Wednesday, December 19, 2012

its official.  dave and michelle are leaving town on friday :) 
we are sooo thankful for everyone who is helping with our kids!! this will be our first night alone in 2 years :)
i sure love these guys but i am definitely looking forward to a little time away :)

these are the kinda things that start happening when daddy has to work 60 hour weeks..... 
he would have been such a cute little girl :)

finger painting with chocolate pudding and sprinkles :)

baby KJ had to spend a couple nights in the hospital this past weekend :( 
he had pneumonia, but he is home now and doing much better.  we kept the other kids saturday and sunday so LaKisha could spend the night in the hospital with the baby.  
we brought them to church with us, which went really well.  
tyden's sunday school class happened to have a pizza party planned for that day, so we sent cornell and cody with tyden.  and on the way home from church cody said, "that was AWESOME! can we go to your church again NEXT sunday??" :)

so the last week of school before christmas is always a busy one- the kids have "secret santa," where they draw names and secretly do something special for the kid they draw every day.  and they have their big christmas program to set up and practice for.  and then a party on the last day.
and sadly, THIS is how tyden and shaeya are spending their week-

super sick.  they are so bummed.  and tekoa is home today too with red, puffy, crusty eyes.  tis the season.
i'm just praying they are better for their program tomorrow!! i have to go with or without them, cause i'm leading music and singing with a group of moms. sure can't think of anything i'd rather do for my birthday- especially if my kids aren't even there.....haha :)
and don't worry, i'm still running around, coming up with secret santa gifts and making sure they get to the school so no one is left out....sigh........

we are having dave's family and LaKisha and her kids over on Christmas Eve so we thought we'd spruce the place up a bit :)  the kids are LOVING it.

and now- 
i'm not usually a big fan of poems, but i read this one this afternoon and it made me cry- 
so i thought i'd pass it on-

Twas' 11 days before Christmas, around 9:38,
When 20 beautiful children stormed through heaven's gates.
Their smiles were contagious, their laughter filled the air.
They could hardly believe all the beauty they saw there.
They were filled with such joy, they didn't know what to say.
They remembered nothing of what had happened earlier that day.
"Where are we?" asked a little girl, as quiet as a mouse.
"This is heaven." declared a small boy. "We're spending
Christmas at God's house.
"When what to their wondering eyes did appear
But Jesus, their Savior; the children gathered near.
He looked at them and smiled, and they smiled just the same.
Then He opened His arms and He called them by name.
And in that moment was joy, that only heaven can bring.
Those children all flew into the arms of their King,
And as they lingered in the warmth of His embrace,
One small girl turned and looked at Jesus' face.
As if He could read all the questions she had,
He gently whispered to her, "I'll take care of mom and dad."
Then He looked down on earth, the world far below.
He saw all of the hurt, the sorrow, and woe.
Then He closed His eyes and He outstretched His hand,
"Let My power and presence re-enter this land!"
"May this country be delivered from the hands of fools."
"I'm taking back my nation. I'm taking back my schools!"
Then He and the children stood up without a sound.
"Come now my children, let Me show you around."
Excitement filled the space, some skipped and some ran,
All displaying enthusiasm that only a small child can.
And I heard Him proclaim as He walked out of sight,
"In the midst of this darkness, I AM STILL THE LIGHT."

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

December 12 today.  feels like i have been living in Christmas mode for much longer than 12 days.
but it should all be pretty smooth sailing from here on out.
the gifts are bought and wrapped and mailed.
the stockings are hung- and one of them was re-hung (on a broken stocking hanger) after a minor incident with a 2 year old boy's lack of impulse control.....
Christmas cards are taken care of (so sorry i didn't mail any out this year- just handed out a few- but you can see it here on the blog!)
the ingredients are bought for the neighborhood Christmas Eve cookie exchange.
songs have been practiced- ok a little more practice is needed yet- for a couple Christmas performances.
the toy room has been de-cluttered and re-organized- THAT was a 4 hour process- and old toys have been donated.

i've gotten the 3 older kids off to school, wren is sitting on the couch with an ipad, and i'm typing and tossing a football to neiko at the same time.
so i'm enjoying a semi-quiet moment with my computer and a peppermint vanilla coffee (which has almost been obliterated by the football a few times, but hey, i'm ok with living on the edge.)

my 3 main goals for the day are simply these-
*love my husband and kiddos- and show it- no matter what.
*grab a load of food from midwest food bank and store it here to be organized and delivered to needy families for Christmas.
*find someone (or multiple someones) who would like to earn another jewel in their crown by babysitting 5 perfectly behaved, very sweet and loving children so that dave and i can leave town for a night for my birthday.  next weekend.

i know, i set very high goals for today.
but you just never know.....with God all things are possible.....:)

Saturday, December 1, 2012

so the kids and i set our tree up the other night while dave put up some trim in the mudroom.
the kids all helped and we had a great time.
then, once the tree was finished, we turned off the lights and sat on the couch to admire our work. 
i got out my guitar and we sang a few songs, and then i told the kids we needed to talk about Christmas.  
i said, "now you guys know that Christmas is not all about....."
and tyden and shaeya both quickly said, "the PRESENTS."
and i said, "that's right. tekoa, can you tell us what Christmas is really about?"
she looked at me and said, "yep! santa and his sleigh!"  

oh kids are good at keeping you humble, aren't they? just when you think you're maybe doing an ok job of teaching them about what's important in life.....
but oh how i love that girl.  her smile.....
but while i'm thinking of her smile.....i think i've mentioned that she is getting a bit vain.
and i think she's had a few too many people comment on her dimples lately.  it's getting a bit out of hand.....
"hey mommy, do you want to see my dimples?" as she flashes me a big smile. "mommy do you love me because i have dimples?" 
and i've heard that she has been known to tell people that her mommy loves her because she has dimples.  and then i've got shaeya asking me if she has dimples.....
so if you all could work with me and just NOT ever mention dimples ever again that would be much appreciated! :)

she wet the bed yesterday morning.  i mean soaked.  it was like nothing i've ever seen before.  her clothes were completely drenched from top to bottom.  so she wrapped herself up in a blanket to hide it from tyden and shaeya and came downstairs to discretely tell me.
she came to my bedside and whispered, "mommy i need a bath...." :)

does anyone else have someone pee or poop EVERY DAY?? it just seems so EXCESSIVE.  the wet beds, the leaky pull ups, the random accidents, the "i almost made it to the toilet but not quite".....
the other day neiko happened to poop in his underwear.  and i didn't realize it.  i took him into the bathroom, took off his undies, lifted him onto the toilet, and stepped right in the poop.
it squished all in between my toes.
i must have made a big enough deal about my poopy foot, because the next day when i put him on the toilet he said, "noooooo poop mommy's foot, okay? no poop mommy's foot." :)

speaking of neiko, he and i are enjoying a quiet morning to ourselves this morning.  dave took the other kids out to my parent's house at the lake very early this morning so he could help my dad out with a few things.  and i'm here taking the morning to shop online, wrap presents, and bake some goodies for a Christmas party tonight.  and obviously getting a lot done, right? ;)

poor neiko is LOST without anyone to tease :) 
i sure wish the kid would sit and watch tv for once. :)  he doesn't sit.  ever.
but it is fun to have him to myself for a little.  
grandma and grandpa k babysat for us last night while i sang at weaver ridge (more on that in a bit) and when neiko woke up this morning he was yelling, "graaaaaaandma! graaaaaaaaaandma!!" 
so cute.
i went and picked him up out of his crib and sat with him on the couch while he was still a little sleepy.  i asked him if he was a good boy for grandma and grandpa.  
he said "yep! eat roni (macaroni).......bonk head.....owie.....fall down....stairs.....owie cheek......
and he pointed to his cheek.

I LOVE IT.  he is talking so much.  i kissed his cheek, and he said, "thank you, mommy."
so sweet.  and then he was done.  ready to start 100 mph :)

so my performance last night......teehee......they had no microphone stand.  
i was trying not to stress through dinner about the mic problem, but any of you who sing will know that the mic really does kinda make or break the sound quality of your voice.  and they wanted me to use a lapel mic that was popping and crackling as they used it to talk during dinner.....ahhhhh....i'm not a diva by any means but i was really not sure about trying to use it.....but i did.....and about 20 seconds into my first song it made a super loud high pitched sound :) and so we stopped and switched to a hand held mic with the mc holding it over my shoulder for me.  sooooooo funny.  the good thing was that it made us all laugh and broke the ice, and we were able to crack some jokes about it.  
i just gotta laugh though, cause it's always something.....but i had a lot of fun singing my songs and sharing a little from my heart....and then afterwards dave and i took advantage of our freedom and did some Christmas shopping.  
and we made some progress!   and then got some ice cream :)

well, i guess i've procrastinated long enough......time to get to that shopping/wrapping/baking......i've only got 2 more hours of quiet.....:)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


and wow.  9 kids is a lot.
we definitely had our ups and downs, but for the most part we all had fun. and the kids got along great.

we had them off and on wednesday through saturday, with thursday night being the only night they stayed over.  and that went surprisingly well.
well, besides baby kevin (or KJ as we call him) having a cold and a hard time sleeping, wren ending up sleeping in our bed, camrie having a nightmare and needing to be held a little (she went to dave- it melted my heart :),  and my dad calling at 5am cause he was out shopping for his company christmas party and had a question for dave.
besides all of that our night went great :)

in church on sunday we sang a song about God being a Father to the fatherless.  and my eyes welled up.  probably mostly from pure exhaustion, but also for His calling on us to be His body and to care for the fatherless.
it is a calling that just keeps calling over and over.
who knows what's yet to come???  ......i have a feeling it will be incredible......and exhausting :)

and then we had sunday afternoon to ourselves to unwind a bit.  it was some much needed down time with our kids.  with a touch of guilt mixed in over the school work that was sent home for the weekend and that was very much left undone.....and the amount of house work that was calling to me- which was also left undone.

and now we are back to the school schedule......and already behind with Christmas. :(

but i can hardly handle the Christmas chaos.  
on sunday i was adding up in my head the number of gifts i have to buy in the next 4 weeks..........and with teacher gifts, gift exchanges, gifts for family members, gifts for my kids from grandmas and grandpas who don't know what to buy them, gifts for our kids from us, gifts for the Gilberts' kids and Destiny, and secret santa gifts at school........the number is 56.

56 gifts. some big some small.  plus the neighborhood cookie exchange.  plus christmas cards. 
and it all starts this saturday with the kids' sunday school christmas party.  for which i need 8 teacher gifts. 

kinda makes me want to leave town and come back after the new year. 
especially with 2 toddlers to drag around town from store to store.  and let me tell you, even online shopping is hard with little ones in the house.  

but i can do all things through Christ who gives me strength :) i think i have mentioned that before.  actually, I repeat it to myself a lot......

so here we go.....let the chaos begin.....we are putting up our tree tonight :)
and since neiko and wren have already learned (thanks to the christmas tree in the mcdonalds playland) that ornaments break when you knock them off a tree, i'm sure they will be very careful around ours........:)

Thursday, November 22, 2012


say a prayer for us tonight! we have the Gilberts' kids overnight since LaKisha had to work at midnight because of black Friday.  
baby Kevin has a cold and sounds miserable.....and i'm very out of the "wake up during the night to feed a baby" phase.  
we'll see if i remember how to do it ;)

i hope you all had a very blessed thanksgiving! :)

"Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus you."
1Thes 5:18

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

just when i'm starting to be able to kiss my little sweeties again....they turn on me.
i'm pretty much regretting those kisses.

i heard neiko crying in his crib around 1am last night.  i assumed he was cold or something. so i went into his room and reached my hands into his crib to cover him up, and my hands landed in his dinner.  sooooo gross.  so i had to bathe him and strip his bed.  and work around the chunks of food suck in his hair and to his clothes and bedding.
and they don't go down the drain in the bathtub- or the washer.

i finally got everything cleaned up, changed my puke covered clothes, and climbed back into bed.
only to repeat the process 2 more times.

and then i woke up this morning to a sick tekoa.  she puked once and pooped in her pants.

oh the laundry for today.  sigh.

but at least i am finally getting some of my energy back.  and my appetite.  just still waiting to be able to take a full breath without doubling over in a fit of coughing.  and waiting to get my voice back so i can practice for a performance i have coming up on the 30th.....yikes!

and with thanksgiving only 2 days away i am hoping and praying that today is our very last day of sickness!! neiko seems fine now, he is eating and running around and teasing the girls and getting into things.....
and tekoa says she's feeling a little better too, so say a prayer!!

especially cause i'm lined up to have the Gilberts kids tomorrow, Friday, and Saturday while LaKisha is at work.  and i've never had all 4 of them plus all 5 of mine.
i'm gearing up to be a mother for 9 for 3 days.....ages 3 mos to 12 years.....
with God all things are possible, right??? :)
and dave and i will be bringing all 9 to the kellenberger thanksgiving on friday......should be interesting for sure :)

and now for the things i am most especially thankful for this year-

1.  my keurig coffee maker.  mornings like this morning are much easier to get through when you have delicious, piping hot coffee ready in 1 minute.  my early birthday present from dave. :)
2.  my van.  cause i have seen up close what life is like for a mother with out one!
3.  family.  who will let you through the door at thanksgiving with 9 kids.  and who will tell ya straight how awful you look when you are sick.
4.  my teammate. who is especially thankful to have his wife back.  i'm SURE it's cause he missed me.  has probably nothing to do with desperately wanting the housekeeper/chef/maid/nanny position filled again, right?
5.  my Father.  in whom i can bear all things, believe all things, hope all things, and endure all things.
even a little puke.  :)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

our trick or treating group.  yep still growing.
i'd like to say we had a great night......
but between the kids fighting over the wagon, the tired legs, the cold hands, the tripping and falling, and the older kids running ahead......i don't know......even the happy looks on their faces when they got their candy just somehow never really made it worth it......

my last pics of my time with Kevin.  he is in day care now. 
i miss him.

but i don't miss this!
seriously don't recommend trying to run errands like this- 
and i'm not talking about the odd looks you get from people.

i will always look back on our time together as yet another sign of God's amazing love.  for me and for Kevin. :)

shaeya worked so hard on making her own bow and arrow for her holloween costume.  she even formed the arrowhead out of clay and waited for it to dry and then tied it on.  i truly love her independence and her imagination.  

and i love love love finding her notes. they crack me up. 

and you can learn a lot by paging through her journal.....
apparently the neighbor kids mentioned in the above note and below are moving just in time.

too funny.  
and just to clarify- i didn't say she could be his girlfriend when she's 16.  that was her thought....
which needs to be corrected. :)
i haven't broken the news yet that the family is moving.....

and now i have some super exciting news to share.  guess which two are FINALLY playing together???
(for short amounts of time anyway) 

he is growing and changing.  still constantly into trouble, but starting to play and converse- and it's making a big difference around here. 

and does he not seem huge for a two year old???
he is wearing size 4T.  so crazy.

he spends a lot of time in this corner :)
and when there's nothing better to do.......why not strip yourself.....
i love this picture :)

who needs a nail salon, right? 
please don't look too closely at my toes for the next 5 years, okay?

so i have the flu.  the full blown flu.  this is day 6 of pure misery.....i'm starting to feel like i'm never gonna beat it.
and i can handle the fever, chills, muscle aches, cough, and sore throat. the WORST of it- and maybe this is TMI- is that i'm waking up all night long completely drenched in sweat.  and my pillow is soaked, my clothes, sheets and blankets.  so i get up and peel my clothes off and stumble my way into my closet to grab more clothes.  multiple times a night.  
which means A LOT of laundry.  all of our bedding has to be washed every morning.  
and when you add that to the normal, every day laundry of 7 people......let's just say it's very discouraging for a very sick mama.
ok and one more thing-
my kids are going crazy from being stuck at home with me. and i'm running out of ideas of ways to keep them entertained.  everyone is climbing on me and whining to me and needing me- and i just want to crawl in bed and sleep til i'm better.  

and i won't even get started on the condition of my house.  sigh. 

i'm so thankful for my wonderful husband who has stepped it up and has been helping with everything.
the kids and the laundry, homework and packing lunches, wiping bottoms and cleaning up accidents and wet beds, and making homemade soup for me.  
he has decided once again that he does not like my job. 
and i feel so bad for him having such long days at work and then long evenings here at home. 
he didn't get to sit down til 9pm last night- while i laid on the couch with a fever of 104. 

okay changing subjects now- 
i've been wanting to say my piece about the election.  
first of all- i am the most non-political person ever. 
i don't even know who the vice president is. seriously.  i don't watch the news or read the newspaper.  basically i don't know anything about anything.  except changing diapers.
but i do read the Bible and I know that things are going to get crazy as we get closer to the end.  so i wasn't surprised that our country voted Obama back in- even though i did my duty and dragged 3 kids along with me to vote for the other guy.   

but our God is in control.  He is still on the throne.  He holds the whole world and each life in His very capable hands.  He promises that He will win in the end and that's all i need to know.

and i firmly believe that our job as Christians in an uncertain world is to show the world His love.  in the way that we love each other and the way that we love the unlovable.  and the only way to do that is with His help.  WHICH MEANS WE NEED KNOW HIS WORD.  inside and out. 
and it HAS to start at HOME.  
our country is full of broken homes and empty lives and loveless relationships.  
and we have to hold on to FAMILIES at all costs.  we have to love our husbands and children with the self-sacrificing love of our Father.  we have to remember that our husbands are our teammates.  they are not the enemy! they are the ones fighting beside us against the enemy!  
and added to that- we need to help the fatherless and provide homes and families for those who don't have them.  
we need to reach out past our comfort zones and open our homes to show people how beautiful marriage and family is for those who love through Jesus.  and that there is no better way.  
the death of the family will be the downfall of our nation.  LETS NOT LET IT DIE. 
let's turn off the TV and raise up warriors for Jesus who will grow up to be leaders in their own families.  
our children need to become men and women who can stand firm in hard times.  who can do without if it comes to that.  who don't believe that they are the center of the universe.  who live for a higher calling.  who can live with integrity and self-denial in a very evil and self-focused world.

we don't need to worry about the president and the future, we need to put action to our words.  
and to HIS WORD.

and that's all i have to say :) 
i love you all. 
please pray that no one else in this house gets this awful flu!!!!