Home.

Yesterday we sold our home. With a cash offer our home became someone elses.

Our first home together. 7 sweet years (and 5 more kids) we lived and made it home.

And in 20 short minutes it was no longer ours.

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Its crazy to think a building can hold such emotions. But I cried yesterday, cried because I doubt anyone can love the nooks and cranies of the home as we did. Joel worked tiresly on a fort house in the attic (which was a proud addition to the boys room). One room have a tree, then pink squares and finally 3 kids bunked in there. Our dinning room nook took life of a school room 4 years ago. And our master bedroom closet most recently housed our sweet #5 & #6!

Screen Shot 2016-07-02 at 6.53.49 AMWe will miss this sweet place, BUT soo blessed to be able to take the littles that made it home, with me! Praying for another perfect home, to watch my kids grow up in, make new memories in and grow old with Joel. (sipping sweet tea on a piece of land would be nice:)

We pray blessings over the new owners and many wonderful new memories, may you enjoy the creek and the big tree, levi adds.

Heres to answered prayers!!!

(these are a few of my favorite things in our home)

“And for every home that love abides and friendship is a guest. Is surly home, and home-sweet-home. For there the heart can rest”    Henry Van Dyke

**jessica

 

turning the page

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8 days ago today, we moved.

We packed everything we owned in a large 26 foot truck and took the 7 hour trek.

With the help of amazing friends we stuffed it full and had teary goodbyes. We were headed to Orlando. After 11 years of being away we were headed home.

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God has taken us by the hand these last few months and showed us how to have great faith, and rely on him. When our timetable shifted and doubt began to creep in, he showed up, showed out and reminded us we were not forgotten.

We had been praying for answers for our life goals for about a year, asking, seeking, pleading with God for direction. Many opportunities came and were offered.. and prayed about. Then in early May one in Orlando came … with our pros and cons list in hand .. we said yes.

Never did I realize the affect it would have on me. I had made the sleepy town of Hampton my home. I had become a wife, mother, adult there. Friends were the ‘lifetime’ kind and ones that knew my story and i knew theirs. leaving was never a question. But God had different plans.

As one of my dear friends said.. ‘cant wait to see what god is doing in both of our next chapters.’

Saying Goodbye to so many sweet friends and saying hello to family and long life friends here has had me on an emotional rollercoaster.

This morning as I woke up to my devotion God reminded me that he is doing a work in my family. So Here we Go, looking for homes, starting a new job, being around family, all things that will unfold in our next chapters, BUT i am more than sure the first chapters will not go forgotten but will be brought up through out the journey.

“Make new friends but keep the old, one is silver the other gold”

For curious minds, Joel was offered a job at Disney. And most know we adore the place already! So we ask you friends to pray with us, that we find the home meant for us and that the 2nd part of our family dreams will come true. A home with land in a sleepy town, to raise our family and fulfill a few more goals, all while being a regular at WDW🙂

Danounce

how we announced to our family and friends

Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you.

Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.

psalms 143:8

*jessica

 

“oh what a day”

Last night as I crawled into bed the same conversation happened as it does every.single.night…’did you check on the kids?’-‘nope did you’ – I said…as i crawled back out of the bed to check on our 6 babies. ONLY to find out 1 had lost her dinner in bed and needed to be woken,bathed,changed and regrouped. Only to do it again once all cleaned up.

I had hopes for mothers day.. I sent Joel my ‘id love this list’, and was content with a picnic in the park while my babies ran and played in the beautiful weather. But as the pre-mothers day night unfolded I quickly realized my ‘expectations’ were not going to be met. I was bummed. Bummed because all my plans for the past week have been changed due to sickness. A wedding I had been soo excited to attend – now unable to go, attending my weekly small group meeting – I couldn’t go, and our anniversary date had to be shortened and close, ALL due to sickness. At least I could have a nice mothers day right!?!?

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our outfits for the wedding we never were able to attend

I knew in my heart the following day would not be breakfast in bed, candies and happy children. I knew id be cleaning up ‘sick’, changing diapers, and not getting to go to the church mothers day special. I was bummed.

But then as I sat there nursing Hannah, it hit me.

IN the mess of life, in our unclean, nasty times God loves us.

When we are needy, sick and tired, He tells us to run to him.

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I get to celebrate this day because of the gifts that were given to me. With them comes all the not so fun stuff. And as i look over the day I am grateful for the messy, crazy, unromantic mothers day. Cause in the future i will not have these little ones, crawl into my lap for cuddles because ‘their tummy hurts’, or lay on my chest with their blanket, instead they will be gone, busy with thier life.

So heres to the real life mothers day.

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my wonderful gifts. the kids made cards (all on their own) and taped my favorite candy on them… and a frame joel put together with me and each kiddo

(i am praying one day it will be roses and breakfast in bed.. until then though ill remember God loves me in the process!!)

~jessica

 

& there were 6.

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leaving the hospital

Hannah Faith
1/23/2016
Where to begin, truly the most unique birth experience ever! Friday night began with a beautiful baby shower hosted by my 3 dear friends, full of yummy food and laughter. (I was tired but felt fine) After the festivities, I arrived home around 10:45pm. Happily showing Joel all my goodies from the party. At around 11:00 I had a few Braxton hicks (or so I thought ) contractions. By 11:30 I took a shower to maybe stop them so I could get some sleep. It didn’t help, instead I asked Joel to install a contraction app on my phone.. Was this it!??! I was leery due to it being 3 weeks early and having JUST had a Dr appointment that morning where I was only dilated to 1.5cm. By midnight I was asking Joel to text our doula and try to find someone to come and stay with our 5 sleeping babies, you know just incase. At 12:45am things were 2.5 minutes apart and lasting 1 minute.. pretty intense but not insane. We throw some clothes into a suitcase (nope hadn’t packed yet) I thought it might be best to go ahead and head to the hospital due to the fact the weather was crazy and actually snowing. My friend showed up at around 1:00am and after a few minutes of briefing we booked it to the hospital. Arriving around 1:40am.
By the time we got to the labor & delivery department I was checked and was at 6cm. they walked me down to another room (which took FOREVER, because of the continual contractions). Once I arrived in the room, they were trying to give me an iv and get a heart rate on baby… then suddenly my water broke (which I had been praying to experience since I had not had that before). Mass chaos ensued (like 5 billion people were rushing around). They kept telling me to get on the bed.. hello I was in major pain (like constantly) get on the bed?…. move!?!?… Haha. Finally I made it up there. I was now at 10cm and fully ready for the baby. They gently told me.. ‘don’t push the doctor isn’t here yet’.
Well… I said I can’t help it (3-4 mins later) and with one push… our sweet baby arrived. Just like that.
As the nurses rushed around, the doctor walked in…
Needless to say I was still in shock, my baby came within roughly 3 hours time from start to finish.
Hannah Faith weighed in at 6lbs 3oz, 18 ¾” Long @ 2:10am on January 23, 2016.

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hannah faith

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our 1/2 dozen

faith journey.

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3 weeks and 1 day, she has been here. She entered this world in a hurry, with one solid ‘push’ she was here. Faith was given as her middle name, due to the timing and curiumstance surrounding her birth. Not knowing the days that would follow would prove to be more ‘faith’ then we ever expected.

5 days from your birth day, we were back at the hospital for a less than joyful event. In a matter of hours/minutes your future was in the balance of life or death. You our sweet #6, our ‘even baby’, our little girl.

A few weeks prior to your birth I went to an all women church service and being “Rooted” was part of the theme. I began that night praying that whatever came my way I would stand firm in my faith. I’ve been a Christ follower since i was 7 and have walked this journey with joy and honor. That night i was faced with a hard question, would I still LOVE God (fully) if a tragic thing happened. I wanted to whole heartily say yes.. (but knew this was my weakness.. thinking God was challenging me, asking me if i lost Joel…) So for weeks i have searched and prayed that i would be “Rooted”.

Then January 29th, The day still holds its own -pause- . The day I doubted my faith, I doubted everything I knew. Standing  there looking at my 5 day old, 5lb, little girl, go into hyperthermia, stop breathing, fear of a deadly infection was mentioned many many times, tests showed she had gone septic and all we could do was stand there……

Joel was my physical rock. He prayed and held me as tear after tear slipped down my cheek, prayers I didn’t want him to say.. “Lord let your will be done.” STOP i wanted to shout.. Gods will MIGHT be to take her.. and i am not ready for that. I don’t want his will.. was all my heart could scream. without judgement Joel held me as I began to pray my own prayer, realizing GOD loves her MORE than I do. First She is HIS daughter.

Within the 5 hour period of us being in the trauma room waiting for her vitals to stabilize, I realized.. His plans are to prosper and give us a hope and a future…Even if we don’t understand it.

With every ounce of uncertainty of the future I prayed.. “even if you take her lord i will still love you.” “Even if”. We were unsure of the future or the outcome of our sweet #6. But I knew (somewhere in my heart) that God was still sovereign. The peace was overwhelming, although my heart was still heavy, I had Faith. Faith that what we hope for will come about and the certainty that what we cannot see exists. (hebrews 11:1).

So today I rejoice as I hold my 3 week old, (today is her actual due date), and know her future -as well as her 5 siblings- are not mine, or even promised. But that my Lord, will see me through it.. whatever ‘it’ may be.

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all 6 babies cuddling with mommy!

this Song by Kristain Stanfill  became my go-to song while we were in the hospital.

~jessica

Psalms 139

As i am writing this .. 3 of my children are quietly reading in their beds.. 1 is sound asleep and 1 is sitting in my lap, snuggled up to me. I look around and first think ITS QUIET!! then i realize how honored i am to have been hand picked by God to raise these little ones.

Three weeks ago we took our kids to the local donut shop, while there we handed each a flag to stick into their donut. Then handed levi a 6th flag.. that said #6. It only took seconds for the realization to hit.. We will be welcoming at sweet bundle come February 2016.

I debated about making it ‘Facebook official’ or even sharing our news at all. Then the thought hit me..

WHY WOULD I DO THAT?? Is this child not just as special as Levi (our first), or Judah (our second). Am I saying that after the first two we should hang our heads in shame and not be proud of the children God had gifted us with?

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Levi daily wants to know the science about new baby.. “what does new baby have today, eyelids??’

Judah wakes each morning and kisses my tummy and every night kisses baby to sleep.

Selah walks around saying.. “i want a boy.. NO i want a girl” over and over.

This passage is true for me, Joel, Levi AND our bundle #6

13You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
15You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
16You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed.
17How precious are your thoughts about me, O God.
They cannot be numbered!

– Psalms 139:15-17

Our announcement

Our announcement

God knew when we were going to parent 6 babies. He ordained their days.. and i am excited to see them unfold.

We pray you will join this thrilling time of new life with us… rejoicing as each new milestone is reached. For God felt the need to send this baby from heaven to earth.. This child has a purpose…. Every moment was laid out BEFORE a single day has passed!! SOO exciting!!
love you each!
Jessica

Mozart, was child #7, Washington was child #5, Celine Dion was child #14, David in the bible was the 8th son.

todays realization…

today was great – overall- .. the day as a whole can be looked on as a good day. Busy, crazy and at times ugly… but id go back and say July 7th was a nice day.

But some of the moments in this day.. have been hard. very hard. for example. Lydia screaming the moment we began leaving swimming practice … and continued ALL (did i mention ALL) the way home. Yes that was hard. a very hard LONG many moments.

I ended up taking a mommy time out to regroup… in which my true SuperMan laughed with the kids and gave them each a snack of pears and apples. While i sat alone in our room.. sulking. Why!?! Cause i get tired. Tired of day in day out wipeing booties, picking up dropped food, making dinner, snack, (breakfast and lunch), planning outings, ect..

I get tired.

But just as God always does.. He reels me in.. in to his safe place…

As i am reading bedtime stories to the girls this ends up being the bible story. (Matthew 19:13-14)

As it is read in their children bible:

The children ran to Jesus and the deciples said “go away Jesus is tired”

But Jesus said “let the children come to be so all people can have faith as a little child”.

This Slapped me in the face. Yes we get tried and frustrated.. But children are Gods blessings… they show us Gods pure love every day. I as a Christ believer, I desire to be more like him. I must love them like Christ, even when i am tired i must bring them close and pray, and point them to Him.

I am challenged. Greatly Challenged. I likely will fail tomorrow but I know now this is my goal.

Love them when i am tired. Show and teach them when i am tired. Be Jesus with skin on.

playing tea party...even though i am tired!

playing tea party…even though i am tired!

~Jessica