Thursday, September 30, 2010

thankful thursday

I'm so thankful this week for my parents!

My dad spent much of Monday at my house doing some projects that have been on the back burner for months and months and really needed to get done before winter. One of our kids {who will remain nameless} broke our 1920's basement window with a ball last spring. We just nailed some sheetrock and wood over it and that's how it's been ever since. On Monday my dad put in a glass block window in it's place. It looks better, it's not broken and, I expect, will not let in rushes of freezing air all winter long {the old one was FAR from energy efficient!} He also made a little fix on our garage door so that our van can actually get in there this winter . . . which will be extra helpful since I can't even reach the windshield to scrape it off without and ladder! It'll be great to be able to put it in the garage. We've got about an inch of clearance on each side and front to back, but the problem was the mechanics of the garage door hung down a little too far and would not allow the height of our van to fit inside. But now, although still really tight, we can squeeze the van into the garage. Finally, you might remember {if you read this post} nearly a year ago when I complained about our toilet paper holder. Well, since that time basically ALL brands of toilet paper have narrowed the width of their rolls rendering our {ugly} toilet paper holder completely useless. But since it was built in to the tile on our wall, taking it out left a gaping hole in the wall. Well, my dad fixed that too by heading to the Reuse store and buying an old toilet paper holder someone wanted to be rid of and installed it in our bathroom. We now have a working toilet paper holder again. It's a little thing, I know, but what a blessing it is!

My mom spent much of Saturday over here with me {while Kirb, all 5 kids and my dad were gone for the afternoon} helping me "nest". We sorted through bins and bins and bins of clothes. We washed, folded and put away baby clothes {it's SO fun to get those little tiny things out again and freshen them up!}. We cleaned. We organized and we got the baby's room {which he or she will share with big brother Joe} pretty much in order and ready to go. It was fun to have that time together just the 2 of us, plus I was THRILLED with all the stuff that we got done.

I couldn't imagine having better, kinder, more generous parents. They are always so willing to help and to give. They love us so much and show it in so many wonderful ways. They are the best and we are so thankful for them. In all honesty, I have no idea what we would do without them. We are thankful to have them so close. What an wonderful blessing they are to all 8 of us!

Note::I have pictures of all the projects that I was going to include, but I lack the proper cords to get the pictures off of my fabulous new camera and on to my computer . . . I guess that will go on the weekend list::get cords and learn how to use them!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Stuff you might hear in our van on the way home from Costco::

Joe {singing}::"I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever. I will sing. I will sing. I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever, I will sing of the mercies of the Lord. With my mouth, will I make known, MY faithfulness. MY faithfulness. With my mouth will I make known MY faithfulness to all generations." {oops, a little bad theology there. We'll get right on that!}

Anna {when asked if the baby will be a boy or girl and what we should name it}::"Girl. Clifford the big Red Dog."

Joe {when also talking about what we should name the baby}::"Tinkerbell if it's a girl and Joker if it's a boy."

Sunday, September 26, 2010

multitude monday

Here's my continuing Multitude Monday post, which all started a while back, right here.

"One Thousand Gifts":

834. it's nearly October!
835. glorious weather on a Sunday
836. dirty kids
837. a big chunk of time with my mom and a kidless house = LOTS of "nesting" {organizing, labeling, purging, cleaning} . . . followed by a Caribou reward, just the 2 of us!
838. another "Hanna day"
839. another friend birthing a healthy {but stubborn} little man. Welcome Freddie!
840. our new camera . . . a HUGE blessing
841. a little more time to master my {nearly non-existent} photography skills before the little bundle shows up just begging to be photographed.
842. a freshly mowed lawn
843. my talented husband singing in church
844. naps
845. getting a peek at our newest little Stoll via an unexpected ultrasound {exceptionally adorable, in my opinion!}
846. reading outside on a gorgeous day
847. freshly washed baby clothes waiting in drawers

Alrighty, that's it's for now. Tune in next Monday for the next installment.

holy experience

Friday, September 24, 2010

flashback friday

newport, rhode island
september 1996on our honeymoon

Thursday, September 23, 2010

thankful thursday

Praise the Lord, O my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits --
who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desire with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
Psalm 103.1-5

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

what's new?

Joey lost his first tooth!
after a month of wiggling::
Anna was so wiped out she fell asleep sitting up::
the view from up here::
what's new with you?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

flashback friday tuesday

14 years ago today
just kids, I tell ya!

{if you were there and have any memories of our big day, I'd love to hear 'em! comment away!}

Monday, September 20, 2010

multitude monday

Here's my continuing Multitude Monday post, which all started a while back, right here.

"One Thousand Gifts":

814. fall weather
815. getting tons accomplished over the weekend
816. feeling better each day
817. super fantastic week at the U
818. anticipation of seeing Toy Story 3
819. another week closer . . .
820. a date tomorrow night
821. 14 years of marriage to celebrate this week
822. clean sheets {even if it's too wet to have dried them in the sun and the breeze}
823. Hannah
824. a fresh new "baby" haircut
825. an entire week without car trouble!
826. a successful {and fun} conference night dinner for all the fabulous FH teachers
827. $25 of "surprise" money in the mail one day . . . it wasn't really a surprise, my pregnant brain just forgot it was coming, which is just about as good!
828. crafting with friends
829. generous, thoughtful moms!
830. a talented husband
831. a little nesting
832. crib mattress moved up to the highest setting and a drawer full of teeny diapers
833. music

Alrighty, that's it's for now. Tune in next Monday for the next installment.

holy experience

Friday, September 17, 2010

sibling conversations

Overheard coming from the back of the van tonight {while Anna was sweetly singing along to "Oh, how I love Jesus"}::

Jacob: "We used to do that for hump day." {talking about something they did on Wednesday's in his 4th grade class, since Rebekah has that same teacher this year}
Rebekah: "What is hump day?"
Jacob: "It's what they call Wednesday."
Rebekah: "I don't get it."
Jacob: "Well, you know, because it's the middle of the week."
Rebekah: "I still don't understand what that has to do with humps."
Jacob: "Yeah, I really don't get it either!"

I just listened in, rather than interjecting, so they still have no idea why someone would call Wednesday "hump day". I loved hearing the conversation between them, though. Silly kids!

flashback friday

I'm getting really anxious to have one of these around here again::april 2008

Thursday, September 16, 2010

thankful thursday

Today I am thankful that Anna didn't get up until after 7 . . . you see, her pattern lately had been to get up when the first number on the clock still glowed 5 in the darkness. I did not appreciate this new pattern a bit! Kirb leaves for work just after 5 and though I usually try to get up shortly after 6, I don't get much done when I have a 2-year-old early morning companion. The point of getting up early is to get some stuff done before the kiddos start rollin' out of bed. I tried to convince her it was still nighttime, tried to have her cuddle in bed with me . . . tried a lot of things, but to no avail. Once she got up, she was up and ready to go! Hopefully this 7:15-ish wake-up time will become a pattern and wasn't a fluke!

I am also so very, very thankful lately for my amazing husband who has been picking up a great deal of slack that I've left laying around the house while I crawl under the covers and nap and try to get over this really nasty chest cold I've had for just about 3 weeks now. He's been extra great! I do ok during the day, but by the time he gets home from work I'm usually completely spent and pretty much worthless! Thanks, babe! I'd be in a heap of trouble without you! {And really, if you know him -- and us -- well at all, you already know he does the lion's share of the work around here normally, so these days, he pretty much does it ALL!}

I am thankful, too, for our new school year resolution to have devotions together every night as a family after dinner and read from the Word. Joe isn't quite on board, but the rest of the kids are really excited and into it. I was inspired to really get this underway more regularly and "formally" {although that's not quite the right word} after reading this great, inspiring post on my very favorite of all blogs. Check it out! {then, maybe even give it a try}.

Today, I'm also thankful for the little things. Like the fact that today is picture day and this year I had the option of making ONE online payment . . . which meant I didn't have to write out 4 checks. Sometimes the little things can make a bigger difference than you'd think!

I'm thankful that when I got up at 4:30 this morning, to go to the bathroom in the dark and saw a man walk by my kitchen window and freaked out a tad, that it was just the man delivering the newspaper and not someone with bad intentions, like I immediately suspected it was! {imaginations are in high gear at 4:30 a.m. in a dark house where everyone else is asleep!}

Monday, September 13, 2010

multitude monday

Here's my continuing Multitude Monday post, which all started a while back, right here.

"One Thousand Gifts":

789. street sweepers
790. a good first week of school
791. messages written by kindergartners in chalk on the driveway
792. naps
793. father-son football games in the front yard
794. laughter
795. a good book
796. driving a stick-shift
797. my dad safely finishing his 600K bike ride this weekend {and he came in 2nd out of all the riders!}
798. 1 week closer to having a sweet new babe in our house
799. amazingly perfect weather
800. stamps: the best kind of gift {thanks, Mom!}
801. no more stitches in Anna's head
802. the last SUPER busy week before the baby comes . . . let's pray I can make it through!
803. friends who just walk right in your back door with a friendly "hello!" and don't make you get up and answer the door
804. the way Anna says the word "toilet" . . . SO cute!
805. sweet post-kindergarten reunions
806. worn out kindergartners
807. Joey's deep, deep love for his whale shirt
808. the hum of the washing machine
809. payday is this week {none too soon, either!}
810. a car that {Lord willing} is finally fixed . . . 4 trips to the mechanic in a 2-week time frame is not so fun, neither is the car dying on the way home from work when also having a dead cell phone battery and having to walk home in a suit and tie carrying a bunch of stuff {sorry Kirbs!}
811. people who are kind and willing to help out
812. 2 new babes at church yesterday
813. the safe arrival of my friend's little man {her 6th babe too} last Friday; welcome Philip!

Alrighty, that's it's for now. Tune in next Monday for the next installment.

holy experience

Sunday, September 12, 2010


Today is National Day of Encouragement. What? You didn't know that? Ok, neither did I until about 2 weeks ago, but the minute I heard about it, I was on board What could be more up my alley? So I sent a few extra cards this week (I was a bit bummed that no one to whom I mailed cards could get them on the actual National Day of Encouragement, since it's a Sunday, but since I'm quite sure none of them even knew of the "holiday", I guess I don't feel too bad). I started my little business because of my passion for encouragement and making a difference in people lives. There are many ways to do that. Usually, I choose to do it through something I've made myself, but sometimes the truth is there just isn't time for that. I always keep some extra-great store-purchased cards (blank notes mostly, but some with greetings as well) around for the times I want to encourage someone and haven't the time to make them the perfect card myself.

One of my favorite verses, a life-verse of mine, and the one I based the name of my business on is this:
"Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing."
I Thessalonians 5.11
I encourage each of you to encourage someone today! A simple note or card in the mail (or hand delivered) is a simple, quick way to do that. Without too much effort at all, you can make a positive impact in someone's day . . . and often it's a much bigger impact than you would have imagined. Go for it!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Thursday, September 9, 2010

thankful thursday

First day of School, Fall 2010::

Lydia, 3rd grade
Jacob, 6th grade
Rebekah, 4th grade
One super-excited Kindergartener::

Here comes the bus::

Thankfully, we're off to a smooth start for another school year. Everyone seems to be getting into a groove with their new class and new teachers {Jacob had both of the girl's teachers in the past, so we are familiar with them and they know our family and Lydia, I believe, is still completely in love with her kindergarten teacher, who now is Joe's teacher. So, really, there is only 1 of the 4 teachers that is new to our family}. Our bus driver seems top notch and is super punctual -- which is a drastic shift from our bus driver last year, let me tell you! He has even been EARLY dropping the kids off after school both days so far. Which I think is fabulous!

Also, Anna got her stitches out yesterday and did great. She is healing up really fast and, if you are judging by her behavior, you'd never even know she cut her head wide open less than a week ago. My cough is still hanging on, but I can tell it is slowly getting better. So, those are the health-related things we have to be thankful for this week too!

Hope your fall is off to a great start as well!

Monday, September 6, 2010

multitude monday

Here's my continuing Multitude Monday post, which all started a while back, right here.

"One Thousand Gifts":

774. how quickly kids heal
775. a REALLY clean garage {thanks babe!}
776. fallish weather {my favorite, by far!}
777. the state fair
778. dry diapers in the morning
779. dry Elmo undies all day long
780. cough syrup with codeine
781. the return of wearing skirts and boots {and even some long sleeves!}
782. thoughtful friends who bring extra folders and take a couple kiddos for most of the day
783. my mom!
784. a perfectly-timed puke bucket brought bedside
785. a day off with only 2 things on the "to do" list {ok, maybe 3}
786. sibling love
787. my dad's safe arrival home {he's been gone again}
788. tom thumb mini donuts . . . the perfect way to end a day!

Alrighty, that's it's for now. Tune in next Monday for the next installment.

holy experience

Saturday, September 4, 2010

never a dull moment!

After feeling yuckier and yuckier for nearly a week, I finally went to the doctor {on my last week off -- starting next week I have weekly doctor appointments for the baby anyway!}. The narcotics they gave me seem to be helping already and hopefully I'll feel {and sound -- ask anyone who has been around me in the past 3 days or so. I sound like I'm near-death} close to normal again soon.

Anna's face {and arms too, although you can't see those in the picture} had a little run in with the cement steps last night and so Kirb made his 2nd ER run {different ER though . . . you know, to add a little variety to our lives} in less than 2 weeks to get her cleaned up. 6 stitches {1 internal and 5 external} later and she'll be ok, but they said that she'll probably have a visible scar. Hopefully she'll look good with bangs! After her x-ray, although not 100% certain, the doctor was pretty sure she doesn't have a skull fracture. So, that's the good news, I guess. Neither of us thought to change her into a diaper before leaving for the hospital, so, even with all the trauma, and after using the facilities at Children's Hospital a few times, she still stayed dry in her Elmo undies the entire day {she's been doing quite well in that area and even wakes up with a dry diaper most mornings!} even through stitches, x-rays and lots of excitement. Good job, Banana Boo! It was after 10 when Dad & daughter got home from their little "date night" so she was kinda loopy, all things considered, and wound down with some lemonade while watching Tinkerbell on Mommy's lap.

I was awake about 2 o'clock this morning {shifting positions is a pretty big ordeal at this point!} and Kirb was snoring {he has a cold too; it seems we all have it to some degree}, so I gave him an elbow in the side and said "Babe, you're snoring." His usual response would be to roll over or move or do something and then the snoring would stop. This time, rather, he said to me. "No, I'm not!" I didn't feel it was a good use of time time and {limited} energy to argue with a sleeping 36-year-old, so I let it go. But just for the record . . . um, yes, you were!!

I coordinated and hosted breakfast for the entire staff of the kids' school on Thursday morning. It's usually something I look forward too, but being pretty sick, quite pregnant and having to lug 4 loads of stuff from my van into the building in the rain at 7 am made it not-quite-as-fun-as-usual. Hopefully it will be fun again next fall!

It's Labor Day weekend! Kirb and I are planning to make one final trip to the fair, just the 2 of us, for a little date on Sunday night. I'm looking forward to a date and also looking at all the stuff I enjoy looking at, that isn't real possible when you've got 5 kiddos along -- all 7 of us spent about 8 hours at the Fair on opening day and had a great time {for the most part}. We ate 3 bags of mini donuts, a HUGE order of "World's Greatest French Fries", a few large sodas, 3 large Hawaiian Shaved Ice, 3 pickles on a stick, a bucket of Sweet Martha's Cookies and, I'm sure a few more things that I can't remember at the moment -- plus lots of snacks brought from home!

Jacob's asthma is always at it's worst at this time of year. He coughs almost constantly and can't breathe, so that's fun!

I have about 90% of our needed school supplies. I packed them up and was all organized over 2 weeks ago, but there were those last few things that I didn't have. So, I was trying to wrangle them up yesterday while filling my prescription at Target, but, as it turns out, Target is out of pretty much everything! Um, HELLO! School didn't even start yet! I asked the guy in the school supply section, "Where do you have plain folders?" and he answered, "We don't have any of those." Also missing from inventory were dry erase markers and glue sticks . . . those were the 3 things I needed more of. {Well, that and 1 box of quart-sized Ziploc bags . . . but those, miraculously, were in stock}. Believe me, I had dry erase markers, glue sticks and folders all in my big box o' school supplies, but it would seem I didn't have enough for 4 children to go back to school. I still need 3 more large glue sticks, about 20 color-specific 2-pocket folders and a pack each of thick and thin dry erase markers. Then I'll be done. I guess I'll hope for the best at Staples some time today! We'll see.

My grandpa would have been 99 today. Miss you, Papa!

I guess that's it for the moment. Have a fabulous Saturday!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Thursday, September 2, 2010

thankful thursday

Today I'm thankful for the fabulous time we had at Family Camp at Trout last week. Last year was our first time at Family Camp and we had the best time. So, nearly 6 months ago we signed up to go again this summer. I will admit that family camp is more fun when you are not pregnant and when it's not super hot and extra humid. But, even so, we had a great time once again. A few of us weren't 100% health-wise while we were there, which was kind of a bummer, but we made the best of it and all had a great time anyway! I really do think that family camp is the best family vacation around!

The kids loved their classes. Joey even "performed" in the 4's & 5's program this year (rather than standing on the stage looking extremely grumpy) and was a complete ham. Anna was quite a bit more of a participant than she was last year and felt completely comfortable at Trout by the time our week was up. A tad too comfortable at times . . . like when she just decided -- more than once -- to take off on her own. Once we found her in the chapel (which reminded us of this passage), once she was heading back to our cabin and sometimes she was just out for a leisurely stroll. Thankfully, we never found her in the lake! We played in the water, we ate lots, we sang crazy camp songs, we learned lots, we mini golfed . . . and after one extremely uncomfortable, really hot night we even (we, meaning Kirb!) commandeered a fan for our cabin (thanks to my large belly and current "state"). What a blessing!

Speaking of the heat, when we returned home after being gone for 5 days we turned our air back on (no sense spending a fortune cooling a house no one is in) only to find that it didn't work. It was 87 degrees in our house and we were all crabby and miserable (and, need I mention . . . overtired!). We still have to get another opinion, but it pretty much looks like it's shot and we might as well just replace the whole business. Not a huge surprise, since the AC is probably between 15 and 20 years old. But a bummer nonetheless! So I am very thankful for the drop in temps we had overnight on Tuesday and the lower humidity too. The weather yesterday was about as close to ideal as you can get, if you ask me.

I won't make you look through all of them, but here are a few pictures highlighting our time at Trout (I am thankful that I have any pictures at all, since our camera had a little run-in with some water and was completely out of commission for about 24 hours. But, it seems to be back to something close to 100% given a few days of "healing" time). Enjoy::

sisterly love::
{if you look carefully, you can see Anna about to go down the slide}::
our cabin is right through those trees
{obscured from view by our enormous van}::
my extra-brave, adventurous husband climbing to the top of a telephone pole for "The Leap of Faith" {you climb to the top -- harnessed in, don't worry! -- and then steady yourself on the top of the pole with no platform or anything, then you jump off and try to catch yourself on a trapeze bar, then you let go and they lower you down} This is something I will not be trying. Ever. Watching him was more than enough adventure and nervousness for me!::
Adventurous activity #2, the "Zip Line".
Climb the platform {harnessed, once again} and jump off and "zip" down a cable where you go for a long ways and drop about 70 feet in the process. Kirb is the guy on the far right and the building on top of the hill is the new Timber Ridge dining hall. My dad has done probably 95% of the masonry work on it -- foundation, block work, fireplaces, a huge chimney on the opposite side of the building and all the exterior stonework.
I believe I will try out the "Zip Line" the next time I am at Trout in a non-pregnant state. It looks like fun! Both Jacob and Lydia did the zip line too {they have a slightly smaller scale one for anyone over 8 to try) and they LOVED it, but that was during the cameras recovery time, so we haven't got any photographic evidence of their bravery::
Anna at the beach
{the last picture taken before the camera troubles began}::
Jacob on the rock climbing wall::
and back at the bottom::
Jacob & Lydia climbing {I think Jacob got to the top 4 times and Lydia did it 5 or 6 times . . . the little monkey!}::
Rebekah's climb::

Joey and his class performing "I am H-A-P-P-Y"::
Hot chocolate is a great way to start the day::
View of the lake on the boat dock side::
All the kids by the sign . . . notice how torn up Anna is about leaving camp::

It was a great week and we all look forward to next time!!