Sunday, March 30, 2008

Easter 2008

We were blessed to have all of our kids (and grandkids)
here at our house for Easter this year.
We had a very non-traditional meal of turkey,
baked potatoes,
veggies and Challah. It was the first "official"
holiday for us since
Samuel died, so that part was hard for me,
but it was so nice
to have all the rest of our family here and to watch the kids play,
and and hear the laughter through the house.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Challah Anyone?

This is my first try at making "Challah," which I did for our Easter meal yesterday. Though we are not Jewish persay, it was a huge success with my family, and both loaves were gone by noon today.

Challah is a traditional Jewish bread that is made before sundown each Friday for the Sabbath meal. Most women will make two loaves so that there is enough to eat on Saturday (Sabbath) as well. The reason being is because the Jews don't believe in doing ANY kind of work from sundown Friday until sundown Saturday. That includes cooking, turning on a light, cleaning, shopping, etc. All foods are prepared in advance so no work is done. Challah is one of the highlights of Sabbath. It is also traditionally eaten with honey or honey butter.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

DNA anyone?

Our third oldest daughter, Ashley, will be 18 next month. She enjoys studying science of all sorts, dissecting anything (you should have seen the mouse our cat killed and Ashley dissected and took out all of it's babies!), and anything related to being a CSI. She has studied DNA and enjoys finding out about each individual person's DNA (or animals for that matter). Believe it or not, I think she's decided to go to school to be a professional dog groomer though! :+)

At any rate, DNA interests
her on many levels.
Here is one very simple
project she's done.

More Zoo Pictures

Sheyenne and Landon on a tiger.

Sheyenne's not even
half as tall as an Orangatan! :+)

A Great Day at the Zoo!

Yesterday we had 60* temperatures and decided that it would be a good day to go to the zoo! We had a wonderful time! There were 12 of us on our trip. It was a bit too breezy for the babies every so often, but we took care to cover them and brought along hats. Landon had a wonderful time and loved running from one exhibit to the next. He wanted me to hold him up at almost every spot for he could see over the fences though. (grin) Now we need to take the time to clean out the spilled popcorn that is all over my 15-passenger van from our adventure. We ate most of it there, but sure enough, there's still a ton on the floor!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Our 2 Month Anniversary

Well tomorrow will be the 2 month anniversary of Samuel's death. We still have not had a burial service for him yet as every time the ground thaws, it freezes right back up again. So, it may still be a few weeks before we can actually have the burial service. For me, Tuesdays just one more week longer since I held our son in my arms and he died. Tuesdays are no longer one of my favorite days of the week. I know that might sound silly to some, but maybe over time, Tuesdays won't matter so much to me. Doug and I are going to try to go to a late dinner tomorrow night after he gets off of work, just the two of us, to talk about Samuel, as well as our other 9 kids. We both need this time together, and since I feel that tomorrow will be a little hard for me anyway, when Doug offered for us to have our D & K night tomorrow evening, I took the opportunity. He's a good man! We have been together 21 1/2 years now. I am so blessed to have him in my life. He knows me, and loves me anyway. :+)

Sunday, March 16, 2008

They Certainly Have Their Own Personalities Already!!

These are our grandbabies! Kaden on the left - Alona on the right. Kaden is quieter by nature and likes to smile at "Fuzzy Grandpa" (Doug). Alona likes to make noise while she sleeps, nurses, playes, etc. Her brother just loves to kiss her tiny pretty little face. :+)

Our Daughter Joins My Dog Breeding Business!

Our 3rd oldest daughter, Ashley, has decided to join me in my dog breeding business - by breeding Chihuahuas!! She has been blessed with two little chihuahua puppies (sisters) who are very sweet, loving little pups. She is looking forward to breeding them in the near future.

*Heaven's Tiny Petals does NOT sell to Puppy Mills or Pet Shops!

Friday, March 14, 2008

30 Lbs. Lighter

After going to my postpartum visit last week, I have found that I have lost 30 lbs. so far! It's a good start for me anyway. Maybe it's a good start to the year too?!

In Memory of Samuel

Look closely at my new ring...At the bottom of the heart is one beautiful diamond. At the top of the heart, on the right, is a mother with long hair holding up her tiny baby in her arms. The baby is on the left side of the heart. Can you see it?~

This is my early Mother's Day present from my wonderful husband, in memory our son,
Samuel Jacob Benedict

It's been a little over 7 weeks since our baby died. Some days are good (if I keep my mind and body busy), and other days are still sad and very hard for me. I have talked to our family doctor and a few people who have been very supportive of us through this whole ordeal. Everyone keeps telling me that "there is no time frame for for grieving." Some people take weeks, some months, and some years. The part that is still hard for me is that my tiny baby boy is still sitting in the morgue while they wait for the ground to thaw enough for the hospital to have their burial. I know he's there, cold, not being held and loved on. I know that he is with the Lord in spirit and soul, but I know he is there, and I want to hold him again. That is hard for me for some reason. I know that may not make sense to anyone else, but it is just me and how I feel. I still need to work on his memory book and put in his pictures, crib cards, cards from friends, birth announcements from the newspaper, etc., but I can't bring myself to do that yet. Maybe next week? We'll see.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

A Loss of A Good Kind?

We have had yet another "loss" this year already, but I think that for our family, this one will be for the best. After a ton of prayer by ourselves and close friends, and a lot of my talking with my husband, kids, and the same friends who were praying with us, we have decided that taking guardianship of our foster daughter, whom we've had living with us for 9 months this time, was not in the best interest of our family as a whole. There are a myraid of reasons for this not including all the yelling, screaming and tantrums she threw on a daily basis (and believe it or not she is almost 13!), so suffice it to say, we called and requested that she be moved ASAP. She left this week.

We have also made another decision which we also believe is for the best, and that is for us to not renew our foster care license this coming May. Over the last almost 6 years now, we have had close to 60 different children come through our home, between respite/foster care and adoption all three. We have had boys and girls, and from a set of premature baby twin girls to teens of age 18. We have had some great experiences, and some that have taken their tole on our family in different ways. We have met many people in many walks of life. We have what we call our "success stories." They are families whose children we had in our lives, and whom have worked long and hard to get the lives back 0n track, and whom we are truly proud of! They have gotten their children back and grown to to be friends with us. We are blessed to still be part of their lives, and many that we talk to or see each week of our lives still today. There are some things about foster care that we will miss though...the children themselves, yes. Each child has had some good qualities, but all came with issues or needs that were time-consuming, stressful, or hard to deal with at times, and each one posed new challenges compared to the previous ones. All the little ones, for the most part, were very easy to love. They were more work in one way, but less in other ways. They brought us much laughter and joy! The older kids offered different issues to deal with, but were still work all the same. Again, we had good times and bad ones with each one.

We have traced back though through the years when it seems to us that our lives began to drastically change in the ways we were raising our children. With our first four oldest children, we were much more strick, less tolerant and put up with no guff at all. They had stingent chores each day, had stringent school times every day, play times every day, etc. We are now much less strict and less tolerant than what we have been with our younger kids. After much thought and prayer, I believe this is because of more worldly influences that we brought in to our home through foster care. We believe wholeheartedly that we went into foster care/adoption with the right goals in mind, and the right heart for children in need. We still have a TON of love to give. But somewhere down the line, we feel that the foster children because so much more work and time consuming for us, that it took away from our immediate family and biological children. That wasn't who we planned it to be, it is just something that happened ever so slightly little by little over time. When our son, Samuel, died 7 weeks ago, it made a huge change in me. A change I could not see coming, nor even thought of. I didn't plan to change anything. It is all just kind of happening. First, I will always have a hole in my heart where Samuel is. I still miss him so much! But then other things started changing too. I have less tolerance with the poeple in my life who were/are manipulative of me and my time, who enjoy cutting my family down for one reason or another (usually with things that are no where near the truth if they would just seek the Lord to find out for themselves), and expecting me to play into all these"games" with them. It is time to say ENOUGH! I don't know why this has all been part of my change in my life, but I think it was a change that God has planned for me/us for some time now. Maybe Samuel's birth, and death, were just a preempt of what was to be? I don't know? But I do know that life is too short and those things that you have allowing into your life, can be changed if you let God do it with you. So, yes, this is a year of losses so far. BUT, it is also a year of changes and bring back my family (our own 9 biological children) into the fold where they need to be, and should be, with us. Back to our LORD. We have three grandchildren to love, and so far our 9 biological children of our own. So maybe a change for the good? I pray so!!!

Kids Love Horses

Sheyenne (our 4-year-old) and Landon (our 2-year-old grandson) LOVE horseback riding!!!