Summer

Well, now that it’s halfway through September, I thought I’d put up a few pictures of what went on during the Summer.

Most of July was spent resting and recovering from Ryder’s birth.

I personally got a lot of reading done and quite enjoyed myself while Brian and the kids scurried around running the farm.

I won’t say it was all easy riding – the first few weeks Brian went back to work found me in tears here and there, but I kept reminding myself of what my sister had told me once “crying for girls is kind of like sweating for guys.” In other words, what I was doing was hard work, and hard work produces sweat, and I was just sweating out my eyes. It sort of helped.

 

We went back to our Bible reading at breakfast and memory work at lunch. I love tying in habits to predictable happenings during the day. Not every meal worked out, but we persevered and made it through several minor prophets and memorized a fun passage from Acts.

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Ryder was slowly incorporated into daily life, each week making things just a little bit easier. His siblings love him and each enjoy him in different ways.

Ivy has enjoyed setting up scenes and taking his picture. Here a wild Indian rounds up some mustangs.

In a drastic change of careers, Ryder now grooms pets.

Ryder enjoys his first swim!

He likes to get your attention by vocalizing and loves to coo and talk with you.

Ryder is a super happy guy, smiling and laughing easily.

Other summer activities included:

Setting up a new trampoline after the old one broke.

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Becoming well acquainted with a perpetual puddle.

Watching 3 river otters in a neighbors pond!

Picking blueberries

4th of July bounce houses!

Creating a “feast” in the barn.

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Harvesting lots of watermelon….

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…and even more watermelon! Probably over 60 in all!

And lots and lots of free play.

Explanations

I realize some may be wondering just what all happened with Ryder’s birth. Most know that I have delivered the previous 7 children at home and had similar plans this time around. So a quick explanation:

 Garrison’s birth was rough physically and emotionally and I wasn’t looking forward to a repeat experience, but figured I could make it if everything just started and went quickly and steadily. I had taken the verse, Isaiah 40:11, as my plea before the Lord:

“He shall feed His flock like a shepherd: He shall gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.”

I told the Lord that I was tired and scared and even unwilling and asked that He would just be gentle with me in this pregnancy and labor. He very lovingly cared for me during the pregnancy, slowly teaching my heart to trust Him again – but that’s another story.

So my due date came and that evening signs of labor started up. We called the midwife but things slowed after a few hours with little progress. Baby’s position was off and I was discouraged. I could go to the chiropractor again, do more positioning stretches (had been doing them for the last 6 weeks) and maybe the baby’s position would change. This sounded long and drawn out and the false start had used up all my psyche.

Between 3 and 4 AM we discussed other options. Brian’s Dad is an OB in East Texas. We figured this was our best bet since we would be a no-doc patient here in town. Brian called his Dad and he said to come on. This change in plans was hard for Brian because of the bad experience we had with hospitals when Lance was born, but he loved me enough to “risk” it. At this point labor was slow and not uncomfortable so we decided to make the drive.

We arrived at the hospital and I was hooked up. Two days earlier “Papa Doc” had delivered grandchild #15 via c-section. Brian’s brother and sister-in-law were still at the hospital so they, along with Brian’s parents were able to keep us company as I waited on my body to work. After a slow start, things picked up around 4 that afternoon. Brian’s Dad suited up around 5:30 and they discussed the church business meeting while I went through the last stages of labor – wonderfully void of pain, thanks to an epidural.

At 6:00 PM, June 20, little Ryder came into the world! Having felt every moment of my previous births, the whole thing was quite unusual in that I felt nothing except a strange numbness in my legs. In a very different way than I had imagined, God answered my prayer for a gentle birth.

Papa Doc with his two grandchildren!

Nurse Helen who was patient and encouraging when things seemed long.

Everything over and done – time to rejoice with family! An unexpected benefit of the epidural was that it wiped out all my after-birth pains too – which are quite severe for me – so I could actually enjoy the “showing off” of the new baby.

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Cousins – Ryder and Cherish; 1 day and 3 days old. They were the same length and within a few ounces of each other. Cherish will get to tell Ryder that she attended his birth…asleep in a little baby bed.

The experience at the hospital was wonderful. The staff were great, we didn’t feel like pawns in the system and many things were similar to the way I liked it at home. I enjoyed the epidural and was much relieved to be spared the pain this time around. We had a quiet day of recovery then headed home to show the kids their new baby brother! The drive home gave us time to process the entire event. I feel great and I am super glad to have it all behind me.

Siblings

One of the best parts about bringing a new baby into the family is introducing it to the other children. They eagerly anticipate the baby all through the pregnancy, talking about it and making suggestions on the name.

While waiting for us to come home from the hospital they made a banner to welcome the new brother.

The girls were excited that his ‘birth’ day present was a tea set (I love tea) and the flowers from our gardens and the store made several rooms welcoming and cheery.

Garrison, no longer the baby, is totally enamored with his new brother. He keeps climbing up on the couch next to me and reaching out his arms to hold Ryder. He studies the “baby” and gently compares facial features with his own. These two are going to be best buds!

Of course, a new baby is quite fun to play with. Ivy was inspired by some photos I did of baby Flora and has been wanting to set up a scene with the new baby. We decided to carry out his name meaning with this first attempt, and I’m sure more scenes will follow.

You know, not everyone is lucky enough to be welcomed by 7 excited siblings but Ryder is one of those few to be so loved.

Introducing Ryder Kevin Cahill

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Ryder Kevin Cahill

 

Ryder: Mounted Warrior

Kevin: Gentle, one who is kind to his brother; Brian’s brother Kevin has made a big investment in our family and Ryder is named after him.

No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. Isaiah 54:17

 

Born: June 20, 2018 at 6:00PM

Weight: 7lb,13o

Length: 19 1/2in

Delivered by Brian’s dad, “Papa Doc”

 

Hymn: Power in the Blood

 

Would you be free from the burden of sin? There’s power in the blood, power in the blood;

Would you o’er evil the victory to win? There’s wonderful power in the Blood.

There’s power, power, wonder working power, in the precious blood of the lamb.

Babymoon

Back in April, a generous friend offered to watch our kids overnight so we could getaway and relax a bit before the baby comes. After tossing around ideas, we settled on some new territory to explore – San Marcos. We found the cutest little Air B&B and a few things to do, packed our bags, some games and a good book and headed out!

The first day we ate at a cute Italian restaurant and spent the afternoon strolling the river.

We found a fun swing and waded around a bit. We debated if we should try tubing but the weather was on the chilly side.

The B&B was cute and well stocked. We cooked a pizza and played some games then retired early.

Brian was up before 6 the next morning, eager to get a start on the day. The niftiest disc golf course was a mile down the road and rain was in the forecast so he wanted to get there before it started. We were the only ones on the course.

It was set up more like a putt putt for disc golf. Pictures of some of the more unusual holes:

This putt started on a platform and you had to land on a marked “island.” If you missed, you had to shoot standing on a boulder dubbed “the rock of shame.”

Odd?

Brian’s favorite hole – try to ricochet off the car hoods into the basket.

Basket at the top of the lighthouse.

Which way do you throw?

Last hole – the Alamo!

We played the course several times and quite enjoyed ourselves. Back at the B&B we did some stretching then fixed a delicious lunch before heading back towards home. A local museum on LBJ and some Mexican food for supper finished up our getaway.

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