My sister, couple of friends, and I started a blog called Not I But Christ. Hop on over if you haven't already seen it!
We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.
- Hebrews 6:19
"MOM, I have a grape in my shoe!"
These words are the exact quote from one of my daughters.
It was a Sunday morning, and the baby was only 1 week old when these desperate words rang from my teen daughter's mouth.
She was frantically trying to get out of the house to make church in time. As she reached to get her shoes out of the hall closet, and put her foot in her shoe, there was THE GRAPE!! In her shoe!
How did a GRAPE get in her shoe? I don't know, yet I think it perfectly epitomizes my life these last 10 weeks since our new bundle came into our home.
This baby is not one of those happy camper babies that you see cooing on television.
No, this is an incredibly needy bundle of joy, who needs to be cuddled and held more than the my other babies ever did.
Now, my heart on the other hand, has been struggling. I am going to be honest. We live a normal non perfect-non-Pinterest sort of life. How can a person have it all together with TEN KIDS?? Yet, I've been asked, how do you keep it all together? You must be super mom!
If they only knew! I'm not! I'm a postpartum mom with 10 children who has felt like she was going crazy these last 10 weeks.
And YES, the children help, but the reality is that breakfast, lunch, and supper continue; washing 10,000 dirty dishes by hand because the dishwasher broke continues; the noise of piano practice for 4 children continues; Soccer practice continues; church demand continues; homeschooling 7 children with 2 babies in tow and one who cries if she's not being held continues...
My Big Fat Post About Bunk beds, Dressers, Wall Decorations, and Anything Else That has Anything to do with Fall.
When I say Big Fat Post, I do mean it even though I really should be either folding the numerous piles of laundry, writing that research paper, studying for my geometry test tomorrow, or all three. But I keep procrastinating. Because technically, the research paper isn't due for three weeks, the five loads to fold will be folded eventually (probably tomorrow...maybe), and I don't really need to study for my geometry test. Though I probably should.
So, moving on. As a humongously large answer to prayer, we finally got our bunk beds!!!!!!!! God gave us the money to purchase the beds through 2 anonymous givers!
Ever since Amarisa was born, we three oldest girls have been sleeping on mattresses on the tile floor. Which wasn't really that bad, except for the combined facts that a) we live in a basement, b) its cold outside, c) we live in the country. This means that bugs really, really, really like our house. And when you're on the floor, they like your bed.
My sisters and I have a lot of stories about these bugs. One night, around 10:30, 11:00ish, I felt this something on my leg. I really didn't think about it until it started moving. I really don't mind bugs. Actually I'm more the person who, instead of killing the poor things, I take them outside. (And let them freeze to death, but that's beside the point.) But when there is a very large cricket crawling up your leg in the dark of night, I don't like them.
Also there is (Did I say is? I meant was.) this spider above my desk that must be learning how to fly or something because it keeps dropping from the ceiling. The first time, it fell on my head, but I didn't catch it fast enough to squash him. The second time, I found him and killed him. ;)
Melody said I screamed, but I don't scream. I just said loudly that I was almost 100% positive about a bug that was crawling on me. And then of course we had to take a picture of it to prove to all our friends that it actually happened. We like to take pictures of bugs and show them to everyone.
But enough about bugs! Our bunk beds came on Wednesday, and Dad put them together on Thursday.
After we finished putting the beds together, we wanted to decorate a little without spending any money at all. So my mom found out how to add chevron stripes to our already existing dressers.
After we did all that, we went to Hobby Lobby to see if we could find anything on sale that fit our budget. Not that we actually had a budget or anything:). After searching the entire store for over two hours, we had only found one thing that all four of us agreed on: a gray, chevron, cute little owl with red eyes. We also saw something else there. It was a big sign made of wood that had a heart and the word love stenciled on it.
Autumn really liked it, but I didn't and it cost like, $100!! There was a 50% off discount, but still, that's a lot of money. So, we left without it. We just so happened to have a pallet in the back yard my mom had saved and we used our amazing brains and went to work. ;)
After all that hard work, we found out why those things cost so much money:). Anyway, that's all for now! Oh wait, I found a picture of Amarisa. Last one:)
From conception to Birth
Introducing: Amarisa Hope De Leon, our newest edition to the De Leon clan.
Every child is a miracle from God, but this precious little one is a miracle to us.
This precious one was a surprise. With my husband being on certain medications, we knew it was unwise to conceive.
Yet, on January 12, 2014 I found out that I was expecting another baby. Although this little one was a surprise to us, she definitely was not to God. I was excited, afraid, overwhelmed, and not sure what the Lord was doing.
I wrote out my feelings in my diary.
January 19, 2014
Dear unborn little one,
It's been one week since I found out I was expecting you. I wanted to share you with someone so I told daddy (of course) and your oldest sister... She was thrilled.
I was at Walmart. You know those bins in the isles that sell little odds and end? Well, Walmart was selling dye free liquid Benydryl in those bins for 88 cents. I put one in my cart... It was a great deal. My eyes fell on the little pregnancy test in the bin.
Now, I had no idea you were starting to grow in my tummy. I bought that little test, but I really had no idea why.
After returning home and putting everything away, I took that test... I'm still in awe.
The little line showed up that you were here.
You see little one, I am 41. You are my 11th child.
Many people might frown on me being pregnant. No one will say it out loud, but I'm sure they will think it.
Not because of you dear child, but out of concern for my health. I get that too.
This is Sunday January 19th. I heard that today is unborn awareness month.
Well, I am very aware of you. I'm thankful for you. I want you to know that you ARE wanted and I'm already in love with you. But most of all God is aware of you.
“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them,the days that were formed for me,when as yet there was none of them.
God already knows what you look like and how you will be formed. This a great comfort to this tired mama, because i know no matter what God made you special and unique…no one else is like you.
“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”
The older I get, the more aware I am of the miracle of conception and birth. How much has to work perfectly to form a created being that nine months from now will enter this world.
You were conceived out of two people who love each other very much and a mommy who happens to be very fertile.
It's to early to know if God lets me keep you near my heart or if He want you close to His.
Either way, you are loved.
There are more little letters written to our little miracle baby. Maybe I'll share those some day.
My last baby was born via c-section because she was a breech baby that refused to turn.
As much as possible, this baby I wanted to have naturally. After discussing my pregnancy with the OBGYN that delivered my other 5 babies, I realized that I had to find a new doctor and hospital...one that would allow me to try a V-bac. My doctor would have loved to deliver this little one, but the local hospital is not insured for a V-BAC.
Through much searching I found 4 CNM's that practice at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center that would allow me to try a V-BAC.
That brings us to our Blessing Day!
On September 5th I was not feeling well. I thought I had a touch of the flu.
After 9 pregnancies, one would think that by now I would know the signs of labor, but no...I thought I was sick.
By noon, I had made myself very familiar with our green bathroom. I started having contractions every 30 min sometimes 15, and 10. They did not really hurt, I still thought I was just tired and did not even think that this was THE DAY. By 3:30pm, I realized that I had better call my husband because maybe this was THE DAY and he should have a heads up. :)
I emailed by babysitter to alert her of the possibility of us going to the hospital.
We had decided months ago that I was going to allow my three older girls to watch the birth. I told them they were to be seen and NOT heard. They were already packed and ready to go. I started gathering my things together still not really believing this was "for real".
All the sudden at 4:00pm, labor really started with contractions 5-7 min apart...but not hurting much. We left for the hospital at 5:00.
By the time all 5 of us got in the car and started the 90 minute drive to Columbus, the contractions were harder and 2-3 min apart so Michael was going 90mph at some points. The cool thing is someone took our car to fix it and we had their car. IT WAS A NICE CAR!!! BUT Michael did NOT want to have this baby in their car. :) He was remembering the time our number 6 baby WAS born in the van in front of the hospital.
When we got to the hospital I was 5cm dilated and 60% effaced, the babies head was not right on the cervix but was actually a little crooked. I labored very slowly.
I had prayed that this labor would be fast, quick, and safe. I was not looking forward to labor...who ever is? But I kept picturing in my mind the tiny newborn prize at the end.
For the next 7 hours the contractions stayed 4-5 min apart. God did not answer my prayer for a quick delivery, but he did give me Grace for a easy delivery.
Even though the contractions were 4-5 min apart, they were not excruciatingly painful. In fact, I could talk and walk through them. However, I also knew that until I was dying in pain, this baby would NOT be born. But in the meantime, I had rest between them.
At 8:00pm, I was only dilated to 7. I think that without my dear husband, I would have given up by this point. (like that is possible) I am so grateful for his love and devotion...
Having a midwife in the hospital has the advantage of having her the entire labor process. If fact, I truly believe that I would have labored longer and ended up with a c-section if she had not been with me.
Until the babies head was on my cervix straight, she was not going to be born. Because of this, my midwife had me labor in various positions to turn baby around.
In the meantime, the girls were taking selfies trying to pass the time QUIETLY! :) Melody was quietly reading.
Finally at midnight, she was in the perfect position and the contractions suddenly became horrible. (Which was good). As I hit transition, and had that "I can't do this anymore" moment, the midwife had me roll onto my side.
Two contractions and one LARGE push later, our 11th baby was born Earth side at 1:18am Saturday morning.
The next three pictures are of the big girls. This was Saturday about 4:30am. Amarisa had been born at 1:18am. They had been up all night with me at Amarisa's birth and had not slept yet.
After a 24 hour stay in the hospital, Amarisa and I came home to a houseful of excitement. I am enjoying every tiny part of her! Praise the Lord for all His gifts!
Today was Mercy's seventh birthday!! I will put pictures up from that later on because I don't have any at the moment:) (I never do anyway:) And the pictures I have now I spent hours, literally, getting them from random people.)
And, as the header picture says above, there was a baby due in September!!! And it is September. So, as I'm pretty sure everybody knows by now, Amarisa Hope DeLeon was born on Saturday, September 6, 2014.
(I would like to put on record a miracle here that the picture loaded super fast. Like, I could actually see the line moving!! Trust me, I will take full advantage of that:))
She was born at 1:18am and weighed 6lbs 11oz and was 19 inches long. So she's pretty tiny. Personally, in that picture I think she looks like Stephen, but that's just my opinion;)
I have just received word that I have to go to bed seeing that it's past 10:00 and we have school tomorrow (yes we started school; more on that later) so I'll just add these pictures and talk later. Bye!
And we're back!!! Actually we got back on Saturday. For vacation this year, we went to the Akron Home School Convention. Dad, Josh, and Mom all worked there for Bob Jones. And Autumn subbed in when Mom got too tired since you're up all day long. All those 18 and down got a children's badge with a cool little "Exhibitor" sign on it so we could walk around by ourselves and go to pretty much into any session and not get kicked out.
After the convention, which lasted from Friday to Saturday, we headed up to Michigan to our uncle's house. Which would be my mom's brother Scott. We went to their church on Sunday and left after to go to the cabin.
The Cabin (technically called Shady Green Pastures, but The Cabin to us) is nice vacation spot for large families or small families or who ever. Its free to Pastors and their families. It has one large cabin with two bedrooms upstairs and another one downstairs with a large living room, two bathrooms, and a kitchen. Over the years, we've been able to squish six kids, seven, eight, even nine kids into these three bedrooms and sometimes the living room. But now that we've gotten older and can't put two kids in a twin bed or a couple in pack-n-plays(or how ever you spell that) And we even have one more on the way, there's just no way that will work.
Soooo, (I do realize this has been a lot of words and no pictures, but I don't have any of those at the moment and I promise to put some soon..ish.) So anyway they have these little cabins on the other side of the lake and we got the biggest one to put all five of the girls, minus Charity, into. We spent a week at the Cabin, swimming everyday rain or shine. And we got back on Saturday.
If we don't say anything for the next couple weeks its because of the busy things we are doing. We have the Fourth of July on friday, our teens from church are doing a car wash on saturday to raise money for camp, the next week we have the Fireman's Festival. And two days later we leave for camp during which is my birthday! Anyway that's all for right now until I get some pictures gathered from other peoples phones.
First of all, let me say that I planned on writing numerous times during the past three or so months. In fact, I started writing, but never got around to actually posting it. Autumn offered to write, but its been like two months and she still hasn't said anything. Soooo, here I am. This won't be too long because Autumn wants me to do something and I have like three Biology quizzes and an Algebra test to study for. So enjoy;) (Also the internet isn't working so there may or may not be a lot.:))
So mom is officially 25 weeks (I think). And for those who don't already know, the baby is a.....................well, let's just say that the girls waaay outnumber the boys:)
As for birthdays, I think we've had at least three in our absence. Melody turned 16, Stephen turned 11, and Joshua turned 19 (sadly, I only have a Stephen pic because 1. I don't have the others pictures, and 2. If I did I'd have to take the time to look through all 10,000 of them and choose which one to put in and that would take a long time and 3. our internet is very slow) (I just now realized that saying the internet is slow is kinda like my go-to-excuse;))
Bubbles because our parents weren't home so we made homemade bubbles and used our hands. Cause we're awesome like that ;) Just kidding.:)))
Finally, or semi-finally, balloons. On Saturday we went to a balloon festival thing. It was really cool and we got to watch tons of balloons going up.
We also had the Fine Arts/Graduation which was tons of fun and we spent most of the past year preparing for. But that's for another day because I have to go study for like three Biology quizzes and a Algebra test:)
Thank you for being so smart, so beautiful, so wise and so talented. It's nice to know that I have the potential somewhere in my genetics to possibly one day be as special as you.