Monday, December 14, 2009

He's ONE!

I can't believe that my baby boy is already one. The year has flown by. I was told it would, but it still amazes me how much he's changed in just one year. He came out unable to do anything for himself and now he wants to do it all by himself. We are so blessed to have an incredibly happy, sweet baby. He laughs all the time and most of the time Caleb and I have no idea why. God has used Elijah to draw us closer to Him and each other. He's taught us patience, sacrificial love, and given us a tiny, tiny, glimpse into what it would be like to sacrifice you're only son for a sinful world. I really can't imagine the love God has for us in giving us his son, especially when I see how much I love Elijah and want to protect him. God gave his son so that we, sinful unlovable people, might live. It's amazing.

We celebrated Elijah's birthday on Saturday in Bakersfield. We went up for the weekend to have our "Bussell" Christmas and Elijah's birthday. It was a great weekend. Caleb's mom did an incredible job of making our weekend special. She puts so much effort into the holiday's and we really appreciate it. Thanks mom! Here are some pictures Crystal took of our weekend together. The First pictures are us opening our presents and taking our "famous" picture on the bed in our Christmas P.j's. Since, Caleb's sister, Bekah and her family moved to Kenya, we Skyped them so they could be in the picture too. Then the other pictures are of Elijah's party. He had a John Deere cake, which he loved and lots of presents. He's spoiled!

Friday, December 11, 2009

It's a...

Today, Caleb, Elijah, Sarah, Mom, and I went to baby sightings to do an ultra sound to find out the sex of the baby. It's a little maternity shop where they also do 3D ultra sounds. We walked into the dimly lighted room and they had me lay on a big comfy bed with lots of pillows, There was a large screen t.v. on the wall where we got to see the baby. The ultra sound tech started with the head showing us the eyes, ears, nose and mouth and slowly started working down the baby's body. Then she typed on the screen....

It's a Girl!

We are so excited. We all started to tear up. (the dim lights and soft music didn't help the emotions at all) I told Caleb every time I see our little miracle I'm amazed and how blessed we are. I can't believe we're going to have a little girl. We got to see and hear her heart beating and I LOVED it.

We're naming her Vanessa Mary. God blessed me with two mom's and it's their names we're using for our little one. Vanessa was my first mom's name and Mary is my mom now. Caleb and I love picking out our children's names and I can't wait to meet her.

Well, I'm off to buy something pink. I'll post some ultra sound pictures later.

Monday, November 30, 2009

An update

We are so thankful! This morning at our doctors appointment Dr. Frields said everything looked great. The mass that was there before has completely disappeared!! What an answer to prayer. It is a huge relief for Caleb and I. It was a tough two weeks of doing nothing. And the house is showing it. At times my mind ran wild with all the things that could go wrong and I had to constantly tell myself to think on truth. What a weight lifted from our shoulders. Thank you so much for praying.

Caleb is thrilled that we won't be eating anymore frozen dinners and I can start changing the diapers again. And I can't wait to get to it. Unless I start bleeding again I don't have to go back in until January after I get back from Christmas with my family.
I'd love to write more, but now that I can do things....I better get to them. Thanks again.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Much to be Thankful for

I, like most people, absolutely love the holiday season. I love Thanksgiving and the anticipation of Christmas. i love fall, winter, and all the smells. I love family time, the yummy food, and the music. This year is different than any other year with me being on bed rest. I've had lots of down time to think of how blessed I am. It was hard not being able to help cook the Thanksgiving feast, or take pictures of everything, or play with Elijah. But I realized in a new way what an incredible family I married into. If you haven't meet Caleb's family you are seriously missing out! Anyone who meets them instantly falls in love and can't wait to see them again. I'm so lucky that I get to see them all the time and call them family.

They took such good care of Elijah I think he likes them better than me now. In fact, last night he woke up not knowing where he was and cried for his Yiayia, They spoiled me, making sure I stayed laying down, bringing me food, drinks, and hanging out with me so I wouldn't be bored. I felt guilty by how well they took care of me. Thank you guys so much!

I started making a list of what I'm thankful for this season. It's just a start, but I thought I would share.

My Savior, who is completely in control of my life and that nothing surprises Him.
Delicious food.
Christmas music.
That I'm almost done all my Christmas shopping.
Cars and airplanes.
The best husband I could ask for. I could go on forever on just how thankful I am for him!
A doctor I Love.
Good books.
Christmas lights.
Peppermint soap.
Elijah's smile.
Our new camera, (our friends gave us their amazing camera and lenses! Once I'm out of bed I'll take some pictures and put them up.)
My doctors appointment tomorrow! Hoping for good news.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Asking for Trials

A couple of weeks ago I was doing my devotions and had this crazy thought. "Life has been pretty darn good." I'm extremely thankful that life has been so pleasant lately and have thanked God over and over for all His blessings. But I started thinking it seems like a trial might be coming. I actually started thinking back to past trials and remembered how amazing it is to see God in those times. Oh boy, I asked for it.

Last Monday I went to the doctor because I've had some cramping and bleeding with this pregnancy. It really didn't alarm me that much. I knew it wasn't a good sign, but really thought everything would be fine. As He started doing the ultra sound he looked at the screen saying everything looked good, then after he checked the baby he looked at the side of my uterus and saw what he called a rather large mass. Then he said something really encouraging like, "that's not supposed to be there." He looked at every angle he could, but couldn't determine what it was. He said it's not effecting the baby which we are so thankful for! But told me I needed to stay off my feet as much as possible. What exactly does that mean when you have an active eleven month old? Basically, I'm to do nothing. He's putting me on bed rest.

For the first three days, I tried to stay off my feet, but floors needed to be cleaned, bathrooms we're getting gross and meals needed to be made. I have two growing boys to take care of. Then I talked with the nurse and she said that every time I stand up I'm making the situation much worse and I need to lay down. Caleb took this literally, and I've been in bed since. Our sweet friends helped take care of Elijah for the rest of the week and then Caleb's parents took him to Bakersfield for the weekend. Depending on what the doctor says tomorrow I might get to see him on Tuesday.

At first, I really wasn't worried, it wasn't hard, I didn't really even know what to think about it. The unknown is sometimes the hardest. There's the possibility it's nothing serious and then again it might be something. As the week went on it got harder and harder for me. I hated sitting back and watching others do my responsibilities. Caleb worked a long hard day, came home took care of dinner, picked up the house, played with Elijah, got him ready for bed, (he did let me rock him and lay him in the crib) and then finished up his paper work. I just wanted to help him out, do what every wife is supposed to, be a helpmate. It was torture. Then saying good-bye to Elijah, so hard. I love being with him. I really do. I HATE that I might not seeing him for four whole days.

Then I remembered. This is my trial. I'll be honest, now that it was here I didn't really want it. God was stretching me in a lot of my weakest area's. The definition of a trial I guess, but I was failing. I wasn't turning to God, I wasn't finding comfort in scripture, I wasn't turning away from my sin. I wanted to control the situation and rely on my own strength. So, our faithful Father continued to break me until I saw it. I needed to glorify Him with my attitude, whether in bed, or doing a list of things, that makes me feel accomplished. I needed to rely on His strength and not my own and i needed to humble myself and ask for help and then be okay with it when it came.

I'm not sure how long the bed rest is going to last. I am praying not for the whole pregnancy, but I know how I need to respond. I'm going to take this opportunity to trust God and see His greatness and I can't wait to see what He's going to do. I'm actually really excited now to have some uninterrupted time reading the word and praying. Keep us in your prayers and I'll let you know what the doctor says.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Waiting for Heaven

The Sammons Family,(Hope due Jan. 2010)
Saying good-bye at the airport.

I want to live my life continually realizing that this is not my home. I have an eternal home waiting for me and that truth should direct my every step. I have to admit sometimes I get distracted by the trivial things of this world, but God is always faithful to remind me where my real home is. This last remind I received was a hard one. Good-bye's are always hard for me, but this one was especially hard. It was much harder than I actually imagined it would be. And I'm so thankful that there are no good-bye's in Heaven!

Caleb's sisters family followed God's leading and moved half way around the world to Nakuru, Kenya. They made a three year commitment with Christian Veterinarian Mission. They will be teaching Kenyans how to better care for their animals (which is how they survive there) and will be working in an orphanage. They have two little girls 3 1/2 and almost 2 with one on the way. They're extremely special to Caleb and I and although three years isn't forever, right now it seems like it. I'm so thankful that they were willing to leave all that is familiar and safe to them and go where God calls. And I have an incredible peace that knowing that they are being faithful, but it's still hard.

I didn't think it would really be that hard. I kept telling myself that this was God's will, we should be excited for them, and three years will go by so fast. I didn't want to deal with being sad and missing them. It was just easier not to. The last week they were in the states Caleb's whole family got away to the mountains for a couple of days. We wanted one last time with them. At this point I was still feeling pretty strong. But something about getting away and seeing all that we would miss in them for the next three years really got to me. I spent time with the girls realizing how much they would change. I spent time with Bekah (Caleb's sister) and saw a great friendship that I would miss terribly. It happened in a really short time, but before I realized it I was heart-broken.

I don't want to be overly dramatic. I understand that this isn't one of life's great tragedy's, but it's not fun saying good-bye. Caleb's family is so special and have loved me like I was one of them from the start. Each member plays a vital role and they've all taught me so much. When even one is missing there is a HUGE whole, let alone five. We're blessed to have the technology to write emails, talk on skype and fly to visit them, but it's not the same as having them just a couple hours away.

When I was driving back home from our week away I was alone in my car and I started crying so hard I thought I might have to pull over. I started thinking this is why I didn't want to care. It's easier not to feel this sad. But almost as soon as I thought that I was reminded that it's so much better to have relationships that hurt when you say good-bye than ones that don't. It helps keep me focused on heaven and excited that there will be no sadness and no good-bye's. Please keep them in your prayers. This is a tough time for them as they are trying to adjust to so many new things.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Trick or Treat

The cutest chicken ever!
We love him so much...
His playmate, Mercy, He loves her.

Elijah had his first trick or treating experience last night. Caleb says it was really more for me than him, which is probably true since he had no idea what was going on and I didn't let him have any candy (the whole point of trick or treating) but it was fun. He looked soooo cute! First we went to his friend Jack's birthday party. We are so blessed to live in an apartment complex with lots of kids. Elijah really enjoys playing with them.
Then we took a nap so we'd be ready for the big night. I dressed Elijah up again and and we walked downstairs to the Smiths to trick or treat. Elijah loved picking up the candy and the sound of the wrappers. Unfortunately, Caleb was gone. He went to his brothers soccer game. (which they won!!!) But we'll have lots more dressing up fun in the years to come.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Lombardi Ranch

Family at Lombardi Ranch....
Elijah climbing the hay bails and eating as much straw as he could get his hands on.
Trying to pick out a pumpkin

Daddy and Elijah driving the car.

On Friday we meet up with the Tolopilo's at Lombardi Ranch. Fall is one of my favorite times of year and spending time at the Ranch made me feel like it was fall, even though it was about 85 degrees out. We had such a good time hanging out with friends and letting Elijah play around. It brought back fun memories for Caleb, since he grew up on a farm similar to Lombardi's. And it made me anxious to get out of the city. We both love country life and can't wait to move. We know God's timing is perfect and are enjoying all that Southern California has to offer since we know we'll miss it when we're gone. We've started a list of things we want to do before we move. I'll start sharing pictures of it all. If you know of anything that you must do in Southern Cali, let us know so we can add it to the list.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Baby Thumper

I'm a little behind with the blog. Lots has happened over the last couple weeks that I'm wanting to write about, but with the craziness of it all and the the whole growing a baby and taking care of a ten month old, I haven't quite found the time.
But alas, Elijah is asleep and before I go, I thought I would share our first ultrasound picture with you. This was taken about three weeks ago so the baby is actually bigger and has developed a lot more. It's amazing to me how much happens in such a short time. Our baby (which we have affectionately started calling Thumper) has all it's major organs. It's heart has divided into the four chambers and is beating. It has fingers, toes, nose, eyes, and is developing eye lids. Can you believe that all this is going on inside me?? And that people say this isn't a baby?? I've always hated abortion, but after experiencing being pregnant, seeing the pictures and giving birth it shocks me that people actually says this isn't a baby.
I go back for my next appointment in a couple weeks and can't wait to hear the heart beating again. Caleb and I will also find out whether it's a boy or girl. I know that this is a big debate out there, but we LOVE knowing. It's so special to us to start calling it by it's name and imaging what he or she will be like. I think it also makes it a lot more real to Caleb. While, I can feel the baby move and am experiencing all that goes into pregnancy he doesn't and it makes him feel apart to know the gender. We are settled on our girl name, but I really haven't found a boy name I'm loving. Once we know we'll share with all of you. (if you have any suggestions I'm open) We'll keep you updated with Thumper and I'll post what else has been going on soon.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Elijah's ten months

He laughs all the time
swinging at the park
He loves the water

It's incredible what babies learn to do in the first year of their life. They come out as this tiny blob unable to do anything on their own and within a year they've learned to to roll over, sit up, crawl, (maybe walk!) feed themselves, make all sorts of noises, recognize people, and so much more.
I remember the day Elijah discovered his fingers and realized he controlled them. Watching the wonder on his face was so amazing. Well his already ten months and doing so much. He loves to swing at the park, crawl wherever I go, have daddy swing him upside down. climb on everything, feed himself, and give big wet slobbery kisses. Caleb will tell him to give me a kiss and he crawls over to me open mouthed and slobbers all over me. Caleb laughs so Elijah does it again and again until my face is dripping. It's kind of gross, but so cute I can't stop him.
We've also discovered that he HATES twinkle twinkle little star. He has a Baby Einstein movie that I let him watch when I need to shower or something and every time the song comes on he cries until it's over. He also hates it when Caleb's gone. Recently, Caleb went fly fishing with my dad for a couple days and Elijah didn't sleep through the night until he got home. He'd wake up crying da da and if I said Caleb or da da He'd start crying. It was so sad, but made Caleb feel loved.
He is one of the greatest blessings and we can't believe God has given us another. We can't wait to watch them together.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Four of a Kind

That's's not just the three of us anymore! We are expecting blessing number two at the end of May.
I was so surprised when I found out. I took one test and thought I saw a little pink line, but it was too faint for me to be certain, so I had Caleb run out that night to pick up another. There was no denying the second test. Two lines...I was pregnant.
I say I was so surprised, but there was part of me that just knew. It was the same with Elijah. I knew I was pregnant with him before I took a test. So, I woke up that morning and thought to myself 'I'm pregnant.' I immediately pushed the thought from my head and ignored it until that night driving home from running a couple errands. My curiosity got the better of me (it usually does) and I bought a test. Well, you know the rest.
Two days before I told Caleb I didn't want to get pregnant for a long time and there I was already pregnant. God's timing is so perfect and we are so blessed to be bringing another baby into the world. We are both every excited. Please keep us in your prayers.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

My John Deere Boys

If you've known my husband for any length of time, then you know that he LOVES John Deere. It is more than just a hobby, it's an obsession. I knew when I started dating him that he liked it, growing up on a farm and all, but I had no idea how much.
One of our first fights was actually about John Deere. Caleb wanted to drive away from our wedding reception on a John Deere tractor. I was slightly opposed. The idea of driving away on the tractor wasn't really the issue. It was trying to find a tractor that I didn't feel I had time for in my short three months of planning. He let me have my way and as a thank you I surprised him with adding some John Deere apparel to the wedding. At our rehearsal dinner I gave everyone in the wedding party a John Deere hat (green for the guys, pink for girls,) and our ring bearer actually wore his when he walked down the aisle the next day! We had a John Deere wedding cake and my garter was John Deere. Caleb loved it.
The obsession was fed by Caleb's mom the day she found out we were having a little boy. Don't ask me where she found it, but she came home with John Deere onesie, overalls, socks, cell phone, keys, tractor, hat, and tool belt. I'm actually very thankful because they are some of Elijah's favorite toys. They keep him busy so I can get things done in the house. Thanks Mom!
Tonight, I pulled out Elijah's toys for him to play with as Caleb and I ate dinner and I couldn't help but stop and take some pictures...isn't he a cutie!! I love my John Deere boys.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Our Boise Trip

Buckled up and ready to go!
A little stretch of the legs...
We got to see Deborah before she left for school.
Playing on the trampoline.
Elijah loves his Aunt Abigail!!
Nana and Elijah on a walk.
Playing with Abigail.
All tired out driving home.
Eating a donut at a Bakery in Bishop.
Welcome Home!

Caleb, Elijah, and I packed up our car two weeks ago and started the 14 hour drive to Boise. I was so excited to be driving, while Caleb was wondering if it was too late to get a plane ticket. Elijah didn't know what was going on, he just wanted to be back in his crib sleeping. We had looked forward to this trip all summer. It was the first time Caleb and I would spend time at my parents house without a house full of people. It was just Dad, Mom, and Abigail. We were going to spend the first half of the week in Idaho and then drive to Oregon the second half and spend time with Caleb's grandparents on Blue River. There were high hopes of fishing, playing at the pool, and just spending time together.

Well, God had something else in mind. The night after we got there my sister got a terrible stomach flu that slowly spread through every member in my family. Everything we planned was canceled and we spent our time laying in bed, cleaning up vomit, and sipping on 7 up. Not quite what I had in mind! But somehow we still had a good time. I feel like I learned a lot this trip, so I thought I would share a couple of the things with you.
1. Housing prices in Boise are so cheap and Caleb and I can't wait until we're living there.
2. I miss open sky and fresh air more I realize.
3. Family you get along with even while throwing up is a huge blessing.
4. My family is extremely generous and Caleb and I are thankful.
5. I like going to family movies that have lots of kids in the theater.
6. I need to depend on the Lord as much in the little things as I do in the big.
7. God answers my prayers even though I do nothing to deserve it.
8. Elijah is more fun to be around than I ever imagined.
9. I miss being around my Grandma a lot!
10. Caleb and I are going to miss our California friends lots.
11. I like coming back home, even if home means dark grey clouds, soot flying everywhere, and being stuck inside because the air quality is so bad.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Two Years!

I can't believe's been two years since Caleb and I were married. I think over the last two years and all that has happened, three moves, losing jobs, quitting jobs, starting businesses, a seminary degree, a contractor's license, the most precious baby boy ever, and it seems like it should be ten years. Then I look back and think we've just started, which is slightly more accurate. (I wonder what ten, twenty, or fifty years feels like??) So far, it's been the greatest adventure of my life.

I love Caleb more that words can express. He's my best friend and I love that I get to wake up every morning next to him. We have such a blessed life. I'm in awe that God was so gracious to bring us together. I'm glad that we're in this thing together and that God is at the center. I know that Caleb is committed to me and does everything he can to make me happy.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Davy and Elijah

Davy came over with Aunt Bekki the other day and we spent the day in the pool. Elijah and him had fun playing together, but Davy is ready for Elijah to grow up a little so they can run around together. After we were done swimming we put them in the tub together. Elijah was enjoying having his cousin with him, but Davy wanted his space! It was so funny. We were trying to get Davy to hold Elijah, but he didn't really want to and just laid down. Caleb and I thrilled that they are so close in age. (only nine months apart) We know they will have such a good time growing up together. God has blessed us!!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Sitting up...and so much more.

Elijah is sitting up! Actually he's been sitting up for some time now, but I'm just now putting up pictures of it. He's also scooting around so much. I know any day now he'll be crawling. He has also grown two inches and gained three and a half pounds this last month! This past weekend. Caleb and I went up to the Sacramento River with a couple friend of ours and left Elijah for the first time. We dropped him off with Yiayia and Papa in Bakersfield on our way. I was really sad to leave him, but Caleb and I had a great time. (I'll post some of those pictures soon.) We are so thankful that Elijah has grandparents that love him and enjoy watching him. It is a huge blessing!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Family time

Caleb and I got to go wake boarding and water skiing!
Elijah went on the jet ski with Caleb...he loved it.
Elijah loves his dad! He is even saying dada and mama, but I have to admit I think he likes his dad the best.

I know everybody says this, but I can't believe that it's already the end of July! I really can't believe how time has flown by. I feel like yesterday Caleb graduated from seminary and it was over two months ago. We've been super busy and really soaked up the time together since he's not so busy with school. So far we've gone on three dates, Elijah and I visited Idaho, and spent a week in Shaver Lake with Caleb's family. It's all been so fun and we still have lots more to do. I'm going to work on taking more pictures of the rest of the summer. I haven't done such a good job so far. Sorry!
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