Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Being Found Faithful

Tomorrow is my daddy's birthday. He always said that I was almost his best birthday present as I was born only four hours after his birthday.

People are always telling me how blessed my life is ( a fact I readily agree to!), but I believe it didn't just happen by chance. David and I both come from an incredibly Godly heritage. We were both raised by parents who wanted nothing more for us than to love Jesus Christ with all of our hearts. We were trained for a purpose. And my dad had much to do with that.

My daddy has always been my hero. There was never anything he couldn't do. He always loved us boldly in word and deed. He provided for us, played wildly with us and took great joy in our interests. But there was so much more.

My dad prayed for us. Every morning for as long as I can remember, he was up at the crack of dawn, building a fire, reviewing scripture and praying for his children. I have no doubt of the power of those prayers in my life! My dad was also my pastor for all of my growing up years. Always he was a man of integrity, living just as faithfully before his family as he did anywhere else.

One of my dad's favorite songs is called "Find us Faithful" by Steve Green. The chorus goes,
May all who come behind us find us faithful.
May the fire of our devotion light their way.
May the footprints that we leave lead them to believe,
And the lives we live inspire them to obey.
Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful.

I love you Daddy! Thank you for being such a faithful witness to me all of my days, and for continuing to be one for my children. Thank you for inspiring my fire to love the Lord. I want to be just like you!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Just a quick......

THANK YOU!!! I once again feel very compelled to thank each and every one of you who takes the time, even just a brief moment, to stop by here and see what's going on in our life.

When I wrote out Ella Joy's birth story I was so touched (okay, maybe I was a little extra emotional those days!) by how many of you not only read it all, but also left comments.

I must admit, I am a sucker for comments! I first started my blog June of '08 and I had two blogging buddies. Thankfully my Mom stopped by from time to time as well. For 17 posts my record amount of comments was 2. And there were many, MANY just plain zeros.

Then a miraculous day came! Alysun found me through my friend's blog! " I actually read your blog a lot..." she said, and my whole blogging life changed! Someone who wasn't "bound" to come by chose to come by!

I don't know how the rest of you ended up here (although I know facebook was a great tool!), but every time any one of you leaves a comment, a note on facebook or just tells me in person that they read my blog, it is a huge encouragement to me.

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! You all are such tremendous blessings in my life!

Friday, February 19, 2010


How am I this morning? Completely overwhelmed. I've been sick for the past three days. Nothing too serious. Just the headache, sinus congestion, sore throat and stomach ache that makes you wish you lived under your down comforter! I feel like my house is falling apart, due to the fact of Mommy wishing she was under a down comforter for three days. Oh, also we have no money. That's sort of what happens when there is hardly any construction work for months!

That is not even a glimpse into why I feel overwhelmed though. In the last 24 hours I have had two of the best dates imaginable. The first was with my amazingly incredible husband. Even with things being a little tight right now, he arranged for our girls to spend the night at Grammy's house and whisked me away to spend some time with him. I haven't had a chance to say it yet today, so let me just get it out there. I LOVE MY HUSBAND!!! I realized the other day that I have been in love with him for over ten years. But never have I loved him more than I do now. I could write a book describing all the amazing things about him. Every day I am blown away by how blessed I am to be married to such a mighty man of God. We are lovers and best friends and I am so thankful to be experiencing how awesome God's design for marriage is.

We had so much fun talking about past, present and a future full of joy and excitement. It was wonderful having that time to just be together. It was a fabulous date.

David had to leave early this morning for his men's group that he meets with, so I was enjoying sleeping in with my precious Ella babe and no one else in the house. That's when I got the invitation for my second date.

Gently and tenderly I felt called from my bed to the chair down by the fire to spend some uninterrupted time with my first love. Jesus. It was beautiful. He is beautiful. And Good. And Awesome. And Faithful. I could go on forever, but thankfully there is a book written about how amazing He is.

How precious it is to be held in the arms of our Savior. Why would I ever want to be anywhere else? To know that He loves me more perfectly and beautifully than I could ever imagine. To know that everything I love or care about belongs to Him and is completely in His control. How could I worry about a house or food or clothes, when my Father who loves me has unlimited resources and absolute wisdom as to what is best for us? How could I complain about anything when I taste and see everyday how good He is to me. He gave His own life to purchase me, wash me and make me righteous. He has blessed me more than I could ever describe. Never have I lacked anything and always I am basking in the overflow of His provision.

Yes, this morning I am completely overwhelmed. And I hope I stay this way every day of my life!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

One Month Old

Today is Ella's one month "birthday". I can't believe how time has flown! Didn't I just come home from the hospital?
She is still the dearest little thing I've ever seen. She lets me have at least a four or five hour chunk of sleep every night and only cries if she really needs something. She also snuggles, which is a rare treat for me!

Every moment we have with her is a treasure. I'm drinking it all up!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Extra Blessings!

One of the most wonderful things about a wedding is being surrounded by people that you love! This wedding was no exception. There were a few people that our family was especially excited to see.

Jonathan and Laura came up from Southern Oregon for the wedding so we finally got to get the two newest cousins together!

Talia and Ella are two and a half months apart. While they really aren't that interested in each other at this point, we are excited to watch them grow up together. I know they'll be good buddies!

Another special guest was Seulgi. She is from Korea and lived with my parents for the school year of 2006-2007. She truly became family and even came to the hospital when Bethany was born. Lydia was the only one who really remembered her, but all of the girls quickly attached themselves to this long lost auntie!

Then there was Chia, our even longer lost sister! Chia lived with us for the school year of 2000-2001. I was fourteen!! Needless to say, much has changed since she has been here. It has been such a blast reconnecting with her.

We are so blessed that God brought these beautiful people back into our lives even for such a brief time. He is so good!

Monday, February 15, 2010

One of the most beautiful days ever!!!

Last Saturday was one of the most beautiful days I could have ever imagined. My dear sister Mary was married to Peter Domes in our home church, surrounded by hundreds of people who dearly loved them both. Everything went perfectly. It was a fairly large wedding with three groomsmen, eight bridesmaids, two candle lighters, one ring bearer, one Bible bearer and four flower girls. There were many details, but with many loving and willing hands and my incredibly capable mother overseeing them all, it all went smoothly.

While the ceremony and decorations were polished and impressive, that was far from the most beautiful thing about the day. Even the tender, precious, committed love that the couple had for each other took a back seat to what they wanted to have the center stage. The Lord Jesus Christ. Can anything ever compare to His beauty and the beauty of what He brings together? In all that went on that day, Jesus got the glory. It truly was beautiful!

It was so much fun having five of us involved in the wedding (Ella was just a little too small!)

Mary was the most beautiful of brides. Her beauty comes from her heart and shines throughout her whole being!

My sweet sisters and I

Mr. and Mrs. Peter Domes
Never could I have imagined a more perfect man for my sister. I know that he will take such good care of her. This couple is such an amazing example of loving and trusting the Lord with absolute devotion and obedience. If you have the chance to know them, you will be blessed!

Peter is a farmer and so the tractor was their getaway vehicle! It was too cute!
God is so good. Peter and Mary were many times told that their standards were "too high". What a testimony of how capable God is of giving His children the desires of their heart as they delight in Him!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Getting to Know Her

" Getting to know you. Getting to know all about you...." This has been my theme song for the past couple of weeks. These first few days of having a new little one join the family are always so precious. A new human being, perfectly created so uniquely and with a specific plan for their life. I think I appreciate how fast this time goes more with each one. I am doing my best to treasure this time and every moment I have with each of my children.
I have never in my life seen a baby like Ella. She is the dearest, sweetest little thing. From the very beginning she has been so easy. And I mean sooooooo easy! She eats like a pro. Her diapers are like clockwork. She burps almost as soon as you get her to your shoulder. She hardly ever spits up. She has slept for at least one four hour chunk every night except one. And she hardly ever cries. When she does cry, all she needs is to be fed, changed or held and that fixes everything. I am still in complete amazement!

She is also very alert, bright-eyed and aware of what is going on around her. People ask who she looks like. The answer is, DADDY!!! Or sometimes Uncle Timothy or Uncle Peter or Uncle Andrew or Uncle Matthew. Not sure what it is about her, but she is a King 100%! We haven't seen one ounce of Dixon coming out in her yet! As you can see, just a bit of hair. I think Bethany still holds the record of having the least though! Her eyes are piercing and indescribable. Literally. I can not tell what color they are! Sorry! No dimples. No birthmarks. But she does have something none of her sisters had.

The famous forehead wrinkles!!! Another thing she got from Daddy I guess. They absolutely crack me up. Anytime she raises her eyebrows or even looks up, wrinkles spread all over her head.
Here Ella Joy is with the other babies of the house. Don't tell the others, but she has totally laid claim to the favorite status around here. Ruth, Ammi and Leah are officially second best. So far Ella has survived having her heel poked four times to check for jaundice, her first cold ( isn't nursing a stuffed up baby the most pathetic thing?) and Havilah. She's quite the little trooper!

If you haven't been able to pick it up, I am madly in love. My heart is long gone to this sweet little girl. I cannot believe that God has given me this precious little treasure. It seems like yesterday I found out I was expecting again, and now here she is. Already such an irreplaceable part of all of our lives.
"Haven't you noticed, suddenly I'm bright and breezy? Because of all the beautiful and new, things I'm learning about you, day by day!"

Monday, February 8, 2010

"There were never such devoted sisters..."

I know I say it on almost every other post, but I LOVE MY SISTERS!!!! They truly are my best friends in the whole world. Other than David, I would rather spend a day with them than anyone else. My sister Mary is getting married in 5 days!!! Things are pretty crazy right now as all the details are getting finished up, but we were able to squeeze in a day last week to just have fun and be sisters!

Rachel, Anna and I plotted and planned and decided that we would hit the mini-golf course. Knowing that we were all at about the same competitive level ( a little below complete novice), we knew it would be a cutthroat game!

Fun seems to follow us wherever we go, and that day was no exception. We all had our triumphs and our heartbreaks, and I think, miraculously, we all made par at one time or another!

The low point of the game came when we realized that Anna's miraculous ability to predict what the holes where named came from cheating!!! Can you believe that dear girl peaked at the card?

Anna sizes up the next hole.
Ella tagged along sweetly. She never even made a peep the whole time!

Mary carefully calculates the score. She was about the only one left we could trust at this point!

It was a close game indeed.
Once more for good measure, I love these girls!!!

Finally a winner!!!

I'm sorry it took me so long to get this all figured out! I found it much more difficult than I thought it would be to calculate who "won" the guessing challenge. Note to self: Next time narrow down the guessing to just the date OR weight OR time!!! Having everyone guess on five different things made it rather difficult to figure out. I finally came up with the best point system I could figure and just went with it. You all were fabulous! Thank you so much for participating. You made the wait so much more fun!

But the winner is....... JENNIFER!!!

I wish I could send prizes to many of you who did fabulous (Charlene, the closest to the date by far!!!) but this time there is only one winner!

Congratulations Jennifer! Please e-mail me at and I will send you your gift card! Thanks again!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Birth Story (Finally!!!)

At first, I was giving myself a little time off thinking " Everyone will understand! I just had a baby!". And then I think the idea of sitting down and writing out the WHOLE story looked a little daunting. And of course there was also the fact that probably only a handful of readers will actually be interested in all the tiny details, and probably only a fraction of those would actually have the time to read the entire thing! And even after I had overcome those obstacles and determined to just sit down and do it, my lazy nature set in and put it off for Monday. How about Tuesday? For sure Wednesday! Nevertheless, here I am. And here's my first novel ( otherwise known as "My birth Story"). I recommend that you pour yourself a cup of coffee ( or even better, Earl Grey tea!), grab a blanket and get comfortable!

So, for those of you who don't remember, I've never gone early. I've continued to get later and later with each birth. My sister is getting married on February 13 and I am the matron of honor, so I was desperately hoping that this little one wouldn't come too late so that I would have some hope of wearing a dress that didn't look too much like a maternity gown! Also, by the end, I CAN NOT WAIT to meet my baby. My poor husband had the same conversation with me about 100 times day for the last month about how excited I was for the baby to come and how ready I was for labor to start. He endured graciously.

I did everything I could to naturally encourage labor. Don't ask, I did it all! People kept telling me "Walk! That always brings on labor." Believe me. I walked. I walked 39 miles in the fifteen days before I went into labor. I figured that God must be laughing at how I often I told Him how a specific day would be a perfect time for Baby to come. I was reminded once again how God really does have a better idea of perfect timing than I do!

I was due on January 21. On the morning of January 16 there was a small shower planned for Mary. It was a blast! When I came home, I felt funny. I can not describe at all what I mean by that. Pretty much, I knew it was almost time. No contractions, just a feeling. I went for one more 1 mile walk, took a short nap and then started to make dinner.

(WARNING!!! Graphic content ahead! Okay, nothing too graphic. Just slightly tmi)
As I was putting the meatballs in the oven ( Wow those were good meatballs! I'm hungry!), I felt a slight dripping. No gushing, just dripping. I was confused! Only once have I had my water break previous to labor starting, but it was very obvious! I then tried to convince my husband that yes, I think (maybe, sort of, pretty sure...) my water had broken and that he should probably make plans for someone else to lead the worship service the next morning. I didn't take long for me to be about 99.7% sure that my water had indeed broken so I gave my midwife a call to see what I should do. She advised me to wait it out at home for the night to see if anything picked up, and then to come to the hospital in the morning if nothing happened. All night I had contractions every half hour to forty-five minutes apart. Nothing too serious.

After a sketchy night's sleep, we picked up Mary in the morning, grabbed some Earl Grey Lattes on the way (Note: David drank coffee! I would hate to give him a bad reputation!) and headed for one of my favorite getaways (a.k.a. the Silverton Family Birth Center)! When we got there, they checked me and said I was at 3cm, group b strep positive and posterior. Not incredibly encouraging considering I was at 2cm the week before and I hadn't been told I was group b strep positive. Because my water had been broken for fourteen hours, they never considered sending me home (which is always one of my greatest fears!). I was very thankful for that!
So we walked. My one complaint about this hospital. Because it is so small, you feel like you are wearing a path in the carpet as you walk the same path over and over and over. But still nothing picked up. A contraction here and there, but nothing to really take notice of. We soon came to the conclusion that the dreaded pitocin would be needed if we wanted this baby to come sometime in the next week.

Before they started that though, they wanted to give a dose of penicillin for the group b strep. Now I have always been a person who just checks "No" "No" "No" "No" on those medical forms where they want to know your allergies and medical history. I even joked as I was filling it out that I almost put "No" for weight. It became apparent quite quickly though that I have an allergy that I never knew about. Only a few minutes after the penicillin was injected I began to itch. I didn't think much of it at first. Then I began to really itch! Everywhere. From my feet to the top of my head. Also my ears felt like they were three times their natural size. Oh, and David said my face was bright red. Also I had tiny bumps that looked like bug bites all over my arms and legs. It was actually pretty cool! I called my midwife in, told her that I thought I might be allergic. It took her about half a second to believe me and have the whole IV unhooked. From that time until I left the hospital I got to wear this fashionable red bracelet that read "Allergy Alert!!!".
I couldn't believe how quickly everything vanished ( every single bump!) as soon as I was unhooked and given a small dose of Benedryl. They were able to find a different antibiotic that didn't make my body want to explode so that was good. Finally around 1:00 in the afternoon they started me on pitocin. After not having to be on it with Havilah's birth I was really hoping to do without again. By this time though, I was all for getting something going so that I could finally hold my baby!

My body responds very well to pitocin. I have a friend with whom it takes forever for the pitocin to kick her body into gear. Not so with me. As soon as it begins to drip, my contractions come fast and hard. It didn't take long for me to have to start breathing through them. Mary was fabulous at this point (really she was the whole time!). She has such a sweet and calming nature. She rubbed my back for I don't know how long while I sat on the birthing ball. With her rubbing my back and David holding my head, it was actually pretty nice for awhile. And then nothing was pretty nice for awhile. It got quite intense. Those of you who have been there know what I mean.
At 4:00 my midwife checked me. I was at 5 cm. She was so positive and encouraging. It really didn't work. I am almost always at a 5 when I first get to the hospital. Feeling like I'm almost at the end of my ability to cope and finding out that I'm basically at the beginning was not a good feeling. I wanted to just quit, but somehow the fact that I couldn't quit was good incentive to keep going. And besides, I was ready to meet my baby!!!

I labored for another 30 to 40 minutes. By then my body was so tense and exhausted that I couldn't relax at all between contractions. I asked to get in the jacuzzi which my nurse promptly got ready for me. Did I mention that I had the most amazing nurse ever? Her name was Vickianne and we all loved her!

After about 10 seconds in the jacuzzi I felt completely relaxed. For about 3 seconds. That was quickly followed by the overwhelming sensation to push. After trying very hard to fight it off for two contractions I told my midwife that I really felt like I needed to push, but "I knew I wasn't ready". She told me to get out of the tub so she could check me because " I think you're closer than you think.". I desperately told Mary as I struggled out of the tub, "Pray that this is it or that it lets up, because I can't keep going like this!".

I barely made it to the bed before another contraction hit and I couldn't keep from pushing. "It's crowning!" my midwife said, followed right away by another half push and she was out. Completely! I WAS IN SHOCK!!! I expected hours more of labor and suddenly I was holding my baby! I'd gone from 5cm to delivery in one hour, unheard of for me! Mary and I cried, David beamed and even our nurse was praising the Lord with us! Our fourth precious little girl was placed right away in my arms and I was in absolute awe of the goodness of my God. What a perfect little treasure she was (and is!).

I'll write more soon to let you know who our sweet Ella is. For now I'll just say that she is an absolute treasure. One o f the most perfect creations I've ever seen.

We had a wonderful time in the hospital, introducing Ella to her family and dear friends. I'm so thankful to be home now though and enjoying life with our new and improved family. If you read all of this, I applaud you and I award you with the "Super, Fabulous and Amazing Blog Reader Award" which unfortunately is just my admiration. Now hopefully I can get back to more easily digestible topics like "Getting Ready for a wedding" or " Days of 3 in diapers".

This is exactly how she came out. Two hands up by her face.