35 Weeks

Today, I’m 35 wks along with this sweet baby! No picture today. I had another prenatal appointment today. I lost 1/2 pound since my last appointment 2  wks ago, but my uterus grew 4 cm! That’s the way to do things! HA! I’m certain the tummy bug I had over a week ago had something to do with the weight loss. Plus, Stephen and I have started exercising again (doing a walking video a few times a week).

So, the report from the midwife today was this—the baby is already getting quite low in the pelvis (I can feel that as I mentioned in my last post), head down still. She said right now, she estimates this baby to already be about 6 pounds! And, she feels the baby is long. (Now, disclaimer is that all of this is just an estimation, not fact. Shoot, even ultrasounds are off at this point. But, experienced practitioners are typically better than ultrasounds honestly). Anyway, she did also feel like the baby was in military presentation at this time. We had that with Abriella…and that was not fun pushing with. Soooo, while I’m not really concerned as my body could probably much more easily handle a military presentation at birth now than like baby #1, I am going to do some different exercises to try to get the baby up out of the pelvis a bit and hopefully allow the little one to flex his/her head more for a better birthing position.

And, 6 pounds already! I have said for a while that I felt like this baby was bigger than my others. I told my midwife again that one of my very vivid dreams was that the baby was born at 37 wks, weighing 7-13 and 23 inches long. Ha! If the baby is 6 pounds now, that 7-13 weight very well could happen by 37 wks! (For reference, my 37 wk Abs was 6-6, my 38 wk Colbs was 7-7, and my 36 1/2 wk Rids was 6-4). Babies tend to grow about 1/2 lb to a lb a week from here on out–of course, all babies grow to their unique size.

I had my GBS screen today and also a final CBC (to check my iron levels). I’m praying for a negative GBS this time. I was negative with the 1st 2 pregnancies, but positive with Ridley, so I had IV antibiotics in labor with him—which I actually feel caused lots of issues for his immunity. In the grand scheme of things, it’s not a huge deal, but I’d love to avoid the whole thing.  I plan to do things a bit differently if I’m positive this go round.

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before, but I’ve had some different “butt” issues this pregnancy. Now, don’t stop reading for fear of grossness yet! It’s a nerve issue. I think it’s my sciatic nerve that is bothered at times this pregnancy, but it is only my right butt cheek that suffers. ha! The result is me having a very difficult and painful time walking. It tends to happen mostly at night, so at my last chiropractor appointment, she adjusted my pelvis based on that information. I have only had I think 1 or 2 nights in the last 2 weeks with that issue this time, so maybe that helped. I go to the chiro again tomorrow. This baby has also managed to find a spot that hits a right inner groin/thigh nerve that nearly brings me to my knees! It’s like a bolt of electricity right through that area! That has only started happening in the last week or so. Fun! HA!

But, on the upside, my phantom-gallbladder pain is much more rare now! In my other complete pregnancies, I was in pretty much constant pain from the late 20 weeks to delivery. Now, I realize that was my pregnant uterus pushing up on my gallstone filled gallbladder. I had pain in my upper right abdomen that radiated to the back. Didn’t know it was my gallbladder then, but hindsight, I know that’s what it was. So, I’m thankful I don’t have a gallstone filled gallbladder this time! Yippee!!

So, now, the wait for when this baby will come starts. I’m still praying for at least 37 wks (considered a term pregnancy). But, honestly, I don’t want to go all the way to September. I know, I know. It’s true though. I’m still trying to mentally prepare for that, but can’t say I’ll be pleasant if that happens. HA! I’m probably just asking for it now. :-/

Also, a neat thing this week. I had talked to a retired lady that goes to church with us about making me some baby items for our “rainbow baby.” These will be some things that we can use for pictures. I had sent her a few pictures of some items on Etsy. She said she’d love to make them! She has a small business. A few days later, she tells me she’s done. She brought them over and I gladly paid the price for them! Here are some pictures of them.  She went ahead and made a girl specific hat, which was a bonus! So sweet! So, there is a rainbow blanket (it’s long like a rainbow), a girl hat, a gender neutral hat, and then a snuggie that you can put the baby in for pictures. I thought she did amazing work!! No pattern (just a few pictures from the internet), and it was done in just a few days. Highly recommend her! She said she has been crocheting since she was 10 yrs old, so she can go really fast. Simply amazing.

10672393_469824089863913_1117484326647687819_n 11705359_469823896530599_5335462311586349951_n

So, that’s the update for now. I am praying that God brings this sweet life into our lives soon, very happy and healthy. I’m praying that I will continue to be healthy. I’m praying for the labor and delivery to be uneventful and sweet. I would ask you to pray that with us! Thank you!!

Posted in Baby #6 | Leave a comment

34+ Weeks

Today, I am 34 1/7 wks. Celebrating each week with this rainbow baby! Here’s a picture from today. I know, these “selfies” are not the highest quality pics. We are planning on getting real pictures taken tonight by our friend, Melissa.


I had an upset tummy on Sunday evening after returning from an outing with the family at the pool. Let me tell you, a little tummy bug while this pregnant…not pleasant! The cramping and all that GI disturbance left my belly quite sore and super sensitive. Not sure what set all of that off. Glad that’s better!

I get lots of braxton hicks contractions! I had plenty of them with all my other pregnancies, too. I feel like I get more with this pregnancy than I did with the others. I didn’t notice them as early this pregnancy, but they are fully going these days. The bigger the baby gets, the more uncomfortable those uterine tightenings get! Doesn’t help when your uterus is all hard and the baby is kicking in all directions at the same time! Oy! haha!

The way this one pushes down sometimes reminds me of when I was pregnant with Colby. He ended up being so low in the pelvis in the final weeks. I wonder if this one will be that way, too. We’ll see! Maybe this one will be a super speedy delivery like he was, too!

I continue to get almost daily comments on my belly—strangers (or even friends) asking when I’m due. When I tell them how long I have left, they look shocked/stunned, and then say things like “well, you look ready” or “good luck going that far” or “you’ll never get that far.” haha! Everyone has an opinion! I just say thank you. 🙂

All in all, things are still going well. We are all anxious for the baby to be here, but let’s wait just a few more weeks! We are starting to gather supplies for the birth. We are planning a home birth again, like with Ridley. The birth kit arrived today.

Another exciting thing is that one of my former midwife colleagues from Ft Hood is moving back to town–her husband is already here, and she and her son should be here early next week. She had moved away, married, and had a baby. The house they’ll be living in initially is not far from us, and I asked her to be at our delivery if it works out! I’d love to have her here as well! Lots of midwife power. 🙂

Well, that’s all for now. Thank you for continued prayers!! We are continuing to ask that God bring this baby into our lives, safe and healthy.



Posted in Baby #6 | Leave a comment

33 + wks

Today, I am 33 2/7 wks. Here is a picture of me this past Sunday, 2 days shy of 33 weeks.


I am feeling thankful. Thankful that we have a seemingly very strong baby. The movements sure would indicate such! The movements border on painful at times. This one moves in big ways.

I’ve also hit the point where my skin hurts. I have a wide numb strip just below my chest and goes down a couple of inches and is all the way across my belly. The numbness started during my pregnancy with Abriella. My only guess is that the skin stretched in such a way that it killed my nerves in that area. The area has remained numb since that pregnancy. It’s just not as bothersome when I lose weight between pregnancies. But, when I get to a certain point in pregnancy, that area just hurts/burns all the time. I don’t like clothes touching that area (impossible to avoid that if I desire to go out in public!!). It hurts more when the baby is pushing out there, which is pretty much most of the time now. It’s just one of those weird things my body did and while it is frustrating and painful, I know it’s temporary in the grand scheme of things. Just praying for perseverance in this area.

On Tuesday at my prenatal appointment, my midwife prayed over our baby that he/she would stay put for at least 4 more weeks, which would put us at 37 wks. I am praying for more like 37 1/2 wks to put us on a weekend. HA! As I’ve said before, like I have ANY control over his/her arrival. I just pray this one doesn’t come as early as Ridley. I know, he was fine, but still, I’d like a little more time for this one in the womb. Watch this one go much longer than the others. Many things have changed since my other pregnancies, so who knows. I’m ultimately praying that he/she arrives healthy and happy and that both of us are healthy and that the labor and delivery goes smoothly as well.

Last week, Stephen and I had the opportunity to spend lots of time with each other while the kids were at the grandparents. They were in Lubbock from Friday to Tuesday, then they were home Tuesday night through Thursday morning. Then, they were in Katy from Thursday to Sunday. Stephen and I went to movies, went to play tennis a couple of times. Yep, it was about as graceful as you can imagine! He and I laughed a lot! We also went to play golf one day–OK, he played golf. I drove the golf cart! That was a lot of fun! We also took the opportunity both Sundays to visit a couple of different churches in the community. It’s neat to see how others worship, and it’s certainly easier to do this without kids. 😉

It was fun just being with each other. Some asked if we missed our kids. While obviously we love having them with us, we didn’t really miss them per se. We knew they were in good hands and were having a blast with their grandparents. And, we certainly cherished our time together without little distractions. We also did some cleaning and organizing while they were gone. We had our carpets cleaned which was awesome! We’ve not had them cleaned in this house the 5 yrs we’ve lived here, so it was certainly a prudent thing to do! I was pleased with the results. Now, if we can just try to keep the house clean. It’s a bigger challenge with kids in the house! 🙂

On a different note all together, what does the sovereignty of God mean to you? It’s such a hard question, but one that I answered/was taught one way growing up. Now, I see it differently, especially over the last year. I think it’s definitely something that believers all over struggle with. When bad or good things happen, we attribute that to different things…. Each day, good and awful things happen. What do you think the sovereignty of God means in the good and also in the bad? Food for thought.

Please continue to pray for us as we journey through the remainder of this pregnancy and beyond. Love to each of you!





Posted in Baby #6, Family | 1 Comment

Big Mover

Maybe I have forgotten, but I just seriously don’t believe any of our babies moved quite as strongly and as much as this baby does! Stephen doesn’t think so either. He’s pretty blown away by watching my belly and/or feeling it. He said maybe it’s a baby rhino! HA! We just went to see the movie Jurassic World yesterday, so maybe it’s a little dinosaur in there! Kidding, of course! My belly gets sore at times from all the movement.

I also feel like this one may be bigger than the others. Once again, maybe I’m forgetting what it felt like at this stage. I do remember feeling like Ridley was possibly smaller. I remember when my water broke with him that I was a bit concerned that he might be really tiny! He turned out to only be a couple of ounces smaller than Abriella was, but he just felt smaller. So, who knows. But, this baby just feels solid in there already!

I also am getting lots of braxton hicks contractions now. I didn’t start noticing them as early with this pregnancy as I have in a couple of the others, but now that they are coming, they are plentiful. Sometimes, it seems the big crazy movements of this baby brings them on, too. All of that makes me need to pee more, too. HA!

But, for all of this, I am thankful. Because it means that I am pregnant with a seemingly healthy and strong baby! We are getting more and more excited to meet this baby. We pray all the time that we’ll get to meet this baby healthy and happy in a few weeks. The kids’ prayers that this baby will live on earth with us are constant as well.

We covet your continued prayers as we go through the last few weeks of this pregnancy!

Posted in Baby #6 | Leave a comment

31+ wks Pregnant and Dreaming!

Well, here we are in the final few weeks. Will baby’s birth be close to Ridley’s arrival at 36 3/7 wks or closer to Colby’s at 38 1/7 wks? Or will this baby hang out longer in the cooker? I’m willing him/her NOT to come any earlier than Ridley! I am 31 2/7 wks today. Yesterday, this was a picture I took of myself.


The kids start school on August 18th, the day I’m 37 wks (that is when Abriella arrived–her birthday is today actually!). If I had my preferences (like I have a whole lot of say in it!), I’d prefer this baby to come that 1st weekend after they start school. That would be great! HA! We’ll just see! We are trying to be prepared for an earlier delivery like the others, but also trying to mentally prepare for going even further in pregnancy. There’s nothing to say I can’t go further in pregnancy. Who knows why I’ve delivered on the earlier side with the others!?

While we’re talking birthdays, here are some pictures of Abriella from hers today. What an amazing girl she is! She challenges me daily…many times because she’s a lot like me!! She is so smart, loves all things artsy, LOVES to read (and loves to read the Bible!!), is tender-hearted, a bit on the dramatic side indeed 😉 , but she is a delight, and I’m so thankful that God chose me to be her mommy! Happy birthday, Abriella Grace!!

DSC_0101 DSC_0113


The pregnancy dreams have been crazy lately. I had a dream in the 2nd trimester about having a baby boy. It was a very vivid dream. Well, a couple of weeks ago, I had a very, very vivid dream of the birth of a baby girl! So detailed. She arrived at 37 wks, was 7 lbs 13 oz, and was 23 inches long (LONG! HAHA!), and Stephen thought we had decided her name was Naomi! What?! In the dream, I said, “Her name isn’t Naomi!” I told him it was Eliana. He was like, “Eh, Eliana, Naomi…they sound about the same.” WHAT?! HA!

I still don’t have strong feelings either way. In some sense, I figure we’ll have another boy just because that’s our current runnings. That would be convenient since we have clothes a plenty to clothe a boy! But, it would be fun to have another little girl, and Abriella really wants a sister! We’d need lots of clothes for a girl, but that would be fun!

Well, last night, I had another crazy girl dream. This time, in the dream, the baby was pushing out in my tummy with its head so hard that Stephen and I could actually see the facial features. Weird, right? But, the dreams gets weirder. Stephen decided we’d just see what the gender was by cutting the baby out for a few minutes and then we’d put the baby back in!! So, you know, just a little c-section! Oddly enough…I didn’t stop him in the dream! He did a little cut off to the side, and pulled the baby out. When I checked, the baby was a girl! Weird dream detail–the girl’s labia minora were big/swollen, so I had to separate them to really make sure it was a girl indeed. Who dreams that way?!?!

Anyway, we were thrilled it was a girl. Then, Stephen said we’d just put the baby back inside me and wait for delivery. I was like, uh, you can’t do that! And, he had already clamped the cord in 2 spots, so that was definitely impossible. He was like, oh, huh. She was a nice big size, so we kept her out. It was a bit strange trying to explain to others how things played out in the dream. But, apparently, the uh surgery didn’t bother me! So odd! Then, the whole Naomi name came up again! Again, I said to Stephen, “Her name is not Naomi!” What is it with Naomi?? I guess I need to look that one up to see if my mind is subconsciously telling me something. haha.

Anyway, dreams are funny. Sometimes, I think there can be meaning to them. Other times, I think they are just whack! So, hard to say what’s going on here. Stephen finds them pretty entertaining though. I do have to say they make me laugh a bit. Anyway, I’ve had dreams both ways on the gender this pregnancy, and I don’t remember that happening in the other pregnancies. With the others, there was a clear gender dream, and it was right. This one, not so much. God truly wants us to be surprised, I guess!

Pregnancy wise, I’m feeling good most days. This baby is a big mover. The movements are starting to get more and more uncomfortable. He/she has hiccups every night, too, and sometimes other times during the day. We are praying all the time and anxiously anticipating the arrival of this baby. Please continue to pray with us!


Posted in Abriella, Baby #6 | Leave a comment

28 1/2 wks

So, we’re in the 3rd and final trimester of this pregnancy! Yay! I’ve felt pretty good overall. Occasional backaches and tired, but that’s pretty normal. I also have to be real careful of what I eat or my “gallbladder” gives me pain. I know, I know, I don’t actually have a gallbladder anymore. But, my body still is so sensitive to certain foods. The biggest culprit is sugar and other simple carbs. If I eat those, I get that same right upper quadrant pain that wraps around to my back, just like if I had my gallstone filled gallbladder. It’s annoying! But, if I stick to real foods (I eat the Trim Healthy Mama way), I’m generally just fine. Weird, huh. Keeps me honest, I suppose. HA!

We finally decided on bedding for the baby. This is what we decided on after much searching and vascillating!! If we have a girl, we’ll dress up the room with hot pink. If it’s a boy, we’ll have plenty of options to go with, too. The bedding is made upon ordering, so can take 7-8 wks to arrive! That won’t leave us much time to paint! But, Stephen opted out of the 2 wk rush fee–he realizes that potentially, he could be painting after the baby arrives! If he’s ok with that, I am too.

Baby Joyner is moving strongly as always. Stephen will lay his hand on my belly at night sometimes, and he’ll say, “WHOA!” I say, yea, imagine that inside your abdomen all the time. HA! I love the movements, but certainly not always comfortable. I’ll take it though! Still no feelings on boy vs girl these days. Sometimes I think one way, other days, I think the other way. It’ll be a blessed surprise!

There was some interest amongst the kids at being present at the birth. We are planning another homebirth like we did with Ridley. So, I found several natural birth videos (great when people compile these on their blogs for none other than preparing older siblings to be at birth) and watched them with the kids. I wanted to see who was serious about being at the birth. They were fascinated! The questions and comments were great. Ridley would say things like, “Oh, here comes the baby!” He thinks it’s awesome! But, after watching one evening (when Stephen was gone–you’re welcome, babe), I learned that Colby now doesn’t want to be present in the room when I deliver. He wants to be free to be elsewhere in the house (he didn’t necessarily want to go to someone else’s house) and then come when the baby is ready to be held, all cleaned up and wrapped up. haha, no problem, buddy. Ridley…well, I made the decision that he would not be present. I know he’d want daddy to hold him the whole time, and, well, that’s just not gonna happen. I need Stephen to be with me and not tending to a 3 y/o. Abriella wants to be at the birth. She also wants to be woken up if it happens in the middle of the night. Now, if they’re at school, they’re out of luck, and they are fine with that.

The kids all enjoyed watching the vidoes (some were more graphic than others) and were fascinated by the whole thing. There were no “ew” “gross” or other comments like that at all. I was pretty proud. Helps that we’ve used the correct anatomical terms with them from day one and have explained the process in-depth a few times. But, hey, there are grown people who don’t really get the whole childbirth thing until they are right there! So, I’d say the kids are doing pretty good at being educated properly.

Anyway, here is a belly picture of me at 28 1/7 wks (2 days ago).


Continue to pray with us for a smooth pregnancy and healthy mama and baby.


Posted in Baby #6 | Leave a comment

Pregnancy Update

Today, I’m 25 wks and 4 days. I am feeling good most of the time. I’m starting to get more back aches in the evenings, but that’s pretty normal. Our a/c was out for a few days (uggh!) and I slept on the couch a couple of nights under the fan. It seemed fairly comfortable, but my back did not agree! I made an appointment with a chiropractor. I really liked her, and I’ve visited her another time since. I guess my bed is really the place for me to be! Thankfully, our a/c is fixed (hopefully for a while), so couch sleeping is not necessary now. I actually feel like overall, I have slept better this pregnancy than the others. I frequent the potty at night, but I am able to go back to sleep quickly.

Here is a picture from 20 wks and 24 wks for comparison.

1467275_10153279829020119_3504617073506006354_n 11264453_10153279828895119_2400226566168597414_n

And, backing up to Mother’s Day. Here are a few pictures from that date. The kids treated me well on that day. I am thankful for all 6 of my children. I wish they were all here with me, but God has 2 of them safely with Him, and I look forward to the day we are all together in heaven. I pray that this baby growing inside of me gets to join us safely in a few months.

DSC_0058 DSC_0059 DSC_0064 DSC_0073 DSC_0076

Now, some info on the gender. With the other pregnancies, I had a gender dream at some point during pregnancy and that turned out to be right. Well, this pregnancy, we didn’t find out gender again, so I was wondering what my dreams might be. Well, early in pregnancy, I had a girl dream. Oddly enough, I had a feeling at that time that we were having another boy. Then, soon thereafter, I had a strong feeling that we were having a girl and I couldn’t help but say “she” when talking about the baby. Then, recently, I had a very vivid boy dream! Oh goodness. But, I still had the feeling of girl for a little bit. But now, I actually have NO IDEA!! I have no strong feelings either way anymore. People make the comments about, oh you’re carrying high…must be a girl. Or, whatever old wives tale about how you carry. Well, honestly, I’ve carried every single one of mine the exact same. I am short waisted, so every pregnancy looks like I’m carrying high! I think God has decided that we truly will get a surprise! Now that we are decided on names, and we love them both, I think I’ll actually be sad for whichever one we don’t get to use. HA!

Anyway, God has blessed us with a smooth pregnancy so far. I’m praying that all continues to go smoothly. The kids continue to pray every night that this baby will live with us on earth. I pray that, too. Please join us in that petition. Thank you for the prayers on our behalf up to this point.


Posted in Baby #6 | Leave a comment

Likely Name Choices

Wow, I didn’t realize I was behind a few weeks on the ole blog in this pregnancy! It’s been busy with the kids out of school. A & C have been out since the 12th. R had his last day of preschool yesterday. And, of course, all 3 are sick today! HA! Hello summer!

Anyway, we have been deliberating over names for weeks. We agreed on a girl name pretty quickly. Boy name…that one took us a while. Yesterday, we finally agreed on one that everyone has a peace with and love of!

So, here are the names. If we have a girl, her name will be:

Eliana Elise Joyner

Eliana means “my God has answered” and Elise means “consecrated to God.” We had Elise for a middle name for our girl name when we were pregnant with Ridley, too. We changed the first name this time, though. We love this name!

Our boy name was a bit more challenging. Boy names are just hard, I think. Anyway, yesterday, we decided upon:

Charles Samuel Joyner (we’d call him Charlie)

Charles is my grandfather’s name (my mom’s dad). He passed away in 2000. He was so influential in our lives growing up in Arkansas. He also went by Charlie most of the time. Samuel means “God has heard.” Samuel is also this baby’s great great great grandfather’s name (I just learned this). So, it seems like a great name for a Joyner boy!

So, those are the names that we are set on for now. I suppose there is always a chance to change them, but that’s what we’re sticking to for now! In case you don’t know our others kids’ full names, I’ll share those with you now.  I think whether we have a prince or a princess, these names will all flow nicely together!

Abriella Grace

Colby Nathaniel

Ridley David

As for pregnancy, I am 25 wks and 3 days today. All seems to be going great so far! This baby is a mover! I’ll dedicate a post to pregnancy progress next. Thank you for your continued prayers for this baby. We feel God has heard and answered our prayers for this baby, no matter what happens. He has given us this sweet baby for over 25 wks so far, and for that, we are so thankful!

Posted in Baby #6, Family | 1 Comment

22 weeks Update

So, last week marked the end of a month full of hard anniversaries. Last week, we remembered when I nearly hemorrhaged my entire blood supply. Some rough memories there!! I remember waking up afterwards and truly being thankful that I was alive and still had my uterus. Yes, there was a point I was really concerned about losing my uterus. And, even worse, there was a point when I was in the OR before they drugged me that I was truly hoping I would live. I thought, well, this sure would be a crummy way to go (might have had more colorful words in my head). But, graciously, God felt it was not my time to go. I am thankful that it was not in His sovereign plan to take me home at that point.

Now, just over a year later, we are 22 wks along with a sweet blessing! Yesterday (Tuesday) was 22 wks for us. Each week seems to go by faster and faster. This baby is a very strong mover! We can see movements already, the kids have all felt the baby moving (well, not Ridley because, well, he just can’t sit still long enough to do that yet), and this baby just moves a lot! I am grateful for all movements! Some are already uncomfortable, but I’m still grateful for them!

We are working on names these days. We are pretty much settled on the girl’s name. We love the meaning and it goes well with Abriella. The boy name is where we’re still trying to figure it out. So, with Colby and Ridley, we didn’t actually plan it, but did take note of it, that their names both ended in “y” and actually have an “l” in there, too. So, we can’t keep their names straight now. Not sure if it’s the “y” thing or if we are just typical parents. So, we are trying to decide if we want to go with the “y” ending or totally scrap that. I’m not big on the hugely mainstream names, but I don’t like our boy names to be totally out there in left field. We have several names up in the air and one name with an “l” and a “y” in it that we like. But, just can’t decide yet. We also want them to have some kind of significant meaning after this last year’s heartache. So, we’ll see. Any thoughts? Scrap it or keep the trend going? Or, hope that we have a girl so we can use the name we really agree on? HA!

On another note, today is Colby’s 6th birthday! I can still remember his birth like it was yesterday! That was one whirlwind labor and delivery! I gave him the highlights of his birth story at breakfast this morning. He noted that it seemed like it went really fast. He could even surmise that from the story. I told him his birth was super fast, just like how he runs now! haha! We are going to celebrate with him on Saturday. Wednesdays are just too busy during the school year!

But, school is almost done for the older two! Tuesday is their last day! They are so over school now. I am kind of with them. We are ready for summer! I am ready to start cleaning this house to get it back in order. The kids aren’t too thrilled about that aspect. Imagine that. But, it has to be done, and we’ll move R into C’s room at some point this summer.

Also, I just figured out that I’ll be 37 wks on the 1st day of the fall semester! A was born at 37 wks and R at 36 1/2 wks. So, could be an exciting start to the school year! Or, maybe this will be the one that goes all the way to the due date or past! Wouldn’t that be something?! I’ve already had several parents offer to school my kids for a little while after the baby arrives. Love our school family! Such a blessing!

Well, that’s all for now! We are so appreciate of every prayer that is offered up on our behalf and for our baby! Please keep them coming!


Posted in Baby #6 | Leave a comment

A Tough Balance

On Tuesday, April 21st, it was another one of those days of balancing joy and pain/grief. We celebrated 20 weeks of pregnancy with this newest baby Joyner. He or she is such a mover! I love that. Here is a picture I took of myself on Tuesday.


What a joy to be at 20 weeks. We still have several months to go, but we are happy for each milestone!

On the 21st, we also remembered the birth of Tiny 1 year ago. That, my friends, is not an easy memory to think upon. Such hard, hard memories. So much pain and crying over this past year. So much sadness. So much anger. I remember his birth like it was yesterday in so many ways. Then, on the flip side, it also seems like an eternity ago. We have grown a lot since that day. We’ve changed our views of God and His workings in our lives. Our kids have experienced death and learned so much. And, they have hope in heaven and seeing their siblings, alive and whole. We all yearn for that time of seeing our babies and being a whole family.

In remembrance of a day that has forever impacted us, we wrote messages on balloons to both of our babies that saw Jesus when they first opened their eyes. We each had a blue balloon for Tiny and a yellow balloon for our Teeny (that we lost last January). I sat with each child while they wrote on the balloons. Ridley’s notes were a collection of well thought out lines and squiggles. 🙂 I also wrote notes on balloons as did Stephen. We stuffed the balloons in the car and headed to one of the local parks. We released the balloons and then Stephen spoke a [rather emotion filled] prayer for our family and our babies. That was when I started to cry some, and Abriella also started crying. She had already been sad a few times earlier when we were writing on the balloons.

Here are some pictures from the release. I had thought we’d all release them at once, but the kids had their own way of doing it, which was just fine.

DSC_0012 DSC_0014 DSC_0016 DSC_0018 DSC_0019 DSC_0024


After the prayer, we walked over to the play equipment and let the kids play for a few minutes. Abriella was very sad, so I held her and talked to her a bit before she felt up to going to play. Stephen also talked with her quite a while at bedtime that night. We are thankful that we can validate her feelings/emotions and try to help her process them. She just wishes so much that those babies were with us. So.do.I.

Tuesday was hard with the memories, but I actually had a harder time emotionally last week. Isn’t grief so strange? I think it is. But, I try to take it as it comes. I am thankful we could do the balloon release. The kids said they think we should do it every year. We might just do it. I do not ever want to forget our babies. They are a part of our family, no doubt.

Thank you for continuing to support us in prayer. We are truly grateful!

Posted in Baby #6, Family | Leave a comment