Saturday, January 31, 2009

Remembering Samuel

Today we are celebrating and remembering the little life that made such a big impact on our hearts 3 years ago. Samuel's short time on earth has changed Kevin and I more ways than I ever imagined! It is a beautiful day here today and rejoice that our hope is in the Lord. The Lord my One Year Bible passage to speak to my heart again last night through a passage I have heard and read many times before!
Matthew 19:14-15
But Jesus said, "Let the children come to me. Don't stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.." And he placed his hands on their heads and blessed them before he left.
Can't you just picture Jesus rubbing the head of a cute dirty little guy or a sweet innocent little girl as he talked. I just can't imagine the love he must have for each. How tiny, how special, how unique. He formed each one and a specific plan in mind for each...even if that plan was just for eternity! I always wonder what birthdays are like in they even have birthdays??? All I know is it must be way cooler than anything mommy or daddy could put together. I mean you could really invite the real Adam to your party...I mean the one who named every animal! I'm not sure about the details but I am sure each day in heaven is more wonderful than the last. I can't wait to see for myself one day. Happy Birthday my sweet Sam-Sam!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Setting Up Stones (Part 3)

This will hopefully be the rest of Samuel's story. If you want to read the beginning you can scroll down a bit! My hope is that this doesn't come across as a sad or depressing story...even though it was a very sad time...but encouraging as I share how God worked even in the midst of this hard time.

Stone # 11- Once I got back to my room and met my sweet nurse they got me an epidural very quickly. I was really nervous about getting one...remember my fear of needles...well at that point I think I'd let them chop off my foot if they'd told me it would make it all feel better! Once that baby was in place I had not an ounce of pain! I got this cool little pump that let add more meds through the epi...and every time I felt anything...I hit that button a few times. I was able to sleep some through the night. They took Samuel off the monitors and only monitored me...I didn't think I could handle it if I new he was gone already. At 11:15 a.m. I began pushing...with a room FULL of people! (Not what I'd planned on but at that point I was just ready!) Oh here is the important thing....Samuel was still breech and they decided to let me try to deliver him naturally! Such a blessing since I knew the recovery from a C-section would have been harder and I knew it could effect how many children we could potentially have. So at 11:31 on a cold January day my little Samuel arrived on this earth for a few short minutes. This whole time since the beginning of Nov. when we first learned of Samuel's condition I was in "lets just get through this mode." I hadn't let myself get too attached and tried my best to prepare for what was to come. The moment I laid my eyes on all 3lbs and 4oz of him I was in love. I wasn't prepared for the reality that he was a real baby. I held him as they cleaned him off. The NICU team listened to him and brought him to me and I held him as he left this world and entered his forever home. I can't quite explain in words what that day or being in that room was like but I felt as though I was standing on "Holy Ground!" There was peace, love, and a knowing that the Lord was pleased with us. I remember thinking I am holding someone who is seeing Jesus! I have never before or since felt the presence of the Holy Spirit like I did at that time. I remember thinking that there were probably angels everywhere awaiting my little guy! Thank you Lord for you peace and presence on the most difficult times of our lives. I'd also like to say that I cannot imagine going through this hard time or any hard time without a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. IF you do not know HIM you need too!

Stone #12- We loved on Samuel for many hours. My parents and Kevin's parents were there with us. I'd always wondered how will I ever let go? When will I let go? Will they have to put me out first?? After many hours they told me that they would be moving us to another room down the hall. It was evident that Samuel was now in his heavenly home. I must admit that this is by far the hardest thing I have ever done. We knew it was time. With tears flowing freely I kissed my little guy and gave him to my sweet nurse Becky! Even now as I type I cannot bear the thought. I knew I had to! My comfort was in knowing that he was in heaven! I tried to keep imagining him there and not still in that hospital by himself. They moved us to our new room and we rested. I felt at peace. I looked at my pictures of him a million times and I continued to think of heaven. We had done the hardest part!

Stone #13 -Remember we were moving...our closing date was Jan. 31...we were a little busy that day as that was the day Samuel arrived. I guess at first look you'd think what terrible timing to go into labor the day you are supposed to be closing on a house. Actually the Lord knew the timing was perfect. The people we bought our (very dirty and needing lots of work) new house from obviously had some issues and from what we heard closing was a bit of a scene. The sweet lawyer actually ended up coming to the hospital the following day and closing on the sale of our new house and the house we were selling to Kev's parents at the same time. How is that for timing (and the lawyer even came to us)!

Stone #14- We buried Samuel on Feb 3rd in the Baby land portion of a nearby cemetery. The funeral home did it all for free because my dad had been a big help to them (he is a pastor and often does funerals there for people who do not have a pastor or church)! What a financial blessing! My parents bought the plot of land for us and my grandparents wanted to buy Samuel's headstone as well. We were so thankful. It was a beautiful and warm February day. I'll never forget the refreshing breeze that filled the tent that day. As I sat there looking at that tiny blue coffin...I remember thinking...Maybe I should just grab it and run for my life. Everything in me wanted to go and get my baby out but my heart knew that I couldn't. My dad did most of the sweet service along with a few of our other ministers. Kevin and I both wrote something that was shared. It was our desire to share Jesus with our friends who were there that day. We greeted our friends and family and left before they put him in the ground. I remember that night it stormed pretty bad. That was the worst feeling. I remember feeling like I needed to be out there with him. I was scared for it to storm, scared of ant piles forming around his grave and sad to leave his earthly shell there alone. I write this because I am sure that I am not the only mother who has lost a child who has thought or felt these same feelings. All I could do was trust Jesus. Trust that Samuel was in his heavenly home, that he was safe and secure and that God did have a plan for us through all of this.

Stone #15-We were still staying at my parents house. This was such a blessing. I really didn't want to be home alone so it was a blessing to stay there. In fact we never went back to our old house except to move and clean! Remember how we started packing in September...well the whole house was pretty much packed and ready for moving. This was a huge blessing! Once we got the old occupants out of OUR house out...we thought we might have to call the was many days after closing! We finally headed to our new house to begin working. That first night we hauled off 8 trailer loads of their junk, trash and belongings they left for us! It was a huge job for us. This became our "baby!" We knew we had to get it ready so we could at least move in. Kevin had two weeks off of work that could be dedicated to the house! (He is such a "handy man!) He worked so hard all day everyday until late each night and I did what I could. We were determined to make this house a home. This project got our mind off of our situation and gave us a hope for the future of our family. God must have known we'd need this when he gave us the desire to buy this home...that's all I can figure out because I don't think I'd ever agree to it on my own. We worked for weeks and finally moved in around mid March. We still had some work to go but it was def. livable at this point. Thanks mom and dad for letting us live with you guys for...a very long time (it was really just what we needed!)

Stone #16- I must just mention that God gave the smartest and best class I ever had that year! My parents were so so sweet and loving to me. They showered me with cards, gifts and prayers. Some came to the hospital and many attended Samuel's funeral. You know you are lucky when you get a "smart class"...just makes the year a little easier...but to get a smart class and wonderful wonderful parents just had to be God. I returned to work after 6 weeks which flew! It was hard but I had too. Kids keep you busy so my days where full!

Stone#17- We had to wait several weeks to get the results of Samuel's autopsy report. This would tell us for sure if the condition was genetic or not. We found out in March that his chromosomes were normal and then a few weeks later that his condition was not genetic. Thank you Lord...we could try again!

Stone #18- After losing Samuel I had such a desire to have another child. A desire where it was all I wanted or could think about. We began trying and month after month after month we couldn't get pregnant. I must admit that I began to feel forgotten by the Lord and angry. I felt like couldn't he just bless me now...I had done the hard just give me a baby. We continued and nothing. This was the valley...and I mean the low dark valley for me. I remember wondering if I could continue my life at times. I was grieving! God knew I needed to grieve and that I would need time to heal and work through these feelings. In October we sought out a RE (reproductive endo.) and they ran many test on the both of us. This gave me a hope and took some of the pressure off of us. We were totally stressed out at this point. We did an IUI in Oct- and resulted in a chemical pregnancy, again in December and didn't get pregnant, and again in January. This was really our last chance before having to consider IVF. We weren't sure we were ready to walk down that path. But on FEBRUARY 3, 2007 we found out we were pregnant. Scroll up to see what we were doing the previous Feb. 3rd! We were burying our little Samuel. This Feb. 3rd God was answering our prayer. This day of forever sadness will always be overshadowed with God's graciousness and our sweet ella.

Stone #19- The story is almost complete but I just love this one. I had a close friend who had been trying as long as we had for their second child. We go to church together and on Feb. 3rd she told me that she had just found out she was pregnant.....and I was able to tell her that I was too. Can I just tell you that I am glad I'd tested that morning. I would have been happy for them...but it would have been hard to know that yet another friend was pregnant! The Lord blessed us at the same time. Now ella has a little friend who was born 3 days after her (sorry Becky...she was actually due before me)!

Okay...I think that is it! Little by little God carried us, blessed us and got us through. Grief is a strange thing and still finds its way into my life at times. I am thankful that I have a God who is in control even in the midst of the storm.

Monday, January 26, 2009

25 Random Things about me

I have been tagged on facebook several times lately to tell 25 random things about myself...and since the blogging juices have not been flowing lately...thought I'd tell them here.

1. I met my husband on a blind date but almost made my little sis go instead!
2. My favorite color is blue!
3. I always disliked being a redhead until I had we just go together!
4. I am somewhat of an introvert unless I feel really comfortable! My husband compliments this side of me because he NEVER meets a stranger.
4. When I was in 2nd grade I was in a talent show and I did cart-wheels to "It's my Party and I'll cry if I want too" THE WHOLE TIME! Why did my parents let me do this! I can assure you they weren't straight cart-wheels either. If we had it on video I know I could make some big money on AFV!
5. I have always been a night owl like my dad.
6. I tend to grow my hair out and get it cut to only not like it and spend a year growing it back out. I am almost ready to get it cut again.
7. I love O'Charley's Pecan Crusted Chicken Tender Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette and minus the blue cheese! I could eat it everyday. Did you know it ONLY had 1900 calories (kev told me this and I don't know for sure that it is true...maybe he is trying to detour my liking for it!
8. I am the sentimental type. I keep all my cards, pictures and special mementos!
9. I hate clutter and I love having a yearly garage sale to get rid of it all!
10. I have to clean my entire house either every Thurs., Fri., or Sat. For some reason I feel like I have to get it done before the weekend!
11. I have tried a variety of crafts in the past few making, scrap booking, oil painting, and now sewing! Kevin says he can't keep up!
12. I have always been labeled a "goody-goody!" I am by nature a people pleaser and really hate to disappoint people!
13. I told my husband a small, tiny white lie this past week and the Lord used my One-Year Bible passage to convict me. I asked the Lord for forgiveness but dreaded telling Kev. I tried to ignore it but woke up at 3 am feeling so bad. I woke him up and told him I'd lied and he was very forgiving at 3am!
14. I would really love a big family!
15. My first car was a very very old Mercedes! Don't let that name fool you! It was a diesel and had a pull crank!
16. One day my while driving my Mercedes the back door flew open and my jacket flew out in an intersection close to my high school. I just kept on driving!
17. I once saw a man get hit by a car while riding a bike.
18. I love ice cream and once I start I eat way too much so I never allow us to by it at the store...I just buy it at sonic instead!
19. In high school I thought I could get a tan and was a little obsessed! Now I am paying the price! Red heads and tans just don't go together!
20. I love doing spring planting with Kevin every year! This is one of my favorite things we do together. I love seeing the instant results and I love a pretty yard!
21. I like having an older sister and a younger!
22. I talk to my mom everyday!
23. I still think we may adopt a child one day...maybe!
24. I have never liked writing and have been told that I write like I talk. I am sorry if my blog drives you English people crazy with my run-on and .......
25. I love to find a deal and try to buy all of ella's clothes a year ahead....right now I am buy for fall and winter of 2010 and I don't buy them until they are super cheap!

SO that's me! Warts and all (no really I don't have any but I did when I was a younger and I passed out at the dermatologist office after getting them burnt off...) It hurt! :)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Setting up Stones (Continued)

If you haven't read the beginning of this post you may want to go back and read the earlier one from last week....or this probably won't make any sense at all. Thank you for letting me share Samuel story in it's entirety. I have had the opportunity to share my testimony a few times since having him..but there is no way or enough time that I'd try to share all these "specifics" in a short testimony! I feel like God did some big things in answering my prayers through this difficult time and I am happy to be able to share with you. When I was pregnant with Samuel and unsure of what the future would hold I searched the Internet pretty much daily for information on Kidney problems in babies and for anyone who might had walked this path previously. I think this was kinda the pre-blogging area and there really wasn't much personal info out there. My hope is that this may encourage or help someone facing a difficult terminal pregnancy!

Stone #9- So after thinking that I was beginning to go into labor I called the new doctors practice on that Friday (I hadn't been seen by them yet but my records had been sent). Every time I called any doctor I always had to give my baby has a fatal kidney problem...etc (not fun!) The new practice said that since they hadn't seen me if anything happened over the weekend I'd have to call my old practice! This stressed me out because I wasn't supposed to deliver at the hospital that my practice only could deliver at. Needless to say this was frustrating and stressful and I really felt like I was getting the run around! Now looking back I can see God's hand! Things did happen and by Sunday night I was contracting quite frequently. I called my old practice and the doc. on call said for me to come on to the hospital (the one I wasn't supposed to be delivering at). Let me just fill you in on my feelings about hospitals...I am scared to death of them. I was scared of laying in that bed..ewwww! Scared of putting on that robe(I mean who had worn it and what had happened in it...glad I don't know) Scared of an elevator opening seeing something scary on the other side(am I the only one who has this fear.) Very scared of emergency rooms (scared of seeing someone from a bad accident!) Scared...scared...scared out of my wits of needles, epidurals and all things painful! (Did I ever mention I was a nursing major for all of one semester...but the first clinical came and I thought it would be a good time to change my major!) But I was contracting and scared and needed someone to tell me what was going on. We arrived at the beautiful hospital..which looks more like a Hilton and went straight to the maternity wing (avoiding all things creepy and scary!) We were welcomed by friendly nurses who were awaiting our arrival and took me straight to my room. I managed to get on the yucky robe and get settled in the scary bed for sick people. I got hooked up to the monitors and heard my little ones heart beating nice and strong! AHHH he was still there! I'll never forget the wonderful doctor that was on call that night! He came in, pulled up the rocking chair...sat down and just talked. He wanted to hear our story..what was wrong and why we were choosing to trust God with our child! He came up with a plan of what we wanted to happen if they couldn't get my contractions to stop! (Samuel was breech and we made the plan for him to do a C-section if needed that night.) They gave me and IV and several shots throughout the night which stalled my labor and the contractions. We went home the next morning as I thought I had an appointment with the new practice at 11:00 Monday. I look back at that Sunday night as God's way of preparing me! I seemed to feel more confident about being in the hospital....not quite as freaked out! I wasn't quite as scared of the needles! I knew more of what to expect..good thing because I'd be back for the real deal the next night.

Stone #10- So I was supposed to have an appointment with the new practice that Monday morning. I called first thing hoping to get my appointment moved up if possible. Once again going through the whole spill to a few different people before I finally was told that my appointment wasn't that day but the next Monday! AHHH can't anything be simple! I explained once again that we were working with a genetics counselor at their hospital and needed to be seen so we could be delivered there...really getting the run around! Finally they said if I was contracting two minutes apart to just go to the hospital. Really they didn't want to see me (the doctor who delivered me did apologize about this and he said I really should have been seen.) Once the meds from the previous day had worn off I began contracting again but only 8-10 minutes apart and not super consistent! This continued all day! My sweet cousin Anna is a practicing mid-wife and she drove about 2 hours that night to come and be with me. She monitored my progress and around 9pm she said it could be soon or it could still be several days. We all agreed to try to get some rest! About 10 minutes after I laid down my labor really got going. I remember Kevin was dozing off and I remember saying I am having another and it hurts so so bad. One after another they were coming and the were hard and strong...unlike any pain I'd ever experienced. I managed to make it into my parents room (we were staying with them..there is no place like home when you're scared!) I remember crawling on the floor saying...please take me to the hospital! (Jess-and anyone else don't let this scare you) My labor with Samuel was horrible. My labor with ella was so so much more bearable! I have since learned that when you don't have amniotic fluid it causes labor to be much more intense and is called a "dry birth"(thankful I didn't know that at the time.) (This is also why when they break you bag of fluids it tends to get labor going and stronger! We arrived at the hospital and I thought I was dying. Unlike the night before the nurses seemed busy and unapproachable. Unlike being sent to a room they sent us to the waiting room. There were several pregnant girls waiting in there. I was trying to breath through each contraction that were consistently 2 min. apart. We had to wait until they called us. I prayed again as I had many time before for the right nurses and doctors. You see I needed someone who was going to see me through the darkest and most difficult night of my life. I needed someone who would be compassionate to me and my dying child. Someone who could handle being a part of a not so normal delivery. God answered this prayer in the form of the two sweetest and most caring nurses this side of heaven. They were wonderful to us and to Samuel! I still thank God for the care they gave me that night!

I am sorry this is such a long story! There is still a little more I want to share but I will save it for later. Once again I hope you are encouraged that even in the darkest place God's love shines through! His mercies are new every day! I am so thankful for a Savior that was with me that night...right there in the room...filling it with His presence and peace!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Pray for Kelly and baby Harper

Yesterday I anxiously awaited the birth of Kelly's baby girl, Harper Brown. Who is might ask??? She is the author behind a very popular blog...Kelly's Korner. her and her husband struggled to get pregnant and finally did. She was induced yesterday and apparently something went wrong and Harper is very sick. She was airlifted to another hospital and has pneumonia. I was just sick when I read this late last night. I have identified with Kelly on many levels. One we are both PK's (preacher's kids), we both have struggled to have a child and she shares my same passion for all things cute and monogrammed must I add. She was so excited about Harper's arrival and I must admit I was excited to see the precious little girl that they'd waited so long for. Kelly even made the cutest cookies and dipped pretzels for her nurses and guest (this girl takes southern hospitality to another level!) I know things have gone so different from what she was expecting and we are just praying that Harper will make a quick and complete recovery. Please pray for Kelly today and she and her body have been through a lot in these past few hours. Apparently she had over 30,000 hits on her blog yesterday so I am not the only one who has been touched by her story! You can link to her blog by her button on my sidebar if you want updates on Harper.

Friday, January 16, 2009

New Recipes

I knew I needed to get that horrible picture off the top of my I must post something new! Last night I tried two new recipes for dinner. We enjoyed them and they were pretty easy...and a little messy(might just be my cooking skills though). They are called Chicken Packets and Lemonade Pie. The chicken packets are a Once a Month Cooking Recipe if you are into that so it can be made ahead somewhat and frozen (just make the mixture and freeze....add to crescent rolls when ready to eat it!)
Hope you enjoy it and let me know if you try it!

Chicken Packets
2 Large Chicken Breast boiled and cubed
1 block of Cream Cheese
Chives (2 Tablespoons) I substituted dried thyme..just a tad bit because they were out of chives at Wal-mart(not surprising)
Milk 2 tablespoons
2 8oz. cans of crescent rolls
1 stick of butter melted
One box of seasoned croutons crushed or bread crumbs

Cut up chicken into small cubes and boil. Add cream cheese, chicken, milk, and thyme or chives and mix well. Carefully open your crescent rolls...this can be trickier than one might imagine. You should have about eight triangles in each container. Lay a triangle down and fill with your mixture and cover with another triangle. Seal the two triangles well. Dip the chicken packet in the melted butter and then into the crushed croutons. Cover well and bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Yummy!

Lemonade Pie
1 can condensed milk
1 8oz. container of cool whip
1 small container of frozen lemonade (the concentrated kind) let it thaw some but can still be icy.
2 graham cracker pie crust

Mix together and pour into the pie shells. Chill and serve! It makes two so this is a great one to make, keep one and give one away! So Easy!

Thursday, January 15, 2009


So my friend Tara tagged me today. Never done this and thought it might be fun! So I had to go to my picture files and go to the 4th file and find the fourth photo and post it. SCARY! Please Lord let it be a cute least! Well I am afraid it honestly might be the worst picture of me ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Unless it had been the one before which was my bare 39 week belly shot will ella. I am not a belly shot girl but wanted to remember what I looked like! I've thought about lying and choosing a different picture...but I guess that spoils the fun of the game. So I am putting my big pregnant self out there..water stain on shirt and all!

This picture is from the morning that I was induced with e! What a special day! It was early and I was finishing packing for the hospital. I dribbled water on my shirt and of course my belly caught it!

I keep having visions of this picture on my sister Jess' sidebar! Lovely! Thanks Tara!

So I have to tag 4 people: Jess Epp, My mom (I'll help you with the uploading), Becky (you better play along), and Mandy! Hopefully you'll get luckier than I did! Look at my cheeks!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Kate said Hi!

Kate signing books!

Kate Talking (Thanks Becky for the pics)

Becky and I


Last night I went with a few friends, my sister and my niece to hear Kate Gosselin speak. This is the Kate Gosselin from TLC's Jon and Kate Plus 8. I have enjoyed this show for a while now and was excited when I heard she was coming to our area. It was called "Coffee with Kate!" So the place was packed with tons of ladies of all ages and even a few brave men. I have made or encouraged Kev to watch with me a few times and he actually found it somewhat entertaining (although if asked he might not admit this). Kate made her way to the stage right at 7 and would you know the thing was over by 7:35. She shared about her pregnancy with the sextuplets and how she'd learned several lessons about depending and trusting God during those early years. I thought her message was good and entertaining...and then she said, "and that is how we got to where we are today," and walked off the stage. I think everyone was that it? I was a little disappointed to not hear anything about their life now or about what she is learning in life now. Oh well, it was a fun anyways. I also enjoyed catching up with a friend from way back who happened to sit right in front of me. Fun how God puts people in you path at just the right time. I did get my copy of her new book Multiple Blessings autographed!
I was also proud of Kev who took good care of e while I enjoyed my night out. They went to Chick-Fli-A and to Super Pets to look at the animals. Good thing they didn't bring one home with them. When I got home she was fed, asleep and he even remembered to brush her teeth (this time)!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Setting up Stones

As I am making my way through Genesis while reading my One Year Bible(see earlier Post) I continue to see a common thread of setting up a stone. Abraham did this many times as the Lord led him from place to place he would set up a stone at a specific spot to worship God. I've noticed many other figures in Genesis doing this..and in our Sunday School lesson from 1 Samuel 7 this past Sunday, Samuel led the people in doing this as well. 1 Samuel 7:12 says, Samuel then took a stone and place it between Mizpah and Jeshanah and named it Ebenezer (meaning, the Stone of Help) for he said, "The Lord has certainly helped us!" I guess we still do the same thing as a country today. We set up a landmark or monument to mark something special or noteworthy. We do this so we never forget the sacrifice or event that occurred.

I feel led to figuratively "set up some stones!" Stones of remembrance of what and how the Lord has worked in my life. As the next two weeks lead up to my Samuel's third birthday in heaven...I want to remember the Lord's real and active work in my life during this difficult time in our lives. I hope as this encourages me it will encourage you as you see the Lord working in the events of your life as well.

Stone #1- In September of 2005 I was about 12 or more weeks pregnant and I began to have a strong desire to move to a different area of our town. We lived very close to my school and I knew once I had the baby I'd be staying at home. I really wanted to live closer to our church, friends and my family....about 25 minutes away. Within a weekend we decided we'd move and that same weekend we got boxes and began to pack up our house. This is crazy to me now because we had no clue when we'd move...didn't even have our house on the market...and I began to pack. Those of you who know me well know that I like to be organized and have everything ready..especially with a baby coming! I think I was hoping we could move quick and get settled before March when I was due. I think this was just the Lord's prompting in our lives to get us to where we needed to be. So I began packing!

Stone #2-After our diagnosis in November, I was told that they had no clue if I'd go to term with the baby or if I'd go early. So I began weekly doctor visits as they monitored my progress. As a teacher, I had to find a certified substitute who could do my maternity leave. I had no clue if I'd need them in Nov., Dec., or even up until March. The Lord worked this all out as a friend and certified teacher who I knew, who is a missionary to another country was planning to be home during this time. She was looking for some work while she was back in the states. She had taught in our district and her twin sister taught at my school. The Lord just worked it all out. She is also a believer and I felt confident that I was leaving my students in good hands while I was out for six weeks of leave.

Stone #3- As I said earlier that I like to be prepared and organized I also knew I needed to have lesson plans as together as I could prior to being out of school. Again this was hard because I had no clue when I'd be out. I'd always planned about a week ahead but the week prior to going into labor I began to get so stressed about my lesson plans. So much time and a lot to cover and I ultimately was responsible for what my class learned. My stress led me to plan a good chunk of the next six weeks. I worked endlessly that week and thought at least I was ahead on plans (this was the end of Jan. and I was not due until March). The Lord knew that when I left school on that Fri. that I would not return for 6 weeks. He knew I needed to be prepared. All my preparation and talk got my mom a little stressed and she thought...maybe she'd better plan ahead too. That week she planned the entire next week for her K-5 class! Isn't God Good! (Oh and would you know that I even planned my math lessons completely to the day that I would return to school...this still blows my mind)!

Stone #4- So when we received our baby's initial diagnosis of either multi-cystic dysplastic kidneys or either polycystic kidneys...we were sent to a specialist for a second opinion. They confirmed the previous diagnosis and sent me back to my regular OB. Here is the regular OB only delivers at one hospital and they all agreed that I'd need to be delivered at a different hospital (this one is more specialized, is where our genetic counselor was and would preform a free autopsy). So I continued to see my regular OB while knowing that when I went to deliver I'd be being seen by completely different doctors, hospital system, etc. This always stressed me a little and the week prior to labor (God was really moving this week..or should I say moving me to action) I called and asked to be referred to the other practice. This did create some problems as I will explain later but ultimately got me to where we needed to be.

Stone#5- The Wed. night before I began going into labor I asked a friend at church if he would sing at our baby's funeral. Granted this was January and I still thought we had a while to plan our baby's funeral, but I knew I probably should go ahead and ask. He asked me if I'd given up on God...that God could still do a miracle! I knew this and hadn't given up but also knew in my heart that this was part of God's path for us to walk. For me it was taking more faith to believe and trust God that He knew what He was doing in this situation than to have faith that He could heal my child. I was able to tell him the song we wanted him to sing and he agreed. Once again God was working the details and I didn't even realize.

Stone #6- In December, a few days prior to Christmas we went to look at a home. We were still planning on moving and had seen a few but nothing had worked out. This was at the height of the market and home prices where we were moving were higher than we'd expected. So we found this house in the neighborhood we were looking in. It came on the market and we saw it the next day. It was an absolute disaster. I mean you couldn't walk through it. There were piles and piles of trash, food everywhere, holes in the walls, ripped up flooring...I mean it was disgusting (smells and all). And we said, "We'll take it!" What was I thinking. I was giving up my fairly new, clean, organized house for this...and I wanted it! Let's just say the Lord gave us a vision of what it "could be." We put a contract on it and although there were difficulties (needless to say these people had some issues they were dealing with) we finally got our contract accepted and our closing day was set for...January 31, 2006.

Stone #7- So we had our house to sale..YIKES! No problem...Kevin's parents decided they wanted to buy it. Problem solved! So we sold it without a realtor... directly to his parents...and we set the closing for the same day! Thank you Lord.

Stone #8- On Thursday of that week a few things began to happen to my body and I began to realize that my time of being pregnant was coming to an end. I had prayed and prayed that the Lord would take our baby early. As the weeks passed and he grew.. the lack of room and lack of fluid just left him no room to move. I didn't want him(at that time we didn't know if we were having a girl or boy) to suffer. The weeks of waiting were also so hard on me! I felt like I couldn't breath or move on with life until I walked through this trial. So at almost 33 weeks I began to go into labor. The Lord had answered this prayer.

I will stop here. There are many many more stones to be set...but I'll save that for another day! Do you see how evident it is that in the midst of our trial the Lord completely had his hand on us..guiding and directing our path.

2 Corinthians 1:3-5, 7 "What a wonderful God we have- He is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the source of every mercy, and the one who so wonderfully comforts and strengthens us in our hardships and trails. And why does he do this? So that when others are troubled, needing our sympathy and encouragement, we can pass on to them this same help and comfort God has given us. You can be sure that the more we undergo sufferings for Christ, the more he will shower us with His comfort and encouragement. But in our trouble God has comforted us-and this, too, to help you; to show you from our personal experience how God will tenderly comfort you when you undergo these same sufferings. He will give yo the strength to endure."

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Upwards Saturday!

This morning it was back to Upwards Basketball and Cheerleading! This is a program that our church has been doing now for probably 8-9 years...can't believe it's been that long! The Lord has truly blessed this program and I enjoy watching the games, the social aspect, as well as the snack bar (awesome french fries) ! Kev coaches K-5 basketball every year and I coached cheerleading for several years and assisted with basketball one year...might I add that I really know nothing about either! Good thing I had people who did helping me! At this season of my life I just get to be a fan. E is at an impossible stage to coach right now. I look forward to being more involved again one day. If you have kids this age in our town this is this place to be on Sat! It is fun to see how packed our church gets every Sat. We now have teamed with another church due to the need for another facility and it is awesome to see 2 churches packed each week. Each game has a testimony/gospel presentation at half-time which is the main reason of share Christ with those in our community who do not yet know Him. The first time I was able to share my testimony there was almost three years ago. I remember it so clearly because it was the Sat. before I had Samuel. I was so nervous as I stood in front ALL those people with my little index cards SHAKING...telling them of the state in which I was in. It is amazing how the Lord works things out because if I had been scheduled even one week later I would not have been there and most likely emotionally wouldn't have been up to it. The Lord knew the schedule for Samuel's arrival and had it all planned out. It's funny because now three years later I still have parents at Upwards games who speak to me, ask about e, and remember my testimony that day.

This time of year always seems to be a little hard for us. It all seems to be such a reminder of that time in our lives...even Upwards games! I have been thinking over this past week of sharing with you more about Samuel's story and more specifically the unique details of the way the Lord worked out every little, specific detail during that difficult time. I hope as it encourages me to trust the Lord with His timing that it will encourage you as you also trust the Lord. So more on that later. For now I think I may catch a nap while I have the chance!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

15 months today!

My little e is 15 months today. Time is really flying. I thought I'd use this post to document things about her today...I do realize that no one other than me, my mom and maybe my sis are interested in her accomplishments thus far! but, I love reading back through my blog after a few months and see what she was doing when..and I am also a proud mommy!

All about E
She likes to eat chicken nuggets, mashed potatoes, some pastas, dried apples, bananas, peaches, milk and apple juice...and well... that's about it! I have a picky little thing on my hands. I did get her to eat a little Fettucine Alfredo with peas in it last night so maybe we are making progress. She loves her fact she wakes up saying Papa and goes to sleep saying papa. When we pull up to their house she starts acting like she is gonna hyperventilate because she is so excited. She also loves her Mimi too and is no longer calling her Day-Day but can now say Mimi. E loves her books and her babies. She is already quite a little mommy. She now is feeding her babies with her play spoon, bowl and bottles. She can ride on her car all over the house all by herself. She likes to put her baby, bear, bunny and Leapfrog Caterpillar all in her chair...and then she tries to sit in it. She loves to wave and blow kisses to strangers at Wal-mart. She loves people and never really meets a stranger. E loves her passy and her bunny! These are her favorite two things (we really should have ended the passy thing a long time ago...I think we are in trouble now). She also loves to snuggle in mommy and daddy's bed...why did we ever start this??? Oh yea because we love to snuggle with her just as much! We are trying to limit this to only first thing in the mornings...most days! Over the holidays she loved our "Bee"...."Tree!" Now she is noticing trees everywhere and exclaims..."A Bee, A Bee, A Bee!" She can hear an airplane coming from miles away..and always lets me know. We have been working on animal sounds for quite a while as we talk and read her books. To no avail they all say "ha, ha, ha" to her (which is what she has always done for the monkey.) She has learned recently that the sheep says "baaa" and she says "aaaa" when she gets the book that the sheep is in. I have been doing baby sign language with her since she was small and she never really got it except all done. (I had decided that I must surely be doing something wrong!) Well, over the past month she is now signing please, thank-you, and more. It is so cute and I love making her use her manners.

Okay so I know that is way more than anyone wanted to know but I am amazed everyday by this little girl. She has brought more joy to me and fills each day with busyness, fun and learning. I still have not gotten over the fact that she is mine and I get to keep her. Thank you Lord for my e!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The One Year Bible?

So I am not much on new year's resolutions...follow-through has never been my strong point! So this is not a resolution...we'll call it a goal. I was in the Christian bookstore this past week and saw the One Year Bible. I decided to make this my goal for 2009. The truth is I seem to flounder aimlessly with my bible study without some sort of bible study or plan! I usually read a little Psalms...maybe a little Corinthians...and catch a little Genesis on the way out as I pray the Lord would show me something! Needless to say my effort is not what it should be...oh how I fall short. So I today is Jan. 7th and I am loving reading it! Do you find that the more you read and study...the desire to also increases? I always find that this is the case for me. The one I got begins in Genesis and Matthew and also has Psalms and Proverbs each day. The reading amount is very do-able (how in the world do you spell do-able??) So I am praying the Lord will open my eyes to His truths as I plunge ahead and for faithfulness to daily read His word.

I also got the NLT. I know everyone has different opinions on translations..but this one is simple for me to understand. I also like the NIV as well.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Daddy needs a new Christmas Shirt!


Or maybe this will be a new tradition! Look how little my e was last year! So sad how fast they grow!

Saturday, January 3, 2009


Last night as we were channel surfing we came across Facing the Giants. This is a Christian movie that came out in late 2006 (i think). It is a Christian movie..opposed to a big budget Hollywood movie...and has a powerful message! The acting was pretty good too I think! I remember watching this movie in the theater not long after it came out...with the majority of our church..I think they sold the tickets. I think I cried..or maybe I should say sobbed through most of the movie. It isn't even a "tear-jerker" and I am not even an easy crier! It spoke so clearly to my heart unlike any movie ever has. It was such an encouragement to Kevin and I. So we stayed up until midnight watching it again last night...and once again it was just what I needed!

Some of my favorite lines from the movie...
"We'll praise Him when we win and we'll still praise Him when we lose!" (Don't we all need to really get that message!)

"If he never gives us a baby...will you still love HIM?"

"I ask you, what is impossible for God?"

"I am just preparing for rain!" (watch the movie and you'll understand)

Have you seen it? What did you think?

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year and recap of 2008






Happy New Year. Is it really 2009 already! Seems like it's got to still be like 2003...where do the years go? I am excited about starting a new year and honestly a bit nervous too. I love putting my Christmas tree up early...this year we did right before thanksgiving in hopes to "enjoy it a little longer"...but as soon as Christmas is over I am ready to take it all down! I mean... like the next day! I am always ready to clean up the house, de clutter holiday stuff, buy a new planner for the upcoming year and get on with it!

2008 was a great year for us as a family. We celebrated lots of first with our precious little one. It is crazy how little she was last Jan. and now I have a toddler! January brought us trying out the exersauser for the first time learning to roll...what a big accomplishment that felt like. February brought beginning yummy rice cereal and going to the church nursery. March began in a flur..with Jess and Ryan's beautiful wedding and e's first Easter! April brought sitting up and scooting..and beautiful spring days. May brought crawling, giving hi-fives and first ear infections. June meant first beach visits and the neighborhood pool. July brought real food for e and pulling up on everything! In August we celebrated daddy's 30th and a trip to Fripp Island. In September we traveled to Atlanta for a wedding and e learned to walk. October began with e's first birthday party and ended with the cutest cow I'd ever seen. November brought Thankfulness for the new life God had given our family. December brought heartache and joy all mingled together. What a great and blessed year it has been.