Psalm 127:3-5

Behold children are a gift of the LORD,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a mighty warrior, so are the children of one's youth.
How blessed are those whose quiver is full of them

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Such an interesting year

This year involved one of the hardest ten weeks of my life with a back injury followed by surgery andI a long recovery. While I would never want to relive it, I will say it did give me such a great appreciation for even the daily mundane things of life. When you can't do laundry, you wish you could. When you can't cook a meal, you wish you could. When you can't clean your own house, you wish you could. Life is all in the perspective.

While that struggle seemed so great it is entirely overshadowed and barely remembered by the amazing joy we received in late July when we found out we were expecting our 5th child and in November we were given the most incredible health report ever on our sweet Serene whose MRI came back perfect after her 2010 MRI showed the beginnings of a tumor. A miracle!

What a full circle life has taken over this year. Major lows, major highs. We leave 2011 with a lot of things learned and a larger view of what really counts in life and we enter 2012 with the anticipation of welcoming another sweet baby girl into our hearts and home. My heart is full, how could I ask for more!

Happy New Year!!!
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New Years Eve day

We had so much fun today with some of our best friends in town from up north. It was one of the prettiest days in a long time so we had a little picnic on the patio and the kiddos ate out in the yard! Such an enjoyable time with such amazing friends!
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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Happy 4th Birthday Serene

I can hardly believe my baby girl is 4 and soon to not be the youngest girl in the house. We had a very fun birthday celebration with her choices of homemade broccoli cheese soup (thank you Pioneer Women), strawberry cupcakes with pink icing (of course), musical chairs and dancing.

Happy Birthday to the sweetest, most caring little girl you could ever meet!
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The turtle earns his shell..

Yesterday as I am in the kitchen making cupcakes for Serenes birthday I hear a very bad scream come through the screen door to the backyard, I grab a towel to clean off my hands that I just cracked and egg with and turn around to see Anna carrying a screaming Rivers with blood pouring down his face. As I quickly get an explanation I learn that he was hit in the head by his brother with a golf club... I think at that point I kind of panicked. All I can see is this massive knot and blood pouring out if it... There was so much blood that I can't even see his eyes to see if they are dilating ok and whatever else I am supposed to look for in the event of a concussion just isn't registering in my brain right then. I finally got some composure and started calling all the necessary people. My mom happened to already be on her way to bring a birthday lunch to Serene so I knew as soon as she got there I would head to the ER. As I was waiting for her I look down at myself to realize I am covered in blood... So I race to the back change my clothes and was headed to the ER just minutes later after mom got there.

All the way to the ER I am talking to Rivers and trying to keep him awake. Finally after literally hitting every red light I arrived only to realize the only spot left was at in the absolute last row of parking spots (the hospital is under major construction and there is very little parking). Ugh!

Once we did get in there the process went super fast and everyone was so kind and helpful. We have had to use this ER a few other times for babies with super high fevers and every time they have given fabulous ansd efficient care.

While I was waiting in the room for the doctor Jimmy arrived and I could tell he was shocked by the bloody faced little boy who greeted him at the door. I assured him that they had already looked for signs of head injury/trauma and that all checked out so other than the cut he seemed to be fine. Once Jimmy knew he was ok he started telling Rivs what a big boy he was and what a cool scar he was gonna have. Then he took a picture of his bloody face a sent it proudly to every guy he knows. :)

Finally the doctor came in and told us that they were gonna have to stitch him up and explained the process. Initially they just put some numbing meds on his cut for 30 minutes. When it came time for the stitches they swaddled him up in a blanket with his arms at his side... Think straight jacket... Ugh! Anyway, at the point of getting swaddled his little lip started quivering and tears started falling. I almost lost it but I actually held it together and Jimmy and I just comforted him. The nurse held his head still, and I held his body still while the doctor stitched. She was amazing... She had him totally sewn up and back in my arms in about 3-4 minutes. He screamed like I have newer heard him scream BUT, the second he was back in my arms he stopped and was his perfectly calm self again! He got a yummy Popsicle and sat quietly eating it... What a brave little trooper.
So ever since Rivs was born Jimmy has always called him a little turtle with no shell. :) He has always had this big head and skinny little neck... Kind of like a bobble head. Jimmy has always told him that he would earn his shell when he turned two... An official grown up size turtle he tells him. Rivs always laughs and giggles when Jimmy tells him all this as if he somehow understands the sweet natured joking. So as we are getting ready to leave the ER, Jimmy looks over at Rivs and says, "it's official, you earned your shell" (said in Jimmy's best baby talk voice of course). Rivs got a huge smile and laughed a sweet little chuckle.... I kinda think he knew! :)

What a day!
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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Our own little tradition

One of my favorite traditions JZ and I have is opening our gifts to each other late at night on the 23rd! It is such a fun time just for us and allows us to focus on watching the kiddos open on Christmas Eve! I love Jimmy so much and feel so cherished and loved by him! I am very blessed!
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Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Eve night

After a yummy dinner we headed home to open gifts... Our tradition since we got married has been to have our own Christmas on Christmas Eve which includes opening all our gifts! We didn't take many pics opening gifts... But here are a few.

This had to be the most exciting Christmas so far. ... Four little ones so enthusiastic and happy about the whole season! Such joy!
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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve dinner

Jimmy made reservations for us at Maggianos at North Park and we went for an early dinner! He is always thinking up the most festive things to do. We all got dressed up and enjoyed such a nice dinner! The boys even did well. ... Although, I sure hope shoveling spaghetti in you mouth with both hands is acceptable because I know a couple of little boys who chose that as their method of eating tonight! ;)

Now home to eat Cheesecake Factory cheesecake and open Christmas presents! The absolute best part of Christmas for Jimmy and I both is watching the kiddos open gifts!!!

Thank you JZ for such an amazing evening so far! You are the most amazing husband and dad ever!
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Friday, December 23, 2011

Risky's night

Christmas wouldn't be Christmas if it didn't somehow include BBQ. We are having such a fun Christmas week with Jimmy being off work. Such fun times and amazing memories.
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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Celebrating with Granna

The girls went with my Mom and Dad on Monday to see Granna at the nursing home and celebrate her 86th birthday. They love their Granna so much and love doing nice things for her.
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Christmas cookies

This is the first year I let the girls do the whole process by themselves and they did so good. They laughed and talked and had so much fun together. It was a joy to my heart to watch and listen as they did this Christmas tradition! Plus, they made some seriously tasty and beautiful cookies!!
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Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Celebration at the Meyerson

Last night we took the girls to the Dallas Symphony Christmas Celebration. It was amazing ... As always! So fun for the girls too with all their favorite songs, audience sing a longs, a visit from santa, a children's choir, snow falling from the ceiling at the end and not to mention one of the most amazing orchestras, a 200+ person choir and the most glorious symphony centers in the world! Can it get much better than all that?

Also, a good friend from church years ago was the featured soloist so we got to go back stage afterward and talk with her. The girls thought that was pretty special! She has one of the most angelic voices EVER... So special to hear her again!

Can't wait for next year!
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Friday, December 16, 2011

Watching the kitchen renovation

We are having some kitchen renovation done and the boys are loving watching the process! I took this picture of them watching the guy cut the granite with a VERY loud saw... As is obvious, they were enthralled!
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Fun in the rain

Before the latest cold front set in today (and thank goodness it did... Nothing I hate more than a warm December) we had a nearly 70 degree day with an evening rain. I let the children go out and run around the backyard and splash in the puddles and, essentially get totally soaked. When I snapped these pics the girls had already headed back to get cleaned up for dinner but the boys played an extra 15 minutes or so (no surprise).

I really love watching them jump in puddles and get muddy... I think it is good for the soul! All children should do it often! :)
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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Christmas Sunday night

On Sunday before church we told the children that if everyone came home and worked hard to get the house cleaned we would all go for a fun Sunday evening officer Hamburgers, shopping and Christmas lights.

So after us all working super hard, we headed off to visit my Granna in the nursing home first off. It was so good to see her and let the children spend some time with her. After that we headed out for hamburgers! The kids all loved Kincades with its picnic style tables... They thought the burgers were good too. Next we went to Toys R Us (in the same parking lot) and let the girls buy their gifts for each other. They have been earning money to buy something for the other and had finally gotten enough. That was a lot of fun watching them get so excited picking for the other one!

Next stop was downtown Grapevine! All the children loved walking around seeing all the displays and dancing as a family to the synchronized music lights in the main square! Ben was totally fascinated by the polar bear display and communicated to me that he wanted his picture taken with them. So he hopped up there and proudly posed... It was precious! We were down there for nearly an hour and had the best time!

Last stop, cookies to eat in the car and finish out our ride through Town Square.... Yum!!

I LOVE this time of year!
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