Monday, December 31, 2007


Sadly, I didn’t even think to take pictures of Christmas morning. I think BJay might have gotten some video. But I’ll have to post pictures of our two big projects. The train table for Gabers (redeux) and a dress-up wardrobe and armoire for Hila from me and BJay. It turned out rather nice, and we fit it into the girls room. I felt guilty not making Asher anything so he got a LOT of legos. We still haven’t opened all of them. The past few days at our house have been a little yucky. A stomach virus got us all down, excpet BJay. I think its because he magically slept through all the clean-up detail. But its just as well, men can be such babies when they are sick! I got an under-counter mount cd/radio an BJay got r/c helicopters. We have really enjoyed having my brother and his wife and baby here this Christmas. Little Jakers is an adorable 2 month old. And its nice to have the missing peice in place in our family for a little while. I’m hoping everyone stays well so we can party tonight at my mom’s house!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007


How Silently, how silently

The wonderous gift is giv’n!

So God impoarts to human hearts

The blessings of his heav’n.

No ear may hear His coming;

But in this world of sin,

Where meek souls will receive him, still

The dear Christ enters in.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Only girl with 3 big brothers Vs. Hila, queen of the house and boss of 2 brothers and a sister

I was fixing my neice Opal and Hila some chocolate milk this morning. The chocolate syrup is almost gone so it made *that* sound. Opal laughs and says, “Ha. It farted!” Hila said quickly, “It tooted.”

Opal, “It farted, farty fart fart!”

Hila talking over her cousin loudly, “It tooted! It tooted! Toot!”

Then Hila got frustrated that Opal wasn’t taking the hint. “No! Opal, it tooted!”

Opal, “Oh. It tooted.”

Chocolate milk in hands, they went off to play dolls.

Merry Christmas

I escaped the house last night to do some last minute stocking stuffer shopping. I brought Hannah with me because Hila’s best friend/cousin was spending the night and I didn’t want BJay to feel too overwhelmed. So I was wandering the isles looking for some baking cups that I knew wouldn’t be there when out of the corner of my eye I spied a woman who was looking for something. She saw the baby carrier on my cart and came toward me. I was expecting her to ask me a baby related question. She quickly handed me an envelope and said Merry Christmas! I was a little taken aback and said thank you. And before I could comprehend what just happened, she was gone. I looked at the envelope in my hand and the words “Merry Christmas” were written on it in red ink. I opened it and there was $50 cash inside. I may not be the most needy person in the world, but $50 is a big deal to me. I stood there in the isle and cried a second. I don’t know why. Nothing like that has ever happened to me. Maybe the fact that someone was going out of their way to make the world a Merrier place at Christmas struck me as wonderful. I LOVE giving gifts. I am absolutely giddy this time of year because I love to give people things that I think they would like. I love to make and buy things that I know my children will love. I’m not trying to brag but I honestly don’t ever think about getting anything for Christmas. So I guess that is what struck me when the anonymous woman gave me that gift. How nice it is to recieve things that are joyfully given. So I thought I’d pass on the Merry Christmas! Sorry, I’m keeping the cash!

I'm old


BJay and I were asked to be Mary and Joseph for our ward Christmas party. Hannah played Baby Jesus. She is a terrific actress. I laid her down in that scratchy hay and wire halo and she didn't make a fuss. I was thinking about how old Mary must have been and it made me feel really old. Technically I think I could play Mary's mother. If she was around 15 when she was married. Strange. I thought BJay was a very cool looking Joseph in the Kurta Pajama I got him in India. Well its probably the first and last time we ever get to be a nativity!







Friday, December 14, 2007

The real flips

So the house across the street is getting a new roof put on. When we were coming home from picking up Asher from school I pointed out to the kids that there were men on the roof across the street putting on a new roof. Asher said, “I think they are flipping it.” I said, “Really?” He says, “Yeah, they are the real flips.” Then he gets out of the van to play in the front yard and waves at the men working on the roof saying, “Hi flips!” Later that night when BJay got home from work Asher reported that he had seen the real flips across the street putting on a new roof. TLC anyone?

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Haircuts and Hannah

I gave the boys haircuts today.


Gabe with Hannah



Gabe's bike



New lights!

BJay spent all last Saturday putting up new lights





After a year with shoplights in the family room, these new ceiling fans are really nice!


Guess what BJay is doing in the background of these pictures?





Friday, December 7, 2007

Nuclear Medicine and a Christmas Party

I met with the nuclear medicine Dr. yesterday. Mom came with me to help with the kids. He was very thurough (sp?), taking my whole history from me, etc. He said that because I’m at relatively low risk he is okay with me breastfeeding the baby as long as I want (or for the next 6 months anyway) and then doing the RAI. I’m still confused about how long to stay away from the children, but he seemed to think that a week was plenty of time… The new study my Endo was talking about was something that won’t help me at this point in the game, but if there is going to be a recurrance it will be helpful… I’m thinking about it. Its a pretty annoying sounding study, a week of serial blood draws and scans. And that is the week before the RAI, so that doubles the time away from the kids. I’m thrilled that I get to keep breastfeeding the baby for a decent amount of time though.
Last night was also the office Christmas party. BJay was in charge of the arrangements and he doesn’t ever want to do it again! LOL. He decided against a really fancy resturant for the adults and went with a cheaper one so everyone’s families could be invited. I thought it was fun. We ate way too much pizza though. The party was at a resturant I used to work at as a teenager. I was suprised the owner actually remembered me. And the food was as good as I remembered. Hannah slept through the whole thing. She’s getting over a cold I think. I will be posting pictures soon.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

My Gabers

Gabe turned 2 today. Well, technically yesterday, but only by 48 minutes. I just love him like crazy. He has so much personality already at two. We got him a Radio Flyer trike and some balls and a puzzle. All he needed was the bike. He couldn’t even wait for the seat to be fastened on. Its one of those cool ones with a long handle that I can push and steer with. I’ll post pictures later. We threw him a little party with his nursery buddies. It was a good day.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


Serious face

“Mom, the story of us is not going to be over for a long, long time!”

When asked to close her eyes during family prayer

“But when I close my eyes, its too dark!”

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Happy Baby

Finally, here are the pictures of Hannah smiling that I've promised.



I just love it.

Hila's an artist

My daughter is a genius. Check out her latest photos.





Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Pathology report II

So we went to Chapel Hill today for the 2nd pathology report. It was pretty good news. There was another small tumor on the left side that was taken out. So its good that I got the total thyroidectomy. There was no sign of vascular invasion and no sign that the cancer has spread. Lymphnodes were clear, and the surgeon said that the chestscan was clear. So I think that means that I’m pretty much cancer free. The next and hopefully final step of the journey is to meet with the nuclear medicine guy next week and come up with a strategy for the RAI. I think that is going to be the worst part, but I spoke with my Endocrinologist and he was saying that there is a new procedure they just started 6 months ago that may require less time away from my children. I hope so. I’ll update on that whenever I learn more. It was a good 10 year anniversary. We spent some time wandering the mall and Sam’s club and got some lunch at Panera. Probably not the spectacular day I might have expected 10 years ago, but just perfect for where I’m at right now. I love my husband. I love my kids. I love all the time I get to spend with them.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Kick-off to Christmas

We enjoyed a lovely Thanksgiving week. Thanksgiving dinner was at the inlaws this year. My sisters and I went up to Cary and crashed at Jamie’s pad so we could be closer to the Black Friday sales. I dragged them out of bed at 3am and we divided and conquered our sale shopping lists! I stayed in line at Staples while they went to Old Navy and Kohls. We got everything we were hoping for. And we did it on only 1.5 hours of sleep! Hannah, poor thing, was my shopping buddy. She stayed bundled up and cozy in her bjorn and slept through most of it, waking for the occasional feeding and diaper change. Friday mom hosted a leftover & pie feast. Yum. I’m sorry, but my mom’s pie is the best! It was the boy’s turn to play all night. BJay, Tony and my dad played Wii until the wee hours of the morning. Silly boys. Then Saturday we recovered the disaster of our house and went on a walk around the reservoir lake. It was beautiful. Asher and Hila were able to keep up, and 2.2 miles is a long way on those little legs! So tomorrow BJay and I are celebrating our 10th anniversary by going up to Chapel Hill for my follow up appointment from my surgery and while we are there we’ll get a bite to eat. Then we have to dash home so we can put up our stockings and Christmas tree for FHE. Sigh. Life is busy and pleasant.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Thanksgiving in Kindergarten




I had the pleasure of attending Asher's kindergarden Thanksgiving program and feast today. It was adorable. Mom took the younger kids for me so I could go. Another reason its good to live near family!

I am thankful (in no particular order)


1. The four most beautiful, sweet, well behaved children ever.

2. My husband of almost 10 years who gets better every year.

3. Having more than one place to share Thanksgiving day with family.

4. That BJay was able to fix our busted water line and we didn't have to call a plumber...except for Donovaughn at 8pm last night. Thanks D!

5. For the blessing of living near a lot of our family.

6. For the blessing of having my children grow up near most of their cousins, both sets of grandparents, one set of great grandparents, 6 aunts, and 5 uncles.

7. For really good health insurance!!!!!

8. That BJay's employers are paying for our great insurance.

9. For two nights of dinner brought in. Thanks Paige and Cyndi!

10. For Black Friday sales...and sisters to shop with!

11. That my body is able to heal so easily.

12. That the bill for my surgery wasn't as astronomical as I was expecting it to be!

13. For awesome friends both near and far!

14. That my mom gave me the sewing machine she won when I was 12 that she's secretly wished she kept.

15. That cooking a turkey is optional for me.

16. For people who don't even know me who have prayed for me.

17. That we bought this house we're fixing up even though I have done nothing but complain about it.

18. That I get to stay home with my awesome children.

19. For only having made 1 trip to the ER in almost 6 years of being a parent. *knock on wood*

20. For the extra joy that having children during the Holidays.

21. That I can put up the Christmas tree in our new house soon.

22. That my mom has just about finished knitting stockings for all of my children that match the one I had as a kid.

23. That my husband doesn't care so much that dinner is almost never on the table for him when he comes home as long as breakfast is there when he wakes up.

24. That my pediatrican told me I should eat as much as I want since I'm breastfeeding a 13 pound baby.

25. For the blessing of living at a time where amazing support and advice can come from support groups on the internet!

26. For my son's Kindergarden teachers who want him to improve and succeed.

27. For all the things I've learned from TLC's "What not to wear" that I'm not doing.

28. For the "thankful turkey" on my fridge that lists the blessings my children are thankful for.

29. For the blessing of being able to share what we have, not matter how much we have.

30. That I've made it to 30 and learned that my true sucesses and most treasured blessings are not what I thought they would be when I was 20.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Second time is twice the fun

So my second surgery this month was successful. This time they made me stay over night, and that was torture. I had to be away from my baby for a whole 24 hours. She wasn’t happy without me either. My awesome mother in law took the three younger kids for me all day Friday until the morning Saturday when we got back. Hannah was upset most of the day Friday, and then slept from 9pm to 9am when BJay brought her to me. She has just started smiling and cooing and when I held her Saturday morning she was all smiles and coos. It was so nice to see after a night of looking at the clock every 5 minutes. The recovery this time seems just as easy or easier. But I “let” my sisters in law bring me dinner this time. Its been really nice. I know BJay appreciates some real food. Paige made us some awesome beef stew yesterday and home made bread, and my favorite cookies. Yum. I’m going to have to milk this for all its worth! We’ll go back Monday after Thanks giving to find out the next set of pathology results. That day happens to be our 10th anniversary, so I’m hoping that is good luck!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Fun night

After having the kids help me clean all morning and taking a nice nap, we decided to go for a hike around the reservoir park. BJay wanted to see what the water level is there. It took a good 40 minutes to get the kids all rounded up and in the car…okay most of the time was me looking for the keys. They were in a jacket I wore today that I couldn’t find. Asher helped me clean up and when I told him to put my jacket in the closet he threw it in the linen closet instead of the coat closet. I’m sure there is no difference in his mind! Anyway, we finally got on our way with only 30 minutes of daylight left. BJay called my dad on the cellphone to see if he wanted to fly radio-controlled airplanes instead and my parents reminded us that there was a ward social tonight! So we dropped the kids off at the church where they were offering free babysitting (yay!) and dashed home to change out of our sweats. We got to tour this massive brand new home that a family in the ward just built. I think it was something like 9000 sq. ft. complete with secret passageways and revolving bookcases with hidden rooms. Fun! We picked up the kids and they were wired from running around like maniacs with the other children in the gym. What an unexpectedly fun night!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Pathology report

So we got the pathology report back. It wasn’t what I was hoping, but about what I was expecting. There were two tumors and two different types of thyroid cancers. Both are highly treatable, highly survivable cancers. The smaller tumor was papillary, which is the most common, most curable type of thyroid cancer. The larger tumor was follicular, which is also very curable but less common. The treatment is to go back and have a second surgery to remove the rest of my thyroid. Then kill anything that remains with radioactive iodine. So the good news is that after these measures, there is usually no reoccurance of cancer after 10 years. And that means that most likely there will be no chemotherapy involved. But I will likely have to stop breastfeeding Hannah. I go back for the second surgery a week from tomorrow.

BJay and I are trying to laugh this off as much as possible. I keep saying that I now get to play the cancer card whenever I don’t want to do something. And BJay is joking about not needing Christmas lights this year because I’ll be radioactive. Luckily for us, the children don’t have the word “cancer” in their vocabulary yet. So the word doesn’t scare them as much as is does other people. I don’t want anyone to freak out though, because the prognosis for me is really good. I’ll get to say I’m a cancer survivor without having to “earn” it the way most people do.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007



Here I am right before surgery with a "yes" on the part of my thyroid that was going to be removed.


Here is a picture Hila took of me the day after showing the bandage.


And here is what the scar is going to look like. It doesn't actually look so bad in this picture.

So tomorrow we go back for the lab results. I'm feeling back to normal except for a little bit less range of motion when I turn my head. The kids are doing great too. Hannah is officially spoiled. But they are only babies for a little while.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Surgery went well

The surgery went well. We went in at 6am, got into surgery at 7:30, (right on time) the surgery was done by 9:00am (just as planned) and I came around at about 10:00am. I spent a little longer in recovery because of a heart palpitation that they ordered an ekg for, but they released me around 1pm. I haven’t felt the need to fill the pain medication perscription, ibuprofin seems to do the job just fine, and I’ve been spending the day lazing around in bed. We go back next Thursday to find out the lab results, but I’m still pretty optimistic. Cancer or no cancer I feel really good about the eventual conclusion of this little chapter in my life.

So all is well, I think I’ll be feeling fine by Sunday when we bless baby Hannah. I’ll post some pictures tomorrow of the “yes” they wrote in the area my surgery was supposed to be. I actually thought of doing that myself but I didn’t want to offend anyone, so I’m glad its their policy. The bandage stays on for 2 days and then I’ll get to see what kind of scar I’ll end up with. Yes!

Friday, November 2, 2007

It's good to have friends...

So I was rushing around today getting the house clean and getting the kids ready to spend the night at Grandma’s and Mema’s and I noticed that there was a package on my doorstep. I haven’t ordered anything, it isn’t anyone’s birthday and all our family lives close enough to just drop something off if they want to. So, it was a very intriguing and exciting peice of mail. Unfortunately I first spied it when I was going to pick Asher up from school, running late–so I waited until I got back. I almost forgot about it because it was a mad rush getting things together before the big client appreciation dinner my husband’s family threw tonight. But this time when I was pulling out of the garage I stopped the car and picked up the box. I didn’t foresee having a quiet moment this evening so I ripped it open while driving. :) And I found the most thoughtful, sweetest, best card and gifts inside. I read the card while driving too (yikes) and it seriously made me cry. I know that people are put into our lives for a reason. And God does occasionally speak to us through the thoughtful acts of kindness and love by those who are close to us. I’ve been trying not to make a big deal about my surgery tomorrow or worry anyone with the little scraps of paranoia I keep locked up in the back of my mind. A comfy pair of slippers, some foot scrub, a Reader’s Digest and some yummy chocolate speak volumes. Its good to have friends. And its good to feel that even things unsaid can be heard. Thank you!!!!

Thursday, November 1, 2007



Mema showing Gabe a picture of himself on her digital camera.


Chicken Pants!!!


Hila decided NOT to wear her princess costume at the last minute. After she insisted that we wash the princess dress earlier today. She decided she wanted to be super Hello Kitty instead. An awesome Mexican wrestling mask that my mother-in-law bought at a flee market in CA.


Asher in his Clone trooper costume...not storm trooper!


Our little pumkin in her carseat!


Here are the kids playing a game at the ward trunk-or-treat party.


Hila took this one of Hannah getting a snack in her pumkin outfit after the festivities.


This is another self portrait of Hila in the car on the way home.


Hila got this one of Gabe pulling off his sock in the car. Something about the car makes Gabe want to take his socks and shoes off every time!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

You have no idea

Adding #4 to our family hasn’t been a dramatic change. I’ve had an easy recovery and Hannah is an easy baby. She still sleeps most of the day. Picking up Asher from school every day is probably the hardest part of having four children. But I have a gripe about going out in public with four children. Not to brag, but I have really great kids. I think I do anyway and that is all that matters in this scenerio. EVERY time I’m out with my children, even when Asher is in school and I just have the 3, I get so many negative comments. I can not tell you how many times I’ve heard the comment, “You have your hands full!” while out with my children. People ask me if I’m done yet, people tell me 2 boys and 2 girls is a good place to stop. People suggest that I probably don’t want to have the next one too soon. What? My demeanor is such that people don’t usually talk to me when I’m out by myself. I’m pretty shy and I mind my own business and I think I send subconcious signals for people to leave me alone. But when I have my children out for some reason people feel compelled to make comments… And very seldomly are they positive. I do get the occasional “You have beautiful children” from the older folks. Maybe because they are from a different time when a family of 6 was more common. But this is also the age of TV and how many shows are there on TLC about large families? What kind of things do you hear when you have 10 or 17 kids in tow? Two moms were waiting to pick up their kids outside of school when I rolled up with Hila and Gabe in the stroller and Hannah strapped to me in the Bjorn. They had a whole conversation to each other about my family before asking me how many I had in school. I told them and they said, in a condescending way, “More power to you.” I don’t think I’m being overly sensative. If the comments were meant to be encouraging I think I’d feel that. So I’ve been trying to come up with an appropriate response. Something that says, “Don’t you dare feel sorry for me. I love what I do, and these children are amazing!” without having to say all that. So I’m thinking next time instead of smiling and nodding I’ll say, “You have no idea.” with a smile and be on my way. I do love what I do. And that doesn’t mean that its easy and blissful every moment. But the moments that count are truly joyful. I feel extremely blessed. I just wish that everyone else could see that.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Things I love about October

I was actually cold for the first time this weekend! I actually had to put on a sweatshirt. Horray! The weather here in NC is always strange. It is cool today, my toes are cold. So since it is finally looking and feeling like fall, I thought I’d make a list of things I love about fall. In no particular order…

1. Candy corn. I don’t know why. Its kind of a gross candy, but in the fall I just can’t get enough of it.

2. Wearing sweaters/sweatshirts. “Sweater weather” is just so refreshing and cozy. Plus its good for when you just had a baby and the flab is still hanging around.

3. Halloween. Halloween is the gateway to all the best Holidays. Once Halloween is done, time speeds up until Christmas.

4. Apple Cider. Yum. And what an awesome smell!

5. The state fair. Okay, I didn’t love it enough to wade through the lines, park and hike the children up to it. But I have the fondest, most nostalgic feelings about the fair. This year we made it up to just outside when we saw the crowds, changed our minds and went to a $1.50 movie instead.

6. The livestock at the state fair. I love looking at all the cows, goats, pigs… not the fowl so much because they stink. But they make me feel like I want to be a farmer…although I’m way more of a city girl than I thought!

7. Fall Festivals. I’m an equal opportunity fall-festival-er. I loved the little one they had at Asher’s school. And the ones they do at church (as long as I’m not in charge of organizing them ;) And I love the street fair they have in Southern Pines where BJay recently ran a 5k–go B!

8. Carving pumkins. This has only gotten better with kids!

9. Halloween parties. Love them, love people who throw them. Love hearing my children explain to me what apple bobbing is!

10. Fall colors. I love wearing them and seeing them in the trees. Nature is amazing.

11. Gift planning. I am definately a gift giver. I LOVE giving gifts, making gifts, wrapping gifts, planning where to buy and how much to spend on gifts. About Halloween time I’m making my lists and checking them twice. Love it.

12. Size 24 mos courderoy pants. LOL. This one won’t last forever, but pulling out all Asher’s old 2T winter clothes was so fun this year. And seeing Gabe wearing them was even sweeter. What is cuter than a 2 year old boy in plaid shirts and courderoy pants?

*13. Chicken Pants. I had to add this one. You’ll see when I post the pictures of the kids in their costumes!

Horray for fall!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Hila's Photo Essay


I turned Hila loose with the digital camera and I was pretty impressed with her work! I didn't crop any of these. She even figured out how to make a video of herself.