Friday, January 31, 2014

Snacks with my girl.

Libby was so sweet to bring me a snack to share with her during our "rest" time yesterday. She made chocolate milk and brought some chips. What a thoughtful girl! The heart tray is also a nice touch....

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Painting on a Snow Day


Ian(5) and his work

I'm pictured on the far right. 

Libby just starting...

Peter (3) is loving painting!

working together

(7) Samuel's art: 2 red birds flying over a wall

Peter's work

Michael (5) finished: it's our house

Libby (9) is done.
Weeping Willows

Still Working...

Even though the kids are home Mike has work in the barn.

Good News: Mike has work! Yay for provision.
Bad News: Mike has work.... no help for the Mama. Sigh. I miss my partner. It's so much more fun when Mike and I parent together.

It has been an almost non-stop time with kids since Christmas. Between the lice outbreak and snow days they've only been to school a very little bit.

So, we made jello jigglers on Tuesday after running errands all day.

On Wednesday (yesterday) we baked chocolate chip cookies and made Mike's favorite cookie bars, Pride of Iowa, my own version, which has oatmeal, toffee bits, coconut, butterscotch chips. I also made a crockpot of Taco Soup.

Today it's hot cocoa and having the kids paint their own art on canvas.

I've been building in breaks for myself. I had lunchables for them yesterday so I didn't have to fix lunch yesterday. We had pizza Tuesday night so I didn't fix dinner then. Trying to space out all the work-load. Thankfully we had redboxed Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2. That's fun.

Trying to enjoy this time-off with the kids. I always want and hope for break time with the kids and now that I have it, it's hard to not feel frustrated by my lack of productivity.

Balance and moderation. A time for work. And a time to play.

(Note to self: Wish he had work in the barn. Ended up being at the oceanfront. Poor guy driving in this awful weather.)

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


When it's so cold you have icicles on your nose...

Monday, January 27, 2014

Snow Day (part 3)

Mike wood-working at the barn

cookie break

Peter out for a stroll

Ian, Natural Born Stuntsman

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Snow Day (part 2)

Starting our snow adventure.

a view from my front door.

I love seeing our woods with snow...

I asked Libby how she was liking the snow, Thumbs Up.

My beautiful girl

Jumping for Joy

On the way to Grampa's Barn for some treats and a quick kiss from Papa hard at work.

Bye for now...

Saturday, January 25, 2014

me & em

This picture was taken during our trip to Hunt Club during Fall of 2011. She helped me with Libby and Samuel at an event for kids with cancer. Thanks Em for all your love and support!
My cousin Emily is a really special person. One of the things that make her so special is her thoughtfulness. She is gifted at caring and communicating. During this time of sorting my stuff I have found dozens of cards, letters and notes filled with cute stickers and drawings, that spread through at least a decade. 

I am so thankful for all the amazing family members God has given me. They are such a blessing. 

Emily Grace, I am so thankful that you're my cousin. Thankful that you are a precious woman that God is molding into His likeness. Your countless notes of encouragement and correspondence through time and distance have lifted me up. Thank you for being a blessing. I'm praying for you and I love you so much! I know you're busy with all the demands of life but just know that you're tremendously loved and thought of often!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Snow Day

I got some great pics yesterday in the snow. Here is a small sample...



Christopher, Madison & Kristin



Monday, January 20, 2014

Me and My Valentine...

Why wait for Valentine's Day to share your heart...This is me and my best friend in the whole wide world, my husband Mike. I can't even begin to tell you what a gift God has given me in this man. Through thick and thin God has given us strength to be committed to each other and our marriage.

Statistics are against us. We have special needs kids. And apparently the divorce rate escalates with having kids with cancer.

"After the initial, life-changing diagnosis of a child with a disability, many parents face more than just the reality of the challenges their child will have for a lifetime. Parents soon become aware of a long-repeated 'statistic' that the divorce rate is 80-90% when a child has special needs."

But we haven't let that stop us. We have fought hard to keep our marriage strong. And let's be honest. It's not just been us. It's God helping sustain us. It's challenging to make the time to be together and to talk and communicate.

I just want to say thank you to all the people who have helped us stay strong. Given us date nights through gift cards or watching our kids. Helped us financially in the midst of cancer treatment during which Mike couldn't work because he was Samuel's full-time caregiver while I cared for the other four kids.

We have been committed to dating each other. Talking to each other and working through hard issues. We've had years of counseling. Years upon years of hardship and trial.

I wouldn't trade any of the difficulty or struggle if it meant not having Mike. I love him so much and he's been my best partner in this adventurous life of ours.

Mike- Thanks for being there Babe. Thanks for loving me at my most unloveable moments. Thanks for reminding me of the truth even when I don't want to hear it. Thank you for your faithfulness and perseverance in the midst of pain, heartache, misfortune and tragedy. So grateful God has given me you to walk through this life. Can't wait to see what God has for us!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Made Me Laugh


This is my gorgeous sister-in-law Kristin. This picture was taken when she was pregnant with River. I love how this petite woman with her little pregnant bump is sitting on and riding my kids tricycle. Kristin thank you for making me laugh and for all your encouragement and love. You are so precious to me and I'm so thankful for you! You are a gift to my brother and to our whole family! I love you! Mwah

Saturday, January 18, 2014


I can't help but marvel when I think of where we were just a few short years ago. Giving shots everyday to help stimulate Samuel's white cells to recover and bounce back after round after round of chemo. Flushing tubes and CVL lines. Scary fevers that led to the ICU and created near-death experiences. Feeding tubes for two of my kids. 

Things aren't perfect or easy now. But they're so much better and a whole lot easier than they used to be. I am so thankful though that God never forsook me even in the hardest moments. He's been there. Even on the days that suck. Even on the days I could barely make myself get out of bed. Even when I felt like I would never be able to cry again because I was so dried out from all the tears I had shed.

God has sustained us in the midst. He's been so faithful. 

One of my most favorite things is seeing the way my children interact with each other. How their relationships with each other have grown. Their love and affection for each other is strong. Libby and Samuel have a special bond. My heart melted when the teachers told me how Libby and Samuel walk hand in hand down the hall every day on their way to homeroom. That's precious to me.

Fall 2011

Fall 2012

2 weeks ago.

Friday, January 17, 2014

New Year's Pics...

In case you didn't catch the earlier post, we spent New Year's and a couple days into the New Year de-lousing. Fun, fun. Here are the kids with mayo, saran wrap and duct taped heads, so we could suffocate those buggers. Oh the memories we make together. Aren't they adorable? We called ourselves the martians and the aliens. Libby and I were the martians because we had shower caps and the boys were aliens. Yeah, we get creative when we are dealing with silly circumstances...

Peter & Madison

I am so blessed that Peter has a cousin just 4 months younger than him. He loves Madison and thinks she's the best thing ever. It's so sweet to see them grow up together and grow in their love and affection for each other. They laugh so much when they're together. It's precious to my heart.


Hi, I like you.

one year ago 

(a piano built for two)

Gimme that passy!