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Show Me Your Mess

Miss A, in regular 2-year-old fashion, has been a little mess maker today!

Earlier today she came up to me showing me that the palms of both her hands were covered in black.  At first I didn’t know what she had used to mark on her hands.  I was very relieved to discover that she had used a washable marker and it washed off without any issue.

After dinner she decided to unroll a whole bunch of toilet paper. I started to make her throw it away, but instead I sat and took the time to roll it back up. It was a lot more toilet paper than I thought it was!

I may not mark up my hands or unravel the toilet paper just for fun, but sometimes I  make a pretty fantastic mess of things. I am not always loving and caring. Plain and simple sometimes I just do the wrong thing. In the middle of my mess I can go to my God and show him my “messes,” and He forgives me and cleans me up . . . but I have to show him my mess first!


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The Final Week before BB-8

Hooray! My due date is now only seven days away!

grand multiparity n. the condition of a woman who has had five or more previous pregnancies.  This means my pregnancy is considered high risk, but I really haven’t had many complications!

One fun fact are that babies of “moms of many” sometimes don’t get into birthing position until labor starts. The other day I had an ultrasound just to check to see if my little one is head down. She is head down but not dropping so all the contractions that I’ve been having aren’t productive in changing my cervix. Did I mention that I believe Braxton-Hicks contractions are evil?

Another not so fun thing is that I have lots of Braxton-Hicks contractions and they get worse with every baby. This week I had three days in a row of misery where I couldn’t get the contractions to stop. Thankfully I’ve been given a couple of days break from them, but I know very well that this is just the calm before the storm!

I’m trying for a VBAC delivery, because #7 was breech I had to have a surprise C-section, but chances are a VBAC will go off without a hitch!

We’re ready and waiting!!! My bag is packed. The car seat is ready and the tiny clothes are washed and put away.  Now if only we can find the “safe place” where I put the Pack ‘N Play bassinet!

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Counting Down To BB-8

My 8th baby is due in about 25 days! I’m pretty confident that this little one will be like all of her other siblings and come pretty close to her due guess date because that is how they roll! Here’s an update on how I’m doing!

fullsizerender     My carpal tunnel and swelling this time are almost absent this time around. I had some carpal tunnel earlier but it’s gone now and I am so thankful!
Everything gives me heartburn and I mean everything . . . including water and not eating! It is completely ridiculous! I ran out of Tums the other day and I thought I was going to die from the fire in my esophagus.

I’ve had to completely change how I sleep! If I sleep lying down (even with a pillow between my knees) and then try to get up I feel like my pelvis is going to break in half. Thank you body by babies!  I sleep sitting up in bed with 2 pillows behind me, a pillow under my right hip, and a pillow under my belly.

The Braxton-Hicks or “practice contractions” have started up and they range from being mildly annoying to being just a little bit painful. I am pretty sure they have gotten worse every pregnancy, but yeah for pregnancy amnesia!

Taking seven kids out and about to run errands and getting in and out of a 12 passenger van is an adventure of its own even when I’m not “great with child,” but I can still do it!  I enlist my helpers to carry the littlest sister and help get her in and out of her car seat. My hubby has been great about doing the majority of the grocery shopping so I don’t have to.

My wardrobe is shrinking because my baby is still growing, but I know how this story goes . . . I’m going lose quite a bit of weight on baby day and then my wardrobe won’t be so bad!  Stretchy pants are my friend!

We are super excited to add BB-8 to our family!  Thanks for checking in on us and for your thoughts and prayers!



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My Gum Ball Hero

God knew that I needed a little old lady to stop and talk to me how wonderful she thinks large families are. She told me that she only has three children, but she always admires large families. I confessed that they are some times exhausting, and she agreed before saying, “But just look at them.” Thankfully at the moment they were behaving!

The kids were blocking one lady and as we passed she told me that her daughter has five children but they are all teenagers now. She said something about how hard it is for them to get ready in the morning. These nuggets of truth I can do without knowing . . . I know it will be a different kind of hard when they are all teens!  I’m trying to survive here and now!

Three different strangers asked if all the kids belong to me. I never know how to answer. I usually just say, “Yes they do!” If he hears people ask, Mr. J usually pipes up that there are seven of them. He tells them that there two older boys and five sisters. He goes on about how hard it is to have so many sisters. It’s hilarious.

God also knew that I needed a stranger to buy two extra gum balls at the gum ball machine as we were leaving. Two of the kids started crying when one gum ball fell onto the floor and we were another gum ball short! Some times God gets our attention with huge things but other times he uses the little things! That guy who spent 50 cents on my kids was my gum ball hero!


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An Eliana Update


Eliana’s appointment with the neurologist went very well. She doesn’t think that Eliana’s nightly headaches are related to her Chiari. She was given a prescription to try to help with preventing the headaches before they start. Her MRI measured her Chiari as being smaller than before and it did show some spinal fluid restriction, but she was not concerned about this. Waiting and keeping an eye of things is much preferred over surgery at this point in time! We’re praying that on Friday Eliana’s neurosurgeon will agree with the neurologist’s thoughts. IMG_8181

Eliana took a trio of frogs to her appointment with the neurosurgeon. Our visit was fairly uneventful. The neurosurgeon is not recommending surgery at this time. She does think the headaches may be Chiari related. She wants us to see how things go in the next three months and keep track of any numbness or tingling that Eliana is having because that may be cause for concern. In the meantime we will keep praying that Eliana’s headaches stay away and that her Chiari symptoms resolve. We are so thankful for everyone’s prayers! Just like her name means, God has answered our prayers!

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I love so many things about this photograph. I love the flat pumpkin that Miss E named Joe last fall. It was the one and only pumpkin that grew on our vine last year and we have had fun watching it decay. I love the baby’s bare feet because she completely hates wearing shoes. I love the purple sweatshirt over lime green t-shirt. I love the one pink sock and one gray and purple sock. I love that one little lock of Mr A’s hair that will not lay down. Mostly I love that these little people belong to me.

You never know what will happen in a days adventure. I had them all sit on the front step of our house because some one locked us out of the house after they went in to use the restroom. The identity of the offender still has yet to be disclosed. We waited on my parents to come and let us back into the house. It was a super nice day and I had left one of the living room windows opened. I’m convinced that I could have gotten one of the kids into the window if my parents had not been available to let us back into the house.

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Cards and Smiles

My crew and I took a field trip to the mall and I would have to say that it was one of the most fun trips ever.

Some years we buy Valentine’s Day cards and other years we make cards. Last year’s cards were thumbprint faces and animals. This year we made potato stamped cards. I carved out some hearts and flowers and some random designs and let the kids stamp away. I knew my two-year-old wouldn’t be want to stamp for very long so I stamped a bunch of cards for her. I guess I got a little carried away, because we ended up with lots of leftover cards.

I kept thinking about what to do with the extra cards. I could have save them, but trying to ensure that I could find them again this time next year was not the best idea. All my “safe places” seem to be forgotten. I could just throw them away, but I spent forever gluing little saying on each card. The sayings were the following: God loves you! Jesus loves you! You are cool! I like you! You are awesome!

For a week I toyed around with the idea of passing them out to strangers at the store or passing them out to people at our church. I even had one of the kids take them with us when we went to the store but we forgot them in the van. The kids only had two parties, one at our Christian Homeschool Co-op and the other at my sister’s church, and there was not really anything about the cards that made them for Valentine’s Day only.

I finally decided to ask the kids what they thought about passing them out at the mall. Everyone wanted to go to the mall, but only my five-year-old wanted to pass out the cards. On the way to the mall, I asked the kids why we should do nice things for others and they all answered that God wants us to be kind.

The five-year-old took the cards and started giving them to people. After she had given 6 or so cards away her sister joined in. I let them choose who they wanted to give cards to and I stood back and watched. The longer we spent giving cards away the more the other kids wanted to join in.

It was fairly early in the morning so there were several people walking the mall. The kids gave cards to people walking by, to shoppers, and to workers.  Mostly people smiled and thanked the kids for the cards. One said, “Thanks, I like you too!” Another said, “Thank you so much! You are awesome too!”

There were a few people who we ran into a second time that stopped to talk to the kids. One lady asked if we made the cards at school and we told her that we made them at home. She told the kids they did a nice job making the cards. She told me that she used to work in the schools. One of the girls handed a card to a lady who was on the phone and she said, “God loves you too, sweetheart.” When she passed us again later and told us, “God loves you!” One guy was given a card and when he read it card he exclaimed, “I believe that!” and when we passed by again he asked if we know Jesus. He smiled when we answered that we do.

There was a man maybe in his 30’s with downs syndrome who was walking with a lady and when the girls gave them cards he was very excited about it and looked at it for a while before putting it in his wallet.  One of the girls gave a card to a man who was paying for his purchases and to the two cashiers in the store and when the man finished paying he stopped to say, “Thank you. You made my day so far!” Only a few people did not accept a card but no one was mean about it.

It was so much fun to share this experience with my kids. They were grinning ear to ear, and giving me a thumbs up while getting smiles and comments from people. They didn’t discriminate in who they gave cards to in the same way that God doesn’t discriminate in how He loves us all. I would call our “field trip” a major success.

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