Sophie Grace

The Twins are 4 Today!! How Times Flies

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Categories: Family, Sophie Grace, Twins | Leave a comment

Can’t Believe How Fast They’re Growing

I can’t believe how fast my children are growing.


  • Is now a senior in high school.  Seems like yesterday she was cutting her own hair and playing in the mud.
  • She is taller than I am.
  • Going on dates
  • Has a Job
  • Responsible


  • Getting taller
  • Voice is getting deeper
  • His boyish looks are changing into being manly
  • Drives my truck around the church


  • Putting logical thoughts together
  • Using more and more words
  • His ability to reason, (when he wants to)
  • Independence (I can do it)
  • No lock, latch, nor gate that can hold him.  He could escape Alcatraz!!
  • Shy
  • Loves Octonaughts
  • Can make Jackson so mad
  • Always wants to “drive” my truck


  • Using more and more words
  • She carries on conversations
  • Tells you what she wants
  • Get’s upset when you don’t do it.
  • Always calls out DaaGee when I open the door
  • Loves to take a bath
  • Will show you the finger she has DaaGee wrapped around


  • Independent
  • Talking more but not as much as Sophie
  • Loves his Mimi
  • Shorter than Sophie
  • Looks so much like his daddy at that age.
  • Beginning to sing along with radio.  Favorite song, “Mean” by Taylor Swift
  • Refuses to go to bed until he is ready to drop
Categories: Erica, Family, Graden Cooper, Jackson, Noah, Sophie Grace, Twins | Leave a comment

15 Things I Love About Being a Dad

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It’s 2:15 in the morning and I am posting a blog because Graden (18 months) refuses to go to sleep.  Lay him down and he screams so loud that I am convinced he is trying to wake up the other 5 people who live in this house.  So, I’m sitting here watching Barney, thinking about a cup of coffee (and would I be able to sleep once G dozes off), and thinking about how much I love being a Dad.  Let me share with you some reasons why:

  1. The screaming of Dada, Daddy, and ajodinelnse (That’s what G says) from my kids when I walk through the door after a long day of work.
  2. The way they hold onto you when they are sick.
  3. The belly laugh when you are tickling them.
  4. Their favorite place to sleep is on top of you.
  5. The privilege of teaching them the things they will need to know in life.
  6. Bath Time
  7. Nap Time
  8. Their little dances when a good song comes on.
  9. Sitting in my lap drinking their bottle.
  10. Falling asleep on my chest
  11. Hearing, “I love you”
  12. Holding my hand as we go on adventures
  13. Watching them bond together
  14. Seeing them worried about their sibling when their sick
  15. The joy on their face when they learn something new.
Categories: Family, Graden Cooper, John Personal, Lessons I've Learned as a Dad, Noah, Sophie Grace, Twins | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

What a Weekend

“There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his.  Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience.” Hebrews 4:9-11

I’m a self-professed work-a-holic.  I enjoy my work and when I enjoy something, I put everything into it.  I would work 12-14 hours/day and 7 days a week if I’m not careful.  After all, the work that I do is important.  It’s Kingdom work, right?  However, I must remember that it’s not all up to me to do.

I believe this is why it’s been said that 90% of the work and financial giving to a church is done by 20% of the people.  I know people who work, work, work and before anyone realizes it, they are burned out.  We put people who are on fire for God on every committee, every team, baking all the cakes, and working the nursery.  Let’s ask ________ to do that.  He/she never says no.  It doesn’t take long until they are not on fire but burned out.

We all need a break and contrary to what we may think, it’s not going to fall apart without us.  If it does, we built it upon ourselves and not God.  We must practice following in the footsteps of Jesus who “got away from the crowds to pray.”  We need that time and without it we become useless. So, I encourage you to take some time for just you and God.  Slow down and take a breath.  You’ll be more productive and excited about your ministry.

Here are some pictures from my long weekend with my family:

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Categories: Church, Family, Graden Cooper, Jackson, John Personal, Noah, Sophie Grace | 1 Comment

Wow, This Past Week (part 1)

What a week is all I can say.  It all began on Tuesday.  Jill and I had our yearly physical and then we traveled to Birmingham for a minor procedure on me.  We took Sophie and Graden and throughout the day, they both spent most of the day in their car seats.  When we arrived home, Erica picked up Sophie and she had a fever. Upon checking it, it registered 101.  I didn’t realize that for a 6 week old this is reason to hit the panic button but thank the Lord, Jill realized it.  She called the doctor and sure enough they wanted us to go to the ER.  Upon our arrival there, we bypassed all the other people in the waiting room to the Triage and then were allowed to sit in there while they got a room ready for us.  As we entered the room, we were met by a group of Dr.s and nurses who immediately started poking and prodding.  Then they told us that they wanted to do a spinal tap to check for Spinal meningitis.  Immediate fear came over me.

I had a cousin who died from this disease very early in his life and I have never forgotten that and so the mere mention brought back some pretty scary memories.  I knew this was not a good thing.  Seeing my baby girl get stuck in the back broke my heart. I held Jill and rubbed her hair as it seemed like it lasted several hours even though it was only minutes.  I did have the opportunity to pray for her before the procedure started and it was one of those times that I don’t know what I said, if it made sense but I know that God heard it and I find great comfort in the fact that Scripture says that the Spirit intercedes on our behalf.  Praise God.

They told us that it was pretty much a sure thing that we would be spending the night at the hospital.  It was just extremely stressful. However, when the test started coming back, everything turned out to be negative including the spinal fluid. We even got to come home.  Come to find out, she was developing an eye infection and she is now on antibiotics. She is doing fine.  I would like to give a great BIG thank you to Aunt Tammy who came to the hospital and prayed with us, held Graden, and just her being there made us feel more relaxed.  Also to Rachel. She kept the big kids at home while we were at the hospital.  I can’t imagine what life is going to be like when we move away and can’t call you on a moments notice.

What a night.

Categories: John Personal, Sophie Grace | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Photo’s w/Sophie and Graden

All these photos were taken by our daughter Erica who was there for the entire birth process.  I’m so proud of her as she has become quite the photographer and even under the pressure of babies being born, she still took some great shots.

Categories: Erica, Family, Graden Cooper, Photo of the Day, Sophie Grace, Twins | 1 Comment

The Chair

Me and Noah enjoying "The Chair"

When I moved to Latham I didn’t realize that there would be a piece of furniture that would have such a dramatic affect on my life and become such a piece that I bought it from the church when I was appointed to another church.  The chair is not that special in what looks like or how it’s made.  It’s a Laz-e-boy recliner which is light brown with dark brown.   accents.  However, this chair has been a place of relaxation, prayer, thinking, and contemplation.

The chair was a place that I would relax upon coming home from seminary and study for the test of the week.  It was the place I would sit during long phone conversations with Jill as we were courting.  It was the place where i would sit and pray for my mom after her car accident.

When Noah came home for the first time, it served a very special place in the household as it was the chair that I would hold him and rock him to sleep.  It still is used for that purpose.

Tonight was a special moment in the life of the chair as I rocked both the twins in the chair tonight.  It is a great feeling of rocking them to sleep and memories continue to be built that contain the chair.  It’s funny how attached to a simple piece of furniture I have become, yet I guess it’s not as much the piece itself but the memories that it holds and have been built around it.

Categories: Graden Cooper, John Personal, Noah, Sophie Grace, Twins | Leave a comment

My Prayer

Thank you God for two beautiful babies.  Thank you for all their fingers and toes and thank you for their smiles (even though I think it is brought on by gas).  Thank you God for the way Graden opens one eye to make sure Dad is still holding him and thank you for the way Sophie holds onto my finger.   Thank you for the privilege of raising them and loving them.  Jill and I will do our best to be the parents you have called us to be.

Thank you God for a wonderful partner in Jill.  She is strong where I am weak and loves me so much.  She is the best mom in the world and I thank you for bringing her into my life.

Thank you God for the most beautiful step-children in the world.  They are the best big brother and sister that I could have ever hoped for and they love the twins and Noah without reservation.  I thank you for that.  I ask that you bless them in ways that boggles their imagination and also that you bless them with this feeling that I have right now.  The feeling of becoming a parent. (Just not too soon).

Thank you God for Noah.  I thank you for his love, his trust, his innocence, and his love of life. I thank you for the way he wraps his arms around my legs to give me a hug and holds onto my finger when we are walking.  I thank you for the way he curls up in my arms when he is tired and the way he smiles at me when the door to the van slides open and he sees me.

Lord, you have blessed me and my family in so many ways and we give you all the glory.  May we never forget where these blessings come from.  Amen

Categories: Erica, Family, Graden Cooper, Jackson, Jill, John Personal, Noah, Sophie Grace, Twins | Leave a comment

Here We Go

As a child, I could never sleep on Christmas Eve and this is just like waiting on Christmas morn.  Erica is sleeping on the sofa in our room so that when we get up at 5:00 all she has to do is get in bed with Noah.  I’m so excited and nervous.  Tomorrow is the big day and by this time tomorrow night, we’ll have two new members of our family.  The Hill family circus will be complete.

Keep us in your prayers.

Categories: Family, Sophie Grace, Twins | Leave a comment

Hospital Trip

Wow, what an intense couple of day’s it has been!  Yesterday, Jill had a Dr.’s appointment and he sent her straight to the hospital.  She was having contractions and the doctor wanted them stopped.  So, off we go to Huntsville Hospital and Jill gets hooked up to all the monitors.  They tried a two shots at first but it made her heart rate zoom up and so they then started another drug and actually let us go home.  When we got home, she continued to have contractions and we called the doctor back.  After waiting for 30 minutes and 3 more contractions, he sent us back to the hospital.

They once again monitored the contractions and tried to get them to stop with little progress.  However, in the middle of the night, they started to decrease and it looks like we’re going to be able to go home today if she maintains this level of inactivity.  We have to stay until at least noon.

Categories: Family, Graden Cooper, Jill, Sophie Grace, Twins | Leave a comment

Jill’s Ultrasound

We went for an ultrasound today and got to see the babies.  They are both about 3 pounds and are doing very well.  We took all the kids, Jill’s mom and dad, and the Godmother for this appointment.  It was an exciting time for all and it looks like we will be having an ultrasound every week from now on.  Please keep Jill and the babies in your prayers that they stay in longer.  They’ve still got some cooking to do and we don’t want them to come before they are ready.  I’ll be posting a photo of Sophie later and some of the video, so stay tuned.

Categories: Erica, Family, Graden Cooper, Jackson, Jill, John Personal, Noah, Sophie Grace, Twins | Leave a comment

Jill’s Dr. Appointment

Jill had an appointment this morning to check on the babies.  I saw an expression on the doctor’s face that I’ve only seen once before and that was when he walked in the room as she was about to have Noah and told her not to sneeze.  She has really progressed and he essentially put her to bed.  She can do some things but not much.  Walking is a NO-NO.  The doctor now wants to see her every week and next week he is going to do the 4-D Ultra-sound.  This morning we got to hear the heart beats and when the nurse was trying to get the reading on Graden, he kept kicking the wand.  He would kick it so hard that it would actually come up Jill’s stomach.  We got a laugh out of that.  I think Graden is going to be like his brothers.

We called my Mom and Jill’s mom and we hope to get both of them up here next week for the ultra-sound.  My mom seemed really excited about it and that makes me really happy.  I told her that I would come pick her up on Monday and take her home whenever she wanted to go.  Maybe we can make that happen.

Categories: Family, Graden Cooper, Jill, Sophie Grace | Leave a comment

Hospital Run

This afternoon as I was watching qualifying for Daytona, Jill entered the room and said, “I’ve just gotten off the phone with the doctor and he wants me to go to the hospital.”  After that, a mad dash to get dressed, call my 2:00 appointment to make other arrangements and then get a babysitter.  Then I put the driving skills that I had learned watching Daytona qualifying into use as I drove to the hospital.

It truly is amazing how fast you can get a room when you have someone who is pregnant with twins.  No waiting!!  They hooked her up to so many wires and monitors.  It was amazing.  After much checking it was determined to give her a shot to stop the contractions and then send her home.  I was glad because I was not ready to meet Graden and Sophie today.  Let’s wait a couple of weeks.

Categories: Family, Graden Cooper, John Personal, Noah, Sophie Grace, Twins | Leave a comment

Where Did We Mess Up?

This afternoon a 14-year-old 9th grader was shot in the head outside of the Biology classroom by a fellow 9th grade student.  Click HERE for NEWS LINK. Preliminary news reports state the shooter just walked up behind him and shot.  I just breaks my heart to think that two teen age lives are now ruined.  What happened?  I ask this question for 5 reasons (Erica, Jackson, Noah, Graden and Sophie).  I have been around school shootings some in my life (my highschool was the site of the first school shooting several years after I had graduated) but since becoming a Dad, I think about it more.  I pray tonight for both sets of parents and what they must be going through.  I realize that no one can understand what they are going through.

As a Chaplain for the Huntsville Police Department, I have been put on call for the first part of the week to be one of the support resources for the students at the school.  This is one of the reasons that I became a chaplain but I’m not looking forward to getting that call.

Please God, be with these families and all those affected by this great tragedy.  Let them feel your presence and know the comfort that only You can bring.

I just heard as I was writing this that the young man has died.

Categories: Erica, Graden Cooper, Jackson, Noah, Police Chaplain, Sophie Grace | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Felt Graden Move

Last night was pretty special. It was the first time that Graden kicked Daddy.  Graden seems to be facing out and Sophie must be going toward the inside.  So, all of Graden’s kicks and movements are seen and felt.  Tonight was the first time that I really felt him move and it was the most incredible feeling.  I had forgotten what it was like to feel a baby move and this was truly special.

Sophie doesn’t move very much in the day, but she certainly makes up for it at night.  It seems she tries her best to keep her mom up all night.  It’s kinda funny how right now, mom can’t sleep and I’m snoozing away YET, when they are born, I will probably be the one up with her most nights.  I hope she likes Dirty Jobs.

Being a dad this time is full of emotions that I don’t know really how to describe.  When it was Noah, I was scared, nervous and excited all at the same time. There is a great deal of each of those going on just not for the same reasons.  It’s not going to be boring, I can assure you of that and we just rely on God to give us what we need to survive.  I now that we be enough and we put it in His hands.

Categories: Common Everyday Stuff, Faith Journey, Family, Graden Cooper, John Personal, Sophie Grace, Twins | Leave a comment

Diapers for the Twins

Noah and I had a “Man’s night out” tonight and went to Sam’s.  We got a case of diapers and wipes for the new babies.  Mom went out to eat with Aunt Tammy and did some Christmas shopping.  It was quite fun.

Categories: Family, Graden Cooper, Sophie Grace, Twins | Leave a comment

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