Wednesday, February 23, 2011

that’s not delightful..

On the way home from Olivia’s ballet class tonight, Isabella made some kind of raspberry-type noise in the van while she and Olivia were talking and playing. 

Olivia corrected her right away, “Isabella, that’s not delightful!”    


No indeed!


IMG_1710  Here she is today, asking me to take her picture.. 




Some things (persons) that I find *quite* delightful..

IMG_1708  and     IMG_1711 

and of course Noah wanted to be in the middle of a squeeze, too..


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Valentine’s Day


Every year we make heart cookies.  Usually I pipe out the kids’ names, but I ran short on time this year and so we opted for sprinkles.  The sprinkles were put on carefully by the some of the kids, and not so carefully by some others.


It didn’t matter.  We ate them all anyway. 

They are a great cookie recipe – from Ina Garten (the Barefoot Contessa).  We’ve used the recipe for 4th of July flag cookies (the original recipe), autumn leaf cookies, Christmas snowmen and angels, and hearts.  They are very similar to shortbread –yum!  You can find it here, although I saw it in a Living magazine years ago and now keep it in my recipe binder. 

You’ll love them!


Glenn sent me some really beautiful roses –                        





We had a family favorite for dinner – spaghetti – followed by the cookies and the heart-shaped, giant-sized Reeces peanut butter chocolates from Daddy.

The best things were the sweet little cards the girls and I made.  We had all kinds of trims from my stash and they surprised each other, and the boys, with the valentines we made.  


Hope your Valentine’s Day was filled with love and joy!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The backpacks

The girls mostly use them for their ballet shoes, but I’ve found all kinds of stuff in them.  Tights, fresh underwear, leotards, paper, special pens, stuffed animals, even a 28 oz bottle of bubble bath!

I found the tutorial online and made just a few changes.  (if you’re interested in making one, the link to it is  here ),


front  - can you see the little “I” and “S”? 

IMG_1420backs (nifty little straps aren’t they?)



IMG_1421  even the inside is cute!  (that’s the bottle of bubble bath I told you about.. see it way down in there?… Smile)

Friday, February 11, 2011

a tired winter

The little girls and I were talking about Spring yesterday, when Isabella asked, “Isn’t Winter tired of being here?  Doesn’t it want to take a nap now?”


A view of the winter scene out our back door- not looking very tired yet.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Most of my good friends know that I have had 6 miscarriages.  They have been mixed in between the kids, not all at once. Although they were terribly, terribly difficult to go through, God has blessed me through them in surprising ways, and through them He has grown me spiritually.  In ways I needed to grow – to learn to depend more on Him, and trust Him and to understand gratitude and contentment more fully. 

I don’t know if anyone might stumble upon this post who doesn’t know me, or doesn’t know I’ve had miscarriages, but Glenn encouraged me to say something here because he felt God might use it to comfort or bless someone.  So although I am fairly private, I agreed. 

I had a very dear friend experience her first miscarriage last year.  She knew of my experiences, and we talked a lot.  This is some of what I shared with her.  I omitted her name for her privacy. 

I pray that if you have been touched by miscarriage, our Great Physician and Comforter would comfort you now, and in the days ahead. 


Dear Friend,

It is very hard.  The hardest thing that has happened to me - each time.  Especially right now because your loss is raw and open.  I cried alot, too - and for many weeks - and months.  The amount of time it takes to grieve is personal - don't feel obligated (by others or yourself) to hurry through it.  God will heal your hurt in His perfect timing.  It will happen.  There are some scriptures  that were so helpful to me during my miscarriages, that  when I read them today, they comfort me still- and they remind me of my little ones - but not in a way to cause me to feel overwhelming sadness again, just encouragement, and hope.  I am glad to share some of them with you -

This one I copied and framed years ago and it hangs in our downstairs bathroom - so I can read it every day.

     Jeremiah 29:11-13  "For I know the plans that I have for you", declares the Lord, "plans to prosper and not to harm you, to give you a future and a hope.  Then will you call upon me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart."

It reminds me that no matter what sorrows or sad things happen in my life – He has ordained them for me, and they are meant for good, not harm.  His plans for me are to give me a future and a hope - He loves me - and He wants me to pray to Him - to seek Him with all my heart - and He promises me that when I do, He will listen to me, that He will be found by me.  If you seek Him, Dear Friend, you will surely find Him - and His plans for you – and Tiny Baby- are meant for good.  He is not punishing you.

2 Corinthians 1:3-5  "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.  For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ."

I have thought of this one often over the years - especially when a dear friend - like you - suffers a miscarriage.  I pray that God gives me the words to comfort you in your affliction - and I pray that God will use this trial in your life, working through you to offer comfort to others in their own affliction - whether that is miscarriage, or something else.  Who knows, Dear Friend, but that you may be able to comfort your own daughters if they would have to experience miscarriage - what a blessing it would be to them to know how well their mother knows their sadness.  I pray my girls don't have to endure that - but I am grateful that God can use me to bless them.  And even more - remember that God is comforting you - and His comfort and love are abundant!  You have no despair about your baby - you know that your treasure is in Heaven and you have full expectation of seeing that beloved one some day.  It will happen. 

John 16:33 "These things I have spoken to you so that in Me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble, but take heart, I have overcome the world!" 

Jesus said those words to comfort and reassure his disciples - and you are a follower of Jesus, so these words are for you, as well.  Take heart, Dear Friend!  He has overcome the world - and you abide in Him - so He will enable you to overcome this trial.

Romans 8:26-28 "in the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness:  for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words, and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.  And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” 

When you don't know the words to pray - and your heart aches with your sorrow - the Spirit will intercede for you with groanings - and God will know your need.  He will use your sorrow for good, to His glory - because you love Him. You are called by Him.  He will comfort you.

Romans 5:3-5  "And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance, and perseverance, proven character; and proven character hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us." 

Dear Friend, persevere!  God will use it to mature you and prove you - and you will not disappoint Him, and you will not be disappointed.  You have the gift of the Holy Spirit to strengthen you.

James 1:2-4  "Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance, And let endurance have its perfect result so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." 

Dear Friend, no one expects you to be joyful in a worldly sense about your miscarriage, but it is a kind of testing that will produce endurance in your life - and the result will be a finishing, a polishing of your spirit that will please God.  He will mature you through this trial, strengthen your faith, mold you even more in the image of His Son so that you will not be found lacking.

There are so many more - and these are just racing through my mind as I type, but as John 5:39 says, "search the scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life.  And they are they which testify of Me."

Search them, Dear Friend, and you will be comforted. 

I think one thing that's important, but maybe hard to realize right now, is that when you are able to go from a mindset of feeling sadness and  loss - to feeling sadness and gratitude, you will heal.  Sadness is inevitable, unescapable.  But gratitude is harder.  It's easy, and normal, to feel the loss - because you have been disappointed in your hopes of having another child here to love, comfort, teach, watch grow, and hold.  It's harder to be thankful for the miracle of a life conceived, when you can't feel the joy of knowing that life.  I don't know if I can explain this well - but I'll try.  I kind of said it a little in an email I sent you last week - so I apologize for repeating myself.

God created your little baby for Himself.  Not for you or your husband. For Himself.  He gave you something He doesn't give to every woman - He put a life inside of you.  You couldn't make it happen - no matter how hard you try, and no matter what physical hoops you jump through that are supposed  to create a baby and make many people feel as though they have had a hand in it, you didn't.  No one could.  It was all God.  Him - the whole way through.  Him, creating a person, like no other person.  People can - and do - all sorts of things to control it themselves - to make it happen, or not happen - but God is sovereign.  Not one maverick molecule in the whole universe!  Only He is the Author of life.  Only He brings it forth.  So you have been blessed in a very special way.  God put a life inside of you!  It's amazing!  Incredible!  Miraculous!

  Your baby has a spirit - and that spirit is living now.  God used you to create that little one that He desired to live - eternally.  You will even be able to see that one someday - eternally!  Of course God knows we want them now - with us, so we can have the pleasure of loving them, holding them, knowing them.  But His ways are higher than ours - and so we trust that if He wants us to wait to know them, He is wiser, His way is better.  We don't have to understand it - we just believe it.  Have faith in it.  So, Dear Friend, grieve for your baby - mourn for what you will not know of him here - but rejoice that God is glorified through you.   He created in you - something for Himself.  Bless God!  Praise Him!  I don't mean don't cry, don't be sad - but find gratitude and hope in the midst of it.

  He has considered you capable of this trial and He desires you to be blessed through it.  He loves you, sister.  I love you, too, Dear Friend.  And I am thankful to be your friend - and so desirous of offering comfort and help to you in any way I can.  I am thankful God has seen fit to use me for His purposes.  You will be used by Him, too, Dear Friend.  You will be able to bring comfort to a friend, or daughter, or stranger, because of this.  God will use it for good in your life and in someone else's. 

It is going to be hard to see a little baby or to watch other ladies who are pregnant grow bigger with their babies, for a time.  It just will be.  But I am praying for you that God would strengthen you at those times when you might be tempted to feel angry or jealous.  Try not to compare your life to theirs - but pray that you would be thankful for what you have been given.  All of it.  Let Christ's peace be your peace, Dear Friend.  And try not to feel guilty if you struggle with it - that is part of the strengthening.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Luke turned 15 on Monday, the 31st.  I can hardly believe it. 

On our lunch trip to 5 Guys, we talked about lots of things – and of course I told him about the day he was born.  Just the excitement Dad and I felt… how my first contraction was at 8:33 am as I was watching Good Morning America.    As I drove to the hospital, Glenn was at work, I was speeding just a little and kind of hoping a policeman might want to ask why.  How I remember the day we brought him home with us.  We both thought we should have taken some kind of test to be able to just leave the hospital with him.  Were we qualified? 

And of course our first night at home when Glenn looked at Luke and said, “I hope I don’t make too many mistakes with you.”

Luke loves Bobcats, Legos, reading – especially Brian Jacques’ Redwall books, air drumming, and working hard outside at the Schofield’s farm.  He wants to be a good big brother – is protective of his sisters, opens doors for me when we are out, helps steer Noah toward wise-ness, instead of foolishness, and loves to be with his Dad.  He’s a great boy! We love him.

DCP_0313 here he is with Alix -

IMG_1378and with me on Monday.


opening his gifts, surrounded by excited sisters – getting a little kiss from Sophia!IMG_1389

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


I have to post a few of these – what a wonderful Christmas – despite coming down with a variety of viruses which sidelined most of the family for most of January. 

Sophia had an overnight stay in the hospital the 2nd week of January with what at first appeared to be something serious.  Thanks be to God, it was eventually determined to be a sinus infection.  Antibiotics?  Breathing treatments?  No problem!  Compared to what it could have been.


So here are some Christmas shots from our house, and with all the Orrs here the 27th of December.  Apparently we had such a good time at Mom and Dad’s on Christmas Day that we forgot to take pictures!  I think we may have been eating…


IMG_1205Calico Critters were all the rage here.. 



Looks like Noah is about to slice Alix in 2 with his new battleax.  But, no, his aim was off.  She survived.  SmileIMG_1229








IMG_1319Hi Kristy!  We had a wee bit of food for the Orr Gathering…



Not sure what we’re talking about – but it requires hand motions.


A Birthday for 2 and a Tea Party for 23!

I’ve decided not to make any excuses about why I am so negligent about this blog.  I think everyone understands. Smile

The twins had a terrific birthday – December 22 – 7 years old!!  I finished the backpacks and the dresses – and the girls were pretty happy about them.





I’ll have to slip in a shot of the backpacks another time.





The day after the girls’ birthday, the 23rd, we invited all my sisters and their girls, and my mom for our first Cousins Christmas Tea!  We had a wonderful time – it was so much fun!  Here are a few pictures…





princess cupcakes






some of the princesses – Aleyna, Erin, Claire and Olivia




cookie necklaces –  i.e. place cardsIMG_1152 with the girls’ initials on them          








more princesses – Cameron, Isabella, Sarah and Ellie in the red, Brooke, Sophia





IMG_1169Rachel, Holly, Courtney, Alix



Lots of pink!IMG_1156


IMG_1167Kate and Erica


Little Miss AlyssaIMG_1174


the boys – who were allowed food, then banished upstairs to the boy’s room  (which they were thrilled about) – Luke, Noah, Isaac, Evan











The lot of us – a very merry group!  One mom/grandma, 5 sisters, 17 daughters, one baby boy (plus a toddler who snuck in)…  and a partridge in a pear tree!   The only 2 missing were little Anna and our sister (in-law) Monica – we missed you both!

Lord willing – this was the first of many to come.