Friday, October 29, 2010

21 Things about Esther

This post is inspired by Ruby's Mom!
1.Esther is loved by God, and made in His image.
2.Esther is loved by her ten siblings, two parents, three grandparents, and lots of uncles, aunts and cousins!
3.Esther's Daddy knew she was going to be a special child even before she was born.
4. Esther Heavenly Father blessed her with an extra Chromosome that made her special before she was born.
5. Esther spent 11 of her first 16 weeks in in the hospital.
6. Esther had a VSD and an ASD that were repaired when she was just 3 months old.
7. Esther has low thyroid, and has trouble with aspirating liquids when drinking, but we thicken all her liquids and she does great now!
8. Esther loves unconditionally
9. Esther loves to laugh!  She also love to make others laugh
10. Esther learned to sit up at 8 months.
11. Esther learned to crawl just past 1 year of age
12. Esther learned to walk just last week (she is 25 months old)
13  Esther LOVES to read books!
14. Esther loves to push things around the house while walking behind them!
15. Esther loves it when we clap for her accomplishments
16. Esther can do most of the motions for "Itsy Bitsy Spider"!
17. Esther loves to give hugs (she pats you on the back - it's so sweet!)
18. Esther sucks her thumb.
19. Esther loves music...especially when falling asleep!
20. Esther loves ice cream
21. Esther loves to climb the stairs...up and down...up and down...up and down....

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Thief in the Night...

We have a robber who keeps stealing from us!  I've seen his foot prints, we see him running off when we come home, and he disturbs the peaceful tranquility of our cats...but he's just to stinking cute!
This was taken around 5:30 am earlier this week using my Iphone...
I have always loved Racoons, and I just love watching them...their hands are fascinating!  Their foot prints looks like little baby feet...just to cute!  Too bad they can be dangerous or I would love to have one as a pet! We try always feed the cats in the morning, so there isn't any left by evening, but I think he checks every night just in case...Jessica found a hole dug under her dog kennel gate, so we think Bandit was going for the dog food there...the cute little stinker is getting more creative!
I just found this photo again, sent to me by my friend, Nicole...her daughter was taking photos at the picnic:
Elizabeth and her new-found friend at the Christian Heritage Picnic (Photo by Jessica P)
And I finally got around to taking photos off my phone, 
so here's some things we have been doing in the last month or so!
The girls with Amy Vest at the Pure Heart Conference!
Jessica with her new horse, Celine...isn't she gorgeous? 
(I meant the horse, silly, but you are right, Jessica is beautiful, inside and out!)
Esther was being so cute - goofing off with Jason...she loves to make him smile!
 And this is me and my girls...they love to cuddle when I am in my recliner.
While posting these photos, Esther is sitting in my lap and totally enjoying the photos, laughing and pointing and waving...she especially liked the one with Jason - she was waving at Jason.  She's such a fun baby!

And one last note - can you pray for my friend, J., she had a beautiful little girl this summer with Down syndrome and she was diagnosed with a rare cancer...pray for God's peace in the midst of this storm...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

This and That...Knit and Tat???

Life is so busy, and so much happens around here, so this is going to be a little of this and a little of that today!

Starting last week, I am hosting a weekly Sit N Knit afternoon!  Moms and their kids show up for a few hours of knitting/crocheting/cross stitching or whatever craft...or come to learn a new one!.  We talk and laugh, share what books we are reading, what our children are doing, but most importantly we have coffee and treats!  If you are interested in joining in on the fun, let me know and I'll get you the details!  I plan to continue to host these weekly creative sessions, and I am excited to see who God brings each week!

Today we had a total of 11 children come to play and all went very well...we did end up putting in a movie to help keep the mayhem at bay, but most of the time the kids were playing so nicely...and our kitty got lots of socialization!
Here's some photos from today's fun:
I took this photo to use on the invitations to our weekly Sit N Knit!

Ruth (of course not me!) knitting her second washcloth and doing a great job...she also learned to crochet a zig zag pattern for a baby blanket - her daughter wants to make it and she'll need to know how to help her! 

Jessica was in heaven today because there was this sweet little pink bundle to love on! 

Valle is working on her first hot pad, Rebekah is knitting a wash cloth, and Sharleen is crocheting/knitting a scarf!
 That happened this afternoon - here are some random photos from the last few days around here:
The boys hard at work on an engineering project...

Esther loves to stack anything...

but reading is her first love!

face painting gone crazy...These are Rebekah's legs, Dayton did the left one, Elizabeth did the right one!

Monday, October 25, 2010

God's Amazing Grace...

We have had two instances of God providing and protecting little Esther this weekend...

on Saturday I was outside working with Daryl to get the lawn mower running ( this was a 3 week battle...more on that later), and while I was doing that Esther was eating lunch with the children.  She choked on a piece of pizza...really choked...and Jessica was there and was able to use the first aid training she received while taking the Super Sitter Training Program a year ago.  She first made sure that Esther was in trouble, then removed her from her high chair and turned her over, a few pats on the back and the piece came up, but she intermediately swallowed it again and was choking again..she did that procedure again, and this time got it out of her mouth before she could swallow it again.  Praise God that Jessica had that training and was in the room with Esther when she needed the help!

Secondly, this morning Rachel helped Esther with her breakfast, fixing her "medicine juice" which has her vitamins, prevacid and thyroid medicine in it...then when she was out of the room, Jessica came downstairs and fixed Esther her "medicine juice" as she didn't see any tippy cup around...later we figured out the duplication and were concerned about over dose especially with the thyroid medication...but we found the first "medicine juice" tippy cup behind/under her high chair, nothing missing...phew!  Now I am sure the girls will be more careful about insuring that Esther has not already been served her "juice"...although I would be surprised if Esther would ever be able to drink two full tippy cups in one sitting!

This is what we are seeing more and more of - Esther standing...

Only this was the first time she was interested in trying to open a door...we are in trouble now!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

There was a reason I moved over here...

It was in preparation for closing my businesses.  This is a monumental change for our family, but one the Lord has been leading us to ever since Esther was born.

We almost sold it back in early 2009, but it didn't work out at that time.  I won't go into details, but you can read more on the Snap-EZ Blog if you are interested.

For me personally, I am so excited about being able to be wholeheartedly involved in my family...100% of my time can be devoted to serving God, loving and supporting my husband, nurturing and training my children, managing my home...and if I have time left over, I hope to minister to others outside my family, both through hospitality here at home (my Sit and Knit afternoons for example), as well as through church functions. 

Please pray for us as we go through the process of closing the businesses, so that we can be the best stewards of what God has given us, both for now and for the future.

I pray you will have a blessed Lord's Day!


Friday, October 22, 2010

Torture session completed this morning

I left at 7:45 am and returned at 11:30, drained, in a little pain, and ready for a long nap....what had I been doing?  Getting yet another tooth prepped for a crown.  Lying down in a quiet environment had it's benefits, but halving your mouth open the entire time (with a rubber dam in there) is just never an enjoyable experience.

I've had two crown's done in the past, but only on the lower teeth - today I learned something new - it is very difficult to numb the roof of the mouth, so they choose to just not do it (it's very painful to have a shot into the roof of you mouth they told me, and I believe them).  So, I felt all the scraping, cutting, whatever done to half of my mouth, and for the last hour I wasn't numb at all...I could handle it without hitting any one, but it took a lot of will power to lay their and not give any indication that I was being hurt by what they were doing to me.  I used a lot of what I have learned to get through childbirth, let me tell you!  I remember a discussion I had recently about sleeping at the dentist, I was tired enough, but I could not possibly sleep with that kind of least it wasn't constant, just random acts of torture, you know...

So I have survived....

As I got up from the chair, he told me that the tooth next to that one, did have a cavity that they filled as well and that it was so deep that he went ahead and did a build up for that tooth for a future crown...after going through what I just did, that was not good news.  He also told me that he had done a lot of work, and much of it above the gum line (I knew that...).  He said I would be sore for a few days and wondered if I wanted him to prescribe anything for, that was not what I wanted to hear - for some reason doctors and dentists always under-estimate pain...I really think they should undergo these procedures so they can better understand what they are doing and what kind of pain is involved...

I am going to take some prescription pain meds now, as the ibuprophen is not kicking the throbbing...I did get a decent nap, but could not sleep comfortably with the left side of my face on the pillow...

I hope my day has blessed yours...(at the very least, I am sure you had a better day than I did and any problems you had now seem least I hope so!).

To end on a better note, here's a photo of Esther I took last summer, displaying her great flexibility (I have no idea where the camera is at the moment)...

You can see her left foot is behind her head ;)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Welcome to our New Blog Home!

It took some work, but I got everything moved over here! So far I love Blogger...I love their "gadgets" so I can tell you easily about my favorite books, movies, and what I am currently reading (books and blogs!), and now you can follow me and I can tell who is following me! That will be an encouragement to me, for sure!

Let me know if there's something you'd like to see here that I haven't included yet! I still have to edit some of the old posts to remove business related things, but I'm sure you won't mind if I miss some things!
For today, I leave you with this sweet photo taken this summer of Esther enjoying our clover filled front yard:

Life around galore!

It's been a while since I posted photos, so I'm going to just post a bunch for your enjoyment, but I saved the best for last, so be sure to look at them all!

Above and below you see Esther is learning to walk and really enjoying!

Recently we harvested our potatoes...we had a great start to our garden, but after a few sessions weeding, they got the better of us, but thankfully, potatoes are not effected much by weeds!

Here is Esther reading...we were organizing our books and she took advantage of an empty lower shelf to sit and read a few books...just too cute!

Our days are busy, but that's the way this season of our life is - and I wouldn't have it any other way!

Monday, October 18, 2010

So much to do, so little time...

I'm not referring to my to do list for today, or even tomorrow....but the bigger scope of things...

Psalm 139:16 "Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them."

God knows how many days I have here on earth to do the work He has given me...but since I see through a glass darkly, the number of my days on earth and exactly what all He wants me to accomplish is not something I know.

Lately I have been thinking a lot about this - I have known two young people whose life on this earth was far shorter that I could have ever imagined! One was killed by a drunk driver, my neice, Leah, and the other was a son of a friend on mine who drowned in our local river while cooling off after work....I have heard of so many others whose lives seem to have been cut short, ended suddenly, without any good byes, no last opportunities to accomplish anything, no time for anything. I can't help but wonder what would go through my mind if I were to suddenly find myself staring imminent death in the face, with only minutes until I will face my Redeemer.

car accident

What would go through my would I finish this sentence:

If only I had......

This is a great thing to think about...for me, I find myself living through each day/week/month with little thought to what I am doing and planning, and before I know it, this day, this week, this month, this year has flown by and I find I really have no idea what I have truly accomplished.

I don't mean to be morbid, but I have been reading "Loving God with all your Mind" by Elizabeth George and she has much to say about the following passage:

Philipians 3:13,14 "I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."

Am I pressing on toward the prize? Am I living every day to accomplish God's will in my life? Do I take the responsibilities God has given me seriously every waking moment? Am I loving/supporting/helping my husband as God wants me to? Am I raising my children in the fear and admonition of the Lord? Is my life, all I do and say, showing forth the light of Jesus to those I know and come in contact with?

Well Done

But most importantly, when I come into the presence of Jesus, will He say to me "well done my good and faithful servant" (Matt 25:21) or will our conversation look more like this:

'Lord, Lord, did I not give my testimony, and go to many Bible Studies, and teach younger women to love their husbands, and do many other works in your name?' and Christ says to me 'I never knew you; depart from me, you worker of lawlessness.' (Matt 7: 22 & 23 with liberties taken)

It comes down to this - I must have a vital relationship with God, through Jesus Christ or everything I do is in vain. How can I have a vital relationship with God? I must spend time getting to know Him (His Word, The Bible), talk to Him every day, share my struggles, my victories, my fears with Him. Allow Him to help me, fill me, work through me...

Spending time everyday with God, is vital to "pressing on toward the goal" because only God sees the big picture, and only He can show me what I need to accomplish today/this week/this month/this year in order to accomplish the ultimate goal...the goal the God has set for my life.

So what am I changing in order to do this? I am trying to spend time in God's Word, trying to remember to ask God to guide me each day, to grant me the wisdom to know what is important for today and to have the strength to accomplish that.

prayer and Bible reading

At first it seemed to complicated, mind boggling, to try to figure out what it is that I should be doing...what I would regret not doing...but the answer is so simple....ask God!

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds (Matt 7:7.8)

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. James 1:5

Saturday, October 16, 2010

"Pure Heart" Conference...What a Blessing!

I got to spend 10 hours today with Jessica, Rebekah, and Rachel soaking up the teachings of Amy Vest of Loving The Lord Ministries!
Amy Vest
Spending a day at Cedar Spring Retreat is a blessing all by itself, especially if it's sunny and the swans are out...but add to that friends, daughters, God's Word, wonderful singing, books to bring home a devour (I brought home "Created to be His Help Meet" by Debby Pearl and I might even start reading it tonight!), winning a beautiful coffee cup as a door prize and listening to inspiring teaching, and it becomes a day you not soon forget!
She had so much to share with us, and I took tons of notes...the girls talked about using their notes for their quiet times for a while (there's hundreds of scripture passages to read in there). Here are some of the highlights of what I took to heart and hope to use to make change in my heart, mind and life...

Pursue a close relationship with the Lord - Press on to know Christ

If the devil can't make you bed, he will make you busy...

When we compare ourselves to other around us, we may look pretty pure, but when compared with the pureness of Christ, our "righteousness" is like dirty rags

An idol is anything that takes God's rightful place in our lives (hobbies, recreation, and of themselves they are wrong, but if that is what we go to first in our day/free time, then we should really take a look to see if they have become an idol)

"Purity is always smart, impurity is always stupid" (I can't remember who she was quoting)

Amy Carmichael said "Our feelings do not effect God's facts"

Know what you and believe and why

The one thing that just stunned me was when she asked for someone in the audience for a pencil...she was handed the pencil and she took it and broke it in half...shocking! She then pointed out that it was really her pencil...she went on to say that when the pencil seemed to belong to someone else it was not OK for her to break it, but if it was her pencil then it was OK for her to break it, right?
"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?
You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body." I cor 6:19 & 20 there is food for thought...
Well, I've got to go to bed...I'll try to blog more about what I learned today on Monday...have a blessed Sunday!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Common Sense....

So often people talk about "use your common sense"....or "that's just common sense"...

When discussing things that people do that are out of the ordinary, their "common sense" is questioned.

When people have questioned why we homeschool, choose to not use birth control, or live in the middle of no-where, or any of the other many things our family does that is not common in our culture, more often than not, something will be said about "that's just not common sense"....or "your not using your common sense"...and it always makes me think "but is common sense what we should base our decisions on?" But is "common sense" so great?

But God says in I Corinthians 1:26a "For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom..."

So, we strive to make decisions for our family based on God's Word, with little concern for the present culture or what others may think about how we are raising our family...and for us, that means that our lifestyle does not "go with the flow" and is unique to our family. We, as parents, are accountable to God for how we are raising our children, and every morning I ask God to grant me the wisdom to know His will for me as a wife and mother that I may follow His lead, and not follow along with the rest of the world, doing whatever every one else is doing just because everyone else is doing it.

bible reading

You might wonder why I decided to blog about this today...well, no particular reason, I just came across that passage this morning in my Bible reading - and I thought it was cool to find it today as Daryl and I were just talking about that passage on Sunday when we were talking about what we believe about God and "family planning" and that verse just happened to be in the chapter I read today (I'm reading through the New Testament).

So, let me challenge you today - are you raising your family using "common sense" or "God sense"...if you are using "common sense" your family will probably look like most other families you know, but if you are using "God sense" then your family will look unique, because the God of the universe is so amazingly big that He has a unique plan for you and your family that probably doesn't look like any other family...God is not in the business of making cookie cutter people!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

31 for 21....well maybe 14 for 21...

Grab This Button

I was not aware of this until today - it's a challenge to bloggers to bring awareness of Trisomy 21 to our world...
Why now? Because it's Down Syndrome Awareness month!
So here's my first blog entry for "31 for 21"...But I think I should get some credit for creating and blogging about the video montage I created about Esther's first year that I posted already this week, don't you???

And, lastly, I haven't had many comments anyone reading my blog anymore? I know I am not very faithful, and some of my friends have accused me of failing at blogging, but I am hoping that changes I am making now, will make it possibly for me to blog more, especially about personal/family things...

If you have been reading my blog, and would even be willing to follow me if I switch blog platforms where I would only blog only about me/my family, please post a comment to encourage me to continue!!!

So check back soon as I hope to blog more about Esther, Down Syndrome, and all things related!