Friday, November 30, 2012

For daughters

I can remember a specific phone call with a friend years ago when while remarking about my life of "all boys", I commented to her that I knew God had a daughter in store for me somewhere, sometime.  I, of course, had no clue of His plans, but I hoped that someday He would color my world with a little pink.

I grew up with a sister and babysat mostly girls.  I always loved teaching girls.  So surely God would bless me with one.

But he didn't.

He gave me two. ;)

And by golly, do I thank Him for my little angel girls. They are too much!  If Baby G ends up being as lively and sunshiny as our MG, I think GG and I will keel over from cuteness.  :)

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MG has been interacting a ton lately with her imaginary friends.  I've deduced that there are at least two of them and she converses with them and laughs jovially.  She has dramatic facial expressions and seems to delight in their "company".  It is so darn cute to watch.

Today she was talking with them a bunch in the kitchen when she asked for a drink of apple cider.  I then asked if her friends would like a drink and pretended to talk with them and take their drink orders. MG thought this was so fun; she liked it even better when I poured two additional cups and set them on the table.

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Afterward, I kept trying to capture her with her imaginary buds only to distract her with the camera!  Oh well--we got some cute pics instead.  She is a compliant photo subject and enjoys seeing herself on the screen (oh boy!)  Diva, here we come!

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On this final November night, I am so grateful for my whole family, girls and boys.  I gave them life and now they give me life = Perfection!

*And if you were wondering, my thoughts on girls are even rosier today after having Baby G wake only once at 5:15 this morning.  Woot, woot!  I'm hoping we can have another repeat performance tonight.  She ate often today so that's is a good sign...  ;)

Thursday, November 29, 2012

For sleep...

It's been awhile since I've had a solid night's sleep.  Say, maybe 7 months or so??? ;)  But this only makes me more thankful for rest when I get it.  Sleep is essential to life and I forget how good it can feel to be fully rested!

The last two nights have been a little more restful, though.  Why?!

Sound the dismal organ--duh, duh, duhhh...  We've been letting our little sweetie cry it out.  It is so hard, but so necessary.  Never before have I had to let a child do this, but 5 time's the charm, right?! ;)

Baby G has slept through the night at various points in her almost-7mos-old life.  But for the past few weeks she's gotten into the horrible habit of waking twice/night, usually with the first time happening between 10:30 and 12 and the second around 3.  Yuck!  On top of that, she was eating so much during sleeping hours, that I noticed she wasn't feeding as voraciously during the day.  That's a no-no and will lead to a self-perpetuating cycle.  Less milk during the day means more dependency on waking and eating at night... which means less and less sleep for mama (and daddy too, who is a light sleeper, poor guy!)

Something had to give.  I declared cry-it-out night one two nights ago and it wasn't half bad.  GG and I groggily slept through most of it.  In the end she cried 45 minutes around 3:30 and went back to sleep until 6 (for a total of 12 hours).  Bravo!  Night #2 went aok--she awoke at 1:50 and cried for a short while (I have no idea how long because I was so out of it!), 3:30 and cried 25 min (I folded laundry in the hallway and checked on her occasionally to make sure she was still breathing!), and then awoke at 5:20am to eat.  She had gone to bed at 6pm, so her total count was just shy of 11.5 hours.  Excellent.

We'll see how tonight goes.  I'm just excited to sleep (and am so thankful for the chance to grab a few extra winks!!!)

Last day of my month of thankfulness tomorrow.
God bless,

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

For Daddy

I'm pretty sure I've already added him to my list of thankfulness, but I'm going to put him right back on there.  He's our Daddy, my GG, my hero.

Seriously, I don't know what I do without him.  And I worry sometimes about losing him... but I know that God has called me away from worry and just to revel in the wonderful man we have to enjoy every day.

He comes home with a smile after working a long day.  He helps out in whatever way is needed.  He generously gives so much of himself for our benefit.  What a gift he is.

Last night, amidst a churned up house and a flurry of children needing to go to sleep, our Daddy arrived home.  He swears he doesn't think it, but I know he must look around and wonder what I do all day by the state of our house.  Last night was no different than usual.  We had all just returned from picking the boys up from taekwondo (soon to be ending--more on that in a future post).  It was 7:30pm, the baby was back in bed (I had to rouse her go pick them up), the littles were finished bathing and almost in bed, the big boys were showering... the house was a disaster.

In walks Daddy.

I rounded up the littles for stories and prayers and then tucked them in.  GG took over the big boys--they are reading The Hobbit together and the boys were eager to get reading.

I dragged my pitiful, exhausted self to our bed and laid down next to the dog... never to move for the rest of the night.  Meanwhile my hero man took care of everything.   Down to the last dish, toy, pillow.  I awoke this morning to peace and order.  Totally awesome.  But I felt totally guilty until hearing him say, "I'm so glad you were able to get some sleep."  No bitterness on his part, just kindness and generosity.  What a good guy!

So today I'm thanking the good Lord (yet again) for my main man.  He's the best!

Monday, November 26, 2012

For Autumn

Leaves are for jumping...
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Leaves are for taking a stroll with hands in pockets...
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Leaves are for swimming... of course!
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Thank you, Lord, for the chance to play outside and revel in your seasons.
Thank you for beautiful autumn.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

For Therese

Today is the tenth anniversary of the birth of Therese Joy, the first child of my dear friend, Kellie.

Therese was born with anencephaly and quietly passed away during delivery on that cold November night back in 2002 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  I was there with a multitude of friends.  We knew Therese was coming and we knew she would only be here on earth for a short while.

After she was born, Kellie and her husband were so generous to allow us the chance to meet Therese in person.  I had the privilege of seeing her sweet face, admiring her beautiful rosebud lips and long fingers, rejoicing in her precious life.

What a witness little Therese was to all of us.  I am thankful today for her life and celebrate the sweet angel who looks down on us from heaven.  I can't wait to meet you someday, little Therese.  You've already taught me so much.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

For our pup

So I'm using a system back-door and uploading my photos to Photobucket thanks to a suggestion from a reader.  You are awesome, Karen!  Thanking God for YOU today!!

I really wanted to share a photo with you because today I'm giving thanks for this sweet boy:

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He is our Custer.  Cussie-bus, yellow boy, softest-ears-that-I-pet-constantly pup.  Love this guy.  He has been such a blessing to GG and me.

He was our first child, the one our parents couldn't believe we were getting only three months into marriage.  What were we thinking strapping ourselves down with responsibility when we were newly married?  Suffice it to say, our parents were *thrilled* with that choice six months later when Geoff deployed to Iraq for a year.  I had my buddy to keep me company, lick my tears (he really did), offer love and warmth (he enjoyed GG's spot on the bed all year).

He's been such a faithful companion for the past ten years.

As you can see, his muzzle is beginning to gray and his movements are less fluid.  But he still runs after balls and hauls large branches around the yard.  He enjoys playing with young pups and pretending to be a spry man himself...

He is our Custer boy and I love him.  The whole family loves him.  J wrote on his Thanksgiving craft at school, "I'm thankful for my dog, Custer."  So sweet.  Thank you, Lord, for blessing us this sweet soul in our lives.

Friday, November 23, 2012

For this blog

Google informed me yesterday that after 4+ years of blogging, I have now exceeded my limit for free picture storage on the site.  Wow!  I can either continue blogging sans photos (BORING!) or pay $2.49/month for the rest of the blog's life to increase the storage and keep it at Google.  If I opt to stay with Google, I'll be paying ~$30/year to maintain a blogspot address.  OR I can transfer and have my own domain/website for ~$8/year.  What would you do?!

It is tempting to switch domains and save $22/year.  I am a frugal franny and what I could do with $22!!! ;)

Yet I know what happened the last time I switched domains--I lost a bunch of readers (even though I thought I gave everyone fair warning--sorry!)  But it's not about popularity.  I started this blog as a way for family and friends to keep tabs on our family.  In the process, I love that it has become a visual archive of the happenings of our little corner of the world.  One day I will spend the gobs of money necessary to print it and turn it into a book.  Perhaps I'll even make copies for each of the kids to have for posterity.

This will be my legacy to them.

Stay tuned as to the future of G-Ville on blogspot.
And in the meantime, thank you, Lord, for this blog.

With love on black Friday (though the color means nothing to us in G-Ville! :),

Thursday, November 22, 2012

For Tradition

Happy Thanksgiving from G-Ville!

We send our love and best wishes for a wonderful turkey day...

Today I am grateful for the traditions we are passing down to our kiddos.  Some are new, but many are old favorites from GG and my youth.  Among them is the annual "Turkey Bowl"--a Thanksgiving football romp with whomever and wherever we can find the space.  GG's family started this tradition years ago and have kept it going ever since.  And even though it was just our little family today, we still kept the tradition going strong.

Turkey Bowl 2012 Participants

Here they are looking rough tough for the camera!
This year's match up: these 3 toughies vs. Daddy.  GG has a few more years before this becomes grossly unfair! ;)
The game was cut short thanks to yours truly clogging the garbage disposal with potato peels.  Oops!  Forgot about that one... :) Thankfully, my main squeeze got me out of a pinch and removed the under-sink pipes to unclog them.  Thanks honey!

Thank you, Lord.
God bless,


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Squishy

The big boys and I were just marveling how loveably squishy our littlest miss is these days...


I could just eat her up every second, she is so yummy and squishy!  We are entering the glory time of babyhood, where Baby G is sturdy and stable but not yet mobile.  This makes for perfection in motherly terms--we can sit and ogle over her, but don't have to chase her or worry about her getting into anything.

And boy are we reveling in her.  All of us.  It is so sweet to watch the older boys enjoy her just as much as I do.  Even MG is getting in on some sisterly adoration...



She does a good job bringing smiles to all of our faces...

Thank you, dear Lord, for our sweet baby G.  What a gift she is.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

That's More Like It

Here's where I last left you, hanging by a string in anticipation of our Great Wolf pictures.  I left you to take care of the hallway and laundry...  the result is the fruit of my efforts later that night.  There is truly nothing like a clean house in my world.  Amidst the chaos of 5 kiddos, a serene backdrop does wonders for my sanity!

Now as I blog, though, after two whirlwind days back in the "swing of things", the family room is looking a bit peaked all over again.  Oh well!  Such is the cycle of life...

Here, finally, are a few of the shots from Great Wolf.  We had such fun.  It is the perfect type of place for us right now as a family.  There are attractions for all of our ages, amenities in place for GG and me to manage everybody, and accommodations to make it relaxing enough for our whole family!
The kids were excited to don bathing suits in November!

First evening excitement--the pool was rather dark, but we still enjoyed ourselves!

Daddy enjoyed babysitting while Mommy and the big boys went on some big slides! ;)
Later, we spent a good part of the evening in the "kid cabin" part of our room since the baby was sleeping in the main area.  6 of us crammed together, watching Toy Story 2 and eating pizza = a perfect night, in my opinion! 
We were back at it again in no time Saturday!  I went down early Saturday morning and reserved a table for us, which worked out to be the perfect set-up.  By the time we made it to the pool, we all went off swimming, sliding, etc. and then later came back for lunch.  I had packed some bagels and cream cheese, fruit, etc.  It was just right for what we needed...
GG took the littles on the lazy river while I had baby G napping in the Bjorn.
J in the wave pool
MG had a great time, though was tired by Saturday afternoon.
This guy had a total blast--he walked away crying because he wanted to stay.
This was the wave pool everyone loved.
And here's how I spent most of my day Saturday--my squish was resting soundly and that's all I cared about!!  The Bjorn allowed me to travel around with the littles...

This was the frontier fort with slides and water tricks.  The big boys and I crawled around on it later Sat. morning.  So fun!  I was a kid again!!

One thing remains for certain--we will be going back again soon!!
I am thankful for the blessing of "extras" like these.  Lord, you are good to us.

God bless,

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Reality Blesses

Today, Lord, I am thankful for hallways cluttered with weekend aftermath...
for it means our days have been full and we haven't wasted a minute.

Today I am thankful for overflowing laundry piles...
for it means we have clothes to wear and machines to wash them.

Today I am thankful for an overwhelmingly full day...
for it means we are blessed by opportunities to be involved in God's work here on earth.  

And it also means that He carries us along the way.  Alleluia!

More on Great Wolf tomorrow, I promise (as soon as I clean the hallway and fold the laundry! ;)  lol

God bless,

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Good times

I am thankful tonight for laughter and fun with the kids.  We had a great time!

I'll leave you with a pic to whet your appetite...


Full report tomorrow!
God bless,

Friday, November 16, 2012

Anticipation Builds

Today is a very special day in G-Ville.

"Why?" you ask.

Because in a few short hours we'll be heading here:

Great Wolf Lodge, Williamsburg
I am so excited I might have the kids beat... maybe.  They are pretty pumped too!  Not only does this mama love water slides, but I love seeing my kids love them too.  Treating them to this special overnight totally warms my heart.  We usually don't budget much for trips, plus having the 7 of us makes traveling challenging.

Enter the Great Wolf Lodge Williamsburg, only an hour's drive away.  Totally doable.  Add onto that rooms like the Kid Cabin Suite and we can all sleep comfortably, while the boys have their own little "cabin" (with their own TV--they have been pumped for this!  Life is the little things! lol :)  Little do they know, we won't be spending much time there because there's so much to do.

We leave this afternoon and will hit the waterpark when we arrive, enjoy dinner at the lodge, and wrap up the day with storytime in the main hall (with a potential for in-house bowling if the boys convince us otherwise!)  I am packing food for breakfast and lunch, which will nourish us as we maximize the day tomorrow.  We have to check out at 11am, but can remain at the lodge until 9pm.  While I don't think we'll make it that late, I'm sure we will have a grand time.

Can't wait to report in on our adventure...  Thank you, Lord, for special times with our crew!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

For Friends

For friends near and far, old and new... Thank you, Lord.

For blogging friends who forgive me when life gets in the way of writing... ;)  Thank you, Lord.

For friends of the heart who I don't see often, but fit like a glove when I see them again...


Thank you, Lord.

Beautiful girls--godmama and baby G
MG busied herself with crayoning, magna doodling, and yogurting. 
Enjoying our "tea party".  Love my girls!
We were spoiled today with the chance to drive northward and see my dear friend J in DC.  It was a girls' "tea party" (according to MG) and we dined well and cherished our short time with J.  It was fun to do a girls' trip, just MG, G, and me.  Since J is 26+ weeks along into her first pregnancy, it was also fun to share them with her and giggle about her little lady to come.  Baby L arrives around Valentine's Day!! ;)  You can see J is a natural with little ones and baby G loved the time with her godmother!

Thank you, dear Lord, for the goodness of friends.