Thursday, December 30, 2010

Heartache and Hopefulness

My heart is aching more than ever for our sweet Elias. My heart aches for the perfect little boy he is in my eyes. How his big brother and big sister already adore him so much and the fact they will only be able to show him that adoration briefly. I ache for the unknown; how long will he live, will he be able to eat, will he come home, will we meet him alive. My heart aches for all of the things I will miss as a mom- hugs, kisses, naps with a sweet newborn, first words, funny faces, family portraits, birthdays, holidays, and every other milestone I savor with my children. Elias is so prefect its hard to understand but he will be too perfect to stay.
My heart is also hopeful. Hopeful that God might heal Elias and he will be part of the family here on Earth.
"I wait on the Lord, my soul waits, And in His word I do hope." Psalm 130:5

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Elias 12.15 Ultrasound

Last night was our last ultrasound at The Miracle In Me in Niles. It was a little sad to know we were not coming back and a little nerve racking to know the next time we see Elias will be when he is born. We got some awesome pictures of him tonight. He was not covering his face as much as he had done in the past. Our tech took 95 pictures of him! She said normally they take 50-60 but he was being too cute she had to keep taking them. It has been an amazing experience to be able to do these ultrasounds, and I am so thankful this place is here.

Corey and I are working on our birth plan to give to the doctors this Monday. It will be a good opportunity to get alot of the details on paper to share with our team at the hospital. There are so many things to think about and desisions to make in regards to delivery and after. Pray that Corey and I can find some peace while trying to put this together.
There are good days and difficult days; that's the only way to describe this process. I am strong because of my reliance on the Lord, but sad because I do not want to let go. I am not ready to let go and I am glad that time has not yet come. Elias is moving and kicking all day and night and with every kick I am amazed by God's creation. He has given me moments with Elias that no one else will ever understand or get to experience. I am thankful to be Elias' mommy. I have been challenged the last few weeks more than ever to be a stronger woman of faith. The Lord is teaching Corey and I many things through this process. I have felt I was lost in translation the last few months and I am ready to step out and try to hear and DO what God is calling me to do.

Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted on earth!"
Psalm 46:10

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Messy Jesse

This was my "nickname" growing up. Mostly this came from my family, maybe that is why I am such a germaphobe, clean freak now:)! Kind of awful you might think? Maybe not. I think we are all messy. Messy in the sense that we are all sinners and that it does not matter how big of a clean freak or germaphobe you are; we are all "messy" in light of eternity. There are many things people try to do to remove their messiness, possibly in a job/work, family, money, hobbies. The truth is the only way to get rid of that messiness is to understand and accept the truth and promises of our Lord. We must be cleansed with the blood of Jesus Christ who died on the cross for our sins. For ALL of our messiness is sinfulness. I am so thankful for my Lord and savior. Many people have asked as we walk through this time with Elias how we can be so strong. I am not strong, it is he who strengthens me. For I could not do this without him!
"For you formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother's womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my sould knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them. "

Psalm 139 13-16

Friday, December 3, 2010

Elias Ultrasound 11.17.10



These ultra sound pictures are of our latest 3D ultrasound done on November 17th. It was amazing to see how much he had grown and just how perfect everything about him was. He was very active but we were able to get some really good shots. We have our last ultrasound next week and I am even more excited to see how big he has gotten.


Every Good and Perfect Gift comes from above. James 1:17

Our Family

We carved our first family pumpkin this year. Growing up we always carved pumpkins and I always disliked cleaning the pumpkins out. I think I have passed my dislike onto Ethan. Ella was all about getting dirty and slimy, while Ethan watched from a safe distance. We have started a tradition that I hope to uphold for my kids.
Just some random shots of our growing kids. They love to color, glue and paint anytime I have the patience too:) Since Ella began walking a few months ago Ethan and Ella have been playing more together which is super cute to watch. I had to add in the picture of Ella with a baton. For those of you who do not know I twirled for most of my growing up and one of my baton coaches got this for her when she was born, who knows or not if she will be a future twirler!:)!

I wonder if her Mom talks on the phone a lot???:)!!! The other morning I was talking to my sister and the whole time I talked Ella talked, it was super cute. She was having a pretty meaningful conversation with someone:)



Monday, November 8, 2010

Life Lately

It has been awhile since I have posted for many reasons. First, I've been very tired and it seems that after the kids go to bed I just want to relax and not really think. Secondly, the last few weeks have been emotionally taxing, and it has been difficult to put my thoughts on paper. On October 24th my Grandpa Smith passed away. He was a rock to our family and to me. Grandpa was someone who I knew would always be there. Although his health had been failing the last several months, I was not emotionally prepared to say goodbye to my grandpa who has meant so much. The week after he passed was a week full of sharing memories, love, tears and laughter with an extended family that I am so grateful for and love so dearly. Two of my cousins were able to share his life story and accomplishments at the funeral which was amazing. They spoke of a man who had great integrity, love for his family, hard worker and loved everyone. I came across this poem the other day and thought instantly of my Grandpa who was loved very dearly and missed daily.

"Broken Chain"

We little knew that morning that God was going to call your name. In life we loved you dearly, and in death we do the same. It broke our hearts to lose you, you did not go alone; for part of us went with you, the day God called you home. You left us peaceful memories, your love is still our guide; and though we cannot see you, you are always at our side. Our family chain is broken, and nothing seems the same; but as God calls us one by one, the chain will link again.

During the week of my Grandpa's funeral Corey and I were both reflective of our son Elias and the road ahead of us. As I mentioned before, although we all knew that Grandpa's health had been failing, its not possible to be emotionally prepared to let go of loved ones. Corey and I both know that God is giving us this time of pregnancy to prepare ourselves to completely let go of Elias; however, despite feeling peace and contentment that we are to be obedient to God's plan for our family, I don't think Corey or I are completely prepared for this journey. Most days I feel like I am experiencing a "normal" pregnancy with all of Elias movement, heartburn and tiredness. Each time I experience these pregnancy symptoms I am reminded of God's plan for Elias. I try to continue about my activities without focusing on our earthly loss of Elias. It is all the prayers, my two perfect and healthy kids; and my husband that keep me going past those thoughts. I want to remember this pregnancy as a happy, loving, and bonding time for Elias and I and my family. Despite wanting this out of my pregnancy with Elias there are some realities that are hard to deal with. The reality of deciding on a memorial service, the reality of trying to explain to people that our baby will not be with us for very long, the reality of trying to understand how to talk to our children about their brother. I just pray that our Lord continues to draw me closer to him and to keep turning to him in all the tears and laughter! I look ahead to our next couple of weeks meeting with the funeral home, new doctors; and whoever may cross our path and are able to see Gods gift of life and love for all.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Perfect Hands and Feet



Corey and I were blessed to be able to have a 4D ultrasound done this past week. We thought this would be a perfect way to meet our little guy and bond in an unique way. Thanks to the "Woman of Grace Church" and their generosity in giving us a gift certificate to "The Miracle in Me-4D Ultrasound", we now have very special memories of our little boy that we will have for the rest of our lives. I was prepared for the worst, but was hoping for the best in regards to the severity of his anencephaly. It was pretty clear that at this point, God has not decided to do a miracle as the physical affects of anencephaly were very present. Despite the findings, I was still amazed by his perfect hands, feet, and the rest of his perfectly created body. He was very active which made the experience that much more special. There is no question that Elias is a divinely created life, made perfect by God. The ultra sound made everything so much more real for me, and I reminded myself that Elias is a gift from our Lord brought into our life for a special reason. HE is ALL knowing and is working in our hearts to be able to let him go when that time comes. I love Elias so much, and I want God to be glorified through his life. I am praying for God's will whatever that might be. Miralce or no miracle, I will rest in his comfort and protection. I had the opportunity last night to attend "Night with the Chapmans" featuring Steven Curtis Chapman, his two sons and his wife. Two years ago they lost their daughter in a tragic accident at their home. This family has rallied together around Christ and each other to live for His will. Steven Curtis Chapmans son, Caleb, spoke of a dream he had shortly after his sister had passed. In this dream, he was looking at a painting which when viewed up close was very blury. As he moved farther away from the painting, parts of the painting became clear. He paralled this dream to their family situation and realized that the farther they got away from the day of the accident the more clearer this painting was becoming. They will never see all the details of the painting until they are walking with Jesus Christ in Heaven. Only then will they be able to see what a beautiful painting God created through the loss of their child, sister and friend. I thought this was a perfect image of what we all might walk through in life and how God will allow us to completely see the glory in it when we reach Him. It was a great night of worship, tears and laughter. I am so blessed with an amazing group of friends, unsure of what I would do without them.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Doctor Update

We had a doctor appointment yesterday. There are not any new concerns, and everything is going well. My blood pressure was perfect, and I am measuring right for 23 weeks. Corey and I had some questions as to what the delivery process would be like because of the many scenarios that could be played out. This is where most of my anxiety is held as you could understand. The doc told us that the likelihood of Elias being born alive was very good, and that there was a good chance he would come home with us. This was kind of a shock to us as we assumed he would only live a few moments, hours, or day. Because he has been so active, I do feel as though we would be able to meet him, and share what time God will give us. We were not mentally prepared for him to come home. I am unsure how I feel about all of this. It is a bit scary and overwhelming. One of my concerns is our children and how much harder this will be for them to understand. Another concern is the fasion in which God will call Elias home. Babies with anencephaly have difficulty eating because they have a hard time learning to swallow which would be a determination of Elias coming home with us. Our doctor felt that our questions would be better answered by the neonatologist at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center where we will deliver. We will have a meeting with our doctor and him in the next couple of weeks so that he can inform of us of all the various scenarios. Other than the unknown I am physically feeling good and the pregnancy is progressing perfectly.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Family and Friends

I have wanted to share for days how humbled I have felt over and over again over the last few weeks. It first began as Corey and I learned about the journey God was about to carry us through. I felt so overwhelmed by learning God was choosing our family to be his servant to carry Elias, to learn how to completely let go of Elias and give him back to God; and to allow His will and timing to happen. Despite feeling so overwhelmed I continue to have a peace that God will be glorified and that we will be able to show God's love to people around us. Over the last few weeks the amount of people that have offered help, prayer, and support has seriously been amazing! People whom we have not yet had the opportunity to meet are praying. I am humbled by God's choice of me, and I am humbled by the people who have come along side us with prayer and support. I feel as though what we are choosing, life for our son, would be no different than what others would choose for their own children. The only difference being that we know we have to selflessly let go and let God call him home at His divinely appointed time. I am beginning to think that there isn't a way to completely prepare for this. I am thankful that God has given us this time to get to know Elias - love him, talk to him, sing to him, pray for him and with him. Despite all this time there seems as if there is no way my heart or mind can process what will happen when its time for God to call him home. Although there are many unknowns for us, I know my Lord knows ALL and I rest in that. I know there are so many people praying for us and those prayers are being felt daily. I believe by those prayers we have been given the strength we need to continue each day. I am so thankful for your willingness to pray continuously and faithfully.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Ella is One!!!


Ella turned one years old on 9/21!!! She is getting so big by her standards. She is eating table food all of the time and has started walking this week! Let the new adventures begin:)! She is a very curious little girl eating anything she can find; rocks, grass, dirt, crumbs, paper and literally any little piece of anything. She is trying really hard to talk and can say; Momma, Dadda, Ethan, juice, cup and cat. She is a cute and sweet little girl who loves to be rocked. She brings such joy to all of our lives! Happy Birthday sweet Ella!!!!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

"No Pain-No Gain"

Have you ever heard this phrase before? I heard it a lot growing up. In fact, I heard it so much, it could have been our family motto?! The last five days I have been really sick with a sinus/ear infection. Even after delivering two kids, I still have no pain tolerance and a sinus infection can wipe me out. I always think I have never been this sick, but really, this time I don't think I have been this sick in a long time. It all started Thursday night with terrible body aches, waking up to a sore throat and fever. I decided to go to the doctor that day because I have been so run down due to not sleeping well and just everything. I never get strep; but yep, you got it, strep it is. The doctor prescribed amoxicillin, and I was ready to give it 24 hrs. and be back to normal. Well, on Sunday my throat started to feel a little better; however, a little ear ache came my way which has ended up to be a horrible ear infection, ozzy and all. I called the doctor Monday because obviously the antibiotic wasn't working. The doctor switched me over to augmentin which I hope is going to help me feel better by tomorrow morning. I just need to get a good nights rest, whatever that means now, and I think I will feel better. Despite thinking this is the worst I have ever felt, I am reminded of our Saviour and the price he paid for me. "No Pain No Gain". I am not sure this would have been Jesus motto, but I do believe he knew what we would gain through his pain. I am reminded of one of my favorite songs "How Deep The Fathers Love For Us". This song paints a perfect picture of how much our Heavenly Father loves and cares for us.
How Deep the Father's Love for us
How vast beyond all measure
That he would give his only Son
To make a wretch his treasure

How Great the pain of searing loss,
The Father turns his face away
As wounds which mar the chosen One
Bring many sons to glory


Behold the Man upon a cross,
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed I hear my barking voice
Call out among the scoffers

It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished

I will not boast in anything
No gift, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection


Why should I gain from his reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom

To him I give all the glory and blessing that has been given to Corey and I. Its only because of him I remain strong daily and encouraged by his love and comfort.
" Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding:
In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths." Proverbs 3:5-6

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Waiting

We are so blessed by all of you who have put your arms around us during this time. We have an amazing family and church family. Corey and I walked out of church on Sunday and said, "Our church is awesome." We are comforted by your prayers and support. You all have truly been a blessing.
This week seems to be never ending. Our situation seems to be never ending. However, two of my closest friends are coming over for lunch tomorrow. It will be good to spend some valuable time with them. I am trying to process what delivery and the time after delivery will be like, and it seems hard to wrap my mind around it. We go back to the doctor on 10/15, so hopefully the doctor can help answer some questions. Corey and I also have decided that we need to get a 3D/4D ultrasound done since our office does not do them. I am excited to be able to see Elias and to do all we can to know him before our Lord decides to take him. I am excited and also nervous for the ultrasound since we will really be able to see the physical affects of anencephaly. At the same time I think it will better prepare us for delivery and our time with Elias. I am praying for the strength that God has given to continue to be strong as the days go by. It is hard to continue in the normalcy of life knowing that our child will not be with us for very long. I feel like I should be spending every moment grieving and praying for him. I also feel like God has given me opportunities to share his love with others, love my children differently, love my husband in a new way, love my Lord in a new way that I would not have been able to if Elias was not given to us. I am so thankful for this sweet child and what he is bringing to my life. Sweet little Elias how I long to hold you and keep you warm, rock you to sleep and snuggle with you. I long to see your smile, hear your laugh, know the color of your eyes. You are already serving our heavenly Father in a way none of us can. Know you are loved, sweet Elias.
"I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD." Psalms 27:13-14

Friday, September 24, 2010

Prepartion

For the last four months, I have been preparing my heart, family, and home for a new baby to come into our lives. Preparing for the endless nursing sessions, sleepless nights, double diaper duty, organizing bedrooms, endless laundry (which is already in progress), making sure all my children are loved and their needs are met. However, today while cleaning and organizing I realized that my preparation is different now. I am no longer preparing to bring my child home to our house but to prepare him for the Lord's house. I am preparing my heart so that our sweet Elias's life be given completely over to God. I do not want to get in the way of what God is doing in our lives through this sweet child. I want Him to be in control because I know that I can not. I tend to schedule everything from eating times, nap time, laundry time, play time, devotional time. Whatever can be scheduled I schedule. Its no longer my time to schedule but his. His timing is perfect and I rest in that.

"To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven" Ecclesiastes 3:1

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

My heart

Wednesday 9/22/2010

Today I could not open my eyes for when I did I was scared that the news I learned would still be real. Yesterday at this same time I was getting ready for the day with no worries, fears or anxiety. I opened my eyes as I heard Ethan's feet running toward my bed and at that moment I remembered that God is in control and that I am the servant he has chosen for this task. I grabbed Ethan in my arms so thankful for this little boy in a way I had not known before yesterday. Its amazing how in a short amount of time I am able to appreciate these two healthy and beautiful children God has given us in a new light. Understanding that this is the path that God has called us, this verse has brought me peace, comfort, and excitement. "Call to me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know. " Jeremiah 33:3

Friday 9/24/2010

Its amazing how numb my body feels, yet I have this horrible headache and can not get rid of the feeling that I want to throw up. Everything is so overwhelming but every time it builds up all I can do is turn to God and give him joy, glory and rejoice in him. Its amazing how I have fallen in love with worship music all over again. Just as I had as I became a Christ follower. Corey and I am awed by the people wanting to help in anyway possible. Meals, cleaning, you name it they would do it. Its been such a relief not needing to worry about dinner, especially with Ethan and Ella. Its so comforting to know that people are praying. It is in the weak moments when I break down, I remember all the people praying for us and am comforted in your prayers. I am feeling a lot like Moses when the Lord reassures him in Exodus 3:12 "So he said, "I will certainly be with you, and this shall be a sign to you that I have sent you..." I know he is with me, holding me in his hand.

There is a part of me that wants to go back, go back to routine life, schedules, and activities. I feel like everything has come to a halt but in reality everything is continuing around us. We had planned on having Ella's first birthday party tomorrow. We canceled, re-scheduled, canceled and now its back on:) I am somewhat relieved that we are having her party. It will be good to be around family and do something that is "normal". I feel like I need to come to an understanding that this is my new normal...coming to understand that Elias will only be with us for a short amount of time and to allow God to have complete control over every second. My heart is forever changed by Elias and I give God all the glory.

I am so thankful for the people God has surrounded me with. Know you are loved very much.

In Christ,
Jessica

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Its a Boy, Elias Andrew

Today I had an appointment for my routine ultrasound. During that appointment Corey and I learned that our child has a disorder called anencephaly. Anencephaly is a cephalic disorder that results from a neural tube defect that occurs when the cephalic (head) end of the neural tube fails to close, usually between the 23rd and 26th day of pregnancy, resulting in the absence of a major portion of the brain, skull and scalp. Everything is developing- his heart is beating very strongly and he is moving his arms and legs. We went back to see a high risk doctor the following day to confirm the diagnosis. I also had blood work done and my protein levels were eight times above the average number.

The first doctor recommended we terminate pregnancy immediately. It was a lot to understand at that moment. Corey and I asked some questions and knew we needed to seek a second opinion. I knew after seeing my child's heart beat, his activity, and everything else about him, that our little boy is a special living child created by God. We have decided to carry this little boy, Elias Andrew, full term. There is no hope for survival. He will either be born still, live a few minutes, hours, or days; but will only be with us for a short amount of time. I have the uttermost peace knowing that God is calling me to be his servant in this and that he will see us through. I pray that I glorify Him and that only HIS will be done.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Mr. Ethan


Its harder and harder to get Ethan to either hold still for a picture or smile in a "normal" way:) He loves to cheese it up for the camera. He is such a good little helper still; always wanting to help dust, vacuum, get things for Ella, set the table for dinner or whatever it is we have going on that day. We have a blast doing lots of puzzles, painting, coloring and doing whatever craft I might be able to think up. He is such an amazing little boy with lots of things to say:)!

Miss Ella


Here are some random shots of Ella. She is a busy girl these days, crawling and climbing on everything. Just last weekend she started crawling and pulling up and by this weekend is a pro. She loves that she can get around on her own and get into all those curious cabinets:) The fun has begun!!!

Outdoor Fun




We have been a busy family this summer. We go outside almost everyday. The kids love to be outside playing bikes, chalk or playing on the swing set. Ethan was able to run through the sprinklers for his first time this summer which he thought was hilarious. It has been really hot around here this summer but that has not bothered them to much. I kind of like the heat, as long as the air conditioner is working when its time to head inside:)

We also spent a few days at the beach. The kids loved spending the day playing in the sand and jumping waves. Ethan is so brave around the water. We are hoping we can get back a few more times before Fall gets here.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Brother and Sister

I often get asked if Ethan and Ella look alike. Well you can be the judge? When I see their pictures they look more alike then in person. I think Ella looks different because of those chubby cheeks. These pictures are both at 8 months old. Ella was in for a sick visit this last week and weighed in at 14lb 10oz which I thought was small. I looked back and Ethan was in at 8 months for a sick visit with a double ear infection and he weighed 17lb 10oz. To think I thought Ella was so much bigger than Ethan as a baby.

Our Life


We have been a busy family the last few weeks. I love being busy but am also looking forward to the next few weekends with not too much on our calendar.
We dedicated Ella at church on mothers day weekend. It was a special weekend. The day before there was a brunch held at church for all the parents dedicating their child. I was in charge of childcare and food which ended up going very smoothly. We had eight kids get dedicated which was a small number compared to the prior years. Our church is doing dedication twice a year to try and make it more personal. We were to choose a verse for our child and Corey and I choose: Proverbs 31:30" Charm is deceitful and beauty is is passing, But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised." Corey and I both felt that we wanted a verse for Ella to live by and think this fits perfectly.
We also had a garage sale in May which was a huge success. It was a little bit of work to get it around but I had fun organizing and getting ready for it. Its a great feeling having all the closets and basement cleaned out. One of the pictures is of Ethan going through our hat,scarf and glove bin. He wanted to try them all on, it was too cute.
We have been spending lots of time outside swinging and sliding. During Ella's morning nap the other day Ethan swung for about 45 min, he loves it!
The weather has been amazing. I am praying it is here to stay!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Finger Painting


Ethan loves to paint, glue and play play-doh. Three things I thought I would dread due to the mess. However by letting Ethan explore all of these things it is not too messy. We sit and play with play-doh almost everyday for at least half an hour or so. We also glue and paint throughout the week and make different crafts for Dad. Ethan is very aware of "messes" and always wants to be cleaned up right away when he is done. He is a little boy after his mother, poor kid:)

Our Little Girl


Ella has been showing more and more of her sweet little personality lately and it is so precious. She loves hair,probably because she has none:) Despite that she pulls my hair all the time and loves feeling Corey's fuzzy head. She is working on her bottom two teeth which has lead to a couple of sleepless nights. However last night she was only up once which was awesome compared to the few nights before. She is not crawling but I am not sure if she will pick up that skill. She rolls everywhere until she can no longer roll. She laughs, giggles and talks all the time. Corey thinks she will be our little social butterfly!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

New Swing Set


We decided to build a swing set in the backyard this year. It took Corey about three weekends to get it to "playable" with the help of our awesome neighbor , his Dad and brother. It is almost complete except the rock climbing wall still needs attached. We also would like to add wood chips or rubber under it but that will be later in the summer. It has been a blast to play on and Ethan loves sliding and swinging. I am sure we will have great memories!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Ella Six Month Pictures



Ella had her six month pics taken last weekend and they turned out super cute. The guy taking them was fabulous and really got her to smile in a few. At her checkup last week she weighed in at 14lbs 4oz (10th percentile) and 27in long (80th percentile). She will have an ultra sound this Thursday on her kidneys to check the status of the dilatation that was present during pregnancy and birth. She has not had any problems yet so I am praying that the ultra sound will reveal a normal size kidney. She is sitting up with support, rolling everywhere and starting to expand her food repertoire. Where has the past six months gone?

Friday, April 9, 2010

Ethans Two Year Pics


Better late than never:)! I never shared Ethan's two years photos. It was a rough morning but we were able to get a few good shots. Despite the rough morning he is still a cutie!

Cheese


Here are some cute new photos of baby girl. We are getting her six month pictures done tomorrow morning and will share those when I can. I just love her sweet baby face!

Ella loves her big brothers toys


Ella loves watching Ethan's Thomas the Train go around the track. She also loves getting her hands on track and train. Ella also loves Ethan's balls. She chews on them anytime she can. Ethan does not mind to much that Ella plays with his toys, he usually gives her something and says, "share". They are so cute together.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Elmo gets attacked


Ella loves watching Ethan's Elmo live. The other day while Ethan was napping she finally got her hands on Elmo!

Miss Ella


Ella is growing everyday and is getting so big. Its hard to believe she is 6 months old. We go for our six month check up next week and I can not wait to see how big she is. She wants to sit up all the time but just is not strong enough to do it by herself yet. I am sure it will be soon. She is such a blessing to our lives!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Little Bit of Green


Despite the fact that it has no affect on me that today is St. Patricks Day I went ahead and dressed the kids in some green:) Ella had a cute little festive shirt and Ethan has a little bit of green on. I tried to get a picture of them together but either she was trying to get him or he was trying to get her:) The one of her eyes closed made me laugh...what a silly girl!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Exersaucer Fun


Ella has been enjoying her exer-saucer now that her neck and back are a little stronger. Ethan is enjoying it as well! The last few days he has been asking to get in the exer-saucer himself:) The other night he was having a great time entertaining his little sister. They are so sweet to watch together.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Outdoor Play



Nicer weather has finally arrived around Michiana and we are so happy. We played outside almost everyday this week. Ethan discovered how to open and climb into Corey's car. He spent a long time pushing all the buttons, turning on the lights and closing the garage door! Corey also let Ethan ride on his lap while he pulled my car out of the garage. I guess he is starting to learn how to drive young:) Ethan has also been able to ride his power wheels jeep outside. He got it for his birthday but had not been able to "off road" outside yet! He loved it and had a blast riding it around. I am so thankful for the season of spring!

Milestones





Time is flying by and I am awful at keeping our blog up to date. Ella continues to grow so fast and is doing new things all the time. We started solids awhile ago and it was rough going at first but now she loves her veggies and fruit. She is still not to hip on taking a bottle but she does when she has to, which is not very often. Her neck and back are so very strong and she rolls all over and is almost sitting up. Ethan always thinks its big news when she rolls and makes sure to let me know. He gets down on the ground with her and in his sweet little voice says "Hi", its very cute. Ella is loving getting her piggies and pulls her socks off whenever possible to gum away. She still does not have any teeth but I am sure we will see some pearly whites soon!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Sweet Baby Face


While getting Ella dressed the other day she was being so sweet I had to get the camera out. I have been so terrible taking pictures of her. She is the sweetest little girl. She is rolling over, trying to sit up and making an effort at eating rice cereal. Its hard to believe she is five months old. Time has flown so incredibly fast! Her smile and laughs melt my heart and am so blessed to have her in my life.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Snow and more

Tonight Ethan joined Corey in shoveling the drive way. Ethan had a blast with his own shovel and cried when it was time to come in. According to the weather man we will have plenty to shovel again tomorrow!


Here are some pics of our last week. Ella is getting so strong and would love to sit up all the time but is not quite strong enough. Ella has also discovered her voice a little more this week and is squealing up a storm. The top left picture is Ethan wearing his Dad's hat and my shoes, what a funny boy! The top left Ethan desperately wanted to lay down with Ella and see what her crib was all about.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Fun New Photos


Ethan and Ella are growing like little weeds. We had well visits today and I was in shock by how much each of them has grown. Ethan weighed in at 27lb 9oz ( 40%, we are moving up), 37 1/2in long (100%). He is so very tall, Corey is excited about that. Ella was 12 lb 11 oz (20%) and 25 1/2 in long ( 85%). They are both healthy and growing perfectly.

Happy 2nd Birthday Ethan

These are some of my favorite pics from the last year.


Celebrating at Grandpa and Grandma Barnes' house. I loved my Elmo cake!




Birthday at home with Dad, Mom and Ella. Ethan loves his new Jeep Power Wheels. We are hoping he learns to steer and drive by spring time. He was so excited!



Celebrating at Aunt Amy's for Ethan and Colsons birthday. Ethan loved his soccer ball and new rocking chair.



Its hard to believe I am so far behind on my blogging. Corey moved the computer back upstairs from the basement where it has been since Ella was born. Since the basement is unfinished, it has been difficult to have both kids down there while blogging and keeping up to date on everything and everyone. So hopefully, this is a new start to stay more up to date:)!

Ethan turned 2 two weeks ago. Its hard to believe how fast the past year has gone and all the exciting things we have experienced. Ethan has grown up so much this past year in so many ways. Reflecting on this past year is amazing! A year ago we were just starting to walk, and now we can walk, run, jump and be a crazy little boy. Ethan is talking up a storm and repeats almost every word he hears. His imagination is taking off - he uses his blocks to build towers, houses, garages, rockets and trains. He loves the Moon and reads his Moon book everyday. Ethan also loves to sit and listen to us read him books. He has a new love for puzzles. He knows all of his shapes, almost all of his colors and is working on letters and numbers. It's so neat to see him soak up everything we teach him. Ethan was also very shy a year ago and is coming out of his shell. He also decided to grow some hair this year. Its funny to look back a year ago and see how bald he was. He has such a tender heart and a smile that lights up my world. I am so thankful for him and what a blessing to my life he is!


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Family Pictures


Better late than never, right?!

Thanksgiving weekend we had Addi come on over for our first family picture as a family of four. Ethan had been battling a yucky cold but we needed to get our pictures taken. The first half was a little rough as Ethan looks so tired and miserable. However after the Tylenol kicked in he was a happy toddler. Addi got some great shots of both the kids. These pictures make my heart melt. Enjoy!

Christmas 2009






Christmas Eve we celebrated with my family at Amy's house this year. We enjoyed prime rib, ham and lots of other goodies. We had a special guest, Santa!!! The kids were amazed by Santa's arrival and it was fun to see there eyes light up. It was a great evening.

Christmas Morning our kids opened gifts at our house. Of course Ella needed help but she loved her new rattles and books. Ethan was awesome to watch. He ripped open the gifts and wanted to investigate each one before moving onto the next. What great memories we have made!

Christmas afternoon we headed over to Corey's family for the day. We had yummy ham, lasagna and lots of good sides. The kids had a great afternoon playing and enjoying the others company. During gift time the three youngest girls decided to nap- it was very sweet.
Sad to see 2009 come to an end but can not wait to see what God has instore for us in 2010!

Ella 3 month pictures




Last Saturday we ventured out despite lots of lake effect snow to get Ella's three month pictures taken. I think they turned out great and am surprised how different Ethan and Ella look. For the past few weeks I have thought they look alike but these pictures prove otherwise. There are some similarities but she has those cheeks that Ethan did not have. Gotta love that smile!