About Me

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Hello and welcome to my blog! My name is Amanda Crow. I am a mother of four amazing children: three who are here with me on earth, and one who is awaiting our reunion in heaven. I am a homeschooling mom who embraces the life God has given me.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

We had planned on having some friends and relatives over as a dedication day to Macie, but the rain and flooding changed our plans. For the past month, we have been working on a memorial garden on the side of the house in memory of Macie. Our friends and relatives helped with the project, and it turned out beautiful. A dear friend's mother made a beautiful stained glass bench, my parents and in-laws bought a beautiful angel statue, my aunt bought a gorgeous plaque, the church gave us another plaque that is hanging on our tree, my parents purchased a memorial stone, and each of the kids picked out a little critter statue that they thought Macie would like. Ryan's friends generously gave their time and talents pouring a concrete walk-way and sitting area in the garden. My father also spent lots of time putting his landscape talents to work, making the garden perfect. We are hoping for this to be a happy, beautiful place where we can spend time as a family and honor Macie. Since the accident happened near our home, we wanted to take the focus off that area and put the focus on something beautiful. Building the garden was also very therapeutic. It gave us a project and goal, and it got the kids outdoors playing together.

The stepping stone below is one Macie made about 3 years ago.
I added it to her garden. She has always liked rainbows.

We were disappointed when we couldn't do the dedication today, but the day turned out well. We still got together with our immediate family for dinner and watched some home videos and the slide show from Macie's visitation. When we returned home, Brooke brought her kittens out to meet us. They are sooooo cute. We are keeping the orange one for sure. I just wish Macie were here to help care for them. She would be so excited. In fact, we would probably be fighting right now, because she would refuse to go to bed because she would be so preoccupied with the cats. She would also be stating her case as to why we should keep all of them and not just one. She would also try to set up their bed and food in her room. During bedtime prayers tonight, we asked God to tell her all about them!

Friday, May 22, 2009


Embrace.....the word keeps jumping into my head. I absolutely hate my new life! Yet, we still have joy in it. You read about peace and joy that surpasses all understanding in the bible (Philippians 4:4-9Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I say, rejoice! Let everyone see your gentleness. The Lord is near! Do not be anxious about anything. Instead, in every situation, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, tell your requests to God. And the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.), but you don't quite understand it until you are living it. This new life is not by choice, nor is it something we can change. It isn't a bad decision we have made, or a wrong turn that has lead us down an unwanted path. In that case, we could put the car in reverse and start over, and the only thing we would have lost is time. In some bad situations, you get a redo or an "oops, lets try again." Unfortunately, this isn't the case for us. There is nothing, absolutely nothing, we can do to change our situation. As much as we don't like it, this is the life we have. Life is a gift from God and we need to embrace it. Why should we only accept good from God? We need to trust that He is in control, and He knows what He is doing! I need to embrace the plans God has for us and always remember, that one day in Heaven, all these bad days will be infinitely out-numbered by glorious good days! Embrace your loved ones, and never take them for granted!


I forgot to tell you that Macie's cat had her kittens 2 weeks ago today. Unfortunately, we don't know how many there are. Brooke hid them in the crawl space under our bedroom. We could finally hear them meowing last night. We can't wait for them to come out to see which kitten we will keep. We are going to name the kitten Cassidy. After Pastor Fred was shot, Macie told me that she wanted a daughter named Cassidy, just like Pastor Fred, when she grew up. We will keep you posted! If anyone is looking for a kitten, let us know!

Monday, May 18, 2009


Yesterday, some friends put together a golf benefit for our family. We were blown away by the love, support, and generosity of everyone. There was a great turn-out, but the day was very sad. All those people were there because Macie died. I've been to other fundraisers before, and the money is usually going towards making the situation better, but in our case no amount of money can bring back our daughter. Instead, we are purchasing a headstone with all the donations. We are so blessed to have everyone help with that, yet it is very depressing. I have been looking around with my mother, and I think I know what to get her. It's a hard decision because I want it to be just perfect and beautiful!
Our friends want this golf scramble to be an annual event to remember Macie. I would like to have it around her birthday every year. Of course the money will not go to us, rather some other charitable organization (maybe St. Jude or Compassion International). Ryan and I are already thinking of starting our own charity in Macie's name to help other children and families. I want to turn this horrible nightmare into a blessing for someone else. Another friend has already started a scholarship fund in her honor. The scholarship will be awarded to someone that would have been in her graduating class.
Shortly after the funeral, Ryan and I decided to help a child through Compassion International. Everyone was so generous, and it was laid upon our hearts to give a little back and help another child. When I called the organization, I told them that I did not have a gender or age preference. I told them we wanted to sponsor any child that has been waiting a long time. We just received our sponsor packet a couple weeks ago, and they sent us a little girl just a few months older than Macie! Funny how God works!
We just want to say we love everyone and we thank you for helping us!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Macie's Rainbow

These are the pictures of the "sun dog" that appeared as we were leaving the cemetery the day of the funeral. It stayed in the sky for about an hour after we returned to the church for lunch. They are in the order they were taken. No, the spots are not balloons! Pretty amazing huh?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

First Mother's Day

My first Mother's Day wasn't as bad as I thought, but I didn't want to take any pictures with the kids. I hate that I can't have the four of my children together like the years before. I just miss her so much. After church, we went to her grave to take her some flowers. There were a lot of people at the cemetery, and it seemed that all of them were taking flowers to their mothers and grandmothers, everyone except me. It's not fair that I have to visit my daughter on mother's day at a cemetery. At least it was a beautiful day, and we were able to visit awhile without the rain pouring down on us. The kids did really well there today. I'm hoping it can become a comfortable place for us. I would like to have picnics there after church every Sunday. It may take sometime before we can get to that point. Ryan still has a really hard time visiting. He has only been 3 times now. I, on the other hand, stop by frequently to drop off flowers, statues, etc. and I feel at peace when I am there.


The rest of the afternoon, we had a family get together at a relatives house (sorry, I'm trying not to put other names on here for privacy reasons). This was the first time, in almost 2 years, that the entire family has been together for a holiday (there has been some turmoil for awhile now on Ryan's side). Fortunately, there is some light at the end of the tunnel and it looks as if there can be some restoration. However, I hate that it takes the loss of my innocent daughter for everyone to open their eyes and see that life is too short to be angry at one another. I can only pray that some good comes out of our tragedy.

Arch Nov. 2008

Macie's crafts

My family was remembering all the crafty stuff Macie used to do. These are two pictures of Kaylee wearing a shirt that Macie made her (by hand at her Grandma Carla's house). She also made me a dress, but it was too tight so I don't have a picture of me wearing it. It is still hanging in my closet (you should see the material it was made from-really funny!)

Friday, May 8, 2009

Macie's Artwork

I wanted to share some drawings of Macie's. She loved to be creative. The picture above was on my mother-in-laws refrigerator. She found it tucked beneath some other papers a couple of days after her funeral. I will be posting some amazing pictures from the day of the funeral soon and you will understand why this was so amazing to all of us.
What's even more bizarre, is that 3 nights ago, my mother was going through some old mother's day gifts from the grandchildren and found this from Jordan (the picture posted below) in her mother's day box from 2007 (when Jordan would have been 7). This picture had been in the box for 2 years still perfectly folded without any wrinkles. How incredibly weird is that!!! We are still trying to find out exactly when Macie made her picture. My mother-in-law can recall her making it at her house and hanging it on the fridge within the last couple of months.

The picture below is a self-portrait. She always included her mole! Isn't that cute.
She loved that beauty mark.

This was from her 2nd grade class

This was a drawing/painting that she worked on for over a month.
She was constantly taking it off the wall and adding some other design, paint, or glitter.
It is now framed in our sitting room.

Our Faith

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."- Philippians 4:13

I have heard a lot of people saying, "you are so strong" and "how are you doing this?" I want to clarify that we are not strong, but our God is! It is His strength that we allow to work through us in this tragic time. Being strong is all we have if we want to survive. There is not another option! I praise God for our salvation through Christ because without it we would completely crumble. We have the blessed hope and assurance of seeing Macie again someday. However, in the meantime, we need to be parents to our other three children here on Earth. They deserve good parents just like Macie did, and we need to be strong for them everyday!

Philippians 4:4-94:4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I say, rejoice! 4:5 Let everyone see your gentleness. The Lord is near! 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything. Instead, in every situation, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, tell your requests to God. 4:7 And the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Learning to Live with the Loss

Our happy family has been torn apart and will no longer be the same! How do you come to terms knowing that your life will now have a "new normal" and you hate it?!?
Ryan and I now belong to the exclusive club of "parents that have lost a child."
Unfortunately, its not as small as you think and its members come out of the woodwork when they have heard of your initiation to the club. Every club member wants out, but there is no revoking your membership. If only you could stop payment and someone could kick you out.
I look at this picture of me with my husband (which my Macie took) and wonder if we can take a picture like that ever again?? So why do I put these pictures on and write about it you wonder? Well another member of this new club of mine told me about her blog. Well I checked it out, it made me cry, and I started my own. I've been sitting at the computer for the past 4 hours trying to make some sense out of my life.

I have a hard time calling people back and replying to e-mails. I know everyone is concerned and wants to know our thoughts, feelings, and if there is anything they can do to help. I thought maybe posting our feelings maybe once a week could be a way to keep everyone informed and maybe it will be therapy for me/us. I have a couple of journals, but I don't pick them up enough. I do, however, check my e-mail and the weather daily, so it only makes sense to spend a few moments typing my feelings. I hope to get Ryan to do the same.
One thing I think everyone should know:
Do not to be afraid to speak Macie's name and talk about her!!!!
People are afraid to bring it up as if it will open old wounds. Don't worry, we ALWAYS think about her. Every single waking (and sleeping) moment revolves around her! If only we could forget the pain for even 10 minutes, but we don't. I know other parents who have lost children 5+ years ago that still have their child on their mind constantly. It's not like saying their name brings up bad feelings, it can actually do the opposite. The bereaved parents want people to still keep their child's memory alive. Speaking about the child, or telling a memory, actually helps the parent. Pretending to forget, or never mentioning the child and removing pictures, only kills the child all over again. Just a bit of advice in case you know someone else that has lost a child.
I hate that I can't have anymore cute pictures like the one above. I wonder when I will ever want to take a family picture again?.........