Wednesday, July 5, 2017


Five years.

Every year around May/June and I am overwhelmed with the heaviness of the fact that our daughter isn't here with us.  It surprises me.  I don't know why I am surprised. I think because the pain isn't like when we first got her diagnosis or when she was born and passed away.  I guess I don't expect that heaviness to descend at all.  But it does.  Not all the time, mind you.  More like moments.  I can be happy and in a great mood one minute and then just teary and weepy the next.  Or cranky.  Or mad.  Take your pick.  My family is amazing and so supportive.  I am thankful that my kids are quick to forgive and give extra hugs and Shane is so patient with my indecisiveness and moods.

I haven't thought as much this year about what Ella would be doing at five years old.  I just miss her.  I notice every single time someone says something about my "four kids." I even give pause when I say it (note: it's OK to say it, do not worry about it if you say it.  I say it too!).  I silently correct those words. No.  It should be five.  Five kids.  I have FIVE kids.  But it's not that way.  I have four children here with me every day and one that I will be with someday.

This year the way that July 5th is falling, it's going to be a normal day.  It's in the middle of the week and life goes on.  Work has to happen.   I know this.  I know that it cannot always be special and set aside to remember her.   And I am not even sure it has to. But it still is hard.  I remind myself that I can remember her any day and that just because we have to do daily tasks on her birthday doesn't mean it's not important.  It always seems like the days leading up to July 5th are harder anyway.  I remember waiting.  I remember Grandma Shirley coming down to be with us and the dr. apt where they said my blood pressure was high.  I remember eating lunch at camp then coming home to lay down and getting the call.  Come to the hospital.  The baby needs to come.  Come now.  Happy 4th of July.

It's easy to dwell on the awfulness of that time and I sometimes find myself going back to the "what ifs" of those few days.  There is no healing or help in that.  But what I need to remind myself is how the Lord showed up in such amazing ways on those days.  That Grandma Shirley knew to come at that time to be there for Grace and Graham.  That my parents dropped everything and came down and just waited.  That my sister came which allowed all the grandparents to come and meet Ella.  That I was so upset knowing each day was closer to my due date but that the Lord chose her birth day, exactly when He wanted it.  We prayed that she be born alive, and He was so, so gracious to give us that gift.  We had peace for each decision that was made in those few days and that was only from Him.

Shane's vow that the Lord be glorified through Ella's life has rang true over and over.  I read this quote the other day.

While he can be glorified in life's peaks, he is MOST glorified in our brokeness because we're reminded of his steadfast love, his enduring faithfulness, and what it looks like to trust his sovereignty in situations we flat out don't understand.

This.  This is it.  I don't understand why I don't get to have five kids running around my house.  I don't understand why Ella's life was so short, but my prayer is that in my brokenness He will shine through me and be glorified because I trust in Him.
Happy Birthday Ella,
Love, Mommy

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Indianapolis Zoo

 We were gifted some tickets to the Indianapolis Zoo so we went last Thursday.  I had only been once when Grace and Graham were little.  It was a great day!
 This picture tells the best story.  I wish I would have taken a video!  Gav was right up to the glass and this tiger walked right up by him then hit his head on the glass RIGHT where Gav was.  It made him scared and he jumped and fell back on his butt!  So funny!
 Daddy's favorite giraffes.
 The boys had a great time trying to run faster than a cheetah.  ;)

 This video was my favorite part of the day.  The Macaws fly from their enclosure about 1/4 mile away to this pavilion.  Completely on their own.  It was awesome.

 This is them taking off to go back to their home.  It was so neat to see this!
 Then we went to the butterfly garden where Gage couldn't get enough of the water displays.

 Here are videos of the boys "outrunning" the cheetahs!
Look at that stance!

Saturday, June 24, 2017

This one's for you...

This one is for you Aunt Michelle, one of our only lone readers who has stuck along with us.  ha ha!  :)
 Gagie is a walker now!  And by the looks of our house, he walks everywhere!

 He also loves to read.  It melts my heart when he climbs in my lap with a book. 💜

 Gracie turned 9!  More on her camping party soon!

 Both Grace and Graham played ball this spring which meant many hours at the park!
 Reviewing summer safety at the drs. office.  Ha!
 Gavin LOVES summer! ;)

Monday, February 20, 2017


 This sweetie has gotten little press here.  But he sure shines in our home!  Gage is full of life and laughter.  Nerf guns invaded our house at Christmas which means bullets EVERYWHERE.  Gage loves it and can often be found with one hanging out of his mouth like this.
 He has taken off in the last month.  He loves to explore and play.  He pulls himself up to anything and IN anything! :)
 He is very close to his first steps.  He will walk with your hands and is starting to venture into letting go just a bit.
With his newfound exploring attitude comes him getting into everything.  Which means his siblings have to find new ways to keep him away hence the stool barricade.  Look at that little guy trying to see what he is missing! :)

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Anyone still here?

I am going to try to bring up this blog.  I miss writing and sharing our lives.  Plus I'd love to someday make these into blog books to replace my old scrapbooks that are gathering dust somewhere!

 Look at this beauty.  Gracie is 8!  EIGHT!?  How did she get so big?  She is turning into such a little lady.  She loves adventures, using her imagination, and all things cats.  A stray showed up at our house last fall (she's super friendly so we think she was someones house cat).  When she didn't leave we adopted her as an outside cat and named her Callie.  Grace and Callie are BFF.  Grace has also decided she wants a cat collection of figurines and when she grows up she will have INSIDE cats.  :)
 Graham is 6.  He has the best heart and is always trying to help.  He's loving his snap circuits and magformers he got for Christmas.
 Gav is 3!  He started preschool a few weeks ago!  He's had in home speech therapy since Gage was 1 week old but he graduated and still needs some speech help so he goes to preschool two times a week and likes it so far!  He loves all things trains, and is starting to love Paw Patrol and Dinotrucks. He is silly and has such a funny personality.
And the caboose!  Gagie is 11 months and try as I might, I cannot stop time.  He has the funniest deepest laugh and loves following his siblings around.  He's pulling up to things and Grace taught him to take steps behind his walker!

We are still loving our little cabin in the woods and have made great connections with our homeschool community and our church.  I'm excited for this next year to see how our kids will grow. We also have some fun things coming up.  Shane and I are taking a walk to Emma's this year.  I am looking forward to that as well as celebrating 10 years together this spring!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Graham turns 6

We celebrated our six year old this summer! He wanted the family traditional pumpkin cake but I waited till the last minute and Walmart had no pumpkin! So he settled for chocolate and I found a recipe that adapted a boxed chocolate cake and it was so so good!