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Sunday, April 3, 2011

Meeting the Soares Family

Let's take a few moments and introduce you to our family...


I am Gretchen.
 I am currently a 37 year old woman who wears MANY hats in a given day.

My favorite role (and probably most challenging) is that of Mommy to 3 wonderful angels (in my dreams anyways). There is my angel daughter, Taylor, who would be 13 years old right now. Taylor now resides in the arms of Jesus in a place called heaven, and we will save her story is one for another day. Next up is my special prince, Nathaniel, who is 10 1/2. And bringing up the rear is my littlest princess, Audrey, who is 8. I am a single mom, and although I have a wonderful Care Team to help out, all of the care of these darlings lays completely on my shoulders! My family and I are blessed to live in the beautiful Central Coast of California.
In addition to caring for my family I am also the sole provider for them. This gets a little tricky with a special needs child, but we hang tough. Creating 4 Care was born out of my need to care for my family and my desire to provide for them. I am excited about this new adventure!

In my spare time (or my dreams of spare time anyways!) I enjoy Scrap booking, sewing and just plain being creative. I also love to read, do volunteer work and hang out with my kiddos. We enjoy living each day with a loving Lord, and walking out his plan for our life. I remind myself everyday how blessed I am and no matter how tough the road, it is so worth the journey!

I will try not to make this volumes long.... but Nathaniel has a very unique, very long story, so we will see what happens! Nathaniel is my wonderful 10 year old son and there are many great things about him. Part of what defines Nathaniel is also what makes him very special in many ways.... you see Nathaniel was born with a congenital birth defect commonly known as Spina Bifida.

Nathaniel's story actually begins LONG before he was born! He has an entire scrapbook of his life before his birthday! When I was just 16 weeks pregnant with Nathaniel doctors told me that he had a birth defect commonly know as Spina Bifida. I feel that our family was blessed to know this early on because it gave us choices and power. When I was just 21 weeks pregnant with Nathaniel, a team of many exceptional doctors at University of California San Francisco Medical Center operated on Nathaniel and myself. At the time Nathaniel was less that one pound and one of the doctors compared his size to the of a Snickers bar! Through this new procedure, the doctors were able to go in intrauterine and close Nathaniel's lesions caused by Spina Bifida. Nathaniel was born at 32 weeks gestation (8 weeks premature) weighing 3 lbs. 15 oz. He was so tiny and already had scars on his little body, but he was a strong willed child and his will was for life to the fullest!
 Nathaniel does NOT let his disability slow him down at all!
Through the last 10 years life has not been without challenges, but it also hasn't been without victories! Nathaniel has many of the traditional complications related to Spina Bifida, such as bowel and bladder complications, reduced gross and fine motor skills, and attention and behavioral issues. But he is also blessed with the ability to walk unassisted, and escaped the need for a shunt, which I truly dreaded.

Nathaniel is able to run and play sports, which is a blessing considering his love of them!

And that is your little introduction to Prince Nathaniel!

Nathaniel is a lover of all sports and will play anything as long as it has a ball, bat or racket in it!

He HATES to read, and loves to listen to anything (stories, books on tape, movies, music... anything!).

He thinks art is for girls, painting is to express anger, and creating is NOT his strong suit.

He can figure out ANY electronic game without reading and will play them for hours on end.

 Friendships are not something he is good at building and he is fine playing alone, unless he needs a body for sports and even then, he will play the sport with you, but conversation is not a part of it to him.

I love my son to pieces. But I do have to admit he has a few quirks!
 Audrey is my youngest daughter at 8 years old.

Audrey has MANY personalities and you are about to meet all of them..

The Princess.....
Audrey is all around princess right now. She loves anything girly, frilly and fun. She is completely into everything dance too and is becoming quiet the little dancer. Audrey loves to refer to herself as Princess Audrey, but doesn't like ti if you call her Princess Sassy Pants, which I think is much more fitting at times!

The Cutie Pie.....
Audrey can be especially sweet, and very empathetic! She cracks me up sometimes at how incredibly sweet she is. She loves to dress herself up cute as can be and is ALWAYS the one being sweet to the under dog, the lonely heart, or the kid getting picked on.

The Sweetheart...
Audrey is my sweetest child. My heart just melts when she is in her sweet mood. My favorite "sweet thing" about her right now is my nightly love song. Every night, before she goes to bed, Audrey sings me a love song. It is so sweet.... it varies a little from night to night, but it always follows along these lines....

"I love my Queen Mommy,
I love my Queen Mommy so much,
My Queen Mommy is the Sweetest Mommy ever..."

ahhh... to melt a mommy's heart! And of course I answer her,
"And I love my Princess Audrey"

Audrey is the best helper, so caring and just a love to be around...
Unless she is in her final personality...

The Diva....
Of all of Audrey's personalities, I think the DIVA is the most fitting on a regular basis! We love to say that she is 8 going on 18! Audrey spends most of her days with her cousins, Brianna (15) and Josie (12), so she is constantly picking up on teenager behaviors. Ugh! Such fun. While she is the youngest and loves to be sweet, she also has the sassiest way ever about her, second only to Josie! (I love you too Jo Jo Bear :) )

That is Audrey in a nut shell!

Thanks for taking a couple of minutes to meet us, now won't you please introduce yourself to us?

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