Decade #1

When we started on this journey 10 years ago.. we were two young (22 & 23 year olds) who knew we were meant to be together. love at first sight.. nope (well at least me for:) haha … But as I think about my last 10 years with the most amazing man it makes me UBER excited about the next 10 years (and the 10 years after that, and the 10 after that!!)

Like most couples we wanted to do a celebration of sorts to honor this day.. so we planned (at our 9th anniversary) a cruise just the two of us… well we were blessed with a #5, which is so much more sweeter than any boat!! So with plan B now being our plan A.. we scheduled the whole day off..(that means joel put it on his calendar .. for me it took 3 days to arrange sitters for all the kids..ha!)

The night before the big 5/7 we had NOT ONE THING PLANNED 😦

after some input from dear friends we ended up heading down to Macon and exploring the historical district… sooo much fun!

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first up the Hay house… built in 1861 this 7 story house is mind blowing… we took a 45 minute tour and let me tell you AMAZING!!! We then were gonna check out the Cannonball house (but i decided i wanted to do the festival of homes at christmas instead:)

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Then we drove around and found this ADORABLE resturate on the square.. its called Rookery… SOO SOO SOO yummy! (Hamburger for me and a club sandwich for joel). It was neat cause all the wood you see in this picture has writing from people who ate there before.. it was really an experience!

IMG_20150507_151812249_HDRSince we decided against the CannonBall house, we headed to the Mall…… it was sooo weird to not have to lug the stroller out… I barely remember 1 baby:)

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Since Selah (baby #3) i have wanted to get my ears re-pierced..so .. we did it:) haha! And because its OUR anniversary we had to do a dude thing!

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Dinner was next and the most amazing gift.. I -wink wink- may have hinted a time or two i would love a ring so i could stack it with my wedding bands… Joel wasn’t a fan.. but i guess that is where Love comes in.:)

(it was a bit small it will go with my rings)

(it was a bit small it will go with my rings)

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all put together!

 

Within the first year of our marriage my parents got divorced.. heartbreaking for me.. it shook me so bad. I doubted everything (even though i knew it was coming and wasn’t really surprised) around me.. Even the commitment we had made. One night i asked Joel if he would divorce me.. He simply looked at me and Said ‘i made a comment to God AND you. No your stuck with me for life.’ I will never forget those words and as i look at our last 10 years and anticipate our next 80 .. it makes me a little giddy!:)

~Jessica

(and our kids were well loved also! Thank you friends for stepping up and blessing us)

 

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And she was here…..

Last weekend my Grandma came to visit.. with my uncle. She is only the 2nd person in my family that has had a chance to meet Asher.. so I was super excited to show him off! Plus spend time with this wonderful lady I get to call grandma!

Although we had tons of stuff planned we ended up hanging out most of the time she was here due to an ambulance ride and ER visit with levi. She was a great sport and helped and encouraged us!

Here is a brief photo journal of her weekend here with us…

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love you

jessi

 

What if….

Lately I have been asked a bunch..”hows Lydia adjusting to Asher?’ the simple answer is ‘she is doing fine.’ Our family is large..(according to todays standards.) We had 5 children in 7 years, one right after another. Why do we have so many children? Is it healthy for us? Do we make enough money? You will regret it… the comments could go on and on. But as of this past week, as I look around my little brood of humans.. I see something.. something different. baby #5

What if.

Yes I long to hold my little baby after 9 long months, Yes I love they way they smell, Yes watching them grow makes me giddy. But is that why we have them? Maybe. But what if that #2, #5, #9th child isn’t about you at all?

What if … its for them. The other humans (littles) in your home?
So the questions HOW is lydia… here are a few snap shots of the last 8 weeks.

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Lydia pulled the wipe pkg out and stood on it could she could not see ‘aaa’

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asking to hold him for the first time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our family is a reflection of love that grows.. grows within my heart as a mother but in the hearts of our other children. Our boys often say.. “when God blesses us with another baby..” Having each one is directly in part to the Fact God wanted the current kent kids to have another sibling. As I see Lydia (who’s first word is “aaaa’ -the simple sound of Aa) and her delight and excitment each morning when she runs room to room hollering “aaaaa” in search of her friend. Her brother. No where in her is jealously or hurt feelings.

Then I see today where Judah and Levi both took special time with her because they wanted to… loving on her showing her she is special.

IMG_20150325_173922 IMG_20150327_111112804_HDROne doing spelling while holding and gently talking to her, the other sharing a snack together.

What if she was born for them..

IMG_20150306_093324910_HDRWhat if my large family has nothing to do with me or superman but all to do with THEM…

them needing each other

them wanting each other

God loving them enough.

What if its NOTHING about us.. but all about God’s plan?

What if?!?!

~Jessica

 

 

Glory…. huh!?!

Ive got 5 minutes (the kids are napping.. so more than likely less!!). How to write in words what my heart feels?!? I should tell (i talk better  than i write) it to my dear friend over at sarahpangburn.wordpress.com she writes a billion times better than i.. but its nap time for her too so i shall press through and gather my thoughts. (HAHA)

10 months… (really longer) the dream of my sweet Asher Quinn has been alive. Now not known to me or Joel but to God.. yes. He knew him before he was born. Thus the dream to know he would join our family is fulfilling a purpose BIGGER than mine. From being told i was going to have a csection with Lydia (#4) and at the same time having a full hysterectomy to everything turning out ok and a natural birth happened.. -Story is found here– to having postpartum preeclampsia – very rare.. to GETTING pregnant while our little was only 4 months old. UH! a lot uh!?!? id say so. God had a plan correction

HAS

a plan for this special baby. 1 week ago i sat on the couch holding Asher thinking with each breath it could be his last.. why cause he was gasping for air. I had no car.. both joel and my sister had the cars and were working late.. and 4 littles were asleep. I instantly knew our life is but a vapor…. (he began breathing again we still are unsure why he was doing that but needless to say i sat upright all night holding him on my chest)

Fast forward to this week.. and i have been pretty ill.. high temps (103 was the highest…) and feeling just CRAPPY! My dear friend sent me this verse…

2 Corinthians 12:8-10New International Version (NIV)

8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

NOW what is my point here?! Well I think I might have gathered all the dots….as i sat alone yesterday and studied what Paul was saying i felt like him. Although my “thorn” wasn’t his… I have tons… from having judgments made about our family size, to personal attacks to heath issues. But as i hafved joked with my friend saying “i sure am being joyful.” I haven’t been. I been letting things bother me..

why did i have a c-section

why do i feel so crappy

why cant i jump back to my normal self

why do i have no family here (note we felt called to move here 10 years ago… our decision family would help if closer)

why ..why..why

WELL because Gods Glory is shown in my weakness…for the past month my village (as another friend has termed it) or life partners… have stepped in and taken the reigns. From kid keeping, to meal bring to doing all the things i just cant. So many times I have sat and thought.. how am i gonna make today work.. and someone will say “hey can i take the boys’ or ‘I’m bring Dinner you cant say no’. That is showing Christ’s love…..

Levi asked me the other day, i think it is so nice that our friends have brought dinner.. I explained that THAT is what walking with believers is all about.. doing the everyday, hard, fun and not so fun things with them. When we do it alone ..its hard.. but when we surround ourselves with a group we lift up each other in prayer and help.

As Joel prayed with me this morning i was reminded that.. God loves me .. i am part of HIS plan.. And his glory WILL always be shown in my weakness..

I may be weak, but

Your Spirit’s strong in me.

My flesh may fail, but
My God You never will . (repeat 2x)

Chorus:
Give me faith to trust what You say
That You’re good, and Your love is great.
I’m broken inside, I give You my life.(repeat 2x)

**GIVE me faith***

We face each step with joy….

SORRY for the novel:)

~jessica

 

Meeting Baby Brother..

For weeks now the kids have prayed, anticipated and even {daily} looking out the window each morning to see if ‘daddys car was gone that would mean brother was here.” Finally Saturday they were able to see us off and wait for the call 🙂 Once brother arrived the kids -and Nonna- hurried to the hospital to meet him!

ready to meet brother!

ready to meet brother!

I made the shirts tutorial here….

first glimpse of Asher

first glimpse of Asher

first was the attempt to get a group family picture… yep a bit more challenging than we expected… due to me not being able to hold any of the kids and being bed ridden…

attempt 1

attempt 1

attempt 501.. keeper

attempt 501.. keeper

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They were beyond thrilled! It was neat this time since they each understood it this go around. seeing their smiles and desire to hold Asher over and over was so heart warming!

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my two babies.. Lydia 13 months old.. Asher 4 hours old

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thank you aunt staci for the awesome FSU hat!

 

Each baby has gotten gifts for the siblings.... here is what Asher brought for the others.. (according the selah 'he did good')

Each baby has gotten gifts for the siblings…. here is what Asher brought for the others.. (according the selah ‘he did good’)

Well that is a peek (in pictures) of our family welcoming Baby Asher Quinn into our arms and heart!!

~Jessica