Thursday, July 29, 2010

Five years is not a very long time. In fact, it's relatively short. But when you are only five years old, it is a life-time, literally. And when you've waited a whole life time for a baby sister, and had to patiently endure and love two little brothers in the mean time---well, you're going to love that little sister to pieces!


You're going to ask your mama all day long if you can hold her again. And when your mama says 'yes', you're going to lay down on the floor and let that sweet little creature who smells like baby lotion fall asleep on you and snooze for a while. Because hey, she's your baby sister, and you've waited five years for this!





You're going to make sure that you are the first one to read 'Charlotte's Web' to her, because that's what big sisters do.






And when your mama announces that it's time to let Leanna try her first milk out of a bottle, so that your mama can finally, maybe, have a date-night all alone with Daddy for the first time in months, well-----you happily volunteer to be the one to feed the bottle to the baby. You smile and know for sure that it is your loving hand that helped the baby to feel so comfortable with her first time with a bottle.





And then, you will yell to your mama to 'quick, snap a picture!' when you realize that you and all your siblings are lined up in a row reading---because hey, after all, you do love your brothers too :)














Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Learning about real heros

After Leanna was born, I had to 'cut out' a few of the things that I regularly 'do'. One of those was playing the keyboard at church. Another was grocery shopping with the kids by myself. Another was weekly story hour at the library. I knew that realistically, I would not be able to do these things by myself with a newborn, at least for a few months. I'm still not grocery shopping by myself---maybe never will be again!! I am planning to start back with the worship team this month. And, when my sister-in-law called this morning to tell me that the library's children's summer reading program was having a real fire truck and firemen come----well, how could I say no to that? I asked Noah if he wanted to go see a real firetruck, and his face just lit up!!



Here are some of the kids listening to the fireman.

Cosette and Eli and their cousin are right in front.







Noah on the firetruck.

Yep, that's Eli in there.


I got a better shot of Cosette

Noah got in the truck too---for a whopping total of
about five seconds :) He wanted right back out of there!

The kids thought the best part was when the fireman turned
on the fire hose for them and sprayed it waaaaaaay up into the
air. It was like a huge sprinkler! (I thought that was pretty
cool myself ;) Here are all the happy, 'fire-safety wise' kids :)



Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Yesterday was applesauce day. Picture my whole kitchen stuffed with apples. Apples washing in the sink, apples simmering on the stove, apples being squashed at the table---yeah, a lot of apples! I was sure I had taken a picture of Cosette helping me. But I can't find it. So I must not have taken it. I must have only imagined that I took it :) But anyway, we canned/froze 37 pints of applesauce. Then we had apple dumplings for dinner. That was my husband's bright idea :) And my big kids were such a big help! Cosette washed apples and squashed apples. She stirred sugar and filled containers. Eli made it a point to show off his 'muscles' by drying all the big pots after we washed them.

Today, I am doing green beans. I've never canned green beans before today, so I'm hoping they turn out well. It's the first year I've had enough beans out of my garden to do anything with, so that made me happy!



And beyond the 'gardening/preserving' aspects of summer, the kids are having fun in so many other ways :)



Here's Leanna showing off her sun hat we bought for the beach this fall. I think her head may need to grow a little before then ;)
And no, I can't take a picture of Leanna without Cosette insisting on joining in. She loves her baby sister like crazy!





Saturday, July 24, 2010

Lots of pictures :)

Random pictures from my camera from this past week or so. I'll try to explain each one :)


Eli on a VBS float in a local parade

I found them like this one day ......



Noah has completely changed his opinion of the water.
He now loves it!


Eli searching for bugs---a common pastime



My sweet girl practicing her rolling.




What's to explain? Fun in the sun :)






My little fishes




My mom and Leanna



At a family reunion


Two cousins. We thought it was funny that they
were both leaning in :)












Friday, July 23, 2010

Funny

Talking to my sister-in-law today, she mentioned that someone (her doctor maybe, I forget?) had said that by two years old, a child should be able to put together two words. Hmmm......"Noah does that!" we thought. He says "Noi, noi, joooooosh" which, translated, means "Noah, juice!", meaning he wants some juice. That's two words, right? We just won't mention that it's basically his only two words :)

A need to clarify

Okay, it occured to me that any of you who were interested enough to read the link from my post yesterday (which, you really should, it's excellent), might be a bit confused right now. Especially if you don't know me in real life. You see, the article I linked to was on a Catholic web page. I really liked the article, and thought it worth linking to, but no, I am not Catholic.

I realized that any of you who read my page might not really know anything about my denominational background. And, while I don't believe that denominational factors should be a deviding thing among Christians,(for instance, my grandparents are Methodist, I went to a Baptist college, and Joel's grandparents were conservative Mennonite....) there are many things about a denomination and it's belief factors that could help define who a person is. So, without further 'ado'.....

My family and I (meaning Joel and our kids) belong to a church in the Conservative Mennonite Conference. We love this church!! We started attending this church almost five years ago. The church is very active in our community, and we're getting ready to break ground on a new building so that we'll have more space to better reach people. It you just walked into our church service on a Sunday morning, you might not think 'Mennonite' in the more traditional sense of the word. The service would simply strike you as a contempory worship service, complete with a worship band. The church has a more 'conservative' Mennonite history, however, and we're thankful for these pillars of the faith who still attend and can be a light and a guide to our children.

I grew up Nazarene. For those of you unfamiliar with this rather small denomination, think 'Holiness unto the Lord, Set apart, Sanctification', that type of thing. I have many fond memories of Bible Quizzing, youth conferences, and other such activities in the Nazarene Denomination growing up. The Scriptural foundation I gained during those years plays a big part in my faith and who I am now. Thank God for my Nazarene background!

Joel grew up in a non-denominational church that his father pastored. His Dad now pastors a church called Calvary Fellowship that is loosely affiliated with the Calvary Chapel churches.

Joel's mom's family is Mennonite. His grandparents (who are now passed away), aunts and uncles provide such a solid foundation of Christian Faith that I am so grateful that my children have. His grandparents had the most godly marriage I think I have ever witnessed. Joel and I try to model our own marriage after theirs, and say that if we ever get to our 70's with a marriage like theirs, we will count ourselves to have succeeded in life.

And, like I said, I attended a small Southern Baptist college. Oh, and I should mention that my parents and siblings now belong to an Assembly of God church.

And that is just a little bit of my faith history :)
Mostly, however I would explain my faith by saying that I am a sinner, saved by grace, totally in love with my God who first loved me so much that He sent His only Son to die for my dirty, filthy sins. I can now have life eternal because of His great love. Praise God!!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Stats and a link

Today was pediatrician day---first shots for Leanna, two-year boosters for Noah. Not my cup of tea. Oh, and plus, Joel had to work, so I was facing taking them by myself. Nope, not happening. I drug along my sister. Poor girl. One day she's gonna disown me, just so she won't get stuck going to all my kids doctor's appointments. No, seriously, being the professional CNA that she is, she decided to tackle it with me and get the job done. Here's what we found out at the doctor's today:

Leanna: Has been chowing down on my milk and now weighs 10 lb, 10 oz, and is 21 3/4 inches long. Hated her shots, screamed 'till she was red in the face :(

Noah: 25 lb, 33 inches tall. Has slightly low iron, probably due to all the milk he drinks---we'll be pumping those Flintstone vitamins :) He also has flat feet----which we think is a genetic thing. He loved the band aid they put on his toe when they tested his iron level. He HATED the pediatrician, and HATED HATED HATED his shots. Clung to me, screamed, tried to get away---THIS is why I took my sister along :)


All in all, everyone is healthy, doing well, and growing like they should :)


Oh, and a fun link I had to share with you all. People sometimes ask me why we have chosen to have so many children so close together. Well, read this link. It was hilarious. And although I don't have eight children, only four, it sounds exactly like what happens in our house every time a new baby is born. I laughed and laughed. I was reminded again of WHY Joel and I have made the decisions we have. Please read it, it's worth your time!

Oh, and remember my post from a couple days ago about choosing the 'better' over the 'good'? Well, here is a picture of my house after a week of VBS and a day at the pediatrician's office:

Just so you know I'm practicing what I preach ;)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Wow!

Wow! I'm so excited! After talking to my father-in-law (who is a talented photographer) about my camera, he gave me some pointers on how to get my pictures to down-load faster. Boy was he right! I changed my settings, and this particular picture down-loaded in approximately 30 seconds, as opposed to the 7-10 minutes that it used to take!! Be prepared, because that means you may be seeing many more pictures from me in the future :)


This picture is Cosette and Leanna in their matching purple skirts that Aunt Kristin made for them. Cosette was very excited about this. Leanna, on the other hand, was rather bored with the whole idea ;)


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

'Good', or 'Better' ?

I was going to upload more pictures of Noah's birthday today. But I got distracted spending the afternoon with my sister and helping her sew new matching skirts for my girls. (I say 'helping', not because she needed my help, since I had no clue what I was doing, but because I wanted to feel 'helpful' :) So the pictures didn't get posted.

Just like yesterday, when I was going to run to Dollar General and pick up much needed items like soap and shampoo and desitin and vitamins.....but didn't get around to it, because it took me about an hour longer than I had hoped to get ready to leave for our errands.

And that book club book? Well, I'm going to do my best to finish it, but if it doesn't happen because I'm too occupied taking my kids for walks in the summer sun or rejoicing when my four year old reads yet another new word, then so be it.

And my dirty house? Well, I'll tackle it room by room, but it's taking second place lately to my baby who needs to nurse every two hours, and keeps me busy with the incredible amount of dirty diapers she can create in one day!

And I'm finding that that's the way life goes sometimes. The 'good' gets pushed aside to leave room for the 'better'. And while it may not 'all' get done in one day, if I can look back and say that I really 'lived life abuntantly', that I did the things that will make an eternal difference....then the 'good' things that got skipped won't seem to matter quite so much.

Ouch....it's hard to preach to myself and learn to 'hold back' that first born personality.....but slowly, I learn. Maybe if I'm ever old and gray, I will actually learn to practice what I type :)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Noah turned two on Thursday!! With each birthday he has, I'm reminded again of that scary morning in the ER when I was pregnant with him, and we were sure we had lost him. I remember seeing his little heart-beat on the ultrasound, and seeing him kick all around, and I remember tears streaming down my face. Even before he was born, he was my precious boy, and I was so relieved to see him alive and well :)

Since then, he has delighted us every day, and we couldn't love him more! Happy Birthday, my sweet boy!


Here are just a few pictures from his birthday. I had many, MANY I wanted to post, but my internet connection is being painfully slow, so I'll just leave it at this for now. Maybe I'll post more later.


My birthday boy--always with his thumb in his mouth!




Leanna and Aunt Kristin




Noah has this tiny little way of blowing out candles,
and we had to help him finish all of these--don't ask his
silly mama why I put so many on his cake :)







Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Noah talk

Noah Shaun has been my latest 'talker' so far. It's funny, because he obviously understands everything, and finds interesting ways to communicate his own ideas, but all without words. I think his older siblings just 'out-talk' him most of the time :) Still, he turns two this week, and we are slowly starting to hear some actual words come from his mouth! Here is some translation for our 'Noahese' :)

'Nana'--Leanna

'Joooooooosh'--juice

'shoooooooosh-shoes

'Noi Noi'--Noah Noah---he usually says this when he wants to do something all by himself. We still don't know why he says it twice, though!

"Mrum Mrum Mrum!!!"--Okay, this one is really a sound, not a word, but it's the one he uses most---whenever he hears or sees a motorcycle or a truck with a loud engine :)

"Mom"---Yep, just what it looks like :) And he says it allllllllllll the time!


More updates on my almost-two-year-old later this week :)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

To fight a lie

As I was reading a blog the other day, I came across a quote I really liked. I can't remember (as usual) which blog it came from, unfortunately. I have too many things on my mind to remember where I read stuff. Kind of like remembering which brand of salad dressings come with the little holes in the top so you don't accidentally dump half the bottle of dressing on your salad. I hate when that happens. And, I have more of a life than to remember which salad dressings come with the little holes, or I would always buy them....but I digress.


As I was saying, I can't remember where I read this, but the idea was so good, it was worth mentioning. Here is the general thought the blogger presented:


" As I was putting away my husband's laundry the other day, I thought to myself "Gee, must be nice to just magically have clean socks and underwear appear in your drawer, nicely folded, and meals on your table, and so on and so forth. But then, it hit me: Yeah, just like it must be nice to have a paycheck magically appear in your bank account each week!"


I had to wince as I read this, because I am so guilty of the same thing. Instead of remembering that 'a joyful heart makes a cheerful face', I tend to grumble and groan my way through chores, when all the while my husband could be up on some chimney top somewhere, risking his very neck to put a paycheck in our bank account. Talk about an ungrateful wife!!

The sad thing about this is, my husband does help out around the house. He's always more than happy to bathe the kids, get them ready for bed, pick up toys, fill the dishwasher, empty the trash, mow the lawn, whatever needs done. He doesn't take my hard work for granted, and thanks me all the time for what I do.

So why am I guilty of the same thing as this blogger who I mentioned? I dunno. I suppose my own sinfulness. Instead of doing everything quietly and with a cheerful heart, 'as unto the Lord', I let my sinful spirit get the best of me. satan walks around like 'a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour', and he will use lies to do so if he needs to.

I am not going to let him put a damper on my marriage by a lie. The lie that nobody appreciates my work, that nobody knows how hard I work, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Because, the truth is, my whole family knows, appreciates, and tells me THANK YOU for how hard I work. And even if they didn't, I'm supposed to be doing my work as unto the Lord, so none of that should matter anyway.

So now, when I put those clean socks away and fill up the dishwasher, I think of what an awesome husband I have, and I thank God for all the work he does for his family. I try to remember to thank God for my good health and ability to care for the people I love. I pray for the strength to 'resist in the evil day', to recognize satan's lies and knock them down.

Why post all this? So I can come back and read it some day when I'm feeling grumbly and grouchy :) That, AND to encourage you all to find joy in what you do, day in and day out. Even if nobody else really does realize what all you do, the Lord knows, and that's all that matters :)


And now, some pictures, since no post would be complete without a picture or two of the little people in my life :)



I love when Leanna falls asleep with her head on her hand like this!



Noah Shaun with his 4th of July sparkler

Thursday, July 08, 2010

My Day

Today, Life= Reading and math lessons with my kids, fixing food to take to my in-laws for dinner, lunch with my mom, my 6-week checkup at the midwife's office, grocery shopping, dinner at Joel's parents, attending a viewing at the funeral home for a kind man from church who passed away unexpectedly, plus a nursing baby, a two-year old with an incredibly sore diaper rash, and waiting for my husband, who is at the church setting up tables for the funeral dinner tomorrow, to get home. Yeah, life is busy right now, and not looking to slow down anytime in the next few days. I'll check back in here when it's a little slower :) In the mean time, thanking God for my blessings, and every day He's given me with them....funerals always give me a fresh realization for how blessed life is.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Life right now

I know, my posts have been few and far between lately. We are just enjoying life so much lately, I find myself with little or no time to sit down and blog, which is too bad, since I have so much fun stuff running through my head that I'd love to share!

My kiddos are napping right now though, so I thought I'd take a minute and post just a couple things.

First of all, we had a fabulous fourth of July, mostly thanks to the hard work of our parents! Joel's whole family got together for a cook-out, and that is quite a crowd! Someone made this really yummy ice-cream cookie dessert thing, (I don't know what it's called for sure), of which I would have liked to have had third and fourth helpings! ( I didn't, don't worry! :) I have to find out how to make that stuff!

Then, after the meal, Grandpa Dale (Joel's dad), set up this really fun pool that he had bought for all the grand-kids to play in. Here's a picture:



Here's a few things to note about this picture: Cosette is in the water having a blast---she loves water and will swim until her fingers turn to raisins. Eli was not in the water yet. He loves to swim too, but he was too busy at the time eating cheetos :) And Noah? Well, Noah pretty much hates the water. Which is strange, because he LOVES to take a bath, but absolutely hates the pool. He hated it just as much last fall when we went to the beach! So, he is not in the water here either :)

After the cookout and swimming, we went with my family to see fireworks. They were the first fire-works my kids had ever seen, and they 'oohed' and 'aahhed' quite approapriately :)

Since the 4th was a Sunday, Joel has today off. Gotta love starting a week with your husband at home!



Okay, enough about the 4th. Second thought:


I have been working on making our home a place of 'peace' lately. Some of that involves my own reaction to external events. For instance, when I have Noah on the changing table, and the phone rings, and at that exact moment, Cosette falls down and hits her leg, so she's crying, and the baby is screaming because she's hungry and Eli starts jumping up and down in front of me saying "I wanna talk to them, Mom, I wanna talk to them Mom, I wanna talk to them, Mom''......yeah. This situation happened not long ago! Anyway, when times like this happen, I just want to stay calm and smile, remember that they won't be 5 weeks, 2 yrs, 4 yrs and 5 1/2 yrs old forever, and be proud later with my loving response :) "Peace",that's our goal....if not always externally, then at least internally!

So, you can imagine that the other day when Joel walked in the door to this scene and said "She looks peaceful", I could have jumped for joy :



Third Thought: We're getting close to the end of our 'no spending money' year, and the reaching of our financial goals. We should be there by the end of the summer or so. With that so close at hand, we've begun thinking about what our next 'step' is. Do we stay here in our little rancher? Do we try to find a bigger place? Do we possibly add on a large addition to our current house? I still have that rather wishful dream of a house with a firplace and cherry hard-wood dining room floor and a stair case with a banister and room for a huge garden.....We've already hit a couple of 'speed bumps' along the way in our decision making process, so we're taking our time to think and pray about it. One way or the other, though, we will probably need to do something before too terribly long, as we are quickly out-growing our little home :)

Fourth thought: Well, there's a lot more running through my head, but this post is already more than long enough, so I'll save it for another day!

Thursday, July 01, 2010

I know that as a mom, it's part of my 'job' to think that my kids are the cutest human beings walking the face of the planet. But seriously, how could you see someone this precious and not fall in love?? ;)


Life with four....

...means I have to give myself a little 'slack' every once in a while. And by slack, I don't mean that I'm being lazy. I mean that I'm not beating myself up because I haven't done everything that I wanted to do. For instance:


Yesterday, I wanted to feel frustrated because I hadn't gotten around to cleaning the bedrooms and bathroom, running to the store for pull-ups, or trimming all my little people's fingernails.
However, I had done a reading lesson with Eli, a piano lesson with Cosette, made my first batch of bread since Leanna was born, taken the little kids for a walk while the big kids rode their bikes, cleaned up Cosette's shattered Corelle serving bowl from the floor, fixed stuffed peppers for dinner, and read lots of books to the kids. I was up at 3 a.m. feeding Leanna, and then again at 6:30 to fix my husband's lunch. I kissed owwies, I mediated arguments, I 'held down the fort' while my husband had an evening meeting.

I'm the type of person that, when I have a 'list', be it mental or on a board, of everything that 'needs' to be done, I want to do it ALL. Right now. Today. Every little bit of it!

But, I'm slowly learning that, tomorrow will be plenty of time to do what didn't get done today.

Was I laying around watching TV and being lazy? No, I was working hard, taking care of my home, raising and loving my children. I didn't 'get around' to everything because, well, I simply ran out of time!


When will I learn to be a little more realistic with what can fit in my day? Maybe when I remember that my children are the most important thing. If I've succeeded in keeping a clean house, but failed to tell my children about Jesus and His wonderful love, then I've missed the most important thing. May God give me more wisdom....

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