Saturday, March 28, 2015


Rodney was in Houston last week for work. My father gave me some sound advice: make doctor appointments before Rodney leaves for work. I sadly did not take his advice and ended up having to take Abigail to Prompt Care the morning after Rodney left. She had a strange viral reaction (or bacterial) - extreme, sudden swelling in her hands and feet. It was rather scary, and even the Prompt Care nurse took one look at her hands and rushed her back to a room for vitals. Thankfully, this means we didn't have to wait long, and there was a long waiting list.The Lord took good care of us, and believe me, taking four children to the Prompt Care doesn't make my top list of desirable outings. Hannah ended up on antibiotics at the end of the week too. It was a long week, which made Rodney's return all the more sweet. I am so thankful to be on this parenting journey with a wonderful husband!

Spring in our home means garden preparation and house projects. Planting seeds and dreaming about time in the warm outdoors is a welcome joy after a long winter. Rodney and the girls enjoy planting seeds and tending the seedlings.

And we are particularly excited about our house projects this Spring! We've had a long list of big projects from when we first moved into our home. We've been diligently saving for these projects, and it's fun to finally be executing some of these remodeling dreams. We are in the process of putting a fourth bedroom in our basement, and Rodney's parents came down for part of a week to help with the process. We now have a big window that was cut into the siding and the bones of a nice guest room.

We also have plans to update our kitchen with new countertops, a big pantry and open up the floor plan of our home by getting rid of the living room wet bar! We will also be getting rid of all of the wallpaper!

I don't have any pictures of our current projects or of this past weeks happenings. I've been fighting off the virus that kept Rodney in bed for several days and landed us in the Prompt Care, but I did take one of Grandma and CJ. We were enjoying our first bonfire and s'mores of the season. Anything involving s'mores and a bonfire is a good reason to be busy!

Friday, March 27, 2015

CJ is 5 months

These were the pictures I took when she turned five months, and I can't decide which is my favorite. Her big blue eyes are show cased in each picture! Unfortunately, she wasn't in a smiling mood. You'll just have to take my word for it - she is a happy baby!
And that's about all the words I have right now for this months milestones. I'll just have to get her caught up in her sixth month post. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day! Even though I'm busy, I do try to capture some of Charis' first moments. Life probably won't slow down, but it will change. Eventually, I'll be able to make her a Baby's First Year book. 

Tabitha wanted to hold Charis too, which requires a close eye of supervision. :)

Abigail is tickling Tabitha. Hannah is amused by her sister's antics, while Charis remains unfazed. And Rodney has a thick winter beard, surrounded by his many lovely ladies.

He's a blessed man!

And we celebrated with a quiet grilled steak dinner after the girls went to bed, reminiscing to our first Valentine's Day together, which was nine years ago! So thankful for a love that continues to grow. It's a love mirrored after the perfect love of Christ. From I Corinthians 13:

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;[b] it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends.

I certainly can't love my husband or my children this way in my own strength, but I am so thankful that the Lord has given me a new heart and the Spirit to empower me to love my husband in His strength, fueled by new mercies every morning and grace that is abundant for every moment. 

Abigail is 6

Your Grandma and Grandpa joined us the weekend before your birthday, and made you a homemade angel food cake, a favorite and delicious treat. She also let you and Hannah decorate it yourself! It was covered in princess decorations and lots of sugar! We ate cake and ice cream several times the week of your birthday.

Good morning, sunshine! Your little sister T woke up with a fever on your birthday, which was a bit disappointing. We had to alter some plans. But donuts for breakfast and Mimi and Papa joining us for dinner made for a special day.

Abigail, this year you have not only grown developmentally, you've grown in your character. That probably sounds cliched, but your dad and I have both recognized a softening in your heart towards correction. You are quicker to admit when you've made a mistake and you're becoming more trustworthy! And believe me, learning the importance of honesty has been one of the main things we've been working on. I am so encouraged when you tell the truth instead of a lie. You're also a great helper and take really good care of your younger sisters. We both have a lot to learn about patience and kindness, and in some ways, we're both learning together.

We've also discovered that you have an excellent memory and have quickly caught on to reading. You finished your Awana memory verses very quickly and I am humbled how quickly you can learn verses and actually retain them. We daily pray that these Seeds of Truth planted in your soul will take root, grow and bear fruit. It's an exciting privilege to watch the Gospel and the Glories of the Lord's grace abound in our home.

We love you, Abigail, and are so thankful for you!

Monday, March 2, 2015

and for the forgotten fourth

Okay, so I actually haven't forgotten Tabitha. In fact, she makes sure she's not forgotten every day. Oh my, this girls stubbornness makes me laugh (and sometimes cry). Two is right around the corner for this girl!

Since I've posted pictures of her three other sisters, I thought I'd share a couple of my recent favorites of Miss T. And yes, we do call her Miss T a lot of the time. Her sisters, in particular, call her "T" when they're frustrated with her (when she's making a mess of their "plans"). And when "T" is frustrated, mostly with Hannah, she lets her know too.

This girl is a snuggly hair twirler. She loves to be held and carried around, which I try to do as much as possible. Rodney makes a conscious effort to pick her "UP!" when she asks, which is almost all of the time. "Up!" is one of her few words, along with, "Mama, Dada, More, Milk, Please, and No." :) While Hannah tends to walk around the house on her tiptoes, Tabitha plods around flat footed, which is helpful because I can always hear where she's headed!

Here she is bringing me some tea! She really loves playing in our warm and cozy basement, which has been a blessed retreat this cold February. 

February Fun in the Snow

 Abigail has a beautiful smile, and this is about as natural as it gets. So thankful for this girl.

Sometimes when I can't get Hannah to smile, I tell her do something silly. Here she is doing some jumping jacks. My brother thinks she's just like a little hobbit. Doesn't she look like one here?! We'll call her Hobbit Hannah.

 Putting on the finishing touches.

Though I've grown tired of the cold, I never grow tired of looking out my back windows to see the beauty of fresh snow on the trees.

Hi, Handsome! You're a really fabulous daddy. I accidentally stashed your snow pants in a closet (oops), and you still take your girls out for sledding and snowman fun. Rodney received a toboggan for his birthday, a surprise gift from my Grandpa. The toboggan is great because Rodney can sled down the hill with both girls on his lap, and next year, Tabitha might even fit too!

CJ is 4 months

So you're four months now, little one! (actually, you'll be five months is full). It is full of good things, and it is often full of your smiles and the contented happy noises you make.

You're still sleeping well at night, though most nights you still like to wake up for a middle of the night snack. Occasionally, you do sleep 10-12 hours in a row, which gives your mama hope that someday she will get to sleep. And maybe someday she won't feel so tired. Thank you for being relatively laid back.

Unfortunately, you've had a pesky diaper rash that comes and goes and comes again. It's been a drawn out drama for your mama (good thing you're not a llama!). It's been a month probably now six week saga.... Your pediatrician thinks it's a contact dermatitis issue, so I've been cutting lots of food out of my diet. So for now, we're on a no dairy, soy, tomatoes, citrus or nuts (peanuts, almonds...). I cheat occasionally and eat tomatoes, and sometimes on the weekends, I eat a little bit of cheese. But I am fairly convinced that you're gastrointestinal track is happier when I'm avoiding dairy and acidic foods. I think it's because the Hekel genes run strong in you, little one, and you have reflux and very sensitive skin. Sigh. At least that's what I'm hoping.

You like to reach out and grab toys, hair, clothes, and anything within reach. Your sisters are still your favorite toys, and they're the experts at making you laugh.

Still not rolling. Probably will be sitting soon. You are a strong little girl. And your hair is VERY blond and fuzzy like Hannah's hair was (and is!).