Category Archives: Big Life Events (B.L.E’s)

Hotline v God’s Goodness

Hi it’s Dion. I won’t discuss the details of the hotline but I will just say in the face of God’s goodness it doesn’t compare. Don’t get me wrong. I constantly encouraging myself to trust God in this situation. Yesterday at the drop of a hat Matt, Maggie, Gloria, and Jake Barnett blessed our family. They cut grass, cleaned gross bathrooms and dirty bedrooms, mopped floors that hadn’t been since the beginning of time to help us prepare for any surprise inspection. Then ate dinner with us. It was such an incredible evening and display of God’s love through his people.

I also recall when we were struggling with the Bennet Kids when Rhonda was sick with Canon. I remember Scott Skaggs and Vickie Skaggs coming over to help. Scott helped with laying down timbers for playset and Vickie clean our gross master bathroom. Such wonderful loving acts of God!

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Rhonda’s Bday

Rhonda’s Bday with some pics from 2016

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And the New Heavy Weight Champ – Canon Lucas Newell!

Welcome to Newell Nation! Canon is by far the heaviest baby we or should I say Rhonda has had. He weighed twice as much as Jada! It is so tempting not to go out an do Oklahoma Drills with him and the other boys. Camiryn and Caleb may toss him around but he and Cruz will have a good go at it! Haha.

Quick run down:
5:30 pm Tameka breaks Rhonda’s water! (Tameka swears she didn’t but all day she was saying she was going to get this baby out. I leave her and Rhonda alone for 5 minutes and what happens while I am gone? Rhonda’s water breaks!)
5:30 – 6:15 pm We time Rhonda’s contractions and prepare the room for a HOME BIRTH!
6:15 pm I call Allison, the mid wife, and tell her Rhonda is 5 min a apart. Allison and her assistant Jen head over.
7:00 pm Allison and Jen arrive, check on baby, Rhonda and setup.
7:15 pm The fun begins!
7:15 pm – 10:30 pm readjusting, pushing, screaming, praying, dying, resurrecting – repeats until we try to move from bathroom to bedroom.
10:39 pm – Canon Lucas is born!

In between screaming and praying was Leia, Tameka, and Tedee providing encouragement and support to Rhonda! Them along with Allison and Jen made a wonderful team. So happy they could all be there. Canon you are so loved little man! Oh and mommy is in the picture she is just being camera shy!

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Thanksgiving Meal from God!

So this is getting a little out of hand. We were not going to make Thanksgiving and didn’t ask anyone for a meal either. The kids old therapist Mrs. Carol and her husband decided to bring us Thanksgiving dinner a day before Thanksgiving. God is so so good. The food was great. We had a chance to fellowship and they prayed over us. They blessed the house and asked God to help us be a lighthouse in the community. I love that picture that develops in my mind when I think about that.

Here a short video of the kids thanking the Carol family just before Thanksgiving dinner. And pictures from games we played before the meal.





Just before the Carol’s came over we decided to make our rounds handing pies in the neighborhood. We had a chance to spend time with the Baum’s, St. Pierre’s, and Sipes’. Great conversation and awesome people. They were all saying they were supposed to bring us pie – in the words of one of my favorite Christian rappers Tedashii – everything’s in reverse. In God’s kingdom things are often in reverse.

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Maple Finally Finished!!!

Here’s a look at Maple before the almost 2 and 1/2 year rehab. Click here for a first Look at Maple

Maple is finally finished! God is good. Happy the rehab is time for babies arrival. Excited about that and how God is going to love on us and through us. I need it, my family needs it, and this city needs it..God’s is love.

Outside –

The Foyer and Family Room

Dining Room and Kitchen

Master Bedroom

The girls room.

The boys room.

The Guest Room

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First night @ Maple

We spent our first night at Maple! Boys room still isn’t finished yet but hoping carpet is done tomorrow!

First meal at dinner table!

Arhuas delivered the bed frame. I wished they would’ve brought the mattress up too!!

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Carson and Clinton Adoption Day

We finally made it to the day of Carson and Clinton’s adoption. The court hearing was really short. Even though this is our third adoption I’m still surprised at how short the hearing is to adopt children. Judge says will you take care of ’em. We say yes. He says alright there yours! I pray that God enables us to raise these boys the way He wants us to.

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Newell Nation on HotTalk Radio Shift to Live

So today we were on HotTalk Radio to answer the question burning on everyone’s mind: Do we know what causes that and how many do we plan to have?

It was a great show. The host Jana Gamble has been very active in the community especially as it relates to the challenges surrounding Ferguson. I was nervous about being on the radio but it was actually a blast. I was concerned that I couldn’t gauge the audience interest with our story or more importantly jokes. What I realized was it was better cause I couldn’t tell if people weren’t laughing at my jokes..Honestly I was struggling with my pride. I so desperately wanted God to be glorified but I was secretly hoping that someone influential would be listening and by years end we would be on focus on the family…in other words I wanted some glory for myself. I prayed about that fervently by myself and with Rhonda. I guess it worked because when the show started it was the furthest thing from my mind. I was actually hoping no one was listening!

What was most amazing was meeting Bill and Mary Neumann. A part of me thinks the session was less about sharing our story with a radio audience and more about meeting the Neumanns. It would takes pages to explain how God is moving in their lives. They proudly wear the title of “Missionaries to North St. Louis” (Changing Lives Today). They are in a tough neighbor street ministering and running a women’s home. On air BIll challenged men to step up. What impressed me the most is he challenged churches to step up also! Not that race or age matter but they were in their later years of life and white. They aren’t letting age or difference in skin color stand in the way of the gospel. It was incredible. After we got of air they prayed for us and encouraged us greatly. Bill said it’s special to see young people working for the Lord, living as examples for the world, sacrificing for God’s glory. My response to that is always the same: in view of His love how can we not? I do appreciate the encouragement though! We hope to meet with them in the near future.


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Belle means WAR and BEAUTY

My mom has been trying to talk us into naming the baby Belle which is italian for Beautiful. We found it also has latin roots for WAR. Not sure if we will use that name but it is fitting. Rhonda is 12 weeks but the last 6 or 7 have been really rough. I had to call the doctor on Rhonda so she would go to ER. We finally went after a nice and pleasant visit with our friend Lena. St. Peters was packed so we decided to try SSM St. Joseph in St. Charles.

They had an website which allowed you to schedule an appointment time in the ER. We arrived in it was much nicer and quiter in the lobby. They actual had scripture up on the wall – it read “With God all things are possible”. Didn’t know that was going to be some much needed encouragement for the night.

Long story short Rhonda ended up having a ton of sticks. I took to long to write this so I don’t remember everything that happened but the notes I had included these cast of characters…

Dr. Kate – ER Doc “the listener”
Nurse Elizabeth “the protector”
Andy the Paramedic
Nurse Marie aka going off the reservation
Nurse Frantella and Nurse Frances the caregivers
Dr. Puckett aka God send

What I remember is Andy was a young asian paramedic who was determined to get Rhonda’s IV going. He tried so many times and was so unsuccessful. I think he mentality was there’s never been an IV I couldn’t make a certain point Nurse Elizabeth called it all of. But we all knew something needed to happen. Step in Nurse Marie who went of reservation and installed an IV in Rhonda’s neck. It was painful to watch but it worked!

Dr Puckett was a God send. Everyone else was pushing for PICC line at right at the time we needed to make decision he came in with the answer to our prayer. He offered another solution because he himself had reservations about the PICC line. After the discussion I looked out window as saw cross on a top of a pole the hospital had put in. The backdrop was Frontier Park, old town St. Charles, and the mighty Mississippi.

Chaplain Gail prayed with us which was first at a hospital and really nice. They sent us home with a home infusion kit.

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God moved the Bennett Kids

Okay, so if you’ve been following Rhonda started feeling bad on April 4 and we’ve been working hard to make life work with the 14. On Sunday night Rhonda said it may be time to consider moving the kids..and the dogs too. She was having a hard day. The Jackson, close friends of ours, saw the struggle and decided to step in and take care of Chance. At least until we hear about Germany. They said they’d be available for even longer if need be. However the case we were grateful to God and them for a the help. It was a little pressure off and also full night’s sleep once again! On Tuesday another set of friends asked if they could watch the other three Bennett kids for a while. Tuesday night was spend in ER with Rhonda so on Wednesday we agreed and they were moved out. So this has provided much needed relief. And we are grateful to God for raising people up to ask us to watch the kids. It been amazing! We wonder if this is apart of the great setup to move to Germany or simply just a break. I don’t know but soon we will see.

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