Thursday, February 26, 2009

A quick update and Open House Reminder

I'm not blogging much since it just doesn't seem right to be on my computer when my DS is home and is home for less than 2 weeks! Jeremy arrived home safely at exactly midnight last Sunday, and will be in just 10 more days! His 2 week leave meant only 12 days at home, bummer!

We've had a nice relaxing time so far (Jeremy's in bed with a migraine this morning, so I'm catching up on computer stuff). We got our family portrait done yesterday, and then went for pizza and bowling! It waas sooo much fun, but I don't even want to think about how much money we spent in such a short time!

We even got tons of snow while we were in Bellingham! We woke up to a winter wonderland this morning - complete with 2 foot icicles!

I also woke up to one sick chick - Esther has some bug that hit her around 2 am - weepy eyes, junky nose, thick occassional cough, and a junky throat. No fever so far, so I'm just cuddling her - don't want to venture out on the icy roads unless her condition seems mroe dangerous than the drive! Plus, today's a day with absolutely no reason to leave the house! I love these days!

Lastly, a reminder of our Open House - if you haven't seen our new house, or want to see Jeremy while he's here, or come to see Esther, we are still planning out Open House, Lord Willing!, for Saturday - 1 - 8 pm. Please bring a snack to share and stay as long as you want! Come early, come late - stay for a few minutes, or a few hours! But don't expect a "better homes and gardens" house - it will be real, especially with Esther being sick today!

But that's what HOSPITALITY is all about - we are not 'ENTERTAINING' - we are having friends and family over for a time of fun and fellowship and sharing God's blessings in our lives this year, not showing off an imaculate house - it will be a very lived in house, that's for sure!

I'm short of photos right now, but here's some of our winter wonderland today, and some photos I found on my camera that I didn't take, but are worth sharing:

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="443" caption="Esther Cuddling Penguin"]Esther Cuddling Penguin[/caption]

Kids goofing off togetherLittle Ones all in a Row I have no idea, but it's funny!!!Snow even makes project cars look good!Tiger jr trying to walk through the snow and stay dry - yeah right!Our House with Icicles Galore!A close up of some icicles - how pretty!Our Winter Wonderland (just outside our livingroom)Our Future Christmas Tree - pre-flocked!

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="Inside View of Icicles!"]Inside View of Icicles![/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="Jessica and Esther this morning"]Jessica and Esther this morning[/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="Rachel's Icicles"]Rachels Icicles[/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="Funny Girl - but the sun is shinning today!"]Funny Girl - but the sun is shinning today![/caption]

Hope you enjoyed the photos - Jeremy's back and his headaches gone, so I'm going to sign off.

If you think of it, please pray that Esther gets over her bug on her own and quickly so our open house can go on as planned!


Saturday, February 14, 2009

Long Week - Phew!

Man, this was a long week - but I got a lot accomplished in spite of having a cold!

I finally got back to working - I put together over a dozen bins for our seamstresses (had to do a lot of cutting in order to do this as we didn't cut anything for a long time due to the impending CPSIA ruling that was delayed!).  I also got behind on emails while I caught up on production - so much so that I spent around 2 hours digging through nearly 400 emails -replying to at least 50 of them!  All that in about a week of trying to ignore most of the emails while still keeping urgent things replied to!

I wanted to relate a couple of unique things that happened this week.  Yesterday while waiting for Esther's physical therapy session, another lady waiting asked me if Esther was my first baby - to which I replied, "no, she's my 11th".  The lady was shocked of course, as most people are, but there was a man in the waiting room as well.  He didn't say anything at first, but looked a little surprised.  Then, when the lady left, he turned to me and said something like,"that's a really big number"  followed with a comment like "if everyone produced like that, our world would be in caos".  I said that not all people intend to have lots of children, and that it is quite out of the ordinary.  He then said that with population growing as it is, it would take 3 earths to support the current population and that our current trends will end up with total chaos.  I pointed out to him that the entire population of the USA could own a home on a nice sized lot and everyone could live in Texas and use the rest of the USA to product food for everyone in Texas.  He then countered with something about overpopulation in some small country in Africa and some island in the Caribbeans.  This man has obviously been reading some really liberal garbage and believing everything he reads.

I then said to him that I invest my life in raising my children to be productive, responsible adults that will make a difference in the world around them.  He then said that past 8 children, they would be substandard.  WHAT?  So, any child past 8 children in the home would automatically be stupid?  I couldn't believe he would even believe that, let alone say that to me!  I pointed out to him that if you studied people who have made great impact on our world for the better (like Mozart, Einstein, and those types of people), many of them are 6th or greater in their families!  I also pointed out to him that our 11th is just 3 yos and she counts, knows her colors, runs like the wind, can balance on anything and seems to be smarter and more athletic than any of our other children! So There!

He was quiet for a while, and then said something that I don't remember, and then I got my last comment in before his wife came out - I pointed out to him that having a few or many children is not the point, it's how you raise them that is the important matter.  I know many families who have only two children, yet the children are complete detriments to our society - drug addiction, violence, alcoholism, laziness, lack of morality etc...families where the parents are so self centered as to think that children are a burden and the sooner they are out of the house the better.

Godly parenting is the most important this we can do in this life - our children can do far more to impact our world than we can do alone.  If each godly married couple invested their lives in parenting 4 or more children in the course of their lifetime, in less than 30 years, I believe we'd have a majority of godly people in the USA and that would translate to a moral majority in politics as well!

Vision, people.... it's all about the future.  Looking beyond today to what our children can accomplish to impact their world.

I know that now all married couples are blessed with children, or 4 or more children.  But God is not limited to creating godly families biologically is he?  Personally we have not adopted any children as God has not called us to do this, but most of my dear friends have adopted children and brought those children into godly homes and are nurturing their bruised and broken spirits and seeing the fruits of their labors - what a mission is that!

So I challenge you today - are you doing all in your power to make our world better by parenting your children to glorify God and make a difference for him?  Are you letting God lead you in the area of children?  Is He calling you to have more children (biologically or adopted)?

Ok, I'm off my soapbox now.

Have a great weekend everyone - off to shepherd my flock!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

4x4 Tag...I'm it! Updates and Good News!

OK, So Jennifer tagged me (Squacreek Ranch Blog )

So I went to my fourth folder and it happened to be my blog photo file!  Yeah!  And the fourth photo was Esther!  yeah!

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="Esther and her Butterfly Swing"]Esther and her Butterfy Swing[/caption]

This is so cool, as I was just looking back at photos earlier this week and praising God that Esther doesn't need the feeding tube anymore!  While it saved her life, it was such a distraction from her cutness!  It scared little children, and made adults squeemish!  This photo was taken just a few days before we got to take it out!

Here's a recent photo - taken at the biggest birthday party we ever put on!

Esther and Renee
Isn't it cute - they even match! Renee is my dear friend who inspired me to start this blog! Don't you just love the hair!  Esther has a very special signature hair doo - the mohawk is getting longer so we usually put it in a pony tail, but on this day we let it all hang out!  LOL!

Renee was also there for me the day Esther was born, and took that ohh soo sweet photo of Esther on that first day when photos were so hard to take in the semi darkness and through the oxygen tent!
So, back to the birthday party! We missed celebrating 5 birthdays (the youngest 5 above Esther) while Esther and I were in the hospital! Three were in September and two were in December. So we decided to celebrate them all at once - and boy did we ever! We invited entire families, and ended up with 6 parents and 28 kids coming! The kids were from 5 families - Renee brought her entire family (13 children and her husband too!) so that made up for more than half the attendees! I was so glad they all came - we had a wonderful time and it was so fun to have so many kids around! It was loud and crazy, but everyone had a blast! I learned not to get caught going down the stairs when the kids all think the treasure hunt is leading them upstairs! Talk about a fish going upstream! It takes a while for 37 kids to push their way up the stairs and around me!
So here's the head count for the party - Bergerons - 13 kids and 2 parents, Jardinskis - 1 parent, 4 1/2 kids (her baby is due very soon!), Doyles - 2 parents, 5 kids (including the most adorable 4 week old twin boys!), Andersons - 1 parent, 2 kids, Clarks - 2 kids. And, of course 9 of our kids (Jeremy's still in California, Jason was working) and Daryl was home, making a very full house at 43 bodies! It was the most fun/exciting/crowded when it came to opening the gifts, as everyone tried to cram into the livingroom:

And here's thos adorable twins I mentioned earlier!

These two boys have three older sisters - age 2, 3, and I think 10!  Their mom is a wonder - out and about with these little ones and their sisters already!  She's a pro, that's for sure!  God knew she could handle these little blessings!

What's funny, is that all that morning I just couldn't remember the mother's name!  I could remember their dad's name, but not the mom's!  Then us moms were all talking about mom stuff, and she mentioned how funny it was that recently she couldn't remember my name and had to ask her husband what my first name was - what a hoot, as we both have the same name!  Ruth!!!  LOL!! Is that funny or what!  I don't think either of us will forget eachother's names ever again!

Oh - and that beanbag chair that the twins are on?  I thought it was generally a one or two person seat - I was wrong - here's a photo of it seating 5 (I was told that it had held 6 earlier!)

They don't look like they're having fun - but all day those two were smiling, I just didn't catch it at this moment!  This photo was taken way after the party though - spontaneously we invited the Bergerons to stay for dinner.  They didn't have plans, so I sent Jessica to the store for more food, and we had a great dinner of EZ lazagna, garlic bread and corn - service for 27!  There was even some leftovers!

The weekend before last, we were able to go bowling with the Down Syndrom Outreach group!  It was great fun - pizza, pop, and bowling - a special treat for all the kids.  We met some incredible parents, and some special kids, and had a great time!  Here's Esther with daddy and Jessica that night:

(sorry Jessica - I know it's not the best photo of you, but it's so cute of Esther and Daddy I just had to post it!)

So, a quick update on all things!  I've got good news on all fronts!

Esther - had her 6 weeks post-op appointment and she passed with flying colors!  She doesn't have to have another cardiology appointment for 6 months!  Yeah! She does have an appointment next week for her thyroid check though, but I'm not worried about that one, it should be a quick visit.  Other than post-snow traffic being a mess on the way down, the day went smoothly.

Esther also started physical therapy two weeks ago and is progressing nicely!  She's doing much better at holding her head up, and she's discovered she has feet and loves to kick the ball that hangs from her play gym!

And best of all, as of 11 days ago, Esther has been home longer than she has been in the hospital!  yeah!

My sister, Lisa had her surgery this morning, and they removed two cysts and there was no malignancy!  So she is free of cancer!  Praise the Lord!!!!!

I actually got caught up on laundry late last week (well, some of it is only in the right room and not in the closets, but that's close enough for me at this point!).

And best of all, Jeremy will be coming home in less than 2 weeks!  Jessica will be flying down to visit my sister, Lisa, for a few days, and then Jeremy is going to drive up from 29 Palms to San Fransisco to pick up Jessica and they'll drive the rest of the way home together!  Jeremy is leaving his car here while he's away.  He's even given me permission to use it while he's gone (we are down to one car right now) - I don't mind as it's a 1996 Camaro Z 28!  That will be fun!

We are planning an open house for him while he's home - to celebrate his time at home, our new home, and Esther too!  So if any of you want to come and join in on the fun, bring a snack to share, and show up here sometime between 1 and 8 pm on Saturday, February 28!  Email me or post a comment if you need directions to our house!