Monday, September 15, 2014

He's Pretty Awesome

The last couple months have been crazy.  It has been a whirlwind of end of summer fun, busy shifts at the hospital, school prep.  Now we are in the full swing of school, flag football, busy shifts at the hospital, house work and yard work. 

I will never catch up on blogging about all the fun, memories, thoughts and impressions from the last few months.  Nor will I be able to manage a lot of posts about the school curriculum plans for this year. 

But I will say this: My house is officially in "homeschooling" mode, which means that only the minimum housework is getting done, but I like to think that maximum learning is being accomplished.  I have had crazy, long shifts at the hospital, but my mom, sister and Noah have helped out and I have made it through.  The kids are happy, and my schedule is looser this fall than it was last year.  I think that will be good for my sanity.

And Noah has quietly been helping out, trying to come home earlier so I can get a break and a chance to rest.  He has been cooking and transporting.

He's pretty awesome.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014


I know, once again I haven't blogged for most of the month.  I haven't finished my vacation posts, I haven't posted pictures of Everyn's hair loss or obsessed over how 2/3's of summer is gone.  I haven't posted pictures about baseball or our 14th anniversary.

We have been enjoying summer, and I have kept our days fairly unscheduled with just a vague "bucket" list and a lot of time just bumming around the house and yard, hanging out with neighbors and reconnecting with friends.

I haven't blogged, however, because this is the post that I have been wanting to write, and it is also the one that I just haven't known how to write.

I miscarried our 6th baby at the beginning of the month.  I wasn't very far along, just 6 weeks, but as the nurse told me: a loss is still a loss.  And I am ok.  I really am doing far better than I expected that I would be if I ever imagined these circumstances.    But this loss has caused me to spend a lot of time thinking and pondering and it is interrupted by moments of sadness.

There is a girl at work who is pregnant with her first baby.  I am SO EXCITED for her, but she is due just a month or so before I would have been.  I am looking forward to holding her baby and thinking of my own, but watching her experience pregnancy makes me wish I was still pregnant too.

We talked to the boys about this, and we have been pretty open about it.  I have talked to a number of my friends, because for me, processing verbally is a way for me to heal.  I can talk about it without tears, and my friends/family have been a support for me.

I have been left thinking about a couple of things, though.  First of all, grief.  Everyone grieves in their own way, and everyone's experiences are a little bit different.  This miscarriage didn't devastate me, and there are probably a lot of factors for that.  That does not mean, however, that miscarriages aren't a big deal.  The amount of loss a person feels is probably affected by a lot of things, but it is still a loss.  Being sensitive to where people are at is important. Don't think they are overly emotional if they are more upset than you might be and on the flip side, don't think people callous if they are not crying as much as you think they should.  Everyone is different.

Secondly, I have been thinking about how we really don't always know what is going on in people's lives.  Even people that we are close to.  I am one that is quick to judge, but this experience (and some other things that have happened this month) have made me realize that we really don't know everything.  I was in the middle of a miscarriage and still working my job, still hanging out with friends and no one knew.  I could have chosen to keep it to myself and it would have been my secret.  I knew that for me that was not a healthy choice, but it did make me wonder how many people I know go through pain and loss silently, putting on a happy face.

The last thing that I have been thinking about is what to say when people grieve and experience loss.  I struggle with what to say in these situations, and so I tend to be very forgiving of people who put their foot in their mouth.  It is easy to do, and since everyone is so different, something you say that is extra encouraging to one person could come across as offensive to someone else.  Because of that, I can't speak for anyone but myself.  But for me, it actually didn't really matter what a friend said.  What mattered is that I could sense that they cared for me and that they acknowledged that what I was saying to them was important to me.  And I know my friend's hearts and how much they love me and how they communicate so differently from each other, and yet they all care.

One friend just said, "I am so sorry, Julie".  And it was enough.  Another friend, with him I hash out all the details of life, asked me details and gave me permission to talk.  My family knows that I need space sometimes, and they gave it to me while making sure that I knew that they were there if I needed them.  Noah's mom said she would pray for us (and I know she did) and called to check on us. A couple more friends who have also experienced losses validated my feelings and had tears in their eyes along with me.  My practical friend that I see a lot let me talk without passing judgement or giving opinions.  I had encouraging emails that showed me that friends, even in the midst of their busy days, took time to care.  All the responses were so different, and yet they were the exact responses that I would have expected from those friends.

The most heart breaking moment was, in the middle of the miscarriage, when Noah put his hand on my stomach as if he were saying goodbye.  We hadn't really gotten much of a chance to say "hello" yet, and it was already "goodbye". 

Monday, July 7, 2014

After 13 years of Nursing

13 years ago I started my first job as an RN.  I have worked at 3 different hospitals and they all have had their own quirks and they all have had their own victories and their own struggles. 

A couple of things have remained the same though in all of those jobs: the difficulty in dealing with patients/families who do not view death as a natural part of life, and how bad it feels to cause people pain/discomfort when the end result is only being a few more days on this earth.

This is a fabulous article, and I think one that is well worth the read- especially for people that are not in a health care field.

Friday, June 27, 2014


Accomplishments of the Week:

1. Took 4 kids (the younger ones)to Y pool by myself and no one died
2. Took 4 kids (the younger ones) to Y pool and splash deck by myself and no one died
3. Took 5 kids (along with a friend and her 2) to the beach and no one died
4. Grandma found ballet slippers and tap shoes for a quarter a pair at a garage sale
5. have picked almost 50 cups of strawberries from my little patch


Berean finally did the monkey bars ALL BY HERSELF!

She is one proud girl!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Vacation: Zoo and Arch!

 When I last wrote, our vacation was just starting.  We left the ball park around 8:30- handing off cleats, bat, protective equipment and uniform to Grandma in the parking lot.

We had packed that Suburban carefully and there was no extra room.  Every seat was full and the back was crammed.

Our goal was to drive to Iowa- we already had a hotel booked and paid for, which was good incentive to make it as far as we had planned!  There was some initial drama when we realized while enroute that neither one of us had printed our hotel reservation info, neither one of us remembered the name of the hotel and of course neither one of us has a smart phone.  After randomly calling some hotels on our GPS we were still getting nowhere.  Finally, Noah ended up just talking my dad through accessing our email and getting the info. 

4 1/2 hours later, at about 0100 we arrived at our destination.  We hadn't had to make any stops and we had spent the trip listening to "In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson" and some Adventures in Odyssey CDs. 

The girls, a boy or two (and maybe a Mom) napped a little in the car, but even so everyone fell asleep pretty quickly when we got to the hotel.  Our rooms were connected and Karla and the boys took one room and Noah and I and the girls were in the other.

In the morning we got up and ate at the hotel.  Deacon sat at a table far away from the cereal.  An older couple were pleased and amused to watch our family and said that they were well behaved.  And they were.  Score!

We quickly packed everything back up, filled up the tank and headed out. I had packed a "Wed" bag with a new outfit for each of us so we just had to pull that out of the Suburban (and we even put it near the top!) which made it so much quicker to leave in the morning and also left the
 somewhat precarious packing situation intact.

We drove another 4 1/2 hours without stops and arrived at the St. Louis Zoo.  After a somewhat tense few minutes while actually locating the parking lot etc, we finally disembarked. As soon as we got in we gathered maps, visited the concrete seals and ate our lunch.  I had made braided pizza bread and that was really easy to cut up and eat- some of us dipped it in a jar of pizza sauce.  It was nice because it was different than normal traveling food.

The zoo was explored and experienced in a whirlwind fashion.  The boys aren't huge zoo guys, and we only had 3 hours before closing. 

I think that their favorite part of zoos is getting to climb on various benches, sculptures and climbing through logs.  Some lady gave us zoo train passes with one stop left- they were leaving and didn't need them, so that was also fun for the kids.

This zoo was pretty cool though because they actually got to see Hippos swimming (and we could watch them because the display allowed underwater viewing!) and there were elephants, even a cute baby one.  The kids had never seen a real elephant before, so it was a very exciting event. They were especially impressed when one of the elephants pooped.
Family Picture!

Sisters and the Littles!

Best buds for life!


Yeah, he's pretty cute :)

We spent the trip trying to get some pictures of the two of us

Baby Girls in bright dresses

Lincoln being silly.  Rare to capture on camera
Next we left the zoo and drove downtown to get to the arch.  It was another tense couple minutes of navigating as we could see the arch, but due to some construction it was very unclear how to get to the parking lot. After briefly visiting Illinois we successfully parked the Suburban and then obsessed a little over the fact that a warning to check our coolant came on the screen. 

We have found that the Suburban is a little message crazy.  The coolant level was fine, the oil level was fine and although we watched the temp gauge like hawks for the rest of the trip we didn't have any more trouble with annoying screen messages.

Hopefully it stays that way.

Roman was freaking out as we waited for our "Going up into the Arch" time.  We had purchased tickets online, but it wasn't very busy.  We killed some time in the Museum of Westward Expansion which interested some people (Noah, Julie & Karla) more than it interested others (Deacon, Roman, Lincoln, Bre and Ever).  The whole time, though, Roman had this nervous energy just radiating from his little body.  He just wanted to get it over with, he said.

After a lot of waiting we were told to go stand by door 3.
We amused ourselves (Karla, Lincoln, Deacon and I) and distracted others (Noah and Roman) by taking selfies in the little pod on our way up to the top of the arch!  It was a challenge to get us all in one frame!  Poor Roman, only his eye is showing!
It really wasn't too scary and Roman had calmed down a lot by the time we reached the top.
I didn't include any pictures from the top.  It was weird lighting in there, and it was evening so the pictures didn't turn out the greatest.  It was fun though and the kids did seem to like it, especially when they weren't dwelling on the fact that they were looking out of the teeny-tiny windows way up there that they had seen from the outside.  It is kind of a scary thought (for all of us who don't like heights!)

We didn't hang around too long after our tour.  We checked in to our rather odd hotel and fed the kids picnic lunch #2 in the hotel room.  This time it was PB & J or Ham/Roast Beef with of course chips, fruit and Pepsi.

I also remembered the "Thursday" bag, and once again our Suburban packing job remained mostly intact.

Everyone crashed and we were done with the first full day of vacation!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


We just got home from a vacation.  Yes, it was a real live vacation- in that we were away from home for 6 days and put a lot of miles on the old Suburban. 

I don't know if I have ever shared this before, but I don't really love trips.  I don't like living out of a suitcase, I like my own bed and I don't like all my stuff crammed into a car.

Especially intolerable are vacations with kids.  Someone is bound to pee in their carseat, vomit in the vehicle, lose something or have a meltdown on the end of Navy Pier.  Not that that has ever happened to us or anything.

It is easier to control chaos at home.

Noah and I took some cool road trips before kids.  Nothing exotic or anything- we are not really the traveling type.  We have always had jobs or responsibilities to tie us down.  We had our kids young, so maybe we will have a chance to go more places when we get older :)  Anyway, we went to Atlanta, St. Louis, Gulf Shores and Niagara Falls. After kids we have left them at home to go to Seattle and Boston and Noah went solo to California and Wyoming. 

When we just had the 3 boys we took a road trip to Mt. Rushmore, because Deacon wanted to see "the faces".  We took the Granny Nanny with and the trip went pretty well.  We had a 1:1 ratio, so how bad could it be?  Roman did miss home and I think that was our first realization about what a homebody he is.  We spent a lot of time on that trip helping 3 year old Roman make lists about the things that he liked to make himself feel better.

After that we mostly stuck with camping or short weekends close to home until the fateful day in 2011 when we decided that we should go on another vacation.  We decided to group my cousins wedding reception in Illinois with an exciting trip to Chicago.

All the pictures from that trip were lost in a massive harddrive debacle.  I don't know that we care.  We have sort of tried to erase that trip from our memory.  There were happy moments: like being  at Lego Land and the Children's Museum.  There were also scary moments like riding the city busses and trying to get on the L with 4 kids and a stroller.  There were traumatizing moments like Berean laying in a pile of Tulle and sobbing, Roman having a complete and total meltdown in the fetal position on Navy Pier and running for blocks from the bus to the museum through a massive downpour combined with wind.

That trip took the wind out of our sails and we were back to mini vacations and a policy against going anywhere further than 3 hours away.

Until last week.  A few months ago my mom's brothers and sister decided to set up a family weekend getaway.  Our family with all the aunts, uncles, and cousins were going to meet at a resort in Missouri for a long weekend.  Noah and I decided to attach a trip to St. Louis at the front end of the weekend.

This addition led to the 6 day long real live vacation.

I became more concerned about how this would go the closer that it got, but we had things lined up so we had to persist.  We spent days planning our food, our clothes, researching museums and booking hotels.  In between that I also worked my shifts all smushed together and prepared our house, yard and commitments for being away for so long.    Noah was busy at work so we had a stressful few days leading up to our departure which made me even more anxious.

Deacon played a baseball game last Tuesday night and when it was over at 8:30pm Noah, my sister, all the kids and I piled into the Suburban and headed south! 

More to come...

Thursday, June 5, 2014

5 Individuals, or a Team?

The other night Noah and I were discussing life, future plans and priorities.

He asked me if I ever thought that I would have 5 kids.  I laughed.  When I was in Jr. High I was convinced I would have 13 children.  When we got married we thought 4 would be a good number.  I certainly never thought we would have 5 because HE has been so adamantly opposed to an odd number of children.  But life (and children!) can change plans.

I certainly never thought that I would be putting in 20+ hours at a job outside the home, but that is our reality.  I also never took into account the long hours that Noah would be gone everyday.  I had a mom that didn't work outside the home and a dad that was home by 5:00 every day.

Our biggest question is this:  Do we raise our kids in the chaotic environment of a semi-big family while also providing for them as many individual opportunities as a child in a smaller family may have?  Or do we sacrifice some of their individual opportunities in order to maintain some sort of sanity in our busy situation?  I know big families that let their kids pursue their dreams regardless of the strain on the family schedule.  I also know big families that strictly limit their kids' activities.

Somehow, we must strike a balance.

I am with the kids all day long.  We spend a lot of time together, just me and the kids, due to homeschooling.  Because of that, letting them be in activities not only gives them an outlet, but in a sense, it gives me a break.  On the flip side it also gives me more running around to do, which is hard for the other kids (and me!)  And I feel like since Noah is home so little, the kids being gone in the evening really limits their time with him.

Maybe the baseball 4+ nights a week is just getting to me :)  But I know that this discussion will continue this summer as we start to look at our fall homeschooling/activities schedule!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Goliath Challenge!

Getting ready to watch Mom race!
 The Goliath Challenge is an obstacle race to raise money for Feed My Starving Children.  The adult race is a 5k and the kid course is 2.5k.  This year both Deacon and Roman were old enough to participate so they ran one of the kid waves together, and  Noah and I did the adult course (but in different waves, due to the kids needing supervision :)

It was a beautiful day, and we had some fun family time together!  Certain people who do not like to run even seemed to enjoy themselves :)

It was a fun race to do, especially since it supported a worthy cause.  The times are frustrating a little, because you didn't have to do the obstacles, you could walk around them.  Of course not doing the obstacles would give you a faster time, but that is not taken into account in the race times.  Also, for example, a lady ahead of me fell off an obstacle, climbed back on and preceded to sit there tying her shoe- no one else could get on until she was off of it!  It was irritating at the time, but in the grand scheme of the world I guess it wasn't that big of a deal!

Not ready enough to run up the big hill...

Inflatables are always a hit!

Mud at the end of the race!

The crew watching for Daddy!

Deke thought this was such a nice picturesque view of a "village"

Love it!

Exploring while watching for Daddy

My baby

Water Obstacle!

Eating snacks!

Child racers!

The initial hill is brutal

Lincoln can't wait until next year when he can race!

Sword fights!

Deacon on the monkey bars

Almost to the end of the race!

Roman hates running, but he enjoyed himself despite...running...

He loved the water obstacles very much...

and seemed to like the mud a fair amount too.

They were good little spectators!

Hosing off

It took a lot of oxyclean to get that shirt clean!

Post race smiles!

Monday, June 2, 2014

June Goals!


*be able to do the splits by end of the month!
*20 miles bike
*70 miles run/walk
*34 mile walk for my birthday!
*lose last 5 pounds


*keep the weeds down
*plant flowers
*clean up lot
*talk to landscaper about erosion on north side of house


*clean out dining room cabinets
*clean out front closet and cubbies
*clean out kitchen cabinets and drawers
*help Noah clean out garage
*call contractor/architect
*take care of car oil drama


*4 adventures with the kids
*read four books to kids
*read 2 books myself
*finish reading Acts to kids
*keep up with kids daily lists
*set up our slack line
*basketball hoop in yard
*make pitching target for Deacon


*pictures, scanning, book making and blogging?

For sure:

*Lots of game playing since my sister will be home!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

The Queen

I almost have my June goals planned out and ready to post...tomorrow...

For now, I will leave you with Berean AKA Queen Elsa!  She planned her Elsa costume herself- good thing we have blue surgical towels and blue nitrile gloves just waiting for all her costuming needs!
Everyn is very impressed by the costume

The gloves really make the outfit

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Diet

QOTD: D: "Mom, why are you trying to lose weight?"  Me: *laughing* "so I can look good".  (yeah, I know, probably not the most politically correct answer). D: "are you sure it is not so that Dad can carry you around like they do in comics, movies, and on people's wedding days?"  Me: "yeah, pretty sure that is never going to happen."  D: "why not?"  Me: "because I am not that much shorter than your dad.  It works better if the guy is really tall and the girl is shorter."

I am a person that likes to finish things, to accomplish things.  Parenting, which is my full time job, does not allow for much finishing or accomplishment.  You are never done parenting and the problems never cease.

You can't check things off of a "wife" list either.  You have to work constantly at your relationship, not take things for granted.  You don't finish and accomplish your entire marriage with a weekend check list.

I have never really made an effort to lose weight before, I have never really had to. In the last 10 years when I started to feel like I was gaining a little, I would be pregnant by the next month and would be no longer concerned. 

Some combination of needing to finish something, control something and the fact that my 5 pound weight variation had slowly crept up 5 pounds over the last couple of years got me motivated to lose 10 pounds by my birthday in June. 

That will put me at what I consider to be a really healthy, really lean weight for me.

So I started tracking calories and exercise and playing the numbers game using a website-  And do you know what?  It works.  If I stay at or under my calorie allotment for the day I lose weight at the rate I have told the site that I want to lose at. 

It is pretty incredible, and because I like to enter numbers in charts and obsess over things it works for me. 

I have cleaned up my eating a lot and have been very consious of where my extra calories are coming from (leftover PB & J that the kids didn't eat- probably didn't need that).  I have stopped snacking while I cook and have started making sure that the calories I am consuming are actually things that I want to be eating and will fill me up.

I get 1285 calories a day if I don't exercise.  That is so that I will lose 2 pounds a week.  That is not very many calories, in case you were wondering.  That is enough for 3 small meals.  No calories from beverages, no desserts.  I can eat that many calories in one meal easily.  But I am not starving, I am just making better choices.

And then I exercise in order to get extra calories.  Running 5 miles gives me a lot of wiggle room and even allows for dessert! And running faster is even better.

Eating cleaner, running faster and losing weight- that is the name of the game right now!  I don't know if I will actually be down 10 by my birthday, but I think I will be close- all in time to gain it back on vacation!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

After the Cupcake: A Mother's Day Morning

Mother's Day. 

It is a day meant for old mothers.  Not young ones.  At least that is what I have always said.

For a present, I say "I want quiet in the household".

They hear, "fight and be crazy".

I say, "All I want to do is stay home and relax"

And yet I usually get roped into going somewhere and sitting around making small talk.

I tell them I want a good picture of them all smiling in some cute pinterest-y way.

The boys hear, "I am trying to ruin your life by making you wear something nice" and the girls hear "This will be the perfect time to have a meltdown because my brother offered to help me out of the Suburban."

So this year I was glad that I had to work.

I could stay home, sleep, do my own thing.

The kids could do their own thing.  Be crazy, play in the yard. Noah could do his own thing.  Whip up fabulous food.  Try to make things perfect and quiet for me.  Together they could all go visit relatives without me.

I will be reading a book, sleeping. going on a walk.


It was a busy night at work..  In the morning however, my friend walked toward me with a chocolate cupcake.  "For you", she said.  What a lovely surprise, and what a lovely pile of frosting it had perched on it's top.   I carefully set it next to me as I finished my charting.  I was too late, I decided, to make it home before everyone left for church so I decided to do a last act of kindness. 

Someone really wanted a Sunday paper, and the only way to get one is to buy one out of a machine.  I didn't know if I had the money, but I dug and dug in my giant purse and finally came up with enough.  I walked all of the way to the machine, and it only accepted quarters.  Not willing to give up that easily I went in search for change for my dollar bill.  That accomplished, I headed back to the machine.  I put my money in cheerfully, looking forward to passing along the paper.  The last quarter dropped.  The door wouldn't open. 

It just would not open.  Nor would it return my money. 

I analyzed the box.  No way to get in, and besides someone in a vehicle outside the door was looking at me quite skeptically as I shook the machine.  I dropped in another quarter, just to see if that would knock something loose.  It didn't.

I had no more money and no newspaper.

Disheartened, I headed for my car.

I sat in the parking ramp and ate my whole cupcake.  It left purple frosting on my nose.

I drove home to find kids who were half excited that I was home and half sad that I had missed the amazing "breakfast in bed" complete with dandilions wrapped in furry leaves that they had prepared for me.  The hot chocolate was cold, and the toast was a little stiff, but it was still wonderful.

The card was sweet, and their faces proud.

Deacon wore his secret smile.

My favorite part though was the way that the card was divided into sections and they each had a box.  Deacon had written Berean's words for her.   "I love  you". Siblings.  A collaborative effort to honor their mom.  Older helping the youngers.  Sharing an experience.

I sat at the computer to check facebook.  2 globs of jelly fell from my toast to the keyboard.

The kitchen is a mess, Noah seemed harried.

I doubt that I will get the things on my list this year:
A garage that is clean enough to park in
A garden that is ready to plant
5 kids and a husband who are willing to help me clean the whole house from top to bottom

But what I have is pretty great too: coworkers that bring me surprises, a job to help support our family, money to help those in need (even if it doesn't always work!), 5 beautiful children who love me and each other, an extended family and friends to love and support us, my own mom and mother-in-law who are  amazing women of God, and a husband who cooks for me, supports my every venture  and tries very hard to match his brand of crazy with mine.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014


The long winter that we experienced in these parts has given way to a sad spring.  I am trying to get yard work done, but quite frankly, it is hard to get motivated when it is cold or windy or rainy.  Sometimes it is all three.

I have the internet situation in a temporary fix for now, so at least I can use it. Well, I can use it until someone trips over the cord that is running from the computer upstairs down two flights of stairs and into the back of the boy's room.  It is a little awkward.

I will post May goals soon, I have been doing them :)  April was a bust, but I will try to get those up too. 

Here are just a few general updates:

Deacon- He wears a coonskin cap and a paracord necklace.  He draws and dreams.  He reads and has started writing his first novel. He is on paragraph one.  His greatest desire right now is to be on a dodge ball team.  He loves dodge ball, and it is really all that he wants to do with his time and his life.  Every day, as soon as the neighbor kids get home from school, the boys in the neighborhood converge in one back yard and play massive dodge ball games.  They have been throwing volley balls, basketballs and soccer balls at each other with full strength.  They do this for hours at a time.  They come home with red faces and happy hearts.  The host yard family has decided to invest in some playground balls, and the soccer, volley and basketballs have been banned from dodgeball use (as of today).  Deke has also started Little League, but he loves dodgeball more.

Roman- He participates in the dodgeball shenanigans - half heartedly at times, but he likes to be where the action is, so there he goes.  He is only happy when he has had enough time in the lego room, and continues to awe us all with the lego creations that he concocts daily.  He is a leader and organizes people and objects well.

Lincoln has had two Little League practices.  He is determined to keep up with this brothers, and has turned into a fast little runner and an intense ball player.  He remains the quiet one, but puts his head down and plays with the best of them.  He also loves dodgeball very much. He and Berean also have been playing together a lot, which is fun to see.

Berean- This little lady is hilarious.  She likes to talk, she likes to analyze her social environment and  she likes to be in the middle of everything.  Cooking,  reading, running around outside, playing school, writing her name, making cards, swimming, riding her bike.  She throws herself into everything wholeheartedly and is often heard exclaiming, "I love ......" or "This is the best day of my whole life!"  Swimming is her latest skill. She can float on her back for long periods of time, jump in, puts her face in the water and paddles her arms around. She was a little angry about swimming lessons because she has a boy teacher.  One day I heard her mumbling to herself, "there has got to be a way to get out of swimming lessons!"  She was unable to find one, however, despite trying to call both Grandmas to rescue her, and she now appears to be ok with her "boy teacher".

Oh Ever.  She likes to do everything for herself.  She likes to play pretend.  She likes to be outside.  She is exhausting, and charming.  She is exasperating and loving.  She loves dogs and her mom.  She screams when I leave her somewhere, but only until I get out of her sight, then she is fine.  She is easily excited and can always find things to do- usually things she is not supposed to do, but at least she is independent and self motivated, right?

We have had 5 children for over 2 years now, but I feel like this winter and spring has been the hardest parenting time for me since the boys were young. 

But, as I know, the good times don't last, but neither do the hard times.

Monday, April 28, 2014


We are having intermittent internet problems.  This makes writing blog posts, making photo books, sending emails extremely annoying- hence my hiatus from my blog (again).  Hopefully (because we are rather cranky when we don't have solid internet) our situation will be corrected soon and I will be back on track- after all, I have Easter pictures, birthday pictures, art work and funny stories to post- just as soon as I can!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

So Tired

 Everyn is a very cuddly girl.  She likes to be carried, she likes to be babied and she will sit on people's laps for long periods of time.  Sometimes we read, sometimes she will just sit and suck her fingers and twirl her hair.

She also likes to play.  If I find dolls neatly tucked under a blanket, or a little girl grocery shopping- it is Everyn.  Berean rarely plays dolls or pretend, unless Ever puts her up to it.

Berean leaves her bag or basket somewhere, Ever picks it up and tries to make sure  Bre gets it back- even if it means using one of her 6 or so words to defend the object against another child.
 She has the same tongue protrusion thing as Lincoln, so I imagine speech therapy will be in her future.  She really wants to speak, however, and will actually attempt words, so that may work in her favor.  Lincoln is a more  of a "strong silent type" and even now when he can talk, does not share an abundance of information like some others in the household.

She says "Bre" the most.  Clearly, she idolizes her sister.  They watch the kindle together during screen time, and Ever always holds it.  This surprises me, because most other times Berean calls the shots. 

She will try to say the names of letters and numbers when she plays her matching game, and she really likes to move things around.
 For example, she loved these flowers at the children's museum- planting and unplanting them kept her very amused.

One time I had two bags of canned/bottle groceries, waiting to go downstairs.  She took every can out one by one and lined them all up on the kitchen floor.  Then she put them back in the bags, and then she repeated the scenario. 

She can go potty by herself, and tries to dress herself, but still has trouble with arm holes.  She likes to go on walks in the stroller, but other times she really exerts her independence- getting her own spoons, picking out her clothes etc.

She still sleeps in her crib, and doesn't try to get out.  This surprises us greatly.  The reason it surprises us is because in all other ways, she is an escape artist.
She is exhausting me- I have to be right by her at all times.  If it is not trying to use sharpies or scissors in inappropriate ways (she watches, and takes the boys supplies if they leave them out), it is trying to pull things off the counters.  If it is not pulling things off the counters, it is climbing on the counters to get things out of cabinets.  If it is not climbing on counters, it is attempting to get her own food and pour her own drinks.

If she is not in the kitchen, she is watching for  a door to be unmanned so that she can escape the house. 

We are working on teaching her what she is and is not supposed to do, but we have also been working on action plans- which doors are to remain locked etc, what to do if your sister tries to crawl out the door that you are coming through, how to safely contain Ever until Mom can finishing peeing and arrive on scene.  Stuff like that. 

I have also informed the neighbors, that she is an escape artist, and if they see her out unattended or wandering, that it is absolutely NOT authorized by me. She has not passed the "alone outside" test.

And so you will find me, for the duration of the spring and summer, an independent 2 year old's shadow.  I will be working day and night keeping her safe and out of mischief.  If you want to sign up for a shift, let me know.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


A couple of weeks ago the kids and I took a trip with my mom to visit my Grandma Vivian in her nursing home!  It was a long day of traveling, but the kids did pretty well and it was fun to see Grandma.

Berean did great.  She wore a fancy dress and accessories. She danced and sang.  She also said the pledge of allegiance and organized a game throwing the pink ball from Great Uncle to Great Aunt to Great Grandma.

The boys bounced between running around on the helicopter pad, visiting and doing puzzles. They sang one of their Blast Off songs, and Lincoln did a nice job soloing.  He was shaking, he was so nervous, but gathered his courage and sang away!

Everyn kept trying to escape, but she is two and so we forgive her.

I do regret not getting a picture of me with the kids and Great Grandma, but the one here of Grandma Pam and the kids and Great Grandma did turn out pretty well.  Poor Evie.