Wednesday, January 29, 2014


This photo was taken two in a half weeks ago at church, before the service.  


He's found his voice and has started making noises.  

That's one proud Grandpa.  

Peaceful Sleep

Quietly reading in her room.  Hannah was doing school work.  Riley is reading one of their Zoobooks.  

This was taken last night.  Here Riley is breastfeeding her baby doll. 

And of course, after her baby ate, the baby had to be burped.  

Friday, January 24, 2014

Happening This Week

Some of the notable things that happened during the last week.
*Riley has gone to the bathroom in the potty*
*Hannah picked up a chapter book and read it, on her own*
*Joshua started babbling*
*David taught his first Sunday School lesson*
*Samantha had her first, and second, post baby run*

Oh yeah, and we bought a house!! 7043 Rockridge Ln Fayetteville NC 28306

Thursday, January 23, 2014

New haves

This cookbook, which I've been eyeing for over a year.  I finally just broke down and bought it.  

It's awesome!  It's all vegetarian recipes, however you could easily add meat to any of the recipes.  The recipes are all easy, with ingredients that can be found at most grocery stores.  I made baked beans the other night, it was a tart and tangy baked bean recipe which called for tomatoes and tart apples.  I didn't have tart apples but the recipe was fantastic.  

The Hunger Games Trilogy

I know, I'm really behind on this series but when I read what the books were about I couldn't bring myself to read them.  I mean, how can a game where kids have to kill each other off be something I want to read?!?!  
Then a few weeks ago, Casey (my sister) finally watched the first movie and raved about it.  She told me I had to watch it.  So one night David and I watched it.  When I told David what it was about, he had the same impression I did.  I didn't think he'd want to watch the movie.  We still tried it out though.  I fell asleep early in the movie and when David woke me up after it ended, he said I had to watch it because it was really good.  
So the next night, I watched it is really good!  While the story revolves around this game, the books themselves tell a much bigger story and the few scenes that involve someone dying are so mild and brief.  It's hard to explain.  After watching the first movie, I had to read the books, so I borrowed them from Becca. 
It took me 24 hours to go through the first two books.  I would've finished the last book that fast as well, except my father law in came for a visit and I wasn't reading it as fast.  Ya know how every once in awhile you read those books that you simply cannot put down because you are driven to find out what happens?  That's what this series is.  
Of course, I finished this really awesome series and I want to read something, I want another book to capture my attention like The Hunger Games.  A lot of books don't grab my that intensely though.  Some do, and I still enjoy all the books I read, even if they don't grab my attention that much.  But I want another book that I simply cannot put down!  
I'm thinking about Jurassic Park.  

Friday, January 17, 2014

One month later

I swear, he does open his eyes.  


For Christmas, David got the family tickets to the NC Symphony Carnival of the Animals.  

There were many kids activities which included face painting, craft making and trying out the instruments.  

David took the girls up front while the musicians were warming up.  

Homeschool co-op started last week.  We had a pizza party at the end of the day to celebrate the return.  The girls were jumping rope.  Riley did pretty darn good!

More snuggles.  He has a period everyday, right now, where he just wants to be snuggled while he sleeps.  

This is Joshua during my bike workout.  I consider it simply adding 10+ pounds to my workout.  And my movements lull him to sleep.  

The same day Joshua was part of my workout, so was Riley.  She tried for some time to left this 8 pound medicine.  

Monday, January 6, 2014

My year in review: 2013

Last year was quite the year for me, for the whole family really.  Here are some of the highlights.
*We met with geneticists' at Duke to learn more about Riley's RSS condition.  This was a wonderful day, as we found out that Riley has the most mild form of RSS and should not encounter any learning disabilities with it.
*Riley started walking!!  Then she began talking, and forming sentences.  Now she's a regular chatterbox.
*We joined a homeschool co-op.  Hannah and Riley love being a part of this and so do I.  It's a great support system and there's a wide range of homeschooling knowledge within the people there.
*I committed to my first marathon, to take place on April 13th in Raleigh, NC.
*I began the process to be a surrogate, only to find out days after speaking with my potential parents that I was pregnant.
*I graduated!!  A journey I started when we lived in Italy finally came to a close as I received my diploma in May.  As I walked off the stage, Hannah was right there clapping for me.
*David enrolled in school.  I didn't think I'd ever see this.  But he proved me wrong.
*David went from being a logistician to a technician.  This happened right at the 7 month mark for David.  We were, and continue to be, so proud of David.  This is the first time I've seen long term goals in David since he left the army.
*We found out my surprise pregnancy was a boy, making the difficult surprise a little easier to tolerate.
*I had the most unpleasant pregnancy.  It was just hard, unlike the girls'.  I had horrible nausea for almost 5 months.  I had contractions that brought me to a complete stop before 30 weeks.  Running became very difficult.  The pregnancy was just hard.  By 31 weeks, I found out he was already head down and that he was big.  His birth weight of 9 pounds and 6 ounces and 22 inches long proved that my 40 weeks of misery was completely justified and totally worth it!
*David and I participated in helping our church by being a part of a small start up team for a second location.  To be a part of something like this, something selfless and bigger than myself, is good.

As I type these things out, I say to myself "wow, a lot of stuff happened last year"!  And I'm probably forgetting some stuff.  I can't wait to see what 2014 brings for our family.  

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Bringing Joshua home: 2.5 weeks later

The transition to a family of five has gone pretty smooth, so far.  Riley loves her brother, instead of being jealous, like I feared.  She gives him kisses and pats him aggressively.  However, she seems to be happy with the addition.  

Of course Hannah is in love.  She keeps saying he's the most beautiful baby she's ever seen.  

The most surprising change has occurred with David and I.  We've both noticed a calming effect since bringing Joshua home.  It's strange, because I'm not sure how to explain it other than by saying we feel more grounded.  We spent David's entire time off at home, organizing.  Instead of searching for excitement, we're searching maintenance.  

David and I are embracing ways to make life more simple.  For example, we've started using the dishwasher.  It's the first time in our marriage we've used a dishwasher for something other than food storage.  For those of you that have seen our teeny tiny kitchen, you can imagine the all day chore of finding a home for all the items in the dishwasher.  

Joshua is wonderful.  So far, he's a pretty easy going baby.  He does eat a lot.  Now, I know all infants eat a lot but Joshua truly does.  Every day he was a "binge" period it seems.  Most of the time it happens late in the day.  During this period, he eats for an hour and a half to two hours straight.  

The picture below is at Joshua's dedication last week.  A dedication is like an introduction to the the church.  The pastor and congregation say a prayer over the baby, as well.  During the dedication, our Pastor said some very nice things to David and I, how we were the first people on board with the new location our church is trying to begin, and how much he loved us and appreciated the work we've put into the new church location.  

One bit of interesting news: my first morning alone with all the kids, Riley slipped on a kitchen chair.  She was sitting in it, and I was right beside her though I still can't figure out exactly how it happened.  My guess is that she slipped on the chair and her knees went back in the seat, so her upper body went forward and she busted her mouth on the side of the kitchen table.  Then she somehow managed to slip off the entire chair and face plant on the ground.  For those of you that have never seen our kitchen table, it's bar height, so the chairs are taller than standard kitchen table chairs.  I felt confident I was going to pick Riley up and her mouth and nose were going to be a bloody mess.  As it was, her teeth bleed, for the entire day, but no other injuries were found.  For my kid that rebounds so quick, it took me a full hour to calm her down.  It was quite the fall, that gave us both a good scare.  This was much later in the day.  

The very next day, she walked in to the corner of the doorway, giving herself a big ol goose egg on her forehead.  

David joked about installing nanny cams on me! ; )

After such a short time with us, Joshua has already made a lasting impact!