May God richly bless you this Holiday season. Here is our growing family's quick pose. Yeah right, it was like pulling teeth to get a smile out of everyone at the same time.
Tuesday, December 25, 2012
Saturday, September 8, 2012
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
What would you do if you found this in your chicken coop? If you were Sophie, you would rescue your little sister as she was about to stick her hand in the hen box, run in the house, and call big brother to the rescue. Fortunately this one was just a rat snake but we still had to take care of it as it was a danger to our chickens and was eating the eggs. This 6 footer had just devoured 5 of them...eggs that is
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
My, how time flies when you're having fun. If only the 9 months prior went just as fast. Besides having a cold for 3 weeks at just 10 days old, Elsie has been easy and so happy all the time. And yes, I know...she's Ed's clone. Looks just like her daddy. She is a sweet sweet girl.
She is super smart too...always diligent in her studies.
Monday, April 30, 2012
Elsie Jane, by JacobI can’t explain what it felt like when the towel was removed from Elsie's body, happy and relieved mostly. It was so wonderful to be close when she drew her first breath. To see the joy on everyone’s faces when she came up was amazing. They all held their breath, many different squeals and “Good job Gretchen”. I love holding her and looking at her tiny hands and fingers. I have never been around for a birth. It was pretty fast, at least it seemed to be to me.
Elsie, I hope you grow up to be a woman who serves God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength. I love you, Jacob
Elsie Jane, by Sophie
I woke up with people all around me: Mrs. Ortley, Miss Vicki and Miss Jody. I knew then my mom was in labor. I was so thrilled that I jumped out of my bed. I walked out and there was a tub in the middle of the living room floor. I really did not know how to react at first. I went into my mom and dad’s room where my mom was laboring. I told my dad that the first and last thing I prayed for the night before was this. Once my mom got into the tub, we all gathered around and got ready to meet the new baby. Right when the baby came into the my mom’s arms, we hurried and covered it with a towel. None of us knew what it was yet and were all eager. I got the honor of cutting the cord. I carefully took the scissors and cut. It was like cutting a hose. About 15 minutes after my mom had the baby we found out the gender..... IT WAS A GIRL!!!! Wow 4 girls; I was so exited. I immediately started making phone calls to family and friends. After my mom and the baby took their bath we found out how much she weighed and how long she was. 9.1 just like me. I was so tickled. And to make things better, she was as long as me too. I felt like I was very special at that moment. After all of the emotion was done and every body left, besides Miss Vicki, all of the kids watched a movie. But I could not pay any attention. All I wanted to do was stare at the new baby.
Elsie Jane, by Vivian
What did you think about being able to watch your baby sister be born?I thought it would take a long time so I thought it would be boring.
The best part was getting out.
First the head came out, then belly, then body (which Vivian refers to as the private area), then the feet.
What did you think when we found out it was a girl?
We have a lot of sisters.
The first time you held her, what did you think?
She felt light.
What was the best part about holding her?
Her hands...they are so soft and small and I like the way it feels when she holds my finger.
Should mommy and daddy have more babies?
Cuz little babies are so cute!
Monday, April 16, 2012
After waiting several minutes, much to the chagrin of our ‘dream team’, we pulled back the towel to find out together the gender of our new baby. The kids waited with much anticipation and strained to see…. a girl! The next and most obvious question was, “What is her name?”. However, that was to remain a surprise for later.
Thanks for journeying along as I have shared our story. My prayer is that perhaps in some small way God has spoken to your heart along the way. May God bless and comfort you.
Final post coming, with more great pics and the kids’ perspective.
Sunday, April 8, 2012
That left Jody to cheer lead and video which is a much more reasonable expectation. Naturally, Jody still entertained the midwives.
Jacob exclaimed, “Seriously… gross…no way would I want to be there. I will MAYBE be in the next room.
Sophie’s response was, “Yes absolutely, just try to stop me…go ahead just try!”.
Vivian’s response was, “Sounds boring… will there be someone to play with?”.
Amelia’s response was, “Yes mom and dad. I love and cherish you both so much. I will be there to share this moment with you”…. Not really, I made that up. I’m sure that was what she was thinking.
Jacob couldn’t resist and came in to be close. At one point he was cowering next to the couch peeking over the arm of the chair. We woke Sophie 20 minutes before Gretchen delivered and she sat front and center. Jody stepped in to get Vivian minutes before delivery. Viv sat groggily on the couch trying to figure out what was going on. Millie was the last to join the party and verbalized her displeasure with being woken from a very pleasant slumber. She finally calmed down and sat gazing curiously trying to figure out where the new cool looking baby came from.
For those of you not familiar with how a home birth works, I will briefly explain our experience. Most of the labor was spent walking outside, in our bedroom either lying or leaning against our bed or kneeling on the floor. We had calm classical music playing in our dimly lit room. The flickering soft glow of a candle bounced silhouettes against the wall and a hint a lavender essential oil hung in the air from our diffuser. Gretchen remained calm and in control. I helped her pace her breathing and supported her through contractions. When she entered into transition she moved to a birthing tub we had set up in our living room. She wore a dark loose gown so she could be both comfortable and modest. The entire process was a very sweet and bonding experience. Sharing such a surreal and wonderful miracle together as a family will be marked in Gretchen's and my mind forever.
Part 3 coming soon.
Friday, April 6, 2012
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
She’s here! This has been an unbelievably long nine months for our family, but our wait is over and we got to meet out little girl on Saturday morning March 31 at 8:19. Sophie was glad to share her title as the largest of the Carel babies when her newest sister joined her weighing 9 pounds 1 ounce. And as if sharing her sister’s birth weight wasn’t enough, Elsie Jane measure 21” in length which was also Sophie’s birth length.
So I am going to take a moment and be a bit politically incorrect. Excuse my indiscretion here. Over the past months I cannot tell you how many times I have heard something along these lines, after telling telling someone my wife and I were awaiting the birth of baby number five: “You know how to stop that don’t ya?” or “Wow, are you Catholic or Mormon?” or “What did you do to deserve that?” Most of the time I would just smile and express how happy we were. Sometimes, feeling a little antagonistic, I would reply a little less than kind. However, just to set the record straight, I am neither Catholic or Mormon and indeed I do know how to ‘stop that’. However, what did I do to deserve this? Other than the unexplainable grace, mercy, blessing and favor of God, I am not sure. The indescribable joy of seeing my newest daughter brought up to her mother’s chest, while surrounded by my four other children and close friends, yields me speechless. I guess I am just a guy who is crazy enough to believe scripture when it says “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward.” Psalm 127:3 ESV
Over the next couple of days Gretchen and I will share our amazing story of Elsie Jane’s arrival. So if you’re so inclined, you can come along as we share.
Elsie means God is my oath and Jane means God is gracious.
May God be your oath and be gracious to you.