Sunday, December 4, 2011

Countdown to Christmas

The boys are so excited about Christmas! Liam made an advent calendar at school and is counting down. We have a lot of fun Christmas activities coming up in the next few weeks. We are hoping to take the kids to Dollywood this week. I love it at Christmas time. The lights are so pretty. Saturday, we are going to a local Christmas event for kids. They have crafts and cookie decorating for kids, pics with Santa, storytelling by Mrs Claus, horse drawn carriage rides and a secret santa room where elves help kids pick out inexpensive gifts for family members. The best part is it's all FREE! We look forward to it every year. The following week, our church is having caroling and cookies and then a Christmas cabaret the following Sunday. Add in, making lots of Christmas goodies with the boys and it will be a great time. It's nice to focus on happy things. Now, if we could just get some snow, it would be perfect!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Heartbroken... Again

We found out 2 weeks ago I was pregnant. We were thrilled! And to make it even more special, I was due July 29th, my Grandma's birthday! Seemed so fitting. We only told a few people. We wanted to wait until my ultrasound at 7 weeks to make sure everything was okay. And to be honest, we weren't sure how people would react to us having baby #6. People already think we're crazy for having 5. We just enjoyed our secret. I however was nervous. I lost 2 babies between Landon and Liam. That was the hardest 5 months of my life. I remember being absolutely terrified when I got pregnant with Liam. I was to the point of barely functioning because I was so scared and nervous. Finally, one day I dropped to my knees and prayed. I asked God to give me a peace and help me enjoy my baby for however long I had him or her. I felt His peace wash over me. I was still nervous but not overwhelmingly so. Thankfully, Liam was just fine and so were my next two blessings.
Last Saturday, I had a nagging feeling something was wrong. No cramps or spotting, just intuition. I kept telling Mike but he just kept trying to reassure me everything was fine. I was right though. I woke up at 3:30 in the morning bleeding. I knew my baby was gone. I was only 5 weeks 2 days. I called my OB's answering service Sunday morning and they told me to go to the ER. I'm Rh- so I needed a rogham shot. The did bloodwork at the hospital and my hcg level was already down to 8.
I'm heartbroken. This never gets easier. My heart was filled with love for my baby the minute I saw that positive test. A really good friend of mine who also lost a baby recently, told me about a book called "I'll Hold You in Heaven". I got it today and it helped. It gave answers to question with biblical backing. It reaffirmed that my baby was a person with a soul from the moment of conception and that we will see him or her in Heaven. This is what gets me through. A friend also reminded me that my Grandma is up there rocking my baby. I now have three babies waiting for me. I like to think of them playing together.
I have spent the last few days snuggling my boys. That always helps :) Praying for God's healing and peace and hoping He blesses us again.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I Miss Her

We got some sad news a couple of weeks ago. My mom called at 6:55 am on Tues, October 4 and told me my Grandma had passed away. We knew it was getting close but it was still so hard. The first thing I said was, "The pictures didn't make it". Landon and Noah had both drawn pictures for her the Saturday before. I knew she wasn't doing good so I went to the post office Monday morning and overnight-ed them. They told me they would be there by 3:00 pm. She passed away at about 3:30 am. When I hung up, the boys asked what was wrong. I told them that Grandma had gone to Heaven to be with Jesus. Connor and Landon both started crying. It was hard because Mike had left at 5:30 that morning for a 24 hour shift. I hugged them and told them they could stay home if they wanted. They both wanted to go to school. I found out that evening that Connor had started crying when he got to school. His teacher told him she understood because her Grandpa was really sick and they knew he'd be going to Heaven very soon too. She told him it was okay to cry and that she'd be praying for us. What a blessing she was!
We made arrangements to leave the next day at lunch as soon as Mike got home from work. That afternoon was a blur. I spent the time packing for the 10 hour drive to Florida. The next few days were really hard but I'm so glad we got to go. It helped to be with my family. We were united in our sadness and it was comforting to be with people who missed her like I did. I was also glad that the boys got to see my Grandpa who shared 67 years with my Grandma. My mom brought the pictures to the funeral and the boys put them in her casket with her. I was a little surprised they did but they asked to go up and see her. Connor decided he didn't want to and I told him that was perfectly fine. It was totally up to him.
I'm doing better now but I still have my moments. I'll picture her face and her light blue eyes and remember how her face would light up when we went to see her, and get very emotional. I can hear her voice. When I'd call, she'd answer with a soft "hello" and when I said "Hi Grandma", I could literally hear her smile as she said "Hey baby!". She ADORED my boys. She had a special thing where she would always have popsicles in the freezer for them when we went to see her. Even after she moved into the nursing home, she'd have my aunt go get some and put them in the nurse's freezer when she knew we were coming. I told the boys, she'll be waiting for them in Heaven with popsicles in hand!
My grandma always made me feel loved. She worried about me, especially when I was pregnant. She would always ask me how I was feeling and tell me to rest and take care of myself. It felt good to have someone be concerned for me. She was proud of me and made me feel special. The last time we saw her was when Keaton was 3 months old. She was SO excited to meet him and cuddle him. I just wish she could have done it more.
It still seems a little unreal sometimes. Knowing that I can't just pick up the phone and hear her voice. I'd love to be able to hug her one more time. The last time I talked to her was about a week and a half before she died. Before I hung up I said ,"I love you Grandma", and she replied with "Love you more". I couldn't ask for any better last words and I thank God for blessing me with her.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Heart Smile

Noah says the funniest and cutest things. The other morning, I was getting ready and Noah came in. He said "Mommy, can you put some water on my hair so I can comb it and be a stylin man?". He was so serious. It was SO cute! Then the other night, I had an Alathea cd playing and Noah started dancing around the living room. He stopped for a minute, ran over to me and said, "I'm dancing for Jesus so He'll be happy!". Then he went right back to dancing. I could just imagine the smile on Jesus' face. It made my heart smile :)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Backyard Zip Line!!!

Another giveaway I found was one on It is for the winner's choice Linkof either a 100′, 150′ or 200′ length zip line from! How cool is that?! My boys would flip if I won it! It sure would make for an exciting Christmas day! Connor got to do a zip line at camp and he raved about it. Our house would be the place to be if we had one! Kristi, the blogger on Mom's Own Words, even posted a video of her kids using the zip line. It looks like so much fun! Mike is even excited about this one! He's been scouting out the perfect place for it should I win :) I have til the 29th to get all my entries in. What an exciting giveaway!

Awesome giveaway!

I love entering giveaways! I am now trying to win things to save for the boys for Christmas. Connor is getting too old for toys but he loves to read. He mentioned that he'd a like a Kindle. Unfortunately, they are pricey and when you are buying for 5 kids, that could be a stretch. Then I came across a giveaway from Fun Saving Money for a nextbook ! The giveaway is for a next6 tablet and it would be perfect for Connor! It is even better than a kindle with extra features. The giveaway doesn't end until September 10 so there's still time to enter (and get those extra daily entries in!). Giveaways are so much fun and if you can get presents for Christmas, even better!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


I was watching a new show on ABCFamily channel called "Switched At Birth" last night and it brought back memories. About 12 years ago, I went in to work and my friend and co-worker told me that her aunt had gotten a call the night before informing her that her granddaughter(who she was raising) had been switched at birth with another little girl that lived about 30 minutes away. My friend's cousin and her husband(the little girl's parents) had been killed in a car accident a few months before she got the call. I was in shock. I couldn't believe that that could really happen. That started a very long and stressful journey for all of those involved. Court battle after court battle ensued. The show last night made me wonder what happened to those two innocent little girls whose lives were changed when a nurse made a mistake and didn't tell anyone. I can't imagine the emotions those families experienced. It also made me thankful for the extra security precautions the hospitals have taken when my boys were born. They were all banded right there with me before leaving the room. I pray that all hospitals are that careful with newborns and that this never happens again!


We were at my parents' house this past Saturday and a family friend was playing with Noah. Noah came over and asked me if I would put his carseat in Ryan's car so he could go spend the night with him. Ryan told him that "mommy would miss him". Noah came over and asked me if I would. I said "yes, I would miss you very much so not tonight". Liam who was standing nearby came running over and said, "MOOMMM, let him go!". Ahh, brotherly love!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Things They Say!

The other day, Landon was watching tv and he started laughing. He called Mike in the room and said "Daddy, that was so funny! That girl woke from her slumber and fell out of bed!". Where he heard "woke from slumber", I have no idea! Then last night, we were on our way to church and he commented that Keaton had learned to pick his nose. I told him that that was one of the first things little boys learn to do. He replied with, "Well mommy, if we don't pick our nose, it will fill up with boogers and we won't be able to breathe!". I just had to laugh. It's all these little things they say that I want to remember, boogers and all!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Small Rant

Why do at least half of all boy things have skulls on them??? I know I can't be the only mom to boys who doesn't like this! Clothes, shoes, underwear, backpacks, hats, you name it. So frustrating! Even tiny baby clothes have skulls on them. That's the last thing I want to dress my little baby in! What's next, crib sets with skulls??

Growing Up

It's so hard to believe that Connor will soon be entering the tween years. We decided last week to convert the loft into a space/room for him. He was thrilled with the idea. I was even lucky enough to find a solid wood captain's bed at a yard sale for $30! Landon and Liam are taking the move hard though. The first night Connor slept upstairs, they both were in tears. It hit me that Connor and Landon have shared a room for almost 7 years and Landon doesn't ever not being with Connor. I tried to console him and then Liam started crying. I told Landon that Liam was sad too and he said, "yea, but not as sad as me." It broke my heart. Sweet Connor even came down and said he'd sleep down there with them that night but in the end everyone slept in their own rooms :)

Almost Over

Well, it's almost back to school time. This summer has flown by. I'm usually ready for the kids to be heading back by now but not this year. We have enjoyed the summer so much and it has been so nice just relaxing. We decided to make a trip to Dollywood yesterday. It was hot but not too crowded. My parents went with us which was a huge help. We did one of the water rides 4 times :) It felt so good to get cooled off! Mike, Connor, Landon and I rode the "Dizzy Disk". Hard to explain but boy was it fun! Landon got a little nervous half way though but was a trooper. The last thing we did before we left was see the "Gazzillion Bubble Show". It turned out to be amazing and I think I enjoyed it just as much if not more than the boys! The bubbles mixed with laser lights and music was incredible! My only regret was that we didn't have time to ride the train and poor Noah has asked to ride it ever time and we haven't. That will be #1 on the list next time :)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Countdown To Vaction!

We leave for vacation soon and I can't wait!! We have never taken a vacation that's longer than a week and it has always been a rushed one to visit family. And since that requires either a 16 hour or 10 hour drive each way, it seemed almost not worth it. We are so lucky to be able to take almost 4 weeks this time! We are heading to the Creation Museum first and then stopping at a friend's house for a night. It will be so great to see her and her family! We haven't seen each other in 2 years and we've both had baby boys since. It will be so fun for all the kids to play. After that, we're heading to Wisconsin to visit Mike's family. We only get to see his parents once a year and his siblings less than that so it will be great to be with them all! His parents will celebrate their 5oth wedding anniversary while we're there and they're having a family get together. I'm looking forward to just relaxing and having date nights with Mike. My in-laws are so great about baby sitting. Also on the agenda are visits to IKEA and Mall of America as well as trying out a restaurant we saw the other night on "Man vs. Food". It has been a long couple of years with Mike in school and we really need this downtime. I think this will be an awesome summer!

Saturday, May 14, 2011


Yesterday was a big day at our house. Mike graduated from Nursing school!! It has been a looong 2 years and we are so glad he is done! He has worked so hard. Working full time as a helicopter medic, part time in the ER at a local hospital, going to school, and still being a great husband and dad. And I couldn't be prouder because not only did he graduate, but he did so with a 4.0 GPA! It was an emotional night and I'm glad I remembered to pack tissues! It will be great to have him home more. I know the boys have missed him just as much as I have. Now we can relax a little and focus on our upcoming vacation. We are getting to go visit Mike's family in Wisconsin for 3 weeks. We have never been able to go for that long and it's great because it makes the 16 hour drive worth it! Plus, we get to make a pit stop to take the kids to the Creation Museum AND we get to see friends that we haven't seen in 3 years! I am SO excited! We both had baby boys last year only 2 1/2 months apart and I can't wait to meet him in person and let her meet Keaton. Definitely going to be a lot of picture taking that day! And speaking of babies, I get to meet my new nephew, Sam who was born in April. We are also looking forward to being there for my in-laws 50th wedding anniversary. We miss so much being so far so it's awesome that we get to be there for that! They are wonderful people and we are all looking forward to spending time with them. I feel for women who don't care for or don't get along with their in-laws. I love mine and I know they love me. It's truly a pleasure to have them visit (not to mention a huge help!). Anyway, all I can say is , bring on the summer! We are ready to relax!!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Birthday Cakes

With all our recent birthdays around here, there's been a lot of talk about birthday cakes. All the boys have been discussing what kind of cakes they want for their birthdays. Connor just wanted chocolate cake with chocolate icing. Landon wanted a chocolate dinosaur cake. Noah wanted a chocolate monkey cake. Today, Liam came up and told me he knew what kind of cake he wanted (never mind that his birthday is not until November!). He said he wanted a Keaton cake. When I asked him what that was he explained. He said he wanted a cake that said "Happy Birthday Liam" with the number 6 under that and then "Keaton" at the bottom. When I asked why, he said "because I love him". It brought tears to my eyes! One of my biggest prayers is that my boys will stay close and love each other. I want them to be best friends throughout their lives. Liam is such a good big brother. He adores Keaton. Every morning, he waits for Keaton to nurse and then carries him out to the living room. He loves to play with him and make him laugh. It makes my heart smile to see the bond between them!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Photo Contest

I got an email this week telling me that a photo I submitted of Noah is one of 4 finalists in a messy kids photo contest! The photo I submitted was taken one morning when we found Noah in the kitchen with the pancake mix and a bottle of syrup. He said he was "making pancakes". We won a leather diaper bag with some Johnson's baby products. I was excited with that but then read that the photos were open for public voting and the grand prize winner would receive $1,000!!! I about fell out of my chair! Needless to say, that would be a HUGE blessing for us right now. We have reached out to everyone we can think of for votes and we have jumped from 30% of the vote to 41% in 24 hours! We were within 3% of the 1st place spot but it looks like they have started rallying and have gone ahead 4% more :( I'm not giving up though and will continue to beg and plead for votes until the end! The contest ends Monday night so there's still hope! Here's the link:

Monday, February 21, 2011


Mike and I both have been wanting to get into shape. A friend of mine had done the Insanity workout program and said it was tough but worth it. I finally talked Mike into it. We started it last Friday and let me tell you, it's intense! It is the hardest workout I've ever done. We were both drenched in sweat and laying on the floor when it was done. And even though my body ached, I felt good! I felt like I accomplished something. With the program, you work out 6 days a week. I did day 4 today. One thing I like is that there are many different workouts and you rotate through them so you never do the same thing back to back. We took our starting weight and measurements and will recheck weight on Friday. I'm going o be brave and say my starting weight was 161. Can't remember my measurements but I'll report any losses in the future. My main goal is to tone up. I really want to be able to wear tank tops this summer! I also want to have more energy. Anyway, I'm hoping Insanity helps Mike and I both!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Wonderful Weekend!!

It started a little early when we celebrated Landon's 8th birthday Thursday night. We took him to Perkins (his favorite because he can get breakfast for dinner!). Afterwards, mom and dad came over for cake. We had a really nice time. Friday, I went to the outlets in Pigeon Forge with a friend. We got some GREAT deals! Six pairs of shoes for $35 at Stride Rite and then 14 items of clothing at Children's Place for $37. Saturday, we took advantage of the BEAUTIFUL weather and took the boys to the park. We had a picnic and then went for a short hike. We ended at the playground which thrilled the boys :)
The absolute highlight of the weekened was today though. I was honored and extremely proud to watch Mike baptize Landon at church :) It was one of the best days of my life. He did so good! I cried like a baby! The children's pastor prayed with him and told him the angels in heaven were doing summersaults because they were so happy. Landon liked that. Mike was a little nervous about doing the baptism himself but he did great! When we got home, we gave Landon a new Bible. He loved it. I really could not have asked for a better weekend!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

My Baby is 10!

It's so hard to believe Connor is 10! I can still vividly remember the day I found out I was pregnant with him. I was SO excited but a little shocked because it happened so quick. I thought it was supposed to take months so when it happened on the first try, I was surprised. I remember how much I loved being pregnant and how emotional it was to feel him move for the first time. I remember crying when I saw his tiny heart beating on my 1st ultrasound and then again 12 weeks later when I saw his sweet face on ultrasound again. I remember being scared to death when they picked up an irregularity in his heartbeat at 36 weeks and I thank God everything turned out to be okay. I remember feeling scared, nervous, and incredibly excited the day I went in to be induced. The moment he was delivered and they announced "It's a boy!" was one of the most amazing moments of my life. Having the pediatrician come in the morning we were to leave the hospital and tell us there was something wrong and my sweet newborn baby had a unexplainable fever was one of the scariest moments of my life. I remember begging them to let me stay and not discharge me. I told them I'd sleep on the floor. Of course that wasn't possible and I left the hospital at 10:30 that night without my baby. I refused to go home without him so we went to my parents' house and that is where we spent every night until Connor came home. I remember being angry that I was waking up to a breast pump instead of a hungry baby but was determined to pump enough so that they wouldn't have to give him formula once my milk came in. Every day from 8:00 am to 11:00 pm, we spent in the "family room" which was just an 8x7 room with a loveseat and tv, with our baby. Ten long days later, we finally got to bring our boy home. They never did find out what caused the fever, despite numerous tests, including 2 failed spinal taps.

Connor was such a good baby. So sweet and content. He never really cried and only fussed when he was hungry (which was often in the beginning!). He had big blue eyes, a head full of dark hair and the prettiest skin ever! I could just sit and stare at him all day! Becoming a mother was the most amazing thing I have ever done. I read "Let Me Hold You Longer" by Karen Kingsbury recently and cried through the whole thing. So many of the "lasts" she mentioned have already happened for Connor. He has matured into a smart, handsome, helpful, and kind young man. I am so proud of him! I realized after Keaton was born that Connor will start high school the same year Keaton starts kindergarten. Talk about an emotional day! I feel so blessed to be mom to my boys. The years to come will be challenging but I can't wait to see what God has in store for my first born baby boy!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Big Winner!

Landon came home the other day and after putting his backpack away, he came and sat on the floor by me. He grinned and said, "Mommy, I won a bike today.". I thought he was joking but apparently, twice a year, the school puts the names of all the kids with perfect attendance in a bucket and draws one boy and one girl. They each get a new bike, the color of their choice! Landon picked blue :) He was so proud! He did tell me though that he cried when they called him to the office to pick the color. They asked him why he was crying and he said, "because I miss my mommy and daddy". :( I think he just gets nervous when he's in the spotlight, whether it be good or bad. I can't fault him at all. He definitely gets his emotional side from me! I cry at the drop of a hat. Anyway, his bike should be in next week and he can't wait to pick it up! The funny thing is, the day he won, he had cried and had not wanted to go to school. They had been out the previous week for snow and he was having a rough time getting back into the swing of things. He said he sure was glad he went!

Praying Dog

I was working with our puppy, Maggie, today and trying to get her trained to respond to a clicker. Noah was with me and at one point, Maggie bowed her head down and waited for a treat. Noah said, "Look mommy! She's saying blessing!". So sweet!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Newest Addition

Mike and I had been talking about getting a new dog. Poor Sammie is getting up there and we thought it might be a good time to add a new dog so that it might pick up on some of Sammie's traits/ temperament. I looked and looked online for a dog from a rescue or shelter. We wanted a smaller dog and I quickly found that they go quickly. I knew what breeds we wanted to avoid and looked up ones that were good with kids. We finally found a bassador, 1/2 basset hound and 1/2 lab. Both breeds are great with kids. He was 3 years old and already housebroken. We went to meet him and he seemed very laid back and good with the kids. We decided to go for it and brought him home. He and Sammie got along great and he paid no attention to the cats. Everything was great until later that night. Landon went to pet him and he barked at him. I thought that maybe he had just had a long day and needed to have some space. The next day, Mike was home with the 3 youngest. He said he was sitting in the floor with Keaton and when he (Keaton) made a sudden movement, the dog lunged his head toward him. No growl or snap but he definitely reacted. At this point we were thinking it might not work out. He loved playing with the boys and loved to be petted but we just didn't thhink we could trust him with the little ones. Later that day, he growled while Noah was playing by him. That was it. We knew it wasn't a good fit. Luckily, the rescue gives 10 days to see if it works and if not, they take the animal back and you get a refund.
The boys were sad but when we explained we couldn't take a chance on him hurting their baby brother, they understood. I had really hoped to avoid the puppy training but the more we talked about it, we decided a puppy was the way to go. That way he/she would be used to the boys from the get go. I started looking again and found a few online at a local shelter. Unfortunately, thanks to the snow storm we got, the shelter was closed for 4 days. We finally got to go and after looking at a few young dogs/puppies, we decided on an 8 week old Carolina dog mix puppy. She was one of 4 and she was the smallest. I had done some research on the breed and they are great family dogs and very gentle with kids. They are also supposed to be very clean and smart dogs. Definite plus! They have no idea what the father was but we are hoping the mama's genes are strong! We brought her home on Wednesday and so far so good. She's a sweetheart and loves to snuggle. The boys have been really good about taking her out to potty and she's only had a few accidents. I'm really hoping the house training goes quickly! I think we made the right choice and I'm excited to watch her grow up with the boys!