Friday, October 31, 2008

I'm worn out. I have managed to do all of the laundry, school JOshua, clean the bathrooms, cook and keep up with dishes (sort of) and walk about 5 miles a day holding Hannah, but I am plum (or is it plumb) worn out. I'm just not good at the whole baby thing. Once they hit a year, I'm rockin and rollin but the first year just kills me. I know alot of you say that the baby stage is your favorite part, but not mine. But, thankfully, on number three, I do know that it is just a short phase that we will survive. It doesn't help that Robert is pulling massive double/triple extra duty at work right now. The GM has figured out that Robert is a great go to guy and so, he's gone to him. He is officially managing two full departments now and it has him runnin like crazy. He gets into the office about 6 and has been getting home about 6 also. Of course, when he gets here, he is justifiably wiped out, but so is his wife, but not the babies. So, we are just holding on for the ride. Really, how can you can complain when your "hardships" are massive blessings from the Lord.

SOOOOOOO, in really super exciting news!!!!!!!!!!!!

We are coming to Houston for Thanksgiving!!!! I CAN NOT wait. I can't wait to see my friends, worship at Grace, hang out with everyone, eat at Eden Cafe, have Mexican food, hang out with friends, maybe get a moment alone with my husband since we'll have trustworthy people around our children, hang out with friends, did I mention Mexican food....we are all soooo excited! We got pretty good prices on our flights, but the rental car rates are crazy! Anyone got an extra car that can hold three car seats laying around?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

It is 9am here and 26 degrees!!! I can't imagine how cold it was for Robert at 5 this morning. Thankfully, they got our furnace replaced in time and we are warm and snuggly. And, just to prove that Texas isn't the only one with crazy weather, tomorrow we are supposed to hit 60 again!

BIG BIG NEWS coming soon!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

IT IS SNOWING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YEA!!!!!!!!!!!! I have pics to prove it, I'll post those later!

Hannah's appointment went fine. Actually, the appointment itself was awful. They dialated her eyes but then they waited so long to get her in to check her that she fell sound alseep. So, I was holding her while a nurse was prying her eyes open for the doctor. Of course, Hannah did not like that and started SCREAMING. It was horrible. They actually slightly bruised her eye lid on one eye, poor baby.

She has an anterior polar cataract. It is "beyond tiny" in the doctors words. It is extremely rare that they ever change or grow, so they will just watch her periodically as she grows to make sure. They do sometimes affect the shape of the lens, but that would be easily fixed with glasses. He said even that isn't real common, but isn't rare. He wants to see her again in two months but Robert and I both think that would be useless. We'll take her sometime next year. No point in going into a pediatric germ factory during cold and flu season. Same reason we aren't going to the pediatrician either. They can wait until she's 6 months old and flu season is over!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Photo Tag

From Cara at To Be Fruitful and Multiply....
For this one you open the fourth photo album on your computer and post the fourth picture.
My fourth pic is of my mother Lou Juanell Stiles and Granny, maternal grandmother Billy Cole Gregg...Hannah is named after her. This is at my sisters wedding shower in 2006? Is that the right year Amie? You can see my awesome hubby in the background. He was there to wrangle Joshua, Leah was easy since she was still in utero.

Last night we had about 5 minutes of sleet. Today we should start getting snow/rain as the day progresses then tonight they are expecting 1-3 inches of accumulation!!!! WHO HOO! I think.

Monday, October 27, 2008

We had a lovely, quiet family weekend. Saturday we slept in (oh wait, that was a delusion of mine, ha). We ate breakfast and watched some cartoons together. Then we all headed up the road a bit and hit a thrift shop that Ruth and Sarah found while they were here. I made a very important realization there. First, thrift stores always smell alike, and it ain't good. Second, I realized why I"m not as thrifty as I used to be....I have small children. It is physically impossible to carry a 7 week old, hold a 4 year olds hand, push a two year old in a stroller and still dig thru mostly nasty, ill fitting clothing. After an hour, we gave up and came home. Robert still wanted to look, but I just couldn't rangle the kids any more. Call me a whimp, I'm ok with it. So, I vow off nasty thrift stores until I no longer have small children....unless we become really poor very quickly, even then, I think I'll hunt everything down on Craigslist from the comfort of my home.

The rest of Saturday we just hung out. Robert and Leah did run to pick up our milk for the week and Joshua and I did some puzzles, but that was it. We even went to bed early, who hoo! (oh wait, another delusion, everyone but Hannah and I went to bed early...I walked Hannah)

Sunday, we visited church #10. Not for us, although we kind of had that idea already. It was worth a try. Music was good. There were lots of slide show/skit things. The pastors message was about the election. Robert and I both walked out wondering if he was preaching for prolife or prochoice and we were pretty sure he was supporting Obama. Really weird. Next week, we'll try again. Robert did say we aren't going back to church #9. He isn't going to put an effort into a church that is so anti family, family friendly is important to us, even if we don't find family integrated.

The rest of Sunday we watched NASCAR and football and chilled out. I did catch part of the latest Duggar show where their oldest gets engaged. I just love that family! I love that they are living out what we believe in and doing it on tv.....and people actually watch!
Much asked for kiddo update.
Joshua- Such a big boy. He's really growing up! He is such a huge helper. He LOVES Hannah and is pretty fond of Leah. He will talk to Hannah and keep her from fussing so I can do important things like go to the bathroom. He's also coming along in school. He knows all of his letters and their sounds, although he still forgets a vowel sounds now and then, but hey, they have a bunch of sounds! He is getting number recognition down better. But he is a math guy like Robert. Robert showed him the basic concept of addition one time and he adds things all the time now. Maybe I'll add in subtration too soon. He also just had a growth spurt, stinker! I had him try on all of his pants about a month ago so I could see where I was for winter clothes. He had lots that fit. Now, every weekend when Robert gets him dressed he pulls out pants that are too short. Back to the shopping drawing board.

Leah- Leah is a hoot. She cracks us up with her little personality. She can pout like anything and turn her moods on a dime. And temper, oh my! We are working thru all of that stuff. She also LOVES to "nuggle", on her terms, of course. If you ask her to nuggle, nope! Must be when she thinks of it and brings it up. Her talking is getting better, but most people still can't really understand her. Her vocabulary isn't near what Joshua's was, but her physcial abilities are way way past where he was at this point. Oh, and she's ready to potty train.....but Mommy still isn't. She's a cute girl, and its a good thing some days, lol! I think I'm going to have to have her hair cut. I was hoping that my sister could do all of my kids first hair cuts, but Leah's is starting to look like a shaggy dog. She has three layers growing in all at different lengths. Her original layer is long long, which will make me sad to cut it, but it is just hair. Hopefully, I will get it done before our Christmas pics.

Hannah- She's going thru a "I want to be held and WALKED" 24/7 phase, so I'm not getting much done. Although right now, she is sleeping in the swing, YIPPEE!!! Better hurry before she wakes up. She's 7 weeks old now and is sleeping thru the night, technically. She sleeps for almost a 6 hour stretch most nights!!!! I don't know what to do with all of this sleep....and I feel like I should be more rested. She is holding her head up pretty well when someone holds her, but not when she's on her tummy yet. She's super sensitive to my diet, which stinks. She's a super chub in her face! I have pics to share, when I can get them up. But her legs are all Stiles chicken legs, no super rolls like her sibs. She likes to coo and "talk" and smile and laugh, especially at her Daddy right after a nap. We have an appointment tomorrow with a pediatric eye specialists for her to check on the spot on her eye. I'm hoping to hear that is nothing but a dot birth mark or something. They didn't sound real concerned when our pediatrician talked to him about it.

Robert has decided that all these weird genetic defects she has are from my side, and he's probably right. I was, of course, assuming they were from his side, lol. But, when Corbin showed up with the same webbed toe, it proved that one was from me. I also think it might be related to Waardenburg's syndrome. I read up on this some when Joshua was born. I really really think our family has it. I also think it may be why my Mom is deaf, even though the doctors said it was from scarlet fever when she was a baby. But hey, that was the 40's and they didn't diagnose her for years and years later. Anyway, we carry a TON of the symptoms. But only genetic testing would tell us for sure. Maybe some day.

ok, wrapping up this book....I'll have to wait days to post again so ya'll have time to read all of this, lol!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Any time we have people stay over night in our home, I like to cook a big breakfast for the next morning (it doesn't always happen, but that is what I like to do). I usually make a yummy over night french toast. I load mine with lots of fruits and nuts, so it is healthy too. But I've always wanted something a little more to add to it. So, I found this idea on the crockpot blog that I've posted here, side note...I still like that blog but I've been quite disappointed in some of the recipes I've tried...apparently my family likes alot more flavor than theirs does, but she has some great recipe ideas, and hey, I never cook by recipes anyway...back to original train of thought....what was I talking about???...oh yeah, today I did breakfast for dinner. I did my usual over night french toast, we'll call it over afternoon french toast....completely different from over easy, are you following me here? Then, I made sausage and potatoes in the crock pot. I diced up some red and russett potatoes (because that is what I had), a little diced onion and to finish off some mushrooms I had, I threw those in too. Put all of that in a ziplock and added a little olive oil, salt, pepper and all purpose seasonings...then mixed it up real good and poured it in the crock pot. Next, I sliced up some sausage (chicken and apple, again, that is what I had) and threw it on top. Cooked on low until dinner time. They are both perfectly cooked and I can't wait to dive in, I've sampled enough to know it will be good. I do like my sausage to look more brown though, so next time, I think I'll brown it a little in a skillet before adding tot he crockpot, just for my picky color tastes. Both will work beautifully over night, and all I'll have to do is get up and make the coffee....oh wait, my coffee maker is programable too, SCORE!
Yes, it is that important. Every vote does count and it is life and death.

Monday, October 20, 2008

This weekend was sooo fun!
Friday, Ruth flew in to surprise Sarah for her last week here. To quote her when Sarah asked how she got here..."I flew and man are my arms tired!" Sarah didn't have a clue that I was picking her up at the airport and so when Ruth rang the door bell and Sarah answered, I think you probably could have knocked her over with a feather. It was fun!

SATURDAY!!!! We went to Amish Country. Now that is a place I could live. It was sooo pretty and life was slow, quiet and simple. It reminded me of growing up in West Texas but with horses and buggies everywhere, lol. We got lost, oh darn, and ended up eating lunch at Mrs. Yoder's Kitchen. What a FIND!!! We all raved and raved and raved about the food. It is all locally grown and harvested and prepared by them. And you just can't beat fresh local home cooked food. Seriously, we all agreed that if that was all we did, then the drive was worth it. It was sooo exciting to me to drive around and see all of the horses and buggies and the Amish people walking around. I've been fascinated with their lives since I read my first book about them in high school. After lunch, we toured a working Amish farm set up. It isn't an Amish farm anymore, but is owned by a family that was raised Amish and have since left the church. It was neat to tour the home and even neater to eat some yummies. We also got to ride in an Amish buggy. Our driver was named Lester and was very friendly. We were running behind to pick up our milk at our Amish farmers home, and so we didn't get to spend near the time that we would have liked to. We've decided that every time we have to go pick up milk (about every 10-12 weeks), we will go eat at Mrs Yoder's and choose a different Amish thing to tour. It really really was the best day. And the turning leaves are just amazing. I ooh and ahh over them every time we leave the house. God's creation at its most beautiful!

Sunday we visited church #9. It was nice. A small congregation. The music was just ok, but they had a bunch of their musicians gone. I missed alot of the sermon, but Robert and Ruth said it was pretty good. They teach line by line, so that is good. All of the ladies in the nursing room were really really nice and I enjoyed chatting with them alot. Most of the congregation are homeschoolers and there are lots of large families. However, someone came up and told Robert during the service to keep Leah quiet.....and she already was quiet. Robert was mad. So, I haven't heard his verdict on the church or not. Robert was pretty annoyed by it. It was really weird too since it is a family church that they would have such a anti-family policy. We'll see. It was the closest thing we've seen to GCC here so far.

More later....including our beach pics from today.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Picture catch up...from our weekends. First, the Horton Apple Cider Festival. Then the Mason's Rennaisance Festival in Medina and finally the Harvest Festival at Rockin R Ranch.

Last night, Hannah and I went to an ICAN of Cleveland meeting. Robert was supposed to go with us, but he had a business dinner sprung on him last minute. It is the International Cesearian Awareness Network, and is basically a support group for women who've had Csections. It was so awesome. I had gone once before Hannah was born, and it really gave me the courage and accepatance to make it thru Hannah's labor and delivery. I can't say enough about this group. If ya'll know anyone that has had a CSection, please get them to go to a meeting with this group. It is very healing to be able to talk and work thru issues involved from Sections with other women that understand. Last nights discussion was Healing from Traumatic Birth. It was good talking about all of the emotions involved with Csections. It was also fun because I got to share my success story. Another girl that was due two weeks after me also made it with her 2 week old to share her VBA2C story as well. God meant for us to be there because there were 4 women there wondering if there was anyway to have a vaginal after 2 cesarians. It was a good night and Hannah was great. I was really worried because the evenings are usually her fussy time, but she was good until we were almost in our neighborhood. Then, shhhhh don't tell anyone....she slept 5 straight hours last night! WHO HOO!!!!

Hmmm, I need to update on the kids, but I also really need to eat lunch. Tonight, Robert and I are squeezing in another date before we lose our sitter and then this weekend is a big weekend. I really have to get some pictures up too.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Two things......
First, next Wednesday's forecast...
Oct 22

Rain / Snow Showers



Second, I got this in an email today and love it. So I thought I'd share.

The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter. The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away. Come winter, the ant is warm and well fed. The grasshopper has no food or shelter, so he dies out in the cold. MORAL OF THE STORY: Be responsible for yourself!


The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter.

The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.

Come winter, the shivering grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the ant should be warm and well fed while others are cold and starving.

CBS, NBC, PBS, CNN, and ABC show up to provide pictures of the shivering grasshopper next to a video of the ant in his comfortable home with a table filled with food. America is stunned by the sharp contrast. How can this be, that in a country of such wealth, this poor grasshopper is allowed to suffer so? Kermit the Frog appears on Oprah with the grasshopper, and everybody cries when they sing, "It's Not Easy Being Green." Jesse Jackson stages a demon stration in front of the ant's house where the news stations film the group singing, "We shall overcome." Jesse then has the group kneel down to pray to God for the grasshopper's sake.

Nancy Pelosi, John Kerry & Harry Reid exclaim in an interview with Larry King that the ant has gotten rich off the back of the grasshopper, and both call for an immediate tax hike on the ant to make him pay his fair share.

Finally, the EEOC drafts the Economic Equity and Anti-Grasshopper Act retroactive to the beginning of the summer! The ant is fined for failing to hire a proportionate number of green bugs and, having nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes, his home is confiscated by the government.

Hillary gets her old law firm to represent the grasshopper in a defamation suit against the ant, and the case is tried before a panel of federal judges that Bill Clinton appointed from a list of single-parent welfare recipients. The ant loses the case.

The story ends as we see the grasshopper finishing up the last bits of the ant's food while the government house he is in, which just happens to be the ant's old house, crumbles around him because he doesn't maintain it.

The ant has disappeared in the snow. The grasshopper is found dead in a drug related incident and the house, now abandoned, is taken over by a gang of spiders who terrorize the once peaceful neighborhood. MORAL OF THE STORY: Be careful how you vote in 2008.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Politics and the Economy

Ok, I've been meaning to chat about these here but haven't yet. I will. But, I'm wondering how everyone is feeling in the rest of the country. I am in a swing state, so I have a feeling that the political feel is running different than else where. So, what's it like where you live? I know I have readers in at least 5 states, so please reply and tell me what you think.
We did have another great weekend. We went to a harvest farm called Rockin R Ranch on Saturday. It was in Columbia Station, which is right next to us, so it was nice not to have too long of a drive. We got to watch their cheesy character show. The kids rode ponies. Joshua was in one of his whiney boy moods, but I think Leah loved it. Of course, I have pics to post of it. We also got to go on the hay ride and JOshua and Leah got pumpkins. We did their "Fun" house, which turned out to be a spook house....we were NOT pleased....I'm pretty sure Robert was out right mad about the false advertising. It was not a place we would choose to go and we certainly would never take our children there. After that we went and got the kids faces painted. It was small but fun. The scenery was beautiful! I just can't explain to ya'll how awesome the changing colors are! I'm still trying to get any pictures that do it justice. Maybe this weekend.

On Sunday, we went to church #9. It wasn't awful. The music was very traditional baptist (even the upbeat songs were sung at a snails pace) but they did sing some praise songs, so that was nice. The message was good. You can tell what pastors are students of the Word and those that aren't. He was. We enjoyed hearing a message with scriptural cross references and everything! The location isn't ideal for where we want to buy next year, so I don't know that it will be our home, but I think Robert said we are going back this week so he can talk to the pastor and others. After church, we went and ate at everyone's favorite (including Sarah) Bob Evans. Yummy. Then Robert and the kids took naps, or were supposed to while Sarah, Hannah and I ran some errands.

I'm pretty tired. I feel the lack of rest catching up with me, but after Sarah leaves, will be staying home on the weekends and I'll have more of a chance to catch up. That is if Hannah lets me, which isn't guaranteed. Of course, the ankle deep leaves in our backyard might get some of that rest too. And we've only had one tree lose its leaves yet, yikes!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Darcy is home!

Please continue to pray for the Ramos family as they grieve.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Ya'll, these snow birds that come to Texas every year, sooooo know what they are doing! The weather up here is just amazing! The summer was so awesome not getting hot at all and this fall weather is great. We are in the low 70's/60's in the day and the 40's at night. I know that the winter is supposed to be brutal, but man, the other nine month of the year here just rock.....I'm assuming spring will be fab like everyone says too. And the leaves are turning. I can't wait to get some good pics to show everyone. I hope I can even remotely do it justice with a camera. I wish Nicole or Shona or Shannon were here to photograph the colors. We serve an amazing God! Creator of all things beautiful!

We have another busy weekend planned. When the kids wake up from naps, we are going to get Joshua's 4 year pics and the first sibling pics done. Wish us luck! Tomorrow we are going to a pick your own pumpkin farm that also has all kinds of fun hay rides, corn mazes, petting zoo, etc. Sunday will be church #9 which Robert will announce when he gets home from work. Yea!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Well, apparently webbed toes do run in the fam.... My sister called last night. Corbin, my nephew that is exactly one week older than Hannah, has the exact same webbed toe as Hannah. We were cracking up! She said she didn't notice it for two weeks. Honestly, I have no idea how long it would have taken me to
notice Hannah's, but Robert is more detail oriented than I am and he noticed it in the hospital.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

We are PRO LIFE!!!! We believe that all life is created and given by our Lord and Savior and that He is who controls when we come and go. We have friends at our church that are amazing examples of why abortion is never ok. Check out their blog. It is an emotional, moving journey, but your socks will be blessed off! We love you sweet Darcy Anne!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

BUSY weekend, but we had a lovely time. On Friday, we had the kids annual doctors appointment. We've found a wonderful pediatrician here. He is really really great, and was wonderful with the kids! They are all doing really well. Joshua wow'd Dr Phelps with his intellect and advances surprise there, he's a bright kid. He is 41 pounds and 40 3/4 inches tall...he's been a square like that most of his life. Leah wow'd the doctor with her physical advances. She keeps up with Joshua and totally surprised Dr Phelps at how flexible and stable she was physically. She was 30 pounds and 34 1/2 inches tall...she's a little on the chubbers side right now, but she'll have a growth spurt up soon, we've been seeing the signs of it coming. Hannah is great also. She is now 9 pounds and 4 ounces and 22 inches long. Not bad for a girl that was born 7 13, one month ago. She has two things of note with her, first she has a webbed toe. Robert and I noticed that in the hospital. Apparently it normally runs in families, but we don't know anyone in our families with webbed toes, who knows. We call it her lucky toe, ala Finding Nemo, lol! She also has a white spot on one of her pupils. It is weird, not like a cataract but neither we or the doctor know what it is. He is calling an eye doctor to talk about it for us.
Sarah stayed home while we went to the doctor and then when we got home, I changed out my maternity clothes for regular clothes and realized how sad a state my wardrobe is in....I have no winter clothes and man, I hope this weight comes off fast! Then, Robert and Hannah and I went on a date! We tried a Chinese buffett place that we had a coupon was blah, but the company was lovely! Then, we went to the mall and got a Starbucks and bought a pair of jeans for me, so I wouldn't walk around pantsless, lol. It was a really nice evening with my husband.

Saturday we got up and went to a small Rennaisance Festival in Medina, two towns south of us. It was small but nice. We came home for afternoon naps and tehn headed out for Robert's managers home for dinner. It ended up being a really late night for us but we had a lovely time. They even built a fire so the kids could roast marshmallows, but it was so cold that the kids spent most of the time inside watching Winnie The pooh. Hannah was so wired up that I didn't get her down until about 1:30, yawn!

This morning we got up and went to church #8 again, so they could see Hannah. I don't konw if we'll go back. The people are sooo nice, but the preaching is just very lacking in depth. We'll see what Robert decides. We got home after lunch at everyone's favorite Bob Evans and got naps before we headed out to Target and Giant Eagle to do some shopping. Now, Hannah is starting her fussy time and so I am off for the night, hopefully a lovely sleep filled night. ;-)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Right now it is 50 degrees and rainy. High is only supposed to reach 57 today, BRRRRR RABBITS! Thankfully, I've made it thru the kids clothes and we are doing pretty well (thank you, ATIC!). Hannah and I are up a creek right now, but I can wrap her in blankets and really, why do I need weather appropriate clothes....isn't it enough that my children are dressed appropriately?

Had a good nights sleep last night. Hannah didn't go down until 12:45 but she slept until 5:45 when Robert got up. It was awesome! Much better than the night before when my longest stretch of sleep was 45 mintues.

I'm trying to plan out our last few weekends with Sarah. I think this Saturday we are going to Robert's managers house. There is an amish farm I want to tour another Saturday. We pick up our milk from our amish farmer on the 18th. There is a farm in Wooster that has harvest days every Saturday in October that I want to hit as well. That should about wrap up her time crazy is that! We also have to get Joshua's birthday pics done and sibling pics too. Some time.

We might have renters for our house. Our chiropractor and fam are selling their house and might rent ours. What a blessing that would be! Robert and Ky have to work out logistics, but it is an exciting prospect.

Our life is happily boring right now!