Melody is a reminder of how precious the gift of life is.
She has made extraordinary progress this year.
She is getting stronger…
Melody has orthotics now, which have helped her gain strength in her legs. The orthotics help provide the balance she needs to practice walking and standing. The more she uses her muscles the more strength she gains. We have been amazed at her newfound strength.
Melody’s OT worked with her on her first Thanksgiving craft.
…and full of personality! Joe was trying to read a book one day when he was in charge of Melody. He tried to get her to look at her book, but she decided it would be more fun to look up at him adoringly and try to get his attention. Her plan worked. She just loves her big brother! He has the ability to elicit smiles and laughter from her in a way that no one else can.
She also has high esteem for her daddy. She is always happy to have him home from work. On this day she apparently had something special to tell him.
“Hello, Daddy, are you listening to me?”
Melody is bundled up for winter.
At the beginning of December she got to experience a little warmer version of winter, as we traveled to San Antonio, Texas for the National Bible Bee. Over the summer her sister participated in the Bible Bee and qualified for this amazing event. This was definitely the best trip Melody has ever had in terms of her being strong, healthy, and able to go with the flow even with all the lights and noise.
This was a remarkable time for all of us. The fellowship was so sweet!
We were able to visit with some of our dear friends…
…and we had the opportunity to make some precious new ones!
This is one sweet new friend!
What a blessing to meet these delightful girls as well!Here is one of Joe’s new friends, Chloe, who has Down syndrome. She is a doll! Joe was so sweet to her. Not surprising, as he has such a tender heart towards Melody, and it spills over to other little ones with genetic issues. Having a sibling with disabilities can be a great blessing and is an opportunity to learn countless life lessons. Chloe’s mom concurred with me on this front.
Melody held her own making her own set of friends. Her favorite was Steve. He was quite confident that Melody would walk independently some day, and he wasn’t shy about helping her practice that.
Melody was being playful here and playing peek-a-boo with her new friend. Melody was very comfortable with Steve and even fell asleep in his arms one day while he was holding her. At one point I did mention to him that she can get a little heavy after awhile. Not for Steve. This was his little buddy, and carrying her around was not a burden.
On the last day we were able to meet this amazing couple. One of their daughters, Shelby Kennedy, who had “an infectious gift of faith” and “radiated joy, life and hope to those she met”, went home to be with the Lord at the young age of 23. Her life was the inspiration for the Shelby Kennedy Foundation, a nonprofit ministry that began National Bible Bee in 2009. Bible Bee has had a life changing impact on our family. Our children have participated in it nine out of the last ten years. Our oldest daughter aged out, but it most certainly still affects how she studies the Bible to this day. The Bible Bee has equipped her with invaluable tools for studying and memorizing the God’s Word, and she continues to memorize extensive amounts of Scripture.
We are so thankful that Melody is in a season of life that she can travel so we could be a part of this event. It was a little taste of heaven on earth.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from our sweet girl!