Sunday, February 7, 2016

New Year

Haven't posted in a while...  a long while.  I love these pics of the kids swinging on the swingset this past fall.  The kids love to swing.
Got home one afternoon and found these two snoozing in our bed.  Too precious not to capture.
 I told Tori to say a prayer before she ate.  She proceeded to fold her hands and make sure I was watching her "good job"  She kept glancing up through her bangs to see if I was watching.  She is such a ham.
 Madi with the chubby cheeks!
 NO!  We did not get a puppy!  The library had a puppy day where they brought in a litter of puppies from the shelter.  Tori's favorite animal right now is the puppy.  She was very excited (although a little overwhelmed by the kisses that puppy tried to plant!)
SNOW DAY!  Last Tues, we had about 6 inches of snow and it continued into Wednesday a little bit.  It was decent packing snow so we used the excuse of clearing the drive to have a snowball fight, build a snowman, and sled down the mound.  I think Tori was more pleased with Reuben landing on his fanny than she was with the ride!!
 Panorama shot of the yard.  Makes it look kind of weird.  It was really beautiful!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

A Story

   Yesterday, as I was trying to get a little bit of our yard mowed, a mouse darted away from me barely being missed by the mower. While I react very badly when I see a mouse in our home, I don't mind seeing them outside. I had released the mower bar (shutting it off) when I'd noticed that there was something there. Oddly enough, the mouse didn't keep running away. I was pretty close to a tree stump and it turned around and scurried over to the stump and stayed there. I didn't think much of it coming back. It was pretty small and I figured it was young and didn't know what was going on. The kids were swinging on the opposite end of the yard and I called them over to see the mouse. They peered, got super loud as they got excited and the mouse ran the remaining 15 feet away from us and into the safety of the woods. I sent the kids back to swinging and prepared to start the mower again when I noticed tiny little squeaks. So, so tiny…almost like an insect. I don't think I would have noticed except for that it was persistent and, as I listened it sounded a little desperate or frantic. I stooped down and moved the grass and leaves aside to reveal a nest that I'd run over. The baby mice were so tiny that they remained unharmed but were alone. They were new babies. Hairless and unable to move at all, except for breathing. I called the kids back over to see the babies. I was thinking I should probably let them die (we battle to keep a mice free home at our house) but that's not what happened. My kids were crowding around. I had to keep Tori from stepping on the babies as she looked for them. After a minute, I noticed mamma mouse had come back to the tree stump. She kept starting out a foot or so towards us and then would change her mind and run back to safety. You have to imagine my 4, 3 and 20 month old squealing shouting and jumping with excitement. Not a safe place for a mouse. :) As we watched, she suddenly rushed forward and searched for her, now quiet, babies. She was literally at our feet as she searched, found one, picked it up and then sprang away. It was incredible to me. Again she came back and I could see that she didn't want to but she did it. She kept coming back until she'd found and carried all of them into the woods. I was trying to use it as a teaching moment for my kids. I said, "look guys, she's so scared of us because we're big and loud and she knows we could kill her. But, God recently made her a mommy and she knows she was created to protect and raise those babies and sacrifice her life doing that if thats what it takes. As I said these words I knew God was talking to me and that He'd ordained this moment with mamma mouse. Giving me an example of His creation, by using a little unwanted rodent, doing what He created it to do. This is my ministry and it is what God has given me to do right now. The moment I became a mother I was given the job of sacrificing, protecting and raising these special little children of His. It isn't that interesting but I think it was one of those moments when God is speaking to you and it feels so special. Kind of an epiphany. :) To any of my bro in laws that read/hear about this and think "you didn't kill them" Mark said the same thing! 

   I want to say a special thank you to all the family and friends that have encouraged us, sent us gifts, prayed for us, made meals for us, encouraged us some more, etc. A special thank you to my sister Kaitlyn for organizing a diaper shower for me. Kait, you have a special gift from God. You are very good at seeing what you can do for people, stepping up and blessing them. :) The kids had fun and would yell "it's diaper day!" whenever the post lady would pull up. 

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Welcome Miss Maddie

Yes, she is 6 weeks old tomorrow. :) The more children that join our family the longer I take to post an update. 

Madison Janice (after Grandma Sauder) Sauder was born on July 5th at 4:00 in the afternoon. She was 6 pounds, 13 ounces and 20 inches long. 

Labor went very well. We had many people from church offer to help with the kids when we needed to go to the hospital. I set up a schedule on our calendar with who I could call on what day. There was only 1 day I didn't have covered and that was July 5th. I remember thinking, it's one day. It'll be OK. Well, the evening of the 4th I thought I was having contraction one or twice every hour. We panicked a little and then Mark texted his good friend Nate and asked if we could have them be on call for the next day in case this was go time. They said yes and we breathed huge sighs of relief. The next morning I was having contractions once every 7-10 minutes bout they were mild and didn't bother me very much. I called in and talked to a nurse and she convinced me that I should come in and get checked. I'm glad she did because I think this birth was a lot like Vienna's with really easy contractions at first and we would have been in trouble if we'd waited. Nate and Beth came and got the kids and took them to church. Mark and I headed to the hospital. On the way we decided to get breakfast first (keep in mind that I was sure I was wasting the hospital staffs time because my contractions didn't bother me and with Reuben and Tori they were terrible and long immediately). We had a wonderful breakfast and then headed to the hospital again. At the ER the lady eyed me with a look that said, yea right, you're not in labor. We told her to call labor and delivery and that they were expecting us. We got the OK to go up and got the same look from the nurses at the front desk. At this point I was thinking what am I doing here. Please at least be dilated to a two! A nurse came and introduced herself and checked me. Thank goodness, I was a respectable 4 1/2 We had an incredible nurse that read my history and decided that because I'd gone fast before, she should be completely ready. I'm thankful she was. :) My midwife came and I was a 6 1/2. They got my IV going and I got my epidural and 8 minutes later Maddie was born. That evening, Mark went home to take over our kid care. I was able to convince the hospital to let me leave at 24 hours and so Mark brought the kids to visit the next evening and then we all left together. Here are some pictures.

We got to have all of the grandparents visit. They were a HUGE help to us and we needed it!! My mom visited first.

My dad just visited and I didn't get any pictures of him and Maddie. I know he got some though of I'll have to get them.

Mom & Dad S. visited after my mom. Also no pictures of them with Maddie…to busy! :-S

We convinced them to go to the children's museum. All of us adults were pretty pooped at the end but the kids made some beautiful memories with Gma & Gpa.

It's definitely hard work adding another precious kiddo to our family. Even when it's going really well and everyone is working together, we're still in over our heads and feel overextended!!!  It all looks so beautiful and sweet when you look at all the happy pictures, but there have been some weeks that there isn't a day that goes by that I don't break down at least once and have a pity party. We are all adjusting though, and I am thankful that I have a purpose and that God has given me this work to do. Oftentimes I find myself thinking "this is just too much God! I like order and I like to be thin and I'm tired!" But then I remember the alternative is that the kids wouldn't be here living with us and bringing so much joy and laughter along with all the craziness and that brings me back to thinking "no way! I'll take the work along with the sweet babies." I hope you enjoyed the pictures and my ramblings. :) If we come to your mind during the week please say a prayer that we'd choose good attitudes and to love each other well. Have a great weekend!

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Vienna's 3rd Birthday

A very special girl turned three in the beginning of April. She has grown leaps and bounds physically and in maturity this past year. She can be goofy and sweet and grumpy all in the span of 3 minutes and we love her so, so much. I'll let the pictures tell the story.

The kids made paper chains to count down to V's birthday. Here they are on the day we chose to celebrate. Her birthday actually fell on Easter Sunday this year so we celebrated her birthday on Saturday and Easter on Sunday.

I intended to decorate the night before while the kids slept. I used the pregnancy excuse to lay around instead. ;) It worked out really well because the kids were more then happy to help me the morning of. In fact, I think it was much more fun for them to participate. 


Breakfast made by daddy. Every time I end up doing breakfast on Saturday's I get told many times that my breakfast is not as good as daddy's. ;) If you look closely, you can see my dad in the back by the island. He was visiting us and got to celebrate V's birthday with us. So fun for us and the kids! 

My children always think of interesting things to have on their cake. This year V wanted a lion and a butterfly. 

Looking back through the pictures you can tell R is wanting to be front and center. He wiggles his way into most of the pictures. 

I put this one in because my sweet little 3 year old daughter wanted a dinosaur more then any other present. At first I thought it was Reuben's influence on her but today, three months later, I can say it's one of her most used toys. I did some of the shopping for my mom and I remember her saying "I got her what?!??" when I told her she got V dinosaurs. :) Gotta love it.

My big girl and I. One of the advantages to having dad there was that I got to be in some of the pictures. 

Daddy's girl.

These two are the best family pictures we got. I'll let you decide which is the best...

Papa visiting made it really special for the kids.

First bite


V got to have special hair for Easter Sunday. Throwback for my dad to when my sisters and I were young.

Easter morning

And this one was included because this is what I felt like at the end of that weekend!! :D

I hope everyone has a beautiful 4th and gets to be with friends and family. We're low key here as we wait for a little girl to make her debut. July 9th is the due date. I'm excited!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Springtime (happy sigh) & a Finished Garage

I thought I'd start with a picture of these pretty crabapple trees that take my breath away whenever I see them. I am a plant/tree novice and didn't know that these would bloom and I love them. So fun.

Last Wednesday, the concrete guys came at 6:30 AM and started prepping to pour by 7:00. I woke up the kiddos and they munched a granola bar while watching the procession of wheelbarrows. 

These guys are fast! It took them an hour and 15 minutes total from first dump until the trucks pulled out of the drive. One guy stayed most of the day to finish it.

The guy that delivered the cement loved the kids. He gave them a king sized candy bar for breakfast and was constantly waving at them through the window of his cement truck. 

My sister Kait and her son Judson were with us and came out to check out the commotion. Sadly, it was cold and rainy almost the entire 10 days they were here. :( Oh well, I told them to come in June next year.

This picture was from yesterday. I want to seal the walls and so I spent four hours scrubbing the concrete off (from when the construction guys used a wet saw to cut out portions). The kids "helped" me. Towards the end I was squirted with the garden hose one too many times, which resulted in them being banned to the sand pile to play.

I loved having the drain in the center, for clean up.

Now comes the best part (to me), organizing!!!! 

I found them in the barn sand pile. There may have been several breaks to go play in the mud….

Somewhere along the way, Tori lost her pants.

Dirt everywhere, ears, eyes, hair, mouth. They had fun. :) 

We've started to creep out and enjoy some fires in the evening. This particular evening we had supper outside. It's not that cold…Vienna just didn't want to find a sweater and her coat was closer. Before Mark got home I tried for 20 minutes to light this fire. All to the tune of "daddy's better at this than you mom!". Then Mark comes home, dumps some gas on it and it bursts into flame instantly! Now I see why daddy's so great at starting the fires!!!

First smores

I hope they remember these days. :) They are special.