We will rejoice... We will rejoice and BE GLAD IN IT"

Today my little Natalie Grace got baptized by her Poppy at our home church, Mims Baptist Church, in Conroe. Practically the whole family made an appearance in Conroe for this very special event. Our pastor, Bro. Gene, graciously allowed my dad to come and baptize Natalie in our home church. This was so special because dad was able to do it yet Natalie was able to proclaim her new life in front of all of her and our friends. 

Allison and D'Ann both traveled in on Saturday night and we were able to have a great time of fellowship with them and Dan and Jackie before Sunday's festivities began. Mom and Dad drove in from Arp early Sunday morning and arrived at the church around 10am. It was then that we learned from Bro. Gene that the water heater had broken the night before and the water in the baptistery was about 65-70*. It will definitely be something both Natalie and the other people who were baptized will remember for a long time to come!

I went and got Natalie out of her Sunday School class early and took her to Bro. Gene's office where he explained the whole process to those awaiting baptism. It was at this time that Natalie began to get a little nervous. What kept her going was knowing that no matter how cold the water was or how nervous she became, her Poppy would still be taking care of her and doing it all with her. Once again, it was so special and I am so grateful to Bro. Gene AND my dad for allowing it to happen this way! 

After the orientation with Bro. Gene, Natalie and I made our way to the women's changing room to get in her gown for the baptism ceremony. Natalie was so excited and could not wait to get into her gown. We met with the female helpers and even had a word of prayer with some of the sweet ladies helping us out.

Getting ready in the "ladies room". 

She was so proud and ready to go. 

The baptism service began and Natalie was the last of 4 that morning. And just as usual Bernard, our pianist, was playing my song "Great is thy Faithfulness" as the service began. This was truly a GOD thing as this is not only my favorite song but a song that has been EVER present in my life and extremely special to me. 

Bro. Gene introduced and welcomed my dad to the church and the baptistery and Natalie began crawling into the COLD COLD water. Luckily there was a baptism helper who carried her over to Dad since she was not tall enough, or brave enough since the water was so cold, to walk. Natalie was so nervous but kept saying "I want Poppy". She arrived at Poppy's feet where he helped her get settled and then he began the whole process. This was one of the most amazing, special and precious moments in both mine and Natalie's lives. I will never forget my dad and his emotions and feeling as he baptized Natalie Grace. I also remember me standing in the cold, COLD water to get a good view with tears just rolling down my face. I began bawling like a baby as I witnessed my own dad baptize my child. Honestly, even my dad began to show emotion as he called her out by name and baptized her as his "sister". It was so very special. 

I will never forget my dad's emotion during this baptism.
It truly was a special and memorable moment.
Poor thing... the water was SO cold. 

She weighs so little that dad practically plunged her beneath the water.

Natalie was buried together with Him and raised to walk in NEWNESS of life. After that I helped her get dry and WARM and we headed back into the worship service. This too was special because I was able to sit alongside all of my family members, including my dad, in MY home church. While the sermon was good... It was no "Ron Klingsick" sermon... BUT I am biased! 

After the conclusion of the worship service we all headed over to one of the Klingsick and Davis family favorite restaurants, Spring Creek BBQ where we celebrated Natalie's new life. We all had a great time eating our favorite foods and we ended the lunch with a special "Birthday" cookie cake for Natalie. 

Gigi Jackie and Grandpa!

Poppy and Gigi Shirley.

Auntie Allie and Natalie Grace. 

When we got back home Gigi and Poppy gave Natalie a baptism gift of a very special Silver Cross necklace. This too was very special because it was her first real piece of jewelry and it symbolized her new life and baptism. 

Natalie opening her gift and special Baptism card from Gigi Shirley!

Natalie and her new Cross necklace. 

This day was incredibly special and one that I will not ever forget. In recent years I have sat through the baptism services at our church and teared up thinking about how "one day that will be MY child". That day came and went and was even more special than I could have imagined. Now I will sit and cry thinking about my NEXT child becoming one of HIS and how his baptism service will be just as special. 

Thank you Lord for dying on the cross for MINE and NATALIE's sins! 

God is good... ALL THE TIME! 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A Near Perfect Bill of Health

December 16, 2014 

So I went into the new district Wellness Clinic this morning for my Health Risk Assessment follow-up appointment. I already had my blood drawn for the what seems like "gazillion" tests that they take the week before Thanksgiving break. This was merely a "discussion follow-up" with the doctor for him to go over all my blood and lab work and basically tell me if I am "at risk" for any health issue. To be honest, I did not know what to expect at this visit but what I got was not even imaginable in my WILDEST dreams! 

I had the very first appointment of the day at 7am because I had heard that they run far behind on a daily basis with these types of visits. I guess too many people ask lots of questions. The nurse took my weight, height, blood pressure and pulse before the doctor came in with the paper work from the lab results. My blood pressure was almost perfect at 118/80 and pulse was normal at 95 bpm. The weight was 1.2 pounds higher than 3 weeks ago but I was happy with that number since I knew I had not been faithful to my diet the past 3 weeks (honestly, this is an understatement... I have been TERRIBLE the past 3 weeks so thanks to Plexus, once again, I am only up 1.2 pounds)! 

The doctor came in and explained all the tests and told me that all of my vitals were great and everything, literally EVERYTHING, was in the "normal/good" range and in some cases, they were "exceptionally good". My cholesterol was especially good and he seemed very impressed with that. He explained the red blood counts, white blood counts and you name it. At the very end he continues with "However, you could stand to lose a few pounds". The rest of our conversation went like this: 

Me- Well actually, sir, I have lost over 80 pounds since this time last year so I am happy with those 80 pounds lost. 

Doctor- Well that is good but you are still (brief pause for him to look up chart) 23 pounds overweight and will be classified as "over-weight" until those 23 pounds come off. AND it looks like you gained some weight since your blood draw. 

Me- (With jaw on the floor mind you) Well, sir, like I mentioned before I am happy with the weight I am at now and will continue to work towards my goal weight in January. Plus, it is the holidays and I am glad it was only 1.2 pounds gained. 

Doctor- Almost rudely interrupting, yes but that is a gain and you need to go in the opposite direction (laughing as he said that). Would you like for one of our wellness dietitians to call you about your diet program? 

Me- No sir, I lost those 80 by myself and I am confident that I can lose these 23 pounds so I will not be (making the quotes in the air) "23 pounds over-weight". 

Doctor- Ok ma'am. It is just my job to tell people of their health issues. 

Me- (cutting him off with an attitude I'm sure) Well you do it well, sir! 

I'm just glad the nurse took my blood pressure BEFORE this conversation because afterwards would have surely been high since I wanted to punch the guy in the face! The follow-up then ended and I made my way out the door. The funny part had only begun as Natalie then was asking why the doctor kept saying "23". It was like that number would haunt me for the rest of the day! 

I am so excited about my clean and near perfect bill of health. I was not expecting such a good report from this follow-up. I didn't know what to expect but not this good. I knew Plexus was helping me with my weight loss but despite reading all the fantastic testimonies of lowered blood pressure, cholesterol and so much more, this was the first time it became apparent in MY life. I think I was dancing on CLOUD 9! And despite the rudeness of the doctor, I was excited about being ONLY 23 pounds away from my target/goal weight! Just a year ago I was 103 pounds away! Thank you Plexus... I know I say it all the time but THANK YOU FOR CHANGING MY LIFE!  

80 pounds down and ONLY 23 to go! 

God is good... ALL THE TIME! 

All is Well

December 2014

Peace. This is a concept that is not easily reached or managed. It seems like in today's day and age we are constantly wanting "more". Something bigger, something better. We are not content with what we have and who or how we are. In some cases it is not about things and more about ourselves or our conditions.

My paternal grandmother, "Grandma Pat", has been ill for quiet sometime and her overall health condition has taken a decline in recent years and especially months. My paternal grandfather, "Grandpa", died on November 15, 2005 and he and I were very close. He was my only living grandfather my entire life and I worshiped the ground he walked on. When he died, it was the first real experience I had with death and it was incredibly hard on me. It was also very hard on Grandma Pat, obviously, as she lost her husband of 53 years.

In the 9 years since his passing Grandma Pat and I have shared many memories of Grandpa together but the one that has stuck with me more than others is a saying he used to say "All is well". He would say this when asked "how are you" or "How is your day going". He always had a great outlook and attitude in life.

About a year ago when Grandma Pat was visiting my parents in Texas she was not doing so well with her health and my parents figured this might be the last time she would be able to come and visit her family in Texas. I remember we had a fun day filled with shopping and family fellowship and ended the evening with Texas BBQ at Spring Creek BBQ. Natalie sat in her lap and told her all about her school and her friends. Grandma Pat and I shared stories from her past and experiences I was going through at the time. That night as I said my "goodbyes" I came to terms with the fact that it might be the last time I see my grandmother of whom I loved so much. I remember the tears just flowing down my face as my parents pulled out of the parking lot. Natalie said "Mommy, are you ok?" and of course even more tears came rolling down my face as I was not ok. I remember we just sat in the parking lot of Spring Creek BBQ for nearly 20 minutes while I cried on Chris' shoulder.

Grandma Pat, Natalie and I- Christmas 2013, Conroe, TX

Natalie loved sitting on her lap and looking at her pearl necklace! 

We ALL loved the day of shopping!

This is a picture I will cherish FOREVER!

4 generations of Klingsick blood- Spring Creek BBQ, Christmas 2013

Christmas of 2013 came and Grandma Pat was still with us. She had made some improvements and her health was gaining. In fact 6 months passed and she was able to come to Texas again.

Grandma with Allison and her "other" granddaughter Amanda!

During this visit she was able to see my cousin, her oldest grandson on his graduation day from Air Force Boot-camp in San Antonio. On their way home from graduation, my parents and grandmother stopped by our house for Luke's 2nd birthday party. This was so special for all of us because since Grandma Pat lived so far away in Wichita, KS she was never available to come to either of the kids birthdays of birthday parties. It was so much fun to have her with us as we celebrated little Luke's life. Afterwards, I was able to sit and talk to my Grandma Pat about her life and experiences for about 3 hours while nearly everyone else napped. It was the best talk we have ever had. She relived events with her and Grandpa, told me stories about my dad and his brothers (my uncles) and so much more. She even compared Luke to all 4 boys, which was hilarious to say the least. I think Luke will be much like his Poppy, my dad, honery and into sports. While Grandma Pat was in good health during June 2014, as we said our goodbyes once again I came to terms with it could be the last time that I saw her.
Grandma Pat eating lunch with Nicholas, the Air Force graduate, and all the family!

This will forever be one of my favorite pictures! 

I love my Grandma Pat so much! 

Grandma Pat with Chris and I after Luke's Party!

My kiddos love Grandma Pat too!

Grandma Pat with my man!
I hate so much that Grandpa never got to see the love and beauty of Chris and our marriage!

In November of 2014 Grandma Pat took a turn for the worse and the doctors discovered that she had pneumonia in a lung that was removed (I know, this sounds crazy but somehow it is a real medical thing). She was admitted to the hospital in Wichita the 1st week of November and oddly enough, I was headed north to watch an OU Football game. I decided if I was only 3 hours away in stead of 9.5 then I would make the extra trip north to see her. It seemed like the honorable thing to do and I fully intended to honor my grandparent in this way. My mom was nice enough to meet me in Dallas to drive Natalie and I to Norman, OK to watch the OU football game and then even further north to Wichita to take both Natalie and I to see my Grandma Pat in the hospital. 

Grandma Pat did not know we were coming so when we arrived at 6pm with flowers which Natalie insisted on buying her she broke down in tears. We stayed the rest of that evening in the hospital with her and then came back the following morning before leaving and heading south for Houston. Despite it being in a hospital, I was able to see my grandmother yet ANOTHER time. And more importantly, Natalie was able to see her one more time.  Once again, we talked about her life and her past as well as Natalie school and what was going on in our lives right now. Natalie was even able to sing her a song called "Happy Birthday Jesus". I am so glad that we took the time and effort to go and see her. I walked out of the hospital yet again in tears knowing it would be the last time I saw her. She had reached the point of no return as far as traveling goes and with us living 9.5+ hours from her, I knew it would take a real miracle for me to see her again. I explained to Natalie, as best I could, the situation and had her tell Grandma Pat goodbye too. That was probably the hardest part. Well that and trying to explain everything once again to my 5 year old for the next 9 hours.

Grandma's surprise when we showed up at the hospital. 

Natalie and Grandma Pat!

Natalie giving Grandma Pat the flowers she chose! 

I love you Grandma!

I'm SO glad we made this trip to Kansas! I love and miss you Grandma! I know you will be back in Texas SOON!

One last picture before we leave and head south! 

Since then Grandma was release from the hospital and returned to her assisted living apartment, then transferred to a rehab facility. During Thanksgiving my parents and sister traveled to Wichita to visit both sides of the family for the holiday and it was during that time that my dad said that she had just "run out of gas". She was not able to go to Thanksgiving dinner with my family so she just stayed in the rehab facility and ate cookies (this seemed beyond sad to me and I so wanted to just be there with her). In fact, the last day in Wichita both my parents said she looked the worse they had ever seen her. My parents said their goodbyes and headed south to Texas not knowing what Grandma Pat's future would look like. I know my sister took it especially hard. 

On Sunday Morning, November 30th Grandma Pat was rushed to the hospital via ambulance and was admitted to the ICU for a UTI. It was then they found out that she had pneumonia in her other lung. It went from bad to worse and the doctor even prepared the family for "weeks not month" and "holiday funeral". I personally think he needs to work on his bedside manner but it is reality. On Monday, my dad took off for Wichita once again. During this week my Grandma has made some improvements as well as a few steps backwards, however she is looking better with each text I receive from my dad. 

Monday night it seemed as if she might only make a few days or even hours so once again I prepared myself. We were listening to Christmas music and "All is well" came on. The words are about the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ but they ring true in Grandma Pat's situation as well. As Grandpa used to always say "All is well" the same is true right now. Grandma Pat's spirit is high and she knows that soon she will be able to see her husband again and live rejoicing. 

I have never been good with death and even more so on grief but I too am ready and "All is Well". I know where my Grandma is going and I know where I am going and now I know where Natalie is going. I think I have a peace about it all and I know God is in control. Our choir and orchestra are performing this song for our Christmas Concert in a few weeks and I know it will be hard to get through, especially since Natalie sings a solo on the same evening but I know these will be tears will be tears of peace. 

All is Well (Michael W. Smith)
All is well all is well

Angels and men rejoice

For tonight darkness fell

Into the dawn of love's light
Sing A-le
Sing Alleluia
All is well all is well
Let there be peace on earth
Christ is come go and tell
That He is in the manger
Sing A-le
Sing Alleluia

All is well all is well

Lift up your voices and sing

Born is now Emmanuel
Born is our Lord and Savior
Sing Alleluia
Sing Alleluia
All is well

I love you Grandma Pat and I thank God for you each and every day! I know Grandpa is looking down right now and saying "All is Well". 

God is good.. ALL THE TIME! 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

We Will Remember

Wednesday, November 26, 2014 
The Best is Yet to Come 

Remember Your Past
God has been so good to my family and I and as this Thanksgiving season approaches us I am reminded of just how much He has done for us. I remember times at OU when I thought I would die alone and never have a family. I was a young and naive 22 year old who thought the world was going to end because all of my friends has a boyfriend and I did not. Then in January of 2005 God sent Chris Davis my way to help me keep control of my 3-6 grade Children's Choir. He was the perfect "bouncer" for this group of boys and girls and his sense of humor really struck gold with me. We started dating in January 2005 and in July of the same year we were engaged to be married. About 7 months later I became Mrs. Kellie Davis and started down this amazing journey called marriage.

During the past 8.5 years Chris and I have had our ups and downs and lived through some amazing trials and tribulations but through it all we have grown closer to each other and more importantly closer to God. We have suffered through the lesson in patience of trying to conceive a child and those were the hardest 13 months of my life. I remember thinking "Why God? Why me? Will I ever be able to have a family?" Chris and I prayed and prayed for God to bless us with a child and eventually after many prayers and many tears in November 2008 we learned we were expecting our 1st child. For those of you that know my pregnancy/ birth story know that 9+ months later, Miss Natalie Grace was born. Thank you Lord for Natalie Grace. I cannot even imagine my life without her.

Shortly after Natalie's birth we learned that Chris would be laid off from his Management  Job in Oklahoma City. When Natalie was 8 weeks old Chris became a stay at home dad. We expected this to last for a mere 3-4 months but it became 15 months far too quickly. We were suddenly faced with the decision of moving to Texas to pursue a teaching job for Chris. During that 15th month we learned that Chris was offered a full-time teaching job in the Houston metro area. We took the plunge and moved to Conroe, TX with 1 full-time job and hoping and praying I could find a job as well. During the summer months of 2011 I searched the Houston metro far and wide for a band job with no luck and eventually decided to look into the elementary music field. Sure enough, in late July I was offered an elementary music job in Spring ISD and so began the new road in my teaching career. Thank you Lord for these jobs and new life opportunities.

Later in 2011 as we were living with my in-laws we discovered that while it took 15 months to conceive Natalie, it didn't take but 2 months to conceive child #2... Ooops. We thought it was an Ooops at the time only because we were living with my in-laws but it turned out to be anything but an Ooops. Through that we received David Luke in June 2012 who has completely turned our lives upside down and I could not have asked for more of blessing. He is exactly what I wanted and so much more. Thank you Lord for "Lukey"... I love him more and more each and every day.

In September 2012 we closed on our new home in Conroe, TX and were blessed beyond measure. We never in our wildest dreams thought we would be able to afford the size and quality of a house that we ended up in. Thank You Jesus for our house that we now call home.

Reflect Your Present
We have been through a lot and it has brought us to where we are now. This year Natalie started Kindergarten and was able to come to school with me. She has also accepted the gift of Jesus Christ and has asked Jesus into her heart. Chris and I both are striving at work and enjoying our jobs and careers. Despite not being in the band room I am still enjoying what I do and I know that right now I am supposed to be the "mom" not the "band director". Luke is growing as fast as ever and developing into an honery little boy.

Rejoice in Your Future 
Through all of the ups and downs we have always managed to land on our feet and we have maintained such a wonderful life. This is not luck but the hand of God at work. We are so blessed and we are continuing to count our blessings and name them one by one but I am continuously thinking about how the BEST IS YET TO COME. Looking back at all the blessings He has given us I cannot even imagine how much better it will be but I know... my future is in His hands. I cannot wait to see what is on the horizon.

On Sunday, November 23rd during the worship service at Mims Baptist Church Pastor Gene Kendrick brought these simple points and reminders to our attention and then had the 120 member choir and orchestra move the congregation to sing a moving rendition of "We Will Remember". This brought tears to my eyes as I remembered my past, reflected my present and rejoiced in my future. Great is thy Faithfulness has always been and will always be my all-time favorite hymn but the words of "We Will Remember" have really hit home this week. The words of this song speak to even the hardest of hearts:

We will remember, we will remember
We will remember the works of Your hands
We will stop and give you praise
For great is Thy faithfulness

You're our creator, our life sustainer
Deliverer, our comfort, our joy
Throughout the ages You've been our shelter
Our peace in the midst of the storm

With signs and wonders You've shown Your power
With precious blood You showed us Your grace
You've been our helper, our liberator
The giver of life with no end

When we walk through life's darkest valleys
We will look back at all You have done
And we will shout, our God is good
And He is the faithful One

Hallelujah, hallelujah
To the one from whom all blessings flow
Hallelujah, hallelujah
To the one whose glory has been shown

I still remember the day You saved me
The day I heard You call out my name
You said You loved me and would never leave me
And I've never been the same

We Will Remember

Thank you Lord! I will STOP and give You praise for GREAT IS YOUR FAITHFULNESS!