Deuteronomy 6:5-9

"You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Praise the Lord!!!

Great report... Tabitha now weighs a great 6 pounds 10 oz.!!! That is a 7 oz. gain in just 3 days. She is officially an eating machine. She is still a little jaundice but not enough for the "lights". So we are officially on the road up!!! This makes everything a lot easier for me, I love knowing she's eating enough.

Now just pray for our nights to get better. I haven't worried about it, because I've been just feeding her. Now that she's gaining I would like to try to get her schedule worked out a little better. I need some rest. (hahaha) Yes, I realize she's a week old, but we can start attempting a schedule.

Thanks for all your prayers, and I'll keep updating everyone!!!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

While we were at the hospital

So I thought I might tell you how the children did while my hubby and I were at the hosp. Well, the plans were they were going to stay home with my sister. She's home from college, and they would be able sleep in their own beds and such. So I had Tabitha Wednesday, the children were all at the hospital and then my sister took them home. I'm a little controlling, so I had some meals all planned out for them, with their snacks and stuff. We weren't sure if they would come back to the hospital that night or not since Taylor had swim practice until 6:20. I had one of her friends parents pick her up and bring her home. So my sis. just stayed home with the boys. Around six she decided to start dinner. I bought one of those frozen lasagna dinners. After she put it in she realized it had to cook for 2 hours. They normally eat around six then have their baths and go to bed at eight. So she called us around 7, my husband suggested she give them a snack or something, because they were going to be starving. (he hung up and we got a good laugh) I called a little while longer to check on them, and she said they were fine, she stopped the lasagna and heated them up some frozen waffles. (hahaha, so much for controlling things, huh) Then they decided to come to the hospital. (remember they are used to going to bed at eight) So they got to the hospital about 8:30 or so and hung out with us for about an hour and a half. I have to say they were a lot calmer, being so late. Overall, I have to say they did great that day! They're not ruined, and God taught me a thing or two through that. I love my sister, and I am so thankful for her. How many 22 year old's do you know that would volunteer to stay somewhere and take care of 3 kids that weren't hers.

Thursday morning we planned for my dad to come over and relieve my sis. for a while so she could work. I called about 7:30-8:00. My sis answered the phone half awake. I said, "I'm sorry were you sleeping?" She said yes, I asked if the boys were awake, she said I don't know, I said is dad there, she said I don't know, I said o.k. well I'll let you go, she said o.k., bye. (hmmmmm, I sat there, do I panic or laugh) I got in touch with my dad about an hour later. He said when he got there Ethan was still asleep (remember late night), and Taylor was up taking care of Andrew. How awesome is my girl? Alley (my sis.) was still asleep. (remember she is a college student) They had a great day with my dad and even came and saw us for a little while. I have a great dad who loves to play and just hang out with our kids. Taylor had swimming again Thursday night and softball. Alley handled all that like a pro. I'm not sure what they did for dinner that night.

Friday, Martie was supposed to go home spend time with them and such. That was the day I got so sick. His mother came to the hosp. to take care of me, so he was able to leave. We really wanted him to be with the other children. He struggled with wanting to be in both places. He ended up bring them back to the hospital and they went home with my in-laws. After a few hours of being home with them, my sister in-law informed me that Ethan said he wasn't coming home, he was moving in with papa. Then he said we could all move in with papa. Now wouldn't that be fun!!! I am so blessed with the greatest in-laws. They adore our children and spoil them crazy. They brought them home Sat. all three wearing new shirts grandma had bought for them.

I write this blog to say, no things did not go according to schedule all the time. Yes, my kids got away with too many things, yes they are in the process of being re-trained this week, BUT they're not ruined. They are probably closer now, have had some fun experiences and made some great memories together. I am so thankful to my family. Words can never express my gratitude. I love each of you very much!!!

Doctor update

Sorry I haven't updated this yet. We took Tabitha to the doctor on Monday. She still weighs 6.3. So no weight gain, but no weight loss either. So, we're going to keep doing what we're doing. (force feeding her) I'm not supplementing, I have plenty of milk. The problem is she will not open her mouth. She is either too sleepy or too lazy. So I have to literally force her to eat. That's o.k. I'm pretty determined, and thank goodness this is not the first baby. I still love nursing, and I know we'll get through this. I take her back to the doc. tomorrow (Thurs.) for another weight check, and possibly a billirubin check. Because the labs were closed Monday, we did not do the billirubin check. Our doctor felt o.k. about waiting, she's not too "orange". Our two boys were jaundice, and Andrew had to have the phototheraphy. (so we know what to look for) It's amazing to understand how jaundice works and how the blood types come into play with that. Because Tabitha and I both have O blood type, she is less likely to have severe jaundice. (even though I'm neg. and she's pos.) The boys are like AB or something, which puts them at greater risk. I'm still learning and don't quite understand.

Well, hopefully I'll update our blog tomorrow and let you all know how the appointment goes. Continue to pray for weight gain and good feedings.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Update...from Heather

Hi all!!!

Thank you for everyone's wonderful comments. Tabitha and I are home. We are both doing better. Tabitha gained 1 ounce. (praise the Lord) We have to go to the doctor for her first thing Monday. They wanted us to go tomorrow (Sunday), but we convinced them of Monday. This gives us an extra day for Tabitha to gain more weight, plus my hubby has to preach tomorrow. The doctors will check her Bilirubin and her weight. She is slightly jaundice, but not enough for phototheraphy. (another praise) I am feeling a lot better. Anyway enough about me and Tabitha, I really wanted to send a special thanks through this blog.

Thank you for everything you have done for me and the children. You have been an amazing source of strength for me, and I love you. I did not expect to come home to a clean house, nor did I expect you to keep up the garden. After a long day at the hospital you still came home took care of the children, fed the dogs, washed laundry, washed dishes, fed all of us, and tucked the children in bed!!! WOW!!! Now you are at church preparing to preach tomorrow. I stand in awe! You are an amazing man of God, I wish every woman could be so blessed to have a hubby like you! Oh, and I really appreciate all the beautiful pictures you have been taking. I was so excited to hear you today at the hospital when I was in the other room getting things together. You got Tabitha all dressed and begin taking pictures. You were so funny and cute, and I thank you.
Love you!

Here are some of the adorable pictures my hubby took:

Friday, May 23, 2008

Tabitha Update

Today started off pretty rough. Heather began the morning with severe nausea and vomiting. She slowly got better throughout the day. Tabitha Ruth is doing well except for the fact that she has lost too much weight. They are going to start supplementing her nursing schedule today. We are hoping Tabitha and Heather will get better so that we can go home in the morning. I, Martie, came home to take a shower, visit with the kids, and post this blog to keep all of you updated. Please continue to pray for both Heather and Tabitha, that they would grow in strength, that the recovery would be quick (You all know how much I depend on my wife), and that we would continue to turn to the Lord with thankful hearts for who He is and how He has blessed us.

Tabitha's First Bath

So Cute!!!

Her first $20 Bill from Pa

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A Gift from the Lord!

Tabitha Ruth Mangum has arrived!!!!!!!

Tabitha was born at 12:47pm weighing in at 6lbs 11oz and 19 inches long. Both Tabitha and Heather are doing well. Heather had a rough time after the birth. She was very nauseous and ended up getting sick a couple of times. I would tell you haw beautiful she is but take a look for yourself. God is so faithful in bringing both Heather and Tabitha through this without any major complications. I praise Him for blessing our family in all the ways He has.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Finally, a name! Only 4 more days to go!

You know I can't tell you all right away. I have to give a mini speech first. First, I know many of you think that we live a radical lifestyle. I mean who in the world wants more than 2-3 children, why would you want to teach your children at home, why would you want to eat, sleep, and breath "church"? I know, I have heard these things, people think we're weird. I admire my husband in so many ways, one because he doesn't care what anyone thinks. He truly lives his life to please God. When someone lives like that, their life is going to look weird. I on the other hand, aim to please. I have always been a people pleaser, wanting to fit in, wanting everyone's approval. Why???? I don't know why. I just know that I have always been this way. I am learning slowly. God has taken me out of my comfort zone, plenty of times. I find the more I pray to Him, and seek to live my life "sold out" to Him, He then takes me more and more out of my comfort zone. But, who am I pleasing? When I take these radical steps of faith, I feel like He is saying, "well done my good and faithful servant". I have learned to LOVE children, lots of children. I know that God has called me to stay at home with my children, teach them at home, and even have more children. WHAT!!!! I know I haven't even had this one, and I said it more children. Crazy, huh??? That's o.k.; I am learning to be o.k. with crazy. I have always had a passion for adoption, so we'll see what lays in store for our family. I'm just giving everyone a heads up, so when we make more "radical" decisions for God, please don't be surprised.

O.k. so the name… Well, when I was pregnant with Andrew I remember sitting in church one Sunday and Martie was preaching Acts 9:36-43. I remember listening to the story of Tabitha completely amazed. First, she is the only woman in the bible that is called "a disciple", and then she reminds me so much of the Proverbs 31 woman. She was "abounding with deeds of kindness". I knew right then I wanted to name a daughter after her. I told Martie, and he told me he had thought the same thing. This morning in my quiet time, I was reading Isaiah 49:1 and it says, "From the body of my mother He named me." I might me taking this out of context a little, however I feel like God laid that name on mine and Marties hearts. So her first name, "Tabitha". Like it, love it, hate it.... I just hope you will love her just the same. O.k. so the middle name. I do a bible study two times a month. For a while we went through the book of Ruth. If you have never read anything I challenge you to read the book of Ruth. Talk about "sold out" to God. She left her home, her family, sacrificed everything to be obedient to God. She is also thought to be the woman behind Proverbs 31. What more could we want for a daughter of ours? So, as ugly as you all might think, Tabitha Ruth Mangum will be our daughter’s name. I think her name is beautiful and I pray that we will raise her up to become what these women represented.

So, lastly I would challenge you all to read Acts 9:36-43, the whole book of Ruth, and Proverbs 31:10-31. Then give me your opinion. I hope that the Lord changes each of your minds as you see us trying to follow the Lord. I love you all!

Friday, May 2, 2008

When the "girls" are away.... The "boys" will....

I'm not quite sure what my wonderful husband was doing when my youngest managed to do this. Let me start from the beginning, we bought our daughter a cookie cake to celebrate a wonderful "homeschooling" year. (and she memorized all of Eph. 6) So this cookie cake, yeah it was good with hot pink icing and all. (you might remember my previous post) So Andrew managed to climb up the side of the counter to the top, where the cake was. Martie said he walked in and caught him in the act. Soooo, of course he grabbed the camera, and Andrew said CHEESE!!! This stuff never happens when I'm home with these "well behaved children". :-) (actually I'm so thankful he thought to grab the camera)

My husband said Andrew wanted to be a clown.
This was the counter...AFTER...