Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thursday's Thoughts

It's Thursday, which means it is the day that I normally try to muster up my motivation and clean up this messy house.  It is really bad this week.  I'm not sure I have it in me to face the disaster.  In light of this mess, I can be thankful that a messy house which was created by my loving family.  I am sure I added to it too.  I usually give up somewhere around Tuesday. 

Ella is going to be Jessie from Toy Story for our church's Fall Festival.  I had bought her a cute cowgirl outfit with the cutest red cow girl boots form a local consignment store for her to wear.  Secretly, I knew she would make the cutest little Jessie ever!  Her Daddy knew it too and he ordered it for her off of e-bay!  Now we just need to rent Toy Story so she will know who Jessie is!!!  Those red boots are too cute!
I really enjoy scrapbooking.  I know some people loathe it, but for me I enjoy the creative outlet it allows me!  The only thing is that it is one more thing TO DO!  I am scared to get too far behind in fear that I will never again get caught up.  I have made the decison that after this year, I will only scrapbook a baby book for any remainding children the Lord blesses us with.  I will do our yearly family scrapbook on-line.  It will be cheaper, easier and smaller.  Ella and I are the only ones who really enjoy looking at them anyways.  Whew...I feel better already.

Okay, I have a confession.  We just moved Eliza into her room last week at 13 months.  I know!  I know!!  She has napped in there every single day during the day so it was not a new space for her.  I have this thing about my girls being in their rooms.  Fear seems to grip me most at night and I struggle with the what if's.  Eliza's room is even a bit further than ella's and this made it even harder.  I have a large walk-in closet and she has slept in there once she got old enough to call my name if she woke up!  It was dark, furnished with a small crib and close to mommy.  She slept well, we slept well....but it was time (actually past time)!  Thankfully, she is doing great and mommy is too! I have learned to do what works for us as parents!

And last but not least....

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

What a difference a year makes!!

 I love looking back at pictures of my girls and seeing how much they have grown and changed since the previous year.  Last weekend at the pumpkin patch I kept thinking about how Eliza was just a little bitty newborn in a sling last Oct.  It made me a wee bit sad, but this year was much easier (now that Ella is 3 and Eliza is not just 3 weeks old) I must say!  You can also tell that I now have a much better camera since last year!!  It is amazing the difference a year can make!  Wonder what next year will look like for us??

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Pumpkin Patch 2010

 I love the pumpkin patch!!  It is one of those things I always looked forward to doing with my kids when I became a mother, especially after taking yearly field trips there as a teacher!  This year daddy had class all day!  We really missed him!!  We were able to meet up some friends from church, which made it lots of fun!   We had such a great fall day!

Monday, October 11, 2010


1.  I finally learned how to do the linky thing last week and it wasn't nearly as tricky as I thought.  Not sure what I did last time I tried it.  So today I am linking up with with Carissa's blog at lowercase letters.

2.  Every few years I have something random happen to my eye(s).  A few years ago it was a corneal abrasion and most recently a corneal puncture???  I am blind as a bat and have had glasses since the second grade and contacts since the fourth.  The other day while at the eye doctor with a fussy 1 year old and a mommy without her contacts in...let's just say when Eliza threw her paci and blankie on the floor, they were as good as lost.  I'd have to have been about 2 inches from the floor to find them.  Thankfully, the receptionist was kind.  Anyways, I have been out of my contacts for about 4 days and yesterday morning they looked and felt fine again and I tried to wear them to church!  By yesterday afternoon, I was back in a mess.  Back to the eye doctor I go!! (Did I mention that 3 years ago I had to wear a patch over one eye for a week!  That was fun!

3.  Ella has her 3 year check-up today.  I started prepping her this morning.  I hate that she is old enough to be anxious about going.  Thankfully, her daddy is off today and he gets to join us! 

4.  Most little girls like to but their babies in a stroller and go for a push!  Not my little sweetie!  It is her most
prized possession that gets taken for a stroll. 

5.Eliza is going to be a cow for our fall festival at church.  The outfit was a hand-me-down from my friend Tara and I have loved letting both my girls wear it.  Eliza also wore it for Ella's farm party! 

Ella 1 yr.

Eliza 1 yr.
6.  I am normally an early Christmas Shopper and I generally buy things on sale throughout the year.  I am WAY behind this year.  I cannot believe that the holidays are right around the corner.  Speaking of Christmas, I have already started playing my Christmas CD's on occasion when the temperature dips below 75.  I just can't help it and a little chill in the air makes me so excited!

Sunday, October 10, 2010


Have you ever prayed and prayed for God to do something and then as God just barely begins to open a door of opportunity, you dig your heels in the ground and have yourself a pity party?  Well, that was my weekend.  I feel as though I have been in a spiritual battle all weekend, unlike any I have faced for a while now. 

When Kev and I surrendered to the ministry, I told the Lord I was willing to lay aside my life and follow His plan for our lives.  Really this is not just for those in is what being a christian means!  What if God's plan once again looks very different from what I want, like or feel comfortable with (usually it does)!  What if it means laying down my life and picking up my cross (it always does).  What if it means having less, doing less, and big changes in those things I find fun and appealing (it might).  Do you see why I have been wrestling??

It is so easy to be comfortable in our nice little homes, great churches, and towns with tons of opportunities, families, and things to do.  What if God calls me to a very different kind of life and ministry?  Will I be faithful?  God has really shown us no direction yet, but He has made one thing very big in my heart and life as I have struggled, cried, and wrestled through this in a fresh way this weekend, he cares about my obedience and about people who need to know Him.

There are a few passages in the Bible that I have always struggled through.  One is the passage in Luke 9 where Jesus says "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife, and children, his brothers and sisters, yes, even his own life cannot be my disciple."  The other is the story of the rich man in Matthew 19:23, "I tell you the truth, it is very hard for a rich person to get into the Kingdom of heaven."  Both of these two passages of scripture always make me think, Lord???? But when thinking about my own life, my first two thoughts when faced with obedience in my life usually has something to do with family and possessions.  There is the 1)I will miss family side and then the what "good" things will my girls/family miss out on. (I know in reality they won't miss out when serving the Lord but from the world's perspective you think of things like schools, organized sports, libraries, (and a Target for crying out loud!!)  Then there is 2) my furniture won't fit that, the major downsizing and down grading, the, what about my china hutch, and you see where I am going.  The Lord in His infinite wisdom knew the human struggle in these areas.  They are the exact areas I have struggled with this weekend. 

After having myself a pity party and being weepy and grumpy with my family.  It is never easy when your husband has the right spiritual outlook and you know you don't!  I knew it was time that the Lord and I went to battle over this.  I knew He would win anyways.  His Holy Spirit is at work and my heart and my flesh can only stray so far until I relent.  I pulled out Radical by David Platt.  I have been wanting to read it for a while.  Now, I needed to read it.  I knew what I was headed for (Kev has read it a few times and I knew I would be challenged).  It didn't take me getting too far until I felt my resistance letting up and the Lord melting away my fears and disobedience.  As my home laid quiet  and still last night, I told the Lord that once again I will follow where He leads.  I will lay down my pride and silly desires and humbly obey his path no matter how unlovely it may look to my human eyes.  I don't want to one day get to heaven and realize I missed out on God's plan and provision for my life because of a Target and a china hutch.  Thank you Lord for loving me despite myself. 

Saturday, October 9, 2010

She's 3!!!

It's hard to believe that my little Ella is THREE!  Three years ago I was sitting in that tiny hospital room enjoying every minute of being a mom, while trying to get a very sleepy baby girl to nurse.  That was a learning experience for sure.  

Three years have passed and she have grown into the most beautiful, spunky and loving little girl!  This past year was a tough one for us.  The combination of having a new baby sister and dealing with the terrible two's...there were days and moments that I felt super inadequate as a mommy.  As the year progressed we have seen you emerge so much more mature and obedient, and we are so thankful for that.  Last year when you turned two you still slept with your paci and were in diapers and this year you are like a little girl.  You have grown so much this past year.

This year we have seen you grow so much in your knowledge and love for the Lord.  Your favorite Bible stories are Noah's Ark and (still) Jesus healing the blind man.  You are still a bit obsessed with that story in your little Bible.  You can't seem to get over Jesus putting mud on the man's eyes.  We have seen you grow so much in your understanding of the cross and that Jesus died for our sins, and you are also a bit fascinated with looking for crosses (even if it is just a telephone pole).  Your prayers have gained depth and you never cease to surprise us.  Every night during your bedtime devotions you require us all to get "bend down" faces to the carpet in order to talk to God.  I love to hear you say, "Dear God, thank you for all the blessings you have given us.  Thank you for my family.  In Jesus name I pray, Amen!"  I cannot wait to see how you continue to grow in your love and understanding of the Lord this next year.  We pray fervently that you will come to Christ at a young age and grow to be a girl of faith and conviction. 

We have also seen you grow so much in knowledge.  You have amazed me with you love of letters and their sounds.  You know all your letters and their first sounds (thanks Leapfrog) and I really think you will be easy to teach to read.  I am looking forward to that!  You can also write your name which is so cute.  Your artwork is beginning to look more like "something!"  Last week you drew a great sun for the first time.  I love watching you learn new things.

You love people!  You are outgoing, friendly and you just love life.  I pray you will always be like this.  You crack me up when we are out shopping and someone says hi to you and you always reply, "Hi, this is my mommy and this is my Lizzie!'  You always make sure we are all introduced.  You love your family and have grown into a great big sister.  You are a good helper for me.  The other day when I picked you up from school I told you that Eliza had been calling your name all morning and when you got in the car you knelt down and said, "I missed you too sweetheart!"  Melt your mama's heart! 

One way I know that you have matured so much is that I am now willing to take you grocery shopping at Wal-mart and let you walk.  Let me tell you...this is huge!!!  Your listening and obedience have grown so much!  This would not have been an option a year ago!  This has made getting out of the house a lot more enjoyable and easier for us. 

Ella, I love you more than I could put in words.  I would rather hang out with you than almost anyone!  You make me smile everyday and you never cease to bring laughter and love to our home.  We are so thankful for you and the sweet little girl you are becoming.  We can't wait to watch you grow this next year!  Happy Birthday Sweet Girl!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Our Story

Kelly from Kelly's Korner is inviting people to share their own personal story of how God worked in their lives, by linking up with a friend's blog.  Well, I still haven't learned how to do the link-up thing, but I felt led to share our story again today.  If you've followed my blog for the past 2 1/2 years, I have shared it before, but in case you just blog hopped over to here, I will share it once again.  In fact, I promised the Lord at a point in time when life seemed pretty grim that if he would get me through, I would try to be faithful to use the opportunities that He gave to me give Him praise. 

Kev and I married in May of 2003.  I knew he was God's choice for me despite our rather short courtship and 6 month engagement.  I had a peace that I knew was from God and I knew that he was leading us to marry.  I was just finishing my first year of teaching 1st grade and he was working full-time as well. 

We set our minds to get out of the rather large pile of DEBT that we brought into the marriage and acquired shortly after marriage (School loans, car loan, credit card, house, and it all added up quickly to a nice HUGE number!)  I had always, always, always known that I desired to be a stay at home mom and have a house full of kids.  In fact, from the time I was young all I really wanted to be was a mom. We knew if there was any hope of me getting to one day stay at home, we had to get serious about our debt and our finances.  We both worked hard for for several years and as the years passed we saw our debt dwindling too. 

We (I) being the planner that I am, had it all figured out and calculated just perfectly.  I knew when I needed to get pregnant in order to use my leave days (that I had been saving for the past four years,) in order to get paid and also get the last three months off of teaching in order to begin my career as a stay at home mom.  So, we were excited about the possibility of starting a family, but this was uncharted territory for me and at that point the thought of even a small finger prick was enough to make me wonder if I could do it, much less birth a baby at a HOSPITAL (I used to be super scared of them).  Needless to say, I have come a long way.  We tried and to our surprise we got pregnant that very first month.  I found out on July 20, 2005 that I was going to be a mom, while at the doc. for what I thought to be a UTI.  We were super excited and told both of our families that very first day and friends very soon afterwards. 

My pregnancy went great with very minor nausea.  On November 7, 2005 I was scheduled for our 20 week ultrasound.   We hadn't had one since I was about 9 weeks and so we couldn't wait to see our peanut and most importantly (as we thought then), find out what we were having.  Sitting in that waiting room was a young, unscathed, unbroken, super excited, had their whole lives planned out, couldn't wait to paint the nursery, young couple whose lives were about to be changed forever.

In our routine ultrasound, we quickly learned that our little peanut had two multi cystic kidneys and they didn't see a bladder on the ultrasound.  The ultrasound was also very dark and it was hard to get a good view of the baby because it showed that I had no amniotic fluid.  We were shocked.  They concluded the ultrasound and took us into a small office, and I asked Kev to please call my parents who were home anxiously awaiting our call.  They explained a little more about what might be wrong and scheduled us for another ultrasound the following day with a specialist.  I remember the shock of thinking that we might be having a child with a severe birth defect.  I still hadn't grasped the concept that our child might die. 

We went to my parents house and I made a few phone calls to friends who were waiting to hear what we were having.  (They couldn't tell and at that point it was the least most important thing in our minds).  Follow-up ultrasounds showed the same thing.....a rare and fatal kidney problem.  Fatal as in no baby with this condition survives due to a multitude of related issues.  HOW?  WHY?  WHAT??  It seemed at times as if we were watching someone else walk through these painful events.  I couldn't believe that this was really happening to our perfect our child. 

As believers, we relied heavily on our Sunday School class, church, family and the Lord.  We undoubtedly felt their prayers and love.  We kept doing what we had been before, yet with a new brokenness and a new passion.  Kev continued to teach Sunday School week in and week out and I continued to teach my first graders.  Those were hard weeks....long weeks of waiting. They told us that most women chose to abort terminal pregnancies and that they really didn't know what the following weeks would hold for us.  We were asked several times if we were sure we wanted to continue our pregnancy.    We chose life for our little one who was tucked away inside living out his short yet meaningful little life.   We chose to(as my dad says it best) stay committed to Jesus, even when the situation, circumstances, and people said otherwise.  This was faith and we were living in out daily in a tangible way. 

I went into labor on January 30, 2006 at about 10:30pm.  Our precious little son, Samuel, was born the following morning at 11:22 am and lived a short few minutes on this earth.  I never saw his little eyes open and I never heard him cry, but one thing I know, he was real, God had a purpose and our lives were forever changed.

There is so much to that part of the story, but our God story doesn't end there.  A few months after losing Samuel we got the okay from doctors that Samuel's condition was not genetic and we felt at peace with trying again.  Actually, I was desperate to try again.  Unlike when we got pregnant with Samuel and I was kinda okay with the idea of starting a family.  This time I felt like if I didn't have another child I might die.  I know that sounds a bit dramatic, but it was like having a taste of being a mother without getting to do any of the fun stuff (no shower, no nursery, no baby shopping, no bringing the baby home, no getting to show off your new bundle of joy, no coos, no first smiles, no birthdays to celebrate, and the list could continue on and on!)

We began trying and unlike our easily getting pregnant with Samuel it didn't seem as easy this time.  In fact month after month we would try and month after month, test after test it was negative.  In fact, it was during this year of trying that I really struggled with my relationship with the Lord.  I felt as though he had forgotten us.  I felt as though He was withholding a blessing from us while showering everyone around with tons. I felt as though we had be faithful and I didn't see the profit.  I was grieving, I felt depressed, and some days I felt hopeless.

In Oct. we began some testing at a local fertility center mainly because I was about to lose my sanity over OPKs, testing, charting, and if you've ever been there, you understand.  We did our first IUI procedure in Oct. which resulted in a chemical pregnancy (basically just a very early miscarriage).  We did another on Christmas Eve (due to my cycle) of 2006.  I just knew this would be our Christmas blessing, yet it resulted in a negative test two weeks later.  By January of 2007, we were at what should be Samuel's first birthday and we were feeling the pressure at all sides.  I remember one morning crying out to God as I tried to get myself up and ready to go teach a brood of busy first graders.  It was that morning that I called Kevin and told him that we had to be serious about following God's plan for us even if we didn't like it.  (Once again I am eating those words that I said that day because it goes against what my nature would like to do.)  I said something like...if God has called you to the have got to do it and quit telling God you aren't ready.  I also told him that I would continue teaching to help him through seminary (something we'd been looking into).  I think he knew I meant business when I said that.  We did our third and final (three is about how many they want you to do before thinking it might not work) IUI in January.  Kev applied to seminary and we felt a new direction and peace in our lives.  Two weeks later on Feb. 3, 2007, one year to the VERY DAY that we laid our little Samuel's body in the grave, we received about ten positive pregnancy tests!!  We knew it only God could plan it like that and we knew God was in it.   About 8 months later on October 8th, 2007 I held our little Ella for the first time. 

I was thinking about all of this just the other day as I was thinking about Ella's birth.  If I would of had my way I would have been pregnant much sooner without all the trials, testing, meds, disappointments.  If that would have been the case I wouldn't have my ella  and I cannot imagine a day without her or her sister Eliza. If I would of had my way Kev wouldn't be halfway through his MDiv. degree.  If I would of had my way I would have missed out on lots of blessings along the way. 

I write ALL of this to encourage you.  If there is one thing I have learned is that with God, the journey is often hard, it often requires sacrifice and a laying down of one's pride and personal agenda.  It requires a change in plans and it always requires faith.  I have also learned that nothing pleases God like faith and no one works the details better than God when He is the one in control.  These are all lessons that I learned that I still have to remind myself of over and over as I am faced with new situations that require faith. 

Psalms 40 1-3
I waited patiently for the LORD;
And He inclined to me,
and heard my cry.
He also brought me up out of a horrible pit
Out of the miry clay,
And set my feet upon a rock,
And established my steps.
He has put a new song in my mouth.
Praise to our God.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Ella's 3rd Barnyard Birthday Bash!!!

We had Ella's 3rd birthday party this past Saturday!  It was her first time to invite a few little friends to her party.  The Lord blessed us with our first cooler "fallish" morning which made our fall farm theme just perfect!!  We had the party at 10:30 which worked great for her age.  It made the morning a little rushed for mommy, but it was nice to still have some time in the day afterwards.  I had a lot of fun planning this party, but mommy is glad that we have a whole year until our next one! 






It was a great party!!  Happy 3rd Birthday Ella!