Sunday, February 8, 2015


There is a part of me that doesn't even want to start writing this post out of fear of what emotions and memories will come from it.  Then there is another part of me that realizes that I have been put in a place I didn't really want to be put in where my story, journey, struggles, and honesty can help encourage someone else.  Why do I struggle to let this part of me get out?  Good question.  When I figure out the answer to that I'll let you know. 

What I'm finding out lately is that God has a plan for my story and the pain I've been through in sharing my story.  It leaves me vulnerable that when I open myself up, people will not understand my emotions, and how could I even expect them to.  Opening myself up will cause me to have to remember those hard places I had to face, I will most likely cry (maybe even for days at a time), I may be misunderstood and rejected by those closest to me, changes may have to be made that I don't want to make, but most of all I HOPE that opening myself up will encourage someone else who may be feeling the same way I am/did and will point them to God's Glory to not stay in the dark places of life, but to grasp on with the tiniest amount of hope that Christ saves us from the terrible things of this world.  So, here I go.

A little over 7 years ago, my husband and I were starting to talk about parenthood.  You see to two people who work with kids everyday, we enjoyed being able to teach and shape young minds while still being able to be home with each other and no other distractions.  But we started conversations about parenthood.  It didn't take too long (like less than a month) for me to find out that the possibility was going to soon be a reality.  I found at in late March of 2007 that I was expecting.  I was happy, glad, excited, but mostly really scared.  Could I really raise a child?  I have never been a person who dealt with babies much.  I did lots of babysitting and teaching, but all of those kids knew how to use the bathroom on their own, tie their shoes, wipe their noses, etc.  I think you get the picture.  I kind of felt like this was out of my element.  I started to worry!!!  After finally convincing my husband that this was REAL.  We made an appointment like most people do and began our prenatal visits.

The summer came and as my morning sickness turned into all day nausea, we realized that we needed to quickly get our house ready for another member.  The summer is when we have tried to complete lots of projects that we just don't have the time for during the school year.  So we painted our spare bedroom, bought a crib and dresser, and began to collect baby things gradually as we found them.  Sometime that summer we found out that we were having a boy.  What a great surprise!!!  I kind of wanted a boy, b/c I'm not the most girly girl there is.  I have a love/hate relationship with pink.  Everything for little girls is pink.  But that is another post for another day.

Well, the summer came and went and it was back into another school year.  I started teaching 3rd grade with a great team of teachers.  I quickly began to feel the pressures again.  Teaching while being pregnant was really hard!!!  I had a really challenging class that year, and wanted to get everything planned out for when I had to take my maternity leave.  I'm a firstborn, and I think that means that we like to have all the plans laid out in a nice orderly fashion.  But when those plans don't work out the way we think they should, we (Firstborns) have a really hard time adjusting to that. 

The middle of October, I had a lot going on, but I quickly rushed out of work that day to make it to one of my appointments.  That appointment changed my life forever.  I was basically flying into the office and had barely sat down when they called me back and did all the normal pregnancy tests for each visit.  That is when I was told that my blood pressure was quite elevated, and I had protein in my urine (sorry I kind of have to be real here).  This being my first time doing this, I had no idea what that meant.  My doctor sent me to the hospital that day and said that I might want to be ready to deliver a baby.  What???  I was only 30 weeks along, no where near ready to have a baby!!!  After my husband showed up and got the scoop from the doctor, he was really great at reassuring me that it was just to make sure my blood pressure went down.  I had no idea what my blood pressure had to do with the baby, but later found out that they were quite concerned about my health more than with the baby.

I was told that I would be on bed rest until I had the baby.  For me, that was hard, but not impossible.  I had a lot of support at school, and my sub who had planned to take over for me when I was going to be on maternity leave just started a little earlier, like 2 months earlier.  Sitting at home doing nothing gave me a chance to read, pray, write, and mostly rest.  It was really tough though.  I went from being really busy and having too much to do to having nothing to do.  For 3 weeks I "rested".  About that time, I had a Bio Physical Profile, which is basically a sonogram, but they are looking for specific movements, growth, and some other measurements.  I knew something was not quite right when the person doing my sonogram would not look at me or even say much to me.  She then directed me to go see my doctor.  I thought that was strange, I wasn't scheduled to see my doctor at that time.  But my pastor's wife took me and waited in the car for me.  As I entered the office, the receptionists looked at me and quickly got me into a waiting room without checking me in or anything.  Strange, but I was still clueless as to what would happen next.

I'm sitting in a room waiting for what seems like quite a while when  another doctor I've never met comes in and asks me if there is anyone who could be with me right now.  I said that my pastor's wife was waiting for me in the car and then said "why?"  They told me that I should probably have someone with me before they told me what was going on.  My pastor's wife called her husband and my husband too.  We waited for a long time.  My pastor got there, but it took my husband a little longer as he was coming from a nearby town about 30 minutes away.  The doctor came in again and told me that it was not good news and that the baby had no heart beat.  At the sound of those words, I was in a state of shock.  I could not believe what I was hearing.  I didn't cry, just sat there.  I knew that I was going to have to tell my husband and it would crush him.  Eventually he got there and I told him, not only did I cry, but I sobbed.  I never knew life could be this disappointing!!!  But my husband's first words were of great comfort, "God is still in control." 

We were sent immediately to the hospital where they were once again monitoring my blood pressure and kept asking me if I was seeing spots.  Why would they ask me that?  I will tell you more on that later.  I went through some of the most painful procedures of being induced, as my body thought it had more time to prepare itself to have a baby.  I will say that next to hearing that our baby was gone, being induced was the most difficult thing in the world to me at that point.  I will just say it, it stunk!!!!!  I was in a constant state of being poked, checked, given meds, a state of fear, and mostly really SAD!!!  I hated that room!!!  After about a day and a half, I delivered my son stillborn on November 2, 2007 at 1:14 pm.  The umbilical cord was wrapped extremely tight around his neck and that was the cause of him passing.  We decided to name him Caden Everett.  There was no significance to that name, but we had it picked for quite a while after we knew he would be a boy.  It was unique enough, yet still had some normal ness about that name.  I will probably write another post about naming our kids in the future. 

We were flooded grief and as I held him in my arms that day, I looked down at his face and new that he was perfect, but that he wasn't there.  His first memories got to be with Christ and that gave me so much comfort in such a painful time.  We had many friends and family come to visit us and they just had no words for what to say.  I didn't tell you, but that weekend was going to be our baby shower and it had to be cancelled.  My emotions were all over the place and I just wanted to go home, but they would not let me until my blood pressure went down, and my blood pressure wasn't going down b/c I was too stressed.  How do you not stress when you've had the most precious gift taken from you.  Or so that was how I saw it at the time.  It took me about 4 days to finally get to a place where they were going to let me go home. 

In sharing this with you, this is my account of how things happened, but my journey was just beginning.  God had some other plans for me and a road for me to walk down that was much harder than I expected or even wanted. 

I've been encouraged to share openly and honestly b/c I've been told by some other women that it helps to hear my story.  I'm grateful that my son Caden has a legacy he's leaving and that my pain was not and is not for nothing.  Most of all I have not wanted to waste what I've been given, whether good or bad.  I pray that  God uses my story to make a difference in someone who has nobody and that by sharing I can encourage others that life is never quite what we expect, but with our hope in Christ we can live regardless of what this world throws at us.  God never promised us a life of comfort or without trials and heartache, but He did promise He would go with us through the storm.

I do have more to say and this is not the end of my story, but is a good stopping point for me right now. 



It's been a while since I last posted.  I wonder if anyone even reads anymore, but then I am reminded of why I started this blog in the first place and I keep coming back to it.

Recently, we've been hit with a lot of trials.  You would think I would be used to it by now.  Facing trials is something that I have grown accustomed to dealing with and hopefully learning from each one.  Many times I fail miserably and have to start all over learning some lessons the hard way, and many times I just have to keep pressing on.  I think of James, where he says, "Blessed is the man  who perseveres under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life God promises to those who love Him."  What a great thought to know that God has a plan for my trials and that He delights in me when I persevere through the tough times.  It reminds me daily that this earth is not our forever home, and I should not get too comfortable here.

So, I thought I would take some time to share some things that have been heavy on my heart.  I don't know why so many challenging things happen in life, but I do know that God has it in His control and there is a plan.  I wonder A LOT what that plan is and have come to the conclusion that I will probably not know some of those plans this side of heaven, but I hold onto the hope that God will lead me and guide my family.

2015 did not start out too well or us.  Right before Christmas, my grandma had a massive stroke.  I've seen people that have had strokes before, and I realize how debilitating it is to recover from one, but in my experience I've seen them recover.  However, that was not the plan for my grandma.  Her stroke hit a part of her brain that was inoperable.  We watched her quickly slip into a state where she was no longer coherent.  My husband, kids, and I were able to see her a couple days before Christmas on a day that she was doing really good.  After that things went down hill really fast.  She ended up passing away a couple of days after Christmas.

I wasn't really close to my grandma, but we always went to her house ever since I was really little.  She lived on a farm and it was one of those places where you could run free and not get into too much trouble.  Eventually when I began to have kids, my own kids would just run free too.  It's very different than city living.  I'm really going to miss some of the things I didn't get to do yet with her.  She always talked about teaching me how to crochet and knit.  She was amazing at it.  I regret that I never really learned that from her.  I also have been really cherishing the quilts and blankets she's made for our family.

That has weighed heavy on my heart and I think is a little of how grief is working in me right now.  I have a hard time sleeping and just want to watch movies late into the night to mask my sorrow and regrets.  I haven't really shared that with too many people, but there it is I said it. 

After all the trips back and forth and the funeral, my husband got really sick.  I won't go into too many details, but he missed almost a week of work.  He rarely even misses a day let alone a whole week.  So I was trying real hard to keep the kids quiet while he slept and rested to get better.  I did eventually take him to the doctor where we found out that he had the flu, and on the verge of having pneumonia, along with an enlarged liver.  So we have had to make some changes in our habits.  I can share more on that in another post.

We have some awesome friends who saw how busy I was working taking care of everything in our house that they took our kids for an evening and allowed me some time to myself.  I got a pedicure, which I haven't had since I think last June.  It was a nice treat for me, and definitely met a need in our lives.

A short time later, I found out that a couple that we've gotten to know briefly at church delivered a stillborn son.  I'm so SAD for them.  I remember how heartbroken and overwhelmed I was and it pains me to hear that someone else has to go through that.  I've prayerfully sought out how God would have us reach out to this couple.  I know what was helpful for us, but I also know people need different things at different times.  I eventually called the wife and offered my support and encouragement.  I know the journey will be tough for them.  This has got me thinking a lot about how to serve doing the Lord's work.  I don't know what He has planned for me in that area, but it warms my heart that my painful circumstances can encourage someone else.  I don't like that it has to be that way, but it is.

Now we are having some house issues.  Being home has allowed me some great time to spend with my kids, but I also see how much need there is in our house.  So our garage door opener broke, which would have been ok, except that my car was stuck inside the garage and I needed to pick up Jaycee from school. Luckily, I have met a couple of great parents with kids at Jaycee's school and one of the moms was able to pick her up and bring her home.  Such a God thing if you ask me.  Then we had a broken garbage disposal, which can be fixed, but Tom hasn't had the time, and then my vacuum cleaner won't pick up anything.  It's hard to keep a house clean with two kids, a dog, and a husband when you don't have a properly working vacuum cleaner.  When it rains it pours.  Most of those things will get taken care of probably by the time I'm done writing this, but it was just one thing after another. 

I keep asking myself what does God want me to learn from all of this?  Right now, I think it is a great time for reflection.  I had almost two days where I couldn't go anywhere unless I walked.  So, I worked on trying to memorize James again,  I considered what my fitness goals are, and I worked on our budget and savings plan.  Nothing too exceptional, but just some down time that I wasn't expecting.

I am healing from the regrets I have after losing my grandma, and realize that while I know she is in a better place, it has affected me more than I realized.  I'm also seeing that God is changing me in ways that I don't quite understand.  I have also been wondering if maybe God is calling me to something more.  I just don't have any clear answers or direction, and so I will wait patiently for Him to guide my steps and show me what He wants me to do.


Tuesday, December 16, 2014


Where does the time go?  The last two months were a whirlwind!!!  Someone once told me that the days are long but the years are short.  I'm beginning to understand what they were talking about.  So I will share with you a little about what we did in November.

November for us always starts off in a kind of bittersweet way.  It seems like it is getting harder and harder for me to know how to best celebrate Caden and what he meant to us and to let others know that I need them at the time of year.  I never want to be a bother to anyone, but I also am aware that they may not know how to help and need direction from us what will be helpful.  So we got away for a day and ended up in Tulsa where we experienced the aquarium there.

We spent the rest of the month thinking about what we are thankful for.  Here are some of our favorites:
  • Each Other - It's hard to believe, but we've been with each other for nearly 16 years.
  • Our Kids - Even though there are some days when discipline is hard, those two have been a HUGE blessing to our lives and have brought us so much needed joy.  I will never get over some of the funny things Jaycee says, and how Miles learns from her so quickly.
  • Health - We've been trying to eat, live, and play a little more healthier these days.  I've ventured in to the smoothie world, and I love it!!!  We have also been going to the YMCA on a semi-regular basis.
  • Tom's Job- Even though he has had a really busy year with some different schedules and class assignments, he is blessed to be working and doing something where the time goes by so quickly that he barely has time to stop and think some days.  Our family is so lucky to have such a hard working husband and dad.
  • Staying Home - I have prayed about that decision for a long time.  I've always wanted to stay home with my kids, and now that I am, it is so very different that I expected, but it is so good too.  The lack of income was a little hard to adjust to at first, but I'm still busy as I was before, just now it's in a different way.  Running myself and two kiddos around has been a challenge for me, but also a lot of fun for my kids.
  • Lastly, we are so thankful that we get to study and learn about God and His lessons for our lives.  I honestly don't know how I would make it sometimes if I didn't have my Bible to help walk me through some of the decisions we've had to make in the last couple of years.

Speaking of Thanksgiving, we celebrated with my grandparents and some aunts and uncles at the farm.  I have so many memories of that farm and I'm glad that my kids get to make some of their own too.  It was a beautiful day!!!  I was so glad b/c the kids got to run and play without having to be watched so closely. 

These are my grandparents.  They are in their nineties and still live out on the farm on their own.  They do get a little help from my mom and aunt, and are quite feisty, but I guess when you're that old, you've earned the right to be a little feisty from time to time.

 I thought instead of holding Miles in my lap that I would let him sit on a couple of phone books and sit in a chair by himself.  He's been wanting to feed himself without my help these days.  So he went to it with mashed sweet potatoes all over his face, but I know he loved it.  Hard to believe that my boy is growing too fast!!!

 I'm not quite sure what Tom was trying to tell me here, but he obviously had something to say, or it could be that he knew I was taking a picture and planned out what he was going to do.

 Of course I had to get a picture of this little cutie!!!  She is definitely not camera shy.  She actually ended up staying overnight with grandma the Friday after Thanksgiving while Tom and I did some Black Friday shopping.  It was just a little easier to do it without her.  My mom was kind enough to meet us in Maize and take her for a quick overnight stay, and then we would pick her up the next Saturday when we went to my grandma's house.

 It was an amazingly beautiful day for November in Kansas.  After eating, we let the kids go outside and enjoy the fresh air.  My grandparents have a rather long driveway, so we let the kids have races up and down the driveway.  It was great, b/c they both slept really well on the almost hour drive home.  This guy loves to run!!! 

 Tom even tried to do some running with them.  Miles' feet sometimes got a little ahead of the rest of his body, but he continued to pick himself up and run to keep up with Tom and Jaycee.

November was a month to reflect on many things for me.  Some moments were very hard and it seemed like I would not withstand the challenges that were placed in front of me. I ended up working a lot at the church Nursery, which meant a little extra spending money for us, but most things that were challenging or difficult to deal with seemed to work out in the end.

Be looking for many more wordless posts of just pictures to come soon.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Taking the Challenge (Losing It Series)

It's been a while since I last spoke about my weight loss and healthy lifestyle efforts.  I have to admit that I hit a little bit of a slump.  I was doing so great with my morning workouts, but then winter hit.  Actually I don't even think it is winter yet, but it has sure felt like it these past few weeks.  The motivation I once had to get up and exercise is just not there. 

I have continued to go to Zumba at least twice a week, but my goals have hit a plateau and so has my weight.  So my workout buddy and I found out that the Y in our area is having two holiday fitness challenges. 

Group Exercise 12 Class Challenge
My friend and I have been meeting once or twice a week for Zumba classes.  I have loved the accountability and it makes me work even harder to not miss a class since I know she will be looking for me.  Anyways, the Y has a challenge that started the week before Thanksgiving and ends the week of New Years.  They want us to try to get in 12 group exercise classes during that 6 week time period.  With the $5 fee, I just need to have each instructor sign my card at the end of class.  If I reach my goal I get a really cool T-shirt.  You can never have too many T-shirts.  It seems like that is all I wear these days.

Battle of the Bulge
So I had to pay $5 to enter into this challenge too.  What I have to do is maintain my current weight, or lose between now and the first week of January.  So that meant getting back on the scale.  I can't tell you when was the last time I weighed myself.  I used to do it once a week, but got really discouraged when I didn't see results from week to week.  So now I think I may be trying it a little less often than once a week, but not as long as three months, and with this new challenge, I have to weigh myself at least that first week of January.  So I have at least a month to maintain what I've already done or lose it.  If I meet the goal, will get another T-shirt.  Wish me luck!!!

On a side note, my friend and I have decided to try weight lifting.  It has been hard to find a routine that works for both of our schedules.  With her owning her own business, and me with two little ones - enough said right?  We talked to a girl after Zumba one night and she introduced us to a program called A Workout Routine:  The Muscle Building Workout.  You can find a link to it here.  We have been doing it on a somewhat steady basis for about a month now.   I recently started to try for 4 days a week with some cardio before lifting.  But we both set a goal to try to do that for 3 times a week and to make it to Zumba (which is great cardio - like burning 500+ calories) at least 3 times a week.  I haven't quite made my goal every time, but I'm getting better and hopefully these challenges will encourage me to get up and go.

I'll be checking in with you later on about how my progress is going.  But what I most want anyone who reads this to know is that losing weight and trying to live a healthier lifestyle is hard and takes courage, determination, and perseverance.  While I'm not perfect at it right now, the fact that I'm working on building better habits is what matters.  Most importantly I'm finding out that taking these matters to God first and praying for discipline and strength when I'm weak has helped me see how much God loves me regardless of how I feel I look.  I'm His child and He thinks that I'm great the way He made me.  I have to first accept myself in that way and see myself the way God sees me in order to believe that He has an awesome plan for all of my efforts that align with His will for my life.  Once I get out of my own way, God can then do the work in me He has always wanted to do.  That is worth more than any number on the scale.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Bible Studies

This year is the year for studying my Bible.  I think I may need a new Bible with some helpful hints as to how to more effectively study the Bible, but until I have the money for a new one, my old Women's Devotional Bible will have to do, and it's all God's word, so I should ask Him for help with the things I don't understand. 

So, this year without even realizing it, I had signed up for 4 Bible studies.  Yes, you heard me right four.  That seems like a lot to me.  I'm not the kind of person to over commit myself, but somehow things just snuck up on me and I had a hard time saying no. 

The Story
Our church is doing a church wide study called The Story.  This is a storybook form of the Bible.  I'm liking that the pastor is preaching on a different chapter from the book and relating it directly back to the Bible.  I also like that I might get through my Bible in a year.  That is fun to me.  So our small group is studying this as well.  We meet every other Sunday night and discuss the chapters that the pastor preached on for the week.  Tom and I joined this small group two years ago, and have met some great people.

Monday Night Women's Bible Study
This is the Bible study girls that I've been with the longest like close to 8 or 9 years.  We meet more regularly during the summer as most of us are teachers, but during the school year we only meet once a month.  This school year we are going through the book Seven by Jenn Hatmaker.  It is very convicting and make me think about how rich our American culture really is.  I also have been led to stop and think about how blessed I am with what I have even though it seems like I don't have much, it is still more than most, and I need to really say a prayer of thanks to God for allowing me to have so many blessings.

BSF - Bible Study Fellowship
I started attending this Bible study the first year I started staying home with Jaycee.  I have thoroughly loved studying the Bible in this way.  Every year there is a different focus.  My first year we went through the entire book of Genesis.  I'm telling you that I learned more from that one year than I've learned in all my 36 years of life about those stories.  Last year we studied Matthew.  I have a new appreciation for the disciples.  They really left everything to follow Christ!!!  This year we are studying the Life of Moses.  We are about halfway through this study, but I am gaining new insight to his life and what the Israelites went through and how God was preparing them to be blessed.

I also love that this study is one I can bring my kids with me and they are learning the same lesson as I am, just on their level.  Even Miles who is skiddish around new people has a good time learning new songs and touching the Bible.  This will be the last year I can take Jaycee with me, but I know she is learning new things each week.

Apples of Gold
This study is one that I was asked to do by a sweet older lady in my church.  It is kind of like a discipleship program based from the verses Titus 2:3-5 "Train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be sensible, chaste, domestic, kind, and submissive to their husband, that the word of God may not be discredited."

I am greatly enjoying this study.  It is a 10 week commitment every Thursday night, and it has been a little crazy at times since I've needed to find sitters for my kids until Tom's softball season was over, but I gain so much wisdom and insight from those older ladies, not to mention that they serve us a full meal with appetizers and desserts that are AMAZING!!!  I always leave with a renewed mentality as to how to be a better wife and mom to my family and an appreciation that living in this world is plain hard sometimes, but when God is the center of my household, I can trust that he is going to take care of us through good and hard times.

So, while I didn't plan to be that busy this fall, I'm glad for what God is teaching me and I'm making new friends and meeting new people which is great interaction for me since I'm home with kids all day.  It's nice to touch base with other moms who are in the same stage of life as me where I can connect with them.  What are some Bible studies that you are a part of or have done in the past?

the Ehrlich's

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Seven Years Journey

You would think after seven years, that I would have this whole dealing with grief thing figured out.  But seriously I just don't. November 2, 2014 marked seven years since we had to say "Hello"  and "Goodbye"  to our first son Caden.  Every year I've had a hard time the days leading up to that day and for at least a couple of weeks after. 

This year, I decided that I wasn't going to say anything about it.  We would just do our thing as a family and remember Caden in our own special way.  Well, that was a HUGE mistake.  I have felt so forgotten and alone this year.  I don't really know what I was expecting or how I thought others would encourage us, but I guess I needed to do a better job of telling people what I need or how to help.  I forget that my friends and family want to help, but don't always know how or what we need at the time.  I guess we are all learning through this grief process.

So as I sit here and ponder about some of the questions people have asked me over the past week, I wanted to share some things that have helped me in the past and will help both Tom and I in the future.  One thing Tom and I have both talked about is that we feel like talking about Caden makes some people uncomfortable.  That is absolutely the last thing we want!!!  We have gotten the sense that some people tend to shy away from us after we've shared our story, like we have a plague or something.  I've tried to get a feel for people to see whether it is ok to open myself up in that way, but for us talking about him and what we've learned since losing him helps us so much.  We have seen how God has changed us and blessed us since 2007, and that gives us hope for a purpose filled future. 

So, here's a list of things that I have sincerely thought about that would be of great help to Tom and me while we are going through this time every year of grieving, remembering, and celebrating.
  • It means so much to me when people remember that November is when we lost Caden.  I know that it isn't on everyone's calendar, and it shouldn't be.  I would never wish this kind of grief on anyone!!! But for his life to be remembered and to actually say that to Tom and I means more than you will ever know.
  • Calling, texting, or sending a card lets us know that we are not forgotten and that our story and journey matters.  Tom especially needs this!!!  Sometimes guys are so nonchalant about their feelings, that they don't think they need to grieve, but it is so important to be able to look ahead.
  • As I was talking to a friend the other day, she told me that she and some other friends of ours were saying some really nice things about our story and the growth that God has made in us throughout the past seven years.  They were also saying how encouraging it would be for others to hear about our story.  I thought that was so very kind of them to say so many great things about us. The only thing is that neither Tom nor I knew any of what was being said.  I think that saying anything to us about what you have seen in us, our family, our journey, or even what God has done in our lives since makes a huge difference.
  • Lastly, I've got to say this because I know that some of my friends just don't know how to help and really want to.  So I'm going to say this with a little apprehension, but here goes.  Saying nothing really makes me/us feel alone and forgotten.  Don't worry if you bring up sad times, or if we cry or get a little emotional.  Chances are that at this time of year, that is going to happen anyway.

Well, we did get out of town like we had planned.  We went to a lake near where Tom works and wrote the #7 on a balloon.  Then we got out some notecards, wrote a message on it, Tom said a quick prayer and released it to the sky.  It was really neat to experience this with our kids now.  Jaycee has asked many questions about Caden and she has a real heart for what heaven is going to be like when God tells us it's our time to go there.  She wrote a little note as well, and also drew a picture and her name.  We stayed there until we could not see the balloon anymore.  Miles slept most of the time, but I imagine that he looks a little like Caden would have.  I am still amazed that I have two blond haired, blue eyed kids, and wonder if Caden could have gotten more of my features, but I await the day when I can see him again and live forever in God's presence with him.  It gives me comfort to know that he does not have to endure the hardships of this world and that he is looking out for his sister and brother until they all will be reunited.

We all wrote notes to Caden letting him know how we felt about him and the time we've missed with him. 

Miles was all tuckered out and slept through most of it.

The balloon soared through the sky, and we thought it wouldn't make it all the way across.


Monday, October 20, 2014

Big 5 Birthday Party

Well, I'm finally getting to post about Jaycee's birthday party.  There will be a few more posts about things we've done in October to come later, but here's a post about Jaycee's 5th Birthday.

This year, I wanted to keep with the plan of not having a birthday party at my house, but rather go somewhere kid-friendly to have Jaycee's birthday party.  Over the summer, I took Jaycee bowling with some of our friends and she had a blast!!!  Tom decided that this might be a fun thing to do for her birthday.  So I kept that in the back of my mind for a few months.

So here's what we did.  I'm not into topping each birthday by trying to make each one bigger and better than the year before.  That is just not something I want to get into the habit of doing.  I do however, want to give my kids a small, quick, yet fun time with friends and family.  We asked Jaycee what she would like to do for her birthday.  With not much luck as to what kind of party she wanted, Tom and I went back to the whole bowling party idea.  So, I got online and looked up all the local bowling allies in the area and decided that Northrock Lanes would be the best option for us.  It is super close, and they had the best birthday party package to fit what I was thinking about.  We decided to keep it small, and only invited some close friends of Jaycee's from church and school. 

This was Jaycee's second time bowling and as you can see, she loved it!!!

Here are a couple of Jaycee's friends from Preschool.  I knew that she would have no problem making friends.  She is one of the friendliest kids I know.

One of Jaycee's best friends basically since she was born was the only boy there.  I felt a little sorry for him, but he was a trooper and had a lot of fun bowling with the girls. 

 These girls know how to have fun.

We decided to buy a GIANT cookie cake instead of the traditional cake this year.  One it was much easier not to have to cook anything and transport it, and also it was pretty affordable.   The cake was gone in no time!!!
 This birthday girl is pretty cute!!!

 We had a fun afternoon with these kids.
We had a fun time!!!

Miles decided that he needed to join in on the fun that the big kids were having.

We had a great time, and I think I will do this again for another party maybe when Miles gets a bit older.