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Since most of my updating is done via Instagram these days I thought I'd add a section that links to my feed. Click on any of the pictures to get an enlarged version. I hope you enjoy the pics:

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Update on Sarah

Well, we have now passed our due date and are about to reach 41 weeks. We had an appointment today and things looked good.

Heidi stripped the membranes and said that if it works we should know in a day or two. We are also trying a few other things to see if she is ready but overall we'd like to have me go naturally if possible.

If she hasn't come by Tuesday, I will have another ultrasound to check for fluid levels, placenta degeneration, and overall safety of Sarah. If everything is okay we will wait for Friday and try a natural induction. We will then go from there.

Of course, we would really like prayers for her arrival - both safety and timing.

We would also really appreciate prayers for the Farmer's parents as the travel with family, for the Farmer and the kids as they wait at home, and blessings on all those who have and are helping us in this time! We truly cannot say thank you enough for all the help and prayer!!!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Waiting in Wichita

Well, it has been almost a week now that I have been waiting here in Wichita for Sarah's arrival. Last week the Farmer and I had to make a judgement call as to if I should return home for another week or stay here. For various reasons, we decided that I should stay.

The week went by fairly quickly but I really came to realize how much my family means to me. Sometimes, with all the fighting, bickering, and various things a family goes through it is easy to get your focus wrong and take each other for granted. Being away from everyone has really brought that truth to light for me!

Yesterday Heidi came for this weeks appointment and it showed that there is progress being made toward her arrival, but only God knows when the time is perfect for Sarah to actually make her debut! Which is another thing that I've had to let go of....trying to control that.

As the Farmer noted, I am now at the point of carrying Sarah longer than I have with any of our other children. And it is hard to not want to do something about that, especially since we had so much preterm labor that has all but quit cold turkey.

As a side note, today is the 11th anniversary of when the Farmer and I started dating. As previously explained last year at this time, to him, this is such a special anniversary that he celebrates it each year. This year he came down to see me and brought Abi and Jonny with him (they were at Aunt K's & Uncle M's for a few days so it was easy for him to bring them).

While we were out shopping, Abi helped the Farmer pick out this beautiful rose for me!

It was hard to see them go and I really missed seeing Nate and E, but we pray that the time comes soon and we are all back together as a family!!

Love to all...and huge thanks for all the prayers and support!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Enjoy Life ! - A Lesson

So, the days have been a bit hard lately.  Not just because of late stage pregnancy but struggling with the kids and illness and relationships and well, just life.

For awhile now I have been reading this blog: khphotography. Every once in awhile she posts part of her Jesus Calling Devotional that really speaks to her.  Actually, it is because of the various posts that she has done that I bought the children's Jesus Calling for Abigail.

Anyway, the Farmer was just praying this morning that I'd find joy and hope today and then I sat down to eat my breakfast an peruse my blog readings when I noticed her post.  For your convenience I'll copy just the Jesus Calling part (bold italics are the parts that hit me):

jesus calling:  august 13

learn to enjoy life more.  relax, remembering that I am God WITH you.  I crafted you with enormous capacity to know Me and enjoy My presence.  when My people wear sour faces and walk through their lives with resigned rigidity, I am displeased.  when you walk through a day with CHILDLIKE DELIGHT, savoring every blessing, you proclaim your trust in Me, your ever-present Shepherd.  the more you focus on My presence with you, the more fully you can enjoy life.  glorify Me through your pleasure in Me.  thus you proclaim My presence to the watching  world.” matthew 1:23, john 10:10-11

I was curious, so I asked Abi to get her Jesus Calling out.  This is what spoke to me on the same day in the Children's version:

"Life is My gift to you - enjoy it! I came to this earth so that you could live your life to the fullest, not just endure it. ... Don't walk around with your head down, trying to "just get through" your day so that you can get up tomorrow and do it all over again.  That is what the evil one wants - a dull, tiring life with no joy.  I want every day to be a delight as you live in My Presence and discover My blessings. ... when the rain comes, choose to look for the rainbows.  Choose to enjoy life..."

Wow...'not just endure it'.  How many days have I just tried to endure my life?  Too many to count.  This is not the way I want to live, but it is how it often is.  'A tiring life with no joy' - how easy is it to fall into that one with 5 kids 8 and under - just trying to pick up after them is tiring!

So...what is the solution?  I believe it falls in the adult version: 'the more you focus on My Presence with you'.

God is HERE...with me!  He isn't a million miles away, preoccupied, too busy, disinterested, or even condemning.  He is here with me!  And I need to remember that.  I am not alone, abandoned, or incapable...but I do need to turn to the only One who has never left me, never failed me, never deserted me.  How often I forget that!  Maybe it's because He is not seen everyday...or more accurately because I don't look for Him everyday!

Thank You Lord for showing up today and opening my eyes to see you!~

Copyright © 2012 All Rights Reserved MMFarmlife - Melanie Schlatter

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Crazy Week and an Update on Baby

I have been having this toothache thing going on for like a month now.  But it was crazy because it would hurt for a day or two and then not for a week.  Then a day or two and not a week.  Well, between Fair, Serve, and various activities I just never got into the dentist and by the time I called in, there was a weeks wait, so I got on the calendar but the receptionist said that if they had a cancellation she'd call me.

So Monday first thing she called and said they had a cancellation and could get me in. (This was a HUGE answer to prayer because I had started hurting on Saturday and NOTHING seemed to help or relieve the pain.) So off I went while Marion watched the kids.  I was really hoping I wouldn't have to have a root canal as that all takes time and with Sarah term now I wasn't so excited about multiple appointments.  But, I also really wanted to not be in pain anymore!

Well, the tooth was so decayed, chipped and nerve exposed that he gave me two choices:  Pull the tooth, losing 20% of my chewing power but not really missing it OR go through 2 nerve treatments, a root canal, some reconstruction and a cap (approximately 6 appointments) with no guarantee he'd be able to fully salvage the tooth.

What would you have done?

Ya.  I had my tooth pulled! ~ The Farmer could NOT believe it when I told him.  But the doctor was really great and numbed me so much that I was still partially numb at 9 o'clock that night!

When I got home, the chiropractor had called and they could get me in to see them at 11:15 (like 30 minutes after I got home).  I really wanted that appointment because we had been having contractions and stuff all weekend and just in case we were close to having Sarah I wanted at least one more adjustment.  So, off I went to see them.

After getting home from being with them, I found out our plans for child care had fallen through and we needed to make other arrangements with the kids.  My sister was available but it would work the best for everyone if the kids could go up we packed the kids and headed off to Nebraska.

I got home around 9 p.m. and crashed!

Then Tuesday the Farmer and I headed south to see Heidi.  We were a bit anxious to see how far we had come in the last week since the contractions had not really fully stopped since we saw Bethany on Monday. My weight had gone up quite a bit, but I knew that was because of the fluid I felt in my legs and feet.  My blood pressure was up a bit as well but still acceptable (130/80).  Sarah's heart beat was around 155 and she is measuring 38 weeks.  She also was about 2 inches lower but still freely floated when Heidi pushed on her head.  My cervix was anterior now (a good thing) and I was an open 1 cm dilated.  Other than being anterior now, I was also glad to hear Heidi say I was alot more effaced.  So progress is definitely being made...just not as much as I had hoped for!

So, after visiting a bit, we headed back home and then Wednesday got the kids back from my sister!  And this morning around 3 a.m. both Jonny and Nathan started puking within 15 minutes of each other.  Jonny had it worst with very painful dry heaves about every hour, but he finally settled down around 11 a.m. or so and no one has thrown up since then.  Abi says her tummy doesn't feel well, but we just haven't eaten alot around here today to try to curb the continual spreading and puking.

What a crazy week it has been. But, God is good and we are so grateful for His provision, healing, and overall protection.

Copyright © 2012 All Rights Reserved MMFarmlife - Melanie Schlatter

Friday, August 03, 2012

Church Picnic

Each year our church holds a Sunday School Picnic at the end of the summer.  To be honest, I'm not sure if it is to get the kids geared up for another year or what, because often times it is more of an end of the year appreciation thing than a lets get ready for thing...but either happen at the end of summer.

I've heard some great stories of how the 'old' picnics were done but over the years its become more of a potluck and social gathering.  Since the Farmer teaches Sunday School, he usually tries to find a few activities for the kids to do in honor of 'the old days'. 

But this year...this year they went all out.  They had face painting, raffle games, count the m&ms, and prizes! It was quite the evening finishing off around 9pm with ice cream sandwiches...the traditional ending!

So, here are a few pictures I took of things going on around the church.  They don't have pictures up yet, but I'm told they are going to put some stuff up on the website, so you can check out  for more pics if you want.

Abi's butterfly

playing bowling with pop cans and a beach ball.
(it was supposed to be for the little ones, but Abi jumped in to play too)

Danny's awesome dinosaur!

the Farmer with is outside fishing game

the ducky game.

Shelley getting excited!

the very little ones loved the duckies.

Shelley's fishing game...
they put the pole over the top and it came back with a prize like a water gun or something.

I think she had a gift for each of the kids under 10!

Jonny peaking around the corner while Nathan 'fished'.

Speaking of is Jana's fish mask.
 For the grand finale before the ice cream sandwiches, they had a pinata.

Nathan taking a swing at it.

Jonny's turn.

Shelley helping.

Abi's turn.

She knocked the bum off...and then...

Holly finished it off!

My kids were ready with their sacks...I think they took home alot of the loot!

It was rather funny because more of the adults did the face painting than the kids.  I decided to get a matching butterfly to Abi's.  Here is a picture we took once we got home:

Mother Daughter matching face paintings!
Thanks to everyone who put on such a great event!  It makes life more fun!

Copyright © 2012 All Rights Reserved MMFarmlife - Melanie Schlatter