Tuesday, April 26, 2016


I've been feeling smug that we've not had a family wide illness for a couple of months.

Always dangerous, being smug.

So yeah, we have an illness.  It is just a cold, and colds aren't a HUGE deal, but this one is still a pain.

Interestingly enough, I was one of the first to get this illness and it has hit me the hardest.  That is atypical; I am famous for watching our children fall to an illness and staying healthy 'til they are mostly well, and THEN I get sick.

But this time I have been quite ill.  One night I had a massive, 2 hour nosebleed, which I think was tied into the cold.  Then I lost my voice for most of 2 days.  When I lose my voice, life gets quite complicated as most of the kids think I should be talking to them.  So in spite of having NO voice, I received a nearly constant barrage of questions and comments from the children, often followed by "Mom, Mom, MOM!!!" when I didn't answer.

Now my voice is back, and my main symptom is fatigue. I am SO tired. I am definitely improving but I feel like I'm in the first trimester of pregnancy when I'm so tired I could fall over at any moment. And I am definitely NOT pregnant :-).

Rose has been extra cranky as she is sick and of course wants her mama, and her mama hasn't been as available as usual. Thankfully, Rose has Second Mama in the form of Lydia, who is a genius with little ones.

Naomi and Lydia are also tired, partly from being a little sick and partly from STAYING UP ALL NIGHT Friday night.  They went to their first "all nighter" at church as part of our church's youth group.  I was truly shocked they managed to stay up all night (many of the attendees sacked out for a few hours) but they did it, they didn't sleep a wink.  Of course, that meant they were pretty tired on Saturday. Kevin and I were both not 100% well on Saturday and needed the big girls' help, so they didn't get to sleep all day :-).

So it has been an interesting and challenging week, but we're surviving.  One bright light this week has been Kevin's mother who, now that she is retired, is available and very willing to help us out when we need help.  Yesterday, she graciously went to Kroger and bought a bunch of much needed food.  I was too tired to go.

Next week we have some exciting activities planned, so it is good we are sick THIS week.  I hope everyone will be well by next week.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

This Week in Pictures

Lydia got silly.

Kevin's mom has been going through games at her house, and has been gifting us with some that suit our family.  The lower picture is Life.  The kids are enjoying it.

Lydia put Rose's hair up in ponytails.  Tell me that's not cute!

This picture does not do the rainbow justice but yeah, we had a crazy day of rain and a rainbow at the end.

Neat clouds.

Kevin has been out of town on a business trip, and I'm sick with a cold.  So I hauled a mattress and a slide into our main room and let the little ones slide and bounce around.  I do what works.

Last night, Angela told me a spider was in the microwave. I cautiously opened the microwave and looked around and no, there was no spider.  Later, I glanced at the microwave and sure enough, a BIG spider was crawling along the front plastic panel.  And then I realized it had somehow made its way between the front plastic panel and the mesh screen a half inch back from that panel. So it is stuck. There is no way for me to get to it, and it would have to crawl through a small hole to get out.  It obviously used the small hole to get IN, but spiders are stupid and I doubt it can find its way out.

There is no obvious reason why we can't use the microwave with a spider trapped where it is, but I have to admit the spider freaked me out.  I want it out.  Or dead.  Or something.

But as I said, Kevin is gone on a business trip.  And I don't do trapped living creatures unless they are my children.  Kevin takes care of spiders and raccoons in traps and skunks in the pool and possums in the dryer.  We've experienced all those living beings during our marriage and as Kevin said on the phone, if he can handle a (possibly?) dead possum in the innards of our dryer, he can handle a spider.

He gets home tonight, and at some point he'll need to cope with the spider.

Thankfully, we have a spare microwave. I brought it up from the basement and we are using it until the Spider Incident of 2016 can be resolved.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Rose is almost 2...

Our youngest will be 2 in a couple of months.

And I'm not pregnant.

This is the longest I've gone between pregnancies since Naomi was conceived.

And since I'm 46 years old, I'm almost certainly just not GONNA get pregnant again.

I am 98% thrilled with our 9 and no more.  Our nine children are fabulous and another one at my age would be challenging.

So yes, I'm glad to be "done".

BUT, we've been looking at baby pictures lately and oh, newborns. Their precious little bodies curling up with mine, well, it is like heaven on earth.

The whole "up at night dealing with a crying baby", not so fun. And I'm not a spring chicken anymore so yeah, sleeping all night is downright delightful.

It is really good to move into a new era of life.  Rose is a TON of work, but she can feed herself now.  She can drink out of a sippy cup. She has a delightful habit of conking out at around 8 p.m. and sleeping 11 hours or so.  And she takes a nap.

I know most families "decide" to stop having children.  We haven't decided, we just got old(er).

  It is a little bittersweet, but there are good things about this season, as our eldest becomes more independent (she'll soon have her driver's license!) and I am more vigorous and energetic without having frequent pregnancies wearing me out. Not that I regret ANY of my pregnancies -- even the miscarriages. Every child, every pregnancy, has been a blessing.  But I am ready for this new season.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Weird Weather and an Adorable Toddler

This pic is from a week ago or so, but it is representative of RIGHT now, as we have snow again!  It was a warm winter but has been a cold and windy and downright strange spring.

In some ways, it is frustrating as we're ready for more outdoor time. On the other hand, I hope that multitudes of insects are dying an early death from this unexpected cold snap. Especially chiggers.  Here's hoping.

And who can resist The Squeak reading a book.  Well, not READING a book. But she is starting to get interested in books, which is fun.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

New Games and Toys

My mother-in-law retired last month, after many loyal years of service.  She lives locally and now has more time to go through her house and possessions, and she has been gifting us with lots of new (old) games and toys.

This is a vehicle that Kevin had as a child. Obviously Daniel is thoroughly enjoying it.

I LOVE it that our kids are figuring out how to play board games on their own. And with 9 children, there are usually willing participants. 

Look at 'dat.  Lots of games.

We did have one funny/scary experience.  There was an old game that included a timer clock.  Isaac sensibly put new batteries into it (the clock did not have batteries stored in it) and turned it on. The batteries blew up.  Literally.  BLEW UP.  Not a long way, but the top popped off one end and spewed battery acid a little ways.  The other battery stayed in one piece, but was so hot that I would have burned myself if I hadn't pulled back instantly.  We're thankful no one was hurt, and are a bit more wary of old electronics now.