Here's a photo of Esther in the shirt that Leslee, one of the EMTs that was at Esther's birth (thanks Leslee for bringing over - it would have taken me forever to stop by to pick it up!) brought over as a gift!Â Those EMTs and the paramedic helped our midwife save her life!
This has been a year of stretching for our family. It started off in the middle of building our new home.
Soon afterward, we found out that Esther was on the way, then it was moving time.Â Followed soon by getting the old mobile home ready to sell.Â All this while introducing the new line of Snap-EZ Eco products.
Then it was trying to sell the mobile home and finish building the house (I was painting trim for what seemed like forever, and it's still not all done!).
Next was summer - busy, busy, busy!Â We did find new owners for the mobile home, but finding a place to put it was a challenge for them, and then working out the move, and finishing everything on the house before our bank deadline of September 1!
Then I ended up on bedrest for 5 weeks, then Esther arrived and I spent 5 1/2 weeks with her in the hospital.
So here we are, a year that didn't leave much time for anything but crisis containment, and it's telling on us!
This morning I had a heart to heart talk with the children about how we treat one another.Â We have fallen into some bad habits and it's time to reverse this and begin to again treat eachother in love so our home reflects Christ's love.
My friend, Sally, who has 2 daughter with severe special needs, shared an article with me last week from a mother of 11 children (I found out she's expecting her 12th sometime this year - at least she was pregnant when they were on the Family Life Today program last March), whose 11th baby was born with Down Syndrome.Â She said a very interesting thing - that all our children are born with special needs - I took this to mean that they are all born with a sinful nature and are in need of our Saviour, Jesus Christ!Â Â How true that is - any Chrstian parent would vouch for the fact that our precious little ones are in need of His saving grace!
So, in light of our "special needs" (mine too, especially as a parent), we are going to be concentrating our studies over the next 6 weeks, and beyond, on the fruits of the spirit and on making our home reflect Christ once again!
Please pray for all of us as we attempt to reign in our sinful natures and begin to find a new "normal" for all of us.Â Pray especially for me, as parenting this many children in a godly fashion is not easy, but the rewards are out of this world!
Updates on Esther - everything is going well, but she's still not making much ground as far as increasing how much she takes from a bottle - there is little, if any, improvement that would lead towards removing her feeding tube.Â I've tried to use a supplimental nursing system (by Medela) to help teach Esther how to breastfeed , and it would work if I could get her to latch correctly.Â But this is very time consuming!, She does well now, at not getting frustrated (the system allows milk to flow when she sucks, even if it's a poor latch and/or she's not drawing any of my milk down) and that's a great improvement - but she just doesn't seem to be able to latch correctly.Â Pray that we'll get the hang of this soon, as direct nursing will be so much easier for us both once she gets off the feeding tube - pumping and then feeding her is like having twins as far as time consumption goes - and someone has to care for Esther everytime I have to pump, as it's nearly impossible for me to care for her while pumping!
Thanks in advance for your prayers!