Giving Thanks (inspired by)

Thanks be to God, Father, Son and Spirit, for the abundance of good things he pours on His children.
We are but few, but His blessings are many.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

thar she blows!

Thanks to everyone who gave ideas for a name for our van. We have decided to go with "Moby." The kids think it is hilarious to pretend they are driving around in the belly of a whale! (you'll get quite a reaction if you tell them they smell like whale next time you see them!)

Other great ideas that I am going to file away if we ever have to get another van!
the family truckster
the circus mobile
the giant marshmallow

Friday, April 24, 2009

Name that Van!

We are now the owners of a ridiculously enormous van! Yes folks, check out this lovely FIFTEEN passenger beauty!

I am so proud of my dear husband for giving up his CRV - quite a trade for this beast, but I know he did it out of love for his big family!

The kids love it of course- it's like a new playroom, practically an addition on our house!

For those of you who are wondering...
No, we do not need to get a special license to drive this thing!
And no, we are not making it our mission to fill the entire thing up with children! :) Though Eldon is an awfully good little baby, once tempting us to ask, "what's ONE more?"
( hahaha just trying to scare my mom to death!)

So I need some help here- our van needs a name! Our SUV is Bubba, a name we once thought was fitting for such a huge vehicle. Now Bubba is the small vehicle! What kind of name is befitting this huge thing? Josh suggested "the Silver Bullet," but I think that name is much too cool for this ridiculous thing. In my head I keep calling it the big-a** van, but that is not appropriate to share with the children!

Other suggestions:
The Beast
The Keg
the beer can
b'donk'a donk

Votes? other ideas?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Goodbye twenties... hello full sized van!

Yesterday was a rare treat- a family day on a Tuesday! Josh took Tuesday off to recover from his crazy week last week with church and the new baby and everything else.

Josh and I were feeling extra ambitious in the morning (must have been the good coffee you left for us mom!) so we packed up all five kids for our very first outing together- first breakfast at Bob Evans, then to the children's museum in Indianapolis!

It was a fun afternoon, despite the busloads of other children at the museum, but the drive there and back was.... let's just say not so fun. Our wonderful SUV is technically a seven passenger vehicle, but I think car manufacturers are allowed to test these standards using dwarfs- and dwarfs with no car seat laws to follow! Just getting everyone in there was a workout in itself! Once they were squished in there like clowns in a volkswagen, getting along and staying in their own space seemed impossible.

So my husband is a thinking....
Thinking of giving up his last ounce of "cool" (his CRV) and buying one of these.....

Seriously, can you really see me driving this?
(Why do I suspect most people out there are going to say yes?)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Nana returns home...

Battle worn and weary, Nana left this morning for Michigan. She has at last completed her two weeks living in the wild Cook household. Her clothes are tattered, her eardrums blown, and she mumbles to herself on occasion, but overall she has finished the race with dignity and grace. I imagine she will soon be collapsing into her bed for a day or two of much needed reprieve.

In all seriousness, we could not have made it through these 2 weeks without you mom! It has been an enormous blessing to have you here caring for us while we adjust to life with the newest little Cook. I have been pampered, spoiled, and well-fed. You did what I thought was impossible- made it possible for me, mommy of five, to get some rest (even during the day!) And all the while I got to enjoy a clean house and relatively clean children (you can only do so much with these kids!)

At this moment Marcus is calling for you from his playpen, and Lorraine is holding back her tears and snuggling Eldon for comfort. It was a tearful goodbye and we will miss you so very much. We thank God for you, for all you did for us, and most of all for the love you have for each one of us. Lord willing, we will see you again very soon!

Friday, April 17, 2009

prayers for Aggie needed again

Aggie had a great time on vacation with Grammy Pammy and Bump the week before Easter. I am glad the timing worked out so well- if she had been having the struggles that she had this week before vacation, I don't know if we would have let her even go. Aggie has been on her newest med for just over 4 weeks now. She had a few days when it really seemed like it was helping, but then the seizures came back and we started seeing some bad side effects. She was acting spacy, uncoordinated (even for Aggie), and at times was almost impossible to communicate with. It is hard to explain exactly, but in short her personality was drastically different AND the seizures came back.

So yesterday she was taken off this medicine and we are trying another one (lactimal). This one does not have the cognitive side effects, but we do have to watch her for a (very rare but very serious) rash. Because of the rash she will be put on it very very gradually.... so we should know in nine weeks if this medicine helps or not!

I am hoping to see her mentally come "back" here pretty soon... I miss her, if that makes any sense!

Please pray for Josh and I as we continue to research and try to figure out what is best for our little Aggie. Is there another approach we should be taking? Should we get a second opinion? Should we try the diet, consider surgery, send her for more tests? Are we just being impatient? We are considering a second opinion and may have her records reviewed by the specialists at the Mayo clinic in Minnesota.

So after a difficult week, we continue to hope and pray and fight for her. Meanwhile, I have been so blessed by the help of my mom who is staying through the weekend, and little Eldon has been nothing but a joy to us. Sometimes I look at him and think "If God can create such a perfect little person, surely He can help us through this trial with Aggie. Surely He can either defeat this foe for her, or bring an even greater good out of this trial for her and for us."

Our God is powerful, and He does hear the prayers of His children.
Thank you for praying with us.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Welcome to the family!

Welcome to God's family little Eldon!

We celebrate the resurrection of our Lord today and thank God for his love for each of us, especially our littlest lambs.
Eldon was baptized into Christ this morning during the Easter service.

"Fear not, for I have redeemed you. I have called you by name and you are mine."

Saturday, April 11, 2009

chaotic saturday

Chaos is home again!
The three big kiddos came back at 330am this morning. It is SO good to see them!
They got to meet their baby brother in the middle of the night (of course we were up anyway!) and of course they had a hard time getting back to sleep after that!
A sweet moment between brothers.... Marcus actually snuggled this little guy for a whole two minutes yesterday!
Mommy and her baby boys!
Daddy and Eldon at the hospital
Eldon all ready to go home!
Nana and her boys at the hospital
Eldon and his grand-mommies!

Today was a very busy chaotic day with a house full of people. The kids are all glad to see each other. Marcus was so happy to have other kids to wrestle and play with today! He did have to get used to losing battles again- he has not really had to share any toys for a good week now. The big kids are swiftly putting him back in his place!
Eldon had a much better night last night and seems to be a very content baby.

Every now and then I think OH MY GOODNESS I have FIVE kids!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Good morning world!

Today is Eldon's first brand new day. He is sleeping through most of it of course!
He had a pretty good night... He sure is a vocal little baby! I forget what it is like to sleep next to a little squeaky newborn! Is he going to be a great sleeper like all the rest? I don't know yet. All I know for sure is that he is a HUNGRY baby! He seems pretty happy so far... he doesn't even mind that I keep calling him Marcus! We are planning to go home later this afternoon!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Baby's here!

Praise God for the safe delivery of Eldon Daniel Cook today at 1:46pm.

Labor and delivery were uncomplicated and yes, even easy! (Praise the Lord for epidurals!) I started on pitocin around 8am, had very mild contractions until ten, water broke and epidural at about 10am, and Eldon joined the outside world with only 2 pushes at 1:46pm! He is healthy and content, and I am feeling FANTASTIC! I like this postpartum stuff so much more than the week or 2 leading up to the birth!

Marcus was happy to meet his new little brother. I think he was even more happy to share daddy's M&Ms with him at the hospital... AND climb on mommy's lap without getting kicked by the baby inside!

God has once again provided for our daily bread- I thank Him for providing kind and skilled nurses and docs, a great hospital, strong bodies to endure childbirth (mine and Eldon's!), the help of modern medicine, a wonderful husband and father of our five sweet babies, and friends and family to share in our great joy today. I am again amazed at His skillful work in the creation of another new little person- and awed that He has called me to play a part.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Today's blessing: helping hands

This is Marcus "helping" Nana put on her makeup!
It is great to finally have you here grandma! I am glad these posts didn't scare you away!

Now we are just waiting for baby. The past 2 nights I have had contractions that wake me up every hour or so, worse each night, but still not really labor. (I hear I am not that easy to sleep next to these days either.) It is SO NICE to have the 'finish line' in sight- tomorrow morning at this time we will FINALLY be doing something productive to get this baby here!

The room is ready, we are ready, and Marcus is ready.... well we hope so. He is rather lost with his siblings gone, but he enjoys having all of this strange baby furniture to play with!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Today's blessing

Seeing yourself through toddler eyes!

This is a picture Aggie drew of "mommy with her big fat tummy!"

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Things that DO NOT bring on labor

Wanting to go into labor

Praying to go into labor

A week of sleep-deprivation due to contractions, restless legs, and nesting

Vacuuming underneath the furniture

Having long discussions with the baby about how nice it would be if he would decide to see the outside world TODAY... really baby, it might be very noisy out here, but there is MUCH more room to move around!

Long walks down a country road while herding toddlers

Taking long hot baths

power vacuuming

power mopping

power window washing

power dancing

Laughing so hard your insides hurt (thanks Mary Anne and Anette!)

ENORMOUS amounts of adrenaline coursing through your body after what looked like a major head injury to Aggie (she is fine!)

Running full speed through a parking lot in a thunderstorm (after eating too much fried onion!)

Watching MICHIGAN STATE clobber UCONN! Whoo hooo! (During the game even Marcus learned how to say "they're going DOWN" ...of course it sounds more like "GO DOWN!"

So as you can see, we are still waiting. It is nice to know that we will not have to wait any longer than this wednesday (the 8th) when I will be induced. In the meantime, we are enjoying our oddly quiet house... the 3 older children left with Grammy Pammy and Bump for vacation early this morning! It has been a fun day so far spoiling our little Marcus, babying the baby who will not get to be the baby much longer!

PS I can't wait to see you mom!!!!

Today's joy: good dance partners!

Marcus and Aggie never miss a chance for a dance party!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Something to keep you going today

A gift of love

Well, a handful of gifts of love really.

Make that several handfuls, several times a day, every time you are outside!

If you are especially grateful and put a few dandelions behind your ears, they will praise you as their "Dandelion Princess!"

Thursday, April 2, 2009

boys and dogs

Today's mission: Clean your house

That's it, really. Do whatever it takes to keep the parrots and cat out of the way while you help your house recover from this week's chaos.

You will also receive a playful St. Bernard in the mail today.

He will be of great help to you while you clean- he finds and consumes every old piece of food on the floor, in the couch cushions, in every corner of the house. While you enjoy his help, don't forget to prevent him from eating non-food items such as bird feathers, small toys, shoes, and insects.

Oh, and his big tail will certainly knock over every fragile knick-nack you have below waist level in your house- he will help you learn to put all important, breakable things as close to the ceiling as possible at all times.

By the way, the dog's name is Marcus!

Something to keep you going today: brotherly love!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A snuggly day

Something to keep you going today: SNUGGLES!

With the exception of Aggie, the kids generally like to start the day off slowly- with some TV, some chocolate milk, and lots of snuggles under a blanket (the softer the better!) This also gives mommy some time to blink the crusties out of my eyes and drink my first cup of coffee.

Of course snuggles may turn into wrestling matches.... and lately there is often a fight over who gets to sit by mommy first (my lap has been off limits for a couple months now), but these conflicts will be much easier to work out when you are here too! We can divide five between the two of us without a problem!

We can't wait to SNUGGLE our Nana!!!!