Let's see. Life has been so crazy. Nevermind, that's nothing new. ;)
A few weeks ago after Dean hearing me say (...no joke for the first time since Tirzah was born)...that I really need a break...he planned a get-away, complete with sitters...for the 2 of us to Portland. We went on the train, stayed downtown Portland for one night and 2 days and had so much fun. Really just loved it. And I loved that he didn't need a reason. And...I love him.
We came home to snow and to elated kids. Because...it was snowing. Tirzah especially. So normally you make this quick trip to Walmart for winter boots for your one or two sweet kids and all set right? Yah. Well try doing that for 6! ahhhh!
We even managed to snag the last 2 sleds in Target and take the kids up and down the street which they just loved.
Then last week Dean's cousin Shani's husband passed away. We decided pretty last minute to leave on Thanksgiving day and drive 6 hours to Kelowna, BC for the funeral. It was one of those trips that we were so glad we took. I think it's pretty rare to be in someone's presence ... that leaves you with chills b/c you know you are the presence of someone truly great. Well this was unique. We were at someone's funeral...and you left feeling blessed to have been able to mourn the loss and honor someone...truly great. I cannot say it better than that. As Dave himself said "we will know exactly how we should have lived...5 minutes after we die". While his family mourns...Dave is no longer bound to his wheelchair in a failing, yet youthful, body. He is free. And oh if we all could only stand so strong...in such intense trials.
We have been home to freezing temps for a week. We decided to "do thanksgiving" when we got home and you know...I had a horrible moment of 'dread' of celebrating another holiday...solo. We all talked about the many things we are thankful for and had a nice evening together.
Tirzah now has 4 adult teeth in. She had her first dentist appointment a few weeks ago and LOVED it. Hmmm. I was nervous today when she had to have one tiny microscopic cavity filled and she hardly flinched for the needle! She is reading and loves being the big sister that can read to the other kids. :) I daily hear her hug Azahria and say how much she adores her.
Zion ...that child just melts me. He has this total giving, serving heart. He sets the table every night and wants to load the dishwasher every night. He is the first to hug and the one to want a special one on one moment late at night as they are all tucked in. He adores his middle name and thinks God will make him indeed strong and brave and courageous because...well...if your middle name is Courage...it's a good thing;) No one, NO ONE can interpret Azlan like Zion. He has mama beat and that's pretty good! He would rather play with Tirzah than any of the boys any day and often tells me how much he misses all the Zion-Tirzah days. When he prays sometimes before dinner he'll often pray that "we will obey mama and daddy and do the right thing" and we can't help but open our eyes and smile at each other!
Azlan ~ well he's my boy. Yes I have four of them. God opened up a new chamber in my heart when Azlan was born~~and He knew there would be days I would need that extra chamber. I adore him and I pray often for the patience to help my boy. His drooling is back. Full force. But I'm working with him a lot. We pulled him out of speech therapy because well....30 minutes of bubbles and board games is...NOT...speech therapy. And everything they do with him...I sit in disbelief as we do that daily. So we made the decision to concentrate our efforts on one on one time with him, him and mama. He plays lots with the twins and loves all things train, blocks, etc.
Azahria Peace ~ she's a special little girl. She's adorable, simply put. She gets many random squeezes from both of us throughout the day b/c ... well she's just so darn cute. And sweet. And ... she not only looks like Zion..she has his heart. She loves to serve. She and Zion are our helpers (by choice..the others...they have to help too ;). The other night I was putting her to bed and after singing the song of her choice to her she looked at me and said "mama?....you're the best". I came downstairs beaming and Dean says "of course she says that, you say that to her all the time". I seriously did not know that I do. Funny. She loves playing with PEOPLE. "little people" and we often hear her playing with Azlan saying "by your ginny-ginn-ginn...I'll huff and i'll puff...and i'll blow!" and I laugh so hard I remind myself of Dean's mom with tears streaming down my cheeks. And then I go squeeze her. And ... likely say "you're the best" ;)
Chazano ~ seems to be doing really well. I would say the biggest struggle we are having with Chazano is the inability to connect. He has this huge insecurity and fear and would rather be goofy than look you in the eye. In fact if you ask him to look at you...he zones out and looks past you. Even in a nice, huggy moment. So instead he acts silly. ALL. THE. TIME. It's something we need to work with him on...it's great he's silly...but it's another thing to learn when it's appropriate. I find the 'twinness" isn't so strong anymore. They will go play with the bio kids and be separate without looking for each other for hours. He has his first dentist appointment next week and my guess is 3 cavities. :)
Zunduka ~ ahhhh. Zunduka. The child that stretches me more than any other. :) Well lets talk good news. Good news is this is the second night he's in his bed. Like for real, bed! It's a trial and he still can only have a sheet on top b/c we've found that when he's too cozy he becomes lazy and pees in his bed. On the way home from BC ... 3 time...yes....3. In a row. He said "daddy...I have to go potty" to which our normal response driving down the freeway is...'ok, hold on a few more minutes' for us to find a safe stop. No. Dean immediately pulls over after looking back and seeing him crying. He's peed his pants. So in other words, he said he had to go potty AS he was peeing. Fantastic. Ok. Took care of that. Not a few hours later, SAME EXACT incident. And then repeat again. Not ok. This is something we find with him ... we cannot slip up once or he runs with it. The first time we were really light on him and I said to Dean "i'm concerned he'll do it again, it's his pattern if you go easy on him". And .... he did. Ok we only went away for 2 nights and had limited clothes and he was quickly going through what little we had ... plus...it was none too exciting adding yet another stinky outfit to the back of the vehicle and mopping up our seat.
The other thing that is a real struggle is obedience. Now having said that...we don't practice telling our children something once, twice, three times until we lose our cool. We tell them once. Obedience is immediate. Makes for an awesome relaxed family :) Well we have learned to 'spy' on them and it is always Duka that is disobeying. Silently. But disobeying. And he moves at lightning speed and if he hears the floor so much as creak he gets back into position and you try not to second guess what you just saw. Example: last night they get a bath. After the bath I dry off Azlan, Duka, Zano and Zion and Duka ends up being the first one lotioned up and ready to go his room. He is the ONLY one that did not bring jammies to the bathroom so I could get them dressed quickly. They were all told to. Then I said "go into your room, get clean gotchies and jammies and get them on quickly". Ok I help Zano, Zion and Azlan all get ready then go to the other bathroom and dry off the girls and get AP dress and lotion up Tirzah. I get to the boys room to tuck them in and who is standing in the middle of the floor...totally naked...why yes that would be Zunduka. Ahhh. So I ask 'what did Mama tell you to do?' he looks at me and says "get jammies and gotchies on quickly" I said "ok so did you obey or disobey" he looks at me blankly and says "disobeyed". fantastic. There you go. That is one example of many. But in many other instances soon as I would enter the room he'd be running to the drawer looking for clothes. He too has a dentist appt next week and has 3 very brown molars in his mouth and definitely the most horrible breath of the two of them (which I'm told is decay by the dentist) and ... welll....I'll pray for the best.
My day still consists of much surrender. Other days...consist of me running from the much-needed surrender. Those days are much harder. There have been many soft sweet whispers from God on a dark day..and I'm constantly reminded that this is simply not about me. It never was. It's not. It never will be. And suddenly my eyes get in the right spot and things become so much clearer. There you have it. My long - longed for update ;)