Thursday, December 3, 2009

Christmas Crafts

I love Christmas. I am especially excited this year to build the anticipation of our Savior, Jesus Christ's birth in my littles. We have been talking about it several times daily since Thanksgiving. Now that Widdle is older, he is being bombarded with Santa and I really want him (along with Waddle and Piddle) to know and celebrate the true reason for Christmas. I have felt conviction recently on just celebrating all holidays the way I always have and the way the whole country does. Since settling back into the south, some friends have spark my curiosity and left me unsettled about my laid back approach. I feel like we should know the meaning behind and have purpose in every symbol we display. This has left me with a lot of work and questions.

We got here right after going trick-or-treating on Halloween. Upon these convictions, we plan to celebrate Reformation Day next year. October 31st is the day that Martin Luther nailed the 95 thesis to the church door. It is because of his labors that we have a bible that we can read in our home today. We plan to watch the movie "Luther" and develop some other fun family things to make the day special and remind us of specifics that we believe in and are thankful for.

On Thanksgiving Albert read a journal entry from William Bradford. This reminded us of the real reason a day of thanks was established. We were each given 5 beans and gave an item of thanks for each bean. When the Pilgrims first came to America their daily rations were often as little as five kernels of corn.

So, now that Christmas is here I am questioning everything. What about the tree? What's the meaning behind stockings? Should we throw out all of the "Santa" hats? Let me just tell you that there is a lot to dig through. We are keeping the tree and the stockings, though I think we will get a real, fir tree next year, but the Santa hats are going. Back to being purposeful and building anticipation, December is here! I feel like I have 24 days to really be intentional on focusing on Jesus and making things to help the kids think about Jesus and baking things to give to others and so on. So, we've been crafting. I hate crafts. I can not even cut in a straight line. I keep hoping that the boys will do a craft in Sunday school or something so that I can have those keepsake hand prints and other fun things, but they haven't yet. So, that leaves me. Widdle could generally care less about coloring, cutting or any thing else related to an organized project. He did have patience the other day while I turned cardboard and Christmas ribbon into the armor of God, but that's about all he can handle. Waddle would like to scribble on everything and cut E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G. into tiny pieces. This includes clothing, hair, paper, the Christmas tree..... pretty much anything he can reach he thinks is good for being cut. Piddle just wants to grab something and eat it. So, I avoid crafts, until now. While decorating for Christmas I found that the brick above our fireplace was very bare. It needs a wreath or something. Then the idea came, "What about those hand print wreaths? That's a keepsake and decoration." Little did I know how many hand prints are involved in making one of these little beauties and how little effort is put in by the littles. But it was worth it. Though I did much of the work, the boys added their own excitement. Widdle got the little film case of glitter out and while pouring the WHOLE thing on the floor asked, "Mama, what's this for?" I'm pretty sure my head popped off and flew backwards at this point. (Side note: if you ever receive a gift from a child with glitter on it, go ahead and pray for their teacher. They must be crazy to willingly use glitter!) Glitter, to me, is an outside only craft. Widdle also managed to mix some more play dough which I've decided is a lost cause and I will surrender my efforts to keep the play dough in it's correct container. Waddle was cutting every scrap I dropped. Thankfully I managed to keep all of the hand prints clear of his scissors. Piddle woke up mid-project and tracing her hands is a task! Her fat little fingers squish together when I tried to flatten her hand out on the paper. As I was cutting out her hand prints her fingers got narrower and narrower, but they are close. So, for all of this effort and fun I now have three beautiful little wreaths that are taped to my back door because I can't get them to stick to the brick. But I love them and they make me smile and think of glitter each time I see them.

By the way, here's a little history on the wreath. I'll have to share this with the boys.

Evergreen plants, such as holly, ivy and pine, which stay green all year, have long been used to create holiday wreaths. Such greens as holly, ivy, and mistletoe have special meaning since they not only stay green, they bear fruit during the harsh winter months. Anciently people symbolized these plants to represent the promise of new or everlasting life. The people of northern Europe and the Romans decorated their homes with evergreen boughs during their winter festivals. Sprigs of holly would also be exchanged as tokens of good will for the coming new year.

Second craft:
Today we decorated our Charlie Brown Christmas tree with homemade ornaments. The boys and I flipped through a Christmas craft book and picked out a couple of shapes we liked. Widdle like the cat face and I liked the star. Waddle and I did all of the cutting. And Widdle hung things on the tree. After all of the ornaments were made, Widdle and I made a chain. I am still shocked that he did so well with it. I cut the strips and got some tape. I showed him how to link a couple of them together and he took off. He did about 10 links on his own and my eyes were bugging out of my head all the while. He NEVER does a craft. I worked quickly so that I would be nearly done when he became board with it and he loved it. He helped me wrap it around the tree then stuck a sword in it. I'm not totally sure, but I think he has decided that the chain is the Christmas tree's armor. At least it won't cry if it's hit too hard and nothing on it can break!

Check back for pics of our crafts!

Never run out of this!

A while back the littles and I were grocery shopping and I was telling Widdle how important it will be for him to go grocery shopping for his wife. I like to talk to the littles about what fruit and veggies should look like. Widdle often helps me pick our apples and bananas. As we headed to the toiletry aisle I told Widdle that you can never have too much toilet paper. If you go grocery shopping for your wife, just go ahead and pick it up. It doesn't go bad and you'll use it eventually.

Now that Albert has checked in at work, he is doing our grocery shopping. He drives past 7 or more grocery and super centers and we only have one car. While I do enjoy going to W@l-mart at 6:30 on Saturday morning, it is nice to save ourselves a little gas and Albert hit the stores on his way home. This week he went to the store and found everything on the list. He called about a couple of things, but I should have been more specific. He did great. I was struggling BIG time with giving up control over the buying of the food, but he was totally calm about it. And I am thankful.

The trouble came this morning when I quickly realized that I hadn't put everything on the list. You guessed it, toilet paper was not on the list and therefore it could not be picked up. When I go grocery shopping I glance down each aisle and try to visualize the items on the aisle, what I have at home and the quantity remaining. The last time I went I remember thinking about the TP and thinking, "Oh, we have plenty. I think we have an open pack in each bathroom." Well, it appears that I was right. We had an open, well used pack in each bathroom and today I can see the cardboard roll in each bathroom. I do not have a vehicle and I don't know my neighbors well enough and I'd be embarrassed to haul me three littles over and ask for a roll. This predicament has been making me laugh and drink little all day!

I almost did this to us when we were moving. We had about a week left and an almost full roll in each bathroom so I packed the rest. As the rolls got thinner and thinner with a few days to go, I realized I should buy some more. Rather, I realized that I shouldn't have packed the rest. Obviously I need to do some figuring on how long it takes us to go through a roll of toilet paper. My ideal timeline of usage seems to be off!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Hiding Spot

If your child comes up to you with a sucker unwrapped and asks if he can have it, investigate where the sucker came from.

Widdle did this the other day and I told him that he may have it, but not to unwrap a sucker again before being given permission to eat it. Later I went into the play room and noticed Waddle had two suckers with gum in the middle and was clanking them together. I took them away and noticed the pumpkin full of candy, turning slightly I noticed the guitar had something sticky on it. I bent down to clean it off and noticed a whole stash of candy wrappers. I started cleaning them out and could not believe how many pieces of candy had been consumed. While digging out the wrappers Albert came in and we quickly discussed the consequences. We determined that no candy or dessert for a month was a good punishment. Does that seem harsh? Here's the list of what all I found:

tootsie roll (the long ones)
two suckers
sugar daddy
taffy wrapper
box of nerds

After eating all of this is when he asked me for another sucker! I am still a bit in shock over his genius, sneaky, manipulative, selfish, sinful depravity. He did not have to be taught how to steal and hid something that he really wanted. Thankfully he did not get sick, but he will be learning this lesson for a while.

It is easy to laugh when I think of this situation and when I tell it to others. One parenting book that I have read encourages parents to look at the heart motive or attitude behind the sin. It is easy to discipline and teach children not to take candy without asking and not to hid something that they have done that they know is wrong, the difficulty comes in trying to penetrate their hearts with the truth of the Gospel and helping them to change. Praying for their heart's desire to change and trusting God to do the changing is hard. It has been difficult for me to give up the control that I never had. So, while Widdle is learning not to steal treats and missing out on dessert, I am learning to trust Christ to change his heart and release the desire to force him to submit. I think this lesson will be life long and worth while.

Unpacked

I unpacked the last box yesterday!!! Albert still has one box to go and we have a lot of things to hang on the walls, but all of the boxes that I am responsible for are empty!!! Now the real cleaning will begin.

Here's the re-cap. We got on the interstate around 10:00 a.m. on Nov. 2nd. I would prefer to have left around 3:00 a.m., so I felt a little late all day and had to keep reminding myself that the drive would take all day and into the night. And it did! The drive went pretty well and we arrived at roughly 3:00 a.m. Tuesday morning. The drive was pretty uneventful. Widdle L.O.V.E.D. riding in the big truck with his Papaw and Waddle was just fine riding in the Mini (what I call our van! Ha!) Piddle just hung out except for during the three minutes that I drove, she screamed bloody murder then. We stopped several times for gas and food and potty breaks, took one wrong turn in New Orleans which was a tad scary and rolled on in. I was so excited when we pulled up to our house that I could hardly sleep the rest of the morning.

We woke around 6:30 or 7, got dressed and headed to Cr@cker Barrel. Within minutes of receiving our drinks Widdle spilled his on the floor. Moments later Waddle broke a plate on the floor. I was quickly reminded of why we don't go out to eat much. We came back to the house and the guys got ready to unload the truck and trailer. I took the kids up to my mom's school for a quick hello, then headed to the grocery store. No, I did not have a list. BIG mistake! I am not a fan of W@l-mart anyway, but it is dreadful if you don't have a list!!! We walked around aimlessly for a while, grabbed a couple of things and headed back to the house. When we arrived the truck was unloaded and the house was full of boxes. I felt a tad overwhelmed at the amount of work that was waiting for me. A dear friend blessed us with lunch and my mom brought dinner over and the unpacking began. Most of the boxes were out by Thursday. We went to a Bible study that we were a part of when we were here before. And the last 6-10 boxes sat.

Saturday I went to W@l-mart with a list around 6:30 a.m. which is a great time to go! Later my mom and I took the kiddos to the Arts Festival downtown and gave Albert some time to just unpack and work on whatever he wanted to without having to re-direct the littles.

Sunday we tried our first church, though we have actually tried two others while visiting over the last year. It was good, but we don't want to stop looking and just go with the first one that seems to be a good fit.

Monday we prepared for a hurricane and the boxes sat. I also started to get sick.

Wednesday my friend from high-school came by and the rest of the week is a bit of a blur. Albert helped me get some rest and took care of the littles quite a bit. Friday morning we bought Waddle a little toddler bed.

Saturday we went to the Blue Angle's Homecoming show. It was amazing and well worth the LONG walk from the car and the energy it took to keep 3 littles and a kid occupied for hours. It felt like a welcome back party for us!

Sunday we did church at home. I was feeling better, but Waddle spiked a fever at bed time Saturday night. After church, while the littles napped and Albert worked with my dad, I unpacked the last boxes!

We are not totally settled in as there is a ton of cleaning still to do, along with painting and putting all of that stuff away instead of on any flat surface that I can find. But it is starting to feel like home. I guess that's a long/brief update on what we've been up to.

Oh and while I was sick we were battling fleas. The dogs have not been in the house at all, but it seems that Albert brought some in after working in the yard. So we have been trying to get the fleas out of our brand new carpet! It has been a bit of a pain, but I think we are almost there. I am sure that more things have happened over the last two weeks, but this will do for now!


Sunday, November 1, 2009

Moving Tips

While loading up our things the last couple of days I have learned several tips that might help you the next time you move.

- Have every single item in a box before your friends come to help load the truck. Do not stop packing because you are tired, just keep going!
- Sell as much as you can before you start packing. You would rather have extra space and less stuff than need a trailer behind your huge truck!
- Eat all of the food in your freezer/fridge a week or more before the move. This way you won't feel obligated to eat what is in the fridge the day before you turn your house in/sell.
- Take a deep breath and submit when your dh recommends throwing something away rather than packing it. This is hard, but good.
- Do all of the laundry before the move and make sure to put it all somewhere before friends get there to load the truck.
- While clearing out the bathrooms to make packing easier, go ahead and pack the personal items so that dh's co-workers do not have to move them and you feel embarrassed.
- Try to keep your children on a good sleep schedule the week leading up to the trip, this should help the trip go more smoothly.

If you follow these tips, you might have a pretty painless experience. Otherwise, you might feel a bit like I do right now! The kids have taken VERY late naps the last three days. They have stayed up over an hour late at night and last night the two littlest slept terribly. I'm not really sure that Piddle slept at all. Right this moment all three are sleeping in the hotel bed right beside me. I am hoping this lack of sleep will lead to a lot of sleep in the car. And, about the personal items, Yeah, I did that. I could feel my face turning red as I frantically tried to figure out how to stop what I was doing and quickly remove the embarrassment. The laundry, yep, I did that too. I heard my father-in-law say "how about the washer and dryer next." So, I quickly ran to the dryer and pulled out all of the cloth diapers. We used the clothes for padding in various boxes. Unpacking should be a blast! No, we didn't sell/throw out enough stuff before the move, so we will be the dorks pulling a U-h@ul trailer behind a Pen5ke truck. I will be getting rid of more upon unpacking! At this point I hope we never have to move again. That is inevitable though. Maybe next time we'll just rent two trucks!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Visiting

In the last few weeks before our big move, we have been trying to visit all of our close friends around the area. Kim and her trio came down a couple of weeks ago and spent the day with us
We met Kim and Chris when we were in pilot training. She and I met at the gym every morning around 6:30 for about a month before she was due with her first son. I will never forget the second morning that she was a no-show and Luke arrived. We have been blessed with many more memorable moments and I treasure her friendship. I'm so thankful for her willingness to come for a visit and the great times we have had together. Our families have grown quite a bit since we first met!

Last Saturday we traveled a little ways and visited a couple of other families. One family used to live right down the street from us. We first met them when we bought our dog, Piper, from them. We watched Pipen, Piper's mom, a few times for them and really enjoyed their friendship. They are now at the training base just north of us.

Next up were the Ss. We first met Travis and Lisa when we were in pilot training. They were in the same small group as the Rs and us. I am thoroughly enjoyed their friendship and wish we had more time together. Our kiddos really got along well and we loved getting to see their new home. Our baby girls are just 3 weeks apart in age. Neither of us were due in March, yet both of us delivered then! What a special family.


Last but not least is a local family. We spent quite a bit of time together while I was pregnant with Piddle and teaching a couple of dance classes in their attic, but we haven't had much time together recently. On Tuesday we went over to the K's and spent the whole day with them. Kerstin has not me immeasurable things about house keeping, home making, modesty, biblical worldview, parenting, wifedom, the list is endless. I am so thankful for her friendship and her family's love of our family. They are the only ones who visited us in the hospital after every single one of our babies were born. I hope the miles do not weaken our friendship. Some of these pics are old, but they will do.

These two little girls are two little mamas in training! They love Piddle and are great helpers will all three of my kiddos.

These are our two youngest boys helping us bake bread. Josiah and Widdle are birds of a feather.

All of these families have been such a blessing to me and my family. I hope they need a trip to the beach and we are able to visit with each other along the journey God has for us.

The gang's all here

While I was cooking dinner and talking on the phone tonight, Widdle entertained himself. I am still in shock. He and Waddle usually stand within 3 inches of me every moment that I am in the kitchen. When dinner was just about done, Widdle came in and asked Waddle to come and see what he made. To my surprise he built this "house".The green pillow and the one underneath is are tool boxes and the smaller pillow on the right is the door to the house. On the left side of the toolbox is the back yard. He was very proud of this creation and I was quite impressed myself!
After all of the birthday pics I had to try a picture of my trio. I haven't tried one in a while and none of my previous attempts turned out very well. I got this picture in one shot! Maybe they each need a little something to play with in order for them to look at the camera, but I am glad all of their eyes are looking in the right direction. Don't they look like fun? I sure do love these little ones.

22 months old

This little guy......

is 22 months old today. I really cannot believe how fast the time has gone. He is developing such a fun personality. He love to be silly and try to jump. He love playing peek-a-boo and grabbing Daddy's hat. He enjoys wrestling, being tickled, helping me cook and tasting anything that comes from the kitchen. Waddle is such a fun member of our family. I cannot imagine our family without him. Widdle loves to protect and bully him. Piddle loves to laugh at him and enjoys his protection. We all laugh daily because of our sweet Waddle.

I can't help but think of the day he was born. I laughed within seconds of his birth. What a joy and a blessing he has been in my life. Happy 22 month birthday Waddle!

7 months old

This little lady is 7 months old today.
She is doing all sorts of things. Piddle can roll all over the living room. She prefers to have another person in sight. She can sit up for a short while. She LOVES watching her brothers and really enjoys when they play with her. She likes the dogs. She has her Daddy wrapped around her little tiny pinky. She does not like baby food.

Piddle is such a joy and I am so thankful to have her in our family. I can not believe she is 7 months old already. When her birthday rolls around, I always think of the day before and the day she was born. What an adventure. I am so thankful that God saw fit for our boys to learn how to protect and treat a lady by giving them a sister. What a blessing she is!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Social Saturday

For those of you who have tried to hang out with us at all over the last three years, you know that we are not the most social. Albert has been gone more then half the time we have been in OKC and his time at home has been very protected. Last Saturday we had ourselves a bit of a social marathon! Around 8:30 Albert went for a bike ride with one of our newer neighbors, T. They got back around 9:40. Around 10:00 the fire trucks drove by for their annual Fire Truck Parade to kick off fire safety week. We were looking forward to this parade all week and all morning! At 10:30 Piddle and I went to the farmer's market with T's wife, J. We girls got home around 1:30 and Albert reminded me that some other friends were coming over at 2:00. M and A along with baby A visited for about an hour and a half, then headed off. T and J came over around 6:00 for dinner. T had to do some work stuff and left at 7:30. J hung out with us until nearly 10:00. I know that some of you are in shock that we were up that late..... We are trying to maximize our time left in the mid-west. We had a fun, full day!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Waddle

Waddle doesn't have too many new things going on. His vocabulary is increasing daily. He tries to say about half of the words I ask him to say and sometimes he repeats something out of the blue. He only says one syllable from most words, but he is learning. He makes us laugh all. the. time. I hope these pictures make you laugh too!
^He is trying to say "cheese"

^After Widdle took pictures holding up three fingers, Waddle wanted you to know how old he is!

^Have you ever seen a cuter guy in cowboy boots? He will either be Woody or Rex for halloween.

Someone turned 3 around here



Having a three year old in the house is a little crazy. I can hardly believe that it was nearly four years ago that I found out I was pregnant. While I was changing Widdle's age ticker over I nearly cried at the idea of him being on his way to four, so I decided that I just think of him as just turning 3 for as long as I can!

Widdle is such a sweet boy and brings so much love, joy and laughter to our home. He always has a song to sing and rarely knows all of the words. (just like his mama) Some of his favorite things these days are jumping on the bed, eating lollipops, riding his bike or tricycle, wrestling his daddy, playing peek-a-boo with Piddle, tickling Waddle and Piddle, helping me cook.

Upon turning three, Widdle has picked up some new responsibilities around the house. He now puts all of the utensils away, brings me and helps empty the small trash cans, sets the table, wipes off the table, puts his clothes away, "makes" his bed and sounds the "poop" alarm in the back yard. He is working hard and playing hard. Just the way a boy should be!

I'll have to tell you about this cake another time. Ugh!

Roll Over Beethoven



Piddle's other new trick is rolling over. Last night she decided that she could get her arm out and she could travel around our small living room. She was content for an hour or more to just roll around on the floor and check out what everyone else was up to. She can put her paci back in her mouth and being able to roll over helps her find it. Hopefully this new skill will benefit us during the night!

Our little lady is very strong and will probably be sitting up soon. I can hardly wait!

Eye Surgery


Widdle had Strabismus surgery yesterday. (I finally learned the word!) We have noticed his eyes alternating drifting out for a while. I have taken him to several doctor's appointments, we patched his eyes for a couple of months and the drifting and heavy blinking picked up greatly over the last several weeks. With the move coming up and Widdle getting older, we felt we should go ahead with the surgery. Albert's mom came in to watch the littles and Albert and I took Widdle to the surgery. I don't know what we would have done without Granny being her. She is such a huge blessing. When we first got to the surgery center everyone was pretty relaxed. Widdle was excited to see Dr. T. He always gets to play a lot of games with him. He had no idea what was really coming. We talked to him about the surgery a little, but he is too young to understand "they are going to cut the muscle off of your eye and move it back a little. This will help your eyes." While we did tell him that, he just couldn't be expected to really get it, so he was happy to be there. There was another little boy in the waiting room waiting for his brother. This gave Widdle a little playmate while we waited. When his name was called, Widdle chased the nurse back to the pre-op room. He was a great sport through all of the pre-op procedures. The nurse told him that his temperature and heart rate were perfect. He enjoyed wearing the silly gown and the grippy socks. He sat in Albert's lap for all of the little tests and my stomach twisted. I just didn't really know what was coming. Dr. T came in and gave us an idea of what to expect and how to care for him after the surgery. The anesthesiologist came in and briefly told us what would happen. Then a sweet nurse let Widdle ride in a wagon and off he went.
I said "I love you" about ten times and teared up. I am still thankful that I did not break down into tears as they pulled him away...... that came later. The whole time we were sitting in pre-op I questioned if it was too late to cancel the surgery. Was this really what he needed? Along with every other question imaginable flooded my mind. As soon as they took him back we went out to the waiting room. Albert went to get breakfast and I read a bit. I felt OK. Once Albert got back I checked the time and started getting anxious. About 15 or 20 min. later the nurse called us into the consultation room and we waited for the doctor. Dr. T came in and said Widdle did great. He hoped right up on the table and played all of their games, got a little nervous as he drifted off to sleep, but it went well. Everything looked as he expected and our little guy should be waking up soon. Now, he might be angry and if he is they will call you back quickly.

They called us back quick. I was certain that our little guy would be laid back and groggy. Boy was I wrong! This was the beginning of the worst part for me. I did not have a clear picture of what "angry" looked like on my little boy until I saw the nurse restraining his arms and him screaming his desire to rub his eyes. Even we could not settle him. Albert held him and held one arm down while I held the other arm and tried to sooth him. I felt terribly helpless. Widdle screamed and cried and begged me to let him rub his eyes. He didn't want anything to touch him and he really only wanted his daddy. He held his eyes shut tight. I cried, he cried, we were a mess. After two doses of morphine Widdle calmed down a bit. Just enough that the nurse felt that getting him home was our best option. She took the IV out....... that was bad, then took us over to another area. I offered Widdle some apple juice and crackers. He held one cracker for a couple of hours and ate another cracker. Once he calmed down enough to drink the apple juice, he sucked it down. By now it was about 11:00 a.m. He had not had anything to drink or eat since 8:00 p.m. the night before. After 5 or 10 minutes we left. Albert rode in the back to keep Widdle from rubbing his eyes. He only tried to open his eyes a couple of times. This seemed to only frustrate him more. He rested to rest of the day and had a couple of fits of discomfort. Albert went to T@rget to pick up a couple of things. We gave Widdle acetaminophen and ibuprofen all afternoon and evening. It seemed we were able to keep the pain and discomfort under control. Widdle slept on the couch and Albert slept on the floor beside the couch.

This morning we had a different child in our home. He woke up happy and was able to see a lot better. He was not so sensitive to the light. He ate breakfast and wanted to play. My heart took a deep breath and we enjoyed the morning. We all went to the post-op appointment and Dr. T said our little man looked great. He has a slight over correction, but hopefully this will even out over the next 4 weeks. We have another appointment then and hopefully we will only need re-checks every 6 months or so after that.

I am so thankful that my God knows how things will go long before they happen. He knew long before Widdle was born that he would undergo this surgery. He also knew long, long ago, way before I was a mother, that I would question every decision I made for my children. He gave me the greatest gift of my Savior, Jesus Christ and the peace and comfort that can only comes from Him. God has also blessed me with an amazing husband who has learned how to take the reins when I need help the most. What an amazing God we serve.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day

This phrase takes on a whole new meaning when you've labored a child! Every day has a large dose of "labor" thrown into it. A friend posted a link to another ladies blog and she laid out the number of hours and pounds of human she's labored. I laughed and thought I should figure up my stats. They won't be too great since Waddle had a speed delivery, but here they are:

Hours in labor: 23 (6 for Widdle before a c-section, 4 for Waddle- first contraction to deliver..... don't be jealous! :) and about 13 for Piddle, I think I was only in active labor for about 4-5 hours with her though)

Pounds of human: 23 lb 10 oz.

So, what are your stats? I know some of you will blow me out of the water with the hours in labor. To be honest, I'd rather have the least number of hours! Happy Labor Day.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Blog Pause

It has been just over a month since my last post and the delay has been for several reasons. One big reason my posts have been so scarce is a war within. I really want to be totally honest and raw with people and especially our Christian friends. I just don't think this is the place for that though. I'd rather talk and split the wounds open in person, on the phone or through an e-mail. But I have a hard time holding back the whole truth when I'm typing. I'd just rather not hide things, but not everyone who reads this blog REALLY knows me. So some of the things I write might not come across right or give a wrong picture of what I really mean. I guess the war is that I feel like I need to keep it pretty surface, but I don't really want to.

We've also been extremely busy! In the last month we've gone on two short trips and one LONG trip. We also have a trip planned for September, one possible trip for October and a move November 2nd. For a family that almost never travels, we've been on the road a lot!

When we went to Florida, our long trip, we found an amazing house. We work out the details and have a contract pending on it. We are hoping my mom and dad will be able to close on the house a week early and have the carpet replaced before we get there. It would be a much easier and quicker job without all of our stuff in the house!


I will try to keep up better over the next few months. I feel like we will have A LOT going on through Christmas, then things should taper off. We'll just have to see. In my sunday school lesson I've been studying idleness and have been greatly convicted. Though I often have something to do, I am not sure that I am always doing the thing I should be doing. With that, I am off to take the clothes out of the dryer and put a new load in.

In Christ,
Robin


Friday, July 31, 2009

Thankful to be at home

Ever since I was a little girl I have wanted to be a mama. When asked, "what do you want to be when you grow up?" I would always come up with a different answer. It seemed that I needed to put something down, but none of them really fit. I'd say I wanted to be a dance teacher or a school teacher, maybe a nurse. Maybe I'd try my hand at the business world, though I knew nothing about it and had zero interest..... it seemed like a good response. But I've always wanted to be a mama. Even when I went to college I didn't have a goal in mind. I was certainly working on my Mrs. and switched majors 4+ times in 2.5 years at a junior college. Yeah, I didn't know where I was going with all of those classes. Albert and I started dating after my third semester in college. At that point I was pursuing Elementary Education. It is still something I am interested in. I switched my major one final time to "General." Exciting huh? I could use all of my credits and graduate a semester early. I finished my associates about two weeks after we got married. I finished teaching dance the next semester and headed out to Oklahoma. Since Albert was in training, we both thought a part-time job would be good. So, I worked at 0ld Navy. It was a good pass time. We talked about me staying at home with our kiddos before we were even married. Or maybe it was something that we just always agreed on and never really discussed. I'm not sure. Either way, I really wanted a baby when training was coming to an end. I was five months pregnant when we moved and have been at home ever since. I love this job.

There have been several times that I have felt bad or weird about staying at home. I've been asked, "Do you work? Outside of the home I mean." Or, "What's your degree in?" One friend told me that I could finish my degree on-line through a great program she was doing. I just don't feel like that's for me. I'm not against having a degree and maybe one day I'll go back to school, but at this point it's not on my "Bucket List."

A couple of weeks ago I felt that God was really assuring me that this is where He wants me to be. On a Wednesday night Albert called and asked if I could take care of a friend from the squadron's little boy the next day. I watched him before and knew it would be a bit of a challenge, but how could I say no to a friend in need? The little boy came over and all of the boys had a great time. About lunch time I was waiting for Albert to call (There was a chance we'd get to see him for about 30 minutes) when the doorbell rang. I answered and it was a dear friend who used to live right down the street. They have moved about an hour and a half north and we have not seen them in over a year. What a blessing a surprise to have her and her two little boys visit. We welcomed them in and had a 4 month old little girl and boys ages 1,2,3,4 and 5 play for about a half hour. Albert called right after T and her boys got here and we both decided it would be best to visit with them. We had a great time and tried to catch up as much as you can with all of those little rascals running around, 30 minutes and over a year worth of missed time. It was an awesome day.

None of my cleaning was done and the house looked a bit more like a toy store or daycare center than I'd like, but I feel like we were really able to share the love of Jesus. If I worked away from the home, our family would not have been able to help a friend and I would have missed the opportunity to visit with an old friend. God is really showing me the many ways to be hospitable and use our home for His purposes. What a blessing!

The Movies

I'm sure you all sit around wondering what a day with the Ducks is really like. Ha! Well sometimes, in the middle of a situation a movie line will run through my mind. (I wish I memorized scripture as easily as I do a catchy movie line.) Here are a couple examples. You can think of us when your kiddos watch these movies and you hear the line or see the scene.

"All the animals are going mad!" -Finding Nemo
No, my kids are not animals, but sometimes I alter this line and it applies.

"Honey, it's time to intervene!" -The Incredibles
Ahh, this one runs through my mind ALL THE TIME when Albert is gone. We are not incredible, but a lot of their super powers fit us. I'm not sure what Olivia's personality will be like, so she is Jack Jack. Boaz is our very quiet observer. He likes to think about things and work with his hands, he gets to be Violet. (Only the really cute boy version!) Canon is our little fire ball. He's Dash. Albert can sweep in and save the day, of course he's Mr. Incredible! And I only wish I could be more flexible. If I could just reach out and grab a kid while I'm sitting in the chair nursing, a lot of tears would be spared.

My mind is drawing a blank, hum, this isn't the first time! So, I'll have to share the other sections of movies with you as they come back to mind.

Monday, July 20, 2009

A Little Boring

I am happy to announce that the dog has left us alone and Albert's t-shirt quilt has consumed the last several days. I am sending it off to be professionally quilted this week and will post some pictures once I get it back. We have really just been filling time until Albert gets back. I have had a couple of thoughts bouncing around in my brain though. Hopefully I'll fill you in on those tomorrow.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Romeo and Juliet

I've posting quite a bit about the dogs around this joint, and this post will continue that exciting side of our lives! I know, you've been waiting for another post about my crazy dogs. Well, look no further, it is here!

On Wednesday my neighbor came over and informed me that there was a brown dog in my yard. I had not noticed the dog, so I quickly ran to the back window. Piper is in heat, so I do not want other dogs around her, especially not male, fully in-tact dogs! So, I went out back and tried to see his tag and get him out of the yard. He ran off quickly. It did not take us long to learn that this dog can climb fences and create a gap under the fence without digging a hole. Yes, this is a problem! So, we never could get the dog to come close enough for long enough to see his tag and call his owner, and eventually he wondered off. Only after marking his territory, my backyard!

Friday, the boys and I are sitting at the table eating breakfast, when Canon informs me that Piper is in Emma's yard. Emma is our neighbor's dog. Piper only goes over there when the gate is open, and we always keep it shut and locked, unless we are outside playing with our neighbors. Again, I rush to the back door to figure out what's going on. The gate was open, or so I thought, but I couldn't see the actual gate. What it perfectly in-line with the fence post? I was confused. So, I went outside to investigate. The gate had been lifted completely off it's hinges and was laying in my neighbor's yard! After further investigation I realized that an animal squeezed through the gate, going under the mesh fencing and over the frame. It must have gotten a little stuck and lifted it's back end up. The gate was about 10 ft. into my neighbor's yard.

Today, I am visiting with neighbors who live on the street behind us when the base police come by. After a couple of minutes, I see the dog run behind their backyard. Then the police come by a couple more times. Eventually they stop and ask us if we've seen the dog. I told him that we had and that they would not be able to bait him in. He likes my dogs, but he doesn't like people. While walking home (with my dogs in-tow) I find the dog again. By this point I am angry. I do not want to have to worry about this dog. We have not spade Piper yet because I'd like her to have one litter of puppies with a specific dog in Pensacola. I do NOT want her to have puppies with this mutt! Granted, they would be cute, he's looking at me through my back door right now and he has a very sweet face, but who wants a 65 lb. mutt??? I think I'd have a hard time giving those puppies away and I just don't want to deal with it. Plus, I should be able to let my own dog in my own back yard without having to worry about someone else's dog harassing her. I get a little frustrated just typing this out. I just don't want to worry about this dog. I don't want him to go to the pound and be put down and I don't want him to get my dog pregnant. I really wish his owners would have kept him on a lead in the yard. Do they even know or care that he's missing? He had a tag and collar last week when we first met him, but he has lost it since then. He has now been in or around my yard for the last 3 hours. I called the police after chasing him out of the yard once and him coming back. They came out and saw him. My neighbor was in the process of running him out of the yard when the police showed up, but he ran off. Rather, he ran just out of sight. It's easy for him to hide in the dark. He is back now. I have the porch light on and he keeps asking to get in. He seems very friendly, but shows aggression when my neighbor and I tell him that he's not getting what he wants. Ugh, I don't know what to do. We're going to hang out in the backyard most of the day tomorrow and give the police a call if/when he comes around. Maybe I'll lose the rest of my baby weight by spending the day in 100+ temps. HA! 

I told Albert that they are like Romeo and Juliet, the forbidden love. Piper would be happy to entertain his ideas, but I can assure you that will NOT be happening! Until she is done being "available" I will have to go outside and supervise the yard every time she is out. Doesn't that sound like fun? Please, please tell me if you have any other suggestions. I'd really like to spare this dogs life, and I'm hoping he's micro-chipped, but I can't have an aggressive dog hanging around two houses that have 3 dogs and 7 kids between them!

**Edited to add: I tried to take a picture of the dog looking through the door. Of course the flash caused some trouble. After three shots the guilty party thought he did not want to be photographed and he went out of the yard, under the fence. Maybe he won't come back.....

Friday, July 10, 2009

Random

* Dog poop is easier to scoop when it has been over 100 degrees for a couple of days in a row. It was so hot earlier that our temperature gage just had dash marks (--) instead of a temp and it's in the shade!

*Boaz is officially considering riding the potty training train. He pottied in the toilet 3 times yesterday and we celebrated with an official "Potty Party". Well, it's not that official, but I did call Canon in to cheer with me!

*I just looked at the pics of my kiddos on the side of my blog. I think I need to update these. They made me sweat just looking at them. It's a little too hot for pictures of kids in winter coats and lined pants.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

We can survive

Several weeks ago the fam and I loaded in the van and headed slightly south to buy me a new pair of walking/running shoes. Since Albert was with us, I didn't bother to bring my cell phone. He is the one who calls me the most and I'd rather not be on the phone with someone else when he is around. Our time together is short, so I try to stay focused. So, I Googled the store a day or two before we went, checked out the map and knew the general idea of where we were going. Once we got down there, we could not seem to find the place. We drove down the road to the left of the interstate until we reached housing developments. Then, we turned around and headed down the right side of the interstate. We drove around a couple of shopping centers. I started wondering if I'd gotten the street right. I asked Albert for his phone and thought I could at least look up the address and possibly call the place to find out where they were. Only, his battery was dead! I sort of panicked. We don't have a phone, we don't know where we're going, there aren't pay phones and phone books on the corner of any of these gas stations. Will we ever find the place??? Finally I asked Albert to pull over and I would run into the H@allmark store and ask to borrow their phone book and phone. He put the van in park and I grabbed the handle of the van to find a phone book in our van! I started laughing immediately. I quickly searched and found that our little shop was listed. The street signs around here have the block number listed on them, so we were able to find our way. The shop was tucked back in the one part of the strip mall that we did not drive by. I was so excited that we were still able to find our way though our phones were out of commission. 

Then......

On Sunday I put my phone on silent and brought it into church with me. I almost NEVER put my phone on silent or bring it into church. But, my watch battery has been dead for a long time and no one will help me take the back off to replace the battery and I knew Olivia would need to eat and I wanted to know what time it was when I fed her...... So, I put the phone on silent and brought it in. After Sunday School I loaded everyone into the van and dropped my wallet and phone over the seat. I heard my phone hit something hard and knew it was not in the seat. I finished buckling everyone in and got in myself. I didn't see the phone. I backed out of the parking spot and saw that it was not on the ground. It had to be in the van somewhere. So, I headed home. I quickly brought the kiddos inside and got them down for their naps, then headed back out to look for my phone. I couldn't find it. So, I came in and did a little reading and headed out again. I repeated this process at least five times. Each time I was hoping to have a fresh perspective and look in that one spot that I had not looked the time before. No success. After a few hours I messaged one of the college kids from church and asked him to swing by the church to make sure it wasn't in the parking lot. It wasn't. I prayed and prayed that I would find my phone. Since it was on silent, I knew I wouldn't hear it even if it did ring and I searched everywhere. I considered going for a drive and driving up and down hills hoping it would slide out from wherever it was hiding. Thankfully my SS teacher, the college kids mom, suggested calling the phone. I could have done this, but we don't have a land line. I thought about asking a neighbor to call, but I'd have to walk over with all three kids, ask them to call blah blah blah. It would take a bit of work. Thankfully my SS teacher was willing to call. I messaged her son on facebook and we set up a time. I quickly ran out to the van and heard the phone vibrating! I was so relieved to find it! The phone dropped into the pocket on the side of the door and was leaning just perfectly so that I could not see it. It was totally a God thing for me to have found it. The phone was in the pocket with the ice scraper that I had taken out to drop over the seat and see how the phone might have bounced. I know I looked almost exactly where the phone was.

I think God intended this to be a lesson in humility for me. I have a very hard time asking for help and admitting that I need help. Relying on others is not enjoyable for me. I am thankful that I was forced into this situation and my dear friends were able and willing to help. God is so good and I'm back in touch!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Van

Sunday afternoon the kiddos and I headed out the door to pick up a couple of groceries. Just leaving the house on a Sunday afternoon puts me a little out of my element. I hardly ever go anywhere besides church on Sunday, also I try to do all of my errands during the week and in the morning. As we were all herding out the door I glanced at the van and noticed a "small" scrape on the front left corner. My breath left me and my brain started racing. Who did I hit? When did I hit someone? Did someone hit me? Is there a poor victim out there wondering who damaged there car and was so rude to leave without leaving a note? Feeling like a completely incompetent driver, I pulled into the parking lot and picked a spot with no one else around. Only to find that the commissary was closed. I missed it by 20 minutes. Thank the Lord I noticed before I got everyone out of the van! That probably would have been reason to cry. Then my nerves went crazy as I though "Great, now I have to drive more." The whole time we were out I was trying to think of how I had to have turned to have hit someone. When had I parked like that? I had to have been turning right into a parking spot, or backing out to the right, or someone else turned left around me and scraped me. I could not place the incident. Then, I was also thinking of how in the world I was going to blurt this gently out to Albert. I hate having to tell him of my mistakes when he is gone......... and when he is home for that matter! So, the next time I talked to him I had to bring it up. "Ok, I just have to blurt this out because I have no idea how to introduce the topic gently........ I have no idea how this happened, but I seem to have hit someone. I feel awful. I don't know if there is a victim driving around wondering what jerk hit him or when I hit someone, but there's a small scrape on the van...... It just scraped the paint off and there's some tan paint on the van. I just can't think of when it happened." Albert calmly questions, "tan paint? Did you hit the house?" Ding Ding Ding The lights are flashing and bells are going off! Yes, I hit the house! I feel ridiculous, but at least I know when it happened and that I only damaged our vehicle. 

Last Monday I was running out to get a birthday present and Albert's car was parked behind me. I knew it would be tight, but I thought I could squeeze out. (I get in these same predicaments with my body, maybe I don't have a clear view of things.) I had to pull forward and back up several times. I knew I got close to the pole once, but I had no idea that I scraped the bumper against it. And now you know yet another reason why I do not enjoy driving.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

3 months old!

Olivia turned 3 months old yesterday. At some pointe last week I decided that Olivia would be 3 months old this Tuesday and did not realize I was a day off until I looked at our clock this morning and it said "6/23". I double checked it and everything says today is the 23rd except for my own mind. So, I do not have any pictures from yesterday to share with you, but I have some good ones of our little lady nonetheless. I had a good cry yesterday thinking of how quickly the time is going and how little it seems that I am able to cuddle her. The time is just going too quickly.




Tips for Parents

This tip comes from Albert. I wish I could remember exactly how he said it, though I'm sure you'll get a good laugh anyway!

If your child can pronounce the "B" sound, but cannot pronounce the "BR" sound it is not a good idea to use the word "britches" for pants. It is safer to refer to them as pants, shorts, or bottoms. Your child is certain to think "britches" is a fun word to say and will repeat it several times while leaving out the "r" all the while. This does result in a little laugh, but would not be appropriate anywhere outside of the home.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Walking Comments

I mentioned before that we get all sorts of comments while venturing around town. Most of them come while I am on a walk and have the four legged creatures in tow. Recently we have gotten a couple of comments that made me laugh or left me slightly confused. I suppose these three men were trying to be witty or original. Some succeeded, some did not. Enjoy!

- "That's quite an operation you've got there!" This came from a man riding his bike who looked a bit awkward and cumbersome himself. I just laughed.

- "Congratulations! I know it takes a lot to get out here." This one truly felt like a complement and it made me smile on the outside and the inside.

- "You've got your own parade with you." I'm not sure how to respond to this one. 

Have no fear, I am still hearing daily that I've got my hands full, but these have made for a fun change of pace.

Air Force Runner's Tip of the Day

When running with your buddy and you see a woman with a stroller and two dogs coming towards you, you have two options:

1. Drop back behind your friend for a few moments until you pass each other or

2. Swing out to the right of the woman and stroller and dogs while your buddy goes around the left side of her.

It may seem obvious to you (the reader) that the best choice is to drop back and pass on the left. Not everyone shares this view. Thankfully we did not have a collision this morning, but I have been walking a dog who tripped someone in the past because they chose option 2. Let's just all shake our heads together and remember to PASS ON THE LEFT!!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Getting Older

Albert and I celebrated our birthdays last week. Well, there wasn't much celebrating as he worked 12 hours on his birthday and 14 hours on my birthday, or visa-versa...... I can't remember now. Either way, we are older now and have had a variety of ailments ever since the occasions. 

Albert has suffered with a pinched nerve or something similar in his back. It actually made him med-down for a few days. Then he slammed his knee into the wall on accident two days ago and the pain seems to be lingering longer then it should. Yesterday he had a tightness/weird pain in his chest.

I have had some very strange situations with my gut. I'm not really sure what the problem is. I'm trying a lactose free diet and am now at the end of the second full day. Can I just say that I miss cheese and milk! And granola with yogurt!! I hope lactose is not the problem, but I seem to be a bit better. Until this morning. The pack and I went for a walk and my gut was feeling a little off, but that's been the norm the last few weeks. So, we finished up the walk and came home, fed the girls their breakfast, fed Olivia and I started feeling worse. I laid on the floor for a few minutes and felt like I could push through. We headed to the park and I thought I'd just sit in the shade and watch the boys..... which I never do! After about ten minutes I told Canon we were going to leave soon. He assured me that I would feel better at the park. About two minutes later I asked him to put his helmet on, we had to go. Boaz was not so convinced that I was feeling horrible and he wandered around a bit more. I pushed the stroller over to him and realized that I did not have time to get home before getting sick. So, if you are at the park that we always go to and notice a bit of throw up in the grass, don't be grossed out, you've been warned. I felt a bit better after throwing up and we made it home. The boys watched movies the rest of the morning. Thankfully Albert was able to make it home for lunch and put the boys down for their naps. They finished up a movie after naps and Albert was home again. Currently they are playing in a new pool in the back yard and I am starting to feel a bit better and a bit more social. I can pretty well handle anyone being sick besides myself. I feel like the work load piles up and the house sort of starts falling apart...... Please pray that I am better soon and that I can have real dairy without my belly going crazy.

Friday, June 5, 2009

A Tale of Two Tails: The back door

This just makes me laugh and I must share it with you. We have a glass door on the back of our house. Our backdoor is off of the living room and straight in front of the couch. This means that I am looking out of this door most of the day while the dogs are looking in. I could clean this door everyday and it would still be covered in hand prints, nose prints, slobber and footprints. It just stays dirty. The weather has been so nice recently that I have been leaving the dogs out most of the day. Ivory thinks this is great when their is a squirrel to chase or someone walking by to bark at. If neither of those activities are available, she wants inside. Now, neither of our dogs ask to come inside in a normal, calm manor. They start out calm, Ebony will paw at the door with one paw a couple of times, or Ivory will give a single bark. They might try this a couple of times before they switch to "frantic" mode. In "frantic" mode both girls loose their minds. Ebony will jump, put all four feet on the door and push off. Ivory will stand with her front feet on the door and sort of hop. Both girls have deemed the door very dirty and will then look under their own smudge to see if anyone notices them and is coming to the rescue. It's as if they are looking in to see if they were loud enough or if they should try again. Maybe I should clean the door and all of the jumping and standing would stop........ I doubt it.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Ebony and Ivory: A Tale of Two Tails


The dogs around here are crazy, and in my mind I've written several posts about them. To be honest, I'm not sure how much I've actually typed out about these two girls. I'm sure the story of their lives could be compared to Marley & Me, it's at least as humorous!

The sub-title for today is: The Walk
I will refer to them as Ebony and Ivory to protect the innocent, or slightly unintelligent. 

Ivory came to us from a home where she was not walked much. I walked her when she was about a year and a half old and the entire time I was thinking, "If I trip this dog will drag me down the road until she is tired." She pulled like a man pulling a semi-truck on the strongest man competitions! Now that Ivory is four years old, one would think she is starting to calm down. But, you'd be wrong! One of my stipulations for bringing her to out home was that the previous owner, my mom, would send a gentle lead for each girl with us. Now, this device does help, but it is not a solve all.

Ebony used to think walks were for her to explore the world around her. With another owner, they might be. But with me, they are to sweat, drop pounds and wear the dog out. Unfortunately I am tired WAY before she is. The gentle lead has worked beautifully on Ebony. The first time I strapped it on her, she froze and waited for my lead. She keeps the leash loose the whole walk and only rebels when she needs to take a "pit stop." She is a pleasure to walk while on her lead.

Ivory is a better walker on her lead, but still a maniac. I have determined that her enthusiasm is due to a lack of exercise in her younger years and a zeal for a good workout. If she's going for a walk, she wants to get the most out of it. There's no wasting steps for this girl. In fact, she gets a double workout. While walking, she insist on looking to the left ever 3-4 seconds. She starts panting the moment I open the drawer that her leash is in. Once it's strapped on her tongue is hanging out. Remember, this is no small dog and neither is her tongue. It swells and produces more saliva as we walk. So, when she looks to the left, her big fat tongue is hanging out and she slides it across the victim's head and touches the front of my right leg. I have given the victim (or child in the back seat) a hat to protect their head, and this seems to help. But, as I get hotter and stickier, this tongue feels grosser and grosser. (Is that a word?) Anyway, it just grosses me out! Along with slobbering all over me and the victim, Ivory runs to the front of the stroller, then behind me. I keep her on a short leash, so I'm not sure how she does this. I have kicked her in the heel one second, then have her head by my back side the next. In brief, she runs back and forth beside the stroller while we walk for 2 miles. This is an enthusiastic dog! Once we get home she drinks about a gallon of water and passes out for a while. Ebony is not even tired! I have to change shorts and the victim gets their head washed off. Oh yes, we are the circus!

We're turning heads

We are certainly turning heads these days. Not in a "wow, that's a hot mama" sort of way, but more of a "look at that circus" sort of way! We usually get at least one "you've got your hands full" per walk. The other day we got our first ever "HOLY COW!" I laughed out loud at that one! I mean, I know we look crazy, but I have got to get some exercise! So, I'll give you a mental picture. Maybe one day I'll get someone to take a picture of the circus that walks the path around here, until then you'll have to use your imagination. Picture this: I have both boys buckled into the stroller. Olivia is worn in a carrier on my front and the two big dogs are leashed together and on the right side of the stroller. The other day I thought I'd let Olivia sleep in the stroller and carried Boaz on my back in my Mai Tei. This gave me a double work out and caused some curious looks. We passed one couple twice before they noticed the third child. I'm not sure if they were missing Olivia or Boaz, but they said I had my hands full after our first in counter and seemed in a state of confusion or shock after realizing there was another little hiding. Again, I laughed. 

I laugh to keep from crying on some days. One time I was already crying when a bystander through their two cents at me. Most of the time I can just laugh it off, but each comment seems like a tiny pin prick into my heart. Is there something wrong with having your hands full, or more than full of these little blessings? I mean, the dogs through an extra twist in the combo, and we probably are crazy for having two big dogs while we have three little kids, but they are part of the family and aren't going anywhere. It's the comments about the three littles that make my heart sad. I love them so much and I want people (read: all the outspoken people around us) to love them too and see the mightiness of my God through these littles

I'm not going to lie, my hands are more than full. I have two hands and three children. Do the math! But, isn't this work worth it? There's so much more purpose in a house full of littles and a sink full of dirty dishes and a dryer full of clothes than there is in a desk full of papers. I've heard women say they feel like they are not contributing to society by staying at home and feel the need to get back in the workforce, aren't we training the workers of tomorrow? I'm trading one worker now for three (or more) workers in the future. That's a pretty important work. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Crafting

You have not heard much from me over the last few weeks because of our visitors and because I've been crafting! Sewing really. A friend mentioned recently that she loved her Mai Tei. Then, another friend mentioned a Mei Tai and I just had to check them out. Looking at the price, I thought I'd try to make one. So, while Mom was here, we went to Hancocks several times and eventually came up with this: 
Then, Mom thought she'd like one to carry Kylar around in when she watches him. (Kylar is my sister's little boy) So, we went back to Hancocks and picked out this material. We also got some material for a Daddy Mei Tai, but you'll have to wait until Albert's birthday to see his. Here is my mom's Mei Tai:

Before making either of the Mei Tais, I tried my hand at a sling. This was easy and tricky at the same time. I found a couple of websites that gave me all of the dimensions and how-to's for wearing, but I can't quite figure out how to put a liner in it and reinforce the seam. So, it's a bit patchy on the inside, but it works great for snuggling Olivia and taking care of every one else.

She is out like a light within moments of being dropped in!
A couple of months ago a friend mentioned a height chart that her MOPs group did. I made a chart a while ago, but it was pretty plain. Since we know we are moving soon and will move again at some pointe, I want to be able to take the markings with us. So, this is what the Granny's and I came up with.


This says "Grow" but the ribbon is covering the "w". I went ahead and put all of the stickers on the board so that it is ready for however many kids we have. The stickers are scrapbooking boarders. Granny Duck discovered that one!

This is Olivia's quilt. I'm not sure if I've posted it before. The colors from the stickers on the height chart match it perfectly. I think we will paint her room either a light light pink or neutral like the rest of the house (in my mind at least).
Here's the last thing I've tried out. I have never french braided my hair until last week. I've done it a couple of times now and this "hair style" seems to work great for me! It keeps my hair out of my eyes and I don't have to fix it or mess with it throughout the day. My shoulders feel like they are on fire by the time I get to the second braid, but it works out. It's not perfect, but it feels like an accomplishment!

The past few weeks

For those of you who stop by just for the pictures, today is your lucky day! I finally found the camera cord and uploaded a small glimpse of the craziness around here. Enjoy!


Boaz's big brother bike finally arrived. So, the boys helped me put it together and each tried it out. None of the pieces have fallen off yet, so I think we did a pretty good job. Boaz still needs a little practice, but he's enjoying it!

Canon has been doing an awesome job on his bike as well. He can run and pick up his feet for a moment and only falls when distracted by something else. We have managed to go to the park a couple of times without any distractions and a smooth ride!
^ I just had to share this picture. Isn't he a cutie?? I love summer and it looks like the littles do too!

^I think we are in monsoon season around here. We have had rain or clouds everyday for the last two weeks. So, while my mom was here, and it wasn't lightening, I suited the boys and myself up and headed outside to splash in the puddles. This is obviously something we need to do more often because the boys were not really sure what to do in the rain! It was a bit of a chore to get everyone, including the four legged creatures, cleaned up, but we had a really fun time!

I believe this is Olivia's 5 week picture. This is another outfit that was mine when I was a baby. Isn't she a sweety??

^We had such a special time with all of the Granny's in town. Left to Right: Albert's mom, Becky, Albert's Aunt and honorary Granny, Karla, and my mom, Cindy. I am still retraining the damage they did. :)

^Boaz was trying to eat the ladybug container and was enjoying them crawl around in the cup.

^Canon was not so thrilled to hold the cup, but looked pretty handsome!

^Sorry that Olivia is standing on her head. She was snuggled into the back of the stroller and slept through the whole thing! She did look cute though!

^We had a fun time seeing our friends and fell apart shortly after this was taken! 

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Ladybug Release

So much has been going on around here that I hardly know where to begin at filling you in. Here's a quick run-down. Albert left on a deployment about 2 weeks ago. My mom flew in the same day to meet Olivia and hang out with the boys. A week later my mom-in-law and her sister-in-law flew in to meet Olivia and hang out with the boys. A couple of days later, mom left. Then the in-laws left, and now we are lonely. We had an awesome time with all of the visitors. I did a couple of sewing projects and we all laughed a ton. These three ladies are my best helpers aside from Albert. They do everything they can to help our house run more smoothly. 

Right now we are trying to figure out how to operate on our own again. I have been battling some behavior issues and presently feel like a complete failure. With Albert being home for two months and having visitors at our house for about two weeks, it has been a while since I was the only adult around. I'd rather have two adults around! This job is hard!!! 

Today I took the kiddos to the Myriad Gardens for the ladybug release. It was pretty fun. It was a little crowded for my liking, but the plants were beautiful. Each child was given a small container with 10-20 ladybugs in it, then we were to release them onto the plants. Canon was a little creaped out by the bugs, so he gave me his container. Boaz thought he'd try to eat them. I released all of the ladybugs and was a little creaped out myself by them crawling on me. It makes my skin crawl a bit just thinking about it! We had a good time though and were able to see some friends that we hardly ever see. One thing that made me laugh was that everyone was wearing something with bugs on it. Ok, I partook in this as well. Olivia had a cute ladybug skirt and shirt on and Boaz wore a romper with bugs on it. Canon didn't have any bugs for show today. One lady had a lady bug purse and nearly every little girl had ladybugs on her outfit somewhere. It just made me laugh that all of the moms thought a like!

After the ladybug adventures, we headed to McDonald's for lunch before taking Boaz to the doctor. I'm not sure if the boys have ever had MD's before, so this was somewhat of a treat....... a totally bad for you treat. It was more a matter of convenience. We drove through and ate in the parking garage of the doctor's office. Boaz is still fighting an ear infection. He had one when Olivia was born and I'm not sure if it's ever cleared up completely. I took him in last week to discover the right ear is infected, it seems to be in the same situation today. Hopefully his little ears will clear up soon.

This afternoon we were able to play outside again. I'm not sure how I'll handle the humidity of Pensacola. It has rained pretty much every day for the last week or so, except yesterday and today. So, we just had to get outside. Yesterday morning was very muggy, but the afternoon was just warm. Today was muggy and damp the whole day. The air just feels damp. I'm not sure how well I'll handle that 24/7 but I'm sure I'll manage it better than the Oklahoma wind!

I think that's about all the rambling I have for now. Quick update on Olivia, she slept from 9:00-3:45 last night, woke up once and slept until 7:00 this morning! Maybe we aren't far from sleeping all night!