Sunday, July 13, 2014

Summer 2014

Here we are in Summer 2014. Ellianna is about to turn 1, Lincoln is working hard at paintball so he can save money to buy silver like his dad, and Jack, well Jack is loving life as a free spirit on the farm. This is our first full summer out at the acreage, and it is not at all how we thought our summer would be. We are still not in the new house. After having construction stalled on it for over three months, at this point we are just thankful to see work being done at all. Having no work being done on the house and having no control over it has been a very trying time for Stephen and I. We are living above the shop in a temporary apartment Stephen loving put together for us at Christmas time. When we moved in we thought it would just be for a month or two, maximum 3 months. Well it is coming up on 7 months. We are thankful for our little apartment, as it keeps up close to work for Stephen, close to the build site and allowed us to work on our property and get our chickens and garden up and going. But the shop comes with host of difficulties, the main being mice, lack or laundry, lack of a full kitchen, and just general orgnaziation. But we are here and try to make the best out of it. At this point we are hoping to be living in the new house for Christmas, a whole year later from our original move in date. But Im not really holding my breathe!
The kids are doing amazing, and have really loved living out of the city. This summer they have pretty much lived outside and come in every day covered in bug bites, hair a bit lighter and definitely covered in dirt. In the last few weeks Stephen's brother's family has moved out to the land as well so the boys get to play with their cousins all day, every day. They are really having a great time.
Lincoln successfully completed Kindergarten this year and was known as a polite and kind boy, who is tenative to share his thoughts and ideas until he is really comfotable with his class. He did well with his letters and printing and made some good friends. Even though he cried almost every morning he had to go, which had to do more with him not being a morning person, by the end (as in the last2 days) he was talking about how sad he was that he was going to miss school. Glad he decided he loved school just in time for summer! He is excited for grade 1, but I am not sure how he will do with having to go to school 5 days a week. Lincoln and Jack also took 2 sessions of swimming lessons this spring and both did well. Lincoln was told by his teacher that if he put his face in the water a bit more he would do great in his next level. Jackson was told by his teacher if he kept his face out of the water a bit more he would do great in his next level. Jackson was also referred to as the 'human submarine'. It was really nice having them both in the same level and I had fun watching them do the lessons together. It has been really amazing for Stephen and I to see how Lincoln has truly matured from a pre school boy into a boy! He is mature, helpful and really loves his little sister. He has lots of cool ideas. He is currently into dragons, tornados, sharks and predators. He prefers to get books and movies from the library about real things as opposed to cartoons. Stephen has been having a lot of fun tapping into a strength of LIncoln's he discovered a few months back which is geography! They have a world map posted above the boy's bed and Lincoln can identify over 90 countries! (keeping in mind he can't read yet)
Jackson continues to make us laugh and pull our hair out! He is one determined little boy who marches to the beat of his own drum. He is so funny, and has a great sense of humor. He has espcially enjoyed the addition of our chickens this spring. He has adopted a little black chicken as his own, and he carries it around with him wherever he goes. He loving calls it, "My Son". They are like two peas in a pod. Jack also likes to lives with a bit of danger, like riding his tricycle down the hill, climbing the biggest dirt pile on our site or climbing on the top of our jeep. We are currently having to work extra hard to establish tthat we are the bosses, and that he can't just leave and go see his cousin without asking first. Jack will most likely be going into preschool in the fall, even though I am considering keeping him home and just enrolling him next year for Kindergarten.
Ellianna is growing and changing and bringing joy everyday. She is goofy, like her brothers and definetly not as 'lady like' as I had thought a little girl would be. She has eight teeth and the longest tuft of hair on top of her head that I love putting into a pony tail with a bow (since she refused to wear all the cute headbands that are so popular right now). She loves to eat puff wheats, cheesem eggs, and peas the most. She loves to crawl around and put things in her mouth, but is not showing much interest in walking or taking steps. She lights up when she sees Stephen, loves to get hugs from Lincoln and Jackson, but more than anything is a momma's girl. She also is going through a biting stage, and thankfully only bites me. But man does it hurt! She has even left me with a giant bruise on my leg from one of her bites!
Stephen and I are really loving having chickens and our garden this year. Our meat birds are almost ready to butcher. We currently have 3 of our 17 laying hens giving us eggs. We expect the other 14 to start laying around September - it will be so fun to have over a dozen eggs a day to sell and give away. We are hoping to get a few goats in the fall, but it might wait until spring depending on how th e rest of the build goes this summer.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Selling, Moving and Building... Oh My!

Ever since we have been back in Moose Jaw we have wanted to settle outside of the city. With our first attempt at building at the farm ending up with us not feeling like the timing was right, we are finally in the middle of doing it! It all started in about January of 2013, Braden and Nina said they wanted to build at the farm, and so we started thinking about it again as well. With them building at the same time, some of our costs would be shared which would help greatly in the endeaver because it is expensive!!We put our house on the market around April and had some interest in the beginning. We knew because we listed privately that it could take longer to sell but not having to pay commission to a realtor was a bigger draw. After having no serious interest, we finally had a family come through that was very interested in our house. After viewing it twice they took the offer to purchase forms home and said they would make an offer. Well a month passed and we didn't hear anything. During that time we had talked to our friends Dight and Marcy, as they had offered their basement to us to live in while our house was being built. We decided to let that option go, as they had someone else who wanted to use their basement and we really had no idea when our house would sell! The market had unexpectedly slowed and we were starting to get discouraged. But the night we gave up our place at Marcy and Dwights, I told Stephen "Now that we don't have a safety net we will probably get an offer!" The next morning the family called us and said they were taking care of some finances and were ready to put an offer in! Long story short it sold, with a possession date 14 days after my due date. It was a little concerning having such a short period of between baby coming and moving out but we knew that God has orchestrated the sale, when most houses weren't selling, so He would orchestrate the timing of the baby coming and the move date. We moved into Mike + Debby's house, where they graciously let us live for 4 months. Stephen then decided to surprise me for Christmas and renovated the upper level of the shop into a temporary apartment. It was an awesome surprise and so wonderful to have our own space to celebrate Christmas in and to settle in until our new house was complete. We think we will be here until March or April. Time will tell!

We are very excited to be building, and even though it is taking quite a bit longer than planned we know it will be well worth it. We will be getting chickens and milk goat or two in the spring. Trying our hand at collecting rain water and planting gardens and small orchid. A new dog and kittens will be added, and we have promised the boys a fish tank as well. It will be so wonderful to live a fuller, more self sufficient life style. We are so blessed to be able to have this lifestyle for our kids and generous in laws who let us have some of their land. 2014 will be the beginning of a new chapter that we have been waiting for so long to start.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Grand Entrance of Ellianna Christine Grace

Ellianna's birth was preceded by many tears, anxiety and prayers. After having 2 wonderful, amazing births attended by my midwife, Becky, the last birth being at home and life changing, I was having a hard time adjusting to the unknown of birthing in a hospital, with a DR, in a system that is behind the times and not very supportive of natural, women led births. When Stephen and I went for the hospital tour and were led into the birthing room (which is different than the laboring room, the recovery room and the initial assesment room) and heard the nurse say, "and here are the stir rups you put your feet in" - my jaw dropped. Stirrups?? Realy?? In 2013?? Well I had many moments of crying into his arms, crying by myself, having long talks with my wonderful doula. I had to continually give it over to the Lord, because I could do nothing about the situation except stand up for what we KNEW was best for us and our baby, and at the same time enjoy and embrace this birth even though I was convinced it would not be a positive experience.
Thankfully, God knows the desires of our heart.
The other stressful factor about Ellie's pregnancy was the fact I was due around Aug 8th, and we sold our house and had to be out on Aug 22nd. I went 10 days past with Jackson, so if I went 10 days past with her, well I would still be recovering and we would need to be out of the house. But again, I just handed it over to God. He orchestrated the sale of our house and He knew the timing of the baby. I was just along for the ride.
The weekend before I was due, I was fairly confident I was going to have the baby earlier than my date. I started taking long walks-- in which I did a lot of praying and meditating on a positive birth. I partook in regular 'let's get labor going' activities like sex, walks, and spicy food. My parent's had come down that weekend as my mom was in the midst of moving from Winnipeg to Moose Jaw. It was then they told Stephen + I that my mom would be moving and my dad would not. They were going to separate for a while. Another thing I simply gave to God, at 39 weeks pregnant and basically had to say, "I'll deal with this later". Monday night I began to feel crampy. I was excited and paying very close attention my body. I got out my pregnancy journal and noted what I was feeling, only to see that at the exact same time I had the same crampiness with Jackson, and he was 10 days late. I was discouraged but took it all in stride. I woke up around 6:30 am on Tuesday, Aug 6th with cramping again. It was dull, but didn't subside so I decided to get up and move around to see if it would go away or intensify.It wasn't going away, but didn't feel like much, so I had a shower. Around 7:30 I decided I probably was in labor and woke Stephen up. "Do you want to have a baby today?" is pretty much the best way to wake your husband up with. I texted my doula saying, "I think I'm in labor", as I still wasn't 100% sure if it was actual labor. It get's beautiful and blurry from there. Stephen called his mom and told her to have Emily come right away, as I labor quickly. It was muggy and rainy that morning. I puttered around the house folding laundry, doing dishes and embracing each contraction, as I have learned in my previous births the more you can give into your contractions, instead of fighting them the better the labor is. Each one brings me closer to my baby, so I am thankful for them. My doula arrives and is beyond wonderful. Letting me lean into her as the contractions are drawing more of my attention. Massaging my feet, and whispering encouraging and empowering words. Emily, Debby and Michael arrive and I can't quite recall all the details but I know at one point all three were in the house, which was surprising to me, as I had assumed they would drop Emily off and meet us at the hospital later. It was a little awkward labour in front of my father in-law, but it wasn't anything he hadn't seen before. I asked to go for a walk, so Michelle, Stephen and I set off in the warm, cloudy morning. As I waddled down the street we popped into my sister in-law's house to let her know I was in labour. She was so excited and asked if she could watch me go through a contraction, ha haha. We walked only one block before Michelle and Stephen told me that we should turn around because they were concerned with how close my contractions were getting. At this point I had to stop and lean into Stephen and give the contractions all of my focus. We made it back to the house and we woke up the boys. I insisted on getting them dressed. Not surprisingly, my mothering instict was extremely high during labor, and it didn't just encompass the baby I was about to birth but made me extra sensitive to my sweet boys. My contractions were deep moans at this point, and I remember having to lean over Linc's bed while he was getting dressed as another one rolled over me, moaning through it. After it ended he said "Mommy what are you doing?" "My body is getting ready to have the baby, Linc!" "Oh, you sound funny!" As he laughs. Everyone started telling me that it was time to go to the hospital and I was digging my feet in a little bit -- I didn't want to get there too early, I really wanted to make sure I was at home as long as possible, plus Jack wasn't dressed yet! So I barely was able to get Jack dressed. And then , of course I had to give them the presents I had prepared for them. Once that was complete, my mother in-law practically pushed us out the door as my contractions were about 1 min apart and I was closing my eyes through them. We got into the vehicle and I immediately started transition, or maybe I was already starting to transition. But all I remember is hitting EVERY pot hole on the way, hitting every red light on the way and thinking half way there how I had forgotten our emergency birth kit at home so I would have to make it to the hosptial. We arrived at the front door and Michelle helped me in as Stephen quickly parked the car. Of course you have to register first when you arrive at the hospital. I was fully dilated, I was ready to PUSH. As we stood in the entrance with Stephen as he waited to register (take a number please) I ducked around a corner as to not draw too much attention to myself and to try and pull back from my labor. "Things are about to get pretty real." I said to my doula, "I hope everyone is ready for a show!" Thankfully they told us to go on up ahead to the womens floor and let Stephen skip the line to register me quickly. We arrived on women's health and no one was around. We got the front desk and my doula explained who I was, that I have a history of fast L+D's and that I was ready to push. "I feel like I need to PUSH!" I breathed out through my rolling contractions.That got their attention! They quickly ushered me into the delivery room, skipping the first 2 steps in their 5 step system. I kept asking Michelle if Stephen was there yet -- I absolutely positively did not want to have this baby without him there. Next thing I know he is in the room. I change out of my dress and into a gown, "I just want you to climb up on the bed here so we can take some readings to see how far along your labor is," the one nurse said to me. I couldn't believe it, is she serious? "You can try" I manage to say. I want to be cooperative, I want this birth to be as good as possible. As everyone is bustling around me, she realizes I would not be lying still fo 15 mins for her stupid machines to get a reading. "Do you think you can give me a urine sample?" I'm gone by this point, I head Michelle say, "I think she's ready to push." Stephen is giving instructions, "We don't want the eye cream, we want the cord to pulse out, we don't want the baby bathed, we want skin to skin immediately after birth..." As the nurse starts to pull out the stirrups he says "We won't be need those." During all of this I am running soley on primal instinct. "I like to labor on my side" I manage to say and try to get into the position. But it feels wrong. So wrong... I feel like i have been pushed out of an airplane on my back, out of control, unable to focus my energy. Up until then I was still in control, so having this overwhelming feeling I did what my body told me, which in that moment was FLIP OVER. So I flipped over onto all fours. I have never delivered this way. I never thought I would deliver this way. But there I was. It felt better, I felt I could focus my energy and push that baby out. "I can't deliver the baby that way, she'll have to flip back" I hear the nurse say, "Yes you can, it will be ok." Stephen replies to her. He has this tone that says, this is normal, you can do this to the nurse. "No, I can't catch the baby that way", she says. "Ok, then I'll catch the baby." Stephen says. "Uh, I guess I can catch the baby anyway it comes" She quickly says. I am literally thinking "SOMEONE JUST CATCH THIS BABY" Michelle, moves the back of the bed up so I can lean against it. I give 2 or 3 pushes, one right after the other. No break in between these final contractions just roll over each other. At some point I poop. I POOP. My biggest fear of child birth, and I did it - with my butt fully visible for all to see.Next thing I know she is out. The nurse has caught her, and realized her cord is too short to let her rest on the bed, so they hold her as in those brief moments we process she is out, and try to adjust my position so that she won't be dangling there. But my body was just running full steam like a freight train, it takes a few extra moments to focus it to change positions, especially with a baby attached to my insides :) The cord stops pulsing quite quickly so they just cut the cord and then I flip over. "Cher, you have your girl!" my husband tells me through tears. What?? What did he say? I have a girl? A GIRL!!! I sobbed. As I turn over and am finally handed my baby girl, I"m in love. It's amazing. Sometime during the next half hour I deliver the placenta, am checked and found zero tears, the Dr arrives and he and Stephen check her over. The Dr sings happy birthday to her and quickly gets her back to me. We put a drop of frankinsence oil on her head and read the scripture we had chosen for her over her. "May the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart be pleasing to you, o Lord my rock and my refuge." (Psalms 19:14). The Dr even comes over and reads the scripture we had picked out and loves it. It was perfect. Her labor was deep and beautiful. Her delivery was fast and exciting. It was all so wonderful. It could not have gone any better. This was our best case sceneario and it actually happened. My dr gives us the all clear to discharge as soon as we are ready. She was born at 9:52am and we left the hospital around 6pm. Stephen's parents were in the waiting room and were able to meet her shortly after birth -- their first (of 7) grandbabies they met immediately. Lincoln and Jackson came for a visit around lunch time and were so excited to meet her. They loved her immediately and it was wonderful to have all my babies together. The massive amount of adrenaline coursed for a few hours after her birth, pure euphoria. Text were sent, phone calls were made. And then finally in the afternoon I rested. My doula stayed with me the whole time, even for an hour after we went home. Stephen went to get the kids from the farm that evening and we were all together as a family that night. My mom came on Thursday night and stayed with us until the move.
And that was how our beautiful Ellianna Christine Grace came into our world. "God has answered" is the meaning of her name and the testament that He does!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

10 Days 'Till Christmas

Maybe one day I will not start a blog commenting about how horrible I am about updating and ya-dee ya-dee ya-da! Well I have given myself 12 mins so let's get to the chase.
A TON has happen since my spring post, which I hope to actually break down in the next week into proper postings. Items covered will be:
1) The birth of our DAUGHTER
2) The sale/moving of our home
3) the building (or lack there of) of our new home
4) living at the farm
5) Starting Kindergarten

But for now let's cover NOW.
We are currently living with my inlaws, who have graciously welcomed us into their home since we sold our house on Aug 21 - so its almost already been 4 months! And, thankfully, general consensus of the house is a good 4 months. Winter is in full force, as to be expected. But it started later than usually and has been fairly kind. We did have about 4 days of -40, but hey I kind of like those days. You hunker down and power through and have the satisfaction of knowing not only did you survive -40, but you lived. Still did errands with the kids. Still kept going!
Life at the farm is pretty awesome, and will be that much more awesome when we are in our own home! But I am loving being out of town, away from the hustle and bustle. Even though going into town 2 or 3 times a day can be exhausting, and you work harder to be more strategic about getting EVERYTHING done once you are there, we are all really loving it .The boys love running around and having more freedom. I enjoy knowing I don't have to be constantly supervising them so they don't get kidnapped or hit by a car!
Lincoln is finally getting into the routine of Kindergarten. Even though each school day is met with "Is it full day or half day?" And a larger protest if it is full day, it is getting easier for him. We were very proud when his teacher awarded him student of the month for November - he was the second student to receive it in his class. And since the first month was spent with him crying every morning on his way to school - it was a big surprise and he has made great improvements! He can easily spell his name, and can identify almost all the letters. He recently came home with a picture that he drew of the Nativity scene - and it's pretty much the best thing ever. Joseph has 'giant arms and little feet' and Mary looks like an angel. And the angel doesn't look like an angel. And the sheep looks like porcupine and it is AWESOME. We are constantly amazed about how smart he is - he can grasp big concepts and has amazing follow up questions when he and Stephen discuss things like WW2. He also still has his moments when he doesn't get his way or Jack ruins something and its full on crying. But those getting farther between.
Jackson, wow, what do I say? Well let's start with the fact we went to a community supper tonight and in the course of the 2 hours there Jack ran around, jumping on random people's backs, climbing on other peoples tables to get a drink, and tried to shove the light saber he got up his nose. Stephen and I kept looking at each other like - who's kid is that?!?!? He is still completely fearless and a huge risk taker, which is most of the time, a lot of fun. We are really proud of the way he jumps whole heartily into life - always up for something new. He does take more energy than Lincoln - Jack will just decide it's time to go, whether we are at church or the store, and he will leave. So we have to watch him closely. It will be a bit more relaxing when we are out of the "Where is Jack?" stage. We also noticed recently he seems to identify with the villains more the super heros. As he runs around the house yelling, in the CUTEST deep voice "I AM CAPTAIN HOOK!" Or growling "I AM MEGATRON".... I hope this doesn't mean anything. But it is a bit concerning, ha ha ha. He would love to go to school with Lincoln, but I have told him he can't go until he is 4. In the mean time I have told him the the childcare at mom's group is his class. And he takes it quite seriously. He normally wouldn't stay in the child care, but since we have started going to 'school at church', he packs his backpack and enjoys his class. We even saw his 'teacher' at superstore the other day and he was quite excited! And of course we can't forget his trick that Stephen taught him ' pop his collar, point his fingers and say "EH!" Like the fonz. But of course Jack can't remember its 'eh' and always says 'D!".What a kid!
Ellianna.....our beautiful gift from the Lord, our sweet baby girl, Ellianna! Elli is a joy. She is cute and lovely and all things baby :) She is 4 months and can roll stomach to back, has a very strong neck and loves to talk. I am so glad to finally have a girl to talk to :) She loves to hold toys and is now even getting bored, and has to switch scenery or people to keep her entertained. She likes to sit in her bumbo chair on the counter best so she can be a part of all the action. When we lay her on her back, she always pulls her head up like she is trying to sit up - she has been doing that pretty much since birth. So strong. She can easily get to the middle of her back pulled up now. She has started teething, no teeth have cut yet but she loves to chew on everything, especially your hand. The boys ADORE her, and she is smothered in love from the moment she wakes until she goes to sleep. She is the first one Lincoln looks for when he gets home from school and there usually is a fight over her in the morning as each boy wants their own special cuddle time with her while waking up. She has decided not to use a soother, which is totally new for me. So far its been ok - but might be a problem when we start leaving her with Nana for the evening now that she is older. She is pretty good at napping, I'm able to lay her while she is still awake on our bed and most times she will just go to sleep. She is also a stomach sleeper, which is another first for us. She HATES her car seat, and has since birth , which makes life more difficult when we need to do errands or go anywhere with her. As soon as I lay her in her seat she starts screaming, and generally doesn't stop until we take her back out. Sometimes she falls asleep which is such a treat :) More often than not I have to pull her out of her seat and hold her while grocery shopping, which can be hard pushing the cart with one hand and managing a curious 3 yrs old, but some how we manage!
Stephen is working hard at building our house. He is very dedicated and excited to be homesteading. We built and awesome woodshed this summer - just using a hand saw, nails and hammer. It took a bit longer than if we were to use power tools but it was almost therapeutic doing it the old school way! He loves to chop wood and I lovingly call him my lumber jack. He has an awesome beard right now, as it's winter, and I really love it! My rugged mountain man!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Spring + New Life!

Life is wonderful, for the most part, these days. May finds us with Lincoln about to graduate preschool. Jackson becoming more mischievous everyday. I am 29 weeks pregnant with our third baby. Stephen is busy as always with the spring season at Paintball. We are in the midst of selling our house and gearing up to build out at the farm. Life is BUSY! But good!

Lincoln is 2 weeks away from being done preschool. He had a pretty good year. It was a battle getting him out the door most mornings - he is not a morning person. But he always had a great time at school. His teacher talked to us a few times about how quiet Lincoln is in class and how she would like him to relax more. So its been a process of us encouraging him to talk nice and loud to Mrs Geradts and other kids in his class. He's getting there :) He continues to amaze me at what he is learning from life, from us and at school. Literally a sponge. Letters continue to not be his strong point, but he is brilliant at building with duplo and lego and loves hot wheels and dinosaurs. He also can have the WORST attitude ever, and it can be very frustrating to deal with. He gets his mind set on something he wants and when we say no he does not take it well. We are trying to be consistent and cut out how much time he spend on the computer and ipad. Its much easier now that summer is here to keep them busy without all the gadgets! He has been our biggest challenge as parents, wouldn't should be surprising since he is the oldest and is the first to introduce us to the next stage of development.

Jackson continues to keep me on my toes and about 2 heartbeats away from a heart attack! He is 3 now and is only about 27lbs, which is really small for his age. Most 2 year olds are bigger than him. We recently under went a round of blood, urine and xray tests that would ordered through a pedatrician. We are still waiting for the results. It was not fun for him or for us to have to put him through all that, but we are thankful that we live in age where we might have some answers as to why he isn't growing. He is still mischivious as ever - likes to let himself out of the house if I don't keep the doors locked. Loves to climb up on my counter and eat sugar out of the sugar bowl or try to cut up his own orange, in the mean time cutting himself. Or how about the time he grabbed my longest knife and waved it up and down singing "I got two pickles, I've got to pickles,". Never. A. Dull. Moment. But at the same time he is my cuddliest, sweetest, most darling little boy. He likes to take my face in his hands and give me the sweetest 3 yr old kisses. He is ALWAYs good to cuddle, and most times his wrestle time with daddy will spontaously turn to cuddle time when mid wrestle he lays down on Stephens chest and snuggles in. He eats, breaths, and sleeps dinosaurs. Its amazing how many dinosaurs he can identify. Of course his ultimate is T-rex King of the dinos! "Draw T-rex mom!" Which is always followed by "Draw spinosaurus!" and then without fail "Draw stegosaurus!" He also has recently developed a love of transformers and I will often hear him, when playing buy himself, commanding his dinosaurs, to "Autbots! Transform + roll out!" He lowers his voice so deep, its darling :) For the most part he is a fairly obedient child, and is just starting to discover what asserting his own will is like. It will be an interesting next 6 months! He is the reason parents have developed leashes - he is wild and unpredictable, always marching to his own beat.

Stephen and I found out we were expecting in November. After holding our breath for 13 weeks we received an ultrasound and verified the baby was healthy and growing. We were so releaved and said many prayers of thanks. Its been a good pregnancy, but I'm not sure if its because its my third pregnancy or if its because I am just getting older, but i sure don't remember it being so hard on my body! I've had low blood pressure, which thankfully straightened itself out. I know have low iron, which I need to bring up before birth in order to reduce the chances of bleeding too much. I always get a sciatic nerve in my pregnancys, but this one seems to be the worst. Granted I am running after 2 (sometimes 7 if I have all the kids I babysit) and we have been packing, and cleaning and cleaning and cleaning as we try to sell out house. So I have been demanding a lot of my body and back. We are all anxious to meet this little one, feel incredibly blessed to have the opportunity to bring another one into our family and are all rooting for a girl :) Even the boys want a little sister. Lincoln sees that math just doesn't make sense - 3 boys in our family and only 1 girl? We need a girl mom! It has been amazing to watch Lincoln fall in love with this baby, as my tummy gets bigger and baby gets more active. He daily asks to give the baby a hug, wrapping his arms around my belly. He will talk to the baby saying "Hey! Are you a boy or a girl?" If I tell him the baby is kicking he eagerly trys to feel too. He has come to terms that it might not be a girl and told me the other day, "Mom even if its a boy I will still love that baby!" And he has also told me "Mom, I am going to love you so much more when you bring that baby home!" or the classic "Mom, I'm going to still love you even when you tummy gets this big!". Jack has been surprisingly indifferent, and actually a bit annoyed. This big belly gets in the way of his cuddling and mom isn't nearly as fun now that she can't wrestle or be jumped on! But he LOVES babies so I am sure he will warm up to his new sibling once he/she is here.

We are excited to be finally building our own house, and are blessed to be able to do it on Stephen's parents land. We have our house listed and are believing for a sale quickly so we can start selling. Winter threw us off a bit this year as it just kept going! We didn't see all the snow gone until the end of APRIL! And its only been gone from the farm since mid-may! We had record breaking amounts of snow this year. So everything is behind from getting the land subdivided to listing our house (we kept waiting for the spring market, except Spring just wouldn't come!)But we are hoping to start in the next couple of weeks and are really excited. It will be crazy with welcoming a new baby in the middle of it all. Especially since I won't be able to help as much as I would like too until probably a month after the baby comes, but we believe this is the right timing and the housing market is really strong here so we should do well on our house. We hope to have chickens, goats, a big garden and to really become more self reliant and get back to our roots. we want to raise our children working hard, doing chores, playing outside all day long.

So that is where we are in May 2013! I'm looking forward to no longer watching kids and just focusing on my, soon to be, 3 blessings!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


It seems to be a trend that I post faithful for a season, and then drop off the face of blog earth. This time I intentionally stopped blogging in June. We walked through a very sad time in our little families life. And I didn't not have the energy for quite a while to celebrate and track what was going on. On June 12th, 2012 I miscarried our 4th child (we have had one previous miscarriage). I was 9 weeks along and the bleeding started out of no where. Initially I wasn't worried, I choosing to be hopeful and positive, giving my body the benefit of the doubt. When the bleeding didn't stop, but nor had it increased, by the next morning, we decided I should go into ER to get checked out - since it was a Sunday. We were unable to schedule an ultra sound until the following day, so the Dr took my blood and checked my levels. At that point, since I was not cramping, and my levels were still good they were still optimistic. But told me if anything changed to come back in. By afternoon the cramping started and I knew it was the end of our pregnancy. We were heart broken to say the least. There is something about miscarrying AFTER you have had the joy of carrying one (or more) babies to full term and having the privilege of raising them. I simply rested, it was all I could do. I continued to bleed and cramp, but thankfully it wasn't that painful. The next day, Monday, I went into the ER to have my ultrasound. This is my second time having an ultrasound far to early in a pregnancy. The second time I have laid on the bed in the hospital holding back tears as I knew what they would say. After waiting a while the Dr called us in and confirmed that yes, the ultrasound showed no sign of life, the baby had probably died around the 6 week mark. Of course, there wasn't anything they could do. They offered to give me a medication to help everything pass, but we declined. I didn't want to interrupt what my body had started. So we went home, and continued to wait. By this point I had been bleeding for 2 full days, and cramping for a day and a half. It wasn't until the third day, a Tuesday, that mercifully, I miscarried our wee one. I was prepared, and had pulled out an old baby blanket both the boys had used. I was able to save the remains, and wrapped them in the blanket - I tried to give our precious baby a tiny bit of dignity.
The miscarriage itself was painless, which I can only say was the Grace of God. Our first miscarriage was extremely painful, almost violent. It was fast and left me in shock as to what my body had just been through. I was very concerned during this miscarriage that it would be just as painful, and that my boys would see me in such pain. But on the Tuesday morning, I woke up and realized my cramps were gone. When I did pass the baby, I felt incredible amount of peace and reassurance. Not that it was extremely sad, don't get me wrong, my heart was breaking - but I felt safe. I felt His presence in the midst of my pain.
About a week after I miscarried we bought a Dahlia Perennial bush and planted it, as well as the baby blanket with the remains of our baby, our at Stephen's parents farm. His mother has a beautiful garden that she takes much pride in - I knew it would be a safe and respectful place to lay our baby to rest and to honor him/her with a beautiful bush that I will watch bloom every year.
When I was in the midst of miscarrying, we saw a seat sale come up for Turkey. We were already planning on Stephen doing a big trip this year, a birthday gift from in honor of his 30th birthday. The price of the tickets were perfectly priced that we could both go to Turkey for what I had already saved for a ticket for him. We saw the timing as nothing short as a small blessing from the Lord. So we booked 2 tickets (well actually 3, as his brother was coming with us) for October. Our trip was amazing, and a great time for us to reconnect as friends, and as husband and wife. But it was also bitter, in the fact that I knew the only reason I was there was because we had lost a baby. On my flight home, I was reading my Bible, and I felt the Lord say "The grieving period is over. Another child is coming!".
So that is it. It took a lot longer to heal from our miscarriage than I imagined. Which is why I didn't feel right about blogging. There are still evenings that I cry, especially as we draw closer to our due date - Jan 15, 2013. And the pain ran much deeper than I imagined as well. But if anything it reaffirmed that I am truly a mother. And that parents are not supposed to out live their children.
At this point, I do and I don't take comfort that I have 2 children in Heaven. It feels weird. And wrong, even though I know in my head that they are in a perfect place with our Savior who has perfect love, I can't help feel like what is more perfect than a mother's love (don't get me wrong, i know my love has a plethora of short comings). Its just not as simple as being thankful they are in Heaven, bc selfishly, I want them here, with me. It hurts my heart more than anyone can know when I think about that fact that I never had a chance to even hold those children, to know their gender - to smell their scent. I'm sure the Lord is not done his work in me in this area yet.
So that was our summer. And now we wait, for our next child!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Another Winnipeg Trip

We just got back from another quick trip to visit with my family. Stephen has started a paintball team through Prairie Storm Paintball, and they were playing in their first tournment in Steinbach this weekend. So it worked out great for us to tag along and see my family.

On Friday we took the boys swimming at the water park in Steinbach. Saturday was my lovely sister in-laws birthday so my mom and I whisked her away and took her for icecream (all 3 of us are quite fond of chocolate + peanut butter) Later that evening we celebrated Corissa's and my dad's birthdays. On Sunday my mom and I were able to get to the mall for a few hours without the kids, which was a treat for me! The rest of the weekend was spent in my parent's amazing backyard, the kids could not get enough. To top it off, on Monday I was able to see my gorgeous friend Danene at the womens program she is running with Teen Challenge outside of Brandon. We toured the farm they are running and finally got see where she has been putting her passion and skills for the last 6 months. It was a great weekend.