Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Austin and Hannah are ENGAGED!!!

I'm sure unless you live under a rock or you have no idea who we are, you know the new NEWS in "The Baker" house!! HANNAH and AUSTIN are ENGAGED!!!! YAY!!! It happened Monday the 11th of January or the way I like to write it - 011110 - pretty cool! YAY!!!! What a wonderful day it was!! I will start from the beginning (you scared?)! Can I just say that this was quite a JOYOUS occasion with both of the families involved!

59 days before the engagement or November 14th, Austin had "the talk" with Ray!! I remember the date because it was the day my sweet niece Jessica was married and I remember the days because 59 days felt like 599 days - because we had to keep it a secret! We were in San Marcos at the wedding and some of the uncles/cousins went golfing the morning before the wedding. Ray of course won't miss an opportunity to golf and Austin enjoys it as well. They were headed back from golfing, they were in the truck listening to the Texas Longhorn game on the radio - we should have known something was up because Austin agreed to go golfing knowing he would miss most of the game - can you say "hardcore sports fan"! Of course if playing sports is involved Austin will miss a game unless it's the Dallas Cowboys. They were listening to the game on the radio and loving the drive in the country - THEN Austin leans in to turn down the radio.... Ray says he either gave him a dirty look or said, "what are you doing?" He looked at Ray and said these words --- is it ok if we have a talk? --- YIKES!! Now Ray and Austin have a WONDERFUL relationship. They are buds for sure. They had "THE" talk when he asked to date Hannah - we all 4 had a talk shorty after that - and they have had maybe 1 other talk in the last 20+ mths. Private talks anyway - they bore us girls talking about sports nonsense but not - "can we talk"! SO, Ray wasn't prepared for this spur of the moment talk. He wasn't quite sure what it was about but of course he said - sure! So, sweet Austin stumbled a bit over his words but finally said --- I want to know what you think about me asking Hannah to marry me - of course that is Ray's memory of it, it could have been a bit different but that was the jest. WELL, Ray was semi shocked and semi expecting it, anytime. So they talked for a while about how crazy Austin is about his daughter (because that's what Dad's want to hear), Ray had a couple of things he wanted to hear Austin's heart on and then all Ray could think is - I need to talk to Teddi before I give him my answer! YIKES!! All Ray could think was, for 26 years we've made decisions together. SOO...if he has a regret, his regret was that he didn't say YES, right away and give him a high 5 and a hug. They left the convo with Austin wondering and Ray needing to talk to me. Of course Ray Baker LOVES to make the boys in our girls lives - sweat for a bit. Well they got back to the resort that we were staying at, Ray & I left early to take pictures and Austin, Hannah & Grant came later. So we get in the truck and I start talking - nonsense I'm sure about the wedding pics. - the scenery, I don't know. When I hush for a second he looks at me and says these words with the most precious look on his face - well, I had THE talk with Austin - OK, my heart hit my feet and the 1st thing out of my mouth was - why did you not just spill it when we got in the truck, why did you let me ramble, HA! I was somewhat surprised but I had a slight feeling. The feeling was always there when they would go hangout together. So Ray and I talked - he told me the couple things that he wanted to hear his heart on (which I already knew the answers) and OF COURSE our answer was YES!! So as soon as Hannah & Austin got to the wedding Ray took him to the side (i have NO IDEA where Han was) and gave him a hug, told him he had our blessing and I'm sure they high 5'd. I couldn't get him without his shadow around (Han) so I just slipped my arm around him when he was standing by me and told him I loved him.

SO...the 1st of THE 4 talks --- IS DONE!! Then began 59 days of keeping a secret with MANY people!! Everyone did GREAT keeping the secret from Hannah but it was CLEARLY no secret. I can't imagine how many people knew! Just Han and Austin's siblings is a bunch. He has 2 older sister and 2 younger brothers. He is the middle child, like Han. BUT WE DID IT!!! As far as I know she had NO IDEA!!

Hannah and Austin began dating with the intent of marriage. My children have been taught that dating without a purpose is foolish/heartbreaking and we just don't allow it! When they hit there 1 year of dating in May they began to talk just a bit about getting married. We advised them that talking about it much would make it hard to not be married so enjoy this time and when the time came - it would be wonderful. Of course Hannah wanted to talk more but Austin would steer her away from it. But every now and then they would have "reality" talks about marriage and the reality was we weren't for a long dating game and we weren't for a long engagement. They have kept their relationship pure before the Lord so LONG dating/engagements aren't such a great idea. With Austin's parents being missionaries in Israel and 1 of his sisters living in Belgium with another 1 moving there in the spring - they knew that their wedding would need to be when his family comes back to the states 1 time a year. Oct/Nov! We ALL knew Oct/Nov 2011 wasn't gonna happen so 2010 was when it was going to be. So they knew they were getting married this year but Hannah didn't know when they would get engaged. Ray is so against the long engagements so he has always preached, no longer then a 6 mth engagement. 6 mths from Oct/Nov would be May-ish. So Han thought that they couldn't get engaged before then...well IT HAPPENED!!

In the weeks after Austin spoke to Ray, he and Liv went looking for THE RING! They are the best of buds so it was right for the 2 of them to make it a date and go hunting for the ring. They found the PERFECT ring that Liv and Austin both knew immediately would be just what Hannah would want. So the ring was being made and the rest was us all keeping our mouths shut about it all. Thank GOD Hannah worked a lot in the coming weeks.

In late November, Gary & Jerri (Austin's parents) and Ray & I went to dinner. We wanted to get together to visit and catch up but we also needed to talk about THE WEDDING/engagement. We knew we wouldn't see each other again before the wedding week so we discussed quite a few things about the wedding. But they 1st wanted to hear about Ray and Austin's talk and we both exchanged how blessed and ordained by God these 2 are, together. It was a WONDERFUL visit! This was the night that we talked about them getting engaged in Israel. Austin's big sisters immediately said Israel but Austin was against it because Hannah's family wouldn't be there. Jerri and Gary agreed that she needed to be where we are but we disagreed! I knew that Hannah would LOVE to be proposed in the most blessed city on earth! It was my desire for Jerri and Gary to share this with the kids & then have the time after to talk about THE WEDDING! So we left the dinner with Gary saying he would talk to Austin and let him know that we were ok with it being in Israel and actually thought it was a perfect plan! It was precious that Austin wanted her to be with her family to share everything right after it happened but God had other dreams for Hannah to be fulfilled! So Israel is the proposal place!

Nobody knew the exact day of the proposal because Austin was gonna get to Israel and make a plan. He knew he wanted to do it quick because he didn't think he could wait long. I knew that EVERYTHING about her trip would be MORE wonderful, if possible, if she was walking around ENGAGED!!! So Monday morning, our time, I get a twitter from Jerri saying today is the day. Then I get a FB message from Austin saying - Today is the day, it's gonna be GREAT - Olivia got a FB message too from Austin saying - Get ready 2 worlds are going to collide! SO, we went into motion figuring out where everyone was. Destiny (his sis) was ready in Belgium to skype. Courtney (his sis) was here in Grand Prairie, not moving from the computer. Rachel found someone to come into work for her. Ray was headed home. Olivia had the day off. Grandma, Grant and I were also home. SARAH was the only 1 that had a problem. She had just been off work for 2 WEEKS and Monday was her 1st day back. This couldn't be happening!! FINALLY she talked to her boss and she went to Courtney's because it was closer to work. She left when we got the twitter that they had made it back to his parents apartment. The 13 min. it took her killed us ALL! HA!! SO FINALLY, all 3 computers could SKYPE with the newly engaged couple.
This is a picture of the kids WAITING for Sarah to get to Courtney's so we could begin to skype.

It was WONDERFUL and we really felt like we were right there. Our connection wasn't the greatest but it was just fine. I have a video link below of 8 mins. of them telling some of the story so I won't go into it. But it was PERFECT she said. He got down on 1 knee. She cried and HE cried. I had sent on Hannah's carry on a bag that was taped up and in the bag was "engagement day" goodies for them both. Han thought it was stuff I got for Jerri but nope - that was a lie. We got to skype and see them get everything that I had picked out for them. It was precious and I'm grateful to Jerri for making it go off without a hitch. I'll post pics. that Destiny got off of skype, during that time. It was simply WONDERFUL!! I will NEVER, EVER forget how giddy she was. She couldn't sit still and she was posing her hand in every way possible to show us her ring. It was so special.

Austin's parents, Preston (his bro) and the newly engaged couple left the next morning to go spend the night in the Galilee. She has told me that they can't stop telling each other, I love you!! It made it SO SPECIAL that they waited for those words. NOW the meaning is so much different then it would have been a mth into the relationship. Austin had the desire to not say it till engagement because he wanted to guard Hannah's heart if something happened and it didn't work out. Our advise and wish was that they didn't say it for that reason also and that it would make this time SO much more special.

I feel like I have told more of the details (because we will all forget) but haven't shared the good stuff about these 2 AMAZING people!! I just can't express and since this is already so long I will save some of my thoughts for another time but I love when the Lord knits 2 people together so perfectly!! Not that they have a perfect relationship because none of us do but to see them GROW together - has been nothing short of a miracle. Austin truly is 1 of the most teachable souls. He listens, observes and takes things to the Lord. Then he allows Him to do a work that will be lasting instead of temporary. Ray and I are just SO EXCITED about these 2 coming together as 1. They SO compliment each other in life. She will be such an asset to his gifts and call ~ He is going to be and already is THE 1 that the Lord uses to help Hannah fulfill her call & destiny. It's gonna be amazing to see.

This is a pic. of them walking into Austin's parent's apt. right when they got back from their evening.

This picture is what Hannah did many times that evening. Here are SEVERAL pics. because we couldn't get enough of her wanting to show her ring. Olivia and Kim (Han's great friend) got Hannah to get her nails done before going to Israel. Knowing that Hannah and Liv had always talked about making sure that the other's nails were done, when they knew the other was going to get engaged. Hannah didn't catch on because they have many times gotten their nails done.

This is my favorite of them both.
And 1 of our PRECIOUS Hannah - she is SO BEAUTIFUL, inside and out!!!

Here is a video clip from the proposal story that I got of the screen while we skyped. We're SO blessed to have this memory on tape. It was truly priceless to watch her SO excited.

Most of the pics are from Austin's sister, Destiny. She got some great shots off of skype. After they shared the proposal story they got their gifts that I had put together for them. I wanted EVERYTHING to be special because I really don't know if I know very many people that are more sentimental than Hannah. 1st gift was a hoodie and pants for Han that had "The Future Mrs. Benjamin" on the lower back and then Bride on the front. Austin got a silly shirt that I told him he only had to wear for a picture - it says, "I put a ring on it".

Next was a tote bag that had her 1st Bride 2010 magazine, a book, Chicken Soup for the Bride and a Bride Journal. Aren't they SO CUTE!!!

Next was a little Bride purse that had an engagement card in it for them both and some cash for their souvenirs that they want to get for their home and some things that they will use at their wedding.

This is them showing off their scrapbook. I put it together for them and it was letters from people back home that they are close to - telling them congrats. It has room for them to add pictures and keepsakes from their trip to ISRAEL

This is the letter that Ray & I wrote to the happy couple that is in their scrapbook:


Our precious, sweet Hannah – YOU’RE ENGAGED!!!!

We can only imagine that you are still somewhere in the clouds. YAY!! Since you were a little girl all you wanted to be is a wife ~ God has answered that desire of your heart. We love you so much and we can’t wait to plan your big day with you. You will be the most beautiful bride!! To say we are HAPPY for you and Austin is an understatement!! You both really do complete each other ~ he is your missing piece. We know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you will be the most wonderful wife to Austin. He is beyond blessed to have you become his wife and we know he feels the same. You are such a reflection of the love of God to everyone that is in your life. So, enjoy your time being ENGAGED in Israel and when you come home ~ the “real” planning will begin!

P.S. – please know that 99.9% of the things that I have told you in life – are the TRUTH!


We can’t believe that we will have 2 sons – WOW! We have, like your parents, prayed for you since before Hannah was born. To see you in the flesh and get to know you – is to witness the Lord’s complete plan for 1 of our children (up to this point)! I think you know by now that Ray and I are totally crazy about you. You fit into our family like you were always here. It’s really great that I will have 6 children but only had to be pregnant & deliver 5. We are SO proud of the man you are and that the Lord picked someone like you for our Hannah. We love your teachable spirit and know that you and Hannah will have a marriage that many will envy. She is blessed to have been picked to be your wife. The 1 thing that we desired is for someone to love our child with the love that we have for each other – and we know that Hannah has been given that gift in you. Thank you for already taking care of her and we know you always will! Enjoy your time together and remember this – I CAN keep a secret! Let’s talk about who almost blew it… We love you Austin – our soon to be SON! We like the ring of that.

We love you both dearly, Dad & Mom Baker

Hannah is beyond blessed to marry into a PRECIOUS family. I really couldn't ask the Lord to give her a more amazing family. I think we will all LOVE being grandparents together and uncles/aunts together.

Here is a link to a blog that Austin's sister wrote about the engagement.

And a link of his Mother's blogs about the engagement.

Here are a few pics of the Newly Engaged Couple - the 1st 1 is them at the airport in Dallas on their way to ISRAEL - the Texas shirts are because the Longhorns were playing for the championship that very day so they were supporting their team. Won't they make BEAUTIFUL grandbabies for ME!!

This is so beautiful - it's the day after they got engaged - looking out onto the Sea of Galilee.

So the proposal is OVER!!! The day they get home from Israel we will have a small party with close family to celebrate once again and get more details of their big day. We will toast to the future and see them and that ring in person, HA!! I believe they have set the date and it's probably 95% for sure gonna be October 23, 2010. It's going to be a wedding that is very much Hannah and Austin. My goal as the MomOfTheBride is for everyone to leave saying - "that was SO Hannah and Austin". She will be the most BEAUTIFUL bride, I'm sure!! We have many things to do and we are counting on the Lord to guide it ALL. I'm sure that I will have many blogs of the process so until next time -- thanks for reading the novel about my precious Hannah and her Prince Charming!!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


Well today was a sad and happy day. It's odd to have those words come out of my mouth but it's the truth. It's sad that a wife lost her husband, children lost their father, grandchildren lost their papa, a brother& a sister lost a brother, nieces&nephews lost an uncle and friends lost a friend. We are sad for what was and what could have been. The happy is HEAVEN!!! Need I say more - but you know I will. It is a wonderful place and yes we did sing that song to him, ha! Heaven is a wonderful place, filled with glory and grace, I wanna see my Saviors face cause Heaven is a wonderful place. You should be VERY happy that there isn't sound to this blog because I DO make a joyful "noise".

I must say that my Dad was a Major in the United States Army and I am very proud that he served our country. He gave a lot and the Army took a lot from my Dad. At the young age of 17 it took his innocence and the horror of war, took part of his heart.

My Dad was 80 years old and if I could use 1 word to describe him it would be STRONG. He made it through 2 wars, raising 8 children, alcoholism and a dreadful disease that robbed him of the last 5 years of his life. He was a man that 2 wars, changed him ~ He was a strong man who's children, challenged him ~ He was an addicted man that was brave enough to give up something that bound him for many years ~ He was a sick man that fought the fight and didn't give up. His body gave up but he never did!! I had the honor of staying with my Dad the 1st night that he was in the hospital (Sunday night). Me and Tricia took the 1st shift and then me & Toni stayed through the night. It was a tough 13 hrs. sitting in arms reach of my STRONG Father. Who always had a tough exterior. Something happened to me that night and I am so grateful to the Lord. I began to see my Father as a weak, vulnerable, human being that was flawed just like the rest of humankind. The Lord began to do a work in me that to be honest - was needed. You see I was the 6th daughter, born in 1965. I was a toddler when my Dad came home from Vietnam for the 2nd time and when he came home he wasn't the same as he was when he left. That's the way life goes. Some say it's unfair and some say it sucks but I say I am the woman I am because of the Mother and Father that raised me. I may not be perfect but I like me. I like the things that I have overcome and I like the things I still must overcome. I like the strong headed woman I am and I like the soft/submissive woman I have become. I got some good qualities from my Dad and some not so good qualities from my Dad. I think I have discovered today that my journey isn't quite over and will never be with my Dad. I am praying for God's eyes in situations that I have walked through and His heart where my heart got wounded.

So Dad - your suffering has come to an end ~ your suffering was unbearable sometimes, I'm sure!! My STRONG Dad that was really a broken, wounded boy. So many dreams of mine died this afternoon but the Lord is faithful to make beauty out of ashes. You see you never stop wanting the love from your Father. I'm still that same little girl that reached up to him when he came home from war and he just couldn't reach back. Maybe it was guilt that he was alive and happy and so many were dead. I don't know the answers but 1 thing I do know is my STRONG Dad loved me. He loved me the best way he knew how. I thank God for the love of my heavenly Father that can show me my Fathers love.

I want to write about the legacy that my Dad left behind. He left behind 8 children, 7 daughters and 1 son. He left 28 GRANDchildren and 5 GREATgrandchildren and 1 on the way! If I had a million years I could NEVER tell you how WONDERFUL my siblings are! It may sound dramatic but if you knew them you would be SO jealous that they aren't your siblings. Our spouses are BEYOND wonderful and I really can't begin to tell you how amazing all of his grandchildren/greats are!! This man, my Dad, had a family that people MARVEL over. If I have heard it once I have heard it 200 times - your family is so rare, everyone loves Jesus, you love each other so much, you honor your parents, how did you all have such wonderful kids, all your siblings have wonderful marriages, you're so close/that's rare - and the comments go on and on!!! I don't know WHY I was picked to be in such a wonderful family. 1 of my brother-in-laws said today that he is honored to have been chosen to be apart of our family. It's rare and I don't take it for granted!! I thank my Father for having a part to play in who these 50+ people are. My Dad had a wife, Patsy, that we will forever be grateful to. She has taken care of my Dad through some very tough years. She has many jewels in her crown and I don't know if it will be to heavy for her to wear.

So, I'm happy tonight and sad. I thank GOD he isn't in his beat up ole earth suit any longer. He is breathing heaven's air and not oxygen out of a tank. He's probably made it to the throne of God by now and will continually praise the Father! He got welcomed to heaven by his parents and some of his siblings. I have a baby that I lost that is there and I'm sure my Dad is introducing himself to him/her. I know my Dad will be some kind of Major in heaven. He will have some little army to attend to. We told him today that he needs to remember that the Lord is in charge up there because HE is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. I'm sure my Dad will welcome the break. I thank God for my strong Dad and I know that it will be in the blink of an eye and we will be together again. I love you Dad!

Here is a picture of my Dad with almost all of his legacy sitting around him. Well the grands and greats. He was VERY proud of them all.