Friday, February 25, 2011

baby you're a firework

i cant believe time has moved along so much that "baby esther" (as she has been known as since birth) is potty training. she has taken to it well. she has not had a pee pee accident all week except 1 time & she stopped herself & ran to the potty and finished her business. when it clicks it just clicks with kids. i didnt force her. she has just done it. if it sticks she will be my only child so far potty trained under 2.
but there is one catch. she insist on running around naked.....and i dont mean some naked...i mean like completely naked. since we have been sequestered because of levi's illness it's been a good opportunity to stay home and well be naked - but for only those under 2 years old. but i do need to get her back in some form of clothing without fighting too much.  but boy she is cute!! SUPER CUTE!!! and she is smart. she is strong willed. she is amazing. i love her. her name suits her....Esther is persian & means "star". she's a star...a bright star..that shines like no other. i always liken the name Esther to the saying "for such a time as this." she is here in my life...for such a time as this.....she brings me much needed joy and she loves me..accepts me...wants me around..without question..without judgement...i need her. i'm so proud of her and who she is at barely 2 - with a will to be heard that i dont see in people my own age.

as you can see she is unashamed with her nakedness. this picture is at an odd angle, but she is just beautiful and built like a brick house - solid! (not quite 36-24-36, but one day.). she also has the softest skin - like silk. i'm amazed at how soft her skin is.
and this picture below is obviously esther sitting on the counter. she wants to always sit on the counter while i'm preparing food. which usually i dont mind, but with her naked.....ummmm no thank you. it just seems kind of pervy to have her naked all the time with her parts flashing about. if she would just keep the panties on it would make me feel a bit less uneasy. but anyway, she did put on panties this time. and she had hijacked clay's fast food drink that is on the edge of the picture. but again...she is beautiful. she's a firework....she makes us notice as she goes"boom, boom, boom"

"you just gotta ignite the light
and let it shine
just own the night
like the Fourth of July
cause baby you're a firework
come on show 'em what you're worth
make 'em go "Oh, oh, oh!"
as you shoot across the sky-y-y
baby you're a firework
come on let your colors burst
make 'em go "Oh, oh, oh!"
you're gunna leave 'em fallin' down-own-own

boom, boom, boom

[you're} even brighter than the moon, moon, moon"

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

coming out of hibernation

well today we got out of the house and met a snake fresh out of hibernation!

 i had to take asher to the doctor. he has fluid build up in his ears & throat. the doctor gave me a prescription for an antibiotic IF asher get's worse. i can hope he wont but i'm not really holding out much hope on that one. he also had to start taking zyrtec.

but when we were rushing out the door to go to the doctor the cat came running into the house with a snake in it's mouth. the kids all freaked. i thought the snake was dead as it was bleeding out of it's middle. well i decided to be "cool" & scooped up the snake into a mason jar. i thought we would take it & show clay since we were meeting him at the doctor's office - i am still keeping levi away from everyone so he sat in the van with rachel, elizabeth & esther.
anyway, abigail asked to hold the jar on the way to the doctors that was holding the snake and she screamed as she was holding it because snake stuck out it's tongue at her.
i said "no it didnt. let me see" and she gave me the jar. as i'm driving down the road i am looking to see if this snake will stick his tongue out at me....well he did!!!! then asher asked to see it & hold it. so we passed it back to him. the snake decided to try to climb up the side of the jar (it had a tight lid on it) & asher freaked....he started crying & threw the jar down on the van floor. then we all screamed because who knew if it broke open! thankfully it didnt & elizabeth picked the snake up in the jar.
we usually kill snakes. our motto is "the only good snake is a dead snake." when clay got the jar he was going to kill it but i told him we had all agreed, it was kind of cute & we wanted him to just set it free. he did.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

i am not the type of person who longs to be a child again...not usually. when i was a child i wanted to make my own decisions & i couldnt wait to get "out". i'm sure, actually i know, that attitude of wanting control caused a lot of conflict between my mother & myself. but even knowing how i hated not being in what i wouldnt give to be a kid again. to go to bed and not have to worry about anyone or anything. i am so tired. i am depressed. i am just really on the edge of holding it together. i am worried sick about my little one. i am worried about letting him sleep. he sounds awful tonight. of course the doctor said the nights would be worse with the RSV/Bronchilitis. and he has slept all day. ALL DAY! which concerns me. when babies are little, sleeping is an indicator of their bodies kind of shutting down to heal. not that he's shutting down...he isnt...the rest is good for him, but with him sleeping for long periods of time i am having to wake him up to eat. dehydration would be really bad so i have to make sure he feeds well. and he is.
i know i'm worrying uselessly. i know that he is going to be fine. i know that babies get this all the time & i'm thankful that i live in America where he is being treated & we have easily accessible meds to make him better. BUT this is my baby. my little levi. my babies dont get sick. not this young. this is very abnormal for me. asher was sick around 9 months old with ear infections. and abigail & asher had to have surgeries when they were around 9 months old & a bit older. but this sucks...having a baby be sick. he cant tell me what's wrong. and i am constantly touching him, holding him, listening to him breath. and through it all he is smiling. he is being sweet. it breaks my heart....he will cough a body racking cough & then smile at me. thank God for levi's sweet countenance.
and between all of that tiredness & worry i have been thinking about accountability. when we sin we are accountable...not for just ourselves, but for everyone the sin whatever way. sin is pervasive....and it has tentacles that just grow out & touch and destroy. and i'm not talking about anything in particular....i was actually pondering the situation in wisconsin...and it had me thinking about accountability. weird i know. i'm just sad.
i'm being a downer i know. sorry.
the kids had their saturday, going to church tomorrow baths - even though asher & esther will not be going. i blow dried their hair. and there is nothing better than a clean toddler/child with freshly washed dry hair. oh man...beautiful kids!!!! it felt good to stay on some sort of routine.

this is esther from yesterday. she didnt like hearing no so  yes that is a real tear in her eye. i was able to get her to turn around by promising to let her see the pictures. she looks so much like rachel did at her age except rachel had big blue eyes.

life as we know it

life as we know it consist of levi having RSV/Bronchilitis that requires round the clock breathing treatments. thankfully he is not at such a bad stage that he has to be hospitalized. he is still eating & not having to choose between eating & breathing. i am hoping he doesnt get that bad.
but here are a series of pictures that shows you where i spend my days & with whom i spend them.

this is levi who looks like he is questioning my mental state. thankfully he isnt wearing his sickness in his little face.....he is still sooo cute!

this is the new nebulizer we received yesterday at the doctors after i asked for it. the old one is about 6 years old. i actually ordered new filters for it & will still use the old one when i have multiple kids having treatments - which is a at least once a year occurance in my house for prolonged periods. that's a "bubbles the fish" face mask for kids. it is suppose to make taking the treatments easier, more friendly for the little kids. it doesnt work.

this is the old blue lazy boy rocker recliner that we sit in to take the treatments. what i didnt put in the picture is the huge tv sitting on a tv stand in front of that chair.the tv stand also houses the treatment machine & medicine. we watch cartoons when we do treatments. it's what it is.

this was levi after his treatment this morning. very sweet. he doesnt cry at all during them.....he is just as sweet and congenial through it all. 

after i gave levi his treatment this morning i went in search of the other noise i was hearing. this is what i found. i'm not sure what they were up to, but they sure were cute.

rachel & elizabeth were up and didnt want their pictures taken. they are such a big help to me. i was suppose to take them to the Justin Bieber movie today but because levi is attached & shouldnt be out for a while, well i cant go out. so clay offered to take them and rachel was horrified. she refuses to go see justin bieber with her dad. soooo he is taking them to see Gnomeo & Juliet instead. rachel is fine with that. life is going to be rough for the next few weeks. clay will either get a taste of all the running around i do on a daily basis with the kids or else they kids will not be keeping their daily schedules. oh well...this will pass.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

lead me

this song is on the playlist at the bottom of the blog. you can click it & it will play as you read the words.
this sums up how i feel but in a twisted way.

"Lead Me "

Sanctus Real
I look around and see my wonderful life
Almost perfect from the outside
In picture frames I see my beautiful wife
Always smiling
But on the inside, I can hear her saying...

“Lead me with strong hands
Stand up when I can't
Don't leave me hungry for love
Chasing dreams, what about us?

Show me you're willing to fight
That I'm still the love of your life
I know we call this our home
But I still feel alone”

I see their faces, look in their innocent eyes
They're just children from the outside
I'm working hard, I tell myself they'll be fine
They're independent
But on the inside, I can hear them saying...

“Lead me with strong hands
Stand up when I can't
Don't leave me hungry for love
Chasing dreams, but what about us?

Show me you're willing to fight
that I'm still the love of your life
I know we call this our home
But I still feel alone”

So Father, give me the strength
To be everything I'm called to be
Oh, Father, show me the way
To lead them
Won't You lead me?
To lead them with strong hands
To stand up when they can't
Don't want to leave them hungry for love,
Chasing things that I could give up
I'll show them I'm willing to fight
And give them the best of my life
So we can call this our home
Lead me, 'cause I can't do this alone

Father, lead me, 'cause I can't do this alone

until i get it together

until i get my thoughts is a video with regards to what Clay & the girls do when they are down in Belize. it's Ms. Shena's story.

Loving the Overlooked -- Miss Shena's Story from Marsha Winstead on Vimeo.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

i made it through

edited to say**i realize that what i have to "make" it through is far more trivial than what some people are going through and have gone through. i am not so arrogant that i dont know that. for those that may read this & not take into account my personality - i am being quite flippant & i can do that - it's my blog. and for the record i have been dealing with depression & i am doing my best to stay light as sometimes i feel i'm sinking from moderate managable depression to severe, stay in bed in the fetal position, semi-comatose, blowing spit bubbles depression **

yep i made it through a few things lately with minor dents!!! i will come back to explain.
here is a bullet list:

*rachel's 16th birthday
*esther's meltdowns
*valentine's day
*picking out quilt patterns (now for picking out material)
*trimming my dog
*sleepless nights
but until i can get on here with a clear head to think about what i want to say i will leave you with a picture because it's not fun reading a blog without a picture. this child refuses to stay clothed if she can help it.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

abigail's first pulled tooth

she was being ridiculous!!! this tooth was hanging by...well nothing!!! it had to go. the one beside it needs to go tomorrow. both of the permenant teeth are coming in & dont seem to have a place to go with the baby teeth still there.
anyway, here are 2 of the crazy looking pictures. she was grinning & trying not to cry from the relief i think. funny. my funny abigail. such a sweet girl.

Rachel's 16th Birthday

ok so i will post tomorrow what was going on 16 years ago tomorrow, but for now..a picture of most of the people at rachel's 16th birthday party yesterday.

Jeremy, Caleb, Josh, Brandon, Cameron, Mrs. April, Mr. Edgar (her youth pastors), Evan
Ashley, Becca, Alex, Jeremiah, Garrett, Gage, Emma, Vail, Collin, Madeline, Hailey, Angela
Alaina (holding Levi), Rachel, Candace & Megan.

this group of beautiful young people were a mix from friends she has grown up with to date, karate friends, & her newest friends from her co-op where she takes algebra, guitar & writting/grammar. it was a fun night. and for the record....these are all good kids.

also here is her cake.....yes she is a colts fan...crazy girl!


my beautiful neice just celebrated her 18th birthday yesterday. unfortunately she was sick for her birthday. and this is the first year we have decided to not "do" birthday gifts anymore between neices & nephews & grandkids (the grandparents & some aunts dont listen though!! ).....especially with my large, ever increasing, family size it gets expensive. but it makes me feel bad not sending a gift of some sort. but i have been thinking of her.
she has always had the best laugh. i love her laugh. it's one of those laughs that just wells up from her toes & you cant help but laugh when she truly laughs because her laugh is contagious.
unfortunately she lost her dad when she was 9 to health problems. he is with the Lord. i know that he would be so proud of her. it seems that she has truly made a decision to live her life for the Lord. there is no better way to celebrate your 18th birthday then to celebrate knowing God has a big plan for you life & is preparing the way to walk it out.
Happy Birthday Emily!!!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

who's the boss

it's 4AM and i know who the boss is. currently it's levi. but that's ok. he's the sweetest boss i have worked for - well in forever! (who's the boss is currently on @ 4AM on tuesday mornings on the hallmark channel.) i have to try to keep my little boss happy this early in the morning or well all the other little chiefs will be up. for whatever reason if they hear or sense that there is movement in the house...they will all be awake. i kind of like that though. they dont want to miss out on any of the "action". but it's not a bad thing to be awake this early. i let the dog out for an early morning potty break. i put a load of laundry in the dryer. i'm contemplating making some pancakes for breakfast. i'm really quite alert - which is very unusual. after only 3 hours (the boss actually woke me at 3:17AM this lovely crisp winter morn - after i went to sleep somewhere around 11:45PM - 12:00AM - the Colbert Report was on) of sleep you would think i would be exhausted....well that i am....but i'm not sleepy at the moment. so i'm ready to "carpe diam" - seize this day before me!
rachel has her co-op. we have to have her there by 10:30. the big girls have orthodontist appts. after co-op @ 3:40PM. then rachel has a Generation Joshua meeting tonight out in suffolk. i have a lot to do today also to get ready to go out of town tomorrow (wednesda). Clay & I are going to Baltimore. he has a conference up there for his chem-dry business. they have to go once a year. so he & i decided to take levi & go without taking any of the other kids. we are leaving on wed. mid day & will return in the afternoon on friday. on saturday rachel is having her sweet 16 party! oh man..i wont even go there yet.
but we have friends coming to stay with their children to watch the 5 remaining at home children.
but also for today we should have piano but we are still carrying a virus of sinus & coughing problems so i will have to cancel that again this week. that stinks. we love piano & our piano teacher, Miss Courtney.
i wish my sewing machine was accessible without waking up my big girls upstairs. i could get a lot accomplished on a quilt i am working on.....hmmmm...what to do...i'm leaning towards the pancakes i think.
oh, i finally buckled down and started my weight watchers. not fun but it's a worthy endeavor to make me feel better about myself in the long run. i have to lose this extra weight that i had never lost from esther's delivery. i lost all of the weight i put on for levi  - thank goodness. i hate dieting but weight watchers is a bit different. i do enjoy trying to figure out the points. it's like a see how much i can eat for the least amount of points. a mind game i guess of sorts.
did you know that 2 TBSP of caesar salad dressing is like 3 pts (that may be low - the numbers all roll together in my brain @ 4:42AM). who wants to waste 3 whole points on salad dressing? well i mean, it's good, but seriously 3 pts. i dont think so. i hate "light" or "diet" foods, but when it comes to salad dressings i think it's better. i usually dont realize how much i'm taking in until i do points & then it's an eye opener.
i just started yesterday & i was starving all day. i get an extra 10pts because i'm nursing the baby without supplements & i hate using those extra points, but quite frankly if i didnt i couldnt do it right now - i dont have that kind of will power to really starve.

ok and now for some more interesting news. the search is on to start foster care classes again. i am excited about the prospect of loving on kids while their families are getting themselves together. we will see how it pans out......and in the mean time..i have been in contact with our missionary nurse friend in Belize who is the director of a girl's home there concerning the adoption of one of her girls. it is a lengthy process through Belize but one that Clay's heart is open we are going to see what God might have for us there if anything at all. i really believe it might be a good idea to adopt again for elizabeth's sake.

ok so one of the other chiefs has now started their war cry. let me go check on her. below is a picture of the 2 most demanding bosses i have...but totally worth it. levi had a huge audience while he was bathing the other day. he needed kisses during that bath and esther insisted on giving them over & over again!!!

clay has asked that i learn how to link his webpage for work to this blog. i havent had time to do that yet (go figure) so here is his actual webpage to see all about his company.