Wednesday, December 30, 2015


One of the great joys of having older kids is that we now have built in babysitters.  Kevin and I go out on a date about once a week.

So on Dec. 26th, we took off for a date around dinner time.  Kevin has been sick for a couple of weeks with a nasty cough, and I joked that we could have a date at Urgent Care. After a minute or 2, he said he thought that was a good idea.  So off we went to Urgent Care. He had noticeable asthma symptoms and sounds in one part of his lungs that indicated pneumonia.

Kevin is now on antibiotics and steroids and is slowly improving, but his cough is still there and he isn't sleeping well.

Several other kids have already gotten through this respiratory illness (without the pneumonia, thankfully) and a couple more are now hacking away.

I got a touch of it, but without the cough. Thankfully.

So yeah, we're sick.  It isn't the way we wanted to spend Kevin's vacation, but it is what it is.

Rose has mostly been fine.  I am thankful, but she is her usual ball of fire so requires a lot of oversight. Right now she is trying to climb on a rolling chair and then climb on a high chair tray from the rolling chair.

And NOW she is having a tantrum because I took away the rolling chair and stuck it in another room.  Mean Mommy.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas!

    This was our family room last night, with the stockings ready and the gifts under the tree.  In many families, the mother does most of the gift purchasing.  Thankfully for me, Kevin does much of the gift purchasing as I'm not particularly good at it.  He gets all the stocking stuffers and manages the all important video and computer games.

Anyway, look at that. Clean, fresh, lovely, organized.

Oh, and do you see the blankets below the stockings?

            Blankets are a huge hit. The older 7 each got to pick out a new one.  There can apparently never be enough snuggly warm blankets around here.

Unloading the stockings. Fun.

      We got Rose up around 7 a.m. and while that was late for her, she was obviously bewildered at all the activity and indeed seemed stunned. Usually it is just Mommy and Rose first thing in the morning, but today siblings were running all over.

  The gifts were popular.  We bought Daniel a play pizza set, which enthralled both him and Sarah and Rose.  There were also new Kid K'nex and new Duplos.

  And lots of new computer and video games. Like, 9 new games.

  Of course, the real meaning of the season is the birth of Jesus Christ.  But I know that when I was a child, it was really the gifts that were most exciting :-).  I don't have any problem with that. I hope and pray that we focus on the gift of Christ every day of our lives.  I have been reading the Christmas story to Sarah off and on for a few weeks out of a children's Bible, and they always show Baby Jesus wrapped in a purple cloth.  Being me, I've told her a couple of times that it was NOT purple.  Purple was extremely expensive as the dye had to be made out of a certain kind of snail.  Joseph and Mary were POOR.  Jesus was a baby born to a poor family.  It is amazing enough that Christ gave up the glory and power of Heaven, but He could have been born in a palace. And He went with a stable. Thank you, Lord Jesus.


Friday, December 18, 2015

Random Pics from the Month of December

Kevin and I went to a fancy party and dressed up!

Rosie strikes again. Not that she knocked over the chair, but she was obsessively CLIMBING the chair so I knocked it over.

Our 2 littles unloaded our cereal cabinet. I know, what a pile!  And I also know it is unhealthy stuff but I am not making time to cook nutritious breakfasts for the clan.

I love this picture of our "early reader", firmly holding the book upside down!

Naomi was a GREAT chair this day, with not one but 2 sisters sitting on her.

How did our big girls get so grown up?  Aren't they lovely?  They were dressed up for our church's youth group Christmas party and they lit up the night.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Prince Jonathan

I'm reading through 1st Samuel these days, and have been struck once again with the true nobility of Prince Jonathan, son of King Saul and close friend of David (of David and Goliath fame.)

I'm reading 1st Samuel using Enduring Word Media at  This site provides commentary on most chapters of the Bible and I truly enjoy it.

So anyway, Prince Jonathan.  Apparently he was the crown prince of Israel, so likely the firstborn son of King Saul.  Early in his illustrious (and rather short) career, he took on a band of Philistines and sparked a major Israelite victory.  That is, of course, close to what David did later on when David took on Goliath.

Saul lost God's favor due to rebellion, and the prophet Samuel told Saul his dynasty would end and that God would place another man, from another family, on the throne of Israel.  And that was David.

After beating Goliath, David met Jonathan and the Bible says they became very close friends, to the point that Jonathan gave his armor to David and they pledged undying loyalty to one another.  That in itself is pretty interesting...Jonathan is this big honcho prince, and David was young shepherd and from an insignificant family.  So Jonathan was able to look past appearances to David's heart.  They both loved God more than anything or anyone else.

As time went on, a jealous Saul turned against David, David fled with Jonathan's help, David ran for many years, and finally Saul died in battle and David finally became king.  But what happened to Jonathan?  Well, he died in the same battle which claimed Saul.

So here is this dude who REALLY loved God.  He was willing to lay aside his position as crown prince to defend and protect a man who was destined by God to take the throne of Israel.   He made his father Saul very angry by defending David, to the point that Saul once threw a spear at his own son.

I find it interesting that God let Jonathan die fairly young, in battle. I find it interesting that this incredibly gifted and devoted man was set aside in favor of David. Of COURSE, God knew what He was doing and dying young and going to be with the Lord is a fine thing.

I am big on practical application, so I've been pondering that sometimes life hands us a few surprises.  Sometimes life kicks us on the teeth, as a friend commented to me recently.  Sometimes God's plan for us means we need to step down in the eyes in the world and humble ourselves.  It just occurred to me that I did a very tiny version of that by giving up a professional career in favor of being a stay at home mother.  And oh, how I love being a stay at home mom, so it is no burden.  But still, in the eyes of some I am probably "wasting my education" and my talents.

Well, I hear Miss Rose peeping so I'll hit Publish.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Update on Anti Depressant/ Anti-Anxiety Meds

   I mentioned back in October that I was going on anti depressant/anti anxiety medication, specifically Lexapro.

  I've now been on it for 7 weeks or so, on a low dosage of 10 mg per day. is it going?

  Well, I think it is helping, especially in the anxiety department.  It feels like I'm not on "high alert" as much.

  One noticeable difference is that I'm doing better with uncertainty. There are many decisions we make (both parents and children) and I love to have a plan and to know what is going to happen.  Reality is, many decisions take more time than I like. I am doing better about waiting.

  I am sleepier than I was, especially early evening. That may be a side effect of the Lexapro. On the other hand, I've been running around for years, probably with more adrenaline from anxiety flooding my system than is ideal.  Perhaps my body is talking to me clearly, saying "you need more rest."  I have actually been taking naps in the early afternoon on occasion, which I haven't for quite a while.

  I really think anxiety has been a bigger problem than actual depression, though I've had minor depressive episodes off and on for years and occasional more major feelings of depression.  Now that this medication has kicked in, I feel like...well, I don't know.  I know God is working on a bunch of stuff in my life, how I feel, what I'm thinking about, giving difficult situations to him, and so on.  I still feel like life isn't easy, but I do believe my brain chemistry has improved. So that is good.

   I think my doc originally planned on me moving up to 20 mg Lexapro, but the prescription was for 10 and it seems to be working well enough, so I'm going to stick with 10.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Frosty Landscape

Naomi the Chair

  This was truly adorable.  Naomi was lying on the floor yesterday, and Rose decided Big Sister was a great looking chair, and sat down on her. And STAYED on her.  Rose is usually an Energizer Bunny, never sitting still for more than 10 seconds. But yesterday, with a warm and comfy chair to sit on, she sat for at least 10 minutes.  Naomi kindly obliged her little sister by not moving away.  I eventually provided a pillow for Naomi's head :-).

Friday, December 4, 2015



It didn't feel like we were closing in on Christmas, since November was quite warm. But it finally feels like winter, and we even had a little snow yesterday morning. We have some Christmas decorations up, including the lovely stockings my mother made for our entire family.

It has been a busy couple of weeks, and the rest of the month will be busy too.

Lydia is going to physical therapy 2ce a week, which means 2 afternoons a week we are gone at least 3 hours.  That is quite a strain on my schedule but I am SO thankful for many things. First, we were able to get surgery for her finger by a gifted surgeon. Second, we could pay for it.  Third, we have access to, and can pay for, and have insurance to help with, many rounds of physical therapy. Fourth, Naomi is very competent and can watch everyone else while Lydia and I are gone.  I try to schedule PT for when Rose is napping and the kids are playing computer games but many teen girls have to (and can) watch a horde of little siblings?  Both Naomi and Lydia are very responsible and good with the littles.

Lydia's finger is improving, but she needs to focus hard on PT.  The surgeon says she'll get almost all improvement in the 4 to 6 weeks post surgery, and then she'll be stuck with whatever impairment is left.

We have 2 Christmas parties related to work in the next week.  There is also something happening at work late next week which may involve more time than usual on my part.  And Kevin has a business trip (a short one) coming up in the next month.

And then there are 3 birthdays, and Christmas, at the end of December.

So yeah, it is busy.  I am trying to stay calm. I am trying hard, very hard, to have proper perspective. I am a "project oriented" person, so I get stressed when I cannot get stuff "done" in a timely manner.

But then, life has a way of smacking me sometimes, and reminding me of what is really important. I have a sweet, godly friend who is a young widow (under age 40) with 3 precious children.  She lost her husband almost a year ago, very unexpected. And last week, her younger brother, who was only in his early 30's, died suddenly.

So within a year, she has lost 2 precious people.  She is of course REELING from the loss of her husband. This Christmas season was going to be devastating enough as she and her children grieved the anniversary of losing her husband. And now she has a whole fresh load of intense grief over her brother.

I think of that, and I think of Job, and I think of my messy bathrooms, and I realize how ridiculously uptight I get about stuff that really does not matter.

Friday, November 27, 2015


  Many years ago, Kevin and I started cutting hair for our family.  I remember well the first time I cut Kevin's hair.  He keeps it short and it is relatively uncomplicated, so he bought a trimmer set (from Sam's, I think) and told me to go to it.  Since we are both engineers, I of course wanted to do it right.  I was pretty nervous, and remember wailing, "I just don't want to screw it up!"

  And I did fine.

  So since then, he cuts part of his hair and I cut part of his hair and he hasn't gone to a hair place.

  From Kevin, it was logical to move on to the boys.  They keep their hair pretty short at this stage of their lives, so Kevin cuts their hair short every month or so.

  But girls are harder, right?  Still, we've graduated to cutting their hair at least some of the time. Kevin turns out to be really good at it.  Lydia was recently complimented by someone at her physical therapy at how nicely her hair looks on her.

  Kevin cut hair for 4 girls the same day Lydia had her finger surgery.

  Here is Angela before and after:

  Tell me that's not cute!

  Here is the group photo post pics:

  Such a lovely bunch!

  Rose conked out in the study during the hair cuts.

  Daniel usually sleeps in here and that is his pile of "cows".  He calls all this stuffed pillow pets and animals "cows".

Sky Pics And...Rose

This picture doesn't do the evening sky justice, but it is still a nice pic.  It looked like we had alien spaceships floating around up there, or something :-).

And this was this morning, as the dawn sun reflected off the clouds.

And this is my life.  Rose climbing into things, slipping, crying, falling out, climbing out, etc.  Maybe she'll be a mountain climber when she grows up.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Book Review (sort of): the Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing

This is only sort of a book review because I only skimmed this book, which has taken the decluttering/organizing world by storm here in this country. I waited for weeks and weeks to borrow the digital version from the local library.

The author is Japanese and I'm guessing this was originally aimed at a Japanese audience.  It therefore has an interesting flavor, because she throws in matter of fact comments about life that don't correlate well with American life.  The most...interesting, I will even say disturbing to me, was the section about household gods and talismans and family alters.  Japan is a largely non-Christian country, so the spiritual outlook is very different from my own.

So...basically this book wasn't amazingly helpful to me. The author has an interesting way of looking at possessions -- specifically, she recommends only keeping items that "bring you joy."  That is to say, she seems to be encouraging people to tap into the "feeling" side of their brains, maybe the right side, and items that "spark joy" are kept. Everything else is discarded.  She thinks of possessions as being animate, to the point that she verbally thanks her purse and wallet each evening for their hard work for her.  Which is weird to me.

The basic THOUGHT has value to me.  Why hang onto items that are still "useful" but I don't really enjoy anymore? But her whole LIFE and personality (and worldview and religious view) are very different from mine. I know some Christian Americans have read her book, took what was useful, and really ran with what she had to say.  Her method has transformed many lives, and provided they aren't being pulled astray spiritually, I think that is totally cool

And I am writing from the perspective that Christianity is true and ancestor worship is a false religion, just to be clear.

The thing that blew me away the most made some sense but not to me.  She recommends that people literally pull out every item of clothing they have and pile it on a bed and go through each garment one by one.  Every garment that "brings joy" is kept.  Every garment that does not bring joy, is discarded.

I like the idea of an "go for broke" analysis of clothing, but WHO has TIME for that kind of thing?  She is a single woman.  I am a mother going bonkers chasing 3 preschoolers and teaching 6 older kids. I do not have 6 hours, or even 3, to devote to a job like that.

Her book section was even scarier. She recommended pulling every single book off the shelves of every bookshelf.  All of them. And then touching each one (the touching part is important for some reason) and deciding if a book "sparks joy." Her recommendation is that most people get rid of almost all their books. She says a really great reader might have 30 or 40 books that they might read again, and everything else should be discarded.

But of course, she's not homeschooling a passel of kids. I do adore books and have quite a few favorites I keep, but the vast majority of books in our home are for homeschooling, for the kids.  She says not to declutter "other people's stuff" but really the books ARE "my stuff" since I am the one assigning them to the children.  But while I do go through and discard books on occasion, I'm certainly not getting rid of most of them!

So again, there are some thoughts in this book that are useful, but we are worlds apart in terms of lifestyle and mostly her method just doesn't correlate well with my personality, my religious beliefs, my lifestyle, and my family situation.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Lydia's surgery, Part 2

          Back in July, Lydia had surgery on her left hand ring finger.  She broke her finger when she was 6 years old and we missed it (one of the bigger "parenting fails" of our life) and it healed incorrectly, with bits of bone in the wrong places.  It was bent, but had a good grip.

            We saw two orthopedic surgeons back when she was 7. The second, Dr. Foad, said that with her grip being strong, and no pain, she could just leave it as is. Which we did.  But in the last year it started hurting more when she was playing the piano. We had another appointment with Dr. Foad, and the x-rays showed more misalignment.  Given the pain and the information from the x-rays, we decided on surgery.

         The first surgery successfully straightened out the finger.  However, while the bone was healing, scar tissue adhered the tendons to the finger bones with the result that she couldn't bend her finger much, even after extensive physical therapy.  The surgeon said we'd need to go back in and separate the tendon from the bone. While he was in there, he said he'd remove the plate and screws that were initially used to keep the finger bones in the right place.

      So yesterday, off we went for Surgery Part 2.  It wasn't as involved as the first round, and everything went smoothly.  I took her as Kevin has been sick for 2 weeks now and didn't feel up to going.

     I'm thankful all went well and we pray that follow up physical therapy will, this time, result in a fully functional finger. We'll be hitting PT hard, with 2 appointments a week for the foreseeable future.  


And now, for some adorable pics.  I made playdough.  I sort of like playdough, sort of don't. It is creative and messy, which is good for little ones.  It is messy, which is hard on our sun room.  But it was worth keeping the littles happily busy a couple of days ago.

Rose just LOVES her Lydia!

Rose is cute.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Sweet Interaction with Sarah

  I was gone a lot this week. I worked more than usual, and had a few appointments.  Thursday evening, I left to take Naomi to an appointment at around 4:30 p.m. and got back at 6:30 p.m.

  When I put Sarah, our 4 year old, to bed that night she asked, "Mom, are you going away tonight?"
  "No, honey," I said, "I'm just going downstairs to spend time with Daddy."
   "Ok," she said, with quivering lip.  And then she started crying.
   "What's wrong, sweetheart?"  I asked, "Did something bad happen?"
    "No, I just MISSED you," she sobbed.

   So, while I'm not happy she was unhappy, it was encouraging that yes, this girl loves me and wants me around.  She's been in a PHASE lately, which is normal for her age. She and Daniel have been fighting over toys.   It is tiring.

 But she loves me, and I love her.  So we're good.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Keep On Keeping On

  I was reading an Elisabeth Elliott devotional this week.  The gist of this devotional is that often a great challenge to a godly life is the need to do mundane tasks over and over again.

  I have read many missionary biographies, and the people who amaze me did, well, amazing things!  Elisabeth Elliott's first husband, Jim, tried to reach the Waoroni tribe in Ecuador.  He and his 4 companions were speared to death.  Elisabeth and Rachel Saint (sister of one of the martyrs) later went into the Waoroni tribe that was responsible for the deaths of the missionaries, and shared the gospel. That is an amazing story.

  Amy Carmichael reached out to children caught up in temple prostitution in India, and gave dozens of such children safe homes.

  Gladys Alward successfully shepherded dozens of children through war torn China during World War II.

  Eric Liddell won a gold medal in the 400 meters in 1924 (see Chariots of Fire if you haven't, great movie!) and then went to China as a missionary. He perished in a Japanese internment camp during WWII, due to a brain tumor.

  Ida Scudder turned her back on a life of comfort to work as a female doctor in India, at a time when Indian women were woefully underserved.  She started medical schools for women and brought relief to literally thousands.

  And then there's me ... living in comfort in the United States.  My family is my main priority during this season of life.  Since I've had little ones for a very long time, I have changed diapers, and changed diapers, and changed diapers.  I've potty trained, and potty trained, and potty trained again.  I've overseen the washing of 10,000 loads of laundry. I've settled 92, 364 sibling squabbles (give or take 10,000).  I'm now protecting my 9th toddler from hurting herself on a daily basis due to her lack of wisdom.

  You get my drift.  My life is blessedly comfortable.  No war, no famine, no plague. But a fair amount of boredom.  A fair amount of doing the same tasks over and over and OVER again, especially where the little ones are concerned.

 I've long been someone who thrives on routine and even now, I find pleasure in getting certain things done.  Having said that, I've struggled with discontentment lately as I am finding some aspects of parenting tiresome.  I would say, in particular, the tantrums of the preschoolers are especially exasperating right now.  I'm tired of tantrums.  I've DONE tantrums. Sarah, of course, has never been at the age of tantrums before so all this is new and exciting to her :-).

  So this devotional was encouraging.  Yes, life has its boring moments.  Yes, we just have to do the same things, faithfully, over and over and over again.

  And there are some really nice things about this season too, of course.  My big kids now can have exciting and interesting conversations with me.  I'm past the age when I was at home with tinies who couldn't talk much.  WAY past.  And the big kids help a lot with the little ones. We now have built in babysitters.  What BLISS.

 The young ones are also delightful, of course.  Daniel keeps us chuckling with his adorable remarks.  Sarah, whose brain works overtime, has come up with some astounding comments that delight and amuse us.

  And of course, Rose.  Well, Rose is consistently adorable.

 So partly I need to count my blessings, and partly I just need to keep on keeping on.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Sun Room

I've mentioned before we are blessed to have a big house.  I keep reading about how American homes have grown in the last 30 years, and of course they have.  Our house is 3500 square feet PLUS a huge basement.

Of course, we actually have plenty of people roaming around, too!  Few families have 11 members.  Still, I am incredibly thankful we have plenty of space to sleep in and play in and work in.

Our sun room is a tiled area off our family room.  It typically goes from semi clean to very messy to semi clean to VERY messy.  I recently cleaned it and rearranged items, and thought it would be fun to post the very quick changes that happen in our sun room.

     This is a "before" picture, obviously. The cardboard "box house" was a huge hit for at least a week.  The kids loved it and played in it constantly. (Thank you, Lana, for the idea from your blog!)  Then they got tired of it, and it just sat there taking up space. So I thought about taking it down, but our eldest son said he still likes to lie in it reading, so we'll keep it for now.

The other end of the sun room. Papers all over the floor.  The table is an "art table" and somehow a lot of stuff ends up on the floor.

I tidied up. I moved the art table to the other end of the room, and...

  the box house and rocking horse into corners and against the other wall.

But as usual, the order did not last for long.  The kids asked for the Lincoln logs to come down, so I put them down.

AND, the chairs. What is with the chairs?  Well, the answer should be obvious to all fans of Miss Rose.  She climbs on them.  And then onto the table. And then stands, precariously, on TOP of the swaying table. So when she is in the sun room, and her siblings aren't occupying the seats,I put them on the floor. Problem solved, but it looks silly.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015


Our Crazy Squeak

This is a very typical pose for our darling Miss Squeak.  She loves to climb.  She loves loves loves loves loves to climb.  Any time she can, she's UP.  It is strenuous to keep this girl safe. And yes, she HAS fallen off of things, but thus far hasn't hurt herself seriously though she's had her share of bumps.

And just look at those skinny little legs. We feed and feed her, but she is so active she burns much of it off. MAYBE she is 20 lbs now.

She is such a precious little person. We are thankful for her, even as we worry about her, and pray for her, during this stage when her abilities exceed her wisdom.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Costume Party

We had a costume party this week.  2 families came over.  It was a lot of fun.  3 moms, 18 kids.

I am not great at throwing parties.  Preparing for them stresses me out. I like the actual parties, but the preparing, not so much.

When our older girls asked me if we could have a costume party, they assured me they would do most of the work. And they did.  All the baking and most of the cooking, costume preparation, etc.  They made list and checked them twice. They did an excellent job.  

Monday, October 26, 2015

Sweet Potato Harvest

We are blessed with soil that is good for sweet potatoes.  This is 3/4ths of our harvest.  We're delighted that stupid little critters didn't chew on the sweet potatoes much, so we have a wonderful harvest.  

Kevin does most of the planting and tilling and all that.  The kids do most of the harvesting. We had a great many green beans this year, a good tomato crop, and some zucchini.  

I love fresh produce, but I have to admit that fall is its own special time as we finish the harvest and Kevin puts the garden "to bed" for the winter.  It means a little less work around here and also a season of enjoying the hard work on the garden through the summer.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

A Little Break for Mom

I spent Friday and Saturday nights in a Red Roof Inn about 20 miles from home. I spent most of Saturday in my room, watching football and movies, journaling, praying, reading fun books, reading challenging books, and reading the Bible.

Kevin and the older kids nobly held down the fort at home.

It was a really good thing for me to spend some time by myself and process life.  It was a really ODD thing for me to sleep until 8:30 a.m. on Saturday morning. I can't remember the last time I did that. I am a totally nutty morning person so I usually like to get up early, but yesterday I enjoyed lazing around in bed.

One book I've been reading is on perfectionism.  I am not a perfectionist in all areas of life, but I definitely have some perfectionistic tendencies.

I'm realizing that while hard work and diligence are good,my internal drive tips over to being bad when I can't relax and be satisfied with "good enough" in some areas of life.

I was thinking today about how stressed I am about a stupid dental bill. The dental bill in question should be paid by our dental insurance, but there has been some mix up and I need to make phone calls and get it sorted out. I HATE calling insurance companies and doctor's offices, because I usually have to survive a phone tree and then try to straighten out what is going on while keeping tabs on our children.  Sometimes I end up with multiple calls back and forth.  (I've already made 2 calls about this dental bill, and it hasn't been resolved.)

It is reasonable to be a little annoyed, but it shouldn't hang over me like a black cloud. I've generally been very focused on getting necessary things done in a timely manner. I rarely procrastinate.  That is a fine thing in general, but the reality is that this dental bill may take some time to sort out. I can't just call any old time, because if there is screaming and yelling from kids in the background, the call is impossible. So I may need to wait until Tuesday afternoon to call, because tomorrow is busy.

That is not a big deal. But inside, I feel internal pressure to get the stupid thing taken care of ASAP.  I need to be peaceful if it takes a while.

I'm also realizing that the whole "have faith in God" thing means having faith that He'll carry us through even when things don't go all that well. There are times in life when life is rough.  God doesn't promise us an easy life.  Actually, if you read the Bible, it is clear many people will have quite a hard life.  My life has been comparatively easy, but we have definitely had our hard seasons.

I do feel rejuvenated after being away for 36 hours or so.  I'm thankful that Kevin saw the need and arranged for a break for me.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

I'm 46!

Yesterday was my birthday. I'm 46!

            Sweet cards from my children and my parents.  Kevin gave me an awesome card later in the day.  It was  heartfelt and touching.

    Kevin also bought me 2 sets of Tom Baker Doctor Who videos.  I love Tom Baker Doctor Who.  A few months ago, I got rid of most of our VHS tapes of Doctor Who in a fit.  I've become something of a DVD snob and I knew I could get the DVD's at the library if I wanted to.  But having our own at home is far better, especially since some library DVD's have grubby fingerprints if they've been in circulation for a while. So I have a dream of collecting all the Tom Baker Doctor Who's on DVD.

   On a more serious note, what is it like for me to be 46?

  I tend to think  about numbers, being a numbers person.  46 * 2 = 92.  I think given that I am diabetic, it is unlikely that I will live to age 92.  Therefore, I am probably more than halfway through my life.  That is an interesting thought.

  It is natural to fear death and I suppose I do, but in some ways I don't.  I know that Jesus is my Savior and Heaven is my permanent home. I want to live here on earth for a long, long time, as I know I'm an important person in the lives of my husband, my children, and a bunch of other people.  I know I have a lot more work to do here on earth, and also have many fun things to do on earth as well.

 46 is also an age when many women are going through hormonal changes, and I'm not an exception. The last few months I've been struggling with more anxiety than usual, with a little depression thrown in for bad measure.  Yesterday I saw my primary care doctor and discussed how I'm feeling, and we decided to try an anti-depressant/anti-anxiety medication to see if it helps me feel better.  That wasn't my idea of the most fun thing to do on my birthday, but the doctor had an open appointment so I took it.  

  The older I get, the more I realize how many of life's problems are multifaceted.  I have a melancholy personality.  I have a lot on my plate with 9 children, 3 of whom are under 5 and very very busy.  I like to plan ahead and my older children are moving into a time when they are making more decisions about life and what they want to do as adults.  Our eldest will be driving in a few months! I know, with every iota of my being, that Kevin and I need to coach our kids and release them into adulthood as they move into their late teens.  But it isn't easy for someone like me. I don't like surprises and uncertainty, when of course life is full of surprises and uncertainties.  Especially life with children!

  We're also in a spiritual battle.  I do believe in demonic attack.  I posted a note on my dresser a few days ago:  God loves me.  Satan hates me.

   I can tell, intellectually, that my life is really really good.  I'm thankful for a wonderful Christian counselor whom I am seeing on an irregular basis.  I'm thankful for a wonderful husband and 9 fantastic children. I'm thankful for beloved extended family and friends.  But the reality is that sometimes everything outside can be going quite well, but I'm still sad and stressed. That's where I'm at now, but I'm working on it.  I'm working towards more joy in my spiritual and emotional life.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Fall Festival

I took 6 of the children to our church's fall festival yesterday.  It was, as usual, cold.  For some reason, the fall festival is ALWAYS cold. But this year there was some sun, and no rain, so it was a great day and a great time was had by all.

Isaac and Lydia climbing.

Pumpkin patch.  On Friday, we helped put the pumpkins in the field.  Yesterday, we removed 4 of them and took them home :-).

Rose didn't get to go, but she sure is cute so I threw this picture in.