Friday, December 21, 2012

Love Is a Handful of Honey

Our love tanks are pretty full this week as we've welcomed my parents into the fold.  We are all feeling very cozy and warm and together... especially as the wind has picked up and the temperatures plunge.

MG and I cozied up this afternoon before her nap and read a recent book favorite--Love Is a Handful of Honey, by Giles Andreae, a whimsical tale that talks of finding love in the little things.  As we read, I felt God tugging on my heart, reminding me to find love in the little things around our home.  It was as if each page of the story brought about a picture in my mind's eye from a true-life moment.

Love is that warm cozy feeling, A cuddle that tells you you're sweet.
We've been having lots of extra hugs all around between the people we love.

And love is that feeling of laughing out loud when somebody tickles your feet.
MG and J were on the couch yesterday just tickling and giggling.  They are best frienemies, but love each other dearly.  I cherish moments like these.

Love's skipping out in the morning and hoping the day never ends.
Does a 5:45am wake-up count?  The two older boys were practically skipping out of their beds this morning to greet the day.  So full of life and energy and ready to conquer the final day of school!

And love's what you feel when you all get together and go on adventures with friends.
Our Christmas schedule promises such fun.  Tonight we head out to view the lights at the botanical gardens.  Tomorrow is a special birthday dinner out for GG and Mimi.  Sunday we brave Christmastown at Busch Gardens for our annual Christmas Eve-Eve adventure!  We can't wait!

Love is a handful of honey, and love's making friends with the bees.
The boys and I enjoyed their classes' fun "winter parties" yesterday.  It is always so neat to see them in their classrooms and meet their sweet friends.  My heart was warm as we walked home.


Even the flowers are bursting with love when they're dancing about in the breeze.
Thanks to a beautiful day on Wednesday, J, MG, and our friend, Cooper, had a chance to play in the yard and roll down hills while my friend, Christy, and I chatted.  It was lovely and so nice to breathe the fresh air and spend some time with good people in our life.  Thanks C and C!

Love's when you can't stop describing just what you've been doing all day, 
And love is when somebody quietly listens to everything you've got to say.
This is pretty much my life in a nutshell.  My parents are so good to me--they have always listened to my ongoing ramblings.  Mimi listens too.  And don't forget my beloved GG, who is so good to listen to me after a long day of work.  I am blessed. ;)

Love is a great bedtime story that takes you to faraway lands.
The boys, GG, and I have been *loving* reading The Hobbit together lately.  It has been such an adventurous tale that we've all been greatly enjoying.

And love's when you want to show someone you care so you snuggle up close and hold hands. 
I loved seeing my dad hold the baby today and watch as she played with his hands.  They played patty cake (Pappy-style with extra rhythm) and "lean-to-the-left" (an old favorite).  So sweet.

Thanks be to God for all of His Love!
We pass it onto you, dear friends, as you prepare for the holiday...

God bless,

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Smiles and Christmas-to-come

We are still here!!  We've endured last week and are happy and well and excited for the holiday to come!

GG wrapped up his big deal mid-week, which allowed him to ease up a bit by week's end.  The little crew and I joined him for lunch out on Thursday and he was home by 6:15 that night!  woo hoo!  For some of you that might seem late, but for us, we've struck gold if we see Daddy anytime before 10pm lately.  We were all really starting to miss him...  Friday was even better.  He came home at 3pm (!!!!) with only one work issue arising while here.  It was like Christmas for me.  We were all so excited, though I think GG was emotionally spent.  These business deals dish out a lot of stress and anxiety and he took the rest of the weekend to recover.

Our tree is now up and beautiful.  We are preparing our hearts for a Savior.  The warm fuzzy jar is almost to the top (6 fuzzies to go).  My parents arrive Thursday and we kick into gear our 2012 Holiday activity extravaganza Friday.  More to come on that!

Sorry no pictures at the moment--Photobucket is just one extra step I don't have right now.  Such a bummer about Blogger!  Still haven't figured out how I'm going to handle that issue.  Anyone come up with a good solution?  I guess those will be good thoughts for 2013...

God bless,

Sunday, December 9, 2012


I think it's safe to say G-Ville is a little swampy these days.

It's not a bad thing, just busy.  And that's aside from the approaching holiday!  Add Christmas on top and things start to feel really underwater (but fortunately not in a frantic way!)

GG, in all of his new job splendor, has been deluged by some *huge* deals coming down the pipes.  Boy, has that been rough on the poor guy!!  We are all hanging on and trying to ride out the onslaught.  Weekends are our lifesavers and we are hoping this week brings about a resolution to it all.  We will undoubtedly cherish his Christmas time off this year.

On top of all that, God has blessed my little at-home tutoring business in the last week, going from 1 session/week to 5!!  All in a matter of days!!  The coolest part is that I feel the students were Divinely sent to me, one with a very terminally ill father and the other, bipolar.  I will be dabbling in all things wonderfully algebraic and geometric, while getting to pass along love to some needy kids.  Lord, send your Spirit and equip me!  Is it weird to say I find the math energizing??

All is good, though, and we are well.  My additional responsibilities actually help me run our home better and in a more structured fashion...

Tomorrow will be my first ever with 3(!) sessions.  Crazy!  I'll let you know how it goes.

Have a blessed Monday,

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Quote of the week:

From M yesterday afternoon (with a look of earnestness on his sweet face):

"Mom, could you please just tell me where you've hidden our Christmas gifts?  I promise I won't look.  I just want to know."

lol  I played dumb.  No way, Jose!

Little does he know, unlike many of you go-getters, most of the gifts are still en route.  We are slowly making progress, but doing so without feeling frantic.  That's just the way I like it!

God bless,

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Two Teeth!

Baby G is knocking 'em down and taking names these days.

In the last two weeks she has conquered peas, beans, carrots, and blueberries.  Her body seems to be adjusting well to solids and her digestive tract actually seems happier than it was before.  We are taking our time, going a full 4 days with each new food to make sure she isn't showing sensitivities.  So far, so good.

She has sprouted two teeth!  The first came last Wednesday and the second showed up on Sunday.  Go G!  We are on our way to even more solids with those good choppers.

She is clapping.  It is so darn cute.  She smiles and brings her hands together.  She loves that it makes everyone around her so happy.  We say, "Clap, clap, clap" and she performs! :)

She is sleeping...  Oh, how can I say in words how happy this makes me.  She is going down now between 6:30/7pm and resting until ~5:15am.  I feed her and then she goes back to sleep until ~7:30am.  This is perfect because it allows me to get the big boys out the door for school before she needs my attention again.

I am going to allow her the early morning feeding until 9 mos. and then we might let her CIO a little bit more.  Dr. Marc Weissbluth of Healthy Sleep Habits, Healthy Child (one of my go-to Bibles for my babies) says that after 9mos no child needs to wake to feed.  For all the kids (except our sleeper extraordinaire, MG), at 9 months 1 day they were cut off from the morning feed and had to CIO.  No biggie.  I think T took the longest to settle ~15min.  They were clearly using it for comfort!

One final accomplishment, Baby G is rocking on her knees.  I've only caught her doing this in her bed while trying to go to sleep with her big sleep sack on.  Seems like the sack gives her a little extra friction to allow her the leverage to get on her knees.  My crew has crawled anywhere from 8 to 10 mos, so G will probably follow suit.

Advent is in full swing here in the G household.  We have our outdoor lights, candles, and wreath up.  Our beautiful tree is in place (thanks to GG finding us a gorgeous specimen on Sunday!!)  This coming weekend we are planning to decorate and continue to prepare for our Lord.  Thanks be to God.

God bless,

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.  :)


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.


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!


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...
Photobucket Photobucket

Leaves are for taking a stroll with hands in pockets...

Leaves are for swimming... of course!

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:


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


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,
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