Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A Week Of Beginnings

It's a great week and we have two exciting things to share. The first is that I (Ken) had a great meeting this morning and may have the opportunity to work with Community Connections. They help special needs children by providing free extra-curricular activities like soccer, flag football, dancing and acting classes. I would be able to spend most of my time at home with the boys and would help with fundraising, event planning, marketing and promotion of their programs and activities.

The second (and more exciting) is that we can now share some news from our friends Jesse and Jodie. Here is what she posted last night:

Spring is coming in the McGinley Household. Due April 2011- A miracle of all miracles, the strongest of all heartbeats, a gift that we found out about on August 8th, Eli's 1st Heaven day. God knows whats best for our lives!

They have more details on their blog here.

Jack is now crawling all over the place. Luke is still mostly rolling around to get what he wants. Our house is getting a lot busier these days! I will work on getting some video so you can see for yourself.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Last set of pictures from SC trip

Here are a few more pictures from our SC visit last month:

Luke and Jack with their grandpa

Luke sitting outside getting ready to swim

The boys swimming in the baby pool

Family picture of our generation with my grandparents

Lots of family pictures + lots of waiting = grumpy and hungry babies. Uncle Frank and Aunt Lisle came down from New York - the picture might not show it, but she loved Luke and wanted to take him home.

The Barnes men

Monday, August 9, 2010

Project E.L.I. Featured On Local News

Here is a segment about Project E.L.I. that was featured on the local news last night:

Link to video

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Eli's Legacy

It's been a long and busy weekend. Friday night Lindsey, Jesse, Jodie and Walker came over and we had a great time. The boys played together, we had great food, and had a lot of time to relax. We got to know them better and learned a lot more of their story as we all shared what we have been through this past year.

Jack had fun playing with Walker

Lindsey had a great time with her boys

Jesse, Jodie and Walker

We also have some great news to share - we met our fund-raising goal! Those of you who follow the blog know that we have been raising money to send Jesse and Jodie to the AWHONN annual convention next month. This is a national association of women's health, obstetric and neonatal nurses and Eli's nurses will be speaking about him. Eli lived only five days and was born with multiple birth defects, including spina bifida. Through many generous donations, they now have their flight, hotel and money to cover all of their meals and other expenses. Thanks so much to all who gave! We are so happy that everything came together for them. Jesse and Jodie are one of two couples we know of that in the last year have had twins and lost one. At times we question why we were blessed to bring both Jack and Luke home when others do not. We just wanted to do everything we could to help them and it blessed us just as much as we hope the trip blesses them.

Saturday night was the Project E.L.I. documentary premiere, and the turnout was great! Jesse and Jodie's church was filled with over 200 people. Their story was included in a documentary about spina bifida which was just finished and will be sent to hospitals and women's doctors all over the state. It will be a great tool to support expectant parents who have just found out that their child has spina bifida.

After the documentary, Jodie shared a video of their journey. On Saturday, August 28th we will be walking for Eli at the Easter Seals Walk With Me 2010 in downtown Little Rock.

I have pictures and videos of the boys to post this week, but for now, this was much more important.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Celebrating Walker and Eli's Birthday

Saturday we went to a pool party for Walker and the boys had a great time. Last night we joined many of Jessie and Jodie's family and friends at the cemetery to celebrate Walker and Eli's first birthday. It was the hottest day in 10 years here in Arkansas and when the gathering began at 7pm it was still at least 100 degrees. That didn't matter - there was a great turnout and we were so happy to be there.

(Click any of the pictures for a larger view)

Birthday cake for the twin boys - one here on earth and one in heaven

Walker eating his birthday cupcake

One day he will understand how special this day was

Even Eli received presents: beaded necklace from Hawaii, sand from Florida, a note from Disney World, Mickey Ears from someone else at Disney World, a starfish from Aruba, flowers from his Mimi, and a birdhouse from his Momma & Daddy

Another view of Eli's house

Balloon release for Eli

Video link for email/iPhones/non-flash devices

Walker finishing his cupcake

Video link for email/iPhones/non-flash devices

Birthday message from Eli

Thanks to Jodie and Team Eli for some of these pictures!
The McGinley Family blog
Team E.LI. - today I dance with angels

Monday, August 2, 2010

Pictures from the past two weeks

Last weekend was our 6th anniversary and the grandparents took care of the boys Saturday and Sunday for us. We just did dinner and a movie - something we haven't done in almost two years. It was so nice to have a full day and night away from the boys - we missed them a lot and talked about them, but it was great to be alone. We started with dinner at Macaroni Grill. Then we went to see the newest Twilight movie. I had no interest at all in seeing it, but Rachel loves all the books and I knew she would enjoy it. I did a little research and made up a "Twilight Survival Kit" that Rachel opened before we left the house. Each item had its own label with a longer explanation on the pack. She was very surprised.

Here's a picture of the goodies - and no, we didn't take it all with us to the theater (just some "blood straws")

Jack likes being on his belly a lot more now and holds himself up pretty well

This weekend we had some new friends over for dinner - Rachel made a mexican feast and Jack wanted to help cut up the avacados

Luke still does not like bath time very much but Jack sure does!

Rachel loves messing with Jack's hair whenever she can

Can't leave Luke out! He is still a tiny little man - almost 11 pounds, but consistently gaining weight (just very slowly)