Sep 28, 2011

Welcome to Holland...

I've been wanting to share this poem for a while. So here it is... Take it for what it's worth. I have a few posts in the works to catch up to the birth me...I want it written so bad. It's just hard to find the time to put into writing it all down. A lot of it is written down. A lot of it, I wish I had the chance to write down..nonetheless. God has blessed me, and I will find time when I can to do and say what I can. Right now, we are all sick... please pray of us to feel better soon. Enjoy the poem....

Welcome To Holland
Emily Perl Kingsley

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel.  It's like this......

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy.  You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum.  The Michelangelo David.  The gondolas in Venice.  You may learn some handy phrases in Italian.  It's all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives.  You pack your bags and off you go.  Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."

"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy!  I'm supposed to be in Italy.  All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."

But there's been a change in the flight plan.  They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease.  It's just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language.  And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It’s just a different place.  It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy.  But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips.  Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there.  And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever  go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.

But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland.

Keep Looking Up!

Sep 26, 2011

180 Movie...A MUST SEE!

Hey Friends,

Most of you who know me well know my thoughts on abortion...

You know I am passionately against killing babies! There are many who will argue what abortion actually is...there are many who know what is is but choose to be "pro-choice" saying that it's up to the mother to decide. Yet if you decided it was ok for a mother to "decide" to kill her 2 month old baby it would be wrong. Skewed logic...

This movie deals with the main issue, and cuts right to the heart...causing many to go from "pro-choice" to "pro-life" in minutes! It is awesome, to watch people faced with the facts, and truths of what abortion really is and see how they don't have anything to refute it, there really is no excuse.

This movie is a must see for all, no matter what you call yourself, no matter what you believe, if you think "I'm against abortion already, I don't need to watch" Watch it, Share it on all social media outlets, spread the word... there are many who need to see this, and we need to share it.

Thankyou for taking the time to watch, it is 33 minutes well spent!

And also pray for Joey and his street-preaching buddies as they get copies of this out to as many people as they can. May God bless this movie, and the ministry that created it.

Go here: 

I will share more thoughts on this subject in future, and would also like to share an awesome sermon preached by my awesome hubby recently on the topic. Unfortunately it's not up on the church website yet. When it is available I will share it. :)

Keep Looking Up!

Sep 16, 2011

Thoughts on Children

So, I've had this post on my heart for a while...but have just not gotten around to writing it. It's a tough one.
But here goes, gonna bite the bullet, and go for it.

My thoughts on children over the past few years have varied. I will explain why.

As a child, I knew I wanted to have my own kids one day. I always loved children, I loved helping other's children, babysitting as I got older, working in the church nursery, children's church. As I got older I began teaching classes at church, and ended up nannying as well.

I worked in a daycare, but as much as I loved the kids, I was doing a ton of work, always exhausted, and it was all I did, go to work, I tried to study after work, and I was tired, I could hardly get up early to work out or study... I ended up working out on my lunch breaks...but I also started to rely on red bull a lot. haha I was Zapped.

I then spoke to someone who suggested nannying. I had kind of done it before but it was more casual and not as much of a job as a helping out thing.

So I started looking, at the same time as I was winding down in my job at the daycare, Joey and I started courting. We both Loved kids. He loved when I'd come meet him after work, little fingerprints on my clothes, haha I was gonna wash them anyway right!

So I ended up Nannying for a wonderful family with 3 children. The kids were 1, 4, and 7. Sigh...they are now MUCH time has flown. (love you guys) And they have a younger brother.

But beside that. Joey and I both agreed about kids right from the beginning. I had always said I wanted at least 4. I was one of two children growing up. Plus my sis and I are 6 years apart. So I always said I didn't want to have an only child, but I didn't want to just have two, cos I wished I had more siblings, and I didn't want 3 cos of the middle child thing. So four it was...nice and even.

Joey agreed at least 4 was food.

We had planned everything out so that I would eventually be able to stay home with our children, and decided that since I could take kyah with me to nanny, that it would be ok to still do that for a while. It didn't work out that I stayed, but that was ok for us, because I was able to stay with Kyah right from when she was born, and now she gets to see those children at times, and play. One summer I had their new brother for a while. It's nice to have such great friends in that family. I was truly blessed to find them.

So, you know how the story goes..first comes Kyah, then comes Savannah...and then of course, Miss Ava.
When Ava was born all hopes of having more children were dashed. During my pregnancy, joey mentioned possibly being done having kids. I already get extremely sick, plus it was just harder on me with Ava. We agreed that we'd at least wait a few years and see.

So when Ava was born, and I was injured. I remember automatically assuming in my mind, "I can't have any more children" and all at the same time I tried to "suck it up" and be content with what I have. i really do have a lot. At that point we had been through a lot, but it was only scratching the surface of what was to come...

I battled constantly being content, at how blessed I am, and being discouraged at "what might have been" it's hard!

At one point in the hospital one of the Dr's shared with me, that if I wanted to have any more children I would have to have a C-section. This was great news to me, as I had assumed I wouldn't be able to have any at all. She also said there would be risks, I would be considered high risk from now on, and I would have to be monitored closely, and most likely put on bed rest as soon as the baby got to a certain weight, as I could risk re-injury.

With all this new information under our belts, and the constant assault of new things good, bad, crazy coming at us. we decided we weren't going to be worrying about any decisions on more children just yet. There were much more important things to worry about.

Roughly two months after Ava was born and she was finally out of the hospital, we went to see the geneticist. That was fun! (insert sarcasm here) That guy was weird. He basically explained to us how down syndrome occurs, yada yada yada...but then he went on to ask if we were planning on having any more children. We shared that we were unsure at that point but if we did it would not be any time soon. (he could see, I was in the wheelchair, that I had a lot more to worry about then having another baby)

What he explained next was quite disturbing to us. He listed our "options". He told us that if we did decide to have another child that we could do certain things to ensure we wouldn't have another child without down syndrome, he explained about testing that can be done, because some people chose to eliminate because they just don't think they could handle two children with down syndrome and explained to us the odds of having another. he also told us about artificial conception where they fertilize "said amount" of eggs and check them all to make sure they don't have down syndrome and only then implant one. To us this was absolutely absurd. We don't want to "weed out" living children! They may look like eggs to you buddy, but if you fertilize them, those are our kids!!! The only good doing that would do would mean we'd have however many kids were implanted, and we'd know if they had down syndrome or not. Can you imagine...WHY would we want to do that.

I struggled for so long...I still do at times. I think the reason this post has been so long in coming is that I struggled so much with it. I wanted to share, to show the hard parts, but sometimes it's just too hard to write.

Every single day...for months...I thought on this, back and forth.

What if we can't have any more children? I need to be content with what I have, if I don't have any more, I am blessed with the girls I have. We could always adopt. I long for a boy. I should be happy with my girls. We could always adopt a boy or boys in a few years, I would LOVE to adopt twin boys, as I've always wanted twins. Then even if the girls are older the boys will have each other. What if I did get pregnant? I would HAVE to have a c-section, but that might not be so bad, I would end up on bed rest for about 6-8 months, but if we were prepared for it, and if it was in a  few years when maybe joey is doing ministry and not a secular job, he could do his staying at home etc. What about the risk of having another child with down syndrome? Should I even be worried about that, I should trust God. I get so sick when I'm pregnant, wouldn't it be irresponsible and stupid to have another child after all this. I really long for more children. What about Ava? would it be fair to her to have more kids, we don't know how much she will need, maybe it would be selfish of us to have another child or more children if she needs a lot...

These are the thoughts I struggled with EVERY day! It didn't help that one minute I was set, and saying I am perfectly content with all I have, I need to be thankful for my three girls, this is God's way of saying you need to be done. I should do something permanent so I can't have more kids. Then the next minute being absolutely torn apart over the thought of taking away the ability to have kids, even if I never have anymore. it just breaks my tea to even think of doing it. Joey kept saying we will wait a year and see what we think then, which to me sounded exactly like this. "we'll wait a year and then decide, cos you should be better then" but really what he was saying was let's wait a while, and see, we can't make this call now. I struggled with telling myself i didn't want to be done, but then feeling defensive with Joey when he made it sound like I'd be better in a snap and then I'd be ok to have more kids. Wanting to do something so it was not possible. A year sounded like so little time. That's how long they said it could take to recover. I was extremely sensitive to this topic, but so was Joey. He did not want to hear "we're done having kids" any more than I did. SO when I was having my "I'm content" moments, He felt the pressure of having to be done. But when I was unsure it sounded like I had a short time frame to make up my mind, and whether i was better or not it didn't matter...

Oh boy. We finally, many times. haha (we had to re-iterate quite a few times, for reassurance) decided for now we are DONE. That doesn't mean we will never have any more kids, it just means for now, we are done. In a year or two or three we will see how I am doing physically and go from there. At some point in the next few years we can decide if we think it is best to have another child, or maybe we will decide to adopt. We will see how Ava is doing, what her needs are. For now...the pressure is off.

I find such a sweet comfort in adoption. I have always wanted to adopt, Joey and I even talked about it while I was pregnant with Ava, suggesting that we wait a while and then adopt and then have another child, so that My body would have a longer break. So God wash already laying it on our hearts. This is one of those things, that gives me hope, and comfort, I can see how God worked things into our thoughts, before we even realized the impact they would have. Even before we had any children we agreed that it would be wonderful to adopt. There are so many children out there, needing a loving home to go in to.

Not to mention the Biblical picture there. What more tangible way to show Christ's love than to take in a child that is not your own, love it and raise it as your own...This is what we see in scripture. This is what extreme love was shown to us. I have been adopted into God's family. I think it would be awesome for our other children to see the Biblical picture in it all! (although we try to provide biblical perspective to absolutely everything we do in life)

I used to cringe at the questions, or thoughts of more children. I still have a little trouble when I hear of a new pregnancy. This does not make me any less happy for the person that is being blessed with a life. Maybe it's a little selfish, and I always remind myself that I already have three precious children. Don't get me wrong I am SO thankful for all I have. I am just sharing a very real struggle in my life.  It's hard to see or hear things and automatically think "I won't be able to do that anymore, or feel that, or experience that" It wold be one thing to be ready for it. To have prepared for it. Thankfully I seemed to spend extra time enjoying the little things with Ava. I recorded videos of my tummy doing "waves" as she pushed and stretched my skin, I spent more time just feeling her movements, taking it all in. I even recall thinking at times, I need to enjoy every little bit cos it goes so fast, and I never know what could happen. Some things I soaked in as if it were my last pregnancy. Having thoughts like 30 weeks pregnant I may not get to know what this is like again, once it's gone it's gone. or just laying there while I had contractions all the time and thinking as much as I want you OUT cos of these contractions...I just want to keep you in as long as I can, keep you safe, enjoy every minute, once you're here, I will miss this feeling of you moving, kicking, hiccuping...

So, you might think we're crazy for even considering having any more children at all EVER, even if it is in a few years. Or you may think, what's the big deal, it's just a c-section. (and bed rest, and hyperemesis, and looking after 3 kids already) haha... whatever your feelings are, just know there has been much struggle for me with these thoughts. I have always had a big heart for children. Those that know us well, know that 4 is a small number for us. We changed from originally saying at least four to, 4-6. to 4 or more... haha, Joey once saw a family picture that he loved and the family had 8 children, he joked (half joked half serious that we should have 8 kids now)

So if you know us well you know that it has been a hard thing, amongst all the other hard stuff.

I feel more at peace now then I used to, I still think about these things often, but there's not as much sting to it, and I don't think about it multiple times a day.

There is still a sting when I think about not being pregnant ever again, even though I know how crazy sick I get, but still I love growing babies. :D and growing our family.

Whether I ever get to "grow a baby" again...whether we adopt, whether we ever get to be blessed with a Luke...or not...we are blessed! God has done so many miracles in our lives...and we are truly thankful, grateful and blessed. God is good.

These are just my thoughts on children...

Keep Looking Up!

Sep 12, 2011


It was September 12th for me...when I first heard the devastating news of 9/11. (we lived in Sydney Australia at the time)

I was 15 years old, and sick with a cold, I had been home from school for a couple days.

I was lying in bed that morning not feeling well, when my little sister rushed into my room saying, "mum said you have to come see the news, It's the worst thing since Pearl Harbor!!"

I flung my sheets back and jumped out of bed, but I paused for a second, staring at the Pearl Harbor movie poster that hung on the back of my bedroom door...I wondered how my world was about to change.

I walked into the living room to see images of the twin towers burning, My mum explained to me what had happened, and I went and got my blanket from my bed and lay on the couch. I remember thinking, I'm glad it was at night, at least there was probably nobody there. Then the time difference hit me, and churned my stomach as I realized it happened at one of the worst possible times it could have.

My mum and sister left, and I cannot tell you where my dad was, I'm pretty sure he was already at work in the city.

I sat there dumbfounded watching the news, I watched some things played over and over, I had a horrible gut-wrenching feeling, and kept putting myself in those people's place. I felt for the people that were stuck and could't imagine that feeling of hopelessness. I watched as people jumped, or fell...

I then called my mum, and told her how horrible it was, there were people jumping and falling, it was SO sad. She told me I needed to stop watching, she said it wasn't good for me to keep watching, it was too upsetting for me.

So I went and turned off the tv, went to lay in my bed, only to instantly get back up and turn on the tv.  I had to know what was going on...

I closed my eyes and prayed my heart out, so many times that day. I cried, I sobbed, my heart ached for all those people, those who lost their lives, those family members who didn't know where there loved ones where, those who did because they had taken heart-wrenching phone calls from them before they lost them. All those lives affected and hearts torn apart...

I prayed that those that didn't know the Lord, turned to Him, I prayed that there were people sharing the gospel with them...

I don't remember a lot more about that day other than being glued to the t.v, feeling horrible already from being sick, and my mum calling me constantly telling me to eat, to rest, to turn off the tv. There was just such shock and disbelief.

Such a helpless feeling, like I should be doing something, but couldn't. Looking at rubble and debris I prayed that rescuers could get to those still alive. I worried that there were those that survived that would still lose their lives for not being found in time. Those that were their lives would be changed by what they had seen. Those that survived haunted by the memories. So many horrible things.

But at the same time, I saw the unification of a country...of our country standing beside them, of nations coming together to support the USA in their time of need.

Since that day, I moved to California. My first September 11th in the USA was spent in Wisconsin, with close family friends, that are practically family. We grew up together in Australia. I sat with my "second mum" and watched the was heart-breaking. I have not always watched the memorials. Sometimes it is just too much. I catch pictures on the internet, and clips here and there.

I met my wonderful husband since that day...we have now been married for FIVE years...
We have three beautiful children, the first of which I had a big labor scare on sept 11th 2007. But she waited til the 22nd.

This past year, we have endured great trial in our lives.

This 10th anniversary of Sept 11th, hit hard. It is much different to remember that day, now as an American, then it was as a child in Australia. I am reminded of that day, the horrible feelings, I am reminded to pray for those that still mourn those lost that day.

But I am also reminded of all the blessings, we each live through each day. I serve a God who was there that day. He holds the world in His hands...many people will question, "Where was God on september 11th" Many will tell you He was right there. The massive devastation is should not be forgotten or belittled...yet it could have been much worse. How many people are out there today, living breathing, having children etc. thanks to someone that saved their life on that day. How many stories have you heard of people that were running late for work, missed the bus, got caught in traffic, just left the building...

I always try to look at things like that in a positive light, it is hard at times to see the little annoyances in life as positive but I remind myself, that God knows what He's doing...He could be preventing me from being in an accident down the road, from seeing something horrific, He could be shielding me, and I don't even realize.

There is so much that we don't see in our own human beings, there is so much we don't understand.

One thing I do know is many people have a greater appreciation for life now. We hug a little tighter, kiss a little longer, say, I love you, when we mean it.

Don't wait til something tragic happens to you or others, Share the gospel NOW...tell those you love, that you love them, NOW...

We are not guaranteed tomorrow...

Yesterday, Kyah came in to find me watching something on the computer about 9/11. She asked me, "what's that mommy?"
I tried to carefully explain as best I could to a four year old, what happened that day. She doesn't need to know all the details, one day she will, one day she will understand better, but I hope she never has to experience anything like it.

I simply told her, "Well, honey, ten years ago some very bad people crashed into those buildings, The picture on the screen was the twin towers burning) and lots of people were hurt, and lots of people died. But there were lots of nice people who helped out, and saved people. We should pray for all those people so they don't feel sad. We should pray for God to comfort them, and that they can know Him" She agreed with me, saying something like, "Yes mommy, that's so sad, but God can help them feel better"

May we never forget, the events of that day.

And may we protect the lives of those we love the best we can, entrust them to God. And remember the lives of those lost since then, fighting for our freedom. Those lost due to those events, illness, injuries, taking their own lives.

And Remember Every life deserves a chance. When you consider all the life lost and wish you could help, find ways you can, there are many lives taken every day in this country that have not yet been given the chance to see the light of day.  Imagine if they were all put on display all at one time for all to see...we are living through tragedies Every day! 1000's of lives lost every day... Do what you can to spread awareness...share the gospel...and let's pray that God will save many souls from this day forward.


(sorry if this post is a little jumbled, it was understandably filled with emotion and hard to write at times) God bless