Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Check back at midnight for the big reveal! You won't want to miss it!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

4 Days until the BIG Reveal!!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

We've Got News!!!!!

I am so excited!!! We've got something to tell everyone! We've known for a couple of months but wanted to make sure everything was going to work out before we told anyone. Are you intrigued yet??? I will give you all a little hint. It involves the colors pink and blue! The big unveiling will be on January 1 2009! Stay tuned for the biggest news we've had since the kids were born!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Merry Christmas

Send your own ElfYourself eCards


About two weeks ago I began preparations for the kids. I was planning a mini vacation. I don't remember ever being so excited about going on vacation. Where was I going????? I was packing our truck and heading about 3 hours away to the tiny town of Rising Sun. Doesn't that sound peaceful? The name of the town is a really good way to describe how I felt when I was there. It was a new day. A time of rejuvenation. How in the world did I come up with that destination? That is the place where Chandra lives. She was and still is the best friend I've ever had.

We met in 6th grade and have been friends ever since. We did everything together. Every memory I have from my pre-teen years and on include her. We were inseparable. Every weekend and most week nights we were together. All the big days growing up were shared. First boyfriends, kisses, drivers-ed, proms, breakups, mission trip to Peru, and graduation. After high school we both went to USI where life took us in different directions. After our first year we lost touch and went our separate ways. We always kept some sort of contact, but were in different places in our lives. It was really sad to loose touch and be on my own. I got married, graduated and stayed in my hometown and started working. She got married graduated and started working on campus. Despite our separate paths in life, we found each other when the most important day arrived. Our wedding day! We were right there for each other like always. Ready to celebrate in the happiest day of our lives. Once again we parted ways and started our married lives is separate locations. Now we have once again been brought back together to share in the newest and greatest part of our lives. Children!!! Yes, she was there like always, the days before and right after I had the kids. We may not have been able to stay close through the years, but when it counts we are there no matter what. Now I get to do the same for her. McKenna Grace was born on Thanksgiving day. I couldn't wait to get my hands on her. I may not have been there the day she was born, but I would have dropped everything and gotten there as fast as I could if she needed me to. So, I waited for the crowds to die down before I made the trip. Three days to catch up. That is not enough time for two people who have a lifetime of memories and stories to catch up on. I miss her so much. The good thing is that I don't think we will let life pull us apart again.

Chandra is one of those friends that not many people find. If you are blessed enough to have a friend like her you will understand what I'm saying. We may not have cherished our friendship like we should have. Life and circumstances came between us. But, when I tried to move on and find that person who I could confide in and turn to, no one measured up. No one can share in the past because they weren't there, not even my hubby. I can't tell you how relieved I feel to have my best friend back.

Chan, I just wanted to tell you congratulations on your new joy in life. She is beautiful! You and Matt are great parents and I am so happy that I got to be a part of this time in your life. I remember talking back in middle school about all the things we were going to do when we grew up. We have done everything on our list. You don't live close enough for us to raise our kids together, but email and the phone will keep us close enough. I can't wait to see you in a couple of weeks! Merry Christmas and thanks for giving me a mini vacation!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Bah Humbug

That is how I feel about Christmas right now. I was so excited to start our family tradition this year and finally enjoy a holiday. Thanksgiving was a success and it seemed we were over the hump of struggles. I was so wrong. We have entered into toddler stage. Rob and I excitedly loaded the kids into the van for our annual trip to the Tree Farm. We successfully got the kids there and back. While the kids were napping we decorated the tree and had it ready for when they woke up. It was so neat to see their reaction. They were in awe of it all. That lasted a few minutes before mission: "Destruction" was in play. Since then we have lost more ornaments than I can count.

The Christmas tree is supposed to jump start the holiday season and remind us of Jesus' birth. Unfortunately, the tree has had the opposite affect on me. It has reminded me the we are not a normal family and never will be. It has shown me that we are not getting past our struggles, but just entering into the toddler phase of struggles. I am really mad at my kids right now. That is allowed right? I mean every parent gets mad at their kids now and then. Granted, I know they don't know any better right now, but it doesn't take away my frustration of how life is going right now. But I will come back to that a little later in this post. First I will recap on my evening.

I decided to make a meatloaf for supper in an attempt to broaden the kids menu of foods. Keep in mind I am alone with the kids at least 75% of the time which means they have to be left alone sometimes. I was in the kitchen when I heard a crash. That noise seems to be happening all the time lately. I knew what it was right away. I headed around the corner to find Landon in the foyer with a shattered ornament at his feet. I walked over to him and proceeded to tell five toddlers not to touch the broken glass. Anyone with any common sense knows that they aren't going to listen. I had to leave the scene of the crime to get the broom and dustpan. I returned seconds later to find all five of them playing in it. Big Surprise!!! I proceeded to carefully remove the pieces from their hands. As I took what was in Peyton's hands and put it in the dustpan I noticed my hand was clammy. That is when I saw it. My hand was covered in blood. I knew I hadn't cut myself so I checked everyone and found Peyton's hand dripping. The cut was small but it sure bled. So, I held Peyton's hand trying to keep the blood from getting everywhere while I swept with the other hand and held the dustpan with my foot. Talk about multitasking. Once the mess was cleaned up I took Peyton to the bathroom. We cleaned his hands and mine. It was one of those cuts that won't stop bleeding and once it does it will start again if you move the skin. So, I had no choice but to put a band aid on it. I KNOW!!!! Kids won't keep band aids on. I had to try at least for a while till I could get the bleeding stopped. He did really well with it. By that time my meatloaf was overdone and I had to get it out of the oven.

While I was getting their plates ready I noticed that the kids were being really quiet. I walked around the corner to see what was going on. As you can see they don't listen to a thing I say. Might I add, that popcorn was strung and used on last years tree. That was it. I put them up to the table and got them ready for dinner. They won, I can't fight it anymore. Their safety has to come before my need for normalcy and tradition. After dinner, which they didn't eat, I proceeded to take the tree down. It is now bare in the front yard. I am so disappointed.

I love my kids more than life. They have been the most rewarding thing to happen to us. Very few people get to experience what we are and we wouldn't trade it for the world. BUT...our lives are absolutely nothing like we had planned. Everything is 100x harder than we ever thought it would be. I am tired...tired of cleaning, changing diapers, playing, cooking, doing laundry, and thinking. My brain hurts. Everything is so scheduled and planned. It has to be that way, but I am beat. Sometimes, I wish we could be normal. Normal people can have a Christmas tree. I wish the simple things in life were simple again. Nothing is simple...
Oh yeah, the band aid is gone. I'm sure whoever ate it will pass it in the next day or so.

Monday, December 8, 2008


I have to say, my kids are brilliant. I know I am biased, but they are learning everyday. It took them a while to have an interrest in what is in the books, but now they are learning what objects are. We are really focusing on animals. Sydney has a special place in her heart for the duck. She also loves kitty. The others don't have a favorite, but Peyton has a fascination with pizza in the Cookie Monster book. At least they like to read. That is what we do all day it seems. We have about 10-15 books out all the time. we keep the same ones out all the time because they don't know how to take care of their stuff yet. I can't watch them all the time and they end up looking like this... I have to pick my battles, and this is not one of them. They will learn how to take care of more things when they get a little older. For now I just want them to be interested in learning new things. Sydney knows how to put the shapes into the correct holes. She can do a circle, square, heart, star, and triangle. The others don't have the patients she does. And, it is really hard to do a task with one of them successfully. I hate that. It always ends up being a fight unless we just let them do it by themselves. If I am involved at all it is a fight for my attention. I am so proud of my little munchkins.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

My Favorite Movie

Peyton: Do you think mom knows we have watched this 100 times already?
I have a new favorite movie. Any Veggie Tales will do just fine. I know I am a little old for that, but it teaches great lessons and has some funny songs. The best part about it is that I can leave the room for a little bit and know that no windows will be broken. They stand in front of the TV or sit like a zombie glued to the television. They now have an attention span of longer than 30 seconds. In fact, the God Made You Special movie is the best. It is a little over an hour long and they will watch the entire thing. I have to limit them to the amount of Veggie Tales I expose them to. They will forget how to play and just become couch potatoes if I have it on all the time. It does allow me to have a much needed break once in a while. They are starting to sing and dance too. Ethan gets into it the most as you will see in the video.

My five couch potatoes

Jenna: You found me!

Ethan: You're not going to make me sleep in here are you?

Sydney: Okay mom, he thinks I like him. Can I get off his lap now?

(Syd on Uncle Shawn's lap)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Jenna Bell


Today I decided to write my letter to you. I am having a hard time deciding where to start. So, I guess I will start at the beginning. You came out the smallest and have fought hard to stay that way. When I think back to your journey through the NICU I can't think of much. You were small but very strong. You were the only one to breathe room air immediately. Of course you got tired after a while and needed assistance, but none the less, you let everyone know that you were a fighter and could take care of yourself. Looking back, you have stayed true to yourself. I know that sounds weird since you are only 22 months old, but you have always been very independent.

Your entire life has revolved around food. Since the moment you were born, our goal has been to get as much nourishment in you as possible. Being the smallest, everyone has coddled you and let you get by on your cuteness. Not me, your momma here has had a rough road. Everyone else could make a valiant effort to get you to eat, after failing miserably, they would say "She will eat when she is hungry." That is because they could go home and rest easy, knowing that their kids were older, bigger, healthier, and easier to deal with. I didn't get to do that. You would have starved to death before you were going to eat. It was my job to keep you alive. I am not exaggerating. This burden your dad and I carried for you in unexplainable. All the doctors, therapists, nurses, family, and friends couldn't get you to eat what you needed. We battled for months. You were one day away from surgery to have a feeding tube put in. I couldn't do it. I gave you one more chance to start eating before the doctors really pushed me into doing it. Thankfully, you started to grow. Slowly, but at least you were growing.

When you were littler, you didn't have much personality. Because of your malnourishment, you had a hard time even holding your head up. You were the last to do everything. I didn't think you would ever crawl. When you turned one year old you took off. Not in size, but you started to crawl and hold your bottle. Dawn, our favorite PT (Physical Therapist) began seeing you weekly. She worked miracles. In no time you were walking. Your personality came out and now you are a talking, smiling, laughing little girl. You never disappoint when we want a hug. Your red hair stands out in the crowd and people quickly associate your hair to your personality.

Everyone has given you a pass on doing the same things as your siblings. Just because you are smaller, they assume you won't be able to do as much. It is true, you do struggle from time to time, but you usually stay right behind the others in the action. The reason I chose to write to you today is because you have done something mind boggling to me today. I got you all up from your nap like usual. After changing five poopy diapers and answering a few phone calls I went to find you in the hallway. You were sitting nicely reading a book. My question to you is, how in the world did you get that shoe on your foot? I wish I could have seen that. You see, you are so special. You make people believe you can't do much so they don't make you do something you don't want to. Then out of the blue you show what you are capable of. When I think of who is the most individual leader I think of you. The others are a pack. They all think similarly and follow each others lead. You are very different. When I take you out with me you are a different kid. I think you are intimidated by your siblings. But, even when they attack you and steal your toys, you fight with all your might. You are strong.
I want you to know how special you are. It took a lot of work to get you here safely. Now that you are here I will do anything in my power to help you and keep you safe. You may not know it, but you need me. I let you think that things are your idea, like eating, but I am behind the scenes guiding you in the direction you should go. You have been such a sweet special baby. You didn't express it much in the beginning, but you love us. Every morning I walk into your room and you give me the biggest smile followed by the tightest hug ever. I love your sweet smile and your strong willed nature. I can't wait to see who you become. I hope that you never feel forgotten or overshadowed by your siblings. You are very different and special. God has a special plan for your life. We will always love you no matter what happens.