Hit The Ground...


We're still alive, even though my sudden lack of blog posts would indicate otherwise.  Adriah is doing wonderfully.  We treasure her immensely.

I've been crazy busy with these hooligans...

Don't let their cuteness deceive you.  Sweet they can be, but angels they are not.
And I am exhausted.

So thankful for God's grace and encouragement on the tough days.


Hospital Baby: Day 5

It's official: I do NOT like typing on an iPad.

Today's date is 08-10-12. These are the years I've had babies!  (and not planning on another one for year 14, Lord willing).

So are you wondering how my amazing full night of sleep was?  Well, it might have been nice, but at 5am my phone rang.  WHA?!!?  It was a nurse saying to come feed my baby.  Long story short, some new patients had arrived and they changed nurses, and our nurse forgot to pass on the info that Adriah was supposed to get a bottle.  Bah humbug.  I gave the new nurse the instructions, no big deal.  But I really don't like being woken up because it can be hard to go back to sleep.  I was also frustrated because this was the second time I had left instructions to feed her that were not passed on to a new nurse (and the last time she totally missed a feeding because of it).  It took me an hour to fall back to sleep.  Arghhh...that's as long as its would have taken to feed her, but at least I got to lay there instead of getting my 5am workout of 3 stories of stairs.  Going to try again tonight for the full night effect.

Simon came back up for the weekend.  He brought the kids in this morning ... They have been getting to bed late because of VBS, so they're all a little edgy.  But being away from them for a week gives me a renewed energy and determination at being their mom.

So tonight is the last night of our special hospital vacation!  Adriah and I have had such a lovely time together, considering the circumstances.  The thing I'll miss most is having my food brought to me at every meal.  Speaking of food, I think I'll go have some soup I didn't eat at dinner.  



Hospital Baby: Day 4

I am working on getting over a migraine so this will be semi-short and sweet.

I am more comfortable in my surroundings and starting to make friends with the nurses who have been around for more than one shift.  I've discovered they like holding babies... And since Adriah is free to roam, she has become the little helper at the nurse's desk.  They all love her.

When the children visited today, my mom treated us to a special treat from the South Bend Chocolate Company (they have a shop in the hospital lobby.  This is South Bend, after all ).  THe nice lady who was working gave each of the kids an extra little baggy of chocolate covered blueberries and cranberries.  Ahh, the little things in life that can cheer us up.  :)

Another cheery event: rhythmic gymnastics in the olympics today! Had to call my sister and tell her...because that is truly something you don't get to see very often.  It was much more fun to watch than the 2 hour swimming race.   I dont know who would ever want to swim for two hours straight.

I thought it was funny that the Brazilian women's sand volleyball team had the word BRA on the from of their team "uniforms." Thanks, ladies, for labeling your attire, I couldn't remember what that thing was called.

Tonight my plan is to let the nurse give Adriah her night feeding and this mama is going to get a full night sleep!!! (so nobody better call me in th middle of the night!). Three cheers for me.  I can't wait.

Tomorrow is our last full day in the hospital!


Hospital Baby: Day 3

Today I enjoyed my daily morning visit from my dad.  He must keep up his "pastoral" duties to the poor sweet baby in the hospital...whom also happens to be his granddaughter.

I also had a visit from the lovely Andrea Gregory.  It was so refreshing to chat with another mom, to share our struggles and tips and joys.

Lo and behold, I also got visited by my mom and children.  They are a joy to see.  They stayed for dinner at the Ronald McDonald house. Christian enjoyed a special freedom of being able to buy soda out of the machine (it is only 25 cents).  Over the course of dinner he bought 4 drinks... "to save for later." (take note that I didn't straight out give him money for pop.  He originally found a quarter in my room, then after learning how to open the door to my room with the keyless entry card, he let himself in and retrieved a quarter from the dresser for each soda... Quarters left there by his daddy, who also seems to have a fascination with buying soda out of machines.  Ahem...).

Adriah has been sleeping a LOT, but continues to improve. The IV in her groin was starting to leak so they put a new one in her ankle.  The best part about it is that it doesn't require continuous flow, allowing her to be unhooked except for when they give her the antibiotics.  I can walk around the whole room with her now!  She is also smiling a lot more.  So sweet.

The oldest three kids have been going to VBS at my parents' church this week, and they LOVE it.  I've decided that they would probably benefit from having more routine in our daily activities, so I'm working on coming up with a schedule that we can follow each day.  I am also going to make some chore charts so they can benefit from responsibility and rewards. Thanks to Andrea's visit this morning, I now have some great pointers on chore charts!  I am going to use my time in the hospital
this week to plan out the specifics and implement them when we go home.

Tomorrow is Thursday already!  Adriah will be 8 weeks old.  And as of now, we've been in the hospital for 1 week.  You never know what a day may hold, but God holds us no mater what!


Hospital Baby: Day 2

Today I got to take a nice walk outside in the sunshine. Thank you Lord for the sun.

Ever since being here, I've been committed to only using the stairs.  Adriah is on the 6th floor, but my room at the Ronald McDonald house is on the 3rd floor. I didn't realize how out of shape I am. 3 flights of stairs, come on!  It's the hardest when they call me in the middle of the night to come feed her.  I've only tripped on a step once.

Christian got to play at a friends house this morning, so my mom and the girls came to visit for a while. They all love coming here primarily because of they play room that's available for them.  And then there's the nice but strangely awkward volunteer man who seems to try and force my children to do a craft or watch his little puppet act.  He is well intentioned.  :)

Short story: the day Adriah was brought to the hospital, we had all gone swimming earlier in the evening.  So when we came to the ER, I still had my swimsuit on under my clothes, and also didn't have any nursing pads on.  So I'm standing there in the ER watching them poke my little baby with needles, all of a sudden I look down and I have two huge wet streaks on my shirt.  Yikes!  The only available remedy was....gauze. Then I tried drying the spots with some tissues, and intermittently dabbed my tears.  What a night.  Note to self: change into normal clothes when you're done swimming!

Adriah is doing so well.  She's eating so well that she's up to 9 lb 12 oz... She may gain an entire pound during our stay!  She's been smiling at random nurses and cooing occasionally. And we got a new room today that is more private, so we are in our own little sanctuary of sorts. 

Tomorrow is a new day!  Blessings.


Hospital Baby: Day 1

There are good things about staying in the hospital.

Like your food being brought to you.
No dishes.
People change your baby's crib sheets for you.
You don't have to worry about running out of diapers.
And there is an endless supply of burp cloths that I don't have to keep washing.
Being able to sleep in a nice room provided by the Ronald McDonald foundation.
A break from the constant job of mothering the oldest 3 children.
Getting a nap whenever I want.

Then there are the not-so-nice parts.

Not being able to carry your baby more than 2 feet from her crib.
Nursing a baby with wires coming out what seems like her every limb.
Not having baby wipes (ummm, yeah, apparently they're "not in the budget"???  Are you kidding me? Customer service will be getting a sweet comment from me on that topic).
Trying to keep my baby quiet so she doesn't disturb the kid in the adjoining room (we're separated by a sliding glass door and curtains, not exactly sound proof).
Not being able to be with my husband and 3 other children.

But today was a nice day.
I shared a picnic lunch with my mom and kids in the beautiful weather.
I napped.
Between the picnic, my own ordered cafeteria food, and the Ronald McDonald food, I think had 5 meals. (probably shouldn't do that every day). :)
I watched the olympics. 
I read blogs and Facebook and now I'm writing this. 

I'm guessing most days will be similar, so we'll see if anything interesting happens tomorrow!

Hospital Baby: The Beginning

Written by Simon on Friday, August 3:

We do not know where we will be or what we will be doing 48 hours from now. As I’m writing this, 48 hours ago we had no idea that we’d be sitting in a hospital praising and thanking God that our daughter Adriah is still living. 48 hours ago we would have never imagined that hearing the cries of a 7 week old baby would be so beautiful.  48 hours ago we did not know that our faith would be strengthened so much by a little girl of the same name, Adriah Faith. We truly never know what mysteries the day will unfold.

For those of you who have been praying and interceding for us, we can never begin to thank you for what you’ve done. For those of you catching up on what our family has been through, here is the miracle that has been unfolding:
Rachel and her mom Rhonda were playing outside with the other kids, Christian, Selah, and Jadah, on Wednesday evening at Rhonda and Dwayne’s house in South Bend while Adriah was taking a nap inside. At about 8:15, Rachel finished putting Selah and Jadah to bed when she went to get Adriah, who  had been sleeping completely quietly for over 2 hours. Adriah had been swaddled and laid down slightly on her side on the bed Rachel where had been sleeping on while visiting her parents. When Rachel 
walked into the darkened room she could barely see, but what she saw frightened her. Adriah was 
laying on the bed with her face pressed tightly against the sheets of the bed. Rachel quickly grabbed her and brought her into the light. Rachel looked at a small face that had become distorted and wrinkled by 
the sheets and started praying that she was ok. “Are you alive little baby?” she thought to herself.
*Note from Rachel: this was the worst moment of all. I don't know how I would've reacted if the outcome had been different, but it was the scariest thing ever thinking that your child might really be 
dead in your arms.  The next thought was almost as scary, wondering if she was going to be brain-dead or mentally impaired for the rest of her life.  These are the thoughts that I have to push aside or else they would create fear of "what could have been". We can't dwell on those things, and I'm even more 
grateful for her life today.

Adriah was still breathing, but it was quickly evident that breathing was difficult and she was not acting 
at all like she normally does. Rachel quickly showed her to Rhonda, who decided that they should call 911. Christian, our 4 year old son, was still up and wanted to see his baby sister. Adriah looked bad enough that Rachel did not want him to see her in this state. She told Christian that Adriah wasn’t 
feeling very good and that he should pray for her. Our little boy said he was going to the bedroom to 
pray by himself, and within seconds Rachel could hear him praying out loud for his sister “baby Adriah.” 
We love his child-like faith and have no doubts that he knew God would save his sister.

Around this time, Rachel texted me, I was down in Indianapolis,  saying simply , “Pray for Adriah. Will 
call soon.” What is a father of a 7 week old baby supposed to think when he receives a text like that? 
I immediately called Rachel and she gave me a quick rundown of the situation and that the paramedics 
had just arrived. I began to pray and had to just wait for an update. Rachel soon called and said that all 
of Adriah’s levels seemed ok, but that she was still very lethargic and she was being taken to the 
hospital. I got my things together quickly, and started the 3 hour drive to South Bend.

(There are many differing opinions about the pros and cons of Facebook, but there is a huge consensus 
among Christians about the power of prayer. We immediately posted some information about the situation so we could get the news out quickly and have people praying and interceding on the behalf of our little girl.)

Rachel and Adriah arrived at the ER where they tried to find a vein for an IV.  But due to the recent 
experiences, her body had gotten "dehydrated", basically sending all blood flow to the vital organs. 
They must have pricked her over 100 times (even on her scalp) before they decided to do an I.O... Intra-
oscular.  This is when they drill directly into a bone to get fluids into the body. Once that was successful 
and she was stabilized, they took her to the Pediatrics ICU. Just after midnight, I arrived and waited with Rachel for the doctor to give a better description of the situation. He came in and described that they 
did all of their preliminary tests and found that her bicarbonate level was at a 6.  For those of you in the 
medical field you realize the severity of this number, which we are now thankful we did not know at the 
time. The doctor simply told us that a normal level is 24 and they were working to get it up as quickly as 
possible. They were doing some blood cultures and were suspecting some type of infection, but 
wouldn’t get the results for another 48 hours. They put her on some general antibiotics for the time being to fight off whatever type of infection she may have. He also emphasized that her lack of oxygen, as far as they could tell, had caused no neurological damage and was not the cause of any of her other symptoms.

The last 36 hours she has been making improvements at regular intervals. Her levels are almost back
 to normal, the diarrhea has subsided, and she is eating well and keeping it down. The doctor told us this morning (Friday) that she should be able to go home this afternoon, but that quickly changed 
when a urine test came back and showed that she has GBS-Group B streptococcal septicemia. 
GBS is a severe bacterial infection that affects newborns and can only be contracted through the 
birth canal. It slowly festers and sometimes will not show until 6-7 weeks, which is exactly what 
happened with Adriah. We then found out this afternoon that she also has rotavirus, which causes 
diarrhea and vomiting in infants that can lead to dehydration. The doctor’s actual words were, “It was 
kind of a perfect storm that led to these conditions.” The rotavirus is less serious, but must still be 
treated with antibiotics.

We have been asking some very direct questions about her condition, and this morning our nurse laid 
out the answers. In short, their reports are using the word miracle to describe Adriah’s recovery. They 
were seconds away from putting her on a ventilator and were not sure if she would pull through. They 
told us that babies Adriah’s age that come into the hospital with bicarbonate levels that low are not 
supposed to survive. In hindsight, we’re thankful that we did not know the full severity of the situation at 
the time.

We are truly amazed and fascinated at the way the Lord works. From our perspective, Adriah falling 
asleep in that position and lacking oxygen for a period of time may have actually saved her life. It sent 
her little body into shock and allowed the infections to more heavily pronounce their symptoms. The 
doctors have told us that sometimes they do not discover that an infant ever had GBS until they have 
passed away during the night.

We praise and thank God for your prayers and words of encouragement. We truly believe that our little
 Adriah Faith is now living proof of the power of prayer---your prayers. We now have a sense of relief 
that she is alive, but more than that we have a great sense of joy and hope.

We ask that as you continue to pray for her recovery, thank God for the joy He is giving us and the faith 
He is increasing through this experience.

Let us not be overwhelmed by the feelings of nearly losing a precious child of God, but let us be fully 
encouraged by the understanding that every day is a gift.

May we do our best to cherish every day we have been given and live out our faith with joy and 
thankfulness. May we learn to always rejoice in our circumstances and realize that God is always in 


Adriah's Birth Story

Today Adriah is one month old.  WOW!  This has surely been the fastest month ever.  Here's the story of how she entered the world...

My due date was June 13, I had an appointment with the doctor and was dilated to 3.  Every night for weeks, Simon would ask, "so are you going to have that baby tonight?"  But even on June 13, I still answered "nope!"

Josh and Ericka and Malachi had arrived Tuesday night and so I really wanted the baby to be born while they were here.  My parents also wanted to come visit while Josh and Ericka were here so they decided to come on Thursday night, June 14th.  We decided to have Christians birthday party too (yes, it was 2 weeks late, but this was the first time my parents would be with him to give him a gift). 

6:00pm  I started having some regular contractions so I started writing them down, rather, I told Josh to write them. They felt like braxton hicks: hard tummy but no pain.  They were around 10 minutes apart for a while then they started getting a little stronger and closer so we got our bags ready.  I had tested positive for beta strep (GB) so I needed to have an antibiotic IV before she was born, we needed to get to the hospital to have enough time for that. 
I was meandering around, observing Christian opening his new bike, and slowly getting ready to go.  
Christian about to open his bike.
Notice my big belly in the top right.  
Notice our wreck of a living room, boxes still packed.
Notice the paint trays in the background:
 I was totally painting that room that very morning.

I watered my vegetable plants and when I came in the house and was chatting I felt that little (very little, in my case) gush.  "I think my water just broke!" 
Getting ready to head out.  Notice the towels in my arm to sit on in
the car (just in case!).  Notice the guys in the background putting
 together a bike for Christian.

9:00pm Simon and I loaded up and went to the hospital.
Once there the contractions started feeling worse. We got to meet the doctor on call, whom we knew would be delivering our baby. He, on the other hand, was not so convinced that we should be there.  He was not very understanding to the fact that I have fast labors, and he even talked about sending us back home or giving me pitocin... I was only dialated 4 cm after all. But when the nurse came back she said my water had broken a little bit so I was going to stay.  Thanks a lot.

10:30pm  Ericka came (she was there as a support and to take pictures and just because that's what sisters are for).  My contractions suddenly got VERY painful. We moved from triage to the delivery room, thankfully only a few doors down because I was hurtin'!  
Contractions got bad. I did not want anyone to touch me. No chapstick. No music. No birthing ball. I laid on my side pushed on Simon's hand and rocked back and forth.  Baby it hurt!  But Simon was awesome.  Poor guy, I think I confused him.  I was holding his hand tight, telling him not to move, but to get me water, so he started letting go and I got mad and let him know someone ELSE was supposed to get the water and he should just hold my hand tight. 

Love his "what's she gonna want next" face...
The nurse checked me and I was dilated 8 centimeters. A few contractions later I started feeling pressure. Checked again. Full 10. Call the doctor. 
"The next contraction we are gonna push." 

I'm so scared!

11:25pm Three pushing breaths per contraction. Three or four rounds of pushing and... she was out. Praise the Lord!  
(apparently they don't waste any time putting arm bands on...)
The first thing I found out with that she had dark hair. Then when her face was out they said she had big dimples. I held her while Simon cut the cord (well, he tried to cut it.  He didn't have enough strength in his hands, but that's a whole other story!).

The nurse's name what Charlotte. They tried not to act like it was a big deal that she came super fast and probably surprised them. I mean honestly...the doctor was talking about pitocin to speed up the contractions. Hah hah. Imagine that. She might have a shot to the moon. 

While they cleaned her up, the doctor pulled out the rest of my innards. Then we tried breastfeeding.  She had a tight jaw and was a bit chompy.  Ouch.  By the time we left the hospital, it was going a lot better.  The time in the hospital was well spent resting. We had a few visitors and some nice time together with our families as well.

It's a good thing there were big rooms!
Glad to share this experience with a sister

Look at that, she can already wink!  ;-)

One of the most amazing things to me is how fast my recovery was this time around.  Previously, I felt like I walked around for a few days like I still had a baby between my legs. Yikes. But this time, it was 2 days later and I had a hard time believing I just gave birth.  During this pregnancy I took 2 herbs to help soften the cervix during labor: Red raspberry leaf and evening primrose. Unlike my previous pregnancies, I did NOT do yoga or exercise on a regular basis (besides taking care of my three children). So I guess I have to attribute my recovery success (and the fact that I didn't tear) to the herbs and the possibility that it was my third delivery, so I'm just getting more stretchy.  TMI maybe.  :)
My belly, on the other hand, seems like it will take a much much longer to recover than it did previously.  I think I will look pregnant forever.

Oh the joys of the mommy life. :)


She's Official

Tomorrow she'll be ten days old!  We can't get enough of her...

Adriah Faith was born on June 14 at 11:25pm.  She weighed 6 pounds 5 ounces, 20.5 inches long.  Dark hair and big dimples!  I'll write her little birth story in another post.

Adriah is pronounced AY-dree-uh.  We've always chosen Bible names, and this one is too... but it's a stretch.  It comes from the word "Adriatic", as in, Adriatic Sea, found in Acts 27:27.  We added the "h" at the end so it would match her sister's names (Selah and Jadah).  At this time in our lives, faith has been an essential part of our journey, and for what lies ahead.  So she is our little "sea of faith."

The verse we have chosen for her is Psalm 146:6
He is the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea and everything in them - He remains faithful forever.

Thanks to our families and supportive friends, our first week of transition to a family of six has been seamless.  If you've said a prayer for us in the past two weeks, God has been FAITHFUL and we feel uplifted and loved.  Can't wait for you to meet her in person!


Due Today!

I'm currently sitting in the doctors office waiting to have my membranes stripped (I said that just for Simon. He thinks that's the most awkward thing to say!) Today is my due date, although my last ultrasound measured me a week later. Never thought I'd still be pregnant by now! But am glad for the extra time. I've actually felt better in the last week than the 3 previous to it. I guess it helps that life has settled down somewhat and we haven't had many obligations. This morning I started priming my office area, so maybe I can get that painted before the baby comes? We'll see what happens after this appointment. :) Hopefully my next post will have a happy announcement! Josh and Ericka and Malachi (my sister and family) arrived last night to stay through the weekend, so I am going to have this baby while they're here(you hear that, baby?). I'm so thankful for their help already! Cheers.


A few weeks overdue!

Thankfully my title is talking about my blog post, and NOT about the baby in my belly.

I've been wanting to write for weeks, but have honestly always had something else to do (okay, ALMOST always).  I'll give you our life update in bullet format this time.

- We got our house!  We just closed on it this past Tuesday: homeowners again!  It was a HUD home (government owned foreclosure situation), so there were extra hurdles and delays, but it's finally done.  And thanks so much to new friends who offered to watch the children during the closing (we had no choice but to plan on taking them along)(and in retrospect, that probably would have been a disaster!)(also, my parents normally could have watched the kids, but they were in Iowa visiting Josh and Ericka for Malachi's dedication).
The entire house needs painted (started that on Tuesday as soon we closed), and it got new carpet yesterday.  I'm pretty excited to see the carpet, since I had to choose the color/type based on a text message picture from Simon while he looked at samples with the contractor in Indianapolis... while I was still in South Bend.  (yes, the "designer" had to put complete faith in her husband's decision even though I would have totally loved to pick it out myself).  It's a great house with a lot of potential, and I'm sure I'll share details as we complete projects.
We had some amazing people come on the spur of the moment and help us paint and play with the children!  Thank you all so much--- such a blessing.  Then we spent the first night in our house, the kids in pack 'n plays, Simon and I on an airbed (I forgot sheets, pillows, towels... we made due).  I felt like a 90 year old woman when I woke up the next morning!  :)  I was covered in paint (painted a ceiling the day before), but there was no way I was taking a shower because the hot water isn't working yet.  Simon was braver than I, but he had to be because he had to leave for Cincinatti for a work meeting.  I finished packing up the kids and prepping the house for new carpet, then I drove with the kids to Cincinatti to meet up with Simon and drive the rest of the way to Maryland.  Simon's meeting in Cinci was at the NCAA Baseball World Series, and they had some great kid activities (and free ice cream!), not to mention baseball.  It was a great little outing in the midst of a 10 hour driving day.  Our dinner time stop was aided by Cabela's, aka: animal exhibit for the kids.  And we still love Sheetz.

- Like I said, we came to Maryland on Wednesday.  Simon's brother Luke is getting married tomorrow!  We are so very excited for Luke and Lauren.  We will be here until Monday.

- We are moving to Indianapolis on Wednesday after we get back from Maryland.  The children will stay with my parents for 2 days to give Simon and me a chance to get the house in some sort of order and do more painting.

- I am 36 weeks pregnant!  Praying that baby waits to make its arrival until at least June 1st.  But based on how much this baby wiggles, I have a feeling it wants to get out and make its debut.  I've been feeling pretty good physically, and have my 36 week appointment on the Tuesday between returning from Maryland and moving to Indy.  I don't have to worry about choosing a new doctor though: none of the doctors in Indianapolis accept the type of insurance I have.  The hospitals, however, DO.  So I basically have to show up at the hospital and use whomever is on call.  I'm cool with that.  Just get the baby out.

- I am so excited that Simon and I won't have to be apart anymore during the week!  That 2 month span in our lives is over and we can be a family again.  Husbands and Fathers are so very important.  Simon is enjoying his new job and still in the learning stage.  It keeps him busy and his mind rolling, and he's meeting a lot of awesome people.  Seems to be a good fit.

- The children: oh. the. children.  They have kept me busier than anything else.  The lack of a daddy, a mommy busy packing and baby-laden, sleeping in multiple strange places, lack of sleep and eating unhealthy "travel" food have all contributed to behaviors I've never seen before.  They are fighting like cats and dogs, being disrespectful, and fussing a fair share.  Of course, there are good times too, and they can be completely sweet and adorable.  I'm ready to get into a new normal and settle down for good.  Oh wait, and then comes baby #4?!?!?!?  Pray for me.  :)

That's life in a nutshell.  Be back again soon, either with a moving update or a baby announcement!


Pregnancy Update

The belly grows and grows (slowly, but surely).
Today I am 30 weeks along, so that means we'll likely meet our next baby in less than 10 weeks.
Here I was at 20 weeks:

And at 25 weeks:

And at 30 weeks:

Due date is still mid-June.  This baby moves like crazy (I guess that's completely normal, it's still just the most amazing feeling ever).  Hard to believe we'll have FOUR children in just 9 or less short weeks.  Oh Lord help me!  :)
We're in process with a house in Fishers, IN...hopefully we'll know soon if it's all going to go through.  We will be traveling to Maryland mid-May for Simon's brother's wedding, so our goal is to move before then.  Please pray that things can move quickly and easily with the housing situation.

Did you have ham for Easter?  We did too.  Check out THIS ham:

Hasta luego!


Re-arranging Life

God is arranging and re-arranging our lives in accordance with His will. Step-by-step, day-by-day, and with each circumstance we face. He is constructing a dwelling place for His Presence within us.       
---Tracie Miles (Proverbs 31 Ministries) 

It's hard to believe it's been over 3 months since Simon's last post about his evolving life-calling.  Like he said, he was hired at Panera Bread and spent many hours working there to provide for our family while waiting on where God wanted us next.  
For a month or so, we were highly considering moving our family to Georgia for Simon to do a 2 year ministry internship with 12Stone Church.  We visited the church and felt very good about the possibility (even with the prospect of raising most of our income and living on practically nothing).  But after 2 weeks of continued pondering, we felt less and less certain that it was right for our family.  
Simon started spreading word to friends and current pastors to see what sort of thing was available, as well as looking online through the normal job-search sites.  The city of Indianapolis started to pop up on a few of the job options, which we were open to.  At the same time, Simon got a call out-of-the-blue from the pastor of a church plant in Noblesville (north side of Indy) asking him about life and ministry calling, etc.  We are very interested in pursuing ministry at this church, and even though this hasn't developed into an actual job position, it was like a confirmation that looking in Indianapolis was a step in the right direction.  
A few nights later, Simon applied for a job with a non-profit organization called Truth@Work that focuses solely on mentoring and building relationships among Christian businessmen in the workplace. You can read a lot more on their site.  They have started launching a new program in which older businessmen/women mentor new/young businessmen/women in a program called Edge Mentoring, and the position being hired was for the Director of Edge Mentoring.  

Long story short, Simon went through 3 interview stages, summating with a dinner with the cofounder and his wife and myself in which they offered Simon the job.  


It has been a humbling experience for us all.  Simon enjoyed the change of pace he was able to have at Panera, but was starting to go crazy with lack of drive and motivation.  We know that this job has been laid before him by God, there is no other way we can imagine a job that suits his previous experiences better than this.  He will be overseeing the recruitment of potential mentors/mentees, building relationships with any and every one (and we all know he'll love that!), and directing the program as it continues to grow.  Not only is it a job, it is also a ministry--- the type of people that he will be surrounded with are committed Christians seeking to integrate their faith into their workplace, willing to encourage each other and remain kingdom focused.  I am thanking the Lord.

I am briefly reminded of conversations with Simon over the past several years, as well as his previous experiences.  Saying he had a desire to work for some sort of non-profit organization.  Enjoying the pace and challenge of the business world.  Having a heart to see Christ change people's lives...caring more about their personal life than what to do with their investments.  Wanting to be in ministry but not sure what kind of church he would fit into.  Succeeding at Indiana Wesleyan University as an admissions counselor, then assistant director... always receiving positive feedback about how well he recruited.  
And now, it all comes together.  And we all say "Oooohhh!  God you ARE good!"

So he starts: TODAY!  Way to go, sweety!  He will be working in Indianapolis during the week, working on his final thesis for his MBA, and looking for housing for us.  He'll then gladly come back to visit his little tribe on the weekends, and we will be so happy to see him!  When he finds a house for us to hopefully rent-to-own, the rest of us will make the move (to the north side of Indy, Fishers/Noblesville/Carmel)!

If you are wondering what our parents think?--- they are happy for us!  Simon's parents have been supportive all along.  I guess my parents were a little more hesitant...at first... as in, moving to Georgia.  So now Indy doesn't seem all that far away!  They are also in full support of Simon's new job and our move, even though they are dreading being further from their grandchildren again.

Thank you to those of you that have prayed for us over the last few months, we have grown as individuals and as a couple.  Like the quote says at the top, it is our desire that God's presence in us has increased due to His re-arranging process.  Please continue to pray for the right house and a safe move, for Simon's transition into this new job, and that I don't lose my mind with 3 crazy children having power-struggles over who gets to sit in the highchair.  Also, being pregnant has been harder this time, so pray that I can keep up and that the baby is born on June 1.  (Ha!...just because all our kids are born on the first of the month and I just want to keep things simple).  



My Girls are Two!

I absolutely looove the stage Selah and Jadah are in right now.  They are growing so fast--- learning more words and talking more each day.  They're getting attitudes.  They hit their brother (I don't know what they're thinking, he's capable of waaay more than they are).  They are potty trained except for while sleeping.  They eat by themselves and are learning to take off their own clothes (NOT simultaneously thank goodness).
I'm so glad we've gotten through 2 years with twins, there have been some struggles!  But I would quickly say that the joys of having twins has far outweighed the grief of that first year.  I was even crazy enough to wish for twins again when I found out I was pregnant.  In retrospect, I know I'll be thankful it's just one baby this time around.
While my sister was visiting this past weekend, we had fun taking pictures of our children together (Christian is three and a half, the girls are 2, and Malachi needed his 3 month pictures).  Here's what we came up with!
The Boys

Heart Breaker!

This boy is a ham!

My 3 Little Loves

The Birthday Girls!
Sweet Kisses

And Sweet Little Malachi (honestly, such a good baby!)

Happy Birthday to Selah and Jadah!  I am so excited to live the next year as your mom!


Revamped Dresser/End Table

Well hello there!
I've done hardly anything in the creative realm since moving (back) to Indiana.  So I guess I can just finish filling you in on the little dresser I refinished for our previous family room.

That simple little dresser wasn't always that way.  Here's what it looked like before:

I went to the handy site Centsational Girl, and gleaned from her many hours of refinishing.  (Go here to read her tips on painting wood furniture).

Got my tools ready:

Fun stuff.

Scraped till my heart was content.  Then sanded.  Primed.  Painted.  You know the routine.

That little spray paint hand-nozzle is SO worth the money.  Buy one.

I was too cheap to buy drawer pulls.  And I couldn't decide what I wanted.  Then I saw these wooden beads I had bought at Joanns for $1 (for 12!).  Even though they're a little small, I thought they were cute and liked the natural wood look.  I found screws that fit perfectly and secured them through the already-drilled holes.

And my project was complete!  
Almost.  I painted the sides of the drawers my favorite shade of green, like, "surprise!" when you open it.  I also lined the cruddy insides with some old wallpaper I've had sitting around for years.  

I love that it was added storage in a room that otherwise had none.  We kept our exercise videos and equipment in the top drawer, dvd's in the 2nd, and VHS tapes in the 3rd.  Who knows what it will evolve to be in our next home.  
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