Tuesday, January 31, 2012


You can't hear the story, unless you can see it! 
Liberty is Miss Manners. She loves to help in the kitchen and even if I think I can quickly go in and get something done, she zeros in and is there in .03 milliseconds!
Every night she is the first one to say, "Thank you Mama for dinner."
Aaron and Liberty helped me make burritos. At dinner Libby said,"Thank you Mama for dinner, and Aaron. Thank you Myself!"
When we have beans I always serve rice as well to make a complete protein. Libby doesn't like rice in her burrito so she opts for it on the side. I offered her my fork to eat her rice with and when she took a bite she said, "Something smells funny in my mouth." I guess I left some Tabasco on the fork. Then she said,"I no love it."
I love how clearly she can communicate and her sweet little voice. She is growing up much too quickly but with impeccable manners.

Sunday, January 29, 2012


Liberty taking care of 'Baby Ben'
 I posted a couple of weeks ago about the Anticipation of our day. We didn't have history because Syndi got in an accident on the way to my house. Everyone was fine, and the car was wet, but otherwise drivable. The children got a great lesson in physics (cars and ice), they learned how to hook up a vehicle from the tow truck guy, and most importantly, how to be flexible, and offer grace to Mrs. H, that she didn't feel up to teaching.
Little kids turn on the trampoline
 We always do a potluck lunch and I was outside putting the hamburgers on the BBQ when the neighbor dog came over decided to retrieve one of my chickens. I took off running to rescue my chicken. The dog had the chicken in it's mouth and ran through the bushes. I forgot that there was a fence on the other side of the bushes and jumped too late to clear it and continue my chase.
Here's the image: Me in a skirt, tights and boots sprawled face first on my neighbors front lawn with the dog staring at me with my chicken hanging out of his mouth. By this time I was quite mad, and I knew the dog now thought we were playing a game. Why, would someone be yelling and kicking at you if they were playing, I'm not sure, but clearly he was playing. I fell a few more times and succeeded in putting grass stains on the knees of my tights. Jake got the chicken and I corralled the rest of the flock to keep them from harm.
Thankfully, Jess saw that I was (cough, cough) otherwise occupied and rescued the burgers from demise.
 The reason I am sharing all this, not just so you can laugh at the image of me falling, but so that you can learn what I am so slow at learning. You have to be flexible, to go with the flow and not have too high of expectations.
I expect when I have a new baby that I am going to have to get up often and feed the baby. When I no longer have a newborn, I expect to sleep all night. I am quite upset when I have to get up.
School is not going so well this year and I find myself getting really frustrated with the children. I expect them complete their work completely, immediately, joyfully, and respectfully. The problem is that I don't expect to have to correct them. I expect that they are already trained and therefore should just do their work.
See, I want them to do their work, but don't think I have to do mine (training them). Mostly, this is just a reminder to myself that we are all sinners and we all need grace. My job is to teach my children in all areas. If I expect to correct them, I can do it with a much better attitude.  If it is clear what is expected then they can do their job better.
My verse for the week:
Mark 10:45
For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve,
 and to give his life as a ransom for many.

I am going to be intentional in serving my family and expecting to have to correct them.
Please pray for me.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Family Reunion

Noah and Erik
Actually it was my nephew, Noah, who declared that we were having a family reunion. I really wanted the opportunity for Mikaela to see her cousins and Aunts while she was here. So I asked my mom to host a gathering of Sean and his sisters! She lives in the middle of all of us so it was a central location. That, and she is a very gracious host. Oh, and she has a fabulous sledding hill in the back yard!
When we planned the menu she told me she had it all under control and I didn't have to prepare anything, or bring anything. How's that for planning a get-together on my part?
Princess Cousins: Ruby and Sarah
 I was concerned that we would not be able to continue with our plans due to the crazy snow and freezing rain. Mikaela's last day here turned out to be fairly decent as far as travel was concerned.
Mikaela has not seen her Aunts since Karina's baby shower, and Loden is now 2!
Taylor and Aunt Karina
This was our first get together since Nicole was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer in February 2011. Nicole's amazing attitude and beauty radiate through her gorgeous smile! It was so nice to spend some time together and watch the cousins play.
Erik was so gentle with the baby and played for hours on the sleds with Noah. His compassion warmed this mama's heart. 
Aunt Nicole and Mikaela
Aaron had Loden with him most of the time. Loden loved riding on Aaron's shoulders. Plus Aaron is kinda like a big puppy dog as far as fun is concerned.  Loden practiced all of our names and was quite good and communicating who and what he wanted. He is the sweetest little boy. He has a great smile and gentle disposition.
Ruby, Sarah, Geaba, Uncle Moo, Kimberly
 My brother, AKA Uncle Moo, had just gotten out of the hospital and had a few major surgeries, he felt well enough to join us but lamented the fact that he could only eat a couple bites of lasagna before he felt full. I completely agree with his statement that, "I really like to eat and want to enjoy more than a taste of my food before I'm too full to eat more." Unfortunately for me I was able to eat 3 helpings of lasagna before I felt full. (wonder if that's my problem?)
Ian and Karina
Don't you see the family resemblance here?
Ian is my sweetie!  He loves playing with the girls (Ruby, Sarah, and Libby), he has it figured out: he gets to be the hero and the conqueror, and the dad. Whatever the coveted role is, when he is playing with the girls, he gets that role. Smart boy!
Karina and Nicole
 I couldn't have gotten better sisters in law if I had hand picked them myself. They lavish my children with genuine attention. I love how they love them.
Sweet Loden
It took Karina 15 minutes to get Loden ready to go outside and play in the snow. 5 minutes later it was time to come in for cake and presents. We like to lump the celebrations around here. Noah will be 9 on Jan 26th, so we had dessert in his honor. Apparently Noah didn't like our singing. Really, though he didn't want us to see his wet bum from sledding in the snow. Don't know why covering your ears helps cover your bum, but whatever works!
 After brownies, we gave some belated Christmas gifts, and Noah's birthday gifts. My favorite quote was from Noah, while Loden was opening his gift,"That looks amazingly like a toddler toy."
Backyard snow fun
Riding a Ski Do down the hill, pushing cousins in the wagon down the hill, hitting snowballs with a bat up the hill sounds like a recipe for disaster. Fortunately, it was the perfect ingredients for a perfect day of memory making with family.
Loden and Mikaela
That's Loden's angry face! He was not impressed that we told him he couldn't take home the first gun he ever played with. Makes me laugh that boys (even ones who have no experience with guns) will change anything into a gun, and know exactly what to do with it!
I am so very thankful for the time we have and for the people God has given to us. It was hard to share the time we had with Mikaela, but I know how important it is to let people know they matter and are important to you while you can.

Thursday, January 12, 2012


I know Libby doesn't look like she is excited, but she has been the number one counter-downer of when Mikaela will get here. 
We are gearing up for a busy few days! 
We have history today, after about a 2 month break. All of us are super excited and waiting for a day of learning and friends! 
This afternoon, Mikaela flies in from San Diego. She will be here for 10 days. We can't wait to spend some time with her. Time with family, sledding, bowling, and just being together. It's good to have my family all in one place. 

Monday, January 9, 2012

Roman Feast

Shelly and her children are studying Rome to the Reformation as part of their school this year. I love that they are a year ahead of us and we can call them with questions whenever  we get stuck in our school. 
They invited our family to their Roman Feast. But first we had to figure out when it was. Our invitations were written with Roman Numerals. 

Ian, Cael, and Liberty
We got some strange looks driving our BRV (Big Red Van) down the road on a Friday afternoon with children and adults in Togas. When we arrived at the Feast we were greeted, and the 'slave' washed our hands then we were invited to recline at the banquet. What nobody noticed here was that Liberty took the entire bowl of Caesar Salad and ate it all ~ right out of the serving bowl. 

It was very cool to eat a meal without utensils. I confess, it was the first time I have ever eaten an omelet with my fingers. It was the best omelet, well I may have had 3 or 4, ever! It was made with honey and walnuts! Liberty took the reclining seriously, she laid on her back with the drumstick held above her head and her mouth wide open. 

A Sample of Roman books and activities. 
I will spare you the photos of the boys with their big hunks of chicken on the bone. They were disappointed that they didn't get to be authentic and throw the bones on the floor for the servants to clean up. 
We had the opportunity to look through the work that the children completed so far this year. We also heard some of the verses and poems that they have memorized. As well as shared some of our own. 

Aiden and Erik
Shelly is a brave woman! She let the children drink grape juice from wine glasses while laying on cushions in her living room! I was the only one to spill, oops!
We had olives, Fig Newtons (figs), omeletts, chicken, roasted almonds, pickles, grapes, and Caesar Salad. 
I love seeing what our friends are doing and enjoying a great afternoon with friends.  

All the guests at the Triclinium
We learned some Roman games that Aiden, Ellie, and Cael made. I can't think of a better way to spend a Friday afternoon, eating with friends, learning about what they have been studying, and holding baby Gracie!
Plus, we took home one of their roosters with the hope that it will keep the rats from stealing our eggs!
Thank you Mrs. B, Aiden, Ellie, Cael and Gracie for The Roman Feast!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Yippee Libby's Three!

I remember 3 short years ago, Sean and I went for a walk on New Year's Eve. This baby was due Dec 23 and the doctor wanted to induce me on Dec 11. I canceled my appointment and just didn't make another one until after the new year. I was feeling huge and uncomfortable and my mom was still at our house from Christmas because we all kept thinking the baby was going to be born any day.
Finally on New Year's eve we were about a mile and a half from the van and my water broke! My water has never broke at the onset of labor so we were quite surprised. I am talking like gallons of water! Not just a small trickle, but big gush. Sean offered to run back and get the van but I was feeling fine and did not relish the thought of sitting on the side of the road soaking wet freezing cold while all the people out to celebrate the new year were driving by. 
We walked back to the van and a couple times I had to stop a puke. One time Sean missed it because he was watching the custom Harley's drive by. It's OK, I don't really need an audience to puke anyway. 
Just before I got back in the van my water gushed even more! 
I went home and took a shower and did my hair and makeup. Hey, you never know how long it's gonna be till you get to do that again. (with Ian it was 5 days!) 

I called my friend Jess and told her that I wasn't really in labor but we were going to the hospital anyway. She met us there about 9:00 p.m.While being admitted they told me that they couldn't get a reading on my amniotic fluid so they didn't think that it had broke yet, and it didn't look like I was in labor so they might send me home. Ummm, this is my 7th baby and I'm a Childbirth Educator and  Doula, I know that my water broke. Plus, I was 41 +1 weeks pregnant I had to tell them that it was time to have the baby. 
 I walked around a bit and the nurse said that I looked a little flushed so maybe she should check my progress. When she checked I was at 9 1/2 cm! I yelled, "Praise God!" It has never been this easy before. Jess was in shock and said, "no wonder you have so many babies, you make this look easy."
I mean really, I was hardly sweating, my makeup was still perfect and I was almost there!

Alas, that is where the joy stopped. We all thought she would be born 12/31/08. That's when the real contractions hit! I felt like I was in transition the whole rest of the time. The doctor offered to break my water to help things along. I agreed because my water had already broken and it couldn't hurt. They were flummoxed when they couldn't find any bag to break. Duh. I tried taking a bath, doing deep knee bends, getting on my hands and knees, I even tried pushing a few times (even though I had no urge). I can honestly say that is the worst feeling I have ever had! I thought maybe I could push past that 1/2cm. I think that is when I got mean. I cried and said I couldn't do it anymore (the first time I have ever felt that way). Sean was shocked. Plus when I got out of the tub I did not want to get dressed again so I labored hard completely naked for the next few hours. I was pretty disgusted with everyone when they all cheered "Happy New Year!" Then I was encouraged with the promise of having the first baby of the year (who doesn't want a years worth of free diapers?)
I could see the doctor trying to decided what to do. Obviously the baby was malpositioned and nothing I had done had changed that. Because of my genetic bleeding disorder C Section was a last resort option and an epidural is not an option at all. Finally at 2:15 a.m. I crawled into bed completely exhausted and out of ideas. Jess encouraged me to try Fentanyl. I have never had it, and have seen women use it plenty of times. I did not really want to be in a intoxicated state when I had the baby but since it seemed to be my only option, I decided to give it a whirl. Liberty was born at 2:24, just 4 minutes after the Fentanyl. I have cursed myself many times wondering if she would have been born 5 hours earlier if I had just swallowed my stubbornness and taken the stuff. She was born with her fist right by her ear ~ Ouch. 

She has grown so much! It's hard to imagine that we don't have a baby in the house anymore. She constantly reminds us that she isn't a baby, but a big girl. She wants to do everything herself and is every one's number one helper! 

Syndi made Liberty this awesome Tea Pot Cake. I think Libby has a special bond with Syndi and could pretty much get whatever she wanted! Libby loves tea parties and before the last drop of tea is finished she is already planing the next party. 

Libby wanted, Isobel, Ben, and Syndi at her party.  Because we do things involving the whole family Abigail got to come along and I was able to get some good baby cuddle. 

Liberty wore her new dress from Grandma, and enjoyed her cake with her own special Tea Cup from Syndi, she also got a tea set to have tea with her babies. She loved her puzzles that Ruby wanted to 'organize' for her, Super cute purple Keen's, a baby stroller, carrier and high chair! I guess if we don't have any real babies we still have plenty of baby gear for the girls' dolls. 
Happy Birthday my sweet, independent, cuddly, funny girl. I love you!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Polar Bear Plunge

We began our New Year's Celebration with a Fondue Dinner. I figured that if Sean were going to Plunge into Birch Bay, We could Plunge our food into some delicious dips. I loved the Emmental, Comte, and Gruyere Cheese! However I think my family would have been much more satisfied with Velveeta. 
We dipped honey pretzels, breadsticks, yellow and red peppers, sirloin steak, Bratwurst and broccoli. I was delighted with how little meat was required when I cubed it really small! 
We were in no way going to let the children stay up late and eat too much so they were off to bed at the normal time and I kissed Sean goodnight about 10:30! 
After a delicious breakfast we had every intention of doing Home Church but did not get moving fast enough, so we headed out to Birch Bay. 

I thought that perhaps some of the boys might join Sean as they have in years past. Evidently they only wanted to do it if some of their friends were there to watch. I promised I would blog it so that their friends could see it, but I guess that wasn't good enough. 

Liberty has loved having her Papa home for the past couple of weeks! She "No Yikes Mama To Put Me To Bed!" I am quickly getting used to the idea that someone else can carry her. 

Every year Sean tries to talk me into taking the Plunge with him. He is on the left side of the picture, just about to go under. I have no interest whatsoever! Sometimes I feel like I should go just to make him happy. I REALLY don't like to be cold, so I have never gone. Guess I will have to think about that...

Sean says that it is refreshing and a fabulous way to start the year! It was great to run into our old neighbors and know that we are missed.
I am glad that we are doing something that Sean enjoys and we can all cheer him on. As far as New Years Resolutions, we didn't make any yet. I always feel like it is a good time to reevaluate what we are doing and how we want to get where we are going.
Last Year I wanted to read through the entire Bible, something I have never done before, I did not make it, but should be done by the end of January. I decided to come up with my new plan when I completed the last one. I ran my first half marathon and if I can lose the weight I want to I will begin training for a full marathon. I plan to run a couple more half marathons this year as well. I have also been trying very hard to come up with a schedule for school that I think will make our days run smoother. However, I have realized that my lack of discipline factors in greatly to making and following a schedule. My other personal goal is to complete a triathlon. Something I have always wanted to do.
Making plans for our goals for the children is daunting. We know where we want to head with them but are still unclear as to the best path to take to reach those goals.
We hope to be in our own home this year and find a Church home as well. Big decisions.