Saturday, October 31, 2009

Parades, Pumpkins and Football Players! Oh My!

This week has brought about lots of fun Autumn activities. Here are some pictures for your viewing pleasure!

Gavin's school had a costume parade. I was told to dress Gavin up for this activity, but I was told 3 weeks ago and since Gavin was out sick for about a 1 1/2 weeks, I forgot about the parade. Luckily, I happened to put Gavin in his Superman t-shirt that day, so it looked like I had dressed him up a little bit anyway!

This is what Gavin thought about the parade idea at first!

Then he decided to give it a try.

Here is part of Gavin's class lined up for the parade.

Here he is with his class and teacher.

Here he is being pushed down the hall as part of the parade. They sang songs and played instruments.

Gavin's teacher made these hats for the children to wear. Gavin kept looking up at his wondering, "What in the world is on my head?!"

Gavin's class and a couple of his VERY PATIENT helpers! I told them that they had the patience of a saint, after watching them take care of the children during the parade!

I think that Gavin actually ended up enjoying himself!

Here is Gavin watching his brothers carve a pumpkin. He had the directions and was trying to tell them what to do. Of course, his brothers don't listen very well, so they just did their own thing!

Here are the brothers hard at work on the pumpkin.

We roasted the pumpkin seeds too!

Here is our finished project. We only did one pumpkin...this was enough mess for this Momma!

Here is Gavin dressed up as a football player.

"What have they put on my head again?!!"

"O.K., that's enough pictures Mom!"

Here is big brother Caleb dressed up as a football player as well!

He really likes to get into the part!

My 2 little quarterbacks!

Lots of fun and craziness at our house as usual!

Have a great weekend!!!

"I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well." Psalm 139:14

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Lots of Good Too!

Although everything I said in my last post is true, there are still a lot of positives that the guys in my life bring to my life. Because I'm only human, as are they, sometimes only their negative attributes are in the forefront of my mind. Lately, we have been extra busy, I've been extra stressed and they have been showing more of their negative sides towards me, so I needed to vent and get some much needed support!

While I still feel overwhelmed with my responsibilities as a wife and mother and long for some serious changes to be made, I am also able to look on the bright side of my situation. So, today I am going to share some things about the guys in my life, that I am very thankful for!

Joel is a godly man. He works VERY hard and he keeps our family comfortable financially. He has a great sense of humor, when he feels like sharing it. And, he is a great partner, when he decides to be "on". He is a very knowledgeable person and he offers many teaching opportunities for our family. I am very blessed to have him as my husband, even if he does drive me nuts a lot of the time. LOVE YOU DEAR! :)

Sidenote: Yes, my husband does read my blog and yes, he's o.k. with me venting on here. He has said that he knows he's not a good listener and not very supportive, so this blog is probably a good thing for both of us!

Jacob is a wonderful 1st son! He has a heart of gold and is such a great big brother to Gavin! He may not like school, but he is a very smart guy! He has a terrific sense of humor and he makes me laugh lots! He is also a big helper to me with Gavin and he loves him VERY MUCH!!! He treats his other brothers better than most big brothers probably would. He has a great knowledge of the Bible and this makes me proud! Love you Jacob!

Nolan is a sensitive guy, who gives me the best smiles! He is very smart and a hard worker. He is usually the first one to come running if he hears Gavin gagging and he loves to sing songs with him too. He is wonderful about teaching things to his brother Caleb and he often plays things that he wouldn't normally play, just for the sake of his brother. Nolan also has a great love for God and is a wonderful role model. Love you Nolan!

Caleb is a character! He either has me cracking up or he has my blood boiling over at all times! He has more energy than anyone I've ever met! He is a little lover of his Momma and is always giving me hugs and kisses! He even says that he wishes that he could marry me some day! He is very sweet and likes to draw lots of pictures for his family members. He is also very smart and always has a comeback for everything you say to him! He's small, but he's huge in spirit. He loves Bible stories and he likes to carry his little Bible around. He's even said that he wants to become a pastor one day, "That way I can talk in church!" Love you Caleb!

Gavin is such a gift to me and his family! He may be lots of work, but he pays us back in tenfold with just being here! He is so sweet and good natured! His smile is the sweetest thing that I've ever seen and it brightens my mood in an instant! He makes me appreciate the little things in life and he makes me fight harder than I ever would have before he came into my life! He's my buddy and I can't imagine life without him! Love you Gavin!

So, my life is crazy, but it sure is full! It takes lots of work, faith and emotional strength to be the wife and mother to this bunch.....but I wouldn't change having all of them in my life for anything! I just thought that you should know this! But, please continue to pray for me as I try to lasso this wild bunch! :)

"Therefore I ask that you do not lose heart at my tribulations for you, which is your glory." Ephesians 3:13

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Be Forewarned: Vent Session In Progress!

I feel tired. I feel defeated. I feel lonely. I feel overwhelmed. I feel like running away from it all!!!

Now that you know how I feel, I'll tell you why. Being a mother and a wife is a VERY DIFFICULT JOB! Especially when you live with the bunch that I live with! I feel like a glass of water, that has 5 straws in it, and they are sucking me dry! I'm not a person with a whole lot of energy anyway. In fact, I'm quite sure that I never had to be told to go to bed as a child. I've always needed my sleep. So, add this trait to the fact that my children and husband are FULL of ENERGY and FULL of STUBBORNESS....well, I'm just worn out!

After all, I'm only one person....Gasp!....Really I am! This is difficult for me to admit, but it is so true! I can't please everyone and I really need to stop trying! Lately, I feel drawn in so many directions and I really feel the guilt trips setting in. Do you know how often I actually do something for myself? Hmmm....well, I use the bathroom and I occasionally get a shower in. Of course, someone always seems to barge in or come knocking on the door when this rarity occurs. I have no hobbies or outlets. I RARELY get out, except to shop for the family or transport children to and from school. The rest of my family seems to have no problem doing extracurricular activities. Let's see....there is soccer, softball, hunting and hunting trips, cadets, football games, target practice, etc.....and yet, I'm always put on the backburner. I'm O.K. with this most of the time, but sometimes it starts to wear on me!

I have put my family first and I believe that this is what I should be doing, but some perks would be nice too! I told Joel that he may have to get up eary and go to work and support our family, but at least he gets perks at his job! People thank him for helping them. They bring him gifts. He gets a paycheck. He even gets to play catch and football on the job! I know that I get perks too, but they sure are few and far between. Plus, most of the time I hear, "What did you do all day long?, "Why can't you make us better meals?".....and the list goes on! And, just so you know, I feel that I make great meals. Yes, we have hamburgers, spaghetti and hotdogs more than I'd like to admit, but I also make Tilapia, steak, orange chicken, shrimp, and crab legs for crying out loud! And, no my home is not the cleanest and most organized home around. Unfortunately, It's far from it, but I do have more important matters to deal with. Like for example; making up many meds, doing nebulizer treatments, doing strengthening exercises with Gavin, playing with Gavin(since he can't even do this alone.), helping with homework, scheduling and going to doctor's appointments, remembering to order new supplies and medications, giving my other children some attention, driving people everywhere they need to go, and getting some much needed sleep every once in a while too! Oh...and again, I'm only one person!

Back to being a glass of water sucked dry; the guys in my life seriously have an abundance of energy! I feel like I'm in the middle of a tornado most days. My voice is almost never heard. I repeat myself constantly and no one seems to listen. The guys in my life are so kind to others outside our home, but once they are with me.....everything changes. I guess I'm the safe dumping ground and the permanent fixture that gets taken for granted. No one takes time to talk with me. All I hear are complaints and arguing. I'm rarely given friendship or support. My needs just don't matter! Like I said, most days I'm O.K. with this, because my main goal in life was to become a wife and a mother and I do not take the fact that I am married and have 4 wonderful boys for granted! I am SO BLESSED! But, I have needs too!

I invest a ton of time in caring for my family. They are a tough bunch to crack and this is an emotional task most days. But, I never give up and I never will! The other day I told Joel that when I finally lose it and walk out the door for a week to find myself again, this household will get a huge wake-up call! This fairly well-oiled ship, our household, that keeps on sailing even when bumps come along, will definitely be hitting an iceberg and start to sink fast once the driver of the ship stops steering! Of course, I will never just leave, because each morning I buck up and take my responsibilities seriously! But, it sure would be nice to get away for awhile!

I truly LOVE my family and I truly LOVE to be with them, but ALL Mommas need a break, some appreciation, some love, some friendship and some time alone.

Our boys have such great qualities, but they are also very headstrong. It takes a dedicated person to keep them in line and heading in the right direction. I often feel so alone in this daunting task! I realize that I should be looking to God for my needs to be met. I realize that with Him I am never really alone, but some days it sure does feel like I am!

Oh, and add a child that has special needs to this mix! Did I mention how tired I am? I recently read a shirt that said, "I am the mother of a special needs child. What's your superpower?" I laughed when I read this, but it sure does take a lot more strength to get through your days when you are caring for a child that needs so much! Especially when you add this child to the bunch that I already have!

The truth is, life with a special needs child can be VERY difficult, but it is also very rewarding as well! I was at the mall with Gavin this past week. A lady came up and asked if Gavin was my first child. I told her that he was my fourth and that I had 4 boys. She said, well it doesn't really matter if you get girls or boys, as long as they are healthy. So, I said, "Well, actually he has not been very healthy in his life and he has spent lots of time in the hospital." I told her that he was born with Down syndrome and she said, "Wow, I give you lots of credit." I thought about it a minute and then I told her that I didn't deserve any credit, but if I did then it would be for dealing with my other 3 boys, not Gavin! She just laughed, but it's true! I told her what a blessing Gavin has been. Caring for him is definitely more physically difficult. My neck, back and shoulders hurt most of the time. His not being able to sit up on his own is SO TRYING to my body! If you happen to have a child with special needs and they can at least sit up on their own, thank God for this great blessing! I have to carry him everywhere and just holding him takes so much support. Caring for him can be emotionally trying as well, especially when he is sick and in the hospital, but the other guys in my life are actually more emotionally trying than Gavin ever is!

In fact, Gavin calms my nerves and lowers my blood pressure more than anything else on this earth! If I'm feeling overwhelmed or stressed, all I have to do is pick him up and I feel better, emotionally anyway. He brings such peace to my life. He makes me see how blessed I am to have all of my abilities and he brings such a sense of innocence to my life.

Life is hard for ALL of us! And, I know that I could have it a WHOLE LOT worse, but sometimes I just need to get it all out, so that I can continue to forge through this life of mine! Thanks for being a sounding if you had a choice! I am so thankful for my blogging friends and the support that I am given through them! So, thank you to the many that do provide me with friendship and love. What would I do without you?!

Say some prayers for me.....or maybe you should pray for my family instead, just in case I do walk out the door someday to catch a break! :)

Any of you feel the need to vent? I am a terrific listener! Purge all your worries in a comment below. I promise to listen and I will understand! HUGS!!!

"Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait I say on the Lord!" Psalm 27:14

Monday, October 26, 2009


Life has been busy, crazy and fun at our house for the last week! Here is a rundown of what we've been up to.

Ready, Set, Go!

Gavin and his brothers got their hair cut. Gavin is sticking out his tongue, because he HATES getting his hair cut! But, he sure does look cute and it sure is easier to handle!

We finally got some decent weather one afternoon last week and were able to go to a local farm to enjoy some Fall festivities and get our yearly Fall pictures of the boys.

We take pictures of them here each year to see how much they've grown since last year.

Jacob and Nolan went through the corn maze!

We got to feed these goats and watch them play fight with one another. They reminded me of our 3 older boys; stubborn and always picking fights with each other!

Gavin seemed to enjoy this!

The older boys got rid of some of their abundant energy!

Since the boys had a couple days off from school this week, Joel took some vacation time and we took the boys to a center that has lots of blow-up bounce activities. We are always looking for ways to get rid of all their extra energy!

Gavin even joined the fun for a minute, so that I could get a cute picture of him playing too! After that, Gavin and I went to a nearby mall to shop and get away from the craziness! :)

We had out-of state visitors for a couple of days! Grandpa and Grandma came from Indiana to see us! It's always nice to see them!

And, finally...we went to Uncle Jay's wedding! Here are the boys having fun dancing at the reception. (Another great energy expender!)

Here are my guys all dressed up for the big day. (Sorry for the picture quality, my camera was not behaving that night!) Congratulations Uncle Jason and Aunt Michelle! We are so happy for you!

WHEW! This week has worn me out! Between illnesses, accidents, visitors, fun, and weddings, I think that I need a vacation! Hmmm...? I don't think that will be happening anytime soon!

Gavin heads back to school today. He's been out for 2 weeks, either being sick or having fun. Hopefully he enjoys his first day back. I'm giving it one more shot. He's been sick 2 times in 1 month, since starting school. If he gets sick once more any time soon, I'll be keeping him home for the rest of the cold and flu season. This swine flu epidemic has me frightened and on edge! I think it's because this is all I hear about lately! I suppose I should spend my time praying, instead of worrying about it. What good will this do me?!

Hope all of you are doing well! Have a great day!

"Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?" Matthew 6:25

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

No Rest For The Weary!

Even if Gavin has been sick lately, Daddy thought he was well enough to do some work too. He usually complains for me, when I put him in his stander, but he did well for Joel. Here's Gavin working hard!

Here are a couple of his brothers encouraging Gavin and goofing around with him while he works out.

All this work sure does make a boy tired!

Gavin is beginning to feel a lot better. Although, he's still coughing some and is a little needy from being spoiled by his Momma. :) And, a couple of his brothers decided they should get sick too! :( Did I happen to mention that I detest the cold and flu season?!

I hope that all of you are staying healthy and doing well!

"And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart." Galations 6:9