Saturday, January 31, 2009

fast food factoid

French fries, to a toddler, are merely a vehicle for getting the ketchup as quickly and efficiently to the mouth as possible.

longing for warmer days

As usual, I had visitors in the bathroom while I showered this morning. One of the kids, usually the younger ones use this time for conversation, confession, whatever, while I'm helpless behind the shower curtain.

Today it was Mary, and her comments were brief: "Mom, what is summer like? I'm forgetting to remember what summer is like. Can we go swimming on the first day of summer?"

Me: "Ummm. Yeah sure. Could you close the door on your way out...."

Friday, January 30, 2009

It helps some days to have a plan

When the home phone and cell phone rang simultaneously at 7:53 this morning, I knew immediately it was our school's call system reporting school was closed again. I didn't even bother getting the phone. Mary answered it, and in her usual message-taking style broke the news to me "Mom, it was Minster somethin' somethin'. I think it's closed." Enough said.

Today, I needed a plan. I'm not sure any of us could handle another day of "life on the prairie," and I'm sure manners and pleasantries were wearing thin. We need to get out. After breakfast, I called the local bowling alley, to see if they would have us. They were open, Thank you Lord!

I announced our plan to the kids, and they were willing to move mountains to assure we got there. Our Saturday cleaning (for the most part) was done by 10, beds made, rooms straightened, dusted, vaccumed. It was a wonderful morning. Mom joined us for bowling, and later my brother and his family, and even my dad met us as well. Turns out everyone was tired of being couped up. We had pizza for lunch and got home just in time to start afternoon naps.

Who knows what the rest of the day might bring. I'm grateful for a wonderful start though. I've got a lasagna thawing for supper, and made a pan of brownies as well. I know it must be God's hand moving the day along so smoothely, and I'm grateful for His help.

Now with our basic cleaning done a day early, I'll have to come up with some "above and beyond" projects to fill our morning tomorrow. Hmmm....what will another day bring?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

to recap the day

Okay, I nearly broke a few times as far as the tv goes. Arguments from 8 and 9 year olds like "Mom, Charlie stole some of my Lincoln Logs," or "Rose keeps looking at me!" start to wear me down. But, just as I'm ready to pop in a movie that will keep the little ones singing their "a,b,c's" in peace, I see brothers lining up Rescue Heroes atop Lincoln Log cabins, while Indians take their place behind the Little People Race Track ready to attack. Sisters are starting a session of "school" or "secretary" (whichever takes more crayons and papers) and all is right with the world. The youngest 4 eventually settled in for afternoon naps, and I actually got my gray roots colored to their natural brown again.

Yep, all is right with the world.

We're on for a 2 hour delay already tomorrow. Hoping the buses can safely make it out to get the kiddies to school. Older ones are getting bored....not sure how much longer I can expect the niceties to last.

Another snow day!

I had to work yesterday (my first day back on the time clock in 6 weeks), and figures, I'd have to drive through a foot of snow to get there. I do love it though, so it was wonderful being there, seeing co-workers and residents I'd not seen in awhile.

Today though, I get to enjoy the day off with the kids. The oldest 3 spent most of the day building snowforts and tunnels with the neighbor kids, while the others stayed in. We found some old playdough toys that have been packed away for a long time, as well as some new Christmas treasures. It was a playdough village...barbershop, ice cream factory, as well as several other cool "noodle makers." Yes, everyone had playdough stuck to them, and yes it took quite some time to scrape the table, chairs and floor of mushed playdough, but it was soooo worth it! After the kitchen was cleaned up, we proceeded to make a "tent" of the kitchen table with some yards of old fabric I had stashed away.

Right now, kids are playing quietly with blocks and little people. We're trying our darndest to keep that old TV off. It's more challenging all the time, especially for the older ones who don't play much with toys anymore. I'll have to take a look in my stash of craft supplies to see what we can get everyone interested in. Better rest for the wicked.

Happy snow day everyone!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Our Lady of the Snows

The scene from my kitchen window. Our humble grotto looking lovely as ever blanketed with a foot of snow. White lights keep her illuminated year round. (Even more beautiful when the roses are in bloom.)

A prayer: Our Lady of the Snows, Immaculate Queen of the Universe, Thou has bestowed so many countless graces and pledges of love upon the hearts and souls of millions. O Mother, deign to shower forth the graces of thine Immaculate Heart upon the remnant Faithful throughout the world, wherever they may be, and grant them the graces of a childlike love and unwavering fidelity to the holy truths of our Faith. Grant, good Mother, to the faithful Bishops of the Church the grace to defend Her Sacred Teachings, and to persevere courageously against all the enemies of the Holy Church. Amen.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

who are you?

In Charlie's defense, I'll admit there are plenty of times that Grace (6) and Mary (nearly 5) have me doing a double take to see who's who. Their matching long sandy blonde hair, and similar size can cause me confusion to say the least. Charlie had us all in stitches tonight though, as he tapped Mary on the shoulder and bluntly asked, "Who are you? Are you Grace or are you Mary?"
It was so innocent and cute. If you don't know...just ask.

Monday, January 26, 2009

almost forgot...

A thank you to St. Anthony, for an earring found. It was one of my favorites and has been missing for nearly 2 years. It wasn't expensive by any means, but I liked them. Anyhow, I've saved the match all this while hoping (and praying when I thought to) it would turn up. Found it in the very back of my sock drawer of all places while searching for a missing black sock. (still searching for the sock.)
Were you all raised to turn to St. Anthony for help in finding lost articles?

"Good St. Anthony, look around. Something's lost and must be found."

I'm constantly reminding the kids of this one.

whoop, there it is...not.

I had three of the little ones to the doctor today, concerned they might have of all things, whooping cough. Turns out he doesn't think so, thank goodness. But 2 of them left with antibiotics none the less.
It's a challenge I think to know when to bring your kids in to the doctor. I tend to be one to try to wait things out, as long as possible. I can count on one hand the number of antibiotics that have been in this house for all ten kids combined. We've had some pretty nasty coughs, lasting for some time now though, so it was time to get some relief. Of course, the kids acted perfectly well for the doctor...laughing & carrying on like nothing's wrong. Why does that make me feel guilty?! Anyhow, glad they've been evaluated, are getting treatment, and hope to all be sleeping through the night again soon!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul, Jan. 25th

Paul’s entire life can be explained in terms of one experience—his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus. In an instant, he saw that all the zeal of his dynamic personality was being wasted, like the strength of a boxer swinging wildly. Perhaps he had never seen Jesus, who was only a few years older. But he had acquired a zealot’s hatred of all Jesus stood for, as he began to harass the Church: “...entering house after house and dragging out men and women, he handed them over for imprisonment” (Acts 8:3b). Now he himself was “entered,” possessed, all his energy harnessed to one goal—being a slave of Christ in the ministry of reconciliation, an instrument to help others experience the one Savior. ~from

I'm reminded of the words expressed by a congressman from California, speaking from the March for Life on Thursday. He reminded us that "before he was Paul, he was Saul," a fierce persecutor of Christians, who met Jesus and had an instant conversion. The congressman encouraged us to pray for the conversion of our own President. What a great nation we could be indeed, if he too would "meet Jesus" and change his heart to recognize the sanctity of all lives, especially the unborn.

May we strive to be Christ-like in our daily lives, so that others may see Christ in us, and realize what's missing in their own. More prayers for the conversion of hearts.

May our President "Saul" become "Paul" before many more precious lives are lost.

Friday, January 23, 2009

March for Life (madness!)

I'm a bit miffed (okay, downright mad) at how March for Life went completely unnoticed by main-stream media. Surprised? No, but upset none the less. I did spend much of Thursday afternoon tuned in to EWTN as they provided Live coverage throughout the day. I was even fortunate to catch interviews with local youth who attended from nearby parishes. (Mercer County RTL) It's rare that I catch any television throughout the day. I felt it was important to make an exception for this. I'm inspired and optimistic by the huge crowd this year. Although, when I searched online for news reports, including tallies of those in attendance, I could find almost nothing. Jeesh!?

Anyways, as the kids napped that afternoon, I offered I quiet Rosary for Life. I prayed for the conversion of hearts, for a respect for the sanctity of life. I prayed that government leaders and lawmakers come to recognize that all life is sacred and in need of protection from this infanticide called abortion.

I'm angered when I think about the insanity of it all. This argument over the sanctity of human life should not be happening! When we miscarried our 13 week old baby earlier this month, we were notified that a "death certificate" would be available through the county courthouse if we were interested. So our government then recognizes that there is life. That apparently isn't the argument anymore? Rather, the argument is about murder, and when it is apparently okay. Would one pro-abortionist argue that if abortion is the answer to an inconvenient pregnancy, then murdering one's spouse would be justified in an unhappy marriage? Oh, I just get steamed when I start to think about it.

I'll end with a quote from our new President Obama, words given in his Inaugural address. If only he would recognize and include the unborn in this promise of his:

"The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness."

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Nothing says ROMANCE like...

John and I giggled ourselves to sleep last night as I snuggled in next to him wreaking of this stuff. I've been battling a persistent cough for 2 weeks now, and willing to try anything, I practically bathed in Vicks hoping for one good nights sleep. I think he was sleeping when I "snuck" in, but one turn of the blankets sent a cloud of the vapors his way, clearing his sinuses and waking him in an instant. Neither of us could speak through the laughter, except for his one comment "My mom would be so proud of you."

(by the way, I did cough other meds or cough drops required.)

When Frank woke me in the wee hours coughing, I gave the same treatment to him. As I tucked him back into bed with his brother, Charlie rolled over coughing and in a hoarse, crackly voice moaned "What kind of medicine did you put in Frank's mouth?!" I think there were enough vapors to clear both of their I didn't put Charlie through the same trauma.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Speak Lord, (I'm trying to hear over the noise!)

I've had lots of thoughts running through my head here lately, none of which I've been able to put into words too clearly. That is until I was catching up on a few blogs I like to frequent, and read a comment about another blog (sorry, I lost track of giving credit in the shuffle) in which someone was speaking of how our exterior life (or that way in which others perceive us) can vary greatly from our interior life (the life we really lead.) Thinking on that subject helped to pull a lot of my thoughts together. I've been feeling a bit like a phony lately when it comes to how I'm perceived verses what I'm actually doing to keep my spiritual life strong. It's created a bit of a block, if you will.
I've written a few times about family rosaries, going to Adoration, various prayers, etc., but the truth is, that as quickly as we attempt to grow in our faith and add a new ritual or prayer routine, something comes along (or real-time gets in the way) and our attempts are stymied. I've become very aware of a certain "dry spell" in my faith journey, where I seem to be just barely going through the motions. If it weren't for the kids, I may just find myself "falling from the wagon" completely.
I watched a beautiful family in front of us in church last week. Older siblings were helping the younger, while mom and dad had it all in control. It was a blessing to see. For a moment, I felt jealous for how well they had it together, and how easy they made it look. It occurred to me later, that I often hear "how good mannered" my brood is in church...and yet I feel as if that one hour in church is not really a clear picture of how things operate here. Just as it probably isn't for the family in front of me.
I guess what I'm trying to say is, (and this is probably really obvious) I'm not the perfect, well organized, Betty Crocker, mom of the year. I'm just me, struggling at times to hear (and not be confused) by God's call. And more importantly, wanting to answer Him, but not always doing so. I hear God's knocking. I know He's opened windows/doors for me. I know He loves me, and I do love Him and want to do His will. I recognize that He wants a closer relationship with me. I'm constantly a work in progress, wanting desperately to be able to say clearly "Speak Lord. Your servant is listening."

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Lucy had a "blue" day.

....No really!!!
(those who were here yesterday might recall that she was having an "orange" day then.)

Who keeps leaving the markers out?!?!?

thoughts on the inauguration

Okay, I may just be the only one in America who did not pay one bit of attention to what was going on in DC today. My husband caught bits of it, and the kids watched it at school. I'm glad for that. We talked about it at supper, and I encouraged them to remember where they were and what they were doing when they witnessed this historical moment. America has sworn in its first black president. That is something to be proud of. I only wish...
I think we can all agree, that wishing won't get us far though. So now what?
A friend shared these words from Father John Corapi. I thought they were worthy of sharing.
News Flash: WE WIN!
As we prepare to enter a new era in politics and perhaps society in general, keep something in mind: WE WIN! No matter what political party is in power at a given point in time, in the end those that remain faithful to Jesus Christ win the war. We may have to fight many battles outnumbered and even despised and looked upon as criminals and outcasts by a society that is unraveling and degenerating into something no one could have imagined.What matters is that we run the race to the finish line and fight the good fight. Don’t “go with the flow,” for as the great Archbishop Fulton Sheen reminds us, “Dead bodies float downstream.” More than ever we shall have to be strong in the faith. Regular and worthy reception of the sacraments, constant prayer, and rigorous study of the faith is now essential, not merely a luxury. The front line and primary battle is going to be the fight for life: the dignity of every human life from the moment of conception to the last moment of natural life. If we lose that one, every other battle space will be compromised. If the government succeeds in establishing abortion as an inalienable “right”, then the elderly and sick will be next. It will then be a short and slippery step to the government deciding who lives and dies regardless of their inherent human dignity.If you don’t already pray the Rosary every day, please start at once. The prayer of the holy Rosary is the prayer of the holy Gospel, and that means it is the prayer of the Good News Who is Jesus Christ, the LIFE of the world. Many saints will be forged in the crucible of the coming years. Make sure you are among them.
God bless you,Fr. John Corapi

Monday, January 19, 2009

unsuspecting criminals

2 yr. old Rose with "little" cousin Beth swiping cookies and looking especially cute about it.

birthday season

We celebrate 8 birthdays in our home between Christmas and Valentines. That adds up to a lot of cake, and many visitors (godparents and grandparents) passing through. We've always tried to keep birthdays simple, kids pick their special birthday meal and cake and ice cream on their actual birthday for grandparents and godparents that are able to make it. Inevitably though, there are folks that want to come celebrate, but can't make their special day, so we catch up on a weekend. This weekend was just that.
Friday we celebrated Alice and Emma's 9th along with grandparents and Emma's godmother. Saturday was pretty quiet.
Sunday we celebrated with Grace's godfather and his family for a belated get-together.
Monday brought Alice's godmother and her 5 kids, Alice's godfather and family, grandpa, and another of John's sisters and her family (cause the more the merrier, right?!) We started gathering after lunch, and by supper we had 7 adults and 22 kids in the house. What a joyful noise! The day included board games, a "square up" game tournament, and somewhere in the middle the older ones bundled and took off for the snow hill, while the younger ones played together nicely. I wish there were more opportunities for nice visits like these.
Anyhow, I had thrown on a crockpot of homemade mac-n-cheese, and another crock of ham slices for sandwiches earlier in the day. So along with a veggie tray (prepared ahead) and 2 dozen cupcakes, a 9X13 cake, some pretzels and dip, and other snacks, supper was quite simple. The hardest part was finding a seat, but then...there's always room for one more. Turns out several of the cousins, an aunt and an uncle all celebrate January birthdays, so we included each of their names on the cake, and sang to them all. It was a wonderfully exhausting day with family, and I'm so grateful for the blessing of each of them.
I think we're caught up with birthday wishes until February when John and Mary will turn 5. Oh my. I never thought I'd be grateful for a brief hiatus from birthday cake, but...who'd a thought I'd be this blessed with birthdays to celebrate?! God is good.

The UPS man delivered a much anticipated pair of shoes for Grace today. She's to be the flower girl in her cousin's wedding in a couple weeks, and needed ivory shoes to go with the dress that was ordered. Unfortunately, in trying to save a dime, I opted to pick up a pair on my own, rather than purchase them from the bridal store. (What was I thinking?! You can't find ivory shoes in January!!) Anyhow, with time running out, as we need the shoes to finish alterations on the dress, we finally located a pair online. (And no, didn't save a dime!) Lesson learned.
As we unpacked them today, I was frustrated to find that while they fit perfect, and looked beautiful, the fancy little buckle of one shoe was missing a couple rhinestones. Not major, but come on, they're supposed to be new. No time to return them, so we'll just take the loss.
Grace would not be discouraged though. As I mumbled my frustrations and packed them back in the box for safe-keeping, she consoled me. "It's okay mom. They have a nice clip-clop sound when I walk in them, and that's what really makes them WONDERFUL!"

Friday, January 16, 2009

making the day special

I'm not a perfect mom. I'll be the first to admit that, without hesitation. I've said more than my share of things that could certainly be enough to send any of the kids needing therapy someday.

On that note, I realize too, that having a large family makes it necessary for me to pay attention. "Look alive!" if you will. It wouldn't be so difficult for me to let any of the kids at any given time "slip through the cracks." I really do make an effort to make special times with all of the kids individually to ensure this doesn't happen. Today, Mary got some attention. She wanted rollers in her we let the laundry slip by and did it. She looks beautiful doesn't she?! The other girls teased her a bit about the big curls. Just jealous, cause I'd only let Mary have them today.

(Yes, Grace. Tomorrow can be your day!)

a belated thanks

Just nine years late on sending out this thanks....

Good Saint Gerard, patron of mothers, assist me in thanking God for the great gift of motherhood. During the months of my waiting, I learned to call upon you and placed the safety of my child and myself under your powerful protection. The great lesson of your trust in God sustained me; your slogan, "God will provide," became my hope and consolation. I thank God for my child and for motherhood. Help me to prize the great treasure of motherhood and obtain for me the grace to raise my child as a child of God.Amen

Happy 9th Birthday Alice and Emma!

...if only you could know how you are the answer to so many prayers. We are grateful for the gift of you!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

cold hands, warm heart.

Well, it wasn't a snow day. We had to settle for the 2hr. delay. But it was a good day, none the less. We all slept in till 8, which was a wonderful treat, and reminder of our lazy days of Christmas (all except for John that is, who was off to work in the wee morning hours). After the 3 oldest were off to school at 10, the rest of us decided to bake cookies. I don't always love having the help of 2 yr. olds in the kitchen, but today it was enjoyable as they each (Grace, Mary, John, Charlie, Frank & Rose) took turns measuring, mixing, etc. (Lucy was down for a morning nap.) We made spritz cookies with sprinkles. They taste wonderful, but unfortunately didn't hold their shape when they baked and just melted into a pool of paper thin, sprinkled wafers. After back-tracking through the recipe to see where we went wrong, I realized that with all my helpful distractions, I doubled everything in the recipe but the flour, so...heavy on the butter and sugar, but thin. Oh well. We're an easy to please kind of crowd.
A dear friend, who I don't see often enough, called and joined us, along with her 4 yr. old son for lunch. It was a wonderful treat to chat and spend time with her, especially so impromptu. So nice to catch up. She's got 6 children, about the same ages as our oldest 6, including a set of twins as there are plenty of funnies to share. I'm so grateful she stopped in!! I'm not good at that sort of thing (dropping in unannounced), but think it's great when other people do. It was definitely the highlight of my day.
After a nice visit while the kids played, it was nap time. John and Mary (home from preschool today) helped me with another recipe for chocolate toffee bars. They were a total failure. Burnt black in the oven. Even the chocolate and walnuts couldn't hide the smokey flavor, so into the trash they went. I never did figure out what went wrong there. It's a tried and true recipe that I followed to a tee. What a disappointment...just not my day in the kitchen I guess.
I'll admit I was a little afraid to start supper tonight. But our breakfast egg and sausage casserole, cinnamon rolls and fresh fruit turned out perfectly. It is a small miracle when everyone clears their plates...and ask for seconds.
Anyhow, it was a beautiful day today despite the bitter cold outside. I couldn't help but feel grateful, and reflective about all that we've been through in the last weeks. Grateful for the most basic things: warm home, good food, caring friends, good health, the blessing of family, and perhaps even grateful for the experience of losing a most precious little miracle. That sounds difficult to understand, even as I type it. I still have moments of intense sadness, thinking about the child I'll have to wait my lifetime to know, and feeling robbed of the joys of mothering that precious little life. But there are moments when I realize that this little saint in heaven is a unique gift. We share a spiritual connection, and as I pray to little Cy, for many things throughout the day, I'm grateful for the gift of him as he is, my little angel. The way God intended for our relationship to be. Our Heavenly Father has proven time and time again, that His plan is far greater than any I could have made for my life. I must trust Him once more.

"God smiles when we trust Him completely." ~the purpose driven life

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

shopping with a 6 yr. old who's "all that"... no good for the self esteem. (to say the least)
I had Grace with me in the mall on Monday, looking for a few last-minute essentials for a wedding we're invited to, including a dress for myself. As we walked through the aisles of ladies dresses, she mumbles, "These are for skinny people mom. Let's keep moving." Aaarg. She's right. Let's keep moving.

Our first "snow day" from school

School dismissed 2 hrs. early today as the snow fell, leaving 5-6 inches of the white fluffy stuff. Wooohoooo! We love snow days!! Crossing our fingers for another one tomorrow. A 2hr. delay has already been announced. John had today off (part of his usual "weekend") so he took the 6 oldest to the big snow hill in town, while I stayed home with the nappers and lined up the mugs, ready for hot chocolate on their return.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

a visit from the "cattle queen?"

Alice and Emma mentioned they had a visit from the "beef queen" to their classroom this week at school. I'm not sure what her official title is, but she's apparently the reigning royalty for the Auglaize County 4-H beef producers?.
Anyhow, she talked with them about 4-H and going to the fair, etc. Apparently she asked the question "If you could take any animal to the fair, what would it be?" Emma was quick to raise her hand and offer "I'd bring a hog!" and the why.... "because my twin sister says I live like one."
Emma thought it was so cool that the class roared with laughter. Her twin sister Alice was apparently "horrified" with embarrassment, that she was quoted in front of the whole class.

snow days

John's dad happened to be over after school the other day, just as the kids (9 of them to be exact) were gearing up for snow play. By the time the last were bundled and out the door, the youngest ones were back in, peeling off the layers and begging for hot chocolate. As boots and mittens, scarves and hats piled up by the back door, cold hands found relief wrapped around a warm mug. Dad laughed remembering his own dozen fighting over boots (boys never wanted to wear red, girls never wanted black.) He admitted he'd forgotten all the effort that went into those few minutes of fun in the snow, and the mounds of snow clothes that landed in their laundry room when the play time was done. It was fun conversation and I'm glad he was there with us to remember and giggle about it. He asked if boots still slipped over shoes and fastened with a rubberband over a button. Nope, thank heavens for velcro, zippers and fur lining!

Friday, January 9, 2009

with sincere gratitude...

We are so thankful for all the kind words, prayers, cards, meals and treats dropped by the house. Your kindness means so much. It's been a very difficult week as we mourn the loss of our new little one, and then waited for the time when we'd be able to hold our tiny angel.
And while that opportunity to hold him did not come, I did have the D&C today, and feel we can now begin to have some opportunity for closure, and healing.

We've decided to name the baby, and although I can never be certain, I've felt that it was a boy, and the name came easily. Every January 9th, our family will choose to honor the feast of our newest Saint in heaven, Cyril "Cy" Thomas Schmiesing.

My mom had given me a Prayer Book for Mothers for my birthday last month, and found comfort today in the words of this simple prayer to our new child in heaven:

Now that you, my precious baby,
are cradled in Our Father's arms,
please watch over us, your parents,
as we would have wanted to watch over you. Amen.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

loving the small town life...

For many reasons, I love small town living. But this latest reason had me laughing out loud last night...something we can always use more of.

A couple months back I wrote here about the new thermometer I'd purchased at Walmart. It's one of the new forehead scanners that gives accurate readings instantly. (and YES IT WORKS!)
Anyhow, the $5 rebate check I'd also mentioned arrived in the mail this week, so I signed it and sent it with John while he was out running errands yesterday. It did say "no 3rd party...blah, blah blah" on the back, but I figured no one at the bank would question it. Well, wrong...they did. Apparently someone "not from here" was working the counter, and didn't feel comfortable cashing the check, so she wanted to check with her manager. I know...just doing her job! Meanwhile, "Sarah," (name changed for anonymity ;') another teller at the bank walked by with a friendly "Hi John!" The first teller questioned her about the check, as John shrugged an aplogetic "it's just a rebate check for a thermometer of all things..." Sarah, without missing a beat, added "Oh, the forehead one (making a swiping motion over her forehead)...I read about it on Jamie's blog!"
She then mumbled to teller one to go ahead and cash the would be fine.

Only in a small town! I love it!!!

(and by the way, I never did get my $5. Darnit...who can you trust these days?!)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

on a lighter note...

kids will (thank heavens!) be kids, and so shananigans will ensue. It's nice to have something to laugh about.

2 year old Rose has just learned to escape from the confines of her crib now, so rather than fight it, we just lowered the crib rail to make her climb a little less dangerous. I'm sure in good time, we'll dig the toddler or twin bed out of the attic, but for's working. She's still napping well, and hasn't tested us much, that is, until last night. The youngest 3 were in bed in their separate rooms, and I kept hearing something upstairs. I guessed it was Rose maneuvering about, but figured it was harmless, so gave it a few minutes. When the noises continued, I headed upstairs for a peak. Turns out darling Rose had decided to "move in" to baby Lucy's room...which happens to be where Grace and Mary also room...and stash their makeup. I found the little peanut sitting at her sisters' pint-size table and chairs, makeup smeared over her entire face, and chomping away on Lucy's pacifier. (Contraband for Rose who has been without one for months now...but still tries to steal Lucy's any chance she gets.)
I glanced over to Lucy who was standing wide-eyed in her crib surrounded by everything harmful you can imagine...a balloon (for choking) a belt (strangulation?) a trash-can (???) and a grocery list of other crazy items I can't even recall. It was literally standing room only! Rose had also carried her own pillow, blankets and pile of stuffed animals and laid them out neatly on the bigger girls' bed...moving in apparently.
I didn't know whether to laugh or scream. Unfortunatley, I chose the screaming, which immediately sent both Rose and Lucy into a cry of terror. John came rushing in thinking someone was injured or dying. I scooped Rose and her belongings back to her room, with a quick detour to the bathroom for a facewashing, and John proceeded to return Lucy to a peaceful slumber, after scooping all the junk out of her crib of course.
It was a crazy time, but in hindsight, the look on Rose's face as she was "busted" was priceless and it has us all in stitches to retell it today.

He gives the barren woman a home, making her the joyous mother of children. Praise the LORD!(Psalms 113:9 Holy Bible ESV)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

a prayer request

I've put off writing as long as possible, but it becomes necessary for me to share, and to ask for prayers as we grieve the loss of our newest baby to be.
I went in for a routine 3-month check-up yesterday with my obstetrician, only to find that the little life growing inside me, has passed. When the doctor was unable to hear the heartbeat, she opted for an ultrasound instead. Neither of us were especially alarmed, just figured baby was hiding a bit. I can't begin to describe the sinking feeling in my chest to learn the baby's heart had stopped. No movement, no heartbeat, just the image of a lifeless, perfectly formed little baby on the ultrasound monitor. A child I will only ever know in my heart.
I went to the hospital for a more detailed ultrasound, only to have my worst fears confirmed. I wasn't able to see the images on the monitor this time, only the flat line when the tech turned on the doppler to check for heart tones. No words were needed. She just handed me tissues, and asked me to wait while she spoke with the radiologist.
John and I spent the day, mostly in tears, telling a few family members, but mostly just sharing our sadness together. When the kids got home from school, we shared the news with them as well. The 3 oldest not only understood, but also felt the loss, and I was touched by their comments, and questions as we talked through it. I tried to explain that we'd now have a special saint in heaven to pray to, and intercede for us. Sam broke my heart when he asked if he could name the baby so he could be more specific in his prayers. He suggested the name "Sweet Baby Angel" and it brings me to tears again when I remember him praying at bedtime last night to our "Sweet Baby Angel in heaven."
The painful irony is that my body has not yet realized what my mind now knows. I continue to feel "morning sickness" and have not yet begun the process of miscarriage. For now, the doctor has recommended I wait a few days to see if the baby will pass on it's own, and if not, I'll go in to the hospital friday for a procedure called a D & C.
It's an incredibly sad time, as we grieve the loss of a baby we'll never hold, and yet has already made a place in our hearts and our family. I find comfort in the abundant blessings that surround me, a constant reminder of God's mercy and love.
Your prayers are greatly appreciated.
God Bless

On the 12th day of Christmas...

...we finally get to see...

Happy 6th Birthday to our Grace Elizabeth.

The weather seems much the same as the day she was born...snowy, although then it was much more ice. We slip-slided our way to the hospital with only moments to spare before she made her grand entrance around 10:30pm.

Friday, January 2, 2009

busy doing not much of anything...

To stop by and see our house, you'd wonder what exactly I've been busy with. I've "kept up" with laundry and dishes, and the basic cleaning...but for the most part, we've been busy doing not-much-of-anything! These days since Christmas have been such a treat, and I just hate that school starts back on Monday already. We've all enjoyed sleeping in, staying up late watching movies together, eating popcorn from John's new "stir-crazy" popcorn maker, (okay, we're pretty simple) and basically just enjoying these 12 days of Christmas. I've yet to finish my Christmas cards, and am thinking I might just join the "every-other-year" club with a couple of my aunts. I can be cool with that. We still have not found homes for all the new Christmas toys, and find ourselves tucking them back under the tree each night rather than put them away. Our van was even out of commission for 3 or 4 days till we finally got it into the shop and running again, and honestly, we didn't miss it a bit. I love that we're spending time playing board games together, fixing puzzles, building blocks, oh, and Playdoh...we love that stuff!
Just wishing these simple times could last a bit longer. (sigh)
But unfortunately, John's back to work tomorrow already, and schools back in a couple days...the end of our little vacation is nearing. I think we'll do some baking tomorrow...sugar levels are starting to drop as the holiday treats have disappeared.
Peaceful weekend to you all!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

Wishes for peace and prosperity to you in the new year!

As for me, I resolve to start getting to bed earlier...starting tomorrow. ;-)