Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Urgent Request!

Okay, everybody!! My brother and sister-in-law have 17 more shirts they need to sell TODAY for their adoption efforts. If you can help, I am happy to pay the postage to mail you the shirts if you live out of this area. They are $20 for short-sleeved and $25 for long-sleeved. Pictures are posted below. Here's the designs and sizes they have left: Black Simply Love Long-Sleeved: Medium (2) Black Simply Love Short-Sleeved: Medium (3), Large (4) Blue Simply Love Short-Sleeved: Small (1), Medium (1) Gray Short-Sleeved World Design: Small (1), Medium (2) White Bulgaria Short-Sleeved: Medium (1), Large (1) Blue Bulgaria Short-Sleeved: Medium (1)

Monday, July 2, 2012

Rachels' Gymnastics Showcase

Rachel also had her gymnastics showcase last week. Here is the link to the YouTube videos of her performance. And here are some pictures of her class! Great job, Rach!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Benjamin's Gymnastics Showcase

Benjamin's first year of gymnastics ended last night and he showcased all that he has learned.  He has done very well, progressing through 3 classes in the course of the year.  There are 6 short videos posted on my YouTube channel of his various skills.  Here's a few pictures, too!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Today is the last day to help out my brother and his family through their adoption giveaway.  Please visit their blog!

Tim & Cindy Abbott - Adoption Journey to Bulgaria

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Hi, I'm Sarah Henson, and I would like to tell you about a special giveaway!

How would you like to win a $250 Amazon gift card... or a 2 night stay at the George Washington Inn... or 4 passes to a Creation Museum... or a $200 gift card for whatever store you want... or other great gifts? My aunt and uncle are doing a giveaway to raise money for their adoption! Click the link to their blog for the details. If everyone helps just a little, they will reach their goal and be able to rescue 2 siblings from Bulgaria!

Here is the link to their blog: Our Adoption Journey to Bulgaria

Monday, April 16, 2012

Esther's Dedication

Esther was dedicated to the Lord on Easter Sunday at Westside. As most of you know, this is really more of a dedication of us as parents and a time of commitment to the Lord to raise our children Biblically. Here are a couple of pictures of this special time.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Introducing Esther Grace!

The day that marked our 40th week of pregnancy came and went (March 26th). The doctor scheduled a non-stress test on Monday, April 2nd, to monitor the baby's heart rate and movements. The nurse at the office joked that she wouldn't see me because I'd be in the hospital, but I didn't really believe her. Sunday, April 1st, was a day of sickness in our family. Four of us had fevers and coughs (mine was over 102 degrees). Most of the other nights lately, Garth and I had asked each other "will it be tonight?". Sunday night, we were pretty much hoping it WOULDN'T be tonight since I was still getting over fevers and chills. I woke up a lot during the night just not feeling well and attributed it to being sick the day before. Around 4:00, I started noticing the "feelings" were getting stronger and were turning into contractions in my back. I began timing them and realized they were every 5 minutes! Thinking it was too good to be true, I just tried to go back to sleep (which didn't happen). I woke Garth up at 4:30 and told him I was just going to time them for another half hour before I got up. He watched me go through a couple contractions and said, "Nope, I'm going to get a shower. You do what you want!" I figured I'd get up, too, and see what happened. As soon as I stood up, the contractions got harder and more intense. I took time for a bath and tried to relax. Then we woke up Sarah (who was coming with us to the hospital) and loaded the car. We arrived at the hospital shortly before 7:00 am. The doctor checked me then and said I was at 4 cm and nearly 100% effaced. He decided to go ahead and break my water since that is what accelerated my labors in the past. As SOON as he broke it, he said, "Wow! You just jumped to a 7 like that!" He told us then, too, that there was meconium in my fluid and what the risks were with that. They gave me an IV with a bunch of fluid since I was so dehydrated from being sick the day before.

Within the next two hours, I dilated to 9 cm and between contractions was busy texting or talking to Sarah, Garth, and my nurse (who was absolutely fabulous, by the way).

Transition began around 9:00 am and the contractions were very intense. Sarah did a great job holding my hand through them and putting cold cloths on my face. She also assisted the nurse with special jobs! The doctor came back in the room about 9:50, put his gloves on, and I gave two pushes. With that, Esther Grace was born at 9:54 am on April 2nd!

She weighed 9 pounds, 3 ounces, and is 20 1/2 inches long.

Garth got to give her the first bath and then we took turns holding her and loving on her.

Her siblings are in love with her and can hardly wait for us to get home so they can help take care of her.

Emilee is a wonderful helper who is staying with us for about a month to help me out. She is staying with the girls while we're at the hospital (Benjamin is at a friend's house). I'm so thankful for Emilee and all she is doing to help out our family. I'm thankful to her parents, too, who are willing to let her come!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Birthday Celebration

Last night we celebrated Sarah's birthday along with two girls from church (Emilee and Hadassah) that had birthdays in the last couple of weeks. Benjy (Emilee's brother) gave me a night off from cooking and made a delicious Italian meal of linguine with two types of sauce, a big salad, and Italian bread. Then for dessert we had chocolate cake.

Ruth loves to eat chocolate (or "allah" as she calls it). Here she is with Benjy.

And then she wanted to pose for her picture again!

Play-Doh Creations

Play-Doh has been a popular activity lately at our house. (One reason for this is the crazy weather!) Sarah made me a delicious meal the other day...
...and then this is how Ruth plays with Play-Doh.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Sarah's Adjudications Honor Recital

Yesterday Sarah played in the adjudications honor recital. Here is a video of her piece, "Baba-Yaga".

*Click on the title of the song for the link to the video.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Baby Update - 38.5 Weeks

I am just a teeny bit discouraged this morning (ok, I'm really discouraged). A week and a half ago at the doctor, I was a "fingertip" dilated and 20% effaced. Today I expected some change, especially with all of the contractions I am having and the pain that has developed in my pelvis. However, there is absolutely no change at all. (With all of my other pregnancies, I've been 2-3 cm dilated by 38/39 weeks.) On top of that, I have a UTI. Lovely!

I know with my head that God is in control and this baby will be born in HIS timing. But my heart is aching. I need to get my head and heart aligned where they need to be. Besides, every day this baby continues growing and maturing inside of me...the healthier and stronger she will be. I see the doctor again next Thursday and then will start NSTs (non-stress tests) after that to monitor baby.

Why am I telling you this? I have no idea. Maybe because it's helped to type it out. I know many of you have experienced what I am going through right now and that helps, too...just knowing I'm not the oddball. :)

Well, enough wallowing in my sorrow. I'm off to clean the house and love on my kids some extra today.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Sarah's 10th Birthday Getaway

Recently Sarah and I had a night away for her 10th birthday. It was very relaxing and a great chance for me to talk to her a bit and spoil her lots before the baby arrives. Here are some highlights from our trip!

Browsing the books at Barnes and Nobles:

Dinner at the Cheesecake Factory!

Lunch at PF Changs (these green beans are a favorite to both of us):

Fun building at the Lego store:

Seeing Dr. Seuss' "The Lorax":

Getting a pedicure:

Comfy beds at the Westin!

Sarah's Adjudication Preparatory Recital

On Sunday, March 4th, Sarah played in an adjudication preparatory recital. She played "To A Wild Rose" by Edward MacDowell. This is one of the pieces that she played at her adjudications this past week. We are excited that she was also chosen to play in the adjudication honors recital, which will take place on Sunday, March 18th. We'll post that video next week!

Note: Click on the title of the song to listen to the video on YouTube.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

How They're Getting Ready

Ruth is climbing in and out of the baby's carseat...

...and Rachel says she's expecting twins!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Blogging for Adoption to Bulgaria

My brother and his wife are on a journey to adopt siblings from Bulgaria. They are a little over a third of the way with their fundraising. As many of you know, this can be a long process and one that holds many emotional ups and downs. In an effort to help get their name "out there", I want to just tell you a little bit about their story and how you can help if you are able.

Tim and Cindy live in Alaska and have two children. The biggest reason that Tim and Cindy desire to adopt is because they were adopted into God's family! They said that "physical adoption is a daily living picture of this spiritual reality. It is a constant reminder to our family and others of the grace and mercy of God and His love for the lost and care for the fatherless."

You can read more about their journey at their blog: Our Adoption Journey to Bulgaria.

Here are three specific ways that you can help them raise money for the adoption if you feel led to do so.

1) If you drink coffee, I highly suggest Just Love Coffee. They have many different roasts and blends. Our favorite is African Skies. You have the option to make a one-time purchase or to have a monthly subscription. If you have a subscription, you are less likely to run out of coffee! By the way, the shipping is the same for one bag or two, so I suggest that you buy two bags at a time.

2) Garth and I have found our new favorite t-shirts. These shirts are super comfortable and we wear them as often as we can get by with (and as often as they're clean!). Mine fits me even when I'm pregnant, which is an added bonus. They are high quality, soft shirts. Contact Tim & Cindy on their blog to find out which sizes and colors are still available.

3) Tim and Cindy are a 147 Million Orphans fundraising family as well. Anything that you purchase in the online store gives a large percentage back directly to Tim and Cindy's adoption fund. There are t-shirts, jewelry, books, mugs, and such available this way.

They are also working on a couple more fundraising options and those will go up on their blog as soon as they're available. Please feel free to subscribe to their blog so that you get their updates.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Getting Ready for Baby

With less than 4 weeks until baby is due, I figured I'd better get busy and get things ready! Because we still use the playpen for Ruth (or visitors that have babies), we figured it would be better to get either a cradle or another playpen/bassinet for this little one. I love how this cradle fits in our room...it takes up very little space but yet gives baby her own little bit of space. The fun part is going to be keeping a certain little girl from trying to pick the baby up out of bed. She keeps going over to the crib saying "baby sleep!". Needless to say, there will be lots of supervision going on!!

We've been doing lots of shopping for a good swing over the last few months. All of our babies have absolutely loved the swing and spent much of their newborn days sleeping there (rather than in their bed). The swing we finally decided on is a Graco Sweetpeace. It has lots of different sounds (music/nature/white noise), but also has a slot where you can plug in your MP3 player so you can play songs of your own choice. This will be VERY nice! The other great selling feature of this swing is that you can put the baby in the swing seat (pictured), but the carseat will ALSO fit in the swing in place of the swing seat. This means that if we get home and the baby is asleep, I can put her carseat on the swing...or if I'm getting ready to leave and have finished feeding the baby, I can put her in the carseat to be rocked to sleep while I get the other kids ready, etc. I have a feeling that this wonderful swing will be a lifesaver.

Anyway, hopefully next week I will get the baby's clothes washed and put away in our room. Then it will be time to pack the bags, do some thorough grocery shopping, and get last minute things ready. Sarah is coming with us for the baby's birth, so I want to spend some more time preparing her and talking to her about what will happen (and what might happen, etc). I have a wonderful person coming to stay with us for a month beginning mid-March to help me out in the days before and after baby arrives. Really looking forward to the extra help!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Pledges for Piano Practice

Sarah is currently raising money for our local music teacher's association chapter. She is taking pledges this week and then will be practicing furiously next week. We wanted to put this on our blog in case anyone out there wants to help!

Here is a note that she wrote:
I'm working really hard trying to raise money for our Music Teacher's Association this week. I'm trying to collect pledges of pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters for each minute of piano practice that I do next week. If you would rather, you can make a one-time gift rather than a pledge per minute. Just so you know, I practice about 250 minutes in a normal week. Will you join me as I try to raise money for the association?

And here is a little further information regarding the project:

Thank you for your support of the 2012 MRC Practice-A-Thon. MRC teachers and students are making practice a priority during the week of March 4-10. Our mission is to strengthen our practice habits while supporting Mt. Rainier Chapter's High School Seniors in its efforts to raise money for the Senior Scholarship Fund. This fund is being used to aid students to continue their musical studies beyond high school. The pledge money that is collected will also help to fund the Muriel Carnes Tuition Grant Award, which provides temporary financial help for students so that their music studies might continue in times of needy circumstances.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

We Have a Doctor in the House!

Ruth decided to help heal her friends of all their sicknesses. :)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Catching Up

I was pulling pictures off of Garth's camera yesterday, so need to catch up with a few blog posts. In early January we enjoyed my brother and his family who visited us from Alaska. Even though it was cold and a pretty windy, we took the kids to the park one day for some fresh air. They have a fun, unique swing there that all of them wanted to try.