Saturday, May 31, 2008

Raise Your Hands...

Raise your hands (women) if at the end of your 9 months being pregnant and wearing maternity clothes, you can not wait to put those clothes away. My hand is raised. Well, yesterday, I was in my closet with full intent of putting away my maternity clothes. As I began folding the stretched and well worn with a mix of new and really cute clothes (things my mom had surprised me with on Mother's Day), I was overtaken with sadness, once again. I could not finish the job I had set out to do. SO, I tried again today. My thoughts were still taken to Jeremiah and how I longed to be his mommy here on earth. I quickly changed my thoughts to how weak I am and all that God is. How my strength comes from Him (especially when I am weak). I began to think on all that He Is. Here is what came to me - -

He Is...
the Beginning and the End
maker of the heavens
the Bright and Morning Star
Breath of all creation
Alpha and Omega
Always was and is to come
the One who walked on water
the One who calmed the seas
Author and Perfector
the Holy Lamb
the fount of the Living Water
the Healer of the broken
Saviour and Redeemer
the King of kings
He is Mighty God, my Father...
He is everything and without Him I am nothing.
I am thankful for His love and His presence in my life.

The Graduate

Hudson has successfully finished Hunter Safety and he wants to help out with the deer sausage and deer jerky supply around here. I would love that!
He will have that hunting opportunity this fall.
Way to go Hudson!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Thank You!

This box and items were provided by the hospital.

In it was a receiving blanket, his hospital bracelet, a disposable camera, measuring tape and a stuffed animal -- a lamb.
A lamb for my Little Lamb #9.

I am thankful for each one of you!

I have read all of your comments and have been encouraged by all of them. Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment and keeping our family in your prayers. We have been blessed by so many of you with meals, cards, emails, blog comments, phone calls and prayers. Thank you! Thank you!

Wednesday (28th) was a milestone for me. I felt an overwhelming sense of peace. There was joy to have his precious body in our home (for a short time) and then his memorial service that night was just another part of the healing process. The night before we were to pick up his body from the mortuary, I just laid in bed and cried ~ uncontrollably. I could not stop. I had so many mixed emotions of all the things that had taken place and also the things that were to come. I began to pray. I asked God not to fix my situation but to just be present. Oh my goodness!! It was at that point, I knew He was with me and I felt as if I was bathing in His love. His love overflowed and I just wanted to drink it all in.

Oh the peace!
I quickly jumped out of bed and began writing in my journal, as fast as I could, all of the things God was showing me and confirming in my heart. Oh to be in the presence of God!
I climbed back into bed, snuggled into the arms of my husband and fell fast asleep.

"Lunatic Mommy" Moment (yet another): Ever since I delivered Jeremiah, I have not wanted my belly to go away. It as if I want everyone to see it. How absurd is that? I know in the past, after having a baby full term, my first thought is - - Belly, Go Away!! I found it so strange that that is not the way I have felt this time and could not figure it out. It came to me yesterday why... My belly is the last physical evidence of Jeremiah. I have no baby in my arms, I am not nursing so I want the whole world to see the place where Jeremiah was "fearfully and wonderfully" made. The place where he resided for 19 weeks.

Certificate of Remembrance

His hand prints on the left and footprints on the right

All of You are a blessing to me!

Thanks again and blessings to each of You!

Thursday, May 29, 2008


Happy Birthday Abbi!
We love you.

Sweet Service

May 28, 2008

Oh Sweet Jeremiah!
Today was the day we buried our precious little man. I loved having him in our home for the day even though there was no cuddling or kissing. It was just nice to have him.

Brian and the boys made a place for him on top of the hill that is directly in front of our house. We can also see that hill from our schoolroom window.

The Celebration


Jeremiah's Life

The little box/casket that Brian and the children built.

And the flowers that were brought to me while in the hospital by my parents and my brothers family.

Brian prepared such a sweet service with the perfect hymns and scripture. I did not want it to end. The sun was setting and the evening was perfect. Precious memories were made on that hilltop!

Brian talked about how much Jesus loved Jeremiah.

Our first song was "Jesus Loves Me" ~ not a dry eye as we sang.

Brian read scripture:

Jeremiah 1:5

Psalm 73:25,26

We sang "Soon and Very Soon"

More scripture:

I Cor 15:50

II Cor 4:16-18

Hymn: "Victory in Jesus"

Reading of Our Letters

I started off with my letter first. And then I covered his tiny body with the blanket I crocheted for him. It fit perfectly around him. (He was already tightly wrapped in a cotton so his body was not visible. Brian and I chose to not show the children. I know each of them have a sweet imagery of him in their minds and that is what we wanted them to remember.) Then the children randomly took turns reading their letters. After reading the letter they folded it up and put it in his box. Then they put their gift on top of the blanket that he was snuggled in.

Weston giving Jeremiah his cowboy bandana.

Abbi reading her letter

Maggie placing her painted horse figurine in his box

Elizabeth's picture

Caleb reading his letter.

(Go to an older post labeled Memorial Day to read his letter and others)

Tess helping big brother

All of Jeremiah's gifts and letters

Placing him into the ground

We each took a cut flower from the basket and sang "I'll Fly Away"

We placed the flowers on his box

What a beautiful picture! Oh the love that lies right there.

The moment I had long dreaded ~ burying my baby!

Thank you Lord for this intimate and very special time. We love you and know that you have great plans for Jeremiah and our family. Heal our wounds and fill us up with all that You are. Thank you for embracing each of us into your comforting arms.

" The Lord has apperared of old to me, saying; 'Yes I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you. Again I will build you, and you shall be rebuilt - and shall go forth in the dances of those who rejoice."

Jeremiah 31:3,4

The following is the letter I wrote. It brought so much healing to my heart:

Sweet Jeremiah,

I consider it pure joy and an honor to have been chosen to be your mommy. I enjoyed growing you in my womb. I loved that we were inseparable for those 19 precious weeks. I remember the excitement and tears of joy when I heard your heartbeat for the first time ~ it was my 40th birthday and the sounds of your heartbeat were the best gift ever. You were about 12 weeks.

As your mommy, I selfishly want you back in my womb again. I want you to finish your growing and then come straight to my arms and I want to "kiss your face all over the place". (A popular saying around our home) I want you to fall asleep in my arms after your tummy is full of warm mama's milk. I want to comfort you when you are sick or have scraped knees. I want to watch you play games, laugh hard and snuggle your siblings. I want to watch you grow into a godly man. However, God has bigger and much better plans for you and I take great comfort in that. I have peace and a great amount of joy knowing that you are in the arms of our Almighty God.

The short amount of time we had togheter here on earth has changed my life forever. This whole process of losing you (while here on earth) has been difficult. I long for you to be in my arms. But it has also brought a longing for me to be in the arms of our Saviour - even more. Your life has drawn me to Him in a deeper way.

Oh how I love you Jeremiah Zw___! What a privilege to call you my son. I rejoice in your life ~ the short one here on earth and now the eternal life you are now experiencing. I look forward to the day I will hold you tightly in heaven.

You hold a special place in my heart today and forever.

I love you,


We planted the Mums on the fresh soil. I pray they will grow like wildflowers.

We Love You, Jeremiah!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Next Chapter

Today brings the next chapter of this grieving process. Brian will be picking up our son from the mortuary today. I have these "lunatic mommy" moments where I think and feel things that I know are absurd. For example, once we have his body, I want to keep him here in our home with the rest of us where he will be safe and warm. I don't want to put him in the cold earth, alone. The reality of it is, he is in perfect care, the perfect place and in the arms of our Perfect God!

I have finished Jeremiah's blanket. I used mostly white for his little angelic being and a hint of blue for his "manly-hood". Crocheting this blanket for him has brought much healing to my broken heart.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Wild Boys

Oh so Wild!

Amongst the sadness we are still living life to the fullest, as best we can. We got back into the swing of things with school first thing this morning. Yes, I had my leg elevated! Mandy and her children came over to bring dinner and play with my children. They played with our baby animals and my children also took them to their fort that they have worked on almost every day for the past 3 weeks. I have not been over there to see it - I can only imagine what they have created because I know the scraps and things that they have used to build it.

Today, I looked out the window and I saw little peoples crawling and sprinting into the next clump of trees. As I got a closer look it was Weston dressed as an Indian ~ face paint and all. (I might add that it was not actual face paint but paint that they found from a Paint By Number kit - you can imagine how much scrubbing and scraping it took to get it off ~ Ouch!) And Hudson dressed as cowboy. Not sure if they were hunting or going to war but it sure tickled my heart to see them having so much fun. Not to mention that Weston's older brother would be a willing participant to play with him. Oh the joys of motherhood. I LOVE it!

Sweetly Written

Oh the sweetness of friends! Remember my friend who cooked a meal for my children at home and then spent the rest of the evening at the hospital with Brian and I ? Well, she also has a blog and this is her latest post. I wanted to share it with you because it gives another perspective of what took place at the birth of our little Jeremiah. She gave me permission to copy and paste. You can also visit her blog. Thanks Laurie! I love you, friend!!

I was given a gift Friday night.

My friend Ashley gave me the honor of witnessing her baby boy come into the world. She allowed me to be there to say hello and goodbye.

Ashley found out on Thursday afternoon that her baby no longer had a heartbeat and most likely had passed away somewhere around 16 weeks gestation.


My love for my friend drove me to making a meal and arranging for meals for the days to come. That is all I could do - because I couldn't do anything else to make it better.
After dropping off dinner for her family, I just had to go visit her at the hospital while she was laboring. I know that no words take away the pain, but I was hoping that having a friend stand beside her in her grief would strengthen her to get through the agony of labor and delivery of her son who would not be coming home to nurse and be cuddled.

Ashley and I laugh a lot together. I am so grateful that our friendship is deep enough to cry together too. She was my very first friend when we moved here and has since become a confidant, a mentor and encourager. She is a woman who practices what she preaches and is genuine, loving, generous and wise. When I peeked my head in her hospital room door, she saw me and said, "My friend!" She didn't know I was coming down to see her, and I didn't know that I would be staying for her long night of labor.

As we chatted, I sat on the doctor's rolling stool at the foot of her bed and started to rub her feet and legs. The tears came in waves for both of us. I noticed the baby warmer waiting with receiving blankets draped over it. The instrument table was set up, covered with green hospital drapes to be unveiled for delivery. The monitor screen showed the peaks and valleys of her contractions.

I quickly noticed what was missing. There was no "woosh-woosh-woosh-woosh" of a baby's heartbeat from the monitor. In fact, the plugs where those cords would be attached to the machine remained empty and the graph at the top of the screen was blank.
I have no answers. Only questions. I don't know why God allows tragedies to happen.
I do know that when we walk with Him through valleys with a broken heart, wholly surrendered, that He uses circumstances for change in us and in others.

Ashley labored seven more hours while I just sat and rubbed. Her husband Brian read scripture and prayed with her. He was an emotional rock for Ashley to rest upon. Her nurse Alicia was amazing. She had the perfect balance of sympathy and care. Ashley's brother arrived and some dear friends from their church added to the mix. We laughed, talked and prayed.... and waited.
It seemed that her labor wasn't progressing. She seemed anxious about that. Alicia kept assuring us that delivery would probably be a whirlwind and happen quickly.

She was right. When her visitors left so that she could get her next dose of labor inducing medication, her contractions finally kicked into high gear and she started focusing on the end.
Soon the end arrived. With one push their little boy was out. Oh, so small. He weighed only six ounces. More tears, but relief that it was over. As Brian comforted Ashley, I quietly walked over to the warmer to see the little guy. His face was quiet. His eyes were still fused closed. His hands and feet were so TINY, so detailed, so perfect. His hand was smaller than my fingernail on my little finger.

Precious. I feel honored to have witnessed this intimate moment with my friend. Please keep her and her family in your prayers.

"For you created my most inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be."
Psalm 139:13-16

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day

In Loving Memory,

With Lots of Love...

Today is overcast with light showers. I feel like God is shedding tears along with all of us as He knows our sorrow. I have been ordered to keep my leg elevated because of some swollen veins in my leg. A nice excuse to keep me "restful". It has given me a great opportunity to journal everything about Jeremiah ~ his story. It has also given me a chance to crochet a little blanket for my little boy. I was on my bed crocheting and most of the children were around and we were talking about Jeremiah. The conversation was sweet and there were tears shed. One of them asked who I was crocheting for and I told them this little blanket was for Jeremiah and I was going to wrap him in it in his box. (The box that Brian and the children built for him.) Elizabeth then said, "Oh, so he doesn't get cold?" I explained to them that he doesn't really need it because he has a new body and he is with Jesus. I told them that I wanted to make this blanket because I make blankets for all of my babies and he is my baby. It was more for me and just another step of the healing process as a mommy. Then Maggie (8) says, "Could we do something for him?" Again, tears came and I of course loved the idea. How precious. So this morning each of the children found a quiet place to write a letter to him and each of them have given him something that is very special to them and also think he would like. Kinda like a birthday gift. Oh the tears that were shed by each of them. Even my tough Weston (6) was crying as he wrote his letter.
Caleb wrote:
I would have very much liked to have wrestled, race, hunt, swim and do all the other things that boys do, with you. I don't know whether to cry or laugh for you. I will laugh for you are in paradise with God. Running and laughing. And I will cry because I would have liked very much to ride the Adventures of Life with you.
I am looking forward to the day when I can join you in heaven with God. I want to run, jump and maybe even fly with you.
Caleb (14)
Gift: Wooden cross necklace that he had made

Hudson wrote:

To Jeremiah, the brother I never got to meet. I wish I culd have known you. I would have been so happy to hold you in my arms. I would have been so proud to see you graduate. I wish we could have seen your talents and to see you happily married. And to have met all of my neices and nephews. I love you Jeremiah and I will see you in Heaven. I love you, Jeremiah. I feel like crying since I wish that you were here.


Your Loving Brother

Hudson (12)

Gift: His fastest time in freestyle bronze gold medal

Abbi wrote:

Dear Jeremiah,

I look forward to meeting you in heaven. I wish I could have seen you and hold you in my arms and watch you grow.

I love you Jeremiah!

In Christ,

Abbi (10)

Gift: Her silver heart necklace

Maggie wrote:

I love you Jeremiah. I will see you soon. I will miss you. I wish you were still alive. I love you so much.

Love, Maggie (8)

Gift: A ceramic horse that she painted

Weston wrote:

Dear Jeremiah,

I love you. I miss you. I wanted a little brother like you and I can't wait to see you in heaven. Let's play "cowboy" when we see each other.


Your brother, Weston (6)

Gift: His red cowboy bandana

Elizabeth colored a picture and I wrote for her:

I miss you. I love you. Have fun with God. I will hug you in heaven.

Elizabeth (5)

Gift: A small puppy figurine

Dani Rae colored a picture and I wrote for her:

Happy Birthday, Jeremiah!

I love you!

Dani Rae (3)
Gift: A small horse figurine (playmobil)

My sister, Debbie, wrote Jeremiah a little note on the day he was born and so I will close this post with her sweet words. (Debbie also miscarried at 21 weeks a few years ago. Hannah is her baby's name.)

Dear Jeremiah,
This morning you have been born. Not your spirit, for it is not here, but your tiny sweet little form. You spirit is already in Glory, for you have gone to Jesus ahead of us. You have left this sinful world and headed straight to the arms of Jesus. Oh what you must see right now!!! We can only imagine. Your little body is limp, but so obviously "fearfully and wondefully" made! Oh how I wish your little mouth would coo, your little toes would wriggle, your little heart-beat. This will never be so, at least not with this little body, for you have been given a new one. You now have one that will never hurt, never cry, and never die. Oh dear baby how my heart is sad...but sad only for us, not for you. Did you know you have an Aunt (many actually) who love you, and 31 cousins that awaited the day you would join them? And Jeremiah... you have cousins with you in heaven! Would you give my little sweet Hannah a hug from her mommy?
So this day with tears and sadness, I rejoice! I exalt in the God of our salvation. For His works a mighty and worthy of praise. I think of you dear one, and thank God!
I love you, Aunt Deb

Sunday, May 25, 2008

It's a Boy!

"Exalts God"

The Call of Jeremiah

The word of the Lord came to me, saying,
"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
before you were born I set you apart;
I appointed you as a prophet to the nations."
Jeremiah 1:5

I came home yesterday with empty arms but a very full heart. Jeremiah's life has changed my life forever. I am thankful for him and his life. This is not an easy thing to walk through but my heart rejoices knowing he is with Jesus and I will see him again. I look forward to that day. Even though I have God's peace there is still great sadness.

In my last post, I told you that I was having a D&C, however, after having another ultrasound and another Dr. look at it, she really thought I could deliver this baby naturally. She gave us the pros, cons, advantages and disadvantages to both. Brian and I both agreed... We want to deliver this baby naturally.

We were admitted to the Labor and Delivery part of the hospital. They put me at the way end of the hall so that I would not hear other babies crying. I will tell you, I did cry when I saw the warming beds for the newborns and I knew that I would not see my Jeremiah in one of those. All part of the grieving and healing process.

They began the induction around 1:30 pm. Because labor was slow to come on and it was not as intense as a normal labor, Brian and I had some lone time to talk, pray, and to process our sadness. We had friends and family visiting throughout the day. Oh the healing that was already taking place!

Laurie, my dear friend, showed up around 6:30pm (I might mention that she had just delivered a hot meal to my children at home and then drove to SL to be with me ~ now that is friendship!) She immediately rolled up her sleeves and began rubbing my feet (another sign of true friendship). My brother, Grant, showed up around 9:30pm. (He came with arms loaded with food for us) The four of us had a very sweet and special time. We laughed, hugged, prayed and cried together. God beautifully orchestrated all that took place in that room on that special day ~ Jeremiah's birthday!

He finally arrived at 12:29 am on Saturday May 24th. The placenta followed about 20 minutes later and it was fully in tact. Praise the Lord!! All went well. An experience never to be forgotten. He weighed 6.5 oz, 6.5 in. The nurse made him a baby cap and little gown. They took his foot and hand prints - oh so tiny! Oh so sweet!! I loved holding him and seeing all of the intricate details of this precious baby.

This is his hand resting on my finger.

Oh how I love this little guy and we truly do celebrate his life!!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

With Great Sadness...

I share with you the loss of our Little Lamb #9. We heard no heartbeat at my prenatal today. I have just returned from an utlrasound and we saw our little precious one, lifeless, in my womb. I just wanted to grab that little one off of the screen and hold it tight. My husband and I just held each other with tears.

God is sooo good and I will share more details with you later. For now, I just ask for your prayers for tomorrow as I am scheduled to have a D&C. Because the baby has been dead for some time now, there is a greater risk and I just ask that all goes smoothly with no complications.

As I type this, tears are flowing ~ flowing like a river. My sweet one is in the arms of Jesus and for that, I am comforted. Thank you in advance for your prayers.

I must go, for I have 8 sweet blessings that I want to go hold and squeeze tightly...

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well."
Psalm 139:13,14

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

While You Were Away....

While You and Dad were on your Date...

" We gave Tess her first chocolate ice cream cone! Mom, she loved it!"

Like I would be so surprised.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Bigger Than Life

Homeschool Art Field Trip

Last week we went to Kimball Art Center for a tour of their art display. This months display title was "Sugar". There were paintings of all kinds of sweets. They all looked so yummy and so real. After we studied and discussed the paintings and the artist, we did an art project. The children were given clay and could make their favorite sweet but they were to make it bigger than life. Hudson made a huge piece of pie with ice cream, Abbi made a waffle cone with 2 big scoops of ice cream, Maggie made a large piece of cake, and Weston created a gigantic Popsicle. They painted their art and we will pick their art up next week after they have been "fired" in the kiln.

The Homeschool Crew listening to Miss Jenny talk about how to create things with clay.

Abbi and Weston



It was a fun afternoon at the Art Center.

Sunday, May 18, 2008


Buddy and Bambi

The matriarch of our little goat herd delivered twins this morning. One buck and one doe. They are strong, healthy and as cute as can be. Lacy's (the mother) due date was May 18th and she had them on May 18th. Now there is a concept ~ to actually give birth on your due date. For those of you who know me, know that I NEVER go early and never on my due date. Always late!!

Bambi and Buddy

Tess can not get enough of these soft playful kids. They are just her size and willing to do whatever she wants them to do.

Elizabeth and Kids


The funniest thing is that Oakley, our 1 yr old spayed female dog really takes care of them as her own. She is very protective of her "adopted" babies. They try to nurse her and she licks them.

Pretty sweet!

Oakley and Kids

Always fun additions to our farm. Come see, play and bottle the babies.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

From My Mom

My Mom left a comment in my post labeled "Mom". It was so well written and filled in some of the gaps. (She is a much better writer than me) I wanted to share it with you....

Dear Ashley, Thank you for telling "the story" in such a beautiful way. Three things jump out at me as I think on all that happened during those days.

First, we never know how God will answer our prayers (yes or no) and HIS timing will always be a mystery to us.
Second, God was so good to heal me in such a way that I cannot point to anything or any one and say-that was the key to my survival. My husband of 44 years was certainly instrumental with his love, support, and wisdom. However, I can and will only say that it was God who brought me through the ordeal with complete healing and restoration.
Third, I am truly humbled for by the way HE used my illness to bring others to HIMSELF, and to strengthen the faith (in HIM) of so many (including each one of my grandchildren). What a remarkable experience it was! God was so gracious to show me a miracle every time I needed one! I am forever grateful to my family (including each one of my grandchildren) and to the many faithful Christians who selflessly and diligently prayed for me over the many months of my illness. God certainly used those prayers to work amazing things in my life.I could go on and on (I need to write a book!) but must close this out for now.
Thanks to God's great plan of salvation, we know that we have eternal life in Jesus Christ and that our eternal life begins the moment we accept HIS sacrifice for our sins.May God bless you through all the experiences of your life - and may we remember to give HIM the praise, honor, and glory for the work HE does in our lives.
I love you too, Ashley, and it is I who needs to thank you for being such a special part of God's plan for my life!
Your mother (Enid)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Lodge!

Making Progress

Many of you have asked about the lodge, first cabin of Big Canyon. Things were slow November - February. But things are moving along now. The deck and beefy trusses will be going up this weekend. Should have power by the end of the day. Still have lots to do but it is fun to see the progress. Our first group of camp users arrive the last weekend in June. Pray along with us that it will be done and look awesome for the campers!

These are the beefy trusses going out front over the deck.

Other things happening:

1) Utility poles arrived for the climbing tower

2) Stain the outside

3) Shingles on the roof

4) Digging the trench from the creek for power

5) Inside: Drywall is next

A Welcome Change

Ahh! The beauty of spring flowers. The snow has finally melted ~ I won't mention that we woke up to about 1 inch of snow on Monday. The spring bulbs are in full bloom. Grass is green and lush. Buds are on the trees - not blooming yet. It is nice for a change to see all the color and not just white stuff blanketing everything.

I love that God has given us seasons. Change is good. Just like in life, there are seasons. Spring is a time for new birth and new growth. I hope that you all are feeling renewed and refreshed.

Sunday, May 11, 2008


Happy Mothers Day!
I know there are some wonderful moms that read my blog and you all are doing a fantastic job. Keep loving those babies and training them in the Lord. I am thankful to be a mom and love the opportunity to raise these precious gifts from God.

Many, many posts ago, I made mention of my mom and "her story". I told you I would tell you more about it later. Later has come. This photo of me and my mom was taken at Thanksgiving in 2005. All of my siblings and their families came to our house and we celebrated Thanksgiving together. My mom's birthday is in early November so we decided to celebrate mom's birthday while we were all together. It was her 60th! We chose to honor her with the verse Proverbs 31:10 "She is worth far more than rubies". We presented her with a ruby bracelet, all of the grandchildren sang Amazing Grace and we put together a slideshow. It was a very special celebration. Not only because it was her 60th and that she is the most amazing mother and Nana but because of what was to come.

This photo is of my parents and their 21 (at the time) grandchildren. We took family photos during the Tday weekend.

5 months later on May 3rd, my mom was diagnosed with cancer - ovarian. Now, for those of you who have lost loved ones, or cared for, or caring for a loved one who has cancer, you know it is a difficult time. More than anything, I hated watching my sweet mom suffer.

My parents decided to try a more non-traditional route in fighting this cancer so she did treatments of another kind instead of chemo. On Mother's Day of 2006, we celebrated Mother's day with her and we all prayed for her healing. The next day she headed 4 hours south where she would begin her alternative treatments. Things seemed to be working and we were thrilled.

At the end of the summer, my mom was skin and bones. Her belly was filled with fluid and bigger than mine ( I was six or so months pregnant). Her legs were swollen with fluid and she was very uncomfortable. We took her to a Dr. and had her belly drained - 6 liters!! What relief. She had it done a few more times and we realized the tumor was getting bigger and her only option was surgery. They did 3 rounds of chemo to shrink the tumors and surgery was scheduled for January.

Tess was due in December and my prayer was that she would be there for her birth. Brian and I asked her if she would "catch" the baby. She was honored and did a fabulous job - even in her weak state. We named our baby girl Tessa Enid (Enid is my mom's name). A week later she had surgery and they successfully removed all the "dead" tumors. Praise the Lord!!

In March, she took a turn for the worse. She had a checkup and the Dr. thought she had pneumonia. He suggested she check herself in. She did and before we knew it she was in ICU hooked up to every machine imaginable. What is happening?! She was fine yesterday and now she can't do anything. Her attending Dr. said that the cancer came back. It is in her colon. Her colon has ruptured. She is septic. We can't do anything for her. Take her home and let her die. "WHAT!!!! Not my mom. Not now. No Way!!" All I could do was fall to my knees and pray. And Cry. And cry! All of my siblings and their spouses came immediately. We just hugged and cried. What great support we all gave each other through this very sad and difficult time.

So, on Monday, my dad set up hospice care and we took mom home.

This is my mom in her front living room. She had a view out of the front windows and a view of her grand piano. Which, by the way, she is a fabulous piano player. Flowers came pouring in. Friends stopped by continuously to say their good byes. The phone rang off the hook. She talked to all of her grandchildren on the phone and each one told her how much they loved her and the things they appreciated about her. Mom helped pick out the clothes she wanted the grandchildren to wear at her "Celebration of Life" service (memorial service). She and dad discussed details of where she wanted to be buried and what she wanted done at the memorial service. She couldn't eat or drink so it was just a matter of days before she would go be with Jesus. "Be with Jesus" - what a comfort to know that she would be in His glory.
Meanwhile, my dad and brother Grant, are on the phone to every dr. they know trying to get someone to look at her again. Read her charts. Do something. She just can't be dying. On Wednesday, dad took her off hospice care and called 911. They took her to another Dr. He looked at her and her charts. He agreed with the first Dr. Take her home and let her die. Got her back on hospice care. My dad and Grant would not give up. Finally, my dad got a break and was told by a Dr. friend to go to a certain hospital and ask for a certain surgeon. So, on Friday, once again, dad took her off hospice and dialed 911. She was rushed to the hospital. The surgeon actually read mom's charts, thumped her on the belly and asked, "Did that hurt?". She said "no". He said, "You are not septic. I am sorry for what your family has been put through. We are going to fix you." Are you kidding? She is not going to die?!! Can this really be happening?
He wanted to get her strength back before doing surgery. She needed immediate hydration and nutrition. Her belly was drained. She was comfortable and building strength. Then came an 11 hour surgery. It turned out the cancer was not back. She had an infection from her surgery in January. The previous surgeon had nicked her colon in several places and her body was fighting to heal itself. This great dr. cleaned it all up. He said it was a mess in there!!!
She was in the hospital just short of 8 weeks. She went home right before Mother's Day (2007 ~ a year later). Guess what we did. Yep, we had the Mother of all Mother's celebration for Mother's Day. All of my siblings and their families came. We loved on Mom/Nana all weekend. We are all so thankful to God that mom is alive and well. Let me just say, she was ok with dying. She was ready to be with Jesus and knew she would have eternal life but in her heart she wanted to watch her grandchildren grow and be a part of their lives. She also did not want to leave my Dad. We also were at peace - not happy about it but at peace with Mom dying. Anyways, do you remember we had ordered the children's clothing for her funeral. Well, instead of wearing them to a funeral that no longer existed, we wore them on Mother's Day. We scheduled a photographer and we took one big huge family pic with 26 granchildren ranging from 16 yrs old to 2 weeks old. What a fun weekend and one to remember forever. God is sooo good.

I love you, Mom!
Thank you, God, for allowing us all to be a part of nothing short of a miracle. We love You!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Who is having fun?

The New "Do"
Abbi went out to brush and visit (you know how girls are) with her horse, Chief. She got done brushing and just had to finish him off with braids in his mane. Now, about this time, along came Caleb. Caleb had this grand idea... "We should put feathers in each braid." Now there was the task of finding the feathers... Well, my poor little hens were the victims of getting chased, caught and plucked. Fortunately for the hens, they only needed 8 feathers - otherwise we might have naked chickens running around the farmyard. Needless to say, Caleb and Abbi had lots of fun. My guess is that for Chief and the hens - not so much.

Here is a front view of Chiefs forelock - The UniHorn

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Wild West

With eight children you never know who is going to "play" with who from day to day. It is always fun to see the mix up. For the most part, it is the 3 older doing things, Maggie and Weston together, and Elizabeth and Dani a duo. And then Tess just fits in with everyone. Well, today Dani Rae found herself spending much time with Weston. I could hear them downstairs and wondered what they must be doing. When Dani came upstairs, I knew exactly... Weston had dressed her up as a cowgirl and they were playing "Cowboy". Both had fun.