Saturday, May 30, 2009

I Am Sure There Is A Compliment In There Somewhere...

The boys had been playing outside but came in looking a little sad. I asked who they had been hanging out with and they quickly replied, "no one - we just played together because no one else is home."

Seeing it as an opportunity to remind them how good it is to have siblings, I commented on how great it was that they had each other.

Chase looks up at me and says, "you know, if Daddy and Reece and Piersen and you and the baby all died....that would be sad because....it would be really boring."

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Just In Case You Ever Wonder....

When I was pregnant with Reece, someone gifted us with a book by Max Lucado called "Just In Case You Ever Wonder" - it talks about the love a parent has for their child - from their conception and on through the years. We have read it to all of our boys throughout the years...and will continue reading it to them as they grow up.

Last weekend was a special one for us in that we had the opportunity to meet our newest little one again via ultrasound. We were awed and amazed to see how quickly a baby grows and changes and within just a few weeks the movement, the images and the body parts are so much more defined and recognizable. Amazing. We both felt almost as though it had been our first time to see an ultrasound - our hearts filled with relief and thankfulness at seeing health, movement, and life.

Our doctor was very quick to stop the ultrasound and confirm whether we were interested in knowing this baby's gender. We were. And we are excited to announce that God is blessing us with...

A SON!!!

We are so happy! In the past weeks we have heard countless expressions of prayers, hopes and desires for this to finally be our girl.... but we don't feel disappointed that he is indeed our boy! Reece, Chase, and Pierce are very very happy for another brother. We all celebrate this gift with thankfulness and ask you to begin curbing your prayers towards our peace and sanity (not to mention the grocery bill!) as we joyfully continue the journey of loud noise, wrestling, dirt, bugs, bodily functions and fast moving objects.

When he arrives we will read the same book to this little guy and reassure him how much he was loved and wanted from the very beginning. And... to erase any potential doubts in his mind that the announcement "it is a boy!" brought anything but total celebration to our family, we will show him the following video! Check it out... (note: this original scene began spontaneously around the breakfast table, but I just simply couldn't resist asking them to repeat their exuberance so it could be captured on video!)

video

Aren't they too cute? :) So, like I said...no more wondering about how we are feeling about another boy - we love the idea!

The picture below, although not that clear, is a side profile of our little boy sucking his thumb (his head is on the right side of the pic with his arm bent and raised to reach his mouth). I was really touched by this because none of my boys have ever been thumb suckers and I thought it was pretty sweet to see it happen on ultrasound.


And...just in case you ever wonder what our lives are gonna look like with a family of FOUR BOYS....I invite you to keep following my blog - or for a more authentic experience....drop on in for a little visit to witness the fun with your own two eyes!!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Scared

Here comes the age when the emotion of feeling scared is recognized in Piersen. I know this sounds cruel, but it is actually really kind of cute. Cute not because he is crying in fear...(that would be cruel to declare "cute")...more because he doesn't cry at all - he just shrugs his shoulders up real close to his face and points his fingers toward that which he is afraid of....and has this expression on his face. So - the rest of us in the family have made it our task to teach him there is nothing to be scared of. We do lots of petting of inanimate objects while saying, "nice, nice, it is ok - nothing scarey". Pierce quickly smiles and says "niiii, niiiii". This morning when I heard him talking in his crib, I entered his room - he looked at me - assumed the "I am scared pose" and pointed to his closet. So we began to pet all the baby equipment...stroller, swing, etc.. and he was soon perfectly content.

I guess I share this because I wish my fears and insecurities were this easily soothed. A group of ladies from our church are beginning a Beth Moore study together - "Believing God". I am having a difficult time starting out with it - mainly because of not carving out time/priority for it. But I hope that my time in this study will point me in a direction of strengthening my faith and deepening my trust in my God, whose perfect love casts out fear.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Same Tune, Different Words

My husband continually bugs me about my talent of singing the wrong words to songs. I guess I passed it on...

A few years ago, the boys received a video of Gospel Bible Songs as a gift. We had it playing yesterday as we got ready for church. I am sure you remember the old spiritual that goes..."I shall not be moved - you know that I - shall - not - be - moved"

Here are the words - with exactly the right tune, by the way - that I heard coming from the bathroom last night where Chase was supposed to be brushing his teeth...

"I shall not be rude - you know that I shall not be - I shall not be rude - because my mom says - I - shall - not - be -rude"

Ha! I guess that works too!

:) And...I promise you, I do not make this stuff up! :)

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Motherhood...

Happy Mother's Day to all of you "mommy's". I hope you have a wonderful weekend/day with your families - celebrating the important role of motherhood. My Mom is an amazing woman who has honored me with not only the gift of life - but a childhood of memories, a strong example of faith and godliness and a friendship that remains very special to me.

I want to post again, this special slideshow/video that I put together for this day last year (with a few slides to update this year). I am so thankful that although at this time last year we were in the middle of grief over the loss of life - we celebrate this Mother's Day with the joy and anticipation of new life in our family. Here are my reflections from last year - they have not changed and express how I feel today, seeming to only grow deeper and more intense each moment I am given to experience as a Mom...

I feel very, very blessed and honored to be able to experience this unique and amazing journey of motherhood. Although I always knew I wanted children, I had no idea of the depth of love, grace and responsibility that I would feel in this role. It is hard, it is constant, it is beautiful. It requires all of you and yet it so quickly and naturally steals your whole heart from that first moment I realized I had a new life within me. It is humbling, and requires selflessness, and patience, and sacrifice. It requires you to apologize, regroup and try again. It is up and down, good days and bad ones - every moment is most certainly not precious and glorious. It forces you to face yourself, to face failure, and uncertainty, and worry, and frustrations. And it most definitely calls out loudly for you to depend on the Father for wisdom and energy and guidance. It is so worth it!! I love my children in a way that I can't explain with words. I have moments when I catch a quick glimpse of them - a look they give or a certain laugh or expression and I am absolutely amazed that they came from us. That Benjy and I created them and they resemble aspects of our looks and personalities (not always a good thing!) I love the gift God gave us by allowing us to be a part of creating another life. How amazing. I have never felt more beautiful, in every way, than I felt after each of my children where born - even after the sweat and pain of labor. Another life created by God. I have been changed and shaped and made over into a better woman because of my children. I love God for giving me this precious gift of motherhood - and for my precious children that call me "Mommy". Happy Mother's Day to me!!! I put these pictures together to remind me of how precious life is with my little ones. The song is special to Benjy and I and the pictures flood my heart and fill my soul with a deep, yet simple goodness.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Another Arrow

"Sons are a heritage from the Lord,
children a reward from Him.
Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
are sons born in one's youth.
Blessed is the man
whose quiver is full of them."
Psalm 127: 3-5

We are more than pleased to announce that we are expecting another baby! Today we have reached the milestone of 12 weeks and we celebrate this new and precious life and his/her development and addition to our family.

We have shared the big news with the boys and they are so so so excited. How fun it has been to watch them process the idea and share their joy. Lots of questions have been asked, lots of extra sweetness and gentleness shared with me, and lots of opinions expressed as to whether this baby needs to be a boy or a girl ("boy" almost always wins out!). Since they are a little older, I am especially excited to watch Reece and Chase prepare for another sibling. The fascination they still have with Piersen is proof to me that they will be great helpers and care-givers to this new little one.

Benjy and I are very thankful for this baby. As the verse above states, we feel blessed. We were relieved to see a healthy image during our ultrasound 2 weeks ago. The two little lives that we lost to early miscarriage last year remain important to us, and although short in time span - they are remembered and loved. Their lives were significant to our family in many ways - especially in reminding us today, in this pregnancy, the miracle of creation and that every little milestone is something to be celebrated and not assumed. Thankfully, I have felt very good and everything seems to be on track for a healthy and safe pregnancy.

So - we await a new addition in mid November!! Adding another arrow to our quiver! Please pray for this sweet baby and for our family as we prepare for his/her arrival!

"For you created my inmost being, you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Your works are wonderful,
I know that full well!"
Psalm 139:13,14

Monday, May 04, 2009

Swine Flu Fever - Nope....Cabin Fever...Ahhh, YES!

***I realize the pictures aren't showing up - I have re-tried it several times and they work at first and then don't. Who knows. Sorry.

It is Monday afternoon and we just heard news that school for our kids has been further postponed until the 11th of May. This is craziness. We have been in "lock - down" since last Friday - so we are on on Day 11 of being at home. In the beginning - when things looked serious - we were quite quite careful...especially seeing that we were in the epi-center of an apparent pandemic. In the past few days I have allowed the kids to play outside a little more and we even invited our teamates over for lunch yesterday. For 1 week straight, however, the kids and I were pretty much behind closed doors and within four walls. I have pulled out all the stops in the "creative and fun Mom" department and facing another week of this means I better refuel and find some more ideas! I think we will be a little more easy going this week since the virus seems to be a lot more under control and the true reports are proving there are a whole lot fewer confirmed cases than they were first proclaiming.

Check out some pics of what we have been doing to entertain one another....

We began it all by converting the living room into a basketball court....



When that got old we switched out to balloon baseball....




We made floor puzzles...



And when the moments of craziness came when I thought I was gonna climb the walls...we made batman capes and I let them climb instead :)



We painted...



And, we have played a fair share of board games and checkers (Reece is really good at this one!), we have had lots of "play baths", we've baked cookies and have colored and drawn pictures, had a few "family movie nights", made some lego model cars, and built cities out of poker chips... and then when we could stand being indoors no longer....

We snuck outside for a family waterballoon fight...







The truth is - other than being indoors so much - we have made the most of it and we have had lots of fun. Oh yes - I would be lying if I acted like we haven't had moments of pure insanity...but for the most part the boys have been great about it all.

So...cheers to another week of family bonding time! Good thing I am as crazy about my guys as I am or this could be a lot worse :) I actually do have a few more ideas up my sleeve!

Thanks for your love, concern and prayers. We are holding up fine - being smart - and avoiding the swine flu! By the sounds of it - it seems that I may need to be asking how you are doing in your parts as this virus spreads!!!