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.