It is hard to believe that it has been one year since we welcomed these four little miracles into the world.
Our busy season is in full swing, so we are working round the clock. We have to make a living while the sun shines! I have been so t-i-r-e-d and busy the last few months that I have not blogged about all of the changes. I have started drinking coffee, which helps immensely. Diet Coke doesn’t make a dent with multiples.
Callie is feeding Landon and multi-tasking already. (Get used to it, honey.)
Quads learn to sleep anytime, anywhere.
We are brave enough to take them out to eat occasionally. It takes muscles to load--unload--load--unload again. We get a lot of looks, comments and questions when we go out. Many people ask how we can tell the babies apart. They each look different to us, although pictures are sometimes hard to identify.
They are getting heavy! Here are their weights: Landon (17 lbs.), Jackson (15 lbs.), Isabella (16 lbs.) and Samantha (14 lbs.).
Daddy spends a lot of time in the pen.
Michelle in the pen
Tom in the pen (We put the quads in to keep him company.)
Tom being cute
Samantha wants to wear glasses like her papaw.
Callie entertains the babies. Samantha prefers to be in the pen by herself.
Samantha LOVES Elmo. She gets so excited when we say his name or sing his song.
Isabella is the sweetest baby. She is active and very smart. This child LOVES to eat. She pats me on the arm when she wants another bite. She climbs the gate and tries to get out. She reminds me so much of Sarah as a baby because she is so sensitive. If we tell her no, she cries like her heart is broken. Izzy B holds her face when she is upset. She holds her own bottle and puts herself to sleep.
Jackson is trying to keep the grass from touching his feet. He is constant motion and personality packed. This child has charisma and charm. He is a momma’s boy. Jackson’s voice is husky and cute. He raises one eyebrow when we call him and he’s busy, something he gets from my side of the family. Not everyone can do that, you know. Jackson is the first to do everything, although Isabella is right behind him. He is very easy-going and sweet.
Jackson in his ball cap
Samantha has one, too.
Who needs strollers?
My niece Bethany takes the best pictures! This one is of Callie and Cassondra--best friend cousins.
Toys are always everywhere.
Curly hair like Daddy
Isabella loves Play Doh in a ziplock bag, supervised, of course. :)
Samantha is catching up quickly now. It is amazing to see her progress after being sick for so long. She is pulling up and crawling. She eats very well. Sammy Jo is very opinionated and strong-willed. She has a definite temper, probably the worst of the four. Okay, I will admit it. She is slightly spoiled. She jabbers all the time. She reminds me of Sarah, too, because she is content to sit by herself with toys as long as she can see me.
Landon has a sweet personality. He cackles at Callie and the rest of the babies. He is crawling and pulling up. He has developed a little bit of a temper, but it takes a lot for him to get upset. His clock runs precisely, so we have to feed him on schedule to keep the peace.
Jackson is crawling and walking along the couch while holding on. This past week he started taking 2 or 3 steps at a time. It is so funny to watch such a little baby walk! How did I know that he would be the first?
Jackson's double-hernia surgery went well, although he tried his best not to cough for a while. He spends most of his time crying to get on the other side of the gate, no matter what gate it is. He is persistent. The doctor said we are going to have to let him cry, because Jackson wants all of the things he cannot have. That is easier said than done!
Devon has plenty of room in her car for quadruplets, as long as the trunk is open.
Tom always wins the games at Kings Island.
She only stops talking when she is asleep.
The Lincoln Log Mansion
Sammy Jo always wakes up happy.
Naptime for Landon, Jackson and Isabella
Samantha is part of the parenting team (still in quad denial), so she prefers to nap wherever an adult is working, even if it means sitting up.
Samantha and her siblings have several teeth. Four babies teething can be dangerous. It hurts when they bite!
My clever mother and her Porta Beds in the ticket booth. The babies love to be on the go.
Staying warm after the rain
Feeding time! Jackson, Samantha and Isabella LOVE to eat. Landon is less enthusiastic, but we are learning that he prefers strong flavors, like pepper, salsa, lemon, sugar, spices, etc.
Callie likes to help, even when she is tired.
Callie turned four. Tom gave her chickens for her birthday.
One of the Roosters--We have FOUR. Fortunately, they are a docile breed and get along so far.
Our little farm girl
We have eggs!
Callie gathering her eggs
The first egg we cracked had twin yolks. Go figure.
Devon, Samantha and the Chickens
Isabella and Jackson
Daddy and Isabella
Happy Birthday Callie!
Four Years Old
Isabella in Eric's hat
Feeding Time! Sarah gave up on individual bowls and spoons. There are not enough hours in the day. They are always stealing/sharing pacifiers and bottles anyway. It is much easier this way, but it can be noisy and is always messy. They love to pull off their bibs, blow food bubbles, and grab the spoon. By the time the bowl is empty, everyone--including Sarah--needs a bath. It is fun, though, because they eat just about everything.
Fun at the Fair
Michelle, Jackson and I
Eric had to go back to school again. Sarah is going to miss him. He keeps her company for late-night feedings and rockings.
Exploring Eric's OCU Campus
Indiana Hail--I was worried about my car!
Isabella figured out where Sarah keeps the "boo-boo's" and collects them all. She is happiest when she has several back-ups.
Izzy B Stealing Samantha's Boo-Boo
Izzy B Stealing Boo-Boo 2
Izzy B Stealing Boo-Boo 3
Jackson Pulling Up
Callie Playing in the Driveway
Daniel, Devon and Samantha
Daniel and Isabella
Jackson and his Bat
Callie Feeding Two
Izzy B Selling Tickets
Tom's Baby Face--Papaw Bob noticed that this picture looks an awful lot like Jackson.
Eric's Glasses (He looks like quads, too)
Eric the Cowboy (I think he looks the most like Landon.)
My Kids Riding Missy, Tom's horse, a long time ago
Eric Marching on Washington with me in the Pro-Life March
Four on the Floor
We have decided that multiples are generally good babies. They seem to be more content than singletons, probably because they have to wait so much. For everything.
Jackson in Devon's Purse
These are my babies. Aren’t they cute? :)
Callie holding Eric's snake
This has been a stressful summer. A few weeks ago I was sitting in the van at a stoplight on a rural road with Sarah, Michelle and the kids. Sarah was on the phone with Tony, when suddenly we were hit from behind. Tony heard the impact and the babies screaming. He jumped in his van and sped to where we were. I was afraid to look in the back seat! While I feared the worst, I kept praying. The babies appeared to be okay, but wouldn't stop crying. My head was hurting and my neck was stiff. Sarah's head hurt. But we were all in one piece. It turned out that we had been rear-ended by a lady with no license who was in a big hurry. Paramedics arrived and checked everyone. When the EMT took my blood pressure, he said, "Look, I know you are upset, but you need to calm down!" Thankfully, God was watching over us!
We were told to buy new car seats. They only survive one impact safely.
More Baby Seats
We were so excited and thankful to take the quads to church for the first time on Mother's Day. Pastor Dave dedicated the babies and their parents to Christ, encouraging Sarah and Tony to raise them to serve God faithfully. It was especially wonderful because so many of our dearest friends and family members were there to witness the ceremony.
We were so happy that Papaw Bob (Tom's dad) could come. It was his last visit to church.
The quads and their great-grandparents- They also have a great-great grandmother (Tom's grandma), if you can believe that!
Great-Great Grandma (Great-Grandma Stella's mom) and her great-great grandbabies! Wonderful!
Eric and Great-Grandma
Mom and Bettylu--Two Faithful Women of Prayer
We took up quite a few pews for the service
Landon, Devon and soon-to-be married Anna
At the last evaluation, it was recommended that we put all but Jackson in physical therapy to get caught up. Isabella was "back crawling," which is common for preemies. (Remember how we called her a "bat" because she was always hanging her head upside down?) Samantha had been sick for so long and had much work to do. Landon had motor delays and sensory issues, whatever that means. Due to the expense, Sarah and Tony decided to put Landon in therapy and work with the other two themselves. We all started praying. It was incredible to watch the rapid improvement that they all made after the evaluation. Each day they would do something new. It was hard to keep with their progress.
Since that time, all three babies have started crawling. We were thrilled when Landon was able to pull himself up to stand! He is very determined. He learns quickly by watching his siblings. These babies are perfect gifts from God.
Papaw Bob and Sammy Jo
After the dedication, Tom's dad took a turn for the worse and went downhill very quickly. We spent as much time as we could at his house. He especially enjoyed holding Samantha. He said, "We understand each other because we have both been so sick." She would sit for hours in his lap. He held her as long as he was safely able to do so.
Bob spent the last weeks sharing the good news about Christ whenever he could. He asked me to pray for the people in his life that he loved who aren't living for God. He wrote letters and made phone calls. He told us all how much he loved us.
Bob and Stella had wonderful times together. Stella read a book to Bob called 50 Days of Heaven: Reflections That Bring Eternity to Light by Randy Alcorn. She was able to finish it before he became too ill to listen. She lovingly and faithfully cared for him until the end, keeping him home just like he wanted. It was so hard to watch, two hearts that beat as one tearing apart and preparing to say goodbye.
When Bob struggled to get down on the floor and build one more Lincoln Log house, I almost didn't take the picture. I knew it would be his last. He worked a long time on the house, getting it just right. I asked Callie to leave it stand for a while, but Bob said, "That's the fun of building it-- knocking it down." He told her to go ahead. She kicked it, and the last house was gone.
Stella, Eric and Bob
Early in the morning on July 6, the phone rang. Bob was gone. I could hardly tell Tom. He loved his dad more than words can say. Bob was his mentor, his hero, his friend. Somehow, life is never the same without your dad. In three short years, I've lost two fathers.
A few days later, Stella found a couple of sheets of paper in Bob’s checkbook. They were handwritten and not very big, but they explained so much about the man we knew and loved. Here is what he wrote:
Focus on These:
1. Don’t interfere in other’s affairs unless it directly affects me. Don’t judge or
give an opinion, unless asked.
2. Concentrate on maintaining a pleasant disposition. Concentrate on not showing
anger; strive for patience.
3. Don’t overreact or be dramatic. Work on your Poker Face. The only emotion to show
is friendliness and concern.
4. In all things, choose to be happy.
5. Always, in everything, strive for excellence.
6. When I fail in these rules, don’t give up. Try again.
Give me my steps today.
Help me not to fall into sin.
Help me not to be prideful.
Help me not to be lustful.
Help me not to be selfish.
Help me not to say or do anything hurtful.
Help me not to be a stumbling block.
Help me not to complain.
Help me to be an encourager.
Help me to put the needs of others first.
Help me to be grateful.
Help me to love God.
Help me to lift up Jesus.
And when it comes my time to die,
Help me to face it with courage.
Help me not to be a coward.
Help me to have confidence that God loves me, Jesus died for me and Heaven awaits me.
Help me to say, “In the Lord Jesus do I put my trust.
Bob loved the babies and his family so much. I am sorry they won’t know him. We are devastated at the thought of life without him, but are secure in the fact that we will see him in Heaven. Bob Head was an amazing man of God who loved and served his family and friends, which makes it so much harder to let him go.
Sarah and her Papaw Bob
Thanks for being a part of our journey, and thanks for praying!