Saturday, August 29, 2009

Blog Awards

I have received 2 blog awards recently. I am sorry that I have neglected them until now. I appreciate them so much and want to share them with you.

The first one is from Trennia @ Still Serving Him Through The Storm. Thank You so much Trennia, this is so very sweet of you!

One Lovely Blog Award

There are some rules that come with receiving this award : One Lovely Blog Award.

Claim your award

Post it on your blog along with the name of the person who gave it to you. Linking it to that person's blog.

Pass this award to 15 newly discovered blogs that you find.
Now don't forget to contact the recipients.

Now the hard part is picking my favorite 15 blogs.

Here they are in no particular order:

1. Holly @ Caring For Carleigh

2. Kelly @ The Beauty Of Sufficient Grace

3. Jenilee @ The Goodwin Family

4. Amy @ Raising Arrows

5. Patrice @ Williams Family Blog

6. Sandy @ One Day At A Time

7. Angie @ Ponder The Path Of Thy Feet

8. Ange @ A Heart At Home

9. September @ One September Day

10. Pam @ Life As Pam

11. Candace @ Living With Faith

12. Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend

13. Kristy @ Waiting For Happy

14. Linda @ Truthful Tidbits

15. Lynnette @ Dancing Barefoot On Weathered Ground

The Second Award I received was the Friend Award given to me by Angie @ Ponder The Path Of Thy Feet.

Friend Award

This award is bestowed on to blogs that are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to six bloggers who must choose six more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award.

Thanks Angie for thinking of me, I appreciate it so much!

I am giving this award to :

1. Trennia @ Still Serving Him Through The Storm

2. Ange @ A Heart At Home

3. Holly @ Caring For Carleigh

4. Kelly @ The Beauty Of Sufficient Grace

5. Jenilee @ The Goodwin Family

6. September @ One September Day

Congratulations to each of you! I enjoy your blogs so much!



Monday, August 24, 2009

A New Year

Each Fall at the start of a new school year, it seems like New Year's to me! Each child is starting a new grade and new books. We buy new supplies like pencils, notebooks, crayons, markers, and anything else they might need.

I was hoping to start school today, but that is not going to happen. We have been a bit busy and I do not have everything ready. Hopefully I can get things ready today and we can start tomorrow. The children are definitely ready! All of the school systems in our area have already started . The kids have run out of things to do, and I believe getting back to a more structured day will be welcome.

Matthew 11, Samuel 9, Anna 7, and Luke 5 participated in "Moses, The Musical" at our church this past weekend. They had presentations on Saturday and Sunday night. They are a bit worn out to say the least. The week before they had practice every evening. Then there were dress rehearsals Friday night and Saturday morning. They have worked so hard and did a wonderful job!

This is the third year in a row that our Children's Department at our Church has done a musical. Last year it was on Esther, and the year before it was on David. Our Children's Pastor is Young, Energetic and FULL of energy! These musicals are done with a bit of humor added to them. Our Children's Pastor writes these musicals along with a team of people, most of whom are his relatives. They are quite a talented group of people!

My five year old son, Luke, was a little shy participating. Once they started practicing in the auditorium, it was a bit difficult to get him to participate. We even resorted to bribing him, which didn't work very well. We did learn if we dropped him off and left him he ended up participating better. The first night of the presentation he ran right in and got his costume on and went right at it. The second night didn't go so well at first. There were numerous people who were trying to encourage him, but he wasn't having any of it. Time was running out and he was not budging.

All of the younger children were plagues. Luke was supposed to be a gnat. He really wanted to be a frog. So the first night he was a gnat and did a great job! Here he is as a gnat.

Luke is on the far right

So the second night when he wouldn't participate and everyone was trying to encourage him , I was talking to the lady in charge of costumes about how he wanted to be a frog. She said well, we have an extra frog costume so he could be one! She told the Children's Pastor and he told Luke he could be a frog. Well, that changed his mind really fast! Here is Luke as a frog.

I bet you didn't know that plagues could be so cute!

Matthew as Buffalo Bill posing with his little brother Micah

My beautiful daughter as a mean guard. This is the part she wanted!

Unfortunately I do not have a picture of Samuel. My pictures that I took during the play didn't turn out. After the play, he changed out of his costume before I could get his picture and he refused to put it back on. At least I do have him on video.

It was a lot of fun and we really enjoyed it, but is also nice for it to be over. We have to drive 45 minutes to get to church, so we have been racking up the mileage recently. Dinner time has been chaotic and most nights we had to eat sandwiches or something easy. I look forward to a more normal schedule this week!

Well, I better be off to work on getting things ready for school to begin! I have a lot to do, and I need to get the children to help get the house picked up and in some form of order! Sounds like a fun day planned, doesn't it?



Friday, August 21, 2009

Walking With You

Walking With You was created by Kelly at The Beauty of Sufficient Grace to help support those who have lost a child. Together we share our stories, helpful information, scriptures, encouraging words, prayer requests, and more.

This week, Kelly is sharing some commonly asked questions about grieving the loss of a child...and some answers. We are to blog about a similar topic...or share what is on our heart this week.

I am just going to share what is on my heart today.

Last weeks post seems to have stirred up some emotions in me. Life keeps me pretty busy, so I think that I am not always given the opportunity to think my own thoughts. For some reason, even after almost 10 months of Faith being gone, this week I have really been missing her more. I want to be taking care of a baby along with all my other responsibilities.

I would like more than almost anything to have one more healthy pregnancy, but the reality of that is seeming to pass away. I am not totally giving up, but I am giving that over to God and trying to rest in Him!

At the same time I seem to be feeling angry about Faith being gone. I love God and know that He knows what is best for me, but right now I am a bit angry that Faith is gone. I don't like the feeling, but it is just the way it is. I know God sees the whole picture, so right now I have to put my trust in Him.

After Faith was gone, I had to deal with returning the beautiful outfits that friends had given to me. I also had bought her a few things, so I personally had to return those things to the store. One clerk had asked me if there was anything wrong with the outfit. I wanted so badly to tell her that my baby was dead and that I did not need it anymore, but I just said no. I so badly wanted to tell her about Faith, but I didn't want to make her uncomfortable.

I have a necklace that has a charm for each of my children. Right before Christmas I went to Kohl's to buy a charm for Faith. The clerk asked me if I was buying this for someone else. I actually felt comfortable telling her about Faith and she was so sweet. I have seen her a few times since then and she always says Hi and asks me why I am not wearing my necklace. I really appreciate her tenderness towards me. It is people like her that make life just a little bit easier.

There is so much disappointment when you lose a child. The hopes and dreams that come along with expecting that child are gone. Then you have to deal with the grief associated with that loss. If you have children, then you have to deal with their grief also. Yes, it does get a little less painful as time goes on, but I believe that I will never be the same person I was before we lost Faith.

I have a pain in my heart that I am sure will never go away. I guess I do not want it to go away either, so that I will always remember Faith. I also feel that it is making me a better person. I believe that I have more compassion for others, especially when it comes to the loss of a child. Faith was a part of me and always will be.

Prayer request: That God will help me work through this anger and resolve it to his Glory. Also that my husband's job will remain stable. That God would find favor with him and keep his job safe. The company that he works for has gone through different stages of layoffs and now there are more expected.



Tuesday, August 18, 2009

MckLinky Blog Hop ~ Strawberry Pretzel Jello

This is a recipe that I received originally from my cousin several years ago. I had not made this in a few years but I was reintroduced to it recently by a friend from church. She brings it to most potluck dinners and it is usually gone really fast. I try to get some of this before any other food because it is so good and I want to make sure I can get some!

The only difference in my cousin's recipe and my friend's recipe is the first layer. My cousin uses 2 cups of pretzels and my friend's uses 1 cup of pretzels and 1 cup of pecans. I borrowed this picture to show you what it looks like. It is a pretty dessert and oh so yummy! I need to start taking pictures of the food I prepare in case I want to share the recipe. Anyway, Enjoy!

Strawberry Pretzel Jello

First Layer:

1 Cup of Crushed Pretzels
1 Cup of Finely Crushed Pecans
3 Tablespoons of Sugar
1 Stick of Butter (melted)

Combine together and press into the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool completely then add second layer.

Second Layer:

1 8 Ounce Package of Cream Cheese (room temperature)
1 Cup of Powdered Sugar
8 Ounces of Cool Whip

Cream together the cream cheese and powdered sugar then stir in the cool whip.

Third Layer:

2 10 Ounce Packages of Sweetened Frozen Strawberries (thawed)
1 6 Ounce Package of Strawberry Jello
2 Cups of Boiling Water

Dissolve the jello in the boiling water. Stir in the Strawberries. Put in Refrigerator until partially set then add on top of second layer. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.

MckLinky Blog Hop



Saturday, August 15, 2009

Walking With You ~ Things People Say

Walking With You was created by Kelly at The Beauty of Sufficient Grace to help support those who have lost a child. Together we share our stories, helpful information, scriptures, encouraging words, prayer requests, and more.

This week we are sharing some of the things that people said to us while we were in the throws of grief...for better or for worse.

When I had my miscarriages and when I lost Faith I was hurt by some of the things people had to say. I realize they meant well, but I felt as though they really didn't think through what they actually had said.

"It was for the best" or "God needed another Angel" or "At least you have other children."

OK, Why was it for the best? What exactly does that mean or what does that imply? I trust God for his plan for my life, and I want his best, but saying that "it was for the best" is just not comforting.

The statement that "God needed another angel" does not sit right with me either. First of all I needed her. I have felt immense pain from losing her. She has been gone over 9 months now, but she is still always on my mind. I also know that she is not an angel in Heaven. God never said that humans would turn into angels. She is is Heaven with Jesus safe in his arms, but she is not an angel.

Yes, I do have other living children, but that does not make it easier. This baby was wanted so very much also. She was loved, we were expecting her arrival. Don't take me wrong, I am extremely Thankful that God gave me 10 children to bring home and love. I don't want to take that for granted at all, but please don't try to comfort me by saying that I have other children.

I know that I have found it awkward to try to comfort someone while they were grieving. To be plain honest I have found it quite uncomfortable. After losing Faith, I believe that I feel a little bit better about this. I know that a hug goes a long way. I have learned just be a good friend. You don't have to have any magic words to say. Cards to say that you are thinking about the person, that you are praying for them mean a whole lot.

Other than my husband and my children, I have received the most support from my bloggy friends, most of whom have experienced loss also. Most others do not realize that the grief continues. It seems that once you have a funeral and a burial that, that is it, it's over. Well, it has really just begun. They are afraid to talk about her or ask me how I am doing. It seems to me that I am supposed to be over this and forget about it.

Let me tell you, I will never forget about Faith. She is a part of me, she always will be. I longed to hold her in my arms. I got to hold her, but her body was limp. It was so heart breaking because when she was born, there was no life.

I had numerous ultrasounds when she was alive. I saw her moving around, I saw her sweet little face. One of the last ultrasounds I had, the tech mentioned her sweet little lips. She definitely looked like one of my babies.

Yes, the pain is not as raw now, but my heart still aches for my baby. I should have a nine month old, instead of a grave marker.

Next time you encounter someone who is grieving, please be careful with your words, but do love on them and let them know you are praying for them.

I enjoyed Holly's post on this subject and recommend you go and read it also. She shares some do's and don'ts for providing support. Please go to Holly's blog and read her post.

God is good and he knows what he is doing. I trust him with my life. I do not always like what he chooses, but I trust him. I am Thankful for all that he has done in my life. I could not imagine life without him. He has been right beside me along the way.



Tuesday, August 11, 2009

MckLinky Blog Hop ~ Favorite Photo

"These Are The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything!" This is my three youngest sons being Pirates!

MckLinky Blog Hop



My Trip Back Home

I have been home for over 2 weeks now, but I wanted to share a little about my trip.

I had a nephew who got married on July 10th. My 2 oldest sons were groomsmen, my 7 year old daughter was the flower girl, and my 17 year old son was in charge of the music.

Congratulations Jon and Rachel

The Beautiful Flower Girl

This is what my youngest thought of the Wedding!

Hubby was not able to go due to work, and my 16 year old daughter was going to the TBQ National Competition in St Louis Missouri.The rest of us loaded up into 3 separate vehicles and made our way to Virginia. My son Jeremy brought his girlfriend and my son Tim brought his Fiance. So we still had 12 people to lodge at my Mom's house.

We arrived there on a Wednesday and the Wedding was on Friday.The older boys and their "girls" and my 17 year old son stayed until Sunday and then made their way home. That left me with my 6 youngest children. I ended up staying for two and a half weeks. We usually only get to visit there once, sometimes twice a year, so I wanted to be able to stay for a while.

My Family lives in Virginia, just out of Washington DC. I really wanted to take the children into DC to see some sights, but I came up with too many excuses. For one, it was very hot while we were there and it can be plain miserable walking for hours in the extreme heat and humidity. During the week I didn't have another adult to help me out, so I was a little overwhelmed taking 6 kids sightseeing by myself. Of course during the weekend it would be way too crowded to enjoy anything!

I will definitely have to make it a priority to take them next time we go and I have Mike with me. We have taken some of the kids before, but it had been quite a long time. I am not sure who has been, and who has not at this point.

We did go to a few places of interest in the area. One was Great Falls on the Virginia side. I used to go there as a kid quite a bit. It is a really pretty place, but it even more so when it rains a lot more and the water is higher. They haven't had a lot of rain this year.

We went to National Harbor which is actually in Maryland. The kids enjoyed walking around and seeing the sights. They have a little park there that has this statue thing that is a huge man that is "under" the sand. It is called the awakening. It is like he is buried in the sand and trying to get out. The kids had fun climbing on it.

Most of our gang

One of the legs

A foot

A hand

My beautiful daughter inside the mouth

My mom and my sister with her 2 kids joined us on these trips. My mom and my sister both have to use wheelchairs, so we have to have helpers with getting the wheelchairs in and out of the cars and someone to push both of them. I have a niece who lives with my Mom and she is the sight seeing expert. She is the one who gets us to where we need to go. Too bad she works a full time job! Her younger sister also came along on many of our trips to be a "helper."

I got to meet my new great niece while I was there. She was born in April. She is beautiful and sweet. I enjoyed holding her. I was afraid it would be hard, but it was quite the opposite. It really felt good. I believe that there was some healing that came along with holding her. Her mom (my niece) was born just a couple of weeks before I got married. Wow, time flies!

We also had a shower for my other niece who is expecting in September. She is having a girl also. It was fun to see all the cute stuff that she got for the baby.It was nice to visit with relatives that I rarely get to see.

My children played with my cousin's kids almost every night. They played cops and robbers until about 11pm each night. That was probably the highlight of the trip for my kids. That had a blast and got to stay up really late.

I really didn't want to do much. I was content just sitting and talking with my Mom. Family means a lot to me, and I wish I could live closer and spend more time with them. They will have the opportunity to come visit us in January for my son's Wedding.



Sunday, August 9, 2009

Walking With You ~ Sibling Grief / The Next Pregnancy

Walking With You was created by Kelly at The Beauty of Sufficient Grace to help support those who have lost a child. Together we share our stories, helpful information, scriptures, encouraging words, prayer requests, and more.

This week, we are sharing about the effect our loss(es) had on our children. If you did not have children at the time of your loss, we are also sharing about subsequent pregnancies (after the loss). If you have not had a pregnancy following the loss, yet, you may share your feelings about facing your next pregnancy.

Grieving as a parent is hard enough in itself. It takes a lot of your time and energy. When you add 10 children that are grieving it can be quite stressful. After we lost Faith it seemed that suddenly there was a bit more tension in our house.

In the very early days I could hardly deal with my own grief, let alone the grief of my children. I did, however, want to be open with them and talk about it whenever they wanted.

One of the first days at home my three year old son was sitting on my lap and asked me “Why did your baby die?” I was kind of taken off guard and burst into tears. My seven year old daughter said “now look what you have done!” I told her it was OK and I wanted to talk about it.

The three year old (now four year old) has talked about Faith quite a bit. He was looking forward to having a baby sister. Sometimes when he sees other people with babies he tells them his baby died. I am thrilled that he wants to talk about it. We talk about Faith being in Heaven with Jesus. There is something so precious about the innocence of a young child.

The other children age 11 and younger have talked a little about Faith, but they seem a little shy about it. I could tell that they too were grieving in their own way. One thing I know is that my children have always loved adding a new sibling to the family. There were so excited to meet Faith. This was a huge disappointment to them.

It seems as though losing Faith really hit my seven year old daughter quite a bit. She does not have a baby sister and she wanted this baby to be a girl so bad. Right after the memorial service she just sat and cried. It really broke my heart.

This picture always brings tears to my eyes.

I know that the older children have been grieving in their own way. They have occasionally asked me questions about Faith. They were pretty shaken up over her death. They just found ways to keep busy and for the most part keep their minds off of it.

Then there is the subject of having another baby. First I would like to say that I am open to that idea. I am now 45 so that would definitely be up to the Lord. I know that he can make that happen if that is his plan. I would be so happy if that happened, but I am learning to trust God to help me be content with whatever he has in store.

My doctor is on my side. She would love for me to have another baby so that I could end my childbearing years on a happy note. It is so refreshing having a doctor that is so positive about life. She has definitely been a blessing in my life!

Psalm 34:18
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Romans 15:13
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.



Thursday, August 6, 2009

Linking Up ~ Ten Interesting/Not So Interesting Things About Me

I am linking up with Lynnette Kraft from Dancing Barefoot on Weathered Ground. She invited us to share ten Interesting things about ourselves so we can get to know each other better.

1) I have been married to my wonderful hubby for 25 years. We were engaged within 4 months of dating. We were married exactly a year after we started dating. We knew we were meant for each other. I totally believe God put us together.

2) I have 10 living children and 3 in heaven. I love children and would love to have more, but that is totally in God's hands since I am 45!

3) I home school my children. My oldest 2 are in college, so this school year I will have 7 in school. Please pray for me!

4) I am originally from Virginia, and I would love to move back some day. My mom and all of my siblings still live there and I would love to be able to spend more time with them. I usually only get to see them once a year, sometimes twice.

5) I love pictures! I like to look at pictures and I like to take them. My hearts desire is to be able to get a really good camera someday and to take a photography class to learn all that I can to know how to take really good pictures.

6) I love flowers! Every Spring I buy too many flowers to plant. I always say I am going to cut back, but I see too many things that I just have to have! I am slowly trying to add perennials so that I will have less to plant each year.

7) I am usually a "go with the flow" kind of person. I am not organized, at least like I want to be. I know I could use more structure in my life, but is very difficult for me. With that said, I have some ideas I want to put into place for this school year! Watch out kids!

8) I am a procrastinator by nature. I seem to work better under pressure. I wish that I would quit putting myself under so much pressure!

9) I am definitely a night owl. I would rather stay up really late and sleep in late! Right now I am trying to work on that. My hubby has to get up early so he has to go to bed a lot earlier. He would prefer for me to go to bed earlier for different reasons, but one being that I will not disturb his sleep when I finally get into bed. I am also trying to work on being on a better schedule in preparation for the new school year.

10) I love the Beach! I would love to spend my summer at the beach. Just laying around in the sun, walking along the shore, riding the waves. My idea summer would be spending everyday at the beach. Unfortunately living in Kentucky, I rarely ever see the beach. Did I mention rarely? My hubby is not a beach person and that is not his idea of having fun. Usually our vacation time is spent visiting relatives.

So there you go! Now you know a little more about me. Head over to Lynnette's to join in on the fun!



Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Mclinky Blog Hop ~ An Encouraging Word

Let's Face it, life can be really hard sometimes. In fact, it can be just plan difficult. I don't know about you, but I have faced some really tough times. God never promised that life would be easy sailing, he promised he would be with us along the way.

I grew up in the church, and I personally acepted Christ as my Saviour at the age of 11. I have always believed that he was there and would take care of me. He has always been there for me and picks me up when life just gets too hard.

Here are a couple of Scriptures that often help me when I am down.

Isaiah 40:31 (New International Version)
but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (New International Version)
Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.

As you can see, hoping and trusting in the Lord are key to living life. He will bring us strength to carry on. When we are trusting in Him and acknowledge him in our lives he will direct our way.

If you do not have your Hope in this Everlasting God, I invite you to do so today. I could not imagine facing life without him.

I have enjoyed this song by Chris Tomlin recently. It reminds me that I will receive strength as I wait upon the Lord. He Reigns Forever, He is my Strong Deliverer, He is the Everlasting God!

MckLinky Blog Hop