Friday, August 31, 2012

Temple Walk

 Last week, we were all awakened at 5:30 AM with instructions to get dressed in our church clothes and to be as reverent as possible.  We listened to primary songs in the car and drove to the temple--while it was still black outside.
 We tried to be reverent as we walked around the beautiful temple grounds together and soaked in the special spirit you can feel even outside its walls.
 We sat all together and listened to Jed give us a devotional and ended with each of us bearing our testimonies.  It was a special morning and I hope some of what we learned will take root in the hearts of our children to know how very special the temple is. 
The sky lightened considerably when we had finished and we headed home to have muffins and juice on the porch.  And as we drove we saw the brilliant orange sun rise above the mountains. 
A wonderful morning indeed.

Getting Ready...

It's almost time.  And we're making a mess of the house as we get ready for the beginning of school....
This summer has just flown by!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Lily turns 2!!

 This isn't exactly new news.  Lily has been 2 for nearly 3 months!!  Exactly one week after Claire was born, it was Lily's birthday!  Her siblings wrapped up several presents for her to open that morning and she was thrilled to death about the recycled toys!!   It was so cute!  ( I don't have the best pictures...I had precious few shots left on my card).
 Grandparents on both sides came to celebrate, and we had a neighbor of ours drop a dinner off at our house unexpectedly.  Which, in fact was a blessing, since I was so newly recovering from a baby it was about all I had to make this special cake for my little girl.  Dinner?  What?  Yep, didn't quite make it that far, so our neighbor miraculously came to our rescue.  We ended up having something nourishing before we dug into this:
Here's two long reasons I love Lily SOO much:
1-  She is one happy girl and can light up a room.  She is so cute with her little mannerisms like almost closing her eyes when she says things in a certain way, or the way she opens them wide up when you ask her something.  It is so hard to capture those looks with words, but hopefully I can remember them with my sad description.  She is silly and has a fun sense of humor.  And I love how after she is put down for bed in her crib, she will call out "night night mom,"  and "night night daddy."  She kind of is a daddy's girl too and that is pretty fun to watch--her dad sure loves it.
2-  She loves to have me play with her.  She will call for me "Mommy mon!"  (She said it just now actually wanting me to get her baby "Rella" like she sees in these pictures).  I love to play with her too and she seems to have a long playing attention span for this age.  She played pirates with me yesterday for about 45 minutes!
We love this sweet little girl so so much. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Fake Baby

 When little miss Claire was overdue I was originally scheduled to be induced on a Friday.  So the house was cleaned, kids were packed, everything was ready, and we were off to grandmas.  We dropped the children off, and were a little early for our appointment, so we ran an errand on our way.  While we were there, I received a call from my doctors secretary informing us that the doctor had an emergency and could not induce after all that day.  After the initial shock and disappointment and contentment set in, we decided we couldn't show up empty handed to go pick up our kids!  So we constructed this fruit baby.
They were a little confused!  Especially the little ones....this baby was actually fruit?!  Then they figured out, with my prominent belly, that it was not the real baby.  The bigger kids just thought it was silly.  They did think it was a little strange when we went to eat the watermelon....a little too close to cannibalism!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


 Here are the pictures as promised of my little Claire.  Remember how I couldn't get my pictures off my card?  Well problem solved, and now I'm overwhelmed with catch-up!  As my children prepare to begin school shortly, I still have stuff to report about the end of last school year! thing at a time....
 Here is my beautiful newborn.  I can't believe how much she has grown!!  I just want to reach in these photos and snuggle that wiggle-less baby girl!  Remember that these photos are silent and can't capture that colicky cry I was dealing with.  It is just too bad I was trying so hard to survive, that I feel like her newborn-ness is such a blur.

 Meeting her siblings for the 1st time.

 Look at that double chin of hers!

 So sweet!

 That's when we found the magic pacifier.

 Now she is such a smiley, happy, social baby!!

I love that little Claire!!  She is such a beautiful, sweet, happy little girl!

Poor little tikes...

 So, this weekend we had our ward campout.  It was at a lush campground in the middle of the dry desert.  We had a delicious dinner, played a bit of card games, the kids played with their friends, the bishop's son dressed up as Sasquatch and scared the kids to death after dark, and we sang camp songs as a ward.  Then we got ourselves all set up in the camper...the kids aren't always allowed to sleep up on the big bunk in the camper because I can't sleep....worried someone will fall off.  So we had Madelyn and Lily situated on their on couch/bed and Drew and Hannah opted to sleep on the floor.  Twice in the night Lily woke me up with her screams of "owie!!!"....she had fallen off the bed.  The first time I just put her back on her bed, then the second time --I learned and just put her on the floor.
We didn't think much of it until the next morning--she was in extreme pain.  I tried to change her out of her pajamas and it was a struggle.  A chiropractor in our ward gave her a look and didn't think anything was broken....maybe a bruised sternum.  But, by Monday night I knew that wasn't it.  She was in such a fragile condition, not wanting to be picked up under her arms, and hardly using her left arm.  So after Jed got home from work Monday, I zipped off to the doctor with my little girl and got her an x-ray.  The result:  a chipped clavicle....or collar bone.  So they prescribed wearing this sling for a week or so, and hopefully we're good to go.  I think she looks pretty darn cute in that thing!  But the poor girl is hurting pretty bad.  Drew and Madelyn are a little envious of the whole sling bit, which makes me smile because I remember wanting a cast or glasses or anything of that sort when I was younger too!
Not only did Lily get hurt, but Hannah was enjoying herself playing in some dirt with her buddies.  One of her buddies threw a rock at her arm.  She came and told me about it, I simply told her to tell her friend not to throw rocks.  So off she went to play again.  And not but a couple minutes later I hear piercing screams from Hannah.  Her friend had upgraded to a larger rock, chucked it, and hit her in the back of the head.  Her poor little head was bleeding and swelling.  We cleaned ourselves up and the cut didn't look too deep or large to need stitches, so we were glad about that.
Lastly, we went on a moderate hike as a ward.  Jed was on a 4-wheeler ride with Lily and Hannah--so I was carrying Claire and took the big kids with me on the hike.  Upon our descent from our destination, I saw Madelyn down in the distance getting medical care for scraped up knees and then getting a piggyback ride down the mountain. Sheesh!!
Luckily, I was guarding Claire with my life and Drew lucked out and didn't have any medical issues whatsoever.  Ahhhhh, growing pains!!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Survival Mode...

I have put off posting an update of life for the last two months--mainly because it has been a tough road for me.  And I don't like to sound complainy.  Yet things have really been stretching for me.  That's just being honest.  And it has been wonderful at the same time.  For a time we were dealing with a colicky little baby--seriously not sleeping a wink all night long some nights.  Thus, sometimes I've had a hard time really having faith that I can do this.  When Claire was awake she would likely be screaming....not crying, screaming.  And I was having the hardest time with patience with my entire family as a result of it all.  That season of our lives we considered ourselves to be in "survival mode."  The mode where only the basics are being met.  Maybe one meal being put on the table, maybe a couple of chores done a day--mostly picking up, etc.  Whew.  It was rough.  Claire got a pretty bad cold at 3 weeks; we had a home teacher come over and assist Jed in giving her a blessing.  After the blessing, Drew spoke words of wisdom.  He told Claire "this was part of Heavenly Father's plan for her."  It was as if those words were resonating in my mind and things clicked.  That was Heavenly Father's plan for her, and my having a tough time was also His plan for me.  I learned more about Heavenly Father's timing and that He can "fix" things for us.....but He doesn't always.  He allows us to be strengthened by struggling through life sometimes.  And I probably think I'm on my own, but I know He is there more than I realize.  The next morning she had tremendously improved.  We were so grateful.  Then we found the magic pacifier at around 5-6 weeks and things started looking up.  We also discovered she liked to fall asleep in her swing.  Halelujah!  Her temperment has improved drastically.
Then I got sick.  In fact, I'm just on the downhill after 2 1/2 weeks. It has been awful--walking pneumonia.  No one else in my family got it, which in my mind just goes to show how your immune system just can't fight when you are on such little sleep after having a baby.  It covered the whole spectrum of symptoms, from fever and chills to stomach flu symptoms, to hives, to a terrible cough with crud in my lungs, etc. 
Most of the symptoms happening simultaneously.  I had so much crud in my lungs that made me cough constantly that I had to try to sleep sitting up for several days.  But you just can't sleep sitting up while you cough constantly.   So I am very very grateful I am starting to feel better and have started sleeping laying down again. 
I feel like I have had a lot to learn about myself.  I feel humbled to the dust.  I am in awe of people who have chronic medical issues and deal with them so well and live a semi-normal life.  I am totally in awe of mothers of large families.  My hat goes off to these people.  I know my trials are so small, so small in comparison with so many people surrounding me.  Yet I feel so weak (spiritually) that I cannot handle my own in a better manner.  Eternally speaking I feel so "young,"  and so "green."  I have so much to learn, so much to experience before I become the person Heavenly Father knows I can become.  But I want so much to strengthen my faith that I can know that I can do this.  I really am so blessed.  I have felt the tender mercies of the Lord and they mean so much to me.  I am so grateful for those little moments that remind me that Heavenly Father is aware of me, that this is part of His plan for me, and that things will improve. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

My little Ham...

            My quiet, sweet, hardly ever made a peep baby girl has grown up into quite the little character.

 There is never a time I catch her with a normal smile on her face!
 She just oozes personality that keeps us laughing and on our toes.
And my personal fave.....
Love my little goose.