Friday, July 31, 2015

Best of Facebook: July 2015

7/4/15: Click here to see photo on FB:

Happy Independence Day! We fought to be independent from other nations so we could live openly dependent on God. We fought for our freedom to live so we could live as slaves of Christ!

Waiting for our discharge to take this pretty girl home from the hospital today! 30 days ago our path was shaken up and what we thought would be a joyful time bringing our new daughter home turned into sorrow when she was admitted into the hospital. We decided that we would stay firmly committed to loving her even though the future path seemed unclear and hazy. God taught us a deeper understanding of what "walking by faith and not sight" means and what love really looks like! Love is for better or for worse. Love is for richer or poorer. Love is in sickness and in health. Love doesn't see color, age, behavior or ability, it doesn't set up conditions. Love never fails!

In the car and headed home!

First thing this morning as I was leaning over a sleeping Brittney pumping her meds into her G-tube and when her sleepy eyes opened I said, "Good morning, Brittney!" She stretched and her mouth curved into a big smile, "Your back!" I smiled because everytime I left her hospital room for coffee or food and returned I would announce, "I'm back, I am not leaving you Brittney."

"Yes silly, of course I'm back, you live with us now, we are your family," I quietly reassured her. She smiled big, "Good morning!" But then the smile disappeared, "you have to go, mommy?" Mirabel popped up in her bed, "She just called you mommy!" What a piece of heavenly grace to start off the morning with. I am a mommy once again! :)

Love sees NOT the different sizes, shapes or colors of our spots; LOVE sees our hearts! ‪#‎CowAppreciationDay‬ Get your spots on Tuesday, July 14th, 2015!

2 days left to get all spotted up! On Tuesday, July 14th if you go into any Chick-fil-A dressed as a cow head to toe you get a FREE meal, if you wear a cow print item of clothing or accessory you get a FREE entree!

1 day left until #CowAppreciationDay Just a little late night humor!


Life is a classroom! This year we incorporated #CowAppreciationDay into our homeschool. Each child picked out a cow breed to study up on. They designed and sewed a costume that best pictured that breed, then on their sign they listed 2-5 fun facts about their cow breed! This is the result:

#CowAppreciationDay Life is a classroom! Did you know if you bake PVC pipe in your oven at 350F for ~2 minutes you can bend it into any shape you desire? Then let it cool and it hardens again!

I selfishly cried, "God this won't cute baby diapers for a season this will be big, messy diapers forever." They said they didn't think she could be potty-trained, they had tried in the past and we shouldn't get our hopes up. I should have not doubted the goodness of God. When He gave Britt and I a long month of one on one time together in the hospital we tried over and over using the potty. There were days that gave me hope and days that I thought we would never get there. Potty-training is one of my great weaknesses, I really truly loathe it after just potty-training my twins. But we kept going believing that the "impossible" was possible. I am so excited to tell you that we have kept a dry pull-up on our own ALL week! We are such a big girl going potty and quite proud our our self!

My hubby turned to me last night before we drifted off to sleep, "Babe, did you get a date night set up for us this week?" I smiled, "yes, sweetheart on Wednesday again." I felt his relief as he turned back over and fell asleep.

Weekly date nights are SO important for couples especially parents of lots of kids. Even if it is only for an hour or two, even if it is just sending the kids to bed early so you can catch up on all the events, emotions and dilemmas of this week, even if it is just a trip to the grocery store together. Find time...MAKE time to love being with your spouse.

The kids joke, any time they ask who my favorite is I always say, "daddy is." He is who I chose to love first and he is who I will always love more than my kids and I love these kids a TON! Our kids know more security and safety from seeing mom and dad so in love, sneaking kisses, dancing in the kitchen, sharing inside jokes, tickling, giggling, and still dating each other like young teens than they would if we spent every waking moment with them.

So go ahead ask your spouse out on a date! What God put together let no man separate!

Happy 9th birthday Risa and 4th birthday Maggie! My girls who couldn't be more different share one very special day. Risa is my miniture girl that can charm any animal, is still as adorable as when she was 4 and first arrived at our doorstep, has more energy than all our kids combined and loves to laugh! Maggie is my little spit-fire full of sass, always looking for activity even if it is mischief, can't say no to a good snack, keeps us laughing with her witty little commentary on our life and has the sweetest smile that makes us fall even more in love with her than the day she was handed into my arms at just 6 weeks old!

I was talking to a newlywed recently about her fears of starting a family how she wanted to but had such a fear of the unknown and uncontrollable. I shared how I wanted zero children and we prevented for years then described the whirlwind of parenting that God threw us into and how hard that first couple of years adjusting was. I let my words tell her all the real and raw of our parenting journey. I didn't sugar coat it or give it a rosy tint.

God pierced my heart. I forgot to point out the scarlet thread that holds all the real, raw and hard together. I should have said, "What I said was all true but I really want to encourage you to give your fears and control of that area of your life to God. I am so thankful we did. If we hadn't we wouldn't be where we are today. We wouldn't have seen the amazing grace that God promises lavished so overwhelmingly in our lives if we didn't trust Him past what we felt we could handle. We wouldn't have seen the powerful strength that God promises to give us if we hadn't come crashing at the end of our own. We wouldn't have felt the warm comfort of a seeing a little life changed before our eyes if we hadn't stepped out in to the uncomfortable. We wouldn't have felt the joy unspeakable when our little girl who spent her whole life without a family breaks out into uncontrollable and contagious laughter if we hadn't been willing to share in her sorrow. We wouldn't have seen Jesus if we hadn't been willing to care for Him through caring for the least of these."

Step out and trust God even when you are afraid and unsure of the outcome. He promises to work all together for good to those who love Him (Rom. 8:28). The love and joy we get from caring for Brittney outweighs all my initial fears of taking on a child with as many needs and medical diagnoses that she has.

After a two hour doctor's appointment I came back out to the waiting room where I had left my seven kids. A crowd of women stared in awe and the receptionist called me over, "We watched your kids sit still, quietly read and nap for two hours while you were in your appointment! How on earth do you do it!?! I have two that drive me crazy! What is so different about you that you can be so young and have seven children sit perfectly in a doctor's office? Can I send my kids to you!?!"

I smiled, "We seek to honor and glorify God with all we do, even sitting in a boring waiting room."

The woman jumped up and with a shout of acclimation, "I knew you was a God fearing, church going woman! I could see Jesus all over you when you walked in!"

The goal isn't that our kids simply behave in public, the goal is that they are a light to a dark world and to be the blessings that they are to the public around them who is convinced they should be limited due to their burdensome nature.

Posted by Shannon

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