April 25, 2013


round button chicken

This field is down the road from us.
I call it the "highlighter" field--proof that even God can make neon natural.
Frankly, my camera doesn't do it justice.
It is best seen on a cloudy day just as a ray of sun peeks through the clouds and oh my, you need your sunglasses!

Caroline's first time outside on a blanket.
She doesn't care that mom put her in the mulch.
She just loves that prickly green stuff. 
A new sandbox.

I don't know what the joke was, but it was a good one! 
Peter just recently discovered the chickens.
He knew they were there before, he just didn't know how much fun they could be!
Only he calls them, "Ogs"  or "dogs" in toddler speak.
I asked him if he thought they were funny looking dogs.
Most definately yes.

Making baby wipes, of course.
An irrational desire to make something coupled with far too much coffee and the unlikely coordination of two sleeping babies results in ....baby wipes.
Is this a wise use of my time?
Uh, no.
I could have been sleeping.
But, that is the coffee's fault.
Couldn't sleep.
And frankly, baby wipes (for use with cloth diapers) were the perfect solution.
They are quick, and simple and if the stitching isn't perfect--totally fine.
Besides, I've been wanting to use these remnants of this bunny flannel for a long time and it wasn't enough to really make anything from.

April 18, 2013


round button chicken
Same view as last week but now with blooms!
Smiles at sunset.
Robin eggs in our playset.
Photo by Nathan.
Happy are the brothers who set up the play mat.
Happy is the baby who has a swarm of brothers! 
Happy and cozy.
A late afternoon thundershower brings respite and relaxation.
Sally the beagle is the most afraid of thunderstorms!
A failed attempt at an after-Easter picture.
I didn't get one Easter day so we tried before (and after) Mass this past Sunday.
I don't have any pictures of all the kids together, I just wanted one!
Peter would not co-operate and only wanted Dad to hold him.
This was Dad's attempt to get him to stay there and not be in the picture!
(It didn't work, lol!)
Nathan changing the tire on the big van.
This was from a couple weeks ago.
Thankfully, the occasion of the popped tire happened just down the street from my husband's work.
I'm really breaking in this big van!

April 16, 2013

Life is Good.

(It has taken me almost around two weeks to write this post and several days to finally publish it.  So forgive me if it seems trivial in the light of recent events.)

God is good.  Lets just get that straight.  There is no question in my mind that God is Good all the time no matter what struggles we endure.

In case you are wondering, Percocet makes blogging difficult.  It muddles my brain, makes me groggy, and I forget what the heck I was going to say!  Friends tell me some of my emails make no sense.  I am not sure that being nonsensical is entirely abnormal for me.  :)  But, let's backtrack and we'll come back to the Percocet in a minute.  I'm not always good about talking about the rough stuff of life on here--so you get it all in one post!
This is Nana (my mom).
Mid January, my mom went in for elective knee surgery.  Her knees had been bothering her for awhile and she couldn't do a lot of things she enjoyed.  The knee surgery went just fine but she had complications from the pain medication she was on--ended up aspirating her dinner, had to be intubated because she wasn't breathing and it turned into chaos from there: days on a ventilator, pneumonia, kidney failure, heart issues, so forth and so on.  Seven days in the ICU and another two weeks in Intensive Rehab.  Thankfully, everything ended up just fine and she is doing well now but that was a whole ball of stress for awhile!  Late nights in the hospital, sending my kids off to other relatives, leaving my husband to manage evenings alone, and being very, very pregnant.
Then, along comes Caroline.  While one of her namesakes still recovered in the hospital, she came into the world quite peacefully.  Beautiful and perfect.  (A little sadness because her Nana was still in Intensive Rehab and couldn't meet her.)  All was well until her one-week checkup and she still hadn't gained weight.  Not an ounce.  Then again, at her two-week...still no gain.  All of my previous children came out, overcame any breastfeeding hurdles they had and met their birth weight by their one week checkup and go on to become quite the roly poly babies they should be.  Not Caroline.  Thus, the flurry of blood tests, doctors appointments, meetings with lactation consultants began.  Not to mention the now instituted "triple-feed": nurse, pump, supplement with a bottle.  All to my chagrin.  So, yes, by one month she finally had gained back to her birth weight with the determination that she just isn't good at milk transfer.  In essence, she sucks at sucking.  And, to my continued heartbreak--she is mostly a formula baby.  I just really hate washing and keeping track of bottles.  Now, twelve weeks later, we have a system (sorta) and I try to maintain the breastfeeding bond if for no other reason that it is comforting to both of us.
My mother always says things come in threes.  If two things break, there is gonna be a third.  And so, it did.  Ten weeks after Caroline was born, I had gallbladder surgery.  (Enter Percocet stage left--and trust me, I took as little of it as possible).  To be fair,  I had a gallbladder attack before she was born (literally the night before my OB apt where I pushed back my induction because my mom was still in the ICU).  Only I couldn't be for sure that it was that.  Then, nothing for several weeks until I had several attacks in a row.  Rather than wait until I was in so much pain I ended up in the ER with an emergency gallbladder removal, I scheduled the procedure and survived on pretzels and jellybeans in the interim.  I was petrified to eat anything with fat in it for fear that it would trigger another attack.
Only, the procedure itself wasn't exactly smooth.  It took 3 hours for what should have been a 45 minute surgery.  5 incisions laprascopicly which should have been only 4.  An MRI the next day to see if the duct was clear because the surgeon couldn't be sure (it was, thankfully, or that would have meant another surgery).  A trip to the ER 4 days later because I thought I was going to die.  Literally.  I'm not one to freak out but the only explanation for what I was feeling (after numerous tests) was that I was having a panic attack.  And now, two weeks later, I am still in pain.  Just surgery pain and it is getting better everyday.

So, yes, life is good.  God is good.  The blessing through all of this is that I feel so very loved.  I don't mean that selfishly and I would never wish this again (or on anyone else!).  Because I will admit that at times I have fallen into despair over the humiliation of it all.  It has been stressful with the amount of time my husband has had to take off work.  But, so many have been so kind.  Family members have helped out in numerous ways.  So much so that I couldn't even begin to thank them.  We have been covered in prayer for the last 3 months by family, friends, even people we don't really know.  That means a lot to me.  Our homeschool community has jumped in to bring meals, drive kids to events, send teenagers to help around the house (these teens are just awesome, I have to say).  There has been an outpouring of pure love that has sustained my family and kept us from falling apart.  And that love can only come from God.

I am so thankful that my mom is doing well, that Caroline is gaining (even if isn't how I'd envisioned), and that soon, I can get back to serving my family.  I'm thankful for everyone who has helped us weather these storms.  I'm thankful for the Lord who has heard my prayers and carried us through.

So, I'd like a little peace and quiet around here.  Would that be too much to ask, lol?  :)  I'm ready to have some fun.    I'm thinking a vacation somewhere warm sounds nice.  Maybe after the county fair....

April 11, 2013


round button chicken
I think Spring is finally here!

Carrie's favorite spot.
Just being outside.
I caught Peter in the middle of a moment and it struck me as really funny!
A dog who likes rocks for a pillow.
Trying to snap a good picture of a toddler is impossible.
Always in motion and always messy!
Our quiet corner.
A tired-looking mom and flyaway hair!
Visit LMLD for more contentment!

April 10, 2013

Two months.

Well, sorta.

Tried one with a headband. Love her smile!

Really, two months and a week or something like that.  But still, Caroline hasn't hit 3 months yet so it counts!  She is hovering right around the 11 lb mark and getting chunky cheeks.  Oh, how I love chunky cheeks!

I think I like her better without the headband!
I like this one because of the milk bubbles in her mouth!

Full length shot.
Half caught a smile.
So sweet!

April 3, 2013


Happy 8th Birthday, Jacob!
It isn't easy when your birthday happens to fall on Good Friday.
It isn't easy when you happen to see your birthday present by accident and you really wanted to be surprised.
But, it is just like you to handle these things with grace and joy and be thrilled anyway!
It is going to be a big year for you and we are so proud of you.
You are such a happy guy and we are thankful for the gift of you and couldn't imagine what life would be like without you!
May you be blessed this year with as much joy as you radiate every day!
We love you!

April 2, 2013

Happy Easter!

As usual, I am running late on my Easter greetings!
We spent Holy Saturday at Nana's (my mom) house for Easter with her.
We were blessed with a wonderful day and wonderful weather for an egg hunt. 
Easter morning brought clouds and rain but we had joy in the risen Christ!
From left to right--waiting on the stairs to find the hidden baskets, Patrick and Nathan with the "winning" egg from the egg-cracking competition, Easter breakfast, the winning Hedgehog Egg, and Jacob and Liz with baskets.
And after this, it was off to Mass and I have no pictures due to camera issues (ie: I forgot it!).
Which means, no pictures in their Easter outfits or any of the fun of Easter day at Grandma and Grandpa's!
(And thankfully, the clouds cleared and the weather was beautiful again--makes an egg hunt so much more fun).
Christ is Risen!
Alleluia! Alleluia!