Cleaning and scrubbing will wait ’till tomorrow, but children grow up, as I’ve learned to my sorrow. So quiet down cobwebs! Dust go to sleep! I’m rocking my baby. Babies don’t keep. – Ruth Hamilton

Wednesday, July 31, 2013


Since we started gardening, I've been wanting to add a compost bin.  It's a wonderful attribute to our garden and is a learning experience I wanted for my kids.  I want them to recycle and have it be part of their daily habits.  I also want them to know not everything has to be trash-this will be one of their choirs, to bring our food scrapes to the compost.  To some people, this may seem extreme or weird, but it was so easy to do.  I had the idea to use palettes and Mark went with it!  He is so good at that!  We used old dirt, grass clippings, mulch and a whole lot of straw that has been in our woods for a while (thanks to some special family members who like to dump in our woods ;):))  Now, we walk out and bring our food such as banana peels, orange peels, egg shells and even our coffee grounds!  They are excited and love to bury the food.
You know you're country drive an old pick up through the yard and all the kids are in it.  Oh well, they had a blast and Papa H. even helped out!
Hopefully we will have some rich dirt next spring!  Happy Composting!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Swimming With Avery and More

I am a little pushy with swimming and my kids (minus Mack).  Not only is it so important for them to be independent in the water, but it was my life through college.  I started swimming the length of the pool when I was three years old.  We have been so busy with life and medical things that the lessons have been on the back burner.  Both Avery and Mack started lessons before Mack got sick, but had to stop.
Then I received information about lessons taught from the head couch of the Mizzou swim team.  It turned out to be their son and Avery is the only one in the lessons.  It was rough the first two days (she cried and threw up)!!  She has only had five lessons and is already swimming on her own (with no water wings), goes to the bottom of the pool, and is learning the basic freestyle stroke.  I couldn't be more proud then my little girl!  I can't wait to have them all in lessons next summer with this family!  I also can't wait to have time alone with Avery in the water.

The pool we go to can be very busy and when I'm alone with all three of them, I don't trust the life guards.  She has been wearing water wings for my piece of mind!  We will soon try to push her to not use them and be dependent on them.  It has helped with her love of the water.  I think she feels more comfortable-now I can't get any of them to leave!

In other new...the weather!  Holy moly!  Anyone from around here understands the misery of summer when temperatures are in the 100's!  Not this summer-we only have had a few warm days.  This past week, it's been in the 70's.  This has made it hard to not be outside.  Not only at the pool, but at the park.  One night we packed up our dinner and headed to the park.  Mark and I had fun playing with our kids and enjoying them interact.

Then we came home to make rice crispy treats for their cousin Cohan :)!
We hope everyone is enjoying some wonderful weather!

Friday, July 26, 2013

One of Our Top Days

I have a tendency to over book us-which leaves us on the go a lot.  Everyone seems to enjoy our activities outside of the house, but I will start to notice them getting tired.  They also start to miss the time with just the three of them.  They entertain themselves and are so sweet when playing.
 I'm really enjoying this summer-mostly because I'm not pregnant or breast feeding (it's the first time in 4 years!).  It leaves me with much more energy and time to think only about the three cuties I have in my life. 
Although today was spent at home with just the four of us, it was our BEST day yet!  They have been watching the birds out the window and talking about the different birds.  This lead me to our Bird Watching Window.  I used a piece of poster board and cut out the middle-this gave it a special feel.  When they woke up there were bird feeders ready to paint (Mack helped himself while we were all asleep), sketch pads, brand new crayons, and room for lots of creativity. 
While I was cleaning up from breakfast, Avery and Mack sat in the big chairs and started to draw what they saw out the window.
Then we moved to the table to paint their feeders (or for Mack to add some detail).
Then we "painted" toilet paper rolls with peanut butter and coated them in seed.  Unfortunately it was raining all day so we will have to put them on the trees tomorrow.  The toilet paper rolls just slide on a branch.
This day was one of my favorite days because they were engaged in what we were doing, they played together, and they were full of questions and creativity!  It's fun to be out socializing, but I love days at home being a family!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Random Post!!!

I am without my camera (I left it at the lake), so I have been using my phone.  There were a lot of random pictures that are worth sharing.
Our produce has started to come crazy!  I am not letting any of our cucumbers go to waste, so I started pickling them.  Right now I have 12 jars of pickles.  I also bought a canner and have started to learn about that.  It makes me excited to save all our produce!
This random picture was to show how Lincoln is everywhere!  He loves to climb and get on EVERYTHING.  We call him Gretchen Jr. (our niece) because she is this times 100!
On Friday we took a trip to the dentist-all three.  When I made the appointment, I assumed I would have help.  Nope!  It actually went well.  Avery (who cries whenever I leave her) walked down to her own room with the doctor.

Then we stopped by to visit her and she was in the chair getting x-rays.  She proved she is growing up.  Mack and Lincoln don't have any pictures because they both screamed the whole time.

I then found this lined up in Avery's room:
She was having a tea party with her friends.

These are just some cute photos of the kiddos-wearing our sun glasses.

This was me trying to get Lincoln!  Not so much!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Mother Knows

Lately, I can't help but think back about Mack as a little boy. He was the sweetest baby and turned into a ball of fire. When I think back, I remember many times I questioned his health. 

Once, I brought him to the doctor because I thought I found a lump on his chest. It was nothing and my nerves were calmed. Then there was a time he had a questionable rash. He had blood work done-for leukemia! That was also a high intensity day, full of emotion. Again, everything was fine.

Was this God's way of making sure I had a close eye on him? Did he know? I feel really strong about this. There was something deep inside me that had a feeling. A feeling only I could feel as Mack's mother. A feeling I couldn't shake. How is that possible?

 I don't have anger about Mack's health because I know God is just as angry about Mack! I now know he would never do this to Mack. I also know he has been by my side. Making sure we had incredible people in our lives. Making sure I always went with my gut feeling.

Now Mark asks, "what does your gut tell you-it's been right in every situation so far." 

When everything started and we had no answers, I knew it wasn't over! I knew we had something far bigger to encounter!

It's weird to think about this. I knew Mack was going to be sick. Deep down I knew! Parents know! My words of advice to anyone going through this, always go with that deep down gut feeling. So far, it's kept our little boy alive and on the mend. There will always be the what if's-what if I didn't call our nurse that morning? What if we didn't go to St. Louis? What if I ignored the bruising? Nope, now I thank God for guiding me in the right direction. It's easy if you listen to HIM!

Friday, July 19, 2013

More Lake Memories

These pictures say more than I could write. We spent a day at the lake with the cousins. It was 24 hours, 5 kids, and three adults...


But then Mack wasn't looking or acting normal. Aunt Heidi and Nanny were very concerned! Mark wanted us back home and close to the hospital...

So I packed them back up and headed home.

I was sad to leave. It was crazy/stressful/ and full of time with cousins. In the end, it was a lot with a kid like Mack! They're rough, they jump off beds, and they play like crazy! All the things a kid with normal platelets could do. 

It was good to get home and be safe. They were also glad to have time just the three of them. I love that we can have so much time with extended family and then come back to just the five of us. It's the best of both worlds!

Thanks Nanny and Aunt Heidi-you did so much for us!!!!