Saturday, December 27, 2008

Happy Birthday Esther!

This time of year gets crazy, no matter how hard we try to simplify it. Between Nov. 22nd and Dec. 27th we've got three birthdays and Christmas! Today we celebrate Esther's 3rd birthday. She is such a joy and a light in our house. She keeps up with Olivia and Garrett really well and tries to be a little mother to everyone. She loves taking care of the dogs, vacuuming her room, and doing everything herself. This girl doesn't just do it herself, she does it patiently, which I think is pretty awesome. She insists on wearing "spin 'round" dresses everyday and has been asking for a princess cake for two weeks. As girlie as she's become, this girl has no fear. She learned to ride a two wheel bike at the end of the summer. She will climb anything, jump off anything and jump right in to the wrestling match with daddy and the older two. She hates riding in the cart at the grocery store, this independent girl want to walk. The other day she was able to walk at the store and was so happy about it that she sang "Jingle Bells" up and down the isles.Here's an example of Esther's independence. She was getting herself ready for bed (which she does better than her older brother) and came over to me to help her get her zipper up. I thought this was strange because she always does the zipper herself. Upon closer observation, I noticed that her pj's were on sideways. One foot and arm were right, but the other's were wrong. It was a funny sight!

She loves taking baths with Gideon. Now that the others are older, they take showers and Es and Gid get the tub to themselves.

Always ready for a picture. What a beautiful girl.

We love you Esther "Bean". Happy Birthday.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

The presents have been opened. Our Christmas morning was small and perfect. When you cut back on the amount of things under the tree, you want the gift to really create a reaction of happiness. I think we succeeded. The kids had our humble pile of gifts opened in less than 30 minutes, including their stocking stuffers. We sat back and enjoyed our cup(s) of coffee while the kids played their new games. I pray you all peace and contentment this year. The Messiah lives, Blessed be the name of the Lord.
Yesterday it warmed up a bit and I went outside with the kids. I don't have any snow gear, so Josh's would have to do. Whatever! It kept me dry and warm!

Dad and Mom Christmas morning.

The kiddo's finishing up the gift opening.

The fam last night at the Christmas Eve service.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Michigan snow and Olivia turns 6

Seriously, I can't say enough about the crazy winter we are having here in Michigan. Last Friday Olivia started Christmas break early because they called off school, which her district NEVER does. Saturday we took our own dare and stayed in, enjoyed playing games, baking, reading and playing the Wii. Sunday we were once again snowed in, church was cancelled, and the boredom started to set in. Looking at the same faces for two days straight can drive you a little nuts! We watched the snow fall all day, and all night. Once again today, the white stuff fell. There doesn't seem to be an end in sight. The only day they aren't calling for a snow storm this week is on Christmas day. It would be a great present to get NO snow that day! We got out today to do banking and to get groceries. The snow was light enough that it wasn't too bad. I know for all the "Michiganders" around here I sound crazy, but this is a big deal to this east coast girl.
The icicles off the church are beautiful. I guess the snow is too!
Where do you think this bundled up guy is going? To shovel? Take the kids sledding? Nope! To work. Our road still hasn't been plowed, and this morning hadn't been driven on enough to have a path, so Josh had to walk to work. He walks most of the time, but when the weather is bad he likes to take the van. What a trooper!

Olivia turned 6 on the 17th. These are the ice cream cupcakes that I made for Olivia's birthday to take to school.

Here's the six year old showing off her creation. She liked helping put the sprinkles on.

Monday, December 15, 2008

I'm dreaming of a simple Christmas

Merry Christmas from the Crisps!
This year I'm doing it all simple and not sending Christmas cards. I'm not the type of person who can send only cards, I'd have to spend the money and do a picture card, and that's just not going to happen. Instead, all my amazing blog followers have received a lovely collage that took me no time at all to make. This Christmas I encourage you to take it easy. Don't do everything you think you HAVE to do, you DON'T! Don't let the unrealistic expectations you (or others) have put on you ruin what is the most wonderful time of the year. I dare you to stay home this Saturday and watch the lights on your tree. Read a couple good Christmas stories, starting with the one in Luke. Dance around the living room with your kids and maybe even take in a slow dance with your hubby :). Bake cookies with your kids, with no expectation on how they might turn out (you know, don't be a control freak). Sing 'til your throat hurts, laugh 'til you gut hurts, smile 'til you face hurts and hug 'til your arms hurt. I DARE YOU!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Lots of snow

I mentioned in the last post that the weather has been crazy. I have some more proof in this post and have added some pictures of the girls posing in front of our Christmas tree. I never thought we'd get one this year, because of the weather. I pulled Josh out of the office on Monday afternoon to beat the freezing rain that came later in the evening and the snow that started falling tonight. The first picture is just because he's so darn cute!

She thinks she's Hannah Montana. I think she better!

She's a little princess.

This is how Gideon watches the kids play in the snow. It keeps him pretty happy.

I think the kids do more eating of snow and icicles when they're outside than playing!

Like everything else, Garrett goes all out while playing in the snow.

Following the leader.

Friday, December 05, 2008

What it's about

It's beginning to to look a lot like Christmas around here! We got back into town late Monday night after driving 13 hours. The weather greeted us as soon as we hit Michigan and hasn't let up. It has been snowing for almost 3 days straight and is bitter cold. Olivia still goes out for recess everyday. And the kids have been outside playing in the snow most days too. Because of all the snow, it doesn't look like Josh will get the lights up on the outside of the house. It's just too icy on the roof and way to cold to be out there that long. The snow has also caused a delay in the purchase of our Christmas tree. We are hoping to get out of the house tomorrow and pick one out.

Of course the snow puts me right in the "mood" for Christmas, but the season of Advent has brought the expectancy of the season to a new high for me. As a family, we are reading scripture at dinner to really emphasis to the kids why we celebrate Jesus' birth and explain the sacrifice that He made for us. It's nice to see the kids retaining information and understanding Christmas for the true reason for celebration. All the information may be used against us, especially by our oldest. Here's Olivia's story:

I know, scary picture, but hang with me. Since we've been back from vacation, she's been exhausted. She told me every morning that she didn't want to go to school because she's so tired. These comments result in me telling her that in the afternoon she'll need to take a nap. At 2 o'clock every day, I've told her, "Olivia, you need to take a nap today. Remember how tired you've been?" To which she whines, "Yeeeeesssss!" About 30 minutes later, she pops her head out of the room to come out. This infuriates me for two reasons. One, she's tired and NEEDS to sleep. Two, she's disobeying me, and I can't seem to do anything or give her any consequence that makes her take a nap.
Thursday I told her, "If you don't take a nap today, you won't get to watch the next Christmas special that's on and you'll go right to bed." "Ok." She says. I think to myself, "This is going to work, she'll never want to miss TV." One hour later she comes out with her head down waiting for the blow. I say, "I guess you're not watching the next Christmas special." Her response, with as much attitude as you can imagine, "Well, you know what? I don't care about Christmas specials, they're not important. They aren't what Christmas is about. It's about God. All I care about is God, He's important."
I was silent. After I caught my breath from my daughter sticking it to me, I stuck it to her, "Well, if God is most important to you, than you should obey mommy, because that's what God asks kids to do. That's what makes him happy."
I got the last word that time, may be the only time.

A tree, all lit up and covered in snow.

Snow build up on the newspaper boxes (not mail boxes, b/c we have to go to the post office to pick up our mail).

We were testing the lights and Gideon thought they were great. I only had to tell him twice to take them out of his mouth.

Bean in the snow.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Turkey day

We had a great Thanksgiving, and hope you did too! Most of you check facebook too, so this blog doesn't highlight with pictures of people (because you can see them on FB). The day was quiet, as quiet as it can be with 4 kids 6 adults and 3 dogs! We tried something new this year with the turkey by deep frying it. The guys were really excited to try out the new toy. Our 20lb. turkey only took 70 minutes to cook, and it was perfect.
Look at all those cute turkey's, don't you want to gobble them up!?!

The finished product. Sorry these are in the wrong order, oh well.

The guys anxiously waiting for the turkey to be done.

Submerging the turkey.

The uncooked turkey ready for the fryer.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Happy Birthday!

Ok, So I'm a little late on the birthday wishes for my youngest son. But what would he have to complain about when he's older if he always got everything on time?

Sorry bud, it's part of being the youngest child. I'd like to let you know, that there are many perks to being the youngest child, and here are some of them. You've got a really big audience. When you talk, clap, laugh, and walk we are focused all on you! Everyone wants to hold you, help you, and talk to you. You are every ones favorite buddy! You still get carried everywhere and get the most attention when we are out, from everyone. You get way more sweet snacks than the other kids did at this age. It isn't uncommon to see you crawling around with a sucker in your mouth, none of the other kids got to do that!

You are loved. . .a lot! You bring smiles and laughter to our house. Happy birthday Gideon!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Doing well

I have learned a lot of things in the last couple of days. Sitting around with nothing to do but observe and think leads to confusion and clarity. Here are some of my clearer moments.

I have learned that losing a baby and having a miscarriage are two different things. Two years ago when I "had a miscarriage", I really only lost the babies and had a DNC. This year I lost the baby and than had the miscarriage. Which, was one of the hardest things I've ever done, physically and emotionally. Would I opt for that over the DNC again, absolutely. Thank you for all your prayers concerning that specifically. It was all over in an hour and it looks like I won't have to have the DNC. Thanks be to God!

I have held firmly to the promise that God doesn't give us more than we can handle, and when life is in perspective, it is what makes you smile in the chaos. I've learned that sometimes parenting is inconvenient. When mom and dad are physically sick, emotionally drained, and stressed to the max parenting is harder. But I have also learned that when they can't have quantity time with us, the quality they do get matters a lot. They've gotten more hugs, kisses, and conversation in this season than they had in a long time. I plan on keeping that up.

I have learned that Garrett is gifted with the ability to sense emotion. He knows how someone is feeling just by the energy they are giving off, and this week he used it for good. Here's his story. On Wednesday I called for hug time. It was out of no where, for no reason. Each kid came over to give me a hug. With his arms tightly around my neck, he said, "Mom, I'm sorry the baby died." The kid hit it right on the head - he feels the emotion - he's amazing.
I have been reminded that I'm the type of person who needs to talk about things to help me cope and get over them. The more I talk, the better I feel, because the truth that I know in my head makes it way to my heart, and starts healing.
I have been reminded that I need my husband in my cord of three. We are stronger together. He was there to hold me, cry with me, sit with me, tell me to sit down, and listen to me ramble (Bless him!). He dropped everything to be the mom, dad, husband, driver, cook, housekeeper, butler, etc. Thanks babe. I will always love you.
Here's my amazing kid looking for the bowling ball to come out, don't worry it didn't hit him in the head!

My beautiful girls. The other day Olivia said to Esther, "Esther, would you please take this to the kitchen for me honey?" To which Esther said, "Sure." I turned to Josh and said, "Olivia is turning Esther into what I turned Olivia into, the little helper." I hope she keeps it up - two little helpers are better than one!

That would be lasagna all over that cute face. He loves to eat, but only by himself. Forget the fork and spoon, he shovels it in with his hands!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


"Our Father is heaven,

hallowed be Your name,

Your Kingdom come,

Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts, as we have also forgiven our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from the evil one."

I have said this prayer every day for the past month, making it the focus of my day and prayer for our life. I repeat some part of the prayer throughout the day, depending on the type of day we are having or what we are going through. Lately, the line has been, "Your will be done, (in me) on this earth, as it is in heaven. I pray that with thought of our future in mind. Where will we be in a year? Is God moving our ministry? Guide our family where you want us. But the thought always comes to me that his will is being done here, now, always. And when I look at it that way, my whole day changes perspective. Knowing regardless of how I feel, what decisions need to be made, and what changes are inevitably going to happen I am in God's will it gives me peace.

That last part, the part about changes inevitably happening, happened. And I was ready. Last night I spent three hours in the ER confirming what I had been feeling for a couple of weeks. That I had lost the baby. When I left the house, I looked at Josh and said, "I'm at peace with what the outcome will be." As at peace with being pregnant with what was going to be our 5th living child, I am just as at peace with not having that child. I believe in the giver and taker of life. I believe that His ways are not my ways, or His time, my time. I cannot understand all His ways, but I do know that He is fulfilling in me His will on earth, just as it is in heaven. God does answer prayers. Sometimes the answers are just what we were looking for. Sometimes they don't look like what we thought they would. Sometimes they hurt. But that's ok. I serve a God who cares about my hurt. Cries with me, mourns with me, and loves me through it.

Thank you in advance for all your prayers. Right now we are praying that my body will do what in natural so I won't have to have surgical intervention, like last time. I have until Tuesday for this to happen, so prayer for that would be coveted!

Friday, October 31, 2008

WHAT A DAY: V.I.P. day

This is the day I've been waiting for all year. The day where this nosey mom, who is sad to be missing everything her daughter is doing at school, got to go to school! Very Important Person day started our amazing day. I got to sit in class with Olivia for one hour of pure enjoyment. We colored, cut, glued, stapled and talked. I got to see where she sits, who she sits with, put faces to names, and see the infamous shoe bin, where her "outdoor" shoes go when she enters the classroom and puts on her "indoor" shoes. All very weird to me, but whatever! It was great to spend an hour with my wonderful Olivia. She is an amazing little girl, who never passed on a chance to help, spoke kindly to her classmates, and is just too smart for her own good! Forgive me if my chest is puffed up a bit, I can't help myself.

Lined up for Info-Tech, what we all called, Library.

Reading me her story.

Her BFF Rebecca.

Another good friend, Zoey. They passed out the kids books for them to read. They were so intent on reading all the names and worked together wonderfully.

So happy to be in school!

WHAT A DAY: In the leaves

October 26th - snow, freezing rain, and howling winds. October 31st - sunny, breezy, and 64 degrees! What a day! We had fun this afternoon playing in the perfect weather. I raked up a pile of leaves for the girls while Gideon crawled around in the dirt. I love fresh air, leaves and dirt on kids, it's a great combination!Olivia throwing Gid in the leaf pile. . .

. . .and he liked it.

Es takes her jump.

The girls liked to go together.

WHAT A DAY: Halloween

To end the wonderful day, of course there was trick or treating to be done. Garrett woke up this morning with a fever, so he was out for the night. He took it well and enjoyed handing out candy (and maybe a fever) at our house with Josh and Gideon. We live in a rural community, but our little town of Burnips is quite the stop for trick or treating. We've never ventured too far from the house in the two years that we've lived here because it is a lot of walking. This year our friends from church offered to let us use one of their golf carts to get around in. It was a BLAST! I thought that Josh would really want to take the girls out, mostly because of the cart, but I got to go! It was a first, driving from house to house, but soo worth it! The girls had a great time riding and getting LOTS of candy. And I had a great time driving and talking with the other adults. We ended our night at the fire house in town, where they had pop-corn, cookies, donuts, cider, bug juice and coffee. Something for everyone! Hope you all had a safe and fun night too.

Hannah Montana, Ninja, Monkey, and Abby Cadabby.

Hannah's ready for her solo!

The ninjas ready for a fight.

Oh, my! Abby's going to take flight!

My little monkey.

The caravan of golf carts. LOVE IT!

Chad sporting his daughter's Hannah Montana wig.

Olivia ran the whole time! She wasn't a great help with Esther tonight. Oh well, every one's got their vice! Candy seems to be hers.

Mommy and the girls.

Hannah's still posing after 3 hours of running.

Esther liked the talking fire truck at the station. All the kids seemed really excited about it.

I think that face says it all.