Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Sukkot at Home 2015- Part 1

Our sukkas are up and we've had a great feast so far.  It certainly is different than us going away and camping with friends, but we are still trying to make the most out of it and see what HE has for us to learn.  Our week has been primarily centered on Thankfulness.  I am reading a book that talks about the author writing down 1000 things she is thankful for and how each one of those things are a gift.  The children each have a book that they have been challenged to write 1000 things in throughout this week that they are thankful for.  They thought it would be an easy task, but they're finding that it's harder than they thought.  Last night we talked about finding thankfulness in even the challenging situations or trials.  That was after we read Psalm 15.  Who does the Father want to tabernacle with?  Those who are clean and pure and want to obey Him.  How much more would He want to tabernacle with us if we are thankful for all He has given to us, both good and bad.  Every thing in life is a gift.  It just takes a little more work to see the bad things as that and what they are really doing that's good in our life.  

So, here is our first part of the week at a glance.  

 Jonathon helped the boys build the TP that was supposed to be the main sleeping quarters.  Well, the first night they all ended up under the stars because the fire was too smokey and smoked them out.  After I found a burnt hole in his pillow, that he had no idea was there, I think he decided to put up the regular tent for sleeping.  :)  The TP has provided much fun for them though,  The story of Alegra's night under the stars with the dog taking the toy Benaiah was sleeping with, and then taking her hat is quite funny though,  She wasn't impressed with his dog slobber all over it.  :)

While the children enjoyed getting the tent all set up with sleeping bags and the room divider, Jonathon played some music and just relaxed.

 And this little girl is always enjoying her little sister.  She's not "little".  She's a big sister now.  :)

Because he is such a good dad, he set up the pool we originally purchased for our birthing pool.  It was way too big, so we opted for a smaller one.  Since we still had this on hand and the day was to be lovely, Jonathon blew it up and filled it partially with water for the boys to play in.  They had an absolute ball playing and doing tricks.  All laughter from the yard after swim suits were put on.

Then it was lunch time and we wanted to get that done, so we could go over to a friends house to feed their birds while they are gone and enjoy the lake that they live on.  But after lunch, Benaiah decided that we couldn't leave until we watched his pool show.  What a show!  That boy is hilarious and dangerous and so adventurous in living life.

Off to enjoy the lake......

The book I am reading this feast season.  Getting it read is my assignment while the children work at writing down the things they are thankful for.  Every day I help Benaiah write his things down and help the children think outside the box of what they can write down.  It's harder to think about the little things or the things that really don't matter in life.  But what if they do matter?  What if being thankful for them adds an ounce of joy to my life?  Will that joy allow me to extend grace to another person?  And then I read the words on the page about it all being a gift and how His love is towards me just as my love it is towards my new daughter.  Wow, what a great comparison!

 After all the fun at the lake, we came home, and Saphi decided to continue her fishing play at home with the pool.  She caught a big rock bass as Uncle Jeff called it when he came over for a visit.  That girl has the best imagination!

We ended our day with a wonderful camp fire, making smores, enjoying watching the orange moon rise up into the clouds, the children played on hay bales in the dark with flashlights, and then Jonathon ended playing his guitar and singing a little.  What a spectacular first day of the feast!

The children all had certain things they were wanting to do while on our staycation for the feast.  Alegra wanted to ride on the pumkin vine trail.  She really wanted to take the longest ride possible, but time didn't permit that and the rain clouds blew in quickly while in Middlebury.  They rode from Shipshewana to Middlebury, where my mom, me, Saphira, and Hadassah met up with them at Dairy Queen for lunch.  On the way back, Diella and Benaiah rode with us while the other 3 busted tail to get back before getting poured on.  They did get sprinkled on, but enjoyed not having to wait for the slower ones.  

After the bikers got back to my mom's house, we went to the mercantile in Shipshe to use up some tokens that the girls found in one of my old purses.  They all enjoyed riding the carousel...especially Jonathon.  ;)

Today was another beautiful day, although the wind made it just a little chilly.  Thankful for that sun to shine to heat things up a bit.  We rounded everyone up and headed to the library to return books and get new ones.  Josiah had been asking to play tennis, so Jonathon loaded up the rackets and balls so they could play at the park next to the library.  After lots of books were found and checked out, we all walked over to the park to play and enjoy the fresh air.  Some played on the playground while the others played tennis.  I just walked around and enjoyed being outside.  

 There was a lonely apple tree that looked as though it was just left to itself.  There were some decent apples on the ground so I picked one up and tried it.  Not too bad.  The bees were enjoying them too.

The boys had a great time playing with Jonathon.  I would have loved to join in, but I don't think that's on my list of things I can do during recovery time.  :)  I might have to wait til spring now for that kind of activity.

Alegra and I enjoyed walking around and looking at other things in the park.  This carved tree was done by a good friend of ours, and we had never seen it before when visiting the park.  It caused us to miss our friends who are keeping the feast up north as a family.

We have things that we love doing during the feast but will miss doing them with those we usually hang out with.  It's great to have Jonathon home helping and making memories with us during this week, but we all do miss everyone that we so love feasting with.  Some of the children have colds, so we won't be spending time with our other friends in Elkhart either.  Enjoying this week as a family.  Thankful that we can all be together.  Thankful that we have had more food than we have room for in the frig.  Thankful that we can make memories that we'll hang onto for years to come.  Thankful that when we can keep the feast with others again, we'll appreciate it more after spending this one without our pals.   Being thankful in ALL things!

We gathered pretty leaves while at the park and I showed the children a craft that I always did every fall when I was younger.  We put leaves in between wax paper with shaved pieces of crayon, then used an iron to melt it all together.  What a beautiful pieces of art they all created.  Their masterpieces are hanging in the window for the sun to shine through.  I felt a little bit of my childhood while helping them create works of art.  It's been a great feast so far.  I have so much to be thankful for!

Having A Newborn Again

Our little Hadassah Faith is growing.  She was over her birth weight at her week check up.  I must make good milk.  :)  Alegra has had some fun taking her pictures.  All the children have enjoyed holding her.  And me, the mom, well I just can't believe I have a newborn again and really miss my sleep though I'm not lacking terribly.  What am I loving the most?  I love how when she's fussing and I hold her on my shoulder, she somehow wiggles her way so her face is snuggled right into my neck.  Last night while I was trying to get her to stop crying and go to sleep, she did just that move and sent this mom into tears at how precious it is.  Just to be close to the one she has spent the last 9 months with, she snuggles in as close as possible.  I love it!

Saphira calls her "my girl baby".  And she isn't everyone's "girl baby".  Just her's.  I'm pretty sure I worked the hardest for the title of her being "my girl baby", but it sure is cute that she refers to her that way.  She also calls her Miss Dassah Fake.  I have a feeling Hadassah is going to be just like her big sister and be just as cute.  We always have room for more cuteness around here.

This week is the Feast of Tabernacles.  We've ventured out a couple times and haven't done too bad.  She has slept mostly, so that's nice.  Our van is filled to capacity, and we rather enjoy that.  How did we get from high school sweet hearts to 6 children and 18 years of marriage?  Amazing!  I know how we got here, but that's a long story in itself.  :)  I'm just thankful that we are here, growing and living life together.  One more child to add to our brigade.  Marching onward!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Hadassah Faith's Birth and Days After

A week ago I was wandering around the house and garden, trying to pass time and get contractions going.  Here's the story of Hadassah Faith's labor and birth for all who have been waiting.  :)  

My husband so kindly harvested a bunch of things out of the garden for me when I was really done canning and freezing to store up for winter.  So, here, on September 14th, we had a porch full of pumpkins that I didn't want to go to waste.  After I had Jonathon cut them all up for me, I set out boiling, pureeing, and bagging up pumpkin for the freezer.  Contractions felt a little deeper all day long, but nothing that was causing me to think I was in labor.  Besides, our good friends who were due 6 days before us had had their baby just after noon, and you can believe I knew if I didn't get to see their new little girl that night, I would probably be missing out til I recovered after our baby was born.  So, after spending the day in the kitchen, getting 13 bags full of pumpkin puree in the freezer, me cleaned up, and a pumpkin, carrot, pineapple cake that Diella baked, frosted and ready to go with us, we headed out the door at 7:30pm to drive to Elkhart to get our visit in.  We stayed for a couple hours and headed home.  All went right to bed when we got home and about an hour later, right after I  had fallen asleep, my water broke.  "Jonathon, my water just broke", I said without moving so as not to make a bigger mess in our bed than I had already made.  He jumped out of bed so fast, half asleep, and tried to follow my instructions with a groggy mind.  After repeating my instructions to the half asleep husband, I finally made it to the bathroom, got cleaned up while he remade the bed, text the midwives, and headed back to bed to wait and sleep.  

Morning came and nothing was happening.  Why hadn't contractions started for me yet.  The clock is ticking since my water broke.  I took it easy, a midwife came and checked on me to make sure baby was fine and all seemed okay.  I needed to get around and walk while Jonathon and the children worked at filling up the birth pool and gathering the last of the supplies to have baby at home.  Saphira and I went out to the garden and cut a bunch of flowers.  She pushed her little wheel barrow and gathered the flowers from me as I cut them.  We walked around the garden cutting and then I walked around the barns to gather some more and just keep moving in the beautiful weather outside.  The others played ball in the front yard and didn't have a care in the world.  :)  

Back in the house I put together 4 quart jars of flowers to place around the birthing area.  They were filled with zinnias of various colors, sunflowers, queen annes lace, and black eyed susans.  I placed them on the mantel and then realized that contractions were starting to come.  Finally!  I had called my mom to come take the children to get ice cream in at Stroh just to give us some quiet.  Contractions were picking up but still not as consistent or strong as I wanted them to be.  We finished filling the pool, went outside and shooed a chicken back into the coop, walked around barefoot on the grass in the backyard, pet Rufus the dog, and went back inside to walk back and forth through the house.  Mom came back with children, and we decided to go upstairs for quiet and try a natural inducing method.   It worked great and contractions changed in their pain level.  Back downstairs we went, and I walked through the house trying to keep them going.  Midwives were called as the contractions were getting harder.  

Finally the pain was enough that I thought it was time to get in the pool.  All the children were present and shared in the preparation and waiting until the 2 younger ones couldn't stay awake any longer.

I watched the clock to see if things would progress like when Saphira was born.  She was born at 11:11pm.  That time came and went on the clock.  Then I watched to see if baby would be born the same time as our friend's baby only different time of day.  I kept watching the clock for specific times and those times came and went.  Finally I gave up and just said that this is taking too long, and it's time to be done.  A few changes of position in the pool and the real deal started happening.  A few things that I did during contractions to help keep things going and make it a little easier were relaxed my forehead, asked for a visual of how open I am to get, then used my hands to open up during each contraction, picturing my body doing that, breathed deep, kept a cold wash cloth close by and then eventually turned a fan on to keep cool enough, had Jonathon push on my hips during contractions to help relieve the pressure, talk through how I was feeling in between contractions, slept in between contractions, and enjoyed the sounds of life around me.

Time for baby to be birthed.....  and she was at 1:59am on September 16th, 25 hours after my water broke.
Six minutes of pushing and our little girl was born.

She didn't start breathing right away, so it took some good rub downs by the midwives and some out loud prayers from her mom, and then she started crying.  Just shows she'll do what she can to get a good massage.  :)

I always give thanks out loud to the Father for another beautiful child.  It's something that I just can't help but do when the birthing process is over.  Felt such a feeling of thankfulness for this little child.  Maybe it's because she was a total surprise to us as we were quite content with our 5 children.  Maybe it's because new life is such a miracle.  Maybe it's because I know in my heart that this child is going to be a huge blessing to those in her life in some way.  Whatever the case, my heart is beyond thankful for this new addition in our family.
Then the midwife said, "Does this baby have a name?" Jonathon responded with, "Nope, we'll have to think about it."

Chord was cut, baby was weighed (8 pounds and 4 ounces), baby was measured (20 3/4 inches) and all checked over just fine.

A perfect little bundle!

Everyone headed home and children went off to bed.  Jonathon wanted to get the pool cleaned out before children got up and thought they should play in it first thing in the morning.  While he emptied it bucket by bucket, I sat on the futon and nursed our new baby.  He kept the patio door open while he hauled buckets of water and we enjoyed the sound of an owl in the tree just outside the door.  What a lovely sound of nature to be greeted with as Jonathon cleaned out the pool and we wrapped up the night that God chose to be our birthing night.  By 5:00am we were headed to bed, ready to sleep, and so thankful it was all over with resulting in a healthy baby.

1 day old

Now for the naming of this child.  I had liked Eliza.  I kept mentioning it to Jonathon who never said too much about the name.  We went over so many names and their meanings but just couldn't settle on one that really felt right.  I sat down with a biblical names and meanings book and went through several of the letters, but couldn't find anything that really stuck out to me.  Then I thought about Queen Esther from the Bible and tried to remember what her name was in Hebrew.  I had looked it up in the earlier part of the pregnancy.  I remembered it meant Myrtle Tree, but couldn't remember what the name actually was.

We ended up settling on Eliza after tossing back and forth whether it should start with an "A" or "E".  We decided upon the "E", then took a vote with the children on the middle name.  What?  Why am I taking a vote for the naming of my child?  It all felt so wrong, and Jonathon and I neither one felt like it was what the name really was supposed to be.  After getting an equal vote on the middle names, we just sat there wondering what her name really was supposed to be.  I would look at her and try to see who she was, and I just couldn't see any name covering her.

Jonathon was looking at names on his phone.  Out of the blue he said, "Hadassah".  "YES!", I replied.  That is the name I was trying to think of in the morning.  He went on to say that it means Myrtle Tree which isn't a grand meaning.  But when I read about it earlier in the pregnancy, the myrtle flower is one of the most fragrant flowers.  That's pretty great!  As Jonathon continued to look into the myrtle tree, he found some Scriptures that talk about it.  He began reading Isaiah 55 out loud to all of us.  It talks of the blessing that certain things represent and a myrtle tree represents blessing.  More of that portion of Scripture really stuck out to us, but the chapter as a whole is really quite fitting for this child.  As he read it I couldn't help but look at her and cry as I knew I was now looking at our Hadassah.  And as Hadassah (Queen Esther) had so much faith to stand up to the king to save her people, the jews, so we desire that our Hadassah will have that same bold faith to walk in a way that HE is calling her to walk in.  And her name was given to her with tears in both of her parents eyes as we knew that HE has given her this name,
Hadassah Faith Bovee

4 days old

She is doing great and is almost a week old now.  She is sleeping good, eating good, and of course, pooping quite well.  :)  Her siblings love her dearly and her parents are amazed that we once again have a baby in the house.  I do believe my body is feeling older with this child, but I know that Yahweh will give me the strength I need to fully recover and feel normal again.  He must have thought I could handle all this again because here we go again.  I did pray that this baby would be a good sleeper so I wouldn't be lacking too much in sleep.  So far, the Father has showed us favor on that request.  He is soo good.  Even in those little things that we specifically ask for.  Now I have a baby who needs to nurse.