Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving 2015

Another holiday is in the books. This year is just about over. We celebrated Thanksgiving with our whole family last night and it was so much fun! Steven and I built our house in 2008, we moved in December 23, 2008, just in time for Christmas (and yes, I put up my Christmas tree just 2 days before Christmas). Every year since, we've always had both of our families come over for a non-traditional meal for the holidays. For Thanksgiving, we gather at our house the Wednesday night before and for Christmas we gather together on the night of the 23rd. This year we had Tex-Mex (my favorite) for dinner. The food was delicious and the company was even better. We have so much fun at our get-together. It's low-key and I make sure we're all in close proximity. After dinner we always play a game called Scream-O and it is so much fun! Here's a few pictures from our Thanksgiving.
Kayla & Tessa

Our family has gotten so big (thanks to the that we have to eat in the garage. 

Mia getting a taste of desserts.

Brant with a sweet tooth.

Gigi and Gracie

Brant watching Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.


Brady helping me prepare dinner.
Today, Thanksgiving Day, we went to my mom's for lunch. She cooked a traditional Thanksgiving meal and it was delicious. We only made one stop today because it's just too hard to go to several different places with the kids. It's easier for everyone to come to us because the quints get into everything and most of our families' homes are not child-proofed, which means we're constantly having to get the kids out of something they're not suppose to be in, and it's just no fun when that's all you do the whole time you're out. Here's some pictures from our day with my family.
Kristian & Brant



Gracie & Nana

Gavin & Tessa



Kristian, Rayleigh & me

Me & Rayleigh

Tessa & Nana

Feeding himself.

Gracie & Kris

My niece and nephews (Makenna, Gavin, & Gage) 
Pops & Nana with all their grands.

Gage, Makenna, & Mia

Kayla & Gracie

Steven being lazy.  ;)

Brady & Kris

Tessa getting into trouble.

Gracie stole Kristian's phone. Look at her guilty face!

Rayleigh trying on high heel shoes for the first time.
Tessa getting a turn with the high heel shoes.
This year, my friends and I made the kids' Thanksgiving shirts. I couldn't find 6 cute Thanksgiving shirts for cheap so I decided I'd try to make them myself. The shirts turned out cute and I learned a few good lessons with this first try. 
The kids had a turkey shirt and I made myself a shirt that says 'blessed'.

Brant & Gracie

Gracie & Rayleigh

So, I know a lot of people will not agree with me on this next subject, but that's okay, different strokes for different folks.... I do not decorate my house for Christmas until after Thanksgiving is over. There, I said it, man it feels good to get that off my chest. lol  But seriously, I really hate how Thanksgiving gets overlooked. I feel that Christmas is worth waiting for and I want my kids to understand what Thanksgiving is all about. So here's what our house looked like for Thanksgiving. Thanks to Brady (and his teachers) we had lots of cute Thanksgiving crafts around the house.

Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours!!! I hope you have a blessed holiday season!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The Evil Around Us

The recent attacks on France has had me thinking lately about how terrible our world is becoming. As a mom of six precious babes, I worry about our safety and our future. I can’t understand why people are so mean and cruel, it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. My heart goes out to the country of France; it seems just like yesterday that we were going living through our own nightmare of 9/11. This world is a scary place.

I think a lot of us think of the evilness in this world as people who wear black clothes and cover their face and call themselves terrorist, but that’s simply not true. Evil is not just terrorist; instead we are living among evilness every day of our lives. Satan is the king of lies and he has many followers. There are people among us, who live in the very communities we live in and they seek to cause harm and spread lies. It’s not just the terrorist who are fighting to win power, there are people right here in our very own country that do these things every single day. Whether it is people in politics, someone at work, or kids in a school organization, people are constantly fighting for power and control and they’ll do anything to gain it. They will spread lies to attract followers. They will take the truth and they will twist it and manipulate it and sell it to anyone that will listen. They will hurt anyone who stands in their way of carrying out their plans. We think of bullying as kids on the playground being mean to a little, scrawny weakling but that is not the only form of bullying. Bullying is kids spreading mean texts and making an outcast of another peer. And it can even be a “concerned citizen” bashing and ranting about people over social media. Have you ever stopped to think that the people who rant and say mean things about other people might not be such a good person themselves? Maybe they don’t have good intentions? It sickens me to see people comment on a post of someone who is ranting. It is ridiculous and is pure evilness to spread lies and get involved with people who lie.

It’s time to stand up to the evilness in this world! It’s time to stop believing all the “rants” and lies on social media and get information first hand for ourselves. What ever happened to treat others the way you want to be treated? What ever happened to giving people the benefit of the doubt, especially people who have always tried to do right (come on people, none of us are perfect). I believe the only way we’re going to change this world is by starting at home. We have to teach our children to be respectful and to love one another. We have to stand up to people who spread lies about our friends on social media. We have to get out and vote for people who are going to stand up and fight for our beliefs and the things we hold near and dear to our hearts. And we have to fight against people who want to destroy our way of living. Enough is enough! Let’s stand up for the good in this world because there is a lot of good; unfortunately, the bad stuff gets all the press time on TV and gets spread all over social media.

I believe in the power of prayer. I urge all of you to pray for our country. Pray for our world. Pray for our communities. Pray for our families.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Preemie Power 2015

Today is National Prematurely Day. A couple of years ago, this day wouldn't have meant anything to me, in fact, I probably wouldn't have even known it existed. Before my quints were born, I really didn't know many premature babies, that I was aware of. I may have known some born a little early, but no one that had lengthy NICU stays or any children suffering long term disabilities due to prematurely. However, all that changed in October 2013 when we found out we were expecting higher order multiples. There was no doubt they'd be born prematurely, the question was how premature would they be. Our big goal was to make it to at least 28 weeks. Thankfully, I was able to stay pregnant 29 weeks 1 day. They were born 11 weeks premature. We had a lengthy NICU stay and we live with the effects of them being born prematurely everyday, but overall, they are all relatively healthy and they are thriving. I contribute the quints all being alive and healthy to the power of prayer. We had so many people praying for us during my pregnancy and when they were in the NICU; I can't tell you how comforting it was to know so many people were talking to God about us. Our struggles from pregnancy, to NICU, to today have only strengthened my faith in just how big and great our God truly is; He is bigger than the best doctors and medicine this world has to offer. I'm so thankful for all the doctors and nurses who took care of me during my pregnancy with the quints. God led us to the right people. I can't say enough good things about the entire staff at the Baylor NICU. They saved our precious babies' lives. They took such good care of each baby (and me too). But mostly, they loved our babies. I can't tell you how scared I was to be discharged from the hospital after giving birth to the quints. I was so worried about leaving them with people I didn't know when they were so vulnerable, but I quickly learned, these were no ordinary nurses, these were no ordinary people, NICU nurses are the epidemy of a true hero. They save lives every single day. And of course I'm biased but we had the very best NICU nurses.

During the dark days of experiencing miscarriage after miscarriage, God knew He had something big planned for us. He was preparing us for the biggest challenge of our lives: parenthood X's 6!! That still sounds funny to me, that I'm a mom of SIX sweet kiddos.

This picture was taken the day Brant was released from the NICU. A few days later, Rayleigh would become very sick and almost die. Life in the NICU is much like a roller coaster. One day everything is good and great things are happening, and the next, the whole world can come crashing down around you.
They are in birth order (l to r): Mia, Tessa, Brant, Gracie, & Rayleigh

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

October 2015

October has been a fun month for us. I can't believe we're only 2 months away from 2016! Seriously, how can that be happening!?! The kids are keeping us busy and we're loving every minute of it. Here's what we did in October....

We took the crew on their first zoo trip. The kids loved the zoo, especially Mia and Brady. I look forward to more trips to the zoo.

Brant & Rayleigh graduated from physical therapy!!!! Woohoo!!! It's so amazing how far these awesome kids of mine have come. I'm super proud of them. Brant weighed 3lbs 6oz and Rayleigh was 2lbs 8oz at birth. My eyes are tearing up just thinking about how far they've come.
Our little graduates!
Fun times at therapy. (R, M, G with their OT Mia)
Brant with his speech therapist Carol.
Brady's class took at field trip to the Pumpkin Patch. I enjoyed seeing him around all his classmates.

Field trip fun with the big guy.
Brady and I participated in the Race for the Cure in honor of our beloved friend Paula. It was a cold but fun morning.

The quints were sick and it was too cold for them to be out at the race but they cheered Paula on from home.
All the kids went to the pumpkin patch. It was a fun yet tiring experience trying to keep up with all the kids! It's always a fun time with my crazy crew.

Steven and I were treated to a Date Morning by our good friends and it was so nice! We had a great time. And I strongly suggest that everyone to go watch War Room. It is an awesome movie.

The kids enjoyed a impromptu trip to Target. I love Target!

And we had a fun Halloween!

Brady's Halloween party at school.

Good-bye October! Hello November! We're entering into the most wonderful time of the year!