Sunday, April 24, 2011

So, how was your Easter?

First let me say Praise God for this beautiful day! I love Easter and even though we were without any extended family, we have found some family traditions within the past few years that have made this holiday very special. I am so blessed with a wonderful church to celebrate at and a wonderful husband who gets up early with me (6:00 am) to put Easter eggs out for our children and some of the neighbor kids. This day was great and full of fun things!

With that said, let me also say that this Easter didn't go exactly how I would have planned, at least so far anyway. It started off just right. I get so excited to put the eggs out for the kids. Kyle and I quickly got the job done before anyone woke up. I baked muffins, Kyle got ready and I listened to worship music remembering the real reason to celebrate Easter, Jesus! I hid Easter baskets and got ready for church. I actually curled my hair today and got dressed up, a rare moment in the past few months since I have had morning sickness. I realized today that I feel less sick and that I might actually be hitting a milestone with this pregnancy. So excited for that! Kyle picked Grant and Pierce up from their dads and they arrived back home just in time for the little boys to wake up. Sawyer was excited to see all the eggs outside. Brody woke up happy, even though he coughed most of the night and he had dried snot all over his face. Everyone found their baskets and were all pleased with what was inside. We all got dressed in our Easter clothes, and although Grant complained a little, I was pleased with everyone's appearance.

This is after lunch, so not perfect, but still looking okay :)

As we were driving to church I was thinking how we might actually get there on time. That doesn't happen often when we try to make it to the first service. As I am thinking this, Brody started coughing really hard and threw up all over himself and his car seat. Of course he had on white pants and of course it was his Easter outfit, and who brings a change of clothes when it's Easter? Well, I didn't. It took me long enough to figure out what he was going to wear the first time. After Grant and Pierce gagging in the back because of the smell, and lots of wet wipes used, we got inside church, which is also Grant's middle school. I stripped Brody down to nothing but his diaper and he ran happily through the hallways while I washed his clothes in the bathroom with hand soap. I think my church family is used to our family by now because most who saw Brody just laughed like "Oh there are those crazy Hoffs and their half naked kid". With four kids, boys for that matter, this is just how we roll sometimes. With soaking wet clothes in hand I turned to someone, I think is one of the best janitors, Jerry, for help. He led me to the Home Ec. dryer. What a blessing! Problem solved.

The Easter Bunny

Brody drinking the sparkling white grape juice while waiting for our table.
So, church ended and we drove to The Grand Hotel for our, now traditional, Easter lunch. We have done this for the past 3 years now and look very forward to the wide variety of foods they offer. We enjoyed sparkling grape juice in wine glasses and had fun visiting with the Easter Bunny before we sat down. Brody would not let the Easter Bunny leave. He kept giving him hugs, like he never gets any at home. Then the bunny stood up and Brody grabbed his leg until I pried him off.  With little kids things, like going out to eat, are rarely simple with our family. Our kids were really well behaved today, but Sawyer always has to go to the bathroom as soon as we sit down. It's never a quick trip either because he usually has to poop. I don't know how he plans this, but it happens often when we go out. So I took Sawyer to the bathroom. On our way back to the table we stopped at the seafood table and filled our plates with crab legs. The whole way back to our table from the seafood table Sawyer yelled "Daddy I got crabs! Daddy I got crabs" as I'm saying loudly right after him "crab legs, crab legs" in case anyone was getting the wrong idea...of course they obviously wouldn't. We sat down and five minutes later Brody starts coughing and throwing up again. Our waitresses were WONDERFUL! They provided us with everything we needed plus they went and got the Easter Bunny again to make Brody smile! I'm sure he loved hugging Brody again smelling like throw up.

I held Brody for a while and Kyle got my food. I noticed that feeling I felt earlier, where I'm not feeling sick from "morning sickness" wasn't quite there like it was, but it could have been because of the way Brody smelled. It could also have been because I was worried about Brody. He started acting lethargic so I asked him if he was okay. He then projectile vomited all over me and my new Easter dress that Shelley, my mother in law, gave me. At this point I was worried about the people around us and if they were witnessing this, were we ruining their Easter? Again, our waitresses stepped in. Brody seemed to feel much better immediately afterwards.  Kyle took him on a walk, then Grant and Pierce left with Sawyer. I sat alone at my table. It was probably the nicest part of my whole meal :). I enjoyed every second of it as I drank my hot cup of tea and listened to the harpist. We headed home shortly after that and enjoyed a little Easter egg hunt in our front yard.

The little boys are now napping in their rooms, Kyle is napping on the couch, the older boys are playing their new video game Papa and Grandma gave them for Easter. I'm sitting here blogging and listening to Pandora. It's a wonderful day! We praise God for all of it! I'm so thankful for my family, my four boys and this new life growing inside me. I don't like when any of my boys are sick, of course, but I'm thankful I'm able to be their mommy and take care of them when they are. Things may not be perfect when we go out to eat, but I'm thankful for my husband who helps me take care of the chaos and the people God puts in our lives at the right moments who give us grace. I love the quiet times I get when I can sit at the table by myself and drink my tea, but I'm so thankful for the noise and activity my children bring. Things hardly ever go just as planned here, but I'm thankful for unexpected events and the ability God gives me to handle them. I feel very blessed on this Easter.

If you ever have boys, chances are they will create objects with chopsticks and empty crab leg shells,  if available, quite possibly weapon related.

Bro getting ready for the egg hunt.
He picked up a couple eggs then quit to play basketball.

A nice moment on the front porch. After I snapped the picture I realized Pierce was trying to get Sawyer to give him the 2 dollars he found hidden in his eggs. 

Sunday, April 10, 2011

I might just blog today

I have been so sick with this pregnancy that doing anything computer related made me want to throw-up and often times I did. So I took a long break and today, I think I am ready to blog again.

Me at 12 weeks
I am starting to show a little. My body is used to this by now, so it pops right out. I remember when I was pregnant with my first it took until about 20 weeks to show. I'm on some meds to help with nausea and now I feel like I can start thinking about this little baby a little more and less about what I should eat or drink so that I don't puke. We have been praying for this baby for quite some time now, but it is so cool when Kyle puts his hand on my belly and prays for his future child. It's becoming more and more real. Still, every time I have an appointment I have to fight the thoughts in my mind that something might be wrong. I just hold onto the promise God gave me that he is in charge of my life and his plans are for good, not for harm.

12 week ultra sound
We had an ultra sound on Friday. I feel pregnant because I've been so sick, but I really don't feel pregnant otherwise, if that makes sense.... When Kelly, our ultra sound tech, started the sonogram and I saw hands and arms and legs, It was amazing to know this little baby is alive and inside of me. I kept saying how cute he/she was because they were wiggling all over the place, possibly already developing his/her little personality. We took a quick peek at the boy/girl parts and we might have seen something sticking out, but that doesn't necessarily mean "boy". It was fun to guess if it was or not. After our appointment I used Kyle's phone to text a few people and I wrote "we may have seen a tiny little penis". Kyle thanked me for texting that from his phone and informed me that guys usually don't refer to their future boy's penis as "tiny little". That made me laugh. We will hopefully know in four weeks if we have a boy or a girl. We are excited!

Cousins at the beach
The rest of the family is doing well! We went to Florida over spring break to spend time with my twin sister's family. We miss them so much! I wish we lived closer. We had a lot of fun in 80 degree weather, enjoying the many fun things Florida has to offer. We even met a few new people that are wonderful. Next time we visit we hope to spend even more time with our new friends. Here are a few more pictures from our trip. Hoping to blog more frequently now that I am feeling better.

Sawyer and Kyle


The 6 of us with Papa and Grandma

Grant and Cobe with Timone

Saturday, February 26, 2011

It's a BABY! With a Heartbeat!!!

Brody is going to be a Big Brother!

I finally get to post this! I can't believe how excited I am to blog about this. I think it's because my original plan to start blogging was to blog about my pregnancy, which ended up in a miscarriage. We are not "out of the woods" yet, as we are only 6 weeks along, but we saw our little baby with his/her heart beating strong. We would appreciate all prayers to help our "little October pumpkin" grow strong and healthy! As you read my blog, you might think I am a little weird with all the different pictures. Please understand how excited I am and how much we have wanted this little blessing.

Yes, I took a picture of my pregnancy test in a plant! If you have been on any baby board you would understand that this is the first "official" recognition the newest member to the family gets and it has to be kind of unique. This became my profile picture for a while on my baby board. It's kind of a big deal! :) For this reason, I had a little "photo session" with my "pee stick"....weird I know.

Against the wall...

On the chair...

On the carpet...

I quit after Brody interrupted my photo session for obvious reasons...

How we found out: February 6, also known as Superbowl Sunday, I woke up and tested. It was a little early to be testing and of course I knew it was going to be negative. I went back to bed before the test had time to show its results. I was already disappointed thinking this wasn't our month. I prayed for about an hour and asked God to prepare our hearts for the next months of "trying". I prayed that God would give us peace and allow us perfect timing for our next baby. I asked him that if it wasn't his timing, could he please make us ready so that it could be his timing :). I fell back to sleep. I was sure surprised to see two lines when I woke up! Kyle and I praised God for that moment. 

I had an ultra sound set up later that week for something they were monitoring before I found out we were expecting. It was too early to see the pregnancy. I knew that, but before I went in for that appointment I felt so much anxiety... "what if there is no baby?", "what if the baby planted itself in the wrong place and it's ectopic?"....I almost couldn't stand the feelings running through me. I sat out in the parking lot, grabbed my bible and prayed. I closed my eyes and asked God to be with me. God gave me a vision. In that vision I saw God put his arm around me, pick me up, and he told me to get excited. This is what he had planned for me and it was now time to be excited! Peace fell over me. Now, I don't know how God works. This doesn't necessarily mean everything will be perfect through this pregnancy, although that is what we are praying for. What it does mean is God is in control of my life and he has a plan and it's a plan for good and not disaster as Jeremiah 29:11 states. So, I wrote that exact verse on a sticky note and put it on my steering wheel. No matter what happened at that appointment, I would walk out and see that verse and know that God was with me. As I thought, it was too early to see anything. It was uneventful, but it prepared me for the next two weeks as we waited for the next ultra sound.

Yesterday we had that ultra sound. We saw our little baby. We saw his/her little heartbeat. I grabbed Kyle's hand and tears filled my eyes. The ultra sound tech is one amazing woman. She has been there for us through all of our ultra sounds. She prayed with us when we had our miscarriage and yesterday, she rejoiced with us as we saw our rainbow. If she were the only reason to stay at that office we would, but luckily our doctor is wonderful too. She also gave us a huge hug and was genuinely excited for us. So here is our baby! Tiny and barely recognizable we know.  Due to arrive October 21, 2011! All prayers welcomed!!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Big Brothers

We had two snow days this week! The boys thought it was great and so did I. I had to get this sweet picture of them reading together. They were unaware I was going to snap it. What mom couldn't love the sight of her older boys taking care of their little brothers so well? Grant and Pierce are great big brothers. More often than not they are playing with or helping Brody and Sawyer. Like in this picture below...

I know this picture is a little blurry but you can see how much fun the little boys are having while Grant pushes Brody in the doll stroller chasing Sawyer all over the house. This game is a favorite in the Hoff house. Grant and Pierce are also good at cuddling up on the couch with their brothers to watch movies.

Today I was uploading pictures on my computer and I found some of the boys when I married Kyle. I can't believe how little they were just 3.5 years ago. I think about how perfect God's timing is when he allowed Kyle to be their step-dad. They were so excited for him to be a part of our family.

  I also think about the timing of God allowing Sawyer to be part of our family. It was earlier than what we were expecting, but how amazing it was for Grant and Pierce to be big brothers. With Sawyer, they were a little hesitant, but still so excited to meet him.

When Brody was born they were not the least bit shy about holding him or talking to him. I still haven't gotten them to be comfortable changing diapers yet :). God's timing of our little Brody was perfect too.

Grant and Pierce have far exceeded my expectations I had for them being big brothers. They are looking forward to doing it again. Hopefully that will be soon!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

A little update

Just thought I would update this blog even though I have no computer right now, only my iPad. Typing on the iPad makes things a little harder. Things here have been uneventful but good! I am realizing more and more how quickly time goes by and how fast my kids are growing. I really love being a mom! I love being Kyle's wife.

Tomorrow we are expecting more severe weather. This coming after a beautiful week of warmer temperatures. My 10 year old bet my husband that there would be no more snow. After living here almost his whole life, he still doesn't quite understand Michigan winters. I think him losing the bet will mean he has to wear a t-shirt to school with my husband's picture on it. That makes me laugh thinking of it. Although I don't even think Pierce will care. He is so unaffected when it comes to his appearance.

My house needs some attention. Maybe I will spend some time on my laundry pile tomorrow. The one great thing about folding a mountain of laundry is I can watch an entire movie while I fold. It literally takes me that long. Sometimes 2 movies! Laundry is not my forte. My basement also could use some airing out after the boys had a sleepover last night. When I walked down the basement stairs, the overwhelming smell of "boy" hit me and it was not pleasant. Dirty socks and sweat...yuck! :)

This is about all I have to report right now. I am quite sure there will be more to report at the end of this coming week. Until then I will keep surfing the net reading other people's blogs :)

Monday, January 31, 2011

Today was...

The boys on their way to school last year
(The pictures in this blog are just ones that make me smile. I didn't have anything new to add)

Most of today was just ....ugh! No fun! So glad to have these days so I can appreciate the good ones when they happen. And nothing major happened, but sometimes it's those little things that make the day feel long and frustrating.

First off, I got up and got ready to drop Pierce off at school and head to Meijer. Grocery shopping is sometimes fun for me, but most of the time I just want to get it over with. Today we were out of everything! I was a little prepared with a small list. By the time we were done, I had groceries falling out of the cart, it was so full! Brody was contained in the front of the cart, but there was no room for Sawyer so he "helped". He put unwanted food items in the basket just about every time I went to grab something we needed. When he wasn't doing that he would go to the shelves that were his level and push everything back as far as it would go. I'm sure the people who stock the shelves loved pulling everything back up front. Got through the checkout and, of course, I forgot three important things. I parked the cart of groceries I had purchased next to the greeter up front, ran and got my items, paid for them, got the boys jackets was then I remembered Sawyer was in underwear now. I took our coats off, re-parked my cart next to the greeter and took him to the bathroom. Finally, I made it out to the car, unloaded all my groceries, strapped the kids in the car seats and....crap, I remembered I  had a ten dollar coupon in my wallet that I didn't use- good only through this week and only if you spend 100 dollars. Unstrapped the kids from the car seat, walked back in (can I just tell you that it was FREEZING outside) and stood in another line to get my ten bucks! If it were a dollar or two, forget it, but this was ten dollars and I wasn't missing out on it. This was the last thing I did at Meijer today besides leave. When I have three little ones I will be going to the store with my husband or by myself. That was enough to be my workout for the day!

Crazy hair day last year
I heard from an old high school friend when I got home and she said she was visiting Michigan and wanted to stop over! Such fun, good news! Plus, I now would have some motivation to clean my house. I was so excited that, as I was backing my van out, I failed to see that I was too close to the side and I broke my side mirror off. I parked my van, ran in and started bawling as I explained to Kyle what I had done. I haven't cried that hard in a while. Usually that kind of thing wouldn't bother me so much. My husband does such a wonderful job to provide for our family and I just did something so stupid- so preventable. Thankfully he forgave me right away and said it would be okay. Maybe it was the mascara running down my face that made him so gracious- or maybe it's because he's just that great all the time :).

Someday this picture will become very useful! :)

Got back from picking Grant up from school and found my little Sawyer covered in puke and with a bloody nose. I had 5 minutes to handle this situation before I had to pick Pierce up. One wonderful advantage of my husband working from home and a 12 year old who is pretty good with kids is during emergency situations like this, they can be a big help. Kyle called the doctor, Grant watched Sawyer in the tub and I quickly cleaned up puke off the carpet and washed blankets. I was able to leave and pick Pierce up on time. Whew!

My friend, Heidi, arrived with her two kids at the same time Kyle took Sawyer to the doctor. It was so good catching up with her and playing with her two little boys. Kyle got back and let us know that Sawyer had strep. I was wondering if Heidi, then, regretted coming, but she said she was glad she came. Sure hope her kids stay healthy!

Brody missed this pic, but I still love this. I love my boys!
The night ended with a family movie- Despicable Me. Very cute. Grant and Pierce almost finished it without fighting over something, which resulted in them heading to bed before the movie was over. Luckily for them, they had seen it before. I am sure it surprises people to think two brothers know exactly how to aggravate each other at exactly the perfect moment. :) It is usually over the dumbest things. I love doing things as a family! Even if they end up not going as I plan.

Pierce thought it would be cool if he could lean on the Washington monument. :)
We are supposed to get a big snowstorm on Wednesday! I'm excited for it for a few reasons. A) My husband works from home so he doesn't have to drive in it. B) We drive the kids every morning to school starting at 7:00 so we could sleep in just a little longer and stay in our p.j.s. Actually we are usually in our pajamas. C) I love spending unexpected days like snow days with the boys. I'm thinking we'll back Christmas cookies :) D) Snow days are still as exciting for me as when I woke up when I was little and found out I didn't have to go to school! Those are my reasons, but I understand that I'm not the only one in Michigan and some of those people who live here with me are very sick of snow and winter!

Just an update on our life right now

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Joy of the Lord is My Strength

Brody's smiling for the camera. I love how he closes his eyes :)
I was reading a book and came upon this verse. The book says when we aren't joyful we are weak because the Joy of the Lord is our strength. I had never thought about it like that I guess. And when the book says "joyful" it's not like they are saying we must be happy all the time. That would be impossible because we are only human. I think having peace in that God cares for us, that he loves us, and that he has a plan for us far better than we could plan ourselves should give us great joy. I love God! I trust God and trust his plan, but sometimes it is so hard for it to sink in to my heart. Why? I don't understand how I couldn't feel this with all of my heart after he has shown me time after time how true this is. He loved me enough to even give me the freedom to choose my own path and it was horrible. Without God in complete control over my life, it just isn't as good as it could be. In fact, it is a mess! I know from first hand experience. Yet, he loved me so much still, that after I messed up my life, he welcomed me home, back into his arms and picked up the pieces.

Smiling for me (finally) and practicing for Disney with his Pluto hat.

So this week I choose to be joyful for all he has done and blessed me with. I will enjoy where I am while I'm getting to where I am going. So, although we are still "trying" for our next little family member, I am joyful that God has given me this time with my children and my husband. I believe that God will bless us with more children, which I have said before, and I will hold on to his promise and enjoy today. Sometimes I feel like I am in high school, begging my parents to let me go somewhere they absolutely will not let me go. There is nothing I can say or do to make them change their mind. The same is true with God. I can beg him to please allow me to have my way, but thankfully he loves me too much to "give in" to my begging. Nothing I can say can change what God is doing because I've given my life to him. And I WANT God to make the decisions for my life. I want his perfect plan for my life. Because what he has for me is best for me and my family. He knows my next child by name already! He knows the perfect time to bring them into our lives. He not only cares abundantly for me- but he cares the same for my children! All of them. How could I not surrender everything to his control? How could I not be God's completely?

My husband tonight while doing the dishes for me. He has had this outfit on all day. I love him so much!

Of course there will be days I won't feel so strong, or joyful, but when I look at truth I will see God and his hand on my life. I will see that he hasn't left me. That he is right next to me through every tear and frustration- for all my joy and through my pain...big or small.