Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Friday, January 11, 2013

twenty twelve




















2012 was a good year. The girls have grown so much in the past year. They lost their baby look and now look more like kids. School has matured them so much! It has been really good for them. They are like sponges soaking up whatever they are learning at school. They love their teacher and classroom aide and are learning a lot about the real world (or the West Michigan world, at least). 


Keegan
Keegan continues to be such a sweetie! She is a good listener and is the first to offer to help someone out. Keegan loves anything art related and says she either wants to be an artist or a doctor when she grows up. Joy was a good middle name for her because she really does bring joy to those around her.



Samantha
Samantha continues to provide so much fun to our family. She continues to excel in the dramatic! I will be shocked if she isn't in drama some day. She is extremely expressive with her eyes and can display many emotions in remarkable ways. She is also our fashion police. Samantha likes to tell me what to wear and how to do my hair, even what makeup to put on. She is a fun kid.  



Maggie
Maggie continues to be our tomboy. She too provides so much fun in our lives. She is funny and keeps us all laughing (sometimes unintentionally, which doesn't go over very well when we laugh). She tends to look up to most men and play a boy role in the girls house games. However, Maggie has begun idolizing her female teacher. This is the first female that Maggie looks up to. The teacher is extremely laid back (which is good for Maggie) and isn't a girly girl. She told the girls about her ability to do a back flip soccer kick and Maggie has been in awe ever since. 



Cooper & Izzy
We got 2 puppies this year and often wonder what we were thinking?! No, they are great. Life is just very interesting with 2 puppies around. (I think we have 20 socks missing their mate.) Cooper is a maltipoo that we got in January. He is very jumpy, easily startled, and barky when he gets scared (small dog syndrome). And the craziest things scare him (leaves blowing in the wind, soccer balls, etc.) He is a fun addition to the family and is considered my lapdog. 

Izzy is Thad's dog. He wanted a "real" dog stating that lapdogs aren't real dogs (lol). So we got Izzy in September from the Humane Society. We don't know her breed but are enjoying her company. She is very laid back and wants desperately to please us. She is at the floppy puppy stage where she crashes into people and runs on the wood floors and slides around, having difficulty getting her feet to work properly. 






We are thankful for the many blessings that God gave us in 2012. We hope and pray that the new year will be filled with lots of love and laughter. Happy New Year!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

the simple life

I just read "Simplicity Parenting." Very good book. Without this post reading like a book report, I want to share some of my favorite ideas from the book:


  • reduce the amount of toys kids have
  • reduce the amount of clothes & food choices for kids
  • reduce television time & it's marketing efforts on children towards consumerism
  • talk less
  • before you say something, ask yourself these three questions: Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary?
  • kids don't need all these so called "enrichment" activities
  • kids don't need to be busy doing a sport or outside activity at all times. every season involved in something should be followed by a season off
  • busy days should be offset by non scheduled days


There is so much more I could go on and on about. Bottom line - read this book. And then let's sit down and have coffee to chat about it.  Maybe you won't agree with it all. Maybe you will. Maybe no one is even reading our blog anymore. If you are and want to chat, let me know.  I enjoy adult interactions :)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

goodbyes

Goodbyes make me sad. And there is a goodbye taking place this week that is one of the most difficult ones we have had to say. We made the decision to put Moby to sleep on Friday. Moby has been a part of our family for over 12 years. He was my Christmas present from Thad the first year we were married. He has been with us through 5 moves and adjusted to the new houses extremely well each time. However, it was this last move that alerted us to his failing eyesight. Now, he is completely blind and having a hard time navigating his surroundings making it difficult to keep him safe. He is terrified of thunder and despite being sedated, usually digs the rug or wall until he injures a nail/toe. His immune system is compromised for some reason and he keeps getting ear infections. His skin doesn't look healthy. He has patches of skin that are bald and look infected and irritated. He has dark bumps on his skin in various places including his infected ear. The infected ear causes problems in balance and equilibrium making it even more difficult for him to walk in the right direction or remember how to find his way around. 

We have agonized over this decision for months now and finally feel we have made the right decision. It has been so hard seeing his health deteriorate and I don't think we can stand to see it deteriorate even more. This way we will know he is no longer in pain and resting comfortably. But he will be missed. 

In case you don't know our Moby, he is a black lab mix rescue dog we adopted. He has always thought he was a lap dog despite weighing 80 pounds. He hated it when I was upset or crying. He would try to sit on my lap to "comfort" me. He was a stinker of a puppy who we thought would never calm down. Our first apartment was long with the bathroom on one end and the living room on the opposite end. He would grab the end of the toilet paper and run towards the living room unrolling it as he went. He chewed the table legs and chair legs of our dining room furniture. 

Moby got his name from one of our favorite musicians with the same name. Some of Moby's favorite times were swimming and running along the beach. His second home was my parents house. He loves my dad. When he stayed at their house, he could hear my dad's jeep even before it pulled in the driveway and would make his way to the door to greet him. We would take Moby for walks at my parents house and let him off the leash when we got to a dirt road close by. He would run into the fields and ditches having the time of his life. He was meant to run and explore and chase smells. 

When we lived in the city and took him for walks, we always got comments about our "puppy." Despite the fact that he was no longer a puppy, for years he looked young. Being a lab mix, he was shorter and stockier than typical labs and had a young looking face. We always surprised people when we would tell them his actual age. He loved swimming at Reed's Lake and getting doggy ice cream cones. He was always so gentle and loving with kids. He took to the girls so well right from the start. 



Despite being blind, Moby still has a great sense of smell. He is constantly taking food from the girls. They are right at his level and if not careful, he can snatch something rather quick despite not being able to see it. And he has a thing for butter. The boy could grab an entire stick of butter off the counter and eat it all if you turned your back for just a second. It was amazing and gross. 

Friday night we say goodbye to our buddy, Moby. He has been a  really great dog. I do hope dogs go to heaven because then he will be restored back to his previous healthy state and we can look forward to seeing him again. We are going to miss him.  This picture is from 2005 when we took him camping with us.
This is how I hope to remember him. Happy and healthy.

We love you , Moby and are going to miss you!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

School

The past 4 months have been filled with sleepless nights about our schooling decision for the girls. We never thought it would be so difficult. We moved to a really good school district and thought it would be a nice and simple transition into school for the girls. They have had no preschool experience, have a July birthday and were premature so we assumed they wouldn't be ready for Kindergarten until they were 6 but knew the district offered options for 5 year olds. However, we never expected the 5 year old option to be full-time. Hence the sleepless nights!


(As a side note, the first decision really was whether to put them in Kindergarten at 5 or at 6. Talk about a big decision. Do you want them young or old? Leaders or followers? Bigger or littler? Driving before friends? Graduating at 18? This decision caused many sleepless nights for both of us!)


Now, many have told us that the girls will be fine going to school all day and that we will adjust, etc. And to some extent we agree. However, we also have had serious concerns about how full-time school will impact Maggie. We can barely schedule more than one activity or outing a day. If we do more than that, we pay for it. So Thad & I anticipated the first school year to be evening after evening of struggles because of the girls being spent from being at school all day. 


So, I began exploring options and trying to decide what I could do to make a difference. I wrote letters to legislators and the Governor to advocate on behalf of those parents who still want half days offered. I spoke to the Superintendent & Assistant Superintendent at Rockford to express my concerns. I wrote a letter to the School Board. However, in the end, Rockford continues to stand behind it's decision to move to all day school and it appears that not enough parents raised concerns to get anyone's attention. Oh well, I tried!


I applied to Charter Schools and then learned that they too were moving to all day Kindergarten and Young 5s. I looked into homeschooling and online homeschooling and decided that I don't have more to give and I really think the girls need to learn from someone other than me. I researched the Christian schools and we cannot afford it. I checked into preschools and again we would be required to pay for it and weren't convinced they would be equipped to handle a child with SPD. So, as a last resort, I applied to other districts through school of choice for the Young 5 programs that are offering half day options.


Last week we learned that the girls were accepted into Northview's Young 5s program. This afternoon I will tour the school and enroll them. This is so different from what we expected our first experience with school to be for the girls. I guess it has taught me to take one year at a time with the girls and not assume it is going to be simple or easy. Important decisions rarely are simple or easy, are they? Well, lesson learned! Thanks for listening to my rant about school. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012



I love reading the verse at the top of our blog post. It brings me back to being pregnant and picturing God as He was "knitting" together our three precious babies. And He knit each of them together uniquely different and extremely special. We recently found out that Maggie has sensory processing disorder (SPD). I had absolutely no idea about SPD prior to all of the evaluations and testing that we had done this past winter. And each kid with SPD is different in how they respond to their sensory sensitivities. For Maggie, she is sensitive to temperature, sounds, taste, clothing, light, and transitions. She is a risk seeker who finds comfort from physical activity like spinning, swinging, jumping, crashing, running, etc. She smells things stronger than others - gags if she smells garbage, throws up after someone else throws up, for example. She feels temperatures to the extreme. If she's cold, she is really cold and the same with heat. Things can set Maggie off and a temper tantrum ensues. 

That is the area we are struggling with the most. We haven't figured out how to prevent what I call explosive episodes where she gets extremely angry and can't calm herself down. Unfortunately, SPD isn't overly recognized as having forms of treatment that insurances will pay for. Our hope is that she will get the therapy she needs (mainly occupational therapy) once she enters school as we are pretty sure this will impact her in that environment. We are still learning about SPD and have more questions than answers. We do know that we have felt supported by our friends and family so much as we uncover this diagnosis. We will continue to need that help and encouragement as it can be so difficult to see someone that you love struggle with something and not know how to help.  She is so precious to us and we praise God for knitting together such a wonderful little girl. 

Monday, February 20, 2012

"Do I look pretty, Mama?"

This story, How to Talk to Little Girls, got me thinking. On a daily basis I get asked by my little girls if they look pretty. Why is that so important already to them at 4 years old? It is scary! I have always struggled with self-esteem and unfortunately have placed a greater emphasis on outer beauty rather than inner beauty (a struggle to this day). So are they getting this message from me?

Lately, I have been trying to talk about how everyone is beautiful exactly how God made them. I talk about how different people are and have corrected the girls when they say they don't like people based on physical appearance. But it is a struggle. Princesses are beautiful and Prince Charming wants to marry them because they are beautiful. Well, lately we have been changing the stories a bit. Prince Charming found the Princess to be kind and loving and intelligent. Who knows if this will make any difference. We are attracted to beautiful things. An ugly Barbie doll wouldn't sell.

I guess I feel compelled to do something or hopefully encourage them in the right ways because of having three daughters. Does anyone else struggle with all of this? Any ideas or thoughts to share?

More articles to read:

http://motherhood.yourway.net/why-i-tell-my-girls-theyre-beautiful-often/

http://jeffdlawrence.com/2011/12/23/some-thoughts-on-how-to-talk-to-little-girls/

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

COOPER


We added a new family member last night! And yes, I know many of you are going to think we are crazy. I can barely handle taking care of 3 kids and a blind 11 year old dog so why add a puppy to our crazy household? In fact, when we inherited a rabbit from Thad's parents, my dad said we needed a bunny like we need a hole in the head. So with a puppy he is probably saying it's like two holes in the head. Oh well, since when have I ever listened to my dad :)  

Cooper is 10 weeks old (shares a birthday with my sister-in-law, Kristy) and is a Maltipoo (maltese & poodle mix) we found from someone selling them here in Rockford. He is so sweet and the girls are already in love with him. 

I will keep you posted on the adventures of Cooper....

Friday, January 20, 2012

Highlights from the past year…
(A friend told me yesterday that she has given up on me blogging, which sounded like a challenge to me...so here I am!)
I had really good intentions of updating the blog more in 2011. Too bad it didn't happen. So here are some highlights from our past year for those of you devoted individuals still checking our blog…lol.

Well on December 18, we had lived in our new house 1 Year! We have enjoyed each season in our new country setting. The girls have enjoyed all the space and playing in the wooded areas around our house. They love going for tractor rides (actually lawn mower rides) and driving Thad’s car in the yard. Yep, you read that right. Thad lets them sit on his lap and “drive” around the yard. They think they are pretty big stuff doing that with their Daddy.

The girls turned 4 in July and are at such a fun age. They get so excited about things and want to know about everything. The amount of questions I answer in a day is mind boggling. (No wonder there are days I don’t feel like talking anymore when Thad gets home.) Their questions are all those philosophical and religious questions that really cause me to stop and think about how to answer them. For example: Does God sleep? Why not? Will we sleep in Heaven? Does God have beds for us? How do we get there? It is exhausting but also nice to see that they are thinking about more that just whether or not Dora will get over the bridge where the grumpy old troll lives. BTW, for the record, I can’t stand kid’s programming. Seriously, mind numbing stuff! And how come EVERY Disney movie has scary parts? But I shouldn't complain because its shows and movies that actually allow me to get things done around here.

I have been attending a MOPS program now for my 3rd year. I have made some wonderful friends from that experience who have been such a great support and encouragement through parenting young children. I don’t think I could have made it the past few years without them. God is good in supplying what we need when we need it. If only I would remember that:)

My family has had an interesting past year. My mom broke her ankle December last year requiring surgery right around the time we were moving. Then in the spring, she and my grandma were in a horrible car accident where my mom had a broken sternum and my grandma a broken neck. We were all so shaken up of the accident and have realized how things could have easily turned out much worse than they did. Earlier this fall, we learned that my Dad has prostate cancer. His prostate was removed in November but unfortunately all of the cancer was not removed. We are waiting to find out if he needs radiation treatments to destroy the rest of the cancer cells. My mom had eye surgery in January for something I don't completely understand and get a little queasy thinking about because anything to do with the eyes kind of creeps me out. However, the surgery went well and we are Praising the Lord for that. We trust that the Lord will continue to provide for our family and show us His love and care.

I am gradually learning more about this new community we are now living in. I am still learning the new grocery store layout (why can’t they all be the same?) and make weekly trips to the Rockford Goodwill. The library here is wonderful and the girls are enjoying the time they spend with their Daddy, usually once a week. I have gotten involved with the township we live in and am currently working on a project to get a bike path in our area. It is really just an excuse to get together with other adults and have adult conversations. The school district seems really good here BUT really big, which is going to take some getting used to. The girls will hopefully begin next fall in a Young Fives program. They are very excited. Samantha has already picked out what she wants to wear on her first day of school.

Thad continues to be the best Daddy in the world. The girls adore him. I start getting questions around 2pm each day wondering when Daddy will be home. Believe me, I start watching the clock about then too! It makes me think about the quote I have heard “The days are long, but the years are short.” What a great description of motherhood.

The girls are certainly developing their own distinct likes and dislikes and personalities are much more pronounced now. Here’s a glimpse at each girl:

Keegan has a very tender heart. She cares deeply about her sisters and others wanting everything to be fair and everyone to be happy. She tends to mother her sisters and go along with the others when they suggest a playtime activity or game. Keegan is very girly loving anything princess. She desperately wants to take ballet classes and would wear dance costumes on a daily basis, if I let her. She does, however, prefer wearing dresses everyday. Sometimes layers of clothing are on this child 1-2 dresses, 1-2 skirts, a shirt, tights, and on very important days, a tutu.
Samantha is very dramatic and emotional. She is passionate about things and I swear she has a future in the theater. She is great at arguing, which also makes me wonder about a future lawyer. She comes up with most of the activities and then tells others how things are going to be. She is already concerned about the clothes she wears and her hair having to look in the mirror to make sure she approves of everything before going out. Oh my, the teenage years frighten me!
maggie is our Tom-boy; or as she calls it, “Thomas-boy.” (I am guessing that is the proper term…lol). She is incredibly athletic and on the go all the time! She loves anything boy and wears only boy clothes. She is also incredibly cuddly and loves watching movies and eating popcorn. I predict that Maggie will be watching out for her sisters in the future and no one will be messing with them (or breaking up with them) without it going through Maggie first!




Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Keegan's Surgery

Before...After...
Keegan's surgery was a success. It was a VERY long 10 days of recovery but we are thankful we did it. She was such a sweetie and seems to be doing much better. Her voice is still a little different but other than that she seems to be doing well. (Tomorrow is the post-op check up so hopefully everything healed as it should. I made the mistake of looking in her throat a few days after the surgery and about passed out. I'll let the doctor look from now on...lol!)

We are so thankful to have that behind us. It is so difficult to see your children go through something painful. I have a new respect for parents who deal with medical issues for their children on a routine basis for much more serious health concerns. I don't know how they do it and my heart goes out to them. I try not to take for granted the fact that we have three healthy children. Especially with such a miracle as triplets. I hear so many sad stories about multiple birth complications. Anyway, enough of my rambling on about this. I guess I just want to publicly say "Thank You, Lord for the blessings you have given us."

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Happy 2011!


Keegan, Samantha & Maggie

Maggie & Samantha


Our backyard

The view I wake up to every morning!

Our new house!

It has been forever since I updated the blog. If you are still out there checking our blog, waiting for an update, thanks for your patience! As most of you probably already know, we made the move from the city to country life this past December. Prior to that, we were consumed with making repairs to the house and keeping it clean for showings. I can’t tell you how glad I am that that is done. God was so good to us allowing the house to sell quickly and for guiding us to a new place in Rockford. We were also blessed by so many people helping us through the process as it was NOT an easy one. Moving with 3 kids is so much work but we are so thankful for the many friends and family members who helped with the overwhelming task. We still have boxes to unpack and items we can’t find yet but we are making progress.

The girls love their new house, which has also been a blessing. We were concerned that this was going to be difficult for them but they adjusted pretty quickly. The first couple nights were rough and they were pretty clingy during the daytime but we moved only a couple weeks before Christmastime so I think that helped make things exciting and fun.

In the past year, we have seen the girls personalities develop more and more. Keegan is a girly girl. She loves princesses and picks out a dress to wear EVERYDAY! She is very motherly to her sisters and is always concerned about everyone getting equal amounts, turns, etc. She says she wants to be a doctor when she is older. Samantha keeps us entertained with her antics and facial expressions. (The child can tell us a lot just with her eyebrows.) She is the leader of most games with her sisters and has no problem telling them what to do. She says she wants to be a teacher when she grows up. Maggie is a tomboy, completely rough and tumble. She loves Spiderman, Buzz Lightyear and anything sports related. Maggie wants to be a firefighter someday.


Our dog, Moby, is 10 years old now and showing his age. We were so excited to get him out to the country where he could run and explore but found out in the process of moving that he has been losing his eyesight. After a visit to the vet, we learned that he is going blind and only now can see shadows. It has been a bummer but he seems to be adjusting more and more each day. It has definitely slowed him down. He sleeps a lot more than he used to and isn’t the vacuum cleaner he once was. But we still love him and will do our best at providing a safe home for him (even if it means I can’t rearrange furniture). The good thing to come out of it is that it is teaching the girls compassion and how to look out for him (i.e. pick up their toys so he doesn’t hurt himself).


I hope to do a better job updating the blog in 2011. (If only for my dad, who I know checks it regularly.) Here are some pictures of our new house and a couple pictures of our three little wonders.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010