Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sick kids, take two!

Just as Matthew got over his extended illness (9 days!) and was feeling quite back to normal, the baby started showing signs of getting sick. Poor guy-it's just awful when babies are sick. They have no idea what is happening or have any way to tell you what they want. All they can do is cry their eyes out to you. He's on his 4th day of illness now and it looks like he's starting to turn a corner. He was running a fever of 104+ the first couple days, but now it's down. Our biggest concern was dehydration from the diarrhea, as he didn't want to eat at first, but he is taking fluids quite well and even some solids. All I have to say is, whoever thought that unflavored Pedialyte was something that a child might actually drink voluntarily is crazy-apparently whoever came up with that flavor had no children! It is the most awful tasting concoction, really. I am thankful he is able to drink plenty of water, so the Pedialyte went in the trash. The only thing he is left with at this point is the diarrhea. It has slowed down a little, but it's definitely pretty regular. And with diarrhea in a baby comes-yep! Diaper rash. Ugh. We've slathered on enough Balmex to make him waterproof, but with that much coming out continually, it's like a losing battle. Diaper changes are a lot of crying on his part, though Mommy sometimes wants to cry, too, seeing him in pain. Well, for now, we're doing plenty of time in the rocking chair and trying to keep him comfortable. Time is the best remedy for these yucky viruses. We are just praying that it doesn't spread to anyone else!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Learning around the world

This year in homeschool, we are learning world geography with our curriculum-My Father's World. It is our first year using this curriculum and I am really enjoying it! History and geography were certainly not my strong points in school, but I think that is because it was always so boring! Not now! I have to say that learning about all these different countries is interesting and fun! My kids would agree...on most of it, that is. The past couple weeks we have focused on Mexico. We wrap up our studies tomorrow, so we will be having a little party to celebrate, where we get to sample foods from that country. We're calling it our little fiesta! Actually, I was calling it a siesta, but then hubby asked me if I was going to take a nap-I guess siesta means sleeping in Spanish? You can tell Spanish was not my strong point in high school either. :-) Anyway, I wanted the kids to have their hand in making something native to Mexico. What better to make than tortillas? At first they really didn't want to, but once they got going, watch out! They had their own little tortilla making factory. Here's Michael rolling them out....
Despite my best efforts to try to keep the tortillas round (the "right" way), they insisted on making them all different kinds of shapes-like a ghost, a little man, and oh yes, the state of Texas! Those should be fun to eat, right? Here's Rachel cooking up a decently round one-what a sweet girl to listen to Mom!
They're looking forward to learning about the next country-that is, so long as they have tasty food!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Luke has hit the 9 month mark and, despite my best intentions, just won't stop growing! So what is this big chubby chunk up to at 9 months? I'll let you in on some of the things he's doing!
  1. Crawling on his hands and knees, though when he wants to get somewhere quick-like to Mom-it's army crawl all the way! Today he just discovered how to climb the stairs. I see lots of bumps in his future!
  2. Growling-yes, growling like a tiger-at everyone! Must be a male thing.
  3. He has discovered his voice and loves to show it off, especially in quiet places, like church or the library.
  4. His favorite food is now goldfish crackers. Cheerios just don't cut it anymore-they're so 8 months!
  5. He is fascinated with the remote control and will do anything to get it-must be another male thing.
  6. He loves Baby Einstein videos. I know, TV for babies is no good, but watching it a few times a week isn't going to doom him.
  7. He loves, loves, loves singing! When he is sang to, he claps his hands and moves his whole body.
  8. He is very ticklish on the back of his waist and gives out the biggest belly laugh when you grab him there!
  9. He has learned how to shake his head "no" and uses it to get his point across. Mom says it won't be long before she'll have him shaking his head "yes". :-)
  10. He is a very happy, smiley baby-except when Mom is around. He is only fussy and whiny when she's around! Go figure!

I could go on and on, but that's a brief snapshot into what little guy is doing. Oh-one more thing-did I mention he LOVES to put anything and everything in his mouth? In fact, here's what happened with my sign I put next to him for the picture....

Yep! Right in the mouth! Well, he's chewed on much worse. Nothing like a crawling baby to let you know just how messy your house is, right?

Saturday, August 22, 2009


Having a large family, it can be a challenge to find one-on-one time with each of my kids. There are just so many interruptions from others (!) and, let's face it, there are only so many hours in the day! Being that our weekdays are so busy with homeschooling, chores, and pretty much life, most of our time is spent together as a family. Each weekend, though, is one child's special time out with Mom. Yes-you read that right-just one child! We rotate who gets to go, so no one is left out-and the child gets to choose the special place to go, within reason of course! Usually, it's out to lunch or maybe to get an ice cream cone. Then we'll usually go run an errand or two together, picking up something they (or mom!) may need. It may not sound like much, but my kids really do look forward to it. The smaller ones, especially, start planning where they want to go far ahead of time. That makes my heart so happy! I love the time I get to spend with each child, hearing what is on their heart or concerns they might have. It's the one time I'm not distracted by so much else going on and can truly give them my full attention. Today, Sarah chose to go to Subway for a turkey sandwich kids meal. She really enjoyed it and took her time eating verrrrrryyyyy sloooooooowly! It was fun listening to all she had to say.
We even had another little person with us-Luke! I don't normally take him along, but Sarah requested that he come. She even offered to share her food. How sweet! She didn't need to though, as Luke was eating applesauce instead. He had a great time and made smiles with everyone in the restaurant!

I'm already looking forward to the next time!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

One sick, sick kiddo!

What do vomiting+diarrhea+fever+extreme fatigue equal? If you guessed my son with foodborne illness, you're right!! It seems Matthew contracted some kind of awful bug over the weekend that is still going strong. It started off with headache and some upset stomach and progressed to the more awful things these past couple days. Today has been his worst by far. He has spent most of the day sleeping on the bathroom floor, only getting up to use the bathroom. I guess it makes sense just to stay there if you're spending most of your time there anyway. Poor guy-I have never seen him this sick. This is the first foodborne illness we've had in our kids. We still can't figure out where he got it, since no one else has gotten sick (thank goodness!) Larry and I certainly know how he feels. We've both been through foodborne illness-for Larry it's been several times! Unfortunately, I went through it years ago while I was 6 months pregnant with #2. Foodborne illness is bad enough in itself-being pregnant on top of that just made it that much worse. Baby was fine, thank goodness-apparently it just affects Mom. Being a chef, Larry has been exposed to many more foods than me, so he has had that many more opportunities to pick up those nasty germs here and there. For now, we're doing our best to keep him comfy-pumping him full of electrolytes, since he's likely dehydrated. He can't eat, but that's probably better anyway. Tylenol and Immodium A-D are his friends! Modern medicine is such a blessing in situations like these! Hopefully he is on the mend, instead of on the way down. And hopefully this is the last time any of those nasty germs visit our house!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Toddlers + scissors = No good!!

Okay....what is it with my kids and scissors? I mean, it's not as if I leave them laying out in every room, just waiting for some curious toddler to come snatch them up and go on a cutting spree! No, in fact, I keep the scissors up high-away from little hands. But if you have a curious toddler (or have ever had one for that matter!), you know that trouble is only one chair climb away! Well, this time it was Eden, my spunky little 2 yo. She got a hold of a pair of scissors-kiddie scissors, mind you-yesterday, and started chopping away at her pretty blond locks. Yes, she had such pretty, long, girly hair before she started! She also decided to take a few chops at Hannah's hair too-in fact, completely chopping off one side. Sigh.... What to do? Well-here was the damage taken after the incident. You can see the whole left side of Hannah's hair is gone. It's harder to tell the damage to Eden's-but her bangs were mostly gone, along with the sides, and she chopped a big hunk from the back. I didn't take a picture of the big box of hair they brought me afterward, but I should have.

Well, I piled them in the car and off we went to Great Clips at 4:30 on a Sunday afternoon. Not my idea of a fun afternoon out-but I couldn't stand to look at their hair! I told the ladies there what happened and asked them to just do the best they could to help my girls look more normal until their hair grew out again! Well, I 'm happy to say, they did. Here is the after picture:

Yes, Hannah's is still chopped really bad on the side, I know, but there's not much they can do. I mean, you can't paste hair back on! Time will bring her pretty hair back. Eden, on the other hand, got a totally new 'do. She looks pretty cute, I must say, with her little bob. With the exception of the chopped bangs, you can't really tell she did anything to it. And look how happy they are to get lollipops for being so good! I truly hope this is my last blog post about my kids doing homemade haircuts, but sadly, it probably won't be. I will definitely have a lot of good memories to look back on and laugh about-at this point, I think laughing is the best thing to do!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Life as #10

Life in a big family is, well.....always interesting! It's guaranteed that there is always some kind of action, good or bad, going on. Personally, I think that's what makes having a large family so fun. Of course, when you're the baby of the bunch, it's just nonstop fun! Little Luke is 8 months old now-almost 9- and, despite his very strong will (which I'm sure God will use in a special way!) he fits so well into our family. The kids love to play with him and the girls like to tote him around as their little baby doll. They feed him, help bathe him, and play toys with him on the floor Lately, the girls have taken to putting him in their doll stroller and wheeling him around the house in it. Surprisingly, he loves it and it always puts him in a good mood. So, I guess I love it, too. It is quite funny to see him stuffed in there, though. The poor guy just barely fits. His chubby legs are too big to get into the holes, so they just sort of drape over the front. Doesn't look comfortable, but he's always smiliing and kicking those legs while they push him. I think he just loves all the attention-who wouldn't? Yep, when you're #10, life is pretty good!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Library books and furry friends

Today, my 3 oldest girls had an opportunity to participate in a great program that visited our local library. It is called Paws for Reading. This organization brings in dogs (trained ones, of course) to the library and allows kids to read books to them. It's not actually "in" the library, but at a room just outside. It is great in helping encourage kids to read, as they love having someone listen-especially a dog. We signed up for our 15 minute slot last week-and let me tell you, that's all they've been talking about up 'till today! Sarah had the sweetest little white dog to read to:

Rachel's dog looked like Otis from the movie "Milo and Otis" or even kind of like that dog from "Men in Black". Cute! She actually put him to sleep with all that reading!

Mary's dog "Gracie" didn't want to sit still at first, but being the power reader she is, after about 3 or 4 books, he decided to sit still. She pet him a lot while she was reading at the same time-it was so cute. I think out of all of them, Mary enjoyed the time the most.

The girls can't wait to do it again-the leaders said they plan on bringing the dogs back in wintertime, so we'll sign up again for sure.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Out of the mouths of kids

Sarah walked in last nite while I was painting my toes and said, "Mommy, why do you spend time painting your nails like that? You're beautiful without it. You say that it's not what's on the outside that counts, but what's in your heart, right? So why do you spend your money on that stuff?" true, isn't it? I didn't tell her that my reason for painting my toes was to make sure I didn't scare people off with my ugly looking feet when I wore my sandals-nope, she doesn't have to know that. I like her reasoning better. And I like that her priorities are in the right place.

As we were studying about North America today and filling in a crossword puzzle, I asked the kids what the name of the ship was that the Pilgrims sailed over to America. "I know, I know!" Michael said, " The Cauliflower!" Hmmmm...that mental picture just made me laugh at that point. Don't you just love kids?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Fear not...

Lately, there has been so much going on in my life-struggles within my family and incidents outside of it-that have left me feeling anxious, which is not something I normally carry with me. For the most part, it caused me to have an attitude of "what's next?" or rather, "who's next?" in anticipation of what incidents I thought may come in the future. What has all this worrying done for me? Absolutely nothing except cause me to take my focus off the Lord and instead, dwell on my circumstances. Today during my prayer walk, the Lord gave me a wake up call. Yes, he does that a lot during this time and I'm thankful for that because I truly needed it! He brought to mind a verse that brought me through another situation several years back when I was feeling a lot of anxiety. After I had miscarried what would have been our 6th child 7 years ago and was pregnant soon after with our next baby, it appeared this pregnancy was in trouble and there was a good chance this baby would not make it too. I was overwhelmed with anxiety and sadness about losing another baby and didn't know what to think. Well, the Lord not only reassured me that everything would be fine, but He also showed me Philippians 4:6 : "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God, and the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Wow! I repeated this verse over and over on my way to my ultrasound, definitely feeling at peace with what may happen, but fully expecting bad news at the same time. Instead, I got our first look at our new baby's heartbeat and what would be a precious baby girl. I was elated-but also ashamed that I had not trusted the Lord, but instead chose to worry instead. Well, today, the Lord reminded me of that special verse-reminded me that I don't need to worry-I truly can trust in Him. I do believe that in my heart, I just sometimes need to get a wake up call, you know? I wish so often that I had more faith than I do-sometimes I just feel like a doubting Thomas! But it is never because the Lord has let me down-He never has. Instead, He has shown me love, grace, and kindness that I truly do not deserve. Thank you Lord, for being there for me, even when I so often doubt you!

Monday, August 3, 2009

The blessings of family

Well, with much sadness, I dropped my mom at the airport today so she could head back to Arizona after a 5 day visit here in Houston. We had a great time, though it did fly by! We did all sorts of fun things like rollerskating (yes, I have lived here 2 years and just found out there is a roller rink 5 minutes away!) How cute is Eden, my little 2 yo, in a pair of skates?

Yes, she actually did skate, though she kept trying to dance in the skates, so she kept losing her balance. Here's the big boys getting ready to have a race around the rink. Matthew won!

Here's Grandma and John, my 5 yo, taking a spin around the rink.

The kids had a great time, as did Grandma. I was happy that it was Christian music night at the rink, so we had good wholesome music to skate to-and no "couples only" songs! (okay-if you're anywhere near my age, you remember these when you were growing up!)
The kids and Grandma also played board games....

We had a popcorn/candy/movie nite that everyone loved!

And we at plenty of junk food during her visit!

Did I mention the junk food?

Matthew celebrated his 16th birthday Saturday with a party and a few other friends in attendance.

Here is everyone, all ready to head out the door to church Sunday. Too bad we didn't end up going since the car battery was dead. :-(

We had a great time with Grandma-all that fun sure wore us all out!

Having my Mom here really made me realize what a joy and blessing my family is. I do long to be able to see our families more often and wish there wasn't such a distance between us. How nice it would be to have weekly dinners or outings together! If you have family nearby, be thankful for the wonderful opportunity to build strong family bonds. And if you're like me and are far away from family, treasure all the moments you have with them-they are truly blessings!