Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Rob Lowe Said it Best

I started writing this post on Facebook but realized that I have a lot more to say about the subject than I should post as a status update. So here are my thoughts.
I just watched an interview with Rob Lowe. He was talking about being a dad and making a real effort to be with his sons. He wanted to work in television vs film so that he could be home in LA while he was working, and not on location somewhere shooting a movie. He spends a lot of time with his kids. (Now, I'm sure this looks a lot different than us normal people living in the Midwest, working 9-5 jobs or being a stay-at-home-mom. But still, he has made a conscious effort.) Rob said his dad tells him, "I just hope you're having some time for you." Rob replies, "This is time for me. Are you kidding me?! That's what this is!"
I'm glad to hear other parents saying this. A couple years back someone was really concerned that I don't take time for myself. My life is different than it was before I became a mom. I don't do some of the things I used to do because I simply don't have time. I can't be in a community choir that rehearses every week. I can't go to a coffee shop with friends whenever I want. I don't take random trips with my husband. I can't go to concerts very often. Some of the things that used to be a regular part of my life have faded away or are further in the background. And I'm okay with that.
Some of my favorite things now are cooking and baking for and with my family, reading books with my boys, going on walks as a family, playing at the park. Time I spend with my family is valuable. I had kids for the purpose of making my life better. I have become less selfish because I'm a mom. I am trying to teach my boys to share the love of Jesus and help make the world a better place.
I think when you look at being a parent in this way, you don't feel like a maid, a short-order cook, a nurse, a referee all the time. You can see all these titles as a blessing and way of sharing your own love with your kids and all those they will encounter in their own lives.
I do make time to be by myself and do things that I enjoy. There have been many times that I have felt exhausted by my family and I just need a break. But I find more joy during the times that I see my job as a mom as a great blessing instead of a great burden. "This is time for me!"

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


*This post was written a few weeks ago, just not published.

James took Asa to Buffalo Wild Wings to watch the Baylor football game last night. About the experience, Asa said:
This is the best night ever!
This is the best queso ever!
We should go to that restaurant for dinner every night!

Almost every day Reuben says:
Ezra is awake!
He's so cute.
He likes me!
Surprise! Happy birthday, Ezra.

When I was a little girl, I was at my grandma Hols' house. I must have been pointing to something on Grandma's face. Before I knew what happened, Grandma bit my finger! We laughed and I've never forgotten that moment. Last week my mom was here and Judah was inspecting her teeth. He was pointing to them and guess what happened! Grandma bit his finger! He was shocked for a minute and then we all started laughing. I hope he never forgets that moment. And the lesson to remember is to never put your finger near a Grandma's mouth. She might be hungry.

The Joy of Giving

About this time every year I start to get so excited. I love the way I feel. I have an overwhelming gratitude for the love shown in the birth of Christ. And I find myself asking: How can I share this love with someone else?
I try every day to love and serve my family. Sometimes it feels like a chore rather than an act of love.
Every year at Christmas we bake and put together "goody plates" for our friends, pastors and family. I guess it's just an affordable and simple way to say: we love you, cherish your friendship and thank you for investing in our family.
Each year for Christmas my mom gives us a monetary gift. We decided that this year we will use a portion of that money to buy gifts for someone else. I have real cash money and we will go shopping as a family. I want my boys to know what it means to buy gifts for someone else and experience the joy of giving.

Six-Month-Old Baby

I cannot believe that Ezra is 6 months old today! He is so much fun. He's happy, squirmy, content and best of all, loves his brothers! He likes to play with toys. When he's a little fussy, if we give him a toy, he quiets down. He plays with the toy for a little bit and then whines for a new one.
Ezra recently started eating solids. When you have 4 kids, you delay this as long as possible. Spoon feeding a baby takes a long time and is a big mess! How quickly we forget. Last night he sat in a high chair for the first time and ate squash. He actually did really well!

The outfit Ezra is wearing for his 6-month snap shot is one I bought on clearance after Christmas two years ago. I remember that my sister, Melinda was with me at Target, looking for good Christmas steals. Only our family knew that we were expecting again. I was so excited to find a cute Christmas outfit in just the right size for my baby. Unfortunately, in March we lost our baby. We named the baby Micah and later found out that the baby was a girl. As I look at Ezra wearing this outfit today, I am so happy and sad at the same time. The whole time I was pregnant with him, I was worried that he wouldn't make it. Or that there would be something wrong with him. For the first four or five months, I went to the doctor every two weeks to listen to his heart. Each time, I held my breath, remembering the morning of March 12 when I didn't hear my baby's heart beating. But every time, there was a strong, normal heart beating inside of me. It was a comfort each time. When we went to the hospital to deliver Ezra, I was still nervous. So many things can go wrong when giving birth. Would this time be just as easy and normal as the others? The labor took longer than I anticipated and I got discouraged. My good friend Emily is a NICU nurse at the hospital and had come in to be our nurse. She was a good distraction for me. Then suddenly things started moving very quickly. The baby dropped and I was ready to push, just had to wait for the doctor to arrive. After a few pushes, Ezra was out and in my arms. What a sweet moment. A couple minutes later Emily was checking him out. How awesome is it to have your best friend be your baby's first nurse?! I looked over and asked if he was ok. Emily said, "He's perfect." Sigh. Fifteen months of worry were over. We had a healthy, perfect baby. Well, he did cry a lot! I think Emily said that he cried more than most babies right after they're born. And he cried a lot for the first few weeks. Now he's much better behaved. And I am thankful again for the miracle of birth!

Monday, September 16, 2013

September Update

Last week was an exciting one here. But it was also just a normal week. Here's a little update about each of the kids.
Judah is 5, goes to kindergarten and plays soccer. This is his very first game a few weeks ago. Saturday he scored his first goal! He was very excited and we are proud of him. He was happy to play at the playground for a while after the game. The first two weeks of soccer games were so hot that we didn't want stay out in the sun any longer than necessary.
Judah is liking kindergarten. We haven't had any bad news from the teacher, so I guess that means he's doing fine in class. He brought home a homework packet that was all about sight words. I can't believe this guy is old enough to be learning to read! I've noticed that Judah talks more clearly after just a few weeks in school. Little ones learn so quickly!
Reuben is such a funny kid. He talks all the time and we know exactly what he's saying. In this picture I had said, "You look like a king." Reuben replied, "No, I'm a Christmas tree."
He has pooped on the potty a few times and now he wants to watch others poop so he pulls up a stool and sits whether you want him there or not.
Yesterday he tried to nurse Ezra.
One day he was messing with his ear. I asked if there was something wrong with his ear. He said, "There's something in my ear. It's just crap."

This is Ezra. He is three months old now. He weighs about 14 pounds and he's tall. Or long. Whatever you say for babies who can't stand up. Ezra has good control of his head. He sits with support and holds his head high when he's on his tummy. One evening last week he rolled over, while James and I watched! He was on his tummy and lifted his head and legs up enough that he rolled to his back. It was pretty exciting but he hasn't done it again. We get tons of comments about Ezra's big eyes. He has a lot to observe all around him. For the most part, Ezra sleeps all night. He's a pretty happy baby and his big brothers love him! They are always holding him and talking to him.

Asa has decided to have facial hair now that he's in 1st grade. Just kidding! He got his face painted at our church carnival. Asa is glad to be back in school. He is reading books; his favorite is Fun with Dick and Jane, a book that belonged to my dad. Asa's class did a math assessment recently and their class scored above the district average! He is doing some pretty complicated stuff in first grade math.
Asa is playing soccer again this fall. He has a really fun team and is improving each week. He's starting to get aggressive out there!
My oldest boy is still painting. James did this one for our 10th anniversary. There's a tree for each year of marriage, a little bird for each member of our family; the yellow beams represent God in our lives, the dove represents the Holy Spirit. It's a really creative painting and I love it!
We are blessed to have a healthy and thriving family!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Thoughts About My Dad

I've been thinking about my Dad a lot recently. He passed away 6 1/2 years ago because of cancer. He never met any of my kids but we tell them stories about him all the time. A few weeks before Ezra was born, Dad kept popping in my head:
James was giving the boys puppy dog kisses and I remembered my dad doing the same thing. I could feel his whiskers on my face and I could almost remember what he smelled like.
I saw a guy sitting in a lawn chair in his front yard, watching the cars drive by. After we moved to town, Mom and Dad sat in the driveway watching people drive by. They probably saw more people they knew that this guy in Lee's Summit.
We planted a garden. Dad always had a garden, or at least a few tomato plants.

Maybe this is part of the reason I wanted to give Ezra the middle name: Robert. It just seemed fitting at this time. Happy Father's Day, Dad. You and Mom taught me so much and I have lots of great memories!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Pregnancy Update

This pregnancy is winding down so I thought I would answer everyone's questions and post a picture.

When are you due? June 1
Are you ready? Mom and I washed and put away all the baby clothes yesterday. I'm washing some blankets, sheets and burp cloths today. We need to move Reuben's crib into Asa and Judah's room and get out the cradle. Then I think we're all set!
What are you having? A boy, yes 4 boys. We are going to have lots of fun raising our boys. I love the three we have and can't wait to see how this little guy fits in with everyone else.
Have you picked out a name? No. We are about 60% decided on a name but we will wait until he's born to tell everyone. (yes, even my sisters)
How are you going to keep up with everything? Just the same as I do now. One day at a time. One task at a time. One hug at a time.
How are you feeling? OK. Not very energetic. I've had a moderate amount of back pain. I'm looking forward to the epidural to ease my pain!
What will the boys do while you're in the hospital? James' mom gets here June 1. I've never gone into labor so I'm planning to be induced on June 3. We'll see what actually happens. If I go into labor on my own in the next couple weeks, we will scramble for child care!

There ya go. Any more questions?