December 24, 2011

I Call Him Lord

This song has been on my mind this morning so I just wanted to share the words with you! Hope it speaks to your heart as it did mine on this Christmas....

 "Master, Redeemer, Saviour of the world.
Wonderful, Counselor, Bright Morning Star.
The Lily of the Valley, Provider, and Friend.
He was yesterday, He'll be tomorrow; the
beginning and end.

 And the angels called Him, Jesus, born of
a virgin. Mary called Him, Jesus, but I call
Him, Lord.

 Jehovah, Messiah, Mighty God and King.
Bread of Life, He's the Lasting Word of
love that I sing. Light in darkness, door to
Heaven my home in the sky. The Fountain
of Living Water that never shall run dry.

 And the angels called Him, Jesus, born of
a virgin. Mary called Him, Jesus, but I call
Him, Lord."


So very thankful that I can call Him my Lord this morning! So amazing that God loved us enough to send Jesus down here to die for our sins. He is the Reason why we can celebrate today! Merry Christmas everyone. Hope you have a blessed holiday.

December 16, 2011

The Best Christmas Present Ever!


The stockings were hung by the chimney with care.....


        (notice anything special about this picture?!)

December 15, 2011

Things I Love {Thursday}

After the last post I did you might think it'd be kinda hard to write this one since there's definitely been plenty not to love around here the past couple weeks. But as I've learned (and God so patiently keeps on showing me) there is always something to be thankful for and love about your life. If you just take the time to look for it. So here it is, some things I'm loving around here.........

~ The kids sleeping all night again after several rough ones while sick.

~ Parents who helped out by bringing us stuff we needed when we couldn't go out.

~ A husband who doesn't just love me when I'm sick but still tells me I'm beautiful......dirty hair, red nose, swollen eyes, and all. :)

~ Mom cooking homemade soups and bringing it to us.

~ Seeing the kids feel well enough to start playing again. (even if they are going a little crazy in the house!)

~ Darcey spinning in circles 'til she's dizzy and laughing like she's done something great. :)

~ Getting to pick out a Christmas tree and decorate it with the kiddos.

~ Knowing that God's listening when you pray. Although you might not see changes or feel different at the time.

~  Getting to experience the wonder of Jesus coming to this sinful world for us all over again as we share the reason we celebrate Christmas with the kids.

~ And listening to lots and lots of Christmas music, while singing along through our stopped up sounding noses! :-)



Yep, we definitely still have plenty of stuff to love going on around here! What about you?!

December 10, 2011

Sick, Tired....but Hanging in There!

I've had all kinds of thoughts about doing posts this week. But that's pretty much as far as it's gotten.....just thinking about them!

To be honest, I am just worn out. We had Thanksgiving, a week long vacation to Florida(which I will definitely have to blog about sometime!), and the whole family getting sick before we could make it home so it's been a looooong couple of weeks for us. It's hard when anyone in the family gets sick but when every. single. person. gets it......it's just rough!

I'm tired of nose congestion and sinus headaches. I'm tired of wiping runny noses (including my own!) that are just never-ending. (which by the way is one of the great mysteries of life to me that you can be so stopped up and yet running at the same time?? But I digress on that. For now.) I'm tired of a crying baby who can't tell me exactly what's wrong so I'm often at a loss for how to help her. And most of all I think I'm just tired of it all seeming so hopelessly endless! I go to bed every night hoping and praying that things will be better the next morning, but so far it's like something else just piles on top of what's already wrong.

Now that I've ranted a little and got all that off my chest (although I didn't even begin naming half of what's gone wrong around here.....I was trying to spare you all! lol), let me also add this. I am tired, I am sick, and I am frustrated that I can't just fix it all like I want to, but in the middle of all that I can still see that I am so very, very blessed. We have a warm house from the cold, good food to eat, family that takes care of us when we need it, money for the things we need, 3 wonderful children who make us laugh and fills our days with joy, and most of all a Saviour who loves us more than we could ever deserve.

So yes we may be sick for now. And some days we might be discouraged. But in spite of it all we're hanging in there because of God's amazing grace. And realizing that? Makes all these sick days we've had seem slightly alot less harder than they were before. Please pray that we'll all be doing better soon though. Especially the kids who have both strep and a viral infection. And in the meantime.....we'll just keep hanging in there! :-)

November 17, 2011

Things I Love {Thursday}

I almost didn't take the time to do a post today, but here I sit waiting for the kiddos to fall asleep so I figured....why not?! Before I get started with some of the lovely things around here I do want to be honest and say that there's been some not so lovely moments lately too. One reason for this post is not just to talk about how good things are but also to remind me to focus on those good things more and not just the bad. I won't get into all that since that's not the point of what I'm writing here but I just wanted to be real with ya'll first. Okay, now that's out of the way so let me share some of this stuff I'm loving. :-)

~ Warm, sunny days that we can still enjoy playing outside on even though it's getting closer to winter. (in which we may or may not have gone barefoot. ahem.)

~ Kids camping out in the living room just because and me realizing all over again that it's the little things that make them happiest.

~ One night of good sleep in the middle of numerous sleepless ones. (which by the way is something I would seriously appreciate prayers about for all of us....Blake and I are exhausted and these kiddos need better rest for their growing bodies!)

~ Little baby arms wrapped around my neck and hands that pat my back. Just when I need it the most.

~ Talks and prayers with the kiddos when we know we've all blown it with our attitudes that day. And being able to tell a difference afterward.

~ A God who doesn't fail me, even when I do Him. Over and over. So thankful that when He sees me, He sees the blood of Jesus instead of my sins.

~ Reading books with the kids before bed....and hearing them ask for just one more chapter.

~ Baby jabbers that are quickly turning into more words and even sentences!

~ A warm house, food, clothes, and so many other things we don't really even need but are blessed with anyway.

~ And a fun time with Grandma tonight at the Christmas celebration at Bridge Street! :-)

That's just a few of the things I love today. What about you?

November 14, 2011

Randomness :)

Can't believe it's already been a week since I last posted! This month is just flying by.....alot like this whole year has! I don't really have anything in particular to write about today, hence the title of the post. Just thought I'd share about what's been going on around here.

I think we're finally getting more adjusted to the time change, although Darcey still isn't sleeping the greatest and we all tend to wake up earlier than usual. The first couple of days/nights were kinda rough though so I'm glad those are over! (at least until spring anyway)

Our week was kinda busy with a play date, doctor's appointments, Delancey's last art class, and me volunteering at Choose Life again. In between that of course was schooling and normal every day stuff so we had plenty going on!

Friday was Veteran's Day so Blake was off work and we were able to see the parade in town....which was so good and really well attended. There may be alot wrong in this country these days but I'm still very thankful and proud to be an American!

The rest of the day we spent with my parents, eating out and taking our first trip to Costco. I'm thinking if we go there very often we'll definitely have to leave our wallets at home and just look. ha!

The weekend was spent mostly just resting up and enjoying family time. And of course there's never a dull moment when life is in 3-D! ;-)

How did your week go? I'd love to hear about it!

November 5, 2011

A God Who Answers...

A year ago today our family of four went to the homeschool picnic for the group we were in....and left our brand new baby girl behind with my parents. As most of you know she struggled with so many issues in the first few weeks and months after being born that we could hardly take her out anywhere. Days and nights were spent just trying to keep her crying less (and rarely ever fully succeeding) and going out only made that worse. My heart broke as I left that day and while we had a good time it was still so hard seeing all the other babies with their momma's and not being able to have mine there.
This year the same Thanksgiving picnic rolled around and I was so excited at the thought of the whole family getting to go since Darcey is doing so much better now. But in the past couple of weeks she had picked up something viral and just couldn't seem to shake it. We would think she's getting better and then her symptoms would flare up worse all over again. Once more I was so dissapointed at having to possibly consider leaving her behind if she didn't start feeling better by today.
Yesterday she seemed a little better but by evening wasn't that great again but I decided to give it til this morning and just see how things went. We of course had been praying for her ever since she's gotten sick and have already seen the Lord answer more than once in giving her relief or just helping her sleep some on the worst days, but last night I asked Him specifically to please touch her enough so that she would be able to go with us.
This morning she woke up early in a good mood and seemed to be feeling fine. And although she had some congestion and drainage while taking her bath after that I'm pretty sure I never had to so much as wipe her nose one time and her cough was almost totally gone! Needless to say, she went on the picnic.....and we thanked God for answering our prayers. It might sound insignificant or unimportant to some, but to us it was a little miracle. :-)

November 3, 2011

Stay-at-Home Encouragement

No matter how hard the days may be sometimes.....

....or how many long nights you have......

.....always remember that.....

"Faithful is He who calleth you, who also will do it" 1 Thessalonians 5:24

So when you feel like you're a failure......

....and maybe even question giving up....

....just stop trying to do it all yourself....

....and let Him!

"And let us not be weary in well doing; for in due season, we shall reap if we faint not." Galations 6:9

These scriptures encouraged my heart today and I hope they will yours as well! I'm thankful to serve a God who is faithful to help us when we need it. What encourages you when you're going through a hard time?

October 28, 2011

Pumpkin Patch Fun!

This has been a crazy, busy kind of week (okay so actually the past several weeks have been like that really!) so I'm just now getting around to posting about our field trip to the pumpkin farm on Tuesday. We forgot to take our camera so we only got a couple shots with Blake's phone, but they were cute anyway I think.
The kids had a blast seeing all the animals, jumping on this big air thingy (yeah, I have no idea what it was! lol), going through a hay maze, playing in a corn crib, and sliding down humongous slides (which I had to go on so Darcey could have a ride too of course! ahem). Then we got to have a hay ride out to the pumpkin patch and pick our own pumpkins to take home! The kids and I painted ours the next day which was alot of fun too.
We definitely love this time of year and celebrating fall and Thanksgiving. (now if we could just not have all these allergies it would be just perfect!) For any of you who live around here and haven't visited Tate Farms before it is a great place to take the kids for some fall fun. Here's a link in case you want to check it out! And here's the small snapshot of us at the farm. :-) Hope you all have a great weekend!

October 24, 2011

She's 1 Today!

It's almost impossible to believe that a whole year has passed since we welcomed this beautiful baby girl into our lives, but time has flown by and we are definitely celebrating her 1rst birthday today! I could go on and on about her and how special she is to us but I think I'll just let some pictures do the talking for me. Mostly anyway. :-)


Holding her for the first time!




Meeting the big brother and sister!

                           (fast forward a WHOLE year!)

Birthday Party!
Opening presents....she learned fast!

She had the most fun with the paper!

Taking a break to read her card!

Loves baby dolls....what a cute smile!

Wasn't sure what to think about her first cake!

What is this?!

She figured it out pretty quick! (altho she didn't end up eating much)

The 3-D's!

Waking up happy on her birthday!
We've had a fun weekend already celebrating and I'm sure today will be full of it too! Happy Birthday to our Darcey Ella! She's a wonderful, sweet, lovable addition to our family and we are so thankful to have spent the past year with her in it. Good times and bad I wouldn't trade a moment of it for anything!

October 20, 2011

Things I Love {Thursday}

I've missed doing these posts for a couple of weeks so I am more than ready to share some things around here that I'm liking. A lot. :) Hope you enjoy reading and maybe you'll share some things you love in your life too! So here goes....

~ Dathan getting excited about pulling his first tooth all by himself! (the others have either gotten knocked out or pulled by me)

~ Delancey learning to ride her bicycle without training wheels!

~ Darcey blowing her first kisses. So sweet!

~ Blake taking Delancey on a daddy/daughter date that she loved. (and then coming home with 2 goldfish!)

~ Dathan enjoying his end of the season party with the football team. (and what a great surprise that they gave Blake an awesome gift card for being the coach!)

~ Answered prayers while Darcey was sick. So thankful God kept her safe and she's already getting well!

~ An amazing husband who helps out with a sick baby (and everything else!) when I'm not feeling good either.

~ Spending the day with Grandma and taking Darcey on her first trip to the safari zoo. (although she was a little scared of the bigger animals...like those slightly  horrendously ugly emu's that peck at the windows!)

~ Being reminded that we have a God who loves us so much that He became man so that He could know exactly what we're going through and help us with it. Every day.

I don't know about you but there sure is lots to love around here! Be sure to leave a comment and let me know what you're loving these days. :)

October 6, 2011

Memories...

Eight years ago around this time of year we were going through one of the hardest times of our lives. This beautiful red-haired little boy was so very sick and in the hospital having to endure horrible tests to find out why. One of the worst had to be that after all of it they sent us home still not knowing what was wrong or if/when it would get better. Our nights and days were filled with trying to comfort a crying, hurting baby, dreading the times that he would stop breathing and turn blue for no reason......and just feeling helpless when there was really nothing else we could do to help him. 

  And in spite of everything he was going through, he still managed to be a laughing, happy baby whenever he got a break from all the pain he was in. How many times looking back I wish I would have remembered to have that exact same attitude myself! But God was still faithful, in spite of my fears, doubts, and questions during that time.  

  
We still have hard days and nights sometimes. Health isn't perfect and there's things he probably won't ever outgrow completely. (like severe allergies!) But we are more thankful than we can say for being blessed to raise this son of ours.  I'm so grateful the Lord saw fit to let us keep him for as long as we have, since all those years ago there were times when we weren't sure. He still brings so much laughter and happiness into our lives every day! I know God has great things in store for his life and I can't wait to see it.

So today I just wanted to take a moment to remember all God has brought us through these past years. And thank Him for the mercy and goodness He had on us. He might not always do things in the way we want or expect but I'm trying to learn that He still does all things well.

September 29, 2011

On My Heart

I've seen and heard so many things lately that have saddened me and also caused me to really think about what it means to be a child of God. I sometimes think it's easy for us to forget just how holy Christ was when He walked on this earth and that the reason those who were saved after His death were first called Christians was because they were seen as being Christ-like. I'll be the first to admit that I don't always do a good job of that. And I don't believe that in any way changes my salvation, but I do think it can change my witness to others and my personal fellowship with God.

I may get around one day to writing about some of the specific things that have bothered me recently, but for now I'll just share these verses that the Lord has kept bringing to my mind the past few days. I pray that us who are truly saved will choose to take these verses to heart, allow God to show us what they should mean in our own lives, and then be strong enough to do it. I'm thinking the next time someone asks why our family does or doesn't do certain things I'll just remember to tell them this.....

"For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men. Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world. Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority....."

It's not always easy and definitely not popular these days, but I want to be more willing to be peculiar for the Saviour who gave Himself for me. And maybe, just maybe someone else will want to know more about Him because of it. But at the very least it will also show how grateful I am to God for that amazing grace that brought me salvation, which I am so unworthy of. And if that means not fitting in either with the world or even other believers, then I want to be brave enough to do it anyway. For Him. 

September 23, 2011

Pie, Movie, and Birthday Celebration!

It's Blake's birthday! And we're celebrating with a homemade lemon icebox pie and then going to watch the Dolphin Tale movie when he gets off work.
Ten years ago we spent this day together for the first time and here we are 9 years of marriage and 3 kids later celebrating again!
We called and sang him a special birthday song earlier, Delancey is decorating up the table, and Dathan's making a card. They're having so much fun making it a special day for him!
So here's to a Happy Birthday for Blake and hoping that he has many more for us to celebrate together. I'll be sure to post some pictures later so ya'll can see all the fun!

September 15, 2011

Things I Love {Thursday}

I have a confession about this Thursday post......I get so excited writing about the things I love so much around here that I just had to get a head start this time! I've been updating  as I go so I won't forget any of the fun and crazy moments in our family that happens daily. 'Cause you know after 3 kids the memory part of your brain just doesn't function the same anymore for some reason! :) But anyway now that I have that off my chest, here goes the list of things I love for this week.......

~ Running foot races in the backyard with the kids. (and realizing that it won't be too long until they can actually outrun me!)

~ Watching Dathan play flag football and have fun doing it.

~ Having serious conversations with the kids about important things and seeing them really "get it".

~ Darcey learning how to "rock-a-bye" her baby doll and her bringing it to me so I can do it to both of them.

~ Getting back rubs from Blake cause I'm hurting....without even having to ask.

~ Hearing good news from a friend about something we're praying for her about.

~ Sharing the only slice of lemon icebox pie with my sweet husband.....and him giving me the last bite. :)

~ Watching Darcey decide to just take off with her walking all of a sudden.....and hearing her laugh because she's so excited about it!

~ Me and the kiddos eating supper, going to the park and visiting with Grandma.....and hearing her say it made her day better.

~ Feeling God deal with my heart over things I need to change and knowing that it means I'm His and He loves me and wants what's best for me.

~ Several hours of uninterrupted sleep last night! (which is a RARE occurrence around here I assure you)

~ Looking forward to another chance to volunteer at Choose Life again today!

Well, there's my list! Now it's your turn......what things are you loving this week? Be sure to leave a comment and share them! :-)

September 11, 2011

On This Day....

I'm sure there have been many things that have occurred on the twenty-nine different September eleventh days I've had in my lifetime. Some that I simply can't recall and some that will always be remembered vividly.

Ten years ago today I was a nineteen year old young lady who still lived at home with my parents. I was dating a young man who would eventually become my husband and he was hours away at college when we first heard the horrible news that our country had been attacked. I can't say that everything about that day is totally clear in my memory but I do know that there was shock, fear, and disbelief as we realized what had happened. I waited anxiously to be able to talk to Blake and meanwhile just watched the news while crying and praying with my family.

Life did go on for us after that day and I guess to be honest in some ways it was easy to forget the seriousness of it rather quickly since the loss didn't directly affect our daily lives. It wasn't that I didn't grieve for what this meant to our nation or worry what it might mean for our future, but I also probably didn't allow it to cause me to turn to God like I could or should have after the initial shock had worn off.

The following years have brought many changes and experiences on this date which have sometimes taken precedence over the anniversary of what happened on that day in 2001. But as we spent the morning here at home, watching the memorial service, hearing names of those that were lost read, and talking to the kids about something that happened before they were even born......we remembered. Not only the events that took place on this morning ten years ago, but also how much we still need to seek the Lord for mercy and grace. In our own family. And for our nation. May God help us to never forget how important that is.

So on this day in 2011 I am more thankful than I can say for freedom, family, friends, faithfulness, and the footsteps of our baby girl as she finally let go and walked all around the house. There are good memories mixed in with those that are sad and I want to remember that there's a purpose for both. Many verses came to mind as we thought and read today, but I'll just share a couple of them with you. Although they are familiar the words still touch my heart every time I hear them.

If my people, which are called by My Name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)

To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under the heaven.......a time to born, and a time to die......a time to weep, and a time to laugh......a time of war, and a time of peace. (Ecclesiates 3)

May God grant us all His perfect peace tonight as we rest in the assurance that He has everything under control. Today, this day 10 years ago, and however many more "this days" we have left.

September 8, 2011

Things I Love {Thursday}

It's Thursday! And I'm super excited to be sharing some things I'm just crazy about around here. The hard part will be limiting myself to only a few! :-) Here we go and I hope you enjoy....

~A warm, dry house to stay cozy in on rainy, cold days.

~Watching my two girls play with baby dolls together.

~Waking up to gorgeous sunshine and blue skies after so many dreary days.

~Seeing the kiddos be brave enough do show n tell at the homeschool group get together......even though they were a little nervous.

~Finding another tooth Darcey cut through that I didn't even realize was trying too!

~Long weekends that are spent at home with the family.

~Reading books and things out of the Bible together and then discussing it.

~Hearing my kids ask me to buy them more school books. (yeah, this one still surprises me a little too! lol)

~Knowing that Jesus loves me, cause the Bible says so. :)

Well, there's some things I love this week! Won't you join in and share some of your things?!

September 5, 2011

This Crazy Life!

I decided that considering all the stuff that's gone on the past couple of weeks that I haven't gotten around to blogging about yet I could just do a post where I list them randomly on here. If I can remember them that is! Okay, so in no particular order and as few details as possible, here goes....

~Dathan lost his 6th tooth while using a snorkel in the pool at my parents house the other day. That kid seriously has the most hilarious stories to tell about every.single.one! But for times sake I won't get into all of them at the moment. :-)

~I had the privilege of volunteering at the Choose Life ministry in Huntsville for the first time last week. It was thankfully not busy so I could get the hang of things a little and I look forward to helping out again in the future! If you don't know anything about that place you should definitely check out the link.

~Directly related to the story above is the part before going there when I was running late getting home to get ready and got locked out of the house because I was driving another car and didn't have my own keys. I had been working outside and was a mess so I was hoping and praying to get in somehow rather than drive over there sweaty and stinky! (I figured that would be the end of my volunteering! lol) After climbing over the privacy fence in a skirt and praying that no one was watching me in that rather unladylike endeavor the back door had thankfully been left unlocked so I was in luck. Hallelujah! I arrived there right on time and at least semi-clean I think. ;-)

~We had an awesome after birthday party for Dathan so he could make use of his cool new army stuff. I think there ended up being about 15 kids here between the 4 families that came so that's pretty impressive! It was a crazy but fun night complete with a campfire and homemade s'mores. Yum! The only two drawbacks were me totally forgetting to make any pictures and one of the little girls who came falling off the swing and breaking her arm. Thankfully it isn't serious but we're hoping that next time we can do without that part of it!

~After being at my parents to help with a yard sale for a couple of days I realized that my severe cat allergies I developed as a child are still exactly that. SEVERE. I'm about 99% sure that being around the kittens she found caused me to start having asthma symptoms and let me tell you I have a new found understanding of just how bad and scary that stuff is! I'm still not back to normal and wondering if I need to make a doctors trip just to get checked out. I guess it could always be worse in the future if I don't. Prayers about that would be greatly appreciated!

Well, I know there's much more that's gone on but I guess that's enough for now. (there's only so much this sleep-deprived momma brain of mine can come up with at one time.) Of course throw in the every day normal family stuff that gone along with all this and it's pretty much been exactly what the title says....CRAZY! But it's our life and we love it (mostly). Even on the days when we really do feel like we're at our "whits end"! :)

September 1, 2011

Sounds Like a Great Movie!

We are always on the lookout for good, decent movies to go and see. The kids love going to the theatre but we're so limited on what we want to watch there! A couple of years ago we were on vacation and stopped the aquarium in Clearwater, FL where a dolphin named Winter lives. She has an amazing story of survival and the kids were thrilled to learn a little later that they were actually making a movie about it! I had seen the trailer and thought it looked like it would be a safe one to see but normally try to research a little more before actually going. Then today I saw this link on facebook and was excited to learn that it's definitely family friendly and even better is being promoted to and by homeschoolers because of the kids they chose to play in it! You'll read more about it by clicking on the link above and then I hope you'll want to go see it. :) Be sure to let me know if you want to go with us cause we will totally be there!! But before you do that, here's a cute picture of Winter for you to enjoy.....

August 27, 2011

The Broken Arm Story

Although most you of you already know about Delancey's accident a few weeks ago, I thought I'd write a few more details about what happened just to have the whole story down.

I had an appointment to get my haircut one afternoon and since it was around the time Blake gets off work then it worked out good for him to come by and pick up the kids while I was there. They decided to go to a nearby chic-fil-a that had an indoor playground since it was so hot outside. I had just finished and was calling Blake to let him know and when he answered he said they had just left to drive that way because Delancey had fallen and broken her arm. Of course, my heart just about stopped and I immediately started questioning how bad it was and how it happened. And then waiting for them to get there to pick me up so we could go to the ER was torture! All I could to was just pray until they got there and I could see her for myself.

I have to admit that it was way worse than I had imagined. It was one of those things that kinda makes you sick to your stomach but you have to just ignore your own feelings and be tough for the kids' sake. Needless to say everyone was pretty hysterical by the time they got there, but managed to calm down on the way to the hospital. They got us in fairly quickly but Delancey was shaking from all the stress and pain. The nurse said she would bring her some meds but the x-ray person ended up coming first trying to get a picture of it. She could hardly stand for them to touch it though so I asked if we could wait for the pain meds and they brought some then.
Once they took effect and she got wrapped in a temporary cast it was much better and we could finally go home.

The next couple of days were kinda rough and the orthopedic doctor we had seen before wasn't available but we managed to get in with another one in the same practice. We weren't at all prepared for him to tell us she needed to have surgery the next morning to set it straight, but it was pretty obvious once he explained it that there was really no other choice. It's hard to think about your kids being put to sleep for any reason and we were more than little upset and worried but hoped for the best. The surgery experience ended up being very traumatic since they had told us she would be asleep before leaving us but then ended up taking her away before giving her any meds at all. But the doctor did an amazing job of fixing it so other than not liking how they treated her over being put to sleep we were very thankful for how good it looked afterwards.

It's taken her a few weeks to get over being upset and scared about being taken away from us and I'm sure it will be something she won't ever forget totally. (and neither will I!!) It's horrible knowing that your child feels betrayed by something that while neccasary in some ways didn't have to be as bad as it was. We've determined that if anything like that ever happens again that we'll definitely be more prepared to step in and stop it.

She first had a long cast all the way up the arm and had to wear a sling. Then she moved down to a shorter one which was much easier to manage. Now she's wearing a brace (or splint) which is removable for baths and at night so she's loving that! It's healing up well so far and hopefully will look completely together at her next check-up in a few weeks. It's been a little hard and stressful at times but we're thankful that it's getting better.....I know it could have been something so much worse!

Well, this has been a much longer post than I intended but there's the story about Delancey's 2nd broken arm in her short life. Here are a few pictures to look at as well....







And the next picture we post will be of her beautiful arm without anything on it! :)

August 24, 2011

10 Month Cutie!

Hair getting longer that looks like it might just curl a little......


.....feet that are growing bigger and getting ready to walk....


....and hands that are so quick to be curious and even more fun just to hold onto if she'll be still long enough let you!




.       She's our little, brown-eyed, baby girl......


....and I can't believe she's already 10 months old today. We love our Darcey Ella! She's brought more joy and laughter into our lives than we ever could have imagined. :)

August 21, 2011

I Can't Believe He's Eight!

Eight years ago I was both anxious and excited as we got ready in the dark and drove to the hospital to be induced for the birth of our firstborn. Never could I have imagined just how life changing that day would become for us.

Birth plans didn't go exactly as wanted or expected, but he arrived safe and sound a few hours later....with a head full of red hair! I'm pretty sure he was one of the most beautiful things I'd ever seen and he very quickly stole a very special part of my heart. :)

After coming home we started our journey through the next few months of severe and unexplained health problems which included 3 more hospital stays where he had to endure some pretty awful things. But God was gracious enough to let us keep him, even though there were times when I was afraid we wouldn't get to.

The past few years have been full of many things both good and bad. But the best part of them has just been having the privilege to watch a fun-filled, joyful, laughing baby boy grow up into the wonderful young man he is so swiftly becoming. So I can easily say that the good has most definitely far outweighed the hard times.  

I never cease to be amazed and thankful at how blessed I am to be his mom. Happy Birthday, Dathan Levi!!

August 18, 2011

Things I Love {Thursday}

Although I fully intend each week to write other posts besides this one I am obviously not getting around to it since this has been the 3rd one in a row with this title! That's okay though... we definitely have plenty of other stuff going on around here that's more important than blogging. :) That being said, it's still nice to check in at least occasionally to just keep up a little so this is a fun way to do that I guess. Here's my list for this week. Hope you'll join in with sharing things you love too!

~ Cuddling with Blake in the same chair and laughing over the fact that it's a little more crowded than it used to be! ;)

~ Hearing a little baby girl voice say "momma" over and over throughout the day.

~ Watching Dathan and Delancey playing outside and giggling over whatever crazy thing they've come up with to do.

~ Seeing Darcey stand on tiptoe to peek out the window trying to see the older kids play.....and then laughing when she does.

~ Knowing that God hears and answers prayers and is working things out in your life for good. Even if you can't alway see how at the moment.

~ The way Darcey crinkles up her cute little nose every time she smiles or laughs.

~ Another good report at the doctor and Delancey being so excited to have her cast off.

~ Planning Dathan's birthday celebrations and hearing him talk about how much fun it will be.

~ The kids having so much fun doing our new schoolwork this year and the fact that even though it might not be what's "expected" by some...it works for us! :)

~ Watching Darcey taking her first step(today) and me and the kids going crazy clapping and cheering for her!!

~ Wrestling on the floor with all 3 kids and feeling blessed all over again to have them.

~ The couple of cooler days we had at the first of the week. (and also the idea that there might be more of them soon!)

So what are you loving this week? Come on, you know you want to join in with me!! :) Just leave something in the comments below.  (please and thank you, of course!)






August 11, 2011

Things I Love {Thursday}

Is it really Thursday again already?! I have no idea where this past week has gone! But gone it has so I'm ready to share some more stuff that I'm loving around here. Hope you'll join in me this time and share some of your own! But for now here's my list....

~ Greeting the kids as each of them wake up in the mornings and seeing the big grin on their faces.

~ Dathan's excitement as he signed up to play football again.....and the fun we had picking out new cleats together!

~ The fact that Delancey always wants to wear a "fancy" dress, no matter where we're going. :)

~ The way Darcey wrinkles up her nose when she smiles or laughs.

~ My understanding husband who makes late night runs to the grocery store for things like formula. Without complaining.

~ Playing out in the rain with the whole family and then seeing a beautiful rainbow in the sky afterwards.

~ Teaching fun stuff to the kids with our new school curriculum.

~ Watching Darcey start standing up on her own and feeling bittersweet that she's growing up so quickly, but yet excited that she's learning new things.

~ Reading and talking about things in the Bible with the kids.....and seeing them understand it for themselves.

~ Hearing Delancey ask if I really know I'm saved and then wanting me to tell her about when I got that way. One. more. time. :)

Wow, I think this week I could just keep going!! There's so much to be thankful for around here. It's amazing how good the Lord is to us. So what about you? What kind of things are you loving this week? Please don't forget to share about them in the comments!

August 4, 2011

Things I Love {Thursday}

Since there are so many little things around here for me to share about that I'm pretty crazy over, I thought another post about some of it was in order. I'm also thinking this might become a reoccurring thing....it's kinda habit forming. :) So here's this week's list of things I love.....

~ Good reports at the doctor and seeing my little girl so happy that she can move her arm more now. (Delancey got a smaller cast today!)

~ Darcey getting big enough to play with the older kids and hearing all 3 of them laugh together while they do.

~ Seeing Dathan use his imagination to come up with all kinds of things to do. (we never know what he'll be dressed up like next!)

~ Having the privilage of homeschooling my kids and being blessed enough to stay at home with them. All. the. time.

~ Rocking and singing my baby girl to sleep. (and not just because it's better on me than bouncing..it's also so very, very sweet!)

~ Singing songs about the Lord and feeling His sweet Spirit flood my soul all over again.

~ Reading things out of the Bible that I've heard thousands of times before.....but learning something new anyway.

~ Being able to spend more time with Blake since he doesn't have to work so much overtime anymore!

What are loving about your life this week? I'd love it if you'd share about them in the comments! :)

August 1, 2011

We Did It!!

So among the other every day life stuff going on around here I also decided to work on weaning Darcey off of the exercise ball last week. Don't laugh when you read that (even though I know you want to). This was a serious addiction for her! And becoming a serious hardship for us! 

Let me first of all say that I am extremely thankful for the use we got out of it while she was going through such a hard time. The fact that it could calm her down (at times) when nothing else would is well, nothing short of miraculous. I'll also add that I am grateful that we learned about using it before she was born rather than having to resort to "bumping" in a straight-back wooden chair like we did with Dathan and Delancey.(which we borrowed from my Momaw who did the same thing with her babies) Needless to say, as hard as holding a crying baby while bouncing on an exercise ball can get after awhile, it was way better than rubbing your back raw on a hard chair. (did I mention the marks it left on our then carpeted floor as well?) Okay, that's enough said about that I think. Not a pleasant trip down memory lane there. Ahem, where was I?! 

Oh, yes, bouncing on the ball. So anyway it was a life saver for us during all the horrible crying spells. (although granted there were days when I just held and bounced while she screamed anyway.....and I just cried too because I didn't know what else to do!) But fast forward to her being a 9 month old who weighs in at a whopping almost 24 pounds and holding her to bounce had become more than a little uncomfortable. And I really started feeling like she's doing well enough physically that it was more of a habit for her than a need for comfort. (On top of it being difficult for obvious reasons I also have chronic neck and shoulder pain most days so it was extremely painful getting her to sleep at nap time when that had flared up.) So I made the hard but neccassary decision to break her from it last Thursday. Cold turkey. No going back.

And I am more than happy to report that on this 5th day into it, she is falling asleep by only being rocked and sung to. Every. Single. Time. Am I excited about it?! Deliriously so. And what makes it even better than it not being painful is that I can actually enjoy the time holding her and putting her down now, instead of before when it was just something to get through. Just one more milestone to mark how amazing it is what the Lord has done in her life. I am so thankful for this healthy, happy, baby girl we are blessed to call ours!

July 25, 2011

Where to Start?!

It's been awhile but I can honestly say I have a valid reason for not blogging lately since things have been a little crazy around here the past few weeks. Let's just say that I will not be sorry to see the month of July pass and am definitely hoping that August proves to be, um, less eventful. But before you think me crazy for wishing away more of this quickly passing summer here's a run down of what our lives have looked like recently to help you understand.....

Starting off the month with me having some extra health issues, company coming down, and our air conditioner going out at home. Then next was Dathan getting some kind of weird bacteria or virus with a huge knot behind his ear that was slightly scary. Had to see the doctor and take antibiotic which isn't my favorite thing for the kids to do, especially when we weren't even sure it would help! 
Blake had to work tons of overtime on something so couldn't be home much at all (and when he was sometimes still had to bring his computer with him.....and work). Darcey was teething and fussy in the middle of all of this which made for long days and even longer nights. 
Then I go to the grocery store on the weekend and a can falls on my foot of all things and I can hardly walk around for a couple of days. I actually still have one toe that has a really bad cut on it which I'm starting to question if it's going to heal up right. Is it normal for it to still hurt and feel kinda numb on the end?! (Nevermind. Don't answer that!)

Moving on to last week and I had plans to get a haircut on last Tuesday evening while Blake took the kids to play. They ended up at Chic-fil-a where they have an indoor playground which was perfect of course since it's so hot here. Well, it would have been perfect if Delancey hadn't jumped from a certain part of said playground and horribly break her arm. Yeah, it was not pretty...to say the least. Follow that up with a trip to the ER that night and the orthopedic doctor on Thursday who informed us she had to be put to sleep to set the bone. What?! They assured us it was no big deal and she'd never remember anything once they gave her a little gas to breath. Um, yeah, that might have been true IF they hadn't abruptly came and took her away by herself in another room down a long hallway with no meds of any kind to help settle her nerves or any kind of warning so that we could help prepare her for actually leaving us to go with strangers that were going to hurt her, while still wide awake! Let's just say that it was a traumatic experience that she's having a hard time getting over and will probably never forget. And Blake and I are beating ourselves up for not being quick enough to actually step in and do something about it! Ugh. Sometimes it would be so nice if we had a rewind button for this parenting thing, wouldn't it?! Honestly though it breaks my heart to hear her talk about what she went through and to know that I should've done more to prevent it from being that bad. Definitely a lesson learned in how important it is to speak up for myself and/or my kids when something is going on I don't like!

To top off this crazy 'tale of woe' let me just quickly add that our van is also in the shop being worked on because the air is messed up in it as well! The worst part about that being we just replaced the compressor and all other parts a few months ago and although it had a warranty the company isn't being very cooperative in honoring it so it's just a big hassle. Needless to say, we don't need that kind of stress on top of everything else at the moment!

You know the saying, "when it rains it pours"? I can definitely relate to whoever said that at the moment.....it has seemed like one thing after another these past few weeks! But I keep reminding myself (over and over again some days) that things could be so much worse and that we still have so much in our lives to be thankful about. Not the least of which that we have a wonderful Saviour who loves us and that we can turn to when things around us are falling apart. If I had nothing else to boast in today, it would be that I'm His child and He is always faithful to me and my family.

So anyway there's our story for the past month. What have you all had going on?! I sincerely hope your stories are a little less eventful than ours, for your sanities sake! :) I would love to hear about them though, eventful or not, so please share. Until next time.......

July 14, 2011

Things I Love {Thursday}

Just for fun (and because I've been thinking about how extremely blessed I am yet so many times ungrateful) I thought I'd share a few things around here that I love so much. So here goes the list......


~Bright blue skies and vivid green grass as the hot, summer sun shines across them in the morning.

~Happy kids laughing as they play and use their imagination.

~Baby squeals and new words as she learns to talk and make herself heard.

~A daddy singing to his baby as he bounces her to sleep at night.

~Little boy jokes that always make me smile and sometimes laugh out loud.

~Little girl hugs and kisses while she whispers "I love you, momma" in my ear.

~Knowing that I'm a child of God and He never gives up on me, no matter what.


What kind of things do you love today? I would really enjoy hearing about them!

July 7, 2011

Holiday Weekend Fun! (and the not so fun)

Our 4th of July was interesting this year...to say the least! We started off having friends from TN come down on Friday. Then Saturday we had a big breakfast and just messed around the house for the most part. That afternoon we watched a movie and starting commenting on how hot it was getting inside, only to realize that our air conditioner wasn't working! We called the guy to come out and check it while we went out to eat but he informed us that he couldn't get the part for it until after the holiday was over. Needless to say we were not very happy! It wasn't terribly bad that first night but the next day and night the heat became almost unbearable. Dathan and I both ended up with a bad headache and being so hot while hurting like that was just torture. We felt so bad that it happened while we had people over too! They were great about it though and we managed to still have a good time....in spite of all the sweating. lol

Monday morning they headed out to visit family for the 4th and we left soon after to stay at my parents until the air was fixed. It was wonderful to be somewhere cool for a little while! We had a fun day swimming, sleeping, and eating, then went out to watch a fireworks show that night. Thankfully our air is now fixed and cooler than ever! Needless to say, although we enjoyed the time spent with friends and family this year it is definitely an Independence Day we don't want to repeat again. :-) That being said, here are some pictures to enjoy of the funner parts of the weekend......or not actually! Sorry but my camera and computer aren't cooperating with the idea of pictures at the moment so I will have to post those later. Until then I hope you all had a great holiday and are enjoying this summer that is flying by so quickly!

June 27, 2011

Already 8 Months?!

It doesn't seem possible that our baby girl turned 8 months old last Friday! She is growing way too fast and learning something new almost every day it seems. I'm thinking she's trying to catch up to her big brother and sister! Here's a few things that she's up to lately.....

She loves to sing and play the piano. Of course her version of singing is a bit off-key and hard to decipher any words out of, but it's definitely her way of making music! Oh, did I mention that it's too cute as well? :)

She's pulling up to stand on everything and even letting go occasionally, which often results in falling down and banging her head so she's always getting bumps and bruises. (Thankfully we have the miracle homeopathic cream, arnica, which is completely amazing in that it almost totally does away with the bruising. If you've never tried it then you should check it out!) I love seeing her stand up and then bounce up and down all excited, squealing and looking around to see who's watching. She gets so pleased with herself for doing something new, it's just fun to watch!

She finally got two teeth breaking through the gumes on the bottom! That in itself is a tremendous accomplishment since she's been teething for months now and had such a hard time with it some days. (and nights) She's still acting like there's more to come so I'm not sure if those two just aren't totally out yet or if she's gonna get several close together. Guess we'll just wait and see!

Her sleeping has gotten so much better for the most part unless something is bothering her. She's slept through the night several times now so that is a huge blessing there. She's pretty good at taking naps during the day too unlike the older kiddos were so that helps to have breaks to do other things! She's also eating more 'solid' foods, although she doesn't have a big variety yet since she's still very sensitive with her stomach. She loves eating though and of course still takes several bottles a day as well.

My biggest amazement in seeing her turn 8 months has to be in looking back over how hard we struggled with her health issues just a few short months ago. I am beyond thankful at how much better she is doing and grateful that the Lord has helped us so much in that area. Things aren't perfect and I'm sure we'll always have some problems to deal with(since we all have such severe allergies)but it's such a relief to see the improvement that we have.

Mostly Darcey is just a happy, laughing girl who fills our lives with so much joy every day. Has it been a little hard at times adding her into this (sometimes crazy) family? Well, yeah, honestly it has. But is it more than worth it? Most definitely. :)

June 26, 2011

Comparing Reflux Journeys

I don't think I ever got around to posting alot of specifics about Darcey's health issues. So I figured now was as good a time as any! I also thought that it would be nice to tell you how similiar yet different our experiences were with Dathan and Darcey...and how strongly I believe the way we handled his and her treatment is what made all the difference. This might be a long one so consider yourself forewarned! :)

Starting with Dathan's story and trying to just hit the highlights, he started having symptoms of reflux before even leaving the hospital. We didn't know it at the time because they blamed it on him swallowing fluid but it just continued getting more severe as the days went on until it was obvious it was something serious. He had problems breastfeeding(and I had problems I've always wondered what could have caused them that I won't even began to go into here!)to the point of me stopping at about 3 weeks. By this time he was crying alot and not sleeping well. One thing led to another until he was in constant pain, screaming most of the day/night, and never sleeping unless he was held by someone...and even then very little. This was all being monitered by our pediatrician of course and we had already tried more than one medicine, formula change, etc with no good results. Then when he was about 6 weeks old he had been awake crying for at least 2 days before falling asleep so soundly that we were actually able to lay him down. I kept checking on him as I got ready to visit the chiropractor and was surprised that he seemed to be going deeper and deeper asleep....since normally he'd only stay asleep for a few minutes before waking up crying again. It had been a few minutes since the last time I'd looked in on him and this time when I bent over to see if he was breathing I realized he wasn't and his face was already turning blue. Needless to say it was the scariest thing I've ever experienced. This was followed by 3 hospital stays and numerous doctors visits to specialists while they all tried to figure out why he was having the apnea spells. (through numerous horrible tests that I won't even try to go into details for on here) They never came to any conclusions and continued trying out different meds that not only didn't help but caused problems themselves. It wasn't until he was about 8 months old and we saw a naturopathic doctor and found out about his severe allergies that we realized all of his issues were stemming mostly from that. Unfortunately I think all the things we had given him combined with months of exposure to so many allergens had made him so sick that even after changing as much as possible and seeing some improvement he still was so very sick. There was hardly a night went by that he didn't wake up crying, he had reactions to something pretty much every time we went anywhere, and if he ever ate anything he was allergic to it was really bad. To be honest, he still has alot of health issues to this day, which still greatly affect his sleep, emotions, energy, etc. But I do know that being strict about what he eats, giving him homeopathics, going to the chiropractor and just trying to limit his allergy exposure helps so much.

But now let me tell you about our experience with Darcey. I think you'll be amazed at the difference! She was so like him as far as symptoms go pretty much from the start that it was scary. (literally) Before very few days had passed she was already crying alot, having trouble eating and sleeping, and just generally showing signs of being in pain. Since we'd been down this road before(mostly with Dathan as far as the reflux but in some ways Delancey as well with the severe allergies)we automatically decided to try different things other than the medical route this time. Those included homeopathics, probiotics, special formula, seeing a naturopath for acupressure treatments pertaining to the allergy/stomach issues, and basically just keeping her away from things that we knew she'd probably have an allergy to. We also saw a pediatric gastoentologist who assured us that we were doing all possible to help her and that there was technically no proven medicines to help babies with these sort of problems. And as we had already found out before...could possibly even make matters worse. She still had terrible crying spells, sleepless days and nights and had to be held most of the time for several weeks, but we gradually started seeing changes for the better. And until then we bounced countless hours on an exercise ball, used white noise almost constantly, and learned multiple ways to stack up pillows to help some or all of us to get a little rest. :)

So in review, the natural treatments didn't provide a quick fix as in healing Darcey overnight, but then again neither did the medicines we tried for Dathan. And I can honestly say that 8 months into her life there is a huge difference between how she is feeling and acting than there was with him. Not to mention that she didn't suffer any of the side effects or reactions that he had to all that time. Hands down I would definitely recommend trying any or all of the things that we did if you have a baby who is suffering with health issues after birth.

So there's our story if you're still hanging in there to read it! :) Hope you enjoyed and that maybe some of the info can be passed along and help others. I know some people think that how we choose to do things is crazy, but only you can know your own kids and what works best for them. Since we've been down both roads with the same problems and had such drastic results then I can confidently say that natural treatments are the best for us!

June 16, 2011

Easy Shortcake Recipe


If you're like us you've probably been indulging in yummy, fresh strawberries for the past few months. Since we only eat organic they're a little more challenging to find, but we've managed to get our fair share that's for sure! :) Last year I found this quick, easy recipe for shortcake and it went perfect with the fresh berries and homemade whipped cream we had on hand. (click here for that recipe!) I haven't made any in awhile and the past couple of days it's sounded so good so that's what we'll be having in the morning for breakfast I think. Thought I'd just share the recipe with you all while I was at it! Hope you enjoy......
                     
                Sour Cream Drop Shortcake
2 cups flour (it calls for self-rising but I just add in baking powder and salt to my organic, unbleached)
3 tblsp sugar (or whatever sweetener you use)
2/3 cup milk
1/3 cup sour cream
1/4 cup butter, melted (make sure you let it completely cool or it will harden when you mix it with the other ingredients)

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease large cookie sheet. Combine flour and sugar; mix well. In small bowl, combine milk, sour cream, and butter;blend well. Add to dry ingredients and stir just until moistened. Drop dough  by heaping large spoonfuls onto cookie sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. (can serve warm or cool)

Split shortcakes (or leave them whole, crumble them up...they're good however!), then fill and top with whipped cream and berries. Fantastic!! :)



(recipe courtesy of Martha White....I love her cookbook that I have!)

June 6, 2011

Getting Around...

Our Darcey girl has been busy the past few weeks! It's hard to believe how fast she is growing and all the things she can already do, but the proof is impossible to deny. :)


She loves to get around. Which is why she quickly has gone from sitting up, to raising onto her hands n knees, to scoot-crawling across the floor, to perfecting the actual crawling technique, and finally just this weekend.........


....standing up in the bed by herself!! Look at how pleased she is. lol Totally thinks she's something....and so do we actually!! :) She is an absolute handful sometimes but also so much fun. I'm pretty sure it won't be too long before the pulling up turns into letting go and then full out walking. Definitely following in her big sister's footsteps it looks like as an early walker. Now if we can just somehow keep her from all that climbing Delancey likes to do...... ;)

Oh, and for the record this weekend also included going to get a bigger bed. As you can see we have used the convenience of the co-sleeper for as long as possible! ((sigh)) Although those first few months were rough and seemed impossibly long, now it seems like her baby days are just flying by. So I guess I better enjoy them while I can!