Saturday, December 31, 2011

Goodbye 2011

Reflecting back on this years favorite posts...through the ups and downs.

January- 

FEAR
                                                      


February-

Beauty of the Skies




March-

Don't Be Fooled





  April-



May-

Boys


O Baby!




June-

Reality Check


                                                                               


July-


  We were so busy in July that I didn't have any posts. So here's a picture of us during the 4th of July Celebrations! 




August-


Pray For Kaia

Flowers and Prayers

Goodbye For Now Sweet Kaia




September-


The Lord Is My Shepherd




October-

The Mysterious Ways of the Lord


I still haven't gotten around to my birth story, but here's a picture of our sweet baby Lincoln North.







November-


What Are You Thankful For?




 December-

The Eeriness of the River


 Merry Christmas from our house to yours!




Here's to a wonderful blessed 2012!!! 

God Bless,
The Messners


Photo credit: earl53 from morguefile.com

Photo-Source: google.hr via Ivana on Pinterest
Photo-Source: traceryinteriors.wordpress.com via Kristen on Pinterest

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Eeriness of the River

  As we were crossing the blue bridge not far from our home on Monday, this was the picture before us...


   While crossing, I mentioned to Bob that I could just imagine Viking boats emerge from the fog. It was so thick and eerie! You see I suffer from too much imagination...it's a sickness I tell you! Seriously I'm my minds worst enemy when it comes to thinking of scary things. 

  Anyways...the fog was so thick you couldn't see 15 ft in front of you. All I could think of was those long Viking boats with the dragon heads and a whole deck full of burly men with red hair and horned helmets silently and quickly propelling their ships through the icy waters of the river emerging from the fog. Like you could almost hear the bellow of a fog horn cut through the silence of the evening and see the light from old lanterns or torches hanging from the docks. Trippy! Gives me goose bumps just thinking about it...

  God's earth gives us such beautiful displays of wonder. Even though it was icy and cold, there was something beautiful and pure about it. So much so that besides my mention to Bob, the rest of the ride over the bridge was pure silence. As we just gazed out over the water in awe of what was before us. I've honestly never seen anything of the magnitude before. The trees were covered it spikey icicles, frozen solid...it was absolutely breath taking.

  

Sunday, December 11, 2011

"The Olden Days"

Ty who is 8 years old comes into the living room...this is how it went:

Ty: "Mom, look I just invented something!"

He shows me...he wrapped a scarf around his foot and held the ends to make it easier to hop around on one foot (he had just fallen in the kitchen and hurt his knee).

Me: "Oh Ty, we did that when I was a kid!"
Ty: "Really?"
Me: "Yes. Sorry, but it's nothing new." 
Ty: "I can't believe you guys did that in the OLDEN DAYS!" 

Seriously??!! I'm 30 yrs old people!! How old do our children think we are?! 

 Anyways, I think I'll go make myself a glass of Metamucil and go take out my teeth....

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thankfulnes Day 25

Today I am thankful for:

  New Friends! These are the ladies that have made my transition from the west, to the east, easy. In fact I can say that they helped me love living there! They welcomed me into their group without really knowing who I was. I feel the Lord set up these friendships before I ever arrived! The surprising thing is that most of these ladies are from the west side, or at least have family there, that I know! Small world :) They are a fantastic group of girls in which I spend every single Wednesday during the summer at their side, basking in the sun, watching our children play and swim, and filling our fellowship cup! The winters seem so long until we meet up again...faithfully, every Wednesday. Our children have many friends that are included in these friendships as well.

Some of the kids swimming at the river.

  Another delightful bonus...2 of my dear friends homeschool! We are able to get together every other week for field trips or school project days. The kids can't wait until we meet every week. This year has been a bit difficult with Linc's birth and early season colds, but when we are able to stick to the calender, we enjoy every bit of it! It's wonderful to have ladies with the same value system and goals in mind for their children. It builds a tight bond between us all.

Our first field trip of the year. 2011

  We have spectacular coffee nights throughout the summer.  (If you can believe this, I never drank coffee until I met these ladies...now I'm hooked!) It's delightful when it's still 80 degrees out at 12am! Yes, our coffee nights last that long most nights. We close out our favorite coffee shop and find our spots outside on the patio and talk for hours after the last barista heads home. Laughing and sometimes even having deep, meaningful conversations. It's a great place to refill after a long week. When it gets chilly later in the summer, you see the ladies emerge with their blankets from the car and settle in for the long night ahead. :) I really do love these girls! I can't imagine my time in our new city would be nearly as wonderful without them. :)



God has blessed me with their friendships!

For this I am truly thankful~

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thankfulnes Day 24

Today I am thankful for:

  Our family! Since today is Thanksgiving I thought I would mention our whole family. Bob and I are very blessed to have both sets of parents to celebrate with together. It used to be running from holiday to holiday, but now, we celebrate as one. It is very rare now a days to have both sides of families get along. Bob's parents and mine thankfully do! It makes our life so much richer and less stressful to stay in one spot. (Now I can't honestly say that I know for a fact that they all LOVE getting together instead of having their own individual times, but they all seem to not mind, and enjoy themselves. If they don't, they hide it well.)

Here are more of us. Alexis is taking the picture, and Shelby was still napping.

  If they truly do it just to appease us, I am TRULY thankful for their sacrifice!  I love having one holiday, and having us all together! God has been good to our family for sure. We have our health. We have each other. And we have the gift of the Son's Salvation! Praise, God! The only thing that could make our holidays better would be to have all our siblings celebrate with us, and their children.

For this I am truly thankful~

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thankfulnes Day 23

Today I am thankful for:

  My Mother-in-law, Cindy! Today is her 60th birthday. She is a wonderful grandma to our children. She loves them unconditionally. She raised my husband to be a loving and kind man. She will be the first to tell you how well you are doing, or if she is excited about something. She loves people!

 
Cindy and Lincoln North

  She started this tradition with our two oldest, taking them to Barnes and Noble for story time every other Wednesday on her day off. She would pick them up, head into Vancouver, and then stop for lunch with them afterward. The children loved this! Once Alexis was school age, it became Ty and Gabe. Once Ty became school age, it became Gabe and Addie. I really think this was a great tool in making our children friends. They each became so close during that time. It gets a bit hectic with a family our size, so for them it was exciting to get to go out with a buddy! It helped each set to build a relationship that was more than just brothers, or brother and sister. They really truly became friends. It was sweet and such a special time for them to spend with Grandma. We moved before Shelby ever got a turn with story time. :( But for the others, it was something to tuck away and remember. I can honestly say that I wish I had had a grandma like her!


For this I am truly thankful~





Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thankfulnes Day 22

Today I am thankful for:

  This rain storm! I know I complain a lot about the rain and the doom and gloom that comes over this west side of Washington, but today was an awesome storm. We expected 3 inches of rain in one day! Yikes...I think we got it.

The wind blew all day...It rained all day...It was dark a just plain nasty out.

What I love about these days are the opportunity to sit around and read or play a board game, maybe watch a Hallmark Christmas movie, or even take a much needed nap.




  Fortunately for us, we were able to spend our evening with our good friends the Noorluns. We had spaghetti, played games until we laughed so hard our faces were in pain, and the kids played together so well!

(If you need a great game to play, Taboo is so hilarious...or at least it was for us! lol)

For this I am truly thankful~

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thankfulnes Day 21

Today I am thankful for:

  Friends that make you laugh until you cry! Tonight I went to dinner with the great "old" friends that I spoke of in one of my earlier posts. Now I know one thing I have been missing since we moved! Don't get me wrong, my new friends are wonderful and amusing and I laugh with them often, but this is a different sort of laughing. One of the gals Socorro, is the funniest person alive! She does the craziest imitations, she's quick witted, can make a joke out of almost anything. I LOVE to laugh! (That is one of the best things about my husband, he makes me laugh.)
 

 I know there is a time and place to be serious and restrained, but come on people...we need to laugh and joke and be ridiculous! It makes life that much better! :) And your liver will thank you! (Yes, when you laugh it exercises your liver.) See, it's good for you!

 Dejah is also there with Socorro in her humor...to be honest, they all are a kick in the pants! They know you so well that they can pull things from years ago and twist it into something humorous. I really think the folks at the restaurant thought we had one too many drinks because of how hard we were laughing. Not that I want people to think I've been drinking, but they are that funny!

For this I am truly thankful~

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thankfulnes Day 20

Today I am thankful for:


 The Goodenoughs! Our bestest family friends ever!!!

Dan and the boys: Josh, Nate, and Luke
Jen and Dan
  They are our once in a lifetime family friends. They love our kids, we love their kids, their kids love our kids, our kids love their kids! Dan and Jen are our "safe" people...as in...Bob could tell Dan anything about me and it wouldn't change his opinion of me, and I could tell Jen anything about Bob and her opinion wouldn't change of him. And you know it's safe with them. Every couple needs this! If you bottle stuff up, it eventually spews all over something, or someone it shouldn't. So they are our emergency help line, in a sense. :)

  Jen knows me better than I know myself. She tells me when I'm being crazy and ridiculous, and when I'm doing something well. I can call and talk to her for hours, sometimes about serious life changing things, and sometimes about absolutely nothing at all.

  Bob and Dan coach. They coach everything their boys play. Thankfully most years they coached together! Dan's a great man. A great friend to my husband and makes us laugh! His phone calls that last 30 seconds are the best for Bob. They leave him confused and amused all at the same time...always leaving a smile on Bob's face.

  The Goodenoughs make a difference in those lives they are involved in, and those that see from the outside. They love the Lord with all their hearts. This is ever present in the way they serve people. They are the hardest working, motivated people EVER! And the most generous.

  We have been blessed to call them friends!

For this I am truly thankful~

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Thankfulnes Day 19

Today I am thankful for:


  Peppermints! I realize that the picture is backwards, but I don't have enough cell service at my parents place to upload a photo from my phone. So PhotoBooth it is! :)

  My milk seems to absorb everything I eat. I don't have the luxury of nursing my babies without some sort of repercussions due to the gas it creates in their little tummies. Everyone of my children couldn't handle Wheat Thins. I would crave them after their deliveries, shortly realizing that they were the cause of the gas pains that the babies experienced. This time though...Lincoln has taken well to the peppermints. I really think they calm his tummy. I have experimented with this theory...and it has proven to do what I thought it would.

  I thought I had heard at one time that peppermint calms a sour stomach. I realized how good Linc was when my parents were there visiting for the week. When they left,  he got really crabby (partially due to having his circumcision done a bit later than our other boys). Once we came to Mom and Dad's for the holiday, I realized that Mom always brings the peppermints for hot chocolate while she is there. Every night I had hot chocolate before heading to bed. And again, being back here for a visit, I had hot chocolate every night before bed with 2 peppermints in it and a few on the side! :) So the experiment began. No peppermints all day one day = fussy baby. 5 peppermints in the AM and 5 before bed = happy, content, sweet baby!

  I'm thinking when I get home, I'll switch to peppermint tea. A bit healthier and a bit more fight against this fat that needs to be lost. :)

  Try it for your fussy one and let me know if it works for you!

For this I am truly thankful~

Friday, November 18, 2011

Thankfulness Day 18

Today I am thankful for:

  Deer meat! Bob shot his buck opening morning of late buck! This unlucky buck just happened to be visiting my parents backyard for the last few weeks, trailing the does. It was a small 2x3, but it's meat in the freezer for this family. It's nice for Bob that he only had to sit on the back porch and wait. The buck wandered into the orchard area and now is spending his days in the meat shed waiting to be put in the freezer. There are so many hormones and junk pumped into our meats from the store that I am actually excited to have this good, natural, healthy meat for all our growing kids.

The little men posing with daddy's deer.

Now I just need to figure out some good recipes to hide the gamey flavor. :) Please feel free to leave recipes in the comments section! lol :)

For this I am truly thankful~

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thankfulness Day 17

Untitled #29


Untitled #29 by messybunch on polyvore.com

Today I am thankful for:

Skype! If you haven't heard of it...you need to. This is perfect for families or friends far away, and it's free! You download it onto your computer and as long as you have a webcam you can talk face to face with your loved ones, next door, or on the other side of the globe. It's been fun for the kids to call up their grandparents and chat with them.  I have it on my smart phone and had even thought about calling Bob's dad (my FIL)  and pointing it towards the baseball field while Ty was in his tournament this summer. I had just gotten the phone and had no idea really how to use it. :) But now that I know all these tricks, next ball season we'll have to try it out! 


  Just think of how much easier it is on families being able to at least see faces and talk to each other, instead of written letters that take weeks to get to their destination, when they are far away. It had to have been heart breaking for families to have their loved ones away for years and never see them during that duration. Now, they are at your finger tips and a dial tone away! It amazing the things we have in this time period. 

For this I am truly thankful~

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Thankfulness Day 16

Today I am thankful for:

Consignment stores. I used to be a snob when it came to buying anything anyone else had previously worn. I thought it was disgusting and below me. I am a full and total convert! One day I woke up and realized that money doesn't grow on trees. Things are expensive and they can be ruined shortly after, if you aren't careful. I started with the kids clothing, and have now included myself in these shopping journeys. Why would I pay $80 for a Banana Republic skirt when I can find them at the Goodwill for $5 ? Anyone who shops like I do fully understands the beauty of it!

For this I am truly thankful...

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Thankfulness Day 15

Today I am thankful for:

  Bob's job! Last year was a bad year. Now I know it could have been worse, way worse, but for us it was the scariest year we've ever had in our marriage of almost 12yrs. This year by September, we had made what Bob made the entire year last year. We moved in June of 2010, bought a nice new house, thinking there was plenty more work on the east side of the state, than the west. The first two weeks were good and after that he was back down to 13-18 hrs a week. Don't get me wrong, there were a few 28-30 weeks. A few as in maybe 2 or 3 that whole year. Our budget with a 40 hr a week pay check has very little squeak room already, but you turn that 40 into 13-18 hrs, and you have yourself a problem. It was so slow that Bob was working alone, doing what a 2 man crew does...alone. He came home exhausted, and almost broken daily. I can't even imagine the stress that it took on him, being the sole provider for his family of 7. I could see the fear in his eyes on a regular basis. It's very easy for me to be the faith filled one since he was the one paying the bills, working to earn the money to pay those bills, and trying to squeak dollars out of cents, not me. I always have had the "the Lord will provide" mentality, and He does. It might not be our ideal way, but never the less, He does provide. But last year, or more the beginning of 2011, I felt myself starting to become fearful.

  We made it through last year and the first part of this year financially, again only by the grace of God, and are now digging our way out this year to get back to being debt free (excluding our homes). It's crazy how one year can put such a huge dent into your plan. Things are not a given in the world of construction (in this world in general). So when we are given the hours, you take as many as you can get! Pray you are financially smart with those earnings, and live life to the best of your abilities...praying the whole way. So I am very thankful that my husband still has a job and is back to working full time.

This is my hubby 12yrs ago at our favorite camping spot...isn't he handsome?!


  I'll add another thing I'm thankful for...seeing my husband grow and realize that he isn't in control....God is. You can try all you want, worry till you give yourself gray hair, and things will fail all around you, and there is nothing you can do but pray and continue to believe that God is who He says He is. It's a beautiful thing to see someone submit to God in a way that says, "You, oh Lord, are in charge! Just show me where to go and what to do!"

For these things I am truly thankful~

Monday, November 14, 2011

Thankfulness Day 14

Today I am thankful for:

  The HUGE bag of baby boy clothes that my dear friend Jamie brought me! What a blessing that was! For some reason we didn't have hardly any newborn clothing, or 0-3 month size for a boy. We thought we kept our favorites, but they were no where to be found. Jamie rescued us on Monday when we were having our children's play day. In she walked with a trash bag full of clothes, newborn-6month size. As well as another trash bag full of diapers that her little big man Kellan has outgrown. And what a blessing for Lincoln to have a friend 6months older.



  People always ask us, "How do you afford them all?" This once again shows how the Lord provides for his children. We are hardly ever in serious need...and if we do find ourselves in "need"...He provides it in His way...which is always better than we could have thought up! I would have prayed for the $ to go out and purchase (new to us) clothes at a consignment store. But God saw fit to provide it through a friend. A friend that is so generous to give us so much. There has to seriously be at least 40+ outfits, onesies, hats, and bottoms all together, in perfect condition. I would have never been able to purchase that much, even through consignment stores. God is not good, He is Great!  We put Him in a box. A pretty little, safe box. Imagine the possibilities if we truly allowed God to do what He wanted in our lives, instead of putting up a fight or flat out disobeying. Our eyes would be opened to those miracles that people say don't exist anymore. It's not that they don't exist, we just see it in a different light, or are so hardened that we literally can't see it at all.

So for this I am truly thankful~

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Thankfulness Day 13

Today I am thankful for:

  Prenatal vitamins that don't contain Iron! Today, the little girls (age 2 & 4 yrs) somehow figured out how to get the lid off my prenatal vitamins and decided to eat a bunch! I think they had to have eaten at least 15-20 of them, by the looks of how many were left! 

  Ty came downstairs and said, "Mom, Shelby and Addie ate your vitamins!" Unfortunately they taste like candy and they are gummy ones. Which make it more appetizing for these little girls. I called poison control to see what I needed to do. The very helpful lady asked me to look for the amount of Iron listed. After a bit of looking, I finally found Iron listed in the amount per serving list. Praise the Lord, it said Iron 0mg...0%. The woman said, "You just dodged a bullet today! It only takes 2-4 tablets to kill a 2 yr old. Now how about vitamin A?" I told her "4000 IU...50% per serving. With 45 servings in the bottle (2 gummies is a serving). So that would be 90 total gummies in the bottle." Again, we dodged a bullet! According to her, it takes 110 tablets to do serious damage to a toddler with the vitamin A. Thankfully even if they had consumed all the vitamins, they still would have been alright. Her treatment...feed them, give them plenty of water, and watch for dehydration from the diarrhea or vomiting that may occur.

  Shelby has experienced the diarrhea, but otherwise seems to be doing well. Addie hasn't seemed to have any signs of either...I'm thinking that Shelby hoarded them all, only sharing a few with Addie (she controlling like that! lol)

These are made in Vancouver, WA!!

  This whole incident again reiterates how quickly life can change. We could have had a dead 2 year old Shelby, and a severely sick 4 year old Addie, if these vitamins would have contained Iron. Thank you, Jesus, for their protection!!!

For this I am TRULY thankful...

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Thankfulness Day 12

Today I am thankful for:

Two of my dearest friends, Laura and Jen! These two are my other "peas" in my pod. It is absolutely wonderful to have friends who have the same values, beliefs, goals, love for their families, and you can outright trust them with anything without being judged. That is a gift from the Lord. These are my "coffee" friends. :) We could seriously spend hours and hours at coffee chatting away...like today...5 hours after arriving at our favorite coffee house, we had to pry our tushies off the couches and make ourselves go home! I don't know what it is, but the time seems to fly by at an extremely rapid pace. You'd think it would have been an hour, not 5! These days are my recharge and reconnect days. Maybe it is because I now only see them once every 3 or 4 months. So we have to get it all out in one coffee house meeting. :) I don't know? But I do know that I look forward to it every time we come back home for a visit!


They are beautiful inside and out. Funny and caring. That's a great combination in a friendship. I am very blessed to have them as sisters in Christ.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thankfulness Day 11

Today I am thankful for:

My smart phone! I know this must sound ridiculous, but it is my life saver on our long 4hr drive back to Vancouver. Yes, I know I should spend the time talking with my family, but do you know how loud and noisy it is with 7 people talking in a small confined space? :) That was one of my serious irritants while pregnant. I just couldn't handle all the noise. We are about an hour into our little road trip, and I seem to have adjusted back to being able to just tune it out when it gets too loud. So now my Droid is going to be for my short attention span! Don't you just get mind boggling bored?! I do! This way I have games at my finger tips, I can check what's happening on FB, Google questions the kids may have throughout our journey, and I can blog (like I am right now!) I'm big on multitasking when I can. :)

It makes the trip seem so much quicker! Praise the Lord!

For this I am truly thankful...

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thankfulness Day 9 & 10

Today I am thankful for:

Day 9

Our dog Sophie. She is hands down the best dog ever! At least for our family! She has the sweetest disposition, she's loving, calm, very tolerant of little people pulling and tugging, and she doesn't eat much. :). She was gifted to us by my parents. And what a gift she is! We needed a dog who could withstand the daily torture from a bunch of little people. You can pretty much do anything, and she won't bite or snap. She allows the girls to dress her up in their Build A Bear outfits. She doesn't run away when she's out front with the us. She's just down right passive. lol


Day 10

The fact that we are only a 4 hour drive from family and friends. It makes it easy to go back and visit for holidays, and birthdays. We have the blessing of going back for 17 days tomorrow! The hubby will be hunting, and I will be socializing. :) Should be a great vacation for us all. Bob will get to be in the woods (his favorite place) hunting down elk and deer, that will hopefully end up in our freezer for meat for the next year. I have the pleasure of seeing friends and doing girls nights. We both get to spend time with our families. We get to eat turkey and pumpkin pie! I finally get to have my eye brows threaded (haven't found anyone here yet). I get to have my yearly hair cut (sad, I know!) And have the best coffee around, at Old Town with two of my dearest friends! Can't wait!!!!

For these things I am truly thankful...

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Thankfulness Day 8

Today I am thankful for:


  My mom! Today is her 60th birthday...I can't believe she is 60! She definitely doesn't look it.

I have come to realize that my mom's love language is service. She has spent our whole lives (as in her 3 kids) doing for us. I remember her driving my brother to his swim practices before school, 45 min from our house in the country into town, just so he could be on the swim team. I'm not talking 7am, I pretty sure it was leaving the house at 4am! Then she would sleep in the car while he practiced, then drove him to school. Every morning for the whole season. She would never miss one of my basketball games in high school. Every Sunday after church she cooks a great "Sunday dinner" for us all to consume. She would spend hours (along with dad) filling our stockings every Christmas. Making everything just right. After every one of my deliveries, she has made us dinners, cleaned our house, watched our kids, and been there to take pictures of the births. She's a "just tell me what to do and where to go, and I'll do it" kinda gal. She would be at the airport picking up my sister at anytime of night, after one of Amy's trips away. She's just always there when you need her!

  Like most moms, she doesn't get much credit for any of it. That's the beauty of motherhood...the ability to do without any thank yous, or pats on the back. You do it because you love them. That is a beautiful thing...

For this I am truly thankful~

Thankfulness Day 7

Thakfullness Day 7


Thakfullness Day 7 by messybunch on polyvore.com

Today I am thankful for:


  Facebook! I stole this from a friend on FB that posted it for what she was thankful for. :) It was too good not to! 

  FB has been a lifesaver for me since we moved last year. It has this crazy way of making you feel like you never left. Some may disagree that that is good. I on the other hand love that! It helps you keep relationships alive with friends back home, without all the phone calls, and emailing. It's a quick (if you don't become obsessed, which is hard not to) way to keep up on all the going ons with those in your life. It has been so fun to see my friends and family's children grow in their pictures they post. To get great ideas for school projects from other homeschooling moms, that they post. It is a great place to get prayer, answers to questions, and encouragement quickly. (There are a few negative aspects to FB, but today I am focusing on the good.) You can find friends from way back (like 20yrs ago in elementary school, way back), that you probably never would have gotten in contact with otherwise. It's a network of those you care about, or in some cases, are just interested in how their life turned out after all these years. :) It's virtual fun!

For this I am truly thankful~

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Thankfulness Day 6

Today I am thankful for:

That fact that my husband will go grocery shopping with me when I need him to. He took me grocery shopping the night before I had Lincoln, because I was having a ton of painful contractions, but needed to go to the store to stock up for the kids before I was stuck in the hospital. He made it not so embarrassing when I had a contraction and was bent over the cart because I couldn't move. :) Then he went with me today and packed Lincoln around in his car seat while I shopped. I tried yesterday to do it myself, and Lincoln cried and cried and I had made the mistake of going to the goodwill before hand to see if they had any jeans in my "new" large size in long, they didn't, they never do, and decided to try on a few tops. I left the dressing room almost in tears (just can't believe I let myself get this big) and headed to Freddy's. Once in there he started fussing, so I took him out of his car seat. Then he started wailing and then Bob called, then I started to get teary again, and was trying really hard not to out right cry like a baby myself in the middle of the store (I just love hormones!). So I headed to the suburban to nurse the baby, and when I got there, I just kept thinking...seriously Heather, this is your 6th kid. Why are you having such a hard time doing this? Then I started really crying. And by the time he finished nursing, my eyes were ridiculously red and puffy, and there was no way I was going back in that store! So I headed home, all the while having a pity party for my hormonal self.
So today, my loving husband took me to the grocery store! He helped me "think" while we shopped, since my thinker isn't working as of late. :) I did it without the water works, and Lincoln made it until check out before he got restless.

For this I am truly thankful...

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Thankfulness Day 4 & 5

Day 4

Today I am thankful for:

The ability to homeschool our children. I never thought in a million years that I would make that statement, none the less, with joy in saying it. Thankfully the Lord changed my heart 5yrs ago and we haven't looked back! It's the best opportunity to raise up your children in the way they should go. To build that solid biblical foundation that God commands you to do. 

Deuteronomy 11:19 You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and walking by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise.

It's a perfect opportunity to actually know your children. To see their strengths and weaknesses. To give them the chance to study true life subjects, that are geared specifically to your child's future career or calling. To be able to be flexible to fit our family's structure and life. 

What a blessing it is to homeschool (no matter who says you're crazy)!

Alexis and Ty at one of our homeschooling field trips.

Day 5

I am thankful for good old friends! I didn't realize the rarity of "old friends". You know the ones from junior high, and high school? It is such a blessing to have a group of girls who you go way back with. You all know each others history (the good and bad) and yet you still love each other. It's so much fun to get together with them and enjoy the families that God has given them, and even just to talk about old times! And every time you get together, no matter how long it has been, you just pick up where you left off the last time. :)

Dejah, Me, Katie, Jamie, & Socorro at Rock Bottom Brewery in downtown Portland for my 30th birthday!
 For these things I am truly thankful...

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thankfulness Day 3

Today I am thankful for:

Meals! As in the last 2 weeks of meals that all my lovely friends and church body have brought to us after Lincoln's birth. The first week I had my mom here cooking every meal for us, and the last week and a half the meals have come almost every night. They have been delicious! What a blessing it has been NOT to have to cook and clean up every night. And there has been leftovers, so that has taken care of lunch daily. :) Plus, I have found a few new recipes to put into our rotation of dinners! Yum!!

For this I am truly thankful-

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Thankfulness Day 2

Today I am thankful for:

Hot running water. The ability to think, "I'd love a hot shower" and 30 seconds later be taking a hot shower. Instant gratification when you're cold is for me! I went from being roasting hot almost all day and night, when I was pregnant, to freezing 75% of the day after I delivered. The only thing that seems to get me warm is a good hot shower, or holding my little man (and I already used him for my first thankful day!)


So for this I am truly thankful.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

What Are You Thankful For?

  As November begins, I feel it necessary to remember to be thankful. Thanksgiving is such a special holiday and we definitely take it for granted. I'm going to try and post everyday something I am thankful for.

Today I am thankful for:

  Our precious little Lincoln North! Oh the joys this little man has already brought us in his few days he's been with us. He truly is a joy, and delight to all of us. His contented spirit is like a soothing balm to our hearts. He will sit and gaze at you with his precious baby blues, studying your face. He seems like a wise old soul at the ripe age of 14 days. Maybe he will take after his namesake, the best president this country has known...for now I will rest in the fact that our Mr. Lincoln seems to be a kind, wise, contented person, or at least I pray that will be the man he becomes.

  It's a wonder how you can fall head over heels in love with someone you just met! The smell of his sweet little head...the little whimpers that escape him as he dreams in his sleep...the adorable back stretch he does when you take him from his car seat. These are just a few of mine and Bob's favorites! Addie would say she loves his long skinny fingers. Shelby would say she loves brushing his hair. Gabe would say he loves it when he opens his eyes and looks at him. Alexis would say she loves everything about him. Ty would say he loves to hold him. 

  For these things I am truly thankful~

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Baby Update 3

  Hopefully today was my last doctors appointment for this pregnancy. I'm trying to be optimistic, but only God knows. The Dr. did confirm my fear that this baby is "sunny side up". I had that with our first and let just say, "it was no walk in the park to get her here!" I was telling Bob that I really didn't know how bad it was until I had a few more babies to compare it with. It didn't seem so horrible at the time (or right after), but now knowing how less painful labor is without all the back labor, I'm kinda freaked out! I shall be spending many a hours on all fours trying to get this baby to flip! I already mopped the kitchen floor and wiped down all the cabinets while I was down there...now it's just a matter of playing on the floor with the little ones...since all I have left is carpet to vacuum (which you can't do on hands and knees).  :)

  On an interesting note, I got to know my Dr. a bit better today. We talked about the kids being at the delivery (at least the older ones) and he is all for it. He has 10 children of his own (all adopted) and he told me a bunch of fascinating stories about how his boys came to "work" with him and looked in on many a labor and delivery. Another was about a 6 year old boy who was trying to get as close to the "action" as he could, so doc decided to put a gown on him and allowed him to sit on his lap through the whole delivery! That ones a bit out there for me, but I found it refreshing to see how he truly loves his job. He thinks birth is such a wonderful opportunity for families to welcome a little one into this world and was very much encouraging us to bring all the children with us. I asked him about how he felt about it being too graphic and scary for them, and his reply was, "Yes, they see it all happen, if you want them that close, and you could call it graphic, but they will forget about that, and remember that wonderful experience that not many get of welcoming their sibling into this world. That is a beautiful thing!" I seriously sat there in disbelief! I think if I hadn't been aware of my jaw, it would have been on the floor! lol  I couldn't wrap my brain around how "natural" this OB doctor was. He finds children to be a wonderful blessing, and he thinks it's best to use every opportunity to teach something to them.


  As I told Bob all of this he kind of smiled and said, "Sounds good!" :)  If we do decide to bring the kids with us, I'm pretty sure ours will be a PG rated delivery. No one from my waist down! lol Think about it this way: How many times does a little one walk into a L&D room after baby has arrived and wonder "why on earth is there a baby in my moms arms?" "where did that come from?" I think plenty. What if the little ones were there to witness at a distance the arrival of their sibling baby? Do you think maybe it wouldn't be such a strange sight to them? I think so. Now I'm sure that 95% of you reading this think we've fallen off our rockers, but I think it's definite food for thought. Alexis was 7yrs old when she witnessed Addison being born. She has begged to be there ever since. Bob and I asked her why she liked going and her response was, "I loved being the first one to see the baby!" It's a special time for a family. You just brought a new life into the world! You can't ever get those moments back...it's a once in a lifetime opportunity. Never again will that same situation come about.


 




The boys overheard our conversation and came downstairs packed for the hospital. They even packed a stuffed animal for the baby. A boy and a girl one. They have their pj's and I noticed Gabe even packed a notebook so he could color while he waited! I found this adorable :)


Blessings~Heather

Saturday, October 8, 2011

A Few Of My Favorite Things!

A Few Of My Favorite Things!








  I thought I'd share some of my favorite baby items with you. Like I've said before, I'm pretty simple when it comes to babies. There are a few things though that I absolutely love!

  *First off, all in one cloth diapers from bumGenius are a must. They are user friendly and save you a ton of money in the long run. I will however be using Pampers Newborns until this little one stops needing to be change 18 times a day...that would be way too much work with cloth.

 *Babylegs are such a great product. They keep your little ones warm without having to undress them to change a diaper. The bonus is they are super cute!

  *As for blankets, I am stuck with the soft chenille ones from Target. My friend Jamie gave Gabriel one for a baby gift 6yrs ago, and I won't ever look elsewhere! Addie had one in the girlie color and Shelby just used hers. They are soooo soft and stretch, yet don't slip off like some super soft blankets. I do have to say that I'm not super fond of the boy blanket color they have this season, but the girls is adorable. If this tells you anything...even though I'm not a big fan of the coloring for the boys, I'd still buy it if this is a little man! :)

  *When it comes to shoes you can't buy anything for a wee one but the Robeez. They keep their socks on and they stay on as well. So many different patterns to pick from that it's hard to have just one pair! They're so dang cute :)

  *The Mary Jane's from Trumpette are a bit impractical because they are socks, and they do fall off when they are really little, but they are adorable!!! I received these as a baby gift with Shelby, and they were a big hit everywhere we went.

  *As for a diaper bag, Petunia Pickle Bottom is the way to go if you don't mind spending a small fortune. I fortunately didn't have to with Shelby since a sweet friend gifted it to me! I loved that diaper bag! It's in shambles now, but it was great. It has a fold out changing pad built into the front that zips up and in, plus is removable for washing. Not to mention the fabrics from Petunia Pickle Bottom are gorgeous! I love the brocade patterns, especially the one above with the gold and aqua colors. It can be carried on your shoulder, across the chest like a satchel, or worn as a backpack. Bob especially liked that fact...backpack is more man friendly that a shoulder worn diaper bag. :)

  *If this is a girl, we will be doing earrings again. I absolutely love a baby girl with earrings! It gives them that extra touch femininity. At least we find it adorable. :)

  *The Chicco's car seat is a great one. I love the form that is for the infant size. It doesn't trap heat around the top of their head like most of the head cushions. So no more sweaty baby.

  *Since we are coming into fall/winter a cute little hat is a must! I just thought these were cute :)

  *Also, the flower hair clips are a great addition to any little girl or the headbands for the bald little lady~

  *The Bébé au Lait Nursing Cover, is dangerous! Once you go there, you can't go back! Where these have been my whole nursing life, I don't know? I do know that if I didn't have one, my job of chasing kids would become much harder. As a mom to 5, well I guess it will be 6 shortly, you have to be mobile while you nurse. It's just a reality, at least for me it is. 


  *Aveeno baby wash is to die for delicious smelling! I always have loved the Johnson & Johnson baby wash, but I have to say that the Aveeno beats it in the smelling test. Nothing like the clean scent of a newborns head...
  *Lansinoh's lanolin is purely the best at what it is for, cracked, sore nipples from breastfeeding. It is totally natural and has super healing strength. I know most lactation nurses would say to just use your own breast milk in the same manner, but for me that didn't work. At least not as quickly and efficiently as using the lanolin. Along the lines of breastfeeding, you'll need nursing pads. I prefer the Lansinoh brand over others I have tried. This is definitely one of those products that I'm sure works for some and not for others. For me they work great! 

  Anyways, I hope you enjoyed looking through my favorites list. What are your "Can't live without!" items? I love hearing what others have found! 


Blessings~Heather

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Mysterious Ways of the Lord

  Yesterday afternoon, we had our family tour of the "Family Birth Center" at the hospital I'll be delivering at scheduled for 4pm. Bob called earlier in the day to tell me that there would be no way he'd be off in time to come. There was too much to get done. (I'm not complaining about the work, very thankful there is so much work right now, just figures that we scheduled it late to make sure he could come and he still couldn't). He was quite discouraged since he really enjoys doing these things with us, hence the "family" tour. :) I was almost in tears because I figured, "What is the point in going if he can't be there? It'll just be another thing I do by myself." I was going to have a pity party. 

Then it struck me that I have two choices:
1) Cry about it like a hormonal mess and ruin the opportunity with a bitter attitude.
or
2) Don't let it steal my joy and pray that God would see to it that Bob made it there. 

  Thankfully I chose the second option. 3:30pm rolled around and still no call from Bob saying he was on his way. So I packed up the kids and we headed to the hospital. Arrived to find our lovely "tour guide" a very sweet labor and delivery nurse in her office. All 6 of us squeezed into her little space and she began. First she tried locating my pre-registration forms that I had filled out 2 weeks prior. She couldn't find me in the system! She asked if I was sure I registered. Yes, I even went into the gross ER to get the forms! Probably not the best place to be hanging out in when you are pregnant, with everyone coughing and sick. So yes...I did register.

   As we waited to hear back from the ER and the Admitting departments, we chatted about having both lived on the West side of the state and how we very much enjoyed the climate here compared to our previous addresses. Then we received the call that, No they couldn't find me anywhere. Off we went to the admitting department to fill them out again. They kept apologizing and I just kept thinking, "If I were in labor, I'd probably not be so happy, but I'm not so it's really no big deal!" The kids just followed along enjoying the sites of the hospital. We met with the admitting manager and she was super embarrassed about not being able to "find" me. Really people, not a big deal! lol She handed me forms to fill out and so I did. By the end of this process, having filled out all the forms again, and meeting with a woman to enter my info in the system, they got a call from ER saying they found me! lol, in the wrong file...not having ever been entered into the computer system (obviously). They again apologized and said the man would be spoken with...I felt bad, 'cause really not a big deal. I even got to speak with the lady who was entering my info into the system about our "big family" (I don't see it as really that big, but I guess to most people we are). As they all sat with me while we waited for her to finish she kept saying, "You are so lucky! I always wanted a big family, and my husband said, no! Two is enough." I felt for her. You could see the sorrow in her eyes as she said those words. (Again, I am reminded of how so undeserving of the wonderful husband God had for me! A man who is willing to pray and seek the Lord for guidance instead of what those around us, and what society deems as right or wrong to do.) She continued to tell me how kids are her life, and what a blessing they are. Couldn't agree more! It's refreshing for our children to hear that they are a blessing once in a while, instead of the people who are in disbelief that we would ever dare have as many children as we do, and state it in front of them. You start to wonder if maybe it gets to their little hearts, and they start seeing themselves as the majority of the world sees them as, a burden? I could see their little eyes light up as she spoke...it was precious! 

  Once we finally finished up with the admitting, we headed back to nurse lady's office. Once in there, we went over all the info that I just went over with the admitting department. By this time it was about 5pm (an hour after we originally got there). We finished up and she said, "Are you ready for your tour!?" I said, "Sure, but do you mind if I call and see where the hubby is?" I called and he said he was there!!! lol Coincidence? I think not! :) What are the odds that they happen to lose my paperwork (which everyone kept saying "this never happens") and just when we finish, there comes my hubby strolling down the hallway? God is good! It made sense now that during this whole process I wasn't annoyed at all. I had total peace over all the events of having to deal with redoing everything and pretty much wasting an hour with 5 kids in tow. Thank you, Jesus! Thank you to everyone who prayed for this. I know it probably seems small and unimportant, but it was important for us. 


   We continued down the hall to see the labor and delivery rooms with much surprise to find very lovely rooms. Most rooms have a huge shower stall with 6 jets on the wall to help relieve back labor pain! No climbing in and out of tubs, you just walk right in! Although they do have rooms with the jacuzzi tubs if your heart desires that instead. A menu full of delicious sounding meals, delivered to my room whenever I call...even a menu for spouses and family, so we don't have to send them out for their food! A couch that pulls out into a bed. They even have a special plush mattress that is laid over the top of your bed once you have given birth...no more sore body from sleeping in awful hospital beds! It's the little things in life! :) Bob and I about died laughing when Ty asked the nurse where the birthing ball was! The kids were checking out all the cabinets and he found it concerning that there wasn't a birthing ball. lol I think I have told my birthing stories too many times in his presence. :) You think?! She quickly reassured him that they had birthing balls, in small and large sizes, all we had to do is ask if we were in need of one. ;)
Tried to get a quick photo with the kids...definitely not great. I felt kinda dumb asking if I could get a picture, so I quickly snapped this one.

  All in all, I am very pleased with our decision to deliver here. My prayer is that things would go well and smoothly, and that it would be a wonderful experience. I can't forget...the nurses there have to be the kindest nurses I have ever met in labor and delivery. All of them being very helpful and informative. They answered all our questions and we left with a feeling of peace about it all. Nothing beats that...especially with all the unexpected changes and shifting that have happened during the last month of this pregnancy.

Blessings~Heather