Saturday, July 28, 2007


My oldest son turned seven this week. I can't seem to remember where the time as gone, but yet I feel as if I've always known him. I am so proud of the guy he is turning into and give much credit to his daddy for it. Here are just a few things that I love about my Drew:

  • His "gusto' - everything he does is with his whole heart! Sometimes this can be cause for disaster, but I know it is a quality to treasure!

  • His independent spirit - He has learned to master several things by this young age, and I know in part that this is due to his perseverance! You will not hear Drew say "I can't" very often! (This also causes us to watch him somewhat closely as his confidence can be very high!)

  • His willingness to work - Drew is not afraid of work and knows the feeling of a job well-done. He is a delight to teach as he works diligently and faithfully. Robb and I have said on different occasions that if we want something done right, we just ask Drew!

  • His easy and hearty laugh! Often he will laugh so hard, he will go into a slight asthma attack, but that doesn't stop him. We just better know where the inhaler is!

  • His questioning spirit - Drew takes nothing sitting down! There have been many days when teaching him that I have despaired as he has argued with the curriculum over what a bunch of bananas would really weigh, how long a ladder would be, or an inconsistency in a phonics rule. I constantly pray that we can channel this properly and I know that if we can, this will be a very positive thing for all of his life and will allow him to be a life-long learner. (By the way...his dad thinks this quality is highly amusing!)

  • His heart to serve God - Though we have had many hours of attempting to answer questions from the Bible that Drew (or we) don't understand, we have seen a very tender heart towards God and Drew has asked Jesus into his heart. His prayers are a delight to hear as he expresses himself to our Father.

We were camping on Drew's birthday and he was able to go fishing with just Robb for a few hours that day. We celebrated with homemade pizza, cake and a sleep-over when we got home. We count it a true privilege and honor to nurture this little man!

Friday, July 20, 2007

"Look Mom, it's on sale!!"

This was Drew's call to me a few minutes ago when he noticed the "For Sale" sign in our front yard. There are changes coming for us!

After prayer, Robb and I have decided to put our lovely home on the market. We feel a twinge of sadness, but mostly a peace about it. We have lived here for almost 6 years and have brought 3 little boys home from the hospital to live here with us. Our plans are a bit unknown, but we do know that we plan to use some of our equity and pay off hospital bills (our little Preston's NICU bill was $20,000!) and get a home where we can do some work and make money on it. Robb is very talented in invisioning improvements, as well as handy in doing them. And, most importantly, he likes to do that kind of thing! I will be along for the ride!!

In thinking about the home we will buy, my thoughts have been on what I want our home to be. I think it comes down to a place where my children and husband feel LOVED and can be nurtured spiritually, mentally, physically, and socially. I certainly do not need anything fancy to do that. We are praying for guidance and continued peace through the showings and then the changes coming our way. I did ask the realtor, a good friend of ours, if it is hard to sell a home with 5 kids! He said that it can be done! My challenge will be to not create a tense enviroment for the kids, but to have balance in all things.

This song has been running through my head often lately:

Be still my soul, thy God doth undertake

to guide the future as He has the past.

Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;

All now mysterious shall be bright at last.

Be still, my soul;

the waves and wind still know

His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below.

-K. Schlegel

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Visiting the Oregon Trail

With Lauren preparing to take Idaho History this next year (4th grade), the kids and I (minus Tucker who stayed with Robb for the day) loaded up the Suburban and headed down the freeway 2 hours to the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center with a group from our school. The figures were very life-like and the kids commented on how DIRTY they looked. Here are some comments from the kids on what they enjoyed seeing the most:

  • "Deciding what we could take on our wagon and trying to pack it in." (There was a miniature wagon there and the kids had to decide what were the most important things to take. Toys were left out!)

  • "Learning how they crossed the rivers."

  • "Getting to walk on the Oregon Trail."

We read several diary entries and we were all struck by the death and pain they had to go through. Their perseverance and tenacity was amazing! I wondered what it would be like to try to create a "home" on the road for your children. My respect grew by leaps and bounds as I read from their own words the joy and sorrow they experienced. It sure makes my days as a mom of five look easy!!!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Aunts, Uncles, Cousins.......

Fun with cousins
The kids had a blast keeping cool in the pool!
Josiah, Kristen, and Lauren
Siblings and Friends

Tucker and Solomon
Kristen, Josiah, Lauren, Cassie and Drew
Mark and Esther
Debbie, PJ and Esther
The dads and the babies (2 months apart)

The Whelchel family
The Degelman family

All the cousins (PJ was in taking a nap): Josiah, Lauren, Preston, Kristen, Cassie, Drew, Laural Ann, Solomon, Silas, Jayce, and Tucker

The highlight of our summer so far was 4 fabulous days spent with 2 of Robb's sisters and their wonderful families! We were so excited to have Esther and Mark and kiddos come from Alaska, as well as Debbie, Scott and kids come from Colorado for our "reunion" (although we greatly missed Kathy and kids!!!). It had been at least four years for most of our family to see Esther's family, but all the cousins quickly got acquainted and loved being together. There were 18 in all....6 adults and 12 kids!!! But, everything went unbelievable smooth and everyone really helped out (thanks again, girls, for the delicious meals!!). Mark had never been to Idaho and was a bit apprehensive about the heat. We have been having record-breaking temperatures and most days it was over 100 degrees, but he was such a trooper and never complained! It was wonderful to get to know Esther's children better as they have grown into little adults. They were just delightful to be around and so very patient with the smaller children. We have so much to learn from Esther and Mark as parents. Scott and Debbie are also amazing parents to 4 little ones, ages 4 and under, and they do a terrific job of balancing everything and working together as a team. Debbie's energy seems endless!!

We packed our days full to the brim and loved just being together and getting to know each other again. We are incredibly thankful for family who loves God and shares our faith. We know that this is a true blessing from God! How wonderful it will be in Heaven when we will all be together forever and we won't have to say goodbye!!! This was indeed a precious time of sharing memories, roots, and dreams.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Happy July 4th!!!

We really enjoyed our 4th of July and are so proud to be called "Americans"!

Robb had to work most of the day so that he could take off later in the week, but the kids and I had a fun day, spending most of it in the pool. Robb then grilled for us and we made homemade icecream (yum, yum). Later we loaded up and went to meet our friends, Tony and Amy Van Manen to watch fireworks at a local stadium. They were spectacular and even Baby Preston was wide-eyed and enjoying them!