Wednesday, November 26, 2008

random thoughts

I must post in bullet points today because none of these items are significant enough to make up a post of its own.

  • I just finished preparing THREE Thanksgiving dinners. We are hosting our friends Erin and Dave and their family tomorrow after we had out of town company cancel on us (do we stink?).
    We just finished dropping off the other two dinners at the homes of two families who otherwise weren't able to have a meal this year.
    That's an understatement. God has been so good to us. I am so grateful that I have the ability to go to the grocery store 17 times to prepare these meals, fill up our tank of gas to drive and deliver them and hug all four of my children, hug my husband a little harder :-) , and then all have a meal of our own together. (run on sentence anyone?)
  • In reference to the above point - have I ever told you that I don't really like to cook? Today I would be happy to never have to look at, prepare or eat food again.
    But now it is time to make dinner. Hmmm.
  • Squirt is doing this ADORABLE nodding game that I promise to get on video soon. We ask him a bunch of questions like, "Do you love your mom?" He nods yes. "Are you really cute?" Nod. "Do you have stinky pants?" Nod. "Are you funny looking? And randomly, he'll shake his head no. We all love to play the game and we get a lot of family laughter out of it.
  • Also, have I mentioned how much that baby boy loves his teddy bear? We call him "Mr. Bear" and as much as we try to keep Mr. Bear in the crib for something to look forward to at nap and bedtime, occasionally, he is dragged all around all day.
  • Hubby has the entire week off of work and I must say that my workload has been cut by half because he has been so helpful with the children (not so much with the food preparation, but I'm okay with that). We love having him around the house. Do you have to go back to work next week Honey? Oh yeah, the grocery thing and that pesky mortgage. We'll miss you!
  • We saw the two hour premier of "24" a few nights ago and had never seen the show before. Our project this week is to stay up way too late watching all the past seasons of the show on rented DVD. So far, I don't know what hole we've been living in that has prevented us from watching it all along. Love it!
  • P1030244Last week Hunter's literature unit allowed us to pick from a selection of novels, and we chose "Ramona Quimby Age 8." Anyone remember the raw egg on the head episode? Hunter must have read that chapter seven times.
    Ramona's mom accidentally gives her a raw egg in her lunchbox instead of a hard boiled one. The fad at school is to crack hard boiled eggs on their foreheads and, well, you can imagine what happens.
    The boys LOVED that part of the story, so last week we made egg salad for lunch and I had them all crack the egg shells on their foreheads. We had a good laugh and for that moment I loved homeschooling. That warm and fuzzy feeling comes and goes.

Wishing you all a wonderful holiday!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

sweets for some sweeties

100_1114_00 If you know me, you know my heart and passion for orphans.  Two and a half years ago I went on my very first mission trip to Russia with an awesome organization called Children's Hopechest.

We spent ten days falling in love with a bunch of unwanted kids - we put on a summer camp to teach them how much God wants them.

The orphanage was designated for special needs children, and many of them did have special needs - but by far, the majority of them were normal, smart, sweet, loving, needing-to-be-loved children.

When we arrived from our hotel each morning this is what we saw:


This is my little sponsored boy Vitya.  None of the kids had ever even seen bubbles, much less blown them.  Such simple delights.

2006-06-18-02_0025 IMG_0419

We played ball, danced and let them "do" our hair.

FH020001 Our Final DancesOur Sweet Babies

IMG_0379We were VERY silly with them.  This is Sergey and he was about to graduate from the orphanage we were at (which only went up to the fourth grade) and move to an orphanage with much older kids.  He was so sweet and won everyone's heart.



IMG_0396I don't know what else God will put in my future path regarding orphans, but I am certain that there will be something because they are never far from my mind.

I just heard of a great fundraiser by Elle and her site Sweet Hope.  Go read about it and buy some chocolate.  I ordered a bunch for Christmas gifts, but seeing that it all gets shipped December 12th, I doubt they'll make it until Christmas.

Go read about it now, and be sure to click the "order" tab.  What I do know from my experience is that a little bit of love/money/effort can go a long way in an orphan's world.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

got my mammies whammied

A few weeks ago I had my annual physical and examination of all things girly.  I am happy to report that so far, I am a picture of health.

BUT, because my paternal grandmother died way too young of breast cancer, and I have fibrocystic, or "dense tissue" breasts (more than you wanted to know, huh?), my doctor wanted me to get a baseline mammogram.

Yesterday was the day that I finally arranged childcare for the four young men (an ordeal worse than the mammogram itself) and made my way to the hospital for a full digital image mammogram.

This was what I feared might face me:


Wait, is that my husband?  No, but I'm surprised he didn't think of that first.

Let me put some of the rumors that you might have heard to rest:

Yes, the machine squeezes the mammies into a shape closely resembling a pancake, but it DID NOT hurt.  (I didn't personally see much change in mine thanks to nursing four babies!)

The machine does NOT use cold metal plates.


The plastic components were warmer and more comfortable than I thought they would be.  Other than awkward positions that made me feel like the preparation should be a couple of yoga classes, it really wasn't bad.

Also, I must mention the wonderful technician... who was sensitive to the fact that I was standing half naked in the middle of a room, AND acted so casually about handling my personal body parts, it was like an elbow to her - no big deal (which made me feel as comfortable as possible).

One down - hopefully it will be another six years before I have many, many more uneventful whammies.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

sweeeeet carOline . . da. . da. . da. .

I'll just get this confession out of the way right now:

I am a birth junkie.

I love the experience of birth - whether I am giving birth, participating by giving labor support or merely an observer through a television set (Baby Story anyone?) - I am fascinated by what a miracle it is.

Last night hubby and I had the opportunity to remember what an actual date was with tickets to see an awesome ballet.  We've had the tickets for six weeks, and the sitter booked for a month.  We were going out with a group of friends and we were looking forward to it.

BUT, my dear friend Erin has been pregnant for much longer than all of that.  And for her last three births, my friend Ashley and I have had the honor to let her husband take a nap support her in labor and witness the births of her babies.


P1030192I knew she had been having intermittent contractions all day and I got the "she's ready for you" call from her husband Dave at about 4:45 in the afternoon.

So, hubby went with our friends to the ballet, and I went to Erin's side.

Did I mention that she was planning a home birth?  Oh, and a water birth.

 P1030177Although it was a rough five hours of hard labor for Erin, I loved being by her side.  I rubbed shoulders, I rubbed feet, put pressure on her back and knees and when it was time to push, I supported one of her legs.

Slightly before 10 p.m. last night, after a whole four minutes of pushing, we welcomed sweet little Caroline into the world.

After both Erin's hubby Dave and her mom Marilyn were offered the honor of cutting the cord and declined, Ashley and I fought to the death were honored to share the scissors and cut little Caroline free from her cord.  That was a first for me!

What a miracle!

P1030218    P1030234


Sunday, November 16, 2008

all drains lead to the ocean

I overheard Rufus in the bathroom just before flushing today.

"Bye bye poop.  See you in the ocean!"

Thanks Nemo.


Saturday, November 15, 2008

there is love

Go see a beautiful tribute to sweet little Major.  We saw this at his memorial service on Thursday.  I know many of you were touched by his passing.

Go here to see it on his Aunt Kathy's blog.

dear dental office

Dear Dental Office,

I am writing to request a change in your policy and procedures.

In the case that several staff members are sick and have gone home for the day with the small issue of vomiting up their breakfast and the actual dentist is feeling some symptoms and wants to go home early as well...

PLEASE do not call me to ask me if I can bring my three children in early for their cleanings.

That little piece of information is important to communicate to a mother of four young children so that she may make an informed decision whether she would like her children exposed to the nasty vomit germs.  And although we like our dentist very much, I would have preferred to delay our appointment so that he was not bending over my boys' faces while suffering the plague.

Oh, and I would have felt a lot better while cleaning up vomit last night if your office staff hadn't mentioned to another patient how sick everyone was feeling AS I WAS LEAVING THE OFFICE WITH MY CHILDREN.

Please consider this request and distribute the revised policy in triplicate to the front office staff.

Many thanks,
an overtired mother, sick of sick people who willingly spread their germs

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I'm it

I've been tagged by Natalie in the game of "Eight things about me." Natalie is the sister of my dear friend Erin. Erin just lives across town from me and is too technologically defunct to have a blog. In fact, I'm editing this post to add that she just called me to ask how to change the page layout on a Word document. Oh mercy!

Heck, we just convinced her to get a cell phone in the last few months!

So, Natalie and I have become bloggy friends and when she comes across the state line to see her sis, I try to get in on the fun. She is an amazing writer - sarcastic and hilarious - just my style.

Anyhoo, here are the rules:
1. Each player starts with eight random fact/habits about themselves.
2. People who are tagged need to write on their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
3. At the end of your blog post, you need to choose people to get tagged and list their name.
4. Don't forget to leave them a comment telling them they're tagged and to read your blog.

Eight Things About Me:

1. At 5'3", I am by far the shortest person in my family. My "little" brother is 6'2" and my mom and sister are three and five inches taller than me. I was ALWAYS the shortest kid in my class growing up and my mom tried to make me feel special by calling me "petite."

2. When I was in junior high, Wham was my favorite band, cuz baby you could take me to hell and back just as long as we're together, and you doooooooooo, baby!.... sorry, I got carried away for a moment. My cool mom came up with some concert tickets for nosebleed seats and took my sister and me and maybe a friend or two to the concert. It was an outdoor venue and raining that night, my mom happened to ask at the ticket booth if there were any seats available under the pavilion. Yeah baby, FRONT ROW. I touched George Michael's foot. Yeah I did. Really, I did.

3. I love to dance. Coincidentally, I chose a university that does not allow dancing. During my freshman year, my girlfriends and I snuck out many times to a local bar dance club. There was an upper level dance floor and one night we were groovin' away with it all to ourselves. The DJ stopped the music and yelled out, "Hey you up there on top!" We thought we were so cool and used that quote many times for the next 3+ years to get each other's attention across campus.

4. Aside from any potty accidents, I wash, dry, iron, fold and put away all of our family's laundry every Saturday. I fit it all into one day because I like that I can be done with a chore and not think about it for an entire week, unlike chores like DISHES, which are always there. A little quirk, I rotate all our clothes, particularly socks and underwear. I take out the clothes in the drawer to put the clean stuff away and the unworn clothes go on top so they will be worn before the ones I just washed. I'm really not OCD in any other area but this. If you saw my minivan, you'd know I'm not lying.

5. I had a little spending problem in college and ran up a bit of a credit card debt that I maintained by managing to pay the minimum payment. One of the things my financially responsible fiance' asked of me was to pay off my debt before we got married. Three months before the wedding, he found out that I hadn't made much progress. He threatened to cancel the wedding. If you know him, you know he was serious. I hopped to it for my man and when we got back from our honeymoon, I received the last statement with a $75 balance. Good choice Laurie.

6. I have little to no fashion sense. I depend on my college roommates Amanda and Carrie and our annual spending sprees girls' weekends for them to get me out of my "mom jeans" (which aren't as bad as SNL mom jeans, I promise). My style is finding something I like and buying it in several colors. Hmmm, come to think of it, that's my hubby's style as well.

7. I have a secret love for Chef Boyardee (ok Ash, I know it's not secret to you). Any cold, dreary afternoon gives me the craving to open a can of Spagettios or Ravioli. Unfortunately, I don't buy OR eat it very often anymore thanks to my organic-hyper-nutritious-brainwashing friends (ahem, Ashley and Erin) who have convinced me that there is a reason WHY eating it makes me feel like CRAP.

8. I like to watch behavior rehabilitation shows like "Supernanny," "Intervention," and "It's Me or the Dog." Kenyon HATES these and wonders why in the world I would torture myself watching these shows full of people with ridiculous and often destructive behavior. I think I just like to see bad turned to good and common sense rule.

Done. I tag Mama Shoe, a newer bloggy friend of mine who is also a mom of four little boys.

Monday, November 10, 2008

a little healing

I have had a really hard time posting anything else in this time of hurt and mourning. It felt so inappropriate.

I wouldn't say that we are in Dave and Darcy's closest circle of friends, yet this has hit our family like nothing else we have experienced to date. We know them through church, we have kids practically the same ages and Darcy and I were in a couple of Bible studies together.

We were pregnant with our most recent babies together and we both homeschool. We even drive the same make, model and color of minivan.

I have always felt a heart connection with Darcy. She and Dave are amazing parents who LOVE the Lord and are raising children who are just a joy to be around. We love their family.

All week long, I have been wiping my tears and answering tough questions from my kids. I have found myself crabbier than usual (imagine that!) and finally took a step back to see why.

I feel like God let me down.

I didn't understand the "how" of praising God and embracing faith during such a tough time. There was a disconnect between what my head knows is truth, and what my heart feels.

I realized that I understood other tragic events in life more than I understood this one. I created a scale in my head with things like grandparents dying, miscarriages and even cancer on the list.

But this one rated a big ZERO for me. I had ZERO understanding as to why a 15 month old boy who had beat the odds already and was from an amazing family could die so suddenly and unexplainably.

I am also struggling with why it was their baby and not ours.

Why did I get a "pass" on this one? I am no more deserving than Darcy.

As a result, the profound lack of control that we all have, but rarely acknowledge, smacked me right in the face.

As the weekend was getting closer, I started to feel anxiety and actually sweat when I thought about putting Squirt in the nursery. It's not that I don't trust our nursery, I just knew I would have to confront that lack of control.

I was a basket-case on Saturday. My dear friend Carrie happened to call me while I was in a moment of tears and rage. I unloaded on her about how pissed off I was and how I just could not connect the act of praising God in the midst of such a stunning loss.

Then Sunday morning came. Kenyon and I taught the first grade class during our first service (of two) and Dave and Darcy's oldest daughter Marin was sorely missed.

Our class had the opportunity to make cards for Marin and her family and it was very interesting to see this through the eyes of children. One of my sweet little girls in class lost both of her biological parents in a car accident recently enough that she remembers it. Her card stressed how much God loves us and heals our hurts.

She gets it. Unfortunately, she gets it because she has lived it.

It was a great comfort to walk down the halls, and be spontaneously hugged by others who experienced this with me. There were tears flowing that needed no explanation. Our hearts were connected.

Our staff at church was an impressive example of compassion and quality leadership. They all had matching t-shirts on in order to be easily identified when needed and the nursery room where Major's tragedy happened was closed to babies, but open for prayer and grief counseling.

Then we got to go to church. And our pastor, Dave Nelson, gave the most heartfelt and REAL message about this tragedy.

He brought to light that although I've been looking for God all week, He was there all along. I was also encouraged to give all my rage and questions and doubts to God.

Because He can handle them.

If you've ever wondered WHY in the midst of hurt - take make the time to listen.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

breathing in and out

I don't think I was totally clear in my last post because I have received a couple of calls about whether Major recovered or not.

Major passed away at about 4 a.m. Monday morning.

David and Darcy were able to donate Major's kidneys and liver in order to give life to another child.

From what I have heard, they are living from one moment to the next under the grace that only God can provide.

Blogging continues to prove to me that we live in a small world.  I found out coincidentally that one of the blogs I have been following is actually Major's aunt.

Pop over and give some love to their family.

Major will be laid to rest in their home state in the midwest on Friday.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

coveting your prayers

Our family is shaken by the events of our day.  What seemed like a normal morning at church has turned into tragedy and heartbreak.

After church was over, I went to pick up my little Squirt in the nursery and there was an unusual crowd milling around the door of the nursery. 

Our church is fairly large, so I didn't immediately think much of it until I looked through the nursery window to see a baby flat on the floor with no shirt on and tan pants on - Squirt wore tan pants today.

CPR was being performed on this baby.

I screamed and lunged toward the window.  Before I saw much more, two women who knew me tearfully informed me that it was not Squirt that was being worked on, it was my friend's little boy.

My friend Darcy and her husband Dave have four beautiful children, and their youngest son was born at 33 weeks gestation and was a fighter from the start.

They named him Major.

Major is 15 months old and choked on something that he put in his mouth this morning in the nursery.  Luckily, his dad Dave is a doctor and was serving in the nursery when it happened.

When I walked up, they had been working on Major for seven minutes and the ambulance was arriving.

They continued CPR for another 20 minutes or so and finally got the object dislodged from his throat in the ambulance.  They also finally regained his pulse.

We were hopeful today that Major would prove to be a major miracle.  We had some seemingly good news that his organs were functioning and he was breathing on his own, but tonight I received the phone call I didn't want.

The neurological tests did not look good.

Our church held a special prayer meeting just for Major tonight.  I was on my knees for an hour, pleading for a miracle for such a seemingly random tragedy.

We were told there that Major has been diagnosed as brain dead and Dave and Darcy were holding him while they waited for the organ donor team to arrive.

I am without words.  It is a time when I am coming before God with painful groans and no words.

I come before my God who gives hope through tragedy.

He gives the promise of eternity with Him.  And as my four year old son says over and over these days, "God keeps His promises."


rhodesPlease pray for Dave and Darcy and their family.

This was their Christmas card picture last year when Major was just a couple of months old.  He grew into being even cuter, sweeter and yummier than he is in this picture (if you can even imagine).

And squeeze your loved ones close tonight.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

another first

As parents, we constantly look forward to our children's "firsts."  We wonder when they will roll over, sit up, crawl, walk, speak, read, etc.  I'm not sure it ever ends!

I have a confession - until last weekend, my children had never flown a kite.

It's funny to think about.  Sauce had bought a kite last spring at AWANAs and asked me all summer to fly it.  Then Aunt Louie came to visit for Rufus's birthday and brought all kinds of treats and presents - two of which were kites.

We have plenty of wind around here, for even on a seemingly non-windy day, the fields at the park are fueled by the winds that come down the mountain canyons.

We spent almost two hours at the park flying kites with Aunt Louie and I took some pretty sweet pictures of the boys and their "first" kite flying day.

About Me

My photo
Messy and wonderful perfectly describes my life as a wife and mom of five. I'm passionate about advocating for orphans by telling their stories and encouraging adoption and orphan care. My schedule is messy and wonderful as I am charged with four sons and one daughter. We love living in our little mountain ski town. We do a little camping, a little skiing, a little hunting, and a lot of laughing and loving. Life is dirty and loud around here but we wouldn't want it any other way. Okay, maybe a little less dirty!

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