Monday, July 30, 2012

Amping up for "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs"

This past Wednesday, my church put on an outdoor showing of "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs." The girls found out about it the week before and were talking about it non-stop, after I told them I would take them. I found someone to watch the twins; so, it was just the girls and me. And popcorn.

So excited.

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Even some of the preschool families came. Amongst them included Victoria's best friend from last year's preschool: Annie. Victoria talked about her best friend nearly everyday. Even named the horse she made in preschool after her best friend, Victoria did.

I was surprised that Annie's mom described Victoria's best friend as extremely strong-willed and bossy. Really? But Victoria's strong-willed and bossy. And she loves Annie so much?

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Our church, which was hosting this free outdoor movie with free popcorn.

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A beautiful, sweet, wonderful friend and fellow-church-goer and one of her sons (she has five children).

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A few parts of the movie were scary to the girls, but, all in all, we had a good time.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

My precious gems

2012-7-15

I am so grateful for my brood, for each and every child; they have blessed me beyond words.

They have given flesh to what the Lord has done for us through Jesus. And, friends, Jesus is the only way. Some say that claiming Jesus as the only way qualifies as being close-minded or failing to be open-minded. That is nothing further from the truth. Do we tell people that believing thinking that 2+2 equals 4 and not something else (not 3 or 5) are failing to be open-minded? No. People who believe 2+2 to be 5 fail to understand the truth, fail to understand the basics of addition. Well, truth (in mathematics) to something somewhat more difficult to understand: Jesus is THE ONLY WAY. There aren't multiple ways to heaven. That was an important tangent to make.

Jesus is coming back. And, like things I love, adore, and cherish, I want to tell people about them. It's not about keeping those precious things a secret. And, when it matters, I've really got to share.

Love overflows for each of my children. They are each so different and so full of life:
  • My first born, Isabella, is a pint-sized little mommy. She loves people. And, she defends the people she loves, whether me or her siblings. She's great at remembering details. Loves music. Loves telling stories. Isabella is a strong, courageous child of mine.
  • Victoria, my second born, knows what she wants, when she wants it, how she wants it. She's a force to be reckoned with. Though she has strong opinions about what she prefers, she also follows her big sister and does what her big sister does. And on the days Isabella has school but she (Victoria) doesn't, she misses her big sister. She loves every opportunity I give to cuddle with her. Probably would nurse if I gave her the chance.
  • Christine, one of the twins, is the more dominant of the two (twins). We'll see how that plays out as time passes. For now, she'll lay on top of her brother to sleep. She'll crawl on top of him and over him to get to whatever she wants. She's very curious about the world, and nothing's going to stop her in finding out more about the world. She's definitely adventurous and not very afraid. Victoria and Christine will likely compete for who is more strong-willed or spirited.
  • Christian, the other twin, is the youngest of the brood. He's the only boy in the lot. He is a cuddle bug. He loves to be cuddled, held, and loved. He also loves to be around people. He's mister-antsy-pants when he's hungry or tired. Or when I am not around.
I love every single one of my (four) babies so much.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The pediatric house where I live

A friend, when paying her first to my hone, upon seeing the upstairs part of my home, commented that it looked like a pediatric house. The living room had two babies swings in it, along with a tummy time mat. The dining area had a toddler kitchen, as well as other of the girls' toys. At the time, in the kitchen, next to the card table, was a toddler table with chairs. One of the bedrooms had a pack 'n play. In the other bedroom are bunk beds and a crib. Seems to have a right fit, that sort of assessment.

I've had family visiting over the last week. When my sister and her family joined us, more than ever, my home seemed very much like a pediatric house, with seven children, five years old and under hanging out in a small little space. Here's A-ma with all four of her seven grandchildren.

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A-ma with the twins (9 1/2 mos old) and my niece (7 mos old).

 
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I'm sure many of you can appreciate the difficulties of capturing an image of every single precious one looking at the camera. Forget about getting everyone to smile.

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Didn't do so bad, did we?


Here's Isabella's cousin, who is only 9 days younger than her.

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My sister with my youngest girl. This woman, my sister, isn't only my sister. She's one of my very best friends. I was so very glad to see her.

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This child of mine, who spent well over three years of her life being the youngest child and who abruptly (in her mind) became the second oldest, insisted I take her photograph. She wouldn't sit still for me, not even a moment. Keeping me on my toes, I suppose.

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 Just over half my parents' grandchildren belong to me, are a part of my brood.

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Monday, July 09, 2012

Babies' Dedication

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Yesterday morning, my youngest, my nine month old twins, along with babies from two other families, were dedicated at church.

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I wanted my other two children present for the twins' dedication. The girls were dedicated when they were babies. But, they have no recollection of this. The pastor dedicated one child at a time.

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The pastor, when it came our turn, took a look at all the people surrounding my family - some from my church and others from other churches - and said that this is what the church or church body should look like. Those words nearly had me in tears. These are (some of the) people who have come alongside me, striving to meet various needs - whether around the house, with the children, or otherwise. Starting from the far left, holding Christine, is Tamika, my housemate. Next to her is Barbara, my volunteer nanny, who sometimes comes at 6 am, to help change diapers and burp babies. Waking up at 5 am or 5:30 am to nurse babies is such a challenge sometimes, especially when the back of my eyelids are so interesting. On my other side is Shauna, holding Christian. She was in the L&D room waiting for my mom, my doula, Christine, Christian, & I to return after I delivered the twins into the world to return. Next to her are Dan and Amy. Amy's tending to Isabella and Victoria who are running and jumping. Amy took Isabella to school nearly every day last year, which was no small sacrifice, considering the school was about 35 minutes drive away. Amy and Dan have also come alongside in so many other ways and loved on us. Next to them are Mike and Lynette. Mike was a seminary student (he graduated this past May with two Master's degrees), and I met his wife at a philosophy party many moons ago. Since then, Lynette and I converse easily, we get together when we can, and she has watched the kids from time to time.  Behind and next to them are John and Betty. They, too, have done so much for us, from mowing the lawn to fixing the swamp cooler (which cools better than it has ever cooled the house); the list doesn't end.

Our pastor was right. These people that stood around me represent the hands and feet of Jesus. They represent what the body of Christ is supposed to do and be. They have been a constant reminder that the Lord is, in fact, with me. That I am not alone. I'm not trying to sound or be hyper religious. I am giving credit where credit is due. I am thanking the Lord for providing and for lifting me up when I lack the courage or the strength. Thank you, Lord Jesus.

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Lord, I pray that my children, every one of them, grow up to believe in you and you alone and that you are Lord and Savior. I hope they make the decision to follow you. I hope we will all reunite in heaven.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Having a brood of four for nine months

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Sunday, a week ago, the twins (the kiddos on the right) turned 9 months old. It's always a mad rush getting ready for church - nursing the twins, giving the girls their breakfast, changing diapers, getting the girls to go to the bathroom, getting out the door. But, I wanted to get a picture of the twins.

Worked hard, I did, to get a good shot.







I was a few minutes late for church trying my darn-nest to get them both to smile. No such luck. Instead, I settled for, no hands (for the most part) in mouths. Looking at me or the camera. Not crying. I think I did pretty well.

Monday, July 02, 2012

Teeth-pulling at the (pediatric) dentists' office

This afternoon, my eldest, who's five and a half, had an appointment at the pediatric dentists' office to have her bottom, front, middle two teeth extracted. The adult teeth started coming in behind her baby teeth months ago. At her 6 mo checkup, the dentist waiting on her decided she could use some 'help' in getting the teeth out. The adult teeth had come in some time ago, the adult teeth were well behind the baby teeth, and the baby teeth weren't really loose.

The dentist said they would only use laughing gas and the job would be quick and easy.

Quick and easy for whom? This little girl had already been told that a fruity smelling mask was going to be fun and games, only be taken under and have eye surgery. Twice! I wasn't sure how she was going to react to having another 'mask' on her face.


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I took these photographs before the extraction. This little girl was quite brave. She didn't cry, she didn't hesitate, she didn't panic. Which is much more than I can say for myself. After the dentist gave her some local anesthetic, I couldn't look as the teeth were being extracted. I angled my chair and looked down towards my lap. The dentist was quite professional - keeping Isabella distracted, keeping her attention on stuff that interested Isabella, and being gentle on rigging the teeth loose and out.

Now, with time, her permanent teeth - with the help of her tongue (pressure from the tongue pushing her teeth forward while talking or eating) - will gradually move forward. Speaking of moving forwards, well done Isabella. She's grown so much, and she's growing increasingly brave.

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When Dr. Laura was done, I thanked her from the bottom of my heart. I still remember my horrible pediatric dentist first visit, in which I was strapped to a chair. That forever changed my impression of going to the dentist, even though my parents didn't take me back to that dreadful place and they switched me over to their family dentist who had a much gentler and more understanding bedside manner. Thank you so much, Dr. Laura, for taking such care of my little one.