Sunday, August 31, 2014


For the most part, comments about our family don't annoy or offend us. We've just come to accept the fact that it's part of going out in public.
Yes, they're all girls
Yes, we'll have a lot of weddings in the future
No, we don't know if the baby is a boy
Yes, it will be a lot of sisters for the little guy
No, we don't know if we're done
Yes, I'm busy but it's a good kind of busy

The only time it bothers me is when people want me to dissect our family while the kids are all standing there listening. I don't really like the questions about which ones are biological even though I know it's just a curiosity kind of question not meant to be rude. Our foster daughters are so much a part of our family that sometimes I actually hesitate when people ask which ones are biological because I'm so used to grouping them all together. Wait, how many babies have I birthed?

Sometimes the comments just strike me as funny. Mom and the girls and I were in the city the other day walking down the street. Mom had most of the girls up ahead while I trailed along with the little ones.  I saw a man openly staring as the little parade of purple shirted girls walked by.  As my very pregnant self came into view his eyes got really big, he grabbed his wife and literally gasped "Siete"! Yes sir, that would be true.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Cabin Weekend

It's been a pretty intense couple of weeks for our family but one bright spot was a weekend away with my family.  I wasn't at all sure that I wanted to go when I thought about all the work that it would take to pack us up and get us there. But my mom made it as easy as she could by providing all the meals and we took a very minimal amount of clothing and gear along. In the end I was glad we went!

Dad came up with a slip and slide idea that was thoroughly enjoyed by both big and little people. Although I think the little people were significantly less sore the next day.

                                   Yummy food! It always taste better when you don't have to cook it or come up                                           with a menu.

 Games after the kids were in bed. We played a game called telestrations which is kind of a combination of whisper down the lane and pictionary. We now know who not to ask if you have need of an artist and that would be me. My word was lobster but ended up as dive team by the time it made it's way around the table. Obviously my lobster drawing left something to be desired.
                A special weekend meant special treats like gigantic pickles.
                                                                      Cousin time

                             Our updated pregnancy progression picture.  I've never been this big before so we can't                               decide if :
                             A. It's a boy
                             B. It just happens after 5 babies
                             C. It's the way God is answering our prayers that this baby lay somewhere other than on                                   top of my kidneys which was the problem with Elise

Monday, August 11, 2014

Super Easy Toddler Food

Soon after Elise started eating solid foods she broke out in a very itchy rash on her back.  I figured it was a food allergy and through process of elimination realized the offending food was wheat. I'm always trying to find quick foods to give her as a snack that are wheat free and not processed.  I found two winning recipes recently. At least winning from her perspective, the other girls weren't so sure.

Banana Pancakes~
2 bananas
2 eggs
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
Blend together in a blender and cook on a griddle.  Elise eats almost a whole batch of these at one sitting so I really should make a double or triple batch

Peanut Butter Drops~
1 cup unsweetened peanut butter
1 egg
2 T honey
Mix. Drop by spoonfuls on cookie sheet. Bake at 325* for 10 minutes.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Hair Dos

You know there's a lot of girls in your family when you have to buy bobby pins by the pound. 
As a teenager I was never the type to spend hours on my hair. In fact most days I think my mom would have just been glad if I had brushed it (maybe it wasn't quite that bad but I'm not 100% sure).  I've come to enjoy doing the girls hair mostly because Jeff has made sure I have the right tools to do it easily. He has researched shampoo to make post shower combing as tear free as possible and he just had these bobby pins and new combs delivered to my door step.  
My favorite hair site is for Sunday mornings when I'm feeling inspired.  Sock curlers have also been a big hit around here recently too.  

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Some seasons of life seem to flow along relatively smoothly. No one child needs more care than another, the days have an easily followed pattern, not too many bumps in the road.  Others feel  more intense and I'd say that's what we've been experiencing the past month or so.

~ The foster care roller coaster has had more extreme ups and downs

~ Sorrow for friends facing great loss

~ Two children that need almost constant attention.  Elise has been an early bloomer in every area except speech and Ginetta a late bloomer in every are except talking (we think she was born talking but we can't quite remember :)  It's like having two toddlers who require consistent teaching all day long. Throw in an older child who inevitably is having an off day and I feel pretty exhausted by supper time.  Not so much mental energy but the physical energy needed to keep up the training when I would much rather be lazy. So glad that HIS strength is made perfect in my weakness.

In the midst of the hard here are some things that have blessed me:

Celene: She has organized many prayer meetings among her sisters to pray for her grieving little friend

Shelby: A few days ago I was trying to finish up a sewing project and  Shelby offered to do pedicures on her sisters so they would be kept busy while I wrapped up my project.

6 year old: We were taking a walk and Jeff stopped to help one of the kids and she said to the other girls "Daddy's the perfect man, don't you think?"

4 year old: Really likes to comb my hair and give me hairstyles right now which is definitely nice at the end of a long day.

Ginetta:  Shelby got to go with Jeff on errand one evening and Ginetta told me " I really wanted to be the one to go with Daddy but I'm still rejoicing with Shelby".

Elise: I've had a few snuggles lately that lasted more than .5 seconds!

In some ways we have started to see fruit in the older girls and that's so encouraging as we work with the little ones in what feels like a futile effort at times.  Before kids I always imagined us all in the kitchen together working on meals. Then there were 6 little people and having everyone cooking makes my blood pressure soar to unhealthy levels. But last night the three older girls and I were in the kitchen and I realized we had reached the day when we could be in the kitchen and enjoy working together. Each had a different part of the salad that they were making and they were doing it with no help from me. It seemed a bit surreal.

Sunday, July 13, 2014


My sister gave me a pedicure gift certificate for my birthday and I'm glad I waited until now to use it as my feet seem really, really far away.  I feel like the eight weeks between now and meeting this little person are going to fly by. 
We decided not to find out what we're having and honestly we don't know what we would choose if it were an option. On one hand we're kind of used to girls and have all the gear on the other it might be nice to at least have one boy. The common assumption is that we must be hoping for a boy but we would be totally happy with another girl.

Monday, June 30, 2014

I'm sure I've probably mentioned it before but one of the unexpected joys of mothering is watching each personality develop.  It's so fun to see the ways that God designed them! Recently two of the girls in particular have started to emerge in new ways.
Elise has never had much interest in being a baby which is a good thing since her stint of infancy was to be relatively short.  She is showing herself to be highly energetic and also a bit opinionated.   I told Jeff if he ever wanted to watch a tornado in action all he needs to do is observe her for about 10 minutes.  Her opinions have taken me off guard a few times since she's so little. We have 4 identical bibs though each is a different color and she only wants to wear the pink one. We have now established that it is still possible to eat if Mommy puts the turquoise one on instead ;)  One thing that will keep her in one spot for awhile is coloring.  Markers are her first choice and so she usually looks like a bit of a scrub muffin since it doesn't stay just on the coloring book. Of course the mullet doesn't help her looks much either (at least in this picture it's a Mohawk courtesy of Celene). 

Shelby is becoming quite the little writer! We're doing the library summer reading program and she had to do some activities as well as reading. She chose to write poetry which is clearly one of those God given interests because neither Jeff nor I would list creative writing as one of our strengths.  She writes quickly which means that all the rules of grammar that we've been working on are quite forgotten. I figure since she has just turned 6 she has lots of time to remember that we don't put capitals in the middle of a sentence. But a love of writing is something I can't give her no matter how hard I try.

A note of warning to let the male members of the family know she was saving the ice cream for her birthday cake.

Celene and Shelby just came back from a trip to S.C. with my parents and before she left Shelby left each of  us a note.  On the front mine said "thanks for being my mom".  I had to smile at the reverse side of the note.  Interpretation:  Don't worry I am coming back.  Just in case I thought the lure of the beach might capture her I suppose  :) Or perhaps she has a vague sense that mom's have to work hard at trusting God and not worrying about their children.