The kids are all right

Returning from my blogging hiatus for an update on my children. Because 1) I haven’t done this kind of post in awhile 2) they are doing some seriously awesome things that I want to be able to look back on in years to come 3) I have an unprecedented case of ‘pregnancy brain’ this go around and my memory is similar to a goldfish… So here goes:

Gabriel, 8 years and 9 months


Gabriel is growing up so quickly. He solved the Rubics cube several times in the past few weeks and competed in a school wide Rubics cube competition this week and did well! We are awaiting to see if he made it on the school’s team, which will then go to the state competition. G is doing awesome in school. His mind never ever stops turning. Google helps answer the questions that J and I have no clue about, lately he’s been asking about how teeth are formed, what is the Bermuda Triangle, if Noah’s Ark has been found, why gluten is fed to cows, where the remains of the cross were discovered, etc etc. He never stops! He’s pulling scores 4 grades above his current grade in math and science, and is right on track with reading. He has woken at 5:45am the past 2 mornings. (why?!?!) This kid loves the trampoline and wrestling/roughhousing with the neighbor boys. He hates when I make him change him clothes because he couldn’t care less if his shoes were mismatched or if his shirt was on backwards for an entire day. He never stops EATING. He still enjoys building stuff, from Legos to bridges/towers vs fans at school. He was psyched to get the 2-year award at the wrestling banquet this year and is looking forward to baseball starting shortly! He’s also taken up piano and after only a few weeks is playing recognizable tunes. When he grows up he currently aspires to be an engineer/priest πŸ˜‰

Lucy, 6 years and 11 months


Lucy is a very interesting person. This kid LOVES art like it’s her air. She finished a session of 2 art lessons with a local artist and was inspired even more, if that’s possible. Lucy is an amazing student. She’s had perfect report cards this whole year. She’s reading way above her grade level and truly enjoys reading, which makes her bookworm mama happy. Her current favorites are Owl DiariesΒ series that she finishes in about an hour each. She’s also playing piano and doing well. She’s already started borrowing her friend’s clothes (what the what??) and wants to go out for sushi for her *ahem* 7th birthday next month. She’s a very sensitive girl and internalizes almost everything. She’s become attached to our rabbits and says prayers for them almost every night. She’s excited to play real softball this spring. She makes homemade cards for the garbage man, our priest, various family members, her friends, teachers, and her parents. She is slow as MOLASSES in the mornings. When she’s all grown up, Lucy would like to be an artist. If that doesn’t work out, a K-LOVE singer. And if all else fails, a veterinarian. πŸ˜‰

Amelia, 4 years and 4 months


Kitchen helper extraordinaire, this one. We MUST bake every Wednesday and Friday as soon as she gets off the preschool bus, and she’s now allowed to cut vegetables with a butter knife.Β  Amelia is a very persistent child and talks nonstop. Her speech is getting so much better with speech therapy, it’s amazing. Amelia loves books, bouncing, running, anything in the kitchen, playing with friends, her toy birds named Angie and Rainbow, the trampoline, lacing cards and glitter markers. Amelia is like a sponge at this age, I love it. You can almost see her just soaking everything up and she’s blunt and honest. She’s very sweet and also very emotional. Some days I do believe that she cries more than she doesn’t. She has 2 volumes: home=LOUD and school=appropriate tones. We’re working on that. She races to be the first one dressed in the morning and occasionally wins, but otherwise cries. She loves to wear ‘high heels’ on Sundays to church and always fights to sit next to me at dinner. She ends all questions with ‘yes?!’ hoping that I will answer in her favor. She’s decided that when she grows up she would like to own a bakery possibly specializing in cupcakes and also be a horse-riding-girl. πŸ˜‰

Ruth, 1 year and 6 months


And next up is the resident climber of the House. I sure do hope that this stage has an end, because my house is only so tall and I only have so many places to put things up. It goes like this: Ruth dumps the crayon bucket that contains approximately 50,000 crayons. I put the bucket in a locking tote. She figures out how to open it, dumps them again. I move the bucket to the middle of the dining room table. She moves a chair, climbs, dumps. I put them on top of the piano. She find a step stool, scales the piano and dumps. The step stools are banished to the stairway, locked behind a baby gate. She somehow fanagles that gate and gets a step stool, with her next stop being the kitchen island. Here she eats whole oranges out of the bowl and pushes anything and everything onto the floor until her mother becomes a raging lunatic that the climbing MUST STOP. Ruth is a really fun age, albeit being difficult to take to libraries, stores, anywhere with shelves. Her favorite thing to do secondary to climbing is to play and explore outside. She would be out there all day, as long as the snow isn’t too deep that she can walk. She loves seeing animals and is especially fond of dogs. She’s excellent at cleaning out mixing bowls. She enjoys walking the kids into school and despises the vacuum cleaner. She’s very good at ripping/coloring on/hiding library books but squeals when they have flaps or sliders. She no longer will sit in her high chair (another climbing apparatus) but prefers the table chair. I often catch Ruth in the bathroom attempting to eat toothpaste or clean the toilet. And today I saw her dip her toothbrush into the bathwater. When she grows up she wants to be a rock climber πŸ˜‰

Baby Five, 21 weeks gestation

I have yet to meet this child face to face, but I do know that he/she is hungry! This baby enjoys laying still and quiet for the majority of the day, but then comes alive at 5am. This baby does not tolerate much of his/her mama’s activity, as I’ve learned to deal with in the past pregnancies. A short time of doing things around the house and I feel terrible. Baby prefers my new copper-infused compression stockings (thanks Prime!) and has contributed to the audible clunk in my pelvis with every step I take. This baby prefers I take a nap a few times a week. This baby has yet to have a name that either of us can agree on, and this is starting to give me stress. This baby has taken the usual shape of a basketball in my abdomen. πŸ˜‰

Have a Blessed Tridiium!

Whoa! Black Betty, the Transit Van

Well we finally did it. We bought a van! And let me tell you bout this van, because of course it has a story…..

We have been looking for a new vehicle for OVER A YEAR. It’s been a long, tedious and at times very frustrating task. I don’t think it is this hard for everyone to buy a new car. But then again I don’t think everyone is looking for enough space for 7 people, 5 of which are in carseats, and all their stuff, plus room for extras if needed. We looked at all the SUVs, including but not limited to Expeditions, Excursions, Suburbans, as well as minivans and found all of them to be similar to the situation that we are currently in: cramped. One can’t even fit 3 carseats across the back row of a minivan and barely across the back row of a big SUV.

I digress.

We looked for Transits for the past year as well, but never thought we would actually find what we were looking for. I DID NOT want white and that’s often what you always see.Β  They are really not the coolest looking car on the road, but it’s ok. I’m not really driving to look cool anymore! We have test driven several of these over the past year.

We found this van online from Enterprise car sales. Fun fact: 80% of used cars on the road today were once a rental vehicle. Enterprise keeps their ‘nicer’ cars to sell themselves and sells the rest to dealers. We talked about the van for about a week, then called and told them we’d take it. It was located in Michigan, so would be put on a car hauler to bring to Des Moines, the closest Enterprise car sales.

10 days later we got this pic from our dealer rep, Josue. Black Betty had arrived!


Then the real fun began. Apparently not all insurance companies cover Transits due to their potentially high passenger capacity. Due to this, we had to find a new company, and to make a long story short, a new insurance representative. That was not easy. There was also a hassle with the company realizing that this was for personal, not commercial use, which is another common problem we’ve heard of people having.

There was also a problem with how we were going to pickup this van. Enterprise had offered to give us a rental car to drive and pick it up to bring home. But they didn’t have anything available to loan on this day that would fit all of us. So we found a babysitter and they gave us this:


Not bad, but we were expecting a Focus. Ha! By the way, carseats do NOT fit well into the back of this thing either. *sigh* Overall though, Enterprise was wonderful to work with and we’d definitely go back again.


So we drove to DSM in the Chevy truck and I drove back in the Transit. Alone. On Interstate 80. For 2.5 hrs. Another story why J stayed in DSM but I’ll spare the blogosphere that one. A bit nerve racking? Yes, but I survived and so did she. Let’s just say I’m learning to use my mirrors!


Yes, the van is big. It’s no minivan, it’s a ‘maxivan’ as J puts it. It’s very industrial in some ways, which is good for us with the amount of people it’s going to be hauling. There are also some really handy features. Honestly though, it handles like a minivan, or about the same as my Expedition does, as that’s no joke. I really don’t find it hard to drive, just switching lanes is a bit more tricky. There is a backup camera which is super nice. We’re taking out several of the seats for more space and it’s going to work really well. I’ll plan a blog tour of the van once we get situated in there. Would you believe the kids were actually fighting over seats?! Incredible. It’s not like they don’t have options, sheesh.

And I’ll leave you with Black Betty lyrics in your head for the remainder of the day. You’re welcome πŸ˜‰