Monday, December 31, 2012

Air Zoo

 
We have been wanting to go the air zoo in Kalamazoo for a few months and it happened that New Years Eve would be the best day to go! There was hardly anybody there and the kids had a great time. There are rides and airplanes to look at. Ethan and Ella loved riding the little rides and keep asking to go back. It was very clean and kids 4 and under are free! It was a great day and a fun way to get away for the day. 

Friday, December 28, 2012

Winter Fun


Finally this week we have gotten some snow! The kids were really excited when Daddy offered to take them outside to play. They are just getting so big and I can hardly stand it. We have a small resevoir behind our house that slopes at the end of the yard and they decided to use it as a small sledding hill. I was shocked that both kids went down by themselves! They carried their sled back up the hill and were having so much fun! They can't wait to go back out tomorrow!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Basement Work

Last year we started the project of finishing the basement. Well finally a year later we are ready for drywall. We had drywall delivered Wednesday morning and the work began. We were blessed to have three neighbors and my brother in law to help. They worked two short days and the drywall is completely up. It is so exciting to see. We are going to hire someone to do the mud and tape since Corey has never done that before. After that we will be ready for paint and carpet. I am so excited to have some extra living space, especially with baby on the way! Can't wait to show the finished project!

The Heart

How are you feeling? Physically wonderfully. Truthfully feel the glow of pregnancy on the outside. On the inside, pretty yucky.
 
The last few weeks have been emotional to say the least. Christmas time? maybe. Anniversary coming up? maybe. Snow falling? maybe.
 
Fear and anxiety have gotten me. Fear over the health of our baby. Fear of losing another child. Anxious over every cramp, hurt or ache. Fearful of what I might not be doing. Anxious over what I need to be doing. Fearful that my cramps will turn to miscarriage. Anxious that I feel too good.
 
The only two people I have shared these feeling with, told me I was crazy. Well I don't feel crazy, I just feel alone. Alone that no one understands that just because Elias died almost two years ago, wow two years where has that time gone, doesn't mean that I am strong enough to walk through this pregnancy without fear and support. To be praying that my baby has a head was something I never dreamed of doing before Elias. I was so naive to life. I never imagined that I would be burying my child and giving him back to the Lord. But I did. As I walk through this new journey of grief and life as a mother who has lost her child, everything has changed. There is not anymore ignorance to what you think are the guarantees of life. There is not a guarantee for a healthy baby. I know that if God calls me to walk that road again, I will. Not for me but for Him.
 
My heart hurts. I am praying for God to heal it. I know He will.
 
 "He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wonds." Psalm 147:3

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas 2012



 
 Christmas Eve we headed over to Carrie's for dinner and presents. Mom made the main course and we helped with the sides. The kids played together and waited patiently for present time to arrive. Kenny, Corey and Tony volunteered to do dishes and the ladies enjoyed some conversation. Aunt Amy started a tradition a few years back for the kids by passing out stockings with some small toys for them to open while the dishes got done. The kids were super excited about their treats and sat nicely listening to the Christmas story read by Amy. Annabelle also treated us to some Christmas carols by playing the keyboard. She was very good! Ethan started running a fever while we were at Carries but was a trooper! It was a great time celebrating Christmas with our family!

Christmas morning Ell woke first, which happens on most days, however she was content to wait for Ethan by watching some cartoons. Since Ethan had been running a fever and up in the middle of the night we let him sleep. Once awake there was lots of excitment. Ethan and Ella exchanged presents that they had picked out for eachother. Ethan picked a Minnie Mouse backpack for Ella. While Ella picked a remote control car/ helicopter for Ethan. They were both excited for the other to open their gifts. It was a great morning opening and enjoying our family. Ethan would lay down between presents because he was just worn out- it was pretty cute. After presents we ate our tradition on breakfast casserole and got ready to head to Grandma and Grandpa Barnes.

We spent the day at Grandma and Grandpa Barnes house. We enjoyed a nice lunch and dinner:) We opened presents, listend to the Christmas story and Aunt Monica played some carols on the piano for us. I was a bad picture taker. Ethan was feeling pretty awful as you can see in this picture. We rocked and held him most of the day. Despite him not feeling good we had a great day celebrating Jesus birthday!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Preschool Christmas Program


Ethan's preschool put on a fabulous Christmas program. Ethan had been practicing for weeks and was excited about performing for his family. Great Grandma Smith, Grandma Chris, Grandpa and Grandma Barnes and Uncle Nate all came to watch! Aunt Carrie, Uncle Kenny and Anna were all there too, since Daniel and Ethan are in the same class. It was fun watching them up on stage. They sang 15+ songs. It was impressive to watch the organization that went into the evening. What a fun memory!
 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Church Christmas Progam

video

Last weekend Ethan and Ella sang during church service. I think they both were adorable and really cute. They were both so proud of themselves. They have loved practicing over the last few weeks and it was sweet to see them perform. This video was from rehearsal so during service Ella stood next to Ethan which was better than her keep looking up at her big brother.

Playing Hairdresser


Ella has been loving to play hair dresser and dress up over the last few weeks. She is always asking for her dress up box and sits with me as I put on my makeup. She pretends to put on her makeup and blow dry her hair while I do mine. I still had these sponge curlers from when I was growing up and she loved for me to put them in. However she did not love laying in them so they quickly came out at bedtime. Ella loves to get her toes painted and in one of the pictures you can see Ethan admiring her toes. She is such a girl but also loves to run and play cars and get dirty with her big brother.

Thanksgiving Feast


Ethan's preschool put on a Thanksgiving feast for the kids and one guest. Ethan choose his Dad to come along with him. The four and five year olds were the Indians and the the three year old class were Pilgrims. They enjoyed a full Turkey feast with all the fixings. The boys and Corey had a great morning.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Ginger Valley


Last week we headed over to a local  nursery for a field trip. It was a fun morning hearing a story about how to plant a rainbow, building our own bird feeders and planting a tulip for next spring! The kids had fun exploring; we saw lots of plants, fish, ponds, big and small planters. The boys and Ella had great time!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

I heard a secret today....

 
Was what the teacher told me today as she put Ethan and Daniel into the car ....Its true I told her! We are excited to say that we will be welcoming a baby into our home around June 2 2013! I can hardly believe it myself!
We had an ultrasound after my first appointment to determine the due date because I was measuring a bit bigger. According to the ultrasound I was about five days further along but they will keep my due date as June 2 for now. It was a huge blessing to be able to have an ultrasound and see this precious life moving and alive! This past summer we had learned that we were pregnant and were so excited. However, we lost the baby due to miscarriage. It was hard. It was difficult. I assumed that when we were "ready" to have more kids we would get pregnant and everything would be perfect. The odds were in our favor.  Well that was not in Gods plan. It was heartbreaking. Totally unexpected. Looking back over the past five months it still doesn't make sense but my heart has continued to heal in different ways from losing Elias and another baby. Two losses...two children....two babies that I will not be able to nurture and care for but that are together in Heaven. How awesome to think about and that one day I too will get to spend eternity with them. So as we progress in this pregnancy and everything appears to be going well, we pray. Pray for life, Pray for healing, Pray for trust, Pray that this sweet child comes home with us. My heart is truly full of blessings thanking God that He has allowed another life to be growing  and trusting me to care for that life as long as it may be.
 
"I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction. out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God..." Psalm 40:1-3
 
 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Apple Orchard

Ethan and his school friends headed out to the apple orchard for a field trip. Ella, Aunt Carrie and I joined in on the fun. It was cold but the rain held off. Daniel and Ethan are best buds and loved seeing the orchard together. There were not many apples on the trees due to the early bloom and then frost that devastated 95% of this orchards crop. We were able to enjoy one of the few apples and some cider as a treat. It was a fun morning!

Pictures

 
My sweet friend Addi took our pictures a few weeks ago. We had not done a family picture in two years and it was time for Ella's third year shot.  She does a fabulous job with the kids. Ethan and Ella were both a little silly this day but I think they turned out super cute! I am looking forward to getting them ordered and sharing with family!

Pumpkins!



 
A few weeks ago we headed out to the pumpkin patch around the corner from our house to pick our pumpkins and walk the corn maze. This was our first year doing the corn maze and the it was lots of fun. The kids loved walking through the tall corn, sitting on the tractors and picking their pumpkin.
We carved our pumpkins and enjoyed the pumpkin gospel read by Corey. Ella had a blast taking out the goo but Ethan was not so sure about it and kept his distance. However Ella tried to show him and tell him that was not bad and I think he stuck his hand in the pumpkin once and that was enough for him. Maybe next year! Love making memories with my family!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Tomatos!!!

My giving mother in law had extra tomato's this year and offered me some. Growing up my mom canned a lot of different things including tomato juice. I thought it sounded fun with my free tomato's! I recruited my grandma and mom to help me. We had about a bushel and that got us 18 jars! I am so excited to use for sauces this winter. I have my first pot of homemade spaghetti sauce cooking today! I loved having my grandma and mom here to help. I would of been lost without them! What a fun memory!

Party Time!


We spent Ella's birthday enjoying some special family time. While Ethan was at preschool we enjoyed making pink cupcakes and our picnic lunch. After picking up Ethan we headed over to the zoo where we enjoyed a cool afternoon of checking out the animals and eating our picnic lunch. We had present time when Dad got home. She loves her new purple leappad and minnie mouse.
Saturday we celebrated Ella and Daniels birthday together. The kids had a blast playing together.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Ella's 3!!!

Happy 3rd Birthday to my sweet little girl. I can't believe shes three. Really time has gone by way too fast this last year. Ella is a fun loving and sweet girl. Ella has a very tender heart and is always concerned about others. When I am sick or Ethan, shes says that she will take care of us. She loves to be held and rocked. She has been going to gymnastics over the last year and continues to enjoy the mommy and me time. Ella loves her babies and working on puzzles. She is a great helper, always helping unload the dishwasher, dusting or cleaning up her toys. She is such a joy, most of the time:)  We will celebrate today with balloons on the breakfast table, making a pink cake while Ethan is at school, picnic lunch before heading to zoo, presents and dinner tonight! Tomorrow we head over to Kenny and Carries to celebrate Ella's and Daniels birthday together. Looking forward to a fabulous day!


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Hello!!!

I have been away for away for a few months:) It was good to be away... However I have been wanting to post pictures and happenings on my family for a few weeks. Ethan and Ella are growing so fast and I love going back and reading old post. Well if I don't blog there will be no "going" back to read and see those sweet faces:)
We have had a busy summer and it really is hard to believe its Fall again. I normally love Fall and everything that goes along with it; sweaters, jeans, boots, hoodies, hot coffee, fires, windows open, leaves changing, cooler temps, football. It just seems that I am not ready to move into another season just yet. We have settled into a routine of preschool, bible study, awana, and gymnastics but still feel like I am not quite ready for Fall to move in or is it move on? Move on without our third child, our son. I often feel like something is missing as I pile us into the car or pack bags for the kids. My heart misses him, my soul longs for my third child. I know its Elias who is missing from our family. Another anniversary, another day, another month, another year without our baby. He has a part of my heart, my being that yearns for me to have him with us. I trust that everything works for Gods good and that His glory and goodness continues to flow out of me because of that trust. We hope for a future spent with Him and Elias. God is working on my heart to continue to take steps everyday toward Him, to deepen my trust, for my flesh to decrease and Him increase. Most days that is easy and others I struggle. Struggle with the whys and why nots, struggle with desiring to have a baby in our family and the fact we do not, struggling with the pain of my empty arms that can't be seen. That pain comes in many forms and range hourly, daily or weekly! The pain and loss seem heavy this week but I know that the good days are coming....Thank You Jesus!!!


Monday, September 17, 2012

First Day of Salem Pre-school 2012


Ethan and Daniel started back at Salem last week. They are going three days a week and they love it!!! Ella had a hard time last week with Ethan being gone. We are getting into a routine and I am sure she will start to enjoy this one on one time with Mommy. I thought about sending Ella and Salem asked me but I think I will hold onto her one more year:) The boys love going to school. They are great buds!

Getaways




We enjoyed some much needed away time in August and September. In August we headed to Cincinnati for a long weekend. We visited the zoo, creation museum and the childrens museum. It was a hot weekend but the kids loved sleeping and swimming at the hotel. They keep asking to go back!
On Labor day weekend, which happened to be my 30th birthday, we took off to Pokagon. The kids enjoyed their first time fishing. It was so sweet watching Corey teach them. On Labor day I ran with my awesome neighbor Amy and two greatest sisters, Carrie and Amy, in the Blueberry Stomp. What a great way to start this new decade.

Summer 2012




We have had a busy and FUN summer. Both kids learned to swim on their own, well on their own by using a life coat, which is so much fun for mom:) We enjoyed many Friday pool days at Aunt Amy's, a few beach days and lots of outdoor play. Ethan is learning to ride without training wheels but feels much more at ease on the training wheels when riding in the neighborhood with the bigger boys. Our summer nights usually ended up with the neighborhood on someones driveway talking or dinner at the next door neighbors, the other Barnes:) We have been blessed with great neighbors and have a great friendship with them.
We also did some landscaping. We had tried to tackle this last year but never made it to actually planting plants! We planted a lilac tree in memory of Elias and have a small memorial area in the front. We have replaced the hanging basket with wind chimes which I LOVE. I am excited to see this tree bloom next spring!

Pokagon Girls Weekend


A few years back we (sisters, mom and I) decided that we would have a girls day/weekend instead of presents or parties for our birthdays. This was our second time going to Pokagon State Park. Its a great little park only about an hour away. There is shopping close by and some unique restaurants for us to try. This year we were in the middle of training for our first 10k and enjoyed running through the park. We missed our little sister, Allison, hoping she can join us next year! The plans are already in the works! Love my sisters and mom time!!!

March of Dimes 2012


Last year my sisters, Carrie and Amy walked in the March of Dimes walk to honor Elias. This year we decided to make it a team event. It was a great morning walking 3 miles in an effort to support the mission of the March of Dimes which is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. We had 26 walkers and raised over $1300.00!!! It was an honor to be able to walk in Elias name. We miss you baby boy!!!

Easter 2012

Easter was long ago BUT I have really wanted to post some pictures of my beautiful children and all that's been going on in our life. Despite it being five months ago...I remember being sick:( We colored Easter eggs at Carrie's new house on Friday night and by Saturday I was miserable. Corey took the kids to my aunts for an egg hunt and dinner. We enjoyed Easter Sunday with Corey's family and I was able to attend.


Sunday, March 11, 2012

He makes EVERYTHING beautiful

I have had a post swirling around in my head for weeks and I can not seem to type it out. I wanted to share detail by detail about the day Elias was born. I have journaled about his birthday and talked with others who share the blessing of meeting Elias but as I come to share it on this blog I have become guarded and unable to type. It seems that this day is far to special, unforgettable and precious to my soul. It was such an intimate God filled day that I think those memories are to be kept in my heart for now. I just have a huge desire to share how Elias' life was something to celebrate, how he has changed his momma, how beautiful he was, that we will never forget our sweet son, how he has changed others. He was more then I could of imagined. I have picked some of my favorite pics from that day. Hoping that pictures will allow you too see the beauty of our God.
" He has made everything beautiful in its time..." Ecclesiates 3:11
"One thing I have desired of the Lord. That I will seek; That I may dwell in the house of the Lord All the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the Lord." Psalm 27:4
" I will meditate on the glorious splendor of Your majesty, And on Your wonderous works." Psalm 145:5





Stop the music player at the bottom to listen!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Birthday Celebration



What an amazing day! Filled with family, friends, love, happiness, tears, pain, remembering and living out the day our Elias passed one year ago. My heart is still full and so blessed because of this celebration we had. It was just awesome! The balloon release worked out better then I thought and I loved seeing those balloons fly away.
We raised $395.00 for March of Dimes!!!! Way above what I would of imagined! We received the items in the picture above for the pregnancy care center. We got 12 sleepers/outfits, boppy, crib bumper, 5 boxes of diapers, 12 packages of diapers, 5 blankets, 7 pakcages of wipes, baby food,stuffed animals, two handmade hats and several lotions, baby wash items!!!We are so thankful for each of you who gave so generously and in remembrance of our sweet Elias.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Winter Days

The kids and I headed out to the zoo a few Saturdays ago for winter days. We had gone in January but I had forgotten my camera:( We had a lot of fun seeing all the animals and enduring some really cold temperatures. What great memories!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

You Are Invited!!!

Okay so I have worked really hard on this little invite and I can not get it to be any bigger. After two days I am giving up:(
Here are the details!

WHERE: Grace Church (sanctuary)
52025 Gumwood Rd. Granger
WHEN: Saturday February 18th 2012
TIME: 10am
Please join our family as we celebrate the life that our God has given us. Elias Andrew Barnes was born on Friday, February 18th 2011 at 6:21am and walked into Heaven 17 hours 4 minutes later at 11:25pm. We would like you to join us, not for a reflection of his death, but for the LIFE that was given to each of us. We will celebrate by having a time of worship and prayer followed by a balloon release.
We would be honored if you would bring with you a donation (diapers in all sizes, wipes, baby clothing in any size or gender or any type of baby care item) in remembrance of Elias for the Pregnancy Care Center or monetary donation to March of Dimes, Team Elias.
"For you formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mothers's womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made."
Psalm 139:13





Saturday, February 4, 2012

Moms Day


Last week at Ethan's preschool they had a day for Moms to visit and be with their kids for the morning. It was fun to hear the good morning and good bye songs and see exactly how his day is. Ethan has the privilege of going to school with his good buddy and cousin Daniel. Ethan loves that he gets to be at school with Daniel. The picture of the two of them is too funny! Aunt Carrie is teaching for another teachers medical leave for nine weeks so Aunt Amy stepped up and spent the morning with Daniel. The kids had made cute books that the teachers asked them questions about their Mommy's. Some cute things that Ethan said about me:
I am 16 years old.
I weigh 30 lbs.
My job is working out.
Moms favorite job at home is playing play dough.
I love my mom because she is nice and funny.
Melt my heart...I will be keeping this book forever!!!

Birthday Parties!



Ethan was a very lucky birthday boy this year. We celebrated his birthday THREE times. On his actual birthday he opened gifts from Corey and I and of course had ice cream cake! Ethan got a new leap pad and loves exploring and learning how to play and use it. Mom is learning too:)
We celebrated with Corey's family on the Sunday after his birthday. Corey's brother and sisters birthday are one day after and four days after Ethan's so it worked out to have a combined party celebrating all of their birthdays. I forgot my camera but Grandma Barnes had a lighting McQueen and mater cake and Ethan got a new scooter that he has gotten great at riding.
Then the next weekend we celebrated with my family for Colson and Ethan's birthday. We had a football theme and the boys loved it.
We are so blessed by family being so close and able to celebrate times three!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

No sign needed

There have been times throughout life after Elias that I have wanted a shirt or a sticker or something showing my loss of my son. Something to acknowledge him, something for people to see and know how special he was. However I have come to a conclusion, really life changing conclusion. I do not need a sticker or shirt or sign. My son is in every detail of my life, it just happens to look different then the place my other children hold. He is with me, every day.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Not for me but for HIM

Elias birthday is coming up. I want to do something, I have to do something. Not sure how to plan. I tried googling celebrating baby loss birthday but it seems no one writes about this. See its not about the loss that I want to celebrate but for the LIFE.

Life that I choose to give to Elias and not death.

Life that has given me more then I could have ever imagined.

Life that has taught me things about myself that I was too blinded to understand and recognize.

Life that by others saw as in survivable.

Life that has brought together friendships.

Life that impacted others. Some who we will never know about.

Life that has changed my marriage in a way that forces unity, love, appreciation, understanding of our loss and restored connection.

Life that will forever be etched into my soul.

Life that was real. He was born ALIVE!

Life that was created in the image of our Lord and Savior.

Life that can only be given by God.

Life that was created for His glory.

The sadness, the grief, the emptiness, the hurt, the tears, the questions, the anger, the heartache, the anguish, the pain, the sorrow can be overwhelming for some. Those feelings approach and I do allow my tears to fall. I do feel the physical and emotional pain of losing my son. Yet it’s not that those feelings only last a minute its that those feelings come with hope. Hope in my God who is faithful. That He is there for every feeling, every new day. He is there holding me, carrying me, directing me through the work of the spirit. Hope that can never diminish. Never diminish because of my choice to live my life for His glory. Allowing God the victory in every detail.
As I plan for Elias birthday I am not sure what I expect that day to be like. I really wish I knew what and how I was to plan. I know everything will come together. A day filled with celebrating what God has done through a precious life He allowed me to have a privilege of knowing and caring for. I desperately do not want a day about me or Elias death. I want a day knowing we have hope because the price is already paid, the victory has been won.
I have a great team on my side. Be looking for details soon!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Happy 4th Birthday Ethan

My little boy turns 4 today! Its hard to believe. I have been remembering the day he was born and it feels like yesterday! It was freezing but the sun was shinning so beautifully. He was so little and so sweet. He makes me laugh and my heart grow.
He woke up at 6:30 because he was so excited that it was his birthday. He was confused as to why his pj's still fit because he thought that now that he was four he should have grown:) He loves his little sister and is always looking out for her. Poor Ella is sick today but still loves singing happy birthday to Ethan:) Ethan is writing his name and is so proud of it. He loves going to preschool and playing with his buddy Daniel. Ethan loves to sing and his favorites of lately are a few he learned for his Christmas program; Happy Birthday Jesus, Soft white snow, Jesus Loves me and God is number one. Ethan can sit and play cars/trucks for hours and also loves building. He got a new lego set and Lincoln logs for Christmas that he has been able to use his imagination on. I am always highly impressed with his logical and engineered mind.He is a blessing to our lives and am so thankful for the smiles he brings.

Studying

The other night after dinner I had some of my bible study lesson to finish up and decided to sit at the table. The kids wanted to study their bibles with me. It was such a precious time to hear them "reading" their bible and sitting so quietly. Memories to last a lifetime!

Winter is Here!!!

We have finally gotten some decent snowfall and been able to play outside a lot. The kids have been loving it! Normally they last about an hour and then we enjoy some hot chocolate! I really do enjoy winter and how beautiful the fresh fallen snow looks.