Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Joshua Day 32 and 5 Pounds!!!

After one full week at home, Joshua weighed in at the pediatrician's office yesterday at 5 lbs 2.2 oz! On his first visit to the pediatrician last Monday, he weighed 4 lbs 7 oz. He packed on 9 oz in one week!

Here is the latest picture of our little man sitting in his new bouncer that Daddy got him. He seems huge now after looking back at the earlier pictures. More pictures to come...

Cooking Again

My family is thrilled to have Baby Joshua home. There seems to be a new excitement in the house every day as we watch him change and grow. After being home a week it seems that he is finally awake more often. He seems to recognize voices and and look for the person speaking. What a miracle he is!

In addition to their happiness over Joshua, my family is thrilled that mommy is cooking again. I confess that while we were running between home and the hospital, we ate way more pizza and fast food than I am comfortable with. One night we even ate the dreaded Hamburger Helper. Ugh!! As many of you know, processed foods are my enemy! :) I do so love to cook from scratch and I love the health benefits for my family.

Anyway, my kidos are loving my latest kitchen gadget. It's a tortilla maker!! It is now one of our favorite things to make tortillas, and not just plain tortillas. I ran into an old friend at a homeschool fair and she told me how to make cinnamon tortillas. Believe me, they taste even better than they sound. Taking my friend's idea, my kids eat banana burritos for breakfast. These are cinnamon tortillas with peanut butter, jelly and a banana all rolled up.

These pictures are of the kids eating tortillas with honey drizzled on them for desert. Now that was yummy!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

New Additions

Joshua has not been the only new addition to our home this year. In April, Sandee, our greyhound came to live with us. We were a little nervous thinking that she might want to use our home as a racetrack since that is where she spent the first three years of her life. We were so wrong! We have since learned that greyhounds are large bassett hounds in disguise. They only eat and sleep. This is Sandee in her typical posture.

After Sandee came Phatty J. We took Phatty in as a foster kitty when our friend Missy brought him home from work. We had great plans of finding a home for him. Wrong again. His home was here with us. He fits right in with the rest of the crew, lazy most of the day.

This is how Phatty tells us the water bowl is empty. He also served as a great visual aid when Joshua was in the hospital. We told Caleb, Abby and Lily Grace that baby Joshua was smaller than Phatty J. In fact, Phatty is still a pound or so heavier than baby Joshua.

Finally Home Sweet Home!

Our sweet Joshua finally came home on Saturday after three weeks and one day in the NICU at Childrens Hospital. After getting the grand tour of his new house from Daddy, his brother and sisters were lined up to hold him.

Big Brother was the first to hold baby Joshua. Caleb can't wait until Joshua is old enough to share a room with him. He has the bottom bunk all fixed up and waiting for his little brother.

Lily Grace was next simply because she is the most impatient. She is still waiting to find out what Joshua does. Apparently, when you are three years old, a baby that only sleeps and eats is not very impressive!

Finally, Abigail got her hands on Joshua. Abigail is a born nurturer. At 5 years old, she is already a big help to mommy.

After all of the excitement, Joshua needed a nap in his own bed. Finally!! We are so thankful to have him at home. It was such a peaceful night with all of our children under one roof. At last, we were not torn between baby Joshua at the hospital and the others at home. Our home feels complete.

Though we are happy to be home, we miss all of our friends in the NICU who took such good care of not only Joshua but us as well. We thank you all so very much for all you do. To our friends Teresa, Dawn, Becca, Wendy, Debby, Sunny, Christy, Brian "The Car Seat King", Anne, Sherry and all of the others who made a difficult time a little easier, we love and appreciate you!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Empty Me

I have been looking for one of my newer favorite songs to add to my playlist and tonight I finally found it. The song is called Empty Me. As I listened to it, it made me think of all the things we ask God for. I wondered, do we ever ask him to take things away. I know I probably should. The more I thought about it, I realized that sometimes our lives are so full of “stuff” that we really don’t need that there may not be room for God to add the good things of Himself that we do need. How can God give us a humble and meek spirit when we are so filled with pride? How can He speak to us when we never listen? How can he teach us charity when we are self-centered and selfish? I pray that my Father will empty me of all that does not bring Him glory and fill me to overflowing with all that does.

Empty me of this selfishness inside
Every vain ambition and the poison of my pride
And any foolish thing my heart holds to
Lord empty me of these so I can be filled with you.

Joshua Day 20

As of last night, Joshua weighs 4 lbs 0.7 oz. We finally broke the 4lb mark! Unfortunately, even at 4 lbs, Joshua is still too small for his car seat. Tonight, we go on the hunt for the special 4 lb rated car seat. The car seat he is sitting in is one of the smallest on the market, it still looks huge holding Joshua.

Even though he is still very tiny, Joshua looks like such a big boy without his tape on his face to hold his NG tube. He has done pretty well for the past couple of days taking all of his feeds by bottle. Way to go Joshua! If all goes well, we will be able to bring baby Joshua home on Saturday. Praise the Lord!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Special Delivery

When we first began cooking most everything from scratch, we quickly realized that we could purchase our ingredients much cheaper in bulk from online sources such as Wheat Montana and Something Better Natural Foods. There is also a wonderful local whole foods market called Three Rivers Market. So, instead of buying the regular round box of Quaker Oats from Wal-Mart for $2-4, we buy 50 lbs at a time for less than 30 dollars.
We were thrilled when our order from Something Better arrived this week. (Special thanks to our friend Nancy for taking it home and then delivering it to us.) The picture below is of our kitchen table loaded down with 9lbs Peanut Butter, 5lbs Wheat Gluten, 50lbs Whole Yellow Corn, 5lbs Spelt, 25lbs brown rice and 50lbs of rolled oats.

We were so excited! The kids always enjoy helping open the large bags of grain and pouring them into storage buckets. Of course, they are also ready to immediately start cooking whatever can be made with the latest order.
I think it is awesome for kids to know where bread and other foods come from. When they see the wheat berry in the field and then in the bag of wheat, see it ground into flour and then eat the bread, they really grasp the whole cycle. Plus, it's lots of fun!

Joshua Days 15-18...Finally!

Well folks, things have been getting a bit chaotic around here. We went back to co-op on Friday and it seems that we have been running non-stop since then. As of last night, Joshua is up to 3 lbs 13 oz and it's looking like we are coming home this weekend.

Over the last few days, Joshua has had a bath and his Nana has been enjoying feeding him now that he is taking all of his food by mouth. That's right, no more NG tube. Praise the Lord! (Tape free pics coming soon!)

Thursday, September 4, 2008


I love hats even though I don't often wear them. When my kids dress up, which is almost every day, hats are a very important accessory for my princesses and super heroes. Hats are one of those things that you can pick up at yard sales for almost nothing or at thrift stores very inexpensively. Recently, my aunt's mother sent us about 10 different hats to play with at the same time she gave us our new piano. The children were more excited about the new hats. They have provided many hours of entertainment and imaginative play already. Surprisingly, they have also been teaching aids in our homeschool. Some of the hats look like they are from different time periods or different regions of the world.

We were able to get online and look for hats similar to ours and discuss where they came from or where they were most often seen. What an adventure! Even our dog Sandy got in on the hat action, with some help from Lily Grace, of course.

Joshua Day 13 & 14

Our sincerest apologies to all of those who had to go one whole day without new pictures of baby Joshua, especially our dear friend Miss Margie! Rest assured, all is well. Joshua now weighs 3lbs and 5.9 oz. We are still gaining more than an ounce per day! Praise the Lord!

Today, we had a very special daytime visit with Daddy. That doesn't happen very often. Joshua was wide awake and already planning his first bicycle ride with Dad. Of course, we have to master eating first :)
The big news of the last couple of days is our new Big Boy Crib. That's right. We are out of the isolette! Of course this will allow for more cuddle time. Mommy is thrilled.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Joshua Day 12

At 2:00 this morning Joshua weighed in at 3lbs 4.8oz. That is up 1.5 ounces from last night. He is working very hard at taking three bottles per day now. Please help us pray that his weight gain continues and that we will have him home soon.

We were finally allowed to post his name on his monitor beside his bed. All of the NICU babies have these wonderful little name tags. We felt a little bit left out for a while.

Eating still makes him very sleepy. After premies are fed the NICU staff offers the mom the opportunity to "kangaroo" the baby. The babies are so tiny they can be tucked inside mom's shirt to keep warm and allow for a little special bonding time.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Psalm 113

This morning in my bible reading, the Lord led me to Psalms 113. As I read along I thought, what a beautiful psalm. Verses 5-6 and 9 spoke to me particularly.

v. 5-6: Who is like the Lord our God, who dwelleth on high, who humbleth himself to behold the things that are in heaven and in the earth!

v.9: He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the Lord!

Praise the Lord indeed that he would humble himself to look down on a barren woman like me, hear my cries and make me a keeper at home and the joyful mother of four beautiful children.