Thursday, October 29, 2009

America the Beautiful

(God said)..."How gladly would I treat you like sons and give you a desireable land, the most beautiful inheritance of any nation. I thought you would call me, 'Father,' and not turn away from following Me." Jeremiah 3:19

"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem (America, America), often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing." Matthew 23:37

He is waiting with open arms. Loving you. Aching for you. Longing for you.

Come home.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

"Every Story Whispers His Name"

A dear friend recommended a Bible story book to me called, "The Jesus Storybook Bible." I wanted to pass on the recommendation because I love the way this book is written. It ties every story to Jesus...hence the subtitle, "Every Story Whispers His Name."

Here is a portion...

"...some people think the Bible is a book of rules, telling you what you should and shouldn't do. The Bible certainly does have some rules in it. They show you how life works best. But the Bible isn't mainly about you and what you should be doing. It's about God and what He is has done.

Other people think the Bible is a book of heroes, showing you people you should copy. The Bible does have some heroes in it but...most of the people in the Bible aren't heroes at all. They make some big mistakes...they get afraid and run away. At times they are downright mean.

No, the Bible isn't a book of rules or a book of heroes. The Bible is most of all a Story. It's an adventure story about a young Hero who comes from a far country to win back his lost treasure. It's a love story about a brave Prince who leaves his palace, his throne - everything - to rescue the one he loves. It's like the most wonderful of fairy tales has come true in real life!

You see, the best thing about this Story is - it's true.

There are lots of stories in the Bible, but all the stories are telling one Big Story. The Story of how God loves his children and comes to rescue them.

It takes the whole Bible to tell this Story. And at the center of the Story, there is a baby. Every Story in the Bible whispers his name..."

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Portrait Frustration

We have photos of our kids hanging in the hall. One of Ryan & Taylor, Jillian & Molly, and Chloe & SaraGrace. I have single photos of each child, but the photos of two, together are kind of special. So far, I have been totally unsuccessful at getting photos of the little boys and the little girls together. I had one taken of Jordan and Jake taken at WalMart last year that was so awful I never framed it. I suddenly realized that decent weather is slipping away and I still haven't gotten the photos I want.

The day was also slipping away, so I dashed upstairs and threw together some outfits for the kids. They dutifully got ready with the promise of a 'treat' dancing in their heads. (No...I am not above bribing them for photos. I realize this is an ugly thing about myself.)

As we pulled out of the driveway, it's started sprinkling. Hmmmph. We must press on.

I was able to get a few so-so shots, but man, so many of them didn't turn out. The kids are just at the age where they give me these totally fake smiles that make them look constipated. Then there were a few photos that were perfect...except...slightly blurry. argh. That's what happens when you don't use a trained professional to take the photos.

Bless their little hearts--they were good sports about the whole thing. I rewarded them with a stop at McD*nalds for little bags of McD*nald land cookies. By the way they pounced on them with unbridled glee, I'm guessing I could probably drag another photo shoot out of them. Or maybe not.

Can you tell that Zoey is saying, "Cheeeeese?"

Now they are both saying 'Cheeese.'

The triplets

Brotherly love

Not totally happy with this, but it might have to do.

"Hey, Katie-bug, you should come up here!"

My Sweet Katie-bug

Little Miss Katie-bug had quite a day yesterday. It was sunny and almost 60 and the kids begged to go to the lake again. I realize that this going-to-the-lake-every-day-thing is getting out of control, but there are so few warm days left that I gave in.

I told them I would take them when SaraGrace came home from school at noon. We were waiting outside when the bus pulled up and Kate got so excited that she turned and started to run to greet her big sister. She didn't notice the wagon handle was lying in her path, tripped and did a face plant on the sidewalk. There is nothing more sickening than the thud that a head makes hitting pavement. ugh.

She eventually stopped crying and we had a picnic at the lake. Afterward, the kids played for awhile but it wasn't long before they were pleading to take their shoes off and stick their feet in the water. Sigh...I am such a sucker. At first I said no...but then their pleading eyes caused me to lose my good sense.

"Yay! Mommy said I could take my shoes off!" (I ask you...who could resist the pure joy on this child's face at the thought of sticking her feet in the water?)

When we were about ready to wrap things up and head home, everyone was having so much fun that I hated to be bring an end to it. Kate decided to make that decision easy for us.

"Dis water is so FUN!"

"Wah...I fall in...wah....I cold now."

Yep...the poor little darlin' slipped and fell butt first into the water. She was NOT happy. I had to strip her down naked because it was too cold to be in wet clothes. She sat naked in her car seat all the way home. You would think that I would learn to put an extra set of clothes in the car but if I had thought of that, I would have only brought clothes for Jake.

Her day didn't improve much. Yesterday was INR testing day. Since she is on Coumadin, her blood has to be checked often to make sure it stays at the correct level. Thankfully, our insurance approved a home testing device so that I can do it myself (as opposed to driving her to a lab across town). The down side is that the blood drop has to be perfectly placed on the test strips or it will 'error' on me. ugh. Yesterday, I tried. Error. I tried again--meaning another finger poke--Error. Me...sweating and praying that I won't have to continue to poke her.

I said, 'I'm so sorry, Katie. I will try to do it right this time."
She snuggled into me and said, "It's okay Mama. You still be my baby."

Be still my heart. She is so sweet. I felt an inch tall as I had to poke her again. Thankfully, it worked that time. I gave her a piece of candy and she grinned at me and with a twinkle in her eye, said, 'I so bwave!"

Yes, my sweet Katie-bug. You are so brave.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Heading to the Grocery Store

I happened to take my camera with me on Saturday when I drove to the grocery store--just in case I saw some pretty foliage. We have lost a lot of the vibrant reds, but the yellows are at their peak and they are beautiful! All of these photos were taken through the window of my car (yes, I admit I took them while driving). My windshield is um...a bit the pictures are foggy but will still give you a good idea of what driving is like around here.

Not a pretty photo but just had to throw in the fact that there is a Dunkin' Donuts every .5 mile in Mass. Seriously. They are passionate about their Dunkin' Donuts coffee. There are a few Starbucks around but Dunkin' is KING.

Another cool barn I pass. I stopped dead in the road to take this photo and then realized that the owner was outside raking leaves. I had to slink away.

Yesterday was gorgeous--sunny and in the 60's, so we took the opportunity to show Jeff our special lake.

Jake now realizes the wisdom of removing his shoes and socks before sticking his feet in the water.

"Wook, Mom, I climb on da wocks."

Nothing better than a little boy, a sunny day, water, rocks, and a long stick.

Zoey was quite perturbed over another rule infraction by one of her little brothers.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

A Big Thank-You from Lynsay

Lynsay posted a 'Thank-You' and update on her personal blog about the Blog Baby Shower, and gave me permission to post that 'thank-you' here. I am only posting parts of her note, so please click on the link if you would like to read it in it's entirety.

Friday, October 23, 2009
I'm completely overwhelmed.

...Over $3000 has been given for the purpose of buying the things we need for the babies new home. That is incredible!

And I just want to say something about you guys. Many of you left a note with your donation saying, "use this where you need it." So as I was trying to mark off on the list things we had received, I decided to go with the baby things first, things I knew that you would like to have purchased if you went to the store. But now, as those things have been "purchased" I'm getting notes like, "this is for the sink" or "this is for the shoe rack!"

I mean, seriously, who wants to bring a sink and a shoe rack to a shower!! If I was at home I would probably just go buy the person something else, something I liked, and save the shoe rack for them to get themselves!! But not you guys! You know we need it, as silly as a shoe rack and sink are, and you filled the need. I just want you know know how thankful I am!

The other thing that amazes me is that of the donations we know about, at least 90% of them are from families that we have never even heard of, much less met!

So from all the babies at Morning Star Family Home, the ones that we will have, and the ones that we will touch from afar, THANK YOU!!

Lynsay, Bill and the babies at Morning Star
Lynsay also has new photos of the babies on the Morning Star blog. I had no success trying to poach those photos to post here, so please go and take a peek at them. They are SO CUTE!!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Conversations you have when kids have the oinker bug

"Mom...why do my ears feel funny and I can't hear anything?
"Mom, can you PLEASE give Chloe some more cough medicine? We can't hear the TV because she's coughing so loud."
"Why do I have so much snot going down my throat?"
"Mom, we're out of kleenex."
"When will I be better?"
"Mom, do you think I sound funny?"

"Mom...Mom...I sick. I need medithin."
"Okay, Jake, after your medicine, you need to take a nap."
"Oh." Long pause... "Mom, I not sthick. I stay awake and play."

"Mom...I sick, too. I want thum medithin, too."
"Zoey, you are not sick. You don't need any medicine."
Hanging head and giving me a fake pout, "Oh. Okay."

Seeing SaraGrace get an M&M to take away the taste of yukky medicine, the little girls start clamoring for some. "Mom...Mom...can we have some candy?"
Instantly and clear as a bell, Jake said, 'No you may not!"
We all cracked up! Jake's speech is not usually that clear, but he has that phrase down pat. I couldn't figure out where he had heard it...and then...duh...I found myself saying it later in the day. :) I guess they do listen to me after all.

Since I've had some ask questions about the flu situation... you can trust me...I'm a trained professional...wink,wink...

  • SaraGrace and Kate have had no symptoms but their cardiologist put them on Tamiflu as a preventative. (The pediatrician would not do this--I was told that Tamiflu cannot be used to prevent flu. Who to believe? The cardiologist made his decision after talking to the Infectious Disease specialists at Boston Children's Hospital)
  • Now that my two 'heart babies' are on Tamiflu, I am wondering what will happen when they stop taking it? Should I get the vaccine for them? I'm not sure what to do. Will keep praying for wisdom. The Tamiflu for kids is a liquid that was mixed for them and only good for 10 days, so I wasn't able to save it for later.
  • I saw on the news last night that 1 out of 5 children in the U.S. has had a flu-like virus this October. It is believed to be piggy flu. So...if your child had a fever of 102 or above for a few days, cough, and/or sore throat, you can be reasonably sure your child had h1N1. I know some of you are trying to decide whether or not to get your kids vaccinated, but it might not be necessary if they have already been sick.
  • My school aged girls who are sick are not going to school even after being fever free for 24 hours because the school doesn't want them back if they are coughing--still contagious. (And Jillian went fever-free for 24 hours and then was feverish a good part of the day yesterday.)
  • So far, SaraGrace, Kate, Zoey, Ryan, Jeff and I have not gotten sick--thank you, Jesus!! I do remember the sw*ne flu from the 70's but I don't remember if I got sick or not. Even though that particular strain was different, Jeff and I must have some type of immunity or I think we would be sick by now. I always get what my kids have. yuk.
I'm thankful that everyone is doing reasonably well--so far no need for antibiotics.

Yesterday, during a lull in fevers, and after having them beg me to go outside and ride their bikes, I decided to take them to the lake. I explained that I thought they should take it easy and that riding bikes was too strenuous. However, it was 70 degrees and I thought some fresh air would do them good. There is a very short trail around part of the lake and I thought they could probably handle that.

Follow the Leader

Not sure why I like this photo--but I do

"I'm donna put dis stdick into da wadder." I'm gonna put this stick into the water.

A sailboat fortuitously floated by but the sun went behind the clouds, so the photo isn't very pretty

Heading Home

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Perhaps I Spoke too Soon

I thought piggy flu was heading out the door, but alas...Jillian and Chloe relapsed today with fevers and lethargy. Jillian has had the weirdest joint pain with it. Today her hands hurts. Jordan kept sneezing out an astonishing amount of goo. Every time he sneezed someone yelled, "Jordan needs a kleenex!!" and boy...that was an understatement (ie: it was hanging in long streams down to his chin---ewww)

That was probably way too much information, so to avoid grossing you out, I thought I would post some New England photos. Although we have lost some of the vibrant reds, there is still plenty of fall color to enjoy.

Old churches like this are in every town

Hope this homeowner didn't mind me taking this photo--but the house was so New England

These cool rock walls are everywhere

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A Flip-flop kind of day

Any day that you can wear flip-flops outdoors is a good day. And guess what....


The oinking flu is slowly making its way through the kids, but honestly, it is not as horrible as it sounds. The older girls are feeling much better. Two of them have been fever free for 24 hours, but they are still coughing, which prevents them from going to school. I know their cough is still contagious, so I don't want to share the love with their classmates. Taylor is happy to have eeked out a 99.4 degree temp so that he can stay home tomorrow. I am only letting him stay home because he has had a really bad headache for two days, which is part of the virus. Jake and Jordan both have fevers, but as long as I keep them controlled with meds, they can play happily.

Since it was warm today--68 degrees! Woohoo!!--we all went outside and played.

Jake and Zoey love to ride two-wheelers with training wheels but they haven't mastered the art of steering. They ride like maniacs and when they want to stop, they kind of aim in the general direction of grass. When they hit the grass, they lean so that the bike tips over and they tumble off. They quickly hop up, brush themselves off and announce to all nearby, "I okay!"

"I can't stop! Lean to the right!"

"Brakes are over-rated. This is way more fun!"

'I okay!"
"Me, too!"
"Wheeeee...let's do that again!"

Sweet Kate, is still struggling to figure out how pedals work. She resembles someone who is learning to drive a stick-shift with a clutch. Start. Stop. Start. Roll backwards. Stop. Start.

She fell over too, but not on purpose. She started to cry and then stopped and said, "I okay!"

"Pssst...I just played a joke on my sisters..."

I love the look on Jordan's face as he looks at Chloe--who had him on her lap on the swing.

Chloe's first day of feeling well.

"Mom...I dwibing my bike into da woods."
Translation: Mom, I'm driving my bike into the woods.

"Awww...Mom...I'm stuck in da wocks."

"Pleeeeeese, help me move my bike, Mom. Pleeeese."

"I REALLY need some help. I'll give you my cutie-pie face so you can adore me."

There is something so precious about a little boy, his Radio Flyer trike and cheap knock-off Converse tennis shoes.