Thursday, January 29, 2009

Kiersten, a.k.a. 'Sweets'

Kiersten is her daddy's Sweets. That is his nickname for her and when he has used it in reference to me on occasion she quickly corrects him, "Hey! I am Sweets." He learned after only a few slip-ups to keep the name set apart only for her. :) Kiersten and her daddy have a bit in common. One thing they have is a sharp mind. Now, I am not meaning to infer that I don't have smarts or a sharp mind, I just have to work at it. Those two just 'get it' if you know what I mean. They're memories are unbelievable and what they remember even more so. We had to laugh when recently during Sunday school they had a Sunday of review from material learned through the summer up to then (November time). I was told by several people Kiersten was a great help to her group and she knew all the answers from way back when. (To be fair to the other kids' we were doing school throughout the summer and each day during Bible time went over Sunday school material.)

This brings me to what I was going to mention about Kiersten first - her learning. It is just over a year ago now we started homeschooling. I waited until after I quit my job (Thanksgiving) and the holiday season was over to begin. So we had a late start (which is why we were doing school in the summer). Our main focus was reading, math and handwriting. I am amazed at how well she can read just 1 year later. What a blessing! Oh, we have our days of attitude and rebellion against Mom being the teacher. As with everything it can't be great and wonderful every day. It has been fun to watch her grow in her learning and a privilege to be able to do it along side her.

She has also been learning a few things outside the house - namely dance. We enrolled Kiersten in dance class just this past Fall. It has been something she mentioned wanting to do last year and since she still had interest we went ahead. Can I just say she is precious to watch? :) She LOVES it and looks forward to it every week. She has taken to drawing a pair of ballet slippers on her calendar each Thursday of the month. Her teacher, Miss J, puts on the local Nutcracker production at Christmas time. Throughout our marriage going to the Nutcracker each Christmas became a tradition for us. Last year Kiersten went in my place and when she went this year it meant sooo much more. She came out twirling and pranced to the parking lot full of smiles with dreams of one day performing in the Nutcracker. :)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Handsome Isaiah

Where to begin? :) The biggest man is still the biggest whiner and the one to shed the most tears. We are working hard on getting him to say things without crying or using that whiny intonation. It is just automatic for him to break out the fuss when things don't go his way. He has also picked up a few sassy remarks or comments from Kiersten, which is not helping his cause!
Here he is playing under the chair with his beloved cars.

Enough about that. He is also going through potty training for a second time and doing quite well this time around. He was almost all potty trained (no #2 trained, then or now) in the summer, but then the Katie girl came of the scene. It took about 4 weeks or so for him to decide that he didn't want to be potty trained and I was in no condition energy wise to argue with the boy. So I waited until I had the time to invest and nothing to interfere with our staying home bound. Oh, sure we've had our 'accidents', though they have been very few and far between. We'll have to keep walking this out to see if success is in our future. (I will succeed for the boy is almost 4 and there is no turning back!) My mom just recently visited and here Isaiah is giving her some Eskimo kisses.

There is an assortment of funny little stories about him just now. One that comes to mind is praying. If I had the audio to back this up it would make it more effective, but we'll make do. Kiersten and I have Bible time to start off school each day and then we each pray - we take turns. Isaiah has caught on to the turn thing and has wanted a turn to pray to. He watches Kiersten a great deal and so starts out all his 'prayers' as she does. So in a quite voice you hear, "Thank you Jesus for (it gets quieter with each word)..... (gibberish, gibberish, unintelligible....this goes on for about 10 seconds or so) AMEN!" I started grinning and then I just barley held in a laugh the first time he did it. It is so precious and makes me smile every time.

One last story and then I'll call it quits. The two older ones were playing upstairs and as always happens after a short period of time one of them gets upset with the other. They each have something in mind and when the other won't comply their noses get all bent out of shape. In this instance Isaiah just wanted Kiersten to stay upstairs and play with him. She purposely chose to come downstairs knowing
he wanted to play with her. So what do I hear from him...(in the whiny, cry voice)"Mom. Kiersten's not being my best friend anymore." He adores her so and was heart broken. I had never heard him use the term best friend before and I thought it was sweet he thought she was his best friend. (Pretty sure she doesn't feel the same way, oh well!) Here he is with his best friend in their fort.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Precious Katie

Katie is changing so fast! I thought it only fitting she would get the first update as so much changes within the first year. She is quite the sweetie and has a winsome smile. She still only has her 2 bottom teeth, which broke through just after she turned 4 months. It has been funny that no others have popped through yet, but they are on their way. She chews non-stop and is constantly putting her 2 fingers in her mouth, moving them on either sides of her bottom teeth (smart girl! ouchie!). She is eating up at the table with the rest of us...well, her chair is at the table anyhow. :) She is a wonderful eater and seems to look forward to table food. She is just learning the art of getting Cheerios into her mouth. You almost feel bad for her when on the forth try of shoving her entire fist into her mouth she still didn't manage to dislodge the one Cheerio stuck to the palm of her hand! And for all the misses, well, my floor gives enough testimony to her valiant efforts.

Katie has started doing something that I don't recall either of the other two kids doing. As she does her 360's, not just on her belly but her knees as well, she stretches one leg out and pushes herself to a sitting position. It was quite the surprise to find her sitting in the living room when I know I left her on her belly. She has become proficient at it and flips from her belly to sitting position at will. She still isn't crawling just yet, although she has moved her knees forward a few paces. Here she is strutting her stuff. :)
The last thing I was going to add, which has changed this past week, but was funny enough of a thought I had to include it. I thought she might be becoming part bunny and not because she hopped, twitched her nose or her ears were long and pointy. For a while there every diaper change there were these little bunny 'droppings' as sweet surprises. I think perhaps she thought the days were getting mundane for me and took it upon herself to spice them up. :) With that smile who needs anything else to brighten your day?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Sorry for the delay in writing. I always seem to be playing catch-up. Anyhow, my mother-in-law is feeling much better. There was general soreness after the surgery and she had to keep in a drainage line for a week. Once that was removed she was much more comfortable. She went this Monday to the oncologist to see what he had to say. They are taking the stance that they got all of the cancer, even though it had moved into the closest lymph node and the one beyond. (I believe she said they will still do a liver scan and perhaps a full body scan to make sure.) He suggested some radiation and then mentioned something I find odd and that doesn't sound altogether right. Chemo came up, but in the pill form. That isn't the odd part, the odd part is the length of time over which they would want her to take these pills for a cancer they supposedly have removed. The pills varied in price, but most of them were once a day for 5 years and then one was once a day for 10 years. Does that strike anyone else as fishy? Each of the pills has some icky side effects, as chemo is known to. She is going to talk to her regular physician and see what he suggests. They'll be more forthcoming on this I am sure.

On a side note I had mentioned my sister-in-law, Wendy's, mom a month or so ago and asked for prayers for her. Her body was completely riddled with cancer- brain, name it. Anyhow Miss Jackie went to be with the Lord this afternoon. Wendy and her family could use all the prayers you can utter on her behalf as her heart weeps over the loss of her mom. It is good and she knows it in her mind but the heart is a whole entity unto itself.

Lastly, on a different note I am going to be doing some posting these next couple of days on each child and what they are up. I need some sweet faces to accompany these coming soon too! I PROMISE :)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Feeling Relieved and a Little Guilty

It has been a whirlwind of a week. My mother-in-law made it known last Saturday (1/3) that she went in for a biopsy for breast cancer the previous day. She had known since the middle of December that things were not right.... a requested mammogram that afternoon after visiting a doctor. The mammogram showed a mass with feathery outlines-not a good sign. Nevertheless she waited until after the biopsy to begin letting the family know (at the urging of a close friend) because Monday (1/5) she would have the results. The doctor calls to confirm it is cancer and makes an appointment to see her Wednesday. They chat and he tells her he wants to do a lumpectomy and if needed remove some lymph nodes. Friday (1/9) she has her surgery and cancer is found in at least one of the surrounding lymph nodes so the doctor takes 6 out. More results are pending and she goes to the doctor this Friday to hear what kind of treatment she'll need to undergo.

You can understand the relief that we all feel to have the surgery done and know they got the cancer. A little unease that it had spread to a lymph node and possibly beyond. But the guilt comes in that I didn't treat this cancer/surgery with the same urgency in prayer I did my uncles just a few weeks prior. I love my mother-in-law dearly and it bothers me that it didn't seem as serious. I don't know if it is because she is typically a worrier...a mole hill into a mountain or worse- and she didn't seem worried or freaked out. Now I am sure some of that is for my benefit, or rather the families, so we don't worry too much over her. But still. I know I can pray now, and am thankful for that, but it bothers me.

Anyhow, the lady in question seems to be doing o.k. We went down Friday afternoon to the hospital, as there was a chance she would be coming home that night (not really, but that is what they told her). We also wanted to make sure my father-in-law ate dinner and was looked after. He doesn't hear very well and is a bit like a lost puppy without Ma. She does everything for him and he cannot do a whole lot for himself. So we showed up to the hospital to find 2 brothers there with Pa and having dinner. It was good to see he wasn't alone and hadn't been hardly at all throughout the day. (It was funny, though, because there was a complete lack of communication amongst the 6 siblings. I suppose there wasn't a whole lot of time from when we all found out to when the surgery was preformed.) Ma was still in recovery when we got there. They were just about to move her to a room. When we got upstairs to see her she was completely out of it and that further drove home that she would not, no let me rephrase, could not come home that night. We had packed things to stay overnight at the folks house and descended upon it with a furry. :) Poor Pa never knew what hit him. We ended up staying 2 nights for when Ma came home she was told to sit and rest. To not even get up to make dinner...which for her was going to be a major problem. She is a doer and like I mentioned does most everything for Pa and would need some help. The kids were all over her and made me worry if we weren't doing more harm than good...but there were lots of smiles from her in their need to want to be by her.

Time will tell with this one, whether it will be an ongoing battle of weeks or months and years. Would you pray with me that this is one that is won? My dear mother-in-law's name is Janet.
I have to say I wonder what the Lord is up to since several people close to us have been diagnosed with cancer within just the last 3 months. Is He preparing us for a new season of hardship? Or just trying to get us to get it through our thick skulls that we need to be ready at any moment. The bridegroom could return or call us home...and what legacy will be leaving behind? Genuine followers of Christ? Or ones who talk more than walk the faith? Hmmm....He's got my attention, that's for sure.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

It Must be Love

That is the only thing can explain how a mother can go through the craziest of things for their children. It just simply has to be love. Let me elaborate....there are some things a mother expects to find. Like when you are potty training a child (the second time around) you are well aware that your child is not going to poop until you put a diaper on them for nap time or bed time. It is just a given. But what you don't expect to find is a child who has pooped and fallen fast asleep. However, before they fell asleep they must have had an itch of some kind because the poop wasn't all contained within the diaper. Let me just say I did not kiss that face good night!What a yucky mess! It can only be love that keeps me coming back for more....those sweet smiles just suck you in every time! :) Oh well, thankfully there isn't too much a good bath and a washing machine can't cure.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Whipping 360's...

and I am not talking about in the car in the snow! :) The Katie girl is out of the gates. It has happened quite fast really, or so it seems. She was stationary and then all of the sudden she decided rolling over was fab. And it seriously was within another week or so she started doing the 360's. By that I mean she is on her belly and she moves her body around with her hands bit by bit (mostly to the right). She is even up on all 4's doing the rocking thing. Granted it will still be a while before she is crawling(at least I think so), but she is no longer one to sit still. If I put her down I can definitely expect to find her across the room in no time putting some toy or another in to her mouth. It is amazing how fast things go during the 1st year.

And can I say my house has reached a most sad state when it takes the baby being on the floor off of her blanket to keep me accountable to vacuum the living room floor? Now that the little gremlin is on the move and everything found goes in the mouth I am working harder at keeping the floors clear of 'inedible' material. :) I wasn't looking for accountability in my cleaning, but I guess I've been found out! I used to be so good......

Saturday, January 3, 2009

I Love You, Grandma

My mom made a quick visit to see us over New Year's. We weren't sure if she was coming or not, although I should have known better. Anyhow, the point of my story. When my Mom and her Beloved come to visit they stay in a hotel. So before going to bed the first night of their visit Kiersten was reading stories with Grandma. When they were done Kiersten turned to look at her and said, "Grandma, I ate all the hotels. (pause) I'm just kidding." She wanted Grandma to stay at the house so she tried to trick her into staying by saying she ate all the hotels in town. Now if that doesn't say I love you, I don't know what does! :)

Belated Christmas Things

A few weeks are some pictures of the holiday treats the kids helped decorate this year. In the past we have done different colored frosting to decorate the cookies, but this year it was all about embellishments. :) So I frosted and my two helpers added the embellishments of their choice. I will say far more of Kiersten's made it on the cookies....Isaiah seemed to eat just as much as was used to decorate the cookies. You know, a few on the cookie a handful in the mouth. :) They did a real nice job and seemed to have fun helping. Here is a sample of the tins we sent out to various family members. There is still so much to catch up I just can't seem to get it together. So, a few more Christmas type blogs might still appear - Kiersten had a free writing exercise that is just precious and it was about the Christmas lights on the tree. Hope you and yours had a most blessed Christmas and New Years!