Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Mother's daughter.

My precious HG on her first birthday. 

My mama's precious girl on her first birthday. :)

Happy birthday to my darling girl. You light up my days!

First day of preschool!

Today was the first day of preschool for my sweet little people. Yep, even HG gets to go for the first hour - one of the perks of Grandma being your teacher! 

Show me your backpacks!! :)

They had a blast today. When I asked Moses what he did he told me they sang fun songs and ate snacks. They also love that their buddy Shepherd goes, too. And as we headed out the door Moses yelled, "Thanks, Ms. Kat!" Indeed, thank you, Nama!!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Your Daily HG.

My sweet little lady at our family reunion in Cloudcroft. What a charmer she is!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Parade time in tiny Aztec.

So have any of you been to Aztec? I hear it's quite the tourist attraction. We have our very own McDonald's and a Dollar General! Watch out world! ;) When I heard about the little parade on main street (this was back in June!) I couldn't wait to go. My sweet husband humored me and off we went with our sweet HG (the "big" kids were with Grandma that day). 
Here is Gracie, sharing in my excitement...

I mean really, how cute is this?!

Can you see the joy shining in my face?
"Miah, Miah! Take more pictures!" she would yell.

Oh heavens. How adorable is THIS?!

This picture makes me laugh!

I'm glad Mo wasn't here at this moment.. pretty sure he would have been yelling something about a "chollo wagon". I kid you not. 

This was so, so silly.

What a fun, fun morning! Oh! And did you know the "floats" throw candy?! I'm bringing a bag next year! :)

Monday, July 23, 2012

She's mobile!

We came home from swimming, got out the (blasted!) bucket o' beans and then...

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A South African Story.

I don't remember the city I was in, the name of the hospital, or even what the hospital looked like from the outside. Here is what I do remember. Babies laying in their beds and when I went to pick one of them up they were soaked in their own urine. No one to tend them, no mama's to fuss over them. I went to the nurse and got new sheets and clothes and warm water and bathed them and cleaned them. I snuggled and read to them. My heart was broken, but then -but then - we went into the next room. These little children laying on cots. A breeze blew in the windows and their frail little selves barley stirred. When I sat down next to one of the little girls she moaned. Blood was dripping from her IV's. She had been abused. She had AIDS. She was dying alone. There I sat wondering what on earth I could do here. Just sitting next to her caused her pain. She didn't want to be touched. So I just sat, and cried and prayed. 
These stores - these little lives - they touched my heart in a way I can't describe. They changed me. When I change my babies sheets I remember the blood stained sheets of the little girl in South Africa and think of how I can help my babies to see the worlds outside their windows more clearly. I think it's done bit by bit and day by day in both big ways and small.. but it begins with their mama remembering.  
I read this post today and one thing she said really stuck with me: We’re either responding with indifference or with intercession, either with apathy or aid.
I'm praying I remember what I have seen, that I am aware of what is going on the world today, and that I am willing to be used in big and small ways to make a difference. Pray? Yes. Give? Yes. Encourage others to do the same? Absolutely. 

Friday, June 8, 2012

Cousin fun!

HG stealing everyone's sippy cups, hungry Moses, posing Sarah  and sweet Kiera and Ryder.
Good times.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Sarah is 2!

So she may have turned two a month ago today, but it still deserves to be documented!

Sarah at two:
Her nicknames are Bobo, Seh, Bozal.
Her favorite food is 'pasta'.
Her favorite toy is 'mousie mouse' (Minnie Mouse)
She loves to pick strawberries in the garden, to sing, and to do everything LOUDLY!

Happy birthday sweet girl!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Another DIY: Making your own baby formula

This is something I never brought up here. Many of you will remember when my sweet Sarah had reflux (here and here). As a result she wasn't eating well, and at one of her check ups I realized she just wasn't gaining weight. As I worked with a wonderful lactation consultant to correct the problem, I found out I was pregnant with Hannah Grace (Sarah was 5 months at the time). Well, my milk supply went way down and I was left trying to get a baby who had never had a bottle to take one. Breast milk and formula are about as different as can be. Breast milk is naturally sweet, formula is, well, gross. Sarah wanted nothing to do with the stuff and honestly I couldn't blame her. This was also around the time that Similac did their big recall. I started looking for alternatives. I figured rice milk was as close in taste as I could get to breast milk so I put the some in a bottle and tried and tried and tried to get her to take it. One day she just got it, and much to my relief she drank the whole 8oz bottle (things were getting a little dire - my milk was almost completely gone and I needed to get her hydrated). From there I worked with my lovely pediatrician to find a formula that works. Several of you have asked for the recipe, so here it is!

Recipe for Baby Formula
4 cups Original Rice Dream (fortified with calcium, etc)
1 T. - Black Strap Molasses (this is important for iron!)
1 T. - Liquid Acidophilus

1 T. - Flax Seed Oil
1 t. - Liquid Vitamin C
1 t. - Liquid CalMag (calcium & magnesium)

16 drops - Trace Minerals (concentrated)
1 t. - Infant Vitamins (optional)

I put all the ingredients into a pitcher stirred like crazy (a blender would work for this), then poured it into bottles and stored in the fridge. This makes about four 8oz bottles. 

  • I was able to find all of the ingredients at Vitamin Cottage. 
  • To make it even more cost effective I occasionally made my own rice milk, however, I liked that I could buy fortified Rice Dream (original, not vanilla!) for even more nutrition. 
  • I started by giving Sarah mostly rice milk and then slowly increasing the amount of vitamins and minerals I added. She loved it, and I felt good knowing exactly what was in her formula.
  • You can use goats milk or oats milk, as well. Keep in mind some babies are allergic to rice! However, no soy or almond milk. 
  • The initial investment is high, but the ingredients (except the Rice Dream) do last a long time. 

***I think this goes without saying, but check with your pediatrician to make sure this is right for your baby.*** 

Monday, June 4, 2012

Hannah Grace

Oh how I love you HG. My sweet little third born, the one that kept me up on countless nights, the one that loves to nibble on my shoulders, and shoot me big, slobbery smiles across the room.  
I've never met a baby as smiley as you, sweet girl. You are the sunshine I need to brighten these crazy, crazy days.  
You are a heritage and a reward, my darling girl. 

Grace Laced Mondays

Thursday, May 31, 2012

She sings.

This is what we do after naps just about every day. Sarah loves it, Hannah Grace loves it, and I think it's pretty cute!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


The last two days I have been working like crazy to pack up everything we will need for a week in the big city. Yes. It is the big city. I can honestly say after a couple of years on Molokai, then Socorro, then Farmington, then Aztec, that Albuquerque may as well be LA for this girl. The drivers, man, the crazy drivers. But, I digress. I have been packing, cleaning, preparing. Honestly, most days I make it through by the skin of my teeth (just keepin' it real) so to add packing to the list of things to accomplish was more challenging than I had planned. Thanks to Miah, Kat, Aunt Susie, and the Holy Spirit, however, we were on the road this afternoon and all three littles slept the whole way here. Thank you, Jesus.
When we come into town everyone is just so gracious. We are a handful. A mini circus. A loud mini circus because, I mean, we have Sarah and if you know Sarah then you know what I mean. We whip into my godparents lovely home like a tornado with sticky fingers and blonde hair. Or something. We have been here about 5 or 6 hours and so far my sweeties have loved, yelled, eaten, thrown up, cried, cracked up, oh, yeah, and one of them may have written on the couch with pen. Yikes. Through it all my godparents have made us dinner, laughed, over looked transgressions, and just loved on us. Tomorrow my Mama and Auntie Pam will help us navigate the zoo, on Thursday we get to see Bri and her little man at the aquarium, Thursday is Kim McClain (an attraction in her own right) and Carol, THEN MIAH GETS HERE!! and my lovely mil, then we tackle the Warrior Dash (Lord help me), and on Sunday we are Chuck E Cheesing it for Sarah's 2nd birthday. These days, not just Albuquerque days, but all of these days with three little ones are just plain crazy. Those who have been here and walked the road get it. I am so grateful for the family and friends that welcome us in and encourage us. Love one us. Feed us. And HELP us.
Thanks guys. You mean the world to us!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Sleeping beauties

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Smoothie girl

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Another video for Roo.

The first video is HERE.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Touch a Truck, Again!

Once again we had a blast at Touch a Truck! While last year the weather was much nicer, there were still plenty of fire trucks (although no school buses, sorry Mo!) so the kids were still pretty happy. Sarah was actually pretty uninterested, but she did manage to score some chips and a purple balloon and that seemed to cheer her up. I mean, really, what are cranes, fire trucks, and wheel loaders in comparison to a purple balloon?!

"Uh, mom, there are balloons hanging from that crane over there and I would really like to cut out this fire truck tour and head on over there, please."

We were smart this year and went during the quiet hour. This seems to suit my little man much better.

We had a blast! And for what it's worth this time last year we were sweating and getting sunburned at Touch a Truck and now it's snowing like crazy outside. I'm glad the prior warm weather did talk me into planting my garden!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

She scoots!

Preschoolers at the Park

Well, we did it. We went to Berg Park. You know, I like doing fun things with my kids, but it is just plain nuts to try to do, um, anything these days. Thanks to Aunt Susie the chaos was contained today, but I honestly considered offering her some chocolate milk and a blanket when we got home. She chased my kids everywhere. Thank you, Aunt Susie!

Look at Mo and Shep holding hands. Little buds.
I'm pretty sure they were looking for ants to feed.

Sarah's phrase of the day: I got 'em. As in, no, do not touch me, I will do this myself. 


This little chickadee had a blast. 
We picnicked, listened to the longest story on ants I have ever heard, fed ants crumbs and ducks corn. We even saw some deer and geese. All in all, success!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Your daily HG

Monday, April 2, 2012

Your Daily Sarah.

I couldn't help but sing "Coal Miner's Daughter".. hehe! She's a mess!

Gracelaced Mondays.. Spring love!

Mom! I didn't kill them! I'm so proud! :)

Sarah's sweet little fingers checking out our budding peach tree.

I love that these herbs come back each year! 
Forsythia.. Gran would be so proud!

The raspberries are spreading!! Yay!

Grace Laced Mondays

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Your Daily Hayes

He's got his ele's and Thomas the Train. What else could he need?

Playing in her fort.

Goodness gracious, this child is cute!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Pictures for the family!

What a lovely, warm day! We had a blast hanging out in the backyard today and I am so, so glad summer is approaching. I can't wait for more days like today... and my kids do occasionally wear pants and HG does get out of her (Mo's) pj's occasionally. :)
While mama snaps pictures:

Monday, February 27, 2012

Count it all joy

The last two weeks have been nuts. It started with this weird virus that gave everyone (but me, thank you Jesus) high fevers and this weird rash. The fever made the kids throw up. Everywhere.
Just when we were out of the woods with that one Sarah came down with RSV. Then Hannah. Then Moses. And Miah. Then HG got an ear infection. Then I came down with the nasty. Aaaaaand to round things out nicely we just came back with more antibiotics and what not to treat Sarah's ear infection.
Have any of you ever gave three babies breathing treatments back to back? I'm wondering if I can OD on albuterol. The fumes, man.
Through it all I have earnestly been praying for healing. That God would drive the sickness from us (Ex 23:25). Apparently the answer was no. I asked that his grace would be sufficient (2 Cor 12:9), but honestly it didn't help my sleep deprived, sick self all that much. I found myself wallowing in a bit o' self pity and kiiiinda inwardly yelling "Why God, WHY?!" (please laugh with me here) as I cleaned up another round of vomit or got up for the twentieth time or held an inconsolable baby in my arms. Honestly, I was so confused. I was asking God to heal my littles and he just simply didn't. I was asking for wisdom as to how to comfort them and nothing came to me in a flash of light. Slowly over the last couple of weeks my heart has settled on this: in this world we will have trouble (John 16:33). We will. Furthermore, I'm supposed to consider it pure joy when I encounter trials of many kinds (James 1:2). How in the world can I develop the character God wants me to have if I balk at every trial, every test? God works in us, yes, but I have to cooperate. I want God to just zap me and make me patient, make me kind, make me super mom... but it doesn't necessarily work that way. I have to be more willing to do the hard thing and not get so upset that it's, um hard! Thank you Jesus, that you are more patient with me than I am with myself.
Grace Laced Mondays