Sunday, February 28, 2010

February Kids' Quotes

~“Why do some people think microwaves are bad for us? Do they add sugar to our food?”
~“Mom! 100 + 100 = 200! I just looked it up on my new calculator.”

~“Mom, I think I’m getting married! Ryan has been holding my hand at school.”
~Kiara: "Destany, God made you beautiful, inside and out!”
Destany: “Inside a nut???”
~As Andy talked about moving the crib into Destany’s room….
Destany: “I just don’t know if this is going to work…“
Andy: “What do you mean?”
Destany: “I just don’t think this is going to work because the baby will cry and wake me up.”  Andy reminded her if the baby slept somewhere else, Destany would be sleeping by herself in her room (and she’s been complaining about that for a long time).  Destany thought for a second, then said, “Ok, I changed my mind.”

~“Hi 9-1-1.  How you doing?  Please come here – I need you!”
~“Mommy!  My booty hurts…..both booties hurt!”  (pointing to each cheek – eczema issues
~“What’s that?!” (pointing at a crescent moon, in middle of the day)  Daddy: “The moon.” Keandre: “You cut it?  You go up on ladder and cut it?!”
~Kiara to Keandre, after a short time-out: "Keandre, are you ready to go outside and play with the boys?  You'll leave the girls alone?"  Keandre: "No, I go tickle the girls and spank their bottoms!" (grinning from ear to ear, of course. LOL)

Friday, February 26, 2010

It's a full moon.

Yesterday was a good pregnancy day.  Not too many contractions, I had a little energy, and I got a few things done (besides keeping my kiddos alive and fed, of course).  Today?  Not-so-much.  In fact, I had so many contractions that I had to spend the whole day in bed.  Not-so-fun. 

This afternoon I checked in on a Yahoo group for women with early contractions/pre-term labor, and found I wasn't the only one having a rough day.  Then one of the moms informed us it's a full moon, and that she always had stronger contractions then. 

Apparently there is plenty of anecdotal evidence showing that pg Mamas are more likely to head to the hospital when there is a full moon.  In fact, reading that reminded me that our family friend and L & D nurse Laura pointed out that it was a full moon when I was put on bedrest with Lucas.  Braxtons Hicks may be stronger at that time, leading to moms who are close to their due date thinking they're in labor.  And supposedly more women do have their water break when it's a full moon.

Now I'm glad I didn't push it tody, and that I laid in bed.  All day long.  On my left side.

A huge thank you to my Mom and Catherine, who stepped in to help with the kiddos today.  They had a wonderful time with you!  And another thank you to my sweet husband, who is picking up the slack big-time these days.  For about the hundredth time, he wondered aloud today about how we'd be managing this if he wasn't unemployed right now....   

Please pray with us that our sweetie stays put as long as possible.  I'm 26 weeks today, and it is still way too early for her to make her appearance!

Click here if you want to read a short article about this issue.  Not scientific, by any means, but interesting nonetheless!
UPDATE:  Today (Saturday) I spent several hours at the OB Triage, with severe abdominal pain and contractions.  An ultrasound, pain meds, and a shot of terbutaline later, I'm back in my own cozy bed, on modified bed rest w/ more terbutaline to take on an as-needed basis.  We're praying this is just a temporary bump in the road.... 

Funny Friday - Photo Flashbacks

Sleep, sweet's amazing how toddlers can sleep *anywhere*!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Too Much Stuff!

We have too much stuff.  And we've always known this.  But last Christmas (as in 1+ years ago) I was walking up in the hills behind my in-laws' house when I felt thoroughly convicted by the amount of 'stuff' we have, and how it is hindering us in serving God, serving others, and even in the messages we are trying to teach our children.  I returned home motivated to literally get rid of half of what we own.  Andy was in whole-hearted agreement, too!

But life got in the way.  We had five children at the time...then seven...then five again.  We were in survival mode.  I decluttered a little from time to time, but it was never the big push I really dreamed of. 

More than a year later, I am still very aware that our things own us.  We spend so much time caring for stuff, organizing it, moving it around.  What a waste of the time God has given us!  Lately, a Flylady quote has been turning around in my head.  "You can't organize clutter."  By this, she means you just have to let it go! 

When we lived in our old house -- the fun little 2 bedroom, 1 bath, 860 sq. ft. home that we spent the first 7+ years of our marriage in (with 2 kids, no less) -- we had a saying.  "Need it, or love it."  That was how we identified each of our belongings.  If we found something laying around that we didn't either NEED or LOVE, out it went.  We had a small house, small closets, and this was what saved us from 'needing' a bigger house once we started our family. 

Bigger houses are a trap for things.  Suddenly you don't have to be so picky.  Many people live with WAY less than we have -- or with nothing but the very bare basics to survive -- yet with our bigger houses we easily collect stuff here and there, with no regard for whether it's necessary to own these things or whether we really use and enjoy them. 

The last couple days, I've been working in the bedrooms with the kids.  Their bedrooms are clutter havens.  Their drawers, closet floors, under their beds, and everywhere else you can stuff things, is full of their 'treasures'.  Party favors, broken toys, bouncy balls, rock collections, shell collections, ripped papers that came home from preschool or Sunday School...the list goes on and on.  It has been wonderful to have time to just sit with them and look at what they own, listen to their thoughts on what is worth keeping, and watch them take in the message of stewardship and gratefulness and get rid of LOTS of stuff that was taking over their rooms.  I am so proud of them! 

Destany's room was a work in progress already, but here is a bit of a visual for what we just tackled today. She is loving the new look, and we're looking forward to decorating and getting ready for baby sister now that there's room to walk in there. :)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Getting ready for baby...

I don't think Keandre has any idea what he's in for in a few months, but in the meantime he's enjoying the 'projects' as we start to get ready for his baby sister to arrive.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Oh, the terror!

Yes, this is our son who was chased by a dog in California *last summer* and still talks -- often -- about how scared he was, and how Papa saved him.  "Papa say, 'Go away!'  Papa throw rock at doggy...."  The son who screams in terror when he sees a dog, and will literally try to climb up you, to safety.

And here he is getting some phobia therapy here in his own home.  We borrowed my brother Ian's dog, Porter.  Porter is very old, and sweet, and mild-tempered.  And finally we saw some progress. :)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Fabulous Forty!

A tribute to my (Andy's) parents who are celebrating
their 40th anniversary this year:

Wedding day - February 13, 1970...
(sweet handlebars, Dad!)

...and then came kids...
(Andy, Heather, and Jesse to start)

...and along with the 70's came the changing hairstyles...
(and gold curtains too)

...favorite family pastime, Sunday afternoon hikes in the hills...
(and there's the newest addition, Phil)

...and finally, last but not least, Amy...
(and there, pictured prominently, is another family favorite -
Ritz crackers and cheese)

Over the years, some things have changed - the gold curtains have been replaced, Sunday afternoon hikes have changed to Sunday afternoon naps, and the hair is not quite so long anymore.  But some things are still the same - I'm pretty sure there are still Ritz crackers in the cupboard.  And my parents are still in love, and still following the Lord.  I'm so thankful for their steadfast love and example of what a marriage based on covenant love is, and hope and pray they continue to celebrate many more years together.

...and now that you've put in all that hard work with us five kids,
you get to relax and enjoy a quiet house again...
except when the grandkids visit!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

first pregnancy pic

Can you believe that this is the first belly profile picture that we have taken during this pregnancy?  I am seven only 5 1/2 months along, and feeling great very pregnant already....far too pregnant to have 3 1/2 months to go. But we're hanging in here!  Baby girl is doing well, and despite the daily contractions I struggle with (some braxton hicks, and others that are very regular and strong), she is hangin' tight for now.  Now if only being on 'take-it-easy' status meant I was automatically provided a full-time homeschool tutor, house cleaner, cook, chauffeur,..... 

As you may have guessed, Destany is absolutely delighted to have a baby sister on the way!  This baby gets many snuggles and kisses every single day. :)

(To answer a common question....I had the same preterm labor-type contractions when pregnant with Lucas, but they didn't start until I was 30 weeks along and with bedrest and medication we did make it until he was full term.  This time they started at just 15 weeks!  But thankfully no bedrest or meds have been needed yet.)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Elise & the girls

It was one year ago that my friend, Elise, became terribly ill, battling both cancer and a serious case of MRSA, and she asked that Andy and I bring her girls to stay with us for a while.  We already had 5 kiddos at home, so it was quite an adventure!  (See here and here if you need a refresher.) 

Well, thankfully life is very different for them now, and this time Elise and the girls came for a visit together.  It was busy, noisy, and fun!  The kids kept us on our toes, and made some more happy memories together.

(The slideshow captions don't seem to be working, but kids' yoga was a hit, we celebrated Claire & Maya's 5th birthdays, and my sister and her kiddos joined us to feed the ducks.)

Monday, February 8, 2010

This one, too, Daddy!

Destany enjoyed the adventure of losing her first tooth so much that she immediately set to work on her other barely loose tooth.  Just days later, it was ready to go, too!  We can already see the new grown-up teeth in the window left in her mouth.  My baby is growing up! 
Her first excited phone call was to Nichole, her birthmother, to inform her that she has lost TWO teeth in the past week. :)

Friday, February 5, 2010

Marcel & Mya

Now that Marcel (Niko) and Mya have settled in with their adoptive family, we enjoy occasional visits with them at the park.  Today the dads were both able to make it, and Dennae was at home with new baby brother, Judah. 

Watching all the kids playing together reminded me of a post from our previous family blog that we titled "Siblings, or Cousins?" (and that precious pj pic).  Oh, the blessings of open adoption! :)

Thank you to all of you who continue to ask about Marcel & Mya, and pray for them.  It is so appreciated.  They seem to be settling in well, and they are loving having a new baby brother in the family!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Hair Day

Some little girls may dread the routine of Mama or Daddy combing, braiding, and caring for their hair, but Destany usually looks forward to hair day.  She knows hair day means I take out her braids, gently wash her hair, then admire her amazing curls in the mirror with her.  While I am putting in her new style, she loves eating special treats (like homemade kettle corn) while watching a movie.  Other times we talk, sing songs, or tell stories.  It is a special girl time, even if the boys are along for the ride.  In fact, she usually doesn't mind their presence -- she puts them to work, fetching her pillow, a toy, etc. since she has to sit still!  No matter how long it takes, this time is important for both of us.  Hair is important.  And the smile on her face when we look in the mirror at the end is priceless.

Some favorite past posts about hair:

Hair - a sweet blessing  - a post on our old blog about hair and culture

Beauty (a friend's post) - Cate has 3 precious daughters from Haiti.  Hair is her life! :)

First Haircut - a post on our old blog - Keandre's first haircut

Another priceless interaction? When we visit Nichole (D's bmom), and Nichole tells Destany that her hair looks wonderful and Mommy is doing a great job. My daughter is so blessed to have so many in her life who love and affirm her place in our family.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Comments welcome....

We love comments!  The kids like to ask if anyone wrote anything about 'their post', and we make sure to read those comments to them. 

We have it set so that anyone can comment, even if they do not have a Google or Blogspot account.  And none of that annoying 'word verification' stuff here.  Just make sure you sign your comment so you don't come through as just 'Anonymous'. :)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Please pull it out, Daddy!

A long-awaited 'first' happened for Destany this morning.  She lost a tooth!  Or, to be more accurate, her Daddy yanked it out for her. :)
Afterward, Lucas helped her put her tooth into an envelope for the Tooth Fairy. 

Just to set the record straight, our kiddos already know we are the tooth fairy, and that Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, etc. are just stories that some people like to pretend are real.  And believe me -- they are fine with this.  Those stories made them nervous!  So'll need to listen in on conversations between our kids and yours and cut them off if they try to 'set your kids straight'. :)

Video coming -- as soon as I figure out how to upload one on here!  Anyone want to help me?

Tackle It Tuesday

Something that God has consistently laid upon my heart over the last few months has been stewardship.  I am often prompted to consider, 'Am I being a good steward of my time, money, home, etc.?' 

I love that we are preparing to welcome a new little one into our home, and He is busy prompting me to make changes that will benefit my whole family.  I am home a lot these days.  Between homeschooling, a not-so-easy pregnancy, and limited finances, I have fewer commitments than in the past.  Tackle It Tuesday is a way I hope to document my strides to bring glory to God through the little things -- like being grateful for my home, and keeping it well. 

As a quick explanation of Tackle it Tuesday, I used to read a couple of blogs that did weekly 'Tackle-It Tuesday' posts, and I was very motivated by these moms and what they accomplished.  So if you're looking for a little motivation of your own, here it is!  I'd love to know what projects you are inspired to begin!
This is the buffet in our kitchen.  It is also a great catch-all spot for....well, just about anything, as you can see.  I have been dreading this task but decided today was the day.  45 minutes later.....
Success!  Afterward, I rewarded myself with a 'fun' project -- putting all our Christmas pictures on display so we can enjoy them.  A relative gave us the idea of choosing a picture each night, talking to the kiddos about who the family is and why they are special to us, and praying for them together.  Now I can't wait to start!
(ps - No, I didn't also paint the wall in that 45 minutes.  The change in paint color is the difference in daylight and nighttime lighting.  No flash used.  Crazy, huh?) 
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