Friday, March 29, 2013

A Blessed Good Friday to you

"But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed." Isaiah {53:5}

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Boo Flu!

I wrote too soon.

Why do I always do that?
Today we confirmed our fears--baby G has type B flu.  Boo!

We thought our plan was to nix Florida if she tested positive, but when she did, we all felt so sad that we went looking for an alternate course of action.  We are keeping the angel G on Tamiflu, increasing her dose to help her muscle through it, and *hoping* this decreases the amount of time she suffers.  By the time we head to Florida on Saturday, she'll be day #5 and hopefully on the road to recovery.  This was her doc's idea and we're hoping its a good plan!!  Meanwhile, we're going to have my parents start Tamiflu as a preventative measure Saturday and pray pray they stay healthy (which they hopefully should.)  My sweet parents are willing to take the risk in order to have us there...  They're the best!

So, we're still heading to Florida.  Woo hoo! To say the kids are excited is an understatement.  When they learned last night that our trip might be canceled they were so sad, poor guys.  I am thrilled now that we get to move forward and have the hope of sun and sand still in our immediate future.  Thank you, Lord!

And I have new bathing suits, to boot.  My consolation to myself last night was that even if we weren't able to go, at least I bought suits on the front end of the season when the sizes were available.  Always looking for the silver lining.  ;)  I ended up taking the three younger ones shopping with me yesterday afternoon, which was surprisingly fun and cute.  At the rec of a friend, we started off at JCPenney and were actually surprised to find a lot of good styles from which to choose (and at a fraction of the cost).  The four of us crammed into the handicapped dressing room and the kids seemed entertained telling me what looked good.  J was cute--everything I tried on he liked--a good man in the works!  I need to encourage him to hang onto his positive reactions. :)  He even liked suits that I didn't like.  Good boy.   Thankfully, the good news is that we left with two tops that go with the same bottoms.  The other tankini is pink and super comfy, but maybe not the most flattering style.  I am definitely keeping the one  below and we'll see about the second top...

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Suit #1--the keeper.  "Bandeau"-style which apparently is "in" this season.  I thought the colors were fun.
Here we are on the meager trip packing so far--you can see piles for 4 of 5 children, with Easter finest still to be added.  We've been debating taking the boys' sport coats, but are leaning toward khakis and polos to reduce the fuss.  They'll still look dapper.  The girls will wear simple cotton dresses with white sweater cardigans.  What will I wear, hmm...?  GG and my packing commences tonight.  We definitely have some work to do here!
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Baby G, M, T, and J clothes ready to go, suits on top
As for Easter "baskets" (or bags since we're traveling), here's the loot.  Each child will get a book, swim toy, and additional toy (boys--small Legos and MG--stickers) and candy-filled eggs.  I may/may not add a stuffed bunny/chick (like they don't already have enough!!), but they do love them so.  My kids are big animal softies and I love them for it.  Gramz is planning to have hardboiled eggs waiting so we can dye them Saturday afternoon upon arrival.  T has already informed us that he plans to jump out of the car and run straight into the ocean.  lol.  The kid loves the beach. :)
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Easter loot--candy might not make it to Sunday (Thanks to "help" from mom! :)
Off to get it all together.  I will hopefully write again with progress and blessings before our departure.  Tomorrow will be a solemn day, so the more I can get done tonight, the better...

Thanks, as always, for your love and support.


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Back In the Land of the Living

I'm here and we're all better!  Hallelujah!  Health and wellness should not be underestimated, folks.  It is glorious to be back in the land of the living!

To prove to myself how great I feel, I took a spin class this morning--it was the first bit of exercise I've done in over a week and my lungs and body received it well.  We're back! :)

And now onto packing, packing, packing for our upcoming FL trip.  We need some good Florida Vitamin D and the great company of my parents--what a fun visit to which to look forward!!  On my list this week is to finish our bathing suit shopping.  M needs trunks, T needs a rash guard, and J needs both.  The girls are set, but I need a suit too.  The last time I purchased a bathing suit was before T turned 1!  Over 5 years ago...  Can you tell I don't like to spend money nor do I like to go bathing suit shopping? :)  I thought I would just snatch one up from Lands.End, but since we have a Sears relatively close by, I'd rather shop in person and make sure I like it.  But, of course, have I gone to Sears yet?  Negative.  Gotta get this done or else its back to my old two standby suits for yet another year! ;)  GG's only request is that the suit be some other color than black.  He knows me well.

We are otherwise aiming on packing "light" for the trip--two shorts outfits, Easter best, long pants/jacket, and a bathing suit for each kid.  I can pack that in an afternoon, right?!  Wasn't it me who coined the equation # of days necessary for packing = # of people going + 1 ??  I could be eating my words, but we're still going to aim to be casual this time around.  No worries, no stress.  (cue Reggae music...)

God bless your Holy Week,

Friday, March 22, 2013

Couch Chronicles

Happy Friday from G-Ville!
I am reporting to you from the couch this morning, stricken with the flu (type B)--the same type I was supposedly vaccinated against in November!  Shucks!  Thankfully I am the only one sick and the rest of the family is now on Tamiflu and has been living with Mimi and Papa to keep the kids away from sick old me and give me rest!  The kids have been weathering the changes well and have even started to accept seeing their strange mommy wearing a surgical mask around the house! ;)  I'm trying to keep the spread of germs around here to a minimum, especially since I'm still hanging with this sweet angel...

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Wouldn't you feel better after looking at this sweet face?
Unfortunately babies don't take time off nursing for a sick mama to heal!  Thankfully she is so ridiculously happy these days, I can't get enough of her.  She is a joy to be around.  She is crawling everywhere and has started to say "Hi", which is so darn cute.  Love her!

Meanwhile, I promised to share pictures of my newest fave room in the house--our glorified gray piano room...
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My new happy place
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Love the gray!  Color pop furniture and rug to come... 
Isn't it fun?  We changed the angle of the piano, which now opens up an area for a colorful rug, love seat sofa, and accent chairs.  Can't wait!  I walk in and am immediately excited, especially thinking about creating such an inviting space for our boys to create beautiful music.  They are making great progress with the piano.  I love, love, love our teacher.  First thing, he is male, which is cool for boys to have a male role model for music.  Secondly, he's so patient and inspiring.  He works so well with them and makes it appealing.  M is almost to the age when he can join our piano teacher's "School of Rock", a collection of students who become a band and create music together.  So cool!  I think he would love this...  They don't always love the practicing, but they do love their teacher, so I am eager to complete the room to make it that much more inspiring!

Lastly, I wanted to show you our collection of baby photos from all the kids' ~9mos. photo shoots:
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Our line-up of sweet angels, ready to be hung on the wall in our bedroom.
Can't believe we are (finally) getting this done!
I bid you adieu from G-ville couchland and hope to report in when we are well and back in the land of the living!
God bless for a great weekend,

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Things I'm Loving Right Now

A few of the things that make me smile as of late...

* baby G and her baby-ness.  She is snuggly and sweet and chatty and I love every minute relating with this new little person.  I love her little crawling shuffles across the carpet.  She is discovering the world around her and taking great delight in all that she's finding.

* the boys and their inventiveness.  On Friday we hosted a little family party for our dear Papa on his birthday, complete with balloons and kid-inspired decorations and homemade pizza.  It was warm and together, just the way we like it (we hope Papa liked it too! ;)  Since we had extra balloons hanging around, the kids have been playing and hitting them into the air.  Yesterday T decided to turn one of the green ones into a pig (a la Angry Birds) and the game had begun...  So last night all the kids sat focused around the kitchen table creating all the characters from Angry Birds with the various colors of balloons.  They wrote on them with Sharpies and created faces, Darth Vader masks (a la Star Wars Angry Birds) and the like.  Afterward, they had such a blast putting green pigs all over various furniture in the house and blasting them with the bird balloons.  Oh, the joy of invention.

* MG's vivid relationships with her imaginary friends.  They are all so chummy and she laughs and plays with them all day.  It is adorably cute, but very apparent that this girl needs to get socializing!  We are going to be ramping up little friend playdates in the coming months.  Preschool next fall couldn't come soon enough.  I have to say, she and I will definitely enjoy spaces in our togetherness. ;)  Love that girl, but she is a handful these days!

* all the projects we are accomplishing around the house.  You know those pictures that have been sitting in the corner of your closet for... ahem... years.  And so you finally buy frames that fit and coordinate and then put the pictures into the frames and then... gasp... hang them on the wall.  WOW!  You have no idea what I'm talking about?  Come on over, I'll show you a hundred projects like that waiting in the wings!!!  Another one we accomplished this past weekend was painting our front piano room.  It sat for 5 years as a minty green (from the former owners) before we transformed it to a beautiful, rich gray on Saturday and Sunday.  It would have been just Saturday, but after completing the entire room, we decided we wanted to go darker...  oops.  Back to Lowe's and back to the drawing board for another day of painting.  But the outcome was worth it and every time I walk by, I smile.  Totally worth the extra time.  I'll post pics soon.

* the fact that Easter is in a week and a half, which means that we will be in FL in just over a week!  Woo hoo!!  One perk of having a newer van is that you can actually drive to long-distance places safely!!  We are excited.  I guess I better get packing... :)

* that I just tucked in my big boys and they were both intently reading their Bibles in bed.  Dear Lord, carve your Word on their hearts so that it may guide them on the straight and narrow.  M has become a reading fiend these days, devouring whatever he can get his hands on.  He is often up well into the night because he can't put a book down.  I fear for his bedtime, but secretly love it.  T's reading is heating up too and I'm starting to see greater independence and ability to digest more complicated sentences on his own.  Fun to watch them progress.

* my sleepy husband who just entered the room and needs a good snuggle...  I am off!

Blessings to you!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Uh Oh

In the words of our sweet baby G, "uh oh" we've been letting things slide lately.

It hasn't been my intent to neglect things over here, just a mixture of life and sickness and hubbub.  The stomach virus plagued us for well over a week, passed from baby G to GG to M, T, and J, in that order.  The boys had a snow day worked in that just about saved us from complete exhaustion.

Everyone is back up to speed this week, but we have been busy supporting a dear friend with some health crises.  Additionally, I've been a busy bee tutoring up a storm and helping prepare kids for tests, quizzes, and the ongoing rat race of middle and high school.  How much I do love it, though.  The other day I declared to GG that I was giddy to do geometry that afternoon.  He just stared back.  lol.  I know I'm a total dork.

Spring is just around the corner.  Buds are showing up on trees.  The mulch guys will arrive in mere days to finish off the flower beds.  We have plans in the works for an outdoor patio set, fire pit, and new grill.  Our summer plans are hazy--I've decided to back off scheduling camps and the like and just have adventures with the kids.  We are going to join a pool and are hoping to have M on the swim team (maybe T too, depending on if we can get him to swim successfully across the pool!)  I took the boys on Sunday to practice at our indoor pool at the Y.  Swim instructor mommy saw great strides in all the kids, but especially M.  He is improving with leaps and bounds and working on his side breathing for freestyle.  So fun.  Years ago he was very resistant to learn, which is why it is so gratifying to see him close to swimming completely independently.  This reminds me that all things come in due time and that I shouldn't rush or be anxious for skills that are slower-in-coming.

On other fronts, MG is in a total 2yo diva phase.  She is moody, emotive, and chatty, but still as sweet as pie when she wants to be.  Potty training is going well again (we took a major step back after my last report) though she is attached to her blue floor potty.  The other day at Lowe's, I raced to the back of the store to find the restroom (she had politely let us know she had to go) only to arrive and have her completely meltdown that it wasn't her "blue one" and then proceed to pee on me and her.  Lovely.  "I am very disappointed with this choice" might have been heard echoing in the walls of the Lowe's bathroom as I cleaned...

Lastly, I just have to say that our little G is growing up overnight.  She is talking tons and much earlier than I remember the other kids--I swear I heard "apple" and "ball" the other day.  She is also saying "uh oh", "bye bye", "mama", "dada" and parroting lots of other words.  Don't blink--this baby girl is not going to be a baby for much longer!  If only I could get her to drink out of a bottle or sippy cup!  T minus 2 months until I wean and she needs a fluid source!!!  We'll figure it out...  We are also battling the early morning wake-up again and have been letting her CIO with no effect.  She does it morning after morning, so I'm going to see about increasing her dinner intake to help her last longer at night.

So there's the latest!
God bless you in the day to day,

Monday, March 4, 2013

We're BACK!

And we're tired!

Amazing how sitting around, standing/speaking for ~20 minutes, eating, and then sitting again (repeated about 7 times over the course of the weekend) can exhaust us so much?!

Add in a quasi "date night" we had Saturday after the sessions, when we hung out talking with some of the engaged couples in the hotel lounge.  Baby G was being monitored by our friends in the room next-door.  Brilliant!

We returned yesterday afternoon and attempted to resume normal life as best as possible.  Then slept like bricks last night!!  We should be back to normal in a few days.  Thanks to my parents who are sticking around to help us...

Most importantly, the weekend was so blessed.  I wholeheartedly recommend getting involved with your spouse in some sort of ministry you can do together.  It is awesome and inspiring for us to see these young couples, to encourage them toward healthy marriages, and remind them that it's not always easy, but with God and each other they can make it through.  The down times also gave me some treasured moments of prayer, which eases my soul so!

Cheers to March and blessings to you on a Monday,

Friday, March 1, 2013

We Would Love Your Prayers GG and I lead a Catholic Engaged Encounter weekend, starting tonight!  It will be 40+ hours of intense shepherding.  We pray for the Lord to work in and through us; to give us the energy and enthusiasm to encourage 18 awesome couples!  I would also love prayers for my parents, who will be holding down the fort here with the four oldest.  Gramz and Pappy, you are the best!

I'll be reporting in on Sunday...
God bless for a great weekend,
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