Hunter is unbelievably smitten with Eden and she just adores him. She will spot him out of the crowd of siblings and give him the biggest, shyest smile a baby could give. He is her favorite at the moment:-)
Josiah loves his big brother bubba too! He had to come get in the picture with "Huney and Edie."
I had to add this one:-)
I sure am loving this season in my life. The long intelligent talks with my teens, good laughs with and at my younger children and the toddler and baby stage. I really don't think it could get any better:-)
We cannot seem to get enough of this sweet little baby around here. Eden took a late afternoon nap yesterday, which kept her up later than normal. So, she had daddy and mommy ALL to herself last night for about an hour:-) If you could have been a fly on our wall you would have thought she was our first baby. She is our 9th definitely not our first:-) We are so amazed at how sweet and loving she is.
Things have been so crazy around here for me. 6 kids doing different grades, a 3 year old very spunky little girl, a 20 month old little man child, and sweet little Eden who thinks the world revolves around her. I do love it though, the being busy part, not the school part. I told Sean last night that I felt like I was in school all over again! I hated school by the way:-) Hopefully my children will not say that one day. Hopefully they will have good memories of our days together.
Sean and I have been walking at night together trying to lose my baby fat:-) I am finally starting to feel a little normal and seem to have more energy. Maybe the walking or maybe it is Eden sleeping through the night now. I had so much I was going to write but my boys need help with their studies at the moment. I took these picture of Eden yesterday so we could remember her fuzzy hair at this age.
My sweet itty bitty baby turned six months on the 8th of this month. Where has the time gone? She is such a tiny little girl weighing about 14 pounds but I love it! She is the baby around our house and is so spoiled by being held all the time or by being entertained by someone.
Rarely is she called by her real name Eden. Itty Bitty, Ittsee, Joy, baby, angel baby, smiley and the list could go on and on. She is such a sweet baby who is always smiling at someone. We all adore her around here. I wish I could freeze time.
We tried to take some family pictures this morning in front of our house. We all got dressed and ran out the door only to see that it was about to pour rain. We managed to get some before the rain literaly came down the road toward us! None of the pictures turned out but oh well, we learned a lesson, never try to take a picture outside when there is a chance of storms.
We started our school year off with excitement on Monday.. Every child had his or her new books and supplies ready and organized. We even made an area upstairs our school room. I always love the first month of school. We are all so neat and orderly. We will see how long that last:) Farah Beth was so excited to start her "pee cool" in her "pwetty bwue dwess".
Treasure is in Kindergarten this year. I am so happy to be spending more one on one time with this sweet girlie. In a big family, she gets lost sometimes because she is just too good! Anna Grace is 1st grade but I think we need to move her up already. She is so smart and listens so well.
Noah and Isaac are 4th grade, which they say is SOOOOO much harder than 3rd:) They have read more this week than they have in all the past put together. My sweet Peyton is 7th grade but honestly, this child could be running a home all by herself and much more! She is a very hard worker and does it with joy.
Hunter has started a few of his subjects but he is going to be going to Veritas Classical School for homeschoolers one day a week this year and the other days he will be home working really hard I am sure. He is in the 10th grade now, so way over my head:-) As for Josiah and Eden, they are playing or eating all day long now. They seem to be right in the middle of all the learning.
Here is a video, albeit grainy, of our kids singing one of our newest favorite hymns, Wonderful Merciful Savior. It was recorded on Sean's Blackberry so it is not the best of videos but Josiah dancing in the background adds a little life to it. This was the end of a long first day of school. God really blessed us today as we all made it through ALIVE! Enjoy and have a great week.
Please make sure you read part 1 first if you haven't done so already. (They go together :) )
So on to the fragility of life part of the post. As you can see from the pictures above, Josiah had a fairly rough week, or at least it started out that way. He and I were walking down the stairs behind the lake house on Saturday morning (2nd day there) and we made it all of the way to the bottom, him holding my left hand and in my right hand a can of jet ski oil. At the bottom of the stairs was a landing and a half step to the walk way down to the lake. Well we reached the landing ok but then I overstepped the half step and turned my ankle over falling down with Josiah holding my left hand. Poor guy did a face plant onto the concrete, about a 2 foot drop. He immediately started screaming, and blood was pouring out of his mouth. We cleaned him up a bit and waited it out to see if he had a busted lip or something not so serious. He seemed fine all day, other than a bloody drool. After taking a mid day nap, he awoke and the left side of his face was really swollen and starting to turn blue, plus there was the constant drool of blood. So, I took him and Farah Beth to the Urgent Care Facility at Lexington Hospital in Lexington, SC. They were great with him, and after an exam and CT Scan of his face, it was determined he had a few Very, loose teeth, but NO broken bones. Praise the Lord!! Nevertheless, the little guy was not a happy camper for several days. His face was REALLY swollen and looked as if he had been in a boxing match with Muhammed Ali.
The week went on and he did a lot better and we all had a great time. On Friday we packed up and headed back home. I was driving with Kenley and Lexton, Josiah and Farah Beth and Joli had the rest of the crew in the van. We split up at I95 so that I could meet Kenley and Lexton's mom to drop them off at Santee and Joli headed home. After dropping them off, Josiah, Farah and I got back on the road. I called my mom and was on the phone with her as we got back on 26. After a few miles I heard Josiah make a TERRIBLE noise. I looked back and he was having a seizure! His face was redish blue and his eyes were rolling everywhere. I immediately started screaming at him and pulled to the side of the interstate. I got him out of his car seat and started crying out to God to let him live because he was so limp that I really thought he was dead. I started doing CPR on him and after a minute or two, it seemed like hours, he started to cry and come out of it. I was so shaken, and just started loving on him and thanking God. Even now it is hard to write about without being overwhelmed. I have never been that scared in my life.
There was no way I was putting him back in his seat, so he rode on my lap the rest of the way home (about 1.5hours). When Joli and the kids got home, Hunter and I took him to MUSC where he had another CT scan and blood work to try to determine what was going on. He was real lethargic for most of the time which was a concern to the doctors. While there, it was determined that he was running a fever of about 102.5. His CT scan came back good again and his blood just showed a slightly elevated white count. The doctors then concluded that he most likely had a febrile seizure due to a rapid spike in fever. This is common in toddlers and happens to about 1 in 25 kids. Now we have 9 kids and have NEVER had that happen so it was like something we never want to see again.
So while we were in the ER waiting for news, I read a devotional about Romans 8:28. The writer made several points about how God works all things to good for those who love Him, to those who are called according to His purpose. The writer said that many times we get used to the earthly things of life and start to grow dim to spiritual things and God allows these things to come into our lives to wake us from our spiritual slumber. Another point he made was that so many times we live life as if we are eternal, at least eternally here on earth, and take for granted life and it's fragility. Our purpose is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever, yet we get so caught up with things here in our lives and leave Him out. Trials turn us to God, make us fly to His feet and His spirit intercedes for us with groanings we cannot understand. When we don't know what to pray, God knows. My first reaction was to cry out to God to not take him. How fervant and desparate was that cry! Yet, how fervant and desparate had my prayers been before that. This whole trial moved me to seek Him with all my heart.
Now what if God had chosen to take Josiah. How devestated I know that I would be because I can barely type it without wanting to cry. But the thing is, if He had taken him He would still be awesome and glorious and majestic. He would still be worthy of and deserve all of my praise because He is God. The thing that really struck me today was the thought of not wanting Josiah to die. I was screaming and trying everything I could think of to not let it happen (as if I really could stop it), but it was something that I could not imagine losing him. So today, with that in mind, I thought, God gave His only son willingly for me and all who are called according to His purpose. In fact, the bible says that it Pleased the Father to crush Him. I can't imaging giving up my son for someone but God did it for people who have hated Him, who have rebeled against Him, and have turned away from Him to go their own way. How incredible He is and how eye opening this has been.
A little over 2 months ago I lost my brother and that has been difficult. Many days thinking about never seeing him again, no Christmases or holidays together, etc. During the week of our vacation, we had his kids and all week was a constant reminder of him through them. All week God reminded me that "As for man, his days are like grass. As a flower of the field he flourishes, the wind passes over it and it is gone and it's place knows it no more" Psalm 103. Life is so tenuous. At least life here on this earth. We run and chase after things that are so temporal and they seem like they mean everything to us and we can't imaging life without them. The fact is that there is only one thing that we can't do without and that is having Jesus as our Saviour. Without Him, nothing else matters. This life will be over soon for all of us. 100 years from now most people alive right now will not be here. But life does not finish here. There is an eternal life with God through Jesus Christ or an eternal judgement in hell apart from Him. All things hang in the balance and Nothing apart from Him is as steady as we think it is.
Sorry to get so long winded, but it is something that means so much to Joli and me . A life and an eternity without Christ is no life at all. Without Him, we can't possibly imagine how one can cope with losing a loved one or endure so many other trials of life. He is wonderful and we love Him so very much. Fly to Jesus and Live!
As for Josiah, he is doing great. Below are some pictures that Joli took of him tonight. After everything that has happened, it makes his "roving" a little easier to bare. :)
We just returned from a weeks vacation at Lake Murray, staying in a cabin owned by some church friend's parents. Lisa White's parents, Charles and Nancy Roof, allowed us for the second year to stay at their lake home near Prosperity, SC. We were priviledged to have our nephew and niece with us, Kenley and Lexton Hardwick, as well. So Joli and I loaded up 11 kids and 2 dogs in our van and my truck, and headed to the lake. After arriving, we unloaded everything and waited for Mr. Roof to get there to help us put in his boat. He is such an awesome guy; he showed up with 15 gallons of gas and the key to his house and boat. Well, we got the boat in the water and there was nothing stopping those kids from going tubing! So off we went.
We tubed and tubed and tubed, until the tube needed a vacation! We had a great time though. Joli's mom and dad and brother and nephew came up Friday evening and left Sunday, so I got a chance to pull Joe on the tube at least once, even if it was rather gingerly. :) Monday afternoon, my mom and her good friend Sandy came with Sandy's grandson Parker. We had a good time with them as well for a few days, and I even got the chance to pull my Mom on the tube. :) :) What fun that was. The tubers that you see above, Hunter and Noah, taunted me all week with "you can't throw us off", or "throw me in the trees dad". Needless to say, sometimes I won, sometimes they did. I think I let them win a little more than they would like to think simply because by Saturday afternoon I had gone to the ER already and I really did not want another trip. The ER trip is part 2.
Lexton and Anna Grace
If we weren't on the water with the tube, the kids were in the water, many times swinging off of a rope swing into lake murray from the cabin's dock. They loved it and it kept them busy for much of the day.
I forgot to mention that our good friends the McKoys let us take their jet ski with us. Of course that was a hit with all of the kids, with Hunter being the chief chaperone.
Getting it ready for Hunt
We cherished our time with the kids and we used much of the time to reflect on God and our relationship with Him. Christ has done so much for us before He ever poured out blessings upon us, He gave us His life. We wanted to use the time away to reflect on Him and His work in our lives.
Unfortunately, one of the downsides of all of the time in the water is that our oldest two sweet hearts have been suffering from a severe case of swimmer's ear. They have been in a great deal of pain over the last two days, so much that they haven't slept much at night. (You know it's bad when they won't sleep.)
But they are troopers and will have it licked before you know it.
Our Handsome Hunter
Finally, I would be remiss not to mention the little feet that kept all of the adults hopping all week; you know steep stairs, deck, dock, lake, boat, etc.etc. :)
Josiah - the Heavyweight Boxer
They definately kept us on our toes!!
We finished the week going to Riverbanks Zoo with the kids on Thursday as we were all just about "Laked Out" . We had such a blessed time and know that there are many memories that we all had together to cherish for a long time to come.
Finally, before I post Part 2 on the Fragility part of the post, I had to put a little before and after fun at Joli's expense.