Sunday, May 24, 2009

Benjamin in his exersaucer

Miriam with Spunkles

The good news is that I am over my viral gastritis.  This morning I woke up feeling GREAT!  Oh that was fantastic!  And just in time, too, as we now have 9 children with strep throat.  Not like there's much of a difference between 7 and 9 with it, though.  lol  It's nutty, but the entire family is taking antibiotics right now to kill it for good this round.  You might be wondering which one child is healthy - Sarah is the winner.  Of course, she had it last month, so it's not like she escaped entirely.

Between taking care of sick children, Aaron and I have also been working on planting outside.  We paused in planting our garden to work on planting fruit bushes.  So far today we've planted goumi (also spelled gumi) bushes and honeyberry bushes.  Next up are the currants, gooseberries, jostaberries, and elderberries.  I'm so excited about getting these planted!  :-)  In a couple of years we'll be eating huge amounts of fresh berries plus making delicious jellies and pies.

Sorry that there haven't been many pictures lately.  Hope you enjoy these two.  :-)  

Love, Dawn

Friday, May 22, 2009

Prayer Needed

Please pray for our family.  We've got 7 children sick with strep throat right now and I have viral gastritis.  :-S

Love, Dawn

Friday, May 15, 2009

Life goes on

Today is my 39th birthday.  I feel like one major phase of my life has just come to an end and another has started.  You see, our dog Charlie died yesterday.  Aaron and I got married in August of 1994.  He bought me Charlie as a birthday gift in March of 1996.  My birthday wasn't until May, but Charlie was ready in March.  He was a gorgeous red merle Australian Shepherd.  He is now buried next to our garden.  We have a large rock on his grave and Naomi Ruth plans to use a nail to carve his name into it.  I am going to plant a rose bush on either side of it and then put a garden bench in front of it, facing the garden.  Charlie was with us through all 10 children becoming part of our family.  He loved them all, although he was not able to interact much with Benjamin, our 7 month old.  I can remember him shepherding the other children when they would try crawling out of the room.  He would nudge them back towards me.  :-)  Charlie was also with us through 6 moves.  We bought him while living in Texas and moved twice still in the Dallas area.  Then we moved up to the Boston area of MA and I think he really enjoyed the cooler air.  Next, we moved here to Ohio and we are now in our 3rd home here.  Lord willing, this is the one we're going to stay put in.  So, I feel like Charlie was there for all of the big moments in our early married life.  Spunkles, our puppy, is 10 weeks old.  What all will occur during her life?  I imagine that she will see children growing up, getting married, and leaving home.  It's kind of hard to imagine that phase of my life and yet as I sit here on my birthday reflecting back and looking forward, I am pondering all of this.  For now, though, I am very much in the midst of the stage of raising these children up for the Lord.

Over Easter weekend, Hannah came down with a really bad case of strep throat and tonsilitis.  She saw an ENT on Tuesday and is going to need a tonsilectomy.  Her tonsils are still so big that they are actually overlaping past the uvula.  If this is the baseline, then if she gets an infection, her airway will be blocked.  I'll get that scheduled today.    Oh speaking of surgeries, Naomi Ruth is going to need to have four of her adult teeth pulled.  Her mouth just doesn't have room for them.  Aaron and I both had that surgery.  As you can imagine, she's scared.  We do not have that scheduled yet.  First we'll need to schedule the consultation with the oral surgeon.

Yesterday I took Susanna to her ENT appointment at Cincinnati Children's Hospital.  The appointment went great.  She is healing up really well from her tonsilectomy/adnoid removal.  He also felt really good about how her eating, breathing, and talking have improved.  She doesn't need to go back until October or November.  That will probably be when she has her next MRI of the tumors and then sees all of her doctors.  Please keep her in your prayers.  There was something that I thought was really funny yesterday.  I had Susanna, Benjamin, Hannah, and Naomi Ruth with me.  Over and over, people commented how I really had my hands full with four young children.  I just smiled.  Inside I was thinking, "You have NO idea!"  Four was a cinch compared to my usual 10.  :-D

Love, Dawn

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day

I had a wonderful Mother's Day here.  I enjoyed church in the morning.  Then after lunch, I got a few hours of time out alone, which was SO nice.  When I got back, we got things ready and then went for a picnic along the Scioto River.  It was a gorgeous day and we all had a wonderful time.  We were even able to meet up with friends there.  We finished off with ice cream.  Yummy!

Love, Dawn

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Thomas' 12th birthday

At the Chinese buffet

They played "Happy Birthday" over the speakers and brought out this tiny birthday cake for him surrounded by little pieces of cake for us.  :-)

Stephen LOVES eating frog legs!!!

Rebekah and Sarah


This is Miriam with her beloved pink pony.  It pretty much goes wherever she does.  It is so actively loved that it recently had a surgery to reattach its head.  :-D  She loves to "stim" with it by flicking it around in her wrist and watching it while using her other hand to finger its main and tail.  It's part of her autism.  I don't mind as it seems harmless and brings her contentment.



Miriam and Stephen

Samuel, Susanna, and Miriam

Hannah, Sarah, and Samuel

Stephen working on a pull-up
Naomi Ruth

Thomas, Stephen, and Aaron are currently celebrating Thomas' birthday by riding go carts.  I'm sure they are having a blast!  The boys have been so excited about it all week.  This is our birthday gift for Thomas this year.  :-)  His actual birthday was on Thursday.  That day we went out to his favorite Chinese restaurant and then a big playground, as you can see from the photos.

Love, Dawn

Sunday, May 3, 2009







Naomi Ruth




Every year in the spring, I love to get pictures of all of the children with the tulips.  :-)
Love, Dawn

Friday, May 1, 2009

At Home and at the Pool


Susanna loving on Spunkles

This is Dad (Grandpa) holding Benjamin, who just turned 7 months old yesterday.  Dad flew back down to Florida earlier this week.  I forgot to download pictures from his camera from the trip to D.C. with the boys.  Oops!  I'll have to figure out a different way to get them now.  They had a fabulous time!

I love homeschooling my children.  Here, I'm working with Stephen on his reading.  This year, Stephen and Rebekah have both turned into beginning readers and Sarah and Hannah are now emerging readers.  What an exciting school year!  In January, we made a really huge and very difficult decision for our family.  We decided to put Sarah, Samuel, and Miriam into the public school for this semester.  It was for a variety of reasons.  Anyway, we are trying to decide what we want to do for the upcoming school year.  I think we're going to leave Miriam in the half day special needs preschool and Samuel in the full day kindergarten.  He's not in a special needs classroom, but is definitely a special needs student.  They just work with him there and also pull him out for extra help.  It is not going nearly as well for Sarah and she's having an increasingly difficult time with her attitude.  She will be staying home with us and joining back in the homeschool after this semester.

Here's Rebekah.  Almost 2 years ago, we had her tested at a place in the Columbus area for vision problems.  We were referred there by our regular eye doctor.  They recommended vision therapy for her.  She was diagnosed with severe Visual Processing Disorder.  I have worked with her a lot here at home and she's come a long ways since then.  However, I have now decided that it is time to seek outside help.  She has an appointment with them next Wednesday where they will do a quick evaluation to update her information and then come up with a plan.  I really look forward to seeing how much she has improved since her last evaluation.  :-)

Yesterday evening was the last night of swim lessons for this season.  Naomi Ruth is staying in Level 3.  Stephen is staying in Level 2.  Hannah graduated to Level 2.  Sarah and Rebekah are staying in Level 1.  I'm really proud of the progress that all of the children made.  I brought Thomas, Miriam, and Samuel along to enjoy the fun.  Above you see Samuel and Miriam having a blast in the little children's pool.  They're both wearing the suits that have the built in floaties. We joke that they look like superheros in those suits.

Love, Dawn