Sunday, January 30, 2011

Things Cherished

Today, right now, I'm thinking about cherishing.  I'm thinking deeply about the things that I hold very dear in my life, in my small world.  This curve in my road, this dark, sweet, terrible, holy, precious, desperate walk I'm walking right now has brought out the introspective thinker in me.  So, I feel like sharing some of my most cherished things.......



girls painting their fingernails

Daddy staying home from work

children who look like their Daddy

Blue Sky Cola

Being pregnant with twins, once upon a time

my bed

fresh-from-the-oven babies


Friday, January 21, 2011


Let's get something brighter and more uplifting on here, okay?

You guys never cease to amaze me, really.  I have realized that I am definitely NOT alone!

Take that, snot nosed enemy!!!!!


Pennie continues to thrive.  She is a lot of times a ball of activity in there! It's so reassuring.

I'm about 34.5 weeks.  This pregnancy really, really has zoomed by.  My husband was saying today that it's kind of scary the way time is flying so fast.  Soon, we'll have a sweet, fragrant bundle of soft baby-ness to hold!

I've told the girls that I'm NOT going to stand in line to hold Pennie, like I had to after Lucie was born! HA! It seemed like, when Lucie was a baby, I never got to hold her!! I do have more than enough willing arms around here if I ever need a break from Pennie!

I think I can about drive myself nuts wondering how this labor/delivery is going to pan out! My mind races.  But I know that I am not alone in it.  My husband is always very hands-on.  And, more than that, my GOD is very hands-on too!

Everything is settling down here.  Husband gets Sunday AND Monday off!!! YAAAAAAAY!!! I love times when he's off, and after Pennie is born, he's taking several weeks off.  I just canNOT wait! I do love my husband so much!

I need to go now, I've got rolls to set to rise and chicken to tear off the bone for soup.  Then, Husband should be home from work.  I can't wait!

What are you having for dinner tonight??

Sunday, January 16, 2011


Isaiah 41:10
Fear not, for I am with you.
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, yes, 
I will help you.
I will uphold you with 
My righteous right hand.

Psalm 55:22
Cast your burden on the Lord
and He shall sustain you.
He shall never permit 
the righteous
to be moved.

Oh, how I cry out to God for mercy and strength and a steadfast and brave heart to bear my afflictions.  I guess I haven't been reading my Bible regularly, which gives affirmation and encouragement in all times.  I do not know why I have gotten away from my precious Word! 

I want to ask you all to pray for me, for a different reason this time.   I have a physical affliction.  I have hesitated to make my affliction known, for the fact that it is a terrible and heavy cross to bear.  

You see, when I turned 30, after a rear-end accident in our old van.........I began to have seizures.  

Yes, seizures.  

I have seen two neurologists, and I am not classified as an epileptic, due to the fact that I only tend to have 2-4 seizures a year.  I tend to have a couple, spaced out every few months, when I'm pregnant.  The triggers are stress and lack of sleep.  As you know, I've been under a great deal of stress lately, and my sleep is suffering terribly.

I have hesitated to make this known on my blog, and to most people, and I think it's the enemy trying to isolate me and beat me down.  I believe strongly in strength in numbers, especially in the Body of Christ.  Prayer is a powerful thing.  When God's people pray for each other, wonderful things happen.  When God's people encourage each other, strength comes, and nothing seems insurmountable, even the most seemingly awful circumstances.  I believe praying for each other and encouraging each other is our primary function as the Body.

I am under the care of a very, very competent naturopathic physician and we have had success in controlling my seizures with natural remedies that are so much healthier than conventional meds, which only treat symptoms and throw band-aids at you.  We are treating the underlying causes, and it has been successful.  We have been able to control my disorder just as well as if I were taking prescription meds that would ruin my health.  However, I have gone off of some of my supplements that I have been taking for years, for foolish reasons.  I will be going back on the full regiment of supplements immediately.

I had an episode on Dec 23, and again this morning at about 6:30.  

My blood sugar is low.  My sleep is not good.  I have been depressed and sad and stressed, for obvious reasons.

So, I say all that to say that the enemy would have me feel like a freak, and alienate me.  He is doing his best to discourage me and beat me down over this ailment.  

I DO feel discouraged!  I DO feel like a freak!

People, if ever there was a time in which I needed your prayers, it is now.  

I deeply desire to be healed, but God, in His unfathomable wisdom, has not seen fit to do that.  I do not claim to know the mind of the Lord, nor have I ever been or presume to be His counselor.  I do know that though I feel alone and lonely and in the deep wilderness.......

He has never left me.  

And here is how I know that fact:  I have never, ever had a seizure anywhere but my home, in the wee hours of the morning. 99% of them have been in my bed.  With the exception of a couple of times, Dave has always, always been home to take care of me and hold me.  I do not have permanent damage, other than long-term memory loss, which can be corrected and restored with natural supplements.  In pregnancy, my babies have never been harmed.  I have never, ever had one while driving.

I do thank Him for these small mercies!

Will you rally with me in this?? I hesitate to ask more you all to pray for me for yet another thing!  I do not want to overburden you! I do not want to be needy.......

But the time has come to cast myself on your mercies so that you can lift me up in prayer.

I thank you from the bottom of my heart! I have found this blogging community to be such a source of love and courage and support and Godly wisdom.

And right now, I need courage.  And strength.

Praise God for you all!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Almost there

It's been a couple of days!

My goal {unofficially} for this year is to post more often, with more pictures!! Let me tell you, we've got tons and tons and tons of pictures on Husband's computer, just waiting for you all to see them!! So, I haven't inscribed it in stone, and I haven't written a list of resolutions, but it's a small goal.

Now, onto other things.

We officially have 5-7 weeks left.  I can't believe we're almost there!

I had a check up down South on Wednesday.  I was already excited to see Pennie again, since it had been three weeks since my last scan, and I have to say, I'd gotten used to seeing her so often.  I do think modern technology is a mixed blessing!

Kyrsten, my tech, was worried about me since I hadn't come in in a while and was wondering what had happened to me!

Cutting to the chase, Pennie just looks so healthy, and if possible, she just looks more wonderful than ever! She's thriving and happy in there, which is the deepest, most poignant blessing to me right now.  It was a longer scan this time, since we were getting such good images of her! We got some priceless 4D images of her trying like gangbusters to get her thumb in her mouth, and when she couldn't, she'd scrunch up her face like she was about to wail!!! It was the most miraculous thing.  She's head down, very low, with one of her hands up by her face.  She currently weighs 4.5 lbs, and will gain roughly a pound a week, so she will most likely be between 7-9 lbs upon arrival.  I venture to say that she's going to be a thumbsucker!! We got so many gorgeous images of her, and I can tell that she is the mirror image of our Kellie.

Now, as labor gets closer, I do begin to feel the old enemy of trepidation and fear.  People, I will actually lose sleep at night because of terror! My husband says I get this way every single time, when it's getting down to the wire.  In my teenie tiny logical mind, I know it is totally ridiculous and totally unfounded, due to the fact that every single one of my labors has been about 5 hours long and super easy.  Don't hate me.  But fear is an irrational bedfellow, and when hormones are added into the mix, it's powerful and hard to conquer.

The thing is, I know the God of Peace.  He is my Standard.  He is my Buckler and my Shield.  He is the Shade at my right hand, my Fortress and my Deliverer.  I recite these characteristics over and over again, even out loud.  He has been very present in each and every one of my labors and deliveries, and I have never had cause to worry or fret.  He is working to try to calm my heart and my nerves.  I am working to let Him!

The doctors do not anticipate this labor to be any different from my previous labors.  Olivia has shifted position, and is now low also, right next to her sister, instead of at the top of my belly, Praise be to God!

So, I need your prayers! You moms out there know intimately what I'm talking about.  Have you been there?? Have you ever feared labor? Tell me I'm not the lone freak!! I know my body is preparing even know.  I'm working to try to remember, in the midst of it, that it's only a few hours, and yes, it does hurt, but isn't it the most rewarding pain ever? And the payoff?

I can do this thing, in the Name of Christ Who Strengthens Me!!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Decade Girl

5 years ago

Sara, our sun ray!

When I got pregnant with her and we were at our 20-week utrasound, we couldn't really tell whether she was a boy or a girl.  We always pick out names for our babies while they're in the womb, so I set out to pick out a boy name and a girl name, just like we always do.

Sara is Dave's favorite girl name.  It means "princess".  I thought it was wonderful, but I was going to spell it differently, so I dropped the 'h' on the end.  She has lived up to her name in every way!

Her goofiness started at the age of 4, when she realized she could make us laugh!

I think the one word that would describe this girl is joyful.

I can't believe she was three once!

She has brought so much joy into our lives!

Sara has been such a blessing to us.  I thank God for her, for all she has taught me.  I just wanted to document her blossoming in pictures, for everyone to see.  My words are weak and inadequate, but I love her and I just can't believe that so much time has passed.

Happy 10th Birthday, Sara!

Monday, January 3, 2011


Everyone is doing posts recapping 2010, and I've never done a recap post before, so I thought I'd do one today!!

Could it be that the new year is already getting old?? I can't believe 2010 went by so fast.  Seriously, it was the fastest year I can remember.  It seems that as the years go by, they go by much swifter! I remember thinking last year, in March, "I can't believe it's already MARCH!" Ha.

If I could pick one word to attach to 2010, I think it would be......


This word "eventful" usually calls to mind excitement and celebration and partying and joy.....

But I have to say, 2010 was anything BUT joyful.  Don't get me wrong here, it did have its tiny pockets of happiness and joy.....

But a lot happened to our family to shake us up in a major way.  In January we made a major move from our home of 9 years to my folks' property and their house.  We live in the same house as my folks.  Our home in our hometown is being rented out by a youth pastor and his small family.  It's still hard to think of someone else living in "my" house.  If you want to learn about yourself in a big hurry, move in with your parents!!! Also in January, Kellie turned 7.  Sara turned 9.  Lucie turned 1.  Whew, that's a lot of birthdays in one month!

In February we settled in, or tried to.  We got everyone settled in their places.  My folks continue to have the 400 sq ft master bedroom/bathroom.  The girls all sleep in one room about the size of a postage stamp.  Yes, you read that right! 5 of our girls sleep in the same room.  Hey, that's a post in itself!! Dave and I sleep in the other postage stamp sized room with crib, which Lucie currently sleeps in.  Russell slept on the couch in the living room for the first 5 or so months.

In March our beloved van, which we had had since 2001 caught fire on a freeway overpass on the way home from our hometown one night.  I was following Dave and Russell with the girls when the van started losing power and wouldn't accelerate.  I eased it off of the freeway, off the overpass, going about 5 mph, and got out.  Dave, who was almost home by this time, had come back (thank God for cell phones) and it was then that he opened the hood and discovered a tiny fire in the engine that, within about 30 seconds, was fully involved and 4-alarm.  A passing motorist stopped to see if we were okay and called 911, while Dave and Russell frantically worked to get all of our belongings, including about $600 worth of groceries, out of the vehicle.  We had about 5 minutes to get everyone out and get away from there before it was really, really ugly.  Yes, it was very, very traumatic for the girls.  Yes, our van burned until there was nothing but the frame left.  You could barely recognize what it was.  To this day, the circle of burned ground alongside the overpass is still there.  Sofia turned 4.  She got to celebrate her birthday out on the farm!  Our family Blue Heeler Gracie, whom we had had for 4 years, got attacked by something and almost lost her life.  A close shave for her, a very sad time for the kids, but after a few weeks, she was good as new!

In April a wonderful older couple at the church we used to go to allowed us the use of their van, for as long as we needed it.  We also found out, on Easter Sunday, that we were pregnant, after a really, really long time of trying.  Sadly, the very next Sunday I began to have my third miscarriage.  We were very sad.  My doctor told me he wanted me to wait for two menstrual cycles to try again.  So, we were abstaining (I know, TMI!!!) Russell turned 15.  I felt old.

May was, thankfully, pretty quiet.  We were given a motor home by some really good friends, and we spent that month getting it ready for Russell to "move in" to.  He now has slept there for a good many months and loves having his own space.

In June I turned 37.  Summer here on the "farm" was beautiful.  We were so glad we moved here and wished we had done it years ago.  God has His perfect timing though!  I was also taking a couple of spit tests for my naturopath to measure my adrenal fatigue levels and my hormone levels, to see if they were normal.  This involves spitting into several small vials and sending them to a lab to be analyzed.  I had successfully completed the adrenal testing and was well into the hormonal testing.  I was just waiting to spit into the last vial, which is to be done in conjunction with the first day of your period.  I was waiting to spit into that last vial and I remember not feeling right.  But I never suspected the reason! I'm never, ever, EVER late, so I decided to take a test, just to make sure everything was was positive and I remember sitting there, in the bathroom, shaking and crying and freaking out because I was so surprised.  I brought the test to Dave.......needless to say, I had to throw away that hormone spit test!!! Made my first Dr's appt.  Yep, we were definitely pregnant, according to the blood test numbers on June 27th.  My numbers were curiously high..........oh well........nobody at the Dr's office was really concerned or anything.

In July Dave had his birthday.  Our birthdays are 6 days apart, even though he's 5 years older.  Hannah had her first real milestone birthday too, at the end of the month. She got her first real knife.  I cried a lot that month.  I got to hear our "baby's" heartbeat for the first time, at 7 weeks, via early ultrasound.  Yep, there's definitely a baby in there!

August was hot and busy and Dave was waiting on payment for a short piece he had done in July to audition for a new movie coming out sometime in 2011.  He ended up trying out twice for the movie.  We ended up waiting more than 4 months to be paid.  He decided never to work for that particular gentleman again, due to several things that had just culminated into a bad taste in our mouths.

September was our 17th wedding anniversary.  I was soooooooooooooo sick!!!! I was sooo tired I was taking two naps a day, at least.  I had never been morning sick with any of my pregnancies.  I hadn't gained any weight so far, as of the beginning of September.......HA!!!! Dr W said he'd like me to have my ultrasound at 18 weeks, and the clinic where I have my scans called me later that month to make an appointment.  They called me the 23rd, or something like that, and told me they had an appointment open on the 28th at 8:30 in the morning, and I was so flabbergasted that we would get to "meet" our baby and find out who were were going to have, that fast!!! I was at piano lessons when they called me back to confirm.  I was giddy! I had also gained a LOT of weight, in a 5 week span, like 15 lbs!!!! My tummy was H U G E at this point.  But this was my 12th pregnancy and there was only one baby in there, according to the heartbeat!!!! Well, the rest of the month will go down in my heart as the most exciting and blessed time ever, for me, for, on the 28th, we found out that we were going to be blessed with identical twin girls.  Gracie, our family dog, continued to act very strange, being aggressive and just not herself.

October was gorgeous out here in the country.  The trees were so beautiful that fall.  We were so excited because Dave had been asked to play at a Hardhats For Christ dinner.  Of course, we had just found out our lives were going to be altered forever by having twin girls, and we were so eager to tell everyone who would listen! I registered at Target that month, on the advice of two of my good friends who announced that I ought to have a baby shower for The Babies.  I was practically glowing with jubilance as I took the girls and we all had a ball picking out multiples of everything!!! I wonder if my feet ever touched the ground that day! We also went to a Gaither Homecoming concert too.  I remember feeling like I was highly blessed among women, and so fortunate that my Babies were both so healthy, as I sat in the arena, listening to the best concert ever, and feeling my Olivia shake, rattle and roll to the music! I got my picture taken with Sonja and Becky Isaacs, and I talked with her about being pregnant and how she wanted so badly to be pregnant.  I told her to keep trying and that if I, at the age of 37, could have twins, then her getting pregnant could happen too, at the age of 36.  And that was the last time I ever felt Olivia move.  The doctor thinks she died that night or shortly after.....of course, we found out on the 19th that our Baby was dead.  And thus, my life turned upside down, no matter how hard I tried to hold on to the angle that it was.

November was Thanksgiving.  November was increased dr's appt, in my hometown and in Vancouver.  We also purchased a new van.  I love it!! Now we can go places as a family again!!!

And then, there was December.  Our first family dog, Gracie, died in the middle of the month.  She had been increasingly erratic and this bothered me, because she had never acted like that before.  Well, her pain and confusion is now over.  We buried her in a favorite spot of the girls.  It hasn't been the same without her.  I had a mini-breakdown, and began to question my faith.  Christmas was very, very difficult for me, as all I felt was numb and dead.  No Christmas spirit for me! I realized that Christmas has always been on my list of holidays that I just don't like.  I know, bah humbug!!!! But I love how my kids are in December.  I love the wonder and the freshness and the joy that they show.  We had the most beautiful tree, and actually the most low-key holidays we've ever had!

So.  That recaps our 2010.  Now, a few days into 2011, I can feel myself focusing on our new baby that is to come in just 8 weeks or so.  It's close, my body is telling me.  And today is my 32 week check up with my hometown doc.  We'll try to ascertain what position Pennie's in and just how much longer my body can hold out.  To me, it doesn't feel like much longer!!!

Samantha has a haircut appointment today.  Then she's going over to her other grandma's to sew.  She's a very, very talented seamstress.  She "cut her teeth", so to speak, on very complicated medieval gowns. We've talked about her opening up an etsy store to sell her creations, since there's a demand for period costumes for reenactments.  We love Dave's mom!!!!

It may seem like we had a lot of sadness and tragedy last year.  Yes, we did.  It was the hardest year for our family.  But what I really want to leave you with is this: when God says His grace is sufficient for you, He really, really means it.  You CAN really trust what He says.  Yes, things for us have been tough, but the Bible says that His judgements are good and pure and true and right and just.  ALL of His judgements.  And you can trust that too.  I wavered in my faith and questioned Him and grieved, hard core, but I came out of the valley with the unshakeable knowledge that I can trust Him and He has never abandoned me, not once!

"....and giving thanks ALWAYS for ALL things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ!"