Archive for the ‘family life’ Category

Well, look who’s blogging!

I dug into my archives today, looking for exact birth stats for some of my kids (I knew my blog wouldn’t let me down!), and I was so delighted to read the detailed entries I posted up until their births. In the years before Facebook became a common way to connect, people followed me via my blog. I reached out via my blog. I recorded a lot more! It was my journal.

I miss that. I can’t promise I’ll blog daily again, but I would like to try to record some thoughts today, as I look forward to the birth of our seventh baby.

This pregnancy has both flown by and dragged on. Such is the case when you already have six children to care for. Physically, I am very ready for this little guy to be born. My body is tired, I’m not sleeping well, etc. I’ve had a lot more heartburn this time than with most others (except Ellery), so I half expect a redhead. (After her pregnancy, I read a study that correlated heartburn in pregnancy with redheaded babies! Really!) I’m ready to get my body back and exercise comfortably and have energy again. My core was in pretty poor shape prior to this (somewhat surprise) pregnancy, and now it’s just plain shot. I have diastasis recti and an umbilical hernia. I’m honored and blessed to have been able to grow one nearly-term and six full-term babies in this body; it’s truly an amazing miracle that I do not take lightly. But the result of that is a tired core that could have used some care and repair between babies. I’m guilty; I didn’t do enough. I’m looking forward to a restful post partum/babymoon period and then gently working my core back into shape. Whether or not God blesses us with more babies, this body needs to be strong to keep up with the seven I’ve already got!

Emotionally, I’m also ready to hold my son. I can’t wait to see what he looks like. We have such a genetic diversity in our family that the most fun part of seeing our newest child is discovering his features! The three sons we already have couldn’t be more varied physically if they tried: from almost-black brunette to bleach blond to light brown hair; from almost-black to bright blue to hazel-green eyes – those boys are a rainbow. I love it. I love them. It makes it likely, then that this 4th son will resemble one or more of this brothers. There aren’t a lot of choices left! If he has red hair and bright green eyes, we will truly have covered it all. I know the first couple of weeks just fly by – oh, how I know! – and I want to rush to get there and THEN hit the pause button and just savor this new guy. My babies grow so very fast that I have to sit and just stare at them every day those first weeks to truly take it all in.

Logistically, I’m not really ready. I have more organizing and cleaning to do in our master bedroom. We had some basement plumbing and water issues last month, and we are still putting things back together from that (both financially and furniture-wise!) and the house hasn’t felt fully clean since everything blew up. There are dozens of small home projects that both Jason and I would love to complete before the baby comes. But really, we know it’s not going to happen. We just want to feel more clean & organized and then enjoy our new boy.

The kids are so excited. Well, except Lyra. She just turned two Sunday (!!) and has NO IDEA how much her life is going to change. She’s very much the baby, and doesn’t even like it when I hold one of her brothers on my lap to read, so having a baby that doesn’t leave is going to shock her a bit. She does like to see babies, though, so I have hope that she will surprise me with her adjustment. She is the youngest to become an older sibling in our family (the other kids are all 2 yrs. 2 mos. – 2 yrs. 8 mos apart) so developmentally, I don’t think she grasps anything yet. The older kids are anxious to hold him, know his name, and even witness his labor. Maya (13) has witnessed three of her siblings’ births and wants to be present for this one. Ellery (11) wants to be around but isn’t sure she wants to be present for the actual birth. Asher (8) claims he wants to watch, but I’m not sure he knows enough about birth yet to make that decision. I made the girls watch birth videos before they decided in prior births, so perhaps that’s the way to go with him. I’d better get on that.

The younger kids will likely hang out at a friend’s house if it’s daytime. I kinda hope it’s nighttime so they can just sleep and wake up to a new baby, easy peasy (for them!). Lyra is extremely shy, so I don’t think she’ll do well at another home, and thus she’ll stay home with Ellery caring for her. At least that’s the plan.

In terms of progress: last week at 37 weeks, 1 day, I was 1.5 cm diated, 40% effaced, -1 station. I was surprised by how closed I was! And I was surprised again today, at 38 weeks even, to find that I’m only 2 cm, 70% effaced, and cervix quite posterior. I’ve never been less than a stretchy 3 cm at 38 weeks, that I can recall. (Gotta go back and read more blog archives, I guess!). And remember, I was 5 cm+, 75% effaced, and waters bulging at this stage with Asher! I’ve been crampy and having irregular contractions/prodromal labor for the past two weeks, so I expected more. I’m always more open and effaced at this point. I know, intellectually, that numbers don’t mean much and I could still give birth any time now, but I also have my prior six pregnancies to compare to. I am just always more physically ready at this point. Puzzling, isn’t it? I know myself well enough to know that all of my emotions are normal (I’m never going to have this baby, I’ll be pregnant forever, I can’t wait another 1-2 weeks, What if this means my labor will be longer/harder?). I’ve done this before. But it doesn’t negate that fact that the emotions/thoughts are really there, and I have to deal with them.

So now: my job is to be at peace. Be content with every single day this baby is cozy and healthy and safe inside me. Pray for his well being, for his safe arrival, and try to be present for my family as I await the birth (whenever it comes!). Besides my first, who was born at 35 weeks, 5 days, the earliest I’ve had a baby is 38 weeks, 5 days. That would be this coming Monday. And the, ahem, data seems to suggest we may have a bit longer to wait. Whatever, I can handle this. I’m going to spend tomorrow nesting a bit, spending extra quality time with my current baby, play games and read lots of books, tell my older kids how much I appreciate their help, remind my husband how much I love him…and I’m going to try very hard not to think about how I’m not in labor.

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Wanna have fun with your little ones? Our six-and-under set has been loving this no-spill bubble tub:

I used the bubble recipe on this page and it’s worked great. It’s been fun to see the three of them sharing and getting along so well – and no tears over spilled bubbles!

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Someone New

We are very happy to share that we are expecting our 7th baby to arrive sometime in late July/early August – and we just found out it’s a BOY!!

Baby 7 Mar-16 3

I am 19 weeks and enjoying the middle of this pregnancy – no longer sick (it was BAD this time) and not horribly enormous yet. My core and ab muscles are pretty shot from all of those babies, so I’m wearing my belly support a little earlier this time. I am prone to headaches, but our amazing and miraculous chiropractor fixes that whenever they recur, so I’m feel pretty optimistic about that. Other than that, I feel great, and I’m enjoying some regular exercise.

We are planning our 5th homebirth (we have also had one hospital birth and one freestanding birth center birth) – and for the first time, we are using a different midwife. Not by choice, but rather by necessity; our beloved Linda will be on vacation (how dare she?!) the week I am due! So we are going with the daughter of the other midwife that worked with Linda during Ellery’s pregnancy (both of whom missed her birth entirely). We like Hannah very much and look forward to working with her.

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We had our first day of (home)school on September 2, 2014. After a two week break due to the pukeys (so fun with such a big family!!) and getting our “old” house on the market, we’re back at it. I will try to update with a homeschool curriculum post soon, but for now, here’s a pic of my students for this year – our first year on the front steps of our new house. Sniff. Bittersweet!

From L-R: Silas (2), Ellery (9 - 4th grade), Callan (4 - preK), Maya (11 - 6th grade), Lyra (six weeks!), Asher (6 - 1st grade)

From L-R: Silas (2), Ellery (9 – 4th grade), Callan (4 – preK), Maya (11 – 6th grade), Lyra (six weeks!), Asher (6 – 1st grade)

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Lyra Lucia

We had a baby! Lyra Luca was born at home on July 17, 2014 at 12:34 p.m. (coolest time: 1-2-3-4, get it?). She was 7 lbs. 2 oz., 20″ long, and was born in just over two hours with one push. We moved into our new house just three days before she was born and are still recovering. 🙂 Our old split entry 1975 farmhouse has been completely renovated and is on the market – stay tuned for a post on that!

Lyra is precious, growing fast, and completely adored around here. Thanks be to God for His wonderful gifts! (Follow me on Instagram if you’d like more updates than what you’re getting on the blog lately. 🙂

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A Summer Baby

Say hello to Baby Tomato, around 9.5 weeks gestation:


I am currently 14 weeks pregnant and feeling less like death warmed over. But not much. Baby Tomato is due in July (tomato season, see?) and I’m looking forward to my first summer birth. Maybe an outside one? (Let’s not dwell on the HOT that is a summer pregnancy. Nope.) The girls are lobbying for a girl, and the boys want a boy, of course. We grown ups are praying for healthy and full term.

We are all doing well and finally using that lower level family room that we started working on last spring. It’s great!


I am currently sipping tea and hiding under a blanket. There be sub-zero wind chills and blizzard-like conditions out there, yo. Stay warm!

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Not Moving

Life is a roller coaster, is it not?

What we thought was a sure thing (moving to town behind the church where my husband is assistant pastor) turned out not to be. Thankfully, we are fairly good at rolling with the punches. We are at peace with our decision to walk away from the house. There was a huge lack of trust that developed after the inspection revealed some big misrepresentations in the real estate listing. We couldn’t get to a price that we all agreed with. And so we terminated our agreement.

We are truly grateful for the chance to step back and reflect. It allowed us to think, pray, ponder…and we realized the house was no longer worth it for us. God is good and we are fine. We look forward to finishing up the projects we have here at the country house and staying here as long as we can. When I see the kids wander our acreage, exploring and playing together, I know we will be just fine.

To close, a letter my husband wrote to the congregation this week:

Dear beloved friends:

If you have not heard me say it yet, our family is very grateful for the congregation’s agreement to sign the purchase agreement for us to get the yellow house through [church lending institution]. We are humbled and grateful. The extra work required of church staff, the prayers, and the special voters’ assembly touched us with your love and care in a very special way.

Unfortunately, I need to write you now to tell you that the deal is not going to go through. The inspections have been completed, some negotiations followed, and the result is that the agreement has been terminated.

Sometimes, the shortest path between two points is a zigzag, as the people of Israel discovered in their trek from Egypt to Sinai, and later to Canaan. The move to the yellow house seemed to be a clear path for us to live closer to the hub of church ministry, to have a better arrangement for family bedrooms and storage, and to reduce our monthly expenses. It turned out not to be the path we were to take, though I am confident that God will use the experience to help our family clarify our desires and goals for any future housing improvements or changes.

Thank you for your patience during this process. We never intended to draw the whole congregation into an experience of disappointment. We were excited about what we thought was going to happen, but God surely has better plans in mind.

You may be interested in learning more details of why we are not getting the home. Publicly, I will limit my comments to this: The inspections uncovered that the home would have required more work and expense than we initially expected and the listing initially indicated. We could not come to an agreement on a reduced price and we were not comfortable with the amount of work that would be needed.

Please continue to pray for our family’s wisdom in housing decisions; and please accept my personal apology for any confusion or disappointment this whole experience has caused.

In Christ and for the making of mighty messengers,

Pastor Jason

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