Thursday, June 30, 2011

Reliving the past

Wow.  So do any of you ever go through your old journals.  I just read from getting engaged to Stephen through having two kids and him leaving for the first time in the army.  My emotions are on overload.  There was one consistency through all of it though.  God was and is faithful.  Thank you God for never leaving me or abandoning me.  Thank you for your patience and great mercy.

The kids got a box in the mail today :)  Ok I got something in the mail that came in a box but the kids thought it was the greatest toy.

This was Isabella telling Bailey to run and get some tape to tape it closed.  He was all to happy to comply until mom ruined his fun.
The Peanut has a favorite book that has baby faces in it.  This is the face she makes whenever you say pouting.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

My Kadin

Today I stand amazed at God's goodness in blessing us with our second born son.  He turns nine today ( how did that happen! ).  Kadin is so special.  He cares about others so naturally.  He is the first to jump up and give up what he has, the first to share, the first to sympathize.  He is often scatterbrained.  He will still put his shoes on the wrong feet sometimes and is infamous for getting his clothes on backwards.  It is not because he doesn't know how but because he just can't be bothered.  What does concern him is others.  He has a compassionate heart and when we have Bible time that is the part that always sticks out to him.  Loving others.

His name means "Friend" and he is to everyone he meets.

We are so blessed to have him for a son.

Another significant moment in our life occurred the day he was born.  With my firstborn I almost died in pregnancy.  I had H.E.L.L.P.S.   Basically my blood pressure shot up, my organs started failing and my blood stopped clotting.  The OBs said I was within hours of dying when they delivered him by c-section.  Caleb was born at 34 weeks.  This would be a very long post if I went into that whole story here and all that God graciously did in our lives.
Seven months later I was pregnant with Kadin and I had a rough time of it.  I had early labor signs, he tested positive for Downs Syndrome ( which he didn't have) and then I began to show signs of H.E.L.L.P.S. again.  After seeing specialists every couple weeks they brought me in for a c-section at 38 weeks.  When the OB came in he was very concerned and recommended that I had my tubes tied because of my health.  He really was a good OB and I am not generally a fan of OBs.  He was concerned that if I had any more children I would not survive it.  Well Stephen and I by God's grace asked the doctor to step out so we could pray.  He left and we had started to mentally resign ourselves to having two children.  Well we could do things differently with two.  I could be done being pregnant ( which I wasn't too upset about at that point).  We would be a two boy family.  We bowed our heads to pray.  And we got NO.  It was so clear.  We truly felt like we were not supposed to have my tubes tied.  It was clear enough to make us sure.  The doctor came in and we told him our decision.  He was surprised but supported us.  I had the roughest c-section.  It was very traumatic and then I had my beautiful baby boy.

The story doesn't stop there though.  Months later we were sitting in church ( not even our home church)  and the speaker was teaching about how God is the God of our bodies and still heals today.  They asked if anyone wanted to come up for healing and be prayed for.  I thought, " that is so awesome, I completely believe God heals! I am totally healthy though."  Then I felt a prompting that I  was healthy except that my body was broken.  I could not have babies safely.  I went up front and I was prayed for and I felt like it was done.  I don't know how to explain it besides that.  We have now had four more beautiful babies with perfect healthy pregnancies.  My last three have been born at home ( Perfect VBACs ). 

On this day when God saved us from making such a choice we want to praise HIM for his mercy to us - 9 years later.

We would not have Bailey, Isabella, Titus or Hadassah.
We often will tell this story to our children and read  Joshua 9.  It talks of how the Israelites were tricked into a treaty with those that God told them not to have a treaty with  - but the part that has always stood out to me " but they did not seek the Lord's counsel" vs14 .  How easily it could have been so different!  We believe it is by God's grace and faithfulness that we sought his counsel in the first place and that he made it obvious to us as well. 

Thank  you God!

Posted by Picasa

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Peanut

This is Daddy's "Peanut".  He is swept off his feet by her blue eyes and big smile.  She is such a darling.  I think as you have more children you appreciate this stage more ( at least I do ).  While she does keep me on my toes climbing and adventuring; she brightens my day and all of our lives.

Posted by Picasa

Thursday, June 23, 2011

A little more chaos

Today was another one of those chaos with a purpose days.  I had some more sewing to do and then various other projects going on at the same time.

As I ironed and cut and pinned, I listened to Isabella tell Titus all about the dress she was going to make for her Josephina doll.

She told him, " Prepare to be AMAZE"   :)
He was a good brother and listened attentively.

Hadassah wanted a closer look at what mama was doing.

I finished the burp clothes that I wanted to get done today - YAY

It has been a busy week around here.  On Monday we met with an agent from ATF ( Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms)  to finish up the last step to getting our Federal Firearms License.
Two to four weeks and we will officially be in business!
                                                          Papa's Gunsmithing.

Tuesday I woke up with another migraine!  Yuck but on the positive side I think we have figured out what is triggering them.

Wednesday we recovered from Tuesday ;)

And then we have today. . . trying to get a bunch of projects done before Friday cleaning before company comes.  Whew.  Sometimes I am amazed by how the week is gone before I have registered that it even started.

On a school note - Caleb finished the math book he has been working on - WOOHOO
I am trying something new with his creative writing.  I called my mom for help and she gave me some good perspective.  SO I am trying to teach Caleb grammar from a different angle and keeping it out of his creative writing book at the moment.
Bailey has been struggling with reading.  In fact he will tell you he hates it.  His speech issues have created some of his struggles.  Yesterday we got Explode the Code, we thought we would try something different.  Bailey was so excited and he is actually enjoying working through it at the moment.

My little guy decided I was taking too long getting him clothes after his shower.  He was so proud of himself.  No, he did not get a diaper on though.

And last but not least my 13 month old baby . . . . 
 . . . . . peeking into the big world outside.
                                                 P.S.  - She did get up there all by herself.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

My Daddy

         I have a lot in my heart that I am mulling around . . trying to figure out how to get it out in a comprehensible manner.
            Last night Stephen and I were sharing with Clayton some of our marriage journey.  We were remembering back to the beginning and lessons learned.  When we had been engaged for a couple months our immaturity and learned singleness was creating problems in our relationship.  In fact things had gotten so bad that I was thinking of calling everything off and running home.  I called my mama and was telling her just that.  My mama, having that mama's heart, said "of course you can come home!"  Well my dad was listening to it all and he got on the phone.

          He told me that I could not run home.  He told me that I needed to be an adult and communicate with Stephen.  He told me to write out in a clear way everything I was struggling with, to sit down with Stephen and explain what I was "feeling".  He told me to use that word and not accuse him, to put emotions aside and explain in a clear way what I was having issues with.  Then he told me to ask Stephen to have a list the next night for me and to explain his side.  He told us to pray before we had our conversations.  Then he told me I could come home if we decided it wouldn't work but that I had to handle it like an adult first.  We spoke for an hour.  He spelled out how to handle our conflict.  It might have been the longest deep conversation we had had at this point.

            Well I called Stephen and after some struggle we set up a time to sit down and talk.  I did everything my daddy said to do.  I had my list.  I explained everything in a clear concise way.  Stephen listened and we talked through things but mostly he listened.  When we were done, Stephen looked at me and said "WOW, is that how to communicate?!"  We were both wide eyed and amazed.  It was a major turning point in our lives and in our relationship.  That set our marriage on the course it has taken.  My dad ( and God using my dad ) changed my life and Stephen's life in that one hour of talking to me.  ( I am emotional as I write this.)  Stephen and I will always tell everyone that my dad was one of the most influential people in our marriage.

If he had not taken that time to stop what he was doing and pour into my life, to teach me, to train me we might not be married today.   

Thank you my daddy for teaching me.  Thank you for imparting wisdom, for having time for me.  My learning from you didn't start at this moment.  You had set an example already to me of how to handle conflict.  I had seen your responsibility and Christ in you.  You have been an amazing father and I am amazed by God's goodness in giving me you as a daddy.

I Love You.

Happy Father's Day!

your daughter, Courtney

Friday, June 17, 2011

Part 7 Addition

  I can't believe I forgot to put this in the last part of our story!  It is one of my mom's favorite parts ;)  The day after my accident before Stephen headed home, my mom, somewhat jokingly, asked Stephen what his intentions were.  He smiled and didn't say anything at first.  So she asked again," What are your intentions?"  He looked her right in the eye and said with a totally serious face, " As soon as I get a car we are headed to Vegas."

My mom was actually struck speechless and she is not easily shocked.  I think that was the moment my mama fell in love with him.
December 1999 - My honey with his soon to be in-laws
Posted by Picasa

Giveaway . . . .

I have recently started following a sweet blog.  They are having a giveaway because it is the 700th post!  Wow, I wonder if I will ever be able to say that ;)

Here is the link to their blog giveaway
The Muncks Quiver Giveaway

I hope there blog blesses you!

Blessings, Courtney

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Enjoying the Moments

Isabella - "Here Kadin, I will read the ingredients
- 1 Coca Cola
- 1 Ice cream"

Kadin - " That is not what it says"

Isabella - " Yep right here it says 1 coca cola"

I kind of like her ingredients ;) - don't tell

A few minutes later . . .. . Isabella - "Hey, I can hear the ocean!!"
Then all the boys except Caleb ran and listened to see if they could hear the ocean :D It was important to Caleb that I made it clear he didn't listen to the box.

Then I was playing with Titus and he made a "big robot".   Just out of curiosity I asked him what his robot ate. " Carrots, feed him carrots"

This morning we had a tea party.

These are very special tea cups (above). Daddy and Isabella went on a daddy/daughter date to get her a tea set a while ago. I called after they had been gone for over an hour and a half, worried that something had gone wrong. It hadn't , they were just enjoying shopping together and had to look at every set. I love how the set they came home with was a mix of Papa ad Isabella. It is just a little on the masculine side and unique. And very important to Stephen ( you know the practical side of things), it is dishwasher safe and microwave safe.

Isabella's Isabella doll goes almost everywhere with her.

This is the set I picked with her :) ( It is not dishwasher safe.)

My beautiful blue eyed girl!
Posted by Picasa

The Long Story Part 7

Back at part 5 , my mom was sweet enough to contribute in the comments.  I asked her if she could put her perspective of meeting Stephen.  So if you are interested - Long Story Part 5
Since I was unconscious at  this point in the story Stephen took the time and wrote the next part . . . 
Since Courtney was a little out of it at this point I get to take up "our story" for the next section.
I was in a car a couple hundred meters behind Courtney and as was mentioned the road is rather windy, so even though I was not very far behind I did not see the car go airborne.  So when I came around the corner I saw a lady standing next to the road trying to wave down some help, pulling off to the side of the road I looked over the edge and saw a little white car down the embankment.  My buddy and I got out and went to where the car had crashed through the bushes on the side of the road.  At this point Courtney was about half way up the steep hill without any shoes on and the horn on the car was going off.  After helping Courtney to the top I climbed down and got the horn to shut off and other than the smoke from the air bags it did not appear to be too bad.  So I climbed back up and was trying to comfort Courtney but I was being very awkward about it, because going through my head was, "Great, I was going to talk with Courtney about starting a relationship, now people are going to think I am taking advantage of the situation" so at one point Matt put my arm around her shoulders.
At this point we drove back to the base and called the Sheriff and Courtney's mom (who despite her best efforts to deny it started the first food fight and the second food fight, but I am getting ahead of myself).  When mom got up to the base we had moved Courtney up to her bed room and had her laying in bed, I was sitting on the bed next to her holding her hand still thinking "great, now I think I am taking advantage of the situation."  After a little while mom and Courtney went down to the E.R., air bags pack quite a punch, because Courtney had a concussion. 
As they were heading out Donna invited Matt and I down for a visit that night.

 Courtney point of view . . . .
       I woke up to smoke around me and was very confused.  I thought something was on fire because of the smoke and thought, "ok, well I need to get away from the car if there is a fire." I later learned the smoke was from the air bag deploying. I started climbing back up to the road.  I remember looking down and realizing that I only had one sandal on.  I kind of remember thinking I didn't need it anymore since I had lost the other one.  I bent over, took it off and flung it down the mountain.
       I have some periods of time here where I don't remember much.  I had a solid concussion and actually struggled for months with being able to completely focus and having memory loss of that day.  I got to the road and Stephen and Matt were there by then as well as the lady who had been driving the truck.  They drove me back to the base and got me inside to some friends of mine.  I was so sick by then (because of the concussion).  I had some pain in my forearm, a rash across my face from the airbag and a horrible headache.  I went to my room and someone called my mom, who lived an hour away or so.  I crawled into my bed as I soon as I was done being sick.
           Stephen and Matt went to check out the car.  They turned it off ( what a thought ;) )  and saw that the whole frame had shifted.  It looked surprisingly good from above but it did need to be totaled.  Then Stephen and Matt came back to the base, with my shoes :D
          Now remember, I hit my head pretty badly and I guess it made me a little forward.  When Stephen came up to my room with Matt, I told him he could hold my hand if he wanted to.  Then after he took my hand I patted the bed and said he could sit here next to me.  So I am still a blushing thinking about it.  If it doesn't sound too bad it is because you weren't there. 
          A few minutes later my mom came.  She took in the whole situation and then asked me some basic questions while looking at my eyes.  I answered all of them wrong until she asked with a smirk, " Whose hand are you holding?"  I got that one right.
She told Stephen she was taking me to the hospital for a cat-scan and that he and Matt were welcome to come for dinner and spend the night.

The next couple hours I was at the hospital having tests run . . . and getting a ticket :P  - my only one.

When I got home my mom made dinner and we all hung out till midnight.   At 11pm my mom asked if anyone wanted caramel brownies and proceeded to bake.  She also started a flour food fight (are you seeing a pattern?)   Stephen and I were still holding hands on and off.  The next day he headed home and we talked about plans for me to come meet his family  . . . after I got a new car.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Thoughts on Camping . .

I still cannot believe how well it went!  The only oops we had was that I was so focused on getting everyone out the door I forgot my shoes . . I was wearing flip flops which is just not practical camping gear.  Even funnier, Stephen found my slippers by chance in the car and I actually wore those to go hiking because they were at least better than flip flops :D
My three biggest boys were off traipsing in the woods most of the time.  They were in their element; climbing trees, shooting BB guns, throwing knives . . etc.  It did make us long for the day when we have property.  One day . . .

In the morning Isabella came to us with these branches on the back of her head.  She said," Look PaPa I have antlers."  He talked her out of going on our hike that way.

When I said that we slept rather well, it was true,  but I did end up with two girls inside my mummy style sleeping bag and little Titus on top of me as well.  He said he was scared of the bears and bad guys getting us.  All the kids were feeling a little scared when it got dark and we were settling down for the night.  It was a good opportunity for all of us to remember that God is where our security comes from.  They all did a lot better after Bible time and praying. 

 This sight is such a blessing to Stephen and I!  We never thought he would be able to carry Hadassah this way after his surgery.  He has been feeling soo much better.  He told me today that his shoulder feels much stronger than it did after his previous surgery.   :)  Praise God! 
He also didn't think he would be able to comfortably sleep on the ground with his shoulder and he did great.  He would have slept even better if he wasn't waking up for little ones potty breaks. ;)
He still has limited mobility but he would much rather have stability and strength than mobility.