Saturday, December 29, 2012

Elijah is 6 today!

Best Blogger Tips
Happy Birthday to my wonderful first born, Elijah!  We have been blessed to have Eli in our family for 6 years now - it's absolutely amazing, it seems like just yesterday he was a little bitty babe.  I love watching Eli grow and develop, and take his role as the oldest child in the family.  I'm very excited to see what this next year will bring!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Hello, Winter!

Best Blogger Tips
My kids were terribly disappointed last year when it didn't snow enough to make a snowman.  Eli talked about making a snowman all summer.  We waited...and today, they finally got their chance!  Chris took them out this evening and here's what they came up with:

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Best Blogger Tips
We have so many things to be thankful for this Christmas!  So many blessings have come to us this year, the most amazing one being our 6th family member, Daniel!  I have found that having my children has given me a much deeper perspective on the truths of the most amazing blessing humanity has ever been given, the gift of Jesus. 

For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Cooking Show

Best Blogger Tips
Here's what I see when I cook:

The cooking show is ME!  Apparently I am amazingly interesting when I cook.  The kids pull chairs up to the island and watch me.  Every move.  I explain every ingredient, I explain how I measure it and they watch as I put it in.  Sometimes they discuss among themselves what I'm doing like I'm not there.

At this point, by the time these kids are teens, I should have taught myself out of a job.  If they each take a few nights of cooking, I may have many years of not having to cook ahead of me.

Friday, December 14, 2012


Best Blogger Tips
I was hoping Daniel would reach his sitting milestone before Christmas, so I could get a picture of him sitting in front of the tree.  He's doing a great job!  He's still not super stable, but if he can lift his hands up and place them back down without tumbling head first (most of the time).

Friday, November 16, 2012

Sick Baby

Best Blogger Tips
Round one of the cold virus swept through our house this past week.  With the number of little ones around here, and one now in school, we are bound to catch a few.  Since Daniel is breastfeeding, he is covered by my immunities - meaning that if I have had a virus in the past, and developed an immunity to it, I pass that immunity through my milk and he is also immune to it.  Pretty neat, right?  When Daniel started to get sick a few days before I did, I knew I was hit.  Sure enough, everybody caught the cold.  It wasn't particularly horrible, but everybody had a few bad days.  Daniel, unfortunately, started wheezing and really struggling to breathe.  I was hoping and praying that he would not have the same issues as Eli and Isaac did in their first year, but after a visit to the pediatrician, he was also sent home with nebulizer treatments. 

Isn't that the saddest thing you've seen in a while?  Poor baby!  Sometimes he chills out for his treatments, sometimes he tries to lick the mist, and sometimes he goes absolutely berzerk and puts up a pretty good fight.  The fighting is actually good, it gets the medicine deep into the bottom of his lungs.  I never took pictures of Eli and Isaac being nebulized, it always broke my heart.  But it is the reality.  I pray that Daniel will outgrow this, just as the other two boys have.   Prayers for his healing, for no further complications with this cold, and for the health of his lungs are welcome! 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Unintended Outcomes

Best Blogger Tips
Sometimes it's not so easy to understand why certain things, especially things we perceive as bad, happen.  This morning I had an interesting sequence of events that illustrated this quite well.  It starts with two things being forgotten.  1) I forgot to get milk last night.  2) Chris forgot to bring in the recycling bin, which stays in the garage behind the van, and requires the van to move to be put back.  So this morning after Daniel ate, I decided to run to Meijer super quick before Chris left for work to grab some milk.  Chris asked me to take the van, so he could pull the bin in while I was gone.  Great plan.  I go out to start the van - and it will not start.  It was making some kind of noise, but not a starting noise.  I run to get milk with Chris' car, and realize that I have to take Daniel at the pediatrician's office this morning for his 4 month check up.  Which means I need the van, because all of the kids have to go with me.  Gr.  Chris was able to go in late so I could take Daniel in the car to the doctor.  My van is still dead, and waiting for the tow truck to arrive.  That's sad.  But I didn't have to wrangle 4 kids in the tiny pediatrician's office, one of whom was getting shots and needed his mama's full attention and comfort.  If Chris hadn't forgotten the bin, and if I hadn't forgotten the milk, I'd have loaded all of the kids in the van just 20 minutes before I needed to be at the office and then found out the van was dead.  That would have been bad. 

While my van is dead, and that makes me sad, my stress level today was significantly reduced.  I'll take that unintended outcome any day!

It's hard to know how God is working sometimes.  Did He design this situation?  Or did He just create two forgetful people and match them up with a vehicle that would, as they all do, die once in a while?  It's interesting to ponder.  I do believe that trusting God is the key in any situation that happens that we just can't understand.  From our perspective, whether it's a dead van that will probably cost way too much to fix, or a person we don't believe in or care for being elected president, it's good to step back and acknowledge that our human perspective is very limited.  We can't see what has been, we can't see what will be, and we can't know the outcome if another course of action had been taken.  Since God stands outside of time, and since His perspective is very different than ours, sometimes we just have to trust Him - and be content in the face of outcomes we don't much like. 

Daniel's stats: He clocked in this morning at 15 pounds 5 ounces, and is 24.5 inches long.  He's super happy, smiley, and developing very well.  :) 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Sometimes it gets very quiet

Best Blogger Tips
And I wonder what kind of shenanigans is under way, especially when Sophie and Isaac are quiet at the same time!  Sometimes, I find a wonderful scene that I can add Daniel to.  Like today:

Isaac tries very hard to retell the story, but Sophie's pictures must have been more interesting to Daniel. 

Here's that apple sauce!!! 

5 quarts!!!  Plus a cup leftover and juice for breakfast!  Chris is a chronic optimist, so when he told me he thought there would be a gallon of apple sauce, I chalked it up to his good nature but didn't put much stock in it.  Sure enough, he was close!   

Friday, October 26, 2012

Apples - a debate

Best Blogger Tips
How many cups of applesauce will this little pile of apples make?  Any wagers?  In cups.

I have absolutely no idea.  This is my first time canning applesauce, and I've done enough canning recently to know that what you start with is nothing close to what you end with. 

Chris has a bet, but I believe he is far too high.  He would rather I use these apples for a higher cause, making crisp or pie. 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

I found my kitchen!

Best Blogger Tips

My kitchen has a bad habit of succumbing to entropy.  I clean off the island, and about 7 seconds later it's coated in a random mix of things - kindergarten worksheets, books, bills, crayons, and really anything else that just happens to be floating around the house, homeless. I'm trying to devise a plan to keep the counters cleaned off.  Not an easy task, as this is certainly not the first time I've tried.  Any workable plans are welcome.  Now onto the rest of the house.

Oh, while I was cleaning my kitchen, I did not unearth that personal chef I'm pretty sure should be there.  If you find him, send him my way - tell him we want steaks tonight with asparagus and stuffed mushrooms.  Thanks. 

Big Boy

Best Blogger Tips
Look at this big boy!  I put him in the Bumbo yesterday for the first time and he loved it!  He likes to be up where he can look around and watch the other kids.  It will be several months before he can sit up on his own, so this provides him with the fake backbone to allow him to pretend to be a big boy. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


Best Blogger Tips
Each Friday, Eli's class has snack day.  Snack day is a HUGE big deal to my little kindergartner.  Which is funny if you know him, because you'd know that he's not a terribly great eater.  Except, apparently, when Jaden's mom bakes muffins - then he eats them.  Sigh.  My turn on the rotation is this Friday.  I will never be the cool mom, rest assured, but my treats will be cool.  So, I came up with these cuties for him to take:

He was pretty excited when I showed them to him today.  Hopefully his teacher will wait until the last possible moment to hand them out so she doesn't have to deal with the sugar high.  

Monday, October 22, 2012

Stationery card

Best Blogger Tips
Heartfelt Blessings Christmas Card
Turn your favorite pictures into personalized Christmas cards.
View the entire collection of cards.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

I learned a few things today

Best Blogger Tips
Every day, when Eli gets off of the bus, I say, "Elijah, what did you learn at school today?"  I'm really excited and ready to hear, and usually the question is met by, "I don't remember."   He's quick to talk about snack time and recess.  Today I was wondering when we stop asking that question.  Certainly there are an endless number of things to learn, see, and do, but it seems that the question is only ever asked of school aged children.  Well, here's what I learned today:

1) There is a gender neutral term to define nieces and nephews!  The word is NIBLING.  Yep, you read that correctly.  Nibling.  My nieces and nephews are super cute, so calling them niblings sounds fitting.  :) 

2) It is possible to MAKE powdered sugar.  All you do is put granulated sugar in the food processor and blitz it until it becomes powdered.  I had no idea. 

3) My migraines are not gone.  Being pregnant and having babies may have slowed them up considerably, but I can't control the weather, and as long as that's true I'm bound to be dealing with them in the fall and spring when the weather is super wonky.  Another related thing I learned today - Sophia has it in her to be a true leader.  She took control of this house today, trying her best to help me.  She played with Isaac and kept him quiet, helped pick up without my asking, sat with Daniel and giggled with him, and was just generally a good little helper.  And I am finally feeling better, thank God!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Gardening Accidents

Best Blogger Tips
I have a very bad habit of buying plants on clearance, sticking them in the flower beds, and then forgetting about them.  Sometimes I don't even know what they are, how big they will get, or anything about them.  I was able to uproot 3 very well established Juniper plants last summer, so I should be able to get just about anything out after that experience.  I rarely water - I figure if you're going to survive in my flower beds you better be hardy enough to fend for yourself.  Wimpy plants die out, while hardy ones survive and thrive. 

I picked up a rose bush on clearance for $3 at Giant Eagle a few months ago.  Chris planted it in one of the beds behind the house.  Once in a while I'd look at it to see if it were still alive, and it would be green.  Today I was out trying to start cleaning up for the fall, and here's what I found:

Now I know that I planted a pink rose bush.  :)  Sophia will be thrilled.  

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

When Comics Match Life

Best Blogger Tips
 My brother sent me this really funny comic strip yesterday:

Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson:

Sometimes I wonder about the jumbled mess the part of my brain is that keeps track of kid's stories.  It must be an absolute disaster in there.  "In a great green room, there was a telephone...I love your inside and fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish...Gossie is a gossling.  A small yellow gosling who likes to wear bright red boots.  EVERY DAY...for I have never been afraid of anything, not very...and when the moon is on the rise, they all go up to exercise...go by scooter, go by skis, bundle up so you don't freeze...hey you, want to fight?..."  I imagine myself as a very old woman, sitting in a chair, babbling about pale green pants. 

I've never taken this route with books, but sometimes I do hide a book or two to change the focus for a while.  Isaac loves The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carl right now.  He's starting to move out of this phase though, just as Daniel will enter it.  My mom tells my that she read me The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown Ad nauseam when I was young.  We've certainly been through that one here too.  I can't figure out what it is about certain books that makes them so appealing, but my kids certainly have a way of picking a favorite and sticking with it - for a looooooong time.