Tuesday, December 28, 2010

It's nearly 2am...

“Time is a companion who reminds us to cherish every moment because it will never come again .”

one of my favorite pictures taken of a precious mom and daughter laughing together...enjoying each others company.

And I can't sleep.

Well I probably could IF I went to bed,and tried to sleep.

But,instead I decided to enjoy some cuddles with our Elliott,
on the couch next to the glow of the Christmas Tree.

The Christmas tree that I probably should put away tomorrow...

but don't really want to.

I can't help but be reflective of the year we have lived through...

while I see the lights on the tree reflect in the window of our livingroom.

I wonder what I would have thought,if this time last year,I had looked through the window of our lives,and seen what God would bring us through.

Would I have pulled the curtain..to block everything out?

or would I have basked in the Sunshine,watch the rain drops,and take cover when the winds came through knocking so many hopes and dreams to the ground.

It's been a whirlwind year. In every sense of the word.

But,God brings the storms.

They wash away the old,bring new life,and renew the spirit.

I want to really cherish the moments in the coming year.

Every Moment.

I can hardly believe I have a seven year old, six year old,four year old,and almost three year old.

They have all grown so much. And I don't want to miss out on our moments together.

I would hope that this time last year,if I had seen what was to come in the next year...

I would embrace it.

Praise God for it.

Worship Him through it.

Pray His Grace and Mercy upon it.

Rejoice in it.

Those are my goals for this coming year,because I know this year taught me,through so many hurts,struggles, disappointments, and tears.

It's ALL worth it.

Because to know suffering and heartache...

Is to know just a little of what Jesus went through for me.

I'm claiming these verse's for this year...

Philippians 3:7-14
7 But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith ina]" style="font-size: 0.75em; line-height: 0.5em; ">[a] Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. 10 I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.

12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."

To Cherish and Press On.

That is what I'm claiming this year. Cherish the time with my children and family,and press on through the storms that are part of being made more into the likeness of Christ.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Hope you all had a very merry Christmas! This is our Christmas Card...that I have yet to get mailed to everyone. I've been a little pre-occupied with taking care of Elliott. So,this maybe as good as it gets this year! Though,I REALLY will try to get them mailed this week! Better late than never!

Thank you for your prayers for Elliott!!! It's not been easy for him. We are praying no infection sets in,and the stitches stay in place until wends when he is supposed to have them removed. I am continually reminded of the verse ,"Cast All Your Cares upon Him,for He cares for You". We know Elliott is in God's hands. There is no better place for Him to be!

Merry Christmas dear Friends and Family,and Happy New Year!!!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Exhausted.Elliott's Surgery.More Exhaustion.

One of my all time favorite pictures of Elliott taken at Halloween...he was Jon from Peter-pan!

Yesterday at 11:40,our third born Elliott had surgery in his mouth to remove a mass,that had grown to almost the size of a penny.

He walked himself back to the room,climbed up onto the chair/table like thing. And let the doctor go to work. They did not have to put him under,and that actually worked in everyones favor!
Elliott could tell him if something hurt/didn't,and he could hold his mouth open on his own,and Elliott was able to leave right away,instead of staying until everything wore off before being able to go home.

I WAS AMAZED! He was SOOOO brave!!!! WAY more brave than I EVER would have been!!!

The surgery was fast,about fifteen to twenty minutes. I went back with him,to hold his hand. The doctor kept saying over and over what a good patient Elliott was. Seriously,the kid never whimpered,cried,nothing. He just laid there and let everyone go to work!

Me on the other hand. I began to feel queezy. Like the I could pass out any minute queezy. And I HATE that! Here my son is being SO brave,and I was having a hard time?!? So,I just tried to keep my composer and not look at everything they were doing to his mouth. I did well through the whole surgery...until the doctor looked at me and began to tell me details of what he just did. The room began to get brighter.My hearing became strained. I knew I was about to pass out,so I reached for something in my purse,on the floor. Hoping that would make my blood rush to my head,it worked but not for very long.Needless to say they sewed Elliott up,I made it to the bathroom.Then we sat in the waiting room for a while because curious George was on and he wanted to watch it....well thats what I told the lady at the desk. And that was true,but I also was not totally myself yet,and knew I should not drive in an -about to pass out- state!!!

What I do know and remember from what the doctor told me. Is this.
The mass shredded as they began to take it out,it was not a hard solid mass. Typically,if it's a tumor or cancerous,it does not shred.He really believes this was scar tissue.Perhaps something he was even born with,a large mass of tissue is what we had been praying for. Of course,he cautioned that it still has to be biopsied. And he could be totally wrong,and by the way it heals, will also tell us if it was scar tissue or something much more serious. IE:if it grows back,it was most likely not scar tissue.

We are believing God's hands are all over this,and that Elliott will heal just great.

Though yesterday and last night were rather long.He won't stop biting his cheek/lip.Or sucking his thumb. I have to constantly tell him not too do either. So pray with me that this heals up,cause so far,its been a long road. His lip is swollen pretty bad. so bad I can hardly see the stitches. Thats another thing I'm concerned about. So,pray with me that the swelling goes down. That the stitches stay in place for a week until they need to be removed. That NO infection sets in! And that we can figure out something for the pain,as the Tylenol with codeine did NOT calm him down,but in fact made him anxious and jittery. I've got him on motrin but he's more irritable,and that tells me he's in pain.

Last night he slept in our bed. Well,he fell asleep at one am.Once the Tylenol was out of his system. But at 4:30 am he woke up screaming. I've never in my life seen him cry,scream,and throw a fit like last night. I thought I was having a bad nightmare.After almost an hour we got him to settle down to take some motrin. By six he was back to sleep again. Needless to say.We are exhausted. And as his Mommy,I feel terrible he's had to go through this. And that makes me emotional, and in turn makes me more exhausted.

Your prayers mean so much to us.More than I can say! We covet them! Elliott is sitting on my lap right now,asking to go shopping. I think laying down and watching a movie is what we will be doing! :)

Will keep you all posted! Love and Blessings!~Bethany

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Gatherings...

It's that time of year! Family Christmas Gatherings are upon us,and our first one was the Hartman Family Christmas. This year my inlaws found a missionary family who's had to come back to the states,and we bought Christmas gifts for their family.

We first went to the mall to pick out the gifts. I did not know how that would go down,as I've only braved the mall a handful of times with all four of our children during the holiday season. I imagined melt downs,lots of people,children needing to use the potty,crying because they saw something they wanted....in other words....a nightmare before Christmas experience.

But,I'm always willing to try something,once. So,off we went,with goldfish snacks,strollers,sippy cups,and an all else fails plan of DVD's in the van... in case Daddy and children would need to retreat from the shopping.

Sure,there was a little of all mentioned above,but really overall I think the kids did really great. And,thankfully there was not a TON of people as I had anticipated. We purchased the gifts for the family,and headed back to my in laws house to wrap them,eat dinner,play games and watch a movie. Oh,and I can't forget,opening stockings!

My hubby with his new drill bits!
This picture came out blurry because we were walking through the mall. But,I still love it! Ry on my father in laws shoulders!
Our sweet Clara girl!
Mom opening her stocking gifts from Dad.
Jackson helping Elliott...
Clara with her stocking...
Ry looking through his slinky
Daddy and Clara working on a puzzle...
The amazing peppermint mocha white chocolate cake my sister in law made!

(If mom is reading this,thank you for the slinky's I've only spent about two hours of my day today attempting to untangle them...HAHA!)

We had a great time together. We played phase ten,a family favorite while the "kids" (Grandpa,Uncle Adam,Uncle Jake and my children) watched despicable me. My sister in law Drea is a phase ten champion,and was beating all of us. We gave up and decided not to attempt to finish the game.lol!

We have three more Christmas Gatherings to go this week. I'm really looking forward to watching the kids open their gifts this year! I think it's the first year they all totally understand what Christmas is about. That's so exciting!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

God Provides...

"Indeed the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
Don't be Afraid.
You are worth more than many sparrows" Luke 12:7

We are walking through a season of major faith challenges.

Then again,when are we not?!

Or at least that's how our lives have "rolled" for a long while now.

Though it's not easy,God sure has stretched me and molded me when our finances have been the thinnest.

Tonight,was one of those moments that I want to record. Quickly jot down the events to remind myself on days when I'm struggling to trust God will provide.

It's been tight,but then again,it's been tight for everyone this year. I was reminded of how unsure our lives are,when a friend told me her husband was informed he would no longer have a job,yesterday. I know all too well how she feels.But,my heart aches for her,at Christmas time,talk about poor timing. But,then again,God's timing is perfect. And He reminded me of that today in a big way!

Don't mis understand me,my husband is one of the hardest working men I know. And, he's innovative,and try's to supplement our income in various ways. And we have all we need,and have never gone without what we need,food and shelter.

So,back to God showing me how pathetic my self centered thinking really was.

It's Christmas,no news flash there. And I was really wanting to get into the Christmas spirit. But,it's been hard for me this year. With everything that is going on with Elliott,and simply just feeling drained. People asking "are you finished with your Christmas Shopping". And me thinking to myself..."Shop with what?"....

Again.Pathetic.I know.

Side note: Our kids have a.lot. They really do not need anything. But,like any mom,I really wanted to be able to get each of them something. I'm not writing this to get your sympathy,or get my kids more stuff. Please,do not feel the need to do that. Like I said,they have plenty!

I've not had a spare dime to shop for anything,or anyone. Our van needs breaks,like,really bad. And I could not justify buying the kids a bunch of presents,and then risk their safety driving around in a van that screeches to a halt. My plan,was to keep it simple. Buy candy for their stockings, a few trinkets from the dollar store, and make them each some pj's from some extra material I have laying around. But,I was feeling bummed. Mostly for them.

Truly,I realize now how dumb that is. How self centered,and pathetic.

But,I'm being honest. That is how I felt.

Don't think my kids would not be getting anything this Christmas, my parents have been stock piling for months now. My mom has to hide the gifts from my Dad,cause he would have already given them everything! :) Their motto as Grandparents "we like to put the GRAND in Grandparents".

So,it's not that. I just wanted to give them each a little something special. From mommy and daddy. And I did not have a clue as to how we were going to make it possible,but I DID keep on praying (and then I'd fret a little,and begin to panic that we would be scaring them for life,then pray some more).

Then,I went by the gym tonight to pick up a few things. When,to my surprise was a gift from the boosters,aka:the awesome parents of the girls I coached.

A gift card to target.

With enough money on it,to get each of the kids a special present for Christmas. What a humbling moment.

God knows our heart desires. Here I was worrying,and disappointed, and He already had provided. The gift card had been sitting in my box for days,and I did not realize it!

I had so much fun walking the isles of target deciding what to get each of them. Have no fear,they each are getting a very special present. Something I know each of them will love. And I will love seeing the joy and excitement on their faces!

And,I'll frame those pictures,and write a note at the bottom to myself...
that simply states "God Provides".

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Cookies..and a Cat.

Yesterday we spent the day at my husbands grandmothers house- Great Grandma McCollough's house. The kids were SO excited to help "paint cookies",and of course...eat them! I'm pretty sure they are still on a sugar high. After helping to paint cookies,they retreated to the toy closet,and that entertained them for a little while. Jackson discovered the game battle ship,and begged Grandma to play with him. Then,they all had to go check out the crawl space.Yes,you read that right. My children are fascinated with Great Grandma's crawl space. I have to say,it's the cleanest crawl space I've ever seen!

Buckeye's cooling in the garage...my hubby's favorite Christmas treat!
My sister in law did the stars on the tree free handed! I did the lotso bear!
Cookies,Icing...and more Cookies!
Some of the finished product.You can tell the cookies my children decorated....love it!
My mother in law and sister in law.The children had sat still long enough,and were off playing!
Elliott working on his soldiers!
Jackson discovered the game battleship and is playing with mom...
Ry,sneaking cookies...

My little boys playing with the ball.

Our days have been filled with playing dress up as of late. Jackson was given a cat in the hat costume for his birthday. He loves it! The other day,he took Clara's cheerleading pompoms and put them down in his costume. We all died with laughter as he danced around the living room for us...I had to grab my camera to get a picture.Out of the corner of my eye,I see Ry with a rubber bat saying "he's a pinata". Then swinging it at Jackson.
**no animals/children were harmed in the making of these pictures** ;)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Temple Grandin

Last night I received a coupon for a free movie rental from redbox. I stood in the freezing cold,trying to decide what to rent. One of the first movies that came up was Temple Grandin. I remembered it winning like seven Emmy's. And the story intreaged me,and my fingers were freezing off,so I rented it. I put the kiddos down for bed,and my hubby and I cuddled up to watch the movie.

WOW! Now I know why it won seven Emmy's!

Everyone needs to see this movie! Especially those who have a child with Autisim or have a family member that does. I bawled through the entire film.

For those reading our blog who don't know about our Elliott,I thought I would share.

This is Elliott Benjamin.

He has Autisim and Sensory Integration Disorder.

Many have asked questions or said things like:

"how do you know?"....or "well,some boys just take longer than others."....or "those are just made up "problems" to cover up the fact that he's a brat, spank him,and he'll grow out of it".

Well,I beg to differ. And if you lived with Elliott you would know he was struggling,you would know he is brilliant and not the typical little boy,and he certainly is NOT a brat.

As Temples Mom said "She is Different...NOT LESS!" I could not agree more!

At the age of fourteen months,my Dad said at the dinner table one night "When is Elliott going to start talking". That made me realize that he really was not talking,he would moan,cry,etc. But he really was not saying any words. He was a very picky eater...and was still mostly nursing,and drinking from a sippy cup. But really had no use for solid food at all. He was a late crawler and walker.He was a scrawny baby. He was a normal baby,happy and so sweet. It was not that he was throwing fits all the time or anything like that. But,as I began to evaluate his milestones,next to his siblings,I realized that he was a little behind. And the more I began to evaluate,I realized, I needed to have him evaluated by professionals.

In came First Steps. Three wonderful people came to our home,and sat with Elliott. By just spending a few hours in our home,they all agreed he would benefit from in home therapy.
I was handed a list of qualified independent developmental therapist's and told to choose one. They had a short " bio" on each one.

I was overwhelmed.
I did not know any of these people,and I was just to pick one,to help my son overcome a life long disability?
I prayed,not knowing what to do. Then,I remembered a friend of mine,who I had recently met at a mom's bible study group. Her son was having in home therapy,and maybe she would have suggestions on what therapist to choose. She was so kind,to refer me to the therapist that was seeing her son. And though she was not really taking any new patients,and was not on the list of available therapists. She offered to squeeze us in. That was of God!

Elliott had therapy with her for a few months,and began to make HUGE strides. Saying his first audible words. Eating food.Playing with toys.

But,then began the out birsts. The "Meltdowns" as we called them. Of course most people told me it was the terrible twos coming on. But,I had two other children,who had been through the "terrible twos". That was not it. He would melt down,as if he just could not process everything going on.

Example, we were in wal mart, it was a Friday,and it was crazy, busy,loud people, babies crying, music blaring, bright lights, carts everywhere. You get the idea.

Elliott was sitting in the cart,he had been in the cart for maybe two minutes,long enough to take it all in. He laid down in the cart,pulled his coat over his head,and cried. Loudly. Grabbing his clothes and pulling on them.Trying to get out of the cart.Just melting down.

Of course people are staring,assuming that he saw something he wanted and is throwing a fit. I just turned around,and left.I got Elliott to the car,and put him in his car seat,wrapped his blanket around him.and he calmed right down. I put my three other kids in the car,and I cried. I will never forget that feeling.

So,our awesome therapist,reccomended we get an occupational therapist. She told us of a lady who was the best in the area. And being that I was re-searching diet,and had Elliott on a nearly all organic diet,this OT was very knowledable and open minded when it came to that aspect of therapy! God and his amazing mercy was upon us!

So,Elliott now had two therapists,coming sometimes twice in one week. He was learning so much,but I think I was learning more! The encouragement,suggestions,and just people to talk to who understood did WONDERS for me! I don't know who looked forward to therapy days more,me,or Elliott.

His OT told us some great things to help with taking Elliott out, when I would take him to a place like walmart,I would put sunglasses on him,and headphones. He also wore his "hug vest".
In the movie Temple builds a "hug machine",this is Elliotts "hug machine". It's really called a benik. Whenever Elliott was struggling we would put it on him. Almost like magic,he settles down. Now,at the age of four,he knows when he needs it,and will go get it and ask to put it on!

Elliott was still struggling with his speech,and so he was assigned one more therapist. A speech therapist. This was towards the end of his first steps "career". All of the therapists became like extended family.

We went to the zoo with them,the park,the water park,resturants. You name it,we did life with the therapists. That was SO helpful too,because they could see how Elliott would react in public,and give me ideas and suggestions as to how to help Elliott process new environments.

At the age of three Elliott aged out of first steps. He then went to a local public school,that housed a preschool for children with disabilities. I was hesitant to have him attend. Not knowing how he would react,if it would do any good for him. I am so thankful we choose to have him attend. It was best for him. At first the head teacher told me,she was not sure Elliott needed this much special ed,as he seemed like a normal child. I had heard this many times,and though I tried to take it as a compliment...I also knew they would be doing no favors for Elliott believing such. All it took was a few days in his new school for his teacher to come back to me and say "This is exactly where Elliott needs to be,at first glance he seems "normal",and it's not that I'm saying he's not,I'm just saying,your right,he is struggling,and we will help him."

Elliott hated to be messy. I mean HATED it. Most kids love play dough,mud pies,sand,etc. Not Elliott. He cried,like a melt down cry. His teachers helped him to get better about that. By purposely setting up stations that had different textures they had to put their hands into. They worked on getting him to eat in public,and try new foods. He still had speech therapy at "school". Elliott continued to do SO well.

Then came the big transition. Elliott is now in a private preschool,with normal children. He is doing well,though often asks to go back to his old school. Thankfully one of the Para's Mrs.Vicky has followed him to his new preschool,and he LOVES Mrs.Vicky! Because Elliott was referred from first steps,he still gets speech therapy at his private preschool. He speech has come a LONG way! He talks non stop now. You can understand everything he says...though we joke sometimes it would be nice if people could not understand him. What can we say,Elliott is very,very honest. If he thinks it,he says it.

That is our story so far. We love Elliott dearly,and we all have learned so much by having him in our family. I would not trade a DAY with him! No,it's not easy. It's not easy for him. I loved how In the movie,Temple's mom has brought her to a boarding school,and one of the teachers says "I know it's hard to have a child who won't be able to live up to the expectations you have". She looks at him and says "You have no idea,the fits,tantrums,struggles,that Temple has had to live though...I can't put her through one more thing". As if to say, "Me?" who cares about how hard this is for me...LOOK at HER!".

It's not about how hard it's been for me. It's been WAY harder for him. I am a better person,a better mom,because of Elliott. And that is the gift Elliott has given to me.

Elliott has surgery a week from tomorrow.He has a mass growing in his mouth that has to be removed.We would appreciate prayers for him,and that the biopsy will come back clear. And also that this would not set him back or affect all the progress we have made with his speech and eating habits. Thank you friends!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Recipe and Randomness...

Okay,so this is most likely a first for me on my blog. I'm posting a recipe. But,it's not mine. It's my mother in laws,and it's one of our favorite soups to eat in the winter.

Yesterday my kiddos went to my in-laws house for the afternoon/evening. I took a wonderful TWO hour nap...it was lovely! I was going to clean,and do laundry. I did two loads of laundry...and decided to seize the moment and take a nap. The clean folded laundry is still stacked on the couch.

Instead of putting it all away last night,I decided to make this tasty Cheeseburger Soup. My hubby went outside to shovel our long driveway,again. Yep,all the snow melted over night on Sat,and then it began to snow again Sun afternoon...today most school's had a two hour delays,some rural schools had a snow day.Then when he was done with clearing the driveway,my sweet hubby came and sat in the kitchen to keep me company while I made dinner. It was so nice to have time together,and to have a peaceful kitchen was really nice.Usually I have four children huddled around me while I attempt to make dinner,yep,it's just mass chaos at dinner time usually! So,if my in-laws are reading this...THANK-YOU for giving us an afternoon of peace,quiet,and long naps. I feel so refreshed today! :)

So back to the soup:
Here is the Recipe in my mother in laws handwriting. It's her version of a recipe a very good friend of ours makes.

~Cheese Burger Soup~
Side Note: I always double the recipe.We love to have the leftovers for lunch the next day!
1/2 lb ground beef (or turkey,or meat substitute,or deer burger)
3/4 Cups of Shredded Carrots
3/4 Cups of Diced Celery
3/4 Cups of Chopped Onion
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
4 Tablespoons of Butter
3 Cups of Chicken Broth
4 Cups of Diced Potatoes
1/4 cup of all purpose flour
1/2 lb of American Processed Cheese
1 1/2 cups of Milk
3/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon of Pepper

In a 3qt Saucepan brown beef,drain,and set aside. In the same pan,saute onions,carrots and celery in 1 teaspoon of butter.Season with parsley and basil. Until Vegetables are tender.(about ten minutes)

You can use Chicken Broth,or Chicken base from amish country,if you happen to live close to a store that sells Essenhaus soup bases. :)

Add broth,potatoes,and beef. Bring to a boil,then reduce heat and simmer for 10-12 minutes until potatoes are tender.

In a small pan melt remaining butter and flour together.stir until thick. Add to the soup. Bring to a boil. Reduce hear

Then add cubed american cheese and milk,DO NOT bring to boil. Stir until cheese is melted. Add salt and pepper.

And Eat until full! :)I'm tellin' ya,it's SO yummy! I realize it's not the healthiest soup,due to the butter,and processed cheese. Hence why we don't eat it very often, but you have to splurge every now and then! :) Have a Great day,I'm going to warm up some leftovers for lunch!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Poor Ry...

(Ry over the summer...amazingly enough he does not have any scratches or bumps on his face!Poor kid looks like he was in a wrestling match and lost right now!)

We survived yet another dentist appointment this morning...7:30am this morning.

Have I mentioned I'm not a morning person? Apparently the dentist did not the get memo!

It's 10:45 now,and I've already taken one child to the dentist,taken another to preschool,home schooled my two oldest,put in some laundry,and need to wash the breakfast dishes. Amazing how much you can get done when you wake up at the crack of dawn.

Have no fear though...nap time is coming!!! Oh,yep,Ry is already having a melt down. Then again,if I fell on the concrete floor,smashed my tooth and lip,then went to have it "fixed" at the dentist,then came home tried to eat and couldn't cause it hurt too bad,then while throwing a fit in the kitchen,hit my mouth again on stove...I'd be having a melt down too...

Off to pick up Elliott from school...and then...NAP TIME! YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Dentist...Again.

What a day! I'd appreciate your prayers!

Ry (our youngest) fell down in the basement last night.On the concrete floor.

His front tooth was pushed back,and he will be going to the dentist shortly to have it looked at and hopefully fixed.

It was a bad fall,and bled bad. I did not realize that his tooth was pushed back until I looked closer this morning.

In other dental news. Our Elliott is having surgery on the 22nd for a mass that is growing in his mouth. After the mass is removed it will be biopsied.We are praying everything comes back clear,and there is nothing to be concerned about.Elliott has already had a root canal done earlier this year,he did not even cry or flinch when that was done.He has a very high pain tolerance! And thankfully that first experience was not traumatizing so he has no fear of the dentist either.From what we understand Elliott will have to be very careful what he eats for a while after the surgery. Being a child who is already quite picky,and would rather just drink fluids all day as opposed to actually eating,I don't think a fluid only diet for a few days will bother him at all. I'm trying to look on the positive side.

Needless to say,we have gotten to know our pediatric dentist quite well. It's going to be a crazy Christmas! And to say I'm exhausted,would be the understatement of the year. Off to the dentist again...and stopping to pick up a latte for Mommy on the way!!!!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Snow daze....

This picture was taken from an upstairs window of our house...thats our back yard...

Yep,it's that season where we live.

The season of spending many-a-day's inside.

Being born in the south and loving all things "beach and palmtree's" this time of year is not exactly my favorite.

The snow is beautiful,no doubt about that! I love the reminder for me that God can turn my mess of a life,pure like snow,upon asking for it. That is beautiful!

I now have a better understanding why my Nana and Popop moved from New York with many little children (they had six total) to Orlando Area Florida.

Winter's with little ones is hard. I did manage to find everyone's snow gear from last year.And most of it still fits them. Clara's snow pant's were a size 4t,and were more like snow capri's. So we picked up some new pink snow pants last night at walmart. Considering most of her snow pants have been blue or black,she is THRILLED! This means we won't be able to pass them on to the little boys...but she will most likely be able to wear them for another three years like she wore the last ones! Of course not everyone has snow boots,their feet grow so fast! We never did find any for Jackson for last year...maybe we will be able to get some this year as he really likes to be outside.

The kiddo's "helped" daddy shovel the driveway last night. We have a really,really,long driveway. Thankfully it's paved,but if you don't get out and shovel right away,it's near impossible as the snow gets SO heavy.

I don't know the exact amount of snow we have now,but I had to go out and clean off the bushes so they don't break. I'd say there was at least four to six inches that fell last night alone,as you can't even tell we shoveled at all.

The kids loved going outside and running around and I loved the ten minutes of quiet in the house. Yep,they only lasted ten minutes. It's COLD! It took me about thirty minutes to locate all the snow gear,and get each of them into it all.

Poor Riley could hardly walk...and I could not stop laughing.I know,I'm terrible. But to see him waddle out to the drive way to his Daddy...that was priceless.

My mom and I braved the weather last night,and went grocery shopping. My Dad was kind enough to drive us. I bought enough groceries for a month. We left with four carts full. But,if you had to shop for six people,and then load it up in a parking lot COVERED in snow,you'd get enough to last a long time too!

My mom bought the kids slippers,and to see their expressions of joy last night was just so sweet! Riley said over and over "I wuvb dees swippers" and then would tap his little foot so serious. Brandon and I kept saying it over and over after he went to bed last night.

The boys helped me put away all the Y2K supplies,err, groceries. Our pantry is in our basement. Jackson would carry the bags down the stairs,put them in the back of Riley's coop car,and Ry would "ride" over to the pantry to put the bags away. Ry was taking it all SO seriously. Jackson was happy to oblige and really got into it too. Ry would load his car up saying "oh,dis is my favbrite"...or "oh dis is beary heaby".As he "drove" off would say "bye evbrybody".

I just can't get enough of them. We laughed the entire time we were putting groceries away.We are so thankful for groceries,and snow pants,and slippers.

Oh,and they slept in their slippers,I love it.

We played with play dough yesterday too. Many thanks to Aunt Rachel and Uncle Jake for the huge amount of play dough they blessed us with for the kids birthday's. It's a favorite activity for the kids.It entertained them for over an hour! :)

I've gotten our Christmas decorating done.Though I did not get everything out...as I just did not feel like it this year. I did a few new different things,like hanging ornaments in the windows. Our tree is a hand-me-down tree from the family that owns the house.Was so nice of them to give it to us to use. :) I re-arranged so the tree could be in front of the window,it's not the most practical arrangement...but I just LOVE "a tree in the window" look! I'll take more pictures...when I don't have a basket of laundry on the couch...and better lighting.:)
So,thats what we did yesterday...and today will most likely be much the same.:)