Sunday, August 31, 2008

Erik Daniel's Birth Story. . .

Finding time to write this post has been, for a lack of better words, difficult. Laundry, diapers, nursing, etc. have made my days filled to the brim. Thankfully, my darling littlest one is waking once a night which has been helpful in allowing me to get enough rest to do each day's work. And, in my spare time, I have been nuzzling the precious neck of my newborn ~ taking in the sweet scent of newborn baby. Do you know that smell? It is heavenly to me, and I am trying to soak it in so that I never ever forget it. His soft sweet skin, his baby breaths, his soft baby hair, those precious little feet, his cord still intact, so new, so sweet. . . May I never forget each detail!!!

I have also been working on a little slide show. But, due to my lack of computer savvy, I am not quite ready to post the show. Hopefully, by early this week it will be ready! The pictures are precious to me ~ especially the ones of my sweet husband delivering our fourth son. Watching him deliver our boys has been a huge joy to me! And, it means the world to him. Dr. Y is so good to give Erik such liberty to do this. Dr. Y has been an absolute Godsend. He will forever be precious to our family ~ being beside Erik during the delivery of each of our boys. Anyway, the song playing in the background during this slide show is precious to my heart. It is the song that I listened to as I drove home from Wal-Mart this past January with a bag containing a pregnancy test. As I drove home listening to this sweet song, I became confident that the test was going to be positive. Even though there should have been no way that I could be pregnant. As I drove home staring at the beautiful sunset before me, it was as if God was whispering to me that He had different plans, wonderful plans for our family. And, now that wonderful little surprise is sleeping peacefully in his Moses basket on our kitchen table, taking soft baby breaths and smiling in his sleep. And, now one week after his birth, I cannot imagine my life without him. . . The slide show brings tears to Erik and my eyes each time we watch it! I can't wait to share it!

And, now for the story of his birth. . .

Friday, August the 22nd, I went to see Dr. Y, and Deana B. went with me. Sweet friend, she was afraid for me to go alone. Afraid that I might actually go into labor and I would need someone with me. God bless her for not giving up on sweet Erik Daniel. I had already determined that I was going to go to my due date. All last week Erik checked me and every time he did he would smile and say the same thing, "You're still 3-4 cm. and 80% effaced." And, so what happened when Dr. Y checked me Friday morning?

He smiled and said, "You're still about 3-4 cm. and 80% effaced." I just sighed the sigh of a tired, weary, and very pregnant mama. We discussed my options. Since I like to have my babies without an epidural, he said the best thing to do was just wait on the baby. I said that was great, but my only concern was the size of the baby. After all, Elijah was 8 pounds and 14 ounces and came at 38 weeks. I was now 39 weeks and afraid that this baby may be as big or bigger than Elijah. He measured my belly and looked back over the details of an ultrasound I had in July, and then said with great confidence, "He was only 5 pounds, 15 ounces a few weeks ago, and you aren't measuring very big." And, if I remember correctly his exact words were, "You're not measuring like a 9 pound baby or anything."


So, Deana B. and I left his office, got Chick-fil-a for our respective families, and drove home. I think most of our conversation as we drove home centered around the fact that I was never going to go into labor. Or, maybe, that is just what I was talking about. Anyway, when I got home I gave my mom the go ahead to go home for the weekend. I told her that I wasn't having any contractions and that I might sit at 3-4 cm for another week. After much deliberation, she decided to stay until Saturday morning then she would go home and come back on Monday. She made this decision, sweetly, so that Erik and I could go out on a date (you know, like the last supper).

At the last minute, we decided to make our last supper a double date with Sean and Deana. We haven't gone on a double date with them in years (without kids that is)! Anyway, Deana warned when we got in the car that Sean's driving might throw me into labor. I said, "Bring it on!" And, I thought for an hour or so that she might be right. I contracted throughout dinner. But, about the time I thought I might say something, the contractions stopped.


And, so this just solidified the thought in my head that I was absolutely never going to have this baby. Never. We got home and my mom asked Erik to check me before we went to bed because she was going to leave before we woke up in the morning, and she didn't want to leave if I had changed. And, I was wishfully thinking that maybe some of those contractions during dinner actually did something. She asked me to leave her a note telling her how many centimeters I was. And, she went to bed. Erik checked me around 11:30, and he smiled and said, "You are about 4 cm. You may be tiny bit more than you were this morning."

"Thanks," I thought, "I am so never going to have this baby."

Then, we went to bed, and around 3 a.m. I had a dream that I had a contraction. I woke up and went to the bathroom, and you know what? I had a contraction. A real live somewhat painful labor-like contraction. The kind of contraction that makes you go, "Hmmm. Maybe I should pay attention to my body. That hurt!" At first I had like one every fifteen minutes, but as I lay in bed watching my alarm clock they slowly got closer and closer. So, I rolled over and woke my peacefully sleeping husband. He checked me. And, this time he smiled and said. . .

"You're about 6 cm. This is it."

Whew, Yes! I jumped out of bed ready to make all the appropriate phone calls, grab my bags and head that way! But, Erik calmly stopped me and said, "You're only 6 cm. We have plenty of time." He then proceeded to take a leisurely shower and even clean out his ears with his silly little ear pick thingy. While I stood around watching him, wondering what in the world was wrong with this picture? I did however use the time to primp a little! Finally, I went upstairs to get my mom, I woke her up with these words, "Hey, we are going to a party! Wanna come?" She smiled and said that she had a feeling I was going to wake her up during the night!

I can't remember what time we finally left the house and headed to the hospital. But, eventually we got on the road. When we got to the Women's Center, the nurse that met us in observation is a friend of ours, and it was so fun to see a familiar face! She checked me and smiled and said. . .

"You're 8 cm."

Whew! This really was it. I was actually going to have this baby!!

As we walked towards my Labor and Delivery room, I asked if Bernice (my scrub tech from Elijah's delivery who I fell in love with) was working that night. But, our friend told us that she actually got married that very night, so needless to say she wasn't working. Then, as we passed the nurses station, I said to Erik, "Look, there is Anna, the nurse that took care of me when I had Elijah!" And, guess who came in the room a few minutes later to be our nurse? Anna! So, fun!! Isn't God sweet!

A few minutes later Dr. Y came in to check on me. He was all smiles as per his usual. We debated breaking my water vs. letting it break on its own. He left us for a few minutes, and then I called him back in to break my water. I was ready to get. this. thing. done. He broke my water and told me to call when I felt like pushing. He left and I had several seriously painful contractions. I didn't really feel like pushing, but I thought that if I was possibly complete the contractions would be seriously easier to bear if I could push, so I invited him back in to check me.

Big mistake. The next 10 minutes were quite painful. I was in my own little world unaware of all that was going on around me, but I did hear him say something about an "Anterior lip" and "The baby's head is turned sideways, and I need to turn his head." I just layed back against the pillows and pushed when he told me to push. It was not fun, and I was very sorry that I had invited him back into my room.

But, ten minutes and a few pushes later, my sweet son was born, delivered into this world by the hands of his precious Daddy. Right after Erik delivered him, before the cord was even cut, Erik layed the little guy on my chest and let me hold his little wet body. I loved it. I was the happiest woman in all the world!! He was here. He was crying. He was pink, plump, and beautiful!! And, now the hard part was over, and it was on to another one of the happiest days of my life!

And, a happy day it was! After I nursed my little babe for a while, they took him to the nursery. We should have known that he was going to weigh in on the large side. After all, we couldn't keep that cute little nursery cap on his head for anything. It just simply kept popping off the top of his head! But, we were clueless and completely shocked when they told us that he weighed 9 pounds and 7 ounces!! Shortly after that I went to my post partum room and Deana B got us chicken biscuits from Chick-fil-a. It was a sweet time as we sat there - Mom, Erik, Deana B., and me. We sat around eating chicken biscuits and recounting every detail of the delivery until they brought my Erik Daniel back to me! It was a good day. And, the best part, as always, was introducing my big boys to their new little brother! They were all immediately taken with him ~ especially Elijah! What a day! I just wish that I could live it all over again! I'd even go through the pain of labor to get to do that day all over again!!

And, so yesterday I was going along as usual when my phone rang. I answered it and guess who was calling?

Dr. Y.

He said, "I just have one question for you. How big was your baby?" Smiling, I told him. Laughing, he said, "That is what the paper said that came across my desktop this morning." It was a fun little conversation that we had!

Erik Daniel has been an absolute joy. And, the peace that a new baby brings is reigning over our home right now. He is peaceful and sweet, and wonderfully precious! His big brothers adore him!! I am feeling great! Gearing up and getting ready for the last of our big transitions - J.C.T. starts preschool on Tuesday! After that, I can relax completely and begin to get into a good, flowing routine with my sweet boys! Thanks for your thoughts and prayers!

Every good and perfect gift is from above. . .

Monday, August 25, 2008

Favorite Pictures from Erik Daniel's Birth...

Let Me Introduce You to. . .

my newest baby boy. . .

Erik Daniel Manning

Born on August 23, 2008

at 6:34 a.m.

9 pounds, 7 ounces

20 inches

Happy One Month!

What a month, sweet one! It has gone by in flash, and you are growing so fast! Your sweet face and legs are filling out more and more each day! You are looking more "baby" and less "newborn" all the time! I love you to pieces and cannot tell you how much I have enjoyed your sweet presence in our home! You spend much of the day sleeping still, but we are getting to see your eyes more and more! Some evenings you stay awake for several hours ~ just looking around and taking in your surroundings! One thing is for sure, when your eyes are open, they are open wide looking around at all that you can see!!

The other night we ate dinner at one end of the kitchen table while you lay sleeping in your moses basket on the other end. Your big brothers were acting crazy which is normal for them!! They were laughing and singing so loudly, but you just slept on like a good 4th baby should!!! They don't phase you, sweet boy! You are precious and sweet and wonderful and peaceful, and I love you like crazy!

Here are a couple of pics of you taken during the first month of your life. . .

Here you are after your first "real" bath. .

And, here you are yawning. . .

Your big brothers love you to pieces! Elijah wakes up saying, "My Baby! My Baby!" He wants to give you love all the time as do your two oldest brothers! It seems they never get used to you! You've been with us a month, but you are still brand new to them ~ their favorite toy! And, you, my precious, calm little one, you very sweetly tolerate their love. And, here is a picture of you doing just that. . .

We are so glad that God in all His infinite wisdom chose to give us you!!

We love you, baby boy!

Friday, August 22, 2008

New Mommy Necklace

My sweet Mommy picked out this necklace as a gift for me celebrating the birth of baby #4. . .

whenever that birth may happen.

It says, "Hand holder. . . Dream soother. . . Love giver"

And, I love it.

She ordered it from Lisa Leonard Designs. I love everything she does! So, so beautiful and sentimental!

Thanks, Mommy!

We May Not Be Having a Baby. . .

but we are sure are having a lot of fun!!!!!!

First of all, let me just say that Nana's are the best. Nana took the little boys to the library and to Wal-Mart this morning to give me some "alone time." How wonderful! I always worry about my boys when they are under the care of others. I worry about whether they are being obediant and well mannered. Sometimes I worry so much that I really don't enjoy my time away from them. But, the great thing about Nana is that she almost always comes back raving about how easy and good the boys were for her. And, this makes me happy!

Nana picked up these fun little costumes for the boys this morning at Wal-Mart. And, when we went to pick up Joshua at school, we surprised him with this waiting in the backseat for him. . .

And, how do you think Joshua responded when he saw his little brother. . .

We decided that the boys were so cute that we had to surprise Daddy at his office with these two little heroes. . .

I think that he liked the surprise visit!

Who says the waiting is the hardest part?

The waiting can be fun, too!!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

39 Roses for 39 Weeks. . .

Am I spoiled, or what?

The lady who delivered my roses said that she also took Erik's order when he called. She said that he said, "We've never been 39 weeks before!!!"
He must be banking on the fact that I won't make it to 40 weeks!!! Please, God, let it be true!

Parenting is Not for the Weak, or is it?

You have to be a tough cookie to be a parent. And, I for one am not a tough cookie.

I am not strong.

I am not hard.

I am soft.

I am weak.

A weak vessel.

I always have been, and I always will be. My husband says that I am stronger than I think I am, but I'm not so sure. It doesn't take much to break this little girl. . .

especially when she is 39 weeks pregnant and just sent her precious oldest son off to kindergarten.

And, so when the speech therapist called to talk to me about a few things she had noticed about Joshua's speech, I fell apart. Evidently there are 3 letters that he doesn't say just right, and she feels that he would benefit from some therapy.

What? Excuse me, did I hear her right? Did she say that my Joshua isn't perfect?

News-flash for Mommy.

Because, in my eyes those cute little l's that he says like w's are perfect. Perfectly cute, and I love the way he talks, and I never really noticed them before she pointed them out to me. And, how come some stranger noticed something about my son that I didn't notice?

And, I miss him. And, I am overwhelmed as it is. I thought that I was doing good just sending him off to school - this alone has been hard enough. Now, they are telling me that he needs speech therapy. And, I am pregnant and everything seems like a much bigger deal than it really is right now.

So, I went to her office and met with her Tuesday morning after I dropped my little boy off. For the first time Tuesday morning, he told me he didn't want to go to school. And, after I dropped him off, I drove around for a minute to collect myself because I know how weak I am - especially when my little boy is sad. And, I felt fragile, ready to fall apart at any second. But, I pulled myself together as best I could, and I entered the school to meet with the speech therapist. I think I was in her office 5 minutes before I fell apart. So, I sat there across the desk from this sweet lady with a box of kleenex in front of me crying as she described this process to me. She kept apologizing and saying, "I'm sorry. I am upsetting you, aren't I?" I kept assuring her that my tears had little to do with Joshua's speech problems and more to do with the fact that Joshua had been sad to leave this morning and that I have a gang of unruly hormones reigning my emotions. Weak. So, very weak. It was quite possibly one of my most embarrassing moments - except it lasted like 30 minutes. Classic Erin.

I planned on stopping by the Principal's office to discuss my desire to begin a Mom's in Touch Group for our Elementary school after I left the speech therapist's office. But, needless to say, I didn't have the strength, confidence, or emotional stability to do anything but run to my car with my head down and sunglasses firmly in place. As I drove off, I called Erik to tell him my sad little story.

In the time it took me to tell him about the meeting, Joshua's sweet teacher called my cell phone, Erik's cell phone, and our home phone. Not reaching us at any of the three numbers, she called my cell again and caught me as I was pulling the van into our driveway. The therapist told her about my little falling apart episode in her office, and she was calling to check on me, to assure me that Joshua was fine, and that he would in no way be singled out from the rest of the class for therapy. A day doesn't go by that I don't thank God for her. No doubt God hand-picked her for my little man. . . and for me, too.

After I got home, Deana B. called to see if I wanted to meet her at the Mexican restaurant for lunch. Ummm. Yes. (Since both her mother and my mother are in town awaiting the birth of Erik Daniel, we have automatic babysitters!) As I entered the Mexican restaurant, I prayed, "Please God, I am so tired of crying. Help me get through lunch without crying again." I sat down, and I could tell that Deana could tell that I had been crying. But, being the friend that she is, she never inquired about it. She just told me about her morning and gave me time to gather my emotions, my thoughts, and my heart before I shared it with her.

Deana B. is, in my opinion, strong. And, just being around her makes my little weak heart feel strong. Somehow she just exudes strength, and I left lunch feeling once again like I could, in fact, handle sending my son off to kindergarten. I could, in fact, handle the fact that he needs speech therapy. I could, in fact, handle the surging emotions and hormones that at times feel outside my control.

Between Deana B. and my mom, I was feeling back on track - sort of, anyway. Later that afternoon, I held my head high, shoulders straight, sunglasses on top of my head, eyes clear, and I entered Joshua's school. First, I asked to speak to the principal. She was excited about my desire to begin a Mom's in Touch Group, saying that they could always use prayer! Then, I asked to speak to the speech therapist again. I looked her straight in the eyes, apologized for falling apart earlier that day, told her I was 100% on board, and asked her to let me know what I could be doing at home to help my little man.

And, as I drove home with my little darling one chattering on in the back of the van, I thought about how difficult it is to be a parent. How difficult it is to love someone so much. How dangerous and unsafe it is to feel so much. And, here I am about to bring another little one into this world. Another little one that I will love beyond my wildest imagination, another little one that will break my heart over and over again each time I see his little heart break.

No, parenting is not for the weak. Earlier that day I doubted the fact that I should ever have become a mother. I am too weak. I can't handle it. But, I was reminded as my sweet Joshua chattered on and on in the backseat about Batman and Wobin, that God didn't expect me to be strong. He doesn't have expectations that my weak little self can't meet. He doesn't mind my weakness. He simply wants to be my strength. And, I need Him, breath by breath, tear by tear, I need Him.

No, parenting is not for the weak. It takes great strength to be a parent. And, I'm not talking about the kind of strength that one can muster up on his or her own. Parenting calls for supernatural strength. The kind of strength that is only available in a daily, walking, committed relationship with the one and only Strength-Giver. I thank God for the verse that says when I am weak, then I am strong because it speaks volumes to this weak vessel. I don't claim to have strength, but I do claim to belong to the Strength-Giver, to find my refuge in Him, my safe strong hiding place.

So, maybe, then parenting is for the weak.

At least, maybe it is for the weak made strong.

Monday, August 18, 2008

In Case You Are Wondering. . .

This is what I look like. . .

I still have a baby in my belly.

And, that is a good thing. . .

for the most part, anyway.

We are still waiting. . .

Patiently. . .

Well, sometimes, patiently. . .

Sometimes, a bit more impatiently. . .

But, mostly we are waiting patiently.

Could he be my first 39 weeker, or 40 weeker?

We'll see!

My mom is here waiting with us, and it is always such fun to have her happy heart in our home! The boys are thrilled with Nana's presence as am I!

But, I know that I need to have a baby in order to keep her here legitimately, so come visit us Erik Daniel!!!

When you are ready. . .

In God's perfect timing. . .

And, all that jazz!

So, here is what we have been up to. . . playing, waiting, walking, laughing, eating (lots of sugar), talking, texting, drinking (lots of Sonic), and just enjoying being together!

And, Elijah is soaking up his last little bit of being the baby of the family!

To be quite honest, I am not feeling much, at present, to make me feel that labor is right around the corner. I am not changing much from day to day dilation-wise. I am staying around 4 cm. So, we will see what the next few days or weeks (cringe) bring!!!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

My Sweet Little Mystery. . .

There is a sweet little mystery lying just beneath my skin, a sweet, sweet mystery. He kicks and pokes and prods. He hiccups and stretches and wiggles. Just beneath my skin he lays, curled tightly in a ball, and I love him. And, although I have not yet seen him, he makes me smile. And, wonder, oh, how he makes me wonder. . .

Yesterday evening as I was having a few little contractions, I looked at my sons. I looked at Joshua, JCT, and Elijah and as I looked at them individually I thought about each of their "birth" days. I thought about the mystery that they were to me on that day. I would stare into their sweet newborn faces and wonder who exactly I was holding. What did God have up His sleeve for each of their little lives. And, over the years the mystery has begun to unfold revealing unique and precious personalities. Uniquenesses that will allow them to be exactly who God called them to be, to do the things that God has called them to do, to touch the lives that God has called them to touch. I love dreaming about it. . .

As I am sitting at the computer pondering all these things, I am 4 cm. dilated. One thing is for certain. . . the mystery will soon begin to unfold before my eyes. There is no delaying it! He is on his way. His little journey into this big world has slowly begun. Soon the sweet little mystery lying beneath my skin will become the sweet little mystery lying on my chest.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


This morning we saw our sweet company off, and now the focus has shifted from: Joshua starting kindergarten - to - sweet company - to - awaiting Erik Daniel's arrival!!

No, we have not met our newest little man face to face yet. . . We said many a prayer this past week that if it was God's will and His perfect timing that He would allow Erik Daniel to make his grand enterance while Jen and family were here. But, Erik Daniel has not been fully cooked, so we continue to wait for him!! I'll be 38 weeks tomorrow, and two out of my three children were born during my 38th week. JCT was my early bird making his appearance during my 37th week. Only time will tell. . .

But, I am feeling little things that indicate that it will probably not be too much longer. Hopefully, it will be during this next week. Erik checked me this morning, and I was 3 cm. So, things are moving along bit by bit. . .

I have around 3,000 things that I'd like to get done in the next hour before I need to leave to pick up my sweet Joshua. So, I am going to begin by folding and putting away laundry & by packing my hospital bag (just in case ;-))!!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

My Letter to my Joshua on His First Day of Kindergarten. . .


The day before you started kindergarten we were discussing Erik Daniel's arrival. You were asking questions about how he would come out of me and when he would come out to be with us. Then, you asked to watch the video of your own birth. You love to watch yourself "be born." So, I pulled it out, and we watched as Daddy pulled you out from under a sea of green paper cloths covering me. I watched your face light up as you heard yourself cry, and as Dr.Y announced that you were tinkling on him! And, then I saw it, baby boy, I saw the first moment that I layed eyes on you, my precious priceless first born son. . . I saw the tears in your Daddy's eyes, and I was taken back in time. . .

Then, JCT piped up, "I want to see me be born, too!!" And, as I searched for his birth video, I put in at least 5 unmarked videos of you between the ages of 0 and 2 years. I had forgotten how adorabley cute you were - saying your A, B, C's, singing Jesus Loves Me, and opening Christmas presents. Oh, me. . .

Later that night I told Daddy all about the videos that we watched. He said, "Why do you do that to yourself knowing that he is going to go to kindergarten tomorrow?" Until he said it, I had not even put the two together.

But, sure enough, as we drove you to school the next morning, all the images of those home videos came back to me. I saw your sweet little baby smile, your toothless grin, and I heard your sweet baby voice saying "ma-ma" and singing my God is So Big.
But, I'll be honest on the way to school I felt strong. I felt good. I was ready. And, so were you, my big man. You were excited! We got to school and took a few pics of you and Daddy. . .
and of you and me. . .
Then, I walked you into your classroom.
Your teacher greeted us and told us where to hang your bag and lunch box. So, we did that, and then she motioned you over to some little boys doing puzzles on the floor. I hugged you and then you left my arms to join them. I was doing great if I do say so myself.

But, then, your sweet teacher reached her arm around me and gave me a hug, and in a soft voice she said, "It is going to be okay. . ." And, as she said it, she slipped a little handmade bookmark into one of my hands. I didn't even look at it. I knew at that moment that I was a ticking time bomb, and I. had. to. get. out. of. there. asap! I quickly walked out of the door and smiled at one of the sweet administrators that we know and the principal who were standing at the main enterance. And, as soon as I got past them, I could hold it in no longer. I cried. All the way to the car, all the way to the house, and after I got home, I cried for you.

As I hugged your Daddy good bye yesterday morning, our hug, in the middle of the parking lot, was the hug of a couple embarking on a new adventure, a new era. In my mind it was likened to that of the hugs we hug when we find out that we are pregnant or that we hug after one of our sweet sons are born. It is the hug that says, I feel this just as much as you do. No one else on earth may know how you feel, but I do. We are doing this thing together. It was a precious memory for me. I looked up at him with big teary eyes, and he looked down at me with sweet understanding. I pray that you will grow up to be a husband and father like yours.

After I got home and settled in, the crying stopped for a minute. But, then I went to get something out the fridge, and I saw your sippy cup sitting there, and I started crying again. I sat down and took a few minutes to read the poem on the bookmark your teacher handed me. This is what it said. . .

The First Day

I gave you a little wink and smile as you entered my room today.

For I know how hard it is to leave and know your child must stay.

You've been with him for five years now and have been a loving guide.

But, now, alas, the time has come to leave him by my side.

Just know that as you drive away and tears down your cheeks may flow

I'll love him as I would my own and help him learn and grow.

For as a parent, I too know how quickly the years do pass.

And, one day soon it will be my turn to take my twins to class.

So, please put your mind at ease and cry those tears no more.

For I will love him and take him in when you leave him at my door.

Needless to say, my baby, the tears flowed freely after reading this sweet poem. I thank God for giving you such a precious teacher! I am praying for her daily! Mommy has such sweet friends. I think I received 15 text messages and calls the first hour after I dropped you off alone! And, Deana B. and Afton brought Mommy and Daddy a sweet happy and a sonic drink! You know how Mommy loves that Sonic ice - especially when I am pregnant!

JCT and I spent the morning making first day of school cupcakes for you!
And, I prayed for you all day trying to imagine what you were doing at that very moment. Were you eating lunch? Had you discovered the special gummy treats that I stuck in your lunch box? As I drove to pick you up, I became nervous. What if you had a bad day? What would I say and do? What if you started to cry? I waited in the pick up line until it was my turn to pick up my little man! You walked out to me and gave me a big hug! Then, you got in the van and buckled yourself in. As we drove off I asked, "How was your day?" You said, "Fine." That didn't tell me enough. . . So, I asked, "Did you like it?" And, you said. . .

"I loved it."

And, my heart melted. I felt warm tears, happy tears, burn in my eyes, tears of relief. I love you, and I so want you to be happy. I know we will have hard days and bad days. But, I am thankful that your first day was a good day.

Then, we took cupcakes to several of your friends, got sonic drinks, and went to see your sweet Daddy at work! It was a fun afternoon!

For dinner I told you that I would make you whatever you wanted. So, I asked, "What is your very favorite thing that mommy makes?" Your answer. . .

"Macaroni and cheese." You are a simple man, easy to please.

And, so I made you mac n' cheese and served it to you with chicken on our family's red special plate!

It seemed you grew a few inches in those hours we were apart yesterday. You seemed so grown up, so mature. But, sometime late in the evening before bedtime, you curled up in my lap and in your best baby imitation voice you said, "Joshy missed Mommy today. Joshy loves Mommy so much!" And, I kissed your sweet forehead and your sweet cheeks and your sweet lips and your sweet temples, and I assured you that I, also, missed you!

I am so proud of you, my little man, and I love you more than you could ever know. . .

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Joshua's Challenge

Erik and I have been praying and talking for several weeks about a challenge to send Joshua off to kindergarten with. We have been discussing and praying about verses and words that God has placed on our heart to say to our little man.

I wanted Joshua to have something to take to school with him, something tangible, to remind him of this challenge. So, after we decide on the words and verses, I went to Lifeway in search of keychain to hang on his backpack. My sweet Deana B. sat in the parking lot with all the kiddos while I ran in to take a look. I hastily grabbed three different keychains without really looking deeply at any of them.

Later that evening, I pulled them out to show Erik in hopes that one of them would stand out and be "the one." And, guess what, one did. Erik immediately reached for the one shaped like a shield with a cross on it, and as he began to turn it over, I said, "I don't think it says anything on the back. I think they are all just plain. . ." And, as quickly as the words came out of my mouth, Erik revealed what was on the back. . .

Joshua 1:9.
It is our verse for our oldest boy. It is the verse I whisper in his little ear when he needs a little encouragement. His verse. The first verse he ever memorized. Perfect.
So, Erik and I looked at each other with wide eyes, and he said, "That's the one."
And, so it was. And, this morning we sent him off with his challenge and his little tangible reminder that God is with him wherever he goes. Mommy may not always be with him. Daddy may not always be with him, but God is always with him.
". . . for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. . ."
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Hi! I live in a sweet country home overflowing with love, laughter, and little ones. I have been blessed to journey these days beside a man that I love, respect, and admire. He is my soul-mate and best friend. Together we are seeking to raise our seven children to be lovers of God, to be wise and discerning, and to be all that our sweet God created them to be. I am in the goldfish and cheerio stage of life, but I am keenly aware that these days are slipping right through my hands. This blog is my attempt to keep our memories safe for years to come.


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