Monday, July 4, 2016

Four

Happy Birthday Ella!  You have been in heaven celebrating for four years.  Grace and Graham were asking about you the other day and wondering if God gives birthday parties in heaven.  I bet every day is a party right? :)

This has been a great year for us.  We added Gage to our family!  He is so sweet and having three boys is going to keep us on our toes.  I kind of like that Grace is my only girl here.  That makes it extra special that you are her sister in heaven.   And Gage has my straight hair which makes your curls all the most special too!

A few weeks ago, I gave away all of the baby girl clothes I had been keeping to a dear friend who had her first girl.  I am sad you didn't fill those clothes Ella, but I am so thankful to be able to share them with someone and I know her sweet girl will look so cute in them just as you would have.  It also felt good to be able to let them go.  Kind of freeing.  I don't need those clothes to remember Grace or even you.  And if we can bless someone even have as much as we have been blessed that I will do it. 
We have always spent your birthday as a family, quietly celebrating you.  I have so enjoyed that little tradition we started.  But this year we had an extra special opportunity.  We are going to spend your birthday week serving as a family at Royal Family Kids Camp.  The kids that will be there have not had the greatest family situations and they get to come and spend a week being treated like royalty and learning that they ARE royalty in God's kingdom.  And we will get to have a birthday party!  Our  friends and family have helped us give these kids a fantastic birthday party in memory of YOU!  Don't be mistaken Ella.  I wish that we could be planning your party this week.  But that isn't how it happened and so we will make the best of this situation and we will honor you by helping 24 little boys and girls have the greatest day ever.  I think that is pretty awesome.  
Ella,  I love you.  I love that I got to hold your sweet little hand and kiss your cheeks and hold you in my arms.  I love that I have those memories of you.   I love that the Lord has used your life to make a difference in the lives of others.  Just in the last few weeks I have had the opportunity to share your life with some other hurting mamas and while it is hard to know the pain they are going through, I will do whatever I can to help a family who has lost a baby because I know that hurt.

Sometimes we talk about the pain and sadness of those first few weeks after we found out about your diagnosis and then after we had you.  It was so crushing. It feels almost like it happened to someone else in a way.  I remember it so clearly yet here I am today.  Laughing and smiling with your sister and brothers and living life. There are times when the emotion and pain slip in and hurt so much that I just have to stop and be sad.  I try to find your daddy and get a good cry in and then I keep going.   I know that's how God wants it to be.  You will always be here with me.  I will always think of you my sweet girl.  And I am so grateful that I am not in that dark place right now. I am grateful that I have the assurance of your place in heaven and that we will someday celebrate your birthday together.

I love you Ella. So very much.  Happy fourth birthday.
Love,
Mama
xoxo

Four

Happy Birthday Ella!  You have been in heaven celebrating for four years.  Grace and Graham were asking about you the other day and wondering if God gives birthday parties in heaven.  I bet every day is a party right? :)

This has been a good year for us.  We added Gage to our family!  He is so sweet and having three boys is going to keep us on our toes.  I kind of like that Grace is my only girl here.  That makes it extra special that you are her sister in heaven.   And Gage has my straight hair which makes your curls all the more special too!

A few weeks ago, I gave away all of the baby girl clothes I had been keeping to a dear friend who had her first girl.  I am sad you didn't fill those clothes Ella, but I am so thankful to be able to share them with someone and I know her sweet girl will look so cute in them just as you would have.  It also felt good to be able to let them go.  Kind of freeing.  I don't need those clothes to remember Grace or even you.  And if we can bless someone even have as much as we have been blessed then I will do it. 
We have always spent your birthday as a family, quietly celebrating you.  I have so enjoyed that little tradition we started.  But this year we had an extra special opportunity.  We are going to spend your birthday week serving as a family at Royal Family Kids Camp.  The kids that will be there have not had the greatest family situations and they get to come and spend a week being treated like royalty and learning that they ARE royalty in God's kingdom.  And we will get to have a birthday party!  Our  friends and family have helped us give these kids a fantastic birthday party in memory of YOU!  Don't be mistaken Ella.  I wish that we could be planning your party this week.  But that isn't how it happened and so we will make the best of this situation and we will honor you by helping 24 little boys and girls have the greatest day ever.  I think that is pretty awesome.  
Ella,  I love you.  I love that I got to hold your sweet little hand and kiss your cheeks and hold you in my arms.  I love that I have those memories of you.   I love that the Lord has used your life to make a difference in the lives of others.  Just in the last few weeks I have had the opportunity to share your life with some other hurting mamas and while it is hard to know the pain they are going through, I will do whatever I can to help a family who has lost a baby because I know that hurt.

Sometimes we talk about the pain and sadness of those first few weeks after we found out about your diagnosis and then after we had you.  It was so crushing. It feels almost like it happened to someone else in a way.  I remember it so clearly yet here I am today.  Laughing and smiling with your sister and brothers and living life. There are times when the emotion and pain slip in and hurt so much that I just have to stop and be sad.  I try to find your daddy and get a good cry in and then I keep going.   I know that's how God wants it to be.  You will always be here with me.  I will always think of you my sweet girl.  And I am so grateful that I am not in that dark place right now. I am grateful that I have the assurance of your place in heaven and that we will someday celebrate your birthday together.

I love you Ella. So very much.
Happy fourth birthday.
Love,
Mama
xoxo

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Two months

writing this about 8 weeks late!!!

Gage's two month birthday came fast....  
At two months old he is 11lbs and loves to eat and be held. 
We are seeing these smiles all the time!!! Love him so...

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Homeschooling Moms

My friend Shiloh and I lead our local homeschool mom's meetings.  We plan a get together once a month to talk about a topic or idea.  This past meeting was our year end PARTY! 
We planned a summer fun theme and had fun getting some giveaways together.
We had about 25 moms there.  (can you find the one man?!)
We decided to do a summer word scramble as a little game...  I found one online but Shi said it was too easy so she made one up....
which ended up being too hard!  Ha!  We all got a good laugh about that! 
I am thankful to be doing life with these mamas and with this one who is a great friend. 

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Our Summer Plans

This summer our family will have the privilege to spend a week Camp Rivervale, while they begin a new ministry called Royal Kids Family Camp.  Royal Kids Family Camp’s purpose is to take foster children and give them an amazing experience at camp in a positive Christian atmosphere where the love of Christ shines.  These kids will come to camp at no cost to them and be filled with love, fun and many great memories.  Since these children often are coming out of very abusive and hard environments, every effort is made to ensure they feel safe, comfortable and loved. These students will experience swimming, rock wall climbing, group games, worship, and so much more.

Another highlight of the week will be the big birthday party! Many of these campers will not have experienced a true birthday party so we will have games, giant inflatables, wonderful decorations, cake, and of course presents.  Each child will receive a gift, brightly wrapped and ready for them to enjoy.  

This week is meaningful for us.  We are excited about this as the impact this camp can have on these precious kids is great.  Our family will spend the week at Rivervale and Shane and I plan on being stand ins when the counselors will take a much needed break for a few hours each day.  While we are there will will also celebrate 4 years of our daughter, Ella being in heaven (July 5).  We have taken past years to spend time together as a family on that day.  When this opportunity came up for us, we realized it is way to honor her by serving.

Since the birthday party is such a fun part of the week and during the week of Ella’s birthday, our family has committed to sponsoring the event.  We love this idea to honor her and celebrate her life, no matter how short it was, by allowing another child to feel loved and special as they are celebrated.  We have a goal of providing a party for 30 campers at $72 each.  The breakdown of this awesome “ROCK STAR” birthday party is:
Decorations- $140
Food- $250
Inflatables (including an obstacle course and a throne!)- $1,020
Gifts- $750
TOTAL: $2,160

We are writing you to ask if you would consider donating toward this worthy cause.  Any funds raised over our goal will go towards the cost of paying for camper expenses and/or scholarships (it costs roughly $500 per camper for this week of camp).

Our family will be donating to the Royal Kids birthday party because we believe in this cause and because we want to celebrate Ella by making a difference in the lives of others. Would you partner with us to honor Ella and share the love of Christ to these campers through their birthday party?  Our goal is to have the money raised no later than June 1st, 2016.
All donations are tax deductible.  

You may donate by check to the hosting church:
Jacob Finger United Methodist Church/RKFC
139 N. 8th Street
Mitchell, Indiana 47446
(Please include “Ella’s birthday gift” or “Ella Hartman” in the memo line)


If you prefer to pay by credit card you can go to www.impact2818.org/sites/rivervale/  
Click on “donate online”
Then choose Royal Kids Family Camp @RIvervale as your designation
(Please include “Ella’s birthday gift” or “Ella Hartman” in the comment section)


Thank you in advance, for prayerfully considering supporting Camp Rivervale and Royal Kids Family Camp.  We are praying for these campers and what God will do while they are at camp!

Blessings,


Shane, Shannon, Grace, Graham, Gavin and Gage Hartman

Siblings


Grace
Graham
Gabriella
Gavin
Gage

Friday, April 15, 2016

Introducing The Newest Hartman




My I present to you (very late!) the newest Hartman.  Gage Wesley Hartman joined us at 1:04 on Tuesday, March 8, 2016.
I went in on that Monday at 40 weeks and 5 days.  I had wanted to go into labor but when our Dr. offered induction I said YES. ;)  I had taken Shane with me to that appointment to have him help and tell the Dr. we wanted to wait it out but I didn't even give him the chance. Ha!

The induction took ALL day.  I thought I was never going to progress!  I had little problems though and it was peaceful.  

Gage weighed 8lbs 7 oz and was 21 inches long.   I have shared on here before how I didn't get to see Ella's feet.  I'll never take these little tootsies for granted. 


We delivered Gage, celebrated him, and then I ate!  I WAS SO hungry.  Ha!  Then we all got to sleep.  Since we didn't tell anyone that he was a boy we wanted to tell the kids first.  So family all just got a "baby is here and all is good" text. 

Visiting hours weren't till 10 am so people had to wait a long time!  The kids were so excited!  It was sweet to see them hold Gage. 

My heart grew for another little one that day.  We didn't really plan on having Gage but the Lord had other plans.  I was holding him and burst into tears.  I didn't even know I needed him in my life that much until I was looking at his sweet little face. 
Clearly, he looks like his brothers!  Gracie and Ella had lighter hair and the boys all had this dark hair.  Gavin had more but Graham had about this amount. 



We are so blessed to have this little one.  It makes life crazier but I wouldn't have it any other way.