14 weeks with #4

I have been slacking big time with milestone update for our kiddos. Big. Time.¬† Honestly, if it wasn’t for Drew our blog would be pretty non-existent. I’m glad it isn’t. I’m thankful Drew keeps it somewhat up to date. I always have high hopes of keeping up with it…maybe this year. ūüôā

Anyways, to be fair to our newest addition, I thought I should probably try to post a few times during this pregnancy. So I can remember some day down the road what my belly looked like¬† and how much weight I gained and what foods I craved and how sick I felt. You know, all that fun stuff! ūüôā

All joking aside, I’m thankful. Yes, overwhelmed, but mostly thankful. Thankful for a precious new life growing inside of me. Thankful that God picked me to be a¬† mommy to another little one. Thankful for our growing family (as crazy as it may be). Did we plan this pregnancy? No. But was it a planned pregnancy? Absolutely. 100% planned by God before the foundations of the earth. That is what I rest in when I start getting anxious about mothering 4 kids 4 and under. God doesn’t make mistakes. He doesn’t give us more than we can handle. Will it be hard? I’m thinking so. But I am confident that God will supply me with the grace and strength I need.

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14 weeks. Getting ready to start week 15! It was a rough start, but I’m finally feeling better and not quite as tired (although Drew would probably laugh at that statement). No cravings really. The first couple of months all I wanted was protein, specifically eggs. Weird, I know. I seem to be back to a pretty normal diet now, though. I had an appointment last week and they had trouble finding the heartbeat because little H was moving around SO much! (We did finally hear a strong, healthy heartbeat!) Can’t wait to start feeling those movements soon!

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Party Time!

This past Saturday we got some family together and celebrated Langston’s first birthday (a few days early). How on earth we’re having a birthday party for this boy already, we have no idea. This past year has flown by, and he’s growing up faster than we can keep up with him. But it’s been a blast to have¬†this guy in our family, and especially given the precarious way his life began, we’re incredibly grateful to have a happy, healthy one-year-old in the home!

Here are a few quick snaps from the party:

This actually isn't from the party, but I throw it in just because it's adorable.

This actually isn’t from the party, but I throw it in just because it’s adorable.

As usual, Elizabeth made it look fabulous (and delicious)!

As usual, Elizabeth made it look fabulous (and delicious)!

Langston definitely isn't into opening presents yet. Thankfully, he has two bis sisters to help.

Langston definitely isn’t into opening presents yet. Thankfully, he has two bis sisters to help.

This awesome train he got used to be mine and was made by my Pawsie (Langston's great-great-grandfather)!

This awesome train he got used to be mine and was made by my Pawsie (Langston’s great-great-grandfather)!

The kids (both big and little)

The kids (both big and little)

Mom and Dad with the Birthday Boy.

Mom and Dad with the Birthday Boy.

Quite captivated by this delicious looking object with fire on top of it!

Quite captivated by this delicious looking object with fire on top of it!

"Yummy!"

“Yummy!”

I think it's safe to say he enjoyed the cupcake.

I think it’s safe to say he enjoyed the cupcake.

Brenna combing Aunt Kelsi's hair.

Brenna combing Aunt Kelsi’s hair.

The "Thomas Trio" after year one: Thomas Albert, Drew Thomas, and Langston Thomas.

The “Thomas Trio” after year one: Thomas Albert, Drew Thomas, and Langston Thomas.

Even though he’s not officially one year old until Thursday, we wish this little dude a hearty “Happy Birthday!” We’re looking forward to what year two has in store!

Christmas Pictures

In case you wanted a glimpse into our what our holiday season looked like…

Cutting out Christmas cookies...

Cutting out Christmas cookies…

...and decorating Christmas cookies.

…and decorating Christmas cookies.

A couple Christmas cookie artists extraordinaire!

A couple Christmas cookie artists extraordinaire!

Getting ready to open their Christmas Eve presents.

Getting ready to open their Christmas Eve presents.

Family photo on Christmas Eve.

Family photo on Christmas Eve.

Felicia during the Christmas Eve service at church.

Felicia during the Christmas Eve service at church.

The stockings were hung from the...railing?...with care.

The stockings were hung from the…railing?…with care.

Langston waking up Felicia on Christmas morning.

Langston waking up Felicia on Christmas morning.

A new hat!

A new hat!

We even managed to get Uncle Nate and Uncle Matt out of bed to join the festivities.

We even managed to get Uncle Nate and Uncle Matt out of bed to join the festivities.

Pretty excited about these new Bibles (because of the pictures, of course!)

Pretty excited about these new Bibles (because of the pictures, of course!)

Nana and Papa at the precise moment they realized they're having (yet another!) grandchild.

Nana and Papa at the precise moment they realized they’re having (yet another!) grandchild.

Doing some Christmas morning devotions, maybe?

Doing some Christmas morning devotions, maybe?

Selfie! It's hard to believe, but this was the 9th Christmas we've been able to celebrate together!

Selfie! It’s hard to believe, but this was the 9th Christmas we’ve been able to celebrate together!

Working a new puzzle with Nana.

Working a new puzzle with Nana.

Grammy and the boys.

Grammy and the boys.

Awesome new train table!

Awesome new train table!

Me and the wifey...

Me and the wifey…

...and me and my big (little) sister.

…and me and my big (little) sister.

Brenna and Felicia were in cousin heaven to get to hang out with Olivia all day.

Brenna and Felicia were in cousin heaven to get to hang out with Olivia all day.

Cutest sisters ever.

Cutest sisters ever.

Grammy and Langston (with Elizabeth pulling off a great photobomb in the background)

Grammy and Langston (with Elizabeth pulling off a great photobomb in the background)

So there you have it. That’s representative of about 5% of the fun we have, because when we’re having fun, we’re usually not worried about taking pictures. But we’re happy that despite all the kids being sick at one point or another during the holidays, we were able to enjoy the time with family and make some memories together.

From Our Family to Yours!

If you were hoping for a Christmas card from us this year in the mail, we’re sorry to say that you probably shouldn’t hold your breath.¬†But since we don’t want to completely ruin your holidays, we thought we’d at least pass along an electronic (and much less expensive!) Christmas card for you to enjoy. So¬†from our family to yours:

announcement no4

Oh, and to answer the three questions that you’re probably asking right now:

  1. Yes, it’s true.
  2. 13 weeks.
  3. July 11.

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Decorating

Don’t judge us, but we went ahead and decorated for Christmas this past weekend. With little folks in the house, decorating is a rather significant ordeal. So we decided we’d at least like to have the tree up long enough to make it worth the trouble. (As it turns out, only one ornament got shattered in the decorating process, and–much to Brenna’s delight–it was my fault, not hers or Felicia’s.)

Three eager kiddos, ready to go!

Three eager kiddos, ready to go!

Brenna hanging an ornament (a non-fragile one, of course)...

Brenna hanging an ornament (a non-fragile one, of course)…

...Felicia's turn to help out...

…Felicia’s turn to help out…

...and Langston's turn (he didn't really get it).

…and Langston’s turn (he didn’t really get it).

Oh, and by the way: yes, Brenna is wearing a princess tiara. Just one of those things you accept as the father of a 4-year-old girl.

Oh, and by the way: yes, Brenna is wearing a princess tiara. Just one of those things you accept as the father of a 4-year-old girl.

Langston Thomas, intrepid explorer of mysterious new cardboard boxes.

Langston Thomas, intrepid explorer of mysterious cardboard boxes.

We did it!

We did it!

Lights in the girls' room. We may never be able to take these down.

Lights in the girls’ room. Bedtime just got a whole lot more exciting. (Also, on a related note, we may never be able to take these down.)

The tree...

The tree…

...some lights out font...

…along with some lights out front.

We finished our decorating day at Pizza King to have some dinner watch the train go by our table.

We finished our decorating day at Pizza King to have some dinner watch the train go by our table.

So yes, we’re pagans because we decorated before Thanksgiving. But then again, I’d love for¬†someone to explain to me why exactly genuine Christian gratitude is mutually¬†incompatible with the celebration of the incarnate and eternal Son of God who was sent from heaven for us and for our salvation…

Jamaican Vacation

Not everybody has family members living in the Caribbean. But for those of us who do, we bear the dreadfully unique and sacred responsibility of fulfilling our familial obligations by making it a point to visit our sun-soaked relatives, especially if we live in Indiana and visit during the autumn, when the weather is beginning to get cold in our homeland. Duty demands it.

And so, in accord with our sacred duty, our clan of 5 recently boarded a plane and headed for Montego Bay to spend a little over a week with Elizabeth’s parents, who are presently residing in Jamaica, a place where they’ve been working and ministering for a number of years now. It had¬†been over 7 years since Elizabeth and I¬†last visited the island (we were newly engaged back then!), and so we decided earlier this year that it was high time to make a trip back down. Not only would it be fun to take the kids some place warm and tropical, but it would be a great chance to let them spend time with their Nana and Papa, as well!

Taking 3 small children anywhere is an adventure; taking them out of the country is downright crazy. But all in all, things went incredibly smoothly, and we ended up making it there and back without losing a child (or our sanity!). In between the travelling, the vacation was great! We spent most mornings either at the pool or at the beach, and we spent most afternoons relaxing and hanging out at the house with Elizabeth’s parents and two youngest brothers (Nate and Matt). We also ate a lot of really good food, celebrated Brenna’s 4th birthday, survived a jellyfish attack, had an adventure on the open seas, engaged in¬†some spirited¬†FIFA contests on the PS3 (I won one game out of about 30), and managed to come away with some half-way decent tan lines. To sum up the trip, here are some of our favorite pictures (a few of which are courtesy of Papa, who got a lot of good photos, as well):

On the plane and ready for take-off (after waking up at about 4am).

On the plane and ready for take-off (after waking up at about 4am).

After making it to Nana and Papa's house, the first order of business was some relaxation in the hammock!

After making it to Nana and Papa’s house, the first order of business was some relaxation in the hammock!

The day after we arrived, this little girl woke up as a FOUR-year-old.

The day after we arrived, this little girl woke up as a FOUR-year-old.

Heading to the beach. (Who needs a car seat anyway?)

Heading to the beach. (Who needs a car seat anyway?)

These girls were ready to swim!

These girls were ready to swim…

...as was Langston.

…as was Langston.

Relaxing in the sun.

Relaxing in the sun.

Felicia's face is priceless.

Felicia’s face is priceless.

Uncle Matt and Langston.

Uncle Matt and Langston.

Nana and Papa with Langston.

Nana and Papa with Langston.

Celebrating with the birthday girl!

Celebrating with the birthday girl!

Pool time...

Pool time…

Nana and Papa with three little fishies.

Nana and Papa with three little fishies.

Going for a ride.

Going for a ride.

Taking a walk down the road to a little shopping center.

Taking a walk down the road to a little shopping center.

Hilariously bad attempt at a family photo.

Hilariously bad attempt at a family photo.

One afternoon we drove to an ice cream place with a playground. The girls loved it!

One afternoon we drove to an ice cream place with a playground. The girls loved it!

Felicia navigating the monkey bars (with a little help).

Felicia navigating the monkey bars (with a little help).

Langston thought swinging was pretty fun, too.

Langston thought swinging was pretty fun, too.

Is that not the most adorable picture that could ever be taken?

Is that not the most adorable picture that could ever be taken?

A (slightly better) attempt at a family picture.

A (slightly better) attempt at a family picture.

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Me and my lady ūüôā

Eating ice cream (boy was it good!).

Eating ice cream (boy was it good!).

More fun on the hammock, this time with baby brother on board.

More fun on the hammock, this time with baby brother on board.

One evening, Elizabeth and I got to have a date night out on the town.

One evening, Elizabeth and I got to have a date night out on the town.

Our view of the sunset while eating dinner.

Our view of the sunset while eating dinner.

Selfie on the pier (after I nearly got us lost at night in MoBay).

Selfie on the pier (after I nearly got us lost at night in MoBay).

More swimming at the beach.

More swimming at the beach.

Uncle Matt giving Felicia a toss into the sky.

Uncle Matt giving Felicia a toss into the sky.

A great adventure on the open ocean with "Big Yellow." (We stuck Nate on there the next day and went out with three people piled on top of Big Yellow.)

Returning from a great adventure on the open ocean with “Big Yellow.” (We stuck Nate on there the next day and went out with three people piled on top of Big Yellow.)

Ice cream (again!)...this time with Uncle Nate.

Ice cream (again!)…this time with Uncle Nate.

Last day at the beach.

Last day at the beach.

Langston discovered that he really like playing in the sand.

Langston discovered that he really like playing in the sand.

The two cutest sisters in the world, enjoying one last Jamaican sunset.

The two cutest sisters in the world, enjoying one last Jamaican sunset.

And speaking of Jamaican sunsets...

And speaking of Jamaican sunsets…

The five of us!

The five of us!

We went out to eat on the last evening. Here's the whole gang.

We went out to eat on the last evening. Here’s the whole gang.

Classic Langston...if his eyes got much bigger, they might pop out of his head.

Classic Langston…if his eyes got much bigger, they might pop right out of his head.

Watching a cruise ship sail out of the bay.

Watching a cruise ship sail out of the bay.

Some mother-son bonding on the plane ride back to the States.

Some quality mother-son bonding on the plane ride back to the States.

The tireless travelers, who did a marvelous job navigating the airports with their roller bags in tow!

The tireless travelers, who did a marvelous job navigating the airports with their roller bags in tow!

Dinner in the Atlanta airport on the way home.

Dinner in the Atlanta airport on the way home.

A super cute combo!

A super cute combo!

It goes without saying, but we truly had a great time.¬†It was a blessing to have 10 refreshing days of family time, and we owe a HUGE thanks to Nana and Papa (a.k.a. Mom and Dad, a.k.a. Gary and Marty) for hosting us and to Uncle Nate and Uncle Matt for giving up their bedrooms and letting us invade their worlds. It was a vacation we won’t soon forget!

Miscellanies (Vol. 24)

Having finally posted some pictures from the summer, we can now¬†post a few pictures that are more recent. As is customary with the “Miscellanies” features, you’ll find that most of these are random and unrelated:

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A few weeks ago, Felicia got a big mole removed from her leg. She was quite a trooper, and by the end of the ordeal, she had all the nurses in the surgery center wrapped around her finger.

Brenna managed to get a midnight trip to the ER recently, too, thanks to an infection. But all is well when you get Frozen stickers!

Brenna managed to get a midnight trip to the ER recently, too, thanks to an infection that caused her cheek to swell up to an alarming size. But all is well when you get Frozen stickers!

Glow in the dark headbands!

Glow in the dark headbands!

I took the girls to a high school football game a few weeks ago to watch a friend. They were especially fond of visiting the concession stand (Skittles and popcorn!).

I took the girls to a high school football game a few weeks ago to watch a friend. They were especially fond of visiting the concession stand (Skittles and popcorn!).

Langston Thomas, the child model.

Langston Thomas, the child model.

Heading out for a walk. (Felicia wanted to ride her bike, too. Hence the scowl.)

Heading out for a walk. (Felicia wanted to ride her bike, too. Hence the scowl.)

Riding around in an animal-themed tractor/train thing.

We went to an orchard last weekend (it’s a family fall tradition), and the kids got to do lots of fun activities. Here they are riding around in an animal-themed tractor/train thing.

LT and his beautiful mommy.

LT and his beautiful mommy.

Surprisingly, Brenna (the child who has always been petrified of being up-close with animals) wanted to ride a horse. She loved it!

Surprisingly, Brenna (the child who has always been petrified of being up-close with animals) wanted to ride a horse. She loved it!

And, of course, that which Brenna does, Felicia must do. (Grammy helped provide some safety precautions.)

And, of course, that which Brenna does, Felicia must do. (Grammy helped provide some safety precautions.)

And of course, we can't leave Langston out, lest he someday look back at baby pictures and ask, "Why didn't I get to ride the horse?!"

And of course, we can’t leave Langston out, lest he someday look back at baby pictures and ask, “Why didn’t I get to ride the horse?!”

"Look Mom, an apple!"

“Look Mom, an apple!”

Brenna insisted on only picking the "high" apples.

Brenna insisted on only picking the “high” apples.

Me and Langston love our flannels!

Me and Langston love our flannels!

Can you tell that he's a serious mama's boy? And can you tell that Elizabeth really, really hates it?

Can you tell that he’s a serious mama’s boy? And can you tell that Elizabeth really, really hates it?

Massive Summer Recap

Well, well, well. It looks like a few weeks slipped past us without any blog update. (And by “a few weeks”, we of course mean “four months.”) At any rate, we’re going to try to do some catching up with an assortment of pictures from the summer that will give you a glimpse into¬†how enviably exciting our lives are. Or not. In either case, here’s way more pictures than you ever cared to see:

We needed some art for our dining room, and we commissioned these two for the task. Come see it sometime. It's quite ... original.

[June] We needed some art for our dining room, and we commissioned these two for the task. Come see it sometime. It’s quite … original.

Exploring a nearby creek and working on rock-throwing skills.

[June] Exploring a nearby creek and working on rock-throwing skills.

So much love!

[June] So much love!

[June] World Cup fever!

[June] World Cup fever!

[June] Over the summer, this big dude entered the world of high chairs and solid food.

[June] Over the summer, this big dude entered the world of high chairs and solid food.

[June] Having a blast with cousin Olivia!

[June] Having a blast with cousin Olivia!

[June] The boy can charm your socks off with that smile.

[June] The boy can charm your socks off with that smile.

[July] We had a "camp-out" one night downstairs with the girls. Air mattress, sleeping bags, snacks, and a movie!

[July] We had a “camp-out” one night downstairs with the girls. Air mattress, sleeping bags, snacks, and a movie!

[July] Very captivated by the movie...

[July] Very captivated by the movie…

[July] Felicia, Queen of Fashion

[July] Felicia, Queen of Fashion

[July] Lazy day lounging with Mom.

[July] Lazy day lounging with Mom.

[July] Brenna ran her first race this summer. As you can see, she wasn't intimidated by the tough competition.

[July] Brenna ran her first race this summer. As you can see, she wasn’t intimidated by the tough competition.

[July] If you're smiling that big, you're not running fast enough!

[July] If you’re smiling that big, you’re not running fast enough!

[July] Headed down the home stretch!

[July] Headed down the home stretch!

[July] Eating some s'mores in the back yard.

[July] Eating some s’mores in the back yard.

[July] Trip to the always entertaining Tippecanoe County Fair.

[July] Trip to the always entertaining Tippecanoe County Fair.

[July] Langston was less than impressed by his first experience at the fair.

[July] Langston was less than impressed by his first experience at the fair.

[July] I believe this was right after downing an entire elephant ear.

[July] I believe this was right after downing an entire elephant ear.

[July] Heading to the zoo during a visit from Nana and Papa.

[July] Heading to the zoo during a visit from Nana and Papa.

[July] Brenna and Uncle Ben

[July] Brenna and Uncle Ben

[July] Felicia and Uncle Matt

[July] Felicia and Uncle Matt

[July] Somebody likes the swing.

[July] Somebody likes the swing.

[August] She doesn't quite understand the game of corn hole. Never a dull moment with this child...

[August] She doesn’t quite understand the game of corn hole. Never a dull moment with this child…

[August] Family reunion in Kentucky with Mom-mom and Dad-dad (and a rapidly multiplying herd of great-grandkids).

[August] Family reunion in Kentucky with Mom-mom and Dad-dad (and a rapidly multiplying herd of great-grandkids).

[August] BOO!

[August] BOO!

[August] Felicia was pretty excited to get to move into her big bed this summer (and both the girls are finally staying in these beds all night long, which is a blessing too great for words!).

[August] Felicia was pretty excited to get to move into her big bed this summer (and both the girls are finally staying in these beds all night long, which is a blessing too great for words!).

[August] Langston's affection for his mom is completely out of this world.

[August] Langston’s affection for his mom is completely out of this world.

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[August] Somehow, this happened.

[August] It's pretty adorable to watch Felicia send Brenna off to school. She gives her a big hug and kiss, and then walks her into the classroom.

[August] It’s pretty adorable to watch Felicia send Brenna off to school. She gives her a big hug and kiss, and then walks her into the classroom.

[August] This is how you swing like a boss.

[August] This is how you swing like a boss.

So, that’s that.¬†Summer 2014 is in the books. And the blog is (sort of) up to date.

Sibling Love

I think I will let the pictures do all the talking….

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5 Months

Can it really be? Langston turned 5 months old on Sunday. Sniff. Sniff. I sounds like a broken record, but he is seriously such an easy baby. If he is fussy, more times than not, you know he needs one of three things. His bed, food, or his diaper changed. Once in awhile he will cry because he just wants to be held (and yes, usually I oblige), but honestly 95% of the time he is a very happy, laid back baby.

I haven’t introduced any solid foods to him yet, but in the next couple of weeks I probably will give it a go. I can tell he is interested, but I just have not been in a hurry. Is that bad? Don’t worry. He isn’t starving.

Langston is still pretty content being immobile. Although, he is oh so close to rolling over! I am just sure it will happen this next month. The biggest milestone in month five was teeth! Langston now has TWO of them! It seemed to happen fast. Last week I go to put  my finger in his mouth and to my shock I felt something sharp. Two days later his second one was through! Crazy.

I think Langston’s favorite thing to do is to smile, and with his big, blue eyes he can put on quite the show. ūüôā Brenna loves to try to make him smile or laugh at her and she is SO proud off herself when she is successful. Felicia LOVES to give her little brother hugs and kisses and is constantly asking to do so. It makes ¬† ¬† ¬†my heart so happy knowing those three love each other!

Drew was able to capture this ADORABLE video of Langston laughing at his daddy. Does this not just melt your heart?

 

We love you Langston Thomas! Happy 5 months!