Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year Hannah!!!

I have to blog, I have to declare to the world my promise, my miracle that I now hold in my hand.I have to remember, never forget where I was a year ago, where God sheltered me and loved me amidst a very depressing and despairing time. Have you ever had a dream, a dream that only felt to fragile to hold, a dream that others seemed to obtain without any trying, a dream that you felt, realistically, would never come to fruition. If you have known me long, you know my desire for a big family goes back to when I was 10. I used to sit with my friend Sarah, who now is expecting her first, and play "fake families" for hours. We would sit and write lists of names on the computer and pretend that they were all our kids or brothers and sisters. We played and made story after story, hour after hour. My families had no less than 10 kids, normally two sets of twins and my desire grew and grew for a large family. Then, every book I read had large families,  Cheaper By the Dozen, Those books by Ann M Martin where every sibling's first name started w/ Abbie, Bainbridge, Calandra, Dagwood, Edward...haha...I can't believe I can remember them all! Caddie Woodlawn, etc....then there was the movies!!! Mine Ours Yours!!!!! OHmigosh I watched that movie so many times. It was made in the 70s , no less, but it was family had 8 kids the other had 10 and they combined and had one of their own. I could hardly stand it! I wanted a large family of my own. I envied people, growing up, who grew up in large families and always felt that the more the merrier.

As I started high school, I went from wanting 7 kids, down to five...and there it stayed and has remained. However, last fall/winter when I went through two miscarriages in a row and then my episode on New Years Eve night with Hannah, I felt that my dreams that I had agonized about would only be, but that, a dream.

I will never forget sitting down at the computer around 9pm at night, talking with my Mom on the phone and getting ready to do some work for a job that I have, feeling so incredibly sick with "morning/afternoon/night" sickness and all of a sudden feeling a warm release, looking down and seeing gushing of dark, crimson blood on my brand new PINK Victoria Secret sweatpants. I said through clenched teeth to my Mom, " I'll call you back". What happened next, brings instant tears to my eyes at the pain that I went through. I staggered to the bathroom as the sudden loss of large amounts of blood made me shake, feel nauseated, light headed and tingly. Everywhere I went I dragged large amounts of blood with me, I couldn't stop. I layed on the floor of the bathroom screaming, crying and wearily phoned Ben to come home, as he was at work. I knew if I got up I would faint and was afraid of hitting my head on the bathtub so I layed there. I have never felt more alone, more in despair and angry than I did at that moment. Days earlier, I had seen my baby's heartbeat on the monitor, days earlier after a some spotting, my fears were relieved and I was able to move forward with the pregnancy as I saw that baby was doing well. Why was on the floor of the bathroom now? Why did my bathroom look like a murder scene. What is this feeling??!!! as my uterus started contracting!!! Why!!! Why is this happening!!!!!!! I sat on the toilet screaming out to God, sobbing- " Why is this happening, make it stop!! You can make it stop! Why won't you??! You know my heart, why can't you stop this!!!" and my uterus continued to contract. The thing with labor pains is after they are over, you are holding a baby- it's worth it. The problem with this is I was in labor, I had the most excruciating labor pains and my body was expelling my baby, and there was nothing I could do to stop it at 8.5 weeks pregnant! My dreams were shattered, I was numb, I buried my face in my shirt and screamed into it as each labor pain grew intensely worse. Finally, I stumbled over to the bed, Ben had just gotten home and had picked up the strongest aspirin possible to take, something you can't take when you are pregnant, and I numbed my remaining feelings with a pillow, a hot pad and aspirin. There I slept.

The next day, New Years Day, I felt empty. I felt sick. I felt alone. For the next few days, I sat, in my pajamas, watched tv, sat in a chair outside with the kids and sat, I did not feel. I did not talk to God. I sat.

Finally, after the love and prayer of so many, I turned on the song that had been my theme song since my first miscarriage in August, " The Desert Song" my Hillsong and i listened, and I began to cry, and I felt the Holy Spirit begin to slowly heal my broken heart, my broken dreams. I just cried.

On January 4, Ben and I dropped off the three kids at a friend's house and drove to our midwife's office. Wow, why did it seem like everyone in the world, but me was pregnant?! They called our name back and we sat, in the sterile room, in silence. The midwife came in and she was compassionate, and motherly and I stuffed my emotions down inside, and hit them under a veil of anger. I layed on the table and gave her our baggy of what we felt was our baby's frozen remains. She said she wouldn't do testing on it, that it was too expensive and asked if I wanted to throw it away? I lost it, throw it away?? That is my baby! How can I just throw it away??! I started sobbing. Then she said, " Oh honey, let's do the utlra sound." So I layed in that sterile room, with Ben who had his own emotions, with a midwife who I would no longer get the opportunity to work with for the next 7.5 months and despair overflowing out of my heart. She wanted to do a regular ultra sound, I was adamant, " NO. If there is anything you will not be able to see it as last week when I came in to see if I was still pregnant, after the spotting, the baby was hiding in the depths of my uterus, in the secret place she/he was hiding and was barely reachable by the vaginal ultra sound. " So, she agreed to my demands and did the other ultrasound. Tears, streaming out of my eyes, looking away from the screen , I sat there numb.

Then, I will never forget what follows, under the sterile lights, in the sterile room, with an empty silence, the midwife said, " Look! That is the cutest little snowman I have ever seen!" and there, on the screen, in all it's glory was my beautiful baby, with a beautiful heartbeat, and stubby arms, and eyes, and a little head, and she/he was there and perfect and with a STRONG heartbeat~ my heart lept inside of me, I cried, I was numb again but with being stunned. What was going on? How? ! She printed the picture and I clutched it and the name God had given me just a few days ago, " Salome Rafia" - Peace Jehovah Heals, ran through my heart.

I could hardly call people, those who had walked with us, threw our pain, our sadness, only to say " She is alive!" Do you know how that feels? To have that which you though was lost, given back to you? I can hardly describe the's immeasurable, it's's miraculous! God gave me a picture, it was His large, strong hand, clutching around my dear Hannah, she was in his palm and his strong fingers surrounded her, there she remained as my body tried relentless for hours to expel her, to wash her life out before she even had a chance to take a breath. But God is FAITHFUL! He who has called you is Faithful! He preserved her life, HE is her rescuer, her fortress, My God in whom I trust. He rescued her in a way that I never could, He reached down and took hold of her life and said, " Not now, no way." and he clutched her because He loves her. Thank you God for Hannah, thank you for her life as a miracle, a testimony, daily to your how life will NEVER seem the way we planned it, it will never go the way desired it, but Jesus you are faithful and I cling to that. Thank you, Jesus...I have so much to be thankful for!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Sleep Deprivation


For whatever reason, my dear Hannah seems to be the one who feels the need to eat two times a night and that's when she is feeling well. On Christmas Eve, she came down with a sudden fever and began throwing up around 10:30pm. She probably threw up for a solid hour and it broke my heart to see her flushed cheeks, burning hot head and body cry like that. After she had settled that part down I rocked her in the complete darkness and felt her sweaty, hot body relax in my arms. Wow, there is nothing that will ever be more rewarding than being able to calm and relax your child. I felt complete and scared for her all at the same time. I can handle the occasional cold and throw up however, with her being 5 months, that's just too small for me. So , I layed her down in her bassinet next to me and then around 1:30am she was awoken with constant coughing, so again, we went into the living room and rocked, back and forth, back and forth and fell asleep out there. Waking up with a complete neck spasm, stumble back to bed.......ah, yes, this has gone on for the past 4 nights- this past night being the best- and I mean that in a very positive way.

Hannah's fever has subsided, thank you Jesus and her cold is slowly dwindling. She is my cuddler, she has to feel me and then she'll sleep so peacefully. I don't mind this, at all when I CAN sleep....but my problem is, when I am woken up so much throughout the night I have a very difficult time falling back asleep- ie: a normal two hour gap invades my sleeping routine.

Two nights ago was the hardest, she was coughing so much, so congested, there was nothing I could give her and she just was we rocked and we prayed and we cuddled and then we fell asleep. I woke up, walked to the bassinet, layed her down, fell back asleep and besides Austen asking if he could watch a movie, the kids fended for themselves on vitamins, water, saltine crackers, mint gum and the Aristocats. Who said kids need parents? Mine seem to manage just fine! I slept until 830 am and that was exactly what I needed to catch up on all the every 2 hour wake up calls due to my sick little Hanns.

It's crazy how when you become a parent, you don't "mind" getting up. Don't get me wrong, I ask Ben all the time when he is going to take me away on a secluded vacation with only him and I.....hopefully soon! But, when I think that a year ago tomorrow I almost lost my sweet little Hannah I would get up ever two hours for the rest of my life to comfort her in only the way a mama can, if I could just have her. I praise God she is feeling better, smiling and sucking on her fingers now with her temporary decongestant nose breathing in and out thanks to the blue bulb syringe.....but I wouldnt' trade my life for anything and someday I'll be able to sleep as long as I want- so for now, I will comfort.

Rainy Days!!!

Yesterday. Comfort. Cold. Blustery, Rainy. Cozy.Games. Hot Cups of Joe. Cold Cups of Chocolate. Laughing. Spilling Coffee Over Said Favorite Game. Brisk Walk With The Girls. Pitter. Patter. Listen To The Rain Song in My Head.

This Morning. Listening. Loud Droplets of Rain Pelting the Window. Relaxing Day. Yes.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Our Christmas Tree

This year, Christmas has been pretty interesting. I have had a really hard time getting into it. Whether it be from the barrage of people looking at our home, to the 80 degree weather each day or the fact that I'm 3 lbs away from my pre pregnancy weight and don't want to mess that up with millions of sweet things in the house; I'm not sure. However, I do realize this is Hannah's first Christmas and nevertheless, I still want to celebrate it. I just haven't been feeling it this year. Ben pointed it out that I"m not in my usual Christmas music listening, decorating mood and it's true. We are doing advent, which I feel is for us the most important part. So that's going well and the kids are learning a lot. Even Moriah, I love how Ben asks her a questions and she'll go " betuz" ( because). :) I have a wreath on the wall and a Nativity scene that was moved from the coffee table to my dining room table only to fall victim, yesterday of a squishy ball flying through the air and now a donkey has one ear instead of two. Ah, two pieces to fix this year. I went to the library to find a Christmas cd and found one so I have started playing that more often and ironically my Christmas shopping has been complete for weeks. I keep getting asked what I want for Christmas, and truly I don't know. I am very content. Yes, I would be more than ecstatic to move, but as far as the day to day I am so content. The mere fact that I have the privilege of holding Hannah every day as filled my Christmas wants for eternity. Thank you God for healthy children!

However, two days ago, we decided to go out and "hunt" down our latest Christmas tree in the woods of Walmart. You know, if you can't cut it down than who cares where it comes from! I only feel connected to this tree due in part that we were just in Oregon and that's where all the trees down here are shipped from. So with the 80 degree sun scorching our back we walk through the sliding doors and head left towards the garden center. As we entered, there she stood- alone, full of beauty ( despite a few dried branches) and smelling of the sweet Douglas fir scent with a 50% off price tag on her, we'll take her. The netting man was on break so we bought our dinner to make at home and then returned 15 min later to take her home.

Ben shook her out at home, she stands about 6 feet tall and we kept it simple. While I made egg rolls, Ben situated the tree in its stand and retrieved the lights. We strung the colored lights on the bottom for the kids and the white ones on top for us. Ben plugged the lights in and Austen excused himself from the table, walked over to three with his Children's Place stripped sweater on and red big boy pants and stood there, his hands clasped behind his back staring, smiling silently, The look on his face was beautiful, his round cheeks stretching as his smile grew and grew the more he admired our new found tree. This look melted my heart and brought tears to my eyes, I would do anything for my children.

No ornaments this year. It is a week before Christmas and I just do not feel like putting up all of our ornaments only to take them down within a week. The star has yet to be put on and that's ok. Christmas music is beginning to play throughout the day and I feel truly content. I have my family, more than I could ask for and I have Christ- amidst all my imperfection I feel overwhelmed that it's because of our imperfection, not perfection that He came to us. Praise God!

The kids have been asking to do a gingerbread train this year, so hopefully that'll be on the agenda this week, sometime, as well as a small batch of Christmas cookies to get us through the week. We may even celebrate Christmas morning on Christmas Eve morning this year as Ben works all Christmas day. Nevertheless we will still have a beautiful array of hor dourves on Christmas Eve, continue with our advent, listen to Christmas music and celebrate. Merry Christmas and if anything I've learned from this year, it's not about all the traditions that normally take place or from all the things that need to be done because sometimes, well, you just have an off's about remembering the Savior who came that we might be saved, amidst all of our wretchedness. God, that I might have a childlike love for you always, thank you, just thank you!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Bra Flaps?

 Wow! I cannot believe how much has happened in the lives of my children since I last blogged. Nothing earth shattering but wow, I need to be more consistent....WHY DO I NOT HAVE ENOUGH TIME!?????

Anyways, I shared this story with a couple of you already and felt the hillarious embarassment to share it with anyone else who has been there or to anyone who dare not tred in my fretted waters. Two days ago, I had to bring the three older kids to a friend's house so we could go to Ben's Christmas party on the other side of, I left about 25 minutes early to stop at a store to quick buy a shirt. You know how the, " Ohmigosh I have NOTHING to wear" syndrome. Yes, I fall prey to that each and every time something special comes up. Sooo, I quick got Jayden, Austen, and Moriah in the car and rushed to the store. Quickly , I said, ' you guys, hurry up with me . I have to quick pick out a shirt, don't ask to look at toys, stay with me, walk fast." ( Big joke with three young children, I know). So I search, search, search getting frantic and my mind is spinning. Found two cute shirts and ran, with the kids in tow to the check out lane only to see that I had cut in front of everyone else, excused myself from the front of the line, went to the back, checked out, frazzled, ran to the car, got the kids in the car, dropped the kids off, speeding home and looked down.

Let me paint you a picture, I am wearing a white shirt, I have sparkled blue and silver stripped shoes on, I have one solid pink sock and one plaid pink sock, I have one HUGE dangley earring in as the other one has been removed earlier in the day to talk on the phone and never replaced and oh, HELLO, both of my bra FLAPS from nursing Hannah had never been returned to their proper place and had been left down, under my white shirt.

Dear Jesus, help me because I obviously have displayed to the world what flashing looks like in a nursing mothers world but also that not only can I not dress myself and prepare myself properly for the rest of society, but I should remain in seclusion until I am able to do so. Take heed, learn from me; do not try this on your own!

Front Pictures, Images and Photos

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Thankful for my Family

The Brain

The other day, as we were driving home from bible quiz, Jayden asked me if he had exercised his "cerebrum" today. I was laughing because yes, indeed he did form answering all those crazy bible quiz questions that impress me each time as the kids study hard and buzz in to be the first to answer. Jay got 2nd place at his first meet and 4th at this one yesterday. Good Job Jayden! I had someone watch Riah and Austen so Hannah and I could concentrate and cheer lead for Jay. It worked out really well.

We are wrapping up our study of the human body and all of its systems. We will still be focusing on cooperation but will spend a week on bees! I am really looking forward to this change and getting some new books from the library. We will be making a model using a flour and salt mixture of hte brain, baking it and painting the different parts. Jayden used playdough to create a model of the brain as well and it turned out really cute. I will post a picture. Austen is learning to read words that use -at, and has read the first 2 BOB books slowly and successfully!!! School is really going smoothly around here. We stay really busy with all the different activities. Have I mentioned how much I love KONOS??? :) I can't stop saying it! I am looking for a cool hymn supplement to teach the history behind the hymns and their composers, etc. Jayden has a few more lessons in Saxon 2 and we have already started his supplement math book. Austen is just doing real life math activities and that seems to suite him just fine :)

Yesterday, as I was pumping gas, I looked at Jayden slurping his peppermint mocha, decaf frappuccino in the backseat and he blew me a kiss....goodness, I love that boy! All the kids are napping and I'm searching for Christmas gifts for them online. Austen really, REALLY wants playmobil and loves the knight and castle set so I'm seeing what I can find...but might just end up going to Toys R Us to buy it and skip the shipping part...however, I truly want to do this before Black Friday as my mom is coming in and 4 kids and crowds sounds INSANE!

We are trying, this year, to really be purposeful on the gifts that we give them. To give them what they truly want and can play with and not overwhelm them with a bunch of "stuff".....will the tree be full of gifts , of course, but just not so much stuff...I have decided I would rather spend more on one thing than buy 10 things that they didn't need for the same price....What are your techniques for Christmas shopping for kids?

Frusteration and Faith

Yesterday, I kinda had a freak out moment. I found out , a few days ago, that the people who put our one and only offer in our home can no longer purchase it and the feelings of being suffocated and trapped immediately consumed me and my thoughts. I am a pretty passionate person. To say that I feel like burning down wall street and all of the selfish and greedy men and women who put us all into this housing crisis, is an understatement. Part of me, wants to go back to work for like 4 years straight, work full time , save that money and  pay cash and a "screw you" to all the banks, lenders, etc. If you can't handle my honesty, stop reading- this is my blog.

Anyways, yesterday was a super busy day of driving an hour north of us so Jayden could do his bible quiz competition. He did great and pretty much kept my mind off of our home. Then we get home and my mind immediately zeros in on what is going on. I get frustrated, angry, and feel completely helpless. Why should we have to stay in 1100 sq feet with 4 children ??? Don't get me wrong, foreclosing to me means nothing to me anymore. I could careless. We are simply trying this avenue of selling to say we literally tried everything. Anyways, I get home and start researching. How many times have I gotten myself into trouble by "researching" instead of praying. I feel like this past year has been filled with so much frustration, heartache and joy. How does that happen?? Soooo, I go to sleep and my dreams are all filled with people taking things from me, again, a sign that I'm not praying but rather dwelling on something i cannot change. Why does God feel the need to reveal Himself , to us, in these ways??? That is my biggest question. It has always been like this and I told Ben last night, I'm getting sick of it. I am sick of "others", in my opinion, getting free handouts, blah, blah, blah.....Ben told me that I'm, he's right.....

Today at church, I'm sitting in the nursing room with my dear miracle....again, a miracle and breakthrough that happened when I thought the situation couldn't have looked any darker or more bleak and the visiting pastor was talking about thanksgiving in uncertain times, with uncertain outcomes, etc...I felt that my heart attitude, as of late, has been very critical, angry and bitter. I felt that in order for me to make it through this seeming less impossible situation I needed to change, I am writing this verse on my refrigerator:

1 Thess 5:16-18 "Rejoice always; 17pray without ceasing; 18in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus"

Ephesians 5:20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 5:4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.
Colossians 3:17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

So, here is my honesty and my frustration. I do not feel fine but I chose to believe, I do not feel that this siatuion will ever change, but I chose to have faith in a God who is Faithful and who is working behind the scenes. I cannot tell you how this will turn out, but I believe that God, with our faith in him, will guide us through this. We have always given our finances to God-for me, I am someone who like to plan, when there is no plan, I struggle with that. So God, I'm letting go, free my mind from my anxious thoughts, my out of control feelings, my anger towards unknown faces and allow me to believe and have faith that you have not forgotten me and know our needs before we even ask. Amen.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Valentines Day Card

Yesterday, Ben gave me a valentine's day card. It's a really long story, he's had it since Valentine's day, just never gave it to me. Please don't start feeling sorry for me, ok you can :) Just kidding. I wanted to post this because I wanted to brag on him a little bit.I don't think he reads my blog....he doesn't really need to; I inform him of every up and coming story that breaks in our family immediately ,but if he ever did....Ben, I love you!

Ben washing bird poo out of my hair in Florida

We have been together for almost 13 years, almost 8 married and I have to say, it truly does get better and better. You finally get over the "perfect" stage and start seeing that it's God's grace to us, that we extend to others that makes us fall more and more deeply in love. How can you live without grace? I love how , last night, the kids were dying of laughter as Ben was laying on the couch with Hannah and her wet, sweaty, stinky little feet standing on his head. Ben, talking in a peculiar sort of way ( we do that a lot around here), was having her slide her feet down his head, over his eyes and on his nose. The other three kids couldn't get enough of him doing that! Jayden was throwing his body back and forth, doubled over laughing so hard, Austen was shaking and Moriah was crinkling up her little nose, lips pursed together and laughing :) It was the funniest scene, and it blessed me. Why? Because my family means more to me than anything and my husband means more to me than anything. I am thankful for him and how he supports me, how he looks out for me and how he TRULY cares about me. I will be at the store and he'll call just to make sure I'm safe or ok. He feels so torn between everything in his life but puts his family first and says "no" to countless offers of getting together with friends, just to be with us. Benjamin is extremely hardworking, never calls in sick and has so much integrity. ( Jayden reminded me of Ben when we were at the airport in Oregon and Jay was freaking out because the sign "said" no one over 42 inches could play in the play structure, and he was over AND he was playing). I am just so thankful for Ben, for him in my life and in our children's lives. He loves me and takes care of me and appreciates me. I love him and am so blessed by him. The other day, just rocking Hannah in the chair in our living room, I was almost brought to tears thinking of how this was the age that I had to go back to work with Jayden, and Austen was only 6 weeks old. Words cannot describe how I would rather sacrifice so many material things, to stay home with our children. I am so thankful that this was important to Ben even before it was to me, pre marriage. I love you Benjamin and our lives will never be the same, you are so loved and thank you that you give me valentine's cards in November...and it's ok, because you show me everyday how in love you are with me. I love you.


Lately, in our Konos lessons we have been learning about cooperation. We are still on the human body and still studying the nervous system. Each day, we read a portion of scripture about unity, cooperation, etc. Well, lately we have been reading about unity and this passage, in particular:

1Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, 2with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, 3being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Ephesians 4:1-3

I have felt that this is a particularly fitting passage for our family, especially me, to remember to be patient , calm and loving even when I do not feel like it. The hardest thing, I think  about being a parent sometimes is to exhibit what we try to teach your children and how you try to train them. " Use a gentle response Jayden" but then I use an exasperated response....." Be patient Austen"  , but then I'm not patient. I am praying lately that God will continually work these things in and out of me for " Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks"- wow, may I be a constant example of Christ's love and not a pharisee where I run my mouth all day but show no evidence of the fruit of the Holy Spirit. I am encouraged by these verses because I take them to heart. I truly want to be remembered as a mama who was loving, patient, firm, and gentle....I know that I will accomplish this all through the Holy Spirit....but it is a constant laying down. 

Yesterday, I put Hannah in her crib, on her tummy with a mirror toy in front of her so she could have some play time, away from the constant "shifting" floor and sea of legs of my other children. I actually kinda forgot she was in there because she was so quiet. About 20 minutes later, I went in to check on her and she was laying on her back, quietly playing with the little dangly toys that were on the mirror. It was so precious. I just want to remember her, laying there looking intently, out of hte corner of her eyes at the fallen mirror, quietly and perfectly content. She has been so much fun lately. The kids and I have this running joke of " Miss Hannah Prim and Proper". It all started when all the kids were in their pajamas at dinner but Hannah was still in her dress, a green one with white daisies on it, and just the look she was emanating at the table, was cracking me up. She looked so proper as I placed her on the edge of the table and it was like she was lounging. Her arms, remind me of an obese women's arms or at least of a very elderly woman's arms as they are very round, loose and saggy :) But she was just look at the kids and so I decided to give her " an air" about her as she corrected the way Austen talked with food in his mouth, Jayden sat on his knees. She was given a very poor British, Mother Goose type accent ( if you can imagine) and would say, " Hellooo, I am Miss Prim and Proper Hannah, you need to get your feet off your seat, that is not prim and proper like me"- and the kids would just crack up and, even Riah requests, " Hannah do prim and proper??". I have given this little 3.5month old a personality all her own :) 

So yesterday, we were all sitting in the girls' room and getting ready to go work out when Jayden, walking around with a joke book, started telling Hannah some knock knock jokes.... " Hannah , Knock knock" " Who's there?" ( keep the British voice going), " Andrew" " Aundrewww, who??" " Andrew a picture in the car" ....then the best part of it all, I gave Hannah a hearty, deep, British laugh..... " HA, HA, HA" :) The kids just fell over laughing so is this little lady, with this laugh coming " out of her" and she is bouncing up and down. It was soo we did it all day. Oh, Hannah, we love you :)

Finally, yesterday in school I ended up just working with Jayden because we were getting ready for our lego club. We did Konos and did some "neurotransmitter" activities. It was kinda cool as it explained how who have a transmitter that is received by the dendrite, given to the axon to send out to the next neuron's dendrite ( I think I have that right)...anyways, we used a domino as our transmitter and left hand as our dendrites and right as our axons ( phew, give me so literature!!!). Then we started working on his " Math for Gifted Students" workbook. I love this series, they sell them at Barnes and Nobles for like $9. We are almost done, like we have 10 lessons left in his Saxon 2, but I don't want to move him on yet partly because he's only 6 and also because I want to make sure he truly understands everything we have just, I buy this book because it has amazingly challenging, yet cool ways to practice what he has learned without pages, and pages of uses real life applications, and, I decided to start it a little early since I'm pretty bored of saxon 2....everyone says by 4/5 it gets better...anyways, we also worked in our language arts and practiced bible quiz...He has a competition this Saturday. That was pretty much it.

I'm pretty excited to work with Austen on his kgd SSRW as he is learning to read!!! He can read and put together many 3 letter "at" words and it's so much fun! I am bringing out our BOB books and just working with him. My goal for Austen this year is exposure, to watch, to see how he learns, I bought him a Kumon maze book the other day, his face was so delighted it just blessed my heart, he even asked for a "school" book for Christmas. The boy loves to learn, and I want to keep that going. I love you Austen!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Good Morning

Well, I am making myself write this morning because I need a moment to "wake up". I was awaken by little knocking by 3 different children last night, Riah wet through her sheets....that's what towels are for until the morning, Austen was cold-yet had blankets surrounding him, Jayden wanted to cuddle and that doesn't count the times that Hannah woke up and was hungry for a 2 second snack and kept gently kicking me in my stomach, grunting and moving. What restful night! The crazy thing is, I had dreams yet they were those dreams where they are so strange and crazy that you know you aren't sleeping hard because your brain is working too hard to figure them out.

Right now, Hannah is laying on my bed, staring at the ceiling fan and talking to herself, " au-au=au". She has such a dainty little voice. The other kids are suppose to be eating breakfast in the kitchen by their squeels sound a little bit more than just eating breakfast. I have already changed Moriah's diaper and still need to tackler her bed. I am sitting here with my hot apple cider and enjoying some  solitude amdist the constant interruptions. I am looking forward to sewing today....something that sparks a whole other side of my brain , and I actually feel these connections! Its like a part of me that has been dormant for awhile, not sure. I am really trying to be purposeful on my quest of trying to be a great mama and wife to make sure that "me" is also exercised and learning new things. I feel that I have accomplished that, thus far. But the night is young, my dear friend.

Working out to me, is more than just a fun little task that needs to be done each, it's way more. It's a challenge to me and to my body and to my lifestyle that I will stay in shape, regardless of how busy. Why? Because at the end of the day, it'll be me and my body and if I let it go and eat like junk and do not take care of it, how am I suppose to be a better wife and mama and not prolong the life that God has graciously given to me to live? I mean wouldn't it be better to do crazy stunts or fly across the Pacific, something I'm actually scared to do because I have kids, than to slowly kill myself with horribly fattening, sugary foods? I'm just saying, I'm not perfect at this-as far as the sugary foods, but I"m trying to get better, a lot better. Please pray for my diligence in this as I could use the encouragement :)

Well, I have now, four kids, in the room with me-Jayden talking to me about netflix and veggie tales, Austen standing in his big boy pants and complaining that he is freezing, Moriah laying so sweetly next to Hannah and sucking her thumb and Hannah just cooing away at Moriah. We have someone looking at our home tomorrow, which means we need to clean it today and tomorrow....and to be honest, I'm pretty tired of cleaning it to that level. I found a home, that I am in love with but we cannot do anything until the short sale is done and then again not for another 3-6 months because we were 2 weeks late with our July payment. Even though we had on time payments the entire rest of the , it looks like we will have 2 moves.....we'll see....well, I need to go help four children for all four different reasons...but I feel blessed and thankful, for I have children that are happy and healthy...and for that, I am truly blessed!

Friday, November 12, 2010

The battle has only begun

For The Life Of Our Children

God, I pray for the life of my children, for the life of the children....Children are a blessing from God, they are the delight of the Father. Father God I pray for peace and strength on how to know how to fight this battle, this war that is raging against the unborn, the miscarried, the children...Father God, my heart is burdened, angry, hatred for the deceiver runs through my veins and I declare war against him, Father God. Give me the strength to fight, bring out the daughter that you have created to fight this battle. Father God, this is war! I will not stand by idly and watch as children are being taken with sickness, perversion, abuse, in the name of Jesus I declare war against satan. God, I pray protection for my children, in Jesus name....the blood of Jesus, I plead over them, cover them from their head to their toes, I pray against the demons of perversion, abuse, deceit, drug addiction, alchol, depression in the name of Jesus, I bind , in Jesus name, those demons and I pray Father God YOUR power to fight, your power to battle. Do not allow my spirit to rest with complacency Father God but give me a steadfast, hardcore prayer life, one that the enemy shakes when I start to talkin' and I start to walkin' and my speech gets faster and my heart starts beating....I pray the enemy trembles because I believe in YOU, Father God...I believe in your restoration, your wholeness and I will not sit back! NO! I will not sit back! God this is a generation under attack are raising Giant Slayers, you are raising young boys and girls to slay the giant and in the name of Jesus I pray protection!!!!!!! Protect my children and their minds and their lives, protect them from anyone that would seek to hurt them, IN THE NAME OF JESUS! I pray for discernment, I pray for wisdom....God, grant this to me I pray....I can never, will never think that I can successfully raise, train and pray for my children without your grace and wisdom and strenght....God, when I think that almost a year ago my daughter, your daughter was almost taken from me by the enemy and Lord who showed me a picture of my womb contracting, back and forth, back and forth and your hand around the period size life of my daugther Hannah-My favor, grace and prayer.....God, you who called the world into motion, who walked this earth as a man and brought heaven to earth, God we claim dominion and promise over our children, this generation.....God, raise up my children to be strong leaders, NEVER followers....God place your hand upon Austen, Lord raise him up for mighty, exalted things in your kingdom. Lord his spirit is tender, protect that, protect his health I pray Health over him. Holy Spirit, I pray for Moriah, in the name of Jesus I pray against any spirit of defiance and rebellion in the name of Jesus, I pray Father that her spirit would be so full of grace, love and gentleness that her character and presence, the presence of you would walk before her. For Jayden, in the name of Jesus, raise up a mighty, mighty man of God. Give him intellect and understanding, Father God -Jehovah has heard is seeking you, open his eyes to you, who Jayden who he is in YOU. God I pray for my friends and their friends that are being attacked through their own children's battles, whether it be miscarriage, disease, rebellion, in the name of Jesus I pray for healing, hope, restoration and peace ......Lord, equip the parents to fight this battle with power, your power....God, bring us to our knees.....Lord, you are a God of LIFE never death, I pray against the spirit of death, death of a dream, death of life, death of body....In your name Jesus, I pray LIFE.....Protect Jesus- I pray a spiritual boundary over my home, in the name of Jesus, let no ungodly thing enter, I pray Ben and I will be constant gatekeepers to our children's eyes, ears and hearts...may we never stop, may we never give into the social norms and desensitized.....God open our eyes to the battle that wages around us....for our battle is not against flesh and blood but against the principalities of darkness...." But the Lord is faithful, who shall establish you, and guard you from the evil one ." 2 Thess. 3:3....." 23(AQ)The steps of a man are established by the LORD,
         And He (AR)delights in his way.
    24When (AS)he falls, he will not be hurled headlong,
         Because (AT)the LORD is the One who holds his hand."-Psalm 37:23-24

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Yesterday, we ushered in a new system of the body,the nervous system! For those of you who don't know, science is very interesting to me but it's the one subject where I actually have to really TRY to understand it. Most subjects, ie: music, history, geography,art literature come rather easy to me but my boys love science so I really work hard at integrating it and bringing it to challenging as that is for me. I"ve always thought about going into the medical field so I guess this could be good preparation. Anyways, awhile back, I found this amazing website , it is called Neuroscience for kids. I am using a ton of their hands on experiments and ideas to full understand, at our little 6 and 4 year old levels, haha, the nervous system. I highly recommend this site as there are so many cool ways to discuss and talk about it. There are different activities that are applicable to different age groups as well. After the nervous system, we have the endocrine system and then I will be moving onto bees. Our character trait under all of this is Cooperation and we have been reading in the bible, daily, about unity, Paul in the bible as our example, as well as the verses about we are all One body but different parts. It's been a lot of fun and I am really surprised at how playdough, pipe cleaners, fake blood, etc. can all lead such lasting impressions and retention on my boys young minds.

Yesterday we created neurons with playdough and pipe cleaners. I was laughing at myself as I had to read, and reread, and reread again what axons do-the send messages and dendrites-receive, and who has the long arms-the axons and the short-dendrites...yes, I am learning this all too! but I guarantee you I won't forget it this time, hopefully not :) You never know, I may just be a spinal surgeon in the next 10 years? We then did an activity where we learned about how complex the sending and receiving messages are but making two columns with 10 dots per column and using different colored crayons to do a dot to dot from the first dot in the left column to all the other dots in the right and then repeat with the second dot in the left column to all the other dots in the right. Phew, I'm tired :)

We then finished up with language arts and called it a day as we went to a friend's house to make yummy caramel apples with all sorts of fun toppings. The boys covered theirs in coconut, chocolate chips, sprinkles and drizzled chocolate. Yummm! The kids then all played outside together while the mamas enjoyed some much needed company. What a great day!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

just a few of over 500 pictures we took on our past Sedona and Oregon trips


Wow! We had a great time in Sedona. We had a slow start getting out of the house, only because check in was not until 4 pm and there wasn't a whole lot of sense driving up early when the kids needed naps, etc. So, we waited until about 2 pm and headed up. The boys did great in the car, the kept busy with books and stuffed animals and their cars , ie: gps"es". Hannah did pretty well too. She cried hard until just north of Phoenix and then we stopped at Starbucks and I fed her and she did her instant smile after coming out from the darkness of my hooter hider, so, we were good :) Moriah did well too on the ride up. She is really into reading the Beatrix Potter Peter Rabbit books lately. The hard part is, she has made up her own version of them so if you try to read her the books she gets upset because you are not " reading the words".

We arrived around 430, almost 5, to the most amazing resort. When we opened the door we were met by calming brown colors, a fireplace, a view that was magnificent of the Red Rocks, granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances, a beautiful master bedroom with a door that opened up to a balcony and a jacuzzi. We instantly felt relaxed and excited for a mini weekend get away. We made egg rolls and a Chinese meal for dinner that night, relaxed with the fire and played Slamwich.

The idea of the game is to build a sandwich together but if you get a "muncher", " stop thief" or "slamwich" you have to slap the deck as fast as you can to collect your cards. Ben and I were laughing so hard because Austen is so competitive that he would get a "stop thief" card and cautiously look at it before placing it down and then immediately yell " stop thief" before anyone even had a chance to see the card. Hmmm, playing fair? I think not. Sooo, Austen had a few turns where he had to put his "stop thief" cards at the bottom of the pile. All in all, our first night was great. After the kids were in bed we enjoyed the jacuzzi and Hannah slept peacefully on the floor.

We ended up going to bed at 10 and for those of you that have been reading my blog, that is super late for me lately so I was alittle nervous about sleep. At around 230, Moriah came in our room but was able to be put back down , next to brothers, in front of the fireplace. They all got up at 445am! So, we put a movie on for them and had them do that until six. After a great meal of lucky charms- their favorite on vacation, we got ready and all headed out to the fish hatchery. The boys loved it! We fed the fish, watched how they operate there and just relaxed. It was a very layed back time. We then, drove to Dead Horse Ranch State Park. Wow, is this a cool park. There are lagoons, trees, WATER! yes, water! We hiked slowly, very SLOWLY around the lagoons as the kids were hot, tired and S L O W. The mountains were beautiful and it was fun to try and find beavers , we didnt' see any, near the lagoon. There was evidences of them everywhere. Before we left, we walked down to the Verde River and threw rocks in the rushing current and just enjoyed.

We came back and had the kids lay down for awhile and then had an early dinner and put them down for bed after a fun time in the jacuzzi. They were splashing, laughing and rolling in the bubbly water. Then, the fun started. About 930pm, Moriah came in our room and was crying, so we layed her down. This then started and absolutely exhausting night of putting her down to bed, every 20 minutes until the point came where I looked at the clock and it read 230am and I thought, could we just pack them all up now and take the home. Thankfully Ben had taken over as Hannah was up a ton too! That morning, we packed up and were out by 8am, Ben and I stopped at Starbucks, put a sermon in and held hands the entire ride home. We are in this together baby, all the way.

The importance of playtime

Good morning, it is 6:10am here and the kids are watching Thomas the Train on the good ole' VHS. Yes, we still have one, and yes we still have plenty of movies to accompany it too,and yes my husband also has a Blu-Ray. I was thinking about what I could write about to incorporate our day yesterday and the word "play" came to mind. Yesterday, I took the kids to the workout facility that I am a member of and instructed them, " make sure you guys play and not watch the tv". It bothers me that they even have to have a tv on, to be honest. I mean, kids get enough tv, movies, etc at home why do they need to be entertained by it when they go places? So my kids read books, played on the castle and with the toys that were provided for them. I mean, geesh, it's not like I'm gone for 5 hours, especially now with new little Hannah, it's more like 40 minutes.

For the most part, when my kids are watching a movie, even in the morning, they are pulling their Thomas the Train wooden sets and designing intricate railways through our home, or bringing their huge pile of metal cars and race track and playing with them. They rarely just watch . I don't even mind the tv, really. I mean that's why they are watching a movie now. I really do feel it serves it's purpose , at times. Especially in the early pre daylight hours....I'm sorry, Momma isn't ready to start " functioning" . Moriah is the only one that can't really wait, I will make her breakfast and set her down before I go off "blogging" :)

I am pretty passionate about play and what my kids play with. I may even be considered a little extreme...besides some few quality toys, in my mind, that are branded, ie: Thomas the Train, I despise branded toys. I feel it robs a child of the ability to funciton and imagine on his/her own because all they know is how that character acted/talked on tv so they replicate that in real life. Think I'm making this up? This has been backed up by statistical data and it makes me so sad. There are a few good books at the library, and more that I should ask my sister in law about, that I have read , but cannot remember the titles. One, " Last Child in the Woods" or " The Art of Play"- you can amazon them. Anyways, I'm not into poki-mon, sponge bob ( Help me!) or any of the other fad toys. They bother me, I'm sorry. When my kids are older , they can deciede but for now...I am tyring to steer them awy from consumerism in any way I can.

Why do kids need to be occupied all the time with tv and movies. I mean seriously , are we dumbing them down that much that they can't make it threw a car ride without a movie? My kids fly and ride in cars for hours with no tv and you know who does perfectly fine, they do! I load them up with sticker books, books, audio cd books, rubber animals, my little ponies , etc. and they enjoy their ride to the fullest.

I remember when I was little and traveling down to Tennesse how my Mom would pack us a special bag full of fun toys. That was one of my favorite memories. I would open teh bag and there woudl be silly puddy, Mr Potato Head, one of those viewer things were you put it on yoru eyes and change up the pictures, songs to listen to, books to read, etc. We had so much fun, enjoying eachother and laughing in the backseat :)

Please do not feel judged if I don't like the same toys you like, or your kids play with. This is my OWN conviction. I just want my kids to play outside, learn new things, not get caught up in consumeristic trends and know how to function without something entertaining them. I just checked on them, they are playing legos- no, there are no instructions or step 1,2,3.....they are just using their imaginations....the way I love it!


We are back from an amazing , first family vacation to Oregon. The whole trip couldn't have turned out better. We were quite funny pulling into the airport with 3 car seats, 4 children, a cart full of carryons, blankets, Beulah the doll, and suitcases. The flight went smooth and the car rental and home were perfect! The weather forecast was suppose to be rainy, cloudy and cold the whole time we were there; however, God answered our prayers and we had amazing cool, sunny weather for most of the week. Also a few foggy days. However, when you are from a state that has sun all the time, we welcomed the foggy, cloudy days like an old friend.

I was very concerned about how the kids would sleep at night, ie: the constant waking up. Again, God answered our prayers and they slept so soundly and would wake up around 530! For us, that is great! We visited so many state parks, Harris Beach, Chrissy Field, Boardman, Whalespoint, Jedidiah Redwood State Park, etc. I was overwhelmed by the beauty in it all! The Redwoods , especially. Also, we went on a very cool hike at Whalespoint and ended up finding a waterfall!!! Breathtaking! Watching it cascade over the jagged rocks and descended where it joined the mighty Pacific Ocean.

We laughed so much on this trip. Between Ben's phone when we told it to find "Rubios" so we could go out to eat and we kept driving 6 miles out of town towards the CA border and I said, " Are you sure this is the right place? " and right before we went to CA we saw a tiny little sign that said " Rubios Casa" :) Not where we wanted to go. Also, the first full day we were there, we walked on this amazing trail right down to the coast where the boys, all three of them, were on the rocks as the tide kept rolling in. A sneaker wave all of  a sudden rushed in as Austen and Jayden were immersed knee/thigh deep in the strong, salty water. Ben and I couldnt' stop laughing! They were screaming/screeching-Austen due to being upset and Jayden due to pure joy. Or, on our second trip into the Redwoods where Ben and I are exclaiming over the complete awe of these 2,000 year old trees and the greatness of them and Jay states from the backseat, " I've seen bigger".

Moriah did well too. She is definitely two, she is definitely female and I claim every part of her vibrant spirit for the glory of God! She would get upset and throw Beulah on the floor and then two seconds later be making a very meticulously, straight bed for her to lay in. The morning were very relaxed and non rushed. I would get up with the kids, they would watch tv, I'd sit and make hot cocoa and enjoy the warmth of the heater. Just relaxed. The only stressful parts were the car rides, Hannah, on this trip, decided to scream bloody murder the entire time we were in the car whether for 10 minutes or, unfort, our three hour trip to no where. On our three our trip, I ended up sitting between the girls and playing ponies with Riah and rubbing Hannahs' head.....well, that worked for awhile until Hannah was sick of staring at me , rubbing her head and gave me a look like, " are you serious, this is all you are going to do for me?" so then she started her bloody murder scream again....well, I had all I could take so I dove and climbed, like my life depended on it, over the center console, in mid drive at 55 mph to sit next to my calm husband. Best decision ever.

I'm laughing, right now, at how many times we stopped at Fred Meyer, the grocery store there, to pick up more supplies, and how many times Ben ran in while I nursed Hannah in the parking lot. Come to think of it, I nursed at in the redwoods, at the beach, on the Pacific, at Pizza Hut, at each state park, yeah,the girl must be hitting a growth spurt. One evening, I heard her grunting to be fed, so I walked over to the blanket she was sleeping on, in my sleep deprived stupor, and picked her up, or what I thought was her was just her legs as she was swinging back and forth upside down....oh wow.

I loved watching how the kids kept picking animal names for us, ie: badger, pelican, bear, etc. to be each time we hiked a new trail :) We also spent a few times at a park that had wooden castle like structure. I think the kids enjoyed that the best. I will post pictures as soon as I can, but for now....some fluffy haired kids need some breakfast!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

It's been a couple of days

Sorry for the delay in updating this blog. I am really enjoying it ...mainly for family reasons, to try and make it easier to bring our lives to our families, faster and more regularly. We have been quite busy around here. We made yet another batch of chocolate chip cookies and it is probably the only recipe I use where I don't cut the fat or sugar. It's one of those recipes that you want baking when your kids' friends come over and hand them out. It's a " yes, I'm confident of this recipe" type of cookie. That, does not happen to me often :)

Jayden's Book Series : Fox's Adventure

Hannah just started smiling!!! Yeah! Her whole face lights up and I feel that the three months where her dis tractable eyes, then amused eyes and stone, serious face where peering at us while we entertained her with sound effects, jumps and contorted looks has paid off! She loves us :) and we now enjoy her sporadic,  " I love you too " smiles. She has also found her hands. At this moment, I am listening to her sucking hard on her entire first "slurp, slurp".

The kids are all coloring so nicely in the other room with a new box of crayons and each has a sketch pad. Yesterday, after co op we were pretty hungry and I was just not in the mood to bring everyone home to make lunch so we stopped at Chick Fil A. In the kids pack there was a cow comic book and now Jayden is making his own. He just stopped in to show me the completed the version so I will post pictures up asap.

We are working on the immune system for our Konos right now. One of the fun activities that we have done was visualizing germs and white blood cells using pipe cleaners. Jayden really seems to understand, which is beyond me since I still need to reference the different library books we have checked out to see if I am talking about the right "leukocyte, lymphocyte, phagocyte....." The kids have also been doing a lot of fall crafts which I LOVE!!!!! Yesterday at co op, the made a turkey with out of pine cones, which I asked the teacher where she found pine cones and she said up north :) Also, the made a countdown thankful chain for Thanksgiving. They really enjoy their co op and so do I. I am thankful that they can be apart of it this year.

The other night, Ben and I were sitting and relaxing on the couch when out came Jayden, swinging his arms like an ape, scowling and hunched over. We look at each other like, " Umm, ok. Jayden, what's wrong?" " I had a dream and I am scared that emperor Zerug is real!" " Jayden, how could you have had a dream, you haven't even slept yet. When did you dream this?" " A couple of months ago."  

Life here has been pretty laid back, but nice. I feel that our dear Miss Hannah is finally getting into a routine so that has been most helpful. We are working on reading the first two original Bobbsey Twin Books as well as the Tree house Mystery from the boxcar children. Austen would like to do stamps today and I think that will work out nice. 

Friday, October 22, 2010

Fun Fall Farms!

Every since we moved to our new location in the great United States, I have missed certain, but not all aspects of some seasons. One is the "fall " feel. Out here, it is now 60s at night and still heating up to low 80s during the day but not much past that. However, it still doesn't feel fall. I still make the fall pumpkin rolls, light the fall scented, many times uncinnamon ( as Ben despise that smell) candles, listen to Autumn In New England and curl up with a good book and a hot coffee ( oh wait, that was my life pre-kids) ok, reality...curl up with a few good fall themed children's books, a couch full of beautiful, blonde, fluffy haired children and a cup of cider, to share of course! " Momma, I have some of yours???"

Anyways, yesterday, our home school group went to a farm!!! I loved it and so did our kids. The ran around a corn maze doing a F.S.I to solve the crime, road on a cow train, hay mazes, pumpkin patch picking, a pizza tour as there is a portion of the farm divided into 8 "slices" of pizza ( or the different ingredients that go into making pizza. It was a wonderful afternoon and so glad Benjamin could be with us too! love that man!