Monday, January 31, 2011

January 31, Already?

Ok, someone please tell me where January went. It can't possibly be the 31st already. I knew that January was going to be a busy month, but really, where did it go?

My Dad use to always tell me when I was younger not to wish my life away by trying to grow up too fast. He said that as you get older, time goes by even faster and although you will continue to grow when you're young, you can't go backwards when you're older. How true this is. I've watched things speed up more and more every year and it makes me want to make the most of each day. I need to enjoy each day to its fullest and count my blessings everyday. As each year will continue to go by faster and faster, I pray that I will laugh more, encourage more and love more.

If you're young and you're reading this, don't wish your life away. You WILL grow older and when you do it will go by faster and faster, so enjoy being young. If you're already an adult and you're reading this, enjoy each day. Enjoy your spouse, enjoy your children, enjoy your grandchildren. Enjoy each day for it is a blessing.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Big Brother

Joshua is so sweet and just loves Kyle so much. He loves to kiss him and wants to hold him as often as I let him. He loves being a big brother.


Joshua holding Kyle

Thursday, January 27, 2011

I'm Blessed

I am such a blessed woman. Since the birth of Kyle, I have had the privilege of spending my days and nights cuddling and loving on this precious child. He is such a wonderful blessing and I love that for the first two weeks of his life I'm resting and can spend all my time with him. Our other children come to our room climb up in our bed and snuggle and love on us as well. I love it.

It has been a wonderful two weeks and now it's time for me to start getting back to my daily routine. Not that this means less cuddle time because I will be putting my Moby and Ergo to good use.

I love being a Mom. I love that God has blessed me with eight wonderful children. I love that I get to spend my days with my children raising, loving on and homeschooling them. My life is not perfect, but who's is? I do love my life and I thank God for the awesome opportunities He gives me everyday.

Are you thankful for what God has given you, or do you spend more effort complaining rather than enjoying those blessings? May I encourage you to thank God today for your family and to give Him the glory for your blessings in your life.

How blessed I am to spend my days holding him.

The awesome family God has chosen to bless me with.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011



Two weeks ago Joshua turned 2 years old. Also two weeks ago, Kyle was born. I usually try to post a picture of our birthday child wishing them a Happy Birthday, but with everything going on that day I didn't get a post put out for Joshua.

So today I thought I'd post a picture of my little man. I can't believe you're already two years old. What a blessing you are to our family. You make us laugh and I love your hugs and kisses. I love you so much and I love being your Mom.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Beth Moore: The Hair Brush

Her story has been around for years but I had never heard her tell it. If you've never heard this, you will truly be blessed. Enjoy.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Kyle's First Bath

We always take pictures of our baby's first bath. So here are a few of Kyle's...

He really seemed to enjoy the warm water.

Ok, this is a little more what it was like :)

He didn't like being cold.

But he didn't cry the whole time.

Happy and clean

Friday, January 21, 2011

Large Family Logistics Giveaway

I love to read books that can help me to improve in my Christian walk, motherhood or my life as a wife. One of the next books I would like to purchase is called Large Family Logistics. I've recently read, through her blog, how much this book has helped Kimberly, author of and mother of 10, to rearrange her chore schedule to make things run more smoothly in her home. I am always open to the wisdom of others to help me improve how I can make my quality of life better. Don't feel like you have to have a large family to benefit from this book, it would be good for any size family.

Right now Raising Olives is doing a giveaway in which she will give away 2 of these books. To enter go to and follow the instructions. If I don't win this book I plan on putting it on my wish list of "have to have" books. If you wish not to enter this giveaway and just want to purchase the book, you may purchase it from for $19.20 or from for $17.28.

Be blessed and have a great weekend.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Yummy, Cake!

Since I've come home with Kyle, we've had some wonderful friends bringing us meals. One of my friends, Beth, brought an awesome dessert that I can't wait to try. Everyone else was quick to tell me how good it was, but I don't think anyone enjoyed it as much as Joshua. This is what happened when the dessert was left on the counter and Josiah had his back turned.

Joshua had taken a chair and pulled it up to the counter and helped himself to some cake. Fortunately the others already had some and there's still plenty for me to try later.

Beth, Joshua wants you to know that he loved your cake :)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Happy Birthday, Kaitlyn!

Today is Kaitlyn's 11th birthday. I am so blessed to have her in my life. She is my sweet baby girl and forever my Little Princess. What a beautiful young lady you have become both inside and out. I love you, Sweetheart. Happy Birthday!

I Timothy 4:12
Don't let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tuesday's Tip - Postpartum Rest

One of the most awesome things I learned from my midwife, Kristen, was how to properly rest and heal after delivering a baby. I use to relax a couple of days then head out for the three day baby check, stop and pick up a few groceries on the way home and try to slowly get back into the swing of the daily routine all while my body is trying to heal. It always seemed to be a long process of getting back to normal.

Well, not anymore. I now live by these rules after I come home from delivering a baby. First week - stay down (in bed), only take care of myself and the baby and only get up to go to the bathroom or take a shower. Second week - down more than up. Third week - up more than down. By following these guidelines I heal faster and can get back to normal much faster too. I find I have the energy to do what needs to be done much more quickly.

Now, I understand that not everyone can do this for various reasons, but if you can get the help and have someone bring your meals to you in bed, take care of your other children (if you have any), and keep your house picked up, you won't regret it. Let family and friends who offer to help, come help.

Trust me, follow these rules and you'll be glad you did.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Not Me Monday - Baby Cakes

Remember a week or so back when I posted about the wonderful cake Christiana made for the baby? Well, I did NOT drop it and ruin it and have to go buy a small one to use instead. After the baby was born my kids did NOT "decorate" it with a multitude of icing and color like the pictures below.

Everyone grab some icing and go for it!

It always taste better straight from the can.

Finished product. Very colorful :)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Kyle Thomas Merli

Kyle Thomas Merli has arrived! Born on January 12th, at 7:25 pm. He was 9lbs. 3 1/2 oz and 21 1/2 inches long. We are over joyed at God's grace and blessings on our family.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Oh, What a Night

Wow, what a night we had last night. Since the weather has been bad and they were calling for ice last night we decided to call the birthing center to see what their protocol was for these weather conditions in case I go into labor. So, I called and got in touch with one of the midwives who informed me that if I were to go into labor the best thing for me to do would be to call an ambulance and go to the hospital. Well, I do not have any desire to deliver in a hospital unless I have to due to an emergency. My midwife then told me that I could come in and they would check me to see if I were at a place where they could break my water and get labor started.

So, we loaded everyone and everything we needed up into our suburban and headed out. With our back roads being slushy and slippery we put the truck in 4-wheel drive until we could get to the interstate (which was clear). Once we got on the interstate, Jim put the truck back into 2-wheel drive and BANG, a huge knock was heard and smoke began to come from the rear of the truck. Apparently the trans axle (or transfer case) was shot, the truck unable to be driven. So we pulled off the road and called AAA. We also called Jim's brother, and our friend, Jane, to come pick us up so Jim could go get his Jimmy and we could head on to the birthing center.

We finally got everything settled with the tow truck and getting everyone into other vehicles and off we headed to the birthing center. When we get there, they check me only to tell me that the baby's head was bouncing and not staying in position and that they did not want to take the chance of breaking my water because it would increase the possibility of prolapse cord. They suggested that if I stick around for the next hour and walk and do squats with contractions that they would check me again in an hour to see if there were any changes. Well, an hour later, no changes.

So, they suggested that I come in for an appt. on Wednesday and if things look different then, we'll go ahead and break my water then and get labor going. They believe that it will be within the next couple of days that the baby will come so breaking my water will just be getting things started. They also suggested, with the weather, that we stay in town, so we are staying with some wonderful friends in town.

What an adventure last night turned out to be. What an interesting story to tell this little guy one day when he's older too. I suppose it's true, in a large family there never is a dull moment.

Micah trying to stay warm and
our truck with the tow truck.

Everyone hanging around by the roadside .

Needed to unload all this stuff
into someone else's vehicle.

Our good friend, Jane, who came to our rescue.

Monday, January 10, 2011

No Baby and a Snow Day

So, here I am one day overdue. This is really quite typical for me, so it comes as no surprise. However, I would be glad at any time to deliver this little guy and have him in my arms.

In the meantime, we are enjoying a snow day here at our house. The kids have had fun playing outside and now everyone is in and settled down for a while. Jim has headed out to check the roads in case I go into labor later and Kaitlyn and I are enjoying a quiet game of Racko.

I did get one thing accomplished today, though. My wonderful Victory Group (Wednesday night Bible study group), chipped in together and got us a pack and play for the baby. We got it put together and in place. So, we are as ready as we will ever be. We'll keep you posted on baby news.

Here are a few pictures from the kids in the snow today.

Snow covered trees in our backyard.

Kaitlyn making a snow angel

Matthew making a snow angel


Christiana and Kaitlyn



Micah, Patience (our dog), Jonathan,
Kaitlyn and Joshua

Joshua when he realized I was taking his
snowsuit off and he wasn't going back outside.

Our new Pack and Play!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Ned the Snowman

On January 5th we got enough snow in our yard for Christiana to build a snowman. It was interesting that we would get snow that day because 15 years earlier she was born in NC during a big snow storm and we had to make it home on snow covered roads with more people on the side of the road than on the road itself. It was only by the grace of God that we were able to make it without getting stuck.

So anyway, I allowed her to go outside and build her own snowman (usually a job everyone partakes in). She named him Ned and if you notice he has a mohawk and he's snowboarding. I thought he was cute and just had to share him with you. Unfortunately, Ned didn't survive the day. We went out to the store a few hours later and when we got home found that he had fallen over into pieces. But, now with the forecast calling for snow again maybe the kids will get a chance to make another snowman.

"Ned" the snowboarding snowman.

Ned's snowboard

He's a happy guy.

Thursday, January 6, 2011


Yesterday was my beautiful daughter, Christiana's, 15th birthday. We usually celebrate with all her favorite foods and cake and ice cream, but due to our church calling a 21 day fast and her partaking in it, we did things a little differently this year. Her brothers and sister still decorated the dining room for her and they still bought and gave her the gifts they got for her, but we will officially celebrate her birthday after the fast.

I am so proud of Christiana. She has brought 15 wonderful years to my life and I am so thankful to have the privilege of being her Mom. I love you Christiana.


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Are You Ready for Some Football

While my husband was watching football on New Year's Eve, Joshua dressed up and came to join him.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Tuesday's Tip - Foam Soap Dispenser

You know those new foam soap dispensers that make the soap a foam and look like water inside? Well, if you haven't tried it, a cheap way to refill those without buying the refill is to make your own. All you need to do is take the empty container and add about 1/4 to 1/2 inch (depends on your preference) of regular liquid soap (like the Soft Soap brand, except that I buy generic). Then finish filling with water. It's so much cheaper and works great.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Baby Cake

Ever since our fourth child, Micah, was born we have made a birthday cake or cupcakes for our new baby. It is usually one that the kids get to decorate however they choose. So this past weekend Christiana went ahead and made the cake and now we have it waiting to be decorated after the baby arrives.

Once the baby arrives and the kids come home after the birth they will have something to occupy their time while waiting for Mom, Dad and baby to come home.

I love that the kids do this because it gets them involved and lets them feel like they are getting to do something special for the baby. It's always so sweet when they come into the room with the cake and sing "Happy Birthday."

So, it's still a waiting game. No baby yet, just waiting (for me this is the hardest part).
Christiana finishing the blue
layer and putting the cake together.

Now working on the white.

Spreading it all around (messy, but fun).