Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Today's Post...

Today's post was supposed to be a tribute to Grandma Marie and the life she lived here on earth, and the life she now gets to enjoy, because of God's saving grace in Heaven...

I was hoping to be able to share how beautiful the funeral was.  How great it was to see everyone one last time.  How nice it was to listen to people's memories about Grandma Marie.  And how handsome Grandpa Keith looked...

And while I am sure all of that is true - I didn't get to be apart of it today.  I am glad that Chris was able to bring 6 of our children, but my day took a very different turn.  I will make a post in the next couple of days for Grandma Marie though.

It started this morning, with Brianna once again, dragging herself downstairs, and laying on the couch.  I told her that she needed to not be happy and excited when Grandma Robyn is here, and so down and acting sick during the day...then I felt her head - and took it all back!  I took her temp, and it was 101.5, nothing serious.  Then she complained about how cold she was, so I felt her and retook her temp.  102.5...and I could almost feel it climbing.  I gave her some tylenol, and called the ped, who said to be there in 30 minutes (it is 30 minutes away, and Brianna was still in pj's - I thought we were doing really well to get there just 3 minutes late!

At the ped's they looked her over and did another urine sample. (Brianna had a febral siezure on Friday that she didn't come out of well, so we ended up at the ER that day, where they took the original urine sample.  That ER said that her urine looked 'questionable' but didn't culture it!)  The peds office said that it definitely looked like she had an infection, thought she also had a kidney infection, and thought she had either pre-diabetes or full blown diabetes, so they did a blood sugar on her.  They were so concerned about this that they brought me to an office type room, and had me speak with the doc there that specializes in diabetes about how serious this is in children, and how, if we can't get her blood sugar levels balanced, and soon, since this has been going on for 5 days, that it could be life threatening (all while a nurse sat with Brianna...by now her fever was over 103.

We were told that because Brianna seems 'to be stable' I could drive her to the ER myself..we were instructed to go quickly to Children's Hospital ER and that they were expecting us...then the doctor added that maybe having a really, really bad UTI could cause the glucose they found in the urine, but that we needed to know this for sure, as soon as possible.

At the ER, Brianna's fever was now over 105!  They brought us right back in a room, and worked on getting her fever under control.  They did another finger poke to get a blood suger, and said that it was normal.  They also took a urine sample, and a blood sample.  They both came back positive for infection very quickly.  The urine sample however, didn't show any glucose in it...someone came into the room to show me the test strip, and that if they had read it upside down, the field that shows the infection, makes it look like there is glucose in the urine...which really only happens when one has diabetes...

The ER staff was very quick to get antibiotics going for her, and by the time it went into her, she was sitting up, fever free, and even smiling a little! 

Now the plan is to continue antibiotics, and hopefully she keeps getting better!

We praise God that she doesn't have diabetes, an infected appendix, or any number of other things that would have required her to have ongoing medication, immediate surgery, or potentially life long consequences for!  We also praise God that the ER staff was able to find out what the issue is, and help her!  God is so good! 

Monday, January 30, 2012

Annabelle Rose

Last, but certainly not least, Miss Anna!  This girl is also a blessing!  She is so creative and artistic.  I really don't know what I would do without my big girls - they are both great helpers! 

Anna has always been easy going and laid back.  From a very early age, she has watched Bailey for her cue on how to respond to anything new or different.  As long as Bailey was ok with something, Anna was willing to give it a try!

Anna loves to draw, embroider, paint, do foil scrape projects, crochet and more!  (Pretty much anything creative - and that might make a good entry in the Evergreen State Fair, lol!)  She likes to stay busy with her hands.  She also enjoys math, reading, writing, and science.  (She isn't as big on history...though she is looking forward to our next big unit of American History.)  Anna is in her 2nd year of playing the piano, and is really sounded great these days!  I love getting to hear all sorts of music throughout the day as all the girls practice!  Just this past September, Anna began playing the saxophone, and she really enjoys it!  She practices so hard, that she was able to get a part in the Christmas Concert that none of the other sax players could get, so they gave it to her as a solo!

Anna has a heart to help others!  She is currently trying to make and sell crochet roses so that she can put funds towards purchasing things from Samaritan's Purse catalog for those who have serious needs.  (Bailey is working along side her in this endeavor - we just don't know where or how to sell the roses yet!)

Anna loves to laugh!  She loves to have pillow fights and tickle fights, she likes to try to startle people.

She is a wonderful help with the younger ones, and is able to get Brianna to work harder than anyone else at times on her therapy!  She enjoys now being left home 'alone' (with Daddy or Grandpa on the property, but not necessarily in the house) and in charge of younger siblings.

Anna, like Bailey, loves to cook, and bake!  They love to set the table and make it pretty.  Anna has recently started learning the art of napkin folding to enhance her table setting ability!

She still loves horses, and hopes and prays that one day, she will have a horse in our pasture.  Even without a horse, she enjoys being outside, taking walks, playing and running through the fields, gardening, taking care of Steak...

Truly, each of my children are so unique and so special.  They are each a gift from God in their own special ways!  I couldn't imagine life without any number of them.  I look forward to seeing how God uses each of them, with their individual talents and strengths as they continue on in their lives!  This has been a fun series to do, especially getting to focus on one child at a time.  I have enjoyed seeing their excitement as they have looked at their pictures growing up and the things I have said about them. 

"Your 4 year old..."

I used to enjoy getting the e-news letters about development and milestones when my older ones were little.    Even though I usually disagreed with the discipline advice, I did like seeing that they were making milestones, even ones I didn't notice that the emails brought attention to, in a relatively timely fashion.

That is, until Callie came.  When it talked about her spacing out her nursing sessions or bottles, she wasn't.  When it said she should be starting to roll over soon, she wasn't.  When it talked about all the fun games to play with her as she started using her hands more, she couldn't.  When it mentioned crawling being around the corner, she was still acting like a newborn. 

I tried to unsubscribe.  It was painful to see all that she wasn't doing.  It was hard to hear of others her age making all of those milestones, and yet, Callie wasn't even close. 

And yet, I still received the emails..."Now that your 7 month old is sitting independently..."  "Your 9 month old exploring more and more..."  "Your 11 month old pulling up to a standing..."  "Babyproofing for your newly mobile baby..."  "Making sure your 18 month old is safe while playing outside..." 

Not only were they not relevant, but we were not sure how much she would be able to achieve at that point!  They came every WEEK.

And still they come, even today, I got one...but now it isn't as hard to see or read.  Today's read, "Your four year old; 'I can do it myself!'"  I felt a sense of gratification.  Callie does this!  She has come so far to be able to do this, age appropriate behavior, and with things that other 4 year olds are doing!  Callie wants to clear her own plate off the table, get her shoes out, and put them away at night.  She wants to get herself dressed, and undressed, and take off her AFO's (she can't get them on herself).  She wants to make her own bed, get things out (like playdoh) that she wants to play with.  She wants to put them away again when she is done. 

For most parents, and for me before I had Callie, I really took this push for independence for granted.  I didn't appreciate how great and wonderful it is to see a child go from being so dependent to desiring to be independent until I had one who spent so much more time BEING dependent! It really is a victory and something we praise God for and celebrate around here!

I also now have a much higher appreciation for the normal development we have seen in both J and Seren and understand much more that each child, every milestone is a miracle and gift from God!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Bailey Marie

And now, back to the set of posts I was doing about each child...between the snow, death, illness, and general life, it has taken me awhile to get back to it!

This girl is such an awesome blessing!  I have no idea how I have been blessed by such a respectful, honoring, God-loving daughter! 
Anna on left and Bailey on right, about 4 months old

Bailey, about 6 months old
Bailey left, Anna Right, about 6 months old. 
They played with this balloon for hours!
They passed it from one to another, then would
accidentally let go, and all 8 of their limbs would fly up in
the air after it.  It was so funny to
I actually didn't know growing up if I wanted to have children...at all.  When I was 11 years old, I prayed my only prayer in childhood.  It went about like this, "God, if there is a God, and if I ever do have children, please give me twins so that I would know that you are real."  I didn't think of that prayer for many years...then I had a set of twins, and lost them.  I knew God was real by then, and those words came back to me in the flood of emotion of realizing that I had miscarried a set of twins because of the drugs I was putting in my body (birth control pills)...I felt sick.  Then God once again, beyond all odds, blessed me with twins...and what a blessing they are!  Though this post will focus more on Bailey, it also seemed like a good place to put some of this twin info for them and me for later!
Bailey at about 2 1/2 years old
The twins from up in the Space Needle in Seattle. 
This was the day before Ashley was born.

I remember one day, when they were just shy of 4 months old, they both looked up, and it was like they recognized each other for the first time, they seemed a bit startled, then smiled.  It was right about the time they started reaching out for one another.  What a miracle it is to watch the bond that twins have unfold!  There have only been a handful of times when they needed time apart.  They have been happier together ever since this time!  Even before this time, if one of them were fussy, putting her next to her twin was like a magic remedy!

Twins feeding the ducks at Twin Ponds Park in Shoreline.
Having twins was even better than I ever thought it would be!  What an awesome God we serve!  To have 2 people who share the same DNA, but yet are so unique is an incredible way to see the way God makes each person unique!
Twins, Bailey left, Anna right, in Crescent City, CA

By the time they were a year old, one would babble something to the other, the other would crawl off to get something and bring it back and hand it to the first, then they would both laugh.  They would talk about and forth all the time.  We could TELL they knew what they were saying, but even me being there day in and day out, I had no idea what it was!  We would sit around in the evenings watching this, amazed, and yet, we had no idea what they were saying!

Bailey was more the leader.  She figuring out how to get herself to a standing position first...but I put her in the middle of the room to try to force her to crawl...Anna figured that out first. Bailey watched her crawl across the room, almost in disbelief...she was shaking, and watching intently as Anna made her way across the room.  Then she threw herself onto her hands and knees (she was sitting up initially) and started crawling herself!  (Bailey learned to walk about 2 weeks before Anna.)  She watched out for Anna, but tended to be more adventurous early on.  She always went back to Anna to make sure she was ok though.  After Bailey learned to walk, she would come grab Anna's hands and make her stand up...it always ended in both of them toppling over though!

Now, back to focusing more on Bailey.  One of her favorite pass times, is reading the Bible and then sharing it with her sisters and brother!

She enjoys math, history, science, and all kinds of arts and crafts!  Right now, she is working on crocheting embroidery and photography.  She also wants to learn how to sew better and how to tat (the art of lace making).

Bailey loves to go for walks and bike rides, and enjoys exploring all that God has made in this world!  What a blessing it is to see her pointing out our creative God in a sun set, the awesomeness of God in the eruption of Mt. St. Helens and in the way life has come back to the region, how quickly the water has cut a canyon through the layers that were so quickly laid down, etc.

She enjoys special time with her parents, especially her Daddy! 

Bailey also likes helping with Steak (the cow), and gardening.  She is looking forward to getting more animals, and seeing how God can provide for our family.
Twins, Bailey left and Anna right, in Kalaloch, WA

Bailey is a wonderful help with the little ones, and enjoys reading books to them, taking care of them, and teaching them new things!  She really is a wonderful big sister!  She has a special relationship with Callie, and is able to push her into doing her therapy some days when she doesn't want to continue on. 
Birthday Angels (Anna left, Bailey, right)

Rebuttle to blog post, "3 Biggest Biblical Misconceptions"

Someone posted this blog post on facebook, and it really made me more angry as I read more and more of it...so I decided to make a blog post about it, quoting it and give my rebuttal from what I know (which is admittedly not a whole lot as I haven't ever been to Seminary School - though I would love to!  Then again, very few who go through seminary have a Biblical Worldview...so maybe it doesn't matter...) rather than post all of this on my friend's facebook thread.  The blog post I am quoting will be in red.  I am quoting most of the article, but not the whole thing for the sake of space (though this is likely to be long anyway!), so if you want to read the whole thing, you are welcome to click on the link provided.

By John Shelby Spong, Special to CNN
The Bible is both a reservoir of spiritual insight and a cultural icon to which lip service is still paid in the Western world. Yet when the Bible is talked about in public by both believers and critics, it becomes clear that misconceptions abound.
To me, three misconceptions stand out and serve to make the Bible hard to comprehend.
First, people assume the Bible accurately reflects history. That is absolutely not so, and every biblical scholar recognizes it.
The facts are that Abraham, the biblically acknowledged founding father of the Jewish people, whose story forms the earliest content of the Bible, died about 900 years before the first story of Abraham was written in the Old Testament.
Can a defining tribal narrative that is passed on orally for 45 generations ever be regarded as history, at least as history is understood today?

Time and time again the Bible's record of history is found to be correct.  Yet, because of the idea (theory, belief, NOT SCIENCE) of millions of years, people discount that it could be accurate all the way through..

Science has to be 3 things...it must be 1.) Observable, 2.) Testable, and 3.) Reproducible.  Therefore, the origins of man is NOT science.  It is a belief.  Who is to say that God's account of history, which happens to allow for enough salt in the oceans, the sun to not be so big and bright and hot to make earth uninhabitable, and allows in its timeline for the discovery of soft tissue still intact in dinosaur bones (which have been found all over the country in museums), when He is the one who was there, is not the truth?  God does not and can not lie. 

There is so much evidence that points to creation rather than evolution...the Grand Canyon, which has layers of rock from one time period over and under layers of rock from a different time period, according to evolution.  Or the fact that all of the dating methods have been proven wrong, (such as things like finding carbon 14 in diamonds, which are too old to have any left in them,) and are based on ASSUMPTIONS.

When one looks at the evidence against both theories, evolution ends up looking like swiss cheese, yet creation stands up to the test - as long as one can accept that there is one out there who created the universe and all there is in it.  My pastor, who is a Bible scholar, Ken Ham, Voddie Baucham, and many, many other Bible scholars DO believe that the Bible is the inerrant word of God.
If the Bible account of creation is not true, which Jesus and Paul both confirm in the new testament (and after all, Jesus was there!), then how could sin have entered the world through 1 man, and therefore been able to be made atonement for through 1 man, the 2nd Adam?  If there is no falling away from God, then the very first promise of a savior is also made up (found in Genesis 3).
God says that scripture is God breathed.  God did not rely on anyone to write down the Bible from stories they had been told for generations...rather HE gave them the words to write down through the Holy Spirit.

Jesus of Nazareth, according to our best research, lived between the years 4 B.C. and A.D. 30. Yet all of the gospels were written between the years 70 to 100 A.D., or 40 to 70 years after his crucifixion, and they were written in Greek, a language that neither Jesus nor any of his disciples spoke or were able to write.
Are the gospels then capable of being effective guides to history? If we line up the gospels in the time sequence in which they were written - that is, with Mark first, followed by Matthew, then by Luke and ending with John - we can see exactly how the story expanded between the years 70 and 100.
For example, miracles do not get attached to the memory of Jesus story until the eighth decade. The miraculous birth of Jesus is a ninth-decade addition; the story of Jesus ascending into heaven is a 10th-decade narrative.

The gospels are all written with different styles by different men (after all, God created them differently) who were struck by different things in the life of Jesus.  Mark, was the youngest of the disciples, and wrote his gospel, probably in a hurry to get the word out to believers who were being strongly persecuted at that point.  Being the shortest, and  truly hitting the highlights (He really goes from one big thing, to the next big thing, and I have no idea why this author says there aren't any miracles in Mark's gospel - it is FULL of them!), knowing that, it makes sense for the purpose behind his writing, and the length of his gospel.  Luke was a historian, and may have the most complete picture of Jesus because he talked to a great number of people.  John wrote his gospel last, had the most time on his hands to write it, and was absolutely amazed that God would love HIM.  So that is what his gospel focused on, God's great love for us!  Matthew was writing his narrative mostly for the Jews, so he included many of the things about the genealogy and the birth, the fulfilment of the law, etc.  My children and I just finished going through the gospels in sequential order, and found nothing to be amiss as far as contradictory.  We did find great insight in looking at things in the order they appeared from different perspectives!  It was a wonderful study, and one I recommend all Christians doing!

The Bible interprets life from its particular perspective; it does not record in a factual way the human journey through history.

This may be the thing I agree with the most from this article...and I only agree with part of it!  I do believe the Bible interprets life from its particular perspective - God's.  He sees not as man sees, but from a big picture perspective - it is a good thing!   However, I do believe it is an accurate journey through history.

The second major misconception comes from the distorting claim that the Bible is in any literal sense “the word of God.” Only someone who has never read the Bible could make such a claim. The Bible portrays God as hating the Egyptians, stopping the sun in the sky to allow more daylight to enable Joshua to kill more Amorites and ordering King Saul to commit genocide against the Amalekites.
Can these acts of immorality ever be called “the word of God”? The book of Psalms promises happiness to the defeated and exiled Jews only when they can dash the heads of Babylonian children against the rocks! Is this “the word of God? What kind of God would that be?

As for his 2nd point...God is a Just God, and He administers justice.  How can he allow sin to continue in the world?  He is unable to be with sin, and so desperately wants people to CHOOSE Him.  He is a good God.  He is the perfect Judge.  It is the human race that has provoked Him to anger to such a degree that he would send a world wide flood, allow one nation to conquer another, turn Lot's wife into a pillar of salt, destroy Saddam and Gomorrah, allow a shepherd boy to slay a giant, allow the Babylonians to take over Israel, then when He sees the cruelty of their rule over His chosen people, allow the Persians to take over the Babylonians.  If He left us to our own evil doings, and did not correct us, where would we be?  How would that be justice?  How would that be better?

The Bible, when read literally, calls for the execution of children who are willfully disobedient to their parents, for those who worship false gods, for those who commit adultery, for homosexual persons and for any man who has sex with his mother-in-law, just to name a few.

The Bible calls for the death of those who disobey God's word because He knew then and knows now, that when we are around sin, we become desensitized to it.  When we consistently see something, it becomes 'normal' and 'ok' for and to us.  He also knows the truth that bad company corrupts good morals...that if one person is doing wrong, and another right, when they are left together, it is most likely going to be the one doing right to change their ways.  It has to do with socialization - putting an individual with a group in order for the individual to imitate the group.

God told the Israelites to completely run out ALL the people in the promised land.  Something they failed to do.  Then those people, just as God has said they would do, led Israel astray.  The Israelites followed the detestable practices of worshipping foreign gods, who were no more than man made images, even sacrificing their sons and daughters in the fire for them...had they obeyed God, they wouldn't have been influenced to so such things.  God really does have our greater good in mind!

The Bible exhorts slaves to be obedient to their masters and wives to be obedient to their husbands. Over the centuries, texts like these, taken from the Bible and interpreted literally, have been used as powerful and evil weapons to support killing prejudices and to justify the cruelest kind of inhumanity.

The Bible also calls for husbands to love their wives like Christ loves the church, who was willing to lay down his life for her.  Marriage is meant to symbolize God and the church, and yet, we have made the mockery of it, with high divorce rates, shacking up, intimacy outside of marriage, and children born out of wedlock.  God, again, has our greater good in mind.  Women truly are the weaker vessel, and need to be protected.  Especially during pregnancy and raising young children.  God has provided for that!  He wants men to commit their lives to one woman, I realize that the old testament is full of polygamy, but it is something that Paul says is not right if one wants to be an example and help lead the flock, so it is not the better way to live.  A man who finds a wife, finds a good thing.  It is not good that man should be alone.  A wife is to help her husband in all ways.  The two are united to be one flesh, and what God puts together, let no man separate. 

As for the slavery point, it is interesting to note that if you look at world wide slavery, it is in Christian nations where it was and has been abolished!

I do not see anything about racism in the Bible.  According to the Bible, ALL people came from 2, Adam and Eve, therefore, we are all equal.

I do however see the problem with such things as homosexuality, sexual immorality, adultery, gluttony, and many other things that the church should stand against.

The third major misconception is that biblical truth is somehow static and thus unchanging. Instead, the Bible presents us with an evolutionary story, and in those evolving patterns, the permanent value of the Bible is ultimately revealed.
It was a long road for human beings and human values to travel between the tribal deity found in the book of Exodus, who orders the death of the firstborn male in every Egyptian household on the night of the Passover, until we reach an understanding of God who commands us to love our enemies.

God is the same, yesterday, today, and tomorrow.  His love endures forever.  He does reveal himself differently through different experiences.  It truly is the same God in Exodus who killed the firstborn of all who did not have the blood on their doorposts as it is in Acts, when he struck down Annanias and Saphirra for lying about how much they sold their belongings for.  It is the same God who delivered the Israelites time and time again, who sent His son to die for my sins, to make atonement for me.  It is the same God who lead Abraham through the foreign nations, promising to give his descendants an inheritance who will allow the 4 horsemen to go across the world in the end times.  It is the same God who created Adam and Eve, expelled them from the garden, did not allow man to take revenge for Abel's death, who brought Joseph and Mary to Egypt to save Jesus' life, only to ultimately be sacrificed on the cross, though He himself didn't want to be.  It is the same God who allowed Stephen to be stoned to death, and saved Paul's life numerous times.  He is the same God who allowed Joseph's brothers to plot to kill him, only to send him to slavery, where things were ok until Potipher's wife lied about him, and he was sent to jail...but in each of these stories, that is exactly where God wanted them at that time!  He orchestrated it.

Ultimately it comes down to Him seeing the bigger picture!

One has only to look at Christian history to see why these misconceptions are dangerous. They have fed religious persecution and religious wars. They have fueled racism, anti-female biases, anti-Semitism and homophobia.They have fought against science and the explosion of knowledge.

Believing in the Bible, its inerrant text, its literal history, or its saving grace, sacrificial love, and the amazing God, whose story is told through human history, AND believing in TRUE science is certainly obtainable!   It is what we do every day.  We love science and history, and use the Bible as the backbone to ancient history.  We believe that the Bible DOES indeed transcend all space, time and culture.  That God will not allow His word to be defiled.

I have done a great deal of studying on science and the facts that we have been able to uncover.  I have not found ANYTHING that doesn't match up with what the Bible says...though I have heard interpretations of those same facts that do not line up with each other, that then also do not line up with the Bible.  Yet those are the things that are taught as fact.  I did once believe in millions of years in Genesis, until I took a deeper look at the text and the so called facts I learned in school.  I had to really examine what we as humans know, rather than taking a look at what we think we know through the lens of what we believe to be true (such as millions of years).

The Bible is not ANTI-female.  In fact, women are to be protected and cherished according to the Bible.  The Bible is not racist.  In fact, all people are equal in the line of scripture.  The Bible is also not Anti-Semanist.  In fact, they are God's chosen people, and those who bless them, will be blessed and those who curse them will be cursed.  The Bible is indeed anti-homosexual, but it is for our greater good, and I wholeheartedly agree with it.  Even our own research has proven that children do best have better self esteem, self image and are more secure in a household with their own mom and dad married.

The ultimate meaning of the Bible escapes human limits and calls us to a recognition that every life is holy, every life is loved, and every life is called to be all that that life is capable of being. The Bible is, thus, not about religion at all but about becoming deeply and fully human. It issues the invitation to live fully, to love wastefully and to have the courage to be our most complete selves.
That is why I treasure this book and why I struggle to reclaim its essential message for our increasingly non-religious world.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of John Shelby Spong

What a dangerous, and anti-Biblical view of the Bible itself!  I really do feel sorry for this man.  I understand him to be no different than myself, a human being, created in the image of Almighty God, who knows little to nothing of just how Great and Awesome He is.  John Shelby Spong, and I have in common that we are no different than the Israelites, who after witnessing great miracles, made for themselves idols from their own hands to worship.  Who time and time again, turn away from the spectacular God that loves us, and sent His son to die for our sins.  We as humans, are so limited in our understanding of the big picture and of God.  The beginning of knowledge is the fear of God.  I thank God for the small bit of understanding He has granted me.  I praise Him for the desire for His word that He has given me.  And I pray that others would get it as well.  I am not at all saying that I am any better off than this man, or any other person in this world, just that I have the grace of God, through faith in the Lord, Jesus Christ, it is nothing that I have done.  I deserve nothing less than death, but because of God's saving grace, He has justified me to Himself, where I get to be for all eternity!  What a gift He has to give to all who would receive!

I pray that John Shelby Spong would be touched by God.  I pray that God would give him ears to hear, and eyes to see.  I pray that God would show Himself in a powerful, and incredible way to this man.  I pray that he would see the saving grace offered to him only by the blood of Jesus, and that Jesus is truly the ONLY way to be justified in the eyes of God.  That we can not do it by works, but only by faith.  And that the Bible is much more than a book to make us more deeply and fully human, but the word of God Almighty, who loves us more than we are capable of loving, and calls us to holiness.  I fervently pray for all of those individuals who also believe this way, that they would come to a deeper understanding of Who God is, and how Great He is and a reverence for His Holy Word, the Bible.  In the name of Jesus I pray.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Special time with J

One day last week, J woke up especially early.  And made it out of his room without waking up the other little ones.

He and I made breakfast together, then played in bubbles and read some books.  I am not sure who enjoyed this special time together more, him or me!

Beauty in the simplistic

In the craziness of life in the last week, I kind of forgot to make a couple of posts...here are some pics the girls took around the yard with the snow all over the ground.

There really is a beauty to be found in freshly fallen snow!  God is so good!  And now, after being home for 11 days, the children and I are going to venture out to restock the pantry!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Date Night, Death and yelling, "Fire!" in a not so crowded theater.

Yesterday was an odd day.  It didn't start out that way.  But the longer it went on, the most strange it became.  I was grateful when sleep finally came last night.

It started with the idea that Chris and I would go on a date.  It has been awhile since we have done that, so we were both looking forward to it.  We were going to dinner and then to the 6:30 showing of...I actually do not remember what we were going to see initially, lol!  This meant really focusing on therapy for Callie and Brianna so that we could get them as close to done as possible!  By nap time, Callie only had 4 activities left and Brianna was done!  (They worked really hard!)

Then I got a call from my sister.  She said that Grandma Marie was in the hospital with pneumonia, and wasn't doing well.  She may not make it.  She said that I could call Uncle Jerry (Kelly's uncle, and Kelly's grandma, they actually have no relation to me, but Grandma Marie has always treated me as one of her grandchildren...and my children as her great grandchildren.) for more info.

I did call Jerry, pretty much right away to get a better idea of what was going on.  He was the one who had called Kelly, and basically told me the exact thing that she was told.  I asked if it was ok for me to come by that evening, and he said that would be great.

Meanwhile, Chris was in Seattle working, so I called him to confirm it was ok for us to go visit her, he said he would come home early so we could maybe even make out movie as well.  I called Chris' parents to get let them know what was going on, and if they could get there any earlier, I would greatly appreciate it.  Then I got to tell my children, and the girls set off making cards for her.

We spent the majority of the afternoon making cards.  Before I knew it, it was time to go...and I wasn't *really* ready.

When we got to the hospital, my first thought was SHOCK.  What I was told, was not what I saw.  What I saw was someone in their last moments of life, gasping for a single breath of air every 3-5 seconds, mouth open, unresponsive, with no IV fluids, and just comfort measures in place.  We stayed at the hospital, where the mood was actual light, and people were catching up, smiling and laughing, for about an hour and a half.  By the time we left, she was taking a breath every 5-8 seconds, sometimes longer.  I made sure to say my good-byes before I left.  Kelly was already at the hospital when we got there.  Chris made sure that Kaitie knew that if it was important to her to say her good-byes, to do so that night, and not to wait until the next morning.

Then we carried on with our plan...to go out to dinner.  Where I got a text from Kelly telling me to stop texting Kaitie because we were upsetting her.  While we were at dinner, an elderly man had a stroke, and several doctors in the restaurant attended him.

Then we went to see Mission Impossible 4...because it had a later start time, lol!  About 10 minutes into the movie, I got a call from my cousin (actually Kelly's cousin again), that Grandma had passed at about 9:00 pm.  (She will get her own post later, when I have a bit more time...I am just trying to make sense of a very crazy day right now!)  I was also asked to let my sisters know.

Kelly didn't answer, so I tried a second time, not wanting to leave this in a message.  Then I ended up calling Chris' mom for advice on what to do, since she wouldn't answer and I suspected that it had something to do with the text exchange earlier...she said to leave a message that I really needed to talk with her as soon as she can call.  As I was finishing up the call, I got a text from Kelly saying that she was low on minutes and what was up.  I texted back that I really needed her to call me ASAP.  After about 2 minutes of waiting in the hall, I decided to call her (I didn't want to interrupt the movie AGAIN for everyone else by me going in and out again.  Kelly was very upset...especially after assuring Kaiting that I was overreacting, and that it was ok that she couldn't make it until the next day...Kelly said that she wanted to tell Kaitie.  (Whom I had already left a message for to call me as soon as she could.)

After I got done talking with Kelly, I went back into the movie...though I do not remember much of what happened, it was a nice dark, quiet place to shed a few tears alone.

When the movie was finished, I filled Chris in on what was going on when I had left the theater.  Then, as if this weren't enough for a day, and being 13 weeks pregnant, I went to the restroom...which was filled with smoke.  There was a fire in the garbage can!  I ran out yelling, "Fire!  There's a fire in the women's garbage can!"  People just looked at me.  One even said, "Isn't it illegal to say that?" to her friends...I couldn't find an employee anywhere!  I decided to look for a fire extinguisher since the flames were contained in the garbage so far...Chris and another man ran into the women's restroom to try to put the flames out.  And decided to just move the can outside.  Where I met them with the fire extinguisher I found. 

I got to write up a statement, and we were given 6 free movie passes for 'saving the theater.'

All in all, it was such an odd day!  I am still working on processing it, but writing this, even if no one reads it, has been therapeutic!

Now I have to tell my children that Grandma Marie is gone...not something I am looking forward to.  I do not even know how or when I will do it today.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

More snow!

We rarely get much snow.  As my previous post indicated, a dusting around here, is considered 'snowfall' and time to outside to play in it!

This picture, is almost unread to me, taken from the Yahoo main page.

Just showing how much of an end our ruler has, you really have to add
1/4 inch to it if it is tipped, and 1/2 inch if it is level.

Here is how we are measuring up so far at my house...total this week:

Here is today's snowfall (the girls cleared the cube of snow yesterday, and it was still clear this morning...)  It is currently 11:45 am, and there is no sign that this is going to let up anytime soon!

And it is still coming down like crazy!  Maybe the predictions are right this time?

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Today's snow pics

Anna and Ashley's snow elephant

The twins stayed outside for most of the day.  I was amazed at how long they stayed outside!  They basically came inside in age order starting with the youngest.

Anna sitting on her snow boot
Callie had trouble walking, even with her walker,
so Anna gave the little ones a ride in style!
Callie making a snow angel

J riding Anna's snow horse

Callie riding Anna's snow horse

J, amazed the snow sticks to his mitten
Anna, making her snow boot

Anna riding on her snow horse.


Snow is something to get excited about in the pacific northwest.  Whether you love it or dislike it, everyone seems to get excited one way or another.

I had a rough year about 3 winters ago, before this blog was started - though some of the pics and stories would have definitely been blog worthy, lol, anyway, I will just share the part that made me go from loving the snow, to disliking it...and left me with a fear of driving in it!

Sledding weather!
I used to jump up and tell the girls to grab the sled if we had even a dusting!  (This pic really explains it well, lol!)

Then we had a truly hard core winter for us...snow that stuck around for 2 weeks at a time, and it was big blast of winter after big blast of winter...Christmas day, we were at Chris' parents, as usual, but we were struggling to get home.  We were going on fumes in the van, it was slipping and sliding all over...we were stuck blocking the alley, trying to get in our driveway for 3+ hours before deciding to put the van on the road...we are pretty sure that the pushing, pulling and otherwise trying to get the bus unstuck that night is what caused a placental abruption for J's twin.

If that were not enough, once I recovered from the loss of J's twin, I decided I needed to go to the store to get some heavy cream - to make snow ice cream of course!  But the van got stuck on the hill trying to go to the store.  I decided since I was less than 1/2 way to the store, to just head for home...then had the thought that maybe the bakery had some.  They didn't.  While crossing the street from the bakery to the fruit stand, a car decided no to stop at the stop sign...he just crawled through the intersection...but I was in his way, I hurried the best I could, but was sliding all over the road.  He clipped my leg, and then rolled down his window and said, "Sorry, but I can't stop!  I will get stuck!" and kept going.  There was a witness at the fruit stand, who watched me get spun around on the road and fall from being hit on my right leg.  I gathered up groceries and was limping.  When I got to the sidewalk, he asked if he needed me to call an ambulance.  I said no, I just live a few houses away.  I was really sore for the next several weeks! 

So...now, I am much more squeemish about driving in the snow - in fact, I just don't do it anymore.  (And as I look at the weather report for this week, my schedule is clearing out for the week, lol!

My children still absolutely LOVE the snow! And have been excited to play in the snow all day. The twins were outside most of the day, followed by Ashley and Brianna for being out the longest. Callie lasted a lot longer than I thought at almost an hour, and J had fun outside for about 45 minutes. Serenity had fun watching the snow fall, and saying, "Oh!" and pointing out the window. The creativity of my chilren never ceases to amaze me! What a blessing to see all of their wonderful creations in the snow! I enjoy watching them play outside, going out to take pics, and seeing their excitement...just as long as I dont' need to go anywhere, lol! I have too many pics to post, so I will put yesterday's pics in this post, and today's pics in another post!