Halloween Events 2017

The first event we went to was Home Depot’s Halloween town. It was on the side of Home Depot’s parking lot. Baby Kermit got a Spiderman outfit for his birthday and wanted to wear that. Pooh also got an outfit for his birthday, Batman. That’s what he decided to wear. Duke was lumberjack with a homemade axe and a painted-on beard. Bubbles was a pop star with a homemade microphone (a ball painted gold and hot glued to a toilet paper roll). Jem was a butterfly without antenna. I was Batgirl with a blanket for a cape and a mask. Dad wore the same thing he wore last year, (Cowboy/bandit) but at least he dressed up 😊.

They had games in the small sheds on the side, the sheds were decorated with bats, skeletons, ghost, etc. The games were fake pumpkin toss, pop a pumpkin, a nerf dart toss, and witches hat ring toss. They had a few bouncy houses set up in part of the parking lot. There was also haunted house (it was in a shed) it was not very scary even Baby Kermit and Pooh went inside. Inside was kind of like a maze but there was only one way to go. They had regular decorations that you may find at a haunted house like a cloaked being and a jumping spider. Someone gave us candy on our way out of the haunted house. We ate hot dogs, we made a craft.  There was a hay ride that when near the garden supplies. They set up the kind of decorations you can buy at stores. My favorite one was the werewolf that they put behind fake trees. I thought it was pretty well done!

Another event we attend was Trick or Treating at Bass Pro Shop. We all dressed up as pirates (except Bubbles and mom, mom was a gypsy, Bubbles was a mermaid). Months before we went shopping at thrift stores to get stuff for our costumes. Jem made a telescope (which was made out of a kind of Pringles container). We trick or treated at departments in Bass Pro Shop. We got our picture taken, the background was based off of the Great Pumpkin Charlie brown. There was a bean bag toss and they gave us Halloween hats. There was a pumpkin craft we took it home and made it. We had lots of fun there!

On Sunday we had a Fall festival at our church. A few days before the festival we got together with some of our friends to make/put together the games. Jem, me and a friend worked on the fishing game. We found a big box and taped a blue table cloth then we put sea creature stickers on it. The younger four (Duke, Bubbles, Pooh and Baby Kermit) and some friends made fake turkey legs out of brown and white paper bags. They stuffed them with newspaper and added some rocks, used glow necklaces as rings. The other games we had were a pumpkin ring toss, scavenger hunt, bean bag toss, pumpkin bowling and a cookie walk (it is like a cake walk but with cookies). I was lucky to be in charge of the face painting. I painted pumpkins, spider web, flowers and a car. We all had fun!

The day before Halloween, we attended a Trick or Treat/Halloween party at my Dad’s work. My Dad works on Maxwell-Gunter AFB. This was a special party just for the kids. We trick or treated at the decorated offices. Duke and Bubbles kept repeating Trick or treat smell my feet (which stink, Bubbles doesn’t wear socks most of the time) give me something good to eat. We went to some kind of meeting room. There we decorated Styrofoam pumpkins in teams of two (Jem and Baby Kermit, me and Pooh, Duke and Bubbles). Baby Kermit’s pumpkin was a cat, Pooh’s was a mummy, Duke said his looked like dad. Then there was a costume contest. A guy dressed up as a pilot from a video game won first place and a boy dressed up as a blue Power Ranger won second. We ate deviled eggs, pigs in a blanket, some pudding, cookies and a cat litter box cake. My favorite dish was the cat litter box cake.

On Halloween before we gave out candy, we fixed our outdoor decoration which were a scarecrow, a spider web, a lit-up Boo sign and some fake pumpkins. We took turns giving out candy while we watched the Book of Life. We watched the Book of Life because November 2 is the Day of the Dead. There weren’t a whole lot of kids about 10-15. I’m kind of sad we didn’t go trick or treating ☹.

I hope you had a Happy Halloween!

If you read it all you earn 20 Brownie points!

*special thanks to all the people who set up the events*

Pippi

 

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Our trip to Florida 2017

So, it was Saturday morning about 6 something, that Dad woke everyone up. We ate breakfast, did the morning routine brush hair, etc. We got in the car, it was a very long car ride and we finally got to Uncle Kenny’s house. He didn’t look at all different from the last time I saw him. I also can’t remember if I hugged him or just said hello. We went inside and saw fruit, crackers, cheese, and candy. YUM.

After we were done eating Mom said “go say hi to Gram “. There was definitely some hugging and hellos. I got bored after Mom and Gram started laughing their creepy laughs. So, I decided to look for the cat. Long story short the cat was in Uncle Kenny’s room, in her cat tower, on the top. It was like “dude” come down I want to pet you. So (because the cat won’t come down).

I went in the main room and saw Uncle Kenny and Aunt Kassie opening presents. Some of the presents were diapers, wipes, and baby clothes. After all the presents were opened there was a guess how many mints in the bottle game. Pippi won and got a delightful smelling candle. I went outside and saw boys about baby Kermit’s age, and they were playing football! We left soon after.

The Next Day… It was Sunday. We went to Assumption Catholic church. On the outside, it looked small but in the inside, it was huge. There was also the Lords supper under the Altar. Then after church we went to “Jacksonville Arboretum and Gardens.” We: Me, Pippi, Bubble, and Mom sat on a bench waiting Nana while the boys and Dad went down I path. After a little while of Bubbles taking about a yellow hair donation box, we saw Nana. If I were to keep talking about hugs it would get annoying.

So, we (the boys came back) Strolled down a path. We saw Plants, Poison berries, and some lizards. We were walking down the path and stopped to sit on a bench near the lake, When Mom shouted “Snake”! Everybody but Mom and Nana Ran. “It’s not poisonous “.  So, we came back. We also saw an Alligator, lucky was in the lake. Mom took some pictures and we left.

Later we went to Pizza hut and ate pizza with Nana. She gave us presents and they were; Pooh and Baby Kermit: dinosaurs Duke: a giant stuffed Tow Mater Bubbles: a toy lantern Me: some Hardy boy books, and Pippi: an elephant that make noises. We gave Nana hugs and left soon after.   Num Num in yo face.

The End

JEM

P.s I’m Awesome!

Infant losses and wins Pt.2

When I got pregnant with Pippi I was scared because it was not long after my first loss. I wasn’t sure I would get to keep her. I worried about everything. I was worried that she would have 12 toes or fingers. I made it worse by looking at pictures of stillborn babies. I was the most worried about an ectopic pregnancy.  I guess I had a right to worry.

I remember the day before Pippi was born because I thought I was peeing on myself. Thankfully I had a doctors appointment to tell me what was really going on. I was leaking amniotic fluid at 35 weeks. They sent us straight to labor and delivery. It felt like an eternity and no food or sleep until she was born. Thankfully being born at 35 weeks and barely 6 lbs held no serious health problems for Pippi. She was healthy. She was mine and I had no clue what to do with her? Good thing trial and error worked so well.

When I suffered my second loss Pippi was only 4 or 5 months old. I had thought for years that either both of my Fallopian tubes were working properly or one was super tube. That belief started because not long after I became pregnant with Jem. Another normal pregnancy. Normal for me is sick the entire time. I went into the doctors office at 36 weeks and found out I was fully dialated. Jem was born that day a little over 6 lbs and another healthy baby. She was a miracle.

After Jem was born we had hope for more children. Four years later I started to have migraines and found out I was pregnant with Bubbles. Again another normal pregnancy. Bubbles was the most relaxed labor and delivery. We watched the original Night of the Living Dead before the doctor told me it was time to push. The doctor and I argued about this later but for me Bubbles was born at 38 weeks around 8 lbs.  My pregnancy with Duke came as a surprise with him due on Bubble’s birthday a year later.

You can find Duke’s birth story here. He was born premature at 29 weeks weighing 3 1/2 lbs. His arrival scared me so much that I was afraid to have anymore babies. It was scary to think that I could have another preemie or lose another special person. It took years for me to forgive myself and fully understand that I did nothing wrong. After lots of prayers and confession about closing my heart to more children I found myself pregnant again.

Four years later….. Pooh’s announcement came shortly after we found out we would be moving to Washington, DC. Well that and we had donated everything to a prolife clinic. I am still so very thankful that my friends at St. Teresa’s were so happy to throw me a baby shower. They made sure little Pooh would have everything he needed. I remember only being able to eat Klondike bars and kraft Mac and cheese. Because of how premature Duke was I had to start a weekly regiment of progesterone shots. One hematoma is bad two hematoma sis the worst. It was painful but I was willing to do just about anything to keep my baby safe.

Pooh’s labor and delivery was by far the longest. I was scheduled to induce labor at 39 weeks. I always say Pooh did this because my water broke 3-4 hours before I was expected at the hospital. My water broke at 2 or 3 am and he wasn’t born until around 5pm. Scar tissue caused labor to go long. It was caused by a cone procedure as well as an iud placement that took place after Duke’s birth. I regretted the iud not just because it eventual was inbedded in my cervix but because I did it out of fear.  I should have had more trust in God.

Pooh was born a healthy baby with a very healthy appetite. He was ready to nurse as soon as he was born. He was around 7 or 8 lbs.  I really don’t remember because I was more focused on the fact that it was possible for me to give birth and be able to take my baby home with me a couple days later. He was my reassurance.

It wasn’t long before I was expecting another. I am the shining example of you can get pregnant while breastfeeding. I was pretty depressed during my pregnancy. I thought for once I was going to be able to enjoy one baby at a time. That’s where hindsight is 20/20. Only God knew how much I needed these 6 little people in my life. Only God knew how sad I would have been without Baby Kermit. Again during my pregnancy, I was required to take progesterone injections. This time the pain was self inflicted. This process became harder the closer I got to 35/36 weeks. It was either a week or a few days after my last injection that Baby Kermit made his appearance. The only danger being that for the second time my blood pressure dropped a lot when given the epidural. To be honest I don’t remember what time or weight because a week or so later my mom was visiting and ended up in the hospital. She is fine but it’s not something I will ever forget when it comes to Baby Kermits birth story.

I truly believe that God saw my sadness and knew just how my children I needed in my life. I wasn’t always happy about not being in charge of this but I’m very glad. My loss of two gave way for the welcoming of 5 more. My 6 wins. My 6 miracles, I should say 7 because I never thought I would find a man to share my life with. God has blessed me more than I could ever pray for. More than I deserve.

My Infant losses and wins pt. 1

I woke up this morning to what felt like a very real dream. I know most of us feel the same way but this dream was very different. It wasn’t something I had on my mind. I can only understand that God/The Holy Spirit are telling me I need to share. My dream was that I miscarried a tiny little person. I could feel the sadness very deep down. I could also feel the loneliness that comes with it. What I got out of these feelings and sights was that I should share my experiences.

For anyone that doesn’t know this month is Pregnancy and infant loss month. This month holds a special place in my heart not just because I am prolife but the reason I am prolife. I would like to share with you my own losses and wins. I’ll explain the wins part last.

George and I were married in 2004. I remember being so happy that I had found the man I had secretly been praying for along time. At this point in time I was only 19 years old, active duty Air Force and we lived in South Dakota. I remember being so happy when we found out and really hoping we had a boy. Sadly enough not long after we were married George had to deploy and I was left alone to work and take care of myself with the help of some of George’s coworkers. I on the other hand had a supervisor who told me as soon as I shared my news of pregnancy tell me he hoped I had a miscarriage.

In July of that year I was 6-8 weeks along. I started bleeding and thought was is wrong. I went to a doctors appointment and they told me I was lossing my baby. I had to get back in the car with George’s coworker and try not to show any emotion. I had to hold in the sadness until I got home. I also had my little brother visiting that week. He was only 14 or so at the time. I remember it so clearly just crying and crying. Not being able to tell George that our baby wasn’t going to live. I felt so guilty and defeated. I was really alone. I was able to tell George eventually but he was on the other side of the world and I had no one. I decided to confide in my one friend who kept her promise not to tell my coworkers. I remember feeling like I would never be able to put myself back together.

But I never could have known how amazing of a man I had married until he found a way to come home. He came home to help me to grieve and to be able to grieve himself. Yes, the one and only time my husband has been deployed since we have been married he came home early. I thought I had failed as a wife and woman. I started to worry if I was able to have any children. Sadly enough this was not my only loss.

My second loss was in 2005. I was 21 and Pippi was a few months old. I had no real understand of life or wasn’t taught about what having a miscarriage meant. With my first loss of a baby I was really hurt. The second time I don’t think I was quite ready to have another. I was still breastfeeding Pippi and it seemed impossible to get pregnant so quickly after. I had started bleeding and was just ok with it. I wasn’t feeling good but I was ok or so I thought. A week before Katrina hit Biloxi, Mississippi  we were driving home to South Dakota. I thought that I was merely having alot of heartburn and eating alot of tums and drinking way too much Maalox. I passed out at a rest area. George drove me to the nearest open hospital in Sioux City, Iowa. I know he was scared to death. I can’t even imagine.

At the hospital they examined me and asked me questions. I didn’t want to tell them that I thought I was having a miscarriage. I’m not sure why. But I did tell them. That’s when we found out that not only did I need to have surgery to remove my gallbladder but I had also had an Ectopic pregnancy. My unborn baby had tried to grow in my Fallopian tube and died along with rupturing my Fallopian tube. We were in the middle of nowhere and I had to have surgery. I could have died. George did his best to take care of Pippi while I was in the hospital. She was a tough little one who refused formula and would only drink juice while I was unable to breastfeed her.

My poor unborn baby suffered and died in a place where it didn’t belong. This time things changed. I knew that the doctor had done his best to fix my tube but there were no guarantees that it would work. The chances of me having anymore children was up to God alone. And now that I think about it maybe my baby died so that I could have more children. Maybe God used my sweet unborn baby’s life to bring more babies into the world.

Visiting OK and our Framily

The adjustment of living in Alabama hasn’t come as easy as we thought but I think that has to do with our move 4 years ago from Oklahoma. DC was a hard place to live and knowing it was temporary made it harder. We had lots of friends move away and move on. We have been alot more leary when it comes to making friends because I think we don’t want to get too attached. The more you move around the harder it seems to get.

We received an invitation to a friends surprise birthday party. When I first saw it I thought man how badly do I want to go to OK to see our church family. I really thought we wouldn’t have the funds to make such a short trip. I told George thinking he would say no, I would be sad and have to let it go. But to my surprise he said “Yes , let’s go. We miss our friends dearly and it would be really great to see them all.”

The drive up and over to OK went better than expected. Our kiddos have spent alot of time in the car traveling but you just never know how they are going to react. We did our best to get a good 2-3 hours in between each stop. For lunch we made sure to find an area where the kids could get out and run around. Rest areas really are becoming fewer and further between each one. The kids were easily entertained by Archie’s Weird Mysteries and Dungeons & Dragons the animated series. The also spent some time playing I spy or Hangman. The kids are great little travelers.

We arrived in Oklahoma on Friday night after a long 12+ hours in the car. We were happily welcomed by our really good friends and the kids Godparents, Larry and Jill plus their 5 kiddos. They were very generous to share their home with the 8 of us for the few days we visited. The also made us some really delicious meals. 11 kids plus 4 adults and grandpa made for a house full of fun.

Saturday, Duke had the fun opportunity to do something I’m sure he will be talking about for years. Duke became fascinated with lizards when we moved to Alabama. He has grown to love them so much that he talks to everyone we know here including the librarian and our neighbors about lizards. His God-Father, Larry took him to see the lizards. By lizards I mean lots of different types of lizards, all shapes and sizes. He was able to touch and even hold some of the lizards. He also got to hold a cockroach that made him chuckle as it climbed up his arm. Duke was very happy to share his love with his God-Father.

Saturday Night, We all headed to the 50th surprise birthday party of a very good friend of ours, Frank. We decided to keep our visit a secret just in case something came up last minute. Our secret was a welcome surprise for everyone. We received many hugs and handshakes. It felt like going home. We ate some delicious food and chatted with some awesome people. We toasted our dear friend Frank and his 50 years with many more to come. The kids ran around and played with friends they hadn’t seen in years. It felt just like the old days when we lived in Oklahoma. The boys started to get a little cranky near the end so we decided to head back to Larry and Jill’s house.

The next morning we woke up alot earlier than normal . Well, it at least felt like it. We slowly woke the kids up and told them to get dressed. We are very much a military family in that we are almost always 15 minutes early for everything. If we are late to anything I can promise theres a story, Anyways, St. Teresa of Avila Catholic Church is where some pretty important events happened. After Our Lady of Fatima Church was closed we found a great church family at St. Teresa’s. It’s where I was confirmed into the Catholic Church and Pooh was Baptized. It’s also where I had the fun honor of teaching crafts for Vacation Bible School and made some really great friends. I am very blessed to know so many amazing okies and to have been a part of a very active parish.

A little later that afternoon when went to a pool party at Frank and Joelle’s. The kids had a blast throwing water balloons, splashing around in the pool, and running around with their friends. We had an amazing buffet of food for lunch. It was a good afternoon spent with some pretty amazing people.

We spent the rest of our Sunday with Larry and Jill plus kiddos. We let the kids stay up as long as they wanted. I just figured they would spend the next day sleeping in the car. Duke and his buddy spent their time hunting and rehoming toads. Pooh and Baby Kermit built many Lego creations. The girls did make overs and dressed up. George went to bed early so he would be well rested for the drive home while I stayed up to chat with Larry and Jill whom I knew I would miss as soon as we left.

The trip home was about the same as the drive to Oklahoma. Knowing that the kids can handle a long car ride gives me alot of hope for where we can go exploring in the future. It was a really short trip to Oklahoma but I’m really glad we went.