Tuesday, June 30, 2009
When my husband and I got married, I was going to finish my college degree, go to grad school, and then my husband would go to school. We weren't planning on having children. We said maybe in 10 years. I don't honestly think we would have made that decision if God hadn't intervened.
I graduated from college and was accepted into a physical therapy school. I was very excited to have a wonderful career as a physical therapist and make something of myself. Three months into the two year program, I discovered that I was pregnant. We were very poor, living on student loans and my husband's low paying job. We didn't know what we would do. I was very scared about having a baby, and being pregnant while going to school in the medical field is a very bad idea. You study all kinds of abnormal development and all the things that can go wrong. I was convinced that our baby would have all kinds of problems. I tried very hard not to bond with the baby to protect myself if something went wrong.
Well, our first born, Han, was born and was perfectly normal. And I feel deeply in love with him. When I first held him, every ounce of ambition fled my body. I was totally unprepared for the emotions that I felt, and all I wanted to do was stay home and be his mommy. However, I had to finish school and I had to get a job in order to pay off the loans for school for a degree that I no longer wanted.
So hubby stayed home with the baby and I went back to school when he was 12 days old. I was exhausted and cried every day because I did not want to leave him and miss out on his life. I graduated when he was a year old and went to work. The day after his second birthday, we had our second boy, Obi. I got six weeks of maternity leave and then, heartbroken, I went back to work.
My hubby was going to school part time to get a degree so that he could eventually get a job and I could possibly stay home. But, we didn't know if it would ever work out. He wasn't happy staying home full time, and I wasn't happy working. But, there was nothing else we could do at the time. I cried out to God to save us, to help us. My life was bittersweet. I actually loved my job, but I felt bad missing the boys and I felt like I was missing out on their lives while I was gone. My hubby was going to school, but didn't really know what he wanted to do. He loved spending time home with the boys and we were grateful they weren't in daycare, but men are not made to stay home.
We had our first (and only) planned child, Luke, almost 3 1/2 years after Obi was born. This time I had 12 weeks of maternity leave. I so loved being home, but everyday was one day closer to going back to work, and it made me very sad. The night before I went back to work, I was crying out to God about my desire to be home. God gave me the verse from Joel 2:25a And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten.
Now, that verse made no sense to me. How could God give me back the time I had lost with my boys? How was there any end to our situation? We even thought that my hubby would graduate and that both of us would end up working to support our family. But I hung on to that verse for dear life.
Another verse that became very precious to me is Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. I chanted this verse at times to reassure myself that our life made sense to God, and that he did indeed have a good plan for us.
Hubby changed his major, went full time, and the end was in sight. When Luke was 2 1/2 years old, our first girl, Leia, was born. I went on maternity leave with her the day my hubby started an internship during the day while going to school at night. We were praying this internship would turn into a job. On the day that I needed to give my notice if I was not going back to work, my hubby got and accepted a job offer. I couldn't believe it. I was going to stay home and hubby would be working! And I remembered the verse. But it still didn't make sense to me. But I finally had a baby that I got to stay home with. (Actually, I did work about 6 to 10 weekends a year until Yoda's birth.)
We had started homeschooling Han when he was in first grade. This was hubby's last year home, and he was the primary teacher. When I started staying home, I took over. Han was in second grade and Obi was in kindergarten, which mostly involved playing with toddler Luke so we could do Han's school work! God's calling us to homeschool allowed me to be home with the boys even though they were of school age. One of my fears had been that I would finally get to stay home, but the boys would be gone to school all day.
Three years after Leia, along came Padme, and four years later, we have baby Yoda. God has given me three babies that I got to stay home with, in addition to homeschooling the others so that I had plenty of time with them. God's way of restoring the years that I felt I lost by working. Isn't he good? And so faithful. There were many hard and dark days for me when I despaired of our situation, but God had a plan, and it was better than what I had even hoped for.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
After dinner the party began. Here is Leia with her party gear.
And her very eager sister, ready to see the presents.
And even the baby wore a party hat, for a bit.
After cake and homemade ice cream, another family tradition, we went outside and hubby and Leia practiced on her new bike. Her old bike has training wheels, so she needs to learn to ride without them. She had one accident, with blood and tears, and got cleaned up and was back at it. She will have this mastered soon.
We went to Denver on Saturday to celebrate her birthday instead of having a birthday party with friends. Our kids had never been on rides before, so it was a big deal. Here are a few pictures of the kids. Everyone had a blast.
Luke and Leia on the Ferris Wheel.
Leia and Padme on the boats.
And finally home, exhausted, but after a wonderful day.
Leia's 8th birthday was lots of fun and hopefully made many good memories for all of us.
Monday, June 15, 2009
When I was pregnant with Leia, we had an ultrasound to find out if the baby was a boy or girl. My hubby had also never really wanted a girl, as he thought they were born pregnant teenagers! When we found out she was a girl, my hubby said, "Surely with three older brothers, she won't be a girly-girl, will she?" I told him that God was listening and had a sense of humor. Well, Leia is a girly-girl and a bit of a tomboy, all in one. And we couldn't love her more.
Before Leia was born, I had thought that she could just wear all the boy clothes that her brothers had worn. We were on a very tight budget, and I am very frugal. But then a family from our church who had three girls gave us all of their girl baby clothes. I was smitten with pink. Even the socks were cute. And she never wore blue for an entire year!
Leia has the sweetest spirit about her. She is very tender hearted and thoughtful of others. She loves Jesus and is always the first to suggest we pray about something. She loves purses, bling, anything pink, baby dolls, younger children, and horses. She is terrified of most bugs, screaming over moths in the house. She also loves playing basketball, Frisbee, playing in the mud, swinging, riding her bike and fishing.
She has shown me the joy and fun of being a girl. She is the double portion of grace that we didn't even know we needed. I thank God for her everyday. She brings joy and laughter to our house. I can't wait to see what God has in store for her life.
Here are some pictures from Hannah's 8 years.
In the hospital with my mom, her Nana.
Just home from the hospital being inspected by the brothers.
Two years old.
Three years old.
Four years old.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Here are Obi and Han in their silverware competitions. Obi was really into it, and Han was just hanging out.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Hubby showing the baby the water. He was cold, too!
Padme really loved this fish and wanted to keep it as a pet.
Time to go home! This is a picture looking across the lake right before we left. This is my kind of fishing: near the library, 5 miles from home, near by bathrooms, and all the fish stayed at the lake!
Monday, June 8, 2009
The other people in our club also had a hard time with the book, but everyone liked the movie. It was funny to see Elizabeth Taylor and Mickey Rooney looking so young. My kids has no idea who she is, but they know Mickey Rooney from Pete's Dragon, and he is a voice on some Christmas movies, also. Anyways, Leia had made a small paper horse and glued it to cardboard the way Velvet did in the book. Here is a picture of her horse with it's stable.
And here is a picture of her with the book and her activity from the meeting. She got to design a jockey shirt and hat. Of course, they were pink!
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Leia has LOVED this class. They have a Bible study during the class as well. The theme for this past semester class was the Bible: It is a book that is made up of many stories that all tell His story. Leia's class danced to the story of Joseph. There was a concert at the end of the semester and it was really amazing. Both Leia and I both were moved to tears by some of the dances. Truly wonderful. Here are a few pictures of Leia.
And Leia, after the performance with her flowers from us. She was absolutely thrilled to get the flowers.
Padme didn't want to take the class this past time, but she can't wait until next time. I also can't wait for her to get to dance also! Those little girls are so cute!