The goal…make that two.

Today was especially exciting because my kids got to witness not one but TWO brand new basketball goals go up in the church where they are staying. So maybe you’re thinking that seems a little simple to be such a big deal. What some of you don’t know is that my 2 kids were part of a group of kids at Genesis church who raised money to put the goals up!

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Tim says Cayden is feeling much better today! Words this mommy loves to hear! In fact she and I texted for a little bit. She REALLY misses her baby sister but then again, I think little C misses her just as much!
Today the kids got to go to the favelas or “slums” and deliver tooth brushes and other supplies to people who don’t have very much. Everywhere they go they meet new friends.

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Cayden’s highlighted moment was seeing a “giant pig”! She thought that was different. She also loved watching one of her new friends ride the pig. I love hearing about the new things their America eyes are seeing for the first time (not to say that people in America don’t ride pigs because I’m pretty sure I’ve seen that before!)

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As for Cobe, well I hear he is adjusting just fine. In fact I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up living there one day. It’s hard not to love a place where you can play ball all day and where the girls call you Cody Simpson and your friend Justin Beiber. I’m sure I’m gonna have to bust a bubble when he returns to America! (I haven’t been sent any pictures of him with the ladies so this will have to do :).

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Ok I was just sent this so I am adding it to the blog:

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“I am grateful for what I have.”

Technology is amazing in the fact that over half of my family can be existing in a completely different culture and yet I am able to somewhat follow their journey. Of course nothing compares to walking and breathing the experience but I am so thankful for every little detail I can get.

This morning my kids got to meet kids. Not kids who are just like them. Kids who speak differently and who’s life is much different. I’m not exactly sure what was going through their minds in this instance.

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I think they mentioned a few times about how nervous they were. I even remember them wondering if the kids from Brazil would like them. I’m not there but it appears that they have nothin to worry about!

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This morning they got to walk and see the slums. This place where some of their new friends live. They loved passing out candy and inviting them to a big celebration service on Sunday. I asked Tim to tell me what the kids were thinking. I am dying to know how they’re processing what they’re seeing. Cobe told him that he is grateful for what he has. Wow! In one day I am already hearing that!

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I know my baby well enough that when I look at pictures she looks tired and not quite herself. Tim said she slept all afternoon and just got up asking to eat something. Whew! Maybe we’re on the upside of whatever she is dealing with! Please continue to pray for her health! Cobe on the other hand has not stopped playing ball with the kids all afternoon! I can only imagine the withdrawal he will feel in one week!

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As I’m closing this I just got one more picture. Cayden playing musical chairs!

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More to come soon…

And the word in Brazil is:

The baby slept THE BEST she has ever slept and yet this mommy struggled to not cry OR worry about my other baby who is sick and over 5000 miles away from me!

Once the boys plus Cayden got to the church (the girls will be staying in Pastor Mozart’s home) I got a text that Tim had a room to himself with Cayden and he was taking good care of her. She had texted last night and said all she wanted to do was climb in bed and snuggle her daddy. According to Tim everything would be fine and I was not to worry. Ummmm yeah right! HOWEVER the one thing that gives me comfort is that I have the greatest baby daddy ever and he truly does a fabulous job in every aspect of parenting. Still my heart was sad and worried.

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This morning I received and update. Cayden had thrown up in the middle of the night but had woken up this morning and seems a little better after she showered.

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Tim seems optimistic about what the day will hold but is very tired from jumping at her every move and from the stress (good stress) of running this trip. So glad he has a great team with him.

In other news, the men’s living conditions for the week look like this:

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This is extremely exciting to Cobe who is also traveling with one of his good friends Caiden Campbell. Plus he has Joel Owen with him. I’m sure Cobe feels like this is one big slumber party!

I will update you all later on! Continue to pray for this trip and that God would move in the lives of the Genesis team and the people they meet! As always please pray for my sweet Cayden!

They landed!

It is always great news to get the news “We’ve landed!” when three of the most precious things to me have been flying! So my family and the others are safe in São Paulo!

Of course along with the text I got this:

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Apparently upon landing my little girl threw up all over the plane floor. My husband thought a good way to tell me this was to send me a picture of Cayden with her barf bag!!! She threw up again one they got to the host home. This breaks my mommy heart that I can’t be there to comfort her and hold her!!!

Please pray that she can kick this thing and enjoy the rest f her trip! Despite her sickness she is in good spirits! I did receive this text from her:

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Love my little girl!!!

And they’re off…

The Brazil team are officially taking off, actually right now. I just got my last text from Tim (he only does emoticons for me-don’t be jealous):

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Not everything went completely smooth this morning (of course!). The travel agency that booked the tickets messed up one team members flight. The flight took off, around 11:10 this morning and the agency office did not open until 9. Long story short a new ticket had to be purchased and it left the team running to get on the plane. BUT they are in the air now and excited to see what God is going to do with them.

Cobe and Cayden were beyond excited. Yesterday morning Cayden kept squealing and giggling randomly saying how excited she was. As sad as my heart was to see them leaving I am thrilled for the experience they are getting. STAY TUNED!!!!

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Brazil!!!!

My babies are going to Brazil…without me! I cannot believe it! Several years ago Tim took all of us to Jamaica to help hurting families there. Even thought they were only almost 4 and almost 6, they saw a much different way of living. It made them sad to think there were kids their own age that didn’t have food or even a place to sleep. They, of course, also enjoyed very much getting to play with the kids in Jamaica. That is something they all had in common. Since then, it birthed a desire in my two children to do everything they could to help those in need. Several times I have witnessed them saving money or giving up things so that others could have a need.

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Last May Tim and I had the chance to go to Brazil and “set up” a trip for our church. Again we were shown places that you could not even imagine, and they were considered “living conditions”. We often Skyped our kids and told them all the things we were seeing. It was no secret that they were dying to come with us. Cayden even started practicing her Portuguese. They started saving their money. They would save money from Christmas and birthday’s. This trip was becoming a reality! They cannot believe that they are going to be visiting a different country again. This time, one with a completely different language. They are most excited about playing with the kids. They have seen so many pictures of the kids in the church and orphanage. They have seen pictures of the many areas where there is trash and people living in less than suitable conditions. They have heard the needs for the people in this area and NOW they get to go be a part of helping AND sharing the message that Jesus loves them!

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So please follow their journey here, on my blog. They will hopefully be able to update this daily for those who are wanting to read and see. Please keep my family in your prayers. Pray that my kids would be touched in a way that could not happen if they did not take this trip. Pray for this mommy who is letting her kids go to a different country without her because the baby is too young to take. I know God has a plan for my little family. From the day we had them we gave them back to God to do with what he would want. Right now I have a 9 and 11 year old little missionaries, and I could not be more proud!

Mark 16:15

He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.

And the baby will be called…

I have never been one for surprises. If I could I would unwrap my Christmas gifts (and re-wrap them) before anyone knew the difference. So when it comes to the decision to wait for pink or blue, we choose not to wait. To be honest it was just as exciting to sit in a room with my family and find out today as any moment we have had previously. With that said, I would like to introduce you officially to our daughter Cyndell Regan-Elizabeth.

Never before have we really thought about naming a child after something that has significant meaning. Ok I know Cobe was named after Kobe because Tim liked basketball. Robert was after my dad (okay that’s significant) and well to be honest, Cayden Reese was just a name that I picked so if she ever became famous she wouldn’t have to change her name. It sounds famous right?

This time was different. We spent time picking out this name and getting EVERYONE in this family’s opinion. It is important to me, and since this is MY blog, that you know the wonderful inspirations behind her name.

CYNDELL (sounds like Kindell-it had to be with a C, okay? 🙂 )

It was a requirement, according to Cayden and Cobe, that this baby’s name start with a C. Though I was not extremely all about it, it was very seriously important to them. For quite some time we have known this amazing family. Not only have we had the chance to be touched by their kindness but we have also first hand witnessed them love on the homeless, the poor, the needy, the less fortunate, the weary and the weak. The Gilcrease family has three amazing children and one of them is named Kendall.

So even though Cyndell is spelled slightly different, our daughter will be told of this family and who her first name originated from. I pray that she too will exemplify the family that Kendall comes from. I hope one day people will look at her and see the same in the Grandstaff family as we have witnessed in the amazing Gilcrease family. (It also wouldn’t hurt if she looks a little like Kendall too 🙂 )

REGAN (pronounced REE-GAN).

A few years ago I remember talking to a pregnant Kristin as we talked about the excitement of little girls. I remember hearing how long she had waited to be pregnant and now it was finally happening. Then a short while later I remember standing in the back of church hearing that the little girl she carried was diagnosed with retinoblastoma (RB), a malignant cancer, in both eyes at age 7 weeks.  Shortly after we moved to Orlando  I followed her little life through the Caring Bridge site her mom wrote on. Regan Eva fought her whole life and won the battle over cancer on Sept 17, 2011 when she passed into the arms of Jesus. She lives on, and the cancer is no more.

Here is what Regan’s mom told me about Regan Eva’s name:

When I did background during my name searching I found out that regan is Celtic and means royal. Her middle name Eva was after Randy’s grandma and, like Eve, means life or life giver. I didn’t plan it this way but I ended up naming her “royal life” or in other words princess! So last Christmas when I found an ornament that said “daughter of the king” I thought of Regan’s name and where she is with God and thought it was so perfect. You have both of our support in using her name for Baby Grandstaff!

We are so excited to give our daughter a name with such meaning. Let me tell you why it was so important and an honor to Tim and I that Kristin and Randy gave us their permission to name our daughter after theirs. This past year Cayden and I have spent time watching videos of Regan and looking at her pictures. One day we heard Regan’s name pronounced on the video and Cayden and I both looked at each other and said that is the name for our baby’s middle name (providing it was a girl 🙂 ) It is evident that in this little girls life she touched the lives of many. I want my daughter to know that she was named after a fighter. A child who was feisty. A child whose smile melted the hearts of anyone who saw it. A child who didn’t give up and fought hard to the very end, and a child whose parents continue to love God with all their hearts no matter what is handed to them. I want my daughter to be like Regan. Another thing I feel I need to show you about Regan is the courage and strength of her parents. One of the many reasons this name is so important to us. Here is an exceprt of one of Kristin’s posts:

Here is what I want to say to my family:  Why did this happen to Regan?  The short answer is so that God may be glorified.  The longer answer is that God knew that the story of cancer in a baby would draw people’s attention and awaken their compassion.  He knew it would compel people to follow her story, which is our story, and our lives would be a witness.  He knew the hearts of us as his servants.  That though we suffer and cry and mourn, we do not abandon our faith or our love for Jesus.  That we ultimately still point to Him.  And that gives Him glory.  It shows His strength and love, because it is not from ourselves.  In the end, it is all about saving people’s souls.  And Regan’s story is changing lives and saving souls.  “….As God’s grace reaches more and more people, they will offer to the glory of God more prayers of thanksgiving.  For this reason we never become discouraged.  Even though our physical being is gradually decaying, yet our spiritual being is renewed day after day.  And this small and temporary trouble we suffer will bring us a tremendous and eternal glory, much greater than the trouble.” (2 Corinthians  4:15-17, Good News Translation)

The fact that I tear up EVERY time I read this is a reason we are so thankful to you Kristin and Randy for giving us permission to use Regan’s name. May her life be an example to our daughter as a legacy that she can carry and tell others about. May Cyndell Regan-Elizabeth be a reflection of the love and life that Regan showed. She will be read this and she will know that she is named after an amazing gift from God.

ELIZABETH.

To those who know us well, they know that it was quite a road to come to the decision to have this baby. For years I have asked (okay at times begged) for another chance to have a child. Tim has not really seen things like me. All through our ups an downs of this decision I have felt a comfort that God had confirmed this in my life and that one day it would happen. I am not going to lie, there were times that I didn’t know how, but I believed. I always wanted my child’s name to have something to do with our journey. So I was thrilled to find out that my mother’s middle name meant just that “God’s promise”.

Plus, what mother doesn’t eventually deserve to have a namesake? She worked hard to bring me up. Of course this child will get many opportunities to know how wonderful her Mimi is and I am sure she will think we made a good decision.

(I must also add that one of my dear friends in Orlando is also named Elizabeth so it doesn’t hurt the cause 🙂 )
So there you have it. We wanted to give you her name early, and her meanings, in hopes that you will pray for her by name. I have always been big on knowing the name early so that people can call her out by name and ask God for strength, health and that what ever may happen that He walks us through all of it.

To all of you who our daughter is named after, thank you! Thank you for giving us great examples to pick from. I cannot wait to tell her stories of why she was given her name.