Easter 2015

Happy Easter!! He is Risen Indeed!

How amazing is it that on Resurrection Sunday the tomb was EMPTY! Usually when something is empty we’re not very happy about it (our wallets are empty, our gas tank is empty…). But when the tomb was empty what a symbol of JOY and HOPE!!! Hallelujah! Jesus is alive!

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Update on Eloise – No More Casts and What the Future Holds

It’s been 4 weeks since Eloise got her first cast put on. And that means that she just finished up her fourth cast! I took it off on Tuesday night and this morning we went to the doctor to see how her range of motion has changed over the course of the 4 casts. Success!

Taking her cast off. Her favorite part of the week!
She now has full range of motion in her right foot and doesn’t need any more casts! She ended up only needing 4 out of the 6-8 casts because she responded so well! Her last cast was the worst and she was just ready to be done with them, so we are grateful!

Two weeks ago I took her in for her neurology appointment. At that point we had two suspected disorders on the table: Cerebral Palsy or Dystonia. The doctor was able to rule out Cerebral Palsy from a physical examination of her. There is still the possibility that Dystonia is what is causing her foot to pop up and turn in, but the doctor doesn’t feel like an MRI is necessary at this point unless we see more/worse symptoms. He said that the risks of the MRI to her tiny body out way the benefits of knowing what is causing her symptoms right now. He also said that even if we knew, we would continue her current form of treatment anyways. Maybe down the road we will do an MRI to see what or if there is any damage to her brain that could be causing a muscle disorder, but for now we will just treat what we see.
My cute Ellie Bean at her neurology appointment!
In some ways I was hoping for a diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy. Cerebral Palsy is usually caused by brain damage while in the womb, during birth, or shortly after birth. So whatever damage was done is done. It won’t get worse. It won’t get better, but her case is so mild anyways (just mildly affecting her right foot) that it is totally something livable, especially with physical therapy, botox, etc.

However, Dystonia scares me more. Dystonia is a movement disorder in which a person’s muscles contract uncontrollably. The contraction causes the affected body part to twist involuntarily, resulting in repetitive movements or abnormal postures (i.e. her foot turning in and popping up when she walks). There could be many causes of Dystonia including genetics or a brain injury.

There are two main types of Dystonia – Generalized Dystonia and Focal Dystonia. Focal Dystonia affects just one part of your body. And if that is the type that Eloise has that doesn’t scare me. It is not curable, but we can treat her foot with therapy and a brace and it won’t affect her daily life much. But Generalized Dystonia affects your whole body. And the scary part?

“If Dystonia symptoms occur in childhood, they generally appear first in the foot or hand. But then they quickly progress to the rest of the body.” –Source


I think that’s what scares me most about Dystonia. Generalized Dystonia can be a completely debilitating disease. If it spreads, Eloise could be completely handicapped. 
I have done lots of crying since we first heard that Dystonia was on the table almost a year ago. I take comfort in the fact that: 1. So far, we have not noticed anything abnormal in any other part of her body. The fact that she is almost 3 and we still only see symptoms in that foot is a GOOD sign! Also, the foot that does turn in, turns in so mildly that many people do not even notice it until they spend more time with her or focus on it specifically.  2. She is developing normally in every area including speech and is super smart! She also has learned how to cope with her foot and can run and jump and do the splits and head stands and…. you name it, she can do it! It does NOT slow her down! 3. Most importantly GOD is in control. This didn’t come as a surprise to Him. He placed sweet Eloise in our care, He handpicked the baby for us and we will stand by her side through casts and doctors appointments and botox and physical therapy and MRI’s and braces…. you name it, we’ll be there! We know He will equip us for what is to come. 
This girl doesn’t let a silly cast slow her down!
As of this morning we have moved on to weekly physical therapy visits and a brace, which she will be fitted for in the next week or two. She will most likely have to wear the brace on and off and do daily stretches at home for the rest of her life to help her foot keep the range of motion it has gained. In just one visit the physical therapist said that Eloise exceeded every goal she had for her and that she has to make new, more advanced goals for her already! We are so proud of her!

Doing twists “like a ballerina” at physical therapy this morning. 
Isaiah and Olive joined in too but I didn’t get a picture of Livy. 
They had a blast and Eloise agreed that physical therapy was MUCH more fun than getting a cast put on. =) 

Our New Normal

When Eloise first learned to walk we noticed that her feet turned in slightly. We kept an eye on it and when we got back to the U.S. I mentioned it to her pediatrician. Her pediatrician thought it was just normal in-toeing and we monitored it for several months. As time when by, her left foot seemed to correct itself but her right foot just kept getting worse. Just before she turned 2 we began suspecting that it was more than just in-toeing. She could walk and run but was slower than she should be and tripped often over her foot. Her right foot noticeably turned in as she walked. I requested a visit with a pediatric orthopedic specialist.

By the time we could get in for an appointment it was July of 2014 and Drew had already moved down to Florida while the kids and I were still in Michigan. So….. that left me to bring all three kids (Olive was barely 3 months old) to see the  specialist. It was an appointment to remember, that’s for sure…

At that appointment I found out that Eloise most likely has either Cerebral Palsy or a muscle disorder called Dystonia. The Doctor talked about treatment options such as casting, botox, a leg brace, and physical therapy. But, since we knew we were moving to Florida soon, we didn’t set up any follow up appointments.

Fast forward to today where I was finally able to get Eloise in to the specialist she needed to see here in Florida. We moved to Jacksonville 6 months ago but we are just now being able to get her treatment. It took us a while to get her Florida insurance, and then to get her a primary care physician and then to get her referred to a specialist who then referred her for serial casting. But the referral for serial casting got lost and, well, long story short, I’ve been trying for the last 6 weeks to get her an appointment… to no avail. Thankfully, Drew’s dad works at the hospital and he was able to help us figure out what was going on and help us get things moving. (As a side note, way to go West Michigan for incredible speed, customer service, and organization in regard to heath care! You have got Jacksonville beat by leaps and bounds!). After months of waiting, I called the hospital yesterday and they had finally received her referral and BOOM! appointment the next day. Praise the Lord!

Eloise’s appointment went well. Drew’s cousin, Frannie, graciously came with me at the last minute to help me with the kids. Life saver!! Eloise does not do well with doctors but with some cookies and a movie on my phone I was able to convince her to stay still long enough to get the cast on. The type of cast she has on is called a serial cast. It is softer than a regular cast and it only stays on for five days. At the end of the 5th day we take it off at home, she is cast free the 6th day, and then we return to the doctor on the 7th day for another cast. She will get a total of 6-8 casts, each one flexing her foot slightly more to help her obtain better range and learn to walk the correct way. After the cast comes off she will need to wear a brace for several months and have 6-8 weekly physical therapy visits to help stretch out her muscles and prevent them from relapsing. If you’re keeping track, that’s about 4 months of weekly doctors visits I have scheduled in my planner….. not the most fun thing when you have three little ones in tow!! We also may have to repeat the casting in 6-12 months, depending on how things go. We’ve got a long road ahead but we are thankful for modern medicine and doctors who can help our sweet Eloise walk a little better!

On our way home from the Doctor’s office!

As of right now we are uncertain if she has Cerebral Palsy or Dystonia (or possibly something else). Both disorders are most likely the result of a brain injury while either in the womb, during birth, or shortly after birth…all times before she was in our care. She is normal or ahead of schedule in all other areas mentally and developmentally. Her sole issue right now is with her right leg and foot. We have an appointment with a neurologist in two weeks to run some tests and do some scans to see if we can get to the root of the problem. When we find out more about what is causing the issue I will share more information about what the future holds.

Recovering with a movie on the couch. =)

We got the cast put on this morning and so far Eloise hasn’t been complaining. They gave her a cast shoe to use which helps her walk better. We’ll see how she does at night. We are suspecting that it may get a little uncomfortable for her, especially in the coming weeks when her foot is stretched to more uncomfortable positions for her. One positive thing is that she can decorate and color her cast however she pleases. And each week she will get a new cast to design a new way…. great news for a girl who loves to color! Please keep her in your prayers as you think about it! Eloise is very scared of doctors and the whole process is hard for her! Thank you!

It took her a little while to learn how to walk on it but she’s doing great now!

Christmas 2014

Alright, so here’s some pictures from Christmas 2014. Better late than never, right? We moved into our new house on December 14 and then my parents came a week later to spend the holidays with us so it’s been busy over here! But I’m trying hard to catch up on posts (starting with my Christmas post) and have several more in the works (including a house tour!).

 

Poor Olive…. or is it poor Santa!? =)

We had a great Christmas this year! Simple, but good. We decided to go small on presents. It’s so easy to get caught up in thinking we need to buy so much (especially for our kids). But with the budget stretched especially thin with having just bought and moved into a new house we couldn’t spend alot this year. That’s ok, though, because presents are not the reason we celebrate Christmas. We celebrate because Jesus was born to save us from our sins. We celebrate to spend quality time with friends and family. We celebrate to remember what an awesome gift we’ve been given through Christ!

My three Christmas cuties!
The kids and their cousin, Gavin.
Christmas Eve!
As per Hutcheson tradition, the kids get to open their stockings on Christmas Eve. =)

 

 

 

 

 

On Christmas Eve we went to see some amazing lights in a nearby neighborhood with my parents and sisters. It was alot of fun!
Oh my!!! Look at that pout when she wanted to open a gift Christmas morning but it wasn’t her turn yet! Lol!
Ironically the pout disappeared when she opened her present. =)
Isaiah wrapped up a picture of himself as a baby, then gifted it to himself, then opened it up saying, “Oh!!! A picture of me as a baby, how cute mom. Look at me, I was so cute”. We were cracking up!
You can always count on Drew to make an amazing face on Christmas morning. =)
Like I said, we totally went all out this year on presents…. my husband got me cheese popcorn!!!
A gift for Meema.
New gloves for Papa (can you tell he doesn’t live in Florida?)
A gift for Janae!
I think Meema liked her gift! (A bird feeder)
Isaiah wrapped up a gift for Eloise – some of her own old toys. =) And then he opened it for her on Christmas morning. Lol!
One of Isaiah’s favorite gifts – A Nerf Gun from Meema and Papa. Isaiah could not understand how in the world Meema and Papa knew what he wanted most for Christmas! 😉
Adelynn got body spray!

 

 

Pacis and sippie cups for baby Livy!
That little pony tail!! ❤
Olive got her first baby doll!
Another of Isaiah’s favorite gifts!
Opening up gifts at Mimi and Grandpa’s house!

 

It was a wonderful Christmas and we all got more than we needed! We were so blessed to be able to spend lots of time with my parents and little sisters as well as Drew’s family. Thank you, Jesus, for coming as a tiny baby to save us from our sins. We are so unworthy and yet so grateful. Merry (late) Christmas!

The Hutcheson Family’s Top Ten Best Moments of 2014

I’ve been a little MIA lately and I apologize! We moved into our new house the middle of December and a week later my parents and little sisters came for a visit! Christmas with them was wonderful and I will try to post some Holiday pictures soon. They left yesterday and now I’m back to trying to unpack and get settled in this new house!

I am feeling overwhelmed with all I have to do and have hardly had time to sit down, let alone blog. I had wanted to write a Christmas post and put up our Christmas card but never got to it! =( Drew’s hair is so long and I desperately need to cut it but haven’t had the time. My family is seriously living on Pop-Tarts and oranges as I try to pull it together enough to make meals! =) Life is crazy but I know it will settle down and soon enough we will be comfortable and at home in our new house. Anyways, I just wanted to pop in to wish you all a (belated) MERRY CHRISTMAS and a HAPPY HAPPY NEW YEAR!

 

God has been {SO} faithful to us over this past year and I wanted to take some time to post our top ten best moments of 2014. 
To God be the glory!

10. We vacationed at Myrtle Beach for the first time over the summer and had a great time with our extended family.
9. We realized how much we LOVE Chick-Fil-A now that we live near tons of them!
8. Drew finished his first semester of grad school!
7. Isaiah turned 4 years old! What a funny kid he is and always keeps us laughing!
6. Eloise turned 2 years old! This sweet little girl (with a big attitude!) is so snuggly and loving. We are so glad she’s in our family.
5. Drew and I celebrated 5 years of marriage. So thankful I have such a great partner who points me to the Lord as we navigate this crazy life together.
4. We moved to Florida! Drew never ever thought he’d move back to his hometown of Jacksonville but we are adjusting to life in the South and learning to make a home wherever we are!
3. We bought our very first home! We are so thankful for how far God has brought us since this time last year when Drew had no job and we had very little to our name. Only the Lord could bring us this far.
2. Sweet Olive Kay joined our family in April! Praise the Lord for a quick and easy delivery and a healthy baby. She brings so much joy into our lives!
1. Everywhere we went and in everything we did the Lord provided for our every need, going with us every step of the way.

Happy New Year!

 

How to Make a Personalized Video for Your Kids from Santa!

Last year I came across a really fun website called PortableNorthPole.com which allows you to make a personalized video for your child from Santa (actually you can make them for adults too)! =) This year I pulled up the website again and made a video each for Isaiah and Eloise. You should have seen their faces while they watched them! Totally enthralled and amazed!

The videos are entertaining and very well done. You can choose personal things to be included such as a picture of your child, the child’s name, age, a specific toy the child wants for Christmas, whether they made it on the naughty or nice list this year, and certain things the child needs to work on for next year (for Isaiah I chose “stop sucking his thumb” and for Eloise “stop throwing temper tantrums.” I can always hope, right!?!!). =)

 

The videos are quick and easy to make and completely FREE!!!! If you want, you can choose to pay for an upgraded, more detailed video or a phone call from Santa. But the basic video is free.

You have to pay to download your video to the computer ($2.99) and I didn’t want to do that to include it in this post. But you can watch it online as many times as you want! If you’re interested in seeing a sample before you make your own you can view Isaiah’s video here and Eloise’s video here.

It’s just a fun little thing to do for your kids and I wanted to pass it along! =)

 

By the way, you can read more about our view on Santa and what we teach our kids about him here.

2014 Family Pictures

I try and get family pictures done every year and for the past three years (ever since we’ve had more than one child in our family) I always leave the session thinking WHY IN THE WORLD DO I DO THIS TO MYSELF!?!?
Not only is it stressful coordinating everyone’s outfits and trying to get everyone to look perfect and STAY looking perfect before the session, but during the shoot the kids are running all over, someone gets dirt on their white shirt, someone doesn’t want to smile and has a meltdown, someone spits up babyfood all over, someone cries because they’re cold, someone cries because they’re hot, someone’s hungry… ALL the children want to do is play instead of take cute, sweet pictures that help us look like a perfectly put together family. It’s pretty much impossible to get all the children to look and smile at the camera at the same time and every year, by the end of the session, Drew and I are pretty much exhausted and swear we’ll never do it again.
But THEN… I get the pictures. And no, they’re not perfect. There is not one picture where everyone is looking and smiling. In most pictures one kid has a goofy look on their face. Usually (if the kids are smiling) they’re cheesy smiles. In some pictures one kid is a blurr because they were moving.  But you know what? They’re {REAL}. They are pictures of what {REAL} life is like for us with three young children. They represent a far from perfect and yet completely beautiful time of life that we’re in.
And so, we’ll continue taking family pictures every year. We want to remember how our children and our lives are {now}. And someday we’ll be thankful that we didn’t wait until everything was “perfect” to take pictures and make lasting memories!!
To see our 2011 family pictures click here.
To see our 2012 family pictures click here. (This was before we could show Eloise’s sweet face!)
To see our 2013 family pictures click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pictures taken by the lovely Kimberly at Kimberly Renee Photography.

How to Pack a Shoebox

It’s that time of year again! Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child time! Have you ever packed a shoebox for them? If not, this year would be a great year to start!

Not familiar with Operation Christmas Child? The cute video below will fill you in on this great organization!! (And even if you know what Operation Christmas Child is, the video is still pretty cute to watch.)

Need more information? Check this out:

How to Pack a Shoebox

  1. SHOEBOX

    Use an empty cardboard or plastic shoebox (average size). You can wrap the box, lid separately, but wrapping is not required.
  2. BOY OR GIRL

    Decide whether your gift will be for a boy or a girl, and the age category: 2-4, 5-9, or 10-14. Download and print the appropriate boy/girl label. Mark the correct age category and tape the label to the top of your box.
  3. FILL WITH GIFTS

    Fill the box with a variety of gifts that will bring delight to a child (see Gift Suggestions below).
  4. INCLUDE $7 DONATION PER BOX

    Help cover shipping and other costs related to delivering your shoeboxes to children overseas by donating $7 for each gift you prepare. You can give online to discover the destination of your box. Or, you can write a check to Samaritan’s Purse (note “OCC” on the memo line) and place it in an envelope on top of the items inside your shoebox. If you are preparing multiple gifts, please make one combined donation. Note: Follow Your Box is only available through online giving.
  5. PRAY

    Ask God to use your gifts to show His love to the child who will receive your shoebox.
  6. DROP OFF

    Place a rubber band around each closed shoebox and bring it to the drop-off location nearest you during National Collection Week, November 17–24, 2014. Visit our Drop-off Locations pageto find the closest collection site. Or, call 1-800-353-5949.

Collection dates this year are November 17-24 so you still have time to get a box together! To find drop off locations in your city click here. The boxes get shipped all around the world!

Need some gift suggestions? I’m glad you asked!!

Gift Suggestions

  • TOYS: Include items that children will immediately embrace such as dolls, toy cars, stuffed animals, kazoos, harmonicas, yo-yos, jump ropes, balls, toys that light up and make noise (with extra batteries), etc.
  • SCHOOL SUPPLIES: pens, pencils and sharpeners, crayons, markers, notebooks, paper, solar calculators, coloring and picture books, etc.
  • NON-LIQUID HYGIENE ITEMS: toothbrushes, bar soap, combs, washcloths, etc.
  • ACCESSORIES: t-shirts, socks, hats, sunglasses, hair clips, jewelry, watches, flashlights (with extra batteries), etc.
  • A PERSONAL NOTE: You may enclose a note to the child and a photo of yourself or your family. If you include your name and address, the child may be able to write back.
  • DO NOT INCLUDE: Used or damaged items; war-related items such as toy guns, knives or military figures; chocolate or food; out-of-date candy; liquids or lotions; medications or vitamins; breakable items such as snow globes or glass containers; aerosol cans.

This year was fun for our family because Isaiah and Eloise were old enough pick out exactly what they wanted to get their little boy and little girl for Christmas. We took a special trip to the store just to buy presents and everything they picked out, we bought! It was hard for them to understand at first, especially Eloise, that they were not picking out gifts for themselves but for someone else. But once they got the hang of it, they were running around the store and putting toy after toy in the cart all while saying things like, “That little boy will LOVE this” and “Mom, that girl must be a princess, she needs this.” I loved seeing their excitement to give!

This year we made two boxes, one for a girl age 2-4 and one for a boy age 2-4. We included things such as a barbie doll, toy cars, notebooks, glitter gel pens, books, combs, beads, hair clips, coloring books, stickers, socks, toothbrushes, washcloth, headbands, candy… and more! We also included a hand written card for each child and a picture of our family. I chose the option to pay the $7 per box shipping charge online here, which will allow us to track our boxes and see which countries they end up in! How cool!

Not feeling like you have the time to put a box together this year? You can fill up a virtual shoe box online in just a few minutes! Click here for more information.

What better thing could we teach our children this Christmas season than how to GIVE rather than GET??

 

Cutting the paper to wrap our boxes. Please note that this is not required, just something we wanted to do. If you do decide to wrap the box, make sure to wrap the lid and the box separately.
Eloise and Olive packing up a box for a little girl.
Isaiah’s card for his little boy and a picture
Isaiah’s box!
Eloise’s card and picture.
Elle’s box!

Why Our Daughter is a Princess AND a Servant

Just like many little girls her age, Eloise is obsessed with princesses. Her current favorite is Elsa from Frozen (Ummmm hello? Isn’t every little girl currently obsessed with Elsa!?). For Halloween she is going to be Cinderella (she’s content being pretty much ANY princess). At the top of her lungs she points out any princess she sees. She loves to read princess story books and watch princess movies.

Sometimes she even thinks her name is Princess. The other day I watched a hilarious exchange between the kids and some complete strangers. The kids were out on our deck and were yelling out to some strangers in the parking lot (we currently live in an apartment building). Isaiah shouted, “Hey, my name is Isaiah!” and the strangers politely responded what their names were. Then he yelled out, “And this is my sister. Her name is Ellawee!” But Eloise was having none of that and she shouted, “NO I’m Princess!”. And thus started a debate of the two kids yelling out to the poor, unsuspecting strangers, “Her name is Eloise” and “NO I’m Princess!” over and over again. I’m pretty sure those dazed strangers left without understanding a word of what was going on, just happy to get in their car and speed away from those crazy children. =)

We love that Eloise loves princesses and says that she is one. BUT we are very careful with how far we allow the whole princess attitude to go. We want her to grow in her understanding that her princess playtime is clearly fantasy and not something to truly aspire to.

I think there are some serious issues with kids growing up in our country these days. Since we’re talking about girls I’ll focus on them for now. Girls are growing up thinking they are not only princesses but QUEENS, needing to be served, having people (men) bend their wills to them, thinking they are in charge of life! Many parents are raising a generation of spoiled, rotten, brats (to put it frankly) who get what they want when they want it because they are “royalty”! Girls are fixated on looking perfect and are constantly searching for the newest thing to make them look more beautiful. And I think some of it starts at two years old with the princess mentality (though obviously not a complete and holistic source). Our girls are growing up from a young age thinking they rule the roost! They are the princess, the boss, the chief of command! (And please, if you don’t believe me just watch the show Toddlers and Tiaras.) This is not the mentality that we want to instill in Eloise or any of our children. And it’s not the example that Jesus set before us…

“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:28


We need to be careful to set the example of Jesus before our girls, not the example of the world. Yes, Eloise can pretend to be a princess. She can be Cinderella for Halloween. She can dress up in princess dresses and read princess books, and have a princess themed room. {BUT} she is also a servant. She is a princess AND a servant. And if you ask her she will tell you that! (Hopefully…. we’ve been working for some time now to drill it into her). We want to teach Eloise that in order to be a great princess, she has to be a great servant. She needs to serve others, to look out for others above herself, not to expect everything to be handed to her but to be willing to put in hard work and effort. Not to live on a throne above the rest of society but to get her hands dirty digging in the dirt, taking care of herself, her family, and helping others. 
While being a princess sounds wonderful (beautiful, “saved” by a prince, rich, etc), it is not realistic. For most of us life does not provide (on a constant basis) a flood of lavish gifts, attention, and assistance in times of need. And we don’t want our daughters growing up thinking that that is how life is supposed to be. I don’t want my daughters to expect to get everything they want; Drew and I hope to raise them to be thankful for getting the things they need.

The Bible speaks of a reputable woman as being a servant,

“She must be well respected by everyone because of the good she has done. Has she brought up her children well? Has she been kind to strangers and served other believers humbly? Has she helped those who are in trouble? Has she always been ready to do good?”
1 Timothy 5:10

And does the Proverbs 31 woman, the woman God calls “excellent”, sound like a Disney princess to you? She is a princess for sure, but not the kind we think of. (Not all verses from the chapter are included)

15 She <span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-ESV-17300S" data-link="(S)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>rises while it is yet night
    and <span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-ESV-17300T" data-link="(T)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>provides food for her household
    and portions for her maidens.
16 
17 She <span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-ESV-17302U" data-link="(U)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>dresses herself with strength
    and makes her arms strong.
18 
20 She <span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-ESV-17305V" data-link="(V)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>opens her hand to <span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-ESV-17305W" data-link="(W)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>the poor
    and reaches out her hands to <span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-ESV-17305X" data-link="(X)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>the needy.
21 
22 She makes <span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-ESV-17307Z" data-link="(Z)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>bed coverings for herself;
    her clothing is <span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-ESV-17307AA" data-link="(AA)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>fine linen and <span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-ESV-17307AB" data-link="(AB)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>purple.
23 
25 <span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-ESV-17310AE" data-link="(AE)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>Strength and dignity are her clothing,
    and she laughs at the time to come.
26 
27 She looks well to the ways of her household
    and does not eat the bread of idleness.

And what does God say about this woman?

Her children rise up and call her blessed;
    her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many <span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-ESV-17314AF" data-link="(AF)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>women have done <span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-ESV-17314AG" data-link="(AG)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>
excellently,

    but you surpass them all.”
30 <span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-ESV-17315AH" data-link="(AH)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,

    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

This is the type of woman we want Eloise to be!

And we teach the same concept of servant hood to Isaiah. He is told by Drew often that, “In order to be a great leader, he must first be a great servant.” And we will tell Olive the same things as she gets older.

Please, don’t get me wrong. We want our kids to know how special and loved they are to us, others, and God. We want them to feel treasured. Eloise {IS} treasured. She is LOVED. She is special. She is priceless to us. And we want her future spouse to feel and treat her the same way. We want to give her the whole world and then some! But, more important than the things we WANT to give her is our overarching desire not to have her (or any of our children) grow up with a sense of entitlement in life. Thinking that they deserve more, better, the best out of life because of the priceless prince or princesses that they are.
We believe Eloise is a princess. But we remind her that she is also a servant. And she is for darn sure the cutest princess/servant I have ever seen!  

Pumpkin Patch 2014

Yesterday we made a little visit to a nearby pumpkin patch. It’s a tradition of ours to take the kids to a pumpkin patch each fall and let them each pick out a pumpkin. Isaiah was so excited all day long… He couldn’t WAIT for daddy to get home from work so we could go! Eloise caught onto Isaiah’s excitement but I don’t think she had any idea what a pumpkin patch was because she was too little to remember last year. But all the kids had a blast and we found some perfect pumpkins that we are going to work on carving sometime soon. =) Krispy Kreme donuts on the way home made for a perfect evening.

What fall traditions do you have for your family?

Let the pumpkin picking begin!

 

❤ The cuteness!!!! ❤

 

I promise you, we TRIED to get a good picture… after about 10 shots, cheesy smiles, and silly gestures, we took what we could get. 😉

 

 

 

 

 

So thankful for my family!
Leaving with pumpkins in hand! (Daddy carried the big one!) It was a fun evening!