Saturday, July 22, 2017

A Big Happy Birthday To My Oldest!

Recently my oldest child had a birthday...  30 is such a big number. 

To tell you the truth, I don't know where 30 years went.  I remember vividly the day he was born.  I had always wanted to be a mother my whole life.  His birth blessed me and gave me that title.

He was such an active go getter from his birth. 
He did everything super early. 
He became a little man at a very young age.

I know you have met children like this...full of knowledge, always asking questions, full of boundless energy and ALWAYS talking and did I say...asking questions?!!  Good questions.  The kind parents love to explain and answer.
We had really good, educative conversations, starting from a very young age. 
He was so easy to home school, as he devoured knowledge and loved to read and figure things out.

I miss him.  I miss him as a baby, toddler, little boy, child, teenager and young man. 

I  miss him... now that he has moved away (as he should) and has his own busy life, with his own home, job and girlfriend.  I miss having him around more but....I could not be more pleased. 

He has turned out to be a very nice man.  Not that we never had a hard spell as he grew up.  He was a challenge to raise, he was so opinionated and independent.  Not that we never had spats or struggles against each other, he was not perfect...I was not perfect... but I am pleased that he grew and learned through it all. I poured so much of myself into him.

Stephen, I love you boundlessly and ferociously.  I pray for you fervently and always.  You are so precious to me and are one of the greatest treasures of my life.  May God make Himself very real to you and have His mighty hand on your life now and always.  God be with you.

Acts 16:31  And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

Love Dad, mom, Antonio, William, Carolyn, Zeke, Elizabeth, Billy, Timothy, Kinsley and Anna-Kate 

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Happy Birthday William!

William and his companion dog, Dixie
William had a birthday recently!  He turned 21 years old!  I am so blessed to have this young man as my son.  He is always respectful and happy to help me.  He is my right hand man and such a hard worker around here.  I am so grateful that he is in my life. 

He really loves VW bugs and wanted a Volkswagen cake this year.  He has slowly been fixing up his car over the last few years, as he can afford it.  You can read about it here.  :)
My sister did an amazing job on his cake.  He was so happy with it.  Thank you Aunt "S" for always doing such an amazing job, making such wonderful cakes for the children.

William is grown up.  That is the reality of it all.  I can't believe it but the years of his youth have flown by and he is now an adult.

I remember back to his struggles as a baby/toddler,

his diagnosis of autism as a young child
and think about the things I was told by professionals he would and would not be able to do.  I am amazed by the grace of God and all He has helped William with and through, in his life.
His bug he bought with his own money as a little boy.
His bug in a local car show.
We are so blessed and I feel like I have seen a miracle in Williams life, his whole life.  God is so good. 

William is doing wonderful.  He has struggled for years with his health.  At around age 16 he started having health issues that were quite debilitating at times.  Lots of exhaustion, heart palpitations and pain, extreme muscle pain when exerted and issues with hypoglycemia.  We took him to many specialist trying to figure out what was causing him such issues.  He went to an endocrinologist, heart doctor, geneticist and his, general practitioner quite a bit.  They really could not find much, other than fatigued adrenals.   Which is a concern as his dad has Addisons disease.  It was also suggested that he might have a mitochondrial disorder.  One of the doctors said that what William is experiencing looked like it is an auto-immune issue.   So exactly a year ago, when he was particularly sick, I asked him if I could take over his diet, as I am very familiar with auto-immune issues and diet.  He agreed.  I prayed about it all and helped him create a simple anti-inflammatory diet.  It has been exactly a year since he started following this diet and praise God he has lost 70 pounds and is feeling so much better.  He has more energy, can think clearer and has fewer energy crashes.  All the glory to God!

William has finished his GED and is going to attend our local college.  He will be taking some remedial classes and then one class at a time till he gets the education he desires.  He will be attending, with concessions, under the Disability Act.  He loves doing stop animation but will be attending to receive an education in computers for now.  If you wish to see his animation, please visit his Youtube channel at Lego bro 4 studios.

William is such a precious gift to us from God.  We give God the glory, honor and praise for the man William has become and all things good in his life.  Thank you God for William!

We love you so much William.  You are a wonderful son, a great brother and a kind soul.  We appreciate all you do for us and your generous and helpful actions and ways.  May God have His mighty hand on your life always.  May He lead, guide you and may He bless you 100 fold for your obedience as a son.

Ephesians 6:1-3  Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.  Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise;  That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.

Love, Dad, mom, Stephen, Antonio, Carolyn, Zeke, Elizabeth, Billy, Timothy, Kinsley and Anna-Kate!

Saturday, June 24, 2017

What We Have Been Up To.

That's what we have been up to! 
We have had such a stressful life the last few years, we decided to try to simplify and de-stress our summer as much as possible. 
We have all needed some down time badly.  So far so good, by the grace of God! 
We have been busy but with life and fun, not appointments and commitments. We are planning and saving for a vacation too.  So this will be a relaxing, fun, summer to remember, by the grace of God.

The girls had their last recital for this dance season.  We don't allow our girls to wear makeup, so seeing them in their stage makeup is always shocking.  They look so much older with make up on!
We went to a free, local, Air Show. 
The children loved seeing all the airplanes.

Carolyn and Elizabeth went for a fly!
We took Tim out for Fathers Day.  We love you dad, you are the best!
The gardens are taking a lot of time and are in full production.  Yum!
We've also had both our pregnant goats deliver in the last two weeks.  Both had twins We ended up with three girls and one boy. 
This four foot snake was in our chicken coop.  We thought it had eaten an egg, only to regurgitate a gulf ball later.  We use gulf balls as dummy eggs in our nest boxes.  I guess that gulf ball was undigestable.  Poor thing.

I pray you are all having a blessed, happy and peaceful summer as well.  God be with you!

Psalm 23  The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.  He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.  Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.



Saturday, May 13, 2017

More Birthdays and Happenings!

At the time of the writing of my last post, Elizabeth and Carolyn had just celebrated their birthdays.   We have since had two more birthdays take place.  Kinsley celebrated her third birthday. 

She wanted blue and red flowers for her birthday from daddy.  He had to special order them.  :)
She wanted a character from her favorite show on her cake and my very talented sister made it for her.  Thank you Aunt "S".  Kinsley was so happy with it. 
I can not believe she is three already.  God has done a huge work in this child. She has come so far!

You are a huge blessing to our home Big Girl!  May God have His mighty hand on you all the days of your life and may you dwell in the house of the Lord forever!

Anna-Kate turned 2 on her birthday this year. 
She came to us when she was less than 48 hours old.  What a change in those two years.  She had so many issues when she came to us and is now thriving and developing well.  God does His thing in these children's lives and I just sit back in awe as I watch.

She is a huge fan of the purple dinosaur.  I personally, am about burnt out after 20 years of the "I love you" song but it brings her so much joy. My sister did a beautiful job on Anna-Kate's cake and she absolutely loved it! 
Thank you Aunt "S"  and family, for all you do to make our children's lives special.

We love you our littlest Princess!  May you be held in Gods mighty hand all the days of your life!

Zeke recently participated in the local Special Olympics.  This was his second year taking part and he really enjoys doing it.
He had quite a cheering section.
He placed second in the shock put, second in the 100 yard dash and his relay team placed first in the relay race for his school against the other schools relay teams.
Congratulations Zeke!  We love you so very much!

William had his graduation ceremony from the GED program! 
So much hard work and determination went into it for him.  He wore a gold cord for being inducted into the National Adult Education Honor Society. 
Tim's parents and brother came to the ceremony.  Carolyn was not there.  She had a ballet class and is only a few classes from recital so could not miss it. 
What an accomplishment and milestone. 
We could not be happier for him or more pleased.

While everyone was dressed up for the occasion I took a few pictures.  The boys are growing up so much! 
  Pure sweetness.  They are all very close and play very well together...most of the time!
It is very hard to get Kinsley to smile for the camera with a real smile.  She is pretty shy.

Elizabeth is changing so much lately in so many ways.  Quite the young lady lately.

We also took Antonio to Repticon.  The reptile show that comes to our area once a year.  He loves reptiles.  He was saving his money for a tortoise but once there decided to get two more crested geckos.

I am looking forward to summer.  It has been a very busy spring and our calendar is still full.  We are going to try to take it slow and easy this summer.  We have been diligently tightening our belts and saving our money.  We are going to try to take a vacation this year.  We have only had two vacations in the last 14 years.  We went to Jekyll Island in 2011 and 2012 and have not have a vacation since.  I would love for our four youngest to see the ocean and play on a beach as they have never been.  Also, our older children work so hard around here helping with the farm and younger children.  A vacation would be so good for them and us all.  God is so good.

Hosea 6:3  Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.

May the Lord God in heaven be with you.  May He give you wisdom in making decisions for your life.  May He give you peace and joy in Him as you live and grow in the Word of God.