Monday, December 12, 2011

A Few Days Behind Us....

"He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak" Isaiah 40:29

Each day that passes feels like such an accomplishment right now. Life has been very stripped down for us. A little sad at Christmas time, but we keep remembering it is just for a season. We have seen the Lord's blessings begin to rain down which makes us feel like we can make it. Our wonderful church family has covered us with meals in the evenings. For Matt, that is huge! He loves to cook, but when he is working, being Mr Mom, and seeing to all the medical daily care for me, time for cooking seems to elude him-imagine that:)

Saturday was a good day for me, at least until the evening. I was able to go 48 hours with no vomiting, so Sat afternoon, I was actually able to eat a meal-oh wow, does food taste good when there is a lack of nausea. Matt grabbed me a sandwich from Panera-when I have the ability to eat, there is usually a very strong craving that goes along with it. But by the evening, those 48 hours of freedom was over. I had a very rough night and Sunday was horrible. It was another day of tears and unrelenting vomiting. I had been so hoping to be up and around when the kids got home from my parents. It was so good to see them and have them home again.

But today seems to be another mild day. I am far from 100%, but I am more than happy to be at 80%. Sat at the breakfast table with the family, took a shower(heaven), and have held down one of Matt's wonderful pancakes. Monday mornings are our big family breakfasts, since Matt is off. The kids are enjoying the day and happy to be home. Matt was able to go visit one of our kids from church who is having some pretty serious surgery this morning. And my nurse has already been here to redress my PICC line sight. The redressing is both painful and soothing all in one. Unfortunately the cleaning tends to burn, but it also soothes the skin irritation as well. We will hopefully only need one nurse visit a week now. Matt is able to handle all of the care except the redressing. I work with a pharmacy who delivers all of the meds and supplies. Noah was quite sure that when all the boxes arrived the first time, that there were puppies in them(wouldn't that be nice!) Not exactly the presents you expect under the tree;).

On Friday I was blessed to have two letters arrive snail mail style. They arrived just before I had to go into the hospital to see if the baby was still alive. Talk about God's timing!! Letters of such encouragement and hope, so thankyou my sweet friends for being sensitive to the Holy Spirit-they were a "God Thing"!!

Lora, my sweet friend from Eager Hands made the most beautiful necklace of Hope for me. The two leaves represent healing (Rev 22:2) as well as being a symbol of baby and me.The emerald represents healing and new life. She believes the pearl represents how the Lord sees me and the purity of my heart that He now sees in me. She hammered the pendant to represent 2 Cor 4:8-9 "We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but do not despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed." I was so blessed to wear this as I sat and waited at the hospital to see if our little babe was still with us. Thank you Lora, for a tangible and beautiful reminder of how precious it is to trust in the Lord during these trials! The Lord has given you such an amazing gift!!

My sweet sister Nicole, who lives too far away(Seattle) has blessed me with an early Christmas gift. She ordered the entire series of Dr Quinn, Medicine women on DVD. The minutes and hours can pass ever so slowly on my really hard days, and the TV can be a blessing and distraction, but I need to be so very careful of my choices of what to watch. For a spirit that is already discouraged, watching despair, violence, etc is not a good medicine! So these shows will offer hope. Nik has also taken on the job of buying Matt's stocking stuffers for me. I just need to get a list to her. She had helped me with this in my pregnancy with Noah as well. Such a huge gift since I cannot go out shopping. Thank you sis!! You are a lifesaver!!

My prayer today is that we can take the kiddos for a drive tonight to look at Christmas lights. A tradition I hope not to have to skip this year!! Praying that I will have strength for it. We have simple goals these days!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

A Little Update...

Let's see, I believe I left off on Monday of this past week. As many of you know, I am expecting my 6th wee one. I am one of the 2% of women who struggle with hyperemesis or HG during pregnancy. I wanted to share this journey with others since we have experienced it multiple times and help to bring a little understanding to it.

So, Monday, I had the PICC line placed to allow for 24 hour IV infusion along with meds. When Tuesday rolled around, I met one of my nurses and she walked us through a refresher on the infusion pump, all the meds, etc. But I had been having such pain in my chest that was finally determined to be coming from all the acid I had been vomiting. So as soon as my nurse had me hooked up, Matt and I headed to the cancer care clinic in town for some new meds. The cancer clinic is one of the rare group of DRs and nurses that work with these pumps, nausea, etc. I have been there in other pregnancies as well. My doctor wanted to try something new, they were adding Pepcid to my infusion. It is supposed to help with reducing the production of acid and help to digest food quickly. I was also receiving a pain shot since I could not hold down anything for pain orally. The nurse there was so sweet and helpful. I have been since then, adding the Pepcid everyday to the IV solution and this is the first time I have actually seen a real difference. I have gone 36 hours without vomiting-a true miracle. The zofran I have always taken for nausea never seemed to help a whole lot. And Reglan, another anti nausea med, I have a bed reaction to. But right now, I have 3 IV doses of zofran and 2 doses of Pepcid. I am also receiving vitamins through the IV solution-this is a first for me on that as well. All of them working together, seem to be helping. I have eaten some very small meals and held it down. Huge victory.

On Wednesday, when my nurse came, she noticed that there was some swelling in my right calf, and upon looking more closely, she thought it may be a blood clot, so we were out the door again to the hospital. Thankfully my team of nurses and DRs were able to have me seen as an outpatient instead of having to wait hours in the ER. I had a dopler test done on my leg and it showed no blood clot, Praise the Lord!! But by this time, with all of the chaos, my mom was on her way to stay with the kids and help me. Wednesday nights are pretty full evening for us, so this came as an upset that left us scrambling a bit to figure out how to make everything work. Some friends from church graciously took over Matt's responsibilities in youth group, another couple of friends came to pick up our older kids for church, and another friend was going to take our little ones for the night if need be. The hospital had us in and out though in time for Matt to get to youth group and mom arrived 20 minutes after he left for church to help me with the little ones.

Thursday, was the first day I was home all day. Mom got all of the kids except Cole packed up and was taking them home with her. Giving them a break from the chaos, giving me a chance to rest, and giving Cole a bit of a break as well from managing things around here when Matt was at work. I was really sick on Thursday though. And before Matt left for youth group that night, I just wept while we sat at the edge of our bed. I felt like I could not do it any longer. I had no relief the idea of months more of this was more than I could handle at that moment. So, as I wept, Matt prayed for relief, for healing, and for comfort. I had such pain from not eating that I couldn't take it anymore and had some mashed potatoes made. I slowly ate them while I was in bed and then fell asleep. I woke hours later feeling a bit better, and as time went on, I was surprised to see that my meal was staying with me. That night, I slept really good, and woke up feeling much much better. A step in a good direction.

So Friday, I managed to hold down some more potatoes and did not have any vomiting. We had to cal my nurse though because my PICC line was leaking. She came over and was able to get it working right again. There are so many little things that can go wrong with the PICC. My arm gets achy from it and itches horribly from the dressing. I have the dressing changed once a week and I remember how good it felt to have the old dressing pulled. It makes life a bit more difficult, hard to take showers because it cannot get wet. So preparing for a shower is a lot of work. It makes sleeping a bit difficult too. Last night, somehow I would my line around my neck while sleeping. Many nights we are awoken to the pump alarm going off because somehow I have kinked the line. I have a little pack that I carry around the IV solution in, which is much more convenient than having a big ol' IV pole to trip over. The kids are good about being careful not to tug on the line. It is almost discreet enough to go out in public with and not draw too much attention, which I am thankful for, although I do not have much energy to go out anymore.

By yesterday afternoon, I had started to bleed. It was crushing to have to call Matt at work to tell him. Because I had been feeling better and then this, I was sure that I had lost the baby. My team of Drs and nurses sure jumped to get me in and find out what was going on. My exam showed positive results but we still needed to have an ultrasound to make sure. The hospital was so busy, so the Dr seeing me, took Matt and I up to another dept that was closed for the weekend and did my ultrasound there. Sure enough, there was that tiny little heart just beating as strong as it could-amazing!! She let us just watch the baby for awhile. What relief!! Matt and I had braced for the worst. And my biggest fear was that I was afraid I could not try again after how hard this pregnancy had already been. It is one thing to be surprised and know you need to see something through because the Lord has handed you this amazing gift. But it is another to willingly walk into it knowing, fresh in your mind, the hardships that await you! Thank you Jesus for choosing what we did not have the strength to!! We are so excited!!

Some wonderful friends had dropped dinner off for Matt and Cole-what a blessing!! And I was so excited to see a big pan of assorted homemade Christmas cookies!!! I have been so bummed that I could not bake this Christmas for the kids. This is the first of Christmas goodies around here! It was so good to see Matt finally sit down and eat when we got home from the hospital. Cole helped out by signing for my medical supply delivery while we were gone. He let our friends in too.

So it is Saturday morning, I am doing alright, Matt is working on all the shipping for my shop and then we will try to get a handle on the house. I am hoping he and Cole can get out and do something together later too. Cole and Matt need a break big time. The rest of the kiddos will be coming home tomorrow. We miss them.We will work for one more week on school and then break until after the New Year.

To My Sweet Little One...

My Strong Little One Growing Safe Inside Me,

This has been a very long and difficult week. I have been seen either by the Doctor or the hospital at least once each day. Yesterday was the hardest day of them all. I thought I had lost you. I had been feeling much better for almost a day and then I started to bleed. I thought for sure with those two things, that you were gone. The hardest part was to tell your Daddy, he was crushed, he has been so excited about you, and doesn't mind a bit taking care of me until you arrive. Mama has such a wonderful team of doctors that worked quickly to see what was going on. One of the Doctors even brought us in to a part of the hospital that was closed for the weekend in order to find out if you were still growing safely. Jesus has just prepared everything we have needed before we even need it. The Dr made sure to let us know quickly how you were, and to our amazement, there was your tiny heart just beating away. She let us just watch you for awhile. What a miracle you are! What fun it will be to bring you to meet all of the doctors and nurses that have rallied around Dad and I during this time and have shown such compassion. We are blessed.

Your Grandma Lois rushed out Wednesday evening to help me and your brothers and sisters. She took all of them home with her for awhile except for Your oldest brother Cole, who wanted to stay and help me here. I am so thankful for her and all the help. Couldn't make it through without her. I miss them all though, but know they are doing well without having to worry through all of these adjustments being made here at home.

I can't wait until next Christmas, when you are here with us. What a celebration that will be!! With all my love sweet little one, Mama

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A little Update...

It has been a very rough week. I went from being an active mama and wife to being completely unable to care for myself in a matter of a week. My hyperemesis has hit with a vengeance. I spent Sunday night in the ER being rehydrated after days of unrelenting vomiting and an inability to hold anything down. After making it home after 1 am, we were back at the doctor at 9am to begin the process of home health care. I had to have an emergency ultrasound to make sure the baby was safe. We were blessed to hear that strong little heartbeat and I was overwhelmed by that sound. Next was the surgery to place my PICC line. We finally arrived back home for good after 5. It was amazing how the Lord granted strength to get through such a long day, but I had a great deal of pain throughout the evening from the surgery with no ability to manage pain since nothing stays down. So there were some pretty dark hours I felt like giving up in. The vomiting does not cease in the nighttime hours, so I struggle to get any sleep. But morning has come and with it, a small amount of relief, a little less pain and a few hours void of the constant wretching. Matt is home today to meet my new nurse and learn how to care for the PICC line and infusion I will be getting round the clock. It helps a great deal to have him hear. The kids of course have pitched in a great deal, but are struggling for sure. They struggle in different ways especially depending on their ages. This is the part I hate the most. Sometimes I wish I could hide all of it from them. I know it scares them, I see it, and even though they have been through it before, it is still hard. Life just gets a major upset. It was hard to even figure out when to get groceries in the middle of all of it. So 10pm last night, Matt finally got out for some. Madi has taken on a partnership with Matt in making the list as well as seeing to all of the laundry and much of the care of the little ones. They are a good team. Cole is my comic and tries to make me laugh, which I hate to admit, but it doesn't come easy. And he is also the one that holds down the fort every time Matt and I need to be gone. Joslyn is the easy going,"it's going to be ok" one, but also super sensitive to always making sure to come and give me a kiss,rub my back and just make sure I am not alone. Bell is in a unique age, able to not understand completely and be able to play with Noah like nothing has changed, but does have those moments when it hits pretty hard and she just really needs to crawl in bed with me and cuddle. She fell asleep in my arms last night after a good amount of tears. And Noah, he is just curious about it all and not too fazed by it. He is another good cuddler which I am grateful for. And Matt, well, he is just amazing. The amount he takes on is overwhelming but he does it with such grace and care.

There you have it, a little view into the life of an HG pregnancy. It may be a little too real and raw, so I apologize. The weeks ahead seem so very long, but I know there is an end with a super sweet blessing;) May the Lord bless all of you this Christmas season and be your strength for the difficult passages you may be going through!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

To My Sweet Little One...

Sweet Little One growing inside me, I have dreamed of you forever but never knew I would have the chance to meet you someday. You are the seventh child I always wanted. You have 2 charming brothers and 3 beautiful sisters, and one sibling in the arms of Jesus we look forward to meeting some day together, all of us. There is so much I want to tell you and your brothers and sisters. See, I get really sick in order to bring you into this world. I have always dreamed of waiting for my babes with energy and health, but Jesus just made me different, and I trust Him for this even when it makes me really sad. Today has been a hard day, and I know that it is not going to change for quite awhile. I was feeling really scared about the days ahead, I was not wanting your brothers and sisters to struggle and feel alone because I am sick, and Jesus whispered an idea in my heart. You are so small right now, I cannot feel you kicking yet, the 34 weeks until you get here seem so far away, and sometimes it is hard to remember what the suffering is for, so I thought that if I write you and let you know how much you are loved, then maybe that hope will continue to help these days pass.

I heard your heartbeat yesterday for the first time, I was overwhelmed at the sound. No matter how many times I have had a child growing in me, it never becomes ordinary or common, it is truly amazing, and there is an instant and unexplainable love that comes from hearing your tiny little heart beating. God is forming you and knows all of your days already and He is protecting you from the storm waging outside my womb. I know He has a plan for you and I am the tool to bring you life, so I have no question of the worth in the pain. I do wish for deliverance from it often and do get discouraged and even wonder why the suffering is necessary, but I know He is in control and with me through it.

We are anxious to meet you, the days will not go fast enough. We are so grateful to the Lord for the gift of your life. Love Your Mama

Friday, December 2, 2011

Ain't This Just Grand...

So, humor is a gift, and it is one we put to great use around here starting about now in my pregnancy. I am attempting to accept, with grace, that this time is not going to be the exception we were hoping for. We make small adjustments, with laughter, to the fact that I am now, once again, the queen of puke(sorry if that offends you!) around here. The moments of humor are the moments that help us through the tears though-because make no mistake, this ain't grand at all;). I am beginning down the not being able to hold anything down, as a matter of fact it took me 4 tries this morning to keep just a few crackers down. Finally by noon, I could get out of bed today. And this is my wonderful menu plan now.
The altoids are not for nutrition;) they are to help my sinuses, because as you can imagine they take a good beating from losing all of my meals. The peppermint helps just a tad with nausea, but since I cannot keep any pain relievers down for head aches, this has to do.

We made a quick trip to the doctor this afternoon to have some things checked out and sure enough I have lost weight and my lab work is showing that I am already dehydrated. We will be picking up some meds for nausea and be back on Monday to see how I am doing. I cooked up a batch of beans today-plain old beans-and am trying to eat them-thanks to a friend, I read an article by a nutritionist, that claims beans will work against the nausea unlike the silly claims that B6, saltines, or anything else will somehow work miracles for women like me. We have tried it all, but we'll give this a shot too.

So, here we go, another trip down the hyperemesis train, I know it's not very glamorous, but it's real. And yes, it is worth it even when I have to say it in the middle of a puddle of my own tears!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Doing Some More Research...

Yesterday I got hit with nausea and it took me out for the count. I spent most of the remainder of the day on the couch. I was still able to eat some dinner, but it took everything in me to manage to keep it down. Being at this point already frightens me, it most likely means I am heading in the direction I was hoping not to. My daily chores and activities are becoming very difficult, very quickly. So, I got up this morning and did some research again to see if I could find anything new on HG. While I did discover an organization called HER that I may contact considering this will be my 6th experience going through this, I came across a blog post of a woman who has experienced HG through her pregnancies as well and has shared her experience. It was an encouragement to me just to know of others who have gone through it. I am thankful that my Dr is one of the Doctors who understand this condition enough to have me treated for it, I feel deeply for women who do not have a strong support system to get through this. I am praying today that the Lord will help me to let go of plans I had in these next couple of months, and give me a peace about it. I am still able to keep up with orders coming in from the shop, but I have not been able to spend much effort on restocking, so I am trying to trust Him for that right now. My energy is on schooling with the kiddos from here on out, and my guess is that that will be about all I can muster. I am going to try to keep in touch here on the blog and will look forward to the days ahead when I am back on my feet, full of inspiration and energy and a new little one in my arms. We are still praying for healing but are also trusting His plan for the days ahead, knowing He will see to all of our needs, and knowing He is refining us even through difficulty.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Mighty to Save....

The day ended well yesterday after a rough start. Matt and I even got out after dinner to do a little hunting for Christmas. I am in bed early and missing my late night energy, but none the less thankful for the energy to get through the day! So many of you have been on your knees for me, knowing well, how difficult my pregnancies are, and that has blessed us so deeply!! We appreciate each of you more than we could express!

1 Thes 5:16-18

Rejoice always;
pray without ceasing;
in everything give thanks;for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

A friend of mine sent an email yesterday to show me a beautiful design graphic she had created for her desk with our picture on it as a reminder to pray for us. The Lord truly blessed us with the gift of prayer, didn't He? He made Himself available to hear all of our requests for our loved ones, ourselves, strangers to us, our children, our parents, and it all matters deeply to Him! What better way to express our love for one another, than to bring them to the foot of Jesus!?

This morning when I woke, I was able to eat some breakfast and dash out for walk( love that the kiddos are so willing to get the little ones breakfast so I can do this), time to bring the day before the Lord, to thank Him, and to ask for his strength for the tasks ahead. "He is mighty to save" was one of the songs I was blessed with, and it fit so perfectly into what friends and family are praying for right now in our lives-For Mountains to Move! Nicole, you will especially appreciate this and I thought it so appropriate to share.

Our good friends, Jay and Nicole, hiked the Appalachian Trail this past year and blessed us with an almost daily account of how the Lord "Moved Mountains" for them and provided all that they needed, be it food, lodging, a friend, a doctor, safe passage through bad weather, new gear, or encouragement from home. So it is still very fresh on their hearts and minds as to how the Lord can do mighty things impossible to us!! I am grateful to have prayer warriors such as this traveling right alongside us on this journey.

Yesterday I distinctly felt like the cowardly lion form the Wizard of Oz-especially in the scene when they are about to meet the Wizard-the tunnel looked sooo long and sooo dark, soo unknown-and he gets quite scared and begins to turn around in an attempt to run away, deciding he really doesn't need courage all that bad, but his friends grab ahold of him and hold him up, and walk with him, being his courage and strength for that long walk down a dark tunnel. Thank you for being my friends, for being my courage and my strength and for bringing my family to the feet of Jesus.

Everyone needs compassion,
Love that's never failing;
Let mercy fall on me.

Everyone needs forgiveness,
The kindness of a Saviour;
The Hope of nations.

Saviour, He can move the mountains,
My God is Mighty to save,
He is Mighty to save.

Forever, Author of salvation,
He rose and conquered the grave,
Jesus conquered the grave.

So take me as You find me,
All my fears and failures,
Fill my life again.

I give my life to follow
Everything I believe in,
Now I surrender.

My Saviour, He can move the mountains,
My God is Mighty to save,
He is Mighty to save.
Forever, Author of salvation,
He rose and conquered the grave,
Jesus conquered the grave.

Shine your light and let the whole world see,
We're singing for the glory of the risen King...Jesus (x2)

My Saviour, He can move the mountains,
My God is Mighty to save,
He is Mighty to save.
Forever, Author of salvation,
He rose and conquered the grave,
Jesus conquered the grave.

My Saviour, you can move the mountains,
You are mighty to save,
You are mighty to save.
Forever, Author of Salvation,
You rose and conquered the grave,
Yes you conquered the grave


May the Lord bless your day!!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Preparing for the Season

Yesterday was a special day for our family, it was our day to put up the tree. Now, in thirty five years, I cannot remember a single Christmas that we did not cut down our tree from a tree farm. But the past few years Matt and I have been beginning to ponder the idea of going to an artificial tree because of the growing cost to have a live tree. This year we had both come to the same conclusion and were finally at peace with letting go of tradition. When we approached the subject with the kids, there were mixed reactions. It was split, but the tears that came from the ones who couldn't bare the idea of not hunting down our tree echoed the wrestling Matt and I had gone through in our own hearts. Matt and I huddled up again to try and figure out how to approach this change. We decided to take a drive and talk it out, we also headed to 2 different places to just see if there were real trees for an affordable price. We thought maybe compromise on all of our parts may be the best solution, so we checked our local Menards to see what their precut trees were like. To our pleasant surprise, they were extremely affordable, less than half the cost of a tree farm. So we headed home to scoop up the kiddos. No one seemed to even mind the compromise of them being precut. And the funnier thing was that we could even afford my favorite kind of pine tree-a frasier fur which we have never had before.

We went out to lunch together, which is a real treat for all of us to sit down in a restaurant. We had a good time laughing together, and were treated with free peppermint milkshakes by the manager there which was just such an extra special gift from the Lord.

After lunch we returned home to prepare our snack food for the evening of decorating. This year I was amazed at how much we have grown, almost all of the kiddos made food, making it go so quickly and so smoothly, allowing Matt and I to spend time participating with the kids instead of being buried in the kitchen. We watched our favorite movie-White Christmas-and I could sing and the girls danced while putting ornaments on the tree. It was a magical night which ended with Noah's favorite part-setting up the train under the tree. We have made the old train chug through another year to everyone's delight.

After everyone had gone off to bed, Matt and I were going to watch a show together, but I ended up sick half way through it. My appetite has begun to fade the last few days and I of course was sensing a change due to this. I went straight to bed discouraged, fearing the morning. I had a restless night and woke this morning feeling it. But I got up, did my best to pull it together, Matt set half a bagel aside for me knowing that if I went too long without eating, it would cause more trouble, but as I started a load of laundry, the dog got to it first. By then I was really not feeling like eating anything anyways, but just as Matt was walking out the door, I had to make a dash to the bathroom. The tears just flooded my face as the morning sickness has started. Everyone just kind of stopped and quietly waited for me to come out knowing exactly what was going on. I laid down on the couch to try and gain some composure, Cole very sweetly brought me another bagel for me to attempt. I grabbed my phone to put some worship music on and brought this grief welling in me to the Lord. After resting a bit, and finally eating that bagel, I got up and slowly started back to my morning routine working hard to keep my mind on the Lord instead of allowing my mind to drift into frustration and fear. He is my strength and will be even when I may not be able to rise in the morning to the tasks of the day. Being in this journey again brings refining to my stubborn heart, and a brokenness from not being capable of doing it all myself.

I am up and about now, a bit slower than normal, but very thankful for the ability to rebound from this mornings rough patch.

Monday, November 28, 2011



How About a Quick Catch Up...

I hope all of your Thanksgivings' were blessed! And that you are facing the Christmas season with hope and anticipation. Lots to share around here and each day, at the end of the day, I think, I should write my blog readers, but I AM SO TIRED!!! So, instead, I shall awake early and send a little note of hello! Almost all of my house is snoozing still. Just the little man is up with me-absorbed in playdooh that his big sis made for him yesterday.

So let's back up a bit. Last Wednesday was my first official Dr appointment for this new babe. But that doesn't mean I am 12 weeks along like most women are on their first visit, I am just 4 weeks-my babe is only the size of a poppy seed;). There are 2 reasons they are seeing me early, one my age( I am now considered OLD for carrying a child-35-really!!) and also my history with the illness I have during pregnancy always means setting a plan in motion early for treatment when it arrives. My Dr is in a new building-quite nice I may say, and things are done a bit different-much better I must admit!! My nurse was a sweetie and was fantastic with getting me up to date with all of the new pregnancy do's and don'ts. Then I had my blood work done to check on the progress and everything looks awesome! Yeah! I got the phone call Friday evening from the nurse to say all is well. That phone call was the final "you can be excited-this is really real."

Wednesday night I got pretty sick from a reaction to the flu shot, but after a good nights sleep, I was back to myself-whew! I never get flu shots, but after actually having the flu type A last Christmas, I gave in to the nurse. I am hoping I made the right choice.

Matt and I enjoyed cooking all day on Thursday and our family arrived around 4 just as the last of the dishes were placed on the table. I remembered to snap a picture before the meal but completely forgot to take one during dinner.

Our time with family was awesome. We played games, talked, prayed, did a little thrift shopping(the whole crew of us descending on these shops was probably quite a sight), and went on a great walk. My mother and father in law took the time to pray over me, they have been one of my most faithful prayer warriors and when they seek the Lord, mountains always seem to move. Their excitement was a true gift to us and gives strength for whatever may lay ahead.

How am I feeling is the question from most friends? Well, I am still getting up, still keeping meals down, and still keeping up the important things. I am sooo tired though, I think I crawl into bed at least 3 times during the day to recharge, and as much as it frustrates me, I have no choice. I am experiencing a queasy stomach and aversions, which leave me a bit discouraged about the road ahead. But each time my mind starts despairing about those things, I attempt to give it all back to the Lord. I am realizing, when I look at the whole pregnancy, it seems tireless and hard, but if I look at the next hour ahead, it seems manageable with the Lord's strength. So, hour by hour we shall go with lots of sleep;).

And on the most exciting news this past week. Madison, the oldest of our daughters was baptized yesterday. It was a precious experience for she and Matt. One of the most blessed perks of Matt being a pastor is that he can baptize our children when they are ready to make that step of faith. We were thankful that my folks could make it out to see her in this important time of her life. After going through some tough things this year, she has a true desire to draw near to the Lord and the plans He has for her. There is nothing more important to Matt and I than to see our children grow in their relationship with Jesus.

Friday, November 25, 2011



Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Quick and Easy Holiday Cloth Napkins...

I am blessed to be having Thanksgiving at our home this year with matt's family. Today I took a bit of time to put some special cloth napkins together for the table settings. I thought it would be fun to share the quick and easy how-to.

I used...

1 recycled cream bed sheet
a large foam stamp
green craft paint
paint brush
1 wooden stamp
black ink pad
sewing machine

First step is to cut 2-12 inch squares for each napkin.
Next get your paint ready to stamp, I paint the stamp by hand. I chose to stamp the napkins before sewing 2 pieces together to make sure the paint did not bleed through to the second layer.
Let you stamp dry for awhile.
Add the second layer of wording once paint is dry.
Let dry again...
Take napkins to sewing machine and sew right sides together-then turn right side out.

Take napkins to iron and press flat. I use a scrap piece of fabric over the stamp to heat set it and make sure none gets on the iron.
Take back to machine and run a top stitch along the edges for a finished look.

Have fun with this-the possibilities are endless!!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Long But Good Day...

Ending another day well. It was a busy day, lots of in and out and I am really ready for my pillows! The funeral Matt and I went to today was for a special man in our church. I did not personally know him, Matt works with his brother and we desired to be there to grieve with friends and church family. But I was extremely moved by the telling of his life and the glory he brought to the Lord!

Did you ever have a friend show their love and excitement so gently and quietly but it spoke volumes!? Before the funeral began, one of the sweet women from church who is recently widowed, walked behind where I was sitting in the funeral, she quiet stopped right behind me, leaned down and kissed my forehead-it was with excitement for this new baby. She did not have to say a word to me, the smile said it all. How amazing is the family of God!! Deb and her husband Mike, before he went to be with the Lord after a very long battle with illness, had spent time helping me during my pregnancy with Bell when I was really sick. Mike sat at the edge of my bed and talked PICC lines, and meds with me,and listened to my thoughts, Deb helped with administering my meds via IV as she was Mike's primary caregiver in illness and had great experience in these things. They fed my family, did my laundry and loved on our little ones. Even though Mike was ill, and life was difficult for them, they still served others. I treasured the time they spent at our home, and Deb has continued to be a blessed example of service in my life, so that sweet little kiss just overjoyed my soul, she was rejoicing with us for this new baby.

On a less important note, we finished the new TV table last night. Here is a finished peek. I am happiest to have the shelf for the kiddos' creative tools. They have been on the tables up here meaning we still have to move them each time we eat. This way they are still out but accessible.

Bell and I had a good time in school this morning.

I was able to get a pair of mittens done for a friend today. Fun to drop that off as a surprise when she gets home.
Tomorrow is my first official Dr Appointment-Fun! Bright and early and then time to get ready for family and Thanksgiving.

My Creed For This Journey...


This morning I was awoken by a throbbing headache that made me arise with fear in my heart that already we were going to be starting the trial period of this pregnancy. I was overwhelmed by it. The day has a full schedule. Matt and I have a funeral this morning, and we are going as a family to help a friend to rake up her yard this afternoon. In all of that, I have orders to finish and send out, and school with the kiddos, so I was feeling the impossibility of the day. No one was up yet, except my husband, so I got myself dressed, grabbed my phone, the dog, and bundled up a bit to head out for a long walk. It was a chilly rainy morning but I knew that if I was going to get through it, I needed to spend some time in worship and prayer away for all of the things needing my attention. I set my pandora radio to the Selah station and was blessed with this song "Jesus, Draw Me Ever Nearer." The words to this hymn could not have been more pertinent to what I am preparing for. I just wept as I prayed this song to the Lord. But was so filled with His hope. Ellie just walked along peacefully next to me not even fazed by my overflow of emotion. Even she is a gift from the Lord during this time. It was one of those times with the Lord that lingers and that song will become my creed for this pregnancy. I wanted to share it with you to encourage you as I was.

I returned ready for the day and all that it holds. Noah asked me, Is your headache fixed?(he had awoken just as I walked out the door wondering where I was going and I told him I had a headache I needed to get rid of). And I was able to respond with a joyful yes! I just needed Jesus! I know the Lord is walking it with me, I know He concerns Himself with even the smallest of details in my life(wether it is helping me get through a headache or taking it away), and I know He is my biggest cheerleader(something that I have not always grasped). But the awesome thing is, I do not have to earn it and I do not have to do it alone-all my impossibilities are possible with Him.

So here is my creed!!


Jesus, draw me ever nearer
As I labor through the storm;
You have called me to this passage,
And I'll follow, though I'm worn.

May this journey bring a blessing.
May I rise on wings of faith;
And at the end of my heart's testing,
With Your likeness let me wake.

Jesus guide me through the tempest
Keep my spirit staid and sure;
When the midnight meets the morning,
Let me love You even more.

May this journey bring a blessing.
May I rise on wings of faith;
And at the end of my heart's testing,
With Your likeness let me wake.

Let the treasures of the trial
Form within me as I go -
And at the end of this long passage
Let me leave them at Your throne.

By Keith and Kristyn Getty~ Ireland.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Day 3- I Must Count My Blessings....

Mondays are always one of my favorite days. It is Matt's day off and I love having him milling around the house all day. It gives us a chance to run errands to together as well. It is just more fun having a friend with you when you are doing the boring stuff. Today we had the day off of school to work together on some projects needing attention a little sooner because of the news we received last week. We did a bit of what feels like spring cleaning, but it was needed not just for the baby on the way, but more for Thanksgiving company. Either way it sure feels nice!! Madison wanted the job of laundry, and she pretty much ran the machine all day! It takes a lot of the day just to get all of our rag rugs around here done. I have decided to pack some of them away until either later in the pregnancy or after the baby comes. It is one less thing to have to keep up for us. The are always one of Ellie's favorite things to lay on, so washing them is all too regular.

So, here were my realizations today;) We are really starting all over again around here with the baby. Our youngest is 4 1/2, and we thought he was the "baby" and decided with the growing family and lessening space, to give up most of the baby essentials-like swing, stroller, car seat, glider(which is actually a planter in my yard now!) etc. It feels weird to be at a place where we have to baby shop again. Noah and Bell were only a bit over 2 yrs apart, so we did not even really baby shop for him.

But here is a "kind of" first though that is fabulous!! I have no children in diapers during this pregnancy-I haven't experienced that since I was expecting my first 14 years ago!! Wahoo-talk about a bonus on the morning sickness front;)

Something that will have to work itself out and I am praying for the Lord's timing on this one! Just found out yesterday that my brother in law is getting married two weeks after the baby is due-Matt is the best man. HUM?? What if baby is late? And even if baby is on time, how do we travel out of state with a wee one so tiny? I may be a mom of five, but I haven't done that one yet;) The wedding is something I would be crushed to miss-he's my brother! But I know the Lord will work it out-funny timing Lord:)

But, onto the blessings...

Blessing One-I have had a good day physically- no lurking signs of queasiness- and let's face it, each day without that is fabulous!!

Blessing 2-Matt and I went hunting today for about an hour. We needed a safer TV stand in our living room. That was in the plans even before baby. Our TV has been temporarily sitting on an old little coffee table and the DVD player on the floor(not a very good way to ensure it lasting:). I wasn't in a big rush until last week, but knowing we would need to team up to rework whatever we found, I knew it needed to be done soon. Thankfully, we found one. I wanted a dresser that we could take the drawers out of and build in shelves. There were not alot of choices today, but there was the perfect fit.We are in the process of priming and painting it. Matt has already built in the shelves. Cole helped him this afternoon to dismantle it. They are quite the pair!
I will share pics of the "after" tomorrow.

Blessing 3-The kiddos were able to ride bikes and play outside today. The weather is crisp but not too cold to enjoy being outside. I even sat out front for a bit after dinner deeply appreciating the cool air! The house just feel too warm for me right now.

Blessing 4-The girls cleaned out the van while playing outside-oh was it overdue-how does that mess happen!! I think I am going to have to do a "security check" before allowing anyone in the vehicle with contraband toys, food, clothes, etc!!

Blessings 5- Another great dinner around the table. And with a new recipe! It was a winner-most of the family loved it(and with 7 tastes-"most" is highly successful! Matt will not mind making it! I enjoyed making it myself. It is a recipe I found on Pinterest(oh how I have fallen for that wonderful piece of heaven online).The recipe comes from blog It is chicken stuffed with chives and cream cheese and then rolled with bacon-so not healthy-but so tasty every once in awhile!!

Blessings 6-Did finish up on some made to order -orders. Happy to have them accomplished and in the mail! But not much sewing besides that.

Blessing 7-All of the kiddos cleaned out closets and drawers today. Out with the things that don't fit. It will help me in the next few weeks to deal with any needs so Matt does not have to.

Blessing 8-Matt and I found a fantastical (yes, one of my favorite movies is Ramona and Beezus)winter coat for Cole today. It is in perfect condition and quite new. It was only $8.50. Even better-Cole likes it!! That was a huge load off of my mind and now everyone has their winter coats for this year. Thank you Jesus!!

Blessing 9-Matt actually found my old maternity clothes up in the attic- amazing. I didn't keep very many, but the few I did will be extremely helpful in stretching the wardrobe. I also found a pair of brand new maternity jeans at the thrift tore today for $4-yippee-they do not fit yet(that is a blessing in itself):). But I know they will sooner than I want.

It was another blessed day!!



Sunday, November 20, 2011

Day Two-I Must Count My Blessings...

The news is still fresh on our hearts and minds, sharing the news of a new little one being knit together by the Lord's hands, is underway. Today was a fun day at church! To share with our church family was special and knowing that we will be bathed in prayer is amazing. We know that they will share in the overwhelming joy of this new little one with us too. The kiddos(especially the girls) loved the excitement and congrats they were given today by teachers and friends, and I smile as I recall all of their stories of how friends thought it was so "cool" as they huddled around gabbing about "boy or girl?" and "how many kids will your mom have now?" It was a day to soak in goodness and the love our Lord shows us through our church family.

Our Sundays after church this season have been low key and restful. We took some time off from the kids being involved in the night activities at church this fall due to my need to adjust to the heart condition I was put on medicine for and for the fact that so many nights were already set aside for ministry each week and we felt we needed to just spend some time as a family that was not structured. And I am so thankful we have done that-not that we would want this time to last forever-we look forward to evenings at church again-but it has helped and in many ways to prepare us without us knowing, for this new adventure we are facing.

Blessing 1-We were able to take a good long walk together with lots of laughter and cool crisp air.

Blessing 2- Matt finished installing the light in our kitchen(with joy in his heart this time-long story). It works fabulous and now I can see when I cook-certainly worth the wait!!

Blessing 3- I was able to finish a few pairs of mittens while the girls worked on their own crafts next to me.

Blessing 4- I was able to make dinner and freeze a meal for when I am unable to cook in these next few months. The crisis cookbook is coming along as well. That feels like a great accomplishment!!

Blessing 5- Madi helped me by cleaning out and organizing some of the kitchen cabinets which will help all of them out if I cannot be out of bed to help.

Blessing 6-A meal with all of us around the dinner table and good conversations. There really is something magical about time around the table. And I really hope that through this pregnancy I can continue to be present at meals just for that part alone.

Blessing 7-the best of them all! Madi came and told Matt and I she wanted to be baptized this next Sunday, she asked Matt if he could baptize her-so we are thrilled. She has struggled through some tough things this past year and has grown closer to the Lord through it. So we are rejoicing for her step out in faith.

We are doing well at soaking in the moments while preparing for the road ahead.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

I Must Count My Blessings....

As you may have read in one of my latest posts, we just found out this week that we are expecting our 6th child! A pure joy surprise!! As most of you may not know since I did not start blogging until after our 5th was born, is that my pregnancies are very difficult. I have Hyperemesis Gravidarum. There is still little known about this condition, but health care professions are starting to understand it better and at least begin to help treat it, unfortunately not cure it;(. In the simplest of terms, it is a never ceasing, very overwhelming version of morning sickness. That in itself is quite icky, but as you can imagine, after facing that for weeks to months without being able to hold down any food, the lack of nutrition and fluids become the real issue and can cause, if not treated, other complications.

I have had it with each pregnancy, and with each pregnancy, it gets worse. My pregnancy with Noah, the "morning sickness" lasted until 6 months. I had a surgery to place a PICC line to deliver 24 hour fluids and medication. Fortunately I was able to, with the medication, eat just enough to not need IV nutrition thankfully! I had a home nurse that checked in with me as often as needed to deal with the bandage changes from the PICC line, check on my vitals, deal with medication changes, check on Baby:) and teach me how to deal with changing fluids, meds, and I was even taught how to put a catheter in my leg each day when my PICC line had to be pulled for complications. I had 3 separate PICC lines placed during that pregnancy due to the risk for infection that they bring with them. Migraines unfortunately are a problem come about my 11th week, which I assume have something again to due with the hormone changes compounded with the lack of good nutrition. This always lands me at the Drs to get a shot to finally break the migraine.

I did not have good care with my first three, the diagnoses was not even whispered, I am sure because of insurance reasons. This ended up causing multiple hospitalizations due to dehydration. So, even though, it is difficult to go through all of the treatment, and it doesn't really relieve the most obvious miserable symptoms, it keeps us together as a family, the baby healthy, and hope for getting through the nine months.

Now, with that said, I know, many people wonder "why in the world would she go through that over and over" That is very simple-all I have to do is look at the miracles each of my children are, and there is no question of "is it worth it?"-IT IS!!

The other question might be, "why dwell on all that difficulty, especially when you are most likely about to relive it?" The answer to that is kind of why I am writing this post. Remembering those valleys in our lives in turn reminds us of how God was faithful to get us through it! I can also see fruits that came from those times, especially in my children. They learned at a young age the blessing of helping one another, as well as the gift of life-how precious it is-what it is worth! I am also going to hopefully face this time with a chance to hang on to the simple blessing each day has. Already, we have begun to prepare for the worst, but pray for best!! I want to share that journey with each of you!! This will probably change a lot about this blog. At some point, if I do in fact go through this illness again, the shop may have to take a back seat, creating all together probably will. We are usually in a very basic survival mode around here, because I am bed ridden for a portion of the pregnancy. What I am hoping is that I can, at that point, at least muster enough mental power to connect and share about God's faithfulness.

So with this in mind, I want to share a few praises...

As some of you know, I was diagnosed with a heart condition 3 months ago. The medication, unfortunately is not safe during pregnancy, but my Dr believes that my heart issue has resolved itself-WOW!!! We are in the waiting period of no medication to make sure-how cool is that!!! Only three months and I thought forever!!!

Matt and I went out last night to look for a few things that the kids needed, and I was feeling the countdown quite overwhelming and the need to take care of it before I physically can't. I needed winter boots for Madison and found a super good pair at the thrift shop for pennies-Thank you Jesus!! Along with a few other needed pieces of clothing for the other kiddos that Matt will not have to worry about.

I was able to cut Noah's hair today and feel confident he will not need to have it done at a barbers, it can be done at home making less errands for Matt who becomes Mr Mom.

I was able to start a special family cookbook for the kids, who already know how to cook quite well. But this specific book will have recipes that are easy, cost efficient, and ones they enjoy and will not have to spend time hunting down. I am hoping to make a few new recipes in the coming weeks to test before I can't be around food. I have a few funny titles I am working on for this family crisis cookbook-to be announced;)
Madison made breakfast this morning-homemade doughnuts-YUMMY!! And yep-the kitchen is a bit dark but that is changing-yeah!!
Matt and I ventured out to the Re Store today and were blessed to find the light we needed for our kitchen at a fraction of the cost we thought we would be spending. Instead of saving until after Christmas, and Matt having to wrestle with home repair while being Mr Mom, we were able to knock that big need off our list today(and bring a little light into the kitchen for making Thanksgiving dinner) I will share pics when it is installed

We picked up a mini vacuum for hard wood floors to help with upkeep since i will not be able to keep up daily with the beloved dog hair, glitter, crumbs-ya know!! I remember that being such a silly but seriously aggravating problem during my pregnancy with Noah-isn't that funny! But even Noah loves using this new little vacuum, so we are set;)

I was able to move our antique guest bed up into our living room yesterday to use as a daybed. It will be a blessing for me to be able to rest in bed while being out with the kiddos instead of isolated in my bedroom.

I finished 6 pairs of mittens for the shop( I won't overwhelm with pics of all of them) and enjoyed it as a gift to sit at the machine.

I am trying to enjoy the preparation instead of feeling the pressure. I am working to soak in the moments and give thanks. I am replacing thoughts of fear with thoughts of Hope from the Lord, and I am just a bit giddy about the miracle that I will feel a wee one in my belly again!

Friday, November 18, 2011

It Was a Good Day!!

Our home is just buzzing as we prepare for Thanksgiving and spend time with friends. I was up at the crack of dawn with ideas from drifting off to sleep still fresh on my brain! There are a few new changes this year with our family that I am needing to address and it all came together in my mind last night after I had crawled into bed. Our oldest will be starting high school football this next year and has been going through weight training right now. He has been working and saving and has purchased a mini gym for lifting. We were thinking of keeping it out in the garage and had a good set up but it is just getting too cold. I also needed to come up with a little more seating up in our living room for quests and I had a light bulb idea! We have a beautiful antique bed down in the basement that rarely gets used that would be perfect for a daybed! Years and years ago we had used a bed for a couch before we had had real couches, and so many friends have told me that they have missed it-which I agree, they just have a cozy charm to them. So, bright and early this morning before school, a couple of us brought the bed up to the living room. It is already a hit with the little ones! I am not going to mind curling up with a good book at night either in this cozy spot! So we hit two birds with one stone and all for no money-yeah!!

We also had some good friends over today for a visit. The girls were just loving on little Pip(Penelope). There is some big time baby dreams going on around here. I just love having the chance to sit for a few hours with a good friend while the kids play. True blessings!!

And this week I worked on a special project for a precious young girl who lost her mama. It was a project that I was very nervous about tackling because of the depth of sorrow that surrounds a loss such as this. But The Lord in His time finally brought a calm to my heart and hands. I was given a bundle of her mama's favorite clothing and linens to fashion into a doll. I am praying that this doll will be a comfort to her on hard days and I am praying that she will grow knowing that she is loved and not alone, that she can always take her burdens and sorrows to the Lord who knows her and loves her deeply.