G-man is 6!

This...is a happy boy.

This...is also a SIX-Year old boy!  HOW can that be?

Loving the birthday card Lao Lao and Papa sent him

Gabriel's love of drums has not abated.  We gave him a little kid's set for Christmas when he was 2...

It physically hurts my heart - like I feel it squeezing - when I look at this and see how impossibly little he was here.

...but it was time to move him up to a real drum "kit".  (I have learned lots of drum lingo...but I am sure there is still lots to learn!)

The night before Gabriel's birthday, Jason set the kit up in our family room, so G would see it first thing in the morning when he awoke.

 We had to google how to set up all the different pieces of a kit.  Where does the floor tom go?  How about the crash cymbal?  And the ride cymbal? And the hi-hat?  And WHERE is the snare supposed to be situated?

Jas and I were up early (it was a Saturday), itching for G to wake up and see his new drums!

But he slept in some, still recovering from a nasty bug.  (He was the 5th of 6 children to get sick...we think it was the flu.)

We covered the kit up with multiple blankets, but apparently didn't do a good enough job, and from the top of the stairs G started giggling excitedly.  

But when he came down he got more somber.

And then he was oh-so-serious for the next HOUR while he played non-stop.  

Yes, he slipped onto that "throne" (and here I had been calling it a "stool", silly me!)...and played away for an hour.

I tried to get him to smile for me for some pictures...but he wouldn't have much of that.

The kit is now situated in the garage, where it is (a little) more quiet.  But it is so neat to still be able to hear him playing his little heart out.

He was born with this in him.

It is so amazing to see how all the children are different...all have their unique talents, giftings and interests...from the Lord.

We pray that Gabriel uses drumming - along with everything else in him - to praise the Lord!


Nice and Clean

"Nice" and "clean" are normally two words that I love to hear.

But not when they are said by multiple medical providers at an urgent care and E.R. about a cut on my daughter's leg!  Eek!  

(Well, except that a "nice and clean" cut is way better than a jagged, yuck cut!)

Lily Kay (who is our current kitchen-trash-taker-outer) was letting Abigail "help" her by holding the big, full trash bag.  

"Look how strong Abigail is!"  

As I turned around from the stove to admire my strong 3-year old, Abigail dropped the bag...and landed on top of it.

She immediately cried out, as she rolled off the bag to sit on the kitchen floor.  

When I saw the cut right through her jammie bottoms, I knew we were in trouble.  

I pulled the pant leg up to get a look.  Yuck.  It wasn't even bleeding yet, and all you could see was white.  The nurse later told me it is called fascia, the tissue under the skin.  Noah and LK jumped back and made gasping noises.   I immediately grabbed the two sides of the cut together and kept it squeezed shut.  

As A and I continued to sit in the middle of the kitchen floor, I had one child bring a phone over and I spoke over the speaker with Jas to formulate a plan.  

I took A to a nearby urgent care.  When we decided A needed a Tetanus Immunoglobulin shot and they didn't have it there, they sent us on to an E.R.  

This is what A looked like in the waiting room of the Urgent Care

My very professional bandage job.  Duct tape really CAN do anything!

At the E.R. they put a numbing gel on the cut, and we then had to wait 30 minutes for that to take effect.  

Noah had (so sweetly!) packed a little bag for A to bring with us full of snacks, A's baby doll, etc.  So while we waited, Abigail had a grand time playing with her baby:

When I said I wanted a picture of her and her baby, this is how she held her. Crazy girl!  You can see enough of her crinkly eye to know that she thought she was so funny!

I grabbed a pink bow to stick in A's hair as we left the house.  Priorities.

If my three-year old waiting for stitches wants some of those gloves available in a box on the wall, I get her some gloves.

Abigail was such a trooper through this whole episode.  This was literally an hours long ordeal.  From the time she cut herself, until she and I arrived back home was 5 hours.  She ended up with three stitches.

She fussed some when the doctor put the stitches in, but didn't really cry.

Three "bows" as the doctor called them.

And after the stitches, when the nurse gave her the Tetanus Immunoglobulin shot in her thigh above the stitches (a painful IM shot), A didn't even flinch or make a peep.  The nurse and I just stared at each other in (happy) surprise!

When we arrived back home, the other children had "Feel better soon" cards ready and waiting for A - so kind!  Abigail never missed a beat once we got home.  I asked her the next day if her leg hurt...and she just said, "no!"  She really needs some training on how to milk incidents like this a little better than that.

Abigail has had fun recounting the cut and stitches story to us and to others.  Her and Gabriel's pretend play now includes trips to the E.R. - a word/place neither one of them knew before!  


Family Pictures - Fall 2017

It's that time of year again - time to try to catch some good family pictures!  This thought makes me happy, and strikes fear in my heart...simultaneously.

First, I have to start by figuring out what the 8 of us will wear.  No small feat.  I don't want to go out and buy anything new.  It always takes me at least two weeks to coordinate this part - with approximately 20 outfits hanging on the front of my master chest during the whole two weeks.  I usually end up texting pictures of different arrangements to friends who are good at this (unlike me)...like Amy and Vicki.  This year I figured it out all by myself!

Next, we have to figure out where to take the pictures.  We fell back on an old stand-by: the location we had (big) family pictures taken (with all 19 of us) when we were just visiting in 2011 and 2015.  We had never taken pictures of just our family there, so I thought this would be nice.

Finally, we sweet talked Nai Nad and her friend Homer into taking pictures for us...with the promise that we'd all head back to our house for supper as soon as the snapping was finished!  They fell for it!

So on Sunday we grabbed my DSLR, Linda, Homer and headed out.

There was a whole lot of tomfoolery going on...

...but we managed to end up with some good ones!


Mother's Day - 2017

I am blessed beyond measure!

Mother's Days just keep getting better and better.

We went to church, then out to eat for lunch (at "Souped Salads" as A calls it), had naps/rest time, and then all of Jason's family came over for supper.  (When we all get together - which we thankfully do very often - there are 20 of us.)

Here are the children's cards for this year...love their heart and creativity!





Lily Kay:


Daniel and I are going to sit down soon and play this game he made...and I am determined to win some "rubs"!


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