Monday, July 15, 2013

The Grass is Greener on THIS side!

The beauty of having a big lot (.83 acres, to be exact) is the beautiful, lush, green grass that grows big and tall. Every beautiful thing must be cared for. After watering like crazy people in Texas we are spoiled by this stuff that falls from the sky. People around here call it rain. I love it! The other thing we are spoiled by is a riding mower! We could've leached from the kids' college fund for a shiny, new one but an old, reliable one works just fine. Thank you very much. Is it possible to be spoiled any further? Why, yes - yes it is!

Enter: Isaac!

Isaac will be driving sooner than I care to admit. I think it's essential for him to understand how a vehicle works and get the chance to practice. To further help the situation, we've handed him the keys to the riding mower! This is what I like to call a win/win situation. He can learn to drive and cut the grass at the same time. I'm sure it will only be cool the first 5 times. After that it will be a chore, but for now I will enjoy the smell of fresh cut grass and that wet stuff that falls from the sky!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Live Bait?

Lalon took the kids fishing. With all our bad luck in Texas he was certain Maryland would be different.

Keep in mind ... it started out like this:

Slowly turned into this:

... and ended up with all 5 of them splashin' around and having a great time!

I think Emma was the one who started it. She loves the water and will spend the entire time swimming around. The kids can't stand to see her alone so they get out there and swim with her.

Veronica and I stayed dry. That is, until Emma came up, stood right in front of the carseat and shook giving Veronica a shower. Let's just say Veronica didn't think much of it.

Notice the furrow in her brow? That's the,
"I'm irritated" look...

... but she got over it.

A great day with ZERO fish. A change in geography doesn't seem to change our luck, but at least we could leave with a smile on our face!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Gold Mine!

HOORAY! I forgot about the iPad!

Lalon brought it in to entertain himself while we waited Veronica's arrival. I must've been on a high and/or heavily medicated while the pictures were taken because I don't remember taking them or being in them. What an awesome finding!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

I wish ...

I wish I would've taken more pictures
I wish I would've gotten a picture of Isaac, Lalon, and/or Veronica
I wish these pictures included more of what I remember ....

 These days were a fleeting memory and felt more like a blur of one.
But, by the grace of God, I managed to get a few in and I'm thankful for the memories and few pictures I remember and can share.

All I remember about the following pictures is that the school allowed a day of hats. Andrew and Rebecca were so excited you would've thought they promised candy!

My little sweethearts!
Aren't they cute?

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Veronica's Baptism

Veronica was baptized tonight by our favorite parish priest, Fr. Edward Hauf, OMI. He has been an incredible blessing to our family from the minute we met him. He agreed to see me on a regular basis for spiritual guidance and blessed Veronica with special graces during and after my pregnancy.

Peter Goldbeck is Veronica's Godfather.

We're told you'll know a Chrisitan by their love. I believe this to be true. Anytime you can call on someone to help and they're ready to show up ... that's when you know you have a friend for eternity. This has been Peter's blessing to our family, but mainly to Lalon. We know that if something were to happen to us, Peter would raise our daughter in the Catholic faith - just as we would. Maybe even better.

Veronica with her Godfather, Peter

Genevieve Bross is Veronica's Godmother.

Gene' has been my best friend since childhood. We lived together during college and I learned so much about our faith from her. Granted, I was a cradle Catholic, but you can never learn too much about your faith. We spent a lot of time discussing God and all that our faith entails. I'm eternally grateful for her example in this world.

She teaches at a nursing college and was unable to come at the time of the baptism so we asked a friend of ours, Theresa, to substitute.

Theresa is head of Faith Formation at our previous parish. She's been an incredible organizer for each grade and just her example of remembering the kids - not just during CCD or during mass - but throughout the year.

Veronica with her proxy Godmother, Theresa

Being baptized into the Catholic Church

Completely pure

Sunday, May 5, 2013

My Little Honey

 Baby breath has to be the most lovely smell of all.

Beautiful little toes.
We're rubbing on the lotion.

I swear I'm a first time mother.

A 7 year age gap pretty much constitutes that, right?

I forgot how hard it was to have a newborn.
I forgot the worry.
I forgot the stress.
Most of all ...
I forgot how wonderful it is and how lucky I am to have this precious child!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Veronica Lily

With so much pent up anticipation we finally met our baby girl, Veronica Lily, for the first time April 25th, 2013!

She was born at 5:56 PM weighing 8 pounds 4 ounces and 21 inches long. The days of heartburn paid off as she came out with a scant amount of dark hair and a quiet little cry.


Somehow Veronica managed to make it past her due date but my Nurse Practitioner would not let her go beyond another week. Induction day started with Lalon dropping me off at the hospital at 7 a.m. while he ran back to the house to get the kids off to school. I changed into the lovely hospital gowns and non-slippery socks they had available, an IV was started and the paperwork began! Lalon rolled in awhile later and we spent the rest of the morning watching TV, taking pictures, and talking about what this daughter of ours would look like and what the older kids would think. I was getting contractions on my own until noon when they started the pitocin and kicked things up a notch! I was fully prepared to go without pain meds but caved (having a baby au natural is overrated anyway, right?) and discovered (for the 4th time) it was the best thing in the world! My midwife came in a half hour before her departure to see how things were going and I was ready to roll!

**** I have to stop a second and relish the moment again ... That moment right before I saw Veronica (or any of my children) face to face was one of the most exciting feelings I have ever experienced. The wondering of what she would look like, if she was going to be okay, how much she would weigh .... and then I looked over at Lalon to see his face light up with so much enthusiasm as he yelled, "PUSH!" I was overcome with so much emotion I couldn't quite get that one push out, but finally mustered up enough strength for one last push. Her little head came out and the rest of her perfect little body emerged and placed on my tummy as she squeaked out a little cry. It has to be the most amazing moment for any mother! She was and is absolutely perfect and beautiful in every way.****

I'm sorry to say I don't have a picture of the two of us. The only thing we could think about was Lalon getting back to the house to get the kids and bring them in to meet their new sister. Fortunately, we managed to think of them. :)

This picture was taken shortly before they rolled me down the hall to my new room. My legs started coming back to life and I was pain free from then on despite the fact I felt like my body just went through the wringer. 

Isaac, Andrew and Rebecca kept looking over at her in total awe. Not a word was said as they stared at her and then it came almost in unison, "Can I hold her?". Each took their turn while the next one waited impatiently.

Our first night together went extremely well but I couldn't wait to get home and begin our life as a family ... and get some rest because it just doesn't happen in the hospital!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Duty Station Change

Lalon applied for the DUINS (Duty Under INStruction) program last fall of 2012 and was accepted! It's an exciting opportunity because he will basically be a student and that is all. We've been down this road before and found it to be a positive experience. Getting picked up for the program is not an easy feat. Needless to say, I'm extremely proud of my husband! 

So, where are we going? The east coast!
We pack up on the kids' last day of school and drive with a newborn baby, a dog, and a van full of luggage!

So far, I'm getting as much taken care of as I can prior to the baby's arrival. Lalon knows how much time a baby takes and has taken on a cheerful spirit of getting as much ready as possible.

Wish us luck .....

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Hallelujah, He is Risen!

Pregnancy during Lent was always considered a good thing - no need to fast or be too strict since a pregnant mother needs to nourish and take care of herself to care for her babe. God had entirely different plans for me and wanted to me ensure I was actively involved. Not just the discomfort of being pregnant but the stress of figuring out where we are going to be by the beginning of summer, where to live, where the kids will be enrolled for the 2013-2014 school year, and the thought of moving. Again.

 Moving again entails organizing and purging. I've FINALLY gotten better with the purging but organizing is an area I have yet to perfect. Needless to say, it's getting done but at a snail's pace. The one plus is living on base. We've all been actively involved with church activities and bible studies which aid in keeping our eyes on the right path. Strangely enough, the same weekend as Easter we found our house. We've been looking in the same area for quite some time then gave up entirely and placed our name on the waiting list for base housing. After doing more homework and discovering the low school system ratings we opted out and called up our realtor. A few houses were placed on the market and within a day we were ready to make an offer.

The following pictures were taken Easter Day at our parish. It's one of the most beautiful church's I've seen.

Our little girl has a few more weeks and we're ecstatic about meeting her - the time can't come soon enough. For a few more weeks we are, to the outside world, a family of five but will soon appear as a family of 6!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Wild Hog Festival

Q:What do you call a semi-truck full of pigs?

A: An 18 Squealer

Our day at the Wild Hog Festival had me thinking about that joke. It's a common one that Lalon brings up if he's laughing about something and doesn't want us to know why.

Anyway ... we found out about this little festival and decided to see what it was about.

A pen is set up in a big circle.

For the wee, little kids they have the children come in and line up around the inside of the pen. The piglets are let loose and if a kid picks him up by the leg he wins a ribbon.

For the older kids they line up outside the pen and go in by 2's as a team with a gunny sack. In the middle of the ring is a sitting area. The team sits here and waits for the pig to run in, and the minute he does they have to catch him, put him in the sack, and drag him across the finish line (together) as fast as they can to win.

We strongly encouraged the kids to sign up but they weren't going to have anything to do with catching pigs!