Friday, March 4, 2016

Finding out you are going to have ANOTHER brother

Our newest baby is such a gift to our family.
Our road to get to him hasn't been a walk in the park.
You can listen to an interview Tim and I just did talking about that 
So, when I found out I was pregnant, it was like a dream. I truly never thought I would carry another baby. I was OVER-THE-MOON excited.
And, I knew it was a girl. I just KNEW it. It had to be the sister that Hope has always wanted and prayed for. For the first 12 weeks of the pregnancy I bonded with my precious new baby girl.
I named her and dreamed about her sharing a room with Hope one day. I was glad I didn't give all Hope's old clothes away because now we would have someone to give them to, right?
Well, the big day was here.
We were headed in to CONFIRM that this baby was a girl at my 12 week ultrasound.
On the way in, Hope said "I think its a girl because God knows how much I want a sister."
Everything was going just as planned.
we ALL saw IT.
A tiny private part in the shape of a you-know-what.
The ultrasound tech was silent. She knew we were rooting for a girl.
She said, "well, it's too early to confirm anything".
Then my very-honest-OB walked in the room and said...
I said, "that can be the umbilical cord, right?"
He said, "SURE (while shaking his head side-to-side NO)
I looked at Hope's innocent face as she didn't know what was happening.
I started to cry because I wanted her to have a sister so much.
My doctor said, I won't confirm it today but I will tell you it is a 98% chance and I only go to 99.
Hope still didn't know.
But she was mesmerized by this beautiful tiny life kicking and squirming around on the screen.
When we got in the van, I just sat there in disbelief.
I said, "Hope, honey, I think it is a boy".
Tear came to her eyes. She just looked out the window.
I said, "honey, I wanted a girl too. I wanted you to have a sister but God has a better plan than us. His ways are always better."
We drove to Cracker Barrel and I cried while eating.
I seriously couldn't believe it. 
I hurt for her.
Then some of her favorite (girl) friends from soccer came and sat at the table beside us. 
Her eyes brightened and she asked if she could go sit with them.
I realized then that God was showing us both that she would never LACK for friendships.
That He would always meet her needs.
I got to share that with her after we left.
When we got home, she wasn't sad any more. 
She did say... "6 brothers? that is TOO MANY. But, I am just so excited about having a new baby to hold... even if it is a boy."
It has been almost 2 months since then.
She (and I) have both come SO far.
We have fallen in love with this little boy.
Hope has decided that she likes being "special" and the only girl.
She prayed today in homeschool, 
"God thank you that you gave me a brother even though I wanted a sister."

Hope just celebrated her 6th birthday.

Birthday Questions for Hope:

1. Favorite Drink: Fruit Punch
2. Favorite Food: Ripe Mangos
3. Favorite Candy: Smarties
4. Favorite Movie: Brave
5. Favorite Kind of Makeup: Mascara
6. Gymnastics or Ballet? Ballet  
7. Favorite Place: swimming with dolphins
8. Bible Verse: Psalm 34:8
9. Book: Princess Books
10. Color: Rainbow
11. Car: the ones without a roof
12. Favorite School Subject: Arithmetic Combinations
13. Future profession: Facepainter at Disney
14. Current Job: School
15. Favorite Board Game: Life
16. Favorite Bible Character: Esther and Jesus
17. Favorite Role Model: Esther
18. Favorite Sport: Tennis
19. Favorite Dessert: Birthday Cake Ice Cream
20. Favorite Animal: Dolphin

All my kids love these birthday questions. I think they love BEING KNOWN!
"But whoever loves God is known by God."
1 Cor 8:3

"But now that you know God—or rather are known by God"
Gal 4:9

I want to KNOW my kids individually. That takes WORK with so many but it is worth the effort.
I never want them to get lost in the crowd around here.
It is easier to parent them in groups but I have always wanted to parent each like they are my only child. That is what God does! I joke that God is the ultimate scrap-booker/ blogger!

"Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were 
written in Your book before one of them came to be."
Ps 139:16

I don't want to forget the details.
I know I will. 
I already have.
But blogging has been a huge blessing to me in this area.
That's why I want to do it more!

I will never forget the moment she came into this world.
You may not either if you have been reading my blog that long!
I wrote about her natural-no-doctor-traumatic delivery HERE.
(the funny thing is I have had a natural delivery since then that was wonderful)

Hope came into this world bright eyed and READY TO LIVE HER LIFE!
God has so radically changed her from a little toddler girl who constantly said "NO!!!"
and always had eyebrows going down with arms crossed. She was in trouble all the time.
Until she accepted Jesus as her Savior and He began His remodeling job in her heart.
It is hard to believe she is the same girl. She is sweet and kind and always smiling now.
She loves people. She loves God. 
I am very protective of her.
Everyone says her brothers will protect her and I hope they do but God is a shield about her.
She is the apple of my eye and I feel honored to be her mom.
She is uniquely designed by God.
Her life is so unusual. Who has so many brothers??? 
She is growing up in a locker room yet she is still so feminine.
Because of her brothers, she loves to wrestle and thinks Taco Bell is the greatest restaurant in the world. 

She is an adrenaline junky (like her dad).
I used to be fearless like her until I had babies!!
Now, I am more like her younger brother Crew. :)

So, don't worry about Hope having 6 brothers.
She will be MORE THAN FINE. 
And I told her that one day she will have 6 sisters if they all get married.
She was so excited about that!

We just got home from a wonderful vacation to Orlando.
We did the Discovery Cove/SeaWorld/Busch Gardens/ Aquatica package. We also went to Legoland for homeschool day ($12!). 

Brooke went with us.

I prayed after I had number 6 and was drowning (with a very sick dad and a sick baby) for God to send me help from the Sanctuary. We have no family nearby. 😢 I remember reading about how much HELP the Proverbs 31 woman had and realized... even she needed help!

I posted on Facebook that I needed to hire someone a couple mornings a week. I had so many girls who wanted to interview. I interviewed 3 awesome girls (I think). But God made it clear that He was bringing Brooke into our lives.
She has been a blessing to me for over 2 years. When she first started working, my baby would projectile vomit all over she started bringing a change of clothes or a towel. 
I would send her texts begging her not to quit after she left. 
She loves my kids like they are hers. She is a big sister to Hope. She wipes green snot from under their noses WITH HER its nothing. 
I joke with her that God gave her a desire to do dental hygiene to prepare her for the "gross level" required to be our babysitter.
What I couldn't have imagined was watching her fall in love with her real-life-prince and Tim performing their wedding ceremony. Now Heath is in our lives too. He loves our kids like she does and they love him too! 
He hates roller coasters but rode them because Hope really wanted him to. He is BFFs with Crew and Rhett. 
God has blessed our lives 100 fold because of Brooke. I love her so much I could cry.
Thankful to get to spend this week together. 
“...for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask Him!”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭6:18

Discovery Cove is AWESOME.
You really need to do it next time you book your Orlando trip!
All-you-can-eat food and it is like an interactive aquarium!

Our little Samson is really growing.
He still doesn't talk.
My mom says I didn't talk until later either. I'm sure not lacking for words now so I'll just wait until he is ready I guess? He is beautiful and brings me piles of joy just by looking at his cute face (which just so happens to look a lot like his daddy's cute face).

Legoland is a favorite too.

I am on about the same schedule as the two little ones.
I loved being with them. Especially during nap time!
I have been sooooo sleepy.

I was so exhausted from walking all day, I would fall asleep in my clothes. No one is slowing down for the pregnant lady. 
I am starting to feel a little better but mostly still just want to sleep and eat.
A lady walked by while I was with them sleeping and asked if she could take our picture. 
She said, "she remembers when hers were little and that they grow up fast".
I love it when people think I am a young mom of only young ones. So I don't say anything.
I feel 100 years old so I treasure those comments, actually.
I love to ask them about their grown children.

It was cold and windy there.
My blood pressure has been super low so I am EVEN COLDER THAN NORMAL.
I was frozen the entire trip.
I just wanted to be home wrapped in a blanket eating soup.

These two "endure" the dancing shows. Wishing we only rode the roller coasters. Thankful they have each other to roll their eyes together! 

They are so cute.
I am so grateful to get to hang out with them everyday.
They are both starting middle school baseball this year.
Reece was going to play for the local middle school but the state testing has gotten SO WEIRD we had to pull him out. It was so disappointing.
I don't want to go into a rant but when you remove God from school, you remove "logos" or LOGIC and are left with counter-intuitive, confusing nonsense.
It is scary what is happening in our school systems... and our country!
I believe this is all leading to the return of Christ. 
If you don't know Him as your Savior, please be reconciled to God today.
Time is running out.

Tim and I seriously work like slaves on vacation. 
He is a packing ninja. All those Tetris games are coming in handy.
Vacations are such a blessing. Exhausting but worth it!
I love how God commands His people to take a break from their work and have fun in Leviticus 23. 💜 God knows we need breaks.

I am thankful to be home.
God has blessed us with a wonderful home full of laughter and peace... and children.
The last few years have been so hard. Incredibly painful. I have lost a lot of innocence and feel like I have aged 30 years through trial. 
I am getting ready to start a new blog actually.
A new blog with a new name.
Many people said, "if you have another girl, you will have to change your blog's name!".
Well, I am going to anyway.
I feel like it's time for a fresh start.
It's a new season. Full of new life and new memories that I look FORWARD to!
So stay tuned for change around here.
I love you and pray you are encouraged in the Lord.
If you are in a valley... know that it won't last forever.
Jesus promised we won't LIVE in darkness if we follow Him.

"Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, 
“I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk (live) in darkness
because you will have the light that leads to life.”
John 8:12

"the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining."
1 John 2:8

God will bring you out of the darkness.
Follow Him.
You will find light, hope, comfort, wisdom, etc... in His Word.

May God Bless each one of you reading with His peace and His favor~


Anonymous said...

Stephanie, yet again, you have spoken heart, wisdom and hope to me when I am in a valley. It's Saturday morning after another weary, worrisome week, and because of your encouragement and reminder, I am now going to close this laptop and instead of wasting the day trying to escape my worries by browsing the Internet and shopping, get my Bible and spend time in His Word - oh how I long and need, as you said, to "find light hope, comfort, wisdom.." - real, lasting hope and help - not a temporary fix.
Thank you, again. I hope you never stop blogging!

Megan said...

Your blog is so inspiring and encouraging to me. I love to read about your growing family! I love how you cherish your children so well. It makes me realize that I am merely "surviving" my children most of the time, which makes me sad, and I only have 2! You also remind me that the Lord cares about the smallest details of our lives and to pray about every single thing because He cares. Looking forward to your new blog!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your reminder to walk in His light! I needed that today. On the note of having boy number six, tell sweet Hope that you have a blog reader that is a mom to five girls and one son. When we found out we were expecting girl number five, my son told me that he really wished the baby would have been a boy so he would have a brother to play with. As a mom it makes you so sad to see your little ones sad. But I will say that baby girl is such a sweet blessing and her brother loves her so very much! I think he has come to appreciate that he has a special place as the only boy and is very loved and spoiled by his sisters simply because he is not female. And when everyone acts so sad for my son that he has so many sisters, I gently remind them that he is the blessed one! Erin Lynn

Kim said...

Another boy!!! yay!!! Your Hope girl is going to be the best wife someday....she will totally "get" how boys think (and smell-haha!)

Prayers for another healthy baby!!!

:) Kim from PA

Anonymous said...

I have 6 brothers too (it's not so bad ) I also have 4 sisters though !
I grew up and have kids of my own.. One princess and then three boys. I wouldn't have it any other way. Love I have my one girl and then a house full of loud teenage boys and all their friends. Never a dull moment, and the ER docs k ow the boys by name ! Congrats on your new baby boy.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how you're feeling and how that baby boy's doing?
Kasey in KY