Thursday, June 13, 2013

LIfewalk 2013

We are participating in the Pregnancy Care Center of Niles Lifewalk in honor of Elias and to help them raise funds to protect the dignity of life in our hometown. Please consider supporting us in honoring Elias and celebrating life through the Lifewalk.

Emmett Drew pictures

Our dear friend Addi came over six days after Emmett's arrival to take some newborn pictures. She did an amazing job and so thankful we had these taken. I love his sweet little sleeping face!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Last Game- Spring 2013

Ethan's last soccer game was last weekend. The whole family made it out to cheer him on. Ethan's love for soccer has grown this season and he has had a blast playing. He was super excited about his new medal and patch! We are looking forward to many more soccer seasons!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

First Week

The first week of Emmett's life has flown by. We have had lots of visitors and special family time. Lots of friends and family have been over to meet Emmett. It is a privilege to be able to share him with everyone. We are so thankful for the honor of being his parents and are looking forward to see God work through his life. We are so in love with his little self!

Big Brother and Big Sister

Ethan and Ella are in love with Emmett. They love holding him and talking with him. They are great helpers and are willing to help get whatever Emmett needs. It has been a special week seeing them grow to love Emmett and adjust to having a little brother at home.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Emmett Drew Barnes

Emmett arrived at 7:15pm weighing in at 6lbs 11oz and 19 1/2in long. He arrived crying and perfect! We are so excited to have him here. Delivery was as expected and we had a great experince delivering at the Goshen Birth Center. We arrived at 5pm and Emmett was here two hours later. Our midwife and birth assistants were so helpful and made the process very special!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Outdoor Fun

This past weekend it was finally warm enough for the kids to have some water fun! We had a water gun fight and ran through the sprinklers. We are looking forward to more hot weather to have some more fun!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Preschool Graduation

Ethan graduated preschool on Friday evening. It was a fun evening of the kids singing, getting diplomas and a new bible. Ethan has loved attending Salem preschool and we are excited for Ella to start next year. Ethan will start kindergarten this Fall. The girl in the picture with Ethan is his buddy Carson, who he also played soccer shots with. We finished our evening by having dinner with Grandma and Grandpa Barnes at Cheddars. What a fun night!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Zoo field trip

Yesterday we were able to head to the zoo for a field trip. It was a beautiful sunny morning. The kids had lots of fun exploring the zoo. We were able to go to the butterfly exhibit and ride the train, which were two special treats.  The kids had lots of fun. Thankful also for my sister who tagged along to help with the kids and keep them close!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mothers Day and 37 weeks

Mothers Day started at church with the kids singing to all the moms. It was super cute and our kiddos did a super job at singing and the motions!
We spent the afternoon time at Amy's, where we enjoyed a brunch and just hanging out. It was super chilly but the kid had fun playing together.
Also today I hit 37 weeks in this pregnancy. Its hard to believe its almost over! Not sure I am ready for it to be over but I think my body is:) There is a reason why pregnancy is meant to be 40 weeks.
With today being mothers day I also remember my babies who are not here to sing with their brother and sister. However it has given me an opportunity to feel so blessed to be called a mother by four beautiful children. Wishing they were all here to hold and kiss but knowing someday the complete picture will be beautifully painted. Just a bittersweet day. My heart aches for all the woman who have either lost a child or yearn for one so badly in their hearts and lives. I pray for them. My heart is heavy because through Elias I have come to understand that nothing is guaranteed. There is nothing in this life we deserve, no matter how much we think we need it or want it. Just with the child that I am carrying. As I approach delivery day, my worry and fear of being able to bring home a healthy and alive baby has been under attack. I have found myself having dreams of our baby dying and worrying over delivery. I talked with Corey and he continues to remind me that God is good, its under his authority and it will work for the good of His glory. As I allowed my thoughts to be held captive by God's promises I have been given peace and hope. That as I cast my worries onto the Lord (1Peter5:7), he will carry those worries because He cares for me. That His love for me will persevere through every situation (Corinthians 13:4-7). His power will rest on me, when I am weak (2Corinthians 12:9). That He gives peace at all times and in every situation (2Thessalonians 3:16).
Thankful for the word of God to rest and depend on!


Ethan started playing soccer this spring. He has been playing indoor for the past two years but is now old enough to play outdoor. Our first game was freezing outside; we had rain, snow and sleet. The last few weeks have been better but still on the chilly fifty degree side! Ethan is having a blast and is so much fun to watch!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Martins/Dominos Field trip

Corey was able to go with Daniel and Ethan on a field trip. They started at Martins, which included the paw-mart of the store. They got to see where deliveries were made and where all the stock was held. After Martins they headed over to Dominos pizza where they were able to make their own pizza. The boys had a great time and Corey was glad he was able to go with them!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

New Bikes

Ella has upgraded herself to a two wheeler with training wheels from her tricycle and Ethan has upgraded to a taller bike. They were so excited to get new bikes. We have had so much fun going for bike rides, now if the weather would cooperate and stay warm!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Spring Break Craft

With it being so cold outside we have been stuck indoors most of our spring break. Ella has also been sick so we have been stuck inside and at home! Ella was finally fever free today and we decided to do a "real" craft. Most days we paint/color/cut/write but its not always a designated craft. We made bird feeders today. It was really simpe and the kids were able to do most of it by themselves, which is a plus. Our feeders are outside awaiting birds!


Saturday we headed over to Kenny and Carrie's for the Smith's gathering. The kids had a great time playing with all their cousins. We even were able to enjoy an outdoor egg hunt. Totally forgot my camera Easter Sunday but it was a great day celebrating our Risen Saviour. We started out at our church because Corey and I were scheduled to work in the baby nursery. After service we headed up to Corey's family church where three nieces/nephews got baptized. It was awesome being able to be there to see them make a public dedication to living for the Lord. After services we headed to Corey's parents for a great lunch  and to hang out. It was a busy but blessed day. We are thankful to live so close to our family!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

A little warmer weather

Last week we FINALLY hit 45 degrees and some sunshine! It was still pretty chilly but it felt so good to get out and run! The kids had a blast and cried to come in! Can't wait for even warmer weather. The kids had fun chasing bubbles, swinging together and playing football! Summer please come soon!

31 weeks

Prego pick from last week. We are feeling good and moving right along. Its hard to believe that we will be welcoming a baby in 9 weeks or less! Time is flying by!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Dad's Day

Corey was invited to attend preschool one day with Ethan. Ethan was thrilled about having his Dad come with him. They had a fun morning. They were to bring their hammers and were able to build a small toolbox together. Ethan loved working with his Daddy and having him at school with him.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Shedd Aquarium

On Saturday we joined Corey's family for a trip the the aquarium in Chicago. Our kids had not visited and were so excited to be going. It was a great day and lots of fun. The kids got very tired by the end of the afternoon, as you can see in the bottom two pictures but were awesome and stuck it out. They loved being with their cousins and seeing all the animals to see there.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Scavenger Hunt

Corey put together a sweet surprise for me by taking me on a scavenger hunt. The theme was the places we went the night we got married. It started with a note in the car that lead me to the the restaurant where we ate at before he proposed. At the restaurant there was a note that lead me to the park where he proposed. At the park I found a tree with a treasure in it. It had the sweetest note with a box that included a small treasure in it. He put a lot a work into it and it was fun to do. The kids joined us and had fun seeing new places. The kids even made me a picture saying they loved me! What a great memory!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Elias Birthday

We spent Elias' birthday with our family and friends. The Zartmans graciously opened their home and invited us over for dinner and cake to celebrate and remember Elias' life. It was a great evening with friends. The kids loved all being together and playing with one another. I was terrible and did not bring my camera but it was a special night.
The following day on Elias actual birthday, the day started with a beautiful sunrise, just like the day he was born. Corey took half of the day off so we could just be together. That morning I meet my mother in law at the mall and enjoyed her company while we shopped for shoes and ate some lunch. When Corey got home we headed to the cemetery to lay some flowers and release some balloons. The day was so full of peace and joy. It was the perfect day to remember the life that Elias lived. 
"I thank my God on every remembrance of you." Philippians 1:3

I never imagined

When Corey and I got married I had dreams, ideas and expectations of what our married life might be like. I think everyone does. To say all those dreams, ideas and expectations all came true would be false. I am thankful that some of them didn't:) We knew we wanted to wait a few years before having babies. After two years of being married we thought we were ready for kids. God proved to be in total control and we did not welcome our first child into our family until two and half  years later. Throughout that two years of "trying" there were times of doubt , worry and anxiousness. I often wondered if having our own kids would be a reality for us. I am thankful that God allowed us to experience those feelings and emotions. My heart breaks for those moms and dads that have not been able to have kids.
I NEVER IMAGINED I would be pregnant within a year of having Ethan. Again God proved to be in control and it was the perfect time to add another child to our family. The adjustment was not what I expected or thought it would, it was a lot better.
I NEVER IMAGINED I would be pregnant within nine months of our Ella being born. And yet again God proved to be in control.  My idea of a third child in three years was not what I expected or dreamed or hoped but I knew that this child was from God and that He would provide. I thought we would have 3-4 kids, with 3-4 years in between them. As of today I don't know how many kids we will have or how many years will be between them but I know that my God does. As we have navigated through this walk of joy, sadness, grief and blessing I continually am overwhelmed by all that He does for us.
I NEVER IMAGINED a life without one of my children. Most people don't but some of us are called to walk that journey of losing a child, while others are called to walk on other roads. As I reflect over the past two years of having said hello and goodbye to Elias; I have realized I have gained far more than I have lost. My son is not lost to me but in Heaven waiting. Perfectly healed and waiting.
While talking with Ethan and Ella about Elias they wondered why Jesus didn't heal him and send him back to us. Our kids are often hearing about the miraculous and wondrous works that Jesus performed while here on earth so we know He is able. I wondered that too for a long time, why God didn't chose to heal Elias. Its easy to see God's hand in all of his physical miracles but sometimes harder to see ones of the heart. We can hope, pray and believe whole heartily that God will heal or fix the problem in which we want Him too. However its awesome to be able to share with Ethan and Ella the other attributes of our Lord and God that I have had to cling to. That he heals the broken hearted, that he weeps with us, he protects and shields us, guides with His wisdom, He is faithful, He loves us unconditionally, He is good, He is eternal, giver of grace and He is always near. Ethan and Ella have seen Corey and I walk this road of grief, but I pray that when they look back they will also realize and experience the goodness of God through our earthly loss of Elias.
This verse has help my smile up today as we remember Elias on his second birthday. God has done way more in my life and in my heart than I could ever have imagined when I felt the call by Him to give back my son.
"I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord's holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love to surpasses knowledge-that you may filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than we ask or IMAGINE, according to his power that is at work within us."
~Ephesians 3:16-20 NIV

Because of You

I am brave.

I am stronger.

I am more confident-spiritually, motherhood, wifehood, and family, really in every aspect I am more confident of who I am and what I believe in.

I love deeper.

I cry harder.

I hug longer.

I love Corey more.

Our marriage is stronger than before you.

I give Ethan and Ella more kisses.

I care less of what others think; well I am really working on this one. I never knew that I did care until I was walking on this journey of life and death with you.

I laugh harder.

I have courage.

I pray more.

I give more.

I say yes more.

I go outside my comfort zone more often.

I dream more.

I long for Heaven more.

I understand that I have a choice in losing you-joy or sadness. Most days I choose joy.

I am a better wife and mom.

I know what a friend is.

I say I am sorry easier, even when its hard.

I am more understanding.

I forgive more.

I know that life matters and each one has a purpose.

My entire heart, soul and mind are changed in a way I never knew.

Because of you sweet Elias. I miss you sweet boy!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Winter Fun

We have had a few good snow falls and then some good days full of sunshine to take it away. The kids have had a great time this winter playing outside. After our last snow fall Corey started to make them a fort around the bottom of the swing set! They loved being protected in the fort!
Saturday Corey had to work so I decided that we would enjoy winter days at the zoo again. It was a lot colder than our 50 degree day in January but it was still fun. The animals were very active and we had a nice walk through the zoo.

Friday, February 8, 2013

23 weeks

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My cousin J had requested a baby bump picture and it made me realize that I had not taken any pictures of this sweet life growing yet!!!! This picture will have to do until the next time I am showered, dressed and have makeup on-maybe Sunday for church:) I am feeling great! The baby is moving all around and its awesome for the kids and Corey to feel all the kicks now! Precious times!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Moms Day

Wednesday I was able to attend Mom's day with Ethan at preschool. It was a fun morning! We talked about measuring God's love and were able to measure lots of things in the room. We had fun measuring the chair, coat rack, table and ourselves. We also made a craft together using our handprints. Lastly we had some yummy coffee cake and fruit salad. It was a fun morning together!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Ethan's birthday contd

Friday night we celebrated Ethan's, Colsons' and Adam's birthday at Aunt Amy's. We enjoyed watching all three boys open their gifts! It was a fun night and the kids were exhausted from all the playtime with their cousins! We appreciate Amy's willingness to host!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Baby Barnes

Today was the "big" day. We had our routine ultrasound scheduled. The last few weeks it seemed forever away but we have been so busy it was here before we knew it. I had been trying to not think of it and allow myself to let go of my fear and worry and give it to God. Well some days that was easier than others. I knew how this day could change our lives forever and it has! A day to be remembered as rejoicing over God's awesome power in our lives and control over each small and precious life. Feel so abundantly blessed by God's goodness in providing what looks like a healthy baby. We have decided to not find out the gender and keep it a surprise until he/she arrives. I am super excited that we should be bringing this bundle home with us in a short 18 weeks!

Silly Ella girl

Ella enjoys taking pictures, especially when she can be silly. She also likes to take pictures of others but only when they have their silly faces on too:) She is a silly, fun, loving girl!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Ethan is 5!!!

We had a fun day celebrating the life of Ethan. He woke up telling me he did not want to have a birthday and that he would stay little and live with me forever. I told him that was just fine with me, we will see how he feels about that in a another ten years:) Once the day got going he was more excited for his birthday. It was a school day and we were in charge of snacks. He picked out frosted sugar cookies with sprinkles. We meet Dad for lunch and an afternoon of play. Corey brought home pizza for dinner, Ethan's favorite! We opened presents and then headed to strikes n spares for our first time bowling. Ethan liked bowling but LOVED riding the go karts. Ella was too short to ride and was a little upset but next time she hopefully would be able to. The next morning we headed to Grandma and Grandpa Barnes' for a birthday breakfast. He got new legos and a new nerf gun. It was so warm outside that they kids played soccer for almost two hours. It was a great morning celebrating with the Barnes side. Next Friday we will celebrate with my side for Adams, Ethan's and Colsons birthday all together. Ethan brings us so much joy to our lives! He loves putting things together and taking them apart, playing cars, leappad, riding bikes and coloring. Happy Birthday Ethan!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Winter Days at the Zoo

Last Saturday we enjoyed a beautiful 55 degree day at the zoo. The zoo opens up once a month in January, February and March and last year we made it two of them and had fun going. Two of our good friends have zoo passes also so we made it a group outing. The kids had fun running to the next animal with each other and playing on the playground after our walk through the zoo. It was a great day to enjoy a rare warm day in January!

First tooth fairy visit

About two months ago Ethan started to complain that his teeth were hurting him. I did not think anything of it and told him he probably bumped his mouth. Well about a week later while brushing I noticed two adult teeth starting to come thru the gum! Within a few days he had two rows of teeth!!! He was our little shark:) His other teeth were not loose either but we had a cleaning scheduled for January and felt like we would wait and see. Well about three weeks they started becoming a bit wiggly and we told Ethan to work on them. He would not let us near them! Well this last Saturday while at the mall he lost one and the other got pulled that night! Ella was such a good little sister holding his hand and telling him it was going to be okay. They love each other so much! The tooth fairy visited him and he was excited when he woke up to his dollars. He is growing up so fast! I felt like it was too early for him to be losing teeth but he will be five tomorrow and teethed early as a baby!!! The time has flown by and I cannot believe he will start kindergarten in the Fall. Treasuring these days and moments!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Back to the routine

Ethan started back at school this week and even though Corey went back to work last Wednesday, today is back to routine.  To be honest I was kind of looking forward to it. The kids have been getting to bed way to late and that means I have been getting to bed way to late. So the last two nights the kids have had decent bedtimes and this morning was easier because of it. Ethan was super excited to go to school and take in his show and tell. He brought in his air hog that Ella had give him, which was so sweet. Ella and I came home to enjoy some mom and daughter time. We had a tea party, went "grocery" shopping, took our babies for a walk, read some of our library books and just had fun. It was a great way to start back from break. Looking forward to the rest of our week! Tomorrow we have BSF (bible study fellowship), Wednesday is gymnastics, school and awana, taking a meal to a new mom and work Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. I am sure by Saturday I will be wanting break time back:)
I had a doctors appointment on the 27th and everything was good. It is so reassuring to hear the heartbeat and have all my fears washed away. Well mostly washed away. We have an ultrasound scheduled for January 24th. I am really trying to focus on each day as a gift and not let the worry surround me. It feels like forever away but I know as we are back in the grove of life it will go fast. I have switched doctors since Elias was born and at this practice they prefer to do ultrasounds later than I was used to. With all my previous pregnancies I had an ultrasound around 16-18 weeks. With this pregnancy I will be 22 weeks. I am confident that the timing will be perfect. As I have been praying for the peace of not worrying about the condition or health of the baby, I am realizing being in a state of worry is not honoring to  God. My anxiousness revealed my lack of faith and trust but His promise is to take care of all things. So for today...
"Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble." Matthew 6:34
 I am praying my way through this and it is awesome how Gods word and promises becomes so alive and real in my life.
"When my heart is faint, Lead me to the rock that is higher than I for you have my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy." Psalm 61:2-3