Thursday, May 29, 2014

Winding Down

Rachel, Annalyn, Julia, and Galina had finals last week. They packed their lunches.  I took this picture because it warms my heart to see how the kids play around with each other.  :)
All the girls finished their finals the first day-- so they are done!
Annalyn helped William with his school work before heading off to finals.
Lexi is an amazing puppy.  She is growing up so fast.  The kids love how playful she is. 

Lexi and Misty get along so much better now.  I have enjoyed watching the two learn to like each other.  
Our garden is growing very nicely.  Soon we'll have vine ripened tomatoes.

Cooked veggie sandwiches are very good.
So is homemade brownie batter.

Anna likes to watch her fish dance while she does the dishes.
The other night we had homemade peach cobbler. 
We were at the grocery the other day and Anna bought this. 
 "Mom, I'm just curious."
"And you know what?  It tastes just like the soft cheese
packet from a box of deluxe mac and cheese."
So not worth three bucks.
Home school is pretty much finished.  I returned all of the kids' textbooks and pulled all of their curriculum for next year.  With only five being homeschooled next year, it was very quick.  
Nolan saw the plastic surgeon for his nose.  She says that his nose is healed and he isn't old enough for corrective surgery yet.  However, he does have a surgery scheduled in August to close the fistula in his palate, but other than that, nothing else is supposed to happen for a few years.
Over the last few months, I have been taking the kids with moles to the dermatologist to have them checked out.  Each one has come back with normal results from the biopsies, until today.  Today I heard the word "atypical".  Not what a Mom wants to hear.  Next week one of our big kids will have more of the area that surrounded the atypical mole removed-- just to be safe.  I think we will have all other atypical moles removed as well.
I took Oliver to urgent care last Thursday before we left for the mountains.  He had an obvious ear infection and he sounded raspy.  The on-call physician said that he would not prescribe oral antibiotics-- just drops.  At first I was nervous going up to the mountains and all with an ear infection,  but once he explained why, it made a lot of sense.
Most likely he had a virus, and he thought that Oliver could fight this on his own. 
For now, Oliver still has a slight cough, but his ear infection and runny nose are cleared up.
While up in the mountains, Galina cut her finger while opening a can.  We cleaned and bandaged it and it seemed ok.  On Monday it was still throbbing and began to bleed again after lightly hitting it.  It didn't look as well as I expected when she went to change the Band-Aid so I took her to urgent care.  We learned that too much time had passed for stitches.  They said it didn't look infected and was healing fine.  They rebandaged it and gave her a finger guard.
Though they didn't really do anything, the trip was worth my peace of mind.
Today Annalyn and Anastasia saw the new optometrist that I have been going to for my contacts.  In the end, they both picked out stylish frames for their first pair of glasses. 
Other than an early morning IEP tomorrow for Oliver, it looks like things are winding down.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

8th Grade Graduates

The school year is over.  Anna and William have finished up 8th grade.  We are very proud of them.
They had their ups and downs-- but they did it!
They finished strong.
Tonight, John and I took them out to dinner to celebrate.
Congratulations to our soon to be high schoolers!

Back to Arrowbear

We spent this past weekend up in Arrowbear with friends and family.
More pictures to come...

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Caleb's Senior Pictures

 Caleb bought his first car last night!  It is in wonderful condition, and the deal was sweet.

 Looking ahead!

We are so proud of our son!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Rachel Goes to Prom

Rachel went to prom with three of her friends.   It was their girl's night out.
They all look stunning!
 So grown up! 
So beautiful!
Rachel, Taylar, Chelsay, and Megan

Thursday, May 15, 2014


Phew.  I have a few minutes to stop and relax.
No.  Wait.
The kids just drove up.  They went to the club house pool to go swimming.  They left 10 minutes ago and now they are back.
There are ducks swimming in both pools and the management will not allow swimming until the pools have been sanitized.
Oh well.  So much for an hour of peace and quiet.
Time is flying by these days.
Quicker than I can blink.  Not that blinking is easy these days now that I am trying contacts after twenty years.  Yes, they are comfortable, but my eyes are sure tired.  And I have trouble seeing things close up.  But they are a nice change.
Anyway, like I implied, things are crazy busy here.  But in a most amazing way.
We are thriving. 
Nolan's ears have been clear for a long time now.  No drops whatsoever.  Garlic has been a game changer for him. 
Caleb and Rachel are picking up extra shifts at work left and right.
Rachel is going to prom this Saturday.
Julia has a few all day babysitting gigs coming up.
The kids continue to visit the senior home 3-4 times a week.  I go once in a while.   Raymond left, so now there are only four.  The home has a sister home in the town next to it, so we may begin visiting there as well.  It is such a blessing to get to spend time with these elders.
Caleb graduates on the 4th.
The kids are finishing up home school.  The high schoolers have finals next week.  William, Anna, and Anastasia graduate 8th grade in a few days.
One of our kids is seeing a psychiatrist and is on a very low dose med.  This is a huge surprise/blessing to us since the psychologist we first saw was not helpful and so discouraging.  It has been a night to day transformation.  Literally, it has changed the dynamics in our family. 
Last night Caleb, John, and I went car shopping.  Caleb is ready to buy his first car with his hard earned money.  After four hours of looking and driving four cars, he is still not ready to buy.  He is interested in a 2004 Honda Civic, 2006 Nissan Sentra, and a 2007 Ford Focus.  We need our mechanic to check them out, and I found another dealer with 4 cars that meet his criteria.   If you have a favorite small care that gets higher than 30 mpg, please share.
Four more IEPs to go.
Three optometrist appointments.
One plastic surgeon appointment.
Five high school counseling orientations.
One birthday celebration.
One OT evaluation.
And a weekend trip back up to Arrowbear with family and friends.
All before we leave June 6th to meet our little girl!
My life verse that I hold in my heart:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will keep your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6

Monday, May 12, 2014

Little Lexi

The kids have wanted another dog for quite awhile.   Finally I said yes, and surprised the kids by taking them to a shelter this past Friday.  After looking at all the dogs, the kids settled on a hyperactive puppy.  She had been returned by her last adoptive family because of this very reason, but I figured that all the kids would wear her out.
The kids fell in love instantly.  The first few days were rough though, and the thought did cross my mind if she was the right dog for us.  She was a little rough with our other dog Misty.  You can see a cut above her right eye that she got from another dog that her previous family had.  What if she just couldn't learn to live with another dog? 
Turns out that Lexi is getting better each day.  She is getting used to Misty and vice versa.  The novelty is wearing off for the little pup.  She would much rather chase the kids and chew on grass while basking in the sun.
Lexi is learning what is okay behavior, and we are learning more and more about her.
The first time we put her in her kennel for the night, she whimpered.   The kids slept with her that night.  The next day we put her in the kennel every hour for five minutes.  That night there was no whimpering, and Lexi slept peacefully next to Misty who was in her own cage.
Lexi is such a soft, lovable, playful puppy.  The kids are enjoying her so much.  They are playing more with Misty too, who is normally a boring ol' bump on a log.   I think Lexi's playfulness is rubbing off on Misty a little bit.
Welcome to the family Lexi!

Happy Mother's Day

I feel incredibly blessed. I have the most amazing kids.  They are very thoughtful.
This year, William began spoiling me with nightly foot massages a few days before Mother's Day.  He said they will end a few days after Mother's Day giving me a whole week of "heavenly feeling feet."  He has been very helpful around the house as well.
Breakfast in bed was very delicious.  Cinnamon roll pancakes with cream cheese glaze-- yum!

The girls did something really sweet.  After going on a walk and sharing how my favorite color rose was yellow, they went and bought me a yellow rose bush.  I love it!
As if this was not enough, I was showered with jewel covered cards, candy, new kitchen wares, shoes, a purse, key chain charms, flowers, and a gift card out to dinner.
Yes, all of these things were very nice, but what's even nicer is how thoughtful and considerate the kids were, making sure Mother's Day was a day of relaxation for me.
John helped with dinner, and we finished off the evening watching Swiss Family Robinson.
To all you hard working mothers out there-- I hope your day was blessed!
Happy Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 10, 2014


The boys asked if they could dig holes in our backyard. They want to link them together with underground tunnels.   We said yes since 1/3 of our backyard is dirt.
This has been their entertainment for about three hours each day... until they are too tired to dig anymore.  Andrew had this big rock to deal with today. 
Frustrated, he kept at it until he was able to remove it.

Kind of reminds me of a certain movie.