Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Introducing Nathan "Nate" Paul DeCoste

Nathan means "Gift of God" and his middle name is after Katie's father.

Momma and son share a moment just after delivery.

Our family has now grown to 5!

Sam gets to know his new little brother.

Katie shares a quiet moment with Nate on the porch.

The LONG wait is finally over!!! We welcomed the newest addition to our family, Nathan "Nate" Paul DeCoste, on Monday, June 23, 2008 at 8:52 a.m. He weighed 9 lbs 2 oz and was 21 1/2 in long (Go KATIE!) He is a beautiful little boy full of personality and charm. He is very laid back (as you may have guessed being he was 5 days late) and loves just looking all around. Not a big cryer ... yet. Katie will have to post her delivery story soon but until then I will post a few pics.

We couldn't believe the outpouring of love that we felt from family and friends. We must have received 50 calls in the past week as people anxiously awaited Nate's arrival. We thank you all for standing with us in prayer and can't wait for you to meet our little man. God is good!

–The DeCostes
Matt, Katie, Grace, Sam and Nate

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Memories on Father's Day

Me and my dad (Christmas 1975)

Me and my boy (Easter 2008)

My dad was born on November 8, 1939 in a place that no longer exists. He was "born in space" because the small hospital where he was delivered was on top of a present day, open pit copper mine in southwestern New Mexico near the town of Santa Rita. My father was an only child and grew up playing golf in the desert amidst the yucca. He was an excellent tennis player and worked as a lifeguard during high school. He was a great student and became the valedictorian of his class and gave the commencement speech. I still have his handwritten notes. He later went on to get a chemistry degree and hated it, choosing later to go in to accounting. He also joined the army with a college buddy because, as he put it, "he thought it would be fun."

He met my mom at a Christian singles group through a church in Denver in the late 60's and before long the family grew to 7–Dad, Mom, Michelle, Marc, Matt, Christin and Dave. Wow, 5 kids! I'm still in awe. Today is exactly 3 days from Katie's due date–our 3rd and (we think) final. I still don't know how they did it. It is truly amazing to me and I was THERE. One day at a time I guess.

It has been nearly 12 years since my dad died suddenly as he and the family were helping me move back from Montana after college and get their house ready to sell. It was sudden and shocking and left me shell-shocked for quite a while. I remember I used to have dreams (they stopped a few years back) about my dad just showing up at the door one day and saying that he hadn't really died after all but was just really sick. I was always overwhelmed with joy and relief to have my dad back, to talk to him and hear his voice, to hold him and to be able to just spend another day with him. But even as I was dreaming a part of my consciousness knew it was not real, that I would wake up and he'd be gone. I never knew if these dreams were a way of God letting me spend time with my father or whether the "experts" were right. When he died we heard from different people that it would be healthy to view his body in the casket to create a sense of closure. I never did. All my brothers and sisters did but I didn't want to. I didn't want to remember him in a casket. I wanted to remember and preserve my dad the way I wanted to—alive, smiling, and loving everyone around him.

My father (and mother) also he led me to Jesus. I remember it clearly. I was probably 5 or 6 and I was on my parent's oversized bed watching the news with mom and dad. The news was reporting on some violence in the middle east and showed several dead bodies and I suddenly had the realization (after hearing all that stuff in Sunday School) that all those people probably died not knowing Jesus so they wouldn't be in heaven. The thought scared me quite a bit and as I began crying I told mom and dad I wanted to go to heaven where Jesus lived in case I should die. Right then and there they led me in the sinner's prayer and I accepted Christ as my Lord and Saviour.

OK, enough of the heavy stuff. My dad really was a great father to me. He focused on love and relationships and our family meant everything to him. He taught me how to golf, play tennis and ski. He taught me how to use his tools in the garage and gave me my first (and only) gun. He was so involved in our swim lessons, soccer games, youth group at church. It seems he just gave and gave and gave. Their are so many stories in my mind but I'll share one that really reminds me of how loving he was.

Dad lost his job in Denver in 1987 and was out of work for a year before finally finding a good position in Montana doing accounting work for a mineral company. He went up a few weeks before the family to start work and look for housing. The town he worked in was called Three Forks and it was literally the company building, a small school, a park, some storefronts and a few hundred houses. Knowing what shell-shock it would be for us kids to move from Denver to a town this small, dad made the decision to buy a house instead in Bozeman, a town of 30,000 with a movie theatre, bigger schools, and more opportunities. The only problem was the town was 40 miles away. So everyday, dad got up early and drove an extra hour and a half so his family could live in a more comfortable place. That just blows me away.

Dad left us a note that we didn't find until after his heart attack. It means so much to me that I carry it around in my wallet. I want to post it here to inspire others and as a tribute to him.

Grace's Father's Day card 2008

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Grace's Vacation Bible School Experiece

Grace went to Vacation Bible School at Mountain Springs Church last week. It was her first experience and although the week started off slow for her she really loved it by the end. They did a lot of singing and dancing and projects and every day when I would get home I would ask her what she learned. We shared breakfast together one morning and over cereal had the following discussion:

Matt: "Are you going back to Vacation Bible School today?"

Grace: "Yep. Those songs about praising God were very good. I think they made Him happy in the whole heaven."

At that I let out a bit of a laugh and just thought how wonderful it is when God invades a child's soul and becomes real to them. Grace professed her faith in christ last year with Katie and we pray that God would protect that faith and let nothing snatch it away.