Friday, February 5, 2016

Chase is 5!

Wow, Chase!  I can't believe you are 5!!!  What a big boy you've become!  You are stubborn, sweet, sensitive, funny, independent... and we just love you SO much!  You play mostly nicely with your siblings (although you still love to take their toys and stealthily hide them!), and your favorite activity is still probably wrestling with Daddy!  Oh, and you love playing with Legos with Cole.  You love for Nana to rub your back and enjoy taking naps on her lap probably once a week. ;)  Your favorite shows still include Wild Kratts, Octonauts, and Paw Patrol.  Your favorite foods include PB&J sandwiches, pumpkin pie and other desserts.  You are a very picky eater and currently won't eat any veggies.  Your teachers in preschool and at church tell me you are always a good listener (although you could do a better job at home. ;) We often have to repeat instructions, and you are very much on your own timetable, like your daddy!).  You are great at riding your bike with training wheels, and you're a fast runner.  You are so precious in God's sight, and we will always LOVE you!!!

Approximate Height: 44.5 inches

We had to postpone your big birthday party till tomorrow because of the snow/ice a couple of weeks ago.  Pictures of the party to come, but here are some recent sweet ones of you...

January fun

As I mentioned in my previous post, our family has changed from a crazy, loud family of 5 to a REALLY crazy, loud family of 7!  Much of my day feels like an assembly line, and it's always busy!  Thankfully, the new boys seem to be adjusting well to being here, and our kids are doing really well transitioning too.  Big Boy and Callie play nicely with each other sometimes, but they also yell "mine" at one another and don't want to share.  (I think Callie is struggling to share because she's never had to share all of her toys for so long.)  Chubby Bunny is still coughing a lot, but he thankfully smiles a lot and takes good naps during the day, and we haven't had to do a breathing treatment since last weekend.

I asked a couple of friends to help me with either taking Chase to or from preschool once or twice a week, and that's been a huge help.  Also, we've had several friends bring us meals, which has been wonderful! We've also gotten back into the swing of things - going to church last weekend with all 5 kids... and MOPS and my MOMS Bible study this week.  It's been great to get into more of our routine. :)

(FYI... I won't be posting any pictures online of our new boys.  If you'd like to see pictures, just ask me in person.  And please keep praying for us!  Thanks!!!)

1. Our princess loves to dress up as a princess. ;)

2. Nana loves these boys!!!

3. The kids enjoyed watching it snow a couple of times (and playing in it!) in January.

8. Trying to make snow angels in ice doesn't work too well...

11. We've had a lot of pajama days over the last few weeks.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Fostering - Beginning Stages

Well, after only having our official foster license from the state for a week, we had 2 young foster children placed with us last week.  They are brothers and have 2 older siblings.  I'll call the 11-month old Chubby Bunny and the almost 3-yr old Big Boy.  They were brought to us last Thursday evening by a social worker, and Big Boy let us know how distraught he was. Jamie sat on the floor and cried with him.  It was a tear-filled evening, and it was heart-breaking!  My parents came and helped us get all 5 kids into bed.  

Yep, that means we now have 5 kids ages 6 and under!  And it's been CRAZY around here.  Trying to change diapers and clothes and do laundry and just feed everyone is daunting!  Meal times feel like a wild assembly line, and Chubby Bunny cries and cries when meal time approaches.  He's a very smiley baby and is very sweet... until he's hungry or tired or dirty (then he's almost inconsolable).  Unfortunately he has asthma (which I wasn't prepared for), he came with a cold, and he wakes everyone up coughing several times a night.  (He actually had to be taken to his pediatrician, who is 45 minutes away, today by our foster agency because he sounded raspy and coughed all night... I was very stressed this morning.)

Big Boy is also very sweet and is playing mostly nicely with our kids.  He and Callie are only a couple of months apart and have made each other giggle many times, which is so cute!  "No" is his default word, and he says it often.  He and his brother are sharing a room, which has worked well.  He hasn't liked having "quiet time" the past couple of days, but I'm trying hard to get us all into a routine.  If we have the boys for long, I'll have another one to potty-train.  Wow!

With Cole back to school yesterday (our boys had a few days off due to snow/ice), I had to take the 4 other kids for the first time out to get Chase to preschool.  Having 5 car seats / boosters crammed into our van is a fiasco, by the way!  That will be an adventure trying to get all the kids in and out of the van every day to get Chase to and from preschool...

I'm still trying to figure out if we can possibly get part-time daycare vouchers and/or set up lots of babysitting help.  I have no idea yet, without that, how to do grocery shopping or do any cleaning or real cooking (besides very prepared meals).  We may be eating lots of hot dogs and pizza and mac&cheese for a while...

The boys seem to like playing with our kids, and so far, our kids seem to be doing OK with the changes.  We've talked with our kids a few times over the past couple of months about possibly bringing a child into our home to take care of for a while.  Yes, we were expecting to bring 1 child into our home, and yes, we are crazy to have brought in 2.  But yes, our God is good and mighty, and He's been gracious to give us praying and helping friends and family!  If you're reading this, PLEASE KEEP ALL OF US IN YOUR PRAYERS.  Pray for sanity and strength and patience and wisdom and good sleep; for the kids to play nicely; for our kids to adjust to sharing their parents with 2 more kids; for the new boys to feel comfortable with us; for "shared parenting" with the birth family; for the birth family to get their lives straightened out; for the social workers and judge involved, etc...  We have no idea if we'll have the boys for a few weeks or many months.  But our God knows, and He provides!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

A visit with Marmie and Big Daddy

We enjoyed our Christmas vacation, but I think we were all ready (Ok, maybe me more than anyone!) to get back into a routine - with school, Bible study, etc. ;)  We did have some sicknesses during the break - Callie one weekend and then Chase the next.  Plus the twins were sick the week of Christmas.  Lots of viruses going around... Jamie didn't get much time off of work for the holidays, but we are SO thankful that his new job is going well so far!  (Thank you, Jamie, for working so hard for this family!  We love and appreciate you!)

We also had another opportunity to provide respite care for a foster child - a sweet 7-yr old little girl named Natalie.  She stayed a couple of days and nights with us, and it went remarkably well.  The kids all slept well and played mostly nicely together.  (Having new Christmas toys probably kept the "boredom" at bay too!)  We continue to pray for Natalie and hope for more opportunities to help and reach out to foster kids.  Oh, and I'm so excited that we finally received our official license to foster in the mail a couple of days ago.  Woohoo!  (We started the training classes last June, so it's been a long process!)

And I just have to add one more random thing... Callie is officially at the crazy, unreasonable 2-yr old stage.  She and I had a traumatic Walmart experience last week.  I was "that mom" - the one everyone in the store stared at as her screaming toddler followed her around in the store. ;(  (I had a lot to buy that day, and I almost cried when we left the store cuz Callie was so horrible!)  Oh, i'm not a fan of the terrible 2's and 3's!

1. Big Daddy and Marmie came for a visit last weekend.  Cole especially liked playing Connect 4 with Big Daddy while Chase and Callie enjoyed lots of books with Marmie.  It was such a nice visit with them!

3. Chase, you make such a cute Spiderman!  Check out those big muscles!

4. We made gingerbread houses while on Christmas break.  Fun and yummy to eat!

6. A certain someone woke up very grumpy from her nap and then was even more unhappy when her gingerbread house fell.

7. Snaggletooth!!!  Cole lost tooth #4 (another top middle) the week after Christmas.  He was SO excited for the tooth fairy to come.  When he awoke the next morning and the tooth was still in his bed, I told him the tooth fairy was as forgetful as his mommy!  Ha!  Don't worry. He got his dollar the next day. ;)

8. Silly kids!

9. A little snuggle/wrestle time after a Sunday afternoon nap (for Callie and Daddy)... This is probably the kids' favorite place to be - all over their daddy! :)

10. My mom comes over most Thursdays with the twins.  Aren't they adorable (and into everything)!!!

11. Callie loves ALL things Elsa (Frozen movie)!

12. At her friend Cassidy's princess birthday party, Callie had her first makeup experience - eye shadow and lip gloss (it goes well with her chapped chin area that she won't stop licking, huh?)! ;)

13. Callie (Elsa) with Tinkerbell and Rapunzel at the birthday party...

 15. Callie, Nana and I went to Cole's school today to eat lunch with him.  He LOVED sitting with us.  So sweet!

16. Chase is our Snugglebug.  His favorite person to snuggle with is probably Nana.  He's napping with her right now!  So cute!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Merry Christmas 2015

To Cole, Chase, and Callie: I pray that you will always remember that JESUS is the reason for the Christmas season, and He is all that matters!  He is the best gift ever given!  I hope your daddy and I will point you to Jesus in all we say and do!

We spent much of the past several days with my family - including my parents, Uncle Stephen and Aunt Wanda and family... but we missed Aunt Steph and her family most of the week because the twins were very sick. :(  Thankfully, they were well enough for us to get together some yesterday.
We had a fun-filled Christmas morning at home with the kids. (Watching our kids open presents with such anticipation and excitement is awesome!)  Our kids were thrilled with their toys - Callie's favorites are probably her new Elsa and Anna dolls (Frozen movie); Chase and Cole are loving the Monopoly Jr. and chess games, their new Legos, and the scooter.

1. May you celebrate the Christ of Christmas - from Jamie, Heather, Cole, Chase, and Callie

2. The kids couldn't wait to open a present on Christmas Eve at Mimi's and Poppy's house!

3. Callie loves to twirl with Elsa and sing "Let It Go" along with her!


5. Spending Christmas morning at home with the kids is wonderful!!!

7. Callie loves her new (to her) kitchen!

8. Enjoying smoothies one morning...

9. The kids love their Uncle Stephen!