Wednesday, March 24, 2010

To blog or not to blog...

That is the question. Now that Chris' parents have decided to not be long haul truckers, I am not sure whether I want to continue putting our life on the internet.

On one hand, I started doing this because Mom and Dad were out on the road so they could keep up with what is going on back home. I really don't have any noble purpose for doing this - no great words of wisdom to share, nothing to encourage others, it really is just our life.

On the other hand, I think my children may enjoy one day looking back at the things we did/saw/experienced/etc. I may even enjoy looking back at the memories I have posted on the blog. This time that my children are young, and at home is so short! I want to take advantage of this time that I get with them!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Plagues





Each year, we remember the wondrous things God did to save His chosen people from the slavery of the Egyptians. Yesterday was the plague of blood. I went around coloring all the water I could red...we were not home much, so it lost a lot of impact!

Today is the plague of frogs. This may be the favorite plague for my girls! We have 20 plastic frogs that each have a number on their belly. We make a sticker chart, and each time you find a frog, you put a sticker on your name and that frog's number. Whoever has the most frogs at the end of the day, wins a prize. All day long, frogs will be popping up all over the house! In the sink, the silverware drawer, the cupboards, on the floor, in our papers.

We also talk about the significance of each of the plagues to the polytheistic Egyptians. Each plague is a hit against one of their gods. Turning the Nile into blood for example refuted the power of the Egyptian god Hapi, who was a water bearer and bringer and sustainer of life. When the Nile turned to blood, all the fish died, many animals died. The stench was terrible. For 7 days, the Egyptians had to dig for water instead of getting it from the Nile. They cried out to their god, who, of course, did not answer.

The frogs are a symbol of the Egyptian goddess Heket, goddess of fertility, water and renewal. Frogs were considered lucky or a good omen, and hurting them was unthinkable...but when they took over everything, filled their houses, their clothes, their food, their streets...when they had to burn piles of frogs, Heket was helpless against the power of the One True God!

God had a plan and purpose for choosing the plagues that He chose. By taking a close look at those plagues, we come to a deeper understanding of just how Awesome our God really is!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

I think we officially have a bunny...





The girls were using all my spinach, carrots and broccoli to feed their rabbit...so I went out and bought rabbit food, some bedding for it and, because I really enjoyed taking my rabbit for walks as a little girl, a leash/harness. We were able to get a free rabbit hutch from Craigslist, so it doesn't have to live in heater ducting. I think this means we officially own a rabbit.

Upon a closer examination (by me) of Jessica...it has been determined that we have a boy bunny. The response when I told them girls their bunny is a boy was that they thought it was a girl because it had a really pretty face...The girls have renamed him Thumper.

We are also in the process of trying to get rid of all the moss in the grass. Brianna is such a big help...when she wants to be! She stuck it out and helped to get the moss out and loaded the wheelbarrow.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Callie's morning


As everyone was getting ready for the day this morning, Callie's voice kept standing out.

"Anna, I need to go potty. You help me?"

"Bayee, you help me in my high chair?"

"Ashee, I need help. My kefir is right there." (She was pointed to the counter.)

"Mommy, I hungry. I need food."

"I need help."

"Mommy, you have strawberries, oatmeal and kefir for me? Can I have it? I need help. Bayee, you get it for me?" (This was as everyone was getting their own food off the counter.)

I think at times, she feels left out. Everyone else is able to do more for themselves than she is. At times, I think it is very sad. There are times that my heart breaks because of what she can not do...but I can't think that way! I have to focus on what she CAN do. What a blessing that she is able to vocalize what she wants and needs. Her ability to talk and communicate really is a gift from God! Many children with spastic diplegia cerebral palsy are not able to speak well, especially at an early age. I couldn't imagine the frustration level Callie would have is she couldn't let us know what she wanted and needed! Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

Monday, March 15, 2010

All dressed up and no where to go!



At least not yet! The girls' dresses for Kaitie's wedding! I can hardly believe it is only 24 days away!

Justice is where a picture outfit, but we are not sure what he is wearing to the wedding yet - I better get going on that one, lol!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Sleeping babies



Is there anything more precious than a sleeping baby? Here are both of mine - though one of them is quickly graduating to 'big girl.' Here are pics of her in her new bed, all set up as a bed.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Oh, No, they did it!!!

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I knew I was in trouble this morning when Ashley came in from outside and announced, "We still don't have the bunny yet, but when we do, if it is a boy, his name is Josh, and if she is a girl, her name is Jessica."

So, the girls, just as I was finishing my last post, ran inside, and instantly, I just KNEW they caught the bunny. I told them yesterday they were welcome to keep trying to get it...I thought they would keep going with the butterfly nets...instead they went into the barn and got the live catch cage of their grandfather's.

They are so proud of their catch. They even have a 'cage' all set up for it. Apparently, they have been thinking ahead for the last 2 days! I had no idea this was going on! For tonight, the bunny is in the cage they set up.

Potty training woes and todays happenings

Callie decided yesterday that she no longer wanted to wear diapers. She wants to wear big girl panties...so we started potty training...in a big way! Even though Callie wants to do it, the stress of potty training is causing her to be higher tone than normal. Today was physical therapy, and I was assured that this is normal. Anytime something is out of her normal routine, even if she enjoys it, she will likely revert to higher tone. It was a hard pt session for her today because of it - lots and lots and lots of stretching...and she didn't want to do it! On the other side of this new adventure for Callie, she is only in her 2nd pair of panties today! She got to wear her big girl panties to Messianic Dance and around the house. Her only accident was while she was in her highchair at breakfast. Way to go Callie! You did great today!

The down side to potty training her is that she is incapable of getting herself to the bathroom in time or pulling down her panties and pants...so someone has to be available to take her each and every time she needs to go. Fortunately, I am not above bribing my older children to help. The rule is, if you take Callie potty (and she goes), she gets 2 chocolate chips, and so does her helper (notice the singular tense of helper!).

Messianic Dance was a lot of fun today. We enjoyed getting to learn a new dance, and refreshing on the ones we learned in January!

The girls found a bunny in our yard. We think someone let it go, or it got away from them, as it seems fairly friendly. They were able to catch it yesterday, but one of my (very sensitive) little girls thought it was caught in the net, and in trying to get it so it wouldn't hurt itself, let it go. They have spent a lot of time trying to catch the bunny again today! I am not sure what we will do if/when they actually do get it...

Monday, March 8, 2010

What are you thankful for?

Anna
I am thankful that my family is getting closer to God and getting healthier.

Bailey
I am thankful for feeling better little by little, and that I have a family that cares for me.

Ashley
I am thankful for my stuffed horse that Grandma got me.

Brianna
I am thankful that I got to go with Daddy to 7-11 and pick out a treat.

Callie
playing on the rings.

Michelle
I am thankful that my husband has a job that provides for our family, that I get to be home with our (relatively) healthy and happy children, and for a caring God who is always with us!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

So Thankful

While in line at the grocery store yesterday, a woman commented on how cute my girls were (I only had Callie and Breezy with me). Brianna promptly answered that we have 3 more girls and a boy at home. The woman looked at me like a deer in the headlights, and took a step back from us. (As if it might be contagious or something, lol!) She asked how we could afford it with the high costs of daycare and diapers. I told her my children are all blessings, that I am a stay at home mom, that we use cloth diapers, and we trust God to provide for us. Brianna interjected that we homeschool, too. She asked if we were done. I explained that we really don't know, we just leave it up to God as His timing is perfect.

She just couldn't fathom how or why anyone would want to do this...then went on to say her 2 children are grown, and she worked all of their lives. She said she now wishes she was a stay at home mom when her kids were little. She said she thought her career was so important at the time, and that she has now been recently laid off. She said that she looks back now and realizes how much she missed, rushing them to get ready in the morning, getting out the door for daycare, sports/activities in the evening, from here to there, and then home for dinner and right to bed to get up for another busy day. She said she never really enjoyed them. She ended by laughing a little and saying that then again, she isn't sure she would want to be with her kids everyday now or when they were younger, because her kids didn't behave nearly as well as the 2 I had with me behaved...she is now divorced, her children have moved out, and now have their own busy lives, and she has been laid off.

At this point, it was my turn to pay, and leave the store. This woman I encountered was not in any way offended by the idea of a big family, just surprised, and she seemed kind of sad she didn't take the time to enjoy her own family.

As I walked out of the store, I was praying for God to take hold of this woman's life. She had fallen victim to the idea that she could have it all, marriage, family, career, probably social life, and in trying, she lost everything. She had actively saught things that ultimately, are not important, who now seems to have regrets from how she has spent her life. I can't help but wonder if she had really focused on being a wife and mother, would things be different for her? I believe they would.

I am so thankful I get to be with my children day in and day out, all day, everyday. I wouldn't want it any other way! God is so good that He has blessed me with them, and the understanding that it is my right and responsibility to raise God's children whom He has placed in my family, in accordance with His Holy Word. I am raising them for eternity. They are my mission field, my blessings, my responsibility, and my joy! I know that this is the time I will miss when my children are grown and have families of their own (though I also hope to be available to help out if they need it for special projects, appointments, or to just hanging out, 'cause I know first hand that it can be overwhelming at times!). There are so many parents (and grandparents) who for whatever reason (lifestyle choice, military, loss, addiction, the list is endless) do not get to have this.

What a blessing it is to have encounters like this where I can show a different and (hopefully somewhat) Godly example of Biblical Womanhood, just by living life. And a double blessing that it can remind me just how blessed I am!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

My new greenhouse!






I am so excited to get my new greenhouse up! After watching Food, Inc. I really wanted to become lots more self sufficient in our food, and on 5 acres, we have the space to do it! We have had such a beautiful early spring, but the nights are getting too cold for plants. Hopefully, things will grow well in the greenhouse! It is supposed to be a 'pop up' style...but there was no popping involved! It took my and the 3 older girls to get the poles in it, and get it standing upright while we inserted them. Here are some pictures from getting it set up.

I also purchased 6 more blueberry bushes. 3 of them are mid season, and 3 of them are late season. The 6 that are already here are all early season. This should give us blueberries for most of the summer, and we should be able to get enough in the freezer for the rest of the year! Hoping to get the blueberries in the ground today or tomorrow...we will see what the day holds. I am just not feeling well between a cough that won't go away and my allergies from the grass in the field that has gone to seed...this too shall pass!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Visiting Grandma Marie and Grandpa Keith


Yesterday, we started back at Messianic Dance! What a blessing that Tina is willing to do this for us! We had a lot of fun! I alternated between having Justice and Callie in the pack, and the girls helped take care of fussy girls, so we all got to dance a lot! What a blessing that my girls pull together like that, too!

Since we were less than a mile from my Grandpa Keith and Grandma Marie, we decided to stop by. It had been quite some time since we had gone to visit...too long! Grandpa is busy as always in his shop. He was working out there when we arrived. He gave Anna and Bailey each their own hanging planter that he made. They are excited to get some flowers to put in them!

Another beautiful Thursday!


With laundry going, breakfast winding down, the dishwasher running, and school ready to go, we are looking good to be done by the time we need to leave for choir...hopefully it won't start raining so we can walk down to the park during choir!

Callie has changed physical therapy from every week, to every other week, and I am finding that I really like it. We are able to work on things a bit longer, and then get advice as we need it. Her therapist is also willing to take a call from me if I have any questions about what she is doing. This week, we have no therapy...it makes Thursday seem almost relaxed...almost! :)

After choir Anna will go for horse riding lessons. She is very excited as she missed last week. She has been trying to ride anything possible around the house...from a broom, to a chair, to the balance beam outside, to the swings, and even the arm of the couch! She loves horses!

Justice has decided he absolutely hates baby food...I think it is a texture thing! He wants whatever WE are eating! This week has been a challenge because Breezy has tried so hard to help him get what he wants...which translates to him having tried, blueberries, scones, eggs, oatmeal, Ritz crackers, toast and bean/beef burritos! He is absolutely LOVING it! Brianna has repeatedly been talked to, and now I am just taking to shadowing her so she doesn't give him anything he will choke on or would hurt him.

Now, to get back to folding laundry...

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Answered Prayer!

Yesterday, after much anticipation, lots of time praying, and preparing for a fight, I took Callie to the Neurologist to get an 'official' diagnosis. I was up at 4 am, unable to sleep, praying and preparing for this appointment. I really didn't want her to go through the 2 MRIs and the CT scan necessary for the 'official' diagnosis, mostly because it would have required separate appointments, all with general anesthetic. Callie's PT, Linda, came along to the appointment as well.

Callie woke up in an especially horrible mood...fortunately, she improved as the morning went on in the van on the way to the appointment. That was the first answer to prayer.

We met the Dr., who was absolutely amazing! I went in expecting a fight because in my experience, Drs like to have the medical proof in order to make a diagnosis...this is normally a good idea, but trying to get a diagnosis that won't change anything, but encouraging insurance to pay for much needed physical therapy...well, the short story is that the Dr agreed! He said Callie's history and current physical abilities will allow him to sign off on Spastic Diplegia Cerebral Palsy with no other tests!

He spent a great deal of time with Callie, asking her questions, listening to her speak, her logical reasoning, her motor ability, using her walker, crawling, squatting, etc, fine motor skills, such as lacing cards and beading, winding up a wind up toy...then he checked her reflexes (I had no idea she had so many!)...in the end, he said my pediatrician should have been able to make an official diagnosis for insurance purposes.

The dr told us that Callie is not a good candidate for any neurological drugs or cortisone shots or any treatments they do in their clinic. I was relieved! He also said there is not any point in even following up on Callie. She is able to be followed by her physical therapist and pediatrician. He said there is not much else we could be doing to help Callie, other than swimming and/or gymnastics at this point in time. We just need to let her figure out how to maintain her balance.

We did learn that Callie's ventricular hemorrhage was bilateral. While it was a grade 1, which means it was minor, it did cover a great deal of her motor cortex and logical reasoning centers of the brain. The good news is that it only affected her gross motor centers, and not both. The bad news is that because it was on both sides of the brain, it puts her at a substantially increased risk for developing epilepsy. He wants us to watch for any seizure activity. He said he will let her have one, but if she has 2, he wants to see her back.

All in all, it was a good appointment, and I even learned a few things!