Bloggy Facelift

I tried my best to form a collage. Once we get an updated picture of us all that meets my standards i.e. everyone must be facing the camera, with their eyes open, and no holding of various body parts, I'll give the blog another facelift.


Thanksgiving, Kids, and Trees (Random Post)

We had a most wonderful Thanksgiving. Jake was given a 4 and a 1/2 day weekend. We made the most of it by feasting, playing, and exploring.
Wednesday night before the big day Jake grilled us tubular steaks (hot dogs) for dinner. I've come a long way folks. There was a time where I wouldn't dare eat those things for dinner. But, out of necessity and in need of a break every now and then, I joyously put them on the dinner menu. Hazel was pleased I took Thanksgiving eve off.
We set the table for the feast. The settings were beautiful. It was the first time that I used the silver my mom bought me for my birthday two years ago. When she had come to visit us in Monterey we spent an afternoon strolling along Pacific Grove popping in and out of the fun little boutiques that beset the streets there. Mom caught a glimpse of a set of silver for a very reasonable price. She offered to buy it for me for my birthday instead of giving me cash. This was great because I know I'd never buy a set of silver with my birthday money. Instead I'd make about 20 trips to Chick-Fil A and buy their number 6 or sink it into 10 yards of nice fabric.  Colby buffed the silver for me and was so pleased to see that there was actually service for 12. We could all eat with matching Silverware!! Jackie polished our silver napkin rings so everything looked perfect. We ate turkey with the fixings like almost every other American. I had help with the pies this year too. I handed Jackie her own pie responsibility, so she and Louisa popped out the best pumpkin pie ever. Yummy.

Friday took Jake and big sons down to the beach while the girls, little dudes and I dug out the Christmas decorations and strolled down memory lane. We also were saddened to see some of our favorite ornaments destroyed by the last move. Sad. Oh the effects of a cross country move. Anyway, most things were intact and we had fun putting everything out.

Saturday brought us to the tree farm. We have a tradition of cutting down our own tree. It's fun for us to all go find the perfect tree. We ended up at a spooky old Christmas tree farm. We decided to load back up and go find another place with healthier looking trees and less dogs...
Samuel found a tree that was perfect for him. Sorry buddy, it's a bit short for the rest of us.
We cut down the tree and took a hay ride to the front of the lot. Colby kept the tree from rolling out.
Silas was in his element. He looked very much like a real farm hand with his oversized woody hat.
Hazel hung out in the Moby Wrap. She likes it most of the time. Jake and I like to say, "Help me Moby Wan Kenobi, you're my only hope." Ha, ha we think it's funny. I took this picture by holding the camera out to the side of the sweet little girl. I love how it turned out.

We are now decking the halls and celebrating. The kids are super excited for the big name swap and we've busted out the Christmas hymns for our nightly singing before dinner. Such fun!


Coffee Anyone?

For Christmas this year Jake and I are going to purchase a new coffee maker. The one we currently have is temperamental and no longer operates as was intended. Because piping hot coffee is such an integral part of our day every day, I'm curious what, if any, coffee maker would you heartily recommend? We don't one that makes a single cup. Jake brings an entire carafe to work with him each day so the single serve won't work. With that said it needs to be the real deal.


Strange Day

Anytime one of the kids throws up I know it's going to be a strange day. Anytime more than one of the kids throws up I know my day will be even stranger. Anytime more than three kids are throwing up I struggle with a bad attitude. Today I was struggling. It was good I was struggling or I might have missed the opportunities God gave me to laugh.

This is a post without pictures. It is good that it is this way.

This morning after one of the girls was hugging the bowl I grabbed the cleaning supplies and headed up stairs with my supplies to tackle the mess. As I was humbly hunched over the bowl cleaning up another's mess I found a tooth. This was an indication to me that my cleaning skills had been neglected for a while. I reached further behind the throne, grabbed the tooth, some bobby pins and other items less interesting. In so doing there was a large ripping sound. Upon examination I discovered I had completely torn the crack of my pants. Full on, wide open. Very humbling. These were one of the two pairs of pants I have that fit me right now. There are other pants I own that I wear, but I have to jump into them. They are more along the lines of a "tight fit." Bummer. I finished my chore laughing to myself at the irony of the situation and headed down stairs to sanitize my hands and dump supplies where they should go. I caught a glimpse of the Hazel girl swinging away. She was smiling. Libby informed me that she had "smelt her" and that something needs to be done with her diaper. Sure enough, it was one of those full on infant diaper explosions. You know, the kind where you look in disbelief and wonder where to begin. I took the baby into our room to get started at the next job. Thankfully my huge tear was concealed and it could wait for a moment.

Libby followed me in and watched me caring for Hazel. Libby has the gift of gab. Most of the time, like 88% of the time, I converse with Libby. There are those times where I'm guilty of the, "Uh-huh", "Oh yes", "You don't say" responses. Perhaps you've done the same thing with your kids?? Perhaps not. Anyway I do this sometimes, I nod my head, smile, and agree without really listening to what's being said. I only do this with Libby because she talks so frequently that I struggle to keep up with her. So today was one of those days. I'm knee deep in baby issues, I had just scrubbed up the toilet after an oral explosion, I discovered somebody's molar, and the seat of my pants was completely torn in two. So Libby is talking and I'm falsely responding and nodding. I'm smiling at Hazel who is so pleased to be cleaned up and to have my undivided attention :). I finish with Hazel, look up and make eye contact with Libby. I tune in to what she's saying just in time to hear her say, "And when I grow up I'm going to move to America!" I'm thinking this is an indicator that I should be listening more.

There you have it; a strange day that isn't done yet. More people have since vomited and I'm feeling a little strange myself.


Lame Lyrics form the Late 80's

Sometimes when I'm parenting or just thinking, lyrics from old songs pop into my head. Tonight the lines, "If I could turn back time..." popped into my head. Would I be willing to turn back time? NO WAY! I am convinced that every single joyful moment, every single hurtful moment are all sweet Providences of our Holy God. They shape us and make us into who we are to be or not to be. Don't we learn from those difficult times? Don't we learn from those sweet moments? Have you ever wanted to relive a moment? You know, the moment that was perfect, so fun, so free, so right... with all the right people, the weather, the food, the smells.. oh the smells. Or of course perhaps it's to forget a moment. The moment that crushed your bones and wreaked havoc on your soul. The moment you think you wished never would have happened, but then find that you are better for it?

Through all that is good and all that is bad, I wouldn't turn back time. No, I wouldn't. God has ordained all things and is a lover and care-taker of our souls. He longs to exemplify His mercies to us. To show us that we are His, no matter how dreadful and no matter how good. We are His.

Somehow the faith that I've been given enables me to look to the future and to be excited. All things are for our good if we love God and are called for His purposes.

That is me, I am called.

So, I will not be afraid and I will not be discouraged, but will look forward and trust with great fear, trembling and excited apprehension to what He has in store for me.

Looking forward.



Happy 236th Birthday to the United States Marine Corps. As the children, Jake and I were sitting around for bible reading at 5:15 this morning, my husband asked who was thankful for the Marine Corps. Not a lot of happy responses. This kind of shocked me. The Marine Corps has been a very good living for us. I mean there we are sitting on leather couches with a fire going, cuddled under blankets with soft pillows and longing for our warm beds... You get the picture. God has used the Marine Corps as His source of worldly provision for us. We are thankful for the Corps. Despite the politics of a worldly, godless, institution which now promotes and protects homosexuality as a safety among its members, it could be worse. That sounds really bad, but it's true. Anyway, we are thankful for work and provision and will faithfully serve in a manner which pleases God until the end of our required time.


In celebration of the Corps we will be doing 236 pushups tonight. Divided among 6 people that's only 39.33 apiece.
Benjamin aged 4, wanting to be like poppa.


All Knit Up.

Before I was pregnant with Hazel and during my pregnancy with her I spent a lot of time knitting. I knit like crazy for others. The church where we attended had mounds of pregnancies taking place which meant mounds of showers. How delightful! I knit up sweaters and I know I posted about it here on the bloggy. By the time Hazel was getting close to her grand arrival I was a bit burned out from the sweater pattern that I had labored over for everyone else. I also had begun a sweater for myself, the first one ever. So, I didn't want to pick up another project at that time. What a blessing to have a mom who knits. Mom kept seeing the sweaters show up on the bloggy here and hassled me to send her the pattern. She only hassled because I'm forgetful ;). She knit up this sweet purple sweater for the little miss in the same pattern I knit for everyone else. Now that the cold weather is here, I'm delighted to put little Haze in it. She looks so good in purple!
Hazel love, you look so good in purple, I think it's your color!


All in a Days Work?

The following update isn't from one day's work, but it is the work of several days past, present, and eventually future. The life around here is very much hurricane-like. You have the fabulous sunny days, the dark cloud days which signal something is brewing, the wicked storm itself, the eye of the storm or the seemingly everything is fine part of it, and then of course the tail end of the storm which could last longer than its' beginnings. Then the rains stop, the winds cease, the messes are tidied up and behold the sun is out again and the days are lovely. So here's a small glimpse of what's been going on:

Colby Brett has been plugging away hard at school. He's involved in a Co-op for Biology and it has been wonderful. I fretted big time last Spring over what we were going to do about Biology come Fall. Biology isn't a class to be self-paced through. It requires in depth discussion and teaching as well as some foreknowledge of the subject. Obviously I know that God is the Creator of all things and all life stems from Him. Without Him there would still be the empty, void, nothingness. The question is how to teach that in scientific terms. When we arrived here in VA the only Co-op that was highly recommended had filled its' Biology class. That left me feeling a bit stranded. I decided I would somehow fill in my day with another class and teach Biology. Colby and I would learn it together and have a good time doing so. Then into my lap fell the hand of Providence. It is always sweet when that happens. We had an email in our inbox about a Biology Coop being taught by a woman with her college degree in the subject. For $50 plus supplies Colby was in. What a sweet answer to our needs. The funny thing is, I hadn't been praying for a co-op, I had given up and there the gift was in my inbox!
Colby at a local pond drawing observations.
Hazel has outgrown her bassinet, so we needed our crib back from Samuel. In order for this to happen we needed a bed for Samuel. In order for that to happen we had to go shopping. I brought Libby along as my test subject to see if there would be enough head clearance for Samuel to sit up. Indeed there was, so we purchased the below bunk bed. Hazel got her crib and the littles have bunk beds in their room now.
Hello there Libby.
 Speaking of Libby... She informed me yesterday that she wants a new mother. One that speaks Spanish.

Then there's big Ben. Check out the Cowboy jersey. Go Boys! He's been trying his hand in the kitchen and can now successfully make Macaroni and Cheese and

Bake Cookies!

His are the chocolate chips in the front of the picture. They were from a nestle package which came with a pizza.
(I know what you're thinking, Frozen pizza, Frozen cookie dough? You betcha!)
 My mom came for a visit. She is so dear! We took her back to the airport yesterday. That's where some of my kids think she lives. Salt wishes he could go live with her. Sorry Salt, your curse is to spend forever with our wild family.
 Okay, look at the picture below. Need I say more? Look at those crazy eyes and that wild hair. I had scheduled a date to cut his hair off. It was going to be October 28th. Obviously that day has come and gone. I will try to better at the next scheduled time.
Sammy T., you are a crazy boy!
 Ahhh, time for a coffee break.
My fine man. Coffee is always a help in the throws of life.
 Hello there little girl Hazel. She is pleasant and light brown. She is 4 and 1/2 months old.
Yes, I'm talking about you now.
 Her hair is flattening some because it's growing a bit longer. She is so sweet.
Hazel, you are precious.
 She is a joy and breath of fresh air. She is extremely observant and already moves her mouth as if she's trying to talk. She's working on cutting a tooth as well.
Don't grow too fast love.
There you have it. A glimpse into the peaceful part of hurricane season.