I am a 30 something year old mom of five precious boys and two sweet girls. Five of our children are here with us and two are in the arms of Jesus. Our sweet baby girl Hope was diagnosed with Dystrophic Epdermolysis Bullosa and our youngest son came to us through adoption, our youngest daughter through foster care, and I've recently been diagnosed with malignant melanoma the Lord has shown us just how Faithful He is. We will continue to Journey and follow Him where ever He leads. We feel very blessed that God chose us to be the parents of each of our kids, and we look forward to what He has in store for us in foster care!
Yes, my friends that most certainly is a necktie around my sweet red headed boy's neck. Yes, he is sporting it with a dirty Nemo sweatshirt and ugly green sweatpants. Yes, he is at a local playground. That's Ben!
I told you I would be highlighting our precious third born son this week and this is one of his newest loves. A necktie. It all began back in May, when he and Luke emerged from their bedroom on Mother's Day sporting their neckties, insisting that since it was in fact a special day that a necktie was most certainly warranted. I just could not argue, and quite honestly I think it is hilarious.
I am by nature a type A neat freak and most of you who know me, know that something like this would typically grate on my nerves, I mean neckties are not supposed to be worn with dirty play clothes while one swings, slides and throws rocks. I typically do not like to go against the grain but I must also admit that after living the life I have in the past few years, I am finding myself ditching my ridiculous OCDtendencies and embracing the individuality in my sweet kids. Because of Isaac and Asher, their brothers are now allowed to get dirtier, play harder and be just who they want to be. I am so thankful for the lessons those boys have taught me about being a parent.
Yes! People stare and always ask why he is wearing the tie, but he is so darn proud of it and loves to just answer that " it is a special day" for us necktie wearing special days might be an interview or a wedding. His "special days" are throwing rocks in the lake, playing on the playground and sometimes even a trip to the mall! Oh, how having this sweet boy keeps my feet on the ground, my eyes to the Heavens, and my heart full. Having Benjamin really helps me remember what is important in this life.
I think maybe because I am so very aware of the gift each of my children are, I get very excited about celebrating their birthdays. I am so thankful for each day and today my little Benjamin turned three!
Three years ago, Benjamin Oliver Bolte entered the world after a quick and intense labor. He was 8 lb 6 oz, and 21 inches long. The largest of all of my babies BY FAR! I will never forget the nurse handing him to me and saying "uh-oh looks like you've got a redhead". I remember thinking, that she couldn't be right, I denied it for weeks and months, but now, there is just no denying it. Ben is a redhead through and through, and I would not have it any other way!
Friday we went to the local Fireman's carnival for a little while and Ben was certain that his party was "startin' up". He was sure that carnival was ALL for him! Who were we to argue? He is a special kid! He had a great time riding rides and playing games.
Saturday was his party. We had a big picnic and were so happy to spend time with some of our family and friends. Ben was over the moon excited about playing with his friends and opening gifts. It really was a true joy to watch him open each gift. Though we have a basement overflowing with toys, he acted as if each new toy was the greatest thing he had ever seen.
In TRUE "Ben fashion" after blowing out his number three candle on his cupcake, he went to lick the frosting off and, yes, he took a huge bite of the candle! ONLY BEN! He then realized he did not care much for the taste of candlewax an proceeded to spit it out into my waiting hand.
He had a great party. Today, for his REAL birthday, when he woke up I told him he could have ANY breakfast he wanted and he chose popsicles and eggs! Again, who am I to argue with such a request, so popsicles and eggs were had by all, (I mean, it could have been worse right? Eggs are a typical breakfast food and popsicles...well that is almost fruit or juice or something. At least that is what I told myself)! We then decided to head to Chuck E Cheese for lunch where we had a great time playing and eating. After that we decided that since Ben had gotten so many toys, and needed NOTHING else, instead of getting him gifts ourselves, we would take him to the pet store to pick out a new fish for our fish tank. Ben felt sorry for the "feeder fish" and decided he must have a 12 cent fish. We splurged and let him get three since he turned three! :-) They are now happily swimming around in their new home.
We then came home and had a little DQ cake and played and watched movies. He is now sleeping in my bed next to me as I type and I am so grateful that the Lord chose that boy to be a part of our family! I honestly don't know what I would have done some of the days in the past year or two without that crazy boy. He wears me out but man he makes me laugh. I have decided the next few posts will highlight the blessing that Benjamin is to our family! Stay tuned. I am sure you will be blessed by him as well!
I know that most of you likely already have checked in on baby Stellan and his family and know that he is not well. If you have not "met" this little guy and his fabulous family yet visit their site HERE and let them know you are praying.
We are getting ready to go and celebrate Benjamin's birthday this afternoon with him and I am all the more aware of how precious today is and how we really cannot take one single moment with our children for granted.
My heart breaks to think of another mommy sitting helplessly at the bedside of her sick baby. It really is the worst feeling you can imagine, wanting so badly to take the pain and struggle on yourself so that they don't have to. Please lift them up in prayer.
So for a long time I never imagined myself the mom of a baby girl. I was immersed in dump trucks, tractors, and dinosaurs and I LOVED it! (I still do) I was nervous that being the mommy to a girl would not suit me. I could not imagine myself getting excited over pink, bows and tutus. Then June 1st happened. We were blessed with this little beauty, and though I swore I would NEVER be the mom to adorn my child with ridiculous giant bow headbands, two months later this ensued...
and man am I thankful it did! God surely does know best...being the mom to this girl suits me just fine!
Just a quick note to update you on Hope. We were , um shall we say, trying out the nocturnal life last night so we need to go get a nap this afternoon. Hope's appointment went well. I have to say I am just praising God that EVERY last detail was taken care of today. Our pediatrician has been so great with Hope's diagnosis even though it is not something he has much knowledge on. He has been willing to really listen to me and read through any information I bring in with me, explaining anything I don't quite understand. So that was great.
We also were blessed to have a nurse that was so awesome with Hope she was quick with the shots, she was gentle and followed my every wish with a smile on her face. She then had me nurse Hope for a while to get her settled after the shots and did not rush us one bit. Hope screamed just briefly when she realized what was happening to her but as soon as I picked her up and nursed her she quit crying immediately. The nurse then was able to use a cotton ball to get her little legs to stop bleeding once she calmed down.
This afternoon has been awesome. She has been super mellow. We enjoyed lunch and she was content to sit in her car seat and then we went to the zoo for a walk. Now we are off to nap and then get a dose of Prevacid, trying out some of your awesome tips! You guys are so very helpful! As of now there looks to be NO additional trauma to her little legs and we are praising God with every breath that he is taking care of all of us! Please keep up the prayers!
If you get a minute stop by the "Waiting for Happy Community" through the Blog Frog and introduce yourself! I would LOVE to "meet" your family!
A noteworthy moment, Hope in carseat, not screaming her face off!
I could seriously gaze at this adorable face all day long...oh wait I do! Your turn! :-)
Hope is SEVEN weeks old and is still doing great. She is doing well with the Prevacid and the reflux is minimal these days though getting her to take the medication is pure torture. She is on the solutab because the liquid is so expensive and it is tough to dissolve it and make sure she gets the whole dose, not to mention she hates it. (advice welcome)
Her skin is still doing great. She has a few marks on her thighs from her diaper rubbing, from what I am seeing, when she does experience some repeated friction or skin trauma she just gets tiny little sores, I never actually see them "blister" just little sores like the size of this "o" or smaller. I had tried using a different brand diaper that we were given, but it seems we need to stick with the Pampers Sensitive or Swaddler and cloth diapers.
The biggest source of stress for me this week is her well baby visit tomorrow. She will be getting her first set of immunizations (please no bashing here, I am doing what is best for her. Children with EB are more susceptible to infection because they always have open wounds somewhere. After consulting all the experts I could find on the issue, this is the decision we made for Hope. So no vaccine debate needed or allowed) Anyway, I am nervous for her. I am typically a big baby about this stuff but with her I am finding myself way more protective. I am praying that the trauma from holding her leg and administering the injection does not cause any blistering to her little legs and that she bounces back quickly after the shots.
I cannot tell you all enough how much your prayers and encouraging messages mean to me. I have a tendency to get a little frustrated and overcome by worry. You all have been great at helping me keep it all in perspective. Thank you for walking this journey with us! Please keep up the prayers!
I am writing tonight, missing sweet Isaac and also broken hearted for this family. Their sweet Jillian shares a birthday with Isaac. She was born July 14 of this year. She is also at Home with Jesus. Please join me in lifting The Lansinks up in prayer today and in the coming days as we all know this journey is a marathon, some days are much easier than others. Pray for Jillian's two sweet big sisters, her mommy's healing from surgery, her parent's hearts, and for God to be glorified in all of this. It is so hard to understand, but we must continue to put our hope and trust in Him. What a gift sweet Jillan is. I know that I have certainly been blessed tonight by her.
Four years ago we said good-bye to Isaac. He went straight from his daddy's arms into the arms of his Heavenly father. While we know he could not be in a better place, our hearts and arms still ache for him even four years later. We are so blessed to have had the chance to hold him for six remarkable days that have changed us forever.
The doctor thinks it is reflux. We begin Prevacid today. Hopefully that does the trick! Thanks for all the support and advice!
It is five a.m. as I type this and though I know the early bird catches the worm, I am not by nature an early bird. I have been up since just before three with Hope. She woke up having kind of a gagging episode. It took me quite a while to get her settled, but she has eaten again and is now sleeping peacefully. She also had an episode earlier where she threw up quite a large amount of her feeding so I am a bit of a wreck tonight and I am just sitting here praying and watching her sleep. We will be headed for the pediatricians in the morning. I am thinking she may have Reflux, which is common in EB babies, but needs to be treated to prevent blistering and stricture of the esophagus.
My gut reaction was to run her to the ER when it was happening, but then the fear of them handling my Hope without good knowledge of EB sank in and once I got her calmed down Howard and I agreed it would be best to wait and take her to the pediatrician as long as she calmed down and was breathing fine.
So anyway, I feel like a nervous first time mom again and am sure I will sit here and watch her sleep all night afraid to fall asleep myself. Please pray for Hope's issue and for our family, as Momma loves her sleep and is getting NONE tonight!
What this picture does NOT show: The little guy in the green shirt shoving Benjamin to the ground. Then his grandpa yelling, "Tank, be nice to that little boy!" Hmmm who says names don't play a role in a person's demeanor? PS Tank was only 13 months old...Ben will be 3 next week...compare sizes. (I'm just sayin')
My boys at the spillway
Feeding the fish
The Spillway "Where the ducks walk on the fish" literally!
On days like today I am reminded more than ever that God created us to be social beings. He intended for us to support, love and care for each other. I am so very grateful for this blog and the amazing people who have become a treasured part of my life because of it. I have come here and poured my heart out and found acceptance, love and comfort. In an effort to be a little more interactive so I can also get to know some of you I have added some discussions in my "Blog Frog" community. I would absolutely LOVE it if you would click on the Blog Frog Widget to the left and click on Visit the Waiting for Happy Community and join in the conversations or start one of your own! Feel free to ask me anything! So come on in and "do life" with me!
PS I think there is even still time to win a 25 dollar Target gift card by stopping in and introducing yourself! Stop on by!
Praise God, Hope is 6 weeks old today. She is still doing well. No blisters, just a couple of marks on her skin from scratching herself or us scratching her accidentally. They are tiny and minor, they don't need any special care and heal within a few days. Please keep up the prayers. We know God is at work in her and will do mighty things with her life. We are praying for her healing and for God to be glorified in her story. I will try to post pictures this evening, she is getting so big and is as beautiful as ever. Her brothers are still enjoying her though for Luke the novelty has kind of worn off and he is anxious to do "big kid" things like fishing with daddy.
Hope smiled this week for the first time in response to me (I think). She is also starting to make cooing noises and is so alert. She is a great sleeper. She loves to be held ALL the time and still despises the car seat. We are hoping to take the kids this evening to Pymatuning to feed the fish and to Presque Isle tomorrow for Isaac's birthday. I will be sure to take photos and share some of our summer memories with you all! We are so blessed to have so many praying for us!
PS- I have read and continue to read Jonah Williams' blog. He is an amazing little guy! Thank you (literally hundreds of you) for emailing and commenting for me to stop by their blog!
As for information and advice, I welcome any information anyone has about EB as I am voraciously trying to learn as much as I can so I can be sure Hope gets the best care possible while we continue to pray for her healing. I know God has it all in control, and I am daily just trying to hand it over to Him each day because the fear and worry will consume me if I don't. For today, Hope is doing so great! She is a beauty and the light of our lives! We are so thankful to the Lord for blessing us with her!
Thank you again for supporting us. It lifts my spirits daily to come here and receive the encouragement you all pour out so generously. Words just cannot do justice to the gratitude I feel. Thank you! We love you!
Go ahead and mention my child, The one that died, you know. Don't worry about hurting me further. The depth of my pain doesn't show. Don't worry about making me cry. I'm already crying inside. Help me to heal by releasing The tears that I try to hide. I'm hurt when you just keep silent, Pretending she didn't exist. I'd rather you mention my child, Knowing that she has been missed. You asked me how I was doing. I say "pretty good" or "fine". But healing is something ongoing I feel it will take a lifetime. ~ Elizabeth Dent ~
"When I Lay My Isaac Down" - Carol Kent "The One Year Book of Hope" - Nancy Guthrie "Holding on to Hope" - Nancy Guthrie "Empty Cradle Broken Heart" - Deborah Davis "Waiting With Gabriel" - Amy Kuebelbeck "Streams in the Desert" - LB Cowman "It Takes a Parent" - Betsy Hart "I'll Hold You in Heaven" - Jack Hayford "Crazy Love" Francis Chan "Radical" David Platt