Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Sister Love

I grew up with one sister (I'm the big sister), so I've learned how important it is to have that bond with a sibling. While I wasn't the nicest sister when we were growing up, there were still moments we 'loved' each other. I hope that our parents noticed some of those times when we got along especially well and loved on each other more than usual. Those times are extra special- I've also come to find out- to take note of as a parent. I remember, as we got older, we used to have sister days. I had my driver's license then and we would take off with no idea where we were going or what the day had in store for us. We had fun and we always made memories. Those memories stay in my mind and my heart and I'm so happy I had the privilege of growing up with such a cool sister. Now that we're grown-ups, I'm pretty sure she got the 'cool' gene- I just try to keep up with her... **Love you, Sissy!

Today, Dear Daughter #2 has surgery for a small umbilical hernia. I knew it was there since she came home from Africa, but I waited awhile and got the more serious health issues taken care of with all the children. She started complaining it hurt a month ago and I knew it was time to have it fixed. She told me that she doesn't remember NOT having a puffy belly button so her new navel should be extra special to her...

Hubby brought her early this morning and I got there with the other children as she was waiting in the recovery room. I was able to go back there for a few minutes and when she peeked her eyes open she said, "Oh, hi mom." Then she fell back to sleep. The nurses kept looking at me as I was rubbing her hair and talking to her (even though she was asleep). You see, she is my baby and I love her just as if she came from inside of me. There's no difference in my heart. I think people seem confused some times when they see our family- that's ok, I think it's fun to keep them guessing! We've had a few people ask if I'm her foster mom and I proudly answer, "Nope, she's ours forever and ever!"

When she was brought to her regular room, all the kids said a quick hello before we left to come home. Princess wouldn't leave her side and she kept doing things to try and make her sissy laugh. I think Princess was nervous that she was sleeping and wasn't sitting up and talking (as usual). Princess gave DD#2 a little stuffed animal she brought from home and then felt secure enough to leave her Big Sissy there with Hubby. Hubby stayed with her for the next couple of hours as she fully came out of the anesthesia.

Big Sissy was home and in bed by the time Princess woke up from her nap. Princess went straight in her room and hasn't left her side but twice since 3pm. DD#3 was pretty nervous that Big Sissy would be in pain and she couldn't even eat lunch. She had some emotional moments because Big Sissy said her belly was sore. Once Big Sissy sat up in her bed and the 3 girls started to watch a movie together, DD#3 calmed down a little because she could see everything was 'ok.' Big Sissy just ventured down stairs to kiss Angel Baby. I said, "Hi, what are you doing down here? Are you feeling ok?" She said, "I'm fine. I just missed Angel Baby today." She leaned down and kissed the two littlest girls and gave them both hugs. Princess followed Big Sissy upstairs and they are sitting together on the bed watching another movie.

These tender moments are really pulling on my heart strings today because I'm realizing how precious this really is. Our bio kids 'naturally' have a bond, but to see this extra special kind of love is really a miracle in my eyes. A year and a half ago, none of these kids knew each other. Today there are 4 girls that are bonded tighter than glue. I can't help but think of their future and their sister days to come. I'm so excited for them as they grow up and then have families of their own. These bonds will carry through many years and many experiences. I'm so glad to have been a part of this day and to have witnessed this miracle!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The things I see

As I sat in my chair this morning and picked up the laptop, these are the things I could see:
~The living room is 'full' in every corner. The clutter could eat away at me but I've begun to get comfortable with it (for a short time) until I can get to it all. I see baby toys all piled up in front of my chair. Angel Baby can sit on her own now and she enjoys emptying the toy bin and banging all the toys around. I see a 'nuki' on the floor (pacifier)- Angel Baby loves her nuki (we have LOTS of them around).
~I see two sippie cups on my end table. One from Princess' morning juice and one from Angel Baby last night while I was at church (she's still learning, she likes to chew on it more than anything).
~I see Hotwheel cars (among other sized toys cars) all piled up in the corner by the fireplace. No doubt the boys were racing them and seeing who could make their car 'fly' the fastest. It looks like all the cars crashed there in the corner- and that's where they stayed.
~I see our electric screwdriver on top of the fireplace insert along with the Dominos game and various toys that need to return to the toy room. Good place to store these things when there's no fire going...right? It's next to the toy room....but not quite there yet.
~I see folded laundry on the coffee table from yesterday (I folded 3 loads while sitting on the couch and multi-tasking various other things. There's also about 3 loads of clothes the girls pulled off the line for me last night when I was at church- they are heaved on the couch in a mountain.
~I see a baby blanket and 3 throws all piled up in one of the chairs from last night's movie night. The kids (and Hubby) all like to cuddle up together under one or more blankies.
~I see two boxes I pulled from the back of the attic. One had all our wedding memorabilia in it (our guest book, feather pen, unity candle, cake topper and some other various candles). I lovingly placed them for display above our entertainment center. It's been about 7 years since those things have been displayed. The kids love seeing it. The other box held my two favorite tea pots and all the glass vases we had on the reception tables at our wedding. I'm donating the vases to our church so they can be used.
~I see two unfinished sewing projects. One is a shopping cart cover for Angel Baby (can we say EWWWWWWW! to shopping cart germs?) and the other is a pair of gaucho pants I cut out of African fabric. I think I'll have to sew my own capris and pants for this summer- why don't stores sell pants that will fit my shape???? Oh well, atleast I can buy some cute tops to go with my homemade 'bottoms.'
~I see a messy high chair from Angel Baby's breakfast consisting of a graham cracker and bananas.
~I see my flip flops, one of Princess' flip flops and my slippers next to the couch. Everyone else listens to my rule about putting shoes away- how come I can't follow my own rule? Uh oh, hypocrite mom.....

This is just my living room. The rest of the house is about the same this morning. I will walk along all day picking these things up and returning them to their rightful place. Tomorrow, I will do it again. This kind of stuff used to drive me crazy but you know what? This is the stuff memories are made of. My kids don't live in a 'museum house.' The kind where nothing is ever out of place. This house is the kind of house where an occasional goat sneaks in the door, the outside cat jumps on the table and tries to drink the Kool-Aid (all the while one of the kids try to peel him off and he's hanging on for dear life to the table cloth), mud comes flying off my boys' boots as they run in to give me flowers, the dogs play and chase each other around the house (trying to make it to the food bowl) and a place where the clothes line is ALWAYS full (day or night).

Really, I wouldn't have it any other way. There will be a day when the house is empty and we're waiting for grandkids to arrive. It will be then all my things will be in place and nothing will be a mess- until my precious grandbabies get ahold of everything, then I'll start all over again- with a smile on my face!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I am blessed....

...to be at home!

When I drove two of our kiddos to school today, I was noticing all of the empty, dark houses. The houses where all the adults work and either there are no children there or all the children are off to school/daycare. I thought about how it's only for a few hours at night when everyone gathers back at home. Some families stay there until bedtime, others have activities to attend. Some families eat at home and some eat out. After all the running is done, each family member falls into bed and sleeps until the sun rises the next day. The process starts all over again.

This realization is why I'm feeling so blessed.
~I am blessed that our small children can sleep until their bodies are ready to wake up.
~I am blessed that I can start our day in my pjs and shower when I have a free moment instead of running around trying to beat the clock.
~I am blessed that if I want to start a project, I can plan it into my day and still have all the mess out of the way by the time everyone comes home and gathers in the evening.
~I am blessed that our house is lively and 'lived in.'
~I am blessed that it drives me crazy there is 'kids' stuff everywhere. Some people pray and pray for children and never have even 1.
~I am blessed to clean up dirt, mud, mountains of laundry and dishes, as well as the pile of shoes that accumulate every night by the door.
~I am blessed that when people drive by our house during the day, they see kids playing in the yard, animals running around. They see 'life' happening here.
~I am blessed that I have a husband who works as hard as he does so that I can be the kind of mom I want to be.
~I am blessed that when my husband comes home with two of his co-workers to grab something at the shop, I can make them a quick pancake breakfast with coffee and juice.
~I am blessed that when my family comes back to the house at the end of the day, they are relaxed and rejuvenated. I want this to be a safe-haven and they agree that it is.

I am blessed....to be at home!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

'Relish the moment,' he says.

Have you ever had one of those moments/days/or nights where all you can think is, “Good grief!?” I’m sure you have. It’s been awhile since I’ve posted one of my running dialogues…but tonight was quite fitting. Since the time change (Spring Forward!) we’ve struggled some with the younger children in getting them to bed. It all started tonight at around 7:30pm when Hubby began getting the 4 ‘littles’ ready for bed. One had to shower tonight, two got on their pjs and brushed teeth all on their own (thank you, Jesus!) and Hubby got Princess all fixed up with a pullup, pjs and brushed her teeth. Since I had Angel baby, Princess always asks me to lay with her at nap time and at bed time. I’ve obliged to some extent and lay in the room for awhile until she falls asleep or until she’s relaxed enough that I know she’ll drift off any moment. Bad habit, I know, but how can I resist her wanting mama near her when she falls asleep??? Lately, I’ve fallen asleep up there and Hubby is left wondering when/if I’m ever coming back- hehe! This process usually happens pretty quickly (within 15 minutes) so it’s never really a problem- until……..the dreaded time change!!!

I fed Angel baby her cereal and asked Hubby to wipe her up and put her pjs on. I headed upstairs with Princess and the other 3 littles. I tucked them all in, prayed and did our nightly routines. I settled myself on the floor next to Princess’ bed and looked at the clock. Little did I know she had snuck a baton into her bed when I wasn’t looking. About 7 minutes in to my ‘I think she should just about be asleep- I don’t hear anything’ dialogue…I got hit in the leg with the baton. That was followed by a quick, “Oh, sorry mom.” I told Princess to be still and go to sleep, all the while confiscating the baton and hiding it under the bed until morning. I started the whole ‘look at the time’ thing again and waited for Princess to get relaxed so I could make my escape. About 5 minutes went by and I heard another noise (meanwhile the other 3 kids have fallen fast asleep!). She had a mini etch-a-sketch in her bed and was shaking it around. I sat up, gave her a STERN warning and took the toy. I hid that under the bed with the purple, sparkly baton.

Princess rearranged her bed and made her covers just right, moved the pillow to a different spot and then carefully laid down so the covers didn’t move. I waited another 5 minutes and then got up to leave. I explained that she was not to get out of the bed or there would be a very serious consequence. That was mommy’s way of saying, ‘I’ve had enough- go to sleep now!!’ I came downstairs and Hubby had since rocked Angel Baby to sleep. Cool! That was a fairly easy bedtime, maybe we’re rounding the corner from this whole time change thing…little did I know…

I picked up Angel Baby to bring her upstairs and then quietly reminded Hubby that our baby goats needed to be fed before he retired for the night. Angel baby stirred. I quickly walked upstairs and sat in the rocking chair to get her back to sleep. After a few minutes I laid her down in the crib and then took up my spot again next to Princess (who was now asleep). 10 minutes went by and Angel baby woke up. I quickly got up and sat back in the chair, nursed her and then rocked her back to sleep. I then tried 8 (yes, I said 8!!!!) times to lay her down in the crib. Every time I laid her down she would pop her head up and would wake up. The cycle went round and round…about the 6th time I got very frustrated as to why she wouldn’t stay asleep.

I heard Hubby come in the door and quietly whisper that I needed to tend to Dear Son #3’s insulin pump infusion set. We change them out approximately every 3 days and tonight his set fell off in the bathtub so he had to go to sleep with the numbing cream on- waiting for the time to pass before I could put the set in. I, fairly loudly exclaimed, “I’ve been trying this WHOLE time to get baby to sleep but she keeps waking up! I’m really frustrated right now! Why do I have to go and do the infusion set? Why can’t you do it?” Hubby replied, “Because it’s dark, and he’s sleeping, and I’m not as good at it as you are, and if I try he’ll wake up and cry and then wake everyone up.” UGH!!! Ok, you take Angel baby then. Hubby starts laughing hysterically. There are 4 kids sleeping, and Angel baby is in her crib up on her hands and knees rocking back and forth (she’ll be crawling soon!) and then I get the giggles. “But I’m mad! This is not funny!” Hubby said, “You need to relish the moment, she’s our Angel Baby!” We were both hysterically laughing at this point…but I was still mad!

I went into the other room to do the set change and clicked the light on. Our Liberian son woke up and began looking at the corner of his sheet as if he misplaced something. I told him to lay down and go back to sleep. He just looked at me. I repeated myself about 3 times before he said, “Huh?” I repeated myself again and he just looked confused. I broke out laughing and then heard Hubby in the other room with Angel baby- he started laughing too. I did the set change and then went back in the room by Hubby. I took Angel Baby and thought I would try and rock her to sleep- give it another shot. She was tired, after all, she would fall asleep right away- she just wouldn’t stay asleep. Hubby told me goodnight and left the room. I tried rocking our ‘arched back, kicking feet, flailing arms, spitting out the paci’ baby. No dice. I brought her downstairs and put her in the exersaucer, turned on the Sprout cartoon channel and headed toward my mound of clean clothes. I had 6 loads of clean clothes patiently waiting for me and that’s all I could think about during this whole bed-time saga. All I wanted to do was get to those clothes because the ‘mountain’ was driving me crazy- and I knew tomorrow I would be washing another 2-3 loads. I didn’t want the mountain to grow to 9 loads of clean clothes!

Angel Baby started laughing hysterically at the puffy, stuffed star on the ‘Good night show.’ I was folding and folding clothes and she started belly laughing at the singing star. Ok…there went my frustration. I was relishing the moment. I began to melt like butter at our sweet Angel Baby. An hour went by, 4 ½ of my 6 loads of clothes got folded and Angel Baby was ready for bed. I rocked her again, she fell asleep and I laid her down in the crib. She didn’t move a muscle. That was bedtime to her, it didn’t matter what the clock said. Her clock said it was time… I looked at all 5 of my sleeping ‘littles’ and thought to myself, “This really is precious.” There will be a day when we only have one or two kids left living in the house- they’ll be big, putting themselves to bed, doing their own laundry, etc. These days will be gone so fast. Hubby is right, instead of getting frustrated at a baby who won’t sleep and freaking out about a pile of laundry to fold- I should relish the moment because in a blink it will be gone. It’s past midnight now and everyone is peacefully sleeping. My clock is telling me it’s time- a new day will soon be dawning!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


This requires no explanation...too cute!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Day 7- Testimony

You know, I've learned to not always 'expect' the things I want (or think I want) from God. However, He does grant me the desires of my heart and has, many times, answered my prayers/requests in the way I desired. I praise Him for the times He answers the prayers in a way I think they should be answered. I praise Him for the times He answers in a completely different way & I even praise Him for the times I feel He's being quiet. During this 7 day blog 'fast of words' I really just focused on my continued prayers and asked a lot for clarity. I prayed a lot of 'confusing' prayers- I'm sure. More or less, "God, I have no idea what to pray for, no idea what to ask for, the inside of my head is like a tornado and I can't keep a thought straight for a second!' I'm so glad God knows exactly what is going on because I don't!

I'll post a song/video below- I've posted it once before about a year and a half ago. When God spoke to my heart again, through this song, yesterday- it had a completely new meaning! I reacted the same...with tears and absolute obedience (just the same as I had done over a year ago). The outcome will be different this time, though. What that is, I don't know. But none-the-less, I know everything will be ok.

I got a phone call this morning regarding the very thing we've been praying and praying about. We're feeling this was a positive call and are excited about its possibilities. We're just so very blessed that God comes through and makes Himself known to us- and that He did it at the end of my 'blog' fast. He didn't have to make Himself known on my time frame- but He did. Thank you, God.

You are:
Jehovah Tsidkeenu- our righteousness
Jehovah Hossenu- our maker
Jehovah Jireh- our provider
Jehovah Makedishem- our sanctifier
Jehovah Rofa- our healer
Jehovah Rohi- our shepherd
Jehovah Shalom- our peace

Monday, March 02, 2009

Sunday, March 01, 2009