Friday, April 29, 2011

Conversations With Preschoolers

I love to have random conversations with Isaiah and Laila. That is one of the things I will miss the most when they are no longer preschoolers. I will so miss the honesty with which they speak. Their words are unfiltered and not politically correct. They don't follow the social rules of what to say and what not to say. Sometimes their words are hurtful and other times, very flattering. I am thankful that even at 2 and 4 they are able to express their emotions very clearly.Some times when they talk, I laugh so hard, I just can't stand it. I want to freeze time in that moment of humor and innocence.

Just last week, Rick and I were having a "discussion" in the truck. We weren't truly fighting, but Isaiah didn't see it that way at all. He proceeded to lecture us for about 15 minutes on the fact that "we are a family and we don't fight. We love each other and care for each other. That's what families do. We share and take turns and don't argue with each other." Then, he looked at Laila and said, "Right, Laila." She responded, "Right, Bubby." It was so adorable.

I wanted to share some of the conversations we had this morning in the truck.

Out of the blue, he said, "Mama, I wish we could wake up all the neighbors and feed them gumbo!" Now, let me just say, I have never made gumbo in my life. Isaiah may have had gumbo once at the Fowler's house. I have no idea where this thought came from in his head. It was random and stated with passion.

Laila and I had a relational crisis over the music selections this morning. I had our "Current Hits" playlist playing and Justin Bieber's "Somebody to Love" came on. I don't care for that song, so I skipped over it. Laila went ballistic on me. "Mommy, I yike(like) that song. I want to hear my song." I had no idea of her attachment to that song. I finished the song I was listening to and she said, "Mommy, I sad. You break my heart." I asked her why and she responded, "You changed my song." Well, excuse me. We then listened to her song. Isaiah then lectured us about how we have to take turns choosing songs. I love being parented by my child.

The final conversation started when Isaiah said, "Mommy, I love you so much. I want to marry you. I want to marry you all day. Let's get married tomorrow, okay?" I said, "That makes me feel really special, Isaiah. Did you know that I am married to Daddy? I can only be married to one person. What are we going to do about that?" He responded, "You should marry me instead."

These little conversations are memories I want to keep in my heart and mind forever!!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

My Day in Numbers

~8 hours of uninterrupted sleep(1st time in 5 nights!)

~1 husband out of town

~3 kids given their medicines

~6 kids dressed, fed, and delivered to school

~16 bags of Goldfish purchased on sale

~33 gallons of gas in my truck

~10 bags of clothes to give away

~2 little people fed lunch and put down for a nap

~12 loaves of bread baked

~15 scoops of ice cream for $5 at Baskin Robbins 31 cent scoop night

~6 good night hugs and kisses

~5 loads of laundry

~12 jars of strawberry jam made

~1 really exhausted mama

Good night!

Ergo Baby Carrier For Sale

I am in decluttering/fundraising mode around here. I need to get rid of some of the "stuff"of my life. I cannot function in chaos. I am also trying to find ways to raise money for our Swazi trip this summer. So, introducing, The Ergo:
This baby carrier is amazing! It was a lifesaver while we were in Africa getting the kids. Honestly, after we got home, it just wasn't as practical for me to use it so it is in really good shape. It looks like it just came out of the box.

It has great back support and you can carry the baby/child(it holds up to 40 lbs) 3 different ways, front, side, and back.
It is the original style, black with camel lining. I have the box it came i. I am asking $80. It sells for $115 retail. You can go here, to see it for sale on the Ergo site. I thought I would start here before I put it on Craigslist. If you are interested, make a comment on my blog or email me at

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!!

Here is a sneak peek from our day:
It was the first Easter that Rick was with us all day!! I will share more later. Right now, I am all "Eastered" out! Early bedtime for children, TV with my man, and some yummy strawberry pretzel dessert to eat!!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Abby's Fort

Abby made a fort in the backyard that she Isaiah and Laila had so much fun in. When I saw them playing, I sent the camera out to her for her to take some pictures. Here is what she took:
So precious!
Front View of the fort
Side view of the fort
Nap time in the fort
She even held out the camera and took a picture with her in it.
I was impressed with her photography skills.
Abby is so good with Isaiah and Laila. She plays really well with them and loves helping me take care of them. They had such a good time and I had a couple of hours where 3 kids were happily occupied!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

What A Week!

Is it really only Wednesday?

This has been the longest week EVER!

In addition to nursing Lauren back to health, Sam, Isaiah , and Laila have been sick.

Isaiah has been really struggling to breathe and my goal right now is to stay on top of it so that this little guy does not have to go into the hospital

We are kind of known for spending holidays in the hospital. Remember Thanksgiving in KY?

Isaiah is running a consistent fever of 103-104 degrees, he is taking breathing treatments around the clock, and he is definitely not his usual energetic self.
I keep finding him throughout the house like this:
That is so not my boy. When given the choice to watch TV or go to bed, he is choosing bed. He is weak, shaky, and his eyes say it all.

One thing that I love about him when he is sick is his gratefulness and his love and affection. He is constantly thanking me for taking good care of him, telling me how beautiful I am and how much he loves me. Lauren decided to help him out so that he doesn't have to talk.
I have been baking bread this week, and doing the whole winter summer clothing sort and swap.

I have clothes everywhere. I am not joking. It looks like Children's Place exploded in our house.

To top it all off, Easter has snuck up on me.

We have a LOT of Easter traditions, and rightly so. This holiday is the basis of our faith.

I so hope I can get it all together in time.

I enjoy our traditions so much more when I am not surrounded by chaos. These days, I feel like no matter how hard I work on this house, it is always chaos.

Lauren is going to school tomorrow for a half day. We'll see how that one goes. If she can make it through 2 half days, have the weekend off, then go back full time on Monday, I will feel like we have accomplished something.

Life just keeps moving along and many times, I just have to succumb and go along for the ride. That is the only way for me to keep my sanity!

Let the Easter traditions begin!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Immigration Day

Last Friday, Abby had Immigration Day at school. I love this particular day!! I was sad to miss out on experiencing it with her. During this day at school, each child goes through the Immigration process like our ancestors did at Ellis Island. Abby's Immigration name was Elizabeth and she came to America from England.
Not sure why she looks so miserable in this picture.
Rick took it, and I wasn't around when he did.
There's a little bit of a smile.
When Abby went through the process, she had "strep throat" that they gave her "pills"(skittles) for . She also had to take a Citizenship Test. She got a green card. It was really fun and such a great way to teach them the process.

Remember that doll that Abby was making. This was an optional assignment. Only two other students did it. I guess the moms didn't choose to participate this time.
Here is Abby's doll
She is crafty and creative and loves to do projects like this. Rick was her assistant with the glue gun. She had a great day!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Check It Out!!

My friend, Mandy, mentioned us on her blog today.

You should check it out here.

While you are there, you should check out the rest of her blog.

I love her heart.

Thanks, Mandy!

Turning a Corner

We are now in Day 6 after Lauren's surgery. This morning was the first time I have left the house since Wednesday!! I took the kids to school. I have been a full-time nurse in addition to all my other daily duties.

Lauren is improving. It has been a rough 5 days. I feel like yesterday she turned the corner a bit and started feeling like doing more than just laying around. Her pain seems to be decreasing and hopefully her throat is healing up nicely.

I wanted to share some of her highlights from the last few days.
She woke up on Thursday morning to a gift on the front porch!!
Thanks, Andrea!
Julie brought her flowers and a Vanilla Frap
Isaiah has been her chair buddy
He drew a picture of Lauren
I snapped this pic during her nap on Sat., fresh out of the shower
She and Laila are wrapping up in their special blankets and cuddling
To top it all off, Sam is home sick today.
Poor guy. I feel so bad for him!
I am hoping that Lauren will be able to go to school for at least a half day on Wed. or Thurs. We'll see. She still isn't eating solids.

For now, we keep hanging in there. My big task this week: going through kids' clothes, swapping out summer for winter, putting away things to pass down and putting together boxes to give away. I so don't enjoy this process!!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Spiritual Bday

Last Tuesday, we celebrated Lauren's spiritual bday. 7 years ago, she trusted Jesus with her life. That night will be forever etched in my memory much like the day of her physical birth(although, her physical birth was much more painful! :)

For her bday meal, she chose mozzarella cheese sticks and spaghetti. It was yummy!!
We each took a turn going around the table and telling her how we see God working in her life and how we see her growing in her walk. We challenged her to seek Him in this next year as she faces the joys and challenges that will inevitably come.

Our tradition is to have ice cream sundaes for dessert because Jesus rose on a Sunday(I know, corny, right?). We also gave her a girls' devotional book to use as she studies God's Word and seeks Him personally.
Lauren, you are beautiful daughter of God, and He delights in you! He has plans for you! He wants to speak to you and be a part of your every day life. I pray for this next year of your spiritual walk. I pray that God will use this upcoming trip to Swaziland in your life in ways you never imagined possible. Keep seeking Him daily. Keep trusting him. Keep looking to Him for your worth and value.

Saturday, April 16, 2011


2 years ago, today, Rick, Cody, Isaiah, Laila, and I set foot on American soil after a 5-week long battle in Africa to bring them home. What a day that was!! We were greeted at the airport by our family and friends. There were so many emotions streaming through us at that moment. We had fought the spiritual battle of our lives, not to mention the over 30 hours of traveling we did with a 2 yr. old that couldn't speak English and a baby who didn't know what in the world was going on. We had also been away from Lauren, Abby and Sam which was so emotional for all of us. It felt so good to be home!!

April 16th is the day we celebrate as our "Gotcha Day" with Isaiah and Laila. This was the day we were all together finally as a family, and we knew that Isaiah and Laila were truly ours and no one could take them away!!
I knew Lauren would not be feeling well on our actual "Gotcha Day" because of her surgery so we decided to do most of the celebrating last Sunday.
We took the fam out to eat at Cici's pizza for the first time. With 6 kids, you really can't go wrong with a buffet of pizza and dessert pizzas.
Isaiah kept saying over and over, "This is the best day of my life." He was so happy.
That afternoon, Lauren and Abby planned a celebration for the family in their bedroom. The flyer says it all.
Lauren and Abby in their Tender Cuddles "uniforms"
The Guests of Honor
Pure Sweetness
Cuddly Boy
There was a snack table and a store.
All of the money from the store went to Africa.
They even made a pinata!!
I busted it open!
The scramble for candy and toys!
There was also a dance competition!
Go Cody!!
Sam doing the splits!
The winners of the competition!
They won a bag of candy.
They even took an offering for Africa.
This is Lauren's "please give money to Africa" face.
Even though we celebrated already, we couldn't let today pass without some sort of treat to acknowledge how special today is.
Daddy brought home Slurpees! Woohoo!
Dr. Pepper for Isaiah and Laila
I cannot believe it has been 2 years, but I also can't remember life without Isaiah and Laila. Every day I am amazed as I look at them and remember their story. They have blessed our family in ways I never could have imagined. It is such a privilege to be their mom. Thank you, Lord for our beautiful babies!!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Surgery Day!

On Wednesday morning, we went to the surgery center at 7:15 AM. That place was crowded!! Seriously, I did not realize that many people would be there. We got Lauren all checked in at the desk and waited to be called back.
Lauren and Daddy in the waiting room.
Once they got us into the prep room, Lauren and I got all suited up.
Warm blankets really are "da bomb."
I think that was one of Lauren's favorite things,
and I can't say I blame her!!
She did so great getting her IV. All the staff were surprised to see that she was able to do it while she was awake. Usually they have to knock kids out first. She just sat there so calmly and did not freak out at all. What a brave girl!!
Goodbye tonsils and adenoids.
I was able to go into the operating room with her and stay with her until she was out. The staff was amazing and so caring. I kissed her on the forehead and left my girl to have her surgery. That was hard. I wish I could have stayed, not just because I wanted to be with her, but because I love to see medical procedures.

30 minutes later, the doctor came to the waiting room and told us he was finished with the surgery. Everything went great. We were able to go meet her in the recovery room
Her eyes were bloodshot and she looked so pitiful to me.
We were eventually moved to another room with a TV.
We stayed another 2 hours before she was ready to be released.
Ready to go home and feeling pretty yucky!
She has spent most of her time in this chair with this blanket.
It is one of my favorite spots to relax, too!!
I got her a lap table as a gift before the surgery.
Best investment I could have made.
She also has "the bell". She uses it very responsibly.
Day 1 was pretty uneventful. She handled everything so well. We are staying on top of her meds in order to avoid a lot of pain. She had an assortment of popsicles. She only woke up once in the night that first night.

Lolly, I am so proud of you. You have handled this situation so well. I am looking forward to how great you are going to feel when this is all over!! You will be so glad you did it!