Monday, February 28, 2011

Foto Friday on Monday

Just not time last week to get to Foto-Friday,
 ...and this is why!
The quick explanation is I have boys!
Now, for a little more detail

This boy, decided a tumble down a sledding hill WITHOUT a sled would be fun...

And this little boy, gave us a WHOLE new meaning to the song/book, 'No More Monkeys Jumping On the Bed', when him and his brother decided to do just that!
Fun, unless you get pushed off and your head collides with the corner of a dresser on your way off of the bed!

Mom was not home for this one!  
15 year old was babysitting and I am SO proud of how she handled everything!
Blood EVERYWHERE and she kept it all together and we made it to the ER just fine.
Well, okay DAD made it to the ER with him just fine!
Ironically, I was taking my NON-stress test at the hospital.
Needless to say, the test showed the baby AND mom were pretty much stressed after the phone call we received stating there was blood every where and his skull could be seen!
She was NOT exaggerating!  All layers were cut through and his skull WAS showing!

As the years go by and I become more of a  'seasoned' mother, I am beginning to realize that eventually not much is going to shock me as the years continue!
Life with boys!  I really do love it!

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

An update~

Our lives in the past 4 months has changed dramatically.  Some things I have shared and others I have not.  I can tell you that I have a peace and really no anxiety about anything!  Which, if you know me or have read my blog for very long, you know how miraculous that is!  God has taught me to live one day at a time and even one MOMENT at a time!  So with that being said, I thought I would give you a little update on what is and has been happening in our life.

Last October, when my husband came home to tell me he had lost his job, I felt like a Mack truck had hit me!  We had been through it before but it is still a shock!  I think I cried off and on for days.  My hubby, for the most part was fine with the exception of feeling like a failure and that he had let us down.  So most of my crying was behind closed doors so I did not bring him down.  He worked very hard at finding another job.  Went to people he knew and called around asking if anyone could use him.  We finally came to the point where we realized it was in God's hands, not ours!  Not to say we laid down and quit, just had to use a different approach.  At the beginning of December, he even found a job, we thought.  After a short time, he realized it was not something he would do for a long period of time and the pay could not sustain our large and growing family!  He went to the person who hired him and was very honest with him and told him that if he thought it a waste of his time to train my husband for only a short period of time only to find another job and move on, he would understand but would continue to work there as long as he needed him.  They decided mutually it was best for both parties to move on.  So, we are sitting here towards the end of February with still not job.  He has had two interviews with one company and we are supposed to hear from them later this week.  That job would mean a move is in our near future!  SCARY for all of us!  The last time we moved, my children were all so young and really their lives did not change much.  This would be a TOTALLY different story!  My oldest has jobs, my other children have lots of involvement with music around our area and friends would be sooooo missed!  But God will direct our path!  He will share with us in His timing, His desire.  Our ears, spirits and hearts are open to listen!  We have realized as time goes on, the trials we go through are only meant to make us stronger!  The time we have had together has been an adjustment!  There is NOBODY on this earth I would rather be with than my husband but finding a way to adapt to our new normal has been interesting at times!  We are waiting together and love having time to share our children in work and in play!  I had felt guilty for a time, that I was enjoying our time together!  I have since learned that I should appreciate this time and enjoy it!  It is only for a season and I need to savor it.  

On to my pregnancy.  I have always had textbook case pregnancy's.  No problems, complications or anything unexpected.  Well, not this time!  Everything was smooth sailing until I hit 29 weeks.  I found out last Friday, I have Gestational Diabetes.  I know it is not uncommon, but for me it is and it has thrown me for a loop!  We have read everything you can possible read on it and the main concern is a big baby.  Which I have anyway!  So, in order to keep my blood sugar levels down, I will be on insulin injections, non-stress tests weekly, doctor appointments weekly, and ultrasounds every other week.  Understand, I am one who thinks to much medical intervention is not good so my mind cannot quite wrap itself around this whole concept.  WAY to much medical intervention in my opinion.  However, I do know God gave us doctors to help us and it is not always a bad things to follow their advice.  Just as I said yesterday on my blog, I need God to be so close to me, that I will know what His plan is.  I will take one day at a time and do what He tells me to do. 

We have had a winter full minor illnesses.  It has been a REALLY long winter.  We have taken lots of Vitamin D and drinking orange juice to try to keep ahead of things but when you have 13 people living and breathing each other in close quarters, illnesses are bound to happen.  I am just thankful for strong immune systems!  We did have a bout of beautiful unseasonably warm weather last week and that was wonderful!  It got us out and running free for a few days!  Maybe we got it all out of our systems before baby!  That would be nice!

  • No job as of yet, but we are waiting on God for His timing
  • Possibly a move is on our horizon
  • baby is growing and moving great but causing quite a stir before she comes, lots of decisions to be made!
  • We are so thankful for God's provision and continue to allow Him to be our daily source for all of your needs
Thank you for your prayers and please continue!  They are working!

More updates coming as they occur!


Monday, February 21, 2011

Your resource or SOURCE

I grew up with scripture.
Singing songs with scripture, memorizing scripture and watched my parents use scripture as
their basis for living.
I have been convicted recently on how I use the Word of God in my life.  Do I use it as my SOURCE for everything or is it just a resource I use when I feel like I need it?  Something I turn to when I feel I need something.  I am sad to admit, that WAY to many times, I use God and His Word as a RESOURCE as you would a dictionary or an encyclopedia.  This is not the plan God has for us! 

If you take a plant out of it's soil and would set it on the concrete or your carpet, what would happen to the plant?  What if you would just sprinkle some soil and water on it every once in a while?  Would the outcome be different because you added a little bit of what it needed on the top?  No, it's roots need to be saturated in it's source of life for it to grow and be sustained. 

Now, what happens when we don't saturate our "roots" in our source of life, Jesus.  What if we just sprinkle a touch of His Word in our lives here and there out of desperation instead of "planting" our very being in the rich soil of His Word and life constantly?  A sprinkle here and there will not sustain us.  Eventually the world will suck us dry and we will walk around with despair or at the very least, just plain emptiness.  How sold out should we be? The answer is TOTALLY surrendered in all that we say and do!  We should radiate His love without even saying a word just because we are planted so deep in His Word.  All that we say, do and the decisions we make should always be filtered through Him and His Word.

I have a LONG way to go in this area!  I think and notice just how much I have let the idea's of this world attack me and sometimes how little I look to my Source!  Before I know it, I am swept away feeling confused and full of fear!  I desire so much for Him to be my "soil" and my life sustainer.  As He takes me through this journey that started with conviction from the life of a plant, I hope to grow closer and closer to Him so that there is no separation between my thoughts and His thoughts.  I pray my roots are so planted in Him that I will know Him so well, my answers will come because I know His voice so well! 

My dear, sweet, Heavenly Father, I thank you so much that I have you as my Source of life!  Help me to not just take advantage of your love and your Word by using them as a "resource" in my life.  May I be deeply planted in wisdom and understanding that only you can give!  Keep me hidden in you and set me apart from the things of this world until I know nothing else but your voice and your ways!  May my children see that example in me and continue to serve you as their source of life as they grow.  Amen!


Friday, February 18, 2011

Foto Friday~ that reminds me...

With an unseasonably warm day yesterday,
our entire household got the itch to be outside and reminds of this...

...walking in the warm air

...the sunshine on our faces

...and just enjoying the thrill of being outside in the great outdoors!
I do LOVE winter, but this year, it has even worn me out!
I don't mind that we have some cold days left and more than likely more snow!
I love sitting and listening to the crackling of a warm, cozy fire in my living room.

I am ready for no more coats and the ability to go anywhere on a whim.

Spring will be here soon and we know that, but boy it can seem like forever when you get a teaser day in the middle of February!

Have a great weekend and remember...
Spring is just around the corner!

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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Another 5 years passes by!

Where does 5 years go! 
 This little guy came into the world with a lasting memory!
During the last 6 weeks of my pregnancy, I had a kidney stone that there was no solution for
 but to wait it out.
They were going to induce me at 36 weeks but after an amniocentesis, (which I said I would NEVER do) Desperate times call for desperate measures!
 We found out his lungs were not ready.
 So, for 2 more weeks of severe pain, I hung in there and made it through! 

And he was worth it!

Our "Tobi" has a big heart and would give the shirt off his back for anyone,
or share his apple with his baby brother!

Yes, his eyes are intoxicating!
Not good, when you need to discipline him!

His smile is contagious!

And oh the things he gets into! 
He is ALLLLL boy!
I thought it would get better the older he got!
Not really just different! 
He went from climbing out of his crib at 14 months to...  
figuring out how to turn up our deep freeze all by himself!
Maybe not so exceptional in your eyes.
 when you consider that the dial is in the back corner and you have to turn it with a quarter to turn it up or down and the manufacturer made it like that so children cannot figure it out!
 for a few mornings in a row, we could not figure out how the washer and dryer was getting started with full loads in them!  
Yep, you guessed it! 
Our observant "Tobi" figured out by watching just how to do it perfectly at the age of 4!  Detergent, fabric softener and all!

So yes!
He fills our days with endless energy, question upon question, and he has made us all feel like agents on CSI some days! 

I love the way he twirls his hair when he is sleepy and cuddles with me when he wakes up!

The way he talks with his hands when explaining a VERY detailed story

His adorable way of flashing that big old smile and ohhhhhh the way he giggles!

I am so thankful for God's gift He gave us when He entrusted him to us!

So glad we did not stop at #8!


We cannot imagine life without you!
We love you!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

What was I thinking!

I remember first starting out as a young mother and how everything was so new.  I had been a nanny for 2 years previously before becoming a mom some I had SOME experience under my belt but not quite the same as becoming a mother of my OWN children!  As I prepare for my 12th child, I find it kind of funny looking back at the things I thought I had to do, things I thought my little's ones had to have, and concerns I used to be obsessed with my first compared to this one.  I have changed the way I do many things and the way I think as time has gone on.  Here is a list:

  • My first one had his own room, rocking chair in his room, own shelf of books, own closet and dresser and a wipe warmer all before he was even born!  This baby~ her own corner of a shared room, no books to call her own yet, a shared dresser, the rocking chair is in the living room surrounded by other furniture belonging to the family, and wipe warmer...HAH!
  • With the first, I had every book possible to help me prepare for that sweet little bundle.  I had to know what I was doing when they layed him in my arms.  This baby~ I now realize that we will both survive and she will come with her own issues and we will deal with them when they arise!
  • The first baby had brand new clothes with tags on them hanging her his own closet and a drawer full of infant shoes.  This baby~ stained (clean) undershirts, tagless garage sale/consignment stores are the supplier and the realization that she will probably only wear some of her clothes once or twice before she outgrows them and shoes... not until she starts walking.
  • First child, grandparents were buying things left and right for us counting down the days until the due date because they could not contain their excitement of the soon to be first grandchild.  This baby~ not sure if they even know the due date! 
  • Our first child would NEVER miss a nap time or go to bed late. This baby~ naps come and go and missing one here or there will not cause anyone to die!  Bedtime, well, something I will always make sure we for the most part, stay on track!
  • My poor first child was given processesd food made by a certain baby food company because I knew no different!  This baby~ fresh, homemade food from scratch will be her diet!
  • We never left our first baby with anyone but grandparents!  This baby~ lots of older brothers and sisters to watch after her when needed.
  • The first baby got to sleep in TOTAL silence with nothing to bother him.  This baby~ should beable to sleep with a jackhammer right outside her window.
  • With my first, we did not go out of our apartment for the first week.  This baby~ I'm thinking a stop at the grocery store will be possible on the way home from the hospital.
  • We put the first baby through every test/vaccination possible that the hospital did after he was born.  This baby~ we know we decide what is best for her and it is up to us not them!
  • Our first I have every lock of hair, and wrote down every detail on a calender the first 3 years of his life.  This baby~ I will have a baby book, but who knows what will be in it!
  • I was a basket case with my first, always worrying about if what I was doing would damage him forever and just sure that he would be a mess because I was such a failure at everything!  This baby~ although I still will be praying ALOT, I know that despite all my failures, God is in charge of this little one, and He is her father also!
  • Our first child at 19 months, we thought was sooooo old!  We had him climbing up 3 flights of stairs to get to our apartment and would get frustrated with him when he did come as fast as he should have.  This baby~ we will use a gate at our stairs to make sure she does not hurt herself and will be still be considered somewhat of a baby at age 3!
  • One thing that WILL NEVER change from our 1st to our 12th, 13th, or 14th, is our love!  I antcipate this baby just as much as I did our first and can't wait to see her face just as I could not wait to see our first also!  The love of a mother is incredible and amazes me how God knew the intensity of love a mother would need in her heart to raise a child and how it is just there!  I am so thankful for that!
 I have 17 years of parenting behind me, and that blows me away!  It has never lost it's joy and excitement and I can't wait to start all over again when they lay this sweet baby in my arms!  No matter how silly I used to be!  I wonder what I will be saying 17 years from now when I am watching my children raising my grandkids!  Hmmmmm.......

I would love to hear of some things that have changed in your "parenting" as you have had more children!  Do share!


Monday, February 14, 2011


In a home filled to the brim with children, love is always around!  Yes, sometimes there are disagreements and moments of getting on each other's last nerve, but there is always somebody in the mood to give and recieve love. 

Every year we have a Valentines party and share the love!  I thought I would share some idea's with you that we incorporate with this annual even of sharing our love:

-I always start with them sitting around me and I go over the Valentines Day "story".  You can find it here.
-We then make mailboxes out of ceral boxes, shoe boxes, or anything else I have around the house, and decorate them. Go here, here or here for some idea's.  (We have done this the week before but it makes it so hard to wait!)  This one is made out of a ceral box~
-we always make cards for each other, or like this year, I took the easy way out and went to our local $1 store and bought them each a box. (pregnancy makes me REALLY lazy!)   I then have buddies get together and they go and fill in their cards for everyone in the family.  I also make sure there is one for dad from each child!
-we pick one of the older kids to be the mail man and deliver all the cards to the appropriate mail boxes.
-after the boxes are filled, we go around the table and everyone says something they love about our family and then something they love about God
-cards are opened and we then have cookies and hot chocolate.  (I have also been know to hand out a couple other treats also!)
Nothing fancy, just building memories!  Some other things you can do:

-scavenger hunts looking for Valentines around the house.  (This takes some planning ahead)
-an all red Valentines lunch or dinner, ex.- Spaghetti with sauce, red jello, red heart-shaped pancakes made with strawberries, pizza boats made with hotdog buns that you piece together like a heart and add sauce and cheese.
-making cut-out cookies and decorate them
-These are also a great idea!
-looking up scripture that has anything to do with love.  Make it a game by giving them verses and see who gets to them first. (Not so good for real young children but you can look them up and read them outloud with the little ones)

Some things to do throught out the year to keep the love going:

-Make a "Family Love Book".  Leave a notebook somewhere easy accessible and encourage children AND parents to write down something they noticed when someone was being kind throughout the day or just write down something nice about somebody.  Go over the writings from the day before, every morning to start of the day in a positive way.
-I always write love notes to my children.  They can be short little notes left on a pillow, in a drawer, left in a violin case, or long ones in a sealed envelope for them to read when they are alone.  My girls have all the ones I have written to them and now I have even noticed them doing that for each other!  It's a great reminder to them of love when they are feeling down!
-before meals, have each one go around the table and say a reason they love somebody else at the table
-sit down with them and ask them what love means to them one at a time and WRITE IT DOWN!  Save them and give them to them when they get married.  It is so cute seeing the answers they come up with! We haven had MANY laughs!  I have an entire folder of them!

I hope you have a great day being with those you love! 


Friday, February 11, 2011

The first birthday of the year

Today, we celebrate the 1st of many birthday's in 2011
Our "Drubee" turns 3!


*loves to laugh*
*loves fruit*
*loves yogurt*
*has talked in full sentences since he was 18 months old*
*still talks ALL the time*
*potty trained in 3 days, day AND night!*
*loves to be outside*
*knows most of his ABC's*
*plays with Thomas the Train*
*loves to watch Mickey Mouse*
*enjoys playing with play-dough*
*does not really like to pick it up (neither does mom!)*
*helps his big sister in the kitchen*
*sings The B-I-B-L-E over and over and over...*
*likes to pray at meal time*
*has a fit if his taco meat falls out of the shell*
*is very neat and likes order*
*likes to get HIS way*
*tries to dominate his little brother in VERY creative ways!*
*is NOT intimidated by his 7 older brothers*
*only weighs 24 lbs*
*is called the runt of our litter*
*LOVES his oldest brother*
*still takes 3 hour naps*
*goes to bed at 7 and sleeps until 7*
*LOVES his duckie blankie*
*is a mommy's boy*
*is photogenic*
*has to "see" his baby sister everyday (asks to touch my belly)*
*has us all wrapped around his little finger!*

***We love you sweet sunshine!***


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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Thinking of...

///how cold it is out
///walking on snow and ice is really hard when you can't see your feet under your belly
///sledding with the kids
///I guess I better not
/// how I can be so completely exhausted and have 2 months left of pregnancy!
///seeing this little ones face
///what I need to do to get ready for her
///how it never loses it's excitement even when it's number 12
///what will she do with 8 brothers!
///what will they do with her!
///what will they do about my high blood sugar levels since I don't eat anything sweet anyway
///why I continue to lose weight but the baby is gaining
///that it is good knowing she is doing well
///how I will rearrange school when the baby comes
///where all the missing socks go
///how I start out with a whole bag of new socks and a week later they are all missing
///how thankful I am for healthy kids
///when I go over Proverbs with my children, I realize just how much I need more wisdom!
///what the next 2 months will bring
///how I will not get overwhelmed with all the possible changes
///how hard it is to be misunderstood by family
///how living for Christ can lead to persecution from others
///my dear, wise husband and how hard it must be to take care of 13 people
///my parents visiting us Saturday
///how great it is having parents that love us unconditionally even as adults
///how wise they really are
///going out to lunch with 2 wonderful, Godly friends
///what a privilege that is
///being thankful
///the grace my Heavenly Father gives me daily


Monday, February 7, 2011

Character Training~ Part 2

I was at the mall this weekend and because of my pregnancy starting to slow me down a touch when it comes to walking around, I sat while my girls were off looking at clothes.  In about 30 minutes I observed WAY more then I cared to watching parents with their children.  No wonder I get the comments I do about having so many children and why people think one or two is enough!  I would not want to go home with children who act like that either!  I by NO means claim to be a perfect parent and my children misbehave and corrections must be made.  However, I have rarely had problems in public places because the training begins at home.  Please DO NOT attemt to make changes for the first time when out in a public place!  It will not be productive and will more than likely backfire only making the problem worse and causing more of a scene.  If you see a problem while out and about, take note and get a plan of action and implement it in your own home first. 

With that being said, one of the first things I observed this past weekend was the parents inability to follow through with their own "threats".  A mother was dealing with a screaming 3-4 year old, and told him if he did not stop, she would take away his ice-cream.  He continued to scream.  So she took the ice-cream away.  Great!  Well, not really!  She gave it right back.  Minutes later, he began to act up again.  She threatened once again to take away the ice-cream this time she stated she would just throw it away.  He continued to throw a fit.  This went on for at least 5 times.  She never did through it away.  She kept giving it back to him and he continued with his disruptive behavior.  They walked away with him screaming with the ice-cream in his hand.  Both of them at their wits end.  DO NOT make a threat you are not willing to immediately follow through with.  If you say you are going to do it, DO IT!  It will not take more than 1 or 2 times for your child to realize you mean business!  Please do your child a favor and never use counting as a means to obedience!  Demand instant obedience every time!  Believe me, if you use the #3, they will wait until the #3 to obey.  That is not the goal!  If a child is in a dangerous situation, you are not going to count to 3 before they have to listen.  You will want instant obedience.  Always require it. 

In a nutshell:
  • Don't make threats in anger or in the heat of the moment
  • Follow through even if you regret the consequence, learn from it
  • Never count when requiring obedience, demand it the first time
  • Don't implement something for the first time out in public. 

Our children have missed out on many things because of consequences of misbehavior.  It is so hard to follow through but believe me, it will pay off!  We went to a friend's house when my oldest was young and he did not follow through on a responsibility he had to do before we left.  So I told him he had to sit the entire time at their house and could not get up and play because he did not do what he was told.  We got there, and I looked over at him sitting watching all the other kids playing.  I was literally in tears wanting to go back on my word and give another consequence when we got home. I had wished I would have given not quite so harsh a punishment.  I was talking to my friend and telling her how hard it was!  She in all of her wisdom, said to me, "It has eternal value!  Don't look at the here and now, think of it as training for eternity!"  That made an impact on me I have NEVER forgotten!   I talked with him about it when we got home, prayed with him and gave him a big hug!  The next time we went somewhere, he knew he better get his stuff done and he did!  But boy was it hard at the time!  Hopefully later in life, when his wife asks him to do something he will realize it is important to her and he will follow through.  The same goes for the direction of his heavenly Father.  It seems extreme, but that is what character training is all about.  Doing it while they are young, so when they are old, they will not depart from it!

This parenting thing is SO hard sometimes!  They start out as clean slates and the minute they are are laid in our arms the training begins!  It starts with sleep training and feedings and takes off from there.  The flesh is a terrible thing!  They don't need to be taught to give into it!  It is up to us to allow God to show and direct us in the way we should train them to not give into the flesh.  He does not expect us to know it all!  Our dependancy must be on Him and He must be our example!  We will make mistakes and that is okay!  We will lose our temper, our patience will be tested daily, and we will not do things perfectly everytime.  But He will give us wisdom and understanding if we ask.  Our children crave discipline and boundries from us from the time they are babies until they leave our home.   It is up to us, to seek direction and follow through. Keep praying and obeying and He will see you through!


Thursday, February 3, 2011

Foto Friday

On the mend!

Finally, some normalcy around here! 
(Whatever that is but I can tell you last week WAS NOT it!)

Some runny noses, loose coughs and grumpiness are the remnants
but sitting up and playing games is at least being witnessed!

And me you ask?
2 nights of uninterrupted sleep!
Well, except for the little one in my womb giving me the normal 3rd trimester discomforts!
But she is at least quiet about it!:)

We will be getting out and playing in the many inches of snow this weekend!
Hopefully freezing all the bad germs so we don't have to go through this again anytime soon!
Have a safe, healthy weekend!

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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Longer than I meant it to be

Well, I last posted and gave my word that after I became well, I would be posting more on character training, and I will.

However, a few things came up in the mean time.
Here is an update...

Last week started out fine.
Sewing some baby girl things with a little one on my lap...
Little did we know what the next 10 days would hold for our family! 

This happened...

The H1N1 flu hit our entire home in the worst way ...
(okay, the house is fine, but the children were NOT!)

and it was NO respecter of anyone that walks and breathes!

Not only that, but also 2 strains of strep throat hit most of them along with the flu!
I have NEVER witnessed anything like it in my entire 17 year career as a mother!
And I have witnessed LOTS!
So, I cuddled LOTS, prayed more, slept less and had a broken heart looking at their sad, sweet faces and lifeless bodies...

While their bodies fought it all off.

Yes, it was THIS bad!

But this week has been better! 
As I said many times from the wisdom of my dear grandma,
"This too shall pass!"
And it has!
I had to remind myself CONSTANTLY that God will never give me more than I can bear!
Even 11 kids REALLY sick, all at the same time!
I feel invincible!
I am woman, hear me ROAR!

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