Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Tuesday I traveled to my parent's house to spend the day up there and to celebrate my nephew's 2nd birthday. While there Joshua had a fever and was not feeling well. When we got home the kids went to bed, and I cleaned-up the house from that morning's hectic adventure to get to my parent's house. It is not easy getting 5 children ready and packed to spend the day at my parent's house. I feel that I am pretty good at doing this and manage to only take two bags, not my entire house.

Before I went to bed I checked on Joshua and he was burning up. I gave him some medicine and went to bed. This morning his fever was still there and he did not feel well. Mothers, you know that look in your child's eyes that just tells you they do not feel well and that they want mommy. So I took him to the sick clinic that my pediatricians office has. We got to see our pediatrician and found out that Joshua has an ear infection and a sinus infection. YEAH! Oh and that he is contagious.

That means that everyone is going to get sick because there is no way that I can make sure that my children do not pass germs among themselves. So later this afternoon Esther and Jacob also had fevers. Now I am waiting for Elijah to get sick as well. Hannah is safe for the most part because she does not interact with the other children that much and I can control that aspect of her freedom. But getting the other children to just drool on themselves, not drink after each other, not share their snacks and do not sneeze on each other is almost impossible.

Please pray that the sickness goes away quickly. Also that I grow some more limbs on my body to hold and cuddle with all the sick children that just want to sit in my ONE lap.

I am grateful that my mother is here to help me while Noel is gone this week. I think that I would have to be put into a mental hospital if I did not have my mother. I love her so much and appreciate all the things she does for me and my family. From the friendship that we share to the bathing of the kids, I am grateful. I love you mom.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

We All Scream for Ice Cream!!!

Noel is in his travel season right now which means that he is away from home during the week. Normally leaving Monday and returning late on Thursday. The last couple of weeks my mother has come to help me; which has kept me sane. This week the kids were good and I thought that we would give them a reward for being so good.

My mother helped me clean out my kitchen cabinets of all the "stuff" that you accumulate over time. So we loaded the kids up in the van dropped our donation off at Goodwill and then headed to McDonald's. We ordered two strawberry sundaes and two chocolate sundaes.

The "zoo" has never had ice cream before so this was a nice experience for both the "zoo" and the "zookeeper." I am sorry to say that I did not get Jacob's initial reaction to ice cream I think we could have won some money; it was priceless. We did however manage to get the "zoo" to say hello and good-bye. Some of them said good-bye so that I would not touch their ice cream. Hannah received fruit instead of the dairy, but she did not seem to mind.

Here are a couple pictures and then the video that we shot.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Aggie Football

As most of you know, Noel and I are Aggies. That is right we bleed maroon and white. A friend sent me this link and I could not resist sharing it with all of you. I know that you will find it funny, since we are in the South and the schools of Texas are mentioned.

Like every good Aggie says, "we are in a rebuilding year!" There is always next year and no matter what we will stand at our football games and still yell and make our jokes. Enjoy the fact that we started a rivalry that has lasted for many generations with t.u. Who would have thought that killing a mascot would have spun that much anger. (If you do not understand or know why we have traditions, then just ask. We are "instilled" with the traditions of Aggieland from day ONE).


Monday, January 19, 2009

God is Amazing!! All the time!

As most of you know, Noel and I met on E*Harmony. If you want to know my side of the story you can go here.

Last night Noel and I were talking about dreams, expectations, and hopes for our children and our marriage. As we were talking Noel mentioned that he knew that my dream was to become a store manager or even an executive Vice-President. I told him that was my dream but after having our children dreams are adapted. I told him that my dream was that I would raise our children to love and fear God.

Noel let me know last night that he wanted me to stay home and take care of our children, but that he did not want to PRESSURE me into that decision. He did not want me to change my dream because of what he wanted. That was a big relief for me that Noel was willing to go to a one-income household and that he was grateful for that. I have met some women that their husbands make them feel bad for wanting to stay home. Also the other way that some husbands make their wives fee bad about pursuing a career and having children.

I thank God everyday that He pulled me out of the situation that I was in over three years ago and has completely changed my life. Three years ago I was no where near God nor did I want to be. I was working to make my career and that was what was important to me. Also I was in a relationship that more out of convenience then anything else. I was too lazy and too content where I was to look for anything better. It took my mother telling me that I was better and that God had a better plan for me.

I love you sweetie and I am proud to be your wife. May we raise our children the way that God wants us to. God use us to mold our children for you. Guide us as we make decisions every day and may they glorify you.

I think sometimes as parents we think that the everyday decisions are not as important as the huge decisions like what church to go to, when to start school, public, private or homeschooling. The everyday consistency and the daily affection for our children and our spouse is what makes the other decision easier and comforting.

Love, teach, mold and discipline your children, but do it out of LOVE!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Photo Shoot

While I was pregnant with Hannah there were four other ladies that were pregnant with me. Our due dates were really close together. So Marti took the challenge of getting a picture of all of us before we had our children. Don't we look marvelous? Now our children are about 6 months old and so we decided to have a follow-up photo shoot. The children were not as cooperative as when they were in our bellies. One of the ladies, Wren, her son was sick so he did not make it. Marti will Photoshop him in later. Also as you see Hannah is the only female in the group with the other boys.

I hope that you enjoy the photos of all the babies and of just Hannah. She is turning out to be such a sweetie. You can never have too many photos of your children and it is always good to know someone that knows how to take photos and that loves it. Thank you Marti for continuing to take pictures of my children and my family; there are a lot of people that like to see new photos of my children.

Six month Check-up

Six Months!! Has it really been that long already? I forget sometimes how fast babies grow. Hannah is not small anymore, and she is not the infant that I want her to be most days. No, most days she is this independent, do not help me, baby. For instance:
** she does not like to be held when she is eating, but in her seat with a "hands-free" bottle, doing it herself.
**she does not like to be on her back for more than 3-5 seconds when she is on the floor. NO she wants to be moving on her tummy.
**she does not want to cuddle and be held for very long, but stand up and jump up and down.

The days of cuddling, sleeping on my chest, and just being this sweet, quiet baby is gone forever. Now she is the this independent, I can do it for myself, I want the whole world to hear me when I squeal baby.

Hannah went to the doctor yesterday and we say our favorite pediatrician, Dr. Rane, of Northwest Pediatrics. Hannah weighed 16lbs 4 oz. She is in the 60-75%, which is good. Hannah decided to show-off for Dr. Rane by rolling over, getting on all fours and rocking back and forth. Then she lunged towards Dr. Rane. So Rane stated that Hannah was fantastic like her brothers and sister. Rane asked if she could borrow Hannah for the weekend.

Our next update will be at 9 months, where who knows what Hannah might be doing. Walking maybe? Enjoy our picture of Hannah she has such a personality and loves to show us her smile, dimple and her tongue. We love her and know that you do too.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Independence, Good, Bad and the Ugly!

Independence is what we want our children to have so that when they grow up they do not live with you but move out and do something with their lives. Also independence makes them less susceptible to peer pressure.

Elijah has always been independent since he was very young. He wants to do everything himself and only asks for help if he is stuck or frustrated with the situation. This includes climbing up and down the stairs with no help, climbing into his chair at the kitchen table, feeding himself with mommy and daddy's utensils. Then there is the taking off of his own diaper, which started the Duct tape. UPDATE: we are no longer using the Duct tape and we have not had any instances for about a week!!! Recently he has started to try to climb onto the changing table to get his diaper changed, climbing up the side of the stairs to climb out of the play room. Today he decided that I can no longer dress him but just hand him his clothes and watch him dress himself.

I have reached that day when another motherly duty that I enjoy doing has been taken away by independence. That is a good thing a bad thing and an ugly thing for me. A good thing because my son is growing up and wanting to be his own person, bad because I want him to want/need me, and ugly because it shows my selfishness for wanting them to let me do certain things still.

The triplets also want to do everything that Elijah does so as they watched their brother dress himself they wanted to dress themselves. I am not ready to give up that pleasure on all of them yet. The funny thing is that I want Elijah to want to potty train and he is telling me that he is not having it.

Children are funny that way. They surprise us with things and then are defiant in other things. Each day is a new day.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Clean with Children

Some people have asked me how I make it possible to take care of 6 children (my 5 and then Colton) and clean. I began to think about how I do it. So here it is at this "zoo". Mind that I try to do these things but like everything else sometimes LIFE changes my intention.

Many of us balk at the idea of a home-cleaning routine. First, cleaning takes time – more time than most busy women have. Second, cleaning is not terribly fun. And the fact that it is not fun is exacerbated by the fact that as soon as you finish cleaning something, it begins to get dirty once again. Time consuming, no fun, and little reward – that's what cleaning is, right? But what if you can change the way you think about dirt and getting rid of it? With the right home-cleaning routine under your belt, your happy home can indeed stay clean enough to allow guests inside without worrying about what they might see. And you will bask in the satisfaction of knowing that you and your family are living a relatively dirt-free and orderly existence.

There is no right way to create a home cleaning schedule. The correct routine will be the one that works the best for your lifestyle so you can stick with it. Do not structure your home-cleaning routine so precisely that there is no room for unexpected emergencies, like sick kids or a surprise visit from your mother-in-law. Do not put unreasonable expectations on yourself either, like cleaning the entire house from top to bottom on a day when you have other activities already on the calendar. or have small children.

You can either choose to clean one room each day; do one daily chore, like dusting on Mondays and vacuuming on Tuesdays; or spend one day a month deep cleaning your home and then use the rest of the days for quick touch-ups as necessary. I also have a Roomba, Revi, that helps me. I make sure that "Revi" runs each day in at least two rooms. To all those husbands out there; I feel that this machine makes cleaning easier and keeps my sanity. Also the laundry is done when there is a load of laundry not when there are no clean clothes. Most of my cleaning is done when it is dirty.

Once you have determined a general system that will work for you, it's time to make a list of the chores that will be worked into your home-cleaning routine.

The Daily Do's

- Making beds
- Washing dishes
- Picking up the toy room
- Clearing the clutter

The Weekly Work List

- Vacuum and mop floors
- Dust
- Clean out the refrigerator & microwave
- Change the bed linens
- Scrub the bathrooms

Monthly Musts

- Vacuum upholstery, lamp shades
- Dust air vents, ceiling fans, light fixtures and moldings
- Wipe down the front of kitchen cabinets
- Wipe and disinfect door handles
- Change the furnace filter and check smoke alarms
- Clean and disinfect trash cans
- Clean the inside of windows and the sills

Quarterly Quests

- Clean exterior doors and hose down patios
- Inspect and do any necessary maintenance on heating and cooling units
- Wash curtains and blinds
- Wipe down baseboards
- Clean oven and scrub stove hood
- Wash or dry-clean comforters, pillows and slipcovers
- Clean out closets

12-Month Tasks

- Clean windows inside and out
- Professionally clean carpets
- Wash walls
- Clean out the pantry and any kitchen cabinets as needed

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Stairs and Gravity

Last night Noel and I gave the "zoo" a bath as usual. After drying them off we moved toward the stairs. Jacob and I stayed behind to hang the towels. Jacob has become mom's little sidekick. So as we were folding the towels over the towel rack; then I heard Noel's voice become scared as he screamed Joshua's name. Then I heard the sound that I had hoped that I would never have to hear. Joshua started to roll down the stairs. By the time that I got to the stairs Noel had Joshua in his arms and he was not crying.

Noel got the other children down the stairs and we looked Joshua over. I think that Noel and I were more scared then he was. Being the mellow child he just wanted us to stop touching him so that he could play with everyone else. We gave him some Motrin to make sure that if he was sore that he would be able to sleep.

Later Noel told me what happened. Noel was holding onto Esther's and Joshua's hand and Elijah holds onto the railing. Well Elijah decided that he was going to pick up Noel's camera and Noel told Elijah to put it down. In that second Joshua let go to Noel's hand and took a step. That is when he fell down and I heard Noel's voice change.

This morning he was running and playing like everyone else. We are thankful that he was not seriously hurt. I looked him over and could not find any new bruises. The picture above explains how I feel about the stairs and my children. Noel and I are very careful, but sometimes our children get hurt.

As parents we always ask for protection for our children from strangers, disease, and illness. I think for the first couple of years we need to ask for protection from themselves. They seem to hurt themselves more than anyone else. Well in my "zoo" they seem to enjoy hurting each other.

May your children stay safe from each other and from themselves.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Pudding Part II

A while back I posted a blog about my children eating pudding. Well I got a lot of responses on that one and I thought that I would share some more photos about their latest pudding episode. Now the neatness of the pudding has not changed. Everyone is doing really well with utensils but after a while the "zoo" gets impatient and the fingers and hands become more useful and lets face it more interesting to eat.

Toddlers need a lot of Vitamin D in their diet among other vitamins. Bottles are a thing of the past and so I have to get as much Vitamin D in their diet without the BOTTLE. I had some pudding in the refrigerator and decided that it was time to try this pudding thing again. The "zoo" did really well for about the first 3-5 minutes and then the spoons went down and the hands went in.

You cannot get really upset because they try so hard to be big people but they know that they are more productive with their own hands. Tsh told us that in Turkey the parents do not teach their children how to use utensils but that when they start school that is part of the curriculum. Well the people of Turkey would really not like us. Trial and Error is how I see it, and the "zoo" enjoy the trial and the error part.

I want to thank my mother for coming and helping me this week for a couple of days. With Noel being out of town and there being no relief at the end of the day it does get exhausting. I love you mom and the "zoo" really enjoyed you being here. They looked for you this morning.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Medical Update

What is a Gallbladder?

The gallbladder (or cholecyst, sometimes gall bladder) is a small non-vital organ which aids in the digestive process and stores bile.

I like the part where they describe it as a non-vital organ. I think that if God did not think it was non-vital organ, he would have not have created it. I enjoy the fact that medical science has come so far as to be able to convince us that we do not need our gallbladder.

Last week I started to have pain in my stomach area. Severe cramping to the point that I could not sleep. Well the pain went away and I was thankful. Then four days later it came back and Noel had to take me to the emergency room. I was hooked up to an IV with painkillers and an ultrasound was done. The ER doctor told me that I had gallstones (Gallstones form when liquid stored in the gallbladder hardens into pieces of stone-like material) and that I needed to talk to a surgeon on Monday about surgery.

Well I went home and told Noel and he was freaked out and worried about me. So on Monday I called and made an appointment to see the surgeon. The general surgeon asked me 6 questions, pushed on my stomach and told me that I needed surgery. I went home and told my husband and we planned on having surgery.

Today, Wednesday, the hospital called to set up my surgery for FRIDAY. Went over a couple of instructions and then let me go. Not even 30 minutes later I was called and told that my portion of the surgery was $7500 and that I needed to make arrangements to pay that before coming into the hospital on FRIDAY. So of course I called my insurance agent totally freaked about the money and that it was not right according to the insurance policy.

After I calmed down and realized that I do not have control over this but that God was big enough to take care of me. Like Matt Cassidy stated we need to make God big enough in our lives and not the little statue that we have in our heads. I got a call from the "financing" department of the hospital and that I had to come up with 50% of my portion of the surgery before the surgery would take place. He told me that he could help me out with monthly payments for the next 2 years. I decided to get a second opinion.

Come to find out. Surgeons love to take gallbladders out because it is only a 2 hour surgery, outpatient and it costs a lot of money between 10k-20k. As the definition stated it is a "non-vital" organ. For me that is a very high paid surgeon. The surgeon that I saw on Monday after thinking about it did not even have the ultrasound that was taken in the ER but was ready to cut me open. I did not feel at ease about this procedure. Also after the surgery a lot of people still have problems. So Noel and I decided to go another route. My pain is not constant and every day, and there is a medication out there that actually flushes and dissolves the gallstones so that you do not have to have surgery. So instead of paying $7500 Noel and I have invested $69 in my gallbladder.

I will let you know the outcome. I like to make a joke that this procedure would have cost me more than what I had to pay to have triplets and I stayed in the hospital for a week. This zookeeper needs all her organs to survive any stampede that might come.

Hannah Lately

It is so hard to make sure that I keep up with all the new developments with everyone. There is at least one a day and most of the time I cannot keep up with all of them and catch them on camera/video. Plus try to do all the normal things in a day. Change diapers, feed, clean, cook, laundry, and find time to go to the bathroom. So here is the update on Hannah:

i) Hannah has discovered her tongue. She likes to try to chew on it with her gums. Also she likes to stick it out as much as possible. Her tongue is pointed at the end and not round so it makes it really funny to Noel and I.

ii) Hannah is trying to crawl forward. She is already moving backwards and rotating her body in a circle with her arms, but now she is up on all fours rocking forwards.

iii) Hannah does not baby food, I continue to try to get her to eat it but she is more interested in what I am eating then that nasty colored food that I continue to try to put in her mouth. She is going to be just like Elijah who hated baby food, unlike the triplets who loved baby food.

iv) Hannah loves her daddy. She lights up when he holds her and plays with her. Noel and I are really enjoying Hannah being small even though she wants to be 16 already.

Hello Daddy

Well it is that time again. The holidays are over and Noel is traveling again. So this morning I decided that we would say a "hello" and "good-bye" to daddy. Since Hannah cannot talk she decided to say hello to daddy with her tongue.

Lately the "zoo" have been learning new words all the time and trying words as well. It is funny when your children try to say a word and all the pronunciation does not come out. We hope that you enjoy our little hello.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

The Remodel

Noel was off this week due to his office being closed. So last weekend Kerri and Doug Ranney received a new dishwasher for Christmas. Noel went over to install the new dishwasher, but God had another plan. When Noel and Doug removed the old dishwasher there was MOLD and WATER behind the old dishwasher.

Kerri and Doug decided to remove the old cabinets on that side of their kitchen and replace them. Get a new kitchen sink, garbage disposal, faucet, cabinets and counter tops. Noel works for tools and so Doug did the demolition work and then Noel and Doug fixed the drywall and leveled the floor to put the cabinets in.

On Tuesday they tackled the cabinets. So you have to make sure that the cabinets are level so that the counter top will go on. After putting the cabinets in the counter top had to be raised to fit on the cabinets. Then at the end of the long day that Noel and Doug had the fitting for the P-trap was not long enough. Lowe's was closed and so they could not finish.

Wednesday we went to San Antonio to visit Noel's dad and when we got home Noel went over to the Ranney's to finish the sink. Well the fitting fit and everything was tested. This morning there was a small leak from an old clamp and a new fitting. So Kerri and Doug replaced the old clamp and put some Teflon tape on the fitting and everything seems fine.

Noel was just glad that he could help our friends and he got to spend some quality time with Doug. God is amazing in knowing when things need to happen, but He never leaves you out there alone. Noel and Kerri took the pictures; there are no pictures of the MOLD and WATER.