Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Story

The house is very quiet today. All the big kids are off to the fair and the two littles are napping.  Jeff's mom, my mom and Jeff have all worked hard this week to give me as much rest as possible. I have been very grateful and really cherished the moments of getting to know Koen.

I always like birth stories but if you don't just skip this post :)

Last Wednesday night just about the time the kids went to bed I started racing through the house trying to get everything tidied up because I was pretty sure that real deal labor was starting.  Jeff and mom went to bed around 10:00 figuring they would get some sleep. All through the night I slept some, read some and prayed a lot. Contractions were only coming every 20 minutes until 4:30 and then active labor started.

7:00 the kids went off to Grandma's house

8:00 Jeff calls the midwife and tells her she doesn't need to come but just a heads up that I was in labor

8:45 I tell Jeff that at 9:30 he should call the midwife and tell her to come

8:46 I tell him he had better call her RIGHT NOW!

9:12 The midwife is still an hour away and Jeff is on the phone with her getting her advice on how to deliver a baby

Some things will forever be etched in your mind. The look on Jeff's face when he realized that he was going to have to deliver the baby will always be one of those things for me.  He and mom did great though, they stayed very calm which of course was helpful to me!

Things were well under way when we heard footsteps flying down our stairs and the nurse assistant came racing into the room to finish the delivery.  The funny part was that Jeff had never met her and in the craziness of the moment he forgot there is always an assistant at the birth. So when he looked up and saw her he didn't have a clue who she was but figured since she had scrubs on she must know more than him.

I'm so thankful that everything went smoothly!  I see it as God's grace that I came across some things that made this pregnancy, labor and delivery go so much better than the last two.  But that's a post for another time.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

New Arrival!

With great delight we welcome Koen Isaac into our family!
He arrived Thursday morning with the distinction not only of being the only boy but also the only baby to arrive before the midwife. Jeff and mom stepped in and did a great job! 
Our hearts are full of thankfulness for this newest blessing that God has given us. We're just all getting used to saying him instead of her :)

Just in case you're wondering Koen is a car name. It's actually the shortened version of a Swedish hyper car manufacturer called  Koenigsegg.

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.