"And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live." Deuteronomy 30:6

but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.
2 Peter 3:18

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Walking With You~ Saying Goodbye

This week are talking about the funeral planning and saying our final good-byes to our dear little ones.

We really didn't do much planning for Janie Beth's Celebration of Life before her birth. We went to the doctor the day before Jaie Beth was born and found out that I was 4 cm already and very soft. Upon finding that out, Joey went to the funeral home that afternoon. He picked out the casket and talked to the funeral director, who was amazing and a true God send! I believe he may have gone by the cemetary too, but there wasn't anything to do there at that time.

Since Janie Beth passed so close to the holidays there were some people that would have been out of town had we done her Celebration the weekend following her death, so we decided to wait a week and have it on Sunday afternoon, January 10, 2010.

The week after going home and before the Celebration, we planned what we wanted done. We went to the cemetary and picked out her spot and the tombstone we wanted and what we wanted on the stone. We were blessed to have a dear lady from church work at the cemetary. She sees it as a ministry and was very sweet. (I will interject here that she called a few weeks before from the cemetary and I was in the shower. It completely freaked me out to see the Cemetary show up on my caller id! Turns out she was calling b/c her Sunday School class had something for us. :))

We had visitation the night before her Celebration. It was a blessed time to share Janie Beth with those that didn't see her at the hospital. We found small animals that we the same as the kids big Janie animals. They put one in the casket with her and they each kept one. Katie Jo also picked out a baby doll to go in with Janie and we named her Katie Jo. :) She also has a lamb identical to the one I have, and Josiah drew her a sweet picture. We also placed pictures in her casket with her. She wore a dress just like the one she wore in the hospital, but I had to buy a new one and another blanket because I wanted to keep everything she wore or was wrapped up in at the hospital. She looked beautiful!!! My box from Sufficient Grace Ministries didn't get to me until after her birth, so I had a picture taken of my hand wearing my bracelet on her with her bracelet laying on her.

 The kids putting their things in with Janie.

 Our bracelets
 Proud Daddy!
We had her slideshow on a TV in the corner for all to see.
 How she looked before we left. :) She is well loved!!!
I had a little bit of trouble leaving her, but not much because you could tell she wasn't really there. It was just her beautiful little body. Of course I cried as we left but only because I knew I wouldn't see her again. Katie Jo cried as well. I also was sad to leave her in the building, but she was in good hands.

We had our NILMDTS photographer come and photograph the visitation as well as the Celebration and graveside. I am very thankful to have those pictures!!!

The next afternoon was her Celebration of Life. I opened up with a duet with the trumpet and piano of "My Tribute". We had congregational singing as well of some hymns that meant a lot to us; "Because He Lives", "Leaning on the Everlasting Arms", and I think there was one more that isn't coming to my mind. We had Joey's sister play the harp. She played "Jesus Loves Me" and her daughter sang. Joey got up and spoke. It was really good!! The only disappointing part was the sermon by the minister, but thats ok! Overall the service was wonderful. We also played the slideshow of Janie Beth's NILMDTS pictures. I was very proud to see my precious baby girl on the screen!

Joey carried her casket anywhere it went, even from the hearse into the church before the service.

We then went to the graveside after her Celebration. It was a beautiful day! It was cold, but the sun was shining.

We still visit Janie Beth. I love to decorate her area!!!! It is how I can take  care of her. :) I spend forever in Hobby Lobby picking out just the right things! I am very thankful to have a place to go that is hers. God has met me multiple times there!!!

In the Snow on her first Christmas.
This was last spring/summer.

This past fall.
 This past Christmas
Her 1st Birthday.
Her 2nd Birthday.
We also release balloons at her grave on her birthday. Just a few days after she passed some friends brought us 22 pink balloons for the 22 hours that she lived. We released those, and her 1st birthday we released 22 pink 1st birthday balloons. This year we released Red Robin balloons because that is where we usually go eat on birthdays, so we went for her birthday and each of the kiddos got a balloon and released them. A couple days later we released her Happy Birthday Princess balloon.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Katie Jo = 7 Years Old

Katie Jo, I must admit that I have just begun, in the last couple weeks, to love you fully . It is nothing that I have done of myself, but rather the work of God in my heart, as I pray that He will perfect His love for you in my heart. I look at you through new eyes now. This all started when I went into my bathroom one night after you were already in bed and you had turned on the LED candle. My heart swelled with love for you like it never has before. I realized that I haven't been loving you fully; that I had been holding myself back. You have become such a sweet compassionate young lady. You are constantly doing things for others. You love fully! I am learning from you. Since that night I have found myself in you. You have a very vivid imgination, and you are often found playing in your world. :) I see you run to the door to talk to a "friend" and watch you interact and settle your things with such care and love as you play. Outside you run with glee. You ride like the wind on your scooter and bike, all the while your mouth is often times moving as you are playing. You park down by the ditch and watch over the side as your imagination soars. I am transferred back 20 years as I recall playing in the same way. I spent many wonderful hours in my imaginary world, especially outside at my grandparents with the sun shining down upon me. It brings a smile to my face as I know that I am seeing just what my mom and grandparents saw as they watched me (unbeknownst to me!) through the window. But, you let me watch you. Your siblings are often times invited into your world. You are open and loving, without reserve and fear. WOW! That is something I was not. I am learning from you, Katie Jo. You are a special little girl that I love more now than the day I gave birth to you. You are a blessing every day!

You are my crafty one! You could spend hours making things, and they are more often than not made out of your love to give to others. Your heart is pure! You are doing very well in school. You have finished your math and are about to move into the next book. Your reading is coming along. You still love mud! You wanted to play outside the other day instead of have your screentime. :) If only that sentiment would overflow to your brothers. You have enjoyed Joy Schelle getting older where she follows you around. Of course you would love for her to allow you to do more with her!

You still plan on being a missionary and having kids. I pray that God is molding your husband into a godly young man who follows after Him with his whole heart! Yesterday you said you were going to be an artist before you have kids though, and a missionary while you have kids. I am excited to see what God has in store for your life!

This year has been fun! You are coming into your own. I love watching you get it! You love to try new things, and you are very eager to learn the art of homemaking! You are very ready to learn how to sew, and now that the sewing machine is hooked up I hope to get to that soon! You also love to help me cook and bake. You have come along side me without me even realizing it, and for that I am thankful. God is guiding you already.

Father God, thank You for Katie Jo! May You continue to grow her in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. May You continue to plant Your seeds in her heart and water them. Thank You for all that she is teaching me. Thank You for the beautiful young lady You are making! I am blessed to be her mother. Thank You for that calling! May You continue to perfect Your love for Katie Jo in my heart. Draw us closer together in You. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.

My, how you have grown!!
5 lb 14 oz, 19 in

Completely and totally in your element!!!
 You drew a cow with utters!
 You love your picture taken with Joy!
 Once again in your element!
 Love to climb

 You went to New Orleans after the April tornadoes.
 You graduated Kindergarten!
 Watch me jump!
 You usually love Eli. ;)
 You absolutely LOVE water!!!

 Where else would you be!?! :)
 You yelled your loudest in Upward Cheerleading!
 You are just a little bit crazy! :)
 Love that look!
 Precious Moments Noah's Ark tea set you got for Christmas. You love collectibles! All my porcelean dolls are now in your room.
 Your Janie Bear is never far away! She often times accompanies us. It warms my heart. You still love to visit Janie Beth too.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

My Girls

The TP Queen!!! She is into everything! She is full of personality! She loves to sing and dance. She warms my heart! :) She is a little pistol, and I believe she will be in the same pea pod as her big brother Eli. She loves Josiah and goes to him to pick her up. She gets right in there with the big 3 with no problem!

Miss Imagination! She will quickly try new things, like skating. She is always crafting and making something to give to someone else. She loves to be outside! When outside she is often times in her own world. She has a whole nother world that she imagines. She does it outside mainly, but it comes inside too. She reminds me of me!!! Although, I didn't play with sticks and grass like she does. She is always making something with the onion grass, or cooking it. :) She has gotten into pulling lots of food out of the pantry and spices out of the drawer in order to "make" something. She has a soft compassionate heart, with a fire hidden under it! She is my helper, and I am excited to train her as a young lady!

We do the flowers at church on the Sunday closest to Janie Beth's birthday. This year it was New Year's Day. There are 22 pink flowers for the 22 hours that she lived, and 2 red roses because she would have been 2 years old. :)

It overwhelms me to think that I have been entrusted with raising these girls to be godly young women who follow after God with all their hearts. The world contradicts almost everything that God wants them to be! I am just an ordinary woman that is trying to climb this steep cliff. I pray that God will be extraordinary through me and that He will work around my faults and shortcomings and work wonders in their lives and hearts! I am blessed!