27 December 2006

Joy to you and me

I think Liam was wondering what all the fuss was about on Christmas Day. For him, the weekend was a nightmare of long car trips, loud shouts of glee from brothers and sisters, and people trying to force him to love presents that he didn't care much about. But I'm sure he'll grow to love his new toys as he gets a bit bigger. Right now, he'll settle for an undisturbed nap.

these are a few of my favorite things

Molly was so excited to receive an authentic replica Shaun Alexander jersey from Grandma and Grandpa Slaughter! And now her parents are jealous!!
Grandma Slaughter made Superman capes for the 3 boys, and they are flyin' high!
The cousins all had fun together again when we exchanged gifts with the Finks last weekend. The grown-ups had fun too, but were exhausted afterwards :-)

21 December 2006

Given all I've heard, hang on every word...

The kids are so enjoying the nightly Advent reading these past weeks. Problems sometimes occur when they all want to sit on or closest to Daddy as he reads, so I run interference at times. Its been a wonderful evening routine (especially for Warren, who likes things the same ALL the time) and given us the chance to talk a lot about what Christ's birth means for us as His elect people. Thanks to Mom for sending us the Advent book!

Tonight we'll go to PA for 2 nights to see Rob, Steph and kids. We'll exchange gifts with them and let the cousins have fun playing together for a couple days. This year, we decided we'd really like to be home for Christmas day, enjoying it in our own home for the first time in 4 years! There is such a bittersweet feeling in all this for us....what a blessing to see how God has kept and preserved us through a long time of struggle, how He brought us to VA and our own home, good, steady work for Dave, and so many other provisions. And yet its hard to be away from our San Antonio family for the first time in years at Christmas, as well as missing the Warren family gathering at Grandma Lola and Pawpop's house and visiting Grandma June and the rest of the King family. We're missing them greatly, remembering all the fun Christmas memories we had there. But those memories are ours to keep forever. And we'll be missing Dave's parents too, this year, as they will be staying in WA for Christmas. The kiddos were sad to not see any grandparents this year, but I know that we'll all be celebrating together in a sense as we love and miss each other, and more importantly all have our hearts centered around a rough manger that led to a cruel cross that ultimately leads to our glorious future.

01 December 2006

you & many others in your clean well-lighted place

I know that I don't give thanks enough, for anything. I need to get better at that. My kids will learn that from me, so that's sobering. Our Thanksgiving celebration was very nice, busy, loud, and yummy. We had a great time in the Poconos with Steph, Rob and family. The kids all had so much fun playing together, raking leaves outside, going on a treasure hunt, and keeping the noise level in the house at a nice respectable roar. We feel so blessed to live near them and get to see them so much more than we did the past few years, watching each other's kids grow and letting the kids get to know each other. Dave and I are so very thankful for 2 wonderful, godly families who have been such good examples to us and continue to shape who we are. And I'm most thankful for a husband and 5 children who make my life worth living.

19 November 2006

life gets pretty heavy and I wish it was light

Last night Liam went to sleep at about 10 p.m., and didn't wake up until 5 a.m. So today I feel a bit more human. We've had some rough nights, no pattern yet to his sleeping/nursing "schedule". By 6 weeks my others were a bit more predictable and the sleep deprivation cured. Not so this time around, and so as a result I'm thoroughly unproductive, highly irritable, and somewhat fatalistic about our chance of routine. I am definitely at the place where I'm positive that I can't raise 5 children who won't end up in prison. Or hating me. Or both.

I think I'm also just grumpy because CJ left.

Our Montana finally went to Pontiac hell, and left us with paying off a van that must be towed to the junkyard. God graciously provided us with a vehicle through the family of friends (thanks Janelle & Craig!) and so we're mobile again. The "new" van, though 6 yrs old, runs great and is such a blessing, as it was much more affordable than we had hoped for!

For Thanksgiving, we've been invited to "The Camp", Rob & Steph's lake house in the Poconos, to celebrate with Rob's family. It'll be nice and crowded, with 7 adults and 13 kids. We'll get up really early Thursday morning and drive up in time for dinner, and probably leave Sat. morning (duh, have to be home to watch the ND/USC game). After so many years in SA its hard to think about Thanksgiving away from the Warren homestead. Molly is having a hard time with the first holiday away, and we'll all be missing them while we're thanking God for them.

05 November 2006

what a good boy, what a smart boy, what a strong boy

It seems impossible to us, but Liam is a month old already! He's getting bigger all the time and beginning to want interaction. I got my first smile from him a couple days ago and we anticipate many more in the coming days. He's not my best sleeper and still is up quite a few times each night, keeping me a bit more sleep deprived than I'm used to by this point. But he's a sweet little guy and is mostly content during the day. Molly looooves to hold him and Liam is starting to like her too. I think that the newborn phase flies away more quickly with each child, leaving me feeling breathless as I try to savor each day of his "tiny-ness". Why do these babies want to get big? I don't think they realize that their cuteness level can only drop the older they get.

01 November 2006

Great Father of mercies, Thy goodness I own

Last Sunday we celebrated the blessing of Liam's baptism! And we rejoice that Liam now bears the sign of the covenant of His grace. It was wonderful to have so much of our family there to witness the event with us. Mom & Dad Slaughter, Stephanie & Rob Fink along with Robbie, Olivia and Victoria, Dad Warren, Aubrey (who surprised us by flying in!), Annie, Caleb & Erin Welty, and CJ were all there with us. Also our friends John & Jennifer Alexander with Katelynn, Grace & Noah came to show their love and support.

All praise to the Spirit, whose whisper divine
Seals mercy and pardon and righteousness mine!

19 October 2006

I don't want this feeling to go away...

....the cooler fall air, that is! I'm one of those people who is in a better mood when its cold. I get more accomplished, I'm nicer and I just have more fun. We are loving the fall temps here in VA! And the leaves are starting to turn, which makes it even better. We went to a U-pick pumpkin farm last Saturday down in Bluemont and had such a blast! The kids loved the farmyard petting zoo, a willow maze, huge 60' slides, a pumpkin bounce, all-you-can-eat apples, and of course a hayride to the pumpkin fields to pick our own. CJ went with us and was very diligent to keep Liam protected from the frigid 65 degree air by constantly smothering him in blankets. Speaking of the little man, he is doing great. I can't believe he's 2 weeks old now! He's sleeping well every-other night (better than none, I guess) and is pretty content during the day. He made it through his circumcision with very little crying -- in fact, I may have cried more than he did :-) What a sweet blessing he is, and we're just loving watching him grow and change already.

We had to finally say good-bye to Mom this week, as she needed to return home to her life. It was so nice to have her here for my labor, as well as having time with Liam and the kids for a couple weeks. She also bought great stuff to decorate our kitchen, which looks amazing now! I love being here in VA, but when family comes to visit and leaves, its a reminder how hard it is to be so far away from our families. We're thankful for visits whenever anyone wants to trek east!

Dave's parents come in this weekend to meet Liam, so we're looking forward to their visit! We haven't seen them in over a year, and the kids are anxious for them to get here. Stephanie (Dave's sis) and her family will drive down from Philly for a day or two so that we can all have some Slaughter-clan time together. And my Dad was lucky enough to get a work trip to Ft. Meade, MD, so he'll get to come meet Liam next week, too! Liam will have so much loving! And looks like they'll all get to be here to help us celebrate Liam's baptism on 29 Oct! That will be so wonderful.

I'm sure I'll have more pics in the coming days of our growing brood. They're just all so photogenic!

13 October 2006

If a face could launch a thousand ships...

Here's our Liam at 8 days old. The little man is already putting on weight and looking older...I never remember how fast it goes. For the most part he sleeps well and rarely cries, except when too cold (must be related to CJ & Aubrey). Today we took him on his first outing, to the county office to file for his birth certificate. Unfortunately, because this part of the country isn't "home-birth friendly", we may have to jump through a few hoops to get him official (evidently breathing isn't the major sign of life anymore, but bureaucratic paperwork is). Despite all that, he's bonafide in our book, and we're having so much fun watching him grow and change a bit every day. Carrie likes to say, "I wanna kiss the boy, Mom", when its time for her to unleash her love on Liam. I'm pretty sure that he'll be running from her as soon as he's mobile.

06 October 2006

He that first made me still keeps me alive

Our newest treasure, William Halsey Slaughter (Liam) has arrived to meet us. I managed to go into labor on my due date, and Liam came just a few hours into the next day, at 2:24 am on Wednesday, 4 Oct. 2006. He's quite the little peanut, at only 7 lbs, 6 oz. and 20 in. Funny that #5 was my smallest baby, and its so nice to have such a tiny one to hold....I'm sure his "tiny"ness will vanish in no time.

My labor was blessedly short (as labors go) at only 4 hrs, and the delivery was very fast. I had the greatest support from my amazing husband -- I could never labor without him as my rock. Mom, who has been too 4 of my 5 births, was here also to help labor coach and love Liam upon arrival. And Annie and CJ were the aunts helping/baking/photographing throughout the birth. My midwife Liz was terrific and both she and her assistant helped make the birth so smooth and comfortable.

I'll add some pics of all the kids together soon -- they make quite a handsome group. We feel so blessed by a gracious God, and are enjoying our expanded family so much. Thanks to all who were praying and caring about us.

02 October 2006

well there ain't no point in moving on, til you've got somewhere to go....

Thought I'd post a quick update about....the fact that there's no update. Tomorrow is the "official" due date, but lots of us know that means nothing. I'm hoping for Thursday or Friday because that would work great with Dave's schedule (so of course that won't happen). Overall I'm feeling pretty good, baby is still very active and bothersome :-) The older kids are getting anxious, wondering where this baby is that we've hyped for so long now. Mom made it here on Saturday and CJ is still here, so we're ready whenever he/she is. I'm definitely starting to feel ready to get this over with, though it took me until 39 1/2 weeks to feel that way this time. I'm sure within a week or so there'll be news for everyone about who showed up, and pics of the new arrival. Dave and I are about to be so outnumbered.

10 September 2006

so this is how a fool gets wise

Henry successfully made it to his 4th birthday, and had a whole lotta fun! He got some new SuperHero bad-guys (can't have enough of those), new dinosaur toys that are a hit with all 4 Slaughter offspring, and other fun goodies. He still asks me, "What's my number, Mom?", and I have to remind him of his updated age. Whew! Done with the kid parties for this year!!

23 August 2006

we may be different but our hearts don't lie

The family has come and gone. All that anticipation for months, and all the fun, and now its so quiet. But we are so glad to have had a great 2 weeks with the Russells and Warrens here. There were a lot of children, a lot of noise, tons of food, and not much sleep. Who knows when we'll get to do that again, so we'll live on memories and pictures. Speaking of which, you'll have to check out the other family blogs to see pics. Evidently we forgot to take any, which I'll blame on my very-pregnant brain. There were some great ones, check out some of the family links at left. Anyway, I have a great family, and I miss them so much. Don't you wish your family was as great as mine? I know, I know. We can't all be so lucky.

every day, its a-gettin' closer

So, six weeks until our new little person shows up. I can't believe the time has flown this quickly. Until this one, pregnancy has always seemed to drag on forever. I feel like we just found out, freaked out, calmed down, and here we are. Of course in true second-born fashion, I've done absolutely nothing to prepare for the home birth. CJ is here though, so that should help balance out my procrastination with some "type-A"ness. I'm also trying to get ready for starting the school year. For the first time, I'll be schooling 2, while soon juggling 3 little saboteurs (Henry alone is a full-time job). We would have started this week, but princess Carrie picked up chicken pox somewhere and so that may delay us by a week. We'll get there eventually, just can't promise Molly will make it to college on this crazy schedule.

Well, its my birthday too, yeah!!!

Ok, finally birthday pictures! Blogger hasn't been working for us, so that's why I'm just now posting these. We still have Henry's party in a couple weeks, but here are the other three kids, looking too grown up for their own good. They all had fun and got cool stuff.

04 July 2006

all I wanna do is have some fun

Ok, so I'm finally getting pics up of our weekend in the Poconos. A couple weeks ago we went up there where Dave's sister and bro-in-law, Steph and Rob, have a lake house (known as "The Camp" in their family). We spend most of the weekend on the boat, and taking turns in the three-man tube. This picture was Molly, Henry and Robbie. Molly and Robbie spent the most time in the tube, being the oldest and most fearless cousins. Uncle Rob drives the boat pretty fast, so that tube goes flying. We also just had fun visiting, playing, fishing, and resting. The cousins love to be together and all get along so well. Life is going well for the Slaughters here in VA. My pregnancy is progressing well, though too quickly for my liking. I've begun the 3rd trimester already (!!!) and haven't done much in the way of "preparation" yet. I figure since my sister CJ is coming soon and staying, she'll get my rear in gear, like she always does. The kids are enjoying spending a lot of time outside and at the community pool. Work is busy for Dave as always, and we pray it stays that way! We'll be joining our new church on Sunday, so that's a milestone of "settling in" for us. And we're in the middle of "birthday zone" right now. Warren's was last week (5 already! pics soon), Molly's on Sunday (8), Carrie's the next Sunday (2). I think we'll be broke by then. I'll post more summer news and pics later.

slow down, you're moving too fast

This is the view of the tube from the boat while speeding along. That's Dave and a few kids. The ride is a bit scary and bumpy, but tons of fun. Everyone enjoyed it....well, some were forced to enjoy it, but that's all part of childhood, right?

its always more fun to share with everyone

Here's Dave supervising all the cousins. Anyone else scared?? L to R: Victoria, Carrie, Robbie, Molly, Olivia, Henry, Warren.

balancing the whole thing

Dave helping Carrie roast her dog, with stylish Olivia joining in.

life, I love you, all is groovy

Here are the boys right after our hot dog roast. We let the kids roast their own, which was probably not the best choice for that age group. But they enjoyed eating them anyway.

31 May 2006

I'll come running

and you know wherever I am

You just call out my name

Wow! So much fun was had this past weekend in the Windy City with my three best friends. We stayed up too late, ate too much food, walked way too much (for my pregnant body, at least) and just enjoyed being together again. It was such a treat, and we're gonna have to do that more often. Its hard to believe its been 10 years since we were all at Moody together, but time passed hasn't changed our wonderful friendship, and I am so grateful to these three for being such an important part of my life all these years. From left to right: me, Jackie (due with her 5th as well!), Amy, Janelle. Thanks Posse, for all the love.

to see you again

23 May 2006

there's no combination of words I can put on the back of a postcard

In two days I leave for Chicago, for a much belated, much anticipated weekend with my three best girlfriends from college. We were inseparable in school, and unlike many have managed to stay in touch, see each other now and then and FINALLY plan a reunion back in our old stomping grounds. I am so excited! I love these girls so much and miss them all dearly. I'm looking forward to lots of fun, eating lots of food at our favorite Chicago restaurants, and not even having to cut anyone's food in little pieces :-) I'll post pics when I get back.

24 April 2006

I'll find you in the morning sun

Here are the Slaughters on Easter morning. It was beautiful, and we had a lovely Resurrection service at church. CJ went with us, so that made it even more special. Beth accompanied the Weltys, and enjoyed the afternoon with their extended family. It was great to have the girls here and we miss them already.

We just returned from our weekend in PA, visiting the Finks. We had so much fun, and the kids loved playing with their cousins. Its nice to be closer to them now and we hope to see much more of them soon.

10 April 2006

8, 8, (I forgot what 8 was for)

It seems I forget a lot these days, including updating the blog. Pregnancy DOES shrink the brain, its been scientifically proven, so don't blame me for acting like an idiot half of the time. Anyway, here I am (or half of me). Things are good here at the Slaughterhouse. I'm feeling pretty good these days, despite some pesky insomnia. The baby is moving, and we've found a midwife, thankfully. We have found a church, and that is a big answer to prayer. We are attending Good News Pres. in Frederick, MD, and will begin the Inquirer's class soon to start the membership process. The people have been great and the kids love it, too. CJ and Bethany are coming to visit on Saturday, so we're looking forward to a week with them. The kids can't wait for Beth to do messy projects with them and make them messy snacks. The next weekend, we're heading to PA for my niece Victoria's 2nd birthday party. We'll spend a couple nights with Rob, Steph and kids -- we're all excited about that. Not too much else to report. I'll post pics when the girls get here. Peace out.

09 March 2006

I'll catch my breath & count to 10 & open my eyes

This post is LONG overdue (haha, no pun intended), and I'm sure most who are kind enough to visit my blog of ramblings and nonsense are already "in the know"....but for those behind, the SlaughterHouse is adding a member come October. If you know me at all, you know this wasn't "in the plan" (ours anyway), and so has taken me by complete surprise. I'm at 10 weeks, and still adjusting to the news, letting it sink in, trying to swim through the surreal aura to a sense of reality. Blessedly, we serve a sovereign God who most certainly knew and ordained this child that we hadn't conjured, and so we give thanks for the life even while our minds are spinning with change. This has brought up practical problems to solve (money for another birth, moving sooner than we thought, I gave away all baby/maternity stuff, etc.) as well as emotional ones (can I stay sane, keep the children from hating my guts, homeschool without sounding like a raving lunatic, etc.). I know those of you who already have 5+ children are probably laughing at me, and that's ok. Fear of the unknown is relative, and I'm sure in a year and then two, I'll laugh reading this post, too (that's if I still have the mental faculties to type by then). Right now I'm giving thanks that my morning sickness has been light, and I've been able to stay functional. And we're so grateful for Dave's work, that it's steady and that the future looks bright. Once again, I am so aware of what a blessing it is to be able to confidently say, "God is good, all the time".

21 February 2006

Lalalalalalala life is wonderful...

Here are the long promised pics of the kids in our first real snowfall since moving to VA. I've been having trouble with my computer, and it won't let me add more than one picture in a post for now, so I'll just post them individually. The kids loved the snow and played in it for days until it melted. Especially the boys were in total wonder, never remembering seeing snow. Molly did remember snow a bit, so she was the "snow boss" (bet you're surprised, huh?). They made snowmen and ganged up on their Daddy and Uncle Nathan (who was here at the time) for snowball fights.

24 January 2006

Don't stop believin' (hold on to that feelin')

Ok I know I've been bugged to add kid pics, which I haven't done in a while, and I promise to do that. mission today is to let everyone know...

The Seattle Seahawks are going to the SuperBowl!!!!
Wow. The Seahawks have never been to the SuperBowl, hadn't even had a post-season win in 21 years until they routed the Skins a couple weeks ago. Their day has come. Hasselbeck has been so versatile and on his toes....Alexander just reminds us all why he's NFL MVP...and that Hawk defense has been impenetrable. What a year, what fun. Dave is still in shock that he gets to watch his team try to take the NFL crown. The fun twist here is that of all years, after we move East, the Seahawks face the Steelers (bro-in-law Dirk's beloved) for the big win. So, the family angst should proliferate, as will the heated rhetoric I imagine (though all in tribal love). If you love football (or want to pretend that you do) watch the Bowl on the 5th and root for the Hawks (and don't tell me if you didn't).

10 January 2006

I'm looking forward to looking back on this day

The long trip is over, and the Slaughters are safely in Virginia. The trip was long and not very fun, but its over. For pics from the road, click on the "Family Grandstand" link at left, where CJ has already posted on the greater family blog. God is faithful as always, and has led us here by His grace. Our home is in Lovettsville, a tiny town in far northern VA. We are in a townhouse, 3 doors down from my sister Annie. We're hoping that Carrie and Erin (Annie's baby) will grow up to be great friends, since we'll force them to be together often :-) Dave's work continues to be busy, which is good. We have only been here 11 days, so we have a ways to go before it feels like home. But we're slowly settling in, unpacking, trying to remember what its like to live on our own again. It was fun to see my dishes again! Hopefully settling in will soon mean finding a church and friends for all of us. We were sad to send CJ back home today. Carrie thinks that CJ is her mother, so she'll be the saddest of all once she realizes that CJ is gone. She was such a help and plus I really like her. Thanks to everyone who was praying for our safe trip. Here's a picture of us before we walked in the house for the first time. I'll post more pics soon.