Saturday, July 28, 2012

A Very Late Birthday Post

I have written Evelyn's birthday post in my head over and over again.  Each time I sit down to write it, I get teary and give up!  I think partly it is because, she of all my children, is a reminder that life is fragile and each child is a gift.  But, there are many things I want to remember about this year of her life, so here is goes!

Evelyn wakes up smiling and goes to bed smiling, literally.  Recently, she has started watching out of her bedroom door for me to leave my room in the morning and then she hops out to meet me with a big grin and stays with me throughout my getting ready routine.  Almost every night, after I pray, she tells me she wants to pray about something, grins and then, usually thanks God for something from her day.  Then she gives me another huge grin and snuggles under the covers.

Although she has mostly stopped humming while she eats, she is constantly humming and singing throughout the day.  When we walk across the yard, she is making up a tune.  When she is playing in the living room, she is singing.  When we are in the car, her vocals are at their loudest!

Evelyn had her tonsils taken out this year.  She really didn't sleep for the two weeks after the surgery, but since then has slept better than she has in a long time.  While she was recovering, she mostly ate chocolate pudding and orange popsicles.  Since her surgery, we have been back to the ENT doctor numerous times as her ears have had fluid in them.  We were so grateful to have them better at our last appointment, which meant postponing another surgery for tubes in the ears.  We are hopeful that they will continue to improve.  Evelyn is still visiting a doctor in Sioux Falls periodically, to keep her systems moving regularly.  She takes medicine at each meal to help train her body to work properly again.  Overall, she is much better, but has had some relapses.

She loves to play with her Strawberry Shortcake set and I love to eavesdrop while she makes conversation between the dolls.  She is also easily persuaded from her brothers to play big machinery or kitties.  She loves to run errands with me and thinks she likes to shop with Aunt Crystal and me, although often grows weary before we are done!  She holds my hand.  She hates to have her hair combed, but will sit very still for Aunt Crystal to do it.  Her made-up word is "Ba-ba-low-nee" -- as it "it's a babalonee" or "we should make a babalonee."  She is almost as tall as Ezra.  She loves to wear pink and purple. She loves to ride horses, especially Grandpa the Farmer's Copper, and seems completely confident and comfortable on them, like she has always ridden them.

Dear Evelyn,  you bring so much joy and life to my days.  I love to watch you enjoy life, bouncing through your days as if life was a gift. . .as it is.  You challenge me to remember that, each day.  I am grateful for the "girly-ness" you bring to the house.  I pray this year that you will grow in your love for Jesus and in your understanding of His love for you so that you can show others that love in your joy, actions and words.  I love you.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Lucas Reading

All the kids were tucked into bed.  The house was quiet.  Joel went upstairs to take a shower and discovered Lucas Reading (click on link for video) in our bed.  He had turned on Joel's bedside radio which is the noise you hear in the background and was probably imitating what he has seen his brothers do before bed!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

A Day on an Acreage

Some go-cart ridin'

Some sand playin'

Some workin' with Dad

Oh yeah, and some rabbit shootin' and toad catchin' too. . .

All in a day on an acreage.

Thursday, May 24, 2012


Oops!  Now all the videos should work.  :-)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Happy Birthday Lucas!

I know that I am spoiled.  But, it hit me especially today as we celebrated Lucas' birthday.  My parents were unable to be at the celebration because they are having a wonderful time in Ecuador with the college. I can count on one hand how many birthday celebrations they have not been a part of.  I am so blessed to be able to have them close and they were certainly missed today.

Here's a few videos from the celebration that I think capture things quite aptly.

Lucas Blowing out Birthday Candles
Lucas Checking out the table-covering with all the trucks!
Lucas trying out new car

Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Fifth One

I know people are different. So, you wouldn't think that it would surprise me to discover that my children are different. But it has surprised me how different they are.  If I had to pick one word to describe my fifth child, Lucas, it would be. . .opinionated! He doesn't really talk too much yet, even though he is almost two. His discernable words are "snack, truck, and socks." I think it's fairly impressive that he can make his opinion known so clearly without too many words.  

Take yesterday for instance, we stopped to check out something at our local Alco store and when we got out of the car, Lucas spotted a candy bar wrapper on the ground beside the car next to us.  He pointed at it and grunted towards me. I'm a bit embarrassed to say that, being in a hurry, I had no intention of picking it up. Lucas however, refused to move and kept pointing at the wrapper. I finally reached down to pick it up and before it was even in my hands, Lucas was trotting towards to store door.  

Or earlier this week when I was changing Lucas for bed.  I had him all cozy in his pjs and he started pointing at his feet, saying "socks, socks, socks."  Well, normally I don't change his socks before bed, but I decided to indulge him since he was quite insistent and I changed his socks.  Then I told him to put his dirty clothes in the laundry. He looked at me like I was crazy. And, honestly, before this whole process was over, I would begin to think I was crazy. I told him again and he grunted his sound for no. This was followed by me giving him the stern mommy look and telling him he needed to obey. He picked up his shirt. All the dirty clothes, Lucas. He grunted, but picked up the rest, and took a step towards the laundry basket. Good job, Lucas. It's important to praise obedience, right? Perhaps not to Lucas, because as soon as I said that, he dropped all of the clothes and stared at me, seemingly informing me that my interruption was not appreciated. I finally got him to pick all of them up again and we got to the laundry basket where he put everything but the socks in. He refused to put the socks in and told me in no uncertain terms why he shouldn't put them in. Unfortunately, I could not understand anything he said. So I had him show me where he wanted to put the socks. Turns out he wanted them where his socks belong, in his sock basket. And I gave up. I let him put his dirty socks in with the clean ones and I put them in the laundry basket later, when he wasn't looking. 

He knows what snack he wants, whether he wants milk or water, what pants he wants to wear, whether he wants to wear a jacket, whether he wants help getting down the stairs to outside or if he wants to do it himself, how he wants the men placed inside the toy truck cab. . .so, opinionated is how I would describe my fifth son.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Happy Birthday Josiah!

It's been about a month since Josiah's birthday.  We've had unusually warm weather and have been enjoying it and working hard outside.  Couple that with the fact that my youngest is still not sleeping well at night (that's another post) and I am just now getting to finishing his birthday post. We had a fun weekend, with an extra treat of visiting one of his favorite places. . .Grandpa & Grandma Bundt's farm.

Josiah, how in the world are you 9 years old already?! I feel like it was just yesterday that I was almost in a panic as your Dad and I drove you home from Sioux Falls after a week in the NICU. I didn't have any idea what I was supposed to do with you. Oh, I had read the books, but there's no way to really know what it actually looks like when you have a little one in your hands. I remember lots of nights in the lazy boy recliner, sleeping, holding you so that you would switch your days and your nights around, since they had gotten flipped in the hospital. And although I didn't really know what I was doing, I loved you and dreamt of what life with you would be like.

Now, nine years later, I look back and realize I couldn't have imagined what you would bring to my life.  There are many things that are really fun about you during this stage.  I am fascinated by how your brain works.  You disappear into the room that you have taken over with your legos and will stay there for hours. . .creating the newest thing in your brain.  Your brother Ezra has started to complain that you never play with him and Simeon anymore because you are always doing legos! You no sooner start on one project than you are dreaming up the next one. Your teacher, Mrs. Lambert, is quite convinced that you will either become an engineer or a game maker because of what you have shown her with your legos this year.  I am excited, and curious, to see how God uses your creativity.

You are a lot like your daddy in how your brain works too. You devour everything that you read and whatever you study at school, you remember in exact details. You are often saying to me, "Mom, did you know that. . . .?"  Since my brain doesn't remember details very well, I am re-learning a lot through you! I pray that your desire to learn continues and that you will delve into God's word with similar passion.

I am really enjoying that your sense of humor is developing. You catch on to a lot of jokes now and one of my favorite things is to hear you giggle at a funny movie or show. We recently watched Annie together and hearing you laugh at Miss Hannigan running into the walls was so fun!

You continue to love to work and really are a lot of help, especially to Dad. You will work all day Saturday helping him outside. A few weeks ago, you confided in me that "I'm really doing most of the work, Mom. Dad just drives the pickup from spot to spot and then I have to hook the chain around the log. . ." Dad laughed when I told him and then said that was sort of true! You, of course, have all these plans for out here. . .chickens, garden, tree fort. . .

One other thing that I am enjoying about this stage in your life is that you want to tell me things and you want me to do things with you. Well, you've always wanted to be right with me and I still sometimes have to tell you that you are following me and you need to find something to do or I'm going to keep tripping over you. But mostly, you follow me and tell me about your day or when your doing your chores, you are continually sharing something interesting.  And you constantly want me to "do legos" with you, which really means that you ask me to find all the hard pieces! I know that may not last forever, so I am trying to make and treasure that time.

Josiah, you add so much uniqueness to my days.  You keep me on my toes.   I still often feel like I have no idea what I am doing as I parent.  But, being your mom has more than exceeded my dreams of what having you in my life would be like when I held you.  Happy birthday, my dear first born son.  May this year be another year of growing into a young man who follows God with all of his heart, all of his soul, and all of his mind.  I love you.

Thursday, February 9, 2012


I had no idea before I had children that it was possible to fall in love in a split second. I didn't know you could go from not knowing a someone to doing anything in the world for a someone.  And all because that someone was yours.

And then I became an aunt and found out another truth -- that I can fall head over heels for someone that isn't technically "mine." In a split second. And that I miss them, pray for them, hope for them. That my heart can hurt worse than I can imagine for them.

And hurt my heart does these days.  My newest niece is in the NICU at a San Francisco hospital, just four days old and facing her first of many surgeries. My mind is consumed with prayers for her and her parents. And I wish with all my heart that I could do something!  But I can't. So I hurt and I pray and I love from a distance.

Dear Gabby, may God preserve your life and give you peace through all you experience each day.  And may you feel the love of those nearest you and those far away who send their love on their prayers.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Carpe Karios

Thanks to my sister for posting this link to a really good article. Don't Carpe Diem
I needed to hear that.