Thursday, July 31, 2008

What's Going On?

So, what has been going on with us the last few days? Hmmm...not a lot of sleeping, a bit of grumpiness due to the lack of said sleep, but all in all pretty good times. Miss Lillie has found her toes and they entertain her emmensely... look - she eats with them, she chews on them and they also make a great pacifier - everyone should be blessed with a pair of their own. Hers are constantly in the air - gives me muscle strain just watching her.

Avery has finally started eating. He is almost 3 years old and I often have to trick him into eating supper - like the mom does in the movie A Christmas Story with the little brother, Randy...remember? "Show me how the piggies eat..." It is so nice to see that he can take the initiative in keeping himself alive now...he doesn't necessarily need me to hound him to take in sustenance. Avery has most recently discovered that he has a love for bing cherries. Well you know, I have heard that that's what life is all about...

We have also had quite our share of the rain lately. Very unusual to still be getting so much so late in the summer around here (much to the chagrin of the unpaid lawn mowers...). Last week it rained over 5 inches within one morning...and yesterday it rained some more - all. day. long. The boys were getting quite a bit stir crazy and since them being crazy makes mom crazy - I sent them outside. There was no thunder, no lightning, just a steady gentle rain - they made a mess, but boy did they have fun.

Out of all the territory in which they could roam, Avery found the one small low spot in the yard and decided to help encourage the mud puddle that was beginning to create...remember boys and their mud puddles? So, you know, where the little one finds trouble, the big ones have to try it out as well.

And oh no, standing in it just would not do...
A shot of Avery trying to catch the rain with his hands and/or tongue - how can you say no to that joy-filled little face?

Huston and Isaiah got their share of the wet too - Isaiah thought his feet were quite protected in his big yellow rain boots, but "sadly" he was mistaken...

Their clothes and shoes are still trying to dry out - I had to just throw Huston's underwear away, they were so mud stained I could never view them as clean again. At least it prevented the household from climbing the to just get them to understand the importance of sleep - at least for their mother's sake...

Viewing #2...

Had a chance to continue the Shyamalan movie review last night - we watched Signs...

Again, loved it...I love it when all the pieces of the movie puzzle fit together at the end...and aliens movies don't creep me out as much as other more "worldly" things do...hope to be able to see a couple of more from the Shyamalan collection soon.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Time to Reset the Clock

Anyone know how to reset a baby's internal clock? I am ready for any expertise on the inner workings of baby time pieces. Lillie is awake at 5:00 every morning. No matter how much she eats before bed, no matter when she is laid down, and no matter how much naptime she had the day before...every morning...5:00.

This past week I have been letting her fuss it out and wait until a more "godly" hour to eat. She hasn't figured it out though - she still starts the process at 5 and fusses on and off until 7:30 or 8:00 - so not much sleep for mom during those hours. On the other hand if feed her (even a bit) at 5, she will lay right back down and sleep well for the next few hours. Which is fine, but it just feels like I'm perpetuating the 5:00 schedule. So I am beginning to think its an "eternal" clock.

So if you ever lose power and need to reset your clocks - just let me know and I will call you when Lillie wakes up - I guarantee it will be 5:00...pretty much on the dot. *sigh*

Monday, July 28, 2008

The Wedding - Part II

If you remember way back when Lillie was born, my in-laws had to catch a plane the next day to fly to Honduras to be there for my brother-in-law's wedding to sweet Honduran Carol. Well, 4 months later we had a small state-side wedding to make all the governments happy, so they could officially be viewed as married by the US government.

So here is some pictures of the small little service. It happened in my in-laws living room and my father officiated. Daniel and Carol made everyone a very nice dinner and after we ate they got hitched...again.

Some pictures for you to enjoy...

the "wedding table"

the pretty Honduran table cloth

the wedding (part II)

the official signing of the papers

and finally a few black and white shots that I took to fill a picture frame that I need to update

So they are officially married under all government Carol can make Daniel take her out for 2 anniversaries!

Check This Out

Avery took a book over to Lillie this morning and started "reading" it to her. This video is probably hard to make out (especially with Isaiah singing in the next room), but I didn't want to turn on more lights or let Avery see me film this cause he would have stopped. But he was showing her the pictures from the floor (like she could see them) and every once in awhile he would pick the book up to show her. But my favorite part of this is to listen to Avery's voice. He is talking so quietly you might not be able to make out very many words, but the tone of his voice is so high and sweet...he is talking "baby talk" to his little sister. I think that is too cute to see a 2 year old change his voice to talk to a baby.

Anyway, the read aloud of choice was Eric Carle's "A Very Hungry Caterpillar" of course...and just so you know toward the end of the book he totally distracts himself and starts singing his own song. My boys and their constant noise making! I just thought it was cute that he thought of reading a book to his sister.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

OK I'm Hooked

My new co-worker Katelyn has clued me in on the movie director M. Night Shyamalan. That's right, I have never seen any of his movies - not even The Sixth Sense, but not to worry all of that is about to change. Katelyn loaned me all of his movies that she has in her personal movie library. This afternoon I actually had a couple of quiet hours so I watched my first one - The Village. I loved it.

I am now officially hooked. I must see the rest. I have been scared of these titles because I am a visually sensitive person...if I see disturbing images (especially blood and gore) I can't escape them anymore - they are burned into my memory for quite awhile after viewing. But this one was not gory and it was intriguing - in an Alfred Hitchcock-esque manner. So I am hooked (I love Alfred Hitchcock, anything with an unexpected twist in the end is awesome).

So I will keep you posted, but as of right now consider me a M. Night Shyamalan fan.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Lots of Prayers

If you're a believer, you definitely have witnessed the power of prayer. I have discovered so many amazing families through blogging and there are quite a few that need some special prayers today. So please remember Emma, Kennedy and Tricia in your prayers. Click on their names and/or buttons to read their stories, you will truly be amazed by what they are facing and know that God can handle all of their struggles. (If you click on Kennedy's button, scroll down a bit and you will see an ABC news segment that will sum things up nicely.)

Summertime Fun

That's what we've been up to lately. We found a pool close by with $1 admission so we have made it there a couple of times with our friends, the boys have done sidewalk chalk, bikes, sprinklers and stayed at grandma's a couple of nights since she is now officially on summer vacation. (She'd been teaching summer school)

The boys look a bit hostile in this picture but I think they were just surprised by the camera...notice Huston really gets into his work...

The cheap yet entertaining sprinkler...

Here is Huston and Avery sitting down like two old men waiting for a parade...

And what would summer be without a few storms? We had a good one on Tuesday morning. The most lightning for the longest duration I have seen in quite a long time - maybe my whole life. It started in the wee hours of the morning and things were still rumbling a bit until noon. Our lights were out from 8:30a until a little after 5p - a lot of people without power around town. The boys were a bit stir crazy at first, but settled down enough to really make it through the day pretty good. Luckily the sun did not appear until the evening so it didn't warm things up to the point of being unbearably humid or hot without the a/c.

The church was fried though - lots of phones, alarms, computers, sound equipment, etc. surged by all the lightning. On my days without boys, Lillie and I went and worked over at my office a bit...the first day we pretty much goofed off cause everything was so crazy and I wasn't feeling the best, but the second day I got a lot of stuff done - so overall it evened out to be pretty productive.

Lillie got 4 shots on Wednesday, but checked out really good and healthy at her dr appointment. She has discovered her feet and often try to get them into her mouth, and she has started blowing raspberries which can be pretty funny to watch...

The doc did say that her bottom gums are full and teeth might be popping in before we know it - which if it happens within the next 3 months, she'll have all her brothers beat in that dept.

There's our update. Been taking it pretty easy and hope you all have been too.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Medical tips

Just so you know, I am a proven expert on most medical conditions....first of all I am a daughter of a nurse and former Airforce medic, and if that doesn't impress you, maybe the following "stories" will.

Ok first of all, I have recommended this product to at least 4 people within this past weekend. So I thought I should go ahead and give it a plug to all who read this blog cause obviously there are some terribly mean biting bugs flying around out there trying to get at you and your children. Well, if the bugs bite here is what you need...

It works - it really does - at least with my crew - we have a lake and a creek near our house - so the mosquitoes can be bad. If the boys get bit I put this stuff on them the moment the bite pops up and the thing is totally cleared up in just a couple of days. You can even use it on stings - Isaiah got stung by a wasp (or something) about a month ago and within hours after putting this on the site I couldn't even tell where he had been stung.

Ok, now for the more impressive story. Today my mom was clipping Lillie's fingernails - and you know how hard that job can be on a little 4 month old...well, that's right she got a little too close and snipped the top piece of skin off of her fingertip. Lillie didn't seem to mind too much but the silly cut bled and bled. She soaked two band-aids and it still wasn't stopping. So my dad pressed her little finger with kleenex and after giving it some pressure for a few minutes we attempted band-aid number three. GG had those little baby-sized band-aids so I assisted and we put one over the finger and then another one around it to make sure the dressing was snug.

So here is where my genius comes into play. I sat there holding Lillie while she hung out waiting for her finger to stop bleeding. I was admittedly a bit distracted by my boys running around and sneaking snacks, but I was sure I was keeping Lillie's finger out of harms way (namely her mouth). All of a sudden Lillie started kind of choking. If you read this blog at all you know that she is quite the drooler right now so I thought she probably just got choked up on her own spit. Well I look down and the band-aid was gone from her finger. I looked everywhere around me, GG helped me look too and we could not find those two tiny, silly little band-aids anywhere. That's right, I think Lillie ate them...but not too worry...her finger stopped bleeding. So there you go, if your child's finger will not stop bleeding simply have them swallow the band-aid instead of putting it directly on their wound. I know, I know, this story probably leaves you quite speechless of my medical savvy, but hey, that is why I feel that it is my duty to share it with you. You're welcome. ;-)

Yes, I'm Still Here

I just feel kind of blah...I don't know why but I feel like I'm missing something. You know, that feeling you get when there's something really obvious out there and you keep overlooking it again and again. Part of it is that I am constantly tired - no matter how much sleep I get - if I close my eyes for a few seconds I could so easily take a really long nap. I've always loved sleeping and have required a lot of it, but I think this fall asleep at the drop of a hat thing is a little too much right now. I also have been having a few bouts with vertigo - nothing that would impair my day to day stuff, but enough to probably need to go get it checked out. Anyway, these things combine to give me limited cognitive ability - I feel like it takes me quite a long time to make obvious connections or to remember what I was saying. I think I've had too many pregnancies and its zapped my brain cells. No matter - like I said, I can still function in society and its nothing really new - it just makes me feel worn out. It's like my friend Tammy said to me one time when she was struggling with words to complete her conversations, "Oh Jessie, I wish you knew me in college, I used to be so witty and smart, really I did."

I have also been getting sucked into the anxious motherhood game again too. I succumb to that state of mind a lot easier the more tired I am - so its not surprising that I am dealing with it right now. I can continue to be calm, laid back and content as long as I live in my little bubble and focus on the family tasks before me. But when I hear or see what other kids are accomplishing and what other moms are doing with said kids, it gives way to self-doubt and misplaced priorities within me. So then it becomes a vicious cycle. I feel bad that I am not doing what other moms are doing and then I feel bad for letting myself get sucked into the "competition" side of motherhood.

Anyway, enough of that, and now for something completely different, Isaiah was baptized last night. It was very exciting to see but a little anti-climatic believe it or not. Both Steven and Isaiah were a bit nervous, even in front of just our family and a few friends - they just don't enjoy being put on the spot. So it was very quick and definitely not the dove descending from heaven type experience, but was sweet and innocent and after having some of the conversations I have had with Isaiah the past week, it was sincere - which is all that matters! We had all of the immediate family there and one family of close friends. Kudos to my brother and sister-in-law for driving all that way with no air conditioning in their van to spend the evening with all of us.

The boys have returned from a weekend with grandma, so there is always an interesting grandma detox program after such long stays...but really, their attitudes have seemed to survive this visit more so than previous ones and are pretty good - guess they're growing up. Blah...growing up, that just shouldn't be allowed - or maybe it should - cause that's where all the adventures come from. We would get pretty bored if the gang around here stayed the same all the time. Well off to start the day with my sleepy cognitive limitations :o)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Isaiah Update

Well after about a week of talking with Isaiah off and on - both structured lessons and laid back conversation - I am very comfortable with his great big decision to be baptized. I think it will probably happen on Friday night - most of the family, and maybe a few friends that he/we might like to invite. I am so very, very proud of him. This is one of the biggest prayers I have had for him and it has been answered so faithfully.

He is such a sensitive guy - one of those that is quick to ask for forgiveness and quick to forgive others. He cries over things that us seasoned adults would never be moved by, he cares for his siblings, and really tries to make the right decisions in all he does. His heart is soft and ready for no wonder this has come, he always has been interested in studying the Bible - and even more so lately. He likes to practice his handwriting by copying verses. So those seeds are planted over and over again and they are beginning to sprout.

Yesterday when I asked him why he wanted to be baptized he answered me, "Well, it's kind of hard to put in words....when I was younger, I didn't know who Jesus was. Now I do, and I want to follow Him."

We have been studying the book 3 in 1: A Picture of God. It is such a great illustration of the Godhead...check it out if your needing help in explaining to a youngster how the three persons of God work together. I continue to pray that my Isaiah answers the same as his namesake did in Isaiah chapter 6 - "Here am I Lord, send me!" - I hope he influences others to make the same decision that he has solidly made. Yay God!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A Lillie Post

Guess who is just a few days shy of four months old already? So in honor of this milestone "birthday" this is a post of just Lillie. First some pictures...

Here she is checking things out...looking around - she is becoming very observant and now even has tried to become a bit grabby - if something is close and she thinks she can get it, she just might try to coordinate herself and get it done (she's already knocked over one of my cups of water)...

Here she is trying to eat her dress...everyone asks if she is teething cause she chews and drools constantly - I guess it's possible, but none of her brothers got teeth this early - Isaiah and Huston both broke their first tooth around 7-8 months - Avery waited until 13-14 months!

And here's miss sober face - she has very expressive eyes so even when she's not smiling she looks like she wants to tell you something.

And finally here she is when she's had enough of the pictures :o) She has such a pouty cry...

Ok, here is some illegal baby contraband...on the 4th we all were enjoying some flag cake with cool whip topping. My mom illegally slipped some of the whipped topping into Lillie's mouth and look what happened...

No wonder I craved sweets so much when I was pregnant with her - the girl has a sweet tooth already. We may be in trouble.

Finally here are a few shots of her in her Bumbo seat - she really likes sitting up big in her seat and she is really into the clasping hands phase, and a shot of her with her favorite toy right now - a little piggy whose snout is the perfect size to chew on. She also has a little elephant whose nose gets a little gnarly from all of her slobbers.

So that's our little Lillie - she sure wraps most everyone around her finger. She loves to talk and smile at whoever will pay attention to her. We are enjoying her lots and can't believe she has already been with us for 4 months!

Monday, July 14, 2008

A Trick Question

Does this room look clean?

Oh, it very well might to the untrained eye...but to the bare skinned foot it is far from clean...

this is what I collected after one minimal sweep around my living room floor. I wasn't hunting in the out of the way cracks and crevices for this dirt it was all over my floor - and 95% of it is sand!

SAND! Before I go any further let me tell you that it was my idea to put the sandbox in the backyard - the large sandbox - as my mother's day present no less. A great way to occupy the kids I thought - what a wonderful gift for everyone...well let me tell you now that this gift just keeps on giving - over and over again in gritty footsteps that when all swept together forms a huge sandhill.

Sand has become my enemy - its on my floors, in the kids beds, collecting in the closets as it falls off of the shoes and even in my kid's (AVERY!) hair. So just be warned - if you ever think about getting a sandbox - know that it will eventually come inside to haunt and torment the mother.

Monday MeMe

Just to show my stupidity I have no idea why these things are called memes...but Brook, my sis-in-law posted this one and it gives me something to talk about. I am currently listening to my boys play wipeout and Lillie is sitting in my lap drooling down my arm so I think I've got a minute.

The subject is summer camp

1. Did you go to sleep away camp, or day camp, as a child? Wish you could? Or sometimes wish you hadn't?

I went to church camp for years - from when I was three (tagging along with my "faculty" parents) until I moved to MO in my jr. high years. We would always go for a week or sometimes more - sometimes less - to Oil Belt Christian Service Camp in southern Illinois. I did enjoy the experience of going - I do have fond memories of going - but I always had terrible separation anxiety on the weeks that I was on my matter how many of my friends were there and no matter how well I new that camp!

I also did girl scout camp once or twice - but no more - that was way too out of my comfort zone. Finally in the 5th grade our teacher took the whole class camping for a night at Buzzard Bait camp - we made our own little cook stove out of a big coffee can, studied nature things and even repelled down a small "cliff" - that was a blast.

2. How about camping out? Dream vacation, nightmare, or somewhere in between?

We do go tent camping as a family just about every year. I wouldn't necessarily call it my dream vacation but it is a lot of fun. Steven and I neither one tent camped growing up so we are kind of green to it all, but we are slowly figuring things out and investing in some good equipment to make the experience that more fun. We have had our ups and downs - but the specifics of those downs will be the answer for a later is a very economical way to spend a vacation.

3. Have you ever worked as a camp counselor?

Nope, just the child of them. I would always tag along and attend weeks of camp for older age groups that my folks were counseling for - I was just the little kid that some of the girls could fuss over at times.

4. Most dramatic memory of camp, or camping out?

My most dramatic memories of church camp were when the chapel was infested with mosquitoes and they had to bug bomb it and sprayed everyone with Off before entering it...the goofy faculty singing goofy songs...playing carpet ball...having anxiety every time the mail was called cause if you got a letter you had to get up in front of everybody and do a trick to get your mail...swimming and getting dressed up for dinner...and crying when I got dropped off a couple of times.

Our most dramatic camping memories...setting up our tent at our assigned spot, 20 yards away from a railroad track - only to find out that a train does still use those tracks and one comes through at 2:30 in the morning (and it did by the way)...all of our flashlights dying one night after dark and having to use my cell phone to light our way...making Steven drive me to town to use the bathroom at the local restaurant so that I wouldn't have to use the outhouse (I have since gotten used to it, kind of)...watching Isaiah catch his first fish...coming back to the campsite to the sight of Buffalo wandering around it, eating grass - not bothering the campers...

5. What is your favorite camp song or songs?

Probably the ones we sang at church camp in the mess hall, calling people out to do stupid stuff - like ride a broom around the room or to crack an egg on their heads - you know the really spiritual ones.

Brook said she needed stories that would convince her to take their boys camping - I don't know if my stories achieve that for her - but I can truthfully tell you the the good times far out weigh the bad. So if you all have any better stories that could convince her post them on your blog and let us know - I would love to read them!

(And by the way since I started this post I have fielded 20 questions, mediated a couple of squabbles, put Lillie to bed because she was fussing and answered the phone. So that minute was very short I guess)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Huston and Lillie

Huston and Lillie are becoming quite the buds - Isaiah is definitely Lillie's protective big brother, but lately he seems to not have enough time in the day to devote to her as he did at the beginning - he loves her dearly - just more "important" things on his agenda - I have to stop and remind him to visit with his sister now. Huston has picked up where bigger brother has "slacked" (for lack of a better term)...Huston loves talking to Lillie and watching over her if I am busy with something else. Here are some pictures I took of them yesterday. Isaiah was fussing over her too for a bit, but I wasn't fast enough to get his picture - he snuck in there in the end just to be a part of the photo shoot. Anyway I think these shots are quite funny.

Lillie was obviously mesmerized by something away from the camera - and she's so sober faced in these photos...the third one is my favorite...there needs to be a caption contest for that one!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Boys and Newspapers

Well we had our first taste of a paper route this week. One of our good friends had a death in their family and had to go out of town for a couple of days - their son has a paper route so we subbed for them while they were gone. Isaiah and Huston had fun, and it was a nice experience, but I don't think it whetted our appetite to run out and sign ourselves up for a route. One thing I learned from the experience is that folks can be pretty picky about their papers!

Here are some pics of our delivery crew...

They officially have 2 routes and 55 papers to deliver - we walked one route but by the time we went back to load ourselves up for the second go around Huston was tired. So we drove the other route and the kids would jump out of the van to deliver the papers - luckily it was a very quiet neighborhood so we could get away with doing that safely.

The boys are officially obsessed at the moment with the program Wipeout. We caught the program at my in-laws one evening and all boys, especially Avery fell in love. We found out they show the episodes on-line - so the kids have been able to keep up with it and now stage their own wipeout obstacle courses in their bedrooms (minus the mud and water of course). Avery has had a few crashes that have followed with tears, but for the most part (so far) no permanent damage. Now just so you know, I have stopped them on several occasions - but they always return to the "fun" - so I haven't broken them of it yet...and if no "harm" has come - it's pretty tough to convince them that they need to find another game.

(See the cushions act as the big red bouncy balls that are in the program...)

Lillie was a good spectator - she thought they were doing a great job and just laughed, I think wanted to join in the action - she kept kicking and straightening out her legs like she was ready to go...

Finally Isaiah is still wanting to be baptized - it wasn't a random thought - so I got some material from church to go over with him...on the way to pick it up Huston asked what we were doing...Isaiah answered, "We getting stuff about being baptized so I know what I'm getting myself into." ;o) I thought that was pretty cute.