Thursday, April 30, 2009

Looking Back...

Noah is learning to wave, and it is adorable. He waves to Daddy on his way to bed. He waves to Eli when he's eating his lunch. He looks up and waves to me while he's nursing. And my heart just about melts! His big, incredibly dark brown eyes, which he gets from his Daddy's side of the family--his head-full of dark brown hair, his olive colored complexion...he looks sooo much like his Daddy! He loves to snuggle in my arms and rub his little nose against my shoulder. As I smother him in kisses and whisper in his ear "Mommy loves you, Noah", he actually laughs out loud and looks delighted. He opens his mouth big and nibbles on my cheek---his way of giving a kiss, and it is MY turn to be delighted. We snuggle on the couch like this for several minutes---and my mind drifts back to just over a year ago.....



I was laying on the examination table, as the doctor slowly went over all the details of my ultrasound. This was not my normal midwife/OBGYN, we had traveled to a town about an hour away for a special level two ultrasound. We were there that day to check on the placement of my placenta, to see if it was still complete previa, and if I still needed to be on bedrest. However, as the doctor moved his little 'wand' around my stomach, I heard him murmur in concern. "Hmmm...something's not quite normal at the back of the babies head....too much surface area there....could be nothing, but it's often a sign of Down's Syndrome. I would recommend another test to determine for sure, and that way you can decide if you want to abort or not." My heart caught in my throat. I looked over at Joel for support. "Oh, no, we're not interested." The doctor didn't understand. "Well, most people opt to have this test, that way they can decide if they want to keep the baby or not." Joel tried again. "No, it wouldn't matter to us---either way, we want to keep the baby" And as I laid there, I wanted to cry. How sad that the very doctor who was supposed to be responsible for my health and my babies health, was suggesting the possible 'termination' of the pregnancy!





Well, you all probably know the ending of this story already. Noah does not have Down's Syndrome--but even if he did, it would have made no difference to us, we would have loved him anyway.




And as I sat on the couch tonight, cuddling him and marveling at his sweetness and what a gift from God he really is, my heart ached for all those who have followed a doctor's mis-guided words. For all of the women who will never have that sweet baby to cuddle in their arms. Do their hearts ache? Do they feel like someone's missing? As I held Noah, I almost felt angry at that doctor from over a year ago. Look at my sweet Noah boy now! What stupid advice that doctor was offering! But then, I had to forgive him, and realize that he is so very, very lost. A baby is precious, every single time...

Choose life---you will never regret it!!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Why I love being a Mama

Sometimes, I feel so blessed. Okay, I am always blessed! And sometimes, certain moments around our house just make me smile. Here are a few I've caught in the past couple of days.


If the kids are outside playing, or Daddy
is working in the yard, this is where you'll
always find Noah. He bangs on the door
and 'talks' the whole time! Needless to say,
he loves it when he gets to go out too!




I was dusting the living room today, and turned
around to find this sweet moment happening.

Normally, Cosette feeds Noah his breakfast for
me and does a great job. This moring, however,
she was busy coloring and asked to be excused.
Eli jumped at the opportunity and begged me to
let him 'feed Noah all by myself, Mommy!'
I relented, mostly because I thought it might
make for a good picture opportunity, which it
did :) Noah was actually very patient, and
most of his breakfast ended up in his mouth ;)




Monday, April 27, 2009

Perfecting the 'honey-do' list

I recently read some negative things about the dreaded 'honey-do' list. The things I read spoke of wives who are constantly nagging, and husbands who do anything to avoid the chores on their 'honey-do' list.
I think that this is really sad! It seems like, in a good, functional marriage, this problem shouldn't exist! Now, I know Joel and I have only been married five years, so maybe I'm speaking too soon. But so far, it hasn't been an issue. Here's how our 'honey-do' lists work:

1. I notice something that needs repaired/fixed/bought, whatever. I go to Joel and say "Hey Love, have you noticed that ______ needs to be fixed? Do you think you'd have time to get to that anytime soon? Will a repair like that fit into our budget right now?

And if he says "Yes'' to both questions, I try to drop it. Then, whenever he can, he graciously takes care of whatever it was I asked him about. So, it's a two-fold process. First, I ask kindly and don't nag over and over. Secondly, if he says that yes, he can do it, he does :) He doesn't find ways to get out of it. If he's too busy at the time, he'll say something like "Yeah, but this week isn't really good because I have those meetings Tuesday and Thursday evenings. But I might be able to get to it next weekend." Case closed.

It's that simple. I pray for this kind of a wonderful husband for all of you ladies out there.....

Anyway, now on to the REAL reason for this post :) My poor husband got stuck with a BIG 'honey-do' list this spring. I didn't really mean to, but there were several things that needed to be done, that I couldn't do. So, we are really excited about some of the changes happening around our house this month....

1. Joel is building raised garden beds for me around the house. Actually, they're already done, they just need some good garden soil added to the top, and they'll be good to go. I'm so excited. I tried planting tomatos and peppers on my front porch last year in pots, but that soooo did not work out at all. I actually get a garden this year!

2. We are transforming our dining room into a dining/school room :) Joel is adding an entire wall of cork board and world/US maps, and a dry erase board. Then, he's building shelves above that to hold our school books/activities, etc.We thought about trying to make a school room in our rec room downstairs, but it's so much brighter and cheerier up here in the kitchen, so that's what we went with.

3. And, this is the fun thing. We are finally getting a swing set up in the backyard for the kids. We found a nice, pre-made one that fit nicely into our budget, so Joel's going to pick it up today. I think I'm more excited than the kids! It has swings and monkey bars, a slide, a rope/rock climbing area, a covered kid-size picnic table, and lots of climbing space. It's made of good wood and solid material and should last a long time.


SO, there you have it. My 'honey-do' list :) And it's not causing any arguments or tension in our house. In fact, Joel and I are excitedly watching each thing get finished. (Okay, okay, I watch excitedly from inside while I take care of the kids, and he works like a dog outside pounding wood and moving dirt......but hey, we're both happy :)

Friday, April 24, 2009

A future cook

Eli loves to help Mama in the kitchen. Whenever he sees me at the counter making something, he pulls up a chair and begs to help. I think I may have a future cook on my hands :)




Thursday, April 23, 2009

For the love of food....

I love good food. My husband would say "Don't we all??" But I don't know----I seem to have been 'blessed' with an overly-large abundance of 'good food loving' genes :) I always greatly anticipate a meal that I think is going to be really good! I remember during high school, if the rest of my family wasn't ready to eat lunch by 12:00 on the dot, I was about ready to fall over from 'hunger'---or so I thought :)

I love cooking good food for my family, and trying new foods and recipes. I think our family does fairly well, too, with keeping things pretty healthy. Since I just went grocery shopping last night, and have lots of interesting food to fix, I thought you might find it amusing to walk through a 'food day' at the Curtis household. By the way, this is what we all ate today (except for Noah, of course!) Cosette and Eli have always been expected to eat whatever is served to them, and they rarely, if ever, say they don't like something. So, drum roll, please.....





Breakfast



Today, breakfast was this new oatmeal that I just discovered on the shelf at WalMart. It has no sugar added, and is made with real grains, flaxseed and plant sterols. It had real blueberries in it, and, when mixed with a little milk, tasted like blueberries and cream. Yum! Cosette and Eli were going "Mmmm, Mommy, this is GOOD!", the whole time they were eating it.







We had a grapefruit and some pretzels for a snack mid-morning, because my children simply can't survive until lunch time without a snack ;)


Lunch

For lunch, we tried this new whole wheat 'flat bread'. I usually make our own bread, but this looked too good to pass up. It was! I toasted it just a little, and made a sandwich out of mayo, homemade chicken salad, cheddar cheese, lettuce, and pickles. (Gotta have the pickles!!!) I looked over at Cosette's plate, and the whole sandwich was there. I looked over a few minutes later, and it was completely gone. So, thumbs up for this sandwich! We topped it off with a few pretzels, fresh strawberries, and one oreo cookie a piece :)








Dinner

Well, dinner hasn't happened yet, but here's what's on the menu:


Spaghetti squash. When it's all cooked, it resembles strands of spaghetti. I usually serve it with marinara sauce and grated parmesan cheese. Sometimes I put cooked ground turkey into the sauce as well.

On the right, you see foccacia bread. It's like a chewy, thick bread with rosemary on top. We may eat it warmed up with butter, or I may make a balsmic-vinegar/olive oil dipping sauce for it, I haven't decided yet. We'll also add a green salad with baby peas to all of that.












For dessert, I made a fresh apple cake. Sorry, I don't have a picture, because it's not done yet :)
So, that's our food day. Not all days go this smoothly in the food category! Sometimes, we're heating up leftovers for lunch and having tuna helper for dinner! But, since today was a good day, I thought I'd share :) Are you HUNGRY yet?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A story of fake repentance

A recent episode in the Curtis household:

Mommy: Cosette and Eli, would you please gather up the dirty laundry for mommy and bring the clean laundry from the dryer?

Eli: Okay, Mommy!

Cosette: *groan* But, I'm busy, mom!

Eli: Grunting and groaning as he pulls the basket up the stairs all by himself. "Wow, Mommy, 'at's hard work! I have'a work weal hard! "

Mommy: Thank you, Eli. Since you worked so hard and so happily, you may have a little piece of chocolate candy.

Cosette: May I have some too?

Mommy: No, Cosette, you did not help at all, and you grumbled and groaned.

Cosette: (sobbing) But MOOOOOmmmmy!! I really want some.

Mommy: Sorry, Cosette, and please go to your room until you're done crying.

Cosette: (A few minutes later) "Eli, I'm sorry I didn't help. It was all my fault. I should have helped! I'm sorry! Now may I have some candy, Mommy?

Mommy: (fighting back a laugh) Um, no, Cosette, you still may not have candy.

Cosette: Then I'm NOT sorry after all!


Oh my! A funny story, yes, but, sadly, all too true of Cosette sometimes. Eli seems to have his Daddy's easy-going, ready-to-forgive personality. He is quick to say he's sorry and mean it, and responds with genuine repentance to discipline. Cosette? Well, she doesn't have a huge problem or anything, but she does seem to be more easily angered and slow to forgive. Just a different personality, I guess, but still a negative character trait that she will have to learn to work through. We are glad we have recognized this, and are praying for her and helping her work through it. Just another challenge in the daily joys and struggles of raising children :)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A (probably too long) essay on school :)

I work hard every day. Here are just a few of the reasons why.......






Now those are good reasons to work hard! And yes, the flowers Cosette is holding are real :) She picked them all from the woods behind our house. She was so pleased with herself. She brought them to me the day after Grandma's funeral, and they almost made me cry again---in a good way, of course :)
Oh, and some of you have been asking about my curriculum choices. Well, the 'core' curriculum that we chose to start with Cosette and Eli next fall is My Father's World. It's a classical, well-rounded curriculum, based heavily around Scripture. You can check it out at www.mfwbooks.com. They have pre-school through grade twelve, and it's kind of a progressive unit study type of thing. We bought their 'deluxe' package, which included really fun, bright, colorful books for the kids to do art and music with as well. I'm hoping that I like our first year with it, because I'd really like to just stick with it, but we'll see. Cosette will be doing the first grade material next fall (because she's already pretty much done kindergarten), and Eli will be doing the pre-school hands-on stuff. He's really excited about that---it's a bunch of colorful, fun objects for helping little ones learn colors, numbers, etc. We debated between several different curriculums, but I just kept coming back to this one, because I really liked what I saw. It seemed simple, yet thorough, and the kids will be getting a Biblical-based view on history, science, math, etc.

We're also spending the summer working on alot of fun, non-structured stuff. For instance, Cosette will finish her 'How to teach your child to read in 100 easy lessons' book(which you can find on Amazon), and they are both learning how to play the recorder. Cosette can actually play a few simple tunes now, and she is extremely happy about that. I believe that for really little ones, like Cosette and Eli, a recorder is the best way to be introduced to playing music. We also bought a 'health' book, and they're both going to trace the outline of their bodies onto big paper, and then glue paper cut-outs of their internal organs onto the paper as we study them (sorry if that sounded kind of gross). Cosette is doing a fun 'in the kitchen' book with Mommy (kind of like a simple, sweet home-economics book for four year olds!), and Eli is simply learning one new letter each week, by tracing it, writing it, talking about it, etc. We'll probably carry alot of this stuff over into the fall as well. If that sounds like way too much for little people, keep in mind that we don't do everything every day, and we keep it light-hearted and fun.
So, anyway, our 'school' schedule is now full, and I'm excited to officially be beginning school with the kids. I know they are only little yet, but isn't that the best time to begin giving them a love for learning?? Joel is going to transform our dining room into a multi-purpose eating/school room for me :) We plan to cover one whole wall with cork board, maps, and dry erase boards. Then, above that, he's adding shelves to hold all of our new books :) I'm hoping that the next year of school can be fun and very productive for my kiddos! I'm thanking God for the opportunity to teach them and be their mama!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Homeschool fair

We went to the homeschool curriculum fair today. (For those of you unfamiliar with this, it was held at a big fair ground area, and there were literally hundreds of vendors there selling home-school curriculum-- enough to please any home-school mama's heart!) Anyway, it was not exactly how I wanted to spend my Saturday. After the difficult, emotional, physically draining week we had with the funeral and everything, I just felt like crawling up on the couch with some hot chocolate for the day. But, the curriculum fair only comes around once a year, so we decided to make a family day of it and do what had to be done.
In the end, we were so glad that we did! We left the house at 7:00 this morning, and didn't get back until 4:30. We spent the whole day walking around, looking at books. The kids did sooooo well! Noah sat in his stroller, babbling and smiling, then he took a nap for part of the afternoon. Cosette and Eli were great too. They walked around all afternoon without complaining even once, and had a good time looking at all the interesting materials that were there. Daddy even bought them a treat of honey stix and pencil grippers :) We had a 'picnic' lunch outside of the building, and the kids thought that was just great!
I think I actually managed to buy all of the books that I'd been hoping to find, and stayed well within my budget (making myself very proud!). I remember going to this same fair when I was in school with my mom, and it was fun to be the one actually buying the books this time! I was really pleased with my selections, and I think the kids will have a fun time with their new school books. (Well, okay, Cosette got school books---Eli got a bunch of really fun looking 'hands on' kind of stuff that he thinks is just a bunch of new toys).
In the end, we had a fun time together as a family, which made for a welcome relief after this past week. This day would have been nearly perfect, if I hadn't had to miss a relative's baby shower. My original plan, before Grandma passed away, was to go to the curriculum fair, and then to the shower, which were fairly close to one another. However, I was just too exhausted after everything this week. The fair, yes, had to be done.....but after that, I was ready to go home and crash! So, sorry, Kelley, I would have loved to have been there-- and many blessings on your soon-to-be bundle of joy!!
And now, I am one weary mama, and hoping that tomorrow will be the start of a better week. Please, remember to keep praying for my Grandpa, who is sure to be feeling very lonely right now...

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Remembering Grandma

My soul hurts, as I remember...




  • her coming to pick me up from school one day because my new baby sister was on the way.

  • her love for the color purple

  • her dependable presence at all of my recitals, graduation, wedding, birth of my children, etc.

  • her love for a hot cup of tea, one flat teaspoon of sugar

  • her wonderfully clean, organized house

  • wrapping a blanket around her on the couch, because it was 'just so cold in here'; then, assuring her that it was actually 70 degrees!

  • seeing the happiness and pride in her eyes as she looked for the first time on each of her three great-grandchildren

  • the day she came up and took the kids for a nice long walk down the road so that I could get some things done.

  • the homemade cards she sent to my kids each month

  • playing games with her on lazy Sunday afternoons, like, apples to apples, scattegories, and scrabble. I remember that she always got the wrong letter in scattegories, but always beat everybody in scrabble.

  • the way she smelled---a nice smell, of course---like her clothes had just been freshly laundered in a sweet-smelling detergent

It is with heavy hearts that we mourn our own loss, yet, at the same time, rejoice at her new-found home with Jesus.

This week has been hard, and I'm missing my Grandma. Cosette asked tonight ''Can Grandma see us from heaven? If Jesus can, why not Grandma?" Sounds to me like another little girl is missing her Grandma too.........

We have the funeral and bury Grandma tomorrow. Well, just her body---the house that kept her soul safe for so many years. We will cry, we will mourn, we will find comfort in each other's company.

Wasn't I fortunate to have such a blessing for a Grandma?

Monday, April 13, 2009

Mourning

My dearly loved grandma passed away today at 11:45 at Johns Hopkins Hospital. She came through open heart surgery with flying colors, but a bad infection took it's hold, and well...it was time for her to go home with Jesus. She is in a much safer, happier, healthier place now. We rejoice for her, but are greatly mourning our own loss. If you are a regular commenter on my blog, you may have noticed my grandmother's frequent comments. She was a daily reader of my blog, and loved to see pictures of my kids. I think she may have gotten more joy out of my blog than even me!! I will greatly, GREATLY feel a loss for a long time as I open up my comments, and see none from her. If you go back a few posts, you will see a few pictures of her and my grandpa, under a post titled something about grandparents. I may be a little quieter on here this week as we will be busy with funeral arrangements and such. Please pray for us.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter photos

Hope you all are having a blessed Easter. Here are some snapshots from our weekend so far...


Eli's hands were completely blue by the time he was done!

Yes, Noah now sits at the table with us--five people at
my table--I'm a happy mama!

Munching on his bread--could he be any sweeter?


Playing a game after brunch on Saturday



Cosette went for the 'girlie' colors, as you can see :)




Wishing he was big enough to join in the fun





Painting his 'tomb' with Daddy






The 'tombs' before we painted them--a craft project
that actually worked right!







Okay, I know, I'm weird, I take pictures of food.








Friday, April 10, 2009

"Truly this man was the Son of God!"

"And the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom"
Mark 15: 38
This is one of my favorite verses from the entire Easter Story. It's just a short little verse, but so significant. When Jesus died, the veil in the temple that kept ordinary people from entering into God's presence was torn--from top to bottom. This was not an act of man---it was God signifying that the way into His Almighty Presence had been secured. I LOVE this verse!! Think about it!


We are rejoicing and celebrating at our house this weekend. It is so nice to have 'older' children this year who can really understand the significance of Easter. We sat around the table this morning after a nice breakfast and read the crucifixion passage together. When asked why Jesus died, Eli replied 'For my sins!' Yes!! If I have taught him nothing else in his almost-three years, at least he understands this important fact!


Later, we made this Good Friday project with the kids. It's basically making a tomb out of homemade play dough, and then baking it in the oven to harden it. Cosette plans on painting hers after her nap, and placing the homemade Jesus in the tomb. On Sunday morning, they will wake up to find their homemade tombs empty, and be reminded again of Christ's resurrection.

On Saturday evening, we will be making resurrection cookies, yet another way to impress the story of the Crucifixion/Resurrection on little minds.

And, yes, in case you're wondering, we are also dying Easter eggs later this afternoon. We will be going to a Good Friday service at church this evening. We will also be having some of Joel's family for brunch tomorrow morning, and then joining them for lunch on Sunday after church.

We are also rejoicing that although my extended family is spending Easter in Baltimore at John Hopkins hospital, it will be with my grandmother, who is expected to have a very good recovery from her open heart surgery. And, although we are sad that she can't be with us this weekend, we are so glad that she is in such a good hospital, being taken excellent care of, and recovering to a much healthier body.
God's goodness is all around me this Easter Season, and I wanted to share my joy!!
HE IS RISEN!

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Not safe anywhere

The baby, that is. He's not safe anywhere. At least, that's what I've concluded, in order to keep myself alert and always watching after him. Now, I like to pride myself in thinking that my house is a 'safe haven' for my children, but goodness, Noah has really had it rough lately! Here are a few examples....

A few weeks ago, Noah was in his bed taking a nap, and Cosette and I were sitting at the table while she was coloring. Eli was coloring too. However, I must have gotten distracted telling Cosette something, because I suddenly looked around, and Eli wasn't there anymore. Then I heard the baby crying. Assuming he was just waking up from his nap, I went to check him. I turned the door knob----locked!! Eli must have run back to the room and locked the door while I wasn't paying attention. Okay, no big deal, I thought. I grabbed the key from above the door and tried to unlock it. No luck. Well, long story short, I twisted and turned, and pushed and prodded, and begged and prayed, and could NOT get that door unlocked. Fortunately, Joel was in the office, just a few minutes down the road, and he came right home. *pop!* You know, that door opened right up for him! Go figure. Anyway, Noah was okay, just mad at having to wait for his lunch!

Fast forward a few weeks:


Noah was again having his morning nap, only this time in his 'big boy crib', in Cosette's room, which they are now sharing. I, assuming he was safe and sound, proceeded to make a quick phone call. When I was done, Eli came running to me with an empty cup, which had previously held peanuts. "Mommy, I shared some with Noah!" *gasp!!!* I RAN back to Noah's room, where I found him awake and smiling. There were peanuts spilled all over his floor around the crib. When I checked his mouth, he was happily munching on three peanut halves. I carefully cleaned them out and gave him a sip of water, and then I finally began breathing easier. Then, I reminded Eli how important it is to NEVER, NEVER, NEVER give Noah food!! Oh bother---I just can't let him out of my sight, even for a nap! Oh well, at least now we know Noah doesn't have any peanut allergies! ;) (Please don't ask me why I was letting my not-quite-three year old walk around with a cupful of peanuts while I was on the phone. Just one of those 'duh' moments, I assume)

Oh, and one more funny story, although this has to do with poor Eli, not Noah.

When Eli was sick last week, he was barely able to walk from his room to the bathroom. So, one night, I was carrying him, cradled like a baby in my arms. I was gently rocking him while I walked, and mumbling soothing words like only a Mommy can. He was laying in my arms, moaning pitifully. I was just telling him how sorry I was he was so sick, and walking around a corner when--THWACK!! I cracked his poor little head against a door frame. Joel looked up at me in surprise. "Was that his HEAD?" Poor little guy, he was too sick to even care, but I covered my face and moaned '' I am such a lousy motheeeerrrr!!!!"


So, I hope I have helped you all feel more confident with your parenting skills, now that you know what a goof I can be sometimes :)

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Setting the record straight

The life of a stay-at-home mom has been seriously under-rated in recent years. Many people, when they hear this term, get a mental image of a lazy woman in house-robe and slippers, hair undone, sitting on the couch, watching soap operas and nagging her husband. I would like to set the record straight.
I like to think of myself as a fairly well-educated, reasonable person. I went through four years of college, graduated at the top of my class, and have had my fair share of part-time jobs, from super-market cashier to seating hostess to teaching music. And let me tell you, the job of stay at home mom is more demanding, more time-consuming, more self-sacrificing, more fulfilling, than any of those other things.
My typical day looks like this:

5:30 a.m.
Get up and have some quiet time with the Lord. Read, Pray, Memorize. If I'm lucky, I may even get some tread-mill time in before the kids wake up.

6:30 a.m. Everybody is waking up, and everybody wants breakfast, right now. Fix Joel's lunch before he leaves. Nurse the baby.

7:00-9:00
Do you know how long it takes to simply 'get going' in the morning with three little ones all four and under? Everybody needs help getting breakfast, using the potty, getting dressed, brushing their teeth, combing their hair, having diapers changed, etc, etc. This process alone can take anywhere up to an hour or more.

9:00-11:00
Usually spent doing reading lessons with Cosette, helping Eli with his letters and colors, doing morning devotions and Bible memory with them, working on their geography, starting a load of laundry, making beds, hopefully taking my own shower, etc, etc.

11:00.
By this point, it's been 4-5 hours since breakfast, and everybody is ready for lunch; plus, the baby needs nursed and fed again. Hopefully, this whole process is done and over with by about noon.

12:00-2:00
Usually spent reading to the kids, cleaning up a few rooms ( I usually pick two rooms a day to dust, vacuum, etc), running any errands that may need done that day, letting the kids play outside if it's warm enough.

2:00
Kids naptime. They usually sleep about 1 1/2 -2 hours. During this time, I might get a few minutes of computer time (like right now), start dinner preparations, fold more laundry, start a grocery list, work on menu planning, whatever.

4:00
Everybody is waking up. This is the 'before dinner' crunch time, when Joel will be home soon, I've got dinner started, everybody needs Mommy to read a book or get a snack, the baby needs nursed, etc, etc. Sometimes I also have a piano lesson to teach.

5:00-7:30
Dinner, Feed baby, clean up, give kids bath, do evening devotions/Bible memory, lay kids down.

8:00--??
MY time!!! Read a book, take a shower, catch up on dishes, check my blog, talk to my hubby, watch a movie, etc.


Also, add into there miscellaneous things such as church meetings, Kids Play Group, Small Groups, Joel's meetings and responsibilities, grocery shopping, trying to occasionally have a social life, and whatever else I'm forgetting---and you'll quickly see that being a stay at home mom is anything but relaxing! It's demanding, time-consuming, and requires commitment, organization, and hard work. (Of course, I suppose you could just skip the commitment, organization and hard work, but trust me, your life would soon fall apart.....)

I'm hoping to soon do a post on just how I've tried to add some peace and organization to my days. And, I'll be interested to hear other stay at home mom's comments on their own 'survival' skills. Stay tuned :)

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

What to do with a day like today....

So, it's Holy Week. All things this week are supposed to be about 'life', right? Green grass, blooming flowers, cute little bunnies. Instead, we get.........snow. But, what do you do when life hands you snow? Make chocolate chip cookies!! Ugh.....I don't even want to know how many I've eaten today. But it was worth it to see the delight on Eli's face when he woke up from his nap to a counter-full of cookies. And it was worth it to smell them baking. And it was worth it to sit on the couch with Joel tonight, watching the snow fall, snuggling and eating chocolate chip cookies. A typical April pursuit? Probably not. Reminders of life, spring, and everything 'new'? Well, maybe not, but they did make for a pretty happy life in this house today.......

Happy pictures :)

Just a few fun pictures I thought you might enjoy....sorry they're kind of small!!


Having fun outside

Don't touch me!

Cute as a button



Saturday, April 04, 2009

I really needed this!

Add it all up:




Time spent together for this husband and wife:









plus, food like this









plus, a double date with this lovely couple,




(I borrowed this picture from Joe and Amy's

new engagement site--- follow the link and

go check it out!!)






All make for one much needed, fun-filled, delicious date-night!!



(This mama may re-gain her sound-mind yet ;)






(And, I am pleased to report that Eli is doing much, much, much better today! We'd say he's almost back to normal, praise God!!)

Friday, April 03, 2009

The Wardrobe Battles

Well, since I thought you were all about ready to hear a more positive post from us, I thought I'd update you on my Cosette-girl. She was such a big helper and good sport this whole past week! In this picture, she is wearing one of her 'new' dresses. I think she looks so pretty with her blue eyes and soft, fluffy curls. However, don't let her 'sweetness' in this picture deceive you! We have been having 'clothing' battles lately, the two of us. It seems like for the past several months, Cosette will come out in the morning dressed in something ridiculous---either too warm or cold for the weather, or it totally doesn't match (like a pink jumper with an orange shirt underneath), or it's way too old or doesn't fit anymore, or whatever. And, she has a few favorite things that she will wear over and over and over, till I'm absolutely sick of seeing them. Then, when I would offer suggestions on a more appropriate choice of clothing for the day, she would get upset, and, well, it was just a big pain. Now, if we're just around the house, I don't really mind that much what she wears. But, if anybody at all is going to see us during the day, I'd like them to think that I at least know how to dress my daughter properly! So, here is our new 'rule', as of last night :) Mommy helps Cosette pick out clothes the night before. Cosette can offer 'suggestions' of what she'd like, but ultimately, Mommy has to consent and agree. Then, the next morning, she must wear those clothes. We'll see how this solves our problem :) Hopefully, I can help her realize that she has other choices of things to wear besides her white ballet tutu and her red skirt! (I'm actually thinking about hiding those two things!!) *sigh* Little boys are so much easier---pull out a pair of sweatpants and a matching shirt, and they're happy! ;)

Thursday, April 02, 2009

An end to an ordeal

Well.....Eli ate some food today, and was actually awake, alert, talking and laughing. My fever has left, and my tummy is about done rumbling (as Pooh would say :) The dirty, contaminated sheets, comfortors, blankets, pillows, rugs, towels, washcloths, and clothes have all been washed. The bathroom has been scrubbed and sanitized (Thanks to my wonderful husband!) All dirty dishes have been thoroughly sanitized with bleach dish-washing detergent. I think it might be safe to say that this whole ordeal is close to an end.....
Hoping to post pictures and happier tidings later sometime. (But no pictures of Eli for awhile, until he gains his weight back! Poor little guy, he's all skin and bones!) I tell you, it has never blessed my heart so much to see that little man sitting at the table, feeding himself a bowl of chicken noodle soup....May I always be aware of the simple blessings in life!!!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Attack of the MONSTER virus

Sorry that I've been so silent on here this week. We are basically just...surviving! I've never had a virus like this hit my family this hard! It has totally disrupted our lives since last Friday evening!
Eli is showing some improvement today, which is encouraging. He's actually sitting up watching a movie right now. He had been in bed since Sunday evening, literally! And, he finally asked for some food this morning. He only ate a few bites, but at least it's a step in the right direction. He hadn't had anything much to speak of since this first hit him. We also got him some of those children's strawberry 'meal replacement' shakes, and he drank most of one of those. So, I think we are slowly but surely seeing him headed in the right direction. It's going to take a while for him to get 'back to normal'---poor little guy, I know he's lost at least three-five pounds through all this!
Then, yesterday at lunch, I started feeling rotten.....oh great! Fortunately, it has not hit me nearly as badly as it hit Eli, probably because I'm an adult with a more mature immune system. However, Joel did have to stay home from work today to take care of everything, because I have no desire to get out of this bed. I'm hoping that a day in bed with lots of gingerale and mint tea to settle my stomach will take care of it.
Noah seems to be fighting it off as well---he has a slight fever, and some really messy diapers, but they're not as bad today as they were yesterday. It seems like he has alot of anti-bodies from nursing, and he's just working it through his system, thank God!
Joel had some slight stomach upset on Monday, but nothing major, so hopefully that's it for him. Cosette---well, bless her heart, she's been fine so far. Pray that it continues that way for her!
I'm hoping to update you all here soon and let you know that we're all feeling fine---Praise God when that day finally comes!!!

(Oh, and as a side note, pray for my grandmother, my mom's mom, who is headed to John Hopkins hospital tomorrow to have heart surgery to replace a mal-functioning valve. This is certainly not the first heart surgery she's had, so pray for her to have good spirits and for her physical comfort as well)

Thank you to all our friends and blog readers for your prayers and support---the internet is an amazing thing!

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