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Archive - May, 2008

Video: Scary Monster

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Ella is the scary monster!

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Video: Pick which one

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Mommy’s bath or Ella’s bath?
Click hereor watch below.

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Video: Bringing Seth Home

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It was a great day.  See the highlights.  

iPhone users can click here.

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I Am Strong in the Lord

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In the wee hours of the morning following Seth’s birth, I found myself alone and afraid in a cold, dark hospital room. Despite comforting words from nurses and doctors, and Joel being just a phone call away, I don’t think that I’ve ever felt so alienated. My only comfort came from clinging to God’s Word- and I mean that literally. I held my Bible against my chest while I tried to sleep, with fears, anxieties and stereotypes dancing through my head. At 4 am and with no chance of sleeping, all that I could think of was a song written by my sweet friend Star Smith that I clung to during dark days throughout our time of waiting- “I Am Strong in the Lord.” (If it’s not in your iTunes library, I highly recommend you download “I Am Strong in the Lord” by The Smith Band. It will bless your socks off.)

It's just the beginning for Seth and Ella

So, I pulled out my iPod and found the song. Turning it on and just opening the Word of God, I sobbed. I wept. I cried out to the Lord. “Why Seth? Why our son? Why does he have to have Downs? How am I supposed to do this? How can I give him what he needs when I feel like I haven’t even mastered mothering a perfectly normal toddler? How is this going to change Joel and me? How will people treat us? How will people treat him? I don’t want to do this, Lord. It’s going to be hard and it’s going to hurt.” I closed my eyes and with tears streaming I sang these words:

I am strong in the Lord and in the power of His might
I confess that my strength comes from Him.
On my own, I am weak, and I cannot see to fight
But my strength- it comes from the Lord.

I lift my eyes up, where does my help come from?
It comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and maker of earth.
He is the fortress of salvation for His children as they cry
You are the Lord and you are the strength, the strength of my life.

You held out your hand and your healing power
Causing my eyes to see
You poured out your Word in my darkest hour
Teaching my heart to see

That I am strong in the Lord and in the power of His might
I confess that my strength comes from Him.
On my own, I am weak, and I cannot see to fight
But my strength- it comes from the Lord.

Once again, I felt His supernatural peace and healing wash over me- I felt His presence heavy upon me as I sat there in my bed and just worshipped Almighty God. How humbled I am that the God of all the universe is interested in helping me walk through this. I am not alone- I am not alienated. No, I am even more aware now of His help and His love for me and Seth. I furiously scribbled these words in the back of my Bible, knowing full well these words were from the Lord and were direction for me in how to walk through the unknown days ahead. I searched my concordance for the word “strong” and reflected on the following:

Deuteronomy 31:6- Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of this, for the Lord your God goes with you. He will never leave you nor forsake you.

Proverbs 18:10- The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.

1 Corinthians 16:13- Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10- “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Ephesians 6:10- Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.

Praise you, Lord Jesus! You are my strength- and I don’t have to try to do it by myself. You are my fortress that I will run to every day. It’s neat how the Lord prepared Joel and I for this in the months, weeks and days leading up to Seth’s birth. I was studying in Ecclesiastes 3 the days before delivery- where Solomon talks about how there is a time for everything. A time to weep and a time to laugh stands out (vs 4), appropriately. Surely, the Lord promises us in Psalm 30:5, “weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” With no physical strength to speak up, but certainly a renewal of my spirit by Jehovah Jireh- my provider- I buzzed the nurse and asked to be wheeled down to the NICU at 5 am….I had a very special little guy waiting for his mommy to come sing over him.

Still praising, Em

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Video: Ella playing hard

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Dad and Poppa enjoy the show and also ensure there is no bodily harm done. She did this for a good 45 minutes straight.

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What dad is thinking about

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Early days with my little guy

1. I’m grateful for Seth’s continued good health
2. I’m grateful for Emily’s tremendous outlook on the entire situation. She is definitely demonstrating godly character as she depends on the Holy Spirit for strength. She is living out what Paul says in Romans 5:13.

“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.”

3. I still have a feeling of loss when I think about the things Seth and I may not get to experience together due to some of his potential limitations. I can state it this way:

I have a pretty good idea of things that he and I will probably miss out on. I’ve looked forward to doing some of these things with my son years before I became a parent. However, I’m also sure I don’t yet fully understand what Seth and I WILL get to experience that we would not have otherwise. I confess that all of this thinking is quite selfish in some ways and reveals a lack of trust in God’s plan. So, when I get over feeling sorry for myself, I redirect my energy to praying that Seth would know Jesus and be a righteous man. What could be more fulfilling for a dad than this!

Proverbs 23:24
The father of a righteous man has great joy; he who has a wise son delights in him.


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After Seth’s Birth

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I still hold fast to what I wrote on December 16th.

For now, my prayer is that the Lord would give our family exactly what we need each day and that we would trust in Him completely.

Psalm 13:5-6 (New International Version)

5 But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.

6 I will sing to the LORD,
for he has been good to me.

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Eating is hard work

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Eating is hard work

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First Day Home Update

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The family of four is home and we have had a great first day! I’m amazed at how exhausted I am, yet still finding energy to do things. How do women with 16 kids handle this sort of fatigue? Guess that’s where the “older siblings help the younger ones” rule comes into effect. Can’t say that we’re ready to turn Seth loose under Ella’s supervision, but she is handling the role of big sister with grace and confidence. What a blessing! It is truly as though he’s always been a part of our family. She runs around him playing, then will stop to pat him on the tummy or kiss him on the head and say, “I love you baby Seff!” Precious- what more could I ask? I’ve already sent her on diaper errands and she is ON TOP OF US when I’m feeding him- just not wanting to miss a bit of the action. I’m okay with it though- I prefer this over the alternative.

Seth is a dream baby so far. Granted, I know he’s only four days old and my little angel could grow out of the lulled infant state, but he seems quite content. He’ll only nurse if I’m singing to him- which is
such a special time for us, considering he spent all 9 months hearing me do just that. So far, his favorite song is “None But Jesus” by Hillsong. Truly, he seems to respond best when I’m singing that to him and his eyes lock in on me as if he’s singing it along with me in his head. Definitely a Hillsong baby, which is no surprise since Joel and I listen to it/sing it constantly. We’re on a 3-hour schedule and he is letting me sleep between feedings at night so far…. First pediatrician check up tomorrow morning at 9:30- we’re keeping with the same doc that saw him at the hospital and took care of him in the NICU- it just seemed the right thing to do and we like the guy and his team. Seth has Ella’s mouth without a doubt and one dimple in the same spot on the lower left side of his chin when he makes certain faces. Looks like he’ll be a blondie! Eyelashes and brows are so light and his hair seems to be quite blonde underneath some dark blonde. I’m anxious to see if he’s gained weight- we left the hospital at 6.5 lbs, and he is such a good piglet eater! Snorts and all…..

The Lord gave me such an easy labor and delivery with Seth- what a sweet gift! I woke up Thursday morning with the thought- I bet I’ll have this baby today. I slept a full 8-9 hours the night before and
had a good breakfast. Ella and I went to the grocery store and stocked the pantry then picked up McDonald’s and had lunch with daddy. Early in the afternoon, I started feeling “pressure” and I
won’t even say pain. Considering I was dilated to a 4 a couple of days before, I decided maybe I should monitor the pressure. So, I had about 10-12 “pressured” contractions over the course on an hour, so I called Joel and after a lot of going back and forth, we just decided to throw in the towel and call the doctor. He said I should come in for a progress report and after making Ella arrangements, we were in his office by 5. I was nervous in the waiting room because I told Joel, “These things aren’t even hurting……I bet he sends us home for another week! I’m going to be the girl who couldn’t figure out labor.” Sure enough, I was dilated to a 5-6 with fairly consistent contractions every 6-9 minutes. His words were, “You’re in labor. Let’s get you admitted to labor & delivery, get you an epidural, break your water and have the baby in an hour or two.” So, bags in hand, Joel and I walked across the street to the hospital- yes, I walked over with no problems….just a little out of breath….and got checked in by 6pm. He came in to break my water around 6:15, anesthesia came in around 6:30 for an epidural and I was on easy street! We turned on the TV to watch “The Office” at 8 and I was getting ready to start pushing by 8:45. 4 big pushes later, Seth arrived at 8:55 and we were overjoyed! Recovery has been super fast as well- and energy seems to be coming at the right times supernaturally. Thank you so much, Lord.

So many have asked how WE are doing- how MOMMA is doing. I can say with complete peace that I am doing great! We weren’t “shocked” by the fact that Seth has Downs, considering we knew it was a possibility all along. Our heads were spinning initially, but never once did we feel like the Lord failed to answer our prayers or let us down in some way. No, in fact, we see through a series of events in the past 5 months how the Lord was preparing us for this moment all along. We prayed that the Lord would give us a boy that was of sound mind and body and at the same time we were praying that His will would be done. God answered our prayer, but His plan was much different than what we thought we wanted. Praise God for His plan. We prayed the Lord would bring us peace and that He’d set our expectations for Seth’s arrival- the Lord was faithful to guard our hearts and minds with peace and give ua a sense that everything would be okay once he came. Truly, everything has been great! We are blessed in that despite a couple of little bumps in the road and an extra couple of days in the NICU, Seth has no major health problems and has had a SUPER start compared to many other little ones that face major complications. We prayed the Lord would be glorified in his life and we know that He has plans for Seth and for our family. We pray that He is glorified in the way we parent and love our little boy and that lives are changed for His glory.

Can’t wait for you to meet our baby boy. He will steal your hearts as he has ours! We’re blessed to have Joel’s parents with us this week and we’re trying to adjust to the new addition this week without
visitors. We will let you know when we’re ready for some company and will welcome your visit, your food, everything you’ve mentioned to us in emails and calls. Hec, I’ll even give you a load of laundry to
fold if you have 5 minutes. Love you all- let everything that has breath PRAISE THE LORD!


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After doing very well off of the supplemental oxygen, and after being given the go ahead by the cardiologist, Seth is now coming home with us today! The valve in question is still not all the way closed, but it is closing. We’ll be going in for another echocardiogram in the near future, but for now we are all coming back to the Fun House!

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