I’m still here! Just been a little bit busy this summer with our babies, 4H, hay, livestock, etc. 🙂
Over the past few months I have been blessed with so many sweet moments that I just sit and cherish them. I want so much to always remember them and hold onto them. So, this post is going to be quick flashes into our life right now. Here goes:
As I sit holding Joy, giving her a bottle, I look across the room at Prince 3 and Seth on the couch. Prince 3 has Seth in his arms and they are playing practically nose-to-nose. Prince 3 is smiling and making over Seth and Seth is gooing and cooing like crazy at his big brother. Then Prince 3 looks over at me and gives me this big smile. The love in his heart just pours out of his beautiful blue eyes. He loves his little brother so much. This is a memory I don’t ever want to lose.
Another evening I look out our kitchen window and see Prince 1 and Princess 1 riding bikes together in circles, slowly. They are enjoying their time together talking about all sorts of things. This is a memory that I want our children to hold onto-the good times together, the love shared while growing up.
I walk into the room and find Princess 2 holding Joy, smiling, and making over her. She is telling her how much she loves her and what a pretty little girl she is. She tells Joy how she has never had a baby girl or baby boy to hold before and now she has both. She smiles real big as she looks at me. Her beautiful curls hanging to her shoulders and her adorable smile melts my heart. This is another glimpse of love in our home.
One evening I find Prince 1 and Prince 4 measuring Prince 4 to see how tall he is. Prince 1 is encouraging Prince 4 that he will be tall someday and to continue to eat properly, along with exercising. Prince 4 then wants to sit and discuss more with his big brother. He jumps on his back and asks for a piggy-back ride. A sweet memory to hold onto again.
Prince 2 is found planning a purchase for a new Risk game with Prince 4. They pool their money together and order one. They count the days together until it should be here. Today, Prince 2 comes in from retrieving the mail and announces with a big smile, “Risk came!” Prince 4 is thrilled! He runs over and helps unpack the game. They immediately begin playing a long game of Risk. All the other children come and go, watching the game in our front room. What a sweet memory these brothers will have to carry in their hearts as they grow older.
My walks in the mornings this summer have been wonderful. I have so enjoyed my time in the desert(how ironic that I am walking in a desert) with God. It is a wonderful time to pray and think. Today as I was preparing to go for my walk, Princess 2 came running in and asked if she could walk with me. As we began our walk in the beautiful morning sun, she quietly slipped her little hand into mine. She talked to me about the sage brush and asked if I liked to chew on sagebrush as a child. My mind raced back to my childhood and how it was filled with green pastures and green trees. This sweet, little daughter will not grow up knowing and seeing the environment that I saw as a young child. She is in the middle of a desert! At that moment I wanted to sweep her off her feet and hurry to pack and go back “home” to what I had always known until God called us here. Then I was reminded that God is sovereign. He has a purpose for us here and this is where we belong for now. We will stay and my sweet daughter will grow up chewing on the sagebrush that she brushes by as we walk together. We continued on our walk with Princess 2 holding my hand. She confessed that she feels sad if I happen to take off for my walk without her. She held tightly to my hand and chatted away the whole time. I closed my eyes as we were walking and wanted to just absorb the whole moment I had right then and there with my sweet, little girl. A memory I do not want to forget.
One day we began putting Joy and Seth on the blanket together to “play” on the floor. I took several pics. and thought to myself, “I want to remember this moment always”. Seth rolled over and over and then grabbed Joy’s hair. Joy has a ton of hair and Seth is quite taken with it. Then he rolled in the opposite direction to find some more interesting toys to play with. 🙂 Our younger children gathered around and watched as these two played together. Sweet!
We took off to Ft. Bridger, WY one day as a family. We had a wonderful time together walking around the old fort, meeting new people. Another day we went to the Great Salt Lake and spent the day swimming in it. Our children played games in the water, floated for ages, and begged to stay longer when we said it was time to leave. They had so enjoyed each other’s company while floating/swimming in the lake. Many other days were spent with Steve and our boys picking up hay out of fields, putting it on the trailer (you should see the assembly line they have going with our oldest driving the truck, Steve and the others rolling the hay to the trailer, putting it on the trailer, etc.), driving home, and then putting up the bales of hay for the winter. It is such a sweet memory to see them come home all tired out, but having just used immense amounts of testosterone in the hay field. 🙂 They have “bonded” in the male way. LOL!
We had the 4H fair last week. All of us enjoyed the time together seeing the children’s projects and their ribbons that they won. As you can see, we have had a busy, but fruitful summer. We have been about the business of making memories with our children. Memories that they will carry with them the rest of their lives. Sweet.
This summer has been so sweet. We have taken our time and spent lots of family-time together. It has been such a blessing to see our children loving one another while making these sweet memories.
This summer has been even sweeter with Seth and Joy in our arms. Seth has learned to roll all over the place, sits up if you put him in a sitting position, claps his hands, is learning baby signs, drinks out of a sippy cup, and praise the Lord, his eczema is getting better after having his lymph glands worked on. All of his lymph glands were swollen from the toxins that had been put in his body and it was causing quite a bit of the eczema issues. When I say eczema, you have no idea what it looks (looked) like on him. I have friends with children that have eczema and they look fantastic compared to Seth! He had scabs, bloody spots, oozing, red patches, flaking skin, etc. People still comment on his eczema and corner me in public (even at the fair and while doing a clothing exchange, I was cornered) asking if I have ever considered using natural products and what is wrong with him?!?! One lady made me feel like she was ready to call CPS on me! It’s pretty amazing what we have heard from people. Anyway, he is doing so much better. He is going to be seen next week for his eyes. He can see us up fairly close to him, but when we are across the room, he loses us. It is as if he can hear us, but can’t find us and is looking around for us. I found this concern and shared it with Steve and some of our older boys. They all did not see the same thing. I remembered how I was the one that figured out one of our sons was deaf as a baby and how it didn’t connect for Steve at first. I remembered how people compensate for their weaknesses and this is what I am seeing with Seth. So, I continued to do experiments with talking across the room vs. waving hands w/out sound across the room. It was at this point that Steve and the boys admitted that there seems to be something going on. Seth was on oxygen for a short time before we were able to meet him in NICU after he was born. I went to school with twins. One got too much oxygen at birth and went blind early on. I am not saying this is the cause, but I know it is a possibility. I also know that some of the drugs his birthmom was on can affect vision. So, we wait for answers. Please pray for Seth’s vision.
One more thing about Seth. We keep having people comment on how much Seth looks like Steve and a few of our boys. It must be the reddish hair (I am predominantly Irish and Steve is English for the most part), the blue eyes, and the pale skin. 🙂 Anyway, people assume he is our biological son! One lady did not believe me when I shared that his birthmom is half Vietnamese. I had to explain to her that I had actually been to lunch and dinner with this woman and she is half Vietnamese!
Joy is growing like a weed. She just this week has discovered her voice and is now joining Seth at times in cooing and gooing. She gives us the most humongous smiles when she sees us. She is just tickled all over when we talk with her. She smiles and wiggles her legs all over. Her feet are the same size as Seth’s and she is almost as long as him already! She is holding her head up looking all around at the fun siblings she has. She can’t wait to join Seth in playing too. She is an awesome sleeper and only tends to get up one to two times per night. Everyone that sees her comments on how beautiful she is. People want to know is she Asian? Phillipino? Native American? After I explain to them that she is Marshallese, they want to know where that is. I then get to share some history with them about the Marshall Islands and how in the 40s the USA did bomb testing there and injured (even caused death from the radiation) many Marshallese people. Most times people go away, planning to look up the Marshall Islands to learn more. It’s the teacher in me that comes out. Joy has brought us great joy. I asked and even told the Lord that He would bring me joy when I lay on the floor that day losing it after we had been through Steve’s truck wreck, Steve’s knee replacement, our barn fire, and then the hanging of our dog all in four short weeks time. He brought me Joy! In more ways than one. 🙂
One more sweet story and then I will stop. We are still looking for donor milk for our babies. I cannot tell you how many times I have had someone offer me milk and one of my friends just so happen to be in the same city as the donor, happen to have a cooler with her, and be able to pick up the milk for me! It is totally God. He has continued to provide for our babies. I know they will not go hungry! One dear friend told me she did not know why we had been through so much trauma, but it was sure obvious that God was providing for our babies. I told her about how blessed we are to walk this walk of faith and that we are thankful for having lived through many moments of trauma/drama. We continue to pray that the Lord will make us a light unto the people here. We pray that others will see light within us. We pray that our children will remain strong in their faith. If you feel led, please join us in these prayers.
This is the sweetest walk.