Sunday, July 26, 2009


Is this baby girl not delicious?! She is like a new child and I am so, so grateful! I guess the 3rd month is somewhat magical when it comes to a child who is classified as colic. Because I could almost be convinced that my baby has been switched with someone else. She is sweet and delectable.
This week brought about the celebration of Tristan's 3rd birthday. He was so excited and talked about it for quite a while leading up to his special day. He wanted cupcakes instead of a cake and was thrilled to have us sing to him.
Tristan and Eden playing in a monster puddle after one of the 50 downpours we had in the past few days. It started out as a little wading and ended up in full fledge dunking. Why am I not surprised?
Heidi being mauled er...held by Eden.
Tristan holding Heidi with Eden's hand sneaking into the picture because she wanted her turn.

Shane and his girl. He has the dreamiest smiles.
One of the boys captured the love between Heidi and I. Really....she does love me. And now my post must come to an end since Heidi is letting me know she is waking up and nearly starved!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Tick Bites

Blasted ticks - they are bad this year! Or so I have been told! Ticks are so gross with their little legs and blood sucking thirst. We first became aware that they were worse than usual when Mark received a few phone calls asking if he sprayed for ticks. And then we started finding them on our clothes after we would come in from being outside. Of course I got somewhat panicky because of the threat of Lyme's disease. Mark got online and did some research to find that the chances of actually contracting Lyme's disease is pretty slim. So, I decided to stop worrying about it.

Fast forward a bit and we had removed 1 tick from Eden, 2 from Shane, 2 from Judah and 1 from myself. It started becoming somewhat routine around here after the kids had been playing outside to find one somewhere. I worried mostly about Eden because they are harder to spot on her sweet skin.

Fast forward again to last Saturday. Mark and I returned home from Sherri's wedding and I noticed Shane had a small rash on his neck. I looked closer and thought maybe it was poison since Judah was sporting some nice poison on his body. Later that afternoon I found Shane asleep on the couch. Never a good sign for my rambunctious 6 year old to be sleeping on a beautiful summer afternoon. Sunday morning he woke up with a bit of fever and bad headache. He slept a lot of Sunday and when he was awake didn't want to walk because his head hurt so bad. Monday rolled around and it was more of the same. The only thing that was changing was the rash on his neck. It had gotten a bit bigger. to the doctor. He was checked out good and sent for blood work. His labs came back negative for Lyme's disease but on Wednesday he wasn't any better and the rash had grown - alot!! So....back to the doctor. He seemed puzzled because his symptoms were classic but the test had been negative. He re-ran all the blood work plus some additional tests. All came back negative again but in the meantime he called and spoke with a rheumatologist that he had worked with. Shane's doctor has only been practicing a relatively short time (he is young). The rheumatologist advised him to treat based on his symptoms since the antibody test is fairly inconclusive! I have been so impressed by our doctor and thrilled with how thorough he has been. We started his 3 weeks worth of antibiotics yesterday. Shane is perking up now and getting back to his rambunctious self. Thank goodness for webmd, right? Helped me to figure out what could be causing the rash.

And on a funny note - I was talking with Dr. Cook and somehow we got onto the subject of how long he had been practicing....etc. etc. I told him my cousin had just started practicing and that my uncle was also a pediatrician. He wondered what my uncles name was and where he practiced. So I told him. He looked at me and said, "Really? Your uncle is the man!" He has never met him personally but has spoken with him and heard only rave things about Dr. Stoltzfus while he was in residency at Geisinger in Danville. He said to me, "You are practically royalty." I got a good laugh. But in all honesty I am very proud my uncle has that type of reputation! So Miriam, if you read this please tell Elam that he is the man!!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A Little Snippet

I definitely need to haul myself off to bed I sit. It just seems like my days disappear without me finding any spare moments. And if I do find those moments I am usually getting caught up on something else. So, I will just post a few pictures for now and hope to fill you in on my life sometime soon. Believe me people. I have the best of intentions. And this is what happens when you turn around for two minutes to load the dishwasher after lunch. Your two year old strips down, goes outside and somehow (I still do not know how) climbs onto the minivan windshield. To be fair she may have been in her diaper from playing outside and getting wet and her mother removing her clothes upon reentry into the house.
Judah and Shane after constructing a very elaborate cave complete with moss and trees for their animals. Mostly prehistoric animals. I think my boys are slightly challenged when it comes to dressing themselves. One doesn't ever match and the other matches a little too well.

Best buddies! I love these boys!
I decided to braid Eden's hair the other day and she didn't want me to take a picture. I knew she would have removed everything before Mark got home so I wanted to document the new hair.
Oh...the drama!
Tristan and his baby.
Heidi smiling at her daddy! So sweet!
And here she is talking to Mark.
And this is what I would like to do at least once everyday. Go unload a cupboard and hideout for a while. Complete with blankie! He voluntarily threw his binkie in the trash on Sunday, deeply regretted the decision a few hours later but has done marvelously without it since. He mourned the loss of his best friend for a few hours on Sunday, 5 minutes on Monday and today was fine. Lets hope the trend continues!

And lets hope for some sleep tonight. Eden and Tristan have both been incredibly restless the past few nights. I have been up multiple times with them. On that note I will make the trek upstairs to my comfy bed.

Friday, July 10, 2009

A Little Break

So...I am sitting in bed and it is 10;20 in the morning. Crazy, right? Mark and I took Heidi and flew to Indianapolis for a wedding. My best friend from high school is getting married and I am in the wedding. I was kind of nervous about leaving all the kids (it has been over a year) but now that I am here I am loving the break. It is a very quick trip but totally worth it all. We flew out on Thursday and will return on Saturday. Having just one child to take care of feels so nice. I am able to focus on her and completely enjoy her! And I am still in my pj's (which isn't that unusual) but I don't feel guilty about it. :)

Heidi has been amazing and done so well. We have seen a huge improvement with her in the past week. She is so much more content. Hopefully we make it through today and she will remain happy. We are going to be heading to the Indianapolis Museum of Art for pictures this afternoon, then back to the church for more pictures and dinner and then the wedding will start at 6:30. We have a busy day ahead of us but also lots of fun too!!

I am missing my children but not all the demands. Is that bad? It just feels nice to have some down time. I secretly am wishing we would have stayed another day because it could be awhile before we get another break. I always feel guilty asking someone to watch 4 kids - that is a lot of children to take care of.

Anyway...I am going to take a 15 minute nap before I have to start getting organized and ready to go. I was going to upload some pictures but forgot to bring all the necessary gadgets. Soon people. Soon!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

The 4th

I am sitting here this fourth of July night listening to the booming of fireworks somewhere nearby. And you know, I am perfectly content not seeing them. It feels nice to me to sit in a quiet house this evening and just spend some time reflecting on my day and past few weeks. Yes...I have been absent from my blog. The past two weeks have just seemed to go by in a blur and I frankly haven't had the energy to sit and talk about my life. But tonight I do.

I had a dear friend come for a visit for a few days last week with her little boy. He is the sweetest little thing and I had such a great time catching up on life with her. I must admit....I was frustrated that my children didn't seem to cooperate while she was here. Eden especially seemed really jealous that someone was here and I was spending time with them and not focusing all my attention in her direction. She is greedy like that:) I am so glad Krista took the time to come since they are in the planning stages of moving to Kenya and I may not see her for quite a few years. Love you Krista!!

I took the boys swimming two times last week and they were so appreciative. They love to swim and haven't gotten to go much this summer. It really hasn't been warm enough to swim but last week we had some nice hot days.

Heidi had a few really rough weeks. This colic thing is horrible!! Seriously....aren't we nearing the end? This past week (knock on wood) has been better. She is more content when awake and is actually settling into a slight napping routine. I am cautiously optimistic.

I took the three younger kiddos to the cabin today!! For those of you unfamiliar with the whole cabin concept I'll break it down for you: two people (my grandparents) had 19 children, who had lots of children who in turn had lots of children. I believe there was somewhere between 150-160 people there today!! Three generations: my aunts and uncles, my cousins (me included) and now our children. Really mind blowing when you see everyone together!! Mark went for the weekend with Judah and Shane since it is the highlight of their summer and I decided to spare myself the agony/frustration/stress/horror of trying to camp with 3 little people. I'm sure people camp with kids my ages but I am not trying to impress anyone. I am sad that I am missing all the campfire talk time and the guitars/singing in the evening. But I am happily sitting at home with sleeping children. There is always next year.

As I was driving home I started thinking about some things. This job of parenting is sobering and I never take it lightly. It is a huge entrustment and we are responsible for molding and shaping these little people into adults who will have a positive effect on society and hopefully a major impact for the kingdom of God as well. This business of parenting is not trivial. As I looked around today at all my family I felt so blessed. I felt encouraged, loved, cared for and loved some more!

I have always wanted to be a mother. I will admit that sometimes I feel something akin to shame when someone asks me what I do. I feel like society at large doesn't recognize the importance of what I do on a daily basis! Being a "stay at home mom" somehow isn't looked at highly in all circles. Most days I am okay with that. Today I realized again that what I do is amazingly important!! My grandparents were not perfect parents. They didn't do everything correctly. But they did raise children who love Jesus and have a huge impact on the world. There are multiple people in medicine (and I am talking 2nd generation as well), counselors, pastors, moms, dads, entrepreneurs, name it!! These two people have touched the world in so many ways. I look at my little brood (or large brood - depends on who you compare it to) and I wonder how many people will be impacted by their lives. What all does God have in store for them? Suddenly, my days don't look so boring and mundane. I am raising, molding, loving and shaping the future! It is a privilege and an honor to be the mother of my children!

It was really nice seeing extended family and briefly connecting with them. But the result of my travels today is a very tired momma! On that note I will head to bed and I promise some great pictures coming up real soon! Sorry if this post is kind of scattered. Just imagine what my brain must look like!