Saturday, October 18, 2014

Isaac's DINO-MITE Birthday

We had so much fun celebrating Isaac's fifth birthday tonight with a fun backyard dinosaur party!  We are so happy that Isaac has friends whom he enjoys so, so much--what fun it was to see them all playing together tonight!
 
I found these dinosaur masks on Amazon, and I think they were the hit of the party!  The kids loved wearing them!  (As I'm typing this, Isaac is running around in just his boxers and his mask--ha!)
 
We started off the party with a dinosaur hunt!  Dave and my mom hid nearly 100 mini dinosaurs throughout the backyard, and the kids hunted for them.
 
The tiniest and cutest little dinosaur hunter!

Then, Dave and his brother set up an awesome obstacle course for the dinosaurs to complete. 
Here's Isaac going over the balance beam...

...and around the cones.  Then, the dinosaurs raced around a pond (water table) and finished by racing to me for a high five.  :)  Dave followed the kids around and pretended to be a ferocious T-Rex by roaring at them to make them go faster.  Most--but not all--of the kids liked this.  :)

I cannot explain how HAPPY Isaac was that his sweet little friend Landrie was here from Houston for the party!

Playing dinosaurs and waiting for pizza....the obstacle course apparently exhausted these kids! 
 
**singing "Happy Birthday" to my five year old**
I'm sure I'm not the only mom who tears up singing "Happy Birthday" each year...I love this boy!



Isaac's buddies who share his birthday--just one year older than Isaac!
 
After eating cupcakes, Dave put on a dinosaur mask and situated it so that it covered his eyes.  He played "Dino ROAR" with the kids.  Just like in "Marco Polo," Dave yelled "Dino" and the kids answered "ROAR!"

The kids squealed and hid up in the clubhouse to stay away from Dave!
 
My mom came over and helped us so much for this party! She bought last-minute supplies, wrapped Isaac's gifts for me, baked pizzas, cleaned up, made sure I drank enough water, watched kids, washed dishes, and--somehow--even while the party was happening, washed a load of laundry! Dave's brother, better known around here as Uncle Michael, also came over to help set up the obstacle course and play with Isaac's little buddies. He also brought Isaac the BEST dinosaur costume as a birthday gift.  We are so thankful for ALL the help and love we are receiving while I'm on bedrest. 
 
If you know me well, you know how much I love planning birthday parties for my kids.  When I found out that I'd be on bedrest, I cried the very hardest when I realized that I wouldn't be able to bake Isaac's fifth birthday cake.  Though there wasn't much I could do for this party besides order favors and masks from Amazon, the kids still had a blast!  Apparently, kids don't care about Pinterest-perfect cakes and favors.  :)  At the end of the party, I overheard Isaac say to Landrie, "Wasn't this just the best dinosaur party you've ever been to?" 
 
And, we think this is just the best five year old boy ever!  Isaac, we love you! 

Friday, October 10, 2014

our third blessing

"For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be."  
Psalms 139:12-16

"God has surely listened and has heard my prayer." 
Psalm 66:20
"Mommy, now that Emma's a big girl, when is our next baby going to come?" I'll never forget when Isaac asked me this right after Emma began walking. Even as a three year old, he knew that Dave and I were praying about our next child. Isaac also prayed many nights, "And please send another baby to our family!"

For quite awhile, we have considered IVF, but we had several questions that were holding us back from ever being too serious about starting a cycle. Back in the fall of 2011, we read IVF and Christians: Wise Choices and Life-Affirming Options. Through a lot of prayer and discussion together, David and I both had peace that we could wholeheartedly pursue an IVF cycle with specific parameters. In January of 2012, we had an IVF consultation with a fertility doctor in Fort Worth whom we had worked with prior to Isaac’s adoption.  The consultation was great—the doctor gave us a high success rate if we were to pursue a cycle, and we also felt comfortable that this doctor would respect our decisions in regard to the ethics of IVF.  We left the appointment very excited and hopeful!  But, this wasn’t God’s time. After more prayer, God gave us a sense of uneasiness at pursuing a cycle.  And, we know that God’s timing is always perfect, because Emma Victoria was in our arms just five weeks later.
Once Emma turned two this past February, we began praying even more expectantly. It's been our hope and prayer that God would give us many more children, but we weren't sure how they would arrive--through adoption, fostering, or pregnancy. At a prayer night at our church in February, one of our staff members and his wife prayed over David and me specifically that I would become pregnant. I'll never forget talking with David late one March night...we both sensed God had given us a new peace to move ahead with an IVF cycle.  I soon had an appointment with a new fertility specialist.  After discussing my history, he did a sonogram. My right ovary was encapsulated with a 7cm mass of endometriosis.  My left ovary looked somewhat better, but even it was more than 50% covered with a similar mass, so I had surgery the following month.

We had to take two months off after my surgery before we could begin an IVF cycle.  We spent those two months praying without ceasing that God would direct our every step in IVF.  And, I started praying that God would send us a baby through adoption before our IVF cycle began if He wanted us to adopt and not pursue a cycle at this time. In May, we got a call about a birthmother in Missouri who was looking to place her baby.  After a few weeks we found out that she decided to place her child with a family from her local church. We continued doing a lot of research, and I had three IVF consultations with different fertility doctors. God made it very clear that Dr. Le at IVF~MD was the perfect match for us, and I began my initial appointments.
On the day that we paid for our IVF cycle, we received another call about a birthmother in Oklahoma who was due in the next two weeks and was looking to place her son for adoption.  I about fell over!  I called Dave and said, “I hope you’re sitting down, because…” We pursued this possibility as far as we could, but within two days, we found out that this birthmother chose to place her son with a family in Oklahoma.There's no doubt about it--we would have been absolutely thrilled to welcome either of these children into our family and forgo our IVF cycle. But, each time that we found out that the birthmother chose another family, it increased our confidence that we were on the exact path God wanted us at this time. 
I started all my fertility shots on July 1, and the doctor retrieved 7 eggs on July 10. On Monday, July 14, Dr. Le transferred two precious embryos into my uterus. Dr. Le told us a story about a lady who only had one embryo survive by transfer day. It was only four cells and was highly unlikely to implant.  Dr. Le gave her only a 5% chance that she would become pregnant.  Nine months later, she delivered a healthy baby boy.  Dr. Le ended his story by saying, “I can do all I can to help you get pregnant, but in the end it’s all up to God.”  After the embryos were transferred, Dave prayed over me--and then picked up cream cheese wontons from PeiWei which I ate while waiting to be released.  I spent most of the next week taking it very easy, since Isaac and Emma were in Colorado with Papa and Nana.
God gave both Dave and I great faith during this time of waiting, which is a direct result of all the prayer we received.  We prayed expectantly that I would become pregnant through this procedure. We received a call the day after our embryos were transferred that our third (and only other) embryo hadn't grown in four days. When I found out that our third embryo had died and we no longer would have an opportunity to use it in the future, I felt that God was asking, "Do you trust Me to do a miracle now?" Our "back-up" plan of doing a frozen embryo cycle was gone--we trusted God completely for a pregnancy from the two embryos already inside me. When we were overwhelmed with IVF statistics or overcome with doubt, we prayed, "Lord, I believe! Help my unbelief!" (Mark 9:24). 
I'll never forget driving in the car on July 24, just a few hours after my blood draw to see if I was pregnant or not. The nurse called and said, "Congratulations, Bethany! You're pregnant!" I raced to the store and bought a "big sister" shirt for Emma. As soon as David came home from work, we told Isaac that God had answered our prayers--there was a baby growing in Mommy! He danced and jumped around the living room and shouted, "That's fantastic! That's fantastic!"
A few weeks later, I had a sonogram that revealed that there was one healthy baby growing. And, on August 18, Dave and I heard our baby's heartbeat for the first time. What joy! 
hearing Baby Rinn #3's heartbeat together~August 18
 
By this time, I was feeling very pregnant. I spent most of my time on the couch from being so nauseous. I remember telling one of my friends, "It's not that I didn't believe you when said you had morning sickness....I just had no idea it could encompass your entire life!" Many times, as Dave brought me crackers or toast early in the morning, he'd say, "Isn't this great?! We're having a baby!" And, for as sick as I felt (and still do), this little life is worth every moment of sickness. We miscarried our first baby very early in pregnancy in 2007, and I have found my sickness to be God's sweet way of reassuring me that this little life is growing and growing.

One evening in the middle of September, I started bleeding very heavily. I talked to the doctor on call, who gave me specific guidelines to follow for the rest of the night. We went to my OB/GYN right away the next morning for a sonogram, which showed that our baby had a beautiful heartbeat!  I was put on bedrest right away.  I had another episode of bleeding just four days later which landed me in the emergency room in the middle of the night. Again, the ER doctor did a sonogram and found our baby to be moving all around and perfectly healthy!  My doctor has identified these bleeds as placental margin bleeds, meaning that the bleeding came from the margin (side) of my placenta. This is either from the placenta growing into my uterine wall and tapping a blood vessel, of it's from the margin of my placenta being compromised. A compromised placenta is very dangerous, and since there's no way to know which caused my bleeding, I remain on bedrest indefinitely.  The bleeding has caused a large pocket of blood to form in my uterus.  I've already had six sonogram to check this bleed, including one where the sonographer almost slipped our baby's gender! (We are so excited about waiting to find out at delivery!) On Monday, my bleed had reduced in size by 1cm, which means that it is healing. 
 

I definitely didn't envision being on bedrest  for any portion of my pregnancy, but God has given our family peace & a lot of exta help as we've adjusted. We know that it's best for both baby and me that I am on bedrest, so there's no doubt that this is where I'm staying.  A few days ago as I was laying on the couch and feeling frustrated that there wasn't more I could do to help my family, the Holy Spirit reminded me that I am the only one who can lay and take care of our baby.  This verse immediately came to my mind, "The Lord will fight for you; you only need to be still." (Exodus 14:14)  So, I am being still and believing that God is protecting our baby.  We would so love if you would pray with us that our baby would continue to grow perfectly and would not be affected by the pocket of blood.  We are also praying that this area of blood will heal.  Your prayers are the best gift you could ever give to our family.
All four of our babies—Baby Rinn whom we lost in 2007, Isaac David, Emma Victoria, and now the baby that I carry—are our babies.  The baby in my womb  is no more “ours” than our precious children that God has entrusted to us through adoption.  God is the giver of all good gifts, and we know that each of our children is a miracle. 
"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights, Who does not change like shifting shadows." James 1:17



We praise God for this little life and can't wait to share more of journey with you all.
XO, the Rinns

 

Friday, October 3, 2014

Latest Sayings & Laughs

One morning, I made hard boiled eggs for breakfast, which are not Isaac's favorite thing to eat.  (He reminds me of this every single time.)  He tolerates the hard boiled egg white, but not the yolk.
Mom:  "You need to eat the yolk, because that's where the protein is.  The protein gives you your strength."
Isaac: "Oh, I get my strength from God."


Isaac: "Emma, what do you want to be when you grow up?"
Emma: "I don't know, Isaac."
Isaac:  "A doctor?!  Yes, you should be a doctor."


Mommy:  "Isaac, did you like the dinner I made you?"
Isaac:  "No, but I liked the dessert.  And, it's all gone.  There's none left for you."


Our church had an evening at the Keller Pointe (a local waterpark) for everyone who volunteers.  We had told Isaac that there was a lazy river there.  When we were driving to the Keller Pointe, Isaac kept saying, "I can't wait to go in the lazy susan!"


Isaac and I were reading a book about Noah's Ark.  At the end of the book, there was an illustration showing all the devastation on the earth as the flood waters receded.  Isaac pointed at a large pile of broken wood in the picture and said, "Those are the claim shanties from the people who died in the
flood."  (Isaac and Dave are reading the last book in the Little House on the Prairie series; and, Laura 
and her husband just moved to their own claim shanty.)


After Emma's first day back in her class at Bible Study Fellowship this fall, I asked Emma what she learned.  She said, "My teacher pray with me."  
Yesterday she patted my Bible and said, "Jesus to us!"  (I think she was trying to say the Bible is Jesus' word to us.)


Isaac and Dave were wrestling, and Emma wanted to be included.  Dave picked her up and whirled 
her around in the air.  When he set her back on the ground, she tried to stand up but was too dizzy.  "Daddy, the room is shaking!" she said.  Don't worry--she was back in the action 30 seconds later.  Emma is tough!


I changed Emma's diaper after her nap, and then she put on her underwear.  Isaac said, "They look 
like boxer briefs!"  (I think this due to the fact that Emma is so tiny that her underwear hang off her.)


Isaac's new term for Kleenex: "sneeze-ex"
~~~~~~~~~
Oh, I love these kids!!






Thursday, August 28, 2014

Emma Victoria: 2 1/2 years old


2 1/2 years old!  How is this going so quickly?!  We love our Emma and all the fun and giggles she brings us at this age.  

At 2 1/2, Emma loves…
her brother!
Emma always wants to do exactly what Isaac is doing, whether or not she is actually capable.  :)  This morning he climbed the tall ladder on our playset that goes up to the tunnel, and she was right behind him.  After a few steps up, she realized it was way too tall for her, so she raced to the shorter ladder and met him at the top.  Emma also loves sitting by Isaac at the table and in the car.  (I love this picture where they're holding hands in the car--she is always reaching for his hand!)



….swimming….


Emma and Isaac are taking swimming lessons once a week all year, and Emma usually isn't too thrilled with her lessons.  She tells her teacher, "I no like it."  Isaac was almost done with this week's lesson, and Emma said, "My turn now?"  And, she smiled at her teacher!  A definite first!  

Apart from swimming lessons, though, Emma loves to swim.  Her favorite is to swim to you from the step, and then she turns right around and swims back to the step.  Emma would easily do this 30 times in a row.  She also jumps (falls) in the pool.  :)

…her daddy….
Every morning, she asks, "Where's Daddy?"  Oh, she gets excited when Daddy comes home!  Emma loves when Daddy puts her to bed each night because he rubs her back for such a long time.  Emma loves having her back and her neck rubbed.  She often walks up to us, lifts up her chin (like this picture), and asks, "Wub my neck?"  

…her mommy…
"I sit on your lap, Mommy?" 
"I help you, Mommy?"  
"I do laundry, too, Mommy?"
I love my little girl!

…dressing herself…
Most mornings when I go into Emma's room to get her up, I find her waiting by me for the door with her pajamas off and wearing a new outfit.  Lately, she has even taken her diaper off and thrown it in the trash!  
Here's one outfit she put together on morning.  She put her turquoise swimsuit over her striped shorts.  And, she has socks on.  Her outfits always include socks.  If she can happen to find a pair of Isaac's socks that she can pull up over her little knees, that's even better!  :)  (I have found her sneaking into Isaac's room to find a pair of his socks.)

…talking…
Wow!  In the past few months, our Emma has become QUITE the little talker.  In addition to how much Isaac talks, there aren't many quiet moments in our house…and I wouldn't want it any other way.  I love hearing them chatter.  When I got Emma up this morning, she said, "Good morning! Fank you for getting me up!"  

She asks questions all the time.  When I dress her, she asks, "Did you wash this?"  If she sees me eating, she asks, "What are you eating, Mommy? I have some?"  Today at lunch, Emma took a bite of her sandwich and said, "I love this one, Mommy."  

But, my favorite thing to hear her say is, "Nuggle me, Mommy?  Nuggle?"  ("Nuggle" is Emma's way of saying "snuggle".)

A few more pictures of our favorite 2 1/2 year old!
helping Uncle Mike and Isaac with the level

A few nights ago, Emma was in Dave's lap but was crying on and on.  "I want my mommy," she cried.  Dave told her that she had to stay in his lap for books and prayers.  She cried even harder.  "I want my Uncle Mike!" she sobbed.   Emma must have been very exhausted, because she is usually so happy to be in her daddy's arms.   


One night, I was cleaning up after dinner.  Emma found the tupperware of steak fries and sat down on the floor with them.  She looked at me and asked, "Where's the ketchup?"  Ha!  She makes us laugh!


making messes!  :)  

Emma, we love you!




Tuesday, July 29, 2014

July in Pictures

July in Pictures
Emma moved to a big girl bed!
playing with cloud dough kept Isaac occupied for 2 hours one morning! 
riding the Forest Park Miniature Railroad--it was HOT!
new curtains in the family room
free Chick Fil A day!  
We LOVE Chick Fil A and are definitely willing to dress up like a cow for free food.  :)
Emma is not looking at the camera, though, because she was absolutely terrified of the cow and was watching his every move.

Pop & the kids after a long night of swimming--we have been swimming many, many wonderful evenings at my parent's house.     
riding the trolley at Keystone Church!  
Both Emma and Isaac love sitting at the very back.
I made hummus, which Isaac loved.  Two thumbs up!!
Isaac and I have continued his school lessons through the summer…pretty faithfully.  :)
Of course.  Popcorn is much better on the floor than in a bowl.
One afternoon Emma was NOT napping…I came into her room and found that she was lining up underwear on her dresser.  Ha!
hanging out with Uncle Mike, or "my Mike" as Emma calls him 
an early birthday party for my mom!  Happy Birthday, Mom-o!
after a long weekend of swimming, I found Emma asleep like this.  Exhausted!
visiting Daddy at his jobsite!
I'm so thankful for this daddy who always has time to answer Isaac's many questions

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