Monday, June 30, 2008

Blogging is an interesting thing

I first started blogging 3 years ago and it was mainly pictures of the kids. And it was done very sporadically. When I was pregnant with the girls, I started blogging more because our family and friends wanted to know how we were doing and wanted to know how big I was getting. Joseph was also gone for 6 weeks while I was pregnant and wanted to see the kids and 'hear' the stories of our days without him.

About a year ago I started blogging way more often. This was also the time that I realized that there is this whole blogging community out there. And there are blogs about everything under the sun - ramen noodles, cheese, redneck feminist, seriously, you name it and I am sure that you can find someone who writes about it. Everyone has a blog.

There are a few blogs that I read on a daily basis and most of them are of people I don't know. Probably because there aren't very many people that I do know that blog. (or at least they don't' admit that they blog!) As a blog reader, I love to glimpse inside people's lives - it's voyeurism at it's finest. I can do one of my favorite activities, people watch, from the comfort of my home. There are blogs that I read because I admire the writer or their life story. There are other blogs I read and fundamentally disagree with everything this blogger blogs about (and think that they are a bit nuts!), yet I still go back for more. Warped, I know. I'm a total rubbernecker!

As a Blogger, I blog for many reason. The biggest one is that The Love, loves my blog. He's my biggest fan and number 1 reader. My mom is also a big fan and reads daily. This is how she stays close to us even though she doesn't live in the same town. I also blog because it is so therapeutic and I LOVE going through old posts and reading about what I was feeling and how I was thinking. I also love looking at old pictures. At some point I plan on having my blog made into a book, like a scrapbook, that holds special memories, thoughts and pictures.

And then I have these moments where I blog because I want to communicate with others. Some bloggers live and die for comments. I have read several bloggers that will do almost anything for people to leave them comments. I go through phases. Sometimes I could care less if anyone other than my hubba or my mama ever read my blog. Then there are these other times where I desperately want to know that someone, anyone cares about my little 'ole blog. I was having such a moment last week.

I had told some friends that I thought I would stop blogging. They all laughed in complete disbelief. But, I was feeling discouraged that I have at least 20 people a day (and trust me, that ain't nothing compared to most blogs!) stop by and very few of you say "hi". I was feeling lonely. And God knew that. So at the perfect time I got an amazing comment from someone I don't know. Thank you, Lorinda. I really needed that.

There are lots of blogs I read that I never comment on, but I am going to try to be better at that. Sometimes I don't leave comments because I don't have anything pithy to say. Other times it's because I don't want to admit that I am an slightly obsessed fan. But my July resolution is going to be to encourage others. And I know how encouraging a comment can be. Thanks, again, Lorinda for reminding me of this!

The suspense is killing me!

I am still waiting for the other shoe to drop.

As of last night, Luke is still sick. Every time that I think we are past it, he gets sick. It's no longer puke-y, but now is out the other end. My kids have never had diarrhea for any length of period before this and now that they have, I'm okay with never experiencing it again!

Toddler + Diarrhea = BIG MESS! (Hurry, go get a pen...another brilliant nugget of wisdom from the mad lady!)

He was lookin' good yesterday morning so we took him to church, but kept him with us and away from the other kids. And then we had some friends over for dinner and of course, as they were literally walking in the door, Luke had his first case of diarrhea for the day. It continued through dinner and as we were getting out dessert, it got really bad!! One word - fabulous. Not the most condusive background noise for a pleasant dinner/dessert!

Luckily our friends brought three (yes, 3!) yummy dessert options! And these are friends of ours from way back to our Minot days. When we first met them we didn't have any kids! And then we met up with them when we lived in DC and now they have moved here!! And their daughter is now of babysitting age!! They are fabulous friends, amazing mentors and we are thrilled to have met up with them for the third time. My most favorite thing about being military!

I warned our friends, before they came over, about the possible illness. Other than Luke, we are all feeling fine. I am sooo hoping that it stays that way!!

If you are going to drop shoe, just do it now! I can't stand the waiting!!!

Friday, June 27, 2008

The little twinkies!

How can you say anything other than delicious when you look at those little beauties above? So cute!

I have about 5 bazillion things to do right now, but decided that I would rather blog about my girlie's. They are so much fun! So fun! And constantly making me laugh with their antics. Here are some of the things they are "into":

  • Yesterday I caught them "chasing" each other around and crawling in circles. If I knew where our video camera was, then I would have taped it. Instead, it is another amazing memory burned into my mind.
  • If I sit on the floor or in the living room with my lunch, they drop whatever it is they are doing to come and beg for some food. They seriously rush me for food. Girls after my own heart.
  • We "carpet train" our kids. That merely means that we are teaching them boundaries by using our carpeted areas. They aren't allowed off the carpet. (If you think about it, there really isn't anything but trouble in areas in your house that don't have carpet. We've done this with all our kids and it works for us, so don't knock until you've tried it! Maybe I'll write a post on this someday?) So when they want me they will crawl to the edge of the carpet and hold their arms our fussing. If only one sister is doing this and the other sees, she comes over and joins in the fun!
  • They have been trading blankets at naptime. I have no idea when or how it happens, but we put them down with their blanket and when we go and get them they have their sister's blankie. I so wish that we have a video monitor. I would love to watch what the heck is going on in there.
  • These girls can talk. They look at you very seriously and "chat" away.
  • When one gets into naughtiness, the other follows. There have been many times that I have caught them both getting into trouble - ripping magazines, pulling all the wipes out of the container, crumpling up computer paper, and pulling off keys on the laptop are a few of their favorite activities that get them into trouble.
  • Sharing is becoming a problem these days. My mom thought she could eliminate this problem by buying 2 of everything, but nope - they want the toy that the other has. And get into some serious 'tiffs over it.
  • Feeding them at meals is nuts-o. Joseph and I are finding it harder to eat our meal because we are constantly cutting up food. We have tried cutting the food before it makes it to the table, but the second the girls see their food they get crazy! Flapping their arms and hyperventilating - these girl's love food. Oh, meal times...that could be a whole post in itself.They look so sweet and innocent in their high chairs, but that is only because they have food in their hands!

Up until a couple of weeks ago, the girl's hated being in the water. Problematic for living in the deep south and having a mama and brothers that love being outside in the pool. They have gotten significantly better and even kinda enjoy it.

Isn't this so fun?! I found them all in our backyard like this when I came home from the store the other day. Our cleaning people were here, so Joseph brought them all out in the backyard to keep them out of the house and out of trouble. Smart Daddy!

Splish, Splash!

Lily Kate warmed up to the whole water thing quicker than Ella did.

But Ella was happy once she found some grass to eat!!

Lily was happy to chew on this water ring.

Things can certainly be hectic with twins and then Luke, and then Caleb, but I absolutely love my kids! I have friends that find out they are pregnant and then say it would be their worse nightmare to find out it was twins. I think I probably said that before I had twins. And now I know that I couldn't have imagined how fun these blessings would be in most wild, amazing, wonderful dreams!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

We need an exterminator!

Luke's got the bug. And it's a bad one. He was up all night puking every 30 minutes to an hour. Then around 3am this morning it started coming out both ends. Poor child. He kept it up until 2pm when Joseph came home with my favorite wonder drug that once again worked like a charm. He is still not feeling well, but at least he isn't throwing up and is able to keep a little food down.

When I talked to my pediatrician this afternoon, she warned me that this nasty bug is highly contagious and it is very likely that we will all have it sooner or later. One word...lovely. I am so praying that this doesn't happen! We have already established, several times, that I am no fan of illness, doctors and especially vomit. Shocking, I know.

The Love took the kids to get vaccinations yesterday. Apparently I wasn't moving quickly enough for him. There was some talk about them not having had a vaccine since 2004, Caleb not having had a physical since 2006 and Luke not since 2005, so he's just going to take them. That works for me. I hate shots. And while I understand their importance, I don't take the kids to have them. That is a Daddy job.

All in all, I'm just terrible about getting my kids to the doctor. They seriously haven't been in years. But all of that is about to come to an end. I am making appointments for all 4 of them to have physicals. (This is the point where my mom re-reads what I just wrote in complete disbelief.) The only reason that I'm doing it is because Caleb needs a physical before he can start school. And since we have already put some money into his school, we might as well follow the rules and get him ready.

Since the boys hadn't had shots in so long, Luke got 3 and Caleb got 5! Although I don't go, I totally prep The Love on what he needs to do in case they cry. He looks at me rather insulted and claims that he can probably figure it out. Luke cried after the 3rd shot and Caleb didn't cry at all. I was shocked! And so proud of them!

Lucky for all of us that Caleb doesn't need anymore shots until he is 11 (I think I can be timely by then) and Luke doesn't need them until he is 6 (or I am forced to because of school)!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

What animal are you?

At our MOPS retreat I asked everyone to fill out a personality quiz to find out what their personality type is. We did the Gary Smalley test that has 4 basic categories that people fit into.

I know, I know, there are those of us who shudder at the thought that we may fit into some box. "We are unique individuals, not defined by perimeters!" And while there are those few people out there who are hybrids, most people fit into boxes. Sad, but true. There tend to be overall trends in the way that we think, act and feel and though it has taken me a while I am learning to accept this. And in accepting this, I am learning so much about people and myself. And my kids! As the mother of 4, I want to be able to understand why Caleb tends to react one way and Luke the complete opposite. I desire to understand them and meet their needs accordingly. And I want to help them understand themselves. (Side note: I have heard that The Treasure Tree is a fabulous book for kids about personality traits!)

When Joseph and I got married, we went through pre-marriage counseling and took the Myers Briggs test and, shocker of all shockers, we are completely opposite in every way. Our Pastor told us that when we work together, we would be a phenomenal team, but when we fight - look out! Boy was he right!!

If you have time and want to play along, take this test and then leave a comment and let me know what you are (and better yet, what you think I am!!) This is totally my idea of fun and I would love it if you'd play along.

And later in the week I will let you know what I am. I'm sure it will be hard to guess.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Could you even imagine...

in your most crazy dreams, this?!?

Light saber's aren't for babies, they're for Darth Vader

I was making my bed when I heard Luke stating the above (title) to one of his sisters. He's a funny little boy. I really wish that I could capture his speech for you. It's pretty stinkin' cute!

And I need some cute and funny today. I'm having one of those I-want-to-go-back-to-bed-and-sleep-for-100-more-hours kinda days. I'm feeling so lazy, tired and blah! We had a super, crazy, busy week last week and the weekend was even more so! Between that and some minor medical issues, I think that my body is begging me for a break. Lucky for me, the Love barely worked today and is off for the next 2 days!!

I had my MOPS retreat over the weekend and it was fantastic! I had no idea what to expect, but my team is fabulous and we planned out the entire year. My favorite part of the retreat was the vision statement that we came up with. This really is going to be an awesome team and I am excited to see who else God is going to add to our group to fill all the positions.

While I haven't been blogging lately because I have been busy, there is another reason as well. Joseph and I have started watching Lost and are obsessed. Since there isn't anything on TV during the summer, we decided to rent season 1 of Lost and start from the beginning. People are always talking about this show and I wanted to see what the big deal was. Oh, my eyes have been opened. And now I am having a hard time closing them! We watch a couple episodes every night and both look forward to it immensely. It has become a little "date" time and we love it! So, since I typically blog in the evenings, blogging is taking a backseat to Lost. As is house work and anything else productive I could be doing. We are pathetic, I know.

Another reason I don't want to blog is this:

The screen on our lap top has cracked and it's so hard to read anything. I am still managing to shop, and while we have a desktop, I am too lazy to get off the couch to go and use it. We still have a warranty and Dell is fabulous about getting it fixed quickly. It has been this way for months and now I can't take it any longer.

While I am already completely random, I thought I would show you a picture of my cute bible study friends.

Aren't they cute?! I love my friends and am so thankful that God has placed them in my life. All of their husbands are residents, so they understand the lifestyle that we lead. They are a huge support and will continue to be one over the next couple of years. So thankful!

Here are a few pictures of the Beauties in some super cute outfits.

Whenever they wear these outfits I always think they look like they should be skating around a roller rink. My little Roller Derby Princesses. Aren't they getting big?!

Well, I guess that should be all for now. I have some pictures of Caleb's birthday party that I will post soon.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Happy Birthday Caleb

Happy Birthday Caleb!

Today you are 6 and I really can't believe it! You have been talking about this day since shortly after your last birthday and it is finally here!! Caleb, my 6 year old boy, you are so amazing and I am so thankful to have had these past 6 years with you. Here are 6 of my favorite things about you right now...
  1. YOU have the greatest imagination. Every since you were able to pick out you own clothes you have loved to dress up and pretend. I was afraid that as you got older you would be less inclined to wear costumes out and about the town, but alas no! I do have a confession to make to you: I purposely do not wash your flight suit and BDU's sometimes. Little Love, it's too hot to wear them outside and I'm terrified you'll get heat stroke. The good news is that you have no problems finding replacement "uniforms" to wear! Because you have an awesome and fun imagination!!
  2. You really are the smartest kid I have ever known. I am always amazed at the concepts that you comprehend and the depth of the questions you ask. Every mommy thinks their kid is smart, and every mommy, I know, thinks you are smart!
  3. You are so inquisitive. I have to admit that there are times where this isn't my favorite thing about you, but I love that you keep me on my toes and always give me things to find answers for and keep me learning.
  4. You love Lukie and your sisters. While you and Luke fight like brothers, you are also as close as can be. I love watching you two play together and am so thankful that he is close to your age and that you have him as a playmate. And to say that you are in love with the girls, would be the understatement of the year. Those sisters of yours have you wrapped around their little fingers. I am so thankful that we have kept you home this past year so that you got the chance to spend time with the sisters and Luke. You were such a big help and a great big brother!
  5. You are a mama's boy. I love that you call me, "Princess Mommy" and when I have been gone, even for the shortest of times, you will run up to me and hug me like you haven't seen me in forever. I am so thankful that you haven't outgrown being kissed and loved on and that you ask for it frequently!
  6. You want to start spending time with God. Oh, Caleb, I am so thankful for this one! You are asking to have "quiet time" in the mornings like Daddy and I do. You want to read your bible and do a devotional. So, Daddy and I bought you your first big bible and you are going to love it and your cool new bible cover! I pray that God's Word penetrates your heart and transforms your life! And I pray that I am able to wake up earlier and be faithful about helping you do your "quiet time". I am so excited for you as you are passing another milestone on your journey with God! And so thankful to God!

Well, my Caleb boy, these last 6 years have been full of ups and downs, but through it all I have loved you with every ounce of my heart and soul. I love you so much Caleb and I pray that the next 6 years are as full of love, imagination, adventure, joy and most of all God!!
Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Our time with Joseph's family

Here are some pictures of the time that we spent with Love's family. We don't get to see them very often, so it is a treat for the kids to get to spend time with their grandparents.

I loved Philadelphia. We were on our way to the Liberty Bell and stopped in this story spot where they tell stories from the time of the Revolution. I think our kids were a little too young, but was pleasantly surprised at how well they all sat and paid attention.

The boys and the Grandma LeAnn

Here we are in front of the Liberty Bell. What? You can't see the bell? Oh, yeah, while my Mother-in-law is fabulous at many things, taking pictures may not be one of them!

Here is Joseph at one of the lookout points at Shenandoah National Park. We took the skyline drive and it was gorgeous. Joseph and I have been to many National Parks together, so it was fun to add this one to the list. I really am amazed at how beautiful Virgina is!

Luke, Annika and Katie

The Mad Sr.'s with their kids.

Annika was so good with the babies. They fell in love with her!

Papa and Ella

We also went to Natural Bridge and it was beautiful! We went on this nature hike that the kids LOVED! We are such an outdoor family and this was right up my kids alley.

This is the Natural Bridge...amazing!

Papa and Luke! SO Sweet!

Hmmmm... What is Papa showing Caleb?

Frogs having relations!!!! Seriously... I am so thankful that Caleb didn't ask any questions about that. It didn't even seem to perturb him. Me on the other hand...

Please don't let this be more mating animals... Lucky for me it was just some crawdads!

My almost 6 year old and his super Daddy!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

And the clock begins....

Seriously, I am giving myself 5 minutes to blog. That's it. So here goes...are you ready for some randomness, run-on's, overuse of comma's and incoherent thoughts? Because that's all I have today people...

I have been super busy lately and though I love my little blog, it is the first that has to go. I'm feeling like it is time to take a break from blogging anyway. I have no idea who reads, or why you read, but I have a feeling you will all survive quite nicely without me!

This is a super busy week. I have something going on everyday this week and then a MOPS retreat this weekend, along with 2 BBQ's (and did I mention I have four little kids that seem to need me now more than ever?!) C-R-A-Z-Y busy. Oh, and I almost forgot my oldest child is turning 6!!! What is that all about? I am so not ready and really not ready for his birthday party. I'm totally slacking on this birthday party. Way worse than ever before. Because of this busy week, we are going to have to have the big event at Chuck's. I feel so bad because he really wants to have his party at home and I have no time to throw an at home party. Maybe if it was in July. But he didn't want to wait that long. I don't blame him....

I am in a sweet place with God right now. He is totally revealing Himself in amazing ways. I would love to talk more about that, but I only have 30 more seconds before this computer self-destructs!

And I want to give a shout out to the most amazing Dad on the planet....My Lovey!! As our Pastor was praying about making the dads in our church Godly men, I was thanking God for giving me a husband that loves Him so much and is the most Godly man I know. Joseph is an example of integrity, honesty, loyalty, humility and I would love it if my boys become even half the man that their Papa is and for my beauties to marry a man just like their Daddy. I was also telling God that I know with all my heart that I don't deserve my man, but I am so thankful for him. Joseph, my friends, is grace made tangible in my life.

I love you JKM and think you are one very cool Rockstar.... And I am officially 90 seconds over! Par for the course these days.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

You gotta love good customer service!

We get home from our trip and I noticed that Fabio was on the fritz. Making a totally weird noise.

I happen to know him intimately and almost immediately noticed the noise. So I ask Joseph to take a look. He didn't hear the noise and then he started manhandling Fabio. So, I kindly asked him to step away - far away from Fabio.

Then I called the Dyson people. They are fabulous. The Dyson Lady listened to the noise, over the phone, and said that the problem was that thingy's are getting in the filter area and they are not supposed to be (that's the cliff notes of a 30 min diagnosis). Then she said that she would be sending me a new filter and small-particle-something-or-other. She also said to clean the filter.

So I cleaned the filter. It was disgusting. Then vacuumed this morning. And when I opened the filter, I noticed that there was still thingy's getting inside the filter. So I called back.

And got another very nice support person. I told her all about my problems with Fabio and after she laughed (and said I was the first person that she had come across who named their Dyson - go figure) she helped me fix the problem and is sending me another filter and a new canister!!

How cool is that?!

I was so sad because I thought that Fabio, my no-back-talking-easy-on-the-eyes-love-slave, may not be one of the best things that has happened to me in the past year. But alas, he is as fabulous as I have always thought and now he as good as new. And kudos to Dyson for having such an awesome website and hiring excellent customer service people! How rare is that these days?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Can you tell me how to get...

to Sesame Street?!
I am finally getting around to posting some more pictures from our vacation. These are of our fun times at Sesame Place. We had been there a couple of years before with our best friends, the Zeiglers, and had a blast! This time we also brought along Joseph's parents and our friends the Fieberkorn's.

The boys coming out of this huge slide!

Caleb, Elise and I rode this crazy rocket ride that actually made my stomach do flip flops. Elise was so cute and as soon as we took off she gabbed my hand and held it tight for the rest of the ride.

I love this picture of Caleb. It totally captures the face that he makes when he is excited!

A little drama from the Queen and prince.

Angela and I were the first to brave the waters. While we were there it was a little chilly in PA and the water was freezing!

Luke was fascinated with that big yellow rubber ducky at the top of the water ride.

Josiah, Caleb and Luke

Didn't that girl do an awesome job?! We waited in line for close to 45 minutes for this face painting and the excitement that Caleb had about it was worth it! He loved it!!! It matched his bright orange space suit that his Grandma LeAnn bought for him from the National Air and Space Museum. He had asked me for it, but Mama's don't spend that kinda money on things like that in gift shops like grandma's do!

The best buddies!

Lovey, Michael and Mike all went to the Air Force Academy together.

Poor kids. I wanted to get a picture of them on the famous "stoop" but the sun was positioned right in their eyes. Poor things!

The Mads, Ziggys and Fiebs!

The Mad/Ziggy Vacation 2008. When I look at this picture I laugh. I'm just in awe! It's so hard to believe we have 6 1/2 kids between us. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. 7 short years ago we were 2 couples getting ready for our weddings. And now look. So awesome!

My Friend. Isn't she cute prego?!