Saturday, November 29, 2008

U.S. on high alert for terrorist attacks...

Read Joel Rosenbergs blog to find out more about this and please pray for peace in our nation. It is so sad what is happening in India right now.

Look at all that hair...

That is all I hear when I take Anna somewhere. Julia obviously adores her baby sister.


I have been taking the dog for short walks lately to get out of the house and enjoy 10 minutes of peace and quiet, lol. Julia usually holds Anna, unless she is sleeping. (She sleeps all the time when held, during the day, but we can't seem to put her down.) The dog is not a well trained mutt; he pulls on the leash and tries to bite it constantly. He almost knocks me down at least several times during the walk and usually wants to poop right in someones yard while they are watching. Nevertheless, I enjoy my short walks.

Friday, November 28, 2008

More sickness and shopping...

Jesse came home from work sick today...he was sick all night at work. He has been in bed all day and called in sick for tonight. I knew it would work its way through the family.

To give Jesse some peace, I took the kids (minus Colton ) to town today...just the small town 20 miles from us. We got some food at McDonalds, went to the little discount store, Dollar store and grocery store. No place was too busy and we found some good deals. The kids drew names and bought small gifts for each other.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Six weeks old

Truly, where did the time go?

Funny faces...

Thomas is the king of them!!!

Thanksgiving thoughts...

Last year in November we were still living in Central Florida. We had decided to go camping at Ft. Wilderness Campsite @ Disney over Thanksgiving. We had reservations and were getting our camping gear together. Then, at the last minute, we decided to make the trip back to Iowa for Turkey Day. We cancelled our reservations, packed our stuff, rented a van (ours would never have made the 1,500 mile trip) and took off. November in Florida is very warm, but Iowa is a different story. Only a few of us even owned heavy coats, but we knew family would lend us whatever we needed. On the way up, Katie got dreadfully sick with a stomach flu. She vomited and had terrible diarrhea. We ended up stopping at Walmart ( in Tennessee) to buy her new clothes and underwear, poor thing! Once to Iowa, the virus made its way through about half of us...I remember Alicia sleeping on the couch during most of the visit. Fast forward a year....Alicia was sick the Sunday and Monday before Thanksgiving with the stomach flu, Thomas sick on Tues and now Carlina sick on Thanksgiving! She said that she threw up 10 times last night. So, Carlina, Anna & I are home today. She is sleeping on the couch and I am eating pumpkin pie. I made 2 yesterday and they left one home for us!!! I hope noone else gets it, but it seems to be so contagious! Jesse and kids will be coming home early because he has to work tonight and needs to sleep. We watched the parade this morning and some football. It is a beautiful sunny day in the 40's...hope you are enjoying the day!!!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

We are going over to dh's mom's house with 3 of his 4 siblings (other one is a truck driver and on a run to the West coast) and their families, plus his Grandma who turns 91 on Thanksgiving!!!

There will be 9 adults and 14 kids/teens....only missing 3 of Deb's older kids who are off on their own now. We are bringing green bean casserole, pumpkin pies and pistachio fluff. We got together tonight for a pre-turkey day bash (MIL made a delicious roast); Dh's brother lives 2 hours away and we don't see them alot so it was fun. We played triominoles...a take on dominoes.

I love Thanksgiving! It has always been my favorite holiday. As a kid we lived far away from family and my dad worked at a college, thus we always had college students who couldn't make it home over, plus a few of the elderly people in our church who didn't have a place to go.

I really miss my mom and sister. Mom is having Thanksgiving with her hubby's daughter and family. Cher is having it in her own home with her dh's mom and dad coming down.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Off to the city....

We hit the big city today....DH returned his work boots to Sears...he has only had them for 4 months and already the heel is worn out. He was able to exchange them for a better pair, plus picked up a couple of pairs of wool socks. He works out in the elements and Iowa can be unfriendly in the winter. Also ran to BK where DH left his debit card a few days ago after we went to the movies. Thomas barfed 2 times, so I think he picked up what Alicia had. I managed to get it all cleaned up, but what a mess. ( We had the exact same thing last year at this time. We were traveling to Iowa from Florida...first Katie got sick on the way up...then it worked its way through most all of us. Yucky!!!) Poor Thomas...he kept saying "Can I hold you?" which means he wanted me to get him out of his carseat and hold him. Another cute thing he does is look at a catalog and try to pick the toys up and says "Can I have it?"....ahhhh! Course a trip to the city wouldn't be complete w/o Walmart, which we hit as our last stop. It was packed. We got the stuff to make green bean casserole and pistachio fluff for Thurs, plus candied yams.

Thankfulness part 2...

I have new glasses that have not yet been chewed on by the dog or sat on by child or kicked by dh as they lay on the floor after I fell asleep with them on....I can actually see!

Also, dh has today off after 4 12-hour days!!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Nice day....

Alicia was very sick yesterday and stayed home from school today, although she felt better. It was sunny and in the 40's...

We had a pretty good day at home, although I ran to the grocery store twice! I can't seem to prepare ahead of time for meals lately! Colton is making hamburgers for dinner...he wants to add all kinds of things and I really have to "tone" that down. I got water and toilet paper the first trip and buns and frozen french fries the second.

Got Garrett's school pictures, they are so cute! He is always so exuberant after school..a happy guy...unless Colton bugs him (which is frequent!).

We don't have much to do for Thanksgiving. Probably will make a green bean casserole and a couple desserts. Looking forward to getting together with everyone.

Fairness doctrine?

Read here "Why the Fairness Doctrine is anything but fair"

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Nursing and co-sleeping...

I was just reading how doing these two things in the first 2 months of a baby's life helps to regulate their central nervous system and seriously decreases the risk of SIDS. I have done both of these things with all my babies. The medical profession does encourage bf'ing but not least where I go, I just keep mum. Anna will sleep in her carseat for a small portion of the night, but mostly with me. Thomas still sleeps with us, too...Garrett "weaned" from co-sleeping at about 4 years of age. I am also thrilled that after having post-partum bleeding for almost 6wks, I am now free. Breastfeeding has allowed me to space my children really wonderfully and naturally. When I was in my 20's...about 2 years apart and in my 30's about 2.5 years apart. So I look forward to being af free for at least a year or more if I can continue bf'ing. Maybe I should be more anxious about this if I want to have any more children while in early 40's but I am leaving it in God's hands...each child is planned and sent by him at just the right time. Jesse and I have always relied on God for this except for when we first got married and were young and naive..didn't know what we were doing. I was on the pill for about 9 months and it made me ill. Also, after having severe post-partum depression in 1999 we used BC for awhile and conceived #5 while using it!! A true miracle from God:)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Christmas exuberance...

We are so happy to be living in a place where it actually feels like Christmas that we went out and got our tree earlier than we have ever gotten one. We threw out the old, destroyed love seat in the living room to make room for it. It looks amazing and really puts us all in the spirit! Yes, I know it isn't even Thanksgiving yet, but we just couldn't resist....


I am thankful for so many huge things...Jesus, my Savior, out shining all other things...but this week I am going to document a few little things that I am excessively thankful for!!!!

YES! I am so thankful for the pacifier and that Anna is taking it so well. It helps her so much..she is a happy camper with it...except for a couple of hours in the evening when NOTHING makes her happy.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Our day...

Julia struggling with "more division review!!!" Bummer!!

Jesse, Garrett and Thomas looking at all kinds of trains on the internet...they loved the magnetic one in Germany!

What is it???

This was a specimen in the museum....Can you guess what it is? Answers tomorrow...

Field Trip...

We took a trip to the Battle Hill Museum on Tues. It is very inconspicuous place on the outside....white wooded siding which needs painted, but the inside is another matter! It is chock full of stuffed animals, bones, shells, eggs, etc. etc.....a mind boggling amount! We had a great time wandering around for about an hour but could have spent hours and hours. The furnace wasn't working in one part, so it was cold in there! The museum curator is an expert on rearticulating skeletons and has done work for the Omaha Zoo. There is a full-size giraffe and elephant skeleton inside.

As you can tell from the pictures, we were cold and frightened by the reality of the animals!!

Afterwards we enjoyed a delicious lunch of greasy but tasty broasted chicken at the local restaurant:)


We took Colton to the community college in SC last night for an open house. He is considering going there in a year or so...looking at taking some computer classes. He helped a church family move all day yesterday and then we had to hunt him down to find him last night. Can't believe how fast Colton grew up...although the other siblings can't wait to get him out of the house, he is still such a bug to them!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

My friend...

I love my friend, Jodi. She is such a kind and considerate friend who loves the Lord. I am so thankful for Jodi and other friends that God has placed in my life. I have known Jodi for almost 15 years and I treasure our friendship. I am in awe and wonder that one day we will have eternity with our friends and family...doing wonderful and amazing things in the presence of God. We can't even imagine the exciting things that God has planned for us to do...this life is just a shadow of what is to come. When I moved to Florida I was so sad to say goodbye to I am in Iowa but it is still hard to find time to spend with her, due to family commitments we both have. One day we will never have to say goodbye or worry about making the time....God is so great!!!!


I love this quote by Henry Blinn:

"Begin Today! No matter how feeble the light, let it shine as best it may. The world may need just that quality of light which you have."

Wow, what is the quality of my light? Sometimes not so bright. I tend to think of this as light shining out in the world, but I want my light to glow at home,also. I want my children to see the path they are supposed to follow as Jesus Christ lights the way through me. I want to be a soft, glowing light...not a harsh spotlight or waning, flickering nightlight. Please God, help me to shine!

Monday, November 17, 2008


Mom and Terry left on Saturday, we had a great time and really enjoyed our games of Phase 10! It is a time consuming game...Terry won every time:) I love to play games with the kids, but don't often get the chance. Both Carlina and Julia are champion game players. We always have a good time at the other Grandma's on holidays when everyone gets together and plays games. Grandma, Lori and Debi have so many fun and interesting board games. More favorites are Mad Gab and Balderdash.

We have discovered that we can now let Oliver out by himself and he will actually come back to be let in. I think he gets cold after awhile. This is illegal as there is a leash law in town, but we have seen many dogs wandering around. I just don't want any complaints from neighbors either. We do this when we can't find the leash or early in the morning when I don't want to take him out. He is a smart dog, but I still wish we had a yard for him to be in!

Had a good message at church about God being good. Our pastor broke his shoulder on a trip to Brazil and had many interesting stories to tell...esp about healthcare in another country. We draw closer to God through trials and tribulations and really experience His goodness. We don't think about it as much when things are going smoothly for us.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Birthday pictures...

Dinner out and 39 years...

Grandma and Grandpa took us out to our local restaurant last night for a Birthday celebration dinner. We all enjoyed fish and prime rib (adults) and chicken strips (kids).

I have been thinking about the high (and lowlights) of my 39 years on this Earth...

1. My birth, 39 years ago in Gladewater, Texas (a homebirth in Lee Apartments)...I was blessed with a loving and caring mother and father who raised me with devotion and compassion and taught me about God.

2. The birth of my sister...a bit over 3 years later, Cherrie Laura made her entrance on Jan 30th. I thank God for her every day.

3. My best friend from Kindergarten on...Wendy. Without her I would not have made it through school; she was a support, always there for me.

4. I was saved and baptized in April of 1990 at the age of 20. This of course was the turning point of my whole life. Every breath, minute, day, blessing comes from Him, my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

5. I was married to my best friend, Jesse, on July 29, 1990 and we have been married for over 18 years. God has given me the most wonderful husband and I am so thankful.

6. The birth and life of each one of my 8 children and the loss of my two little loss, heaven's gain.

7. The further understanding of God's gift of grace over a life of works....I am thankful for the changes instituted by the Worldwide Church of God which lifted a burden and gave me peace.

8. The sudden loss of my Dad in May of 1997. He was a terrific father and grandfather and I miss him greatly.

9. The reevaluation of priorities after "losing it all" in Florida. Bankruptcy, foreclosure, etc. only brought our family closer and is helping us lead a more simple life.

10. All the wonderful friends and family who are in my life and who have been in my life through the years...Texas, Iowa, Florida are where I met most of these wonderful people.

11. My walk through the dark valley of depression...I have been there several times and don't wish it on anyone, but I have also learned so much.

Life is a gift and an adventure!

Thank you God for each and every day!!!!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Quiet time

The dog got me up at 6am this morning...both babies still sleeping and I was able to get a shower and have some quiet time. I took the dog out and the moon was beautiful...surrounded with a fine, misty fog...also a wind chime sounded somewhere in the distance, kind of eerie. All the dog wanted to do was eat the tree in front of the house and sniff around it, but I finally got him inside. Today is my 39th did I get here so fast? We are making a pseudo Thanksgiving dinner and Jesse has the night off, finally!

I finished "The Road" by Cormac McCarthy...very disturbing, sad, thought provoking. I see they are making a movie, but I'm not sure I would want to see it.

Time to get on with the day!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Jesse and I have only been celebrating Christmas for 11 years. Why? That is another story for another post...but in short we grew up in the World Wide Church of God. All of our kids don't remember anything else; Colton was only5 when we first started keeping Christmas and had our first tree...a fake one borrowed from our neighbors. We have tried and continue to try to really make Jesus the focus of our celebration. We don't have any traditions passed down from our childhoods so we started a few of our own, like getting our Christmas tree on Carlina's birthday...which is December 4th. We keep presents to a minimum...only 2-3 per child. One larger thing and a couple of small things. I haven't shopped at all yet this year except for one thing...I ordered an outfit for Alicia's American Doll...that will be her big thing, those are so expensive. Jesus needs to be the focus of our whole life, not just in December, but it is special to really focus on his birth this time of year. More on this topic later.

Chocolate chip cookies

Carlina makes the best ones! She makes them at least once a week from the Toll house recipe and nestle choc chips...they are usually gone as soon as she takes them from the oven. Our gas stove works great for baking cookies. Jesse keeps the pizza stone in the bottom of the oven and it absorbs the heat and helps, too. Our last stove in Oviedo was terrible for baking. Everything was so uneven. This is my first experience with a gas stove and I really like it. My Grandma had a gas stove in her little house in Evans City, PA and when I first moved in here, the smell brought me right back to visiting Grandma every summer as a child.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Fluffy Red hair

Anna's hair is turning a coppery red color, so pretty! I washed it today and it was so fluffy.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Mom is here!

Yesterday we went to the airport to pick up Mom. We haven't see her since August long! We couldn't take everyone with us, so Alicia, Katie and Garrett (of course Anna, too) got to come, since they will be in school Monday. We ate at the Cracker Barrel after picking her up and everyone had a good time. I got lots of comments about Anna at the CB...mostly about her hair. It really seems to impress people, lol.

Sunday, November 9, 2008


Sisters are so special. I hope Anna feels blessed that she has 4 of them. I love that I have a sister. I am so sad that we live so far apart but distance aside, she is still my best friend. I hope that Anna feels that way about her sisters, too.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Clowning around....

Cute little pumpkin

Stressful mornings...

Sometimes I think I bit off more than I can chew having kids in school...the mornings can be chaotic!

It begins like this...Jesse's alarm goes off at 5am...I go up and wake him up..he has been sleeping upstairs due to a bad cold and thus coughing and snoring at night which wakes up the babies. Then I beat on Colton's door to take the dog out. I go back to bed until about 7am when I get Alicia, Katie and Garrett up. Thomas and Anna are usually up too so I enlist Julia to hold Anna and put Thomas on the couch with juice and public t.v. on. Carlina has to take the dog out at this time. I help Katie and Garrett pick out clothes (Garrett still needs help getting dressed, I really need to work with him) and then fix them cereal. I remind Alicia and Katie to get everything they need in their backpack and sign appropriate things. Thomas is crying for me as is Anna, but I have to rush out the door to drive the kids to school. Today Garrett had an accident before school and I had to help him get his clothes changed, plus find new shoes for him which can be impossible in this house! Ahhhh, to have a new baby in the summer and not have to worry about school....Thomas was born in June and that was great! Also, to have them all homeschooled would be good for morning routines. But not to be, this year anyway. I would love for Thomas to sleep in his own bed, but that hasn't happened yet. Anyway, I rush back home to motivate the big kids to get started with their school work. I have two stinky diapers to change and breakfast to get for all the laundry and dishes that await. I really love being a SAHM and all the things that I do but some mornings...ARRRGGGG!

Can't get enough of this face

Blinded by the flash!

Anna @ 3.5 weeks

She is growing so much! She is an alert little girl and starting to smile more. I love to see her dimple when she smiles. Gets so many comments on her full head of hair. She does have more hair than any of my other babies. A couple were almost bald-Carlina & Julia.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Sick babies...

I've got 2 of them. Thomas has a bad cold and Anna has a cough and a growly sound to her breathing. I took Anna to the doctor yesterday; babies this little aren't supposed to get sick. They tested her for RSV which came back negative, thank goodness. I am giving her nebulizer treatments 3 times a day to help her breathing. She seems to be okay, no fever. I would appreciate prayers that she gets better and it doesn't turn into anything worse.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Saturday, November 1, 2008


Anna has colic in the evenings and I am tired! She is such a precious little doll and I feel bad for her, I hope it passes soon. The experiences that I have had with this show that it should be gone within 6 weeks or so, but can I last that long, lol???!! I finally got some gas medicine but it did not seem to help her much, maybe a tad. I don't get anything done in the evenings...I put her in the swing just now, but I hear her crying so much go:)

On a tasty note, Colton cooked a roast in the crockpot and I made a delicious sandwich..bread, beef, mayo. It was soooo good!