Sunday, September 30, 2012

Alegra's Photo Shoots

 Alegra loves to take pictures.  Most often there ends up being pictures on the camera that I never knew were there of pictures she's taken.  She's not a bad photographer though, so I like to let her experiment and see what she can come up with.  She started out taking pictures of Saphira, but she was uncooperative, so she moved on to Benaiah.  I should have told her that all good photographers makes sure that the person getting their picture taken doesn't have a messy face or runny nose.  So, since she wasn't informed of that, her subject had a not so lovely face.  Thankfully, all colds are out of the house now, except for the after coughs for the papa.  Here are Alegra's photos of Benaiah.  They worked together at picking props and background colors and poses.  It's funny what children come up with. 

He needs to work on his photo smile.

And our little gem, Saphira is 1 month old!  She is growing so much and though I'm not a big fan of the baby stage, I am seeing that she is growing and changing way too fast.  But, bring on the smiles, the coos, the excitement when she sees me walk in the room.  I love that phase! 

Diella is little miss momma.  She's a great helper as all the children are, but she especially seems to be more attentive to Saphira's needs.  It sure helps having good helpers around here.

We are nearing move in day to the farm and are in the middle of celebrating the Feasts of the Lord that the Scriptures talk about.  This is a joyous time of year!  We celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles this week and rejoice before the Lord for a week!  Can't get better than that!  Hope you are all enjoying the cooler weather and enjoying the beauty of the change of colors all around us.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

For Grandpa Murphy

Hi Grandpa!  So sorry we haven't made it your direction yet.  The older I get the longer it takes me to adjust and get back into the swing of things after baby arrives.  Seems we needed some extra adjusting time this time around.  : ) 

And now we all are getting over colds, so we certainly didn't want to bring them your way.  We'll wait til all are healthy.  Maybe we will just have to have you over to our new house.  It's almost finished.  We plan on moving in October 14th.  We'll have to arrange a dinner date of fish and a house tour. 

Since you haven't seen Saphira yet I wanted to make sure you at least got to see some pictures on here.  So, here are some of the pictures of our little gem.  And if you want to take time to read through more of the details, you are always welcome to read our blog posts that contain details of her life entering this world and the after events of siblings loving on her and visitors coming too.

So, here she is, Saphira Grace Bovee....

Hope we can get together with you soon!  Of course after sickness is gone.  Hope you are doing well and gearing up for cold weather.  Not sure we are ready for all the bundling that has to take place with cold weather, but oh well.  We'll have to be ready soon!   : )

Our Sweet Saphira

It just occurred to me that I never actually posted this picture on our blog and it is one of the sweetest pictures of her in her first week.  It was posted on the birth video, but not in a regular post.  So, this one is for her when she's old and looking back through her mom's blog posts of her.  And it's one of my favorite photos of her!

Saphira With Grandpa & Papa

Our wee one is growing.  Jonathon said she is getting chunky.  Hardly.  She is just right.  Every baby should have a sleeping picture with his/her daddy, so I had to capture a few of those for Saphira to cherish when she's older.  One is a classic daddy sleeping with baby position, the other, well, that's how he sleeps at night.  : )

 Then the girls finally got grandpa Dan to hold her.  He's not much of a little baby holder, but I think they just dropped her in his lap, so he didn't have a choice.  And then the scurry to quick take a picture before he passes her off, was, well, quick.  But they did get a nice picture of him with his newest grandbaby.

 This beautiful Sabbath morning, we are all getting over colds.  We've been so thankful that Saphira has stayed healthy while everybody has been coughing and sneezing all around her for almost a week now.  So thankful for her healthy little body, and that I'm able to nurse so she can have those extra nutrients that God so lovingly placed in women to nourish their young.  With the sun shining in on my bed this morning, it looked like perfect lighting for some pictures, so before she woke up, I tried getting a couple poses that I have been trying with no success or wanting to try.  They turned out great with this lighting and with a pleasantly sleeping baby. 
 These two show her long eyelashes so well.  I was laying in bed this morning just looking over her features and couldn't stop gazing at those lashes.  The lighting was perfect this morning for capturing their length and beauty.

 These two poses I have seen others capture and think it's so sweet.  How appropriate since the marriage of a man and woman is where it all started.  And I love the above picture where she is smiling, almost as if she knows that she has been placed in a family where her parents adore each other and will love her and teach her in the best ways that we can.

Our precious gem, Saphira growing and changing already.  She is 3 1/2 weeks old now.  She's been to the farmhouse to work, to church to see her church family, to the carpet store to pick out carpet for the farm (which by the way is installed and looks amazing- it's all coming together) and has been snuggled by so many loving people.  She is loved greatly!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Josiah is 7!

 Here is our happy boy when he saw the tiger party we planned on a whim for him.  The eyes and smile show it all!  : )

He is all boy!  He loves to have fun, tease his sisters, play ball, help his dad work, ride bike, eat food, read books, pretend to barrel race on a horse, and anything else that is full of movement and activity.  Typical boy, right?  : )  You can see more of the Tiger party details at CLB CeLeBrations' blog. 

Friday, September 7, 2012

Pictures of Saphira's Birth

Our little Saphira Grace is over a week old now.  My how the time goes by so fast.  It seems just yesterday that we were experiencing the birth of our dreams.  They say you forget all those pains quickly, but I truly think I will remember every single one.  Each one was taking place how and where I wanted it to.  I viewed each one as getting us closer to holding our new little blessing not as a pain that was so strong I couldn't handle it.

This blog is to share with all of our readers.  If you have ever wondered how a home birth goes, this might help you see how our's went.  If you wondered how in the world we could be outside for such an event, well, this shows you the blessing it was to be under the starry, moon lit sky.  I am thankful for my previous, positive hospital experiences, but I bless the Lord for showing us favor in giving us this absolutely beautiful home birth as we have longed for for awhile.  If you don't care to see the details of our home birth, you might just want to skip this post.  The video includes most all of our pictures.  Some pictures have been cropped for my own comfortableness : ), but you still get the general idea of the blessing that took place the evening of Saphira's birth. 

If you want the details to read, you can go here to read that post and see a few pictures.  That post explains how the events took place in word and of the blessing that her name is to us.  Make sure you check that post out as well.  Thank you for joining us in this journey.  We'd love to hear if this blesses you!  It certainly has blessed us, if you hadn't gotten that message by now.  : )

As a side note, the song that the video is playing is a song that we wrote for a close friend when she and her husband had their second child.  The song has since blessed others' hearts, and now it's blessing us in a new way too.  I hope you enjoy it and the experience of the birth of Saphira Grace Bovee.

Thank you to my mom and Wild Rose Photography for capturing this life event for us!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Science Experiment of the Caterpillar and Butterfly

With having our own little butterfly being born last week, I didn't get around to posting about our science experiment with the caterpillar.  A few weeks ago we found a caterpillar on my parsley eating away.  This is the first year I was able to get parsley to grow, so I wasn't about to let the little guy eat it all up.  I told the children what I found, and of course they were all quickly to see what I was talking about. 

One day at the farm, a family stopped by to show the children what they had been collecting.  They had been searching for milk week to find caterpillars to raise and watch turn into Monarchs.  They had a couple different sized caterpillars that they found, and we were fascinated with their experiment.  So, when we found this little guy, we decided to try our hand and learning about the process of a caterpillar turning into a butterfly.  I must confess that I thought I knew how it all worked, but I learned a great deal also during the few weeks of us having this new, temporary pet. 

Here is our caterpillar, Parsley, named so appropriately for the plant we found him on.  Since I didn't want them giving him all my parsley to help him complete his process, I had them research what other plants parsley caterpillars like to eat.  Thankfully, they also like to eat queen anne's lace and with that in abundance around here, they picked his meals from along the road instead of from my herb garden.   

The children did some research on what kind of caterpillar this is.  Their guess was a black swallowtail butterfly, so we anxiously waited to see what it would become. 

We kept a close eye on him to make sure we would get to see the process of him spinning his chrysallis.  I should have taken a picture before this stage.  The caterpillar actually was hanging just as the chrysallis is by two threads from the stick.  It was like the when we all went to bed.  By morning, the process of forming the chrysallis was over, and we were all disappointed that we missed it.

We read that the black swallowtail can make its chrysallis look like whatever it chooses to hang from.  In this case a dead stick was what it hung from and it looked just like it in color.

With all of our excitement in having a new baby, we kind of put our jar on the shelf and didn't keep track as much as we should have.  Well, the morning after Saphira was born, our butterfly also was born.  But again, we missed that as well.  I've read that it can be a very quick process anyways.  One thing with this kind of butterfly though is that the chrysallis doesn't change during the butterfly's escape.  It stayed the same brown color and just a little slit on the top of the chrysallis was made to allow the butterfly to come out.  We were watching for signs of change and that didn't happen so we didn't know how close it was to coming out.

Oh the excitement to see it in the jar.  The children immediately took it out the back door and put it on a zinnia as we also read that they like to eat from those flowers.  They watched it for awhile dry out and get used to the world around it.  After awhile it was gone.

We have since learned that our neighbor has had a black swallowtail flying around and enjoying her flowers.  We wonder if it's parsley.  It would be interesting to go see the butterfly down there and compare it's markings to that of parsleys from our pictures.  It could be a neat experiment on identification. 
This momma has enough going on though and is staying to home for awhile.  It's time to get in a routine with the new baby and school and get started packing up to move.  Never a dull moment, but we do stop to smell the flowers and enjoy nature.  Don't want this life to be too fast paced that we miss those special touches that only the Creator can send our way. 

Monday, September 3, 2012

Saphira with Family

We all love holding Saphira.  If you can imagine 4 children all wanting their time during the day.  There has had to be some new rules made and some explaining that, yes, the mom gets to hold her the most no matter how much time the rest of them have had.  The children are learning lots of new things that I never even considered them having to learn about babies.  No, not where they come from other than a blessing from God, but about the umbilical cord, blow outs, her sleeping patterns, the overwhelmed feeling when there are too many people around her, etc, etc.....

But all in all they are all doing very well.  Benaiah is the big brother and takes the dirty diapers to the trash.  I always call for the big brother when it's that time and he gets a big smile and comes and takes it away.  : )  Josiah walked around with her today while she was wide awake and she never cried once.  So, that means that she loves him greatly and prefers him to hold her all the time.  Diella is so nurturing and our early riser, so she usually gets to her first in the mornings when she hears her crying.  Alegra must have her time sometime during the day or it's bad news.  And her time has to be when she is awake.  They all often times walk by her and rub her head and say, "Awe, she is just so cute".  Josiah does it the most.  Benaiah gives her the most kisses.  It has really been a joy these first few days with a newborn.  The children have been most helpful with chores around the house and our church family and parents have been most helpful in providing food.  What a blessing!  I'm enjoying having older children while having a little one.  It's fun to watch them learn the meaning of family with a baby around.  Enjoy the pictures of everyong enjoying Saphira.

Josiah loves his little sister time!

The mom loves her time too, but I mostly get her when it's feeding time.  Then everybody else wants her....until she starts crying, then they pass her off to me.  That's okay, because she likes her momma quite a lot.  : )

Grandma Deborah has been a big help and thinks she's quite pretty.  We think so too.

Our best friends, the Brothers have been loving their time with her too.  They enjoyed her arrival as well, so we're glad they've been a big part!

I wasn't kidding when I said he gives the most kisses.  He really loves her a lot and keeps an eye on anybody outside of our family who is holding her.

Grandpa Ron and Grandma Linda came to visit as well.  Grandma Linda loves to snuggle babies!

Aunt Mandy likes her pretty well also.  She must like her cuz she brought the rest of us pie and chocolate.  : )
Alegra the little momma! 

Is that a face that's super happy about having a little sister?  Yep, sure is!

Saphira Grace has been born!

What an absolutely gorgeous day to wake up and decide we were going to have a baby.  Not that it was in our hands.  It certainly was not.  But it was a great day for Yahweh to start things going and cause our little baby to arrive. 

I had envisioned this whole experience long before I was pregnant this time around. I wanted this home birth experience with Benaiah's birth, but God had other plans for his arrival.  We had lost a baby prior to getting pregnant this time around, and it was a test for me as I felt that I was not ready for another child.  Many emotions played into it all, and The Lord decided to take the baby just after I was beginning to like the idea and feeling okay with going through it all again.  HE sure has a way of teaching us.  So, then we get pregnant this time, and I had a peace from the very start that HE had it all under control as long as I trusted in HIM and rested in HIS faithfulness to us.  I was excited about this baby and all that went with being pregnant.  The pregnancy was beyond what I could have hoped for in that I felt great and had no complications.  I did take some extra precautions with HIS prompting and leading in natural things to assist my body in what it needed to work better than it did last time.  When HE spoke to my heart of things I should or should not take, I didn't ask questions, but just obeyed to later learn of why HE did or didn't want me taking certain things.  HE was so faithful through it all to guide and direct me, but I had to trust that I was hearing HIS voice and willing to obey HIM even if I didn't know the reasons why.

So, now we get to Delivery Day, and it's the perfect day!  I will say that the whole experience went just as I planned it, so I was so blessed that it was also HIS plan or it wouldn't have happened the way it did.  I was totally willing to do what HIS plan was, but oh the joy when HE showed us favor by allowing everything to line up so perfectly.  Only HE could have allowed it to go the way it did.  Thank you Father for that blessing!

My desire was to labor during the day while walking amongst my flower beds and around the yard.  The flowers were just beautiful and all in bloom AND we had green grass which we didn't have a month ago.  HE was so good to allow the rains to come later in the season allowing our yard and flower beds to look so good this time of year.       
Having the feeling that this day was the day, we began preparing the space and blowing up the birthing tub and getting all ready whether it happened during the day or during the night.  Jonathon had taken the day off of work, so it did work out nicely that he was around....until he decided to go paint a little bit at the farm until my urgent call to come home.  : )

Everyone helped.  The contractions kept coming as long as I stayed on my feet, so I hung laundry, baked a cake with Diella and tried to just keep moving.  And the contractions just kept coming.

The tub is all blown up, so now it's time to put things away and have the space ready for all those who came to help.

Jonathon finally got back home after he tried making a deal with me so he could finish the painting.  I told him that I wasn't interested in making any deals and that he needed to come home right away.  : )  He got the message....and stayed and finished up a little section of the wall that was left.  I'm glad he was able to get a little bit more done over there.  Every little bit gets us closer to moving in.

Our good friends were over and Casie walked with me around the yard until Jonathon got home, then he filled her shoes.  It was so pleasant walking around the flowers and around our garden, just enjoying the creation and the Creator as HE was bringing another one of HIS children into this world. 

The area was all set up and ready to go and our assistants were making their way here while I continued contracting.  Contractions were picking up, so to see how far along we were the midwife checked to see how dilation was coming along.  Well, I was only 1-2 cm.  But knowing that the baby was not in proper position, she explained that all the contractions were working at turning baby instead of dilating me, so it might just take a little longer to dilate than usual.  It was entirely true.  I tried resting a little and being in different positions and finally things started picking up.  I labored then in the area we set up with lots of loving  family and friends around to help me through each contraction. It was all such a blessing!  And I coudln't have planned everything the way it went, if I'd tried.  HE caused me to labor during the day where I could walk around the flowers.  HE caused baby to be in wrong position since March, so it would be longer, so I could labor amongst the flowers and deliver under the night sky.  HE caused the sky to be clear with the stars and a beautiful moon to gaze upon during contractions.  HE allowed for it to be cool enough that the bugs weren't bad, but not so cold that we couldn't be outside.  HE allowed me to have wonderful breaks between contractions that helped me to not get the least bit tired.  HE used my children to bless me and bring relief during contractions.  HE blessed me with the whole experience!!!

And then to give us an absolutely beautiful baby the cherry on top, super blessing!  Saphira Grace was born on August 29, 2012 in the water, then into our arms at 11:38pm, surrounded by family and friends and under a most beautiful sky.  She weighed 7 lbs, 12 oz, and was 20 inches long.   
I bless the Lord for teaching me the hard way before we conceived this precious child, so that we could all the more enjoy and appreciate what a blessing she is to us.  I thought I was happy with 4 children, but....I'm pretty happy now too.  : )
Just some special thanks:

Thank you, Ireena Keeslar, our midwife who is such a great support and encourager and whose presence is calm and reassuring through it all. You do have a gift, and we are blessed that we were able to be a part of your gift this time around.
Thank you, Mom, for always coming and sharing in these life events with us.  Thank you for capturing all the special moments on camera and in this case helping with the children when needed.  I'm so blessed that you could witness and be a part of this wonderful experience with us. 
Thank you to my dad.  I prayed a week earlier that if my dad was supposed to be at this birth, that the Father would allow for everything to happen when he could make it.  You have to realize that with my dad's work schedule, that leaves a very small time frame for it to have worked out for him to be a part as well.  Well, only the Father could orchestrate such things and my dad was also with us.  Thank you for your presence, your jokes and helping with the children also.
Thank you, Casie.  Your support, willingness, encouragement, faithful walking friendliness and presence was such a blessing!  Thank you for bringing great snacks and keeping me supplied with ice.  I'm so glad you were able to be here and enjoy my dream with me!  Thanks to Phil also, for helping with the children and being so willing to help with whatever needed cleaned up, etc.  There's lots more we could thank you both for, but I must move along.  : )

And thank you, Lee!  Thank you for allowing us to bless you in this way!  We are so honored that you would come and do whatever was needed at whoever's request.  Thank you for truly being a part and not just a bystander.  I pray that this experience blessed you as much as it did us! 

And since I'm writing this blog and not Jonathon, I have to express my sincere thankfulness for my husband.  He has not only been working on remodeling his family's farm house for us to move into soon, but he also took time to set up this beautiful area for my dream birthing area.  He is such a talented man in so many areas.  In building and constructing, he is capable of doing anything he sets his mind to.  In building his relationship with his wife and family, he goes above and beyond what most men would do.  Jonathon, your support and encouragement through this labor was no less than what you've given me before (minus the circumstances that happened last time ; )).  Your humor and jovial spirit added so much to this experience.  You kept the mood light and fun, kept everyone laughing, and did whatever you needed to to help me through each contraction before you cracked another joke.  And just for the record, when everyone else wasn't feeling sorry for you during your toe cramp, deep down inside I was feeling bad for you.....Ha, not really.  You were the only one at your pity party.  Sorry.  : ) 

Saphira Grace Bovee

We always get asked how we pick our names.  This one has been no different than our other children's names.  We look at the meaning of the name and choose according to what we are or have been going through in our lives.  Saphira means Beautiful; Sapphire.  Though the meaning isn't usually what we lean towards, the name just kept coming back to me.  Because of who Sapphira was in the Bible, Jonathon wasn't wanting to go with that name if we had a girl.  I liked the name, but we have always agreed on the name together, so I made a list of other girl names with their meanings.  We couldn't settle on any of them.  Then one day while working at cleaning out the room that will be the nursery at the farm, Jonathon came across a word study on Sapphire.  It listed out all the Scriptures that the word Sapphire is mentioned and talked about how it is one of the most precious and pure gems.  That would be my desire is for my daughter to be a precious and pure gem of the Lords.  After finding and considering what all that word study was saying, Jonathon decided that that would be the name if we had a girl.  I was thrilled and then struggled with finding a boy's name we could agree on.  With just a week or so before due date, we did end up deciding a boy's name, but it wasn't easy.  : )

After having Saphira, Jonathon decided to do a little more looking into the Sapphire.  He found out that it is the second hardest stone, just under the diamond.  Not easily scratched.  He also was looking into the healing elements of the sapphire.  Now, most people would categorize healing powers in stones as being new agey, but if you truly consider HIS creation and what the Scriptures say about it, it wouldn't at all be surprising if HE created rocks/stones/gems to have healing elements in them.  We were singing during family worship time last night, and I thought on the words to one of the songs.  The Scriptures say that even the rocks will cry out, so doesn't that make them alive in some way?  And if they are alive in some way, couldn't there be healing elements in them that the Almighty placed there for our benefit?  Possibly so.  Anyways, Jonathon found that one of the healing elements of the sapphire is in blood conditions, such as helping the walls of the veins be stronger.  After our experience with the blood clot during Benaiah's pregnancy, we are finding this information very interesting.  It's also used to stop nose bleeds.  I typically have nose bleeds during my whole pregnancy, with them getting rather severe at the very end.  I had 1 at the beginning of this pregnancy, then not a single one throughout the rest of it.  Amazing!  Our little Saphira inside of me, that HE used to show me that I must trust in HIM in all things and that HE can allow the healing through this precious gem that HE placed within me.  And in Scripture HE does consider the sapphire to be a "precious gem".  What makes one stone more precious than another?  Is it because of the healing elements, its beauty, etc.  I don't know, but I am loving what HE is showing us about our little girl.  We did not see these things until after she was born, and it's such a blessing to have those confirmations shown to Jonathon now.  

We feel so blessed by what the Father has done for us through this pregnancy and birth.  HIS faithfulness endures to all generations.

"Through the Lord's mercies
we are not consumed,
Because HIS compassions fail not. 
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
The Lord is my portion,
says my soul,
Therefore I hope in HIM!
The Lord is good to those 
who wait for HIM,
To the soul who seeks HIM.
It is good that one should
hope and wait quietly
For the salvation of the Lord."

Lamentations 3:22-26