Monday, April 30, 2012

Meeting the Duggars

One of our favorite shows to watch on television (one of the only ones I watch) is 19 Kids and Counting with the Duggar family. We have been watching from the early days when they only had 14 or 15 children and in those first few shows I remember George praying and asking God that we would have 12 or more children because he thought a big family looked like a lot of fun.

The thing I appreciate most about the Duggar's show (their real life) is how authentic they are and how boldly their faith is proclaimed. It isn't edited out and they freely talk about God in each episode. We have laughed along with them and in the season finale we (a few of us) cried along with them as they grieved the lose of their baby at 19 weeks. But they continued to praise God through it all and showed yet again how precious life is at any point in time.

I especially am encouraged by Michelle Duggar as she mothers these children and never in anger. I know how unfortunately quick I am to snap at my own children but have only seen her speak in a gentle and quiet manner. In an episode where it was Q&A a question was asked of her about getting angry and I was so convicted as she explained how speaking in anger will tear down a child which I know to be true.

I know that many people do not like this family and I know some close to me think they are strange or why would they have so many children especially after her last one had so many problems. Oh those kind of accusations grate at me as who are we to judge. God is the giver of life so why should they say no to any of His blessings?


I could go on and on about this family, who of course I don't know but feel as if they are good friends of mine. But, we had the amazing last minute opportunity to meet this family as they campaigned about 30 minutes away from us earlier this month. We were all quite excited about this and wondered how it would be to meet this family we have watched on television. Indeed I think that feeling was in the air as many people waited at the church for their large bus to arrive. And as it pulled into the parking lot people were on their feet and crowding the windows. As we saw the first Duggar enter the door it was a surreal feeling.


The whole family was not able to be there as Michelle stayed home with some of the little ones and a few older children had jobs back home. But we saw Jim Bob along with 10 of the children who performed musical pieces on stringed instruments, piano, and acapella singing. Jim Bob then gave a background on their life and decisions they had made over these years. We were then thrilled to have a time to get autographs and meet them. Our boys even got into it going to meet the boys who are their ages getting pictures taken with them and collecting signatures.

Luke with Jer
Pete with one of the Duggar twins

Re-Pete with one of the Duggar twins
What a great opportunity and one that we will not soon forget!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

7 Months Old

Baby Boy you are now 7 months old (I know I'm late yet again) and what a month of accomplishments! You are changing more and more each day. Would you please slow down just a bit?


This month finds you not changing in size very much although I wonder if you need to move up a size in diapers seeing as you seem to leak more often lately. The package says up to 28 pounds and I know you aren't there yet so we'll see. You are comfortably wearing 12 months size clothes.


You cut your first tooth which makes your sweet grin even sweeter and your second bottom tooth is just about to poke through also. You were a bit crabby but putting clove oil on helped soothe the pain.


You are more on the move although not officially crawling but pulling yourself up on your arms and then lunging forward flopping onto your belly. It certainly gets you where you want to go and fast. The only place you can scoot around is in the living room as it is the only carpeted room. Back to the days of making sure there is nothing on the floor which is not an easy task around here!


You are very active and one of your favorite things to do is play in your exersaucer and spin and spin in circles by pushing off with your feet until you get a bit dizzy and then stop. Crazy baby. We can't recall any of your siblings ever doing that. You also like to rock it back and forth, back and forth while squealing with delight.

You had your first taste of food right as you turned 7 months. I typically like to wait awhile to start solids but seeing as you cut your teeth and don't sleep the greatest I thought maybe you aren't getting enough food so thought we'd try it. So, you get a mashed up banana daily and we may introduce a few new things but I want to take it slow being that you seem to be such an allergy baby. You aren't overly excited at this point.
first foods

Your nap routine is not so good. I am sure there are a lot of factors that play into that with being sick so often and little hands trying to soothe a crying babe but we are working on that. I have always followed the thinking that a baby has not had enough rest unless they wake happy which you do very rarely. You most often wake up screaming after 30 minutes into a nap and obviously that is not enough for your little body and then you are awake for a short time before becoming grumpy again. I am very thankful that you sleep through the night as that is most important but it sure is hard to accomplish anything during the day at this rate.

But when you are awake you are quite the happy boy, especially when someone is entertaining you.


Your babbling has increased which now includes the sound "da" and so your brothers and sister said your first word will be "daddy" which I know he would enjoy. 


And so another month has flown by. I love these pictures of your happy grin but right now I hear you screaming awake yet again while one of your brothers goes to pat your back. Oh, little baby you need to learn to sleep! But we certainly do love you and can't imagine life without you.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Easter Egg Tree

One of my favorite decorations leading up to the celebration of the Resurrection is an Easter Egg Tree.

My Mom started a tree when I was a child as her Aunt had a large one that she had admired as a little girl. It began with homemade eggs blown out and decorated with puffy paints but then each year she would add new purchased eggs and now that I am grown the egg tree is quite full even despite more than a few casualties over time. I love to look at the tree each year and reminisce or find the new egg.

Some eggs represent our heritage as with the Russian egg and the Dutch windmill.


Some remind me of my growing up years when Sara and I decorated eggs. While others clearly state the reason for the celebration.


I have wanted to begin my own tree and last year Pete, Re-Pete and I began by making doodle eggs with a sharpie marker from an idea I had seen in a magazine. Being that I love to doodle this was right up my ally and the boys were quick to join in. They turned out so nicely that we decided to make eggs again.


Everyone wanted in on the fun this year and each took a different style with theirs which makes them unique. The only downfall with this is how easily eggs break! Of course you could decorate hard boiled eggs in this manner as well, although your beautiful artwork would be destroyed rather quickly.


There is so much symbolism in an egg at this time of year and some may not agree but to us our hollowed out eggs represent the new life we can have in Christ. Christ died but the tomb is empty. We serve a risen Savior! Hallelujah!

But the angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for He has risen, as He said. Come, see the place where He lay."  Matthew 28:5-6

Friday, April 6, 2012


Here are a couple of things we've been up to this week in preparation for Resurrection Day. I have wanted to do a full Passover Sedar meal for the past few years and didn't want to put it off any longer just because I didn't have all of my ducks in a row so we did an abbreviated version added to our normal supper. But the children got the idea and Tank asked if we could celebrate the Passover every year. They especially enjoyed the unleavened bread.

Today for Good Friday we made cross lollipops out of Jolly Rancher candy an idea I probably saw on Pinterest. I have seen other versions of this before but really liked the crosses for today and the kids all enjoyed making them and giving them out as well.



Monday, April 2, 2012

Dairy Allergy?

Baby boy has been wheezing/coughing off and on since right before Thanksgiving. He had pneumonia at one point and then when we thought he was getting it again it turned out to be bronchial spasms. Nebulizer treatments are becoming too routine and the thinking between the doctor and chiropractor and others is that Baby has some type of an allergy. Breastfed babies typically don't get colds one on top of the other and signs that point to an allergy are his digestive problems and eczema on his arms and thighs. Thankfully it is not as bad as Seppy whose skin felt like sandpaper at this age. This is all very reminiscent of Seppy who also had breathing problems for at least two years and ended up in the hospital on more than one occasion.


The two common allergies in babies are dairy and wheat. And so, I cut dairy out of my diet for over a month now. It takes three weeks for the proteins to get out of my milk and then another two to three weeks to get out of Baby's system. I cut out dairy years ago when I nursed Pete and Re-Pete in trying to avoid colicky symptoms that George had suffered with. I am finding it much easier this time around as dairy-free foods are in abundance, albeit a bit pricey for some. But I belong to a food co-op and am able to order dairy-free products in bulk for a better price.

We have drank raw milk in the past which is typically tolerable with a dairy allergy but I am completely cutting it out for now. I have found almond milk to be very tasty and it works well in most recipes. And ice cream made from coconut milk is so good too! The only thing I really miss is pizza with freshly shredded cheese. Rice cheese is just not the same, especially when you live in the dairy state!

Now that our systems are both are completely free of milk proteins Baby's eczema has gotten much better with just a bit lingering on his upper arms. His breathing is better with an occasional cough or wheeze. I don't know that I even want to introduce dairy into my system again to test this out as it took so long to remove it. We'll have to see how it goes.
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