Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Mercy's 3rd birthday!

Last Thursday we marked 3 years of cuddling Miss Mercy in our arms.

{20 weeks}


{1 year from birth}

{2 years}

{3 years!}
At 3 years old, Mercy
~has an adorable smile and laugh
~loves the color pink, hair bows (even if she doesn't leave them in), and fancy skirts or dresses
~also loves to just stay in her jammies all day
~mostly wears size 3T because of length, not weight...she's pretty light still
~wears a size 8 shoe...I think...depends on the brand or on how badly she wants to wear a different-sized pair!
~loves shoes, too, if you couldn't guess

{with a treat that Devona brought her}

~is my sister's mini-me, right???

{card from Grandma Cindy}

{with a treat from Micah}

{Card from Grandma Karen}

{Fancy skirt #1}

 {adorable Melissa and Doug dress up doll}

{too pooped to party}

Mercy is so full of character and spunk. She
~holds her breath when she's upset until her lips turn blue and she no longer has the strength to stand (seriously, make this bad habit stop now! She fell down the stairs once while having a tantrum.)
~has been potty training for a year now and still doesn't quite "get" it. She rarely takes the intiative to go to the potty on her own before it's too late. She can stay dry at night, but we still use pull-ups just in case. She just doesn't think to stop playing and go.
~has a pretty great vocabulary, but sometimes stutters. This especially happens if she doesn't feel like she has my attention.
~currently has no eczema spots while Genna is covered head-to-toe. (I only want to document it here so I can compare when June and the warmer weather comes.)
~says of herself, "I have a special kind of hair" and that she wants "hair like Eden's." I told her that Eden's hair used to be white like hers and she didn't believe me. I showed her pictures, and she thought they were of herself. :)

{Eden had a lot more hair!}

~says to me, "I want one and two ponytails," as she counts on her fingers
~sleeps with Eden almost every night, but she sometimes falls asleep with Tirzah first
~loves to play outside and couldn't care less about how cold she gets
~loves broccoli and lots of other veggies and fruits, she's a pretty good eater
~loves to play on the Kindle Fire (kids' edition). And I love the parental controls timer feature. ;)
~if she has a nap, she is a terrible bear when she wakes up. :( Cuddles from mom are a 100% must!
~loves dolls and playing with the Fisher Price Little People sets we have--she has a great imagination!

What a sweet blessing you are, Mercy. I am thankful each day for you!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

3 Year Olds

As we celebrate Mercy's 3rd birthday today, I was contemplating the fact that over the years I've had 9 three year olds. :) I decided to compile photos of them all...






Tuesday, March 08, 2016

7,000 Days of Marriage

{2,000 days of marriage}
This whole thing started with the dress. At least that's the way I remember it. I had a pretty dress, and I wanted to take pictures. We scheduled something at Sears, and lined up a sitter. I put rollers in my hair and was so pleased with how it turned out. The sitters arrived, and I was feeling impatient while Mitch, with a calculator in his hand, said, "Hang on a second." He said, "We've been married 2,000 days today!" We arrived for our appointment at Sears and the photographer said that we had the wrong day. It was the next week. I blinked back tears and promised we would be fast, couldn't she just get us in? It was our TWO THOUSANDTH DAY OF MARRIAGE!! :) She got us in, and the rest is history. We ended up with 3 great shots to remember this day by. We went to dinner at Applebee's, then to the dollar movie in the old theater that doesn't exist anymore. It was and is still such a fun memory. Me--ever the impatient one--and Mitch, always the fun one, giving me the gift of sentimentality that I will always cherish.
{4,000 days of marriage}

This milestone came during a busy week. Kids were sick with the stomach virus, and we had no time to celebrate. I have a letter from Mitch to mark the occasion, which is pretty darn special if you ask me.

This one we celebrated concurrently with our friends Scott and Shannon on their 11th wedding anniversary.

{7,000 days of marriage}
1,000 weeks
230 months
19 years

We marked 7,000 days of marriage on Friday! I asked Mitch to take the day off from both his jobs (school, and he's working at a local gas station to earn extra money to pay down on our house). I originally had doctor's appointments for the kids on 3 days that week, including Friday, so I knew that I would need a break anyway. He is allowed sick leave for doctor's appointments for his immediate family. Perfect!

The appointment was right away in the morning, so once we got that out of the way, the rest of the day was ours. I did some research and bought a new board game. I had some strict requirements: 1) It couldn't be expensive. He is working hard weeks--60+ hours--to make money and pay off debt. I don't want to make light of this. My limit was $20. 2) It had to be fast and easy to play. I get interrupted often by children needing things, and it's hard for me to get into a game. By the millionth time I'm interrupted, I misdirect my frustration to the game and wish it could just be over already. 3) I need to be able to win. Mitch is the king of strategy. I can't play against that and win. If I never win, I hate the game. There has to be a good balance of random chance, so I have at least a chance of winning. A wish: a card game that can be played on date night. After much research, I decided on Forbidden Island. It is not a card game, but it met all the other requirements. It's a "cooperative game" where all the players work together to defeat the game. I studied the game, watched a game play on youtube (got totally geeked out by the fact that Wil Wheaton--aka Wesley Crusher from Star Trek--was the one explaining how to play this game), and planned the perfect moment to play. Mitch loves board games and is always asking me to play. I almost always say no. It was so awesome to surprise him with this. (And we won!)
Later in the afternoon we went shopping. We hit up Menards then the ReStore, where Mitch got his man-fix. We also dropped by my fave, Goodwill. We came back home to help with kids and supper. While Mitch was distracted, I slipped off downstairs, then got ready one more surprise--the dress I wore for our 2,000th day of marriage fits again (it helps that my "baby" is a year old and I'm not pregnant)! 
 I turned on some music, and we danced. I closed my eyes and pretended that the kids weren't hanging on to our legs. Ha!  Eden took a few pictures for us. Tirzah asked me if it was my wedding dress. She also asked me if it is inappropriate (the back is slightly

 My plan was to change back into my regular clothes and go out to eat. But Mitch put on his suit and convinced me to go out all dressed up. Awwwww. So we had another round of pictures...

We considered keeping the memories flowing by visiting a restaurant we ate at our first year, but I changed my mind at the last minute. We ate some delicious burgers at Red Robin instead. I won 3 rounds of gin rummy.

P.s. 5,000 days (that's 13+ years) and 7 kids later? I'm so stoked. I think I paid $15 for this sweet dress...

Genna Update

Genna saw the doctor last week for her 1-year-old checkup. She weighed 22 lbs 6 oz, and was 29.5" long. She is walking everywhere now, and is sporting a few new bruises from bumps and falls. Ouch! She had a couple bad nights recently--one morning she was "up for the day" at 4:30 am and didn't fall back asleep until it was time for me to get up. The next night she was up in the middle of the night for a couple hours. ::yawn:: She hasn't had anymore trouble since then, so I guess I'll never know what that was about. She still wakes up to eat at night, but I hardly notice. Ha!

At her appointment, I pointed out that she is covered with eczema. It started with a small round patch on her butt cheek in November. Now it is head-to-toe. I felt like I was barely keeping it under control with a regimen of hydrocortisone, aquaphor, and no-soap baths. The doctor gave us a stronger steroid. The first week so far went awesome--her skin has almost completely cleared up and is back to being baby-soft. I couldn't believe it as I rubbed her down. She's not scaly anymore. :) She's also not scratching all night long. Now we will go into maintenance mode. I have another cream to use in between flare-ups, along with continuing to use good moisturizers and minimal soap.

She is loving to walk around and get into everything the big kids are doing. She babbles and copies us as much as possible. She is learning so quickly. She is loving to eat, and usually refuses to eat anything that is spoon-fed to her. She wants to do it all herself! We are still waiting on more teeth to appear. She is nursing still. She loves to drink water from a cup, but doesn't want anything to do with regular milk. I have tried mixing chocolate syrup in it, but she still refuses it. ::sigh:: Why push it? I'm planning on being gone overnight soon, so I am hoping that she will take to it.

Ice Skating

Even though we live in Minnesota and virtually every body of water freezes for at least part of the winter, every year, we have never gone ice skating. There is a spot in town where you can go borrow skates for free, so we decided to try it out this year. I will only share a few of the best pictures.

 {Tirzah, who loves to roller blade, was a natural on the ice}

 {Mitch and Mercy, poor Mitch--no size 15 skates}


 {Obi, who looks adorable}

 {Zeke and Mercy--Zeke didn't like skating much, so switched back to boots right away.}

 {Mercy and Genna}



 {Malachi and Obi}

 {Me and Mitch--I did have on skates for a little while, but it wasn't that great.}

{Josh's first time playing hockey!}
 {Josh and Josh (a leader from church) playing hockey}

 {Eden--this whole trip was her idea! She did a great job getting people to come out and skate.}

Micah didn't come, though a few of his friends did.

I can't remember as much of the story from the day as I thought I would. Just before we packed up to go home, I went back out on the ice to round everyone up. I misjudged my step, I think, but the next thing I knew I was crashing backwards onto the ice. I couldn't even break my fall. I smacked my head pretty hard as I fell, and just laid there in disbelief for a little while, closing my eyes against the awful pain. We got everyone home, and Mitch took me to the urgent care clinic to get my head checked out. They did a CT scan and thankfully nothing was broken or bleeding. I did have a minor concussion, and it took a good two weeks for the headache to really let up. The first night the stiffness in my neck pulled at my shoulders and chest, causing quite a bit of anxiety and making it hard to sleep. That was the only night with intense pain. The soreness gradually subsided and I am more or less back to normal (3 weeks later).