The Macs

Thursday, July 30, 2009


Happy Birthday Joel!

I know you would love to have Cora here

to blow out your candles with you today.

I wish so much that she was here to do that too.

She would have wanted to give her daddy a giant birthday hug...

and a high five, just like you taught her.

I hope today you know how much you are loved...

by so many!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

sweet corn

I am learning to be a true farm girl.

I grew up in the city...
so this gardening and freezing and canning stuff is new to me.

Thankfully my in-laws are so helpful.

They have taught me everything I know about gardening.

We have a BIG garden this year.

Thanks to my father-in-law.

Over half of it was sweet corn.

Joel did all the picking.

My father-in-law and brother-in-law spent the afternoon helping us.

They are so great!

You gotta love those McClenahan men.

They got it all cleaned up and then it was time to cut it off the cob.

I know it looks like they did all the work.

I really did help.

I promise.

We added some butter and sugar.

Then waited for it to boil.


I did help!

We had three kettles full of corn.

We let it cool and put it in the fridge overnight.

The next morning I bagged it all up.

30 bags.

It will be so yummy to pull that corn out of the freezer this winter.

Gotta love being a farm girl!

Monday, July 27, 2009

progress today

This is what was happening at the Cora's Playground site today:

The shade structure is all framed out. It just needs the canvas put on now. The trailer with the playground equipment is at the church. Installation of the equipment will start Tuesday or Wednesday. I can't wait to see the equipment. That is going to be my favorite part!

Sunday, July 26, 2009


I was so excited when I heard that Cora's Playground was in progress.
The demolition began last Saturday.

All the old flooring has been removed.
Footings are in place for the shade structure.
The playground equipment should be installed any day now.
The next step will be the concrete and new flooring.
A special thanks to all the guys who helped with the demolition.  
Thank you for giving up your Saturday!

It is amazing to see Cora's Playground becoming a reality.
Everything should be done by the end of August.
We are working on planning a dedication for the end of September.

I will keep you posted on the progress.

(I wasn't able to be at church for the demolition.  Our children's ministries director took these pictures so that we wouldn't miss anything.  Thanks Kris!)

Saturday, July 25, 2009


My hubby said I needed to post something tonight.
He said people might be worried about me.
I don't know about that, but JUST IN CASE...
I am doing ok.  Still having some pretty sad days, but ok.
Our internet has been out all week.
That is the reason for my lack of posting.
And let me tell you, I feel very disconnected to the world.
It is going to take me forever to respond to e-mails and get caught up on my favorite blogs.
I am too tired to post anything exciting tonight.
Lots has been going on around here, so hopefully I can tell you more throughout the week.

Thanks for continuing to check on us and pray for us.
It means so much!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

pray for kate

It seems like since we first found out our Cora was sick, my eyes have been opened to so much hurt in the world. It overwhelms me. Sometimes I don't even know what to pray. Even now, words escape me.

I first read about Kate on Angie's blog. Kate has an aggressive, malignant brain tumor. I watched the video her parents made with tears streaming down my face. I felt like in a way they were telling parts of our story all over again. I could relate to their emotions in so many ways. My heart just ached for this dear family.

I have been praying and praying for little Kate and her family ever since. For some reason I can't get her sweet face out of my mind. I thought about putting it on my blog right away, but I just didn't know. I think it brought back too many emotions.  

Then my friend Amanda reminded me of how you all prayed for Cora and continue to pray for our family. How strangers lifted up our sweet daughter in prayer day after day. How so many posted Cora's story on their blog so that more people could pray for us. I am still humbled and amazed by this.

During those days in the hospital we were so tired and discouraged and the only glimmer of hope we had was to continue to cling to the Lord--to trust Him. It was amazing how He used, and continues to use, the body of Christ to uphold our family. Your cards and comments on our blog gave us hope that people were still praying. And so many keep praying for us even now, when we don't feel like we have the strength to keep going. We need that so much.  

I know God is using the body of Christ to uphold the McRae family in the same way. I was so encouraged to hear Kate's parents giving glory to God even during this horrible time. They are finding their hope in the Lord. They know that God is using their Kate to be a light to the world. But it is still so hard.

Will you join me in praying for this family? Pray for Kate's complete healing. Pray for strength for her family as they face each day. You can learn more about Kate and how to pray for her by going here.

The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord 
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
Isaiah 40:28-31

Thursday, July 9, 2009

14 weeks

I think we both left my appointment today with smiles.

It was wonderful to hear the doctor say that everything looks great so far.

It was so reassuring to hear Baby Mac's heartbeat. He found it right away. We were so thankful. The baby's heart rate was 155 today. Cora's was almost always 150.

So, we made it through another visit to the doctor. We were still so nervous, but I think it might just be that way for awhile. We just have to keep praying and trusting.

I have been having trouble getting excited about all the normal "fun" pregnancy things. It is just so different this time. So many mixed emotions. But, I wanted to document this pregnancy somehow for Baby Mac's baby book. I saw this in my June Creating Keepsakes magazine. I thought it was a fun way to capture each month. So, here is a glimpse at my growing baby bump.

Thanks for praying for us today. Keep praying along with us for a healthy little baby! And keep praying for our healing hearts.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

cora's update

Just a quick update.

Cora's (the shop) is still up and running. Our store is just EMPTY right now. We had to take a little break after all the Fourth of July craziness. We are hoping to start working on some more stuff next week. 

We even broke down and bought a serger. It is currently still in the box. I think we are a little scared to touch it!  Hopefully it will help us make the Cora dresses a little faster. There are so many new possibilities. Now, if we could just figure out how to use it!

Right now we are dreaming up some new ideas for Cora's. We will definitely be restocking the Cora dresses and burpies. Hopefully you will be seeing some fun new stuff too.

Thanks for being patient with us. This has been such a great creative outlet for me and also a great way to continue to remember my sweet little girl. You all have been so supportive and encouraging as we have ventured into the Etsy world.

Keep checking back!


On a different note. I have my second appointment tomorrow. Will you please pray for us as we go back to the doctor's office? We can't wait to hear that little Baby Mac heartbeat again.  

Monday, July 6, 2009

our fourth

We LOVE having the young marrieds group from our church over for the 4th. It is so fun to spend time together. We are truly blessed with great friends.

We debated about having the party at our house again this year.
We weren't sure how we would do with all the kiddos.
But, we decided we just couldn't skip it.

It turned out to be a beautiful Kansas day.  It wasn't even too hot.
We were so glad we could spend the evening with so many dear friends.

We made it through another holiday.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

reign in me

Over all the earth 
You reign on high 
Every mountain stream 
Every sunset sky 
But my one request 
Lord my only aim 
Is that You’d reign in me again 

Lord reign in me 
Reign in Your power
Over all my dreams 
In my darkest hour 
You are the Lord 
Of all I am 
So won’t You reign in me again 

Over every thought 
Over every word 
May my life reflect 
The beauty of my Lord 
‘Cause you mean more to me 
Than any earthly thing 
So won’t You reign in me again

We sang this song in church today. It has been running through my head all day. This is what I am praying for the week ahead. That even in this darkest hour, the Lord would reign in me. That my life would be a reflection of our loving Savior.
Happy Sunday! 

Thursday, July 2, 2009

a fun surprise

Like many of you I love getting decorating tips from John and Sherry over at This Young House. They have so many great ideas.

They have lots of fun giveaways too.

I usually don't enter. I mean really, what are the chances that I would actually win??

But, when I saw these fun wallflowers a few weeks ago, I just had to try.

Wallflower Set - Contemporary furniture accent, gift or décor
When they posted the winners a few days later I couldn't believe it.

Jess M...that's me!!

I actually e-mailed them to make sure I REALLY was the winner. There are a lot of other Jess' in the world right??

A few days later these pretty white wallflowers arrived on my doorstop. How fun!

I so wished Cora was here.  I wanted to rush up to her room and hang them right away.  They would have been perfect.  It's funny how even winning something can make me miss Cora.

I think I am going to wait to hang them.  If we have another little girl I think I will put them in the nursery.  Joel didn't think they were manly enough for a little boy.  So, if we have a boy I will have to find another home for these pretty little flowers.  

I'll let you know where they end up.

Thank you This Young House and LaDifference for picking me!!