Friday, October 31, 2008

My Incredible Angels

Here are a few pictures of the kids from Halloween. We are not big into celebrating it but I love for the children to dress up and we do take them out for a little treating. I thought they chose perfect costumes for their personalities! Bennett was "Dash" from the Incredibles- one of his favorite movies! Which is so appropriate as he has been blessed with his Fathers' incredible athletic ability. The child is fast ya'll. Bella Grace wanted to be a pink angel. If you knew her you would laugh. Because this is so her personality. She is very pink and fluffy and girly and has such an angelic disposition and a really sweet spirit. I don't know if there are pink angels in Heaven- but I know there is one on earth and her name is Bella Grace! Emma Pearl was a ballerina- maybe we should have put her in a 70's disco costume! She is constantly dancing and singing and just loves music! She exudes joy! Ashton was a little puppy...he was absolutely precious in his costume! 
This is a photo of the kids waiting very impatiently to go treating for candy. I wanted to get a picture of the four of them first! Emma Pearl's expression says it all ......
What a hunk!
My pink girls!
Me with my incredible angels....

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


I have been blessed. My children are my world. They complete me. They teach me. They inspire me and they bless me.  Last night my fifth gift turned two months old. My heart aches that two months have passed us by, but at the same time, I have cherished each day and it is forever impressed upon my heart. Each moment- both wonderful and exhausting has been embraced.
I will take it. The beautiful and the difficult. It's mine. I consider it an honor to be their Mother. I am humbled when I think about what I have been entrusted with.  I can't do it without Him though. I have to have His help. When I pray, I ask for the anointing of Motherhood to be poured out upon me. I ask for the anointing of love to fall like rain upon our household. That joy and gladness be my portion and that for every year that the enemy stole from me in years past, that my Heavenly Father give a double recompense to me in return. I have been fortunate that He has been faithful to restore my life in very special ways. When I have had the beautiful opportunity to speak to women's groups and conferences I share about my life- glory to Your name Lord. I share about a girl who was called to be a Mother at the age of 18 years old and the untold adversity that came with it. I share about a girl who dreamed about being a Mother
and having a family of her own one day. Many years would pass before that dream would become a reality. This life I call my own has not come without a price. There is a price to pay when you want to lead others to Him and when you want to give Him the glory. And I do.
So many times people have commented about how I love Motherhood and raising this family
and so on and I wish I had the time to sit them down and give the readers digest version of my life. There was a day when I didn't want to live. A time in my life that was so dark and so full of despair- I don't even want to remember it. But I do. I remember it so that I will appreciate now-here- today- even more. I remember when the enemy tried to steal my life and when I look at these beautiful children, I know now why. He knew what I didn't know. He knew that despite all I had been through and how awful of a person I thought I was, that God had a destiny for me. That He had a purpose and a plan for me. I feel a heavy burden on a daily basis to let others know that He has a purpose and a plan for them as well. If you knew my story,
I'm sure you would understand why I cup the faces of my children in the palm of my hands. Or why I let them sit in my lap for hours -even when they are eighteen years old. Or why I speak life over them every second I get. Why I let the laundry pile up and instead I color, paint and build things. When I get in a hurry, or become discouraged, or frustrated, I am gently reminded about how I almost lost this gift called life and so I hold, cuddle and kiss them. I bake and cook and let them put the love in. I write and journal and capture every beautiful moment by putting pen to paper and thanking Him. Oh yes, I thank Him every second I can. I praise Him for what He has done in my life. For what he brought me out of,  and for what He brought me to. If you think about it today, thank Him. No matter what your circumstances or your situation. Offer up a sacrifice of praise. I pray that you will. And while you are praising Him and thanking Him in spite of any and all adversity I pray that the One who created you and your beautiful life reaches down and cups your face in the palm of His hands.......

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Pumpkinseed Hill

This weekend we enjoyed beautiful and warm fall weather again and took the kids to another pumpkin festival! Our nice days are numbered here in the northeast and so we have been trying to get everyone outside as much as possible as I'm sure that the snow will be here soon! A big thank you to our friends - the Stouts - for sharing about this wonderful place! It was breathtaking! My children had a wonderful time and didn't seem to mind being covered in dirt from head to toe!
Everyone ran, jumped and played for hours. They rode around in a wheelbarrow, had their faces painted, went through a corn maze, sang and danced to the live music and enjoyed apple cider and pumpkin cookies! Bella Grace dressed herself in a tutu- for a day on the farm. This is why we have affectionately called her "Lovey Howell" for years. She is all girl. Please note the pink patent leather shoes
and cream leggings covered in farm dirt. Love it. 
Tired Babies!
Tired Mama!
This is me using me keen negotiating skills with the children explaining why we have to leave! 
This is pretty much what I look like on a daily basis with four little ones! I'm tired but I love it!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Fall With Five

10. 11 . 08
Here are a few pictures from a wonderful orchard we like to visit several times a year. We were here a few weeks ago but didn't take any pictures. This time I brought the camera but they had a sign up that stated that "picking season" was over! Try explaining that to a five year old and a three year old! The children had a good time anyway climbing on all of the hay bales and pumpkins and selecting their own apples and cider from the little store. Bennett was not feeling well and we ended up heading home after a very short visit. Little did we know he would be admitted into the hospital later on this same day.
10 . 18 . 08
She's home! My first gift flew in this weekend for her high school homecoming and we were beyond excited to see her! Everyone was recovering and feeling much better and the weather was just gorgeous! So we spent a lot of the weekend outdoors enjoying the fresh air and sunshine! This is the annual pumpkin patch festival here in our town.
10 . 18 . 08
After the pumpkin patch festival we went for a drive to a nearby town for another outdoor festival and enjoyed the incredible New England scenery and an afternoon of jumping in the leaves! 
10 . 19 . 08
A day at our favorite market! Bella Grace insisted on sitting in the box of baby pumpkins! I just love how she holds things in her tiny hands. She is so dainty and delicate!
10 . 20 . 08
The kids love to bob for apples every year! I laughed so hard I cried! This was hands down the best part of our weekend. They bobbed for apples, carved a pumpkin and roasted the seeds. I miss my Macey Girl already! She won't be home again until Christmas. So we packed it in this weekend while she was here. I also took the Christmas card photos- which are so hilarious they deserve their own post. Coming soon!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

My Boys

Oh my goodness. We are on the mend. I am barely standing. But I am standing. I cannot begin to describe the absolute fear that struck our hearts with having our two sons in the hospital one right after the other and two daughters at home sick as well. I cannot begin to describe the prayers of desperation that I cried out into the heavens. This attack of sickness that swept through our family almost brought the house down. I have never experienced anything like this before and I pray I never have to experience it again. Four days in the hospital then coming home to antibiotics twice a day to four children. Breathing treatments every four hours for two children, nursing every two hours and bottle feeding because I couldn't keep up. School, naps, meals, laundry, housework and so on. I have no explanation for how we survived it all except by His grace. Thank you to Nana who took off from work and flew up here at the last minute to stay with her grand babies for two days while we were still at the hospital. It helped so much and we are so grateful to you Mom. Thank you to each and every one of you for your prayers and concern. I am beyond thankful. I have read every comment over and over again and it has served as great encouragement to me these last couple of weeks. Thanks to many, many prayers my family is recovering and the children were able to get out this past weekend and enjoy some beautiful fall activities. I will share more later in the week. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

By His Grace

Just wanted to ask for your continued prayers for my little ones. They are all four hopefully on the mend but we have had QUITE a weekend! Thank you to Granny Smith Green and A Journey To Our Daughter for their precious prayer requests posts~ you two are incredible. Thank you for being such wonderful friends to me! A huge thank you and big hug to all of you for your heartfelt prayers, sweet comments and well wishes. I am beyond grateful.  My son Bennett was hospitalized this past Saturday with pneumonia. It came on suddenly and without any warning! Once he was doing better and was discharged from the hospital- we were home maybe several hours and I noticed that Ashton felt like he had a fever. Sure enough he did. 100.5. After speaking to the Dr. we rushed right back to the hospital where they proceeded to do everything under the sun- including a spinal tap on my precious newborn baby. He had to be admitted- for a min. of 48 hours. Sweet Jesus. I felt so helpless. I cried and I prayed. Please Lord. Please. That was all I could say through hours and hours of tears.We called my Mom and she was able to fly in to help as I do not have a baby sitter or any child care. In the midst of all of this- I noticed that Bella Grace seemed to be getting the same symptoms and Emma Pearl had a runny nose. Yes. That is correct! After a visit to the pediatricians office we were told that Bella had the start of pneumonia and an ear infection. They went ahead and started baby Pearl on the same medicine just to be on the safe side. Ashton was discharged yesterday- thank you Lord.  I am now at home with my four pumpkins and four bottles of Amoxicillin- make that five-Mommy is also sick.
Thank you for your continued prayers for our family! I will keep you updated.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

photo credit: Martha Stewart
Almost on cue the leaves have changed colors and started falling today. Everyone has pumpkins on their doorsteps and the stores are filled with displays of canned pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg and apple crisp mixes. I adore this time of year. I heart fall.  This time of year is just a feast for the senses. I love the scents of this season the most and try to create a seasonal atmosphere inside as well as outside our home. I love to have a little something special baking in the oven! Like this for example! One of my all time favorite recipes from my good friend Kellie. I wanted to share this incredible recipe and hope you all enjoy every delicious bite!
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
1 and 2/3 cup of all purpose flour
1 cup of sugar
1 tablespoon of pumpkin spice
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of baking powder
mix all of the above into one bowl
2 large eggs
1 cup of plain pumpkin (Libby's)
1/2 cup of melted butter
1 cup of milk chocolate chips
mix this part into another bowl
Then mix both bowls together and spoon into muffin pan.
Bake on 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
 Makes one dozen of the most delicious muffins you have ever tried!
Happy October!