Monday, January 31, 2011

Sunday, January 30, 2011

January 30th 365 challenge

The new Stake Center... they just had stuff built at ground level 2 weeks ago. So excited, which is why I'm choosing this as my picture for today!

For more explanation on what a Stake Center is and why we're excited, see my next post below this one.

There's also a picture of the Stake Center AND the temple.

Kansas City Missouri temple- January 30th, 2011

We missed a week because we stayed home.

We got a great surprise though, the temple hasn't changed a whole lot (other than more external paneling put up) but the Stake Center is really taking shape! It's right across the street from the temple, still in the same area between the main street and the I-435 freeway.

The wood framework is for a new church building, called a Stake Center because it is the main building for a Stake, which has the leadership for multiple congregations plus can accommodate larger meetings but also is the building for regular Sunday worship and Sunday activities.

I apologize for the above picture... not quite in focus but I love how it looks anyway.

I thought this one was fun because the street light really isn't part of the building... but looks like it...

Saturday, January 29, 2011

January 29th 365 challenge


Nathanael, Samuel and Ethan playing a game at our house. Ethan is our 6 year old nephew. He was born 6 days after Samuel. Apparently Jump Start First Grade is serious business.

January 28th 365 challenge

Liberty peeking over the edge of the couch while standing on a container... she's absolutely thrilled to be tall.

Oh, and we're watching The Love Bug here. It's at the part where evil Mr. Thorndyke is getting the girl to get whats his name Douglas out of the way so he can sabotage Herbie. We like Herbie. I think we're only missing one of the movies. We had all of them on VHS at one time.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

January 27th 365 challenge


Christopher and the pink Play-doh Christopher Emilie helped him build.

Monsters under the bed...

Christopher (3 in March) has been coming to us lately telling us there are monsters under his bed. Where he got this, I don't know. I do know his imagination has been growing in leaps and bounds lately, and not always in pace with his vocabulary.

"Mom, there monsters under my bed."
"Christopher, those are trains, it's ok."
"Ok Mom."

"There monsters under my bed!"
"Christopher, are you talking about Cookie Monster? Are they nice monsters?"
"Oh, yeah, Mom, they nice."

"Mom! Dad! There monsters under my bed!"
"Christopher, it's ok. Remember, they are nice monsters."
"No, they not nice, they bite JoJo." (JoJo the clown from Disney.)
"JoJo can tell the monsters to go away."
(high squeaky voice) "Go away monsters!" (normal voice) "Ok, dey gone."

"There monsters under my bed! Monsters!"
"It's just the pieces of Mr. Potato Head. See, eyes, arms, feet... "
"What? Hee hee"

"Mom! Monsters under my bed!"
"Christopher, they are chocolate monsters. Go eat them."
"They chocolate? Chocolate monsters?" (giggle) "Ok mom."

"There scary monsters under my bed!" "Mom!" "Mom!" "Mom!" "Dad?"
Mom- "Christopher, no, there aren't any monsters. See?"
"Oh, yeah. Ok."

"There monsters under my bed, Mom! Dad! Help me!"
"Uhoh. Better get Dad."
Dad- "Rawr!"
Lots of laughter. Giggles.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


I debated sharing this, as I wasn't even to the point in a pregnancy where I would be happy with telling everyone yet for exactly this reason, but last weekend we had a miscarriage. (sure, I use the term "we" quite loosely but this was Tom's baby too.)

I would have been 7 weeks tomorrow. With some of my earlier pregnancies I would not have even known about this yet... I probably would have been suspicious, though. I had very strong symptoms very early, however, and tested early because of that. We had almost a whole week of knowing that we'd have our 10th baby most likely in September. I nervously called a friend who lived here trying to find a good OB, as we just moved from Texas to Missouri via Illinois in July. The timing is quite normal for us, as our babies have never been more than 22 months apart. I guess it will be more, now, for the first time since we had Michael in November of 1996.

This was my first miscarriage. I know many women who have had miscarriages. I've known women who have had many miscarriages. I've been sad with them, cried with them, prayed for them, grieved with them, but never knew what they were going through. Some of them knew about Joseph and would say, you know what it is to lose a child, I'm glad you are here for me. I thought, but I got to hold Joseph for 12 days and carry him for 9 months, or almost... I got to hold him as he left... you didn't get that...

Now I know. Now I know what it is to lose that hope of a baby. Now I know what it is to know the worst is happening. Yes, I was told that some thought it would be worse to hold a baby and then lose him. I do think it would be harder to miscarry a baby that you can see and even worse if you've felt that baby move or seen a heartbeat on an ultrasound or heard it on a Doppler. But I know it's all just hard. Difficult to see, feel, hear, think about.

I've been kind of numb. But that's familiar. It took me a little while to face all the feelings I had while pregnant with Joseph and with each revelation both before and after his birth and then before and after his death.

This came on suddenly, just as I was coming to terms with another baby in the house and what we might need to do to prepare for him, (most likely him, given our family). The signs were there, and I thought, everything could still be ok, but even as I thought that, a sense that it probably wasn't going to be ok, but that all was as it should be, came over me. This was Thursday. It was Samuel's birthday and I just kept it all inside and didn't let it ruin a fun day.

Friday was worse. I had an impression to call a friend that I resisted, for many reasons, until finally I was overwhelmed by it. Our Heavenly Father looks out for all of us, and answers prayers through our families, our friends, and sometimes even perfect strangers. My prayers were answered. I felt strongly that I should not go to the Emergency Room, but just to wait on nature and let things happen in their own time. I received a Priesthood blessing that both calmed me and confirmed what I already knew. (sometimes we need to hear it again!) Things progressed and Saturday was the worst. Tom took care of everything I couldn't, a household of 10 can't stop because I'm not at my best. Sunday was better. We chose not to go to church between my condition and the conditions of the roads, while better than the past week, still icy.

Tuesday I got into the doctor's office that I had been planning on visiting this week anyway to confirm (at the time) that I was pregnant. Instead it was to confirm that this was no longer the case. I met a great new-to-me doctor in a situation so unfamiliar it was almost funny... usually when I first see an OB I'm expecting and we get to know each other very well and our entire conversation is taken up by my OB history. It was a nice appointment other than the obvious. I also had a detailed ultrasound that showed exactly what was expected, that I no longer was carrying a baby and that while we weren't completely back to normal, things were heading that way.

Probably too much information but I needed to talk about it as my body heals. I know my mind and heart might need a bit longer. This little person will be remembered a lot longer than he was here. While it's a familiar grief, it's not the same. Neither is greater. Neither is harder. Neither is "more" or "less", it's just different than when we had Joseph nearly 10 years ago.

We have not visited Joseph's grave in 9 years, it might be time to go to Ohio. This baby won't have that kind of memorial, but a little part of my heart is buried in spirit.

Samuel turned 6!

Happy birthday to Samuel! He is getting so big. He's been reading for 2 years now, so he's into all sorts of 'big kid' books even though sometimes he doesn't have the patience for reading a lot at a time. He is a big help even though he doesn't like doing big kid chores. He hates going to bed at night, but is usually great at anything else we ask him to do. He loves getting a chance to use the computer to play games or play board games with the family. He loves legos, Batman, Spiderman, playing in the snow, Harry Potter, dragons, and chocolate. He is a cheerful kid and talks all the time, though you wouldn't know it when he's around other people. He can appear shy... it's his secret super power, I suppose. He likes our new house and new friends but I think he sometimes misses our old house and friends. He was going to be our Punxsutawney PA baby (think Groundhog day) but we moved to TX instead, right before he was born. I can't believe it's been 6 years.

We love having Samuel as part of our family!

January 26th 365 challenge

"Oatmeal makes me happy."
"Who needs a spoon?"

Liberty, age 14 months

January 25th 365 challenge

Nathanael and Samuel getting ready to watch a movie...
Wearing PJs, younger kids have gone to bed, time for the biggER kids to do something.

Monday, January 24, 2011

January 24th 365 challenge


My daughters. We got them matching shirts (and pants) for Christmas. Emilie was thrilled, not sure what Liberty thinks.

January 23rd 365 challenge

Yes. I made a mess. Your point is...?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

January 22nd 365 challenge

Little daredevil... she got up there by herself. And no, don't bring up what I did as a child. I know I'm getting paybacks.

Friday, January 21, 2011

January 21st 365 challenge

Out Nathanael's and Timothy's window again... trying to get a good picture of the big hole they are digging in the neighbor's driveway. It's been fascinating the kids all day.

January 20th 365 Challenge

Samuel turned 6 on the 20th of January. For one of his presents he got a box of Russell Stover chocolates for his very own... Tom thinks it might be a new tradition... I love the smile as he looks down at his present.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

January 19th 365 challenge

Liberty eating lunch... you can't tell she's happy behind that hand, can you? Love this little face. And this little girl.

Family trip to the library

The local library is sponsoring "RAFT" which stands for Reading Aloud Family Time. From January 18th to March 31st if our family reads 3 chapter books we check out there, we get entered into a drawing for a prize and we get a book as well. Now, our family reading aloud is usually the scriptures or picture books, once we get to chapter books it's usually a room full of people reading on their own... so this will be fun. Though I do keep trying to read books aloud to the kids, it just never materializes.

So, here we go! We went last night before dinner. Everyone has their own library card, at least everyone who can read.

Here's a link to a description of the program. It's a good library system. I haven't gone as often lately with the kids as we have been limited to one car and Tom has to get to work.

Everyone is busy reading today. Benjamin is reading the Redwall series. Michael is kind of between books. Emilie is reading the American girl series, which is always coming out with new books so she's good... plus she checked out a few classics. Nathanael and Samuel are into non-fiction, which is pretty typical for boys of their ages. Timothy, Christopher and Liberty found some great picture and board books. Mom and Dad found the Spiderwick Chronicles to read aloud. We'll start those tonight.

January 18th 365 challenge

Had a hard time deciding which one... (yes, I know this is a day late... Tom was watching the BYU game on the computer)


Emilie is a reader. The only other thing that will capture her attention this fully is a good movie, but books are definitely her favorite. You notice that I have a camera and she didn't look up until after the flash went off...

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Trying this out... I heart faces challenge Winter Wonderland

I like new challenges and I love taking pictures and learning to take better pictures.

January 16th 365 challenge

Nathanael is holding his journal and his Book of Mormon. He was getting ready to write about a scripture that means a lot to him. The charts on the wall are for the kids to record reading the scriptures every day this year. Everyone in Primary has one. So far so good! One night it was reciting the Articles of Faith, but that works!

January 15th 365 challenge

Christopher is about to throw snow. Michael is wandering around behind him. Can you see Benjamin? And Timothy is about to go up the hill for another round of sledding.

January 14th 365 challenge

Samuel eating snow. I think he looks like an elf here. This is in our backyard.

January 13th 365 challenge

Benjamin broke off this monster of an icicle... it was on our shed. It's probably 4 feet long.

January 12th 365 Challenge

Christopher found the evidence that either Dad or Mom had some chocolate without him... he said, "Mom, this smells like chock-it"

January 11th 365 challenge


The view out Nathanael and Timothy's window as we were waiting for Dad to come home from work.

January 10th 365 challenge

Liberty playing in the snow for the first time. I was in a hurry before it got too cold... we have no boots her size, and I couldn't find any shoes her size other than her Sunday shoes... so that's what she's wearing. I also had no mittens her size so the sleeves are pulled down over her fingers and she didn't stay out long LOL... however, I will be finding some of each of those missing items before the next snowfall hits. It's in a box here somewhere.