Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Second hand bunk beds we were never quick enough to get to: $100.00

Brand new bunk beds we could not afford: $650.00

Beautiful used bunk beds from a long time friend: $0.00

God meeting our every need: Priceless


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving Day Pictures

There we are... using the ol' timer feature on the ol' camera.

Actually it's not an "ol'" camera at all. Only a couple of years old. Seth bought it for me after I "lost" the first one he bought me.... but I didn't actually loose that first one. Only forgot that I had put it in a bag with the girl's swimming clothes and then when the summer ended, I packed the camera away with summer stuff and so I didn't find again until the following year, at which point I sheepishly announced that we now owned TWO cameras to my husband who never really saw the need for ONE camera. ☺ Oops.

Anyway, back to Thanksgiving 2010. In between mashing potatoes and baking corn casserole and candied yams, we had a little photo session in the living room. Let me just stop and list for you all the foods I remember having at my house on Thanksgiving. (Prepared by myself along with my two fabulous sisters in law)

One roasted turkey, over 20 lbs.
One deep fried turkey, also a big one
Regular stuffing
Sausage and apple stuffing
Hash brown casserole
Green bean casserole
Corn casserole
Ramen noodle salad
Fruit salad
7.5 lbs. regular mashed potatoes
7.5 lbs. cheesy baked mashed potatoes
Glazed carrots
Candied Yams
Veggie Tray
Cheese Tray
Cranberry Salad
Cranberry Sauce
Crescent Rolls

And then, because we just weren't really stuffed, we brought out:
2 apple pies
2 pumpkin pies
cheesecake with triple berry sauce (my favorite!!)
cherry pie
Oreo cookie pie
Boston cream pie
peanut butter chocolate mouse pie

I'm convinced gluttony is the besetting sin of Baptists. No drinking. No smoking. No dancing. But you can eat until you croak with no judgement from us.

Okay back to pictures... which were taken before the meal. See- we're still conscious:

Leila is 6 wks old. She is so nice and chubby already.

I brought my camera out with the intention of taking lots of pictures of the family together on Thanksgiving. Before the crowd arrived, I documented the table:

We really aren't a formal place card type of family, but I did place cards so that I wasn't asked 10 times where folks should sit, and also because my husband's side of the family eats a family meal together every Sunday, so I wanted to do a few special things to make the holiday a little more festive.

And my cheese ball art! =) The turkey to nibble on while we waited for the big ones:

And then, sadly, I put my camera down and did not pick it up until most of the day was over. I was just too busy. We had a good time and had enough food leftover to feed 3 more families our size. Leila was very fussy the whole day (now I know she actually has a cold). After cleaning up most of the giant mess in the kitchen, we headed out for the McCoy/Hammes Bowling on Thanksgiving tradition. We meet my husband's aunt and uncle, cousins and second cousins for a couple rounds. I sat out this year, simply so that I didn't embarrass any of the men with my intimidating bowling skills.

Okay, not really. I was honestly just so tired. I enjoying sitting and watching, while rocking a still fussy Leila in her car seat.
The older girls had a BLAST.

And my husband did great. How could he not!?! I mean really, look at those huge muscles... the pins just fall over in surrender at the sight of him.

The girls with their beloved Grandpa.... who Maddie calls her "sweetie pie".

After bowling, everyone is ready for round two at the turkey. So we enjoy sandwiches and more pie at the Hammes home. Here, we piled all the grand kids who were there on the couch with Grandpa for not so perfect but still a treasure picture.

What a fun day! How was YOUR thanksgiving??


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thankfulness produces joy!

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

I know, it's not until tomorrow, but you know I ain't gonna be on here tomorrow! Not when there are foods to be fixin' and meals to be eatin' and pies to be consumin' and dishin' to be washin' and then bowling pins to knock over and then more foods to be eatin' and more pies to be consumin'.

Isn't Thanksgiving great? It may be my very favorite holiday. It's no doubt the purest in essence. It seems that EVERYONE starts thinking of what they are thankful for, even people who don't know the Lord personally, or even those who don't believe He is real. But, I wonder, to WHOM are they thankful TO in that case?

I would like to think that I am thankful person all year round... we probably all THINK we are. But of course we aren't all, are we? I was pondering this idea for a few days then decided to ask my husband.... does he think I am thankful? I know I think thoughts of gratitude toward him and toward the Lord and toward others... but would those people know that? Does any of my thankfulness go farther than just warm fuzzy thoughts in my noggin?

So the other day, while driving in the car (it's the best place to have good conversations with my husband, it seems...) I began.

" Okay, Babe, I'm gonna ask you a question and I want an honest answer. I have my big girl undies on today so my feelings won't be hurt." I felt that I needed to assure him that it was safe to be honest... why? past experience. (I need a blushing smiley to insert here)

But, as can happen, that reassuring statement seemed to rather be UNassuring. ☺

" What a way to preface a question!" He laughed.

" Does it make you apprehensive about what I'm going to ask!?!" Maybe he was afraid it was the classic "Does this 10 lbs. of baby weight sitting on my middle make me look fat?" But he need not fear. I am no where near being ready to bring that up. Not even with my big girl undies on.

Anyway, eventually, I asked him: Do you think I'm a thankful person?

And so we talked awhile about ways we both could express gratitude, in general and to one another, more.

Thankfulness produces joy. ☺

And there are things that thankfulness does not produce. Maybe evaluating what is NOT evident in our life is a better measurement of whether or not we are truly thankful. Thankfulness does not produce complaining. Or moodiness. Or greed. Or discontentment.

So those nice happy thoughts that run through my mind about how blessed I am to have my husband, children, church, salvation, food, a home, a car, life... they ought to evict the yucky grumpies I find myself wallowing in sometimes.

Is it blatantly obvious that I have a house full of little ones... "yucky grumpies". My usual cure for the girls' "yucky grumpies" is sending them to bed. Would someone please send me to bed next time you see me grumpy! I'd love it! ;) In fact, I'd be thankful. ☺

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. We have so much to be thankful for, not the least of which is the One to Whom we are thankful.


Saturday, November 20, 2010

My Big Girl

This afternoon offered an opportunity for Maddie and I to spend some time together... just the two of us. We made a quick stop at the book store to purchase a couple gifts for Christmas {and a Chai Tea for me!} and then headed to the library to return and check out books. It was really a fun, relaxing time. I will glad to be able to slow down with her and look at all the things that caught her eye without needing to just rush through everything before Eden got rambunctious or Leila needed to eat. Maddie really thrives on one on one attention... I suppose every child does. But she has always, even as little baby, been one who wanted to be where I am, doing what I am doing. Eden will be lost in her make believe world and contently play with her babies or tea set on her own for a good long while. But not my Maddie... she is always by my side... "can I do that too"... "I can help".... "Play a game with me".... "Read a book to me". These days she wants to be doing what the big kids around her (typically her cousins) are doing (whether they appreciate her company or not!). But when no super cool 7, 8 or 9 yr. olds are to be found, good ol' Mom will do. ;)

Lately her request has been to tell her a story... off the top of your head! Sometimes I simply can not think of an original story, so I started telling her Bible stories or classic stories. So today, while driving, I relayed Jack and the Beanstalk and the Biblical story of Hannah. I think I got the Hannah story correct but I hope she never actually reads Jack and the Beanstalk because I probably butchered that story!

As we came back home and were putting our coats and boots away (yes, we are "there" already *sigh*), I remarked to Seth that as much as I love having wee babies and am a bit saddened by how quickly they grow up, I really enjoyed going out with "The Big Girl" and can see WHY they must grow up and get big. She is so easy. She dresses herself completely. She opens AND SHUTS doors. She buckles herself up all on her own. She walks... not runs. She chats none stop and is wonderfully good company. She tells jokes and laughs at mine. She held my hand... not because she had to (she informed me) but just because she likes to. ☺
Doing her "schoolwork";)
I love Leila being 1 month old. She's so sweet and just wants to be held and loved on. I also am really enjoying Eden being 2 yrs. old. She is soooooo funny. She often comes into my bedroom, first thing in the morning, pats my cheek with her pudgy hand and says "Hi Putie Pie" (translation: Hi Cutie Pie). And I love Maddie being 4 yrs. old. She is so smart and tries to please me.
And now, I must stop relaying to you how fantastic my kids are and do their laundry.... again. ☺


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Mission Impossible

Trying to get one decent picture of the whole family... *sigh*

This is the closest we came:

The girls are obviously as distraught as I am that we have yet to capture everyone smiling and looking the same direction. Just look them... they're devastated.


Monday, November 15, 2010

On my noggin

I have thought of posting several times lately. I'll decide I have something worthy of sharing with everyone BUT... when I sit down at my computer, I am almost always nursing, and writing an entire post one handed is just not relaxing to me! (Besides... I'm so prone to typos with TWO hands, no one would be able to comprehend a post written with one hand!)

But here I am... 2 older girls napping and one wee baby fussing at her Daddy, while he attempts to study. I could go rescue him... but this father-daughter bonding time is important for them. ☺

Leila is one month old! I can't believe how fast life is flying by! I took her to be weighed today and she is exactly 10 lbs! That's pretty impressive weight gain from her 6.9 birth weight! The name Leila sounds similar to the Chinese word for hungry (or so I am told... can't say I know even one word of Chinese, despite the hundreds of fortunes from fortune cookies I have read...uh eaten... you know what I mean!) She is doing better at night and lets me get 5-6 consecutive hours of sleep. I took the advice of a friend and began putting her to sleep in her car seat to keep her snug and secure feeling. This has made a big difference in her restfulness, and my ability to get out of bed in the morning! I tend to think being inclined during the bulk of the night (I put her in the crib in the wee hours when she more easily goes to sleep so she will be accustomed to the crib) helps her tummy and tendency to spit up.

Though time is flying, I am glad to have reached this one month mark. Nursing during the first few weeks is somewhat difficult and I am glad to have those days of terrible soreness behind me.

Other than "baby brain"... you know; that remarkable phenomenon where I as the Mother of a newborn can not retain a single detail or remember anything other than when I last fed the baby... I have a few other things on my noggin:

- I'm hosting Thanksgiving at my house. My sisters in law are contributing to the meal so it really isn't much more work than a typical Sunday with our big family. I excited about it. =)

- I am ready to admit that I am addicted to sugar. And fast food. I know... it's terrible. I'm working on it. I have filled my fridge and pantry with healthy selections and have vowed to eat at home this week. I am awfully hungry ALL THE TIME. Which doesn't help my attempt to break my addictions. It so tempting to grab something fast, easy and rottenly bad for you. BUT... be proud of me, everyone... when my tummy started growling this afternoon, I resisted the package of cookies (the ones my husband MUST have in the house at all times... he requests few things; I will not deny the man his cookies!) and instead had a cup of tea (with only a teeny weeny bit of sugar) and a small bowl of whole grain granola cereal. Kashi is actually what it is. Tasty really. Not Lucky Charms but not cardboard either.

- Buying Maddie a pack of Go Fish cards was a bad idea. I pick them up and find them all over the place. They are being thrown away as I find them.

- I went to Rite Aid today and bought $119 worth of household items (diapers, toilet paper, tooth paste, shampoos, etc.) and paid $45 for it all. I have such fun coupon and sale shopping!

- Leila is balding and so am I. (Post partum hair loss...)

- I've come to the conclusion that in our Christian walk, we are really not very far from success or failure. Just one poor choice away from opposing God and (thankfully) just one prayer away from being right with Him. The two spectrums used to seem very far apart to me... but as I see more how depraved we as man really are, I seem to be capable of being in both positions at different times even in the same day. Our God must surely be more patient and loving and merciful than we could even conceive.

- My finger nails are in sorry sorry shape.

- My tea has grown cold.

- I have an amazing ability to smell newborn poopie from anywhere in the house. What's funny about this is that I have a dull sense of smell... normally Seth is the one to notice a scent... he is particular about cleaning products and candles for this reason. But it never fails that I can be in a different room and KNOW when Leila needs a change. And it's not that it's horrific smelling or anything... just distinct. So there: I am not without talents after all.

- This was the tree in our front yard a week or so ago:
Awesome right?


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Happy to have my hands full..

{Maddie's hand on left; Eden's on the right}

Leila is three weeks old today. I already feel like her infancy is flying by!

And since I am pretty much feeling back to normal... normal plus 10 lbs, minus a few hundred strands of hair, and a few residual aches and pains... I have been taking my three little ladies out into public a bit. Nothing exciting... grocery store, WalMart, story time, etc. I smile at myself, remembering back when Eden was born and how I really felt that taking TWO WHOLE CHILDREN out by MYSELF seemed like an awful lot of work. Maybe my muscles are bigger, maybe it's the fact that Maddie is older and a genuine help (open door, carry diaper bag, walk next to me, etc.) but so far going out with all three is quite doable. Takes time... there is no rushing anywhere.
{Modeling a cute new outfit}

One thing that has amused me as I venture out into the world is how many remarks I am already receiving from strangers. The line is almost always the same:

"Boy, you sure have your hands full!"

To which my automatic reply is:

"Better full than empty!"

It's amusing to me because I don't really feel like I have a big family. I would expect the "hands full" comments if I was toting around 6,7,8,... 10 kids. But 3? Really?

Not than I'm saying 3 isn't a full time job. 'Cause it is. My washing machine has put in a long hard work day, and so have I. Today, before noon, I had cleaned poop off walls (Leila has a unique talent: projectile pooping), urine off of floors and rugs (all that I said the other day about how well Eden is doing potty training- I take it all back ☺not really but today wasn't her finest...), and vomit off of bedding (I guess since Eden had an upset tummy, the potty accidents are understandable, right?) And all of that was done while functioning off of 2.5 hours of sleep... literally. (Please- no nominations for martyr hood... my fantastic father in law took Maddie for the entire afternoon while the younger two and I napped for a couple of blissful hours.)

{Smiley Tushie... he he he}

I suppose it's the decreased average family size in America; and although I have no research to back it up, it seems that our region in particular has smaller families. I don't mind the comments... just wasn't expecting them at this point. It makes me wonder what kind of reactions people with what I consider large families receive in public.

I sincerely am glad to have my hands full... even if those hands have touched some nasty substances on this day! Somewhere, there is a woman who would give anything to have newborn poop to clean up, or a sick toddler to cuddle or a chatty preschooler to listen to. Thank you, Lord, for my pretty little blessings.

Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD, and the fruit of the womb is his reward. Ps.127:3