Friday, August 19, 2016

Summer 2016

Here's a brief recap of our summer.  I was in school and on call all summer so there were no fun vacations or trips but we have still had fun hanging around close to home.

These guys have lost some teeth, made some new friends, and spent days riding bikes around our new neighborhood before it became unbearably hot.

These girls have spent countless hours creating and being imaginative.  They've made new friends with our new neighbors and played a lot of four square.

Emmett has been with us for almost 1.5 years now.  He's been such a welcome addition to our family.  The 4th of July marked 2 years since Delmar died and it's still hard to believe he's gone.  Emmett has fit right in and has a similarly sweet demeanor.  He loves to play, go camping, and ride in the van.

Violet is a handful.  She's got the same spunk and stubborn streak as Amelia.  Plus, she's the baby of the family so she uses that to her advantage too.  She is still my squishy baby, just less squishy and more squirmy now.

We had another awesome week at VBS this year.  We will really miss our church when we move again.  This year Matthew and Josh were both VBS volunteers.  Matthew dressed up as a taco for Taco Tuesday and was the center of attention. On the last day of VBS, Matthew's adult teachers were both absent so Matthew and the other youth volunteer led their VBS class of fifteen 3rd graders by themselves.  He has moments of incredible maturity. Rare, fleeting moments...

I think I have written before about how both sets of twins become "twinny" sometimes.  That's what we call it when they get silly and only interact with each other, ignoring everyone else.  It is impossible to communicate with them during this time and they get really loud and crazy.  They do it in the van a lot and at bedtime.  This picture shows what it looks like when they're being "twinny."

Two sets of twins in one towel.  

The kids love our neighborhood pool.  If it wasn't so exhausting for me to take all of them there by myself, we'd be in that pool every single day.

Jason and I celebrated our anniversary in June and had a rare night out together.  We went to an amazing local restaurant and enjoyed a delicious dinner.  We also went to the military ball this summer.  Actually, that has been one wonderful thing about living here and having a teenager.  We have been able to go out on several dates since being back in Georgia.  We've been on more dates in the last year than in the previous 13 years combined.  We are also able to run to the gym together.  It's great!

This is what happens when I take Leila and Sarah to Costco.  Every single time we walk through those doors, they stop to stare at the jewelry.  Heaven help the men that marry these girls.  They have expensive taste already and they're only ten.

Here are some pictures of everyday life right now...

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Counting Down

We are all alive and well and counting down the months until we move.  Again.

Our time back in Georgia has been consumed with so many things... my schoolwork, the kids' schoolwork, Jason's training assignments, and my work as a student midwife.  We moved across town in January and there are still boxes waiting to be unpacked in most rooms of the new house.  I haven't been able to come up for air yet.  However, I have 3 semesters left until I graduate and I'm in the final stretch of my clinical work.  I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  We move again next summer and we anticipate an adventurous road trip in an RV.

What is going on right now?

Matthew turned 13 and is growing like a weed.  He has been playing baseball and reading obsessively.  This picture was taken last fall and he has grown several inches since then and now has started shaving.

Joshua turned 12 and is my awesome babysitter/helper.  He is so great with little kids and has such a kind heart.  In fact, it is difficult to find a picture of Josh without a toddler in his arms.

Leila and Sarah turned 10 and are still inseparable.  They are so sweet and smart.  They get along so well with everyone and love to include Nathan and Ryan in almost everything they do right now.

Nathan and Ryan are about to turn eight.  They love to play Minecraft and they're pretty funny kids.  They are both comedians and love to entertain us.

Amelia is almost four now.  She is bossy, sassy, extremely intelligent, and bossy.  Did I mention that she's bossy?

Violet is about to turn two.  She is very sensitive and serious.  She might also be a bit spoiled.  She has an epic pout face.

Last fall, Jason had to fly to Hawaii for a training assignment.  It was a last-minute trip and, by some miracle, my dad was willing to come and stay with the kids.  I flew out with Violet and I was away from the seven older kids for the first time in 13 years.  Violet was great and loved traveling.  Now I I have been to 49 states.  You can guess what we're planning next... road trip to Alaska!

(Violet on my back at breakfast in Honolulu)

We don't exactly know where we are headed next, though all signs point west.  I have waited to share details but it's going to be exciting.  I should have done a better job at blogging the last 2 years.  It has been such an incredible learning experience as a student midwife.  I have to pinch my myself sometimes to believe that this is my life.

Saturday, January 09, 2016

We're still here!

I'm making a commitment to myself for 2016.  I'm going to get back to blogging.  I need to be able to come back and read about this time in our lives.

I'll be back soon with an update but here's the short version of where I've been all year:
-full-time mom
-full-time wife
-full-time homeschooler
-full-time college student
-full-time student midwife

If you add that all together, it's pretty clear that there are not enough hours in the day/week/month for anything.  I feel like I'm being split in 10 different directions.  I keep telling myself that it is only temporary.  We leave Georgia next year.  I should be graduating then too.

Right now we are in the middle of moving again.  We're just headed across town, but any move in a family of ten is a "big deal."

I'm sharing our Christmas photo above, complete with photoshopped "snow."  It was 80 degrees that day (in November) but we managed to capture seven smiles.  This is my proof that we're all here and doing okay.

I'll be back soon...if there's anyone still reading...

Friday, May 01, 2015


I still can't believe my baby girls are nine years old.  They're so sweet, sensitive, and girly.  We had fairy photos taken to celebrate their birthday and the photographer perfectly captured their personalities in this photo.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Nine years ago today...

...that face Leila made when she was away from Sarah for the first time in her life.  It was only 14 minutes, and they've been inseparable ever since, but it was obviously traumatic for her. 

...that moment when I was laying in bed after pushing two babies out of my body and I still couldn't believe that there were two of them.  And that they were mine.

...that time when Jason realized he was Daddy to two sweet daughters. 

 ...that love that Matthew was feeling when he brought two of his most precious possessions as loving gifts (or peace offerings?) to his new little sisters.

...that moment when I looked at them for the hundredth time and marveled at the miracle of fresh, tiny babies.

...and especially that moment when I became a mother of twins.

Monday, April 06, 2015

Easter 2015

Little Number Eight turned seven months old last week and is just starting to get her first tooth.  I still think she makes the cutest Easter bunny with just a gummy grin.

Seven likes to steal the show.  Always.

There are only 4 weeks left in this semester and I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Of course I go on call again next month so I'm not sure how long I'll have to actually get caught up on the 214,873 things that remain on my "to do" list.  Today, I'm optimistic though!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Mutant Super Bug

No, I'm not going to talk about c. Diff again.

We have had the weirdest, nasty little bug going through our house for the last 3 weeks.  It started innocently enough.  Scratchy throats turned into runny noses.  Then the coughing started.  A deep, croupy-sounding cough made everyone miserable.  Then sudden vomiting, followed by fevers and bloodshot eyes.  Then some diarrhea for good measure.  We wrapped it up with the lingering productive cough.

Again I am reminded of how much fun it is to have young children when they all get sick.  There was so much barf and so few buckets.  The four youngest ones have not yet mastered the fine art of throwing up in a bucket.  There so many times that Jason and I trudged upstairs in the middle of the night as another one was stricken with the virus.  Jason finally had to miss 2 days of work to help me take care of everyone.  The twins each got sick within hours of each other but the singletons got sick on different days and it was a long illness.  It lasted about 2 weeks in each person.

At one point, my bed was full of sick, feverish, weak little people.  Poor kids.

We had a few close calls with Violet too.  She stopped breathing a few times because she just couldn't clear the mucus from her airway.  I don't think I've ever had a baby so young get so sick before.  She was drooling, lethargic, and completely out of it.  I just kept praying that she'd improve before bedtime because there was no way I would go to sleep with her in that condition.  Fortunately, she perked up a bit that evening and began opening her eyes and nursing again.  I still didn't sleep for 5 nights.

We're all on the mend now and I think we might finally leave the house for the first time in 3 weeks.  I am so grateful that one of Jason's coworkers dropped off dinner for us one night.  It had been days since I'd cooked because nobody was eating.  It was so nice to have a hot meal.

Hopefully this is our one big illness for the year.  Thank goodness for homeschooling because we would have just missed about a month of school.  #bigfamilyproblems
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