Wednesday, September 11, 2019

First post of the year?

Blogging has taken a back seat to a lot of life for me, and that is okay. There is no possible way to try and sum up the last year until now, so I thought I would just do a little sharing of August and September.
Jonah was asked to be a ring bearer in our friends Jake and Isabelle's wedding. Josh officiated the ceremony too. I didn't get a good picture of that, as I was in the back with Jonah making sure he would go down the aisle! It was a beautiful time with some very special people, and we were honored to be a part of it!
This new school year has been a good one for the kids. Emma is a junior, and Josie is a freshman. They are both doing well in school and are part of the school musical this year. Seussical will be performed the first weekend in November! Emma has been driving them to and from school each morning, and it is fun to see their friendship grow even more.
Addie is in 7th grade and Isaac is in 1st. They are enjoying another year at their school, and we are very proud of their accomplishments.
Jonah turned THREE on September 1st! He is such a big boy. No pacifier. No sippy cups. Totally potty trained. The only thing that is still "baby" is his crib. He likes it and doesn't want to move into a bed right now, and since he doesn't climb out, we are ok with that too!
The best this month has brought us was a good visit to the oncologist for Josh. His scan showed the nodules in his lungs and lesion on his kidney have not grown at all. I believe the term was "too small to deal with, but two big to ignore". This is good news for sure. He will keep getting checkups, and blood work every three months, and scans every six months. We are very happy!
So much more has happened. Josh and Emma's trip to the Philippines, our week at Blue Gable, and a bunch of ministry things to share, but that will have to wait until another time.

 Little adorable ring bearer Jonah!

First day for this 11th, 9th, 7th, and 1st grader!

Happy 3rd birthday!

One year down!

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Fall Family Fun

This fall has been a busy one. Aren't they all though?
We had a great time with EBI's fall tribal cup. Emma played for the women's team for the third year in a row. They won! Actually, Jackson took the tribal cup this fall! That always makes it more fun to sit in the cold. Go Jackson!
Seriously it was a lot of fun to see Emma play. She really played well, and we were proud!

Emma right after the win! 

I wish I knew who took this pic to give them credit. It's always fun to cheer with the students. Jonah looks unhappy because I made him wear a blanket. It was cold!

Emma had a fall choral performance as well. Her choir is so good, and it reminds me of being in choir myself back in the day. She also was invited to go to Michigan State University earlier this fall to be a part of a Choral Leadership Workshop. It was a fantastic opportunity for her, and she loved all she learned!

What a cutie!

We had fun in the neighborhood this Halloween. While our party was a smaller one than years past, we still had a great time. The weather was warmer, and the neighbors were great as usual. We love being able to get to know our neighbors this way. It's fun handing out candy to the kids that come to our house too!

We have a Storm trooper, a lion, a rooster, The Cat in the Hat, a mime, and Wednesday Adams.

The grownups dressed up this year too!

At Josie, Addie, and Isaac's school they have a spirit week full of fun dress up days, and fun activities for the kids like a staff vs. student volleyball game, and decorating boxes to collect food for their annual food drive.

Crazy hair and socks day!

The kindergarten celebrated the 50th day of school with a sock hop! Here is Isaac, one cool Daddy-o!

Friday, October 19, 2018

Life's Unexpected Twists

Last time I blogged I asked for prayer for Addie's orthodontist bill. I am happy to report that God supplied the whole amount through two generous gifts from others. Praise the Lord!
Life continues to keep us on our toes. This summer, less than a week after I shared about Addie's braces, Josh was diagnosed with testicular cancer. He had surgery on July 30th, and has been recovering well. He had some scans that we were hoping would be completely clear. They were not. They showed two nodules on his lungs, and a lesion on his kidney. The good news is that the two nodules on his lungs are small. The doctor said if he were a healthy man and they showed up on an x-ray, he wouldn't be too concerned. As a cancer patient though, they were something to keep and eye on. The lesion on his kidney is most likely benign (the doctor said he is 95% sure) but again, we care keeping a close watch on it. This coming Monday he will have repeat scans, and Thursday we will know more about what they find. Won't you pray with us?
Now, we just keep busy with normal, everyday life. Josh has switched back into the Student Life Department from The Buildings and Grounds department here at the Bible school. I continue to plug away with updating information in the database here at the school. Soccer season has just ended for Josie's team. Josh coaches for the school's team, and Emma was the assistant coach this year.
We have many late summer and fall birthdays that have been a lot of fun. Everyone is growing up so fast!

Josh and I at one of his appointments. Even though it is a doctor's appointment, it is still good to get some one on one time together. A doctor appointment date!

Josie turned 13 and we celebrated with a fun sleep over!

Jonah turned TWO! Where did my baby go? Jony loves running around and keeping up with his brothers.

Happy birthday to this guy! What a year 40 was. He had meningitis and cancer diagnosis in one year. Here is for a less exciting 41!

Ezra turned 4. We went camping the weekend of his birthday which made for an extra fun celebration!

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Those Pearly Whites

Addie is the third born child in our home.  Even though she is third, she is the first to have curly hair. First to play the violin. Now she is first in another thing. We had hoped by the time adult teeth showed up, the problem would self correct, but it hasn't. 
What is she the first at this time, you ask?
I know many of you are intimately aware of all the ins and outs of these wonderful contraptions, but this is all new to us. After getting three different opinions, it has been decided that she needs 5 teeth pulled, and braces. This is not something we went into lightly. Braces are EXPENSIVE, especially when our heath insurance does not cover any dental. 
God has been so good to us though. He knew she needed this long before we did. He has been her comfort, as she is nervous about having five teeth pulled. He didn't give her any wisdom teeth, so she won't need to have them pulled later! He laid it upon a family to generously give us almost half of the cost of the braces. We are blown away by their generosity, and God's goodness.
Would you pray with us as we trust the Lord to provide the $3,100 left that we need?

My brave girl.

She lost two baby teeth since this x-ray was taken.

Getting more comfortable with these visits. 

A little glimpse of part of the problem.

This is just a picture of her at her awards ceremony at the end of the year. She is such a smarty pants, and we are very proud of her.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Ain't No Party Like A Mathew Party...

Maybe "party" is too joyful a word for the rough year it was, but we do love to party!
It's been over a year since I have written. So much has happened, that a short recap is about all that will be possible at the time.
In March of last year, Addie's appendix ruptured making her very ill. She had emergency surgery, and even though recovery was a long one, she was able to recover, and for that we are certainly grateful.

Recovering well after surgery.

Right after Addie got better, Jonah got sick. This was so hard to see. We had kept him under preemie quarantine just like we did when Ezra came early, but unfortunately Jonah got sick right away. He came down with RSV and Pneumonia and ended up spending 7 days in the hospital.

Jonah's first Easter.

 Jonah was discharged from the hospital on a Thursday. Friday I was able to go visit my parents. The next morning, my mom passed away from complications from sarcoidosis.  Losing my mother has, by far, been the most difficult thing I have ever had to face.  I am so thankful that God gave me that Friday to see her one last time.  I am thankful that this isn't the end.  My mom trusted in Christ and His death on the cross, and now is with our Savior, and I know I will get to see her again. That brings me comfort when all I want to do is call her on the phone and tell talk with her again.

My dear mom.

We had a good summer last year, and made some good memories with extended family, and just us.
The fall brought new changes. Emma entered high school as a freshman, Josie a 7th grader, and Addie in 5th. I was back into the office learning some new things on Populi, a new program that was implemented at the Bible Institute, and Josh was plugging away with the building and grounds department. In October things came to a screeching halt. Josh got very sick with spinal meningitis. He was hospitalized (and now he was the one in quarantine!) and spent a a few weeks recovering. We are incredibly thankful he recovered so well.  

We are basically quarantine pros at this point.

In November, I needed to have surgery to repair some complications from my last c-section.  It was a longer recovery than I expected, but am glad to be doing fine now.
Overall, 2017 was a bit rough, but there were good things too! Spending more time than usual with family, and so many celebrations. Two milestone birthdays were had in September, and we were blessed with the opportunity to continue to trust God through what seems like impossible circumstances. Isn't our God so good though? I don't know if I could have survived a year like last year without knowing that He was unsurprised by it all, and ultimately in control over what felt like chaos in my life.

Jonah turns ONE!

A little surprise party for Josh who turned 40!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Jonah's Life in the NICU

Jonah spent a total of 40 days in the hospital before he came home. His first two weeks were in the NICU at St. Joseph Mercy.  After I was discharged as a patient there, I was still able to stay in the hospital in what they refer to as "nesting rooms". It was such a blessing to be right down the hall from him, instead of 51 miles away. 
The NICU at St. Joe's are full of wonderful doctors and nurses, and we received the best care, but we wanted to transfer him back to our hospital as soon as he could. I had five other kiddos that needed the stability of having mommy home. I missed them too.
Jonah really was making great strides at St. Joe's, and we are so thankful he had his first start there.

Someone sure loves his daddy!

Such a deep stare. My precious boy!

He was SO tiny. His whole head could fit in my hand.

Peek-a-boo mama!

My Son Jonah

Six months have passed since my sweet Jonah has come into the world, and many more since I have blogged. I do want to finally share about our latest addition. 
Ezra's birth was very difficult and traumatic, which you can read about here and here. When we found out we were expecting Jonah, the doctors monitored me very closely. I had bi-weekly appointments from the very beginning, and starting in August, I was 28 weeks along and placed on complete bed rest, as my blood pressure steadily began to rise. Josh was amazing as always, and took wonderful care of me and the house and kids. We had a lot of help with meals from friends which was a huge blessing. I eventually had to be hospitalized, and once that happened, Josh and I, in agreement with my obstetrician, decided I should be transferred to St. Joseph Mercy where Ezra spent his first few weeks of life. Eventually it was decided that my body could no longer safely keep baby inside, so Jonah Albert was delivered at 32 weeks. He was a week older than Ezra, but weighing 3lbs 6.5oz, he was a little tinier. He needed to be on oxygen longer as well, but overall was a very healthy baby. I never got deathly ill this time, and they took his c-section nice and slow, being sure I was unable to feel anything. It was a good birth, and I am thankful for the wisdom of my doctors on the whole pregnancy and delivery. 

This was my view for many weeks. 

My sweet boy, getting the best care for his early start.

First time holding the wee one, a few days after birth.

His hands were so small!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016


This year has already brought so much joy.  I can't hardly believe it is already May!  I wanted to share some pictures that make me very happy.

My dear family.  We were just enjoying a lazy Saturday in our jammies.

Josie performed at solo and ensemble and received the highest score she could!

These two chuckleheads love each other so very much!

Josie and Emma showing their Art Prize entries. Josie got 4th place in the whole school!

My little warrior scaling the wall of the enemy fortress!

Our nature walk partners at MacCready Nature Reserve.

A beautiful bouquet I was surprised with just because he loves me.

Fishing for blue gill with daddy at the NTBI spring picnic.

Last, but certainly not least, our newest little squish. Due to make an appearance this October (and hopefully not any sooner!), we are so thrilled with this gift of life God has entrusted us with! Praise be to Him!