Saturday, September 20, 2014

Kelly's First Job as A Photographer's Assistant

A few weeks ago, Kelly was given her first paid job opportunity.  Our neighbor is a product photographer for his company and he needed assistance with some new Disney's Frozen charm bracelets that came in for their catalog and website.  He asked if she would be interested and of course we were all on board!

Her job was to arrange the bracelets to make sure the charms weren't upside down and she even got to snap a few photos with the professional camera.  It was a neat experience and opportunity for her.  The perk was of course being paid, but she also got to keep a few of the bracelets which she shared with her sisters. So sweet!

She did such a great job that she was invited back for future jobs.  As a matter of fact her and her sisters will be doing a fun job involving a clothing line.  I will post on that after the fun experience.

Monday, September 1, 2014

The Calm after the Storm: Our Beautiful Miracle

Photo by Emily Hapaala Photography
8 years ago on September 1st, the Lord blessed us with a beautiful miracle.  Alessandra Michelle Clair was born on September 1, 2006.

This birth was the calm after a major storm in our lives.  Our sweet Brandon Michael was born full term and then went home to heaven shortly after.  I never thought I could be happy again. 4 months after an almost 10 pound baby boy, I was pregnant again.  I knew this was God's way of helping my husband and I heal even though it was still going to be very difficult emotionally.  Our Kelly was only 3 when we found out I was pregnant again so thankfully she was oblivious to most of the pain except she saw that mommy was sad and crying all the time.  It was heartbreaking.

When Kelly became a big sister to Lyssa!
When I found out I was pregnant again, it was bittersweet.  I knew I wanted another baby to heal, but at the same time I felt like I was replacing my baby boy.  It was only 4 months prior that we lost him.  What if this sweet miracle was going to be another boy?  I was stressed and high anxiety began to hit as soon as my first ultrasound came and when I began to show.  All of the ultrasounds came back normal.  When we found out our baby was going to be a girl, I was relieved.  I didn't think I could handle a boy at that time.

The whole pregnancy was normal and healthy except I was so emotionally stressed and worried that something would happen to this baby. This induced high blood pressure and sugar.  So I had to go on a diet to keep it under control for the health of my baby girl and for myself.

As the big day approached, it was determined that I would have a C-Section.  I had a C-Section with Brandon because of his circumstance and his size.  Because this pregnancy was so close to the other, my wonderful and amazing OB (she delivered all 4 of our babies) saw it fit that I just have another C-Section.  I was fine with that, I just wanted a healthy baby.

On the morning of September 1st, 2006, Ron and I heard the most beautiful sound....Our sweet little girl, whom we named Alessandra Michelle, entered the world.  The cries were so beautiful.  We didn't get to hear that with Brandon.  (Even though he was born alive, his heart was expiring and was quickly becoming lifeless.  This was due to Trisomy 13.  A chromosomal defect.)

When Lyssa became a big sister to Bethany!
Alessandra (Lyssa) is a such a joy and has made everyone laugh since.  I was told that she was attached to my hip and I was so in love and protective of my sweet baby girl. I unfortunately, don't remember much of Lyssa's babyhood, only her birthday.  I am praying it will all come back to me.  I was still out of it and was fighting depression.  Even looking at pictures I don't remember those times.  This tore me up for years.  I am finally in a place where it's okay if I don't remember.  I have the pictures for a reason and for that I am grateful and blessed.

We surprised her with a brand new bike for turning 8!!!  She's going to pick out her helmet this week. =)

I can't believe it has been 8 years.  Alessandra Michelle is a pure joy!  She makes us laugh on a daily basis.  I think my favorite is how much joy she brings to my dad.  Her humor just tickles him.  But of course she brings joy to all of the grandparents and the rest of the family which makes my heart so full.

"Alessandra, mommy and daddy are so proud of the young lady you are becoming.  You are a beautiful and aspiring ballerina with the singing voice of an angel.  Your passion for cooking only at 8 years old more than amazes us.  May Jesus bless you as you grow and develop a relationship with him.  We are so proud of you and are so thankful for the gift that you truly are in our lives.  We love you princess!"

Happy 8th Birthday!


Mommy, Daddy, Kelly, and Bethany!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Experiencing McGulpin Point Lighthouse in Mackinac City

Mackinac City and Mackinac Island is probably two of my favorite places to visit in Michigan.  My husband and I honeymooned on the island at the Grand Hotel and Mission Pointe Resort and some hotels in the city.  I remember growing up and coming to both places often and now I'm enjoying sharing the experiences with our girls.

There is so much history which is perfect for homeschoolers like us, haha!  A few years ago, I remember driving around in Mackinac City towards the more rural parts of town and we found a cool old lighthouse set back from the water, which was odd.  Unfortunately, it was all fenced in and not open to the public so we couldn't really see much which was a bummer.  We love searching for lighthouses.

This past week we took the girls for a little drive back behind Mackinac City and to our surprise it said that the McGulpin Point Lighthouse was open to the public and for free!  We were so excited.  We got to tour inside the lighthouse and also go up in the tower.  So exciting!  Climbing up those spiral steps into the tower was a little scary at first but so worth the climb as you can see in the pics below. 

They are having a few fun fall events this October that we are definitely heading back for during our fall homeschool trip.  Can't wait!

Me taking a pic outside of the tower looking in!

Daddy showing Bethany how to use the Binoculars inside the Lighthouse tower!

The McGulpin Point Lighthouse from the tower casting a perfect shadow!

Just mommy and daddy being silly, hehe!

A shot of the trail from the lighthouse tower.  Never got a shot of the bridge on this angle!
Heading back down from the lighthouse tower!

After touring the lighthouse we took a walk back on their little trail down to the water.  (Lake Michigan side.) So beautiful seeing everything from that angle.  It was also a beautiful day.  Can't beat that!

Now taking a walk on that trail down to the water.  Just a little blurry, oops!
Lake Michigan.  I just love how crisp and clear!

Ugh, mom! It's too sunny! Oh well, it was a fun day anyways!
We can't wait to return in the fall and also visit Discovery Park down the road which teaches about the solar system along a trail in the great outdoors.  We are hoping to add this to our homeschool trip in October.  The plus side of all of this is a lot of it is free.  As homeschoolers, that's music to our ears!

If you want to learn more about the history of McGulpin Point Lighthouse, click here!

Friday, July 25, 2014

From Fireworks to Waterparks

Wow, it's been a while since I last posted.  It's been a very productive summer.  We enjoyed a neighborhood fireworks show the end of June.  We then attended a 4th of July parade up north on our vacation followed by pine tree planting and fun at Mackinac City's indoor waterparks.  We stayed a fun 3 nights there and went hiking on Mackinac Island.  Here are fun pictures below!

Livonia Spree!  We go with my dad every year! Always a blast.  Love our traditions!

Tailgating for the Lewiston 4th of July Parade!

Getting ready to plant 4 pine trees on property up north!

Waterpark time! Emerald Cove-Mackinac City

Hubby/Daddy getting dumped on at Pirate's Adventure-Mackinac City

At the top of 40 Mile Point Lighthouse!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Our 5 Year old Surprise!

5 years ago on May 13, 2009, the Lord blessed our family with a wonderful surprise.  We had a third baby girl enter into our family.  She was most definitely not planned which changed our life goals and plans, but guess what?  We wouldn't trade it for anything.

Bethany Lynn Clair was born via C-Section at 9 pounds 5 oz.  She was a big bundle of love.  What a content baby she was.  Never cried. I had to wake her to feed her, even in the hospital.  She was content with everything and always smiling.

Then the toddler years came. Whoooo!  I should have seen this coming with a content baby.  Sweet Bethany was into EVERYTHING and still is. Ha!  Definite hand full, but hey, she was trying to keep up with her sisters.

Bethany will be graduating preschool on Thursday, May 22nd, 2014, and I just can't believe it.  It is so bittersweet right now for this momma.

Since we were up north on our vacation, we celebrated with her by taking her shopping, out to ice cream, and yummy cupcakes.  She was one happy little girl.

Happy 5th birthday Bethany Lynn! Kelly, Lyssa, mommy, and daddy, love you so much and are so thrilled and blessed to have you as a part of the family.  Life is never boring and is a definite adventure with you in the picture.  We love you!

Homeschool 2013-3014 Celebration

The past few weeks have been super crazy causing me to fall behind in posts, especially pictures that I wanted to include. 

We have officially wrapped up our homeschool year of 2013-2014.  I can't believe it!  We have officially been homeschooling for 3 full years.  Heading into our 4th.  Where does the time go?  I officially have a Kindergartner, 3rd grader, and 6th grader! Ahhhh.  It's time to celebrate!

Bethany bean celebrated her 5th birthday!  We did so up north on our family vacation. 

Bethany bean also graduated from preschool.  Talk about emotional momma that day.  I realized it's because she's my baby.  I literally had to go hide in the bathroom for a brief moment and cry in one of the stalls. LOL! Pathetic or what?  No, I am blessed and so proud.  She's ready for homeschool Kindergarten and co-ops, yay!

Her teachers' Mrs. Paluk and Mrs. Richters at Ward Preschool in Northville, were amazing.  We will miss them!  We are also thankful for Ward Church for allowing homeschooling families to stay on the premises to homeschool our other children while the preschoolers were in class.  No time wasted and a wonderful environment!

We are now in full swing with our summer enrichment schedule.  Just math, reading, writing, lapbooks, etc. 3 days a week for a couple hours a day including the library once a week.  Have to keep those skills sharp.

It's been a wonderful and blessed year and we are looking forward to the 2014-2015 homeschool year with new experiences, challenges, etc.  I will be teaching an early childhood class and junior high/high school choir class at our homeschool program this fall.  Very exciting. 

Now onto our summer homeschool celebration! Yay!

Friday, May 2, 2014

It Seems Like Yesterday......

Photo Credit: Ron Clair
It seems like yesterday that I found out I was pregnant with you.  Mommy and daddy were so excited to spread the news to friends and family.

It seems like yesterday when we found out you were a little girl through my 16 week ultrasound.

It seems like yesterday when you were breech and they scheduled a C-Section for April 15th, 2003.

It seems like yesterday that you flipped into proper position completely canceling the C-Section because you were going to be born naturally.

It seems like yesterday that I was doing everything I could to cause labor...running up and down stairs,etc.

It seems like yesterday I hit 41 weeks and you still didn't want to come out.

It seems like yesterday I went in for a non-stress test and to be scheduled for induction.

It seems like yesterday they realized my contractions were 3 minutes a part, but I was smiling without any pain just yet.
 It seems like yesterday they told me I was staying officially in the hospital and wouldn't need to be induced as natural labor put it to shame.

It seems like yesterday I breathed and labored through the night (6 hours of hardcore labor).

It seems like yesterday you were finally born at 10:04 am on May 2nd, 2003, and your cries were absolutely breathtaking.

It seems like yesterday I held you in my arms and nursed you for the very first time.

It seems like yesterday I brought you home from the hospital and introduced you to our two family dogs at the time Baily and Nakita. (R.I.P)
It seems like yesterday you learned to walk inside the Pack 'n Play for the very first time and mommy screamed with excitement and called everyone in the family.

It seems like yesterday you were talking up a storm and carrying on little conversations.

It seems like yesterday you started preschool and had the sweetest little precious moments face and mousy little voice.

It seems like yesterday you started elementary school and we got to see you blossom in so many different areas.

Photo Credit: Lindsey Clair
Presently, we are seeing a young tween blossom into a beautiful young lady that shines with the love of Jesus.  It's hard to believe you will be in the 6th grade.  Mommy and daddy are so proud of you.  We love you.

Happy 11th Birthday sweet Kelly!

My Three Blessings

My Three Blessings
Photo by Emily Haapala Photography

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