Voting

Daily Verse

Sunday~
"How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from you commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you." Psalm 119:9-11

Why do we try to conform God to our will? Live in His word and know true joy.

Monday~
"Make me to know your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long. Remember your mercy, O LORD, and your steadfast love, for they have been from of old."
Psalm 25:4-6

God reveals the truth of our time and all time to us through Scripture.

Tuesday~
"The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the tstimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple: the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the LORD are true, and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb."
Psalm 19:7-10

All the laws in all the books in all the libraries of the world are but a footnote to the law of God.

Wednesday~
"Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways ackowledge him, and he will make straight your paths."
Proverbs 3:5-6

To know and understand God comes not through our intellect, but through the wisdom given to us by the grace of God.

Thursday~
"My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you. Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart."
Proverbs 3:1-3

Don't measure success by society's standards. Use Christ as your measuring stick.

Friday~
"The the LORD answered Job our of the whirlwind and said: 'Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding, Who determined its measurements - surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? Or who laid its cornerstond...?'"
Job 38:1, 4-6

When we measure God by our limited standards, we attempt to measure the elephant by weighing one strand of its hair.

Saturaday~
"Philip said to him, 'Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.' Jesus said to him, 'Have I been with you so lon, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, Show us the Father?'"
John 14:8-9

Christ is God made flesh. If you want to know God, you must draw closer to Jesus.

J.E.N.E

Patch

12.14.03

8.20.04

1.20.05

4.26.05

Anniversary

Daisypath Anniversary tickers

Princess

Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Sunshine

Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Cupcake

Lilypie Fourth Birthday tickers

Love Bug

Lilypie Third Birthday tickers

Healthier Me!

LilySlim Weight loss tickers

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Music gets to me...

As I have stated on more than one occasion, music can really get me thinking.  I can hear a song and it can completely change my thought process for the moment or it can change my mood....music gets to me.

For example, on Sunday morning I had on Pan.dor.a and the song "Precious Memories" comes on...my mind is immediately taken back almost 12 years to my newlywed days when Handsome was providing pulpit supply for area churches when there was a need.  One of our little churches was between pastors and so for 4-5 months we would get in our old black Mercury and drive to this little town while listening to the Gospel Hour on a local country station...almost every week they would play Precious Memories and now every time I hear the song I can smell Curve cologne, see my Handsome in a suit and tie and almost feel the plush burgundy seats of the old car!!!  It is crazy!

But last night I had another song come up, "I Could Not Ask For More" by Ed.win...Mcc.ain.  Now I realize this song was written for a couple, but while I was hearing the words I couldn't help but think of my kids.

"Lying here with you
Listening to the rain
Smiling just to see the smile upon your face
These are the moments I thank God that I'm alive
These are the moments I'll remember all my life
I found all I've waited for
And I could not ask for more
Looking in your eyes
Seeing all I need
Everything you are is everything to me
These are the moments
I know heaven must exist
These are the moments I know all I need is this
I have all I've waited for
And I could not ask for more
I could not ask for more than this time together
I could not ask for more than this time with you
Every prayer has been answered
Every dream I have's come true
And right here in this moment is right where I'm meant to be
Here with you here with me
These are the moments I thank God that I'm alive
These are the moments I'll remember all my life
I've got all I've waited for
And I could not ask for more
I could not ask for more than this time together
I could not ask for more than this time with you
Every prayer has been answered
Every dream I have's come true
And right here in this moment is right where I'm meant to be
Here with you here with me
I could not ask for more than the love you give me 'Cause it's all I've waited for
And I could not ask for more
I could not ask for more"

The entire song really makes me think of my children.  Knowing from the age of 13 the odds of me carrying a healthy pregnancy to term were slim to none, becoming a mother was one of two things I really ever wanted....getting married and being a mom!  When I met Handsome and told him that I probably could never give him children and he responded by telling me that we could just adopt!!!  I knew he was my man!  

"Smiling just to see the smile on your face"
-I do this often, there is nothing better than a dimple cheek, toothless smile of one of my kids!  I love how their personalities come through in their cheesy little grins!!!

"These are the moments I thank God that I'm alive"
-Seriously, what else is there in this world than loving your children?!?!?  Or at least for me...when I have my Handsome and my kiddos I am a happy lady.  Just the other night all 6 of the kids were playing Ring Around The Rosie and when they would All.Fall.Down they would laugh and laugh and laugh...get up and do it again.  Our Cupcake would tackle anyone that thought they could get away with not falling and then more giggles would happen.  It was fabulous!
..."These are the moments I'll remember all my life"

"Looking in your eyes, seeing all I need"
-The fastest way to bring my attitude around (other than music) is being able to have a little sweet time with one of my kids.  When I look into any of their eyes and connect with them on that level it really is an amazing form of contentment that comes over me!  I love my kids!  I love that God allowed me to be their mother!

"I could not ask for more than this time together, I could not ask for more than this time with you"
-I honestly have a hard time committing to anything that is going to take me away from my kids regularly!  When I first was invited to my bi-weekly Bible Study that was one of my biggest concerns...but I will be missing putting them to bed, feeding them supper, jammies, Bible story time....my Handsome had to remind me that 13 nights out of 14 I would still be doing those things and it was okay to be away from it.  But, "Right here in this moment is where I'm meant to be, here with you here with me!"

"Every prayer has been answered, every dream I have's come true"
-One honestly could not know how many prayers went up before my babies came home!!!  I prayed for children before I was married (though I wanted to wait until after marriage), my Handsome and I prayed for children almost immediately after marriage, and we asked many friends and family to pray with us knowing the battle we had ahead of us...and then the miscarriages...there was many prayers!!  But the prayers have been answered (even though I am still praying for another baby) and my dreams have been realized in the fact that I have 4 amazing children that are all mine...and two on loan for the moment!!! ;)

Anyway, I know this post is a little cheesy, who am I kidding...most of my posts are!?!?  But it is a glimpse of how my brain works when a song comes on.  Each and every line I dissect to get the deep down meaning of what is being said/sung!!!  This song just so happened to be singing from my heart about my kids!  

Have I mentioned that I love my kids???  "I could not as for more..."

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Why we do what we do.

So Satan always has a way of creeping into our home on Sunday mornings...I truly believe he is trying to either A) keep us from church all together or B) get us upset with eachother so that some or all of us arrive at church stewing about that rather than focusing our heart and mind on Christ and the message He is giving us through our pastor.  Either way Satan is fighting us every step of the way to church!

This morning as I was trying to get myself and our 4 littles ready I was listening to Pan...dora on shuffle and a John.Michael.Mon.tgomery song came on that I have heard a million times before.  As I listened to the words I kept thinking of the precious children that have been brought to our home in other ways than through my belly.  I am speaking for our agency adopted children, our foster/adopt child and our foster children (past and current.)

Here are the first two verses of the song "Little Girl" by JMMontgomery

"Her parents never took the young girl to church
Never spoke of his name never read her his word
Two non believers walking lost in this world 
Took their baby with them what a sad little girl
Her daddy drank all day and mommy did drugs
Never wanted to play or give kisses and hugs
She'd watched the TV and sit there on the couch
While her mom fell asleep and her daddy went out
And the drinking and the fighting
Just got worse every night
Behind their couch she'd be hiding
Oh what a sad little life

And like it always does the bad just got worse
With every slap and every curse 
Until her daddy in a drunk rage one night
Used a gun on her mom and then took his life
And some people from the city took the girl far away
To a new Mom and a new Dad 
Kisses and hugs every day!"


Sadly I do not think that many people realize how really severe the problems of today are.  There are thousands of children in our very own country that wake up (on their own) every day...if they are 3 or older they are probably waking up to scavange food for their younger siblings.  They tip toe around their mom and/or dad trying NOT to wake them because they are afraid of WHO or WHAT they will receive when they wake up!  We have had a 2 yr old foster daughter placed just 1 month post her 2nd birthday and already knew to look in the corners of the house for crumbs, climb kitchens counters to find 'the good stuff', and check and change her 1 yr old brothers diaper (not well, but she still tried.)  Her older brothers and sisters were old enough for school, so they were able to get meals when they were at school and they were also able to get a break from having to parent the younger siblings to go to school and try to blend in so they didn't put a spotlight on their parents. But while they were at school the babies were forced to live on their own.  Sometimes there wasn't an adult around, sometimes there was but the partying was more important than feeding or caring for the child.  Life was about survival and it was scary.  There was not love, there was not structure, there was not stability.  This is the story for child after child in the system (and many who are not) in our country.

My husband and I did not 'choose' to be foster parents long term.  We DID decide to get licensed so that we could grow our family when agency adoption wasn't working well for us and I was desperate to be a mother.  In that moment we never really could have known what God had in store for us.  Yes, our first placement was precious adorable little baby boy that we were able to dress and feed and love.  But that little boy quickly had so many doctors appointments that I was hauling our 3 month old baby girl along with to 30-40 appointments a MONTH!!!  He was sick because his birthmom thought there was only way to feel loved by men.  She had babies and was unable to care for them because no one took the time to care for her.  She didn't know how to survive on her own, let alone caring for the 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th baby she brought into the world by way of getting 'loved' by men.  Sure, that little boy is the CUTEST little blonde haired boy I have EVER seen, and we are blessed that he is permanently calling us Mom and Dad....but even in his short time that his biological mother was responsible for him (pregnancy) she made decisions for herself and against our son that has altered his quality of life forever.  We are unsure if Sunshine will ever leave our home to live on his own...will he be married?  Go to college?  Have children?  We simply do not know.  Non Christian doctors have basically told us our best chance for him is to get on our knees!!   Prayer is something I can do...but I do not know if God will choose to answer these prayers or try to teach us or reach others through my son.  We will see.  We fought for our son...we love our son...and when we FINALLY were able to go to court and legally adopt him that was not the end of our fostering.

No God had a bigger plan...far bigger than we would ever know and probably bigger than we would ever have chosen on our own.  We just received our 'thanks for 8 years of service' certificate at the Foster parent Appreciation Picnic this month, I do not say this for 'congrats' or 'thanks' but for the fact that a decision we made to become parents was fulfilled in just a 2.5 year time after starting...so why do we continue.  We continue because God needs people that will love these children, God needs people that can provide stability and structure for these children.  God wants people to teach this precious souls about Him.

God has called us...

We are not 'good people' we are not the 'bleeding hearts' we do not 'love being foster parents' (okay sometimes, in some situations I do.  I can think of at least 3 cases over our years that I have LOVED being involved in) but we do this because God has given us a job to do, God needs us to love these children.

Think about the repercussions of  putting our own 4 kids to bed one night and having them wake up the next day to 2 strange children that came while they slept.  Think about the fact that most of these children come from sad SAD situations similar to what the songs talks, or my example and that they do not just 'fall into place' in the family.  There is fighting, screaming, destruction and crying...what gets me the most is that little child crying for the mother that has been putting her cigarettes out on her little one that is covered in round little burns all over their body.  Crying for the Daddy that has used her as his 'enjoyment' when there was no one else around to fulfill his 'needs.'  How heartbreaking is is that when you offer a bed to a child for the first time in their life, food on a regular basis, toys that look like they are never ending, and love...the child still cries for the people that abuse them because that IS ALL THEY EVER KNEW!!!  But imagine this just for a moment.  Yes when a child comes into my home I buy them clothes...I dress them as if they are my own...and we love and teach them like they are our own...because why should they have second best just because they may only be with us for a short time???  When they are in my home they are treated and taught just like mine...I have 6 kids right now...I do NOT have 4 children and 2 foster children.  The child should not suffer because his/her biological parents need to get some things together in their life.  But please remember, just because they 'look normal' doesn't mean they are.....

God has called us...

I write this to let you in on a secret...it isn't us at all.  It is God working through us that allows us to do what we do.  Did you know we have been talked down to by church pastors and leaders because we have foster children in our midst?  Did you know we have not been welcomed in some churches because of our unique family?  Does anyone really want to NOT be wanted or included?  I do not, but neither do these precious children.

God has called us...to love the little children.
God has called us...to father the fatherless.
God has called us...to be a home for the lonely.
God has called us...to adopt and love children that may otherwise not receive those very important things in their lives.

Please pray for us as we continue on this journey that God has paved for us.  It isn't easy, it isn't always fun....but it is where God wants us to be.  Please pray for the children that are not receiving hugs and kisses every day, because they are everywhere and no where at the same time.

God had called us and that is why we do what we do.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

It Won't Be Like This For Long...

 It won't be like this for long

One day soon that little girl is gonna be all grown up and gone
And this phase is gonna fly by, so he's trying to hold on
'Cause it won't be like this for long
It won't be like this for long

-Darius Rucker 

 I have spent much time away from my kids lately, not away from my home...but we are preparing for a rummage sale and so Handsome has been taking care of the feeding and the house while I have been cleaning, organazing & pricing items for the sale.  But while I am pricing all these cute tiny outfits and shoes my mind goes back to what seems like yesterday.  Back when they were little...but the truth is there isn't a one of them that have anything really very 'little' about them any more...and that makes this Mama heart both sad at the 'loss' of babyhood and proud of who they are becoming!
 .
 Our little Miss Princess isn't so little any more...in fact when we are not dealing with what seems like teenager attitude and laziness we usually 'catch' her picking up a responsibility with one of the younger ones in the house.  Sure she does still have her fun, but she is Mama's excellent helper.  This girl, I can think back to yesterday (a few yesterdays ago) to when she was little and while she didn't ever really need my help, needed me much more than she does now!!!  Her love of life has always been one of the things that stands out about her...her laugh, her smile and her happy eyes!  She is becoming a beautiful young lady, still rough around the edges...but growing into a young lady and trying to choose God's way for her life

 Our little LoveBug!  She is so amazing to me, the struggles she deals with on a daily basis are overwhelming (at times) to her Mama and yet most days she faces them with a huge smile on her face!  She keeps us all giggling around here.  One of her 'big things' around lately has been trying her hand at sentences...no doubt the speech therapy is helping...but whenever you ask her a question IF she says YES (usually she says NO) it is actually 'YES, I did!'  Ex: "Are you stinky?" "Yes, I did!" or "Do you like pink?" "Yes, I did!"  She is so precious to me.

 My Sunshine!!!  This kiddo has many obstacles he is working to overcome but his heart is overwhelmingly sweet.  He has been working on his temper lately, working to not throwing tantrums and not screaming out of control.  When he is thinking through things he is a huge helper...he loves to teach the little ones new things (and for the most part they are GOOD).  Sunshine has always enjoys outside play time and taking care of our dogs.

 The Cupcake...this girl screams BIG in every single area.  We are on her 3rd week accident free, as in not even at naps or bed time!  She wants to do everything the big kids do and she is often spouting off orders to anyone who will listen.  It is an interesting feeling as the Mama to my only biological kid.  I see myself in her...never had that before.  It makes me almost harder on her in some ways, because I don't want her to have to struggle through the same mistakes that I did.  She has most guys in her life wrapped around her finger (Papa, Daddy, Brother....) and that is exactly how she wants it.  But then, when the sun goes to bed for the day we get this tender sweet spirit that is very dependent on Mama and Daddy snuggles!
The Bible says children are a gift from God.  Oh how true that is, and how amazing it is that God has chosen these 4 children to allow me to raise them for Him (and the foster babes too!)

While I am reflecting on my 31st birthday I can only imagine what my mom is thinking about her two children, where we are in our lives and where she is in hers.  It makes me think that she probably remembers these days with my brother and I as if they were yesterday and wonders where the time went....like I am with my little ones!  Cherish this time my friends...IT WON'T BE LIKE THIS FOR LONG!!!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Lord I thank YOU!


Who would have guessed that I would be sitting here writing a happy birthday letter to a child who frequently hears "you are your Mama's miniMe!"  With our rough start to building our family it definitely was something that left my thoughts several years before!  But here I am and she is nothing short of a miracle!

This little Cupcake has taught me so many things that I didn't know were missing in my life....I am thankful for the beautiful puzzle God has used to put our family together, but tonight I am thankful that He saw fit to bless me with the opportunity to carry a baby to full term and deliver her.  To raise a little one that from the very minute I met her could look into her face and KNOW she was mine!  It has been a journey, one that is blessed and perfect...one that I believe God gifted me with.


Rather than meeting my baby as a stranger and working from that minute to teach her who I was...she knew. She knew me better than I did, my breath sounds, my heartbeat, my voice....it was calming and soothing to her.  She knew me...and I knew her!  We were instantly bonded and to this very day this precious girl still needs looks and touches in a different way that any of my heart born children! 

That first year went so quickly, her personality started to blossom and the stubborn nature that surely allow her to stick around inside of me became evident!  She was just so perfect.  I literally wanted to take in every moment of her life.

Those toes, those dimples, those cheeks, her upturned nose, here puffy little grandma arms, her wispy blonde hair, her blue blue eyes...sheer perfection.  A true miracle of God!  Now I do think this of every child...not just Cupcake...but not every child is of me.  Her second year proved again to us just how amazing it was to have a child that was part of us.  Her stubbornness continued and we started getting a little bit of attitude.  But she also had a very fond spot for her Papa!  She loves her Papa and babies and birds and ice cream and touching her Mama!  She notices things, she GETS things, as in you can explain simple things to her and rather than having to go about it 100 different ways...she GETS it.  It is beautiful.
And now I sit here on the day of her birth, just 3 years later and continue to be in awe of what God does to bring a child into this world.  This baby, this Cupcake was just a tiny little speck inside of me that grew and grew and grew until she was out of room and it was time for her to join the world.  She captured many from the very beginning and continues to do so.  

As I quoted on my FB account last night...my first grade teacher Mrs. Lordan was a huge influence in my life all the way until she passed away after we had Princess & Sunshine had a saying she told me.  Apparently it was something she used to tell me when I was in her classroom, I don't remember that, but on my high school graduation she told me that she knew I would do great things because I have always been "small but MIGHTY!"  While I can say that Cupcake is one of those great things I now can look at this little person (who still looks A LOT like myself) and see that very thing in her.  She is SMALL BUY MIGHTY!



I can only give credit to One for this precious blessing I call my own...you see before I loved her He knew her...He knew when the perfect time was for her to join our family...He knew when my body would be able to carry her...He knew.  And every single day that I go into her room and wake her up I am reminded that God still performs miracles!!!  I love you my Cupcake!  Thank you God for letting me be her Mommy!


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

January 26th

I have been thinking about writing this post for 3 days, but just couldn't find the words.  January 26th marked 9 years since our 3rd precious bundle decided Jesus' arms were calling.  While I can see the plans God had through loosing our first 4 babies through miscarriage, it does not make it easier to see their 'birthdays' come on the calendar year after year.  I used to think it would have been easier to endure the loss if we had living children around us, but now that we do have precious children my realization is that now I know what we missed by not knowing those precious children.  Hearing their giggles, kissing their owies, snuggling little bundles and seeing the world through their eyes on a daily basis are all things that in our last two miscarriages (both after we had living children) hurt even more!  Now to be honest, having miscarriages is not the biggest trial I feel we have endured, but they were life changing and have helped me to enjoy being a mommy at all hours of the day AND night and to watch my complaints about what parenthood means.  Those precious babies grow up and they become toddlers and in be'tweens' and the one we have not yet experienced - teenagers.  But you know what?  We have 6 children that we never get to go through those stages with!!!  -wonderful or tough stages as they may be- So for me to complain about the stage of parenthood we are at with ~enter any difficult moment (and there are MANY)~ our living children would be to forget the battle we faced along with being ungrateful for the blessings God has bestowed upon us.

I miss you my six precious -PERFECT- angels...see you in heaven one day.

I encourage anyone that may read this to think about a family that struggles with fertility or have even moved into the roller coaster called adoption and find a way to bless and encourage them.  Even if they are not asking for help....THEY NEED IT!!!

Maybe the words were still not right, but it was time for me to 'write' them out!  Thank you for reading my thoughts.

Sunday, January 05, 2014

My Handsome

 I have to take a moment and brag on my amazing Handsome...This guy literally makes my world spin on a regular basis, He wears so many different 'hats' and I do not always understand what that means for him and all that he does in a 24 hour time period!!!! 
 He is an amazing husband, always has been.  He is sweet and fairly chivalrous (was more so before children...but when wrangling 6 kids to get into the Suburban I cannot exactly expect him to open my door any more!  ;)  He pays attention so little things and is very good about helping around the house!  He cooks, does laundry & dishes, changes diapers and occasionally gives me a day to myself!!!  He is working on becoming more of a romantic (not a natural thing for him...but I am) but when the day is done I know that this man is mine forever!  He is my true love and I am blessed that God saw fit to make me for this man! 
He is a hard worker...sometimes TOO HARD a worker. He started our married life (11.5 years ago!) as an electrician and quickly starting doing pulpit supply for area pastors that were sick or on vacation.  That lead him to becoming an Associate Pastor (while still doing full time electrical work) and then a Senior pastor (while still doing FT electrical work.)  My husband puts 110% into whatever he is doing.  I honestly cannot think of another man I would rather listen to preach God's Word.  He started working for the city right after Cupcake was born and 6 months in received an amazing opportunity (promotion) to where he is now....plus since then has been given many other responsibilities, labels, ect. that he is in charge of.  He has remolded/built/upgraded/added onto every house we have ever lived in, even the ones we didn't own.  He is AMAZING!  And while he isn't doing direct electrical work or pastoral work any more he still finds time to do that here and there.  He does some electrical on the side for people and also fills in preaching when given the opportunity! 


He is a great Daddy!  This is him and our Princess dancing in the living room one night before bed.  Dance speaks to this girls heart and he went as far as doing 'the Daddy' dance two years in a row on stage in front of people just to connect with his precious first born!  She has talked him into dancing again this year and I'm excited to see it!  He does a very good job with explaining things so kids can understand them and also teaching them what God expects of them! 
 Handsome & our Sunshine
Our sunshine has been a bit of a challenge to both myself and my husband, his mental issues really stretch us on a daily basis...but that being said it has been AMAZING to watch Handsome blossom as a father to this (not so) little guy.  He allows him to watch and learn while doing landscaping/yard work or even when working in the kitchen.  He takes the time to explain and discipline...he really strives to teach our son how to be a respectable adult/husband/father/worker one day!

 Handsome & Cupcake
This honestly has been one of the most amazing things for me to witness!!!  Cupcake is our only surviving biological child, and while we love all of our children the same...there are things that are different about her.  She comes FROM us, the rest of our children do not.  We have been working to bond with and strengthen that bond with our adopted children ever since they joined our family...but Cupcake was born bonded with us.  To see the natural bond between my Handsome and Cupcake has been awesome.  He has changed on account of her...in a good way.  She has softened him, she had shown him love, she has taught him so many things....and he adores her.  She can get him to melt into a puddle with a cute little smile and head turn.  It is beautiful.
 Handsome & LoveBug
LoveBug has been another trick for us...she was born addicted to crack cocaine.  We already had a 5 month old at home that I was nursing/pumping for.  So Handsome took on the challenge of taking care of her in the middle of her withdrawals....he would snuggle her up so tight and walk with her all hours of the night and day.  Because of this a very special bond was formed between the two of them...she has turned into a clown and he and her have so much fun together.  To this day he is the only one that she will settle down and snuggle with! 

I am so blessed and thankful to have a husband that loves me, loves our children and sticks by through thick and thin.  Which is good...because he is about the only one who sticks around...we have a desire to serve God in the capacity in which He deems best for us, at this time it seems foster care is really where He wants us.  Handsome also has a desire to get me healthy so I can enjoy a long life with the children God has given me.  I am thankful for this man...this very man God gave to me!!!!
 
I Love You Handsome!!!!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Happy Birthday Sunshine

 Oh my sunshine, what is this Mama supposed to say about you?  You have melted my heart from the very begging of you entering our home as our first foster baby you have melted this Mama's heart.  There was something about you that I KNEW you were not leaving us.  Even though it took the state 21 months for us to be able to LEGALLY be your family, you were my son from the minute you entered my arms on January 2nd 2007 when you were six days old!
 In the first few years we knew that you were not a 'normal' child but you were going to be very special....and that you are.  You do not do things the way that others do, but you get them done.  You are very smart and have the opportunity to do great things with your intelligence.
 Your precious smile/giggle and your loving/warm eyes have always melted every single person that comes around.  From very early in your little life your smile and giggle were that people would comment on.  Oh how you can melt those around you with your charm.

 Tonight as we celebrated your 7th birthday it was so special to have you surrounded by those that love you.  When I asked you tonight what was your favorite part of your day your response was naming the people that were here throughout the day...those that came to be a part of your day.  2 sets of Aunts & Uncles and a GREAT Aunt & Uncle.  Sunshine you are loved.  There is love all around you, and how blessed we are to be your parents.  I understand you have more struggles than the average kid....I also know I struggle at times as your Mama.  Please forgive me for that because when I think about you I remember these special moments.  The giggles, the laughter and your quirkiness like squealing when you opened your coon skin hat tonight because you were afraid it was something alive!  ;)  I look forward to what your future holds...you can do great things my Sunshine! 
Happy 7th Birthday Baby!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

 
Happy Happy Happy...this is one of my favorite phrases.  As the youngest (official) child in this family I try really hard to keep people laughing.  My mom is so busy with all the kids at The Patch the she forgets to laugh sometimes and my dad, well he makes me laugh because he is always coming and going from one of my appointments to his Bible study or one of his jobs...he is just REALLY busy (and popular!!!)  Just in case he doesn't have enough to do Mom always has a list of painting or fixing for him.  My sister Cupcake tends to forget she isn't my mom sometimes, but I'll give her credit, she knows the Pumpkin babies needs fairly well!  I like her because she is always asking to watch Veggietales, now if she would just stop trying to push me around!
 
I have another sister and she turned 7 in September! She started the year getting spoiled by Grandma & Grandpa....they took her on a boat bigger than our block and it had Mickey, Minnie & lots of Princesses on it.  She started in Texas....went to some islands that sound like cayenne pepper (Cayman Islands) and also to a place in Mexico that sounds like someone is sneezing when you say it (Cozumel.) Princess still loves to dance and she even gets to be on a competition team this year!  She gets to stay at home all day because my mom is her 1st grade teacher, but I just think she likes to hang around to remind Mama that her (Mama's) feet are smaller than hers.  Princess is very happy because two weeks before Thanksgiving our family added two little chocolate foster siblings...we are all think they are pretty special, but Princess loves that they are 'dark chocolate' like her!
 
My brother, Sunshine, has had a rough year and many of his appointments have added to the old Suburban coming and going quickly from our driveway.  He is in 1st too, but he gets to ride a bus to school and he LOVES that!  He has decided that his favorite day is Wednesday because he gets to eat supper at church and then they have Bible Club after.  Sunshine is also REALLY enjoyed being in the Christmas program at church last weekend.
 
I also have  to share, from my 2 years of experience, that my Mama turned OLD this year!  She celebrated her 30th with a hail storm that gave us a new roof and holes in our siding.  Daddy was so thankful to be our of town so the Suburban's were safe, but he should have known to keep quiet because a month later ANOTHER storm came through and made it look all dimpled like Cupcake's cheeks!  Do you know how lough golf ball sized hail is from the inside of the Suburban???  Mama was thankful that her precious roses survived both those storms AND the October 40 inch snow storm as well!  Her red rose bush reached over 6.5 feet tall this year!!!
 
So I think it is time for me to go to bed now.  Usually that means I jump in my crib and sing some of my favorite songs (Jesus Loves Me, The Wheels on the Bus & Jingle Bells are at the top of my list.)  I'm going to try and be good though, because Sunday is coming and after church we always get to go to Guadalajara's for lunch an d then go home and watch the Vikings loose.  I get bored and usually starting chasing Buzz Buzz (out dog) around trying to kiss him!
 
My family stays very busy, but we work hard and love the Lord.  We also enjoy being together.  I hope you have had a HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY 2013 and that 2014 will be just as wonderful or better! 
 
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!
Love,
LoveBug...but don't forget Daddy, Mommy, Princess, Sunshine & Cupcake love you too!


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Trying this again.

As of late I have been looking back at previous posts and remembering the memories that they hold like they were yesterday...and then there is a gap between February 28th 2012 and December 17th 2013.  I have missed being able to look at the high {and low} points from the blog to write the last two years Christmas letter.  And my husband made a comment a couple months back, my mother yesterday and a couple other people in between that they missed my blogging.  Truth is, I have also!  So here we are, we are going to play a little catch up...and see if we can try to at least do a once a week post about our family!
I celebrated my 30th birthday this summer.  I remember when my mom turned 30...it seemed like such a big number back then...now it doesn't.  Funny how so much in life is that way!!!  Handsome and I also celebrated our 11th Anniversary in August.  That number DOES seem big when you are talking marriage {these days} but I wouldn't do it any different...this man is my best friend and I'm so thankful God put our paths next to each other. 
I am still doing Pumpkin Patch Daycare in our home.  Celebrated our 5th birthday with that one in October...have been blessed to have so many wonderful clients. With all the little people in my life I really do not have much left over time for me...but it is only a season and it will be over far too soon.
 
Handsome just celebrated his 2nd year at the waste water treatment plant in town and is loving that job.  He has been working hard on fine tuing the landscaping around the house and also getting rid of the 1991 blue that was all over the inside of the house.  The main living space is pretty much finished (except my wish list of new cabinets & counter top) and this winter in his free time he is going to tackle the kids' bedrooms and the bathrooms!  He doesn't get much free time either, but he enjoyed a couple hikes this summer/fall and also just ended a 39 week Bible study that has really blessed him.  Just recently he has started helping out with a youth Bible class on Wednesday nights.  His time is occupied with those things along with helping with cooking & cleaning and taking kids to and from appointments, dance & church!

 Our Precious Princess!  She turned 7 in September and is full of life and energy.  She is a constant reminder that I am not a Mama to only babies/toddlers any more!  She is in her 6th year of dance and got to join a competition team this year.  She is confidant that the team will be bringing home a trophy.  Some of her other milestones this year were: she is in 1st grade (home school), being big enough to go down the water slides at the Rec Center, getting new 'big kid' glasses, starting the process of braces (just today), finding out she is going to have surgery on her adenoids and also her feet are now bigger than Mamas. 
I appreciate so much about this girl.  She laughs so often, she helps out with the babies and keeping Pumpkins rallied for me.  She is very active when it comes to anything that DOESN'T involve work!
 
 Our Sunshine has had a tough year but looks forward to his 7th birthday the end of this month.  After 18 months of us pulling our hair out of some very peculiar destructive behaviors we finally found a doctor that would help us...he evaluated Sunshine and came to the conclusion that we had figured a couple of years ago: Bi-Polar and Oppositional Defiance Disorder.  With his 'family' history (the little that we know) this is not a shock to us.  We are now learning how to help him and he is able to be a part of our family more because he is able to function more than he was before.  His smile will still melt your heart.  With his troubles I decided I was no longer able to home school him and so in August I cried as my baby boy walked away to the bus stop for the very first time.  We are thankful for the team at school that is helping him!  He loves riding the bus.  He also has found a love for Uncle Si on Duck Dynasty...something the whole family agrees on!!!  He is the first one to get dirty and the first one to give a hug if someone is having a tough day.  He enjoys anything that moves and building things with Lego's or Lincoln logs!!!
 Our Cupcake.  I could write a book about this crazy loving 2 year old!  She has definitely rewritten some of our parenting in the different ways she has taught us to love.  She happily holds the title of the boss to her brother and sisters and they oblige.  She is so full of life with everything that she does...and has some really fun quirks about her as well.  She has wiggled her way into our -no kid zone- bed every Wednesday night and wouldn't have it any other way.  She loves to be a big girl and try new things, but sometimes bites off more than she can chew and is happy to run back to snuggle a hug or find safety in Daddy's arms!  She loves babies...both dollies and the real deal.  She often knows what my Pumpkin Babies need before I do.  She has a great love for her Papa and wants to hog him whenever we are around him!  Cupcake looks forward to starting dance after the new year and is all worried about making sure Mama puts the groceries away in the correct place every Sunday afternoon.  One of her favorite things to do is to dance to "What does the fox say" or "Gummi Bear" on Wii Just Dance Kids!
Our LoveBug!  She is a happy happy happy 2 year old that can frequently be found singing, counting, or laughing.  This little girl has been full of surprises!  Born addicted to cocaine proved to be a little bit of a trial in the beginning, just when getting through the 3rd month of withdrawals we discovered she had cerebral palsy.  While it is a very mild form, the combination of being addicted to drugs in utero and the CP makes her a 'difficult case.'  She was blessed to be accepted by the Shriner's hospital in November and will be making her first trip to Minneapolis with Daddy for her first appointments in March...just before her 2nd Anniversary of her adoption day.  She makes you laugh and is our family clown...we are so blessed to have this little lady in our lives.  She has so many little ways she communicates without words, which is nice because some days she is unable to speak in ways that she can be understood.  Sign language also helps us out too.  On her rough days she doesn't like to be around the daycare kids and actually prefers playing in her crib so she can just lay down and nap as needed.  I breaks this Mama's heart to have her spend so much of the day alone, but at those moments that is what helps best.  She has occupational therapy every other week and physical therapy every week.  In the new year we will be doubling both PT & OT and adding Speech also. 
 
We are blessed to have two little dark chocolate foster babies that have been with us for just over a month also.  That brings the ages of our 6 kids living here to 7, 6, 2, 2, 2 and 1!  It makes for a busy household...but can I just tell you how amazing it is to remember back to 10 years ago when we had our first miscarriage and hearing that is was unlikely we would ever have children! 
 
My hope for this blog is to post weekly (sometimes more or less.)  I would be happy if you would follow along, but understand if you are not interested.  Love Being Mama ended up being more for me to remember all the ways I LOVE BEING A MAMA, and I look forward to continuing on that journey!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Children...

***Notice: I do not claim to be the parent that knows everything, has perfect children, or responds correctly to every circumstance that comes up throughout the day.  HOWEVER, I do try very hard to look to the future as to what is best for my children and then apply life lessons to the children God has blessed me with today, that will help prepare them for that future.  Also, this is not written with anyone in mind...it is a reminder to me ~as a parent~ the battle I am fighting daily for the Lord.

As I mentioned yesterday, "Children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward." Children are a gift from God, but so often times we forget that while they are blessings and they are precious and cute...they also need to grow up to be respectable hard working adults. That isn't going to happen by chance, parenting takes hard work...there is not a specific 'how to' manual...each child IS different. But God's Word is a good place to start! "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6 Do we really think the child who is allowed -without repremand- to tell that man how fat he is, or to kick the nice lady at the doctors office, tell their own parents to shut up, or to throw food at the person sitting at the booth behind them at the restaurant, ect. is going to just stop after they exit the 'terrible twos' aweful threes or confusing tweens....um, NO. Their repulsive acts will just grow with their age. NOW, before you start throwing a fit (these are all things, and many more, I have personally witnessed) kids will be kids and we all know they like to 'test the waters.' But as we are clay in the Potters hands...so are children in their parents hands. Many a times my children have opened their mouth or done something that is not allowed or even for the first time trying something in public...BUT they do not get away with it. You know what needs to happen, the parent is to make a big dramatic scene and yell and scream at the child forcing them to say they are sorry and leave before any more embarassement happens....NO. Did you know a child will hear far better if you speak with kind quiet words rather than yell and put on a show?

Another thing that is good is to set up consequences in advance. If you have been having trouble in a particular area lately let them know before it starts what will happen if they act up and what will happen if they are good. For example...we have been having trouble with our two oldest being wild at church ( I know, I know...they are not that bad...BUT they are doing things that we do not allow as parents to our children) so, before we left for church we told them the struggles they have been having at church lately...they agreed. We told them what is expected of them while at church, again they agreed. We then ASKED them what a good consequence would be if they broke our rules while at church...we agreed it was a fair decision. I was unable to go because of sick babies...but Handsome again reminded them of the discussion once they were buckled in the Suburban. They broke our rules at church. Plain and simple...they disobeyed their Mommy and Daddy. When they loaded up in the Suburban after church Handsome asked them...so how do YOU think you did at church today? They both spoke in turn explaining that they were naughty and did not obey. Handsome they asked what we should do about it. Almost together they both responded by stating the consequence decided upon before church. And do you know what? They faced that consequence with no bad attitude, no tears, no trying to get out of it...they faced it and accepted it. In a sense they 'owned' their actions! Do you know how we got to this point in parenting? HARD WORK! Consistant teaching of obedience and the consequences of wrong doing from the time they were 6 months old!

Now the hardest thing that I am finding for me as a parent is having to try and teach your children to do what is right even when people around you will not back you up.  It is no secret we have higher or stricter expectations for our children than many people around us.  I am not saying this to put myself above anyone, please understand this, but my 5 year old children are to remain in control of themselves at all times.  Not acting wild and loud at inappropriate times or places etc. etc.  I get that, but if you know that my child is not suppose to be running in church (accourding to their parents rules) doing laugh at them and let them run by...stop them!  Remind them that is not something they are supposed to be doing!  Back a fellow parent up!  If you are at a play group and my child is the one hitting someone else's child with a toy...stop them!  As a fellow parent of more than one child you must know that one parent cannot be on top of all four children at all times.  This is a common problem in society today...people around are destroying the authority of the parent.  Sometimes purposefully and sometimes unknowingly.  Did you know that being told NO is not going to send my 5 year old into the depths of depression to the point that as a 37 year old they will not be able to stay in a relationship or hold a job because 32 years before their Mama told them they couldn't have the extra treat or that THIS weekend we are not going to go 'do something fun' we need to work on keeping the house.  Character...let us all go work on it, for ourselves and for our children.

So to sum it all up, raising children is not something that is just going to happen.  But with hard work and dedication you and your child will have a great relationship and you will have a responsible adult child that is a hard worker and actualy respects the authority God has placed in their life! 

Monday, February 27, 2012

A Valley

Dear ones, this is more for myself than anyone.  But feel free to read thoughts as they pertain to you...maybe someone can find something worthwhile in here...

Have you ever heard the phrase that goes something to the effect of, "if Satan is attacking you regularily and people are leaving your side often...you must be doing something right?"  I suppose that is supposed to mean that if we serve God we are all supposed to be lonely righteous people that just keep suffering in the name of Jesus? 

While there are seasons that it does seem this to be true, if you are walking the walk He has given you...you are not alone!  God is always there!  "I will never leave you for forsake you!"  What a comforting thought.  I know that God is with me and I also know what direction in life He wants me to go! 

Another amazing thing is that God as placed someone else on this earth for ME that has the same direction, the same Path God has placed him on!  Handsome is an amazing man all on his own...but the thing is he isn't all on his own.  He is an amazing man because he allows God to lead his life.  He allows God to be the one to direct us as a couple and as a family.  I have not met many, if any, other people in this short life I have lived that are as true to God as my husband.  Sure there are many that try to proclaim that they are...but seriously, you cannot speak that you are a believer and follower of Christ...your fruits will speak for you.  "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  For with the heart man believeth unto rightwousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."  I am not saying that if you are saved that you can loose your salvation....because Romans 10:9&10 says right there that if you truly believe you are saved.  What I am saying is that there are many people that taken Gods mercy and grace a little too far when 'liveing for Him' and start living for themselves much more.  Sure, the things they are doing are not bad...they may even look good on the outside, but if it is for personal gain (money, reputation, status, etc.) it isn't for God.  God does want us to be successful in every thing we do, but for His glory...not our own.  "For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)

Now another side to not being alone while walking in Christ is the beautiful family He has blessed us with!  5.5 years ago today we found out we were going to become parents THAT DAY!  Up to that point it looked rather bleak.  So the simple fact that we are parents to four beautiful precious children is something that is a reminder of Gods love for us!  We should not take a minute with our children for granted because they, in fact, are not ours...but Gods children! 

Friends, if you are fortunate enough to have A friend you can run to for encouragent and to lean on...or that you can uplift or encourage yourself you are blessed! 

What I am saying is that even when it seems you are in a valley, you are not alone...if you look around you God is there!  And I am blessed enough to have a godly husband to walk through this life as well!  Many times it seems that it is just the three of us..God, Handsome, and myself...but why could that not be enough?  God alone should be enough...

Again...just my thoughts...for me. 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Back to reality...

I have to say how incredibly thankful I am for the opportunity to experience being pregnant.  From the minute I saw the positive on August 1st 2010 until she was born on March 19th 2011 I had the opportunity to experience what reality was like.  God gave me the biggest blessing He could ever have given...he gave me the opportunity to feel 'normal'!  And then again, when I started producing milk and until I finished pumping on January 4th 2012...normal!  It was a ton of work to keep milk flowing and we had a few bumps in the road but with time, research, and hard work the only thing my babies are still drinking is my milk.  Cupcake will be 11 months next week and Love Bug 6 months!  I was given the opportunity to produce milk for both of my babies...Cupcake will have enough to make it to a year and Love Bug will make it at least to 7 months..maybe a little longer. 

Why is this a big deal, I have PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) and had 4 miscarriages early in our marriage to get to the point of pre-menopause.  I know that is A LOT of information that some of you may wish they didn't know, but this one I'm throwing it all out there.  Women with PCOS often struggle with their weight, they cannot loose for ANYTHING in them.  Women with PCOS often struggle getting pregnant, and if they do get pregnant it is a fight from day one to keep that precious little once tucked so nice and cozy inside.  IF you are one of the bless women with PCOS that made it through all of those hoops and actually have a healthy baby you will most likely struggle with milk production.  I know women with PCOS who had not even one drop of milk come in to feed their baby.  Baby may be latching and sucking like a pro and NOTHING is coming....

So for 17 months I was able to feel like a 'normal' person...to temporarily forget occasionally that I have something that can become very serious if not kept in check.  While the pregnancy was not an easy one, and PCOS did play a role in how we proceeded with caution, I was still pregnant and that was a victory every single day I woke up bigger and bigger and HUGE!  But while I was pumping milk and freezing milk I also could feel normal...like PCOS had not gotten a complete victory over me.

Enter January 4th, 2012.  My last day to pump any milk for my girls...I had been clinging to pumping since September 19th.  Handsome and I agreed back in August that I would pump until Cupcake was 6 months old, but then something amazing happened.  Love Bug quickly entered into our lives and I knew she needed to get to 6 months also on breastmilk also.  November/December were difficult on us though.  The ugly PCOS monster was really starting to rear its nasty head for this Mama.  I was not happy, I was not well, I was not friendly, I was not kind.  I was not alive...and it was because I have PCOS.  All the time I was trying to eat right for the babies and eat what was needed to make sure my milk was good for the girls it was slowly doing me harm. I thought it was slow, but Handsome will report that it was a sudden attack.  One minute everything was good, the next minute PCOS had left only a disaster behind.  It was sometime in mid-December that after praying and crying out to God I decided it would be healthier for all of my children and my relationships and my marriage if Mama came back and started kicking PCOS out again.  So after a few calculations I knew with my milk I could get Love Bug to 6 months and Cupcake to a year on my milk...and then a very generous Patch Parent offering to give me some of her extra milk to keep Love Bug on breakmilk even longer....it was time.  Time to go back on my healthy for ME diet.  Now, I am getting all food groups and I am getting enough nutrients...but they are the right ones for a person with PCOS.  My girls are still drinking my milk and I am not the monster I had become! 

Did PCOS reclaim its place in my ability (or lack thereof) to become and stay pregnant?  Only time will tell.  But I can promise this one thing, PCOS is not taking my life.  PCOS is not going to take my precious moments of happiness away from my time with Handsome and my children!  I am going to win this victory once again! 

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Cupcake!

SO, my beautiful little 10 month old Cupcake decided to melt her Mama's heart tonight and say MAMA!  Clear as a bell and more than once! 

This is after mastering her fun little praying/clapping/army/inch worm crawl over the past week or so! 

Oh, how does one decide to stop having babies in the house?!?!?  How precious is this little one?  Keep on melting Mama's heart baby!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Adoption/Birthday Party!

So my Cupcake is turning one and we are going to finally get to finalize Love Bug's adoption!  Cupcake doesn't turn one until March 19th, but Bug's adoption finalization is on March 9th so we are going to celebrate both in one big party!  I have been having a difficult time trying to figure out how to combine the parties and yet include something special for both of them!  On the way home from our wearhouse shopping trip last night Handsome and I finally got a moment to chat!  I was telling him how I didn't like how the Cupcakes and Ladybug themes were not meshing as well as I would have liked them too and how I love this song called "Blessings" by Laura Story and how it would be fun to turn part of that song into the inspiration for the party.  On both accounts (Cupcake and Love Bug) we spent much time in tearful prayer begging God to grow our family because we knew it was a desire He placed in our hearts!  And Handsome (who is such an amazing man) said we should do a garden theme because there is a quote "What if Your blessings come through raindrops, what if Your healing comes through tears."  He said that would work for a garden theme because of the tear drops from our prayers falling and watering the seed He placed in our hearts for a family.  That has grown into why we are celebrating; celebrating two little precious lives that are forever in our family!  SOOOOO, we are going to do a garden themed party in pale pink, white, green and we will use red and black lady bugs for accents! 

I am really excited about it, finally, something that is okay in my mind to fuse two parties into one!  Love bug will have her own cake that my wonderful Pastor's wife will make and Cupcake will have, wait for it, CUPCAKES!  I am not sure if I am going to try and make them myself or if I am going to have someone else do it...but either way, there will be cupcakes!  But the fact that we can use a song that is very meaningful to me is huge too!  Thank you to everyone that gave input while I was trying to find the 'perfect' party idea!  It will be fun to start putting it together now!  I will leave you with the lyrics to Laura Story's "Blessings" :

We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering

All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

'Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom
Your voice to hear
And we cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough
All the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we'd have faith to believe

'Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
And what if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not, this is not our home
It's not our home

'Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
And what if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy
And what if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are Your mercies in disguise

Friday, January 20, 2012

7 Years

(This ultrasound picture is of our Cupcake, as I never got the opportunity to see our first four)

I remember thinking on Handsome and my 7th anniversary that it just was not possible that we had been married that long.  What had I ever done for 7 years of my life???  The only thing I could come up with was play the clarinet!  Well now today I look at the 7 year 'anniversary' of our third baby going to heaven and I think to myself, 'it seems like an eternity ago!'  Someone commented on a populare social networking site today after I had posted of what the day was, they were glad that we celebrate the day and the life we had for such a short time!  I had not really ever thought of celebrating before...I almost always am sad or quiet on our 'remembering' dates of our 4 precious babies in heaven!  But truly, a celebration is what it should be!  Life starts at conception and none of us really know the number of days we will live on this earth...God does not guarantee us 90 happy, healthy years....He doesn't even say that 'once you become pregnant you WILL have a baby in 40 weeks.'  That is not God's promise.  From this day forward I will try to celebrate the life that God blessed us with in each of our first four pregnancies.  They are children created in God's image just like Princess, Sunshine, Cupcake and Love Bug.  They are children that God blessed my husband with as he did with the P, S, C and LB!  They are NOT children that must be grieved for 70 years, they must be celebrated.  I have realized last year that having our first four children in heaven was, indeed, God's plan for our life...and that is ok.  I also realized, with that, that had our first four children not left us so early in their little lives that we most likely would not have the children we do now.  If we were able to get pregnant the first time around, give birth to a happy healthy baby, and go on our merry way I am not so sure we would have been as apt to walk the adoptive path.  THAT IS NOT SAYING that we think it is less of a path to walk, just saying that most couples that go about expanding their family the 'normal' way are a lot less likely to think of adoption.  HOWEVER, I have found myself thankful for our path...I do have 4 babies in heaven and because I know Jesus as my Saviour I will hold my babies in heaven on day.  This I am sure of.  Eternity is much longer than my short little 85ish years here...but I also now know that becaue of the start of our family having the ending it did, we now have four beautiful (and hopefully more) children that we can teach about Christ and hopefully one day they will accept him also and then for spend eternity as one big happy family! 

Now I know I rambled and the flow of this post just isn't there (when do my post ever really flow?) but today I choose to try and celebrate the life God had blessed us with for the short weeks that this little one made this Mama feel so yucky.  But that yuckiness always meant there was someone there...and I would take it 10 time over to know that God is blessing us with more precious littles!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

January 3rd

January 3rd, 2002

It was a very chilly morning in SouthWest Minnesota.  Handsome and I had spent the night at his parents home ~in seperate rooms~ and we were getting up fairly early to hit the road.  He was taking me back to Chicago for college and then continuing on to North Carolina, where he lived at the time.  We had already said good-bye to my family and so we were loading up his green Bonneville and then ate breakfast with his parents and got in the car.  As we pulled out of the driveway we turned left, not right like we were supposed to.  He said he wanted to say good-bye to our 'special spot' which is a beautiful bridge over a stream in the midst of a curvy gravel road.  The summer before we had sat there for hours talking about this and that and I do believe this is the place where we finally confessed our love towards eachother...though we already knew it was there!

As we get there he put the car in park and gave me a hand written note, it was lovely.  The way it ended was something about the picture God had painted for his (Handsome's) life and asked me if I would help to complete that picture and become his wife!  When I looked up he had the ring box open (it had its own light in it!) and of course I said YES! 

This explained why his mom was crying so much when we left, because though we were a mile away from their house we did not return, we drove all the way to Chicago from Minnesota and I wasn't allowed to tell anyone until I returned to college...sneaky guy!  Of course both our parents already knew it was going to happen because in the gentleman like way that he has always been he asked my Dad's permission to marry me. 

But how exciting it is to think that on January 3rd. 2012 I was promised and committed to my husband for 10 years!  We had an interesting relationship, maybe even weird by today's standards, in that once we started dating we really only saw eachother face to face 5 times before we dates, maybe six.  We also never kissed until we said 'I Do' on our wedding day!  Most of our dating relationship was over the phone while I was at college and he lived in the South.  We got to know eachother very well that way.

I pray often that God keeps my children's future spouses pure in the way he kept us pure.  What an amazing gift to be able to give to the person you just married and will spend the rest of your life with...but on the other side, think of all the baggage that each relationship brings into your life.  I was once told that as you give pieces of your heart to people you never get them back.  There are 'holes' in my heart where, unfortunately, I gave those pieces to two other guys.  And it was those holes that caused the most trouble between my handsome and I in the early years of marriage.  Now, of course, I don't give them second thoughts if I hear their names or see pictures of them....but I do believe that those pieces are gone forever, because if you truly love how do you intend to take it back?  If you can take love back it wasn't really love to begin with! 

January 3rd, 2002~ The day that I knew God had brought the man of my dreams into my life forever and for always!  Or as one of our favorite artists says, "Forever and Ever, Amen!"  I am still unsure why God thought I was so deserving to receive such an amazing, godly, man....but I am sure thankful EVERY single day that He saw fit to bring Handsome and myself together!  Here is to 10 more amazing years!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Sunshine

 Our Sunshine turned 5 on December 27th, it is crazy to believe that the child I always think of as my baby is already 5.  It has been so easy to keep him my baby because of his extra needs, but the truth of the matter is he really is no longer a baby!
 That came full circle on December 30th when we officially confirmed that he is autistic.  Not a word I like to use around him, but not a word we are afraid of either.  We have wondered for some time if that was the case, and really, we wouldn't have needed a doctor to tell us this...but there really is nothing more we can do for him than we already are.  Sure, we can always improve on things....but schedule schedule schedule is very important to him, always has been!  Also his gluten free diet is a big thing to.  But yet, I do not consider myself to be a parent to a special needs child.  He is not terribly high on the spectrum, but he is high enough that as we have slowly told friends and family they were not shocked to hear the news. 
 In other news, he is in love with beyblades.  Sort of a modern day top, if you will.  He REALLY like potatos of any form and likes that more and more foods are coming out gluten free!  He takes every chance he can get to do fun things with Daddy or snuggle with Mommy.  He is also such a sweet, loving big brother to his baby sisters!  He is small for his age, only weighing in around 36 lbs and wearing sz 4 clothing (shirt are too big for him!)  We have been working on hitting this 40 lb mark for a couple of years now....but in his time!  The child eats like a horse but he doesn't EVER stop moving either.  He will sit still if you give him something to keep his hands busy.  Some of my favorites about him right now are his tender heart towards the feelings of others, his sweet snuggles, his beautiful blue eyes and last but NOT least, HIS GIGGLES!  What a precious addition to our family....he really is a ray of Sunshine!