The Macs » Blog

10.10.17 | Sonogram day. Last week was one for rejoicing! A healthy baby and the sweetest surprise. We are still pinching ourselves! We wrapped up these little boxes to tell the Mac boys the big news and wanted to share with you too!

It’s a…

GIRL!!!

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  • Melinda - How exciting! Congrats!!ReplyCancel

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  • Tiffany - Such sweetness, Congratulations to you and your family.ReplyCancel

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  • Jenny - How wonderful!!! So very happy for your family πŸ™‚ Congrats!ReplyCancel

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  • Linda Lau - OM Goodness!!! I don’t if I have ever been so happy for someone during a gender reveal. Awesome news. I have followed your blog for
    6 plus years. πŸ˜„πŸ˜„ReplyCancel

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  • Linda lau - **** “Don’t know if” LolReplyCancel

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  • Meggie - So, SO exciting!! Congratulations!! I can’t wait to “meet” her. =)ReplyCancel

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  • Corrie - Oh, yay, yay, yay!!!!!!
    I don’t usually pray for a specific gender, because they’re both so precious and I know the Lord knows what/who each family needs. And 4 little boys would’ve been delightful.

    But I prayed for a(nother) sweet girl for you. πŸ˜‰
    Yaaaaaay!!ReplyCancel

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  • Elizabeth Kelly - How wonderful- congratulations! He is good.ReplyCancel

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  • Amie - Yahoooooo! My heart exploded whenever i read this post! Tears of happiness! Love you all and sending u big hugs! πŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ’—ReplyCancel

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  • Kelly - Sooo happy for you!! KellyReplyCancel

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  • Katherine - So very thankful for this news!! God is good. 4 is wonderful and the perfect number for our family. I’m sure Cora is smiling that she gets a sister. I am too!ReplyCancel

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  • Heidi - As one of your original blog post readers..πŸ˜€β€οΈ. I am beyond thrilled for this little blessing πŸŽ€to enter your lives. I have no doubt the love she will receive from her Mommy, Daddy, her brothers πŸ’™πŸ’™πŸ’™and big sisterπŸ’—πŸ˜‡. May god bless this princessπŸ™πŸ»ReplyCancel

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  • Davene Grace - I am OVERJOYED at the news! My heart is absolutely singing!! What a sweet, sweet gift God is giving you.

    Thank you so much for sharing the delightful news; you’ve put a great big smile on my face. πŸ™‚ReplyCancel

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  • Melissa - As a long time reader I can’t begin to tell you how thrilled I am for your family. She is one lucky little girl. Congratulations!!!ReplyCancel

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  • Toni :0) - Jess, I lost your blog for a bit (been a follower since before Cora went to be with Jesus) as I got a new phone and lost all of my favorite reads. I’ve been slowing getting them back and I saw this news and my heart nearly burst at the incredible news of a new Princess on the way. I seriously could not be happier for all of you. Your boys will be amazing big brothers and I can’t wait to keep following your story. I still pray to this day for your sweet family. You inspire so many and will never forget your precious Cora. God bless and prayers for a smooth pregnancy and delivery. πŸ’œβ˜ΊοΈπŸ™πŸ»ReplyCancel

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  • Mary Kinsley - I’ve been following your blog since learning about Cora, and have been waiting, hoping and praying for this post! So very happy for all of you. It also reminded me about a beautiful letter that George H W Bush wrote to his mother a couple of years before the birth of their second daughter (their first daughter, Robin, died of leukemia when she was 3 yrs old).. Here’s a link -https://www.c-span.org/video/?c4621698/president-george-hw-bush-robin I hope it’s OK to pass along to you!ReplyCancel

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  • Kate - Oh my! I was only thinking about your precious boys and bundle yesterday. What a protection squad she will have. CongratulationsReplyCancel

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  • Deborah Raney - That clip of George H W Bush’s letter was absolutely wonderful! What a testimony to the imprint a lost loved one leaves on our heart forever…and a reminder that in Christ, we have the sure hope of a one day joyous reunion.ReplyCancel

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Two weeks ago Griffin turned six and we celebrated with a robot birthday party. Kerri of Kerri Makes designed another adorable invitation for me–this time, robot themed.

I wasn’t so sure about the whole robot theme but when Griffin insisted on robots I remembered these adorable Ollibots I had seen over at Caravan Shoppe. I thought it sounded like a fun project to build the Ollibots with the boys and then give them away as party favors.

With 18 cousins it was a little more of a labor of love than I intended but it really was a fun project. The boys helped put together the robots, my mom came and helped us one day (thanks, mom!), and in the end they turned out so adorable! They are definitely worth the work if you plan ahead.

Joel made this lemonade stand for Jake’s first birthday party and it has become a staple to our birthday parties around here ever since. I love that!

The cousins have pretty much outgrown my kid table and chairs and now they need a whole picnic table to themselves. I don’t know how that happened so fast!

 

Six looks good on him.

The birthday boy requested root beer, so root beer it was. Cheers!

His dimpled smile is my favorite.

My mom made the robot cake for Griffin. It turned out so great. My sister-in-law made nut and bolt sugar cookies too–they were delicious! Thank goodness for talented family!

At the end of the party Griffin stood behind the lemonade stand and everyone “adopted” their bot. He put each robot in a bag tied with this cute thank you tag also designed by Kerri.

It was such a great evening celebrating my sweet robot-loving six year old. Happy birthday, Griffin!

To check out party themes from previous years click here.

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We are four weeks into the new school year already. Griffin started kindergarten this year and all of a sudden I am sending two boys off to school. Time continues to pass quickly like it always does, doesn’t it?! Not too long ago I would have predicted that starting school would be a very rough transition for this guy. He has always been the kid that I have to remove every last one of his little death gripped fingers from my hair and run out of the room reassuring myself that he will be fine. New things can be hard for him, he likes to stay home over going out, and of course we went through the whole seizure thing too…I tend to worry more about this little guy.

He couldn’t have surprised me more when this was his response to the first day of school. (Thank you, Lord!) These photos say it all. Ready to go. Here I come kindergarten! He was confident, excited and ready for me to leave so he could start this whole school thing. He was beaming from the second I walked out of his classroom to the second he jumped into the van after school. I was beaming too. He has been so excited about his first four weeks of kindergarten and his mama couldn’t be more proud of him. What a gift to have him loving school so much.

Levi is in second grade this year. It seems like I was just taking him to his first day of kindergarten and now he seems so grown up. He has such a fun second grade teacher and is loving school again this year too! Griffin loves going to school with his big brother. The second day of school they requested that I just drop them off and not walk them into the building. It happened to be raining that morning so although I wanted to protest that they really needed their mom to walk them in (little boys always need their mom!), I opted to stay dry in the car and let them be big.

Jake didn’t want to be left out of course. He was super sad to see his brothers go off to school but we all are adjusting. He is enjoying being first in line to go to the farm with dad when no one else is around. And it won’t be long before there are two home with me again. So hard to believe!

Since losing a child, it is easy for me to want to cling tightly to my kids.Β  Sometimes I just feel like crying and stomping my feet in protest that these boys are growing up so darn fast. Where did my babies go? What if something happens to them when they are away from me? Have I done enough to prepare them for this next stage? You might say I have my own little death grip on my kids. It is something I have to constantly surrender to the Lord. But I will never forget when what would have been Cora’s kindergarten year rolled around and all the first day of school photos started popping up in my feeds. I would have done anything to be the one sending my daughter off to kindergarten. I was heartbroken to say the least. I am never quite ready for summer to be over and for the school year to begin but losing Cora has forever changed my perspective on the gift that a new school year brings.

I am missing these two like crazy (maybe not as much as Tiny is missing them though!) but goodness it is so humbling to be given the opportunity to watch these boys grow. I get to know what they are like as a kindergartner and second grader. I get to know their personalities and interests and who their friends are. I get to know if the first day of school brings excitement or lots of nerves and jitters for them. And I get a front row seat to it all, experiencing it right along with them as their mom. Such a gift.

As we jump into this new school year, whatever that looks like for your family, let’s not forget the gift that we have been given as we watch our kids grow and let’s remember to pray for and love on the families who are grieving as they miss these precious milestones with their own babies this year.

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  • Michelle - I know it has been nearly 12 months since I visited, but WOW they have grown so, so much. What wonderful men you are nurturing Jess. They are so Blessed to have you and Joel as their parents xReplyCancel

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    Jess Reply:

    I know! They have changed so much since you were here. Thanks, Michelle! Hope you and your family are doing well.

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    • Jess - I know! They have changed so much since you were here. Thanks, Michelle! Hope you and your family are doing well.ReplyCancel

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  • Mary Ann - I haven’t commented in a while but just had to check your blog for an update. Oh my your boys are sure getting big. My grandson just started 2nd grade too. Griffin is so big too. What happened to his head…looks like he has a boo boo. And Jake?? How did he get so grown up. I love your blog and wish I was closer so that your boys could play with my grandson Braxton.ReplyCancel

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  • Mary Ann - For some reason I couldn’t leave a comment on your baby announcement post. So, just wanted to say congratulations. So excited for you and your family. I have loved reading your blog over the years. It’s been about 7 years since I found your blog through my niece’s blog. I have enjoyed watching you grow your family and seeing the boys grow up. I know it has to be hard at the beginning of the school year. I remember my niece, who lost her baby girl when she was 5 months old in December 2009, posting something on the day her daughter would have started kindergarten. Very tender times for you young moms who have gone through such a loss. But Cora is not far away and is watching her family closely, hoping and praying for your every happiness.ReplyCancel

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  • Toni :0) - I couldn’t comment either on the baby news post but for sure wanted to say Congratulations and how happy I am for you all. I continue to pray for your family and think of Cora often…can’t believe how fast the time has gone. Cheers to a new school year and continued blessings on your sweet family. πŸ’œβ˜ΊοΈReplyCancel

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It’s been a little quiet around here. I assure you the quietness is only on this little blog. Our house is hopping and there is rarely a quiet or dull moment. Summer flew by and school is already in full swing. How did that happen so fast? Our house is a little quieter now with just Tiny home now but that won’t last for long! We wanted to let you in on a little secret we have been keeping around here…

TINY’S NOT THE TINIEST ANYMORE!!!

Aren’t they the cutest?!

I am fourteen weeks and Baby Mac is scheduled to arrive February 2018. We are thrilled and so thankful!

And even though he is not the tiniest anymore, I’m pretty sure he will always be Tiny to us.

Big brothers & little brothers. The middle three.

I put up an announcement on IG last week and several people wanted to know if this is when the boys first found out. Nope! They already knew but we discovered that they are pretty good actors. They nailed the surprised faces (the first photo is my most favorite!).

I can hardly imagine another one of these little ones to squeeze.

And I can’t forget this handsome guy. He’s pretty great too…and the best daddy ever. We can’t wait to meet this new little one. Thanks for sharing in our excitement!

Photos by: Gina Dreher Photography

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  • Laura - I am So excited for all of you! Praise God from Whom all blessings flow! πŸ’•πŸ˜ŠReplyCancel

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    Jess Reply:

    Such a blessing, for sure! We are so grateful.

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  • Melinda - I’m so happy for you guys! Congrats!ReplyCancel

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    Jess Reply:

    Thanks so much, Melinda!

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  • PK Harmon - So happy for you guys!!! And so happy to see an update on you guys!!πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–ReplyCancel

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    Jess Reply:

    Thank you! We are excited!!

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  • Katherine Louise Harris - Oh HOORAY! I had a “feeling.” Prayers for a safe and wonderful pregnancy πŸ™‚ xoxoReplyCancel

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    Jess Reply:

    Oh, that’s funny! Thanks, Katherine! Hope you are doing well.

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  • Meggie - Congratulations!! So excited for y’all!!ReplyCancel

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    Jess Reply:

    Thanks SO much!!

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  • Debra Graber - So very, very happy for you!! Things won’t be quiet for long!!ReplyCancel

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    Jess Reply:

    No they won’t! So good to hug you at church last week! Praying for your sweet grandkids!

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    • Jess - No they won’t! So good to hug you at church last week! Praying for your sweet grandkids!ReplyCancel

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  • Nancy Farmer - What a wonderful blessing. Congratulations.ReplyCancel

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    Jess Reply:

    Such a blessing!! We are so thrilled.

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  • Marsha - So sweet….Congratulations!ReplyCancel

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    Jess Reply:

    Thanks so much!

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  • andrea - congrats Jess! i almost asked you the other week, but wasn’t sure πŸ˜‰ReplyCancel

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    Jess Reply:

    Thank you! Good to talk to you today!!

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  • Kathy Groenbeck - I’ve been following your blog for quite sometime. You are such an inspiration to me. I am so excited for you and your family. Praying for all of you on this new adventure.ReplyCancel

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    Jess Reply:

    Thanks for your sweet words of encouragement, Kathy! We are so excited and so grateful for your continued prayers!!

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    • Jess - Thanks for your sweet words of encouragement, Kathy! We are so excited and so grateful for your continued prayers!!ReplyCancel

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  • Cathy Luter - I am so happy for all of you. I have prayed for all of you along your journey. Tears and happiness.ReplyCancel

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    Jess Reply:

    Thanks so much for praying for us, Cathy. It means so much!

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  • Leah - How exciting! I was thinking of you today. I haven’t looked at my blogging reading list in forever. I googled your name and came across this post. Very happy for you guys!ReplyCancel

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    Jess Reply:

    Thanks so much, Leah! We are excited!

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  • Sara - Congratulations!!! I’m so glad I thought to check in on your blog today. It’s always fun to see photos of your boys getting so big, and I’m so happy to hear this news! I’ll keep you and baby Mac in my prayers.ReplyCancel

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  • Annie - WOW does Jake resemble Cora! WOW! Angel kissed that face for sure!ReplyCancel

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I am always looking for meaningful ways to teach my kids about Easter. If you are like me it’s pretty easy to let Easter slip by without intentionally pointing your kids to think about Jesus’ death and resurrection and why that makes a difference in our lives. It is a holiday definitely worth putting a little extra thought into as we celebrate that HE IS RISEN! I thought I would share a few ideas and resources I have used with my boys over the past few years here on the blog today…

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*A few years ago we made an Easter grass tomb. Look how little the boys were (2 & 4)! As you can probably tell from the photos, the boys loved this and our kitchen turned into a full construction site before we were done. It was so exciting for them to watch the grass grow and find the stone rolled away and the tomb empty on Easter morning! You can read the full post here.

*This year it is probably too late to make the Easter grass tomb so I think we will make our Easter mountain out of salt dough again. We’ve made one before and the boys loved it too! Noel Piper talks about making an Easter mountain in her book Treasuring God in Our Traditions (such a good book!) and Ashley Ann has a great tutorial here.

*We always love making resurrection rolls. I’m guessing Tiny will be a big fan of these this year!

*We love SEEDS music at our house and they have an Easter album now! Seeds of Easter compiles Seeds Family Worship songs that help you and your family celebrate Easter! Such a good way to get God’s Word in your mind and heart. (If you haven’t heard of Seeds before, make sure you check out their website because they have a free CD download right now!)

*This What’s In the Bible video about the meaning of Easter is so good.

*And we are getting ready to start using our Resurrection Eggs as Easter is quickly approaching. My kids love these! You can get a set at DaySpring and they are generously offering a coupon code just for you! You can take $5 off any $20 purchase at checkout with code 5OFF20 – this is especially awesome as DaySpring just launched their Fill Their Basket Sale! If you combine the coupon with the sale you can get some really great deals to fill up your kid’s Easter baskets. (Note: the Resurrection Eggs are not part of the sale but most of the other items from my last DaySpring giveaway post are included so make sure to check out the sale!)

There you go! If you have any ideas to add to this list leave a comment below so we all can hear!

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