Monthly Archives: July 2011

Wanted to Share…

I am not sure if Ali will host Saturday Snapshots today.  She has an awful lot on her plate right now (won’t you go over and see how the Lord would have you pray for them) but I have a few photos I wanted to share.  Then, to be perfectly honest, I am going to go back to cuddling my almost 1 year old baby!  Unless she falls asleep, then maybe I’ll go be productive…there are green beans to pick, laundry to fold…who am I kidding…I am hoping the baby wants to be held!

And yet, she won’t let us turn off the light in her room at night

I think Caitlyn looks fantastic in browns and dark yellows.  IMHO

Yes, Patrice is fast asleep on the hardwood floors. 

I Started This Thought Earlier…Our Testimonies

I have been doing a lot of reading, praying and learning about trusting the Lord.  One thing mentioned in some of the teaching I have been reading is remembering to give testimony.  Remembering what the Lord has done.  Sharing that testimony.  I have done some of that in other posts, like this one, but I want to go a little deeper in my life this time around.  Grab your favorite seat and come along with me.

Deuteronomy 6:17 says:

“…keep my commandments, keep my statues and keep my testimonies”

paraphrase taken from A New Thing Ministries Motivation by Kim Potter

Testimonies.  The Word of our Testimonies.  Revelation 12:11 says,

“They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony…”

I desire to be an overcomer in many areas and many ways.  So here I take a few moments to share my testimonies.

My parent did not have a lot of money when I was growing up, but there was a season where the Lord called them to put me in private Christian schools.  And while they were not as expensive as they are now, it was definitely a sacrifice.  Money was very tight, and part way through my 8th grade year, the money just wasn’t there; I was headed back to public school.  It came down to the day I cleaned out my locker.  Friends had planned a going away party, I had handed off some of my chapel duties to others.  I went home heavy hearted.  My mother met me at the door.  Someone had anonymously paid my tuition for the rest of the year. 

I went on several mission trips to Mexico and a couple other places in high school.  The fundraising was always up to me.  The Lord provided each and every time.

Since Junior High, I knew I wanted to go to a private Christian College, Spring Arbor, and I knew I would be on my own.  I got some scholarships and grants, but at the end of it all there was a shortfall.  At the final hour, another grant was found.  I could go.  Even when I got there I was going to be paying a great deal by working on campus.  The amount was almost crushing.  But I went each month to make a payment.  The second or third month I was told by the business office that I did not have any balance.  Another scholarship, that I was completely unaware of, had come through.  I owed no more.

After college, I did not find a job right away, rather, I went on the mission field for the summer.  The Lord provided every penny of the support I had to raise, not just for one, but for two 4 month tours.

I got very sick with some asthma issues while travelling.  They continued to give me a great deal of trouble for several years.  But when I got really sick with the Multiple Sclerosis, the Lord took the breathing issues and they have never returned.

But I traded the asthma for severe issues with the MS that I had been diagnosed with at 15 years old.  As the doctors pointed out, the asthma could kill me while the MS would not, but that is little comfort when you are in and out of the hospital 15 times in 3 years in your mid-20s.  I was in and out of a wheelchair and kept getting sicker.  But through it all the Lord was faithful.  He used the times in the hospital to get my attention back on Himself, until the day He chose to put my MS in remission, where it has been for 6 years.  Yes, medication helped, pregnancy helped, nursing my babies helped, but the Lord is the true Miracle giver.  He has brought me from a wheelchair to chasing three kids and training for 5k races.

He heard my heart cry for a family and has given me a wonderful husband and three beautiful girls.  They grow me, challenge me and bless me.

His ear was inclined to me when I begged Him to turn my breech baby, Patrice, back to proper birth position.  He used all our efforts and she was born naturally and beautifully.

Over the last year He has heard my cry many times when the darkness of postpartum depression threatened to overtake me.  He raised up an army of people to pray for me, support me and love me.  He used people I trusted to lead me to those who could help me find the road to reclaim my mental health.

He is so faithful.  He deserves all the glory.  He deserves the word of my testimony.

Share His Testimonies

Linking up at Some Girls Website for Thought Provoking Thursday.

*Try Something New Thursday is on Sabbatical this week because frankly, we haven’t tried anything new.

I have been thinking a lot about sharing His Testimonies of all He has done in my life.  I have a post I would like to write sharing all He has done, but right now, just don’t have time.  I hope to be back later today to share.  But in the meantime, here is a quick picture of what He has done in my life.

What has He done in your life?  Won’t you share?

Multitude Monday–randomness–136-140

What a week last week was.  I have to say I am glad it is over!!!!  It was full of ups and downs. 

 An up, writing out my midwife stories for the ACNM Organization.
A down, moving the baby cradle out of room, just shy of 5 years since we first moved it in when we brought Caitlyn home from the hospital.  It was very sad to see it go, especially since there most likely will be no more of my babies in it.
An up, finding Birthday party invitations at the dollar store!
A down, and an up, my first baby is turning 5 in 9 days, my littlest baby is turning 1 in 13 days. 

You get the picture.

But even in the yo-yo of life there is much to be thankful for.

136:  Little girl birthday wishes for a venus fly trap

137:  Lots of garage sale clothing treasures from Grandma that I finally got washed and put away

138:  Excitement of getting all the laundry in the house washed and put away (even if it only lasts about an hour)

139:  Seeing little fingers wave bye-bye and clap yay

140:  Quick phone chats with crazy busy friends

What are you thankful for?

Join us at A Holy Experience to Share!

Have You Noticed for Saturday Snapshots

I needed a picture of Patrice and I for a piece I wrote this week for the Academy of Certified Nurse Midwives.  It sounds like they want to use some of what I wrote for promotional materials about midwifery.  In case you didn’t know, I love my midwife and believe strongly women should be educated about the value, safety, and benefits of midwife care.  I am praying they use my words to help do just that.  But, back to the picture.  I realized I have VERY few pictures of me with any of my girls.  I am not that fond of pictures of myself, but I don’t want to not have photos of me with my girls.  So this week we took a bunch of Patrice and I.  Here are a couple.

Note to self–take the time to do your hair

it looks scary if you don’t

2nd note to self, friend takes better pictures than hubby

In other photo worthy moments,we, and by that I mean hubby, is getting the rental house ready for our new tenants.  I do the paperwork and reference checking, he does all the rest.  But today he had some help…

So anyway, back to the “Have You Noticed…that you have lots of pictures of your kids with each other, alone, with other family members but few with yourself?  I for one am going to try and rectify that a little…

Head on over to An Ordinary Mom to see other pictures.

Going to the Fair for Try Something New Thursday

Going to the Fair, Going to the Fair, Going to the Northwest Michigan Fair is part of the jingle from the fair ads near where I grew up.  We as a family are not in that area, but I did recently find our local county fair.  Last Saturday my friend and I loaded up some of our kids and headed to the Oakland County Fair.
It was warm, very warm, but that didn’t stop us from having fun (though my camera battery dying stopped me from capturing all the fun).

We checked out the sewing, photography and art projects of some of the 4-H groups.  I tried to explain how mommy was in 4-H as a kid and did those types of projects.  My kids ignored me.  I think they are already practicing blocking out the “when I was a kid…” stories from my hubby and I.  Sigh.

Then we headed to the farmer for a day play area.

That is field corn they are playing

Great sand alternative if you ask me!

Patrice in her camo outfit :)

Then we headed to a circus.  We saw elephants, tigers and lions.  They had girls up on ropes doing tricks.  We checked out the miracle of life barn.  There were little chicks hatching, baby cows and lots of baby piglets.  It was lunch time for the piglets when we were there.  It was pretty funny watching the piglets eating in double layers, literally one on top of the other.  They were kicking their legs and wiggling around.  Kind of like Patrice does when she is really hungry and wants to nurse.  Yes, I did just compare my baby to a piglet.  It is what it is…

We also learned about animals from Farmer John’s show.  And afterward, the girls got to feed some of the animals.

And…then…it…was…time…for…the…rides…!!!!!!!!

Sue was just barely, with shoes on, tall enough to go on any, a total of 4 without an adult.  So I got an arm band too.  I haven’t been on rides since my hubby and I were on our honeymoon at Disney World.  But, you will be glad to know, I survived.  With only minor injuries.  Yes, with injuries.  The fun house, wasn’t my idea of fun.  It started with a mirror maze.  Sue knew exactly how to get through it.  Good thing, I think I’d still be stuck in it.  Then there was a wall of fun mirrors…fun, yeah, right.  Each one made you shorter and fatter…just what I was looking for at 4 foot 9 inches tall and still carrying around baby weight.  And then there was the slide.  It was as tall as the building.  Twisty and metal.  It took us girls a few minutes to gather up our courage to go down it.  I considered going back through the mirrors, but oh, did I really want to see myself that fat and short again?!  So, down we went.  The older girls did great.  Sue was a little scared.  She went down basically on my lap.  And then came the injuries.  I scraped my elbow in two places, my knee in a place or two and burned my hand.  Graceful, that’s me.

But that was just a blip in an otherwise perfect day!  It really was spectacular.  All of the girls were so good.  My friend and I got to share great memories as mommies with each other and our kids.  Perfect day I tell ya.  Perfect.

*I’ll try to get back later to add the linky info.  Now?  I have to get ready for work!

My Other Health Concern

My first baby girl will be 5 in two weeks.  Two weeks!  Wow.  Later that week, my third baby girl will be 1.  I can not believe it!  And the crazy part is neither of them, or their sister for that matter, were ever “supposed” to exist.

I was diagnosed over 21 years ago with Multiple Sclerosis.  MS is a neurolgical disease that affects the central nervous system’s (brain and spinal cord) ability to communicate with the rest of the body.  Since it affects the central nervous system, which controls the whole body, it can affect any part of the body.  Any part.  It looks different on everyone.  For some it causes only mild issues, for others it causes severe disability.

When I was first diagnosed, there was very little treatment.  They could give you steroids to help when things got really bad but due to the side effects of the mediations, doctors often required your symptoms to persist for 5-7 days before they would prescrible the steroids.  And there was no preventative treatment and definitely no cure.

A lot has changed in 21 years.  There are now several medications that have been shown to slow the progression of the disease and newer treatments that have shown great promise in stopping the disease from getting much worse, but none are cures.

Due to getting sick when I was so young, I was told by several doctors that I would most likely never have kids.  I doubted if I would ever get married.  Who would want to marry someone so sick?  Especially when in my mid-20s when I did 15 hosptital stays in 3 years, a couple of those stays lasting a month while I went through therapy to regain my ability to walk.  Both times I went home in a wheelchair.  Things looked pretty bleak. 

Surprise, surprise, in the midst of it I did find a man who loved me.  And shortly after we met, a friend recommended a neurologist who specialized in MS.  He changed my treatment plan, to be more preventative in nature, instead of waiting for a downturn to do the IV steroids, we began doing them on a schedule, every 3 weeks.  It was nice to not be in the hospital.  Let me tell you.  But it was still hard.  And I still thought I would never have kids.  I was so glad I could again walk, but I desperately wanted a family.  But I thought kids deserved a healthy mama, not what I would be able to offer them.

Then, as sometimes happens with MS, I went into remission.  My hubby and I started talking about a family.  My neurologist was all for it.  I went off all my meds, and 11 months later we had Caitlyn.  I stayed healthy.  I did not need any medications.  And then along came Sue.  Again, I stayed healthy.  I took up running and began running 5k races!!!  Every step is a celebration and a silent Hallelujah to the Lord for bringing me to health. 

Then came Patrice.

I continue to be very healthy.  My neurologist now talks about my disease being mild.  And I love that.

No longer do I wake up every morning wondering if I will be able to walk, move my hands, sit up, instead I wake up counting how many times the baby gets me up.  Way better I tell ya!

Yesterday I made a new bloggy friend.  She is marking 2 years of remission from MS.  And that is a very big thing.  I celebrate with her and hope you will too.

I am also linking this up with Sunday Best at Feels Like Home.  Check out the other posts!

I Feel Like There Should Be Something Deep

I feel like there should be something deep to say, but there just isn’t.  I have quite a bit swirling in my head, but nothing ready to come out.

The last couple days I have been relying heavily on some fellow mamas to get me through and they have written some amazing blog posts. 

Here are some I really liked:

Farewell Stranger  I have not been through all that she has, but I can tell you she is genuinely working out her postpartum depression and doing much to influence and encourage those around her.

Hard to Mommy  She is working her way through new motherhood and doing a great job, even if she doesn’t always know it!

Postpartum Progress  There is truth in this post about PPD and PMS that I wish wasn’t there, but needs to be known regardless.

My Postpartum Voice  This woman gets it.  She gets the midst of PPD, she gets the victory over PPD, she gets that the hard doesn’t always go away on it’s own!

That is by no means all.  This is not even close to an exhaustive list, but it is a few that have reached me where I am.

Please check these out and more importantly share them with others who made need them.  You honestly never know the powerful impact you may have by sharing with another mama.

My Hubby for Multitude Mondays 131-135

My husband is amazing.  He is funny.  He is a hard worker.  He loves our girls to distratction.  It is an amazing joy to see.
This last weekend is an amazing example of that.  We have new renters moving in to our house across the street.  The house is in beautiful shape.  Our last renters, and friends, did a beautiful job taking care of our home, but we have some painting and minor repairs to do to get it extra ready for the new tenants.  So hubby spent the day working on that.  While the girls and I played at the county fair.  We got to have all the fun, yet he thanked me for taking the girls for the day.
Today we were having a friend from church come watch the girls while we were at work.  At our house.  So it needed to be cleaned.  We both worked on it, but he did the harder parts.  He scrubbed and scrubbed.  Until all was beautiful.  He even stayed up until after 10:30 last night to help me unload and put away the groceries.  Even though he had to get up at 4:30 this morning. 
He can make me laugh.  Even in my darkest days with postpartum depression, he was able to make me laugh.  And for that I am so thankful.
He is a very involved daddy.  He picks the girls up every day from daycare, plays with them and has dinner ready when I get home.  He is amazing. 
I am thankful for my husband’s:
131.  sense of humor
132.  excellent work ethic
133.  partnership in our life together
134.  ´╗┐appreciation for his family
135.  so many things I can not even count
What are you thankful for?  Come share at A Holy Experience.

A Late Saturday Snapshots

The girls and I headed to the county fair today.  It was a long, full day, but lots of fun.  I am totally bummed to say I did not get very many pictures, my camera battery died soon after we arrived.

But here are some recent photos of our life.

Check out other peoples fun

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