Thursday, December 2, 2010

Open up to the world

Today is a wierd day for me. I feel rather lonely & awfully melancholy. I miss my mom & sisters. I need to cut sugar out of my diet again. We're getting an inspection done on the farm we want to buy. The first part of the inspection was this morning and they should be finishing the second part right now, I think. Jeremy is with the man doing it & he said he is very thorough. I am the kind of person who gets very excited about something very quickly. I begin to dream of all the wonderful possibilites ahead. My husband is not. I lovingly call him my Eeyore. He looks for the dark cloud & keeps his feet firmly on the ground when it comes to everything. We are made for eachother. I help him to be excited & he helps me see reality for what it is. One of the things I don't like about myself is that I let small things steal my joy. For instance, my Jeremy called me to tell me just a few of the unfortunate things wrong with my dream farm & now the wind is out of my sails. I'm doubting whether or not we should make this deal even though I've seen God's hand in the entire process. We accepted an offer on our current home from the farm owner's daughter & family but it was for an amount lower than what we wanted so we have to save thousands of dollars before closing to make the money add up. We won't have any extra money for fixing up the things the inspector has already found wrong with the property as we're strapping ourselves just buying the property in order to accomplish this lifelong goal. We still love our current home & would love to just magically transport this house to the property we want. It's tough heading into the unknown when you get bogged down with the daily hardships you try to overlook... And then your sweet baby wakes from her nap, puts her tiny arms around your neck & calls you Mama, I love that name! Or your 3 yo runs up to you with his contagious smile to tell you the same secret he tells you everyday while holding my cheeks in his warm, sometimes sticky hands & I smile & I feel a little better.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Thanksgiving Plans

One of my friends put this on our MOMYS board & I decided to share it since it made me laugh!

Dear Family & Friends, I know that you were eager to accept our family's invitation to Thanksgiving dinner when you found out that the famous Martha Stewart would be joining us. However, due to scheduling conflicts beyond her control, Ms. Stewart finds that she is unable to grace our table this year. With that in mind, there will be a few minor changes regarding the meal and decor, as outlined below. Please be aware of them, and adjust your appetite and dress appropriately.

Thank you

1) Our driveway will not be lined with homemade, paper bag luminaries. After several trial runs and two visits from the fire department, it was decided that, no matter how cleverly done, rows of flaming lunch sacks do not have the desired welcoming effect.

2) Once inside, please note that the entry space will not be decorated with swags of Indian corn and fall foliage. Instead, we included our dog in decorating by having him track in colorful autumn leaves from the back yard. The mud was his idea.

3) The dining table will not be covered with expensive linens, fancy china, or crystal goblets. If possible, we will use dishes that match and everyone will get a fork. Since this is Thanksgiving, we will refrain from using the paper SpongeBob dinner plates, the leftover Halloween napkins, and our plastic cup collection.

4) Our centerpiece will not be a tower of fresh fruit and flowers. Instead we will be proudly displaying a hedgehog-like decoration hand-crafted from the finest construction paper and pine cones. The artist assures me it is a turkey, albeit one without wings, legs, or a beak.

5) We will be dining somewhat later than planned. However, our daughter will entertain you while you wait. I'm sure she will be happy to share every choice comment her mother made regarding Thanksgiving, pilgrims, stuffing choices, the turkey hotline, and, especially, her husband. Please remember that most of these comments were made at 7:00AM upon discovering that said husband had only remembered to pull the turkey from the freezer at 6:00 AM, and that the thing was still hard enough to cut diamonds.

6) As an accompaniment to our daughter's recital of these events, I will play a recording of Native American tribal drumming. Curiously, the tribal drumming sounds a great deal like a frozen turkey in a clothes dryer, but that only enhances the holiday appropriateness. If our daughter should mention that we don't own a recording of Native American tribal drumming, ignore her. She's only nine; what does she know?

7) A dainty silver bell will not be rung to announce the start of our feast. We have chosen to keep our traditional method of assembling when the smoke alarm goes off.

8 ) There will be no formal seating arrangement. When the smoke alarm sounds, please gather around the table and sit where you like. In the spirit of harmony, we will ask all the children to sit at a separate table. In a separate room. Next door. And I would like to take this opportunity to remind our younger diners that "passing the rolls" is neither a football play nor an excuse to bean your cousin in the head with bread.

9) The turkey will not be carved at the table. I know you have seen the Norman Rockwell image of one person carving a turkey in front of a crowd of appreciative onlookers. Such a scene may occur somewhere in America , but it won't be happening at our dinner table. For safety reasons, the turkey will be carved in the kitchen at a private ceremony. I stress "private", meaning Do not, under any circumstances, enter the kitchen to laugh at me. Do not send small, unsuspecting children, or older, helpful grandparents into the kitchen to check on my progress. I have a very large, very sharp knife. The turkey is unarmed. It stands to reason that I will eventually win the battle. When I do, we will eat.

10) For the duration of the meal, we will refer to the gravy by its lesser-known name: Kraft Cheese Sauce. If a young diner questions you regarding the origins or makeup of the Kraft Cheese Sauce, smile kindly and say that you know the answer, but it's a secret that can't be revealed to them until they are 18.

11) Instead of offering a choice among 12 different scrumptious desserts, we will be serving the traditional pumpkin pie, garnished with whipped cream and dog tongue marks. You still have a choice: take it or leave it.

That concludes our list of alterations. Again, I apologize that Martha will not be joining us this year. Come to think of it, she probably won't come next year, either.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Celeste is 1!

When your big sister & brother have birthdays within 2 weeks of your first birthday you know exactly how to open a present even though it's your first time! She was excited but they are never as excited as their siblings!
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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Vacation in Wisconsin Dells

We went to the Wisconsin Dells for a 5 day, much needed vacation. We originally went to celebrate the 3 birthdays in 2 weeks that we have. The younger 3 kids all deserved to have a fun birthday so we bid on a vacation on Ebay & won. I totally recommend it! We saved a lot of money & it was so great! We stayed at the Wilderness Resort which gave us access to 3 indoor water parks & many more ammenities that we didn't take advantage of. Our favorite park was what we called The Dome. A huge clear dome covered a wave pool that gave you the feeling of being in a warm tropical place instead of a cold, windy northern state.  It even had bananas growing on the trees inside. Corbin was recovering from hernia surgery & a cold so he spent most of his time sleeping in a chair by the pool but Celeste is just like Daddy...Total Waterbug! Not afraid one bit to get wet or go underwater. Sage loved the water but didn't want to trek up the 3 story stairs to get on the water slides (he's leery of high places & the dark tunnels of the slides). Brody & Julia, on the other hand, couldn't get enough of the slides & Jeremy was glad to accomodate their eagerness.

I loved to watch & go on the slides once or twice a day but it was fun for me to just sit. I tried to relax knowing that when we got back, I'd be in for a long road of painting & the impossible job of keeping our house clean for possible buyers. You see, we found an acreage! We've been looking for 3 years & we finally found The One! It's close to Ames, has a great house, the land has been taken care of & we are so excited. It's been my dream since I was a little girl to live on a farm & now my dream will hopefully come true in May! (I even wrote a speech in the 8th grade about how I wanted to be the wife of a pig farmer when I grew up!) My kids are excited about the animals we can have & I am ecstatic, too. Now comes the waiting game & continuous prayer for a buyer for our home!

I need to get the pictures on but they're on the other computer, so maybe tomorrow I'll remember to logon & upload those.  We'll see if I can get my phone pictures on here right now.

Julia turned 6 while I was busy painting walls when we got back home. Corbin just turned 3 on Monday & Celeste will be 1 on Saturday! For some reason, all this seems fine with me right now but the hard one for me to swallow was realizing, after dropping Julia off at gymnastics this afternoon, that Brody will be 8 at Christmas! That seems just as impossible as Sage turning 10 in June! Maybe because I didn't think Brody would live this long with his pentiant for danger but mostly because 8 feels like a turning point. Don't you think? No more excuses, he's responsible for so much. I have such a short time left with them & I intend to make it count!

And in order to do that, I better hit the hay. Good night!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

About My Kids

One of the websites that I belong to had this exercise to post the characteristics of our kids. I thought it was kinda fun after I got started so I thought I'd stick it here for you to share.

This is fun & a really good exercisewhen they're drivin' ya bonkers!

Sage is my gangly giraffe. His body is growing so fast he just can't keep up. He sings all day & sometimes while he sleeps. His imagination will take him far in life. He loves animals & following rules (totally baffles him when people don't choose the right path) He is uninhibited & joy filled! He loves books that stimulate his imagination.

Brody is fierce & intense! He loves competition & has natural sports ability. He doesn't understand teasing or jokes yet but he thinks he's awfully funny when he makes up one of his jokes that make no sense to anyone else. Brody has no fear & a high pain tolerance (can be a BAD combination). He wants to do what is right but sometimes impulsivity wins often. We've just begun meds for ADD after trying all other methods & the transformation is amazing! I can't wait to discover new character traits within Brody when we cut out all the focus & impulsivity problems.

Julia is our princess. She is very focused on the beauty around her & definintely has her own fashion sense. She will decorate the world. She loves the Bible & is fiercely loyal. She is a little mama to many people which can be misinterpreted as being bossy but I don't think she's trying to get in people's business just trying to help. She loves to be with her mama but her daddy is her true love-it's so sweet!

Corbin is my baby. He used to introduce himself as "Durbin wee-wI (Levi), Baby" (like "esquire") although lately he has informed me that he is a big boy now. He is a lover! His smiles light up not only my life but everyone else's, too. He loves to please & even though he's only going to be 3 in Nov. he carries on the most stimulating conversations! He loves Thomas the Tank Engine & for some reason is desperately afraid of elephants.

Celeste. My mom calls her Rosebud because her lips are so sweet. She looks like a doll when you take her picture. She is perfect all the time. Sometime soon I know she will probably figure out she has an opinion but I'm relishing the snuggly baby stage. I can't wait to see her personality grow!
I don't know why the picture is so grainy. It isn't on my phone or on the computer, Oh, well.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Brody's gpa teeth

Do you notice Brody is getting his adult teeth in front? He calls them gpa teeth & is very proud of them!
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Sage made a birthday limmerick

There once was a boy named Sage
Who liked to stand on a stage
He sang many a song
Til his voice was all gone.
Now he writes all the songs on a page.

There once was a sister named Celeste
Who turned out to be the best
Her brother named Sage
Sang a song from a page
And put her to sleep in her nest.

There once was a woman named Katie
She turned out to be quite a lady.
Her first baby boy was born on a stage
Where she quickly named him Sage
And taught him not to be afraidy.

There once was a man named Jeremy
Who asked Katie, "Will you marry me?"
Together they birthed a son named Sage.
They kept him in their very fine cage
Until the dear boys said, "Carry me."
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Industrious Boy

Corbin decided he'd change Celie for me one day. It was interesting. He got the diaper off but couldn't get her to lay still so he could snap up the dry one! Funny for me, frustrating for 2 babies!
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Looks can be deceiving

Aren't these too adorable? You'd never know that they were fighting like cats & dogs just moments before I took these pictures!
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Sage is 9!

Isn't he getting handsome! I can't believe he's 9! He is only 12 inches from my height and he has calculated he'll pass me when he's 12 & I think he could be right! He loves all things imaginative & right now his focus is on a tv character named Ben 10. Ben is a 10yr old boy who's life is changed forever when he comes in contact with a watch looking thing that changes him into 10 different aliens with various strengths & weaknesses. We've been spending all our allowances on action figures, books, videos, coloring books, etc. Plus, all computer time is spent watching episodes & developing games with Ben in them. He is somewhat obssessive about things which will someday translate into great passions in his adult life. I pray that a very personal relationship with his Savior is one of those adult passions. If he continues on this way, there will be no stopping him in whatever he pursues!
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Bents Grandkids take 5

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Bents grandkids

I'm still getting used to my new camera so by the time I changed the settings to different lighting, I'd already takem the best picture of the bunch. So here it is with the shadow lights of dusk.
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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Naming Lovies

If any of you have ever read Ramon Quimby books, you might have read that Ramona names her doll Chevrolet because she thinks it's beautiful! Well, my kids name EVERYTHING! I figured I should write my favorites down before they are a distant memory & maybe you'll think they are as cute as I do.

Our van is named Speedy & the Suburban is Burt. Our RV is Winnie (Winnebago)
Corbin's stuffed penguin is named Baby Jesus.
Julia named her first dolly Saya (I call Sage Isaiah Say-Zaya sometimes), her white horse with purple mane is named Spatula and every other dolly is named Sarah.
Sage names all his hundreds of stuffed animals but my favorite was his penguin Brain Freeze.

I'll think of more later

Monday, June 7, 2010

Celeste has new skills

Celeste is now 7 months old & learning so many new things. I found her Saturday morning standing up in her crib with a look of pure excitement which quickly turned into frustration because she didn't know how to get down. She's been pulling herself up on things like the stairs or short things for a couple of days now but today was so funny! She was watching the kids out the sliding glass doors & figured out she could stand up next to the window. Well, of course, once you stand next to a window you should definitely start to lick the window. It was so cute. I took pictures that I can post later tomorrow if I have time. She's getting so big. I can't believe it. You'd think I'd be used to this by now but I'm still amazed at every little thing they learn. It's like a miracle & I'm so glad I can take the time to watch the daily nuances. I hope I never get used to this & take it for granted.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Baby birds!

Two days ago, Corbin proceeded across the yard, then the patio, & up the steps to the sliding glass door with his hand outstretched & a huge grin on his sweet little 2 year old face. As he reached the patio door, the treasure I assumed was a rock fell in between the steps & the edge of the house which caused Corbin to begin to cry. As I tried to peer into the dim crack I realized that it was not a rock but a featherless baby bird. (This was not the first time he'd brought me a baby bird. He brought me one a couple of weeks ago that was the size of my finger.) After determining that he was in fact dead, I tried to console my baby & explain things. Then, yesterday we were watching out the window & a robin was SITTING in the grass. I've never seen a robin sit in the grass before. Well, later last night we were in the yard having a picnic dinner & we found another baby bird. He was still alive so it dawned on me that the mother robin must have been sitting on her baby trying to keep it warm. We live in a new subdivision which used to be a corn field so we don't have any mature trees in our yard & there are no nests in the ones we do have so it is a mystery to me how we keep finding baby birds in our yard. My father in law & Jeremy think they're blowing into our yard; possibly from the roof. So, this morning I went out to bury the baby bird before the kids got outside & I found another one. Good grief. I know this sounds ridiculous but I just can't stop thinking about that poor mama bird.She was the first thought I had when I woke up this morning (& I don't think in the morning until after 9 but I was up at 530am!) If all these babies were hers she has got to be heartbroken & at the same time I really hope she learns that building a nest on my 25' tall roof is a bad idea because I don't think I can take this next summer too.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Why did I choose this title?

Have you ever read Psalm 127, specifically verses 3-5? Many people use them as their family's verses & I was given these verses to read some years ago in an email from my pastor. He thought they fit & so do I. Here they are:

"3. Behold, children are a gift of the LORD; The fruit of the womb is a reward.
4. Like arrows in the hand of the warrior, So are the children of one's youth.
5. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them; They shall not be ashamed,  When they speak with their enemies at the gate."

We hope to fill our quiver full of arrows & aim them as straight as we can down the road leading to Life with our Heavenly Father.

These verses made me think back then & they still cause me to pause now. I wonder what the purpose of the last phrase is (about not being ashamed when they speak with their enemies at the gate). I think in the last couple of years it's changed definitions for me. It started when we were pregnant with Corbin & people believed it was their business to try to talk us out of having "so many kids" or just reply in a derogatory manner-things like "I can barely stay sane with 2, you must be crazy". I started to have hurt feelings & feel as if people believed I was irresponsible or stupid. The comments only got worse when we got pregnant with Celeste. People seemed to think it was their duty to extol upon me the many virtues of small families & the many horrible things involved with large families. To add to it, it seemed that any reply I gave them, no matter how positive, seemed to be irrelevent in their eyes & only make them more vehement. I began to just ignore people without trying to set them straight when they'd see me out with just 3 kids & they'd say something like "You've got your hands full" when they don't even know the half of it. (My kids now reply for me, "we've got a lot more at home & we're gonna have 20 more!" or something to that effect) So...I think that last verse for me now means that when I go out & I meet up with people I truly believe Satan has sent to discourage me in my daily life, I will not be ashamed to speak up. I've never been ashamed of any of my kids but just felt maybe I should be ashamed of the quantity. I can reply to them with a smile & continue on with my day knowing that God gave me each of my children for a reason & I am so glad He did. I have great joy in writing every individual name down on guest books, cards, & other forms you might fill out. I love walking around stores & seeing the many varied reactions on people's faces when they see my kids "helping" me shop. I know there are days when I would love a break & then my wonderful husband will send me out by myself or my thoughtful in-laws will give me yet another opportunity to get away but for the most part, even amidst the many challenges I love to be with my kids all the time. I feel disjointed or disoriented without them & the funny thing is is that even when I do get out it's hard to know what to do without them.

Wow, I really got off track. All this to say that I chose this title as a kind of the purpose statement of my life right now. Raising Godly Arrows...only slightly Bent(s) because they won't be perfect because Jeremy & I aren't even close to perfect. Someday I'll have to pick a new one but I hope to be here for awhile.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Sage & baseball

Sage's picture wasn't on the other post so I must only be able to put 4 on at a time. I think he keeps missing the ball because his eyes are closed!
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Family Baseball Game

When the weather has been this nice there isn't anything a whole lot nicer than to go outside & play baseball as a family. Notice Julia's purse on her arm as she bats & runs the bases? We must never sacrifice accessories for baseball.
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Corbin's staples & Julia's hair cut

Corbin got a haircut and staples in his head all in the same 2 hr span. Julia had a haircut later that day-here's the before & after.
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We love KidStuf on Sunday mornings & we especially love to dance & sing with Daddy!
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Our new playstructure

We were totally blessed to be given this great new play structure that my kids and MANY neighborhood kids enjoy on a daily basis! Julia has dubbed the downstairs the Doll house and the boys claimed the top as either the Fort or the Clubhouse! Thank you so much to the Gildermaster Family for such a great gift!
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