Wednesday, August 11, 2010


So, after our beautiful Brier-Rabbit passed away I knew that I wanted another big bun. They really are sweet creatures. I remember one time Malachi was sick. He was about 2 and a half and really feeling puny and had been needing to be held for most of the morning.
As the day wore on, Solomon and I were getting hungry and I needed to do at least 1 load of wash. I said, "Kai? Mommy needs to put you down for a little bit, OK?"
He was upset, but got down. Then he proceeded to get the couch pillow and his blankie, open the sliding door and trek through the yard. He laid down on his pillow underneath the big pine tree and called, "Waaaabit!" Low and behold her head popped up on the other side of the yard and she hopped right up to his head. She made him giggle by jumping back and forth over him and nuzzled him with her nose. A few minutes later she burrowed into his side and they both fell asleep. It was beautiful.
So, enter a few nights ago where, on a whim, I Googled, "Flemish Giant", which I happen to know is the largest domesticated rabbit breed. Even though I had assumed I would get another French Lop, I fell in love with these rabbits. I found a breeder a mere 4 hours away.
Then I showed Micah the picture.
He wasn't nearly as excited as I was. Matter of fact, he was dead-set on not getting "a poop machine of that caliber in my yard".
Let the negotiations begin.
Pout face with lower lip extended? No dice.
"Pleeeeease, Baby?" No dice.
"Don't I deserve it?" Marterdom was a no-go.
Micah says, "Max out your pigeon population at 5. No more than 5 at any time."
Eeeeeeeek! I'm at 9! I'd have to re-home 4 of my babies! FINE. I have a friend who's asked about them.
"AND you have to be RELIGIOUS about "poo-poo-patrol". Without fail, Nee`. I' don't want to have BBQs and there be little farm balls all over the yard."
Big sigh, "Done."
SO! We were agreed!
And what he WAS happy about is the fact that His Aunt Angela and Uncle Daniel and their 2 girls live about 25 minutes from the breeder, giving us a perfect excuse to make the drive and visit. YAAAAY!!
So here's a picture of Gideon and his litter mates whom we'll be picking up next Friday. I also Facebooked that she had 1 remaining buck available and, as long as I was making the drive, if anybody wanted him I would pick him up, too. My friend Lisa decided she wanted the last bunny, so she's getting Gideon's brother.
Oh, and the name? Mr. "I-don't-want-a-big-poop-machine" named him.
Because my name wasn't good enough, "Pfffffft! Shiloh? Shiloh is a hotel chain". And, apparently it's very important that we don't name bunnies after hotel chains.
So my name was unanimously nixed by all the men in the house in favor of a more macho name that means, "Destroyer or feller of trees". Because we don't want rabbit to get some sort of complex by having a sissie name.
Anywho. At least I'm getting my bun!
Picture by: Get Er Done Rabbitry @

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Summertime is Wrapping Up.

Whew - what a fun Summertime we've had! With the exception of the death of our beautiful French-lop, Brier-Rabbit, our days have been full of joy. Here's a quick overview on what's been going on in the Lewis lives:

Rosie is now 6 months old and that half a year has FLOWN by. She's now sitting up pretty well by herself, with only a few "tilt and tumble" episodes.

She's also trying all sorts of Gerber! Some she likes, and some.....welll.....

One of the advantages to having older siblings is that, if you flash your smile and baby blues at them juuuuust right, they're apt to give you a lick of their blackberry fruit pop. An advantage to drooling excessively is that said sibling will probably not want it back afterward and just give you the thing.

So Mom turns around to see a very happy 6-month-old child eating a pop-cycle. Oh, well. Since they've been talking about a return home for her this Fall/Winter, we really don't care about not spoiling her. She gets everything she wants. My first kid didn't get a cookie in Safeway until he was 2. Rosie's? 6 months. I guess I just feels that we probably won't be having to deal with the consequences of spoiling her, so why not? If she weren't so darn cute, it would be a lot easier.

Let's see, we've done a lot of camping, too! Mama doesn't do tent camping when we have one under a year, so we've fount that yurts are a good choice for us and even found one with a microwave, fridge and heater. Yeah, we really rough it :)

It was so fun to be close to the water and some of our friends rented the yurt across from us. We went in together and rented a boat, as well and were able to goof around and fish, play cards and Mama read some of her book. I was really glad that we had the accommodations we did, as it rained the whole second night and third morning. My hubbs also took the 3 biggest on a Father-son Camping Trip with our church and had a good time.

The boys had a good time on July 4th, too. We went next door to our awesome neighbors' for a BBQ, then did some (legal and not-so-legal) fireworks. Rosie slept right through it all. Zephan did much better with the noise and lights this year. We still used the ear-protectors, but now he loves them and even uses them when the vacuum or lawnmower is going. His over-stimulation/social anxiety is either lessening or he's managing it better. He's such an amazing guy and we're so thankful that God has seen fit to heal him of any issues from his past. GOD IS GOOD!

Our DHS also put together a beautiful baseball game package for fostering families. This included admission to a Volcanoes game, $5 coupon per child to spend at the food vendor, a t-shirt and tons of give-aways and prizes at the game by different companies who each ran a booth. They also had fire trucks, ambulances and police officers on hand to show kids around them. The night ended with a huge fireworks show. MUCH better than what they did last year. It was great!

AND.....Malachi turned 7!!!! We had a party for him at the splash park and got him some things he's been wanting.

After his party he and his brother tested for their orange belts and passed. This was the most intense test by far and I walked out with an upset stomach. They're to the level where they get large sticks swung at them relentlessly and one boy got hit hard in the face. Another boy got hit in the thigh and the class stopped as he began to cry. They were both fine, but I've been having my hubby take the bigs to class as much as possible because it's difficult for me to watch. Unfortunately he's going to be back in school here pretty soon, so Mama will have to suck it up or stay in the van.

So, I guess the last new-ish thing is that I finally did something with my hair. I usually (and by usually, I mean for the last 3 years) just throw my hair into a messy top-knot and call it good. But I was pretty sick of it, so I "went all 90's on it" and got a perm. Most of the comments I've been getting are something like, "Oh! I didn't know that you had long hair..."

Well, I hope you're summer is going great. I'll leave you with some archival pics of our beloved bunny, Brier. Malachi was especially close to her and he misses her (as a matter of fact, the only pics I could find are of her when she's with him) quite a bit. She sure was a sweetheart and we really enjoyed the time we had with her!


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

I'm Back!

Hi, there! I know, long time, no see. Summer is FINALLY here!
So, updates: Zephaniah is POTTY TRAINING *insert strained smile*. He's nearly 3 and still not "saving it up" too well. He tends to squirt a tablespoon or so every 25 minutes. This is frustrating, as it's just enough to wet his underpants and leave a small stream down his leg. After 5 pairs of underwear dirtied in this fashion, I just stripped him to what God gave him and sent him outside to play. This is my first boy to have this problem and I don't know how to teach him to hold it! He goes EVERY TIME I put him on the potty (about 2 tablespoons worth) and then has wet drawers 15 minutes later! Suggestions?

The older 3 boys went to their annual Junior Master Gardener Day Camp and had a ball as always. This was the first year that Levi was old enough (well, they're lenient, so he was actually still a year too young but they let him come with his brothers). Zephan had a difficult time without them and cried buckets, just like Levi did last year. Soon enough I'll be taking all 4 out there.

The rest of our time has been filled with growing kiddos and summertime. Rosie's parents had court this morning. I was hoping to go, but a summer cold hit the house and so I missed. The caseworker sent me this message, though:
"Court went well. Judge feels parents are making good progress. We are proceeding with caution, obviously due to history. Hands on parenting classes were discussed. We have been exploring this but I have not been able to find one that starts before September. I shared one of Rosie's adorable photos with the court, everyone loved it! (Rosie's attorney) gave a nice update about Rosie as she just saw her yesterday. The next hearing is set for September 30th at 10am. "
Sooooo.....I guess we'll know more come September.
It was after we found out that her heart is fine that the doctor noticed that she has "blue sclera", meaning the whites of her eyes are a pale blue instead of white. They said this can be a genetic marker for muscular or
connective tissue problems. That coupled with her extremely easy-going nature and a couple of other little things are worrying the docs a bit, so they're planning on running a syndrome check soon. I guess this just means some blood work, not too bad, but hoping everything checks out OK. She continues to be such a good baby and now has 2 little teeth on the bottom.

We got a couple of things done around the house here, including Dad's purchase of a playset from Costco. It
was a pain, but Daddy and our neighbor pounded it out in 2 days! We also got the flower baskets up on the clubhouse (but not the door or steps, yet)
and I got Rosie's Alice in Wonderland pictures framed above her crib. I also found a stencil that says, "Curiouser and curiouser..." to put around the top of her walls. In my spare time. I even found a big pink and purple sign board that says, "We're all mad here!" for above her closet. I just have to find a good white rabbit stuffy for her crib :)

Ooooo! Big news: My hubby finished his first year of Nursing School! He's an LPN now and this time next year, if all goes well, he'll be an RN! We're enjoying some time together this Summer before the harder year (harder than last year, we hear, but HOW? Eeek!) year begins and life without him home resumes. :(

My big guys are enjoying their swimming lessons every Saturday. Nana is so good to take them. Their first week-long camp is in August and there are lots of water activities, however they both have to pass a swim test to be included in those. I was dreading the lessons as I would have to sit and wait with the 3 smalls (hubby works weekends) while the bigs have their lessons, then figure out how to help them shower and change afterward with babies in tow. I would put them all in lessons, but all 3 littles would need to be in the "mommy-and-me" class and I can't hold onto 3! So, Nana saved the day and sacrificed every Saturday morning THE WHOLE SUMMER to take them. Whew! That was going to be a hassle for sure!

Well, I'll get off here now. Sorry for the scanty posts, but they very well may continue as these kids are so very busy! We're looking forward to camp, berry picking, VBS and Zephan's birthday in September!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Why, oh why....

.....does she have to be so cute? Happy 3 month mark, my sweet Rosie - you are truly a joy!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

That's The Game

Well, Rosie may be going home. I was surprised, too. So, a couple of developments have happened: 1) Mom, Dad and Grandma have moved in together and are working as a team to get Rosie home. They have committed to staying together in the home to raise her as a family unit. Which DHS is considering. Grandma is also now visiting with Mom and Dad.
2) The adoptive family of Rosie's sisters have stepped up (after viewing a picture I took and seeing how much she looks like their girls, they changed their minds) and the concurrent plan is now that she will go to them, should reunification fail. They are out of state, however, so they can't do a foster-to-adopt type of placement with them.

DHS has decided that they will let Mom/Dad/Grandma work a reunification plan for 9-12 months and then assess their stability and parenting skills. They don't want to do a reunification sooner than that, as they feel that Rosie is too vulnerable for any screw-ups. She has another EKG on Wednesday and that will probably clue us in as to whether or not she needs to see a specialist for her little heart.

So, that leaves her with us until around her first birthday with basically no chance of adoption, as there is already a concurrent plan with her sisters' family. D'oh.
And yet, when I heard all this, I had a strange sense of peace. I guess I've been in this business long enough to know that it's just the game. Also, because of how merciful God was in guiding us, we know for sure that this is where she's meant to be
right now. Today she is supposed to be here, in this house, with us. I'm quite sure of that. And we're all really enjoying her!

Now, there may come a day when I'm packing her things to go home. When the little girl we've had since she was 18 days old will be leaving us. On that day I may throw a tantrum. I've told God that. And also apologized in advance and told Him how much I've enjoyed being her Mama and that it was all worth it just to have her for a time, and thanked Him for the wonderful opportunity. I'm so glad God "gets" me. Because I felt Him smile in that moment, and I knew everything would work out. I mean, do any of us know how long we have with any of our children? They are a gift to be enjoyed a predetermined number of days. So, I will enjoy my baby today. And I choose to be happy and have faith.

Job 1:21
God gives, God takes.
God's name be ever blessed.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Random Pics and Stuff

OK, here are some of my fave pictures this past couple of weeks! The ones of Levi sleeping in head-slap position and the dog on the computer were on the camera when I uploaded. Micah must have taken them. Cracks me up.

So, I'm back from a long weekend at the coast with my fellow homeschool moms. All year long I look forward to our retreat. We shop at the outlet mall, play games, SLEEP, soak in the hot tub and talk. A fellow homeschool mom whose kiddos are nearly grown (and used to own a pizza restaurant) volunteers to cook us foods that our kids wouldn't dream of eating, like chicken pesto & mushroom pizza and broccoli-cheddar quiche. She's such a blessing to the moms who have wee ones and need a break!
This was the first year that I went to the outlet mall with a list of girl items our household needed such a headbands, tights and a few springtime shirts. Aaaaaah, so fun!

Nana volunteered to keep Rosie so Micah wouldn't be overwhelmed and everybody enjoyed their weekend. My hubby decided to take the boys to an Agricultural Festival and said, "I just kept counting to 4 over and over..." It CAN be a challenge having 4 little guys who are going in 4 different directions! But Daddy made sure they all rode a pony, saw a sheep being sheered, did lots of hands-on activities and got a souvenir. And, my favorite part....he came home with all 4 boys :) The pic with Malachi and his cat was taken while I was away - apparently my spot in bed was up for grabs.

Also, Rosie had a consultation for her little heart. I can't remember if I already wrote about this, but we found out that 2 siblings have severe heart defects and have had several open heart surgeries each. The docs decided that her EKG isn't worrisome at this point, but she may need to see a specialist, so they'll continue to keep an eye on that. Other than that, she's 100th percentile for weight and 50th for height and is doing well. I picked up a few things for her room, as well. I don't want to commit to a girlie nursery, but sleeping her in a Noah's Ark room is bothering me (oh, what truly important problems this American mom has, right?) so I found a way to use the blue and brown colors and got her a new crib set from Craigslist. I'll add a few accessories and call it good. Pics to come, of course :)

And, thank you all for the gentle and encouraging replies to my last post. Every one was so very appreciated, that you would have such confidence in me!

And, Jill, are you on Facebook or anything, girl? I keep losing track of you and I think of your family often! It's so funny, but when you've followed a blog through the challenges of the foster care system and adoption, you begin to see these ladies as fellow warriors and friends. My hubs calls them, "my wife's imaginary friends". But, ladies, we're in this special little sub-category of parenting together and it's priceless knowing that I'm not alone. Someday I know I'll meet most of you, even if it's after our journey here on earth is complete. Or when we retire and have an itch to travel in our pimped-out Winnebago.....

Monday, April 19, 2010

Quit Faking It

Alrighty. It Spews Forth inspired me with a very real, no nonsense post about real stuff. I'm going to follow her lead.
So, Rosie's Dad got out of prison. He's having bi-weekly visits with mom now. I asked if Dad was being considered as a possible placement. DHS said no. So far there has been nobody to step up for this child. Which leaves us. Only one problem: Rosie is a girl. We ALWAYS lose our girls. I had decided that we were a strictly boy household. Obviously she won't be staying. Our girls never do. Right?
OK, for the first several years we were open to either gender. All our girls left. Then we were blessed with a beautiful boy, our Levi. Who stayed. Then we opted to only accept boy placements. 5 months later we were blessed with our boy, Zephaniah. It seems to be in the stars.
Even when I called the breeder I had chosen to buy my Pomeranian. Only pup left was a boy. Malachi recently adopted a Guinea Pig. He decided on a girl and chose a pig from the female enclosure. We get the thing home and discover it's obviously a boy. Both cats? Boys. Same with our rabbit. There were 2 from which to choose, a male and a female. I chose the female. We got home and, come to find out, there was a mix-up. We had come home with.....the boy.
Over and over and over this happens. And I adore my boys, but I don't think I've given myself a chance to develop the desire for a girl. After Rayna left I constructed a sturdy wall against baby girls. They're cute, but not for this family. And I let my love for my boys absolutely take over and turn into a passion that hid any hint of a desire for a daughter. Eventually I may have to do something about this wall. IF this case evolves to look like she may be forever.
But I'm looking into the blue eyes of this beautiful baby girl with much speculation. Could I raise a girl successfully? It scares the pee out of me. I remember how I was as a teen, so emotional. Crushes on boys and crying when I started my period on my 10th birthday (sorry, TMI), lip-stick rules and rebellion and battles over too-short skirts and talking on the phone for hours at a time. It makes me tired just thinking about it.
I'd much rather deal with stupid pranks (embarrassing confession: I LOVE the Jack Ass movie and, although he has a potty-mouth, I find Bam Margera charming and funny) and wrestling and wet dreams and skateboards. I have a well-thought-out plan for those! I'm good! I know how to raise boys and seem to be good at it. And my hubby is the martial arts dude who loves camping and paintball and all things manly. What in the world was I thinking when I accepted this placement?!? She'll be doomed to grow up with a intimidated mom and a Dad that has no clue!!
So, that's my "Real" post. I will let you know if I have any epiphanies. Until then, I'm just loving this little baby who has stolen my heart against my will and is hard at work chipping away at my big ol' wall.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Visiting the Tulips





......and Zephan. Sigh.

He is The One. The One who will bring my gray hair. The One who puts my stomach in knots near bodies of water. The One who causes the most mischief. The One who tests me. The One who drives me to my knees in prayer, "Lord, give me wisdom!". The One who manages to find my buttons. The One who makes me shake my head in amazement at his antics.
He's also The One who can melt my heart with a look. The one who causes me to belly laugh. The One who says, "Mommy! I missed you when I sleep!" The One who has an infectious giggle. The One who keeps me flexible. The One who likes to be rocked. The One with a killer sense of humor. The One who wrings his little hands and looks worried when Rosie cries.
He will be The One. The One who's a really big man. The One who's fiercely protective of his family. The One who has an amazing testimony. The One who's boisterous laugh reaches the sky. The One who leads his family with faith and commitment and compassion. The One who will reach the hurting for Christ. The One who will STILL be a mama's boy. The One who can reach the person that no one else can. The One whose smile will light up the whole room. The One I tell unbelievable stories about to his kids. He will be a great man.
The One I loved, love and will love. My boy.