Through wisdom is a house builded; and by
I noticed recently that the next blog post I did would be the 100th one. That seemed like a lot of pressure, like the 100th one should be really great and exciting. So I've been putting it off because I've not felt inspired much lately and didn't have anything great and exciting to talk about. Then I thought about how my family is great and exciting to me and since I started this blog as a way to let family and friends stay current with us then updating you all on what has been going on was the most appropriate "100th" post I could do!
I receive a lot of the following questions: "what have you been up to lately?" or "what's new with you guys?". There is nothing wrong with these questions it's just most of the time I just say "nothing" because well it's a lot of the same old stuff. With 5 kids pretty much all your time is consumed with playing with them, training them, cleaning them, cleaning up after them, or pulling my hair out because well, let's face it...some days are rough! And there's very little time to be doing new and exciting things. But for the sake of this blog post and to fill you all in here's what's going on...
Noah is finishing up 2nd grade. He is 8 now and yes, it amazes me that I already have an 8-year old! He is doing very well in school, enjoying reading & writing the most. He writes very detailed and creative stories, which impress his teacher. He can spend hours at the table just writing and drawing the pictures to go with the story. He currently has a love for dogs. He wants one so badly and I really think he would do great with a dog but selfishly the last thing I want is a dog. They are a huge responsibility and there is a great possibility that Noah is like most kids who, once the novelty of the dog wears off, will get tired and not want to take care of it anymore. When that happens, it will fall on me and the last thing I want is a dog to take care of on top of the many bodies I already have to take care of. So he gets his fill from other people's dogs and I let him have as many pictures of dogs as he wants in his room. I did make him one of those fleece blankets that you tie together using dog patterned fleece I found and this has made him very happy. I'm really proud of the boy Noah is turning out to be. He truly has a heart that loves God and wants to please Him. He has a desire for his friends to know about God and his teachers continue to tell us that he is a kind boy who is nice to all his classmates. This makes us really happy.
Owen is 6 1/2 (the "half" is very important to mention!) and finishing up 1st grade. He has done very well in school. Owen's strengths are math and drawing, just like his dad. I had a concern that Owen's speech delay would affect his ability to read and write but that has not been the case and he really excels in both these areas. He continue's to receive speech therapy in the school twice a week and thankfully he doesn't miss any important classroom time to accomplish this. Both his classroom teacher and speech teacher have been excellent at making sure his therapy doesn't interfere with his academics. We are so blessed to be in the school system we're in. Owen's love currently is boats and ships and he has a particular interest in the Titanic right now. If my printer was working I'd scan a picture of one of his drawings of a ship because it's quite remarkable. Owen is on the shy side but once he warms up he's a fun kid, always joking around! His teacher told us at the last parent-teacher conference that she really appreciates Owen's humor!
Gabe will be 5 in July and has so much personality it's hard to explain the extent of it through writing. You have to have met him to understand. While I love his personality and know that God has designed him just perfectly for how He intends to use him, Gabe also continues to be my biggest challenge. Ben tells me we are exactly alike, and I can't really argue and I know it's why I find him hard to parent. He challenges me on a daily basis in several ways. Gabe loves the world around him and everything in it. Everyday something new excites him. He is interested in learning more about anything he doesn't know enough about and honestly starts the day asking questions and ends the day asking questions. In between he is talking about anything and everything and to anyone who will take the time to listen...and if no one is listening he's talking anyway. I told Ben I need to keep a journal handy at all times because so many funny things come out of his mouth and by the time Ben comes home from work I can't remember them anymore! He loves to play games, especially the card game, war. I also recently taught him to play Po-Ke-No, which was one of my favorite games as a kid and he loves it! He has his kindergarten screening next week. I'm amazed it's already that time but I am truly anxious for him to start because I know how much he is going to thrive in that environment. He's really looking forward to starting school. The teachers are excited too because one of them commented how all three of the boys will be in the same school next year...and this is the only year that will happen so it will be fun to have them all there at the same time!
Will is 3 and just a real sweetheart of a boy. He is FINALLY potty trained! Not completely at night but fully during the day and I'll take it. This is the first time in 4 years we only have one in diapers...not for long but for a few months anyway! He is also in speech therapy and we really love his therapist. We had to say goodbye to Heather, who he liked so much and we all really miss her! But services change when the child turns 3 so we take him to his current therapist and Karen is also the one who was Owen's therapist. We are so happy with the fact that she is in our lives again because she was so great with Owen and we know Will is going to do just as well. He gets really excited on Monday's when it's time to go to speech and loves the fact that he has "homework" to do during the week. Being a big boy is really important to him because he see's his older brothers doing all kinds of things and he wants to be just like them. Will is pretty much into anything his brothers are into...it's cute to watch him want to be like them. And if they make a joke he laughs the hardest...he adores them.
Jena is 2 now and very busy. It's rare that you see her not moving around if she is not contained in her booster seat. She is curious about everything and quick to find herself into mischief. I have found it very difficult to get things done while she is awake. The only reason I am writing this blog right now is because I gave her a bowl of water and some dishes to pretend to wash. She loves to play with her brothers, especially outside. Currently she is into clothes and accessories. She likes to have A LOT of hair bows in her hair at one time, loves bags & purses, and changes her clothes at least 3 times a day. I will be making lunch and the next thing I know she has been in her room, gotten out a new outfit and changed herself! Yesterday I was putting away laundry and in the 10 minutes it took me to put away Noah and Owen's clothes she had gone into her room, found one of her nail polish bottles (which was on a high shelf but she dragged a chair over, climbed up and got it), gotten it open and had painted her legs and hands with it. Thankfully it didn't get on her clothes (she was kind enough to take those off before she started) or the carpet and came off her skin easily. So needless to say, she keeps herself occupied.
As for Ben and I, well we spend each day just trying to survive being outnumbered! No, God in His goodness gives us the grace and strength each day and honestly we couldn't imagine our life any differently. As hard as some days are and as tired as we get, the blessings of our family far outweigh the challenges. Ben has been doing great at work and thankfully is very busy. We're blessed with job security right now and that is something we don't take for granted. He also has been working on finishing the inside of our addition. All the drywall is up except for the garage ceiling, which he can't finish until he finishes the plumbing. This is the part he is up to now. He's never done plumbing before but is up for the challenge and I have no doubt he'll do a great job. He also keeps busy teaching Good News Club on Fridays in the kids school. Today wraps up our third year being a part of it. Ben has a gift for teaching kids and they really enjoy being taught by him. He is also a board member for CEF of Southern ME and he is thankful for this opportunity. It's a ministry he grew up with and loves so it's fun for him to be a part of it in this capacity. Then of course he plays piano at church. How he does everything he does and still manages to be a huge help and blessing at home amazes me. I don't think I need to tell you how I stay busy...if you've read this post, you know! I am finally over the morning/day sickness this pregnancy gave me. It was challenging to take care of everyone and the house and all our responsibilities while being sick but it's amazing how God sustains us through those difficult times. Now I feel great! We have a level II ultrasound scheduled for June 4th to look at the baby's heart. Since we had one child with a heart defect, they have checked all our babies since. I'm almost positive we'll learn the gender of the baby (Lord willing) at that time and I'm so anxious!! I also have my glucose tolerance test next week. My hopes are not high that I will pass...I've had gestational diabetes for all my pregnancies. One highlight and "new" thing for me coming up is my trip to Georgia to visit my aunt and uncle. Ben has traveled quite a bit for work over the past few years so now it's my turn to get away and have a break and I am so grateful. Ben offered to take a week off from work to watch the kids so I could go. I don't know too many men who would take care of 5 kids alone just to be a blessing to their wife...AMAZING.
So hopefully this answers any questions you have about what's going on with us or what's new. For a lot of people this kind of life would not be considered exciting but when I look back at all God has done and what He will continue to do, I get excited! We are blessed beyond measure!