Sunday, October 26, 2008

Feeling Better

I went (again) to the doctor on Thursday. I started asking questions about the frequency of my visits. When I asked her why I needed the biophysical profiles (really long ultrasound) every week, she said that the risk of sudden death to the baby is high with gestational diabetes babies. I was shocked, as this has never been mentioned to me in any of my (3) previous G.D. pregnancies. Of course I immediately started to worry. I became obsessed with tracking movement and would panic if it had been too long since I felt her move. After I left the doctor it occurred to me that I should have asked "So is the profile to see if the baby has died or is it to look for signs that could lead to the death of the baby?" I forgot to ask if there was a known cause for this "sudden death." So I came home and did some research. I found out that the biophysical profiles are to look for the deterioration of the vessels in the umbilical cord, and the flow of blood to the vital organs. It is common for the fluctuation of the sugar in my blood, to cause the vessels to deteriorate, collapse and cut off nutrients and oxygen to the baby. If this started happening, they would take her early. It was comforting to me to know that there are warning signs of "sudden death" and with close monitoring through the weekly profiles, we will have a good chance of catching the problem.

There was no budging on the 2x week NST's, either. It must be done. It's going to be a long road from here on out. I figured out that I will have 20 visits between now and the delivery.

I signed the tubal ligation papers a couple of weeks ago. I had to get used to the idea before I made this information public. I was encouraged to do this when I had Liam, but just didn't feel like I was ready, or "done." I was afraid of mourning the loss of my fertility. What if I regreted the decision 2,3 or four years down the road. I just couldn't come to terms with it. This time, though, I know that I can NOT do this again. My body just can't take it. I know we are not supposed to make such a decision while pregnant, but I actually made this decision before I ever got pregnant with this little pink caboose. So our train will roll on, but will not pick up any additional cargo. We have made this a matter of prayer. There are many practical reasons like, we can't afford it. More importantly, though.......we know our family is (almost) complete.


Monday, October 13, 2008


Mike says he misses my postings....I do too. I have been reading a really good book lately and been trying to get to bed earlier, so blogging falls pretty low on the priority list.
A visit to the doctor last week was somewhat discouraging. They informed me that because of the G.D., they won't take the baby more than a week early without doing an amnio. That's the test where they stick the big long needle in your stomach, all the way to the uterus to draw out amniotic fluid. I am terrified of such a procedure. They have to look for a certain protein that will indicate sufficiently mature lungs. Of course I am in disagreement about the necessity of the amnio. After all, I have had three G.D. babies, all of which were 2+ weeks early, and not one of them had underdeveloped lungs. The other thing is, they have December 30th on my chart as my due date. Huh????? At my first ultrasound, which is supposed to be the most accurate for dating a pregnancy, I was given the date of December 27th. When I questioned the doctor about this, he said that we are going by the date of your last period. I reminded him that that date was a guess....I was pregnant for nearly two months when I found out. I didn't even remember when my last cycle was. So tell me, since when does a guess outweigh the (supposedly) perfect reliability of that first ultrasound? Does three days really make all that much difference? Why, yes. It's the difference between an amnio and no amnio. I have an appointment on Thursday and will bring it up....again.
Starting next week I have to go for a fetal survey every week and NST's twice a week. Anyone available to baby sit?

PS I had another fetal survey on Tuesday. She is nearly 4 pounds according the technicians measurements, which have never been reliable in the past, but could be this time. At this rate were looking at a ten pounder.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Sigh of Relief

I spoke with my Dad tomight. I had called him earlier to check on our family in Texas. Everyone is safe and accounted for. And amazingly enough....the beach house is still standing. I guess the west side didn't get smacked near as hard as the east side did. We're counting our blessings that everyone is safe!!!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Christmas In September

I always find it interesting to see what others order for the year. I just put a big order in to Rainbow Resources and wanted to record this stuff for my own records. Part of our school day on Friday was looking through our Rainbow catalog to get some cool ideas of what we wanted to study this year. Caleb said: physics, more about the great outdoors, Maine history and geography. Lundi said: how money works (economics), geology, horses, more Shakespeare and writing.Harrison said: rocks and crystals, more ETC, microscope observation and dogs. Lauren said: nature, more ETC, babies (don't need to order anything for this one) and crystals. With this in mind, here is what I ordered:
  • Cartoon Guide to Physics
  • Exploring Physics
  • Physics and the World Around You
  • Explode The Code (x5)
  • Spectrum Phonics
  • Shakespeare for Young Readers
  • Any Child Can Write
  • Writing Warm-Up
  • Pet Tornado
  • Geology By Design
  • Cave Book
  • Rocks and Fossils
  • Break Your Own Geodes (x2)
  • Glow in the Dark Geodes
  • Smithsonian Crystal Growing Kit
  • Sticky Stones
  • Fossil Collection
  • Pocket Full of Pinecones
  • Knot Tying Game
  • Oh, Wilderness
  • Spotters Guide to Birds of Prey
  • Spotters Guide to the Night Sky
  • Spotters Guide to Rocks and Minerals
  • Spotters Guide to the Weather
  • The Way Babies Were Made (not for Lauren)
  • Where Do Babies Come From? (not for Lauren, either)
  • Engineering the City
  • Historical Who-Dun-Its
  • The Smithsonian Giude to Horses
  • A.O.P Switched on Schoolhouse /Maine
  • Whatever Happened to Penny Candy?
It should arrive in about a week. We're all excited, we love getting our new homeschooling stuff!!!

All I have left to get are our regular consumables (math, grammar, history and writing) and we are......good. to. go!


Friday, September 12, 2008

Funny Conversations

I was in the office yesterday printing out some stuff for school. Lauren found a picture of Mike holding Caleb when he was a new born. She starts to giggle and be floppy (for her, these two always go together). So I asked her "What's so funny?" She said "Papa looks like a boy." (as opposed to....? I thought.) "What do you mean?" I asked. "Well....his hair looks like a boy." she said. Then I said, "Well, if he looked like a boy then, what does he look like now?" After a whole minute of more floppiness and giggles, she finally says...."A Papa."

Tonight we were leaving to go to the shop to retrieve the van. It was dark and I had forgotten to turn on the outside light. I said to Lundi "Come here and guide me." She said "I can't Mom. I am black blind, too!"

Mike was taking the boys to boys-night-out the other night when he had the following conversation with Harrison.
H: "Well, I'm not going to smoke or drink when I grow up, but I'm not going to be a Mormon, either."
Mike: "Why not?"
H: "Because I don't like to always sit still and be reverent."


It's Been A Crazy Week

Mike has been working, plus getting some training at work, so he only had Tuesday off this week. Today he went to what is called M.O.A.B. I'm not sure what it stands for, but he came home and demonstrated some of his newly acquired skills. He learned about what to do during an attack of a whacked out patient. Some of the stuff was really when he threw something on the floor to distract the bad guy. We all laughed when he took down the oh-so- aggressive-floppy-giggly girl Lauren, but she was the only willing participant.
The car was in the shop on Monday and Tuesday, then Tuesday evening we took the van in to be repaired. So I have been without a car all week. Needless to say, the kids have been stir crazy!!
Did I forget to tell you that I was backing up with the door open, hit a huge rock and bent the door way back, ruined the hinges and made big dents in the front panel and on the drivers side door? We were at the cabin for FHE and all the kids decided they had to potty before we made the 40 minute trip home. Well, the port-a-potty is down this narrow path (just barely wider than the van) with trees and rocks on either side. I had taken the van down to the potty so that I could shine the lights for them. We didn't have any flash lights. Anyway, after we were all done, I was backing up. I had my door open, thinking I was safer because I could see better. (It's hard for me to see while backing up in the woods. Maybe I am "black-blind" as Lundi calls it). So about five feet before the end of the path we all hear this huge CRUNCH! (Insert 4 screaming, freaking-out children here). I get out to survey the was not good, even in the dark. I then try to close the door, it closes all of 6 inches, which means it is still open about 10 inches. Oh no, am I just going to drive while holding the door closed? Time to turn this disaster over to Mike, I thought. Harrison immediately suggests a prayer, says one and every one calms down. Mike comes over, fiddles with the door, manages to get it closed. (Prayer of thanks is said by all). So the next week, we get an estimate from our insurance company. They quote us $1800.00 for repairs, minus our deductible. Oh dear, it will put us in a pinch to come up with the deductible, but we have to get it repaired. You see, with our impending arrival, our plan is to trade it in for an eight passenger come December.
Then Mike had this bright idea to ask our regular mechanic of he did body work. Turns out he does. Even better, he did it for 1/3 the price we were quoted. No out of pocket expense for us. Better than that, we had enough money left over to get the car fixed and inspected, and I was able to get our homeschooling stuff for the year. Another blessing in disguise. The Lord is good to us. Oh....and the results....well, let's just say it looks perfect. You can't even tell, except for the fact that the "new" door is red and the rest of the van is silver. Just kidding. It really does look just like new. Thank You again, Pete Winslow. (For all of you locals, he is the BEST mechanic in Franklin County.


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Ain't This the Truth?

My Aunt Kathy sent this to me and I just had to share it.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Recent Outings

Last Saturday we went back to Camden for the Wind Jammer Festival. Yes, the schooners were there again, but not nearly as exciting as last year. But...this year, we got to ride a ferry out to a navy ship and have a grand tour.

It did (actually) feel like we stepped onto an island. The ferry ride was, in many ways. Liam has yet to develop his sea legs and realized quickly that it was in his best interest to sit on his pockets. As soon as we stepped onto the ship, Lauren asked "Are we in a building?" It is amazing that those ships can be so heavy and still float.
Mike worked on Monday, so we had family home evening in Tuesday, instead. For our activity we decided to try our hand at Geo Caching.
It was so fun, we decided that this is going to be a new family hobby. For those of you who want a better definition than what I can give, go here: On our way to the Gea Cache, we found many more treasure along the way. We found the work of some VERY busy beavers. This tree was more than a foot in diameter. We were all amazed at their work, and do they know which way the tree will fall???

Lauren found a squirrel's house with nobody home. She assured me that the occupant "must be over at the oak tree gathering acorns for the winter."

The hunt began......

Caleb was the one to find the cache....

....although everyone enjoyed the treasure.

We took some treasures, left some treasures and signed the log book.

This post will be continued....I must get some sleep. We will be out the door bright and early on the morrow to go to the air show tomorrow to see The Blue Angels. YEA!!!!

Fast Track to Delivery

Did you notice that I just got a whole bunch of days taken off my sentence...I mean, pregnancy. (I have yet to ask Marie how to do that crossing out thing.....I think she is such a cool blogger.)
Anyway, I went to where the widget was created and put in the actual birthday of our little pink caboose. So the number it says is actually how many days until I am one person again.
Then again.....who is counting (besides me)?

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Baby Report

I went to the doctor yesterday. Everything looks good. I spoke with her about the upcoming surgery. We can't take the baby too early because the diebetes often causes slower lung development, and we can't do it to late because we don't want me to go into labor. This would most likely result in a ruptured uterus. So, the (hopefully) happy medium is December 18th, 2008. Way too close to Christmas for my liking....but hey, gotta do what's best for baby.


Sunday, August 31, 2008

Things My Children Teach Me

J.S. ( a fine young man in our ward) is leaving on his mission soon. Today he and his parents spoke in sacrament meeting. J.S. also just happens to be a very talented pianist and has a beautiful voice. Today he shared these talents with us by playing a medley of his favorite hymns while singing. It was during the Song "I Need Thee Every Hour" when Harrison turned to me and said "Mom, it feels like my heart is shining really brightly." I said to him "That's the spirit, Harrison." He then said "I know, and Jacob brought it to me." I had to smile and say a silent prayer of gratitude to the Lord for sending this spiritual giant into my life. I then realized what I had been missing out on while I was being distracted by the other kids. I committed to focusing on the medley and then my heart started to shine, too.

After family scripture tonight, I reminded the children to pray for those who were searching for a lost little girl. Lauren automatically assumed it was the girl who's picture adorns nearly every telephone pole between here and three towns over. She has been missing for nearly twenty years. I told her "No, this is a different little girl. She is eight and has been missing since yesterday."
The rest of my conversation with Lauren tonight went like this:
L: Is Savannah watching her and making sure she has some food?
M: I'm sure she probably is.
L: I miss Savannah so much. Is she almost done being in Heaven? (as if she is away in a trip)
M: Well, it may seem like a long time, but it isn't really too long. (but we really won't realize this until we see in hindsight)
L: OK, I can't wait 'til she gets resurrected next week.
M: I don't know if it will be next week. We're not exactly sure when the Savior will come and everyone will be resurrected. But we do know that He is coming.
L: I remember when she was laying in the's that pink thing called?
M: The casket?
L: Ya, the casket. She was so tiny and little in there. And very reverent.
M: Yes, her body was very still. Do you know where her spirit was when she was in the casket?
L: Um, it was with her Mommy. Or was it with Jesus?
M: I think both.

Then in typical five year old fashion, she randomly started talking about something else. I hugged her and kissed her and sent her to her room to wait for Mike to come have personal prayer with her. Five seconds later she comes down the hall way, dragging her puppy and her blanket and says "Mommy, I wanna say my prayers out here tonight." I said "OK, come sit by me." In her prayer, several times over, she said "Thank you that Savannah will be resurrected next week. We miss her so much." She also prayed that Leah would be found soon.
It reminded me of when Kiara kept coming to the casket time and time again to kiss her sister, then run off to play some more, on the night of the viewing. It was like she was checking in with her, making as many connections as she could before the casket would finally be closed. Often times it is as though children just inherently know that life continues after death. It is such a beautiful thing to see the perfect faith of a child.
My prayer tonight is that Heavenly Father will comfort even the littlest hearts that mourn for Savannah. As they try to piece it all together, I pray that their faith will be strengthened. These children are an example to those like me who sometimes forget the simplicity of it all. He lives. Little children are alive in him. Their perfect faith is what I am striving for. They are such a blessing in my life.


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Inspired Again

Don't you just love inspiring people who blog about amazing experiences that have enhanced their lives. Sometimes these experiences are pleasant and sometimes they are a big trial. I have discovered a blog that tells a heartbreaking story about a couple that was in a plane crash a couple weeks ago. Both of them were severly burned and are on a long road to recovery. They have four young children, who are currently being cared for by family. I check this blog every day. I love the way Jane (the sister of Stephanie, who was the woman in the crash) so eloquently describes what is happening from day to day. It makes me cry, it is so beautiful.
If you are looking for some way to reach out to another in love, or be touched by an amazing story, you can find it here


More From Us....

Caleb, Harrison, Lauren and Lundi at Smalls Falls. August 2008

We put these muscles to good use today and yesterday when we mowed the lawn.

This is the first time this year we have done such a thing. After we searched high and low for the broken part for the tractor (last year), we finally broke down and bought a push mower. Yes, we wanted another tractor, but the push mower was in our budget. This late in the season, they're ready to clear them out to make way for snow blowers, so we got it on sale at Sears.Harrison was the first to take his turn at mowing yesterday. Did I ever mention the great work ethic that this kid has? Especially when it comes to (what he calls) "manly jobs." He loves to do things that require muscle, which is why he is so buff!
He mowed for a good hour and a half yesterday, pushing and pulling with all his might. He could have done it in half the time, had he followed my council. You have to understand, the lawn was my favorite job (still is) when I was a kid and I took pride in my great rhythm of "row by row." I am so anal about this and it drives me crazy to watch him mow because he simply can't mow in a straight line. It has the bar that you can pull down to engage the wheels to turn. This makes it hard to mow straight if you are seven. So, I just looked away and occasionally walked out there to point out his missed spots and let him carry on. As the kids get older, they will be able to do the whole lawn by themselves (2-3 acres is too much for any one of them) and I will eventually have to hand over the reigns of the lawn mower.
Harrison lost one top tooth last week one one today. Thank goodness that other one fell out today, he was a snaggle tooth. It was looking pretty bad. I started calling him "Carnie." He got tired of it being in the way, so he yanked it out himself. He is so tough.

Harrison about to lose his fourth baby tooth.
August 27, 2008

Liam at Smalls Falls. August 2008

Lundi, Harrison and Caleb.
Smalls Falls. August 2008

Lauren at Smalls Falls. August 2008

Here is proof that Liam is doing a great job at being a toddler. He gets a new one of these atleast every other day. Not all of them are quite so colorful.

When we went to go pick Lundi up from Girl Scout camp, we took some time to explore a little bit of Baxter State Park. It was beautiful.

Here is Lauren (with attitude) posing for the camera.

Lauren and Harrison at Baxter Staye Park. August 2008
Liam (with turtle in tow) at Baxter State Park. August 2008

It's getting late and I need to still write letters from the Tooth Fairy to accompany the cash that will be placed under pillows tonight. Caleb, Harrison and Lauren have all lost teeth in the last month. What can I say? She's a little behind.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Long Time No Post

I know....the posts are sparse lately. Pregnancy really puts a damper on ALL that I want to do. It's like I am on "couch rest" or something. The kids have learned to expect my frequent rests, though, and have become alot more independent the last few weeks. Even Liam can now get his own "nack" out of the fridge.

The latest and greatest at our house looks something like this:

Caleb has caught on to the thrill of Star Wars. We bought a new lawn mower. We are still trying to get rid of the dog, she's too stinky, too crazy and nobody is able to make the time to train her. Starting school next week. It will be good to be back on a regular schedule. A couple of the kids are getting over a cold. I ended up bleaching the stinky towels that were used to clean up milk. I figured after 5 washes, it was the last resort. Besides, they were worth more to me bleached than they were stinky. The new van is going great, the black car is near death. We are diligently searching for a place to move that is closer to the hospital. We are sick of paying $450.00+ on gas every month. Mike absolutely loves the E.R. and is almost sure that this is where he will spend his nursing career. Mike and I went down to O.O.B. , once again, to look for an assisted living place for Laurette. She isn't able to live alone, but not sick enough for a nursing home. The waiting lists of these places is incredibly long. The process of finding care for an old person is tedious and difficult. She doesn't want to live here because our house is too noisy, even with her hearing aids off. (Imagine that). The de-junking of the house is slowly coming along. When we move we are NOT bringing the junk with us. I am going to adopt Kristen's method.....keep one out of four things. It has been so liberating to get rid of so much. The other day, we got rid of 4 bags of clothes, a huge bag of videos/DVDs, 4 boxes of books and 5 trash bags of toys, which were all broken, never played with, out grown or had missing parts. We have much more to go, but it's a good start. I love purging, I feel so free when the clutter is gone. The baby is growing every day and the movements are getting stronger and more noticable. Feeling the baby move is my favorite part of pregnancy. I am still teaching institute, and loving it. We just finished the Old Testament and will start the New Testament in September. I will be down two students, though, because they are off to college.
There is so much more, but my pillow calls.
Bonne Nuit.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Happy Heavenly Birthday, Savannah!!!

I am so inadequate when it comes to these things. Eloquence is not one of my strengths. But I know I will regret it if I don't record my thoughts of Sweet Savannah on what would have been her eighth birthday.

She passed away two weeks ago today. The Lord needed her home and she very graciously fought the fight to the end.

I am so grateful for the lessons she taught me and my family. She is beautiful inside and out, a princess to all who knew her, and best of all, a precious daughter of God and an instrument in His hands. She had a very special mission on earth, and continues that mission in a far holier place. We will miss her eyes, her smile and her laughter. I feel honored to have known her. We love you so much, Savannah. Happy Heavenly Birthday!!!!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Boy Girl Boy Girl Boy.........

........Girl, of course. That's right, I had an ultra sound last week and our sixth child is a girl. We kept our pattern. Someday I'll patten my secret and make it known to the rest of the world. We took all the kids with us, these appointments are (by tradition) always attended by the whole family. So, all seven of us crowded into that little room to find out the gender of the baby. Everyone is happy. The kids have been saying all along that it had to be a girl so it would be "even." Lauren was so cute....everytime the baby put her hand up, she would giggle and wave and say "Look, Mommy, she is waving at me!!"
As she stirs in my belly, I am grateful for this new life. She will, indeed, make a most merry Christmas present.
We're not sure on the name yet...we've got plenty of time for that. Many people are calling her "Audrey" but we are not set on that name yet. Any suggestions are welcome.


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Oh Baby!

My appointment was uneventful yesterday. I tried to hide my relief when she put the Doppler on my belly and found the heart beat right away. It was music to my ears.
My uterus is right where it should be...and then some. I am measuring at nineteen weeks, which is expected with baby number six. I still can't figure out why my clothes still fit, but for now I'll enjoy it.
I had my early screening for diabetes yesterday. I hate drinking that nasty orange syrup, which they try to disguise as soda. It made me shaky and dizzy and by the time I checked in I could hardly think straight. I know I have it, so why the torture? I have been using my glucometer off and on for about a month now and my sugar has never been below 120. I took my sugar this morning before I ate and it was 195. Yikes!!! A safe range is between 90 and 100. The sooner I get the script for the gliburide, the better. I'll call for my results tomorrow.
Caleb had a dentist apointment today to repair a chipped tooth. Lundi has one tomorrow to get a cavity filled. Her appointment is at 2:10 and she doesn't get out of summer camp until 4:00, so she is very disappointed that she has to miss the last two hours.
Lundi and Harrison are having a great time at camp this week. I have to say, though, that my kids are a bit in shock when it comes to the public school culture. No, this is not a PS camp, but the children who attend camp also attend PS. Harrison is a compassionate little boy and doesn't like to see people left out. It hurts his feelings when he tries to be kind to people and they reject him. I think it's terrible that compassion is sometimes seen as a weakness or uncool. When he related an experience to me today, I wanted to un-enroll him. But I didn't. I thanked him for trying to be like Jesus and told him we would pray for the "mean" boy tonight.
Caleb had a similar experience last week. On Monday there was a little girl who kept coming up to him and swearing at him. He said "Mom, she was using words that you or I have never heard before! I kept chasing her away and telling her to stop." So I asked him "What can you do tomorrow to improve the situation?" He said "But Mom, I asked her a hundred times to stop."
"OK", I said "Maybe you can pray for her. Maybe she doesn't know how to make friends, or maybe she doesn't have any friends. Sometimes kids talk like that because they think it makes them look grown-up or important. Tomorrow if she doesn't stop, maybe you could go to the counselor and tell her that the language is offensive to you and then let her take care of it, OK?" He said "that sounds good, Mom."
Next day....first thing he says when he gets in the van...."It worked, Mom!! I offered her a piece of gum, asked her not to swear and now we are friends.! She's not that bad after all." I said "That's great, son. You handled it very well."
So there you have it folks, my son who has very little experience in the outside world came through like a champ. Now I know that all of the Moms out there who send their kids to PS have these experiences on a regular bases, but this is our first real encounter with the culture of PS. I think he did pretty good.
I am not saying that swear words defines PS culture, it is only a small part of it. To give you an idea, here are a few things that my kids have learned this week.......

*The meaning of "cutting" and not to do it.
*Trading snacks out of their lunches.
*Not to hold someones hand, even if you really, really, really want to be their buddy.
*That all 7 year olds should have iPods.
*That everyone does almost everything (eating, lining up, walking somewhere) together, at the same time.
*Changing in front of other kids, which they do not like at all. (swimming is a daily activity at camp).
*That "OMG" is a very common phrase. (I am glad this offends them).
I had forgotten about alot of these things. I have realized this week that my kids are quite clueless when it comes to fads, popularity and the conveyer belt method of doing things. Is it good or bad? I don't know yet, only time will tell. I'm just glad that childhood is temporary and
whether or not they ever learn the culture of PS will have no bearing on their success as an adult. Yes, that stresses me out to think that their education is totally up to me, but I know that this is right for our family.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Seventeen Weeks

Yesterday I reached the seventeenth week of my pregnancy. Months 4, 5 and 6 are usually the best for me. The sickness is gone and I'm not yet big enough to be miserable. The problem is....I worry way too much. (Bang! Bang! I am a "worrier"....remember that song? Except she says she is a "warrior"?). Anyway, I always worry about something. As much as I hate being sick, it is a good sign that I won't miscarry. I know it's crazy, but when I feel good, I worry more. This time I am worrying about the baby not growing. I am still wearing all of my regular clothes and it seems like I was too big for them at this stage with my other babies. I am going to the doctor tomorrow and will (most likely) have all of my fears put to rest.

I very much enjoyed our meetings today. The talks in sacrament meeting were about missionary work and I was reminded that I need to be so much better. Brother Cundick said that in this work, there can be no failures. Something good always comes from it, either for the one sharing the gospel or for the one that it is being shared with. So true.

"Words of Hope and Consolation at the Time of Death" was our RS lesson today. It was very special. Everyone in the room was touched by Savannah's presence. I was in awe at how much she was teaching us, even as she slept in her Mother's arms. She has touched, and will continue to touch, so many lives.

Tonight at dinner the kids had many questions about Savannah. They saw her at church and could tell that she wasn't well. We talked about how she would be going home soon and that the Lord was preparing her and her family. I reminded them that the H's need our prayers.

Lauren got very excited tonight when it occurred to her that Savannah was going to get to meet President Hinckley. She then asked if Savannah would be resurrected. In her mind, that simply means that death is not final. I assured her that she would be and she gave me a hug and said "I love Savannah, Mommy. I don't want her to be sick any more." I thought "what a beautiful example of compassion" and as I shed a tear I told her "That's the same thing her Mommy said in Relief Society today."

I am so grateful for the plan of salvation. Life does not end at death, there is so much more. From an eternal perspective, life on earth is only a small moment. We will see our loved ones again, I know that. This knowledge brings much comfort to those of us left behind.

We are told that when we get to the other side of the veil, our mortal existence will seem like a blink of an eye. Sometimes I wish the "shortness" of it all could be seen in foresight, instead of only in hindsight. Then it wouldn't seem so long until we could see our loved ones again. When I mentioned this to someone today, she reminded me that we wouldn't learn as much. It all comes down to faith, doesn't it? Exercising, building and acting upon faith, that is what the Lord wants us to do. Today I learned to trust in him a little more. I thank him for the spiritual renewal that I received this day. He loves us.


Sunday, July 13, 2008


There is way too much of it in this world. When someone hurts me, I don't like to tell them. I usually keep it to myself until I eventually forget about it, because deep down inside I really am tender hearted....but don't tell anyone. I am grateful for the reminder that I do not want to hurt another. I am not going to cry about this anymore, I am turning it over to Him. I am so grateful that my Savior can take it away.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

I Have Always Thought.........

Liam's "play-dough toes." June 2008
That losing one of my children would be unbearable. Don't all mothers feel this way? We all hope and pray that our babies out live us, that we get to see them into adulthood and that we simply pass on when we are aged and seasoned. Nobody wants to think about the possibility of facing such agony that would undoubtedly be ours if we lost a child.

But to some it is reality. I have a friend who is coming closer to this reality every day of her life. She happens to be the Mother of a terminally ill child. A few years ago, back when her daughter was first diagnosed with cancer, I was awakened to a whole new perspective that I had never (truly) considered before. Yes, I have been taught all my life that families can be together forever, that God has a plan for each of us and we need to trust in Him. These are eternal truths that I embrace. It is one thing to "know" that these things are true, yet another to live them when this knowledge is being challenged. The perspective that I speak of (that this friend unknowingly shared with me) is that when these principles are practiced, when that leap of faith is taken, the Lord truly does stand by our side. The Mother of this child is a pillar of strength. One of the first things that I heard her say (with conviction and a tear in her eye) after her daughter was diagnosed was "No matter what happens, we know that she is ours forever." She not only uttered those words three years ago when the prognosis was good, but still proclaims them as her daughter is coming closer to concluding her mission on earth.

I have learned through this friend that it is indeed bearable. Our Savior Jesus Christ and a loving Father in Heaven make it possible.

I also came across a blog lately that has deeply touched me. It contains the intimate details of a mothers life who recently lost her baby in a drowning accident. Camille was fourteen months old when she died. Stephanie (the Mother) is another shining example of someone with an eternal perspective. I have laughed, (the toilet picture), cried and been more inclined to always have one of my babes on my lap whenever I am sitting down on the couch. I am more grateful for their lives, less inclined to yell, better able to look at situations objectively and especially grateful to have the honor of being their Mother.
I need reminders in my life (even if it's through the blog of a stranger) to keep me moving forward, to remind me that my family is eternal and that the goal is to all make it home together.

Yesterday Lauren had her butterfly net and she said "Mommy, can Jesus see me right now?" I said "Yes." She then said "I want to catch him in my butterfly net and bring him down from heaven so that I can keep him with me. Is that a good idea?" Yes, is a good idea. Thank You Heavenly Father for blessing me with such beautiful little souls in my life. Thank You also for placing people in my life who teach me to treasure them more and more each day.


Monday, June 30, 2008

I Should Be Folding Laundry

Do you know that I could say this any time, day or night, 365 days a year and it would be TRUE. Ahhhhh, the dark cloud (not the one on the Downy bottle) that constantly hangs over my head. I wonder if my kids will remember always having to dig clothes out of their baskets since their Mom never gets all of the laundry folded. I personally pat myself on the back for coming up with such an ingenious idea. They should be grateful that they only have to dig through their OWN baskets (I separate the clothes into their baskets right out of the dryer), rather than a mountain of the family laundry. And yes.....with seven people, it is indeed a mountain.
Mike started his job today. He says he is going to love the ER. I say I am going to love the pay checks....the first one scheduled to arrive on July 11th. I think I am going to frame it.
We bought a new van on Saturday. Nice, Honda Odyssey with more bells and whistles than we have ever experienced before. The kids are most excited about each having their own vent (with separate climate controls that can be turned off and on by Mom in case there is too much fighting or fidgeting) and overhead light!! Harrison loves the "cold heat" and I have to say that being sick and pregnant, this is by far my favorite feature. I warned the kids at the beginning of summer that we wouldn't be going to far until we got the AC in the other van fixed. The other van is now gone.....with all of it's quirks, hang-ups and problems that have been band-aided for the last year until school was done and we could afford repairs or a new van. The transmission was going.... as in dying going (we were putting fluid in at least twice a week) and started making some serious (scary) noises on our way home from Portland last Thursday. We applied for a loan on Friday, made the purchase on Saturday. ( Don't you love modern technology?) We couldn't get a loan for $2000.00 to fix the transmission, but could get a loan for a new van.
Just for history sake, I want to record all of the problems that we accommodated with our 1997 Dodge Grand Caravan. This is not a was good to us. We traded it in with 161,000 miles on it.
*Oil leak in the engine, which required a quart every5-6 days.
*Leak in the transmission which required the fluid be replaced at least twice a week. (both of these have resulted on a big dark spot in the drive way.)
*In order for the left blinker to work, you had to turn the hazards on first, put the blinker on, then turn the hazards off.
*We had to push on the trunk really hard with our foot, while pulling on the handle to get it to unlatch. Very tricky and annoying when it's raining and you are trying to load groceries or the stroller.
*Only one of the wiper fluid squirty things worked and it shot very low on the windshield. I don't know how I made it through mud season with that one.
*The engine always made a tick, tick, tick, tick, tick noise that we were afraid to have looked at by our mechanic. Somebody once told us a few years ago that it ( the engine) wouldn't last much longer.
*It had a dent in the passenger side where somebody hit us in the WM parking lot, but didn't leave a note. Since we only carried liability, it didn't get fixed and was starting to rust.
*If it was cold outside the power locks (that was the ONLY thing power on the van) didn't work and I had to go around with the key and unlock all the (3) doors.

By contrast, our new van has....
Key less entry.
Double sliding doors (soooo much easier when getting babies in and out).
CD player.
Power windows and locks.
Anti lock brakes.
Traction control (it will come in very handy this winter).
Zippy...and I mean sports car zippy.....pick up and steering. (even with it full with the family).
Three heating/cooling zones with vents for every passenger.
L.A.T.C.H. (which means no more wrestling car seats into the correct position...very easy).
All the seats recline, even the very back one.
Huge trunk.
Stow away seating (which we will probably never use, but the extra storage space is nice).
Reading lights for every passenger. So nice for those late nights on the road. No more fighting about who gets to be accommodated....the sleeper or the reader?
Great stereo, sound system.
Cruise control.

We just hope we can convert it into an eight passenger come December. If not, we'll be trading it in.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Don't Mind Me

I am just a sick, irritable pregnant lady with no patience and no desire or motivation to do much of anything. Oh, and did I mention that I hate being pregnant? I feel bad for my kids, they have to put up with me. I feel bad for Mike, too, because he has to pick up the slack, which he does gladly, bless his heart. I find it very difficult to be pleasant when I feel like throwing up all the time. When I do throw up, I feel great for all of five minutes.
This baby was twelve weeks in utero on Saturday so I am looking forward to feeling better soon. I went to the doctor again yesterday. They drew blood for labs, did a pap and the initial pelvic exam. So far, so good. I also got to hear the heart beat. That is always a special moment, to hear that little engine roaring through the Doppler. It made me smile.
As you may have heard, Mike passed his state boards, is licensed and did get a job in the ER at Maine General. This is an answer to our prayers. He will start orientation as soon as he gets clearance from the doctor who did his physical. We're hoping he starts next week.
My favorite four old is no longer four. The happy-snappy, giggly girl had her fifth birthday on the twenty eighth of May. I told her she could be five as long as she stayed this cute. She agreed.
My eyes are burning....maybe I will actually be able to fall asleep before 2:00 tonight.


Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Where Am I?

We're still going around in the whirl wind of life. I was sorely mistaken when I thought that life would slow down after Mike was done with school. We have been catching up on things that were on hold for a while. Like dentist and doctor visits, yard work, housework, bike fixing, computer fixing, extended family issues, catching up with old friends, I've been able to rest alot because I have this horrible cold that I am having a hard time getting over and we have all been able to have a few lazy days.

The job hunt remains in full swing. Mike has had many interviews and one offer. The offer is from a hospital in Bangor at Acadia in the adolescent psyche unit. While this is a job he would really like, it's far away and we really want to stay here. If he took the job at Acadia, we would have to move north. He also had an outstanding interview at Maine General today for a position in the E.R. We really hope he gets this one. We could stay in this ward and it would relieve the pressure of an immediate move. He could commute until we move closer to Augusta.

SURPRISE!!! Barring all complications, we will become a family of eight right before Christmas. We found out last week that there is a little person growing in my belly. This makes pregnancy number ten and hopefully baby number six. It doesn't need to be said that this is unexpected and was (supposedly) being prevented. So I like to say that this is our "bonus baby." I had mixed feelings when I found out. I felt blessed but also really scared. I felt that we might eventually have another, but not before x,y and z (eliminated some risk factors) happened and most certainly not in December. I was most afraid that the doctor was going to advise me to terminate. I knew emotionally I could not handle that. So before we went to the doctor we did a whole lot of praying and felt at peace with this pregnancy.

The doctor explained in great detail what the risks were and relieved many of our fears. It wasn't nearly as bad as I had blown it up to be in my head. (I worry soooo much during pregnancy. Seriously, I think I need an anxiety med or something!) He basically said that we were going to worry alot (I don't need any help with that one), monitor me very closely and deal with problems if and when they arise. He did mention termination as an option, but did not advise it. We knew we weren't even going to consider it, because the Lord told us that everything would be fine. But it was great to know that he felt that it was probable that both me and baby would live. What a relief!!!

So, I am right in the middle of the pukey-sick stage. I gag at anything that has a smell stronger than water. I can't have a conversation with someone rocking in a chair, it makes me dizzy and therefor sick. I have to drive (even when Mike is with us) or else I get car sick. I have to breathe through my mouth when changing a poopy diaper so I don't gag. I can't brush my tongue. I have terrible heartburn (I love Pepcid). I am irritable and a rotten mother (just ask my kids). It takes alot of effort to be nice to people (I am asking for forgiveness in advance in case I offend any of you). I take a nap every day. I have to take frequent breaks during menial tasks like unloading the dishwasher. I sleep with a pitcher just in case I spontaneously puke in the night. My boobs hurt. My arm tingles at night. I crave cinnamon. I often feel sensory overload, especially when the kids are all around me, touching me. I feel itchy at night. Oh...and did I mention that I absolutley hate being pregnant? I love the baby, hate being pregnant. I know, I know. I will feel extremely guilty for saying that if I have another misscarriage. I always do. But I really do hate being pregnant. I can't deny it. I am one who writes on the calendar "week 10, week 11, week 12"........and so on, just because I like to know how much I have accomplised so far. For me, not being pregnant at the end of nine months is the best part, the baby is the bonus. So on Saturday I will be eleven weeks. All of my misscarriages have happened between eight and twelve weeks, so I like to think that I am almost "in the clear." There was no indication of a problem at my ultrasound on Monday. So we are praying that all will go well. As much as I complain, I really am thankful for this new life.


Monday, May 12, 2008

So Far Behind.....

Life has been moving pretty fast around here. Here is a list of what we've been doing, just off the top of my head.

I accidentally dumped Lauren's fish down the drain while cleaning out the fish bowl. She cried. I felt so bad.
I got a speeding ticket, the first one of my life. I have been driving since I was fourteen.
Mike passed his tests and graduated on May 9th. It was a proud moment for all of us.
Harrison had his seventh birthday on may 9th, too. He got a new bike (a 21 speed) and loves it. We had a late night pizza party complete with cake after graduation because he didn't want to wait until Saturday for his party. He thought that Mike graduating was a great birthday present, but didn't want to feel shafted, either.
The hunt is in full swing for a new job. Mike has his NCLEX boot camp this week starting tomorrow but already has some interviews set up for next week.
Caleb lost another tooth.
Lauren has turned into a thrill seeker since the weather has turned nice. She comes speeding down the hill on her bike, loves to climb trees, went up really high on the climbing wall (about 40 feet) at the LL Bean kids festival, and reminded me of Pocahontas when we went to New Hampshire the other day. She was climbing up some really big rocks and standing right at the edge with no fear. My hands were sweating as I watched her.
Laurette (Mike's 95 year old great aunt whom we are very close to) was told by her doctor that she isn't safe living alone any more. Mike has P.O.A so we have some decisions to make concerning her care. We do not want her to go to a nursing home. That will kill her!! We are going to go visit her tomorrow (sans enfants) after Mike's class to talk about options.
We have received some very generous gifts (in the form of gift certificates) from some wonderful people who want to congratulate us and give us a great way to do some fun things as a family. Tonight we went to Gifford's after FHE and had a lovely ice cream treat. Mmmmmm!!! Thank you again, friends.
Mike has been called into the stake again. His new calling will mean lots of travel.
Much to Caleb's delight, we went on a tour of the USS Albacore on Thursday. It is a retired (landlocked) submarine in New Hampshire. The kids had a great time there. Afterwards we went to the Sea Coast Science Museum and that was amazing. My favorite part was the sea horses. They are so beautiful. The kids loved the touch tank. After the museum closed we spent some time down at the rocky beach investigating tide pools, collecting seaweed and sea shells and watching boats. It was a lovely family day. We laughed alot and really enjoyed being a family sans the pressure of homework. We are so glad those days are OVER!!!


Sunday, April 27, 2008

This Is It....

The last week of school. Mike has one clinical day left (Thursday), the ERI test to take (he has one out of three tries left, he failed the first two times), two days of theory and one big, huge all encompassing FINAL EXAM (to be taken next Monday). After all of this he has the NCLEX boot camp. This is a week long class to get them ready to take the NCLEX, which is the test he needs to pass to be a licensed RN.
This post is a plea for prayers. This next week will determine pass or fail, LPN (which he already has) or RN, graduating or all comes down to this.
So if you could please add your prayers to ours, we would deeply appreciate it.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Enjoying The Sunshine

Can I just tell you how weird it is to be sweating outside and yet there is still snow on the ground? Not much, mind you, but a stark reminder of where we were just three weeks ago.

Today we worked out in the yard, preparing the flower beds for their new occupants, picking up more fallen branches and raking leaves left over from last Fall. I really enjoy yard work, it is so cathartic to the soul, mind and body.

I had many willing helpers.....

Looking up the trunk of a White Birch tree.....

Our swingset is fully employed.

Last but not least....

What would warm weather be without these?.....


Monday, April 21, 2008

We've Moved Outside

Hence the lack of posts.

I don't think the TV has been on at all in the last week or so. There is dirt all over the stairs, even though we vacuum them. (Didn't I tell you about MUD season?). There are bikes, bats and balls all over the yard. Through the open windows one can hear the laughter of happy children. There are fifty dirty fingernails in my house. My house stays clean for more than five minutes since the kids are out of hibernation. My Popsicle supply left over from last summer is almost depleted. We haven't made a cup of hot cocoa in about three weeks. The kids come in with black feet and have to wash their feet before getting into bed. Everyone has delicious, kissable sunburned cheeks and Lundi's freckles have, once again, made an appearance. Ahhhh! I love Spring!!! We are welcoming it with open arms.

Last week we did Green Hour Challenge #2 and had a wonderful time.

We did some sap sucking (the buckets were gone so the kids decided to have a taste.........)

More later. Mike is home and I miss him so I'll go for now.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Quick Post....

I went for the CaT scan yesterday. That was uneventful, though I forgot about having an IV. That was an unpleasant surprise.
They told me that i would need to wait until Monday for the results. Mike used his medical connections to get the word yesterday. The scan was incredibly boring, as in nothing abnormal. Good news. He said that I must have a virus of some sort, which to me says "Suck it up and move on.!" I am off to spring clean today because I feel alot better.


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Where To? (Part 2)

Right here. We aren't moving from here (as in this area). We have had some sacred spiritual experiences the last few days and the Lord has let us know that we need to stay here. We aren't exactly sure what the future holds for us. Sometimes the Lord's admonitions do not make sense. We know, however, that everything will work out. We have faith that He will direct our path.
We will eventually move out of this house (we out grew it 3 children ago) but not out of this world.....I mean ward. It feels good to write that. It makes it feel more final, as if announcing it publicly is the final step to acceptance. In all honesty, I have been somewhat resistant to except the will of the Lord. I was really looking forward to moving and seeing new places. I guess the long commute will continue for now.
There is something not good going on with my belly. I went to the doctor on Tuesday because I was having rebound pain in my lower right quadrant. (How is that for medical talk? I am getting so good.) I am also having some constant mild pain, occasional severe pain in my lower abdomen. So they sent me over to FMH for blood tests and x-ray. My blood work came back with an elevated white blood cell count, which is indicative of an infection. So, tomorrow I am having a CT scan at 10:30.
I hope that it is nothing major. I don't have time to be sick. If it is something that will require surgery, it will have to wait until after May 9th. The doctor mentioned that it could be "fringes of scar tissue wrapping itself around my intestines" because of all of my c-sections. "This long after!!!???" I said, "the youngest is 2!" He said "Oh yes, it is the gift that keeps on giving." I really hope that it isn't this. This will require major surgery. I hope I am just majorly constipated and he tells me to take a laxative or something. Yes. I poop every day, but ya nevah know. No need to speculate, tomorrow will come soon enough.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Where To?

We don't know yet. We haven't figured out the particulars of it all. We do know that Mike did not get a job at FMH. So now we have three choices.....

  • Apply at all of our local nursing homes. There is a problem with this option. It simply does not fit into our traveling plans. In order to be a traveling nurse, Mike needs a year experience in Med Surge. Nursing homes don't have Med Surge units.

  • Apply at other surrounding hospitals. While that is all good in theory.....they are all atleast an hour away. Mike has been traveling an hour to school and back for two years. There are so many better ways to spend two hours a day. Frankly, he is sick of such a long commute.

  • Move closer to the hospital that he gets a job at.

I choose option three. It is the most logical. We DO NOT want to move, we love it here. I think it is the best place on earth for our family. But I am also sooooo tired of being poor students, that I am willing to go just about anywhere if it means.....(what's that E word again???)....oh ya....EMPLOYMENT!

We don't know if it will be in Maine or not....we will pray about where when we see what our options are.


Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Progress Report

On March 25 our snow looked like this......snow in march 005

Today our snow looked like this.....SPRING has sprung 372 SPRING has sprung 371

On March 28th our plants looked like this.....

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Today they looked like this......

SPRING has sprung 381SPRING has sprung 382

What nature delivers to us is never stale. Because what nature creates has eternity in it. Isaac Bashevis Singer


Green Hour Challenge #1 (Part 1)


Even though we still have plenty of snow on the ground, that didn't discourage us from heading out on an adventure.  So we put on our puddle boots and away we went.SPRING has sprung 018 SPRING has sprung 020

Here are just a few of the treasures that earth had to offer us......

Tapped Maple trees are a sure sign of spring around here.

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And did you know that MUD is an official season here in Maine?  Just ask anyone who lives here.  We found plenty of that.SPRING has sprung 046

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Lots of melting snow and a few leaves left over from Fall........

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Plenty of sunshine......

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Rocks in our neighborhood stream that were shiny and clean...... (aren't those the best kind?).  When I was a kid I use to collect rocks.  If I couldn't wait until I got home to wash them to find out there hidden beauty, I would lick them clean.  A pound of dirt anyone?

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BIG holes in the snow, which upon further investigation,  revealed a running stream and another great place to get wet.SPRING has sprung 114

SPRING has sprung 121 SPRING has sprung 137

We also found White Birch bark....

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"Prickly seeds"......  

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A dead mouse.....

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And walking sticks.

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But the highlight of our adventure was most definitely this......

NEW LIFE!!!!!!

SPRING has sprung 105SPRING has sprung 091 SPRING has sprung 365 SPRING has sprung 092

I found beauty in a neighbor's window.......SPRING has sprung 096

On the way home, we made numerous stops to shed a few gallons of water.....

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Stomp and splash in the biggest puddle we found....

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And do some more "fishing"......

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Almost home......

SPRING has sprung 350