A Birth Story: Betsie Elaine

Only a few short weeks ago we got to meet our new Little One in person. We are officially a family of five. As parents, we are out numbered. And us girls out number the boys because we are just that cool.

At 4:25 in the morning we gave birth to a healthy baby girl. This birth was special for many reasons. And as her little onesie states, she was worth the wait.

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We waited four years for her. I tell that story here.

Just before 5 AM my water broke. It was kind of funny because the night before Nick had asked me if I would be “flooding him out” if my water broke in bed. Well, nothing that dramatic happened.

No contractions until 2:30 in the afternoon, but they were subtle. I carried on with my day as usual. I took Wyatt to soccer, went to the bank, and the store. I made soup earlier so we would have something easy to make in case things got serious.

Finally at 9 PM I called in my people:  Our midwife Cathy, and her assistants, Jennie and Heidi. I will note it was something special to have a friend, Heidi, who was there and who played a major role in our birth story.

After everyone got here, the excitement of it all stopped the contractions I was having. Nothing I was doing was helping them restart, so it was suggested that Nick and I go upstairs to try and rest. Skeptical was I, but I did end up falling asleep. At about 2 AM contractions started back up with great intensity, but about 15 minutes apart.

At about 3:30 Heidi checked on baby’s heart rate and went downstairs to talk with Cathy. She was encouraged by our progress and told us to go back upstairs and call when we were ready.

After getting back upstairs Nick offered to time my contractions. I would tell him when the started and when they ended. That went well until I realized he had fallen asleep. A little after 4 AM I began to feel the urge to push. After that it all happened so fast. I remember only a few pushes and she was here, our baby girl!

Within 11 minutes she was latched on and nursing well. After she was done, a whole 1 hour and 37 minutes later, Nick cut her cord. Betsie was measured and weighed. She was 20 inches long and 7 lbs 8 oz. Then we enjoyed  a herbal bath, which was a special bonding time for both of us. Seeing the look on her face when her hair was played with was priceless.

Mom brought Wyatt and Josie home around 7:15 in the morning, but didn’t share with them if they had a new brother or sister, so we got to see there faces as we told them. They got to take turns holding her. Such a neat thing watching them meet her and hold her for the first time.

Jennie and Heidi had left soon after and just before Cathy did, she gave Wyatt a science lesson and showed him the placenta and explained to him what it did. He thought that was pretty neat.

After Cathy left, my parents took the kids on an adventure and we were left to get some sleep. We had a quiet and relaxing day. It was truly a wonderful blessing to be at  home to have Betsie and we are so grateful.

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We had our first visitor not long after coming downstairs. Elaine is a very special lady to our family and whose name we gave Betsie for her middle name. We have been so encouraged and loved by Elaine, who is a strong woman of faith and whose heart speaks of God often.

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We settled on the name Betsie right away too. Back in January I was reading The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom. Wow. What an extraordinary true story. {If you haven’t read it, you must.} Corrie’s older sister was named Betsie. She too had a tremendous amount of faith and a heart after God and in the most difficult and challenging of times.  That kind of faith and love for God is what we want our children to have.

Over the last few weeks we have gradually adapted and transitioned as a new family of five. We are getting the hang of our new normal. The kids are in love with their new sister. Betsie has her routine of eating, sleeping and diaper changes. I look forward for the time when she allows me decent sleep, but for now, I am treasuring these precious moments.

The Last Couple Months…

I keep saying I am going to improve with keeping up with what is going on, but, not so much! I am going to have to accept the fact that I have no concept of time. Period.  So, every so often I will catch y’all up! There I just lowered the bar!

So, where did I leave off? Oh, yes, August I believe!

School has been going well! I am quite pleased with how it is falling into place. No issues and smooth sailing! We have been using our local library frequently. It has allowed us so many extra resources it is just amazing! Wyatt has improved significantly in writing since last year and I am impressed with his progress. We are loving the new curriculum choices as well, they seem to be a perfect fit.

We had our 12 year anniversary. 15 if you count all the years together. Whoo hoo!

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The kids and I joined some family and went to  Ocqueoc Falls. That was a really fun day! It was so beautiful although it misted the entire time. The cool thing about it is you can swim in the falls.

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The rest of August was full with family reunions and such and has been going so fast… Around Labor Day my folks took the kids on a adventure northward for about five days. They all had a wonderful time. I missed them immensely.It is so different when your kids leave you, as opposed to us leaving them for a week. So quiet. Too quiet!

I had goals. I was going to read. Read a LOT. But, we also had projects. LOTS of projects. So we did projects first. And we got SOOOO much done! Josie finally got her room finished!!! Yay!!!!

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I loved the way it turned out! I think Josie did too. While we were busy working the kids were busy playing…

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The metal art was done by a man who creates and displays it on his own property. It is called Lakenen Land. Very well constructed, well thought out and a worthwhile visit.

In other news, we have only about 7 more weeks until we meet our little baby! So, excited! Don’t be fooled by the photo below. My kids have been bought! I had to pay 50 cents each to get their sweet smiles.

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That pretty much catches us up, I would say! Whew!

 

First Day of Third Grade

We started earlier than usual this year, but with the new baby coming it will be good to have a  head start not knowing how all will be after. Neither of us were completely “ready” to start, but we made it a fun and easy first day to kick off our year.

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We started by taking our First Day of School Picture…

Then, we went to the Carrie James for a special First Day of School Breakfast!

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When we got home we had to do a written interview…

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I loved his answer for who his best friends are. But, when it got more specific about what he liked about himself and what he wanted to be when he was older, he couldn’t answer.

After that we went through each subject material to summarize what we will be covering for the year.

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To overview our curriculum choices, we are continuing All About Learning Press- All About Reading and All About Spelling. We are LOVING how they are set up and how they teach.

For Math this year we are doing Teaching Textbooks Math 4. At the Teach Them Diligently homeschool convention that we went to in May I got to check out their workbooks/program first hand and loved how independent it was. I had also heard many good things about it. As it turns out, to transition from A Beka and what he did last year, we had to jump a grade in math! Crazy! We are also doing Life of Fred. We LOVE Fred!

For Science we chose Gods Wondrous Machine by Dr. Lainna Callentine, which covers the Nervous, Respiratory, and Circulatory Systems. We also got to see first hand her curriculum at the TTD convention. Even got to meet and talk with her husband! Both very neat people.

For Writing we decided to try Write Shop. I have hear it was great for reluctant writers, and we happen to have one of those! So far it is going great.

We are going to do Fun Day Mondays since last year it was challenging to get back into our school week after the weekend. So Mondays, we can go to the library, we have discovered MelCat Inter Library exchange, all sorts of good stuff to find! We also picked up Todd Friel’s It’s Not Greek to Me. A 10 lesson DVD on how to understand Koine Greek. And we will do Pick and Draw.

For Bible we are continuing the Bible Road Trip, we are doing Grace and Truth a short catechism, and a Spurgeon devotion series by Tony Hutter.

We have been starting after chores around 10 AM and will break for Lunch and then wrap up the rest afterwords. Usually about three hours total.

So far, we are doing well. Wyatt’s favorite is Math so far. We are looking forward to the rest of the year and hoping for a good smooth transition when the new baby arrives!

Rest and Relax

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We went Saturday to visit my little bro. We had a wonderfully relaxing time. We ended up at Sleeping Bear Dunes to swim. The water was actually quite warm. The kids had a great time.

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We went back to the mall so the kids could ride the carousal, which was Josie’s first time. Wyatt actually said this was the best part of the day.

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On a side note I am now 28 weeks! I have been feeling great. The heat has been difficult, but really overall I have nothing to complain about. Time has been going fast. Good, that we will meet our newest little one very soon, and then at the same time the summer has vanished rapidly.  What have we been doing? I have no idea!

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I have been terrible about keeping up with pictures… Sorry Little One! I will try to be better! But, thus begins our 3rd Trimester! Three more months before we meet!🙂

 

You win some, you loose some…

This morning our typically self-centered 8 year old, surprised me. Made me tear up even. He asked me how much money we needed to have the baby and how much we had so far of what we needed. So, I told him. He went on to say that instead of saving for a horse, he wanted to give all the money he has to go towards the baby. Wow. Love moments like those! They are encouraging for sure! I told him how thoughtful, loving, and selfless that was of him and that I appreciated the offer, but saving for the baby is mommy and daddy’s responsibility. Things that make your heart sing! I would say that was a win!

Then later today happened. This same eight year old is responsible for picking up his room, making his bed, and putting away his clothes. He appeared to have cleaned up his floor really well and I even commented on the nice job he did. But, a little while later I noticed both beds on his bunk bed needed some attention. After looking closer to the top one I noticed something that disappointed me.

All the clothes I just washed and folded, the ones from the day before, and quite possibly the day before that, were thrown up on the top bunk in a heap. He has had a track record of hiding clothes instead of putting them away, but I thought we worked that out. Apparently, I was wrong. This, I would say was a loss.

So, what to do about that? This is what I did.

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After I talked with him on how disappointed I was with his choice to mislead and disobey. I gathered up everything that was up there {mind you his bunk is 8 feet tall} and put it into a laundry basket. I told him that he has lost it all indefinitely until he could show me that he would consistently put his things away in their rightful homes. Anything else he didn’t put away in the future would join the things I have already taken. And he would have to pay me for what he wanted back if he hasn’t earned them first.

Sigh….

You win some, you loose some. But, still, we keep on training these hearts.

Life As We Know It

Boy, time sure flies by these days. I can’t believe it is already July! So much has happened since the last time I have wrote here. We have a lot to catch up on, but where to start?

I guess we will start here. The plan was to do each of the kids’ bedrooms for their birthday. We were able to finish Wyatt’s a week or so late. {Poor Josie girl is still waiting, we are a month overdue.} We decided to add pine tongue and groove to the wall to save drywall mess. It was more pricey, but really, what I wanted from the beginning. Wyatt’s bunk bed is custom made by daddy. We started out with a chicken coop bunk plan, which morphed overtime to the super tall bunk. 8 feet tall to be exact. Some people asked why so tall?  Well, because we could!

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Then, we were happy to have most excellent news! Wyatt completed Vision Therapy! Yayyyyy!!!! Eye Dr. says he doesn’t need his reading glasses anymore and his vision processing/comprehension/memory is that of a 9 1/2 year old and that he is reading better than most 8 year olds she sees.

And soon after he finished 2nd grade! Whoo hoo!

So, of course I have to share a moment of silliness. Gotta love moments like these. They are rare at times!

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Then, Josie turned 4! Like I said, we were going to do her bedroom, but time escapes us. We did manage to take down the toddler bed and give her a big girl bed instead!

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We still have to paint… Any volunteers???

I became 19 weeks about 4 weeks ago…🙂 I have been terrible at keeping up with belly pictures… Sorry Little One.

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At the beginning of June we went to the Chosen Ranch Open House. They are a really neat ministry if you want to check them out here. The kids got to ride horses for the first time! Wyatt was super scared at first, then on the way home all he could talk about how he is going to get two horses, what there names are, and how fun it was. Josie was in her element. She LOVES horses. So naturally they now both want some!

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Josie found a toad. It was funny, after she found hers, several other children of friends found some as well.

And, here we are getting up to speed! As someone who loves reading, this made my day! Finished his first book, read on his own, in his own time. There is definitely a special feeling in my heart. Especially as a mama who, by Gods grace alone, taught him to read!

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Now, lets see if I can maintain updates as we experience life. I’m sure I missed things, for that I am sorry! I will try to stay on track!

 

 

Rejoice in the Lord always!

 “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say rejoice.” Philippians 4:4

We are rejoicing the last few days and praising God for a new and wonderful gift! After two miscarriages in the last two years, and unable to conceive in between, we really didn’t think we would ever have anymore kiddos, but we are happy to announce that we are expecting!

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We are now 12 weeks along and are greatly relieved to say we have a very active little baby that is kicking, waving and turning over!

While the last two years have been difficult and  heartbreaking with not being able to grow our family, I had peace knowing God had a plan. And looking at the past several months I can see Gods hand at work. While, we may never know the “why” we know Gods at work and has our best in mind.

So, let me tell you how God has worked:

After we moved into our new house we had our Dish satellite on pause for about 9 months. When we first moved in we wanted to get settled in before we set it back up. After that time we had to get it reinstalled and still had six months left of our contract. At first it wasn’t a big deal. We knew moving back to Oscoda County would be difficult since Nick had to find a new job in a completely different field which would mean starting at the bottom, but we also felt this move was God led. {That is a whole other neat story for another time!} We wanted to maintain our decision for me to stay at home with the kids so our first year I babysat. That was fine, but with all the things I had going on in my life with extra activities, it became to be too much. We decided to cut back on many things at that time knowing it was something we had to do and so we trusted God to provide as we decided I would not continue to babysit.

When we moved in we discovered we had extremely hard water. Like, turn my hair, tub, toilets, and clothes orange- hard. So, over the summer while at the hardware we filled out a card for Culligan  to come and do a free water testing. We wanted to find out how bad it was and what we would have to prepare for in order to correct our water. We would not be able to afford a water softener now, but would at least know how much we would have to save for. Months went by and never heard from anyone from Culligan. We figured it wasn’t meant to be, let’s not worry about it.

November came. Our contract for Dish ran out finally and we were able to cancel. One less bill and less trash to filter through on tv.

About a week later, we got a phone call from Brian at Culligan! Apparently Nicks handwriting was hard to read and he was calling the wrong number and decided to try it a different way to see if that was the problem. And he found us! We scheduled a time for him to come and test our water.

Turns out we have REALLY hard water. Like over their scale, hard. But, he assured us that installing a water softener would indeed correct it. So, we gave him the bad news that it wasn’t something we could afford at this time, but would be looking to get one as soon as we could. He then told us we could rent a system.

We thought for sure renting would not be an option either, but it turns out it was only a few dollars less than what we were paying for our tv that we JUST canceled! So, we decided in the end while it would still keep things tight, it would save us in the long run with cleaning supplies and ruined clothing and we agreed to rent a unit.

The difference was noticed immediately. Our water was drinkable. It no longer stains our clothes. I don’t have to clean as often. Yay!

A month later {December} I am reading my Bible in bed. I  turn to 2 Kings. Not sure why I was there, that wasn’t in my regular reading, but there I was. Right after Elisha takes over for Elijah the people come to Elisha and are complaining about the water:

“Now the men of the city said to Elisha, “Behold, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord sees, but the water is bad, and the land is unfruitful.” He said, “Bring me a new bowl, and put salt in it.” So they brought it to him. Then he went to the spring of water and threw salt in it and said, “Thus says the LORD, I have healed this water, from now on neither death nor miscarriage shall come from it.” So the water has been healed to this day, according to the word that Elisha spoke.” 2 Kings 2:19-22

I read that and was in awe. I read that and had hope. I elbowed Nick and said, “Watch! We will get pregnant!” And guess what , we did! Unfortunately, at the end of January, we miscarried. Again, we don’t always get the answers to all our “whys” but, God knows and that is enough for me.

Normally it can take about 7 weeks for your cycle to return to normal after a miscarriage. And for some reason at that time I was feeling signs of pregnancy. I knew it was possible to conceive again right away after a miscarriage, and after reading that small passage in 2 Kings, I had a glimmer of hope. I bought a pregnancy test and was it popped up positive immediately! What!!!!????

Wow. The feelings that run through your head at a time like that! To make a longer story shorter, I will just say we waited in cautious optimism for the time we could get an ultrasound that would show us a heartbeat. This last Thursday we got just that. What a relief and overwhelming feeling of gratefulness and love. Not only for this new little one to come, but for a loving and compassionate God that showed us grace and gave us what our heart has longed for. I am tearing up now thinking about it. God is so good to us! More than what we deserve and his timing is perfect!

So, rejoice with us! All praise and glory to God!

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” James 1:17

We Made Butter!

We made butter this morning! It was hard on the arms, but we did it! Tried it out with a bagel afterwords. We took a container of heavy whipping cream and poured it into a quart mason jar. The shook and shook and shook! We “visualized” a trip to town to keep our focus on what we were doing. It was pretty yummy!

 

Spring Is In The Air!

We have had a mild winter! And for that I am thankful. It was so much easier to heat our home with gaping ceilings. We have had some great progress with schooling, done some new things, have a new job to support our family, which is bringing wonderful opportunities that we wouldn’t normally have.

Wyatt has been doing great in school. We have fluency! What a extraordinary feeling after so many hurdles! We are at the moment only five more weeks to the end of Vision Therapy! We began that journey November 2014. It has been a long haul, but we can finally see the light!

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We had some fun earlier this year when we went downstate for Christmas. We took the kids and our nephew to the Sea Life Aquarium. It is small and a bit pricey, but they had a good time.

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So, Josie cut her hair… Annnd then I tried to fix it. An hour into it I screwed up and called my mom and she came to my rescue. Two more hours later we had a pixie! Praise the Lord Josie sat there remarkably well the whole time. Whew!

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Our Josie has fine tuned her love of chickens too. She and her brother are in love with these birds!

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Those poor girls are going to be going on grand adventures! They have no idea the fun that lies ahead! To be continued….😉