All posts by theramosfamily


I was staring up at the drop ceiling lights for some time.  “Don’t worry,” she reassured me, “sometimes it takes a while to find it”.  I knew that wasn’t true.  At least it wasn’t true for me.  I had gone through this exact same routine at least 20 times over the years.  It doesn’t take this long to find a baby’s heartbeat.  I lay there on my back for several minutes as the nurse slowly and systematically moved the doppler across my lower abdomen a few times.  Then she called in another nurse who did the exact same thing.  I continued staring up at the outdated ceiling tiles as the thought kept going through my head, “This can’t be happening.  This isn’t happening.”  I tried to hold on to any glimmer of hope that was within me.

I was ushered to the dark ultrasound room.  I laid down and immediately fixed my eyes on the screen.  My neck was craned in an awkward position but I couldn’t take my eyes off my baby.  I just remember the tech honing in the baby’s heart and clicking on it.  A flat line ran across the screen and no sound of the heart beat.  She repositioned the doppler and tried again.  Nothing.  She did it one last time.  She took the final measurements and she was done.  She wiped off the gel and helped me sit up.  The frantic part of me wanted her to try one more time.  The rational part of me slapped myself across the face and I was overcome with emotion.  My baby was dead, all hope was gone, and my heart broke in pieces.

You can never be prepared for sudden tragedy.  It was supposed to be a routine OB visit.  One that I’m usually in and out within 20 minutes.  As I sat there in the little side room, I went into emotional shock. My body turned numb and my vision was foggy. I felt like I was going in and out of a dream. As my mind came back to focus, we were still there and the doctor was still talking to us and explaining our options. This was really happening. I held my belly that carried our lifeless son and wept.

That was Friday, February 21, 2014. We decided to have our son delivered on the following Monday. We could have scheduled it earlier, but we decided to wait. I needed time. I wanted these last few days, this last Sabbath, this last weekend with him. I wanted to carry him a little longer as I sorted through everything that was happening. I spent a lot of time in prayer and claiming promises in God’s Word. That dark weekend, I found renewed hope and courage in God. I knew He understood my heart and He gave me hope that this wouldn’t be the last time I’d be near my son. As I carried him for the final time, I asked our Almighty God to carry me. He drew very close. In my moment of deepest despair, I put my trust in Him and I found peace.

Our fourth son, Seth Aaron Ramos, was born on Monday, February 24, 2014.  I carried him 19 weeks and he quietly passed away a few weeks prior.  As a memorial, we made a small memory book for baby Seth.  We included his ultrasound pictures from when he was alive among other things.  Each of the boys made a special card for him.  It is a little book that we, as a family, treasure.

By faith, I know I will get to hold our youngest son again. However, I recognize that getting there won’t be an easy road. It hasn’t been easy. Grief comes and goes. This life is filled with a myriad of trials and temptations. As we are nearing the end of time, Satan is attacking with full force and he will use anyone and anything to bring us down. But through this experience, I get a taste of God’s undying love, because He created us and we are His own. I understand a glimpse His desire to carry and protect us until we are made whole. And by faith I know Christ longs to be reunited with His children. It is a Love worth trading our selfish, sin-sickened lives for.

So, as I go on life’s sometimes difficult journey, it is my desire to ask God to carry me each step of the way.  No matter what I lay at His feet, I know I will never be a burden to Him and I am confident He will never let me go.  I believe His love is enough to take each of us through even the roughest, most painful trials of this life.  In the end, it will be worth the wait.

IMG_6096“…I have made you and I will carry you: I will sustain you and I will rescue you.” Isaiah 46:4



Manu & Micah’s First Mission Race

On July 14, 2013 in Muncie, Indiana, Manu and Micah ran their first Team Revolution Mission Race of the season.  A Mission Race is one that is specifically designated to raising funds for team members to go to the Amazon mission trip by our Mission Sponsor: Amazon Lifesavers.

More than 75 kids participated in Manu and Micah’s age division of the Muncie ToughKids Triathlon. Mom and Dad drove the athletes three hours from Lansing to Muncie accompanied by Auntie Sikhu and Bentley! We arrived to the hotel on Saturday night and work up early the nextmorning to register for the event.  After being misdirected by the GPS, we finally found the event’s location.

Micah was assigned lucky #7 and Manu was given #102.  After picking up their packets, getting their body markings, and setting up transitions, the boys got a brief rundown of agood race strategy: Micah was going to do it all by himself even though his age category allowed for parental assistance, and Manu was going to push hard on the difficult swim, recover on the bike’s second of three laps (the bike is his strongest element), and go all out on the run.

Micah was first.  Even though most of the kids were assisted in some capacity by the parents, Micah completed the whole race by himself.  He was as happy as ever.  At the end of therace, he caught up to the girl in front of him, but refused to pass her – I was a proud parent!  In the end, Micah completed the 25-meter swim (2:06), ½ Mile bike ride (3:02), and 100yd run(0:50) with a 2:04 Transition 1 and a 0:27 Transition 2.  His total race time was  8:27.

By far, Manu’s greatest accomplishment was his ability to swim 100 meters – that’s like swimming back and forth on a pool at the Olympics!  After finishing the swim, Manu rode his bike averaging nearly 10 mph, finishing his race by running well under a 10-minute mile pace.  Unfortunately,the race directors misjudged the running portion of his race and led him to finish the run before completing the necessary distance.  After discovering that the race directors had made a mistake, Manu ran the course again, but without the timing chip.  We were thus unable to get an accurate finish time, but suspect that he finished in about 19:25.  His split times were as follow:

  • Swim: 4:1
  • T1: 1:28
  • Bike: 9:54
  • T2: 0:36
  • Run: Finished, time unknown

The boys showed true sportsmanship and bravery.  Although Manu was fairly nervous about swimming such a long distance, he pressed through with mental toughness and determination.  He also ran more than the necessary distance due to someone else’s error. Micah was able to do the entire race all by himself with Dad encouraging him as he raced.

We could not be prouder of our boys!  They sported the best kits in the race and proudly represented Team Revolution – racing for a cause greater than themselves.  We especially want to give a big “thank you” to all the sponsors who supported these boys.  You are making their dreams come true and we could not be more excited to know that our sons desire to be missionaries.  Thank you for your love and support!

If you would like to learn more about their mission and how you can support, here is a LINK to their TR website.

Here is a VIDEO that we made of race day!  Enjoy. 

Home Projects: Summer 2013

Now that the weather is warmer and The Ramos School for Boys is officially out for the summer (- big congrats to Manu for graduating from the first grade with honors!), we’ve had more time to work on yard projects.  My parents have also been coming on Sundays to help us.  None of this would be possible without them!  They are the most hardest working people I know!  Plus, they find anything/everything we need for the yard on Craigslist for cheap or free.  It’s so crazy!

Of course, our blueberries were/are our major priority.  Once the weather got warmer, we aggressively pruned and made clear rows on both acres.  The flowers bloomed, the bees came to pollinate, and now the blueberries are growing.  We’re looking forward to opening Grace’s Blueberries U-Pick towards the end of July.  We are also pleased to announce that Grace’s Blueberries has decided to be a Team Revolution race sponsor!  A portion of our proceeds will go to help the people living along the Amazon river.  We are praying for a plentiful harvest.

We also decided to expand our vegetable and herb garden.  This year, we’re growing tomatoes, Korean corn, Korean pepper, cucumbers, potatoes, carrots, beets, and different herbs.  We tried planting Korean pumpkins, but some animal came and ate every last one.  Not cool.  We planted them out in front so the small plants had no defense.  Anyhow, the boys plan to set up a vegetable stand to sell our produce to raise money for a mission offering.  This is how Uncle Arthur’s Bedtime Stories impact lives.  We’ll see how that turns out.
The newly added garden (-we expanded the old strawberry patch).
A smaller project that Israel and the boys worked on was to give our fire pit an upgrade.  We bought bags of pea gravel and used old concrete pieces that we got from a friend to create a “mow-free zone”.  As you will see in a little bit, that has become the theme of all our yard work.

The before…kinda.  The real “before” had green grass growing ridiculously everywhere.
I sprayed grass killer so you can see the grass was turning yellow in that area.
The after!  No more super-long extension cords to trim with the weed-whacker!

And finally, we’ve been working on an on-going project that we hope to complete on Sunday.  Our backyard patio area has been such a pain to maintain since our mower can’t fit in the narrower spaces.  So, to avoid so much technical mowing and trimming, we decided to mulch a large portion of the area around the patio and herb garden.  Israel is also working on a space where he hopes to have an outdoor kitchen area.  With all of the mulching we’ve been doing, we bought a used John Deere tractor with a front loader.  It’s been a huge help.  Manu knows how to run it better than me.

Even when we got married, I never, EVER, imagined I’d be the type of girl who lets her kids run around the yard barefoot and shirtless, who runs a blueberry U-pick (-what in the world?!?), and who dreams of owning a $10,000 John Deere.  Yet that has become a very real part of my life.  God is using it to add a new dimension to who I am and I cannot help but count it a blessing.

Our First Special Music

A few months ago, we were blessed to be able to sing a song together for special music at church.  We hadn’t thought anyone recorded it, but someone did!  Thank you, James, for the video!

We practiced a song that was particularly meaningful for us and we sang it together as a prayer.  As you will see, we don’t have much talent (or ability to sing in tune ), but we just hoped the words would be a blessing to someone out there who needed to hear them!

Here are the lyrics:

Less of Me

Let me be a little kinder, let me be a little blinder,
to the faults of those around, let me praise a little more…

Let me dream when I am weary, just a little bit more cheery,
Think a little more of others, and a little less of me.

Let me be a little braver, when temptation bids me waver,
Let me strive a little harder, to be all that I should be…

Let me be a little meeker, with a brother that is weaker,
Let me think more of my neighbor, and a little less of me.

Let me dream when I am weary, just a little bit more cheery,
Let me serve a little better, those that I am striving for…

Let me be a little meeker, with a brother that is weaker,
Think a little more of others, and a little less of me.

Think a little more of others, and a little less of me.

May the words of this song be the prayer of your heart also!

Celebrating Mom’s 64th Birthday

This morning, we had scheduled Todd Sotala to come over and tune our piano.  Dad was interested in watching him, so he and Mom came over as well.  After the tuning was over, we decided to have dinner and celebrate Mom’s birthday a few days early together.  The day was pretty spontaneous, but fun!


My sister had wired me money for Mom’s birthday and suggested I take Mom to get a hair treatment or a perm.  We discussed what she wanted to do with her hair.  To make a long story short, Mom decided she no longer wanted to dye her hair.  Dad expressed his support.  So, she was ready to embrace her natural hair color and a new do.  And rather than get a professional to do it, she wanted me to do it!  That self-same day!

I told Mom that I thought it was important to adopt a new hair style that would help transition into her natural gray hair color.  So, we did some test trials and came up with one we both liked.  She decided to part her hair to the side and also to keep her hair straight and natural.  It also had to be long enough that she could put it up in a ponytail for sports.  But, no more curling or perms!  I gave her a trim and layered her hair.
BEFORE                                                                          AFTER
Next step was to remove the dye from her hair.  So, we went to Sally’s Beauty Supply and bought a hair color removal kit.

Now, I never had my hair dyed and really had no idea what I was doing, so I had to read the instructions very carefully.  I also had to make do with the equipment I had.  The good thing was that it was similar to applying dye and Mom was an expert at that.  At this point, Dad began getting very nervous about how it would turn out.  He was urging us to wash out the chemicals so it wouldn’t be such a dramatic change.  I was a bit offended by Dad’s lack of faith in me, but I remained calm.  We kept it in for the allotted time and then washed out the solution.  It ended up being perfect.  It washed out just enough to look natural and I think it is the perfect transition for Mom’s natural hair to grow out without any more need of hair dye.

Elegant streaks of silver!    

Mom’s new do and a new outlook on life:  Embracing all of who she is and realizing she is the most beautiful that way.  No more chemical dyes!  I’m thankful that Dad is also supporting her, but he’s also fearful that Mom may get more attention from the men at Pickleball!  

Special thanks to Julie for sponsoring Mom’s 64th year make-over!  Mom was so grateful to you!  And I pray that Mom will continue to be healthy, happy, and more like Christ.  Don’t forget to give Mom a shout-out on her real birthday this Wednesday and tell her how nice her natural hair looks!

We love you, Mom! 


Changes at the Ramos School for Boys

There have been some changes made at the Ramos School for Boys.  We’ve relocated our school room from a smaller room to the main open area upstairs.  They boys are actually glad about the change because the previous school room has now become their toy room.  According to them, the smaller play room is a lot easier to clean up than the big open area.  Basic rules are that no toys are allowed in this area and that it must always be kept clean.  This school doesn’t have a paid custodian!

Books & educational school supplies

Word wall, maps, writing/coloring drawers, and a futon for the teacher to take naps

Reading & cat observation corner

Student desks.  We’re at full student capacity:  3
Students hard at work (disregard their PJs)

One thing I love about being a teacher & homeschool mom is that many of the gifts the boys receive are educational.  For Christmas, the boys got 2 awesome science kits and an ant farm, and just recently, they got another two science kits.  I’ve been trying to space the experiments out to make them last as long as possible.  They’ve been having way too much fun in science!

Crystal Mining Kit
Making Volcanoes

Making Fruit Batteries using different variables
Ty’s limes & Micah’s apples worked!

Manu’s potatoes, not so much.

You can always count on Mexican soda. 

The longer we’ve been doing this, the easier it seems to be getting.  Imanuel and I have been doing so much better in keeping with our school routine.  Initially, we were inconsistent and it was difficult to get things going.  But now, it is getting so much more fun and exciting and he is really motivated to learn.  He is also able to work more independently so for certain subjects, he can just read the instructions and start them off on his own.  It is such a miracle to watch children learn and grow.People have often asked me how long I plan to homeschool.  It is a question that I think about often, but the answer is quite simple.  If I know my boys will receive an overall education at some place better than the one they are receiving at home with me, I will send them.  You can be certain that I’m not willing to relinquish my role that easily, yet, I am praying even now, that the Lord has a godly teacher out there that is even more committed than myself who will be able to take my children even further than I ever could.  I now see how much it takes for a parent to entrust their precious children to a teacher.  If you are a godly teacher, I am accepting CVs and applications.  Send them to 

Birthday Boys’ Report

The crazy thing about my family is that all of our birthdays fall in consecutive months:

October – Me (Judy)
November – Micah
December – Ty
January – Bentley
February – Israel
March – Manu
(The cats were adopted and we’re unsure of their exact birthdays.)

We got this pin a few years ago and we use it for all the boys’ birthdays. 
They get to wear it all day. 
Best investment ever.

The crazier thing is that EVERYONE in the entire Namm family was also born within these months!  For almost 6 months, it seems like we have a birthday every week!  There is a lot to celebrate.  Now, we are nearing the end of the birthday blitz and I finally have time write about our latest birthdays. 

December 12, 2012:  Ty turned 3.
Ty had a quiet birthday right before all of the Christmas festivities.  We took him to Chuck E. Cheese for games and cake.  I can’t believe his is already 3 years old.  He is such a happy and sweet boy.  He is getting sillier each day and loves to make us laugh.  He’s at the age where I wish he would never grow up.  We’re trying to make sure we take videos of how he talks and the songs he likes to sing.  He is a total mama’s boy and yes, he still totes around my shirt everywhere he goes.  My favorite line that he always says is, “That’s the biggest ________ that ever I seen!”  On Ty’s birthday, we also took our family Christmas pictures, wearing the matching love shirts that Justin & Rachel gave us (as seen on our new profile pic).


February 26, 2013:  Israel turned 33.
We celebrated with our family, which is what Israel likes best.  The boys and I made him breakfast in the bedroom.  After he came home from work, we surprised him with another little party for dinner.  We ended the fun day with a family movie night.

March 4, 2013:  Imanuel turned 7.
I can’t believe I have a 7 year old child.  And I can’t believe how blessed I am to have him.  Imanuel has been one of the greatest motivation factors for me to be a better person.  His sweet and sensitive disposition forces me to be more gentle and patient.  He is such a caring brother and will often plead on behalf of his brother’s mistakes.  It is my sincere prayer that he will continue to grow to be more like Christ and that I will never get in the way of that.

Manu’s birthday was exactly how a teacher’s kid would celebrate his birthday.  On Sunday, we went to Impression 5 with some friends.  Then on his actual birthday, we did some experiments from a kitchen science kit that John bought them.  It was a fun & educational birthday. 


Now we have a 7 month gap to recover from all of the extra calories!  🙂

2013 Winter Tales

We’ve been surviving this winter.  It’s been much more severe than last year and we’ve been utilizing our new fireplace blower and the wood that we made.  As usual, we had an awesome time with our family over the Christmas holidays.  Most of the highlights are shown in this slideshowWe have so much fun together!  My sister was able to spend a month with us and as usual, we were super-productive.  We cleaned out, organized, and rearranged our parents’ house and eliminated literally heaps of boxes/bags of trash and truckloads of stuff to donate.  It was so awesome!  We had such a fun time together and we were so sad to see her go.  Since she left, Ty has been mentioning her everyday at worship during prayer request time.  His request is that “Imo can come here safely”.

Israel took the boys to the Father/Son Retreat at Camp Au Sable the weekend of January 25-27.  It was their first time going and they loved it!  My brother Jukes also came with Ian.  I enjoyed a restful and quiet weekend with the pets. 

In early February, my parents participated in the Michigan Senior Olympics for pickleball.  We were able to watch some of their games and we are happy to report that Mom won gold medals in singles and women’s doubles, and a silver in mixed doubles.  Dad won silver medals in singles and men’s doubles.  I am so proud of them!  I’m also so thankful that they are in good health and staying active.  I hope to be as active as them if I become their age!

We had a nice Valentine’s Day.  The boys made Valentines and mailed them to some of their favorite people.  I really want to instill in them that it is better to give than to receive.  I am always so humbled by how much love our boys receive from their uncles, aunties, grandparents, and friends.  It was a good opportunity to express how much the boys love them back.

The snow has been on and off throughout the winter.  It has been quite chilly lately, but we are keeping warm.  Bentley has been sleeping underneath our covers at night and sometimes even during the day!  Chance’s winter coat is very thick so he has been fine, but Aroe doesn’t grow a winter coat, so he has been spending a lot of time in our room that is kept extra warm with a space heater.  But overall, we are all doing well.  We are thankful for God’s watch care over us and we trust that He will continue to lead us closer to Him!

Micah’s Surprise 5

This year, Israel and I decided to do an experiment with Micah for his 5th birthday. The plan was that we would try to keep the date unknown to the boys and then on the morning of Micah’s birthday, we would shock the daylights out of him with a birthday surprise…and he wouldn’t even know it was his birthday!  It seemed like a hilarious, yet perfect plan. Imanuel, naturally, was the most in tune with the date and so I had to try to throw him off. No writing dates on his school work. It worked out because the End of Season Bash for Team Revolution was the day before Micah’s birthday so it served as a good decoy. I was envisioning the surprise in my mind and it included Micah squealing for joy as if he had just won the lottery! Perhaps the overwhelming happiness would send him into shock and he’d pass out. Something like that.

On the eve of his birthday, after we had put the boys to bed, my brother Justin and I went to the store to pick up stuff for the birthday surprise. My sister sponsored the balloons and an ice cream cake and we got some presents. We had originally planned on doing the surprise in the morning, but plans changed when my little brother had to head back to Ann Arbor that night and Israel was leading the office worship that morning. We decided to do the surprise late that night. So, after shopping, we stopped by Sansu to get my little cousin, Brian, who had finished his shift there and then we headed home. After some preparation, it was game time. We snuck into the boys’ room and got Imanuel and Ty out of the room. They were a little groggy and confused, but we explained that we were going to surprise Micah for his birthday. With all the gifts wrapped and cards signed, we marched up to their bedroom where Micah was sleeping. Brian led the way with my guitar to accompany our singing. Then we followed with the balloons and gifts. Justin took the rear with his iPhone taking video.  Click HERE for the raw video footage.

We opened the bedroom door, turned on the light, and we began to sing “Happy Birthday to you” with as much enthusiasm we could muster. Micah didn’t move much. In fact, he couldn’t manage to open his eyes. Israel picked him up and we were trying to get him to see all of the presents and balloons. I even told him we had a birthday cake! All of the shaking and nudging and tickling didn’t work. He just didn’t want to wake up. He passed out alright. But the problem was that he never woke up in the first place!

Imanuel had to fill me in on what happened when they woke up the next morning. Micah woke up and seeing all of the presents, he thought it was Christmas. (So, I guess there was some sort of “shock and awe” play that happened.) He asked Manu which of the presents were for him. Then Manu told him it was his birthday and Micah was very happy and excited.  He loved the gifts which were “Angry Birds” themed per Justin’s suggestion.  He also loved the special gift from Grandma Karen which she personally brought to our place when she visited on Sunday!  He had absolutely no recollection of what happened the night before.  Maybe when he gets older, he’ll watch the video again and appreciate all of our planning and effort we put into the awesome surprise that never would be. 

His birthday was fun.  The boys took an amped up bubble bath in our jacuzzi and Israel made the boys green eggs and ham which is Micah’s birthday tradition.  In the morning, Manu wrapped up a present and gave it to Micah.  We didn’t know what it was.  It ended up being a sweater that was his but he wanted to pass it down to Micah.  He was very happy about that.  In the evening, we invited the boys’ local uncles and aunties over for dinner and cake.  Thank you all for coming and for the kind gifts.

While the birthday experiment didn’t quite go as planned, it was still lots of fun and Micah did mention that it was his best birthday ever.  So pretty much, we learned an important lesson for all you parents out there: Middle of the night surprises don’t work on kids.

Happy 5th Birthday, Micah-Likes!We love you more than you  know and Jesus loves you the most!


The Ramos Reunion

On Monday morning, October 8th, it was life as usual.  After a series of phone calls, Israel came into our bedroom and asked, “What do you think about all of us driving to California?”  After about 30 minutes of deliberation, I said, “Okay.”  It was the craziest, most impulsive decision of my life.  I immediately started the 2 loads of laundry, packed up our clothes and belongings, packed up Bentley’s things, made phone calls to cancel or reschedule appointments, asked Alanna to watch our cats every few days, gathered DVDs/CDs and toys to keep the boys occupied in the car, packed food and snacks, cleaned up the house, and prayed that we weren’t forgetting something important.  Within a few hours, we were saying good-bye to our cats and our home and we wouldn’t be back for 3 and a half weeks. 

It had been much too long since we were able to spend time with Israel’s family.  While my brain was shooting out a million reasons why this would be a ridiculous and even irresponsible decision, my heart was telling me to go…that it would be well worth it.  After all, there aren’t many things in life that are more important than family.  My heart was right.  It was such a wonderful trip.  God really blessed us.

I tend to be a doer, especially on vacations.  But this trip has taught me to appreciate just being, and finding value in just living out our lives together.  I will treasure all of the authentic conversations and hearing so many life stories and experiences.  It was a time of refreshing and happiness for us.   

Here is a slideshow that I pulled together from our trip.  It is especially dedicated to Israel’s mom who has been and continues to be the rock of this family.  Lala, we are so blessed to have such a beautiful, strong, and Christ-like woman in our lives.  Your 7 boys love and respect you so much and so do I!