"For You O Lord are a shield about me, You are the glory and lifter of my head. Psalm 3:3

"For You O Lord are a shield about me, You are the glory and lifter of my head. Psalm 3:3

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Ali Beth Update

Just a quick update of much celebrated progress for our Alice Elizabeth...

Sister let go of me at the park yesterday and stood on her own for several seconds!!!!

This baby makes me cry whenever she wants.

We are so proud of her, so proud.  Sister is strong and she knows it.  How gracious of the Father to let us see such progress after 2 months of weekly therapy and daily homework.
Thanks Shannon for grabbing a picture of this special moment.  Thanks Jen and Shannon for cheering and celebrating with us, Bunny felt so blessed and honored.  Next week she'll be 18 months old and we are expecting even more increased strength.  Believing Him for steps to be taken and a 4th word to be added to the list.

Well done sweet girl, well done.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Last Weekend

Well, we're in the home stretch.

This is our last weekend of living with several sets of friends and invading their houses with our crew, or what I like to call, the traveling circus.  We're doing it up right, no worries.  Maybe some donuts, maybe some pancakes drenched in syrup, followed by some cartoons and Pioneer Woman.  Playing outside, running errands, chasing babies, getting haircuts.

Oh, and a belly pic.  She's a growing little nugget.

We kicked off our weekend with a park date with some friends.  The rain finally stopped, the sun came out bringing sun-kissed cheeks and shedding of jackets.

Mamas chatted while babies played and had lunch.  The smell of peanut butter and jelly to the sounds of giggles and pleas to jump in fountains.

Pure delight for all.

We had some celebrating to do too.  The hubs' birthday.  Every year he has simple requests for his special day.  No gifts, just dinner with the kids, and a yellow cake with chocolate icing.  And he doesn't want the homemade from scratch cake, he wants the grocery story boxed cake.  Easy peasy, totally doable.  Your wish is granted.  The girls even helped frost the cake.

We're going for a rustic look, of course.  Sister got icing behind her ears.  How does this happen?

I love this man.  I mean I really like him.  There's all of the big stuff I am grateful for but it's the little things wrapped up each day that sweep me off my feet.
The man calls me 15 times a day.
He rarely gets irritated with me, and I'm really irritating.
He speaks kindly to me.

He's the man who pouts and tears up with his wife in an ultrasound room when joy surrounds the walls but in the midst of it, she still misses her own daddy and wishes he was here.
He's the dad who dances with his girls and brings out the tickle monster when necessary.
The man who 7 years ago reached over to shake my hand, forever changing my world, and hasn't stopped his pursuit.

He's the berries.  Simple as that.
Happy birthday to you.

Our appetite for our home is brewing, but we're enjoying this last weekend.

Helping Laura get ready.
Tonight, we tucked in tired babies that smelled of sunscreen and hours spent outside.  For sure, all dreaming of next weekend when we'll wake up in our own home. 

Soon enough little ones, soon enough.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Progress of All Sorts

We've had a fabulous week.  Dabbling in a little of everything from practicalities to spontaneous fun at the movies.  Much to do and so many little helpers to assist along the way.

Our house is coming right along.  I haven't been able to go in lately because of the fumes.  So today, I finally strolled in for happy gasps and deep excitement that our house is almost finished.

After in progress

I laugh to myself when I think about our house.  I made few decisions about this house, Chris and I made some decisions about this house, but a good deal of the choices fell under the category of "make it pretty".  Our contractor Greg would ask me about various things, such as the columns, the trim, the kitchen layout.
What casing are you wanting?
How do you want kitchen drawers and cabinets?
What's your preference on the pantry layout?
Crown molding preferences?

I'll be honest, I chose paint colors, kitchen cabinet knobs and faces, wood floors, carpet color, and bathroom tile.  Other than that, I yielded most choices to Greg.  I shared vision, my craving for hosting friends, the efficiency needed for nightly cooking, and the high traffic of 4 kids slipping into the kitchen for baking adventures.  And then I said the reigns are his...don't call me, no need to ask, just make it pretty.  The funny thing is that if you know me, this goes against how I operate on a daily, hourly basis.  I like plans, I like control, I like having a say, I like mapping things out in detail.  You'd think I've gone done near lost my mind, maybe I have.  But it's working.


After in progress


After in progress

Soon our home will be ready and we will merrily pile into our new digs.  For now we're happily back at the Waggoner's for just a little while longer and they are simply wonderful to us.

Over the weekend, we did make a new favorite discovery that is sure to become a regular recipe in the Doke kitchen.
Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies made with cake mix, undercooked as always.

Meg's Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies
1 box chocolate cake mix (whatever kind you have)
2 eggs
1/2 c. oil
1 c. mini chocolate chips
1/2 c. chopped pecans (the hubby's favorite)
- mix it all up
- use an ice cream scoop to plop 'em on a greased cookie sheet
- bake @ 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes and enjoy!

And I have saved the best for last, we had a second ultrasound for the usual screenings, measurements, and confirmation of gender.  I am in awe.  The little nugget is perfectly healthy, measuring on track, and yes it's confirmed, she will be joining our house of pink this summer.  What's a mama to do?  Celebrate with a breakfast date with the hubs, complete with blueberry granola pancakes and a sweet discussion on names for our baby girl.
Oh happy day!

A gracious gift is being grown by her Maker, a house is almost finished, and a family chalked full of new lessons and plenty of memories is waiting for a season to close.  Eager anticipation of new horizons awaits.
Progress of all sorts to wrap us in gratitude and joy.

Friday, March 16, 2012

We Will Twirl

Let me just say there's a lot of emotion, pink, and twirling in our world.  The latter being kicked up a notch these days.  Not sure if it's the spring air, the floral prints I am craving for these little bodies, or the sunshine that seeps in windows each morning whispering Oh do come, come and twirl.

But this I do know, His joy comes in the morning and that calls for twirling.

We are week 5 into our adventures of living with several sets of friends while remodeling our new house.  But first, we have happy news to share.  Okay happy is an understatement.  We are ecstatic, over joyed, and elated.  One of Alice's therapists wanted to have her hearing screened because of her verbal delays and because she's typically a very quiet baby, not babbling or making a lot of noise.  She thought Alice's hearing may be muffled.  This week I took her for 2 hearing screenings to determine if she needed further testing for concerns.
And we are blessed to say her hearing is perfect.  No muffled hearing or any sort of distortion.
Since then, I've pretty much been a tear factory.  I'm just joyfully overwhelmed at the continual threads He is weaving in her story.
We celebrate this victory.  We are so grateful!
Last week we moved in with the Waggoner's and it's been wonderful.  I've received lots of questions about the logistics of house hopping and daily living with a family of 5 and a bun in the oven while remodeling a house and all that comes with taking care of 3 babies.  Here's a small snapshot of our current how-to's and lessons along the way.

When packing up our old house and packing us for living elsewhere for 7 weeks, I surrendered all sentimental values, which I may regret later but for now it's fine.  My brother Rod gave me the idea of taking photographs of the meaningful things and then giving/throwing them away.  No worries, not tossing out hospital bracelets so tiny I can't remember how she was that little...but birthday cards and nick-knacks, gone.  Every box is clearly labelled with the room it's going to and its contents.  Many trips to Salvation Army and many loads to the dumpster.  As far as the packing for house hopping, I packed 1 week's worth of clothes, shoes, jammies etc. for each girl...and a huge stick of Shout. I do laundry every other day to keep clothes on everyone, but the simplicity of it all works.
Everyone has a tub except me, I opted for the laundry basket, way faster for grabbing on the go.  It's limited for sure but again, the ease and lack of choice make it pretty fast to get little bodies dressed each morning.
Emma, Ali, & my room

Emma and I share a full bed and Alice is in a pack-n-play at the foot of our bed.  In another room down the hall, Chris shares the blow up mattress with Sophie.  We've mastered slipping out of bed leaving sleeping lovies dreaming dreams, because the day still calls for early morning commitments and for me, getting ready before babies wake up.  The sleep lacks deep rest but again, it works.  It's a season.
Chris & Sophie's room

Yes, there are many challenges.  I don't know where to begin on how challenging this season has been.  But what far outweighs the challenge is the blessing.  The little things that we are learning and choosing to enjoy.  I've learned Alice quietly babbles in her sleep.  Emma's love language is physical touch and the girl wants to touch you in her sleep.  She'll stick a foot, a hand, a knee, anything over to me just to feel me close to her.  When I slip into bed hours after her, she lightly wakes long enough to say Hi mama.  Sophie is craving home the most out of everyone and the way she settles in and makes herself comfortable is pulling out baking bowls and whisks from the kitchen.  She carries and "bakes" all over the house.  It calms her.

The hubs, well, he hasn't complained once.  He's a rock star and I like him, a lot.

I love how life carries on, the every day continues, and babies need lovin'.

Emma had a dance performance and Chris hustled in from out of town to be there showering her with honor.  I love watching her.  I'm captivated by the way her mind works, how she'll finish out each step even if she's behind.

How she beams with joy when we cheer and applaud a much deserved performance.

Alice too was deserving of much praise and cheers, she tried so hard in therapy this week.

Dr. Bob praised her efforts too, as he does every week.  Some weeks he pushes her hard and she struggles and cries.  This week, I could read game-on-bring-it all over her sweet face.

I love our therapist, I love how he speaks life and encouragement over her in the midst of delays and challenges.  I love how he himself, a man with cerebral palsy, walks in authority that we serve the God of the impossible.

We love him, all who know him love him.

And my Sophie, sister chills and does her own thing.  I think she would be content with a pile of mud, her boots, and some fishies all day long.

She's so deeply immersed in her own imagination and agenda, you can slip in and watch and sister presses on with delight.

I'll take her lead.  We press on with delight.  Our peace comes from Him daily, for the taking if we choose.  He gently reminds me it's not the end result of a house finished or a room put together, access to my stuff or being able to provide the solutions when little minds struggle to grasp the season we're in.  It's in Him alone.

This week we're at the Hartsock's again.  And that means slower paced mornings with the old fashioned oatmeal, not the fast stuff.  It means babies trickling outside in jammies for trampoline fun and a kitchen that cries out for endless hours of baking and creating.

With delight, we reply, with delight we will partake.

And we will twirl.

Happy weekend!