Her Beginning

It was a normal pregnancy for me except I was sicker for longer during the beginning. For all my pregnancies prior to hers, I was only sick (nausea) for about 2-3 months. With her, I was nauseous, I mean severely nauseous, for the first 4 months. All I did during that time period was lie on the couch, moaning in agony…..Okay maybe not moaning, but definitely felt like I was dying! And I laid there like that ALL. DAY. LONG. For 4 months straight.

I was excited about baby #6. I was exhausted. All. The. Time. She was born in September so I was, as with the previous pregnancies, very pregnant through the hottest parts of the summer. And with my pregnancies, I don’t stay small and look like I’m carrying a little rubber ball in my tummy. Oh no. Not me! I look and feel like I am carrying 3 watermelons in my tummy. I was excited. And I was miserable.

My heart was set on a girl as I already had 5 boys. We decided NOT to find out the sex of the baby because I was absolutely convinced that if we didn’t find out then it would be a girl. My theory: with the first four pregnancies we found out the sex and all four pregnancies produced 5 healthy boys so if we didn’t find out the sex then it would be a girl.

Whether my theory was scientifically based or not, it worked.

We finally had a girl!

I went into labor and everything proceeded without a hitch….

except…

she has arrhythmia.

Oh no! I finally got the girl I had been dreaming of for forever only to have a medical concern.

It wasn’t severe and she got to go home with me, but doctors did say she’d have to have another EKG in two weeks.

With lots of prayers, within that first couple of weeks she was cleared. The arrhythmia went away on its’ own. She proceeded to grow healthier.

She was a beautiful baby, hardly squeaked at all. She was happy most of the time, mostly only fussy when hungry or sick or needed changing. She got held. Alot. Being the only girl (besides me) in the house, she was doted on and spoiled by everyone.

At each of her check-ups since then she’s been healthy as a horse. She continued to grow. Soon enough she started crawling which -as we all know – leads to walking. She talks non-stop. Sadly, she has night terrors. Once she made up her mind to be potty trained, that was that. No accidents. No regressing. She’s active and funny and caring. She’s full of joy and love of learning. She’s interested in the world around her and loves to dance. She’s a little social butterfly with a very friendly disposition. She’s sweet and sassy and only she can be the little girl we all love.

My little girl is almost 7 and we are truly blessed.

More on this story @

https://blessedmomentsnmemories.com/2016/08/23/murmurs-of-the-heart/

 

Murmurs of the Heart

By definition, murmur is a soft sound made by a person or group of people.

ex. Eliza heard the murmur of the crowd inside the gymnasium as she drew closer to the door.

One can also reach a little further to conclude that when a person falls in love, the heart murmurs softly as that love reverberates through his/her soul. Maybe a little far-reaching, but hey, it sounds romantic enough and I am nothing if not a hopeless romantic ♥

But then we have something completely different when speaking of murmurs of the heart. These murmurs are scary.

Very scary.

A medical prognosis: Heart Murmur – sounds during the heartbeat cycle (such as swooshing or swishing) made by turbulent blood in or near your heart. Read here for more information because I really suck at explaining medical jargon. Basically, a heart murmur is a sound in the heart that shouldn’t be there, either considered an innocent murmur or an abnormal murmur. If innocent, the murmur can go away on its’ own or last a lifetime without ever causing further issues. If abnormal, the murmur could pose serious heart problems right away or later in life.

When I conjure up images of murmurs of the heart in my head, the images always have an aura of romance…cuz you know, that’s me.

Never in my wildest dreams did my daughters’ face appear before my eyes when I thought about murmur.

But alas, my little girl….my sweet, innocent little 6 y/o daughter so full of life and excitement is scheduled for an echocardiogram coming up soon in order to gain further understanding of the heart murmur (according to the doctor) discovered during her well child check-up.

And this mama is as nervous as all get out. You see, my sweet little girl was born with a heart arrhythimia. Thankfully, it went away within the first couple of weeks after she was born.

I have always considered myself pretty blessed in regard to my children’s health. Outside of my twins who spent 3 weeks in the hospital after they were born, none of my children have had any major medical concerns other than the normal ‘wear and tear’ of childhood: bumps, scrapes, bruises, a concussion, stitches, a couple broken bones…..none of these issues have been as serious as they could have been. I’ve been thankful for that. Very thankful.

Now……..

Now, I am completely inside out with worry.

So, I’m going to step outside of my ‘normal’ (I’m kind of an ‘in-house’ problem solver) and ask of all who read this

Please, please, please say a prayer for my little girl.

It would mean the world to us.

Thank you ❤

More on this story @

https://blessedmomentsnmemories.com/2016/08/29/her-beginning/

Happy Anniversary

A special shout-out to my parents on this very unforgettable day for a couple of reasons.

Forty years ago, my parents said their “I Dos”. The relationship, albeit a rocky one, withstood the test of time and I am so very excited and proud to say that they have made their marriage work amid the troubles they faced. To bless their marriage even more, my sister was born the very next year, to the day.

Yes, their one year anniversary gift was the birth of my sister.

Forty years!

I have much faith that my husband and I will one day celebrate our 40th anniversary.

In this life, it’s a blessing to meet someone whom you can spend your life with….growing and learning and changing and falling in love with over and over again.

To my parents, I would like to say how much we learned from yall growing up and how much we continue to learn as adults. Thank you for keeping our family together all of these years. It’s not been a perfect life, but it was always full of love and that’s what matters. We didn’t have the most money, the grandest home, the nicest car…actually, we didn’t have much at all. There were plenty of times we had more on our plates than it seemed we could handle, but nobody gave up. You both kept striving to make our life the best yall could. As an adult, I have never wanted that relationship that ended in divorce because of how heartbreaking it can be for everyone involved. As our parents, you taught us that foundation of marriage, you both taught us to work through the troubles of married life. In my adult years, in my own marriage to a man who was also taught that firm foundation of marriage through his own parents and their beliefs, I have furthered my understanding of marriage now in the biblical sense. I appreciate what yall taught me about  mothering and being a wife. I appreciate my childhood and the love that sustained us which is now carried forward to my own family. As children, we witnessed unfaltering love between a husband and wife. We witnessed forgiveness even when forgiveness was hard to give. We witnessed kindness in times when kindness was not warranted. We witnessed hard work, commitment, and strength. We witnessed sadness and joy. And we witnessed more love. Thank you. I love you both so much. Happy 40th Anniversary! I hope there are many more.

Laughter in His Eyes

edit 2

I have always heard you can see right into someone’s soul through their eyes. For me, I’m not sure I have those visions, but I do know that when some people laugh, that laughter shines in their eyes. It makes their whole face light up.

So NOT Ready for This!

T -5 days until….

school day #1 😦

Not excited.

Not. Excited. At. All.

I am not ready for my kiddos to be gone all day.

The early rising…..I do that anyway because my kids are early risers every day.

Homework…I can deal with that. I love teaching them, helping them, and watching them learn.

Schedules….do-able.

Being home without them all day…..yeah the break is needed/wanted sometimes, but 5 days a week for 36 weeks straight is not appealing to me.

I love having the kiddos home. I love waking up with them in the mornings, tending their needs throughout the day, spending time with them…..it all means the world to me.

I see parents posting happy-the-kids-are-going-back-to-school statuses all over FB. The back to school parodies are flooding the Internet.

And here’s me…..

Pouting because they have to go back to school.

No more morning laughter…..soon to be replaced with morning grumbles.

No longer will the house be filled with the boisterousness and silly antics of growing boys.

No more midday snuggles with the school-aged munchkins.

I will miss their conversation, their laughter, their time….

I will miss talking to them.

The days will be shorter as winter is coming on and time with them will begin to feel stretched. There never seems to be enough time.

It sucks.

Already missing them and school’s not even here yet.

Love my kiddos to the moon and back.

Yep. She Just Said That.

Standard.

Manual.

Stick shift.

Three on the tree.

Whatever you choose to call the vehicle that requires using a clutch, brake, and gas pedal. What you call it in your neck of the woods is just what it is. I grew up calling it a standard (if shifter was on the floor) and three on the tree (if shifter was located on the steering column), but that was in the south. In the north, I most often hear it referred to as manual or stick shift.

Okay, now that we’ve had a miniature english lesson…..moving on.

Automatic vehicles are what I learned to drive so I have stuck with automatics throughout my driving years. Many years ago, my mom had a vehicle –a standard Geo Metro — that I practiced driving a couple of times. It was way easy to drive though. And I haven’t driven a standard since then…about 14 years.

Recently, my husband has been ‘teaching’ me to drive a standard. Of course, I’m sure you are well aware of how ‘teaching’ to drive a standard is not really teaching at all. A person can explain when and what pedals to depress, but actually driving one requires practice. So basically, his teaching was: push the brake, push the clutch — it’s already in gear so release brake while engaging clutch and push the accelerator. It went reasonably well…..I don’t think I would necessarily say “I can drive a standard” because driving a standard in a field is much easier than driving a standard in a ton of traffic that is in the darn way! So, I ‘practice’ driving a standard.

The other day, I was ‘practicing’ driving a standard….in a field.

My husband leaves it in 1st gear and tells me to get in and follow him across the field where we needed to be….My 4 y/o daughter was with me….and she knows everything. Ask her, she’s not shy, she’ll tell you. Now, remember, the truck was in 1st gear so all I had to do was push the brake, engage the clutch, let off the brake, and push the accelerator (didn’t need to switch gears). As I let off the brake, the clutch didn’t fully engage so the truck died.

Yes, this very inexperienced standard driver killed the truck.

But….

Here’s the good part….

Remember, I told you, my 4 y/o daughter, very spunky, spirited 4 y/o daughter I might add, was with me. Remember also, that she knows everything. Just ask her 🙂

There I sat….

Killed the truck.

And what do I hear as I crank the truck again?

“Mom, just get out. I’ll do it! All you have to do is push that lever down!”………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

What?

Luckily, I didn’t have anything in my mouth (food/drink) because if I had, I would have choked on it. And I don’t need that repeat ER visit–another story, another day.

Umm, okay Miss Smartie Pants was my first thought and I just started laughing.

Yep. She Just Said That!

There we have it folks.

It’s official.

My 4 y/o spunky, spirited daughter knows everything.

And darn it…she can drive that standard 😉

Oh, you just gotta love these little people. She sure makes my world brighter ❤

Yes, it’s Tender Tuesday and this story just melts my heart.

No, It’s Not About Abortion, Per Se

I generally do not get involved in politics. I try not to discuss debatable issues, for the most part. But this particular subject doesn’t sit well with me. At all. So….

I’m just going to put this out there so everybody’s on the same page.

I have never, do not now, nor will I EVER condone abortion. To be honest, it pisses me off, but even more, it breaks my heart. However, I am not here to start a public debate because, unfortunately, the law is quite clear concerning abortion. To change that I guess I’d have to get more involved with politics and changing the minds of the people who inhabit this beautiful country we live in. Can it be done? Most certainly. With God, anything is possible. But another story for another day.

So, minds at ease folks, I am not here to discuss the beliefs, mine or otherwise, about abortion. Oh wait! Even though I am not going to discuss beliefs about abortion and women’s rights, I am going to touch on abortion. It’s not the focus, but it is.

Kind of.

I saw something on FB recently. Yeah, there’s that social media site. Again.

And as we all know, FB is always right 😉

Anywhoo…..

Recently, I saw some abortion statistics on FB.

Well, sort of.

The stats were actually talking about the number of weeks that it’s legal to get abortions, according to state. Astonishingly enough, 22 weeks is the going rate. Honestly, I found this heartbreaking.

Seriously.

I almost cried.

I mentioned this to my husband and he agreed. As I said, I can never agree with abortion, but come on. 20 weeks?

I don’t care what anyone says about abortions up to 12 weeks (which is still just as heartbreaking and something I can’t even begin to understand), but 20 weeks! There is no way in this world that at 20 weeks that fetus can be considered anything other than a human life! Yes! That fetus is human at 20 weeks!

To say otherwise would just be R-I-D-I-C-U-L-O-U-S!

So, back to this not being about abortion. FYI, I just needed to put that out there.

Now, back to the story that’s not about abortion. Per se.

After that discussion with my husband, I started thinking.

Yes! I know, me thinking. Who’da thought?!?

But, alas, thinking…..

One thought that has always stumped me when it comes to abortion is:

Why doesn’t the father have a say in it?

Let’s be perfectly clear here….if baby is ‘allowed’ to survive according to the mother’s wishes, then said father will be held accountable for the child. He will be required to child support, medical support, dental support, etc. etc in any combonation or whatever.

I get it that the daddy doesn’t carry the child. The daddy doesn’t birth the child. Etc. Etc. Etc.

However, that child is a product of his sperm and her eggs.

That child carries his genes as well as hers.

That child whom he has no say over until it’s birth is just as much his as hers.

But…..

He doesn’t have a say.

And that is just one more thing wrong with the whole abortion debate.

It’s funny that women’s rights activist are so quick to holler prejudice against women or women’s rights while in the very next breath totally stomp on the rights of other individuals. Unfortunately, this happens much more than one realizes.

To gain rights, I guess it’s just easier to take rights away from others.

Way to go…..um, yeah, not really.

So, there you have it. It’s not about abortion. Per se.

The thousands of little angels taken by abortion each year are forever in my prayers. However, it’s the moms and the abortion-performing doctors who really need our prayers. So, I ask any one of you, please pray for these women and these doctors.

Oh Yes, Now I Remember

One popular comment I hear when I tell people about the number of children we have is:

“Oh, you must be so busy.”

For a very long time my conclusion was this:

“If you have more than one child, the number doesn’t really matter. A mother with only two kids can be just as or even more busy than me with 8 children.”

Pretty much all my time is spent with my children, taking care of my home, or doing something family oriented. Times away from them include date nights with my hunny, trips mu husband and I have taken, or visits with friends or family when my hubby is home. Then there’s the times that my hubby takes the children with him which is something that happened most recently. He took five of the eight kiddos with him for the day to the county fair. I knew it was going to be a long day with no rest time or reprieve for the young ones so I decided to stay home with them.

Turns out that two kids for the day was very simple. I reached a new conclusion:

Yes, I am busier with 8 children than I would be with 2, 3, etc. etc.

And that got me to thinkin’…..

I have grown so used to having all the kids with me pretty much all the time because that’s what my husband and I have decided is best for our children. And I love it! I am so very thankful that I am able to stay home with them. The day he had most of the kids with him, I felt……I didn’t quite know what to do. The girls and I enjoyed that time together. Reading, coloring, playing, going for a couple of walks, visiting my sisters….it was a great day. It wasn’t different than our run-of-the-mill days except there were only two kids and I realized how much quieter it was in the house. Less arguing, less door slams from running in and out, less food to prepare……just less work in general and this brought to mind my early motherhood years when I had my first child.

I enjoyed that day when it was just the two girls and I, but I appreciate having all my kids. I wouldn’t change it for all the gold in the world. For anything. I would have each and every one of them all over again if I was given a re-do.

Stubborn. Tenacious. Obstinate. Determined. It Doesn’t Matter What It’s Called, It All Means the Same.

“I can do it myseeeellfff!”

There is not a mother in the world who hasn’t heard exactly that screamed at the top of the lungs of a rough-and-tumble, stubborn-as-all-get-out, sassy 2, 3, or 4 year old. Trust me, I’ve had eight of my own at that age plus multiple others during my child-care days who screamed, whined, whimpered, etc. those very same words.

Eight times over, all I heard during the toddler years was:

“I can do it myself!”

“You put my shoe on and I wanted to do it!”

“No I don’t want to share!”

“It’s mine and I want it back!”

And so much more…always followed with a complete meltdown or all-out attack on the person in the path of the wrath….whoever it’s aimed at. Some children are definitely more adamant than others and do NOT give up until whatever was done to start the meltdown is corrected and he/she says his/her piece about the situation at hand.

Oh, but that’s not all…

No, no, no, no sir-eeee…..

Stubbornness comes in all shapes and sizes, can pick and choose which situations to apply itself to (maybe none, maybe some, maybe all–who knows), and can come out of nowhere. A child who seems so calm and happy one minute can exert his/her will in the very next instance and not bat an eyelash.

Do they outgrow it?

Yeah….not so much.

It just gets worse!

As with most personality and physical traits, children get that stubborn trait honestly. You can bet that one or both parents has a stubborn streak that gets applied to their life situations at least once daily…maybe a bit of an over-reach, but who knows.

Like me!

And my husband!

It’s a draw who the more stubborn is…..ehh, maybe not. He’s probably more stubborn 🙂

During situations in which my stubbornness begins to shine, I often wonder what the heck I am being so stubborn about. And sometimes, it’s that devil-may-care attitude that implies “because I can.”

Most of the time, though, when my stubbornness comes to the surface it’s because I am defending my opinion or belief. Through my own bouts of stubbornness and through dealing with my husbands’ stubborn tendencies, I have learned that you can’t change someone’s opinion. Each individual has his/her opinions that are based on their upbringing, their experiences, and their educational studies. It’s not very likely that you will be able to sway someone’s opinion on a subject.

However, there are ways to soften the blow. For instance, rather than try to change someone’s way of thinking, simply try to understand the reasoning behind it. Refrain from trying to insist that your own opinion is correct and the other person’s is not. Everyone has a point, no matter how small so turn on your listening ears and turn off your motor mouth.

And no, it’s not easy to do! People are insistent on their way of thinking.

Stubbornness can actually be a very admirable trait. It gives people drive: drive to try, drive to either succeed or fail, drive to not give up.

So the next time your unreasonable toddler is being stubborn, let her/him rip. Give the child space to grow, to challenge, to learn.

As they say, Edison didn’t fail 10,000 times when creating the light bulb, he brilliantly found 10,000 ways it wouldn’t work. He only needed one way that would.

And look, that stubbornness eventually paid off. Every home in the US has the very creation he didn’t fail at 10,000 times, a light bulb in every room!

He’s Worthy of Our Praise

Praise be to Jesus Christ, now and forever, Amen

We praise those we love. Right?

Yes, yes we do.

We praise our children when they do a kind act, when they do something correctly or even incorrectly as we want to build the belief within them that they can succeed, and we praise them for a multitude of other things throughout any given day.

The above prayer is the last part of our prayer before meals. We all know the prayer by heart as we say it before every meal. “Praise be to Jesus Christ, now and forever, Amen.”

Simple words that carry the weight of the world.

Through Jesus Christ we were saved. Through Him we find, know, and express love. Through Him we are able to forgive others. Through Him we are able to find the strength to endure the hardships we must face. Everything comes through Him.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life. – John 3:16

If we have the ability (and we do, a grace afforded to us through Jesus Christ of course, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit) to love our children unconditionally, to praise, to forgive, to have faith….to do everything for them that is good in the world, shouldn’t we be able to love and praise God for that very same reason, with just as much excitement? I mean, He did create us.

I know the stories of evolution. I know that not everyone believes in God, in anything religious at all even. However, I do pray for every soul on this earth when I say my prayers because prayers do get answered.

If you sing your praises to the Lord Almighty, then continue to do so.

If you don’t I say, go ahead and give it a try. If you start to believe even a little bit, if even one piece of your heart opens to His goodness, it will change your life. If nothing happens, try again and again. If nothing changes for you then you will have lost nothing, but if you notice even the smallest of change then believe, have faith that it is God’s presence.

Trust me, He’s worthy of our praise.