Friday, December 27, 2013


So, unfortunately,  max seems to always havee the stomach flu right around his birthday. so sad to watch the big boy feel so miserable on such a special day, but this time of year just brings the pukes to our house! Brad arrived home from hunting on Sunday morn and max began throwing up that night, so thankful for the parental support. poor Maxwell took 3 days to bounce back, so his birthday festivities were postponed a day.

True to my disorganized and distracted form, I had yet to purchase the birthday boys gift. so, I took all 3 adorables to meijer and covertly purchased a real bow and arrow set, some long underwear and some boxers for the 7 year old along w/ some groceries.  Honestly,  maybe it was the illness,  but max was totally surprised and happy with his gifts when I presented them wrapped later that evening.
bear tried super hard to be excited for his bro, but really wanted it to be his birthday. In  fact, when max stayed home from school againon wednesday,  wes says, "Well, i guess his birthday is canceled"

We waited untilmax man was feeling much improved to celebrate out on the town, but his teacher made special arrangements to call during class on maxers actual birthday.  His whole class got on speaker and sang happy birthday.  The smile that appeared on Maxwell's face was so precious.  I cried.

The following day brought healing,  so we partied hard in celebration. Max chose bowling for his birthday activity,  and all were completely entertained.

selfie of the proud parents

the boys were super sweet at helping ayla get her bowl on.

brad schooled the boys in the finer points of scoring in the 3 figures ;)

i brought my own ball, baby 

we finishhed the night off with some Wendy's and felt the oldest had been properly recognized and honored.

Maxwell,  you are such an awesome son. You made me a mama, and I am forever grateful.  You have matured so much this year, and have maintained your thoughtful and sweet nature. you have recently begun experiencing release time at sandyview which involves taking students by bus to a local church where they a re presented with some cool and applicable bible teaching.  Some kids in your class have chosen notto participate, , and even spoken things aloud against king Jesus. max, you made us so proud by bringing the conversation to our attention so we could address how badly that little boy's life needs god and how you can share  the lord with him. what a privilege it is to raise u.

Lord jesus, equip our oldest with courage and strength to live a life filled with christ so he will emulate jesus' love to the world. Protect Maxwell from harm and bless him profusely this year. Grant him the hope and joy that comes only from knowing you.

Friday, December 20, 2013

deer camp

While Bradley ventured into the wilderness in a valiant attempt to feed his hungry family,  the adorables and I had some adventures of our own. I am the first to admit that my favorite times are the times when the whole fam is together.  Doesn't matter the activity,  if ita a day trip to cabelas or a dinner at 'donalds, I just adore our time as 5. So deer camp typically comes with a tiny bit of crabby as brad goes off with nary a responsibility and I am the sole parent for days on end. I absolutely rely on my husband,  so when he takes some well deserved time away, I miss him beyond words. like, I miss being together,  but I also miss his comic relief,  bedtime assistance,  consistent and real perspective,  his support,  and his pep talks.

Brad, the kind hearted, and observant dude that he is, recognizes my neediness and sacrifice and really expressed his desire for the rest of the fam to have some fun too. And we totally did. I truly cherished the fun time, me and my brood.  Keeping the expectations for my productivity low, I solely focused on savoring my cutes.

The first night, we picked Maxwell up at school and went directly to chuck e cheeses.  anticipation was extremely high for this event. We were gifted some chuck e cheeses gift cards months ago and saved them expressly for such a time as this. As we arrived wed afternoon,  the place was ours for a good hour, then some birthday parties began and things got crazy. So we cashed in our tickets for some candy, tattoos, itty bitty frogs, and jewelry. max got to choose the dinner location: arbys.

As we were so super close to gap outlet,  and it had literally been years since my last visit,  I loaded the veen and away we went to shop. Once my arms were laden with possibilities,  max asked to use the restroom. Well, the only potty is outdoors , down a long and lonely hallway far far away. So I ditched the cuteness in my hands and drove the babes, who by now all had to poop, back to arbys where we took over that bathroom.  Awesome.

Thursday we planned to spend some of the birthday money gifted to the children from their great grandparents.  This mission of fun required a stop at family farm and ranch where the boys found some very great semi trucks. Ayla settled on a black horse, but begged a stop at target for princess luna, a pony blue can actually color. Who am I to deny my cupcake a trip to target for a color pony?! so we spent some time there as well. And bear chose McDonald's for dinner. Again with the poopapalooza, but this time we were still at the restaurant. bonus.

The bad news, each darling chose different times to feel the need. I quickly snuck off with bear to the potty while max manned the table and sister. I returned to find some random chatting with Aylaroo about princess luna. Goodbye creeper and lesson learned for the mama.

Throughout the week, I had been working with meggles in an attempt to procure a hotel room for the kids and I at a reasonable cost. I knew we would just so enjoy the little getaway, but was unwilling to pay the full $100 plus asking price for an area room. Well, auntie beans came through via a coworker from fettig past. When I picked the boys up from school Friday we were packed and I made the announcement.  Actually the little girl made the announcement by screaming surprise to max the moment we saw him line up.  he was surprised,  but not by the activity,  just the yelling.

We eagerly checked in and got comfy in our amazing room which included a fireplace!

Soon we were changed and swimming.  Well, I was entertained poolside by the most presh swimmers ever. Both times we swam,  we were the onlies there. Such a fun vacation!

Mama chose russ' for supper and by the time we were back at the hotel, all were exhausted.

 I snuggled the little lovies all into bed, turned on the fireplace,  and was sleeping before my own head hit the pillow. Which was marvelous because I think we were the first in the hotel to awaken and head down to the breakfast buffet.  It was nutritious and delicious.  While the adorables focused on cereal and donuts,  baby and I indulged in a beautifully made belgian waffle complete with strawberries and whip. Yum. During the baking process,  ayla jo poured out her milk into her cereal and the table and the floor. I was blissfully unaware until another guest informed me of cupcakes spill. Well. Thanks.

We went back to the luxurious room to change into our suits and the spent some more time in the water.

Hot tubbin
monster trucks poolside

Ayla gave her pony swimming lessons

somehow the gear  enhances his adorableness

super nice to enjoy some down time as the kids are so independent and capable swimmers

baby blue would throw her pony into the pool and her brothers would rescue it for her. Cute

Eventually other people came to swim and my kids seemed a bit offended the public would use their pool.  we packed it up and 38 loads to the van later were on our way home.

Saturday evening, I called in the reinforcements and wrangled the babes to prepare  for church.
clearly the three were desperate for some male attention. Thankfully uncle auatin was up tothechallenge.

 We were blessed by the service,  and the community of other hunters widows and kids galore. So thankful for auntie beans and uncle Austin,  for drinks were spilled, and children were overtired and unruly.

As soon as we arrived home, I tucked the darlings in and we all slept well knowing daddy was coming home tomorrow.  Oh, how we missed him! So thankful for our amazing daddy and fabulous husband to lead our home. Welcome home babe!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

birthday boys

Celebrating two of my fave boys the same time of year  that we savor gratefulness seems absolutely fitting. first up to be recognized as birthday boy is Bradley.  he almost shared his special day with his first born son. Maxwell was due on brads birthday, though he did not make his appearance until a week , later. Not something I enjoy recalling when 8 months ppreggers with baby number 4.  regardless,  this is about brad, the 36 year old birthday boy.

Unfortunately for the fam, brad typically departs for deer camp on his big day. therefore we must party the night before,  which is like a fiesta and packing frenzy all rolled into one. this year, brad took care of his own bday present, a new gun. truth be told, i really planned to purchase one as a surprise, but was concerned about the legality of buying someone else a firearm.  thus being his own birthday shopper was beneficial for everyone. the adorables and i desired for brad to have something to open, so when he mentioned that imitation vanilla extract is trending as the best deer attractant, we knew what we had to do.

After dropping off the oldest off at school,  the youngers and I started on a quest to find some cheap imitation vanilla without alcohol,  and a gun sling. Brad totally specifically requested each of his birthday gifts,  but I am totally okay with not  having the burden of choosing a creative and beautiful gift symbolizing all the adoration I feel for my man. Babe knows I so desperately love him, so feel free to hand over the gift list and I will do everything in my power to make those birthday dreams come true. Unfortunately,  brads tiny list resulted in a full morn.

Because obviously target's imitation vanilla has alcohol, and aldi only has pure vanilla extract. Meijer provided the perfect vanilla, and some mt dew to wrap, and a gun sling for the new gun, and some musical cards. That's pretty much all a man needs for for an amazing birthday.

The adorables had a lot of fun assisting in the wrapping of the presents, though there was a bit of a fight over who got to give brad what. No one was as excited as Bradley regarding the vanilla.  Somehow we managed to make it until 4pm, daddy's arrival time at home,  without destroying the gifts or one another.  Brad poked his head in the door, and we bombarded him with happy birthday's and ayla whispered,  we got you a sling shot! Well, we are not good at secrets around here. She was referring to the gun sling and brad was officially aware of all his gifts other than the musical cards which, lets face it, cost as much as a real present anyway.

We quickly feasted on birthday omelets. (what do u expect from a poultry farmer?) Then commenced the gifts. The $75 I spent on singing cards was totally worth it. Brad, I am absolutely joking about the price. but it still would have been worth it, because as soon as they were opened, a dance party ensued.

Brad was the lead dancer,  and it was awesome. 

That reminds me, brad left the next morning for deer camp and visited a casino while away. That night, a company of male strippers  was also at the casino. I had concerns that brad would be drafted as the newest recruit of the thunder from down under 

I think these pics speak for themselves....

So brad. Happy birthday hhusband mine! I am so absolutely thankful for you babe. Your committment to me and your ever  growing fam is so beautiful. You are unwavering in your love for us, whether we are taking turns with a puke parade or celebrating birthdays, or pregnant to the pointof perpetual crabby. may you beblesed this year as you continue to blessmeand yoursoon to be4 adorable babeies. I am so honored to be by your side another year.

So, every year, around bradsbirthday, we remeber the  crazy night of his 30th surprise birthday party when A randome woman came to the door in the middle of the night with hertwo kids. Lady was drunk or high on something, and her kids were terrified Nd freezing. She told us she was running away from jeremiah, someman she had fought with ending in herbroken hand and her midnight escape. Ladg had no idea where she wasand asked us in a profane slew of words and stories to please bring her to south haven. I insisted we call the police, at which point shebolted from our home, dragging her frightenedkids along. Theytook off  through thefie, ds and the police came to find her and attempt helping her.

Well, we had heard that she was discovered and brought to a safe hluse in benton harbor, but nothing more beyomd that. Howeever, this year, brad attneded an event fewturing jason hanson and whatever organizationw he is partned with dedicated to helping families. While brad  listened to people's testimonies, a woman stood up to give hers. brad immediately got goosebumps as shebegan to describe some similar occurneces to our visitor 6 years ago. Though brad never got the opportunity to speak xirectly with rhis lady, we believe she was the one at our door. What a beautiful gift from the lord to get to hear her story of redemption!

Thursday, November 21, 2013


 One of my fave things about little hawks, is the fact that many other students live super close by. Now that's one of bears favorite things as well, especially since we adopted a kitty cat on the way home from dropping off one of his little neighbor buds. Ever since Weston's kitty, tiger, "went on vacation" last spring,  he has pleaded on and off for a replacement.  We failed at one attempt due to the major problem that the new ones were to meowy.

With new pups to distract bear this summer, his  demands were quieted. Recently, he has ramped up the kitten whining once more. So there we were, driving home, when I spotted a small gray cat on the corner of our field,  precariously close to the road. I stopped the veen and pointed the feline out to wes so he could appreciate the proximity and furry of the surprise sighting.

The moment I had the veen in park, bear somehow launched himself to the door and wrenched that thing open to catch a closer look at the cat. Well,  this cat must have come from a family.  Like a human family who frequently took kitty for rides in their vehicle. For  instantly that gray little bundle hopped into the veen and made itself comfy. Purring loudly,  it snuggled by bear as wes sat back down in his seat and buckled himself again saying,  "we r taking him home I guess! "

I felt that I had no choice but to comply. Once the cat, kids, and I arrived home, I set some rules. No cats in the house. If an adorable takes kitty into the garage or porch , the child is assuming responsibility for any and all accidental poops.  both babes agreed to my terms.

And theloving began.

I love this pic of  bear because his face is so innocent,  like huh, I don't know.... this kitten just wants to live here.

So, I am not a really huge animal lover? I maybe don't really keep track of which animals have food or water and which are going hungry. This is not a flagrant disregard as much as me just being so distracted feeding the humans among us that the animals are sometimes overlooked.  We are all thankful Bradley is the farmer or chickens and pigs would suffer. So, when brad returned from deer camp this Sunday,  he immediately observed that the new cat, named kitty power, looked awful. Once he mentioned that fact,  I took note and sure enough,  kitty power appears to be lacking in power. Woops.

One more Weston story completely unrelated: when out and about running errands,  we saw a homeless man with a sign asking for a job and stating his hunger. We were heading to Wendy's anyway,  so I purchased a few extra cheeseburgers and ran them over to this man. Bear questioned why I was giving that man our lunch and I gently explained that the stranger was  sadly without a home or food to eat. My emotions were running quite high as the hormones continue to course through my body at record amounts.  Bear was quiet on the ride home. As we pulled into the driveway,  a good 30 minutes later,  wes announces,  "mom! Remember that old house the Indians used to live in at my school? Maybe that homeless man could live there and hunt for his food!" Aw, buddy.  How precious that he was working on a solution and using what he knows to help that man. love that boy!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


The sugar high has been happening for days. Halloween was good to us.

Bopa invited us once again to his in office trick or treating event. We love this adventure as it is inside,  before the actual holiday so we don't have to wait so very long, and it provides some much needed entertainment while daddy wraps up harvest.  even though we got candy early,  the fun could not come soon enough,  especially for bear. The secret is to wait until mere mmoments before a fun experience before telling Weston about it. Otherwise he is tortured waiting for the activity.  For example,  we have discussed Christmas no less than 19 times. Today.

Clearly the anticipation was extreme. And rightly so, jci is very generous with the doling out of goodies. At the first stop, wes grabbed about as many peices of candy his two hands could hold. The lady distributing the goods was very taken aback at bear's assumptions and the resulting reprimand sort of polluted Weston' s night.

As the above ppicture shows, bear couldn't get a happy heart back.

The ladybug and soccer player had a super time.

Blues costume was especially endearing to me as when she was super tiny, and i could just get her cute little hairs into a form of pigtails, max and wes thought their sister looked like a little ladybug. the boys would call her that whenever i could get her hairs to stay in a piggy tail position. Aw. We have had some growth in the hair realm, but not a lot...

Maxwell decided upon the soccer stud ensemble after being inspired by his buddy dakota. Kota's mom put an adorable pic on instagram which i showed maxer and he immediately decided to follow dakota's lead. After maxwells amazing season this fall, i thought the decision an excellent one. Not sure if i mentioned maxers one goal. Though he is more of a defensive player and enjoyed being goalie, during one game, max booted the ball right into the goal from about half way between the mid field area and the goal. So proud!

Bear is the best spiderman ever. He really loved having his costume on, and takes saving things seriously. Some days, he plays this game where i place lots of stuffed animals high on couches and chairs and shelves, and bear drives his toy firetruck to rescue each individual animal. So cute. 

One more spooky story. We were recently reminded that maxwell is scared of heights. While brad was ramming around with the adorables, he proceeded to carry max upstairs on his shoulders. Maxer flipped out. He was terrified to be high up and over the steps.  That experience  generated lots of discussion about max. So bear decided he was also afraid of heights. To wes, the word heights encompassed a myriad of fears: going upstairs alone, the dark, being shy.  so the other day, ayla and weston went downstairs to collect some random craft aupplies and blue raced upsgtairs to scream, "there's heights down there!" Presh

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

echo take 2

Part of the Kawasaki syndromin treatment plan is to have follow up echocardiograms . We had the first one last week. This involved another trip to Helen devos children's hospital.    this also involved the brothers as they were home from school due to the conferences situation.  as you may have expected, none of the adorables were terribly excited at the prospect of driving to gr for a drs appt.

Brad hatched the master plan to reward the babes with a trip to crazy bounce following the hospital.  Everyone was super excited about the crazy bounce portion of the day and promised to be on their best behavior.  their efforts were so preshie. And sometimes absolutely and genuinely helpful.

Maxwell had my phone and was seriously committed to his task of taking some pics of the parking lot  signage so I could relocate the veen after we completed the echocardiogram.  Bear repeatedly shouted,  "o, I hope I'm being good and listening to you mom! I'm trying so hard!" Well, the good news was he really did obey me with a happy heart most of the time. The bad news was that Weston did not recognize his own good behavior.  Hmm.  Ayla asked lots of questions,  and despite my reassuring answers regarding no pokes or hugs, she grew more agitated as we entered the hospital.  I totally don't blame her! Scary memories.

Due to my own panicky planning,  we arrived with plenty of time to spare. Once we were registered and equipped with the correct badges, I strolled the babes to the gift shop to look around and spend some of our extra time. Unfortunately,  we had more time than money,  so some of our extra time was used to explain why I would not be purchasing an $80 stuffed wolf for bear that day. We left without making a purchase,  and ventured upstairs for the main event.

In a determined effort to win the crazy bounce reward,  the brothers were so encouraging to Ayla as we checked in at the cardiologists office.  Everyone was distracted by the puffy stickers available there at the registration desk, so things were off to a happy start. we settled in at a cute little table in the waiting room and I took out the tablet to distract us all.

Didn't take long until our turn came. At the mention of her name, blue became very upset. As in terrified.  I began undressing her for the procedure and the hysterics escalated.  nurse ann seemed overwhelmed by this response despite her career as a pediatric ultrasoundist. finding nemo was playing on the tv, so bear was content watching the show, and occasionally blue would setlle enough to watch some show as well. Whenever nurse ann moved the wand to a new location on Ayla's tiny chest, cupcake would whimper or scream. I laid next to her on the itty bitty cot and tried to comfort the fears and tears. Stressful.

Thankfully, nurse ann determined to wrap things up as quickly as possible, so the echo lasted maybe half an hour. As we were checking out, the boys sneaked some more stickers in their plckets and i bumped into a nurse that previously worked at dr lunds office. Comforting to see a familiar place in that place. 

Soon we were back locked and loaded in the comfort of our messy van. As i started the show, i took a minute to thank god we were finished for now and dealing only with some residual kawasaki symptoms of which he is in total control. A few more deep breaths and i searched for the parking ticket, our way out. Well, bad news. Somehow between ramp 3 and floor 10, i lost that miniscule piece of paper. So i humbly called for help and the attendent graciously allowed me to pass. During our stay at helen devos, brad often struggled with the departure portion of the parking garage area and i would giggle and think that silly. Turns out, it is a real problem for us both. 

The afternoon included craziness and bouncing and exhasution. about a week later, we went back to dr lunds office for a diagnosis of hand foot and mouth disease. during that super fun adventure, we learned that ayla's echo came back completely normal. Praise the lord! We have another echo scheduled for for december. Until then, the aspirin regiment continues. 

Friday, November 1, 2013


We were all ready for relaxing down day after the business of the previous day. So in an effort to keep the adorables as content as possible for as long as possible, I kept tucking them in  my bed when they awoke,  whispering it wasn't quite morning.  Well the king size bed only accomodates so many wiggly babes. Eventually I relented and answered their wonderings about the morning with an affirmative.  At once, bear sat straight up and said "theres snow mommy! ".

Well that's all it took to get children of all ages to quit the coziness and run to the window.  Sure enough, snow covered the ground and was still falling from the sky. The boys had off for conferences so we quick ate  breakfast and began the quest for snow gear.

There has been lots of growing since the last time it snowed. We were able to scrounge together tops and bottoms and hats and mittens for all the darlings.

They were so cute.

Maxer immediately got to work shoveling the haf inch of wet snow from the ground.

Wes donned his new coat we bought last spring from peebles in cadillac. A great $7 purchase he is proud to wear.

Ayla wandered about aimlessly, but enthusiastically. Running around with a big smile and no idea what to do.

In other ayla news, somehow she has contracted hand, foot and mouth disease. Of course this required another drs visit and lots of concern. im thinking brother bear brought this home from preschool. Either that or crazy bounce is the culprit. either way, we are never leaving the house again.

The snow was wet and heavy.

Perfect for packing. Maxwell found a new occupation, snowman.

bear enthusiastically joined forces.

I think now would be a good time to pause and appreciate how extremely beautiful my babies are.

Blue really tried her best to participate.

Didnt take long to make a bear sized ball.

The finished snowman, complete with carrot nose and proud maxwell.

What a blessing this snow day was! Entertaining and then melting right away. The adorables went through every piece of winter gear we owned . Each time they would venture outside,  they would come back inside dripping wet. The corn stove worked hard to dry out the assortment of warmth before the next adventure. Happy to see thesnow come, and happy to see the snow go!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

big day

Today was big.
I attempted to prepare as much as possible for the happenings,  but bear still arrived at little hawks without his backpack. I sort of panicked thinking possibly max had grabbed Weston's by mistake but couldn't find maxers remaining in the van and really recalled being intentional about watching max march into school with his own backpack strapped to his back.  though I was a few minutes early,  there was no possibility of returning home and driving back before little hawks started.  Besides, I am the only one who carries that thing. I found some passable indoor shoes in the van, and prayed that the rain would hold off till after the hike so wes wouldn't need his rain suit.

Wes was reluctant to leave the van. By reluctant,  I mean he mumbled/whined about  not wanting to go to school.  The backpack situation didn't help his morale.  I bravely forced enough enthusiasm for the both of us in my voice and dragged bear to school . Once I signed my son in, he skipped joyfully to miss lonna and giggled while he guessed what he needed to write on miss lonna's whiteboard.  relieved and confused,  I waddled quickly back to the veen.

Ayla and I were off to moms in prayer,  a group of committed women who come together twice a month to pray for sandyview, and our children specifically.  In a word, awesome.  blue calls this her school, so anticipation was high for both of us. During drop off at the nursery,  cupcake suddenly got terrified and I left yelling I love you over her shrieks. Confused and concerned,  I met the other mama's and prayed. Well, that's just beautiful. Hearing my sons and their school leaders,  fellow students, school employees,  and upcoming events covered and claimed aloud in prayers of women all around me just lifts my heart and spirit.

When the hour was up, I approached the nursery with trepidation only to find my daughter happily snacking and playing with a pony. So shes a bit dramatic.  Not news for us. Aylaroo and I then  headed to dollar general for a quick stop for some items we would need later and then headed to little hawks to retrieve bear. He had also worked himself out of his grumpies and was proud to show me his collection of colorful nature items discovered on today's hike.

Thankful for this turn of attitudes,  I fed the littlest adorables and soon packed them up again to visit baby's dr.

7 months pregnant!

Woot woot and panic happening inside.  Since I brought our tablet,  im not even certain bear knew what we were doing or where we were.  the little girl seemed to be delighted to be at a drs appt that was not for her. She willfully and enthusiastically told drs and nurses alike that she did not have a fever and was going to be a big sister. Prinpress must have brought up Kawasaki syndrome at some point with my nurse because by the time dr olsen entered the room, she had already heard all about it.

When we were able to focus our attention on the littlest meiste for a heartbeat check.  Well as soon as dr olsen placed that little thing to my tummy, baby trigg's (just trying out a potential name, not a for sure )  little heart filled the room with its gallop. Ayla looked at us with wide eyes and yelled,  "the baby's coming right now!" Aw. we assured sister that was  not the case and dr olsen somehow ended her time with us by telling me to eat more pizza and ice cream before reaching out to hold ayla jo just for a minute because ayla is so sweet.

Well. Who can argue that?!

We were back on the road to pick up the oldest. Another sweet reunion and then another quick drop off at home so I could turn around and head to conferences for max. Brad stayed with the babes because we both feel I am the most excited about anything school related.  Mrs valz was waiting for me as I stepped into her classroom.  She was having a glass of soda and I have literally been craving coke ever since. Believe it or not, this meeting was about max and not me. And max is doing so great.  Right on schedule with his academics, and an excellent boy in terms of behavior.  Mrs valz only recommended working on penmanship,  and speed with his math facts and reading.  Super minor, but good suggestions.  I am so proud of my first grader. The principal,  mrs geukes, mentioned that she overheard a student saying he wanted to be just like max because Maxwell makes good choices.

Maxer requested that I purchase some chocolates for mrs valz and give them to her during conferences. He made a little card and I was honored to pass that along to Maxwell's teacher. She was very grateful.  In fact,  max received a thank you note from mrs valz a coulle days later that is still haning prominent on our fridge. That recognition was so appreciated.

Max, I thank the lord that we get to be your parents. You make us so proud with your dedicated work, positive attitude,  and awesome choices. I pray you continue to walk  with the lord, being a strong leader.

Weston,  we thank jesus for blessing us with such a passionate and fun son. I pray you continue to learn to process and communicate your emotions and use them for God's glory. I know the lord has big plans for you son!

Ayla jo, we praise the Lord for our little prinpress.  We rejoice that god faithfully redeemed your health and pray that he continues to bless you with healing.  May you rely on Him for as he is our rock, the only fortress in this world.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


we have been home for a couple days  now and our gratefulness has only escalated. we are so thankful for the lords faithfulness throughout this ordeal.  grateful that Jesus opened dr lunds eyes to this rare syndrome.  Grateful to live so close to such phenomenal pediatric care. Grateful for aylas returned health, sass and all.

We are living these days with a newfound awareness. Today's blessings of health and relative simple existence are not guaranteed for tomorrow. and instead of recognizing this truth and being frozen in fear, god grants us a spirit of love and grace and promises to be enough for the circumstances we find ourself in today.  For even though that drs visit completely took us by surprise by resulting in an almost week long hospitalization,  he was not surprised.

And even during those frightening days  filled with questions and pain for the prinpress,  god graced us with his beauty. there he was, gathered with us as brad and I sat on our baby's bed and prayed boldly over her. He was there in the quiet afternoons when I managed to untangle cupcake from the wires and hold her on my lap in the rocking chair as I sang praises over my daughter.  He was present in the nighttime struggles with aspirin and in the pretty sunrises we viewed from the huge windows in Aylaroos room.

When the brothers came to visit and heightened sisters spirits likenothing else could, jesus was there in that security and comfort of family.  when daddy and the boys left, and the girls couldn't stop their tears at being stuck in the hospital another night, it was jesus who stilled our troubled hearts.

Everything seems so much more manageable and enjoyable at home. I feel so privileged to get to bring my boys to school and pick them up again. Packing maxers lunch, while annoying,  is an opportunity I missed when at helen devos. Listening to my little girl use her own voice rather than the perpetual whiney whimper she employed at the children's hospital is so precious.

So things are back to normal.  Nights are sometimes filled with harvest , leaving me with the adorables alone. there is much wild rumpusing happening,  currently in the form of tag. Wood pellets are spread from one end of the house to another since we are utilizing the cozy heat of the corn stove and the babes take that as an invitation to work as wood pellet farmers, hauling toy tractor and wagon loads from living room to my room and all the rooms in between. A large assortment of stuffed animals now proudly display all of aylas hair pretties and jewelry.  Normal is nice.

Sunday, October 13, 2013


we are home. so tired,  so happy, and so thankful. update coming in a few days, once we are a bit more settled.  thank you for your continued prayers.

Friday, October 11, 2013

for reals

Good news. Bear's little puking incident at school seems to be directly related to a carrot  rather than the stomach flu. When brad skidded to a stop in front of little hawks,   bear strolled outside without a care in the world. My presence surprised him, and he was a bit annoyed we had changed his afternoon social plans. Finally we were able to focus Weston's attention on the fact that he threw up at school. To my concerned questioning,  wes replied with a detailed account: he received 4 carrots for snack. He ate the first one and it tasted good. He ate the second one and it tasted good. He ate the third one and it was so gross, so he took a drink of milk and the next thing you know, puke on the table. His tummy did not hurt at all. Except he does want a fruit roll up. Why is mom crying again?  Does she think no one likes her?

Ok. Glad you are back to your adorable spitfire self bear.

That afternoon,  bear rode in the combine with brad, rammed around the house, and otherwise resumed normal activities.  Hallelujah.  Because while Weston was demonstrating his health,  ayla sorta went downhill.

She immediately fell asleep upon arrival at home. Baby  blue attempted a little lunch, and played minimally with her big bro. When we picked maxer up from school, I dropped the boys off to farm and ran into meijer for cupcakes prescription and some lunch/farming necessites. during that trip, aylas head felt a bit warm and she was cuddling in my arms while we were trying to check out. Trying to ignore the scariness of such an occurrence,  I returned home and warmed up sup and proceeded through the night with low expectations for the daughters activity level.

Eventually,  I got all the adorables settled. Aylaroo in our bed and the brothers on a big nest on our floor. I think we all needed the comfort of closeness after that beginning to the week. Babes were exhausted and sleep came quick for them all. Bradley came in from the fiels and after a quick supper, we both joined the cuties asleep in our room. I shared my concerns about aylas potential fever that afternoon and asked brad to feel her forehead.  It was warm. Our discharge instructions included the order to head to the nearest er if the little darlings fever went above 101. Not really thinking I could withstand another sleepless night visiting hospitals , I just untucked the little girl a little and passed out.

Around 3:30 I awoke a little anxiously to note aylas warm forehead. I woke brad and we had a conference in the kitchen.  Since little lovie ws sleeping so soundly,  we decided to allow her some uninterrupted sleep. In the morning, ayla was such a big girl and took her yucky aspirin all on her own.  we got Maxwell off to school and returned home.

Sister spent the morning coloring pics and playing ponies. Her fever seemed very very minimal.  Around lunchtime I took her temp to find the thermometer reading in the 99's. about every hour and a half I checked it again to find it climbing. Just before we got max from school she reached 101.8. Shoot. I called upon fellow soccer mom and neighbor kerri to keep the boys while I whisked the prinpress to yet another hospital.

We were met by dr Altman,  the dad of one of Maxwell's classmats. Felt so good to have an advocate wanting to get ayla jo better without being unnecessarily invasive.  we awaited the results of dr altmans conversation with devos anxiously.  2 hours after  we were admitted to zeelands er, we were discharged for devos again.

Ayla cried. I cried.

Wanting my baby girl to just get better no matter what it took, I frantically repacked, tried to assemble some school stuff for my boys and give grandma some instructions. Knowing what lay ahead of us was very disheartening.  Another night of pokes and panic sounded so gross.

We checked in. Again.  We got our badges. Again.  We changed the scared cupcake into tiger jams. Again.

The dr was super nice about explaining the need for another dosage of the ivig. The nurses were very kind about starting an iv, but it still was so painful for my daughter and for me and brad as she writhed in pain and fear screaming mommy. Two tries later, an iv was ready. Then another nurse drew blood from another hole in Aylaroo's arm.  She kept telling us she wanted to go home. Please. So thankful brad was working his superhero status by being strong and gentle,  comforting his pregnant and hormonal wife as well as his frightened and sick daughter.

By the time ayla jo was hooked to her iv, back in bed and hooked up to all sorts of things it was about time for her aspirin dosage of 3.25 aspirin.  These are just a tiny bit bitter, but of course baby was opposed to having anything forced into her mouth at that point. She was exhausted and beyond reasoning. That really makes me upset to see her so disoriented and agitated.   having brad beside me helped with perspective.  Our concerns are way less severe than most of the other families here.

This time around, cupcake slept through lots of her vitals. There are definite advantages for having an darling beyond tired. Brad was similarly spent. I was pretty worked up and concerned and woke at every beep when her blood pressure got to high, and creack of the door handle when the nurses came in to check on Aylaroo.

Her 6am aspirin dosage was brads and my alarm.  There was no falling asleep again for the parents,  but the little girl slept quite soundly til almost 9. Sweet girl. she was much more sociable to the drs, many of them had seen her earlier in the week and commented on her marked improvement.  Little girl showed them one of her ponies even, but was unwilling to to dig anymore from her purse. So the plan was made to repeat the earlier observation period of 24 hrs since the completion of her ivig. That brings us to tomorrow morn.sigh.

In the meantime,  we have had some new adventures since lovey is feeling a dash better. We actually just returned from a long wagon rid all over the the hospital.  The weather is gorgeous,  so we even explored the courtyard.  next we ventured to the 11th floor playroom to get our paint on. Ayla found a beautiful dress up gown and was extremely reluctant to remove her frock and leave. Prinpress cried and carried on and stopped onky to ask if we were going home. We managed to get out of there without stealing any dress up gear and snuggle in our room again for a diego viewing while we await the brother's arrival.