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Saturday, March 28, 2009

35 weeks

WOW! What happened to the last 8 months? Time is just FLYING BY!! Soon this little one will join us on the outside! I've been getting things prepared on the home front. Found a great vintage bassinet on craigslist, just what I was looking for. I've laundered all the little newborn girl and boy clothing I have. I purchased the tiny diapers, always amazes how little our butts start out!! Baby doesn't have much room to move anymore, she/he is over 18 inches long and weighs about 5 pounds, (pick up a honeydew melon)!! Because it's so snug in there the movement has lessened, but it's still pretty scheduled which is fascinating to me. She seems to have a favorite position, which my midwife did mention most babies have, even while inside the womb. Last night Baby had hiccups most of the night which was cute at first and then slightly annoying as I tried to fall asleep with a constant knocking on my belly. Jake reached his hand over and felt it for a few minutes as well. Most of Baby's physical development is now complete — we'll both just spend the next few weeks putting on weight! I'm feeling really good and sooooo grateful to be saying so. Last month was rough with all the sickness throughout our home. I can handle being pregnant and a busy Mom just fine, it's the being sick on top of it all....that's hard living. I will say that my compassion and awareness toward those that are chronically ill has really increased. I cannot imagine being sick everyday and still having to keep on living....and trying to do it with grace, patience, kindness and stamina!!
We took a few family pictures at church on Sunday. The boys looked so cute in their little outfits and my husband looked quite handsome as well!! And I actually DID something to my hair as opposed to the regular brush and go! Tyler talks often about how I will "puuuuush and the baby will POP out",
yes, okay, sounds good to me!
I had a dream last night that the baby was born on May 9th, my due date is the 2nd,
so we'll see what happens. And for all of you who don't believe me, (Kara & Shar!!)
we seriously DON'T know what we're having! It's so exciting waiting for this surprise. I get happy thoughts thinking about having a boy OR a girl! I am so grateful to have this little one inside me, active, growing and healthy as of now. I know that there are so many women, (some even reading now) that have had or are having very difficult pregnancies, some who are mourning the death of a baby, a dream, some who are holding out hope, some who are longing, praying that all will go well with the remainder of their pregnancy and some who are adjusting to life with a newborn on the outside or the fact that they have a baby growing inside!
Today I am grateful to be where I am and yet trusting that the same God Who has been my Shield and Refuge will be with me, beside me wherever this life & journey may lead.
"There is no great achievement
that is not the result of patient working and waiting."
~J.G. Holland~

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Ice Cream Date

A few weeks ago Tyler and I had a date. We went to his favorite store, "Thomas' Trackside Station" and he picked out a train then we went to our, (my) favorite ice cream shop. We had lunch and an ice cream cone. It was such a special time, just the two of us. It's really nice to be with just one of the boys at a time, it gives me the opportunity to really get to know their personalities better and I know it makes them feel special as well. I also think about how nice it must be to have their own space when they are together day/night all the time.Such Pure Delight! I love you forever and ever Tyler.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

1st chapter of "The Well-Loved Soul"

A few years ago my sister gave me this portion of a book her friend was writing. I haven't heard if it's been published or if more has been written, but what she already wrote has stayed near to me and I read it often. I wanted to share it with you so I'm starting a little weekly Wednesday installment of "The Well-Loved Soul." It shouldn't take more then a month or so to have it all posted. You may want to take the time to copy/paste/print it so the TRUTH of it can be absorbed.....may you find a quiet moment in your day and be restored.

The Well-Loved Soul
"He restores my soul."
(Psalm 23:3)

A well-loved soul. Not a nice soul, not a perfect soul, but a whole soul. A well-loved soul that laughs deeply, rests richly, loves generously, and accepts wholly who she is and who she is not. Courageously, she has made peace with herself, all of herself…her past, her present, her sins, her regrets, her personality, her body, her face, her life. She lives in the evolving wonder of becoming a soul of breathtaking beauty.

Her soul is well-loved. She brings into her relationships a celebration of who she is. She does not merely tolerate her creation, she adores it. With devote diligence she has sought a pure heart above all else. Her very soul, she has laid upon the Father’s alter, for Him to reveal the beauty He saw before time began. In their covenant relationship, in His arms, she has learned to love herself, to forgive herself, to grasp her value.

Her self-understanding is deep, rich and lively. With sacred assurance she has come to honor the vulnerabilities and needs of her soul. Her deep yearnings for peace, creativity, kindred friendships, fun, satisfying work, and the safety of being deeply connected to a presence and purpose higher than herself. She has acknowledged the many pieces that comprise her very being, and has been graciously lead by the Holy Spirit towards a quest of magnificent restoration.

She has discovered that a whole, well-loved soul is a precious gift of her faith. Her Father does not wish to use her soul and run her dry, but to restore her very essence that she may fully reflect the splendor of being adored by her Father. His promises of restoration, life abundant and springs of living water are designed exclusively for the rebuilding of eternal souls. She will become a cherished witness, an ambassador of the intimate goodness of His glorious resurrection power. The purity of His intentions has won her heart and her trust.

He has easily and naturally become the great love of her life. Daily she considers how to honor her great love. Longing for the moment of their first embrace, when she can look into His eyes and share the knowing that passes between two, who have shared the deepest of journeys together.

Only He really understands all that her life has passed through. Only He really beholds the depth of the wrongs done to her, the foolishness of her own choices, and the despair of her hardships. He cares for the things that trouble her, and always provides the path through even the darkest of troubles. He has taught her to care, nurture and tend to her soul, that she may create a home of beauty for Him.

He delights in watching her grow straight and strong, true and proud. She is becoming increasingly sensitive to His voice, His movement. She can sense Him now, when He is near, when He is walking in the rooms of her house, or joining her as she walks by the river. He is proud of her, proud of all she has done to be like Him. With great courage she has faced the brokenness of her being, and chosen not to avoid it, run from it, minimize it, medicate it, or cover it with good works. She has chosen not to pretend that peace exists where there is war, and fullness exists where there is barrenness. She has chosen to bring her very self and lay it into the tender arms of her father, believing that He will do as he has promised and restore her soul.

Monday, March 23, 2009


Our sweet Luke turns 2 years old today! Seriously it feels like I could still be pregnant with him, I have NO IDEA where the last 2 years have gone! Time really is going faster with each new life that joins our family! I wrote about Luke's amazing birth last year, so if you'd like the whole story of his accidental unassisted birth you can read about it here! I can say for sure that with this pregnancy, come my first contractions, I'll be calling the midwife RIGHT away, (Maribeth, can we set up a direct line)!!??
As I read the description I gave last year about Luke's personality I just had to chuckle because not much has changed....the foundation of his person was solid even a year ago, it's just a little stronger and higher now. It seems to me that he will be very consistent in who he is for much of his life, (just like his amazing Daddy). The personalities of children are so fascinating to me, especially when they're my own.
Luke brings such JOY to all of us, (well, except when he teases Tyler and they fight/scream)!! He doesn't show much emotion for most things, but he is watching it all and taking it all in. He says very little, but when he wants something he will make it known in one way or another. I've been a little concerned about his speech, (or lack thereof) because by age 2 Tyler was talking A LOT. I shared my concern with some of my "Mother Friends" and for the most part the consensus is that it's just WHO he is. He just will be a man of few words, starting even now. I think I will have an evaluation done just to have some more insight in guiding him, and yet, instinctively I do agree with what my friends/family have said.
Lukie, (as he fondly called by most people in his life) can be quite the little clown, as pictured above! He loves to play with the little baby doll that is around here. He will prop it on the pillow, cover it just so, bring it books and "feed" it with the little spoon. I think he will be the nurturing one when our new baby arrives. I'm getting really excited for the boys to meet their new brother or sister.
Thank you God for giving us Luke, only a small part of the inheritance You have for us. He is from You, truly a gift sent from above. Luke, YOU are loved, may you ALWAYS know that deep, deep down inside.
"Each of us has a fire in our hearts for something.
It's our goal in life to find it and to keep it lit."
~Mary Lou Retton~

*"Happy Birthday" by Innocence Mission

Saturday, March 21, 2009

what could have been

This day, 2 days before Luke was born will always be remembered and recognized by me. We were just about to have our 2nd son, had just moved into our new home and were busy getting things settled before my due date. Tyler was 21 months old. It was a sunny afternoon, around 5. The front door was unlocked and the beautiful, warm evening sun was streaming in. I heard my husband come in the door and knew Tyler went downstairs to greet him. I yelled down the stairs, "I don't have him up here." Little did I know that he thought I said, "I have him up here." So, no one was keeping an eye on him. The next thing I remember is hearing my husband yell his name and the door bang open. I knew instinctively what was happening. I practically fell down the stairs with my pregnant self and as I rounded the corner I saw Tyler across the street, stocking footed, just playing in the mulch, his Daddy just arriving to swoop him into his arms! My heart dropped as I ran out to them. I held my son and just cried and cried....with deep moans of relief, guilt and the realization of what could have been. We live along a very busy road, with most traffic coming through around 5-6 pm. No one stopped so there was obviously a lull in traffic over those moments in time.
I didn't get much sleep that night. I just lay there thinking of how this could have been our reality. A funeral for my one son just days before our second son was born. It happens. We aren't immune from things like that. I just couldn't shake the emotions of it all. Finally my husband helped me see that there was gratefulness to be found in this situation, a time for thanksgiving & rejoicing, not mourning. After a while of searching for it, it was found. So, today, two days before Luke's birthday I am again reminded of those moments and the sovereignty of our God. I don't claim to understand much of why things happen the way they do or where God is in all of it. I just know that had our Tyler been killed that day there would have been enough of what we needed to get through it. I don't know how I know that, I just believe it. Looking back, I am so grateful for that opening in the veil of eternity, a moment to really look at what matters and HOLD ON TIGHT TO IT! I don't know how long I'll have my boys, but my prayer is that I truly enjoy them each day they are here on earth.
taken the night before Luke was born.

Needless to say, within the next few months my handy husband built a fence lining the road and our property, with a gate to block the driveway. The incentive was strong as he worked long weekends and into the night constructing the fence one post at a time.

"To not think of dying, is to not think of living."
~ Jann Arden~

"Normally we do not like to think about death. We would rather think about life. Why reflect on death? When you start preparing for death you soon realize that you must look into your life ... now ... and come to face the truth of your self.
Death is like a mirror in which the true meaning of life is reflected."
~ Sogyal Rinpoche~

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Mama's 70th Birthday Party

Jake's Mom, (Mama) turned 70 last month so we decided to have a little party for her. She was blindfolded and brought to our church, (where she also attends) and was SO SHOCKED to see many of her friends and family standing before her! What a fun night of celebrating this dear woman!

The cake with so many candles on it! That thing lit up the night sky!! Opening some of her gifts with eager helpers, her grandchildren. One of her friends gave her this little outfit! What a hoot that was!
Annie laughed and laughed until she was crying. It was so hilarious!!
From this same woman she received a note pad with this quote written across
the top: "I'm great at multitasking, I can cough, laugh, sneeze and pee all at the same time!"
I'm just glad all her Amish brothers and sisters had left already!
I think she would have been least I would have been!!

Tyler and Luke with their beloved Grammie!

My Dad and Annie have been friends since they were little kids, so to say that they were happy when their children married each other would be an understatement!Annie is a JOY to our lives. She has not always had an easy life, in fact, much of it has been very, very difficult. Yet, this woman has decided that her past will not dictate her future....something I am constantly amazed and challenged by. She has been through great rejection from her family, (because she left the Amish church), but restoration is slowly taking place and she is grateful. She is a woman of true courage and diligence, a woman of GREAT faith and abounding JOY! If you ever have the chance to meet her, you won't soon forget her! And she raised an amazing man that I get to call HUSBAND, FRIEND and LOVER!

Just last evening we had a meeting with the local zoning board to discuss the plans we have to turn our carriage house into an apartment for her. They approved our plans so we now move forward with all the "red tape" so they say....the permits, inspections, etc. It is with great anticipation that we move forward. She has not had a true sense of stability for many, many years. Her husband died twenty years ago so she's been on her own in a way. I look forward to this new journey with her at our side. There will be a season of adjustment, no doubt about that, but I'm willing to make it work. She is loved deeply by ALL of us.

"When men speak ill of you,
live so as nobody may believe them."

Friday, March 13, 2009

A little girl in the house

Ok, this post is LONG overdue, but nonetheless posted with love! A few months ago my friend Ang asked us to keep their daughter A. It was so special to have another girl in the house! She was such a blast to watch, I don't think I've ever seen a little girl with such facial expressions, it was a hoot. And, I'll have to admit, those pigtails stole the show at the kitchen table! Plus a little girl looked cute in our highchair! Here's Tyler trying to feed her.
After dinner the normal, nightly wrestle mania ensued. At first she wasn't sure of all this action, but I think she secretly liked it! This picture cracks me up, with her head all thrown back in surprise! After a few minutes she warmed up to the situation and waited her turn in line for "galley, galley ridey", (a song about a horse ride sung in PA dutch while bouncing on the knee).
S & A, she was a JOY to have, please ask again! You have about 7 weeks to take me up on that offer!! Almost daily Tyler looks at your Christmas picture and says, "That's my friend called A." (except he says her whole name). It's cute!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

down for the count

ok, i'm so over being sick....over it, i say! the past four days have consisted of trying to warm myself up by piling blankets all over me, drinking cups and cups of hot tea only to throw this all aside once the fever spikes again, at which time i lie in a pile of sweat and feel like the. most. unattractive. person. on. earth. while lying in my sweat i tell the boys in my scary monster voice to share their toys or i'm moving them out to the barn, (the toys that is, not my sons)! my nights have consisted of finding a comfortable position so as to allow "proper drainage." repeating the days' events, only this time getting up to shower after each sweat bath, (four times last night if i remember correctly), changing the bed sheets, coughing up my guts and putting on chapstick. i should really take a picture of our bedroom because it's quite hilarious looking. large blankets hanging on every window, piles of nasty blankets on the floor, (i'm just going to let the pile grow and take it all to the laundry mat, otherwise i seriously will be doing laundry for 2 weeks), cough drop wrappers, gallons of water, cough medicine and my fuzzy pink eye cover thing.

my honey was out plowing snow for most of monday and tuesday so it's veeeeeery nice having him here today so i can rest. i went to the dr. this morning, he didn't give me any new insight, but it was nice to know that my lungs are still intact...i'm afraid to cough because they hurt so much and my stomach muscles are majorly sore too.

okay, enough complaining for one post. i'm dreaming of de-germing this house by opening all the windows for days on end, wiping down the walls and going a little overboard with lysol!

here's to "feeling normal."