Wednesday, November 30, 2011


The last week of my life I could have done without.

We passed the stomach flu around our family, missed our date night, missed Thanksgiving, missed our family day and missed seeing Aunt Dana and Uncle Ry.

Dan had lined up babysitters for Tuesday afternoon and evening. He was taking me to see Twilight, Dinner and Christmas shopping, sounds perfect doesn't it? That's what I thought! After the 2:30 date with Jacob and Edward, Dan puked and our date night went down the drain. That was shortly followed by Quinn puking. While Dan was taking care of himself upstairs I had all four kiddos sleep in the living room. I was prepared to catch anything and everything that came out of them! Luckily Quinn was the only one throwing up but littlest three seemed to be a bit uncomfortable as well and didn't sleep the greatest. It's one of those nights as a mom that you focus on how blessed you are to have four little ones to catch puke from! It's much better than focusing on how tired you are and the smell around you.

This was our layout for the week...One of the positive things (if there is one involved with throwing up) is that being a whole year older than the last time he got the stomach flu, Quinn threw up in a bucket/toilet every time. HUGE success in my mind!

Wednesday was spent recovering, watching movies, eating popsicles, crackers and soup. Thursday rolled around and I began to get a big head thinking that we had this thing beat but shortly after showing up to the Rude Family Thanksgiving where 9/10 Rude children and their families were there we left and I spent Thanksgiving throwing up. Ohhhh how I HATE that feeling.

I could not be more thankful for my husband. He loved our little ones up all night, brought me whatever I needed and Titan when he needed to eat. Titan gave him a run for his money fussing until almost 4am. Dan then loved them all up the whole next day while I laid on the couch exhausted. What a blessed woman I am to have such an amazing husband.

Different clothes... same positions.Rex threw up at 3am Saturday morning to make it 4/6 Rudes getting sick. Titan and Myla held strong. Myla never gets sick, she's my tough girl.

So Saturday I spent washing everyone's sheets, and sanitizing our whole house.

I'm so thankful that we are passed all the sickness and I'm so thankful to have my wonderful husband to go through weeks like this with.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Girls Night

A couple of weeks ago there was the annual "Women's Coffeehouse" event at the Downtown Church. It was held on a Friday night which meant it was a GIRL'S NIGHT OUT!

Dan took my kiddos, my girlfriend Jill picked me up and it was off to coffee, snacks, and lots of talking. It was a wonderful event with around 500 women enjoying life together! There were four different women who shared their stories about how the Lord has changed their lives, Christy Hukee, Carrie Krupke, Meredith Bell and Laura Cameron. Each one was inspiring, challenging, thought provoking, and all around encouraging. It was so amazing how even though we each have different struggles I could relate in some way to each of those women and I walked away desiring the Lord more and more. Thank you to each of those four amazing women for having the courage to share what the Lord has done in their lives.

It was funny because I think that all of us moms were some of the last women to leave the church. It is probably because we rarely get to have conversations without a child hanging on our leg, crying, asking a question, needing to go the the bathroom. It was all a time all about us and it was fabulous. I love getting to share life and to learn about motherhood and daily trials that we all face with these women.

These are just of a few of the wonderful moms that I hang out with often. Between the nine of us in the picture we have 22 kids.... WOW
Me, Bethany, Tonya, Carrie, Sarah, Autumn, Eileen, Shelly and JillOn the topic of friends, my childhood friend Rachael Gassman's birthday was yesterday. I'm pretty sure that I have very few memories as a child without Rachael in them. We were neighbors, both our families had three girls, we were in the same grade, we were pretty much inseparable when we were younger. I remember being in tears when I found out that she was in a different kindergarten class. November 28th will not pass without reminiscing in my mind about all the fun times that Rach and I had growing up. Happy 27th Birthday Rachael!

I'm on the far left, then Rachael, my sister Dana, Jessica Gassman and my sister Kelly.
So many girls....So here's to friends old and new!
I'm blessed by them all!

Saturday, November 19, 2011


I was hit with the reality yesterday that my kids are becoming more and more independent. And when I say my kids I mean ALL my kids.

Titan is now rolling over both ways. And the saddest thing is that he falls asleep better laying by himself than in my arms. He may doze off in my arms but he does not really sleep for very long or as peacefully. I am so thankful that he is so good at falling asleep on his own but so sad that my baby is getting bigger. It is one of those moments as a mom where you are so excited and thankful that all you have to do is swaddle him up and lay him down but then you get a chance to snuggle him and he won't fall asleep in your arms and it's a little heartbreaking, bitter sweet. One of my favorite things is when they fall asleep laying on your chest...
Independence is an exciting, sad and really messy thing all at the same time!

It's exciting to see my kids growing and learning and wanting to try new things. It's helpful that Quinn can get himself dressed for the most part, put his own shoes on, brush his teeth, clear his plate, fill up his water cup from the fridge, go to the bathroom. But independence can be REALLY messy though!

A 3 year old boy going to the bathroom by himself causes me to scrub down my bathroom almost daily. The smell of pee is unavoidable in our bathroom these days and looking at the blessings that the Lord has given me (3 boys) it seems that it is a smell that won't be going away any time soon. I'm totally stumped as to how to fix this problem and totally sick of cleaning my bathroom constantly. But how do you tell a 3 year old who is SOOO proud of himself that he can go to the bathroom standing up on his own that you have to help him?? And often times I've got my hands full. I cringe if I listen to him and then thank the Lord for such an amazing boy! Watch our Lysol we have another boy almost ready to be potty trained. I'm thankful for my independent and growing boy, sad for my smelly bathroom... once again, bitter sweet.
The twins are now experts at filling up their cups at the fridge. They tend to have opposite problems though. Rex puts just a splash into his cup and Myla fills it until it is overflowing and is thrilled about wiping up the mess she made. Myla also really enjoys putting on her own shoes. She gets very focused and works really hard at it and almost always gets them on the right feet. Rex could care less if he puts them on or not. The only thing he is concerned about is if Quinn has his shoes on too!

We are now eating every meal at the table which is very messy too. Because we have carpet under our table I vacuum daily to keep food from being trampled into it. The kids are fabulous helpers and like to help set the table and clear their plates when they are done. There efforts are appreciated and they so excited about helping. We have had some plates end up on the floor, all I can say is, "oh well!"
Encouraging kids to do things on their own and to learn and grow and take responsibility of their things requires a lot of patience. I could fill up their cups, put their shoes on, dress them, pick up the toys, clean up the kitchen in much much much much much less time than it takes them to do it but that won't do them any good. Instead, I get to encourage them and praise them and watch proud little smiles wash across their faces as they overcome obstacles and accomplish new tasks. But believe me, I have had my fair share of moments when my patience wears thin. I am so proud of my wee ones as they learn about life and how to do more things. What blessings they are!Have you ever seen a more handsome little baby? He is perfect!My children LOVE to do whatever I am doing. Anything from washing the dishes to making a grocery list. On this particular day Myla is making her own grocery list in her princess notebook. Rex ... not quite sure what he is doing. Look at my BIG boy!We have also been embracing crafts. For those of you that know me well, you know that I am NOT crafty but my kids love them and it's something new and entertaining. Plus they are learning to do so many things on their own.

The other day we made snowmen. Glue, cotton balls and markers were enough to keep them busy for a long time! Myla LOVES to doodle these days. She makes these little squiggles/circles all over!It was entertaining for me to watch them get the glue and cotton stuck to their fingers and them try to get it off! Their masterpieces!Quinton is doing wonderful at learning all his letters and writing them. He can tell me when certain words start with based on their sounds and is constantly recognizing letters on signs, trucks, everywhere we go. It is so much fun to see him learn how to write.

We were talking about skyping with Nana and Papa to show them our snowmen and he wanted to write their names. Look at his fabulous penmanship .

PapaNana (I forgot to flip the picture)So, my four wee ones are doing amazing. Growing and changing right before my eyes. I can hardly believe how fast time flies. I might have to do everything I can to keep Titan from crawling just so he stays little longer.... hmmm something to ponder!

Monday, November 14, 2011

New Family Pages

Sooo.... I wanted to give you a little peek into how amazing my family is. I wrote a little something special about each one. There is so much I could write about each of them but I had to limit myself. So check out each of their pages at the top!

I'm very blessed!

Fall Fun

Take a look at these boys.... Harrison & QuinnOne year ago (actually 13 months ago), some of us moms decided that a trip to the fire station would be a blast for our little kids. I called up the fire station a few blocks from my house and while explaining that there would probably be a dozen moms all with 2-3 year olds the fireman made a comment that he had a two year old little boy as well. I piped in and told him to have his wife and kids come joins us...

And thus began a wonderful friendship. Eileen and I hung out at a park a couple weeks later and have since become great friends. It is always wonderful to meet someone who you just click with. Eileen has been such a blessing to my life. I love to see how the Lord worked through a little field trip to the fire station.

Des Moines does this weird thing called "Begger's Night." It is the night of the 30th, I don't quite understand the whole logic behind it. We went to Eileen and Tim's house for pizza and then out to hit the "hood."

Here is the gang.We were excited to borrow all of the costumes from friends. My friends Eileen and Laurel were kind enough to loan us batman, superman and a ladybug.

Check out these good looking kiddos. It was slightly chilly so hats joined the fun.Titan was wrapped up all toasty in our stroller. We spent the week after Halloween dressing up all over again. Countless times we played that I was the Big Bear (my kids favorite thing) and I was getting the ladybug and the two superheros rescued her. My boys love to play superheros and Myla is thrilled to be rescued by them!My sweet little lady.My little ladybug picking her nose... we will have to work on making her a little lady!Daddy and his oldest two.... still picking her nose....We also went to a harvest party at church. It was a great time for the kids filled with games, crafts, stories. We got to see their cousins, Eden and Brielle. It's such a blessing having the whole Rude family in Des Moines. Well, we thought it would only be fitting to go back to the fire station a year later! It was quite a different experience for my twins. Last year they never left the stroller and this year they climbed all over everything, drove the trucks, and ran around like crazy.

Eileen's husband Tim is a fireman at the station near my house. He was so wonderful as about 15 moms and over 30 kids put on fireman hats and ran like crazy. We packed lunches and ate at the station. Quite a day, Quite an event. There was so much going on that these are all the pictures that I managed to take... wish I captured more of the excitement on their faces.

Rex driving the firetruck. Myla driving the truck. She is sporting what we call "Harper Hair." Eileen's daughter Harper always has the cutest pig tails so that is what Myla says when she wants pig tails. She looks so big with her little pig tails. Quinn taking control.Quinn and the big boys. There was some intense fire and rescue playing going on!We always seem to have so many exciting things going on. We are blessed to have so many amazing friends around us to share them with.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Snow, Snow, Snow, Snow, SNOW!

It won't be long before we'll all be there with SNOW...
Unfortunately, we woke up to snow this morning.
Fortunately, it is melting fast and it's supposed to be 58 degrees this Friday and Saturday.

Despite my dislike of SNOW. My children woke up this morning absolutely delighted by the fact that there was snow on the ground. They were BEGGING me to go out this morning but we had a moms group at church so I brought a bowl of snow inside to hold them over until after church.

I was happy that we waited until after church because by that time it was warmer. No jackets were needed but they insisted on all wearing their hats and of course they wore their boots to stomp around in.
The only problem is that I had not taken inventory of our snow clothes and boots and I didn't have any boots that fit Rex. Sooo......Myla's rain boots. Our only option. He didn't seem to care, my boys always looks smashing in pink! Having to wear girls boots would never be enough to stop my boys from having a blast! Look at this stud. So, I NEED advice!
I have the hardest time EVER getting gloves on my children. If I do manage to get them onto their little hands, their thumbs are NEVER in the thumb hole, if their thumbs are not in the thumb hole then they can't pick anything up, if they can't pick up anything then I have three frustrated little kids, if they are frustrated they take their gloves off and then they get sad that their hands are cold. It's a vicious cycle. The best gloves that we have Myla managed to have on but they are little and fleece and not the warmest. I need some waterproof gloves that are easy to get on their little hands and that they can still hold a shovel while wearing them.... HELP!!!!

Myla is my beauty in pink.
I was pleased to find that all their hats from last winter fit them still. My BIG BOY! I honestly can't believe that he is getting so big. He and I have the funniest conversations every day and my goodness this boy has a memory! He is delightful!Myla loves life!You can't play outside with fresh, wet snow without building a snowman.
Meet Spike.Spike is our snowman. He was named Spike because we gave him spikey hair. I told them to find some sticks for his arms. They kept bringing me little sticks from our neighbors tree so we gave him hair and then the only name appropriate was Spike.It was the perfect day for building a snowman. Warm, wet, warm, sunny, warm, no jackets needed, warm, cute hats, warm.... perfect... warm! The only thing that could have made it better (besides gloves that fit) was if Daddy was not working and was playing with us. Dan makes everything more fun!

If you notice, Rex has switched gloves. I put a pair of my stretchy gloves on him. Way too big but he was able to hold onto a shovel. Ok, not a real shovel but some big plastic kitchen spoons!
Today was a blastAll the while Titan snoozed in his car seat. What a trooper!