Wednesday, October 29, 2008

If you are undecided

Americas Choice Now - Video

Well folks, I know you may not all and probably will not all agree with me but I am just going to put it out there: This is my stand on human life. I know some would argue that how is the war different than abortion? Both are taking lives? For me there is one startling difference. Sure...there is death in war but both parties are aware of the risk when they engage in battle. War is tragic but also a part of the world we live in. The death of a helpless babe, one whose right to live is being taken away before they can contribute to our society is horrific and makes my blood boil. I am now 14 weeks pregnant. Did you know that even though our baby is only approximately 3 inches long and 1 1/2 ounces that by week 14 they can grimace, frown, suck their thumb, grasp with their little fingers, their kidneys are producing urine, the liver starts making bile and the spleen starts helping in the production of red blood cells. This is all happening within a child who is only 3 inches long!! Amazing! To me the choice this election is coming down to the sacredness of life!! Watch this video and take a moment to thank God for the beauty of life and ask Him how to aid in the preservation of life!!

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008


I realize that I haven't blogged for quite some time and have a bit of catching up to do. I find that my weeks seem to go so much quicker since we started school again. I think the easiest thing to do is highlight some of the fun things from last week.

Monday - Eden had her 15 month check well check. She is almost 17 months but was behind on some of her vaccinations so it was technically her 15 month check. She received 4 shots which made her very sad until she was offered a lollipop! Suddenly, all was well in her world again. She is now 22.6 pounds and 30 1/2 inches long. The doctor said it was obvious when she started receiving better nutrition. He also wondered if she liked to eat. Hmmm....all the time!!! I have never seen a child have such a love affair with food.

Tuesday - The boys had gymnastics and when we arrived there were lots and lots of people there. Turns out the Olympic silver medalist, Alicia Sacramone was at the gym meeting people and signing autographs. The Olympic team was in town to perform at the BJC but they somehow pulled some strings to have her come and inspire all the young gymnasts. I mentioned to the boys that they are hoping to have one of the Olympic men gymnasts come in the spring. They were excited and then Shane said, "I really hope it is Michael Phelps because I want to see his 8 gold medals." Uh...I think it would be really stretching it to have Phelps there especially since he is in another sport altogether. I couldn't bring myself to dash Shane's hopes though.

Thursday - I loaded the kiddos up and took the three boys for haircuts. We always joke at the salon that it looks like a daycare when we arrive. The boys did great and Tristan sat in the chair all by himself this time. Usually he wants me to hold him but I explained that this time he needed to try to sit by himself. All went well and my boys are no longer shaggy.

Friday - I had a dr appointment and heard the strong, fast heartbeat of the next Eveleth. The doctor said, "Well...we don't always hear the heartbeat this soon but since you are thin it shouldn't be a problem." He put the doppler on my stomach, didn't even have to look and we heard the baby! There are so many steps along the way that I love and enjoy and hearing the heartbeat of new life is always exciting and never gets old!

Saturday - We watched good old Penn State hang on and beat Ohio State! Good times.

Sunday - We went to church and then spent the afternoon outside even though the Eagles were playing. It was so beautiful that we couldn't miss the sunny day. Mike, Donna and tribe stopped by later in the afternoon on their way back from Pittsburgh and we watched the Steelers game with them. It was a sad, sad game even though we (our house) are not Steelers fans.

All in all we had a great week and everything seemed to run smoothly. This morning while working on math Shane brings up the whole subject of the devil. Sometimes I wonder what sparks his questions. So, over their math lesson we had a deep theological discussion about how the devil was originally one of God's angels who desired to be worshipped himself. So he and the angels who chose to worship him instead of God were kicked out of heaven. Shane then wondered where hell is and Judah told him it is in the center of the earth. I am sitting there wondering, "How did we get into this discussion and how do I answer these questions." In the meantime Shane says, "I definitely do not want to go to hell and I love God ALOT!" To which Judah agreed but Judah confessed that even though he loves God he still sometimes fights and is mean to his brothers. I was getting ready to explain to him that this is in fact the very reason we need Jesus in our lives - because we cannot do this in our own strength. Shane beat me to it by saying, "That is just life Judah." Huh....yes, our selfishness and tendencies to look out for numero uno are all a part of life. Sounds like Shane knows a little more than I do sometimes.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Leafy Fun!!

The boys decided they wanted to help with fall cleanup this year. Mark gave Judah the lightest blower we have and he went to town!! They worked until dark last evening and Judah started asking first thing this morning when they could go out and do more leaves. Here he is working hard and moving the leaves to the "big pile". They are accumulating a large pile at the back of the shop to jump into.
Here is the supervisor of the whole project! Poor little guy couldn't quite handle the blower so he was a little bummed. Mark went and got him the helmet that came with one of his chainsaws so Shane felt important.
He may have felt important but it looks like his mother needs to work with him a bit on color combinations. Wow!! He puts together some scary outfits.
The boys put a bunch of leaves on the trampoline and were swinging from their "vine" in the tree onto the tramp. They have a small rope swing in our one maple tree that they pretend is a vine. Don't ask me why?

Judah and Shane do so well including Tristan when they are playing. Sometimes there is some complaining but usually they help him onto the trampoline without me asking and jump carefully so he doesn't catapult off. Aren't they adorable?

Just Some Thoughts

So...continuing on with processing the surprise of another child. I would like to explain myself more and just get out some of the emotions and feelings I have wrestled with and at times still wrestle with.

First of all, I like to keep my life and our lives (my family) controlled and maintainable. Not in an unbearing fashion (I hope) but I need order to function at my best. Obviously, when something comes along that is a surprise such as another child the life you were projecting suddenly has to change. You see, I was already thinking about next summer and how much easier it would feel with Tristan and Eden both communicating well. We could pack up the kids and go to the beach, we could spend more time swimming, yada, yada. What happens for me when things unexpectedly change is this: I have a really hard time reworking things in my brain.

Secondly, I think of the practical things. We will have to get a bigger vehicle. Which isn't all that bad. We are throwing around a possible move - which isn't a huge change either. We both enjoy looking at real estate and both desire to have a farmette in which our children can run free and pee in the middle of the yard if they so desire without alarming the neighbors. But, we aren't pressured for time because our house is adequate.

And then I start thinking about the things that probably aren't necessarily true and I have to shrug free from. Like, who is going to want to hang out with a family that has five younger children? And who will ever see if we want to go to the beach with them? If they really wanted to see a circus they would go where they serve yummy popcorn, right? They wouldn't really want our traveling circus to accompany them. Don't get me wrong. Our children, in my opinion, are fairly well behaved. It is just the sheer number of 5 children all running around that gives the allusion of utter chaos!

But...what have I already learned through the past 2 1/2 months? Some very wonderful things to be exact. First of all, even when you feel like you are in control of your life (consciously or sub-consciously) you really aren't! I know that isn't catching any of you by surprise. What I have found after getting past my shock is that embracing the fact that God really does know what is best for me is very comforting. Another thing is my need for structure and routine. This has forced me to stop and look again at my children. Some of them are similar to me and do better with routine but I do have some who love and thrive on spontaneity. I am already beginning to relax in so many areas because I know that if I don't overcome the unhealthy aspect for structure/control of my everyday life I am going to end up really frustrated and I will have some very uninspired children. So, the trip to the beach next summer isn't thrown out the window - it will just be tweaked. My children will still love seeing the waves, playing in the water, running in the sand even if there is another child along.

And finally, I have been mulling over the verse that states "children are a blessing from the Lord." I am looking at that verse differently now. I always looked at it and just took it at face value - yes, each and everyone of my children are a blessing and have added so much joy to my life. But could there be a deeper meaning? Could it be that the blessing really lies in my daily mundane tasks? Could it be that the blessing is in fact the work God does in our hearts as we embrace each child? For me the thought of another child was at first completely overwhelming. Why? Basically, I was seeing the additional work and the sleepless nights. What God has shown me is that all my reasons for balking at this surprise are selfish reasons!! The blessing for me in this is if I embrace the work God wants to do within my heart I will be more blessed as a result. I will become more like Him, less self-focused and find joy in loving and serving my family. I have a hard time getting this point out of my heart/head and written down. I just know that half of that verse is the blessing that comes from embracing the life of my child, once again laying myself down and telling God to go ahead and take over my life! I will say it is easier said than done though!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Snot Factory

We are in full swing here producing buckets of snot per hour. I really would love to know where Eden and Tristan store all the draining disgusting "stuff" coming from their noses. The amount that has exited just this morning seems like it would fill the entire inside of their little heads. And Tristan has been sporting some really gross shirts the past few days. I catch him wiping his nose constantly on the outside and inside of his shirt. It is so, so gross!!! I thought about posting some pictures but decided for those who have weak stomach's it could end bad.

In other news I am loving all things related to food right now!! This has been the strangest pregnancy for me. I haven't had one day that I have felt pregnant. I haven't been tired, queasy, nauseous or had any kind of aversion to smells. Normally I don't get too sick but I have a hard time eating in the first 3 months and actually usually loose a little bit of weight. Not this time!! I have had a lot of energy and been going strong. But I am entering the stage where food becomes almost an obsession. This morning alone I have thought about eating at The Deli (for those in State College), Hoss's salad bar, Ci-Ci's pizza and a particular soup at Olive Garden. And that has just been in the past few hours. I always enjoy food but it steps up a few notches when I am pregnant.

I have been feeling a little more tired the past few days but that is attributed to Tristan being so restless. When he is congested and not feeling real great he wakes up a lot!! He has been up at least three times the past three nights. He is a light sleeper anyhow but the congestion isn't helping. And since you aren't supposed to give kids under the age of 5 any cold/congestion medicine now we are kind of stuck. I guess I could technically give them something but our pediatrician advises against it. I am hoping that both the little ones sleep this afternoon and I can spend the afternoon outside with the older two. It is just too beautiful to be inside!!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Fall Festival

The church we attend always has a beautiful fun-filled fall festival in October. Our older two love to go. There are so many fun activities - the tumblebus, blown up bouncy obstacle courses, scare crow stuffing, pumpkin painting, face painting, clowns and this year circus foods!! So...we packed up the kids and went to eat our fill of cotton candy, popcorn and hot dogs! Sounds disgusting but that is what we ate. Oh there were one or two apples consumed too. Tristan and Eden both were not too thrilled with all the chaos. I couldn't figure out if it was all the people or all the stimulation. Maybe a combination of both. But here was Tristan sporting Judah's balloon hat. It is good I snapped this picture because shortly after Tristan decided to hit the balloons off the prickly grass.
Eden trying out the newest style! She really doesn't care what she wears as long as there is food nearby to fill her belly!! there anything sweeter than cotton candy? I am convinced there are few things stickier. What a mess!! Shane had a blue face for quite a while.
And here is the man of my life conquering the climbing wall! A little later he was playing football and messed up the finger that he had surgery on a few years back. I'm sure most of you remember the run in he had with the bush-trimmers while at work. Well, he isn't exactly sure what happened on Sunday but he is kind of wondering if the tendons that were real tight and not working just got really stretched out. Problem is the tendons don't work on the top of his finger so it is really hurting. But will he have it checked?! He just splinted it to support it and kept right on going. Crazy man but I love that about him. He doesn't let too much slow him down.

And Judah was so busy running around that I couldn't pin him down for a picture. Actually, I barely saw him all afternoon. So...that was our Sunday afternoon of fun in the sun!!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Big News Alert

Well folks, we are officially coming clean and telling everyone the shocking yet exciting news that we are in fact expecting another baby! To say we were shocked is not an accurate word but then I don't know if there are any words in the English dictionary to describe my initial reaction. Well.....there are some words and I am somewhat dismayed to tell you that I was horrified, overwhelmed, not excited, upset and basically completely distraught. Not really over the new life within but more at what kind of responses we were going to get. My dear friend Krista bore most of the ranting and raving. (thank you Krista) She spoke a lot of truth to me and overall spoke life to me. I felt a huge shift in my heart the day I saw this little person on the ultrasound machine monitor. Look closely and you will see the little legs and arms that didn't have feet or hands yet. You can see the little nose and eyes forming as well. I have never had a 3D ultrasound this early in my pregnancy and I was amazed!!! My heart began to soften and I allowed myself to start seeing this surprise as the blessing He promises it will be. God has been revealing much about the condition of my heart through this (in a good way) which I will share with you when I have a little more time. I am in the midst of baking cookies and repeatedly telling Eden that the mouse and keyboard are not for her.

So for those of you not wanting to do the math on a Friday afternoon we will in fact have five children ages 8,6,2 and 1 at the time of this child's birth - late April. Shortly after though Eden will turn 2 and Tristan will turn 3. Still a lot of little ones at one time but we will roll up our sleeves and keep moving on!!!

One more thing - we cannot thank our immediate family and friends enough for being thoroughly excited for us upon hearing the news this week!! It was like a shot in the arm for me knowing you are excited, that you believe we can handle this and that you embrace another little life that God has created and is right now knitting together!!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Typical Days

Some people ask me how I home school the boys, take care of the two little ones and not go crazy. I must admit that there are some days I think I must be insane. And then I have many days where I realize I wouldn't trade my life for anything. Honestly, I try to keep my life as free of outside demands as possible. This helps me tremendously in maintaining my sanity. If the majority of my week is spent at home with very little running around I find my stress levels staying at a very manageable place. I know the thought of spending an entire day at home with four children would cause some people to loose their sanity but it sure helps me keep mine. I have days where I wonder what it would be like if my two older children were enrolled in school. But then I would miss things like watching Shane teach Tristan his ABC's. Tristan loves to sing the phonics songs and point to the letters while repeating the names after Shane. It is accomplishing two things at once: Shane is teaching his little brother the things he is learning while solidifying it in his smart little brain and Tristan is learning his ABC's. I am learning that Shane enjoys teaching much more than being taught so if I can incorporate it in is daily lesson somehow it helps keep the peace.
And I would also miss the mayhem that ensues when the boys have a break from their work or are finished for the day. Like pulling Tristan and Eden around on a boogy board meant for the water. We are finding that it is just as much fun to sit on it and be pulled around.
And lets not forget you could never wear your pj's to school or go shirtless. When it starts getting cool Shane wears his pajama's nearly all day. I used to make him get dressed in the morning but he just loves, loves pj's. And I can't blame him. I would live in mine too if I wasn't afraid of someone stopping by at 1:00 in the afternoon and seeing me in them. those who wonder what it is like to home school while having toddlers: it is sometimes ridiculous almost always crazy but completely worth the effort for me. At least today I feel that way.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

6 Months!

I realized this afternoon in the midst of my baking (yum) and finishing up the boys school work for today that it was October 1st which means Eden has officially been home for 6 months! I started thinking back over our trip home - how long and exhausting it was. How beautifully Eden did on the flights considering she had an ear infection and giardia. She slept the entire time or just snuggled in our arms. I was surprised how good it felt to be on US soil again and how final it seemed going through immigration with Eden. Our little girl was almost home and soon to meet the rest of her family. I can still remember all the emotions and I hope I never forget the beauty of that day! Our first morning home and we found out how much she enjoyed just being in her diaper. She has changed so much since then! She has gained over 7 pounds and is a complete bundle of crazy energy!
I know I have posted this picture before but it is my favorite picture of her with at least two of her brothers. They were so in love with her and she quickly adapted to being fawned over and malled by everyone. This morning while she was eating her breakfast Shane came down the steps. She started screaming and trying to say his name and almost came out of her seat! She loves her brothers and I am more certain that ever that we followed God's heart straight to this little girl!