Sometimes I think we ought to just sell all the kids' beds and buy one big king size bed for them to all sleep in together. They'd love it! This is their favorite thing when we let them all go to sleep together!
Saturday, January 28, 2012
Does everyone else takes their kids to these free building workshops at Lowes or Home Depot? We love them!
As we were walking in, Josiah declared that he was NOT going to wear his apron....he cracks me up these days...THAT embarrasses him but he doesn't feel the need to brush his hair before school?
Later that afternoon, training commenced!! We have booked our family vacation at the beach for the summer, and we managed to find a 5K race the day before we check in to our house! So Kelli and I have twisted everyone's arm and the family is going to participate in the 5K as a pre-vacation kickoff! Isn't that fun? We did one together a few Christmases ago and it was a blast. There's a little bit of....um....shall we say competitiveness going on between the brothers-in-law right now over who will get the fastest time. David's hanging on to the fact that he's got the fastest half-marathon time and is claiming victory....we will see about that....
So David took the boys out for their first run together - and they loved it! They have run a mile several times for their karate tests and can do it well. David took them in our neighborhood where its hillier (and harder!) but they did well and are looking forward to the 5K! I'm proud of my boys!
This is why we sat in thousands (it felt like it at least) of couches when we were shopping for living room furniture. I wanted to make sure there was room enough for all of us!
Caleb was sitting in Jacob's lap while he read to us. I LOVE hearing him read! :)
Friday, January 27, 2012
Callie decided she was ready to be done with the training wheels and so David indulged her and took her out for a spin.
She shocked me and did amazing!
She's got great balance at a much earlier age than the boys did I think. She's not totally there (she said later she wanted her training wheels back on for when Daddy's not there :) but she's on her way!)
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
We stopped in to say bye to daddy before heading home after choir practice, and the kids wanted to go up and see Mr. Jay too. Caleb is completely enthralled with Mr. Jay - David's drummer. Caleb plays drums ALL the time at home and reminds me of my younger sister who was a percussionist in high school. He can't keep his hands still at the dinner table - they are constantly tapping out a beat of some kind. So when Mr. Jay said they could play his drums, I thought they were going to pass out with excitement! :)
Thanks Mr. Jay - you are the best! Should I start investing in ear plugs now???
Monday, January 23, 2012
Saturday, January 21, 2012
The boys got to take part in their first karate tournament today. Our karate school partnered with three other schools in the other to put together this family friendly tournament. It was a neat way for the kids to meet other students across the area and see different nuances and styles between the dojos and instructors. The kids got to participate in performing their kata, flag sparring, grappling, and point sparring - and could do as many as they wanted. Our boys haven't been "trained" in flag sparring or grappling although they have done it in their classes from time to time. Jacob jumped at the chance and wanted to do everything - Josiah only wanted to do what he felt completely confident and ready for :).
They were supposed to be "warming up"...not sure this counts...
Jacob is closest to the camera with the blue belt...
...he really liked the flag sparring
This is grappling. It's alot like wrestling to me. Not easy for the moms to watch for sure. Jacob LOVED it...even though he's never done it before...not a surprise.
Josiah point sparring...He did great!
They had a play room for kids that Callie and Caleb enjoyed. They also sat and my feet and enjoyed some color wonder books that Mom had given me at Christmas to "save until I needed them". Thanks Mom!! :) They were troopers - it was a LONG morning. We were there at 10 and didn't leave to get lunch until way past 1 pm.
Sensei and the students from his dojo that participated in the tournament. It was a lot of fun and a great learning experience. And Josiah said next time he's doing all the things :)
Friday, January 20, 2012
This kid cracks me up. He's been all about horses lately. And I do mean ALL about horses. We get books from the library. He LOVES them at the zoo. Rides this stick horse thing around the house all day long. He is a riot.
He is also SO loving. LOVES to give hugs. The good ones too - where he wraps his little arms around your neck and squeezes. Loves kisses. Loves to love on his brothers and sister and loves to be loved on. He is still my cuddle bug. Just today Callie said to him "How do I look?" and he said "beautiful Callie!" Precious!
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Callie LOVES her Lite-Brite that she got for Christmas. The problem is - it's NOT something Caleb can do! My friend Jenny posted a picture of her 2 year old doing this trick with pipe cleaners and a colandar and I thought it would be the perfect thing for Caleb to do. Sure enough - he loved it and called it "his lite-brite" :). Nothing like a little fine-motor skills work, right? :)
Friday, January 13, 2012
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Yep! We're pregnant! Baby Schrodt #5 is due August 14, 2012!!!
Okay, here goes. You ready for the back story? It's a doozy!! :) When we first got married, we said 6 kids. We both came from families of 4 kids. Loved having big families. Felt like we wanted a big family too. Once we had our own child (or children...), we backed off of the "6" idea and settled more into "4" - it was more comfortable...what we both knew, etc. When I was pregnant with Caleb though, I never felt like he was it. Never felt like "this is my last pregnancy", "last baby", none of that. All of my friends that had gone through it had those feelings of "this is definitely it". I definitely did NOT. And I didn't really know why. Life is busy with these 4. They are very close in age. We are extremely active in ministry which keeps us very busy. We are not millionaires. And so after we had Caleb, we both said we were probably done (David was TOTALLY done), but I just kept saying I wasn't ready to say that. I honestly didn't know why. My family looked nice and tidy. 4 is a nice even number (and I have a THING about even numbers). Two older kids, two younger kids. Nice right? But something was missing. I still had that feeling that something was off. When people would ask me if we were "done", I would say "probably so, but we're just not ready to say done forever". I really didn't know what that meant - if it meant we would adopt one day, foster a child one day, have another baby, etc. I just knew that I didn't have a settled peace about it. But we were NOT trying to have another baby right now - on the contrary!
So fast forward to November. I was completely consumed with our half marathon that we were preparing for at the beginning of the month in Savannah. It was a great race. I was FINALLY getting my speed back to where it was pre-Caleb. It's taken a LONG time to get back there and I was excited! After the race, the chaos of the seasons took over - Thanksgiving, end of year stuff, Christmas concerts, etc. I remember getting past my kids Christmas musical that I directed and thought "wait a second...what's the date? it seems like it's been a long time since..." I still didn't really think much about it - too busy to really - and we continued on to the kids' last week of school. At the end of THAT week (mid-December), I started thinking about it more. Way too scared to mention it out loud to David - knowing he was REALLY going to freak out. Finally, he said something to me one night "hey - wait a second...it seems like its been a while since you last started....". I tried to brush him off, but said that I couldn't really remember the date either. Over the next couple of days, I was trying so hard to remember something - anything - that would disprove what I was really beginning to think might be true!
Then the week before Christmas the nausea hit. Oh for crying out loud. I knew there was no turning back now. I've had 4 babies. And my symptoms are all totally the same to the smallest degree. I told David and he knew immediately. I was still very freaked out and very much in denial. He was totally shocked for about a day and then had moved on to "okay! I guess God was really for us to have another baby". I was still in "maybe I'm just really late because I don't really remember the date and maybe I just haven't felt good and feel really tired and have gained some weight" mentality. :) We make it through Christmas and I feel EXHAUSTED! The nausea is in FULL force and it's taking everything I have NOT to let on because my mom and sister are both there! I feel very pudgy and very uncomfortable (ALREADY!) in all my clothes. Still not really believing it. Haven't even bought a pregnancy test. David told me it was a waste of money - we'd been through this 4 times and I have all the same symptoms - save yourself the $12 for the home test and just got to the doctor.
So right after Christmas, I called my ob/gyn to make an appointment. Because of the holidays I couldn't get in to see her until January 11. I felt like a total idiot on the phone because they asked me the date of my LMP and I couldn't tell them because I didn't have a clue! I could NOT for the life of me remember if it was in November or December!! When you are TRYING, you pay attention to every single thing. But we weren't trying - so I always knew vaguely, but it was never a big deal and we didn't have to know the EXACT date anymore, etc. I felt like an idiot on the phone though with the doctors office - like those 16 year old girls you see on TLC that are like "I didn't even know I was pregnant until the baby came out!" So embarrassing.
So now we are at the first week in January. I'm finally starting to believe that it is actually true. David continues to think I'm crazy for still being in denial. As we talk more about it and more about the fact that we don't really know a date, I realize that depending on if my LMP was November or December, I could be as little as 8-9 weeks pregnant or as far along as 13-14 weeks. That freaked me out a bit for two reasons. One - because I didn't want to be that far along and just now starting prenatal care. But secondly, because if I was 14 weeks along, that would put my due date in the middle of July which was when our family had planned our beach vacation! And we were supposed to finalize our house reservation that week (1st week of January).
So Kelli, who has been planning this vacation with me, calls me the first week of January. Says we need to go ahead and finalize our reservation for the house in the middle of July like we've been talking about for months. I, realizing that I can NOT do that until I know what my doctor says my due date is, realize I have to tell her. So I say "Well, can we look at the possibility of some other dates? Maybe early June or late August?" Kell is a little confused but says okay, lets ask the other sisters and mom. I call both and neither Kim nor my Mom can do June dates and late August won't work because of when school starts. So Kelli and I talk again and Kelli says "Dude. We just need to stick with the July dates like we talked about - everyone was good with it. What's your problem now?" I take a deep breath and say "I might be having a baby that week!" WHAT?!?!?! She flips out - is so excited for me...but is totally shocked! I tell her the whole story, tell her I'm not sure about my dates yet but am going to do the doctor next week and hopefully they will tell me. I make her SWEAR not to tell anyone and that I will keep her posted. Then I say "And I wasn't supposed to be the one announcing a pregnancy this year - that should be you!" to which she replies "guess what!!" Yep - she had just found out she was pregnant too, but super early and didn't want to tell anyone until much later.
So there we were. The two of us sister. Both pregnant. Both keeping each other's secrets!! I went to my doctors appointment the next week. Bought a home pregnancy test on the way because I knew they would ask me if I had taken one. Took it in the doctors office bathroom (!) and was STILL shocked when it showed up positive immediately. Everytime the nurse and the doctor asked a seemingly simple question "what is the date of your LMP", I apologized like I was a big moron. They were all very sweet and assured me that I was not the only woman than had ever happened to. The doctor sent me downstairs to have an ultrasound and confirmed that YES - I am pregnant, 9 weeks along, and baby is due August 14! I was relieved. Vacation could go on! And SHOCKED - I really was pregnant! Oh my!
I called Kelli back, told her the confirmed good news, and said vacation is still on! So our vacation house was booked that day for mid-July....and now I had to come to terms with the reality that we were having a baby again in August! :)
The next three weeks were long. I was still VERY sick...all day every day - just like always. I was extremely tired. And my clothes were all getting tighter and tighter. I guess that's the down side to having 4 kids. Your body knows EXACTLY what to do and pops RIGHT out from the start. Sigh. I knew that my Mom's birthday was the first weekend in February and decided that would be a great weekend to go visit her and then I could tell her the news in person. That would be right after the 12 week mark - which is how long we always like to wait before we tell people. Have lived through too much heartbreak to feel comfortable announcing it earlier than that....plus it makes things feel like they go a bit faster :). But I was really started to show signs and was just WAITING for someone at church to comment about how much weight I had gained! I essentially kept my hoodie on or jacket on for the next three weeks because everything I wore showed this poochy stomach of mine!!
I was relieved to finally get to tell the kids and get to tell Mom at the beginning of February, and then we made it public to everyone else the following week at the 13 weeks mark. Whew - what a secret we had kept for a long time!
So that's the story! I guess that's why God had not released me from those feelings yet. I did not feel complete or at peace and now I know why - we weren't complete yet!! :) It's still a bit shocking and definitely kicks me out of my comfort zone. I had given away ALL my maternity clothes. We don't have a car seat or high chair anymore. I had given away or consigned almost all of my baby stuff. The reality hasn't changed - we still have 4 other very busy, loud kids. We still are very busy with ministry and life. We still definitely aren't millionaires. But God has chosen to gift us with another life to teach and mold and train up in the Lord. And so we are thrilled for that blessing and look forward to meeting this new little gift.
(And oh - I think we aren't going to find out what we are having this time! Never done that before...and it's making people crazy. I'm sorry!) :)
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
We are all in a little bit of withdrawl now that Tutu is gone and it's back to "normal" life. Every time we sit down at the table, Caleb points to the placemats and says "Tutu gave us these" (she gave them to me for my birthday). We do miss Tutu!!! The kids both got their toy cell phones out and called her this day!! :)
Saturday, January 7, 2012
This was one of the hardest weeks of my life. On Sunday, January 1, I was working in the nursery during the 2nd hour. Our preschool director told me after the service that they made an announcement during church that one of the families from Northside had been in a very bad car accident that morning on the way to church. My heart dropped. It was the Longstreet family. And it hit very close to home. They are our age. The parents names are David and Karen. They have four children. 3 boys and 1 girl. Very close to our kids ages. They were at the hospital for children's trauma, and the prognosis was not good for their youngest and only daughter, Emma.
I was sick all afternoon. Was on facebook all afternoon scouring for updates. We got word in the middle of the afternoon that Emma had died and was with Jesus. I can not even tell you the emotions I felt. Devastation. Shock. Heartbroken for her parents. her mom. her brothers. her friends. Wondering how in the world would you go about telling her brothers this news when I can't even find the words to tell my own children.
We got bits and pieces of more information as the day went on. They were on their way to church. Passing through an intersection that I drive through on almost a daily basis. It was about 10:30 on a beautiful, sunny day. As they were turning left, a drunk driver slammed into them after running through the red light and crashed right into their van - hitting Emma's side head on. The other three boys sustained minor injuries - some cuts, bruises, concussions. David, the dad, broke two bones in his neck but miraculously were situated just so that he avoided any kind of more serious paralysis or anything - just a neck brace for 12 weeks. Karen, suffered only a broken heart. No physical wounds.
It was a grueling week. Very emotional. I couldn't stop hugging and kissing my kids. It broke my heart to have to talk with them about it. Yet it was good conversation to have with them. Emma was in Jacob's classes at church, and she and her brothers sang with my children's choir in the Christmas musical. He knew her and asked the most questions. I felt like it was important for them to see the emotion and heartbreak and understand the pain that her family and friends were feeling and that it's okay - and yet also to remember and KNOW with confidence that she is with Jesus.
I went to a court hearing for the drunk driver. So sad for this young man. A repeat offender. A bad choice and his life is also forever changed. I was grateful to see the gracious and loving response of the Longstreet relatives that were there. To hear them telling the officers to be sure they told this young man that although justice needed to be served, that they were praying that he find Jesus throughout this and put his faith in the Lord. Talk about perspective! To hear that David and Karen had actually prayed for this young man right after their daughter died. There were so many reminders that God WILL be glorified throughout these situations - as painful as they are to walk through.
I reread the book "Choosing to See" by MaryBeth Chapman in a day. An incredibly real, encouraging, and hope-inspiring book for anyone that has dealt with any kind of loss or grieving. The perspective that MaryBeth writes with is so amazing. David bought the CD that Steven Curtis Chapman wrote called "Beauty Will Rise" and we listened to it for two days straight. It is full of songs that are full of truth and of God's promises. That He IS faithful. That He IS with us. And that as hard as it is for those of us here on earth grieving the loss, that precious little girl is happier than ever before in the arms of Jesus and dancing and playing in heaven!
David took the CD over to David and Karen one night when he spent some time with them. It was tremendously encouraging to them as they let the truth of those songs wash over them. I can't imagine having to walk down the road of planning the funeral for your 7 year old daughter, but that is what they were facing. David said it was excruciating to have to watch and guide them through. Such a hard service to plan. It's not like a funeral of an 85 year old person who has lived a long full life. It is a celebration of her life - YES - but also such a grieving time of the memories you will never have with her.
We took the kids with us Friday night to the family visitation. Stood in line for 2 1/2 hours (which was ROUGH with 4 kids...). The kids enjoyed seeing the pictures of Emma and the slideshow of memories that the family had put together. It felt good to hug David and Karen both and tell them both how much we loved them and were going to walk through this with them. It was important for the kids to see and try to understand. And desperately painful at the same time.
The funeral on Saturday morning was amazing. Raw. Painful. Emotional. Beautiful. There were times of laughter. Times of sadness. God's goodness was proclaimed. To see this precious family of 5 now clutching each other as they stood over her casket one more time and singing "It is Well With My Soul" was about more than my heart could take. There shouldn't be caskets made that small. And yet we could see how God was using this horrible tragedy for HIS story to be proclaimed all across the city of Lexington.
These were the flowers that I had delivered from the children's choir. The card read "Rejoicing that Emma is now singing in the presence of Jesus!! We will miss her singing with us though! Love, the Northside Children's Choir"
I was SO thankful for the video that we had recorded of the children's musical just a few weeks before. When I watched it that week, we got a kick out of watching Emma in the video. She was just like the other 7 year olds - paying attention most of the time, being silly with her glow stick during one of the songs, doing the motions and singing the songs with LOTS of energy. Precious.
No clue what the deal was with this, but I wanted a picture of the stage from her service. They had her barbie car on stage along with her pink hula hoop. Precious. On top of her casket was a bridal bouquet of roses. Because her father, David, said that the day she died was also her wedding day - she was meeting her Groom, Jesus Christ. Man. What a testimony of faith.
Josiah and Jacob sat with us through the service. It was important for them to be able to see it. I was worried about their little hearts, but knew it was something they needed to be a part of too.
David sang the song "See" by Steven Curtis Chapman while he accompanied himself on the piano. It was powerful. I'd never prayed so hard for him during a song before. Prayed that he could get through it. Prayed that it would wash over David and Karen and their family and remind them of the hope that they do have. And be a blessing to them. And David was amazing. Delivered the song in a way I'd never heard him do before. This touched him. He is a young father to four kids. With one little girl who adores him. And the thought of losing her the way David has lost his Emma was heartbreaking to him in a very personal way.
Right now all I can taste are bitter tears
And right now all I can see are clouds of sorrow
But from the other side of all this pain
Is that you I hear, laughing loud and calling out to me?
Saying "See, it's everything you said that it would be,
And even better than you would believe.
And I'm counting down the days until you're here with me,
And finally, you'll see."
But right now, all I can say is "Lord, how long
Before you come and take away this aching?"
This night of weeping seems to have no end.
But when the morning light breaks through,
We'll open up our eyes and we will see
It's everything that He said that it would be
And even better than we would believe
And he's counting down the days 'til He says "Come with me."
And finally he'll wipe every tear from our eyes
And make everything new, just like he promised
Wait and see, just wait and see, wait and see
And I'm counting down the days until I see
It's everything He said that it would be
And even better than we would believe
And I'm counting down the days 'til He says, "Come with me."
And finally, we'll see. We will see.
Oh taste and see that the Lord is good, the Lord is good
The Lord is good. Oh taste and see that the Lord is good
The Lord is good.
David, Karen, Noah, Levi, and Micah - our hearts break with yours. I don't know what God has trusted your family to bear this story. But I know that He IS faithful. And that He will be glorified throughout this. Thank you for being faithful in sharing your story of faith and hope - in the midst of such overwhelming grief and pain. We will be faithful to pray for you and walk alongside of you in the journey. Until the day when you see your precious Emma again, we will continue to trust Him!
Friday, January 6, 2012
This is our new routine EVERY time we go to get in our van. Callie and Caleb run to the back where the decals are and shout "there's me!" "there's me!" :)
Our cousins introduced Josiah and Jacob to "Just Dance" on the Wii when they were here for Thanksgiving. They got the kids the "Just Dance Kids" version and the boys think its pretty hilarious.
Wednesday, January 4, 2012
Wednesday nights are always an interesting night for this family. David rehearses with two different groups of musicians for the two different services that he leads each Sunday morning. He rehearses first with the choir which I sing with each week. During this rehearsal time, all the kids are in AWANA. Then at 7:30, he rehearses with the contemporary band and backup singers for the contemporary service that he leads. I sing on this team every other week. The weeks that I sing with them, it makes for a LATE night for my kids. But they have gotten into a groove with it (it's not new...) and we make it through. They stay in the worship center with us because there is not children's programming this late. Since they are the only kids there, it hasn't been worth it to pay for nursery out of David's budget during that time. They just play in the worship center and we make it through.
Until this week's practice. Josiah and Jacob were playing their DSI video games in the seats. Caleb and Callie tend to just run around the chairs or play hide and seek or dance to the music. they were on stage with us singing and dancing and Caleb went to walk behind David right as David turned around. He got tangled in David's legs, fell, and hit his chin right on the stage. Busted it open. Blood everywhere. He cried for a bit. I took him to the baptistry bathroom to get him cleaned up and get a look at it and knew that it was not going to close up without stitches. So off we went! Left the other kids there (Callie was very worried about her brother and wanted to come with me but I wouldn't let her...) and took Caleb to his first Urgent Care visit!
This little guy is tough. I mean really tough. Didn't cry a whole lot. Held the tissue on his chin the whole way to Urgent Care. Told me it was all done bleeding and he didn't need to see the doctor.
As we saw in the waiting room, he was happy to see "football guys" on TV as it was during college bowl game season. All the while, my head is reeling. This was my first trip to get stitches (I know - crazy. How is it possible that I've been a mom for more than 9 years and this is my first stitches trip??). I wasn't totally sure what to expect. Was still hoping maybe they could just glue it shut?
He laid in his bed while we waited and watched Max & Ruby on TV. He was rather enjoying the time with just mommy I think. Poor baby. We were tired too. It was after 9 pm.
He showed the doctor very bravely and told her that he "bonked into Daddy" when she asked what happened. :( The doctor said he was definitely going to need stitches and told me how to help hold him down. Ugh. I was wishing at this point that David was the parent here instead of me.
Caleb was a trooper. They wrapped him up like a burrito and had me help hold his legs down. He cried when he got the shot of novacaine and then cried for me and kept looking at me like "why are you letting them do this to me mommy". It was heart breaking. 4 stitches later, I was so glad to get to scoop him up. They said he was the best 2 year old they'd ever had. Sweet boy.
He appeared to forgive me and they gave him a little teddy bear which he was happy about. We went home and both went straight to bed. Emotionally draining night.
Oh, and I made a mental note to call our Preschool Ministry Director and tell her to go ahead and set up childcare for Callie and Caleb in the nursery from now on for the weeks that I sing with the contemporary team. David's budget was just going to have to deal with it! :)
Sunday, January 1, 2012
It was so sad to say goodbye to Mom. We absolutely LOVED having her with us for Christmas and the fact that she was able to stay all the way through my birthday was just the BEST! We loved having her here to just relax and enjoy the time off together - goodbyes are never easy!! She left that morning when we all left for church and I was mentally processing when we were going to see her again :)
I've been asking for these car decals for a while now and Kelli got me the set for my birthday! She said it was quite stressful to choose the personalization for everyone, but she totally hit the nail on the head! :) David has a microphone, Josiah is in his karate gi and with glasses, Jacob playing soccer, Callie the cheerleader, and Caleb's got a little train on his overalls. So cute!! VERY thankful for this precious family of mine!