Saturday, December 8, 2012

We Welcome Our Son

Isaac Richard Mathew was born on Saturday, November 17, 2012 at 5:50 am.
He was 7 pounds, 11 ounces and 19 inches long.
I want to share the story of his arrival, the time he spent in the special care nursery, and all that he has meant to us since joining our family. I just don't have the time right now! When you are baby number 4, life doesn't slow down when you are added to the mix!
I will share that Isaac has been an amazing blessing from God to our family, and I cannot imagine my life without him! Such a sweet, precious joy he is!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Another Month Gone By!

Well here is basically what that month looked like for me. Shortly after being lifted from "Lying low" rest, I was put on official bed rest, which then has turned into "only get out of bed to use the restroom" bed rest.  Apparently my blood pressure decided it wanted to get in on the fun and got all high, and so has confined me to the bed (or couch in the picture above that was taken before the you move out of bed and you'll get it phase).
I must admit, I actually thought being on bed rest would be easy. I would watch some movies, surf the web, read some books. The truth is, it has been brutal. I really don't like having to see my dear husband try and do the work of both dad AND mom. I don't like relying on people to help. Don't get me wrong, the help has been a huge blessing, and we wouldn't have made it without all the people who have made meals, and ran errands, and just encouraged us. It's just I sort of like being on the other end of the spectrum. Also, have you tried to read while laying on your left side? It's really not that comfortable.
I am thankful though to have gone (still going) through this as I think it will help me know how to better help those who need it when I CAN help. Also, it is keeping Lil' Dude healthy, and that is a very good thing.

So, I may have cheated a little. I did leave the house to vote. I thought it was important, and I had another doctor's appointment that morning anyhow. To show how much I was trying to be good, I even drove to my polling location, which was only a block and a half away. :)
Lil' Dude was very good and obeyed his mommy and did not come before election day. He is free to come anytime now. As a matter of fact, in eight days he is being evicted. That's right! A week from tomorrow is my c-section.
That means my little baby boy will be born before this milk will spoil.

Very exciting times.
I now leave you with my new favorite family picture. Just us all snuggling on the bed a couple months ago. You will notice Lil' Dude is right there in the mix of it next to his big sister Addie.
Man, am I one blessed lady, or what?

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Not Gone, Just Busy!

Well, it has been a few months since I have posted anything. I didn't fall in a well, or off a cliff or anything! I realize as my life gets busier and busier, I need to set aside a time to write, or it will never get done!
Well, first I would like to say, IT'S A BOY!!!
You read that right! The girls were so very excited to find out they were to have a little brother. Josh too was very excited. He had this big goofy grin on his face for about two days. I was surprised to learn I was very excited too! I guess I never wanted a boy, until the Lord gave me one. Now I am thrilled to think of a little Josh running around our house. I love having a little blue nursery, and find myself looking at super cute baby boy clothes when I go get our groceries. (Meijer's baby section is right next to the cereal). :)
We had a great summer. Spent time with Josh's family, and my family at various reunions. We went camping with my brother's family and friends at Silver Lake. We also got to spend a week at Blue Gable! What a relaxing fun summer.
This fall brought on a lot of new changes for us. Josh transitioned fully out of the business office, and now is fully in the student life department here at New Tribes Bible Institute as a dean of single men, and the Campus Life coordinator.
Adelaide joined the ranks of the formally educated, and is now enjoying kindergarten. We are so happy that she has the same kindergarten teacher as Emma and Josie had. She is the BEST!
Emma is now in fourth grade and loves playing soccer. She is getting better and better at it too!
Josie is in second grade now. She is still learning the piano, and has a talent for writing her own! We are so blessed by God to have three of the most amazing girls in the world. :)
I am growing bigger every day. Baby boy (who we now refer to as lil dude) is an active little one. I have had a couple of complications with this pregnancy, but we are making it! Just last week I went into labor, but thanks to a couple shots of Terbutaline, the contractions slowed enough that I could go home, as long as I laid low. Not as easy as one may think in the middle of a move.
"A move?" you say? Yes! As if we were not busy enough, we decided to add a little more crazy into our lives and move! ha ha
Actually, we have a couple new staff members joining our team, and our old house is technically a duplex that we have both the upstairs and downstairs too. Since we don't really need two kitchens, and two separate families could us our house instead of just us, we agreed to move. It is only two blocks away, so it is more of a shift than a move. This shift I think is a bigger undertaking than we originally thought. With the help of staff and students, and family and friends, it is coming along quite nicely.
I tell you what, people are coming out of the woodwork to bless our socks off! We have had a million people help us paint, move, unpack, make meals, watch sick kids so I could rest, give our children rides, even bringing me a seasonal cup of decaf coffee I crave (I sure do love pumpkin spice lattes!) Feeling the love of God through the body of Christ: there is nothing like it!
This is me about a month ago. Told you I was huge! :)

Friday, June 29, 2012

Growing Baby, Growing Momma

I thought I would give a little update on how things are going with me and the baby.
I am happily well into my second trimester, and the morning sickness is almost completely gone, for which I am very grateful!
Baby is growing big, which in turn, means I am growing big as well. I can't think of a better reason for an expanding waistline!
Next Thursday we will have an ultrasound. This time around we have decided to find out the gender. The girls are split on who thinks it is a boy and who thinks it is a girl. Pretty much everyone else is convinced it is a boy, although this all may be wishful thinking. I would have to say, if I was being pressured, that I think it may be a boy. This pregnancy is so different than the rest. I have been wrong before though, so I guess we will just have to wait and see. Six days and counting until we (hopefully) know! I hope I don't have a shy baby in there!
So what do you think? Pink or Blue?

This was taken a couple of weeks ago when I got a hair cut.

Prima Ballerinas

This year Josie and Adelaide took ballet lessons at the local ballet studio. We have always loved the teachers and classes, and loved the scholarships even more!!! Who would have thought missionary kids could take ballet lessons!
The girls both worked very hard in their classes this year, and we were excited to see all they had learned. We were extra blessed to have won the front row raffle they had! Well, we actually won third row, but it was a way better seat than we ever have been able to get before! The best part is, I only bought ONE ticket! We were very thankful for this gift frrom the Lord, to be able to see our little dancers up close, instead of ant size.
Josh took pictures for me (as I was still not feeling well at this point), and I think he did a great job!

 Josie looks so, what is the word? Professional? She is a natural at ballet.

 Adelaide knew her routine better than any of the other girls! So cute! I'm a proud momma!

 Can you see her in Swan Lake one day?

Pretty in pink!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Josie's School Dog Pound

Josie had a choir concert last week at school. It was a kindergarten/first grade combination choir, and they did a little doggy performance called Arf.  It was really adorable.
Josie told me she had a part in it. She was Chi Chi Chihuahua, and she had lines and had to sing a song. The only thing was I was to make the costume! I am really not gifted in that area, but thankfully a little felt, a hot glue gun, and a big imagination, and Josie was transformed into Chi Chi.
We were able to get there early enough to get a really good seat. I was so glad! Not only did Josie have a part, but she had the ONLY solo the whole night! She did a fantastic job and I was beaming with pride over my sweet little puppy, er, girl.

Chi Chi in front of her house.

 My girl has a sweet soft voice. She sang "I may be small, but I can do my part..." So true!

The choir singing and dancing. What a bunch of cuties!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A Picture Speaks A Thousand Words

Just in case you can't figure it out, we are going to have a baby!!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Easter Fun!

We had a pretty relaxing spring break this year, which was good. I hurt my back, and then came down with a terrible cold/allergies/sinus infection fun. A restful week was a good thing!
We did get to color some eggs together, and went to Marr Bible Church for a great Easter celebration, followed by dinner with my parents. It was a lot of fun. :)
Dying our eggs.

The finished product.

The girls all ready for church. They are getting so big!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Our Own Little March Madness!

We've had quite a month so far! Filled with all those ups and downs that make life so very interesting and completely the opposite of dull.
In the beginning of March (okay, technically it was the very end of February) we had a little accident with our van. It was a Saturday morning, and we were coming back from spending the evening at my parents house. It seems every town decided to plow and salt, except Jackson, so the roads were super slick. We went sliding into a left hand turn and hit a curb. I can't believe the damage that can happen with just hitting a curb! The funny thing was, we could have jumped out of the van, and stood in front to stop it, we were moving SO SLOW! We are thankful that we missed the fire hydrant and school crossing sign (even if it were by mere inches), and also thankful for our insurance accident forgiveness plan. I guess eight years without an accident won't get your rates raised. I am also thankful for Josh putting money aside for emergencies, otherwise we wouldn't be eating this month!

Emma entered into her first ever AWANA grand prix. They make these little wooden cars that they race, and she and Josh worked on them. Emma actually did a lot of work herself, which I am very proud of. She won third place for design for her pencil car! Don't ask how fast it was... or if it even made it all the way down the track...

We were so thankful for the little heat wave God brought our way this March! It is crazy to think in Michigan in MARCH that is was in the high 80's! We have enjoyed a lot of things that are not possible this time of year usually, like bike riding, kite flying, going to the playground, and going to a drive -in to eat! We sure do love Rudy's!

As this March comes to an end, and April is just around the corner, we hope you are enjoying your "March Madness". :)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Pie and Conversation

Occasionally at the Bible school I get to participate in something really fun. This is really more than just occasionally, since Josh and I coordinate the campus activities, but I am talking about something different.
Last week I was asked if I could teach someone to make pie, "since you are the pie queen". Oh, what sweet things to say! I do love to bake pies, and those may have been words to butter me up so I would do it, but it didn't matter. :) I love to teach things in the kitchen, and pie is my favorite thing to share!
Things did not start out as planned. On the ingredient list they were asked to bring Crisco, and they came with margarine. He he. One can only know how funny that is if you bake. It was okay though, as I had some Crisco on hand.
After three hours (hey, we spend a lot of time just chatting and drinking coffee too!) the pie was done, and it was a great success!

Ready for the top crust.

Someone is proud of her work! She should be. She was a GREAT student! :)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Third Times a Charm?

(Emma's inner ear diagram she made earlier this year.)

Adelaide just had her third surgery in five years. It isn't anything extensive, but it is surgery none the less.
Adelaide has suffered from hearing loss since birth. She failed her hearing test in the hospital when she was born, but they said to wait six months and have her tested again. She had a lot of birth gunk (for lack of a better term) in her ears, so they thought in six months she would be fine.
Addie's problem is that here ear drums aren't flexing, and her eustachian tubes don't seem to be draining well. Simple fix: pressure equalizing tubes to be put in her ear drums. They aren't permanent, so every couple of years, she needs a new pair. This time the doctor decided to take out her adenoids as well, to see if that would help with the draining.
Funny thing is, this simple procedure took her FOREVER to get! Addie went in for a hearing appointment in June (or was supposed to) but we had problems. The only ENT in our town wasn't accepting our insurance anymore. We had to switch to another provider, but we had to wait until October.
We had her hearing tested anyhow, and learned she had lost 40 decibels of hearing! They urged us to have this taken care of soon, before the hearing loss was permanent.
When we finally got her surgery scheduled, they noticed a heart murmur, and while she was lying in the bed in her little gown, ready to be wheeled away, they sent us home with instructions to see a pediatric cardiologist. Luckily, Josie already sees one, so we were able to get in fairly soon. Adelaide is all cleared for surgery by the ped. card., and we are set for surgery again. Addie then comes down with a monstrous case of croup. She has had croup plenty times before, but after giving her a breathing treatment, and taking her out in the cool air, she ended up going to the ER twice that week, and surgery was canceled again.
Last week we were finally able to go in for surgery. My little girl was a trooper. I think having her adenoids out was a little more that I thought it was going to be, but with plenty of Tylenol 3 for her, and lots of snuggling with mama, I am happy to say she is well now!
As far as her hearing? Too soon to tell. Thanks for all of you who have prayed with us for my little girl.

Monday, January 23, 2012

My Baby's Birthday

Today Adelaide turned five. I would like to say that we spent the day in utter celebration, but the reality is that there was too much life going on to stop and make today incredible...and I am feeling utter guilty about it.
The girls had school so there was the morning hustle and bustle. Josie forgot her project at home, so another trip to school before ten AM. Josh had a meeting during lunch, so no lunch with Daddy. I even had to go buy her birthday presents for her with her today. I think this is the very last year I can get away with that without her noticing.
So as the night was winding down, and I was feeling like a failure, I realized something; Addie wasn't comparing me to other mothers. She wasn't even comparing this birthday with her sister's, or even her other birthdays. Addie was just excited to be five!
So maybe Mac and Cheese (the kind out of the blue box) is not my idea of a great dinner, but it was her birthday dinner request so it was perfect. Maybe the pie stayed a little too long in the oven, but she didn't care. Today was a great day.
So I decided today was a great day for me too.
Happy Birthday my sweet Adelaide. You have made these last five years the best five years of my life.
Make a wish!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Where Did the Week Go?

This past week seems like a blur. The students have come back from their winter break, and the semester is in full swing.
I really only know that from word of mouth though, as I have been home all week. Josh and Adelaide have both been sick. Josh is now feeling better, and Addie will hopefully be soon.
Addie had made TWO trips to the ER this week. The first was Tuesday night. She was up a little after midnight not able to breathe. It sounded like croup so I took her out of the porch for some cold night air. When that didn't help, I gave her a abuterol treatment, and when that didn't work, we went to the hospital.
They were able to give her some steroids that helped a lot. I am so glad they did. What a scary thing to not be able to breathe.
Adelaide has been very snuggley, and I am enjoying the extra time with her, watching the Cosby show, or reading books.
Out of the blue yesterday her fever spiked to 102. Her tummy was really bothering her too. I called her doctor's office, and they were able to get us in, but at a different location. When I got there, Addie was crying really hard. She said she couldn't bend over or lay down without her belly hurting. The doctor took one look at her and told me to take her to the ER. They thought she had appendicitis. By the time I got back to the ER (which just happens to be right next door to us) her fever went down, and her belly no longer hurt. Very strange, and can only be explained as an answer to prayer!
She still has croup, but seems to be feeling a little better. Today she even ate some food!
I am sad that my little girl is sick, but thankful for the extra cuddle time I get with her!
Look at that big girl pouring her own milk!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Five Years From Fourteen

Emma's new favorite way of torturing her mother is to tell me that over and over again. I think she finds joy in making me squirm.
What I can't tell is why fourteen is the magic number in her head. It is not the year she will get her drivers licence, or date, or enter high school. It's not even the beginning of being a teenager. It is, however, thee goal.
She often laments to me that she wishes she could stay young, and then the next moment want to be all grown up.
I just let her know that I have felt that way too, and how she will have the rest of her life to be an adult, but you are only a kid for a short time.
So, my dear Emma, enjoy being nine.

Happy birthday to the girl who made me a momma.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Why Memories Are Better Than the Real Thing, or So We May Think

Do you ever feel that way? I must confess, I often feel that way. I like to remember. I am a big fan of pulling out old photo albums and recalling how wonderful things were. I even like to pull out old photo albums where ever we may go (much to my husband's chagrin). I want to hear about other people's fond memories too. I think that is why I started blogging. I know I've said it a hundred times before, but this blog is sort of an online scrapbook for me, the memory keeper. No one has actually given me that title. Some may even argue that my memory is not as good as I'd like to think.
I guess that is sort of my problem though. With keeping all these memories, I really don't like to give any room for change. I have a hard time seeing my girls grow. I am proud of who they are becoming, but am sad that they didn't stay little.
I also tend to try and recreate moments that have grown into fond memories. This is where it really gets silly. I want (and then expect) things to go the same way every time as the way I remember it, and heaven forbid some poor sole doesn't know that, and wants to try something "new". Am I the only one? Well, guess what. It never ends well. Shocker, I know.
Let me tell you something cool though. When you decide to stop trying to make everything into this "perfect replica" things can be pretty fun.
You see, this Christmas was one for the books. It was one of those week long celebrations full of family fun, both with my side of the family, and Josh's. It was one of those times where all the kids get along, no one gets the flu, everyone enjoys the company of everyone else... It was one of those Christmases you try and recreate the rest of your life. I don't know though, maybe it will just keep getting better.

Someone tell these lovebirds they are not newlyweds anymore. ;)

Adelaide opened every gift with this much excitement! It was SO sweet!

This was our second year of doing an Advent reading. We have LOVED every minute of it.

All dressed up for Christmas morning church service.

Grandma reading a family favorite. Emma was sure to get a good spot!

This was by far my favorite thing we did with the Mathew family side. We sang Christmas carols into the night. As much fun as it was to sing, I enjoyed even more hearing Josh and his siblings and parents sing together. What a beautiful blending of sweet songs to the Lord!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

I Have Readers?

I guess I have been feeling less and less like blogging, because I didn't think anyone was actually reading my blog. Well, my lovely family put me in place last night. They thoroughly ripped on me until I admitted to being a blogging failure. I mean, only thirty some posts last year?
I guess the main point that encouraged me was when my sister-in-law said "you aren't doing this for others anyhow, right? Aren't you writing this for you?" You know what? That is definitely how it started. It was my online scrapbook of sorts, sharing my story with the world, or anyone who was interested anyhow. I slowly forgot that, and as people stopped leaving comments, I stopped writing. Well, that is over. I am going to write, with readers or without readers. So all of you readers who read, but don't comment, that is okay. Thank you for sharing in our little journey in this planet.
Now, because I HATE writing without having some sort of photograph, I am leaving you with this. I find this picture extremely ironic. I took it for a Christmas card this year. I find it funny because this has been the warmest December (and January now) that I EVER remember. This was the only significant snow we got (so far). So, kinda funny that this was the picture I sent out. Actually, I had a complete brain freeze and ordered only 25% of the cards I needed, so most people didn't get this card anyhow.
May this New Year bring you joy!