Tuesday, December 13, 2011

What's in a name?

Not only do I think that a name should sound good but I'm really into what names mean.  There was a reason we choose Gabriella Grace, Braly Andrew, & Morgan Annette for our children's names. We actually had them pretty much picked out before we even had children but they fit them perfectly.

A good friend of mine, Katie Reid, introduced me to The Name Book by Doroty Astoria many years ago and I loved how it was put together.  What's in a name?  Well in this book it first lists the name & possible spellings of the name.  Then it tells the Language/Cultural Origin.  Next is Inherent Meaning (which is the literal meaning of the name). Then the Spiritual Connotation or the implied meaning of the name.  And lastly, a scripture is included to shed light upon the inherent and implied meanings of the name.

When I was a little girl, my Gram & Gramps gave each of us grandchildren a plaque with our name on it, the meaning, as well as a scripture. I still have mine & I believe so do my 3 sisters.  I'd even say that many of my cousins probably still have theirs as well but I don't know for sure. Though mine was not spelled the way I spell my name, I didn't mind because my name still meant the same....God is Gracious or God's Gracious Gift.  From the Christmas or birthday that I received that plaque, I always knew that the meaning of a name was special & could very well be a blessing or encouragement to a person.  Naturally when coming up with names for our children, the meaning has always played a BIG role and this time has not been different.

We thought we were done having children. Though I thought I always wanted 4 children, I had finally come to the place in my life where I was content to have 3 children & love on other people's babies whenever possible. I had given all baby stuff away & saved only one tote full of baby toys for when we would have nieces or nephews or other babies visit us.  I was content with the car we owned & how all 3 car seats fit snug in the backseat. Sure, having more room in a van would be nice but it just wasn't necessary.  And then we were surprised by God with a precious gift.  We waited to tell anyone, even our children for some time.  And before sharing the news with our children, I firmly believe that God had been working on them long before they knew the news.  They made comments that it would be nice to have a real baby in our house to love on & how they wished they had a baby brother to even things out.  Braly would especially pray that we be given a baby brother so he could share his room with someone & play boy stuff with him eventually.

The news was exciting for the kids, especially as they anticipated whether it was a baby brother or sister.  And actually they all prayed it would be a boy and like I shared before, they were upset when we found out it was a girl...though thankfully that only lasted for a night.  As I started looking for a name I was overwhelmed with names. We had a boy name that we had not used but when we found it was a girl, I had to start compiling a list.  Remember how much I love lists.  Though I had what seemed like a hundred names on the list, none of them seemed quite right.  I looked at the credits on tv shows & movies for a name that would just pop & fit...still nothing.   I prayed for God to show us a name that really stuck out & had a wonderful meaning & just like everything else that has had to do with this baby, he answered my prayer.  I was sitting at a stoplight waiting to turn left when a HUGE oversized semi & trailer were approaching  to our right.  I told Morgan to look out her window at the big boat that was going to pass us & that's when I saw the name of the boat. As soon as we got home I grabbed the name book to find out the meaning of the name I had seen because it HIT me & I thought it might be perfect.  When I looked it up I found that it is an English name, meaning Princess and Beautiful. The scripture to go with it is Psalm 45:13 All glorious is the princess within her chamber, her gown is interwoven with gold.  What a lovely name. I mentioned it to Adam & the kids & shared the meaning & they all loved it.

And thus....our baby girl will have the name Sadie.  We have not settled on her middle name yet but it may have the meaning of blessed or blessing, or gift or something of that nature because I feel as though God has been blessing us so much since we found out we'll be welcoming her into our lives & he's been providing the things we need just like his word says. We may decide on her middle name before she is born or we may wait until after she is born to choose her middle name from the list we have going.  Either way, I have no doubt that she will have a button nose just like our other 3 beautiful children & she will be a delight in our lives.  Now we will have Gabby, Braly, Morgie, & Sadie.  Sounds perfect doesn't it?!!! We think so!

Friday, December 2, 2011

December 1st, 2011....A joyous and not so joyous day.

Yesterday was so busy, so wonderful, and then not so much.  It was over run with many appointments, vaccination shots for Morgan & mom as well as many emotions. Emotions filled with joy & then ones with anger & sadness. I didn't realize one day could hold so much in it.
As I pulled the curtains in my room back to look outside at what kind of day we'd have for travelling to Iron Mountain, I saw the beautiful, glistening, sparkling white snow that had fallen on our world. It was pretty but also meant that we'd have to leave a little earlier to leave enough time for anything we might run into.  I showered & woke the kids to get them ready. They were excited about the snow & about finding out if they were having a baby brother or sister.

Fast forward to the kids were on the bus, Morgan & I were ready to go. The power went out for some strange reason & we left for Iron Mountain.  We arrived a bit early for our appointment but the nurse took us right in to get our height & weight. I was having an appointment for the baby as I was 21 weeks 3 days. Morgan was having her 5 year check up since she will be 5 on Saturday. I know, where does the time go?  I can't believe it was 5 years ago already that we set off on a different kind of adventure of ups & downs after Morgan was born.  Morgan & I sat patiently in the room waiting for the doctor to come in. We read books, filled out the paper or "homework" as Morgan called it to assess whether she was at the level she needed to be for a 5 year old. The paper is for 4-6 year olds and she completed everything on it at her 4 yr appt so it was kind of just 'fun' to fill it out this time.  Then I looked at my watch & realized that we were running late. My ultrasound (u/s) appointment was for 11:30 on the 1st floor of the building we were in & it was almost 11:00.  Our doctor came in soon after & got us finished & sent us on our way & even had the receptionist call down to say we were on our way.  My sister Natalie met us in the waiting room soon after we walked in & I filled out a few papers. I invited her to watch the u/s & help take care of Morgan since Adam is so stinkin busy with work this time of year.  He felt terrible that he was missing the u/s but there wasn't much he could do. I felt bad for him too.

The technician went through & took 95 pictures of our little one.  They asked me a million and 1 questions to get all the information they needed & we were able to watch the u/s pictures on a HUGE screen tv. It was much better than craning my neck to try to see the small screen.  The doctor came in & asked a few more questions & looked at all the pictures.  She said that everything looked great.  Looks like we have a healthy little girl & pretty much sent us on our way.  We exchanged vehicles with my dad again & headed back up to the 3rd floor to get our vaccinations.  By the time we were finished it was 2pm our time & we were starving. Morgan & I headed to Subway to get some lunch & made some phone calls along the way to inform people & text people the news. Of course Adam was the first one to get a call.  I had promised to let Morgan look at the toys at Shopko but we were running out of time & I had told the kids that I would purchase an outfit for them to open to know whether it was a brother or sister so we hurried as fast as we could to get that done.  By the time we left Iron Mountain, it was questionable whether we'd make it home in time to get Gabby & Braly off the bus.  So I drove faster than normal but hit a bunch of slow traffic once I got near the casino & called a friend to wait for the kids to get off the bus & take them to her house for about 5 minutes.  They weren't there long & when then came running down the alley, they were so excited to find out what the baby was until......they opened the present & found it was girl stuff. Braly was completely hurt & Gabby was sad. It was kinda what I expected. Braly started crying but then wouldn't even come by me & pretty much told me it was my fault & he without saying he hated me...well he implied it.  It was horrible & made me feel really bad.  I thought after I spent some time with him that he'd be ok and he was for a little while but he wasn't done.  And then when Adam came home, well, it started all over again. The stuff they were saying hurt me & though they didn't really know it, I went to the basement to do laundry & cry.  I knew in my heart that they would come around but it hurt to see all these emotions flying around & here I am carrying this sweet little precious girl & felt like I was the only one who cared about her.  I finally got the kids to bed & went to bed myself. I had ENOUGH of the emotions, shots, travelling, rushing, etc that I cried out to God for strength & fell asleep. I didn't even wake up for my usual early morning bathroom break. I felt  much better this morning & asked the kids how they felt.  Braly already warmed up to having another sister & being the only boy.  I offered that he be the 1st sibling to hold her & he agreed. Gabby said she'd hold the baby last since Morgan has never gotten to hold a baby first & that made my heart feel blessed.  She's always so thoughtful, I almost cried right there.  Thank you God for giving me my children back. I know there will be times that Braly just needs a break from girls. I get that & will be more than happy to make sure he has some time away from the 3 of them.  He can hang out with Dad or Papa or his buddies.  But I don't know if he actually realizes how special he is to be the only boy. Obviously God thinks he can handle 3 sisters so here we go on a new adventure.  I am blessed & full of joy but also have a gazillion things to get done before Morgan's 5th birthday party tomorrow so I must finally run & while I'm getting things on my list done I'll be trying to come up with some names to talk about over the weekend. :)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I love Lists

If you know me then you know that I am a list maker. I absolutely love making lists for several reasons. It usually keeps me on track, keeps my mind organized so I don't have a zillion things running around in my mind constantly & I can concentrate on my family instead of halfway listening to them while I make a list in my mind (which I'm sorry to admit but I do sometimes). I enjoy the feeling of getting something done on my mile long list & crossing it off or deleting it (depending on whether I'm using paper or digital via my phone or itouch). Making lists helps me feel somewhat in control of things. I actually have a notebook that I keep several lists in. Are you really surprised?  So it comes natural to me that I would have my children make a wish list each year around this time. They've actually been looking through toy catalogs lately & showing us things that they think are cool but last night I actually had them sit down & write out what it was that they would like to get for Christmas.

You may have read or heard me explain this before but here goes again.  Last year we decided to adopt the 3 present rule for Christmas.  Since Jesus received 3 presents from the Wise Men, we thought we'd correlate that with our gift giving because we believe that Christmas is about celebrating God's gift to mankind by sending his son in human form to be born on this earth.  BTW, this was not our idea alone. I have friends that have shared that this was their family tradition & I have since found more people who do the same.  My husband & I found that we were going overboard with presents & we also noticed that even though the kids were very appreciative of what they received, they didn't always play with everything so much. Some things inevitably fell to the wayside of Toyville and didn't get as much playtime. Rather than spending hard earned money (and let me tell you, my hubby works very hard, especially this time of year when its their busiest & everyone is ordering presents online & shipping things to family & friends) on things our kids didn't appreciate as much, we decided to buy 3 presents for each child. Last year they ended up with a more expensive gift & then 2 smaller gifts & then a few stocking stuffers and let me tell you....they were absolutely delighted at what they received. We made just a little room for the new toys beforehand & so when it was time to clean up their new toys that they played with all day long, it was easy to find them a new home. The kids still play with their toys. Oh & if you think that they only get 3 separate toys, well that's not so simple. We've purchased a few toys in the same theme; our son got a box with a few Toy Story characters in it last year. So I guess we 'kinda' cheat in a way but it worked & kept the amount of toys manageable as well as the money spent in a more realistic amount. This year may be on a smaller scale since we are trying to afford a used van so we can carry our whole family in the same vehicle after the baby is born.

Anyway, I found that helping them write out their lists this year was a lot of fun. My son likes a wide array of things & got so excited that he wrote so many more things on his list than he'll ever receive but he was so excited at all the prospects   My youngest has had lots of time to peruse the toy catalog while doing breathing treatments because 'Tis the Season for her to have breathing trouble. She has actually showed me several things she'd like to get & I helped her write them down.  And my oldest, well, she's more concise in what she desires. And she's kinda more practical about deciding, which makes me laugh because it reminds me of myself.  She thinks things like "If I put this on my list, then chances are I'll get it.  She's even asked what the price limit per child is this year.  By the way, she's in 4th grade & her teacher has been having the class balance a checkbook as part of their learning experience. They receive payment for each day they are in school & have their homework turned in on time, etc. She was strategically trying to figure out if she put an expensive thing on the list whether she would get it or not or whether she should skip it & put something else in a better price range.  I found watching each of their personalities emerge in the way they made their list quite fun to watch.

They finished their lists just in time for Daddy to get home from work & for them to explain to him the things they had on their list & why they wanted them & then it was off to bed. ONLY thing was that was probably a bad idea. They always get super excited when Daddy is home because he gets home so late & they don't see much of him but they were doubly excited from making their lists so going to sleep last night & staying in bed was a HUGE struggle.

List making makes me happy. That probably seems kinda strange to some of you but to others, you know what I'm talking about when you get that smile on your face as you check something off your list.  My list as of late has been growing by leaps & bounds.  And makes me think that it is time to separate some of my lists up again.  It's the only way to keep them manageable.  Oh & the apple doesn't fall far from the tree in my case because my dad makes lists all the time too.  He doesn't always make them on paper or digitally but he usually has several lists going in his head.

Well, now its time for me to write out a few lists for myself for the rest of the week to make sure I get things accomplished that need to be done. I have several responsibilities & I want to be sure that I don't forget or drop the ball on any of them & that I don't take away from precious family time in order to complete them (which I have been known to do because I just can't bare when I commit to something & then don't get it done.)  Plus, I don't know about all of you but I have to be prepared for Black Friday deals if there is something on my childrens' list. If I can get it for cheaper, I mean MUCH cheaper, then I will try to do that to stretch their budget just a little farther.

Try your hand at making a list today whether its a wish list or things you need for Thanksgiving dinner or perhaps you have some goals you'd like to reach by a certain time...now's the time to make a list. It's fairly easy, just start writing & see what happens. Then be sure to visit your list & start crossing things off as you complete them. Once you get the hang of it, you can make it more complicated by categorizing & prioritizing.... but really, keeping it simple can be lots of fun & helpful too.  I encourage you to make your list today!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Some things take time

This morning my youngest was giving me a hard time getting ready for preschool again. I wondered if it was because she was having trouble adjusting to Daddy being on vacation last week & back to work this week.  While I think this is part of it I was thinking that maybe her having the start of a cold & not being able to breathe as easily might have something to do with it too.  She even climbed in between Adam & I last night, which she doesn't do very often unless something is wrong.  And the last 2 nights she has been extremely difficult to get to bed.  So this morning I was frustrated & we were running late getting her to school because all she wanted to do was argue with me.

She kept saying things like: No, I don't want to pick out clothes. No, I'm not getting dressed. No, I don't want to eat breakfast. I am NOT going to school today. I"M Skipping!!!  What???? In 1 month she'll be 5 but come on....this should not be a typical 5 year old's behavior. Right?  I had to get the rest of her clothes on her & do her hair all while fighting with her about yes, she was still going to school. Today is actually the last day of the week for her since she has tomorrow off & she doesn't go on Fridays.  I kept asking her what was wrong & she wouldn't answer anything but the phrases stated above.  Then she started crying & finally told me that one of the teacher helpers had been gone all week & someone else was taking her place. I asked her if she liked the new teacher helper & she said she was nice but she liked the other teacher's story reading better.  I asked her if that was why she wanted to be late all week.  She said yes.

Ummm...this girl is too smart for her own good sometimes.  Let me explain. Miss A is one of her teachers and at the beginning of each morning she sits on the carpet & reads with the children after they "check in" by practice tracing or writing their names & then they go & join the kids on the carpet with Miss A & read books until all the kids have checked in.  Miss R has been substituting & apparently Morgan doesn't like change very much & doesn't deal well with it. I never realized that she was more like Gabby in that way because she has always been so independent.  Morgan also told me that they had a fire drill yesterday & she really dislikes those.  So instead of rushing out the door to try & actually make it on time to school....I sat down with her & explained that people can't always be at work. Sometimes they are sick or have a sick child they need to care for & that's when they bring substitutes in.  I also explained to my bright girl that when she is having trouble with something she needs to talk to someone. She can talk to parents or her teachers so that we can help her through the feelings she's experiencing.  I refuse to allow my children to grow up with no coping skills. I have seen what it does to a person to not be able to cope with change in far too many lives & I won't let my children not learn that skill.  Change happens to all of us in some way, shape, or form.  I have never liked change very much myself but I have learned to cope with it so that life doesn't get me down & I have put my faith & trust in someone that never changes. God.  Maybe that is why for THE longest time my favorite verse of the Bible was always Hebrews 13:8 which says Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  I know that he is my solid rock that never changes in a forever changing world & I am working to teach my children the same thing.  No matter what happens in the life we live on this earth, he will always be there to help us through it.  I truly believe that with all my heart.

So, some things do take time.  And though I really dislike being late for things, it was an easy choice for me to spend some extra time talking things through with my little girl to help her through these changes that happen that she has no control over.  Remember to set aside time for your loved ones. They may not tell you how much they appreciate you & the time you give but you should know that they do feel that way.  Oh and Miss A was there today & Morgan gave her the biggest hug but she'll be out a few days next week so we have some prepping to do.  I talked to Morgan's teacher this morning to let her know what is going on in Morgan's head so that they can help us out as well.  So far we have been blessed with wonderful teachers that are willing to work with us to help provide the best education & social experience for our children so far.  I am very thankful for that!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween Happenings

It's hard to believe that today is already November 1st. Where oh where has the time gone? It is sneaking away on me so quickly.  This year I had a bah humbug attitude about buying costumes for the kids. I figured that we didn't need to spend any money on them since we have tons of stuff in the dress-up box in the playroom closet. I was right. The kids picked things out, dressed up & all they really cared about was getting the candy & going as fast as they could from house to house.  I'll admit, it was fun watching them smile with each added piece of candy to their baskets.  Not that any child needs as much candy as they managed to collect. In fact, the amount that just one of them received would have been plenty for all 5 of us and then some.

Trick-or-Treating was from 4:30-6:30pm this year in our town. The kids got home from school at 3:45 and we started to get them ready though they were less than cooperative.  We decided to keep things simple since my sister & her 3 children were here as well so we fed them oatmeal for dinner.  Do you know that getting 6 kids to put their costumes on along with having hats, coats, & mittens is a HUGE challenge. It was crazy. They were loud, couldn't hear directions being given to them & finally I had to raise my voice to be heard above all of them. The countdown was on & they ended up being 15 minutes late to start trick or treating.

First they went to the neighbors on our side of the street that we know. Then proceeded to head down the block & to the next block all the time I was watching my watch.  Our friends Chris & Belinda were due to visit us at 5ish & we didn't want to miss them since we already miss them so much from them moving away a few months ago.  We walked to several houses & then headed back when I got a text that they were almost at our house.  We were sooooooooo excited to see them.  Everyone hugged & we went in the house & sat down to visit.  Braly, Morgan, Kimmy, & Katelyn were anxious to go back out so after about 10-15 minutes of visiting, they went back out for more fun with my sister.  Gabby & I sat & visited with the Gilberts while Xander played the PS2.

When I asked Gabby why she didn't want to go back out she said she doesn't like looking at yucky costumes that some people choose to wear. She's 9 now but she didn't feel comfortable being by so many strangers & asked to hold my hand while we were out. She asked if she could even stay home when the others went back out for more fun & I explained that she'd have less candy than the others & she said she didn't care. So I was ok with that as long as she was.

Our visit with our dear friends was too short as usual but very enjoyable. So neat to hear what God is doing in their lives & share what he's doing in ours as well.  I look forward to each visit we have with them. We do need to make sure to head down to see them sometime too. Perhaps after the new year since the rest of our year will be hectic with Adam working longer hours prepping for the holiday season at UPS & then the actual holiday season being so busy.

And do you know what I did?  I completely forgot to take ANY pics of the kids this year. That's why I wanted to be sure to journal about it here so I wouldn't forget.  Morgan was so excited & was skipping from house to house as she wore part of her Pirate costume.  Braly decided to be Darth Vader & wore his actual helmet that he got for Christmas one year that talks, changes his voice, & breathes like Vader. He had fun & enjoyed collecting candy & seeing people he knew & saying hi to them. Gabby was less than excited about Halloween because of her dislike for strangers & costumes that make her feel uncomfortable so she wasn't into anything super creative. She choose to wear Jammie pants & go as a slumber party girl. I tried to talk her into carrying a pillowcase but she wasn't thrilled about anything so I dropped it.  Adam missed this year due to work & dropping his sister off for play practice.  And Reggie Dabbs was in town doing a night rally at the middle school & I heard that over 400 people showed up for it & 130 people prayed to start a personal relationship with Jesus.  What an amazing night that had to have been. God's Kingdom just expanded & that is so COOL!!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The story behind the name

So I was recently asked "what is Pierce Productions anyway.  It sounds like a production company of sorts."  I chuckled a little & then proceeded to explain the story of how the name came about & that it is what I call my little home of a blog on the web.

Many years ago when Adam & I were dating we LOVED to watched movies together.  Actually, we still do.  Anyway, we were in a 'dreaming up phase' & we thought it might be neat to own our own theater so we could watch the newest movies essentially for free.  Now don't go wrecking our 'dream' with all the realistic things about running a business okay.  That just won't do. lol  It was talked about but never in the way that we planned to put it into action.

Obviously this was not a practical thing for either of us because neither of us wanted to really "own" a business but it was fun to think about it.  We had actually come up with the name for our theater & it would have been "Pierce Productions".  Pretty cool right?  We thought so!

Fast forward to reality & instead of getting into something like owning a theater, I started making scrapbooks on Shutterfly.  I thought they needed some consistency when I made them so I decided to use "Pierce Productions" on each photobook that I made.  I even had a Shutterfly House Party a few years ago & encouraged others that if they wanted, they could pick a name to go with on each of their photobooks.

When I decided to do a blog a few years ago I also named it Pierce Productions but had the name at the top as adamandjeannette.  Not many people know how to spell my name correctly & were having trouble getting to our blog so I made a new blog and since I'm not super savvy with my computer skills, I didn't know how to redirect it to our new location & so my old blog just sits there. If you ever visit it, you'll notice that I actually had Pierce Productions as the name at the top of it.  I like the sound of it as well as the history behind the name so it will stay.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Preschool, Paper Passer, & MEAP Testing

These are the things being talked about & being done in our home lately.  Thought I'd share from the youngest to the oldest for the kiddos.

Morgan is doing great in preschool so far. She's had a few mornings where she doesn't want me to leave which makes me thankful that the other two were bused to Headstart.  It's harder when she gets in those moods.  She's making many friends but says there is one girl that told her the 1st day that she wasn't her friend & didn't want to play with.  I tried to explain that maybe she said she's not her friend because she doesn't know Morgan yet.  Who knows.  That's the part I hate about them being around other people. They get their feelings hurt & don't exactly understand why someone would treat them that way.  On the other hand, it is good for her to learn that our way of life is not the only way.  That being said, her teacher came over for a visit today & did some simple testing to see what Morgan can do & she quickly breezed through all the 'test' questions & added some hilarious flare to her answers.  Quite entertaining for sure.

Braly has been having trouble with temper tantrums lately & being angry.  I think I've pinpointed his behavior to lack of a close friend at school.  He says that no one will play with him at recess unless he happens to be doing what they want to do at that time.  Then they will 'sort of' play with him.  Let me tell you this breaks  my heart into a zillion pieces.  He's such a sweet & kind boy that I don't understand why this is happening.  I've been trying to coach him about how to 'make' friends but its a work in progress.  On an up note, he is the paper passer in class this week & he's pretty happy about that.  He likes to be helpful & when his other teachers figured that out & assigned him to help other students or to have a job, he did so great in class.  I think he passed his pre-spelling test again today so we only have to practice his dictation sentences.  Makes it less time consuming for homework which is nice with 3 kids all doing something.

Gabby got sick over the weekend & spent Saturday just relaxing.  Then Sunday we thought there was a slight chance her nasty looking throat might be strep so we sat at the Fast Care clinic for a few hours waiting to be seen.  It was so busy.  Strep test was negative so we are doing the classic gargle with salt water, drink plenty of fluids, rest, etc.  Her feeling lousy sure isn't going to help with the rest of the MEAP testing she has to do tomorrow & Wednesday but at least its the last 2 days & she'll be done.  I must say that I am impressed that she is able to finish all her questions.  I know she won't get a perfect score but she is a pretty smart cookie, even in math, which is her least favorite subject & the one she struggles with the most & she'll probably test out at above average.

I haven't been sleeping well with the kids taking turns being sick or just waking me up from bad dreams or whatever so I'm tired & heading to bed.

I leave you with this quote since I want to make sure to be encouraging in some way.

Part of cultivating a good life is making every little choice in such a way that you know, at the end of today, that you had no regrets.  ~Becky Higgins

I hope that you had no regrets for today.  Have a peaceful sleep family & friends. :)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Morgan's 1st Day of Preschool

I just can't believe that 4 1/2 years ago Morgan was born.  And today I dropped her off for her first day of preschool without me.  She was so excited & couldn't stop talking about what fun she was going to have & telling me everything they were going to do.  It's absolutely amazing that she was told these things ONCE & she remembered them as if they were tattooed to her brain.  Just goes to show how smart she is & yet how she is so headstrong that she chooses what she will remember & when.

I was proud of her & how well she did getting her locker open by herself & putting her backpack & jacket into it.  She gave me a few hugs & kisses & then told me she would line up & I could leave.  I took my cue & headed down the hall to stand at the edge of the corner to watch how things played out.  There were about 17 kids in the class, a hall full of parents & other younger siblings & it seemed like pure CHAOS from where I stood.  I prayed for her to have a wonderful day & be safe while in someone else's care & waiting for the teachers to take the kids into the classroom just in case they had some last minute instructions they blurted out before everyone left.  As the children filed into the class there were a few apprehensive ones that had to be coaxed inside. Mine, however, was NOT one of them.  She walked standing tall & with her hands behind her back as if she'd done this a million times.  As I watched with a smile that was across my whole face I realized how proud & how ready she really was for this day.  I have no doubt she will give us many headaches & make us wonder if we know at all what we are doing as parents but I have faith that she will turn out just as God intends for her to.  She began life struggling to survive.  She will no doubt use the fight in her for things that will make Adam & I want to pull our hair out at times but only at times.  With God's help, we will guide her to use that fight she was born with to help others & to glorify God's kingdom.  I see great things happening with this little one & it makes me a very proud Momma. God just keeps showing me how truly blessed I am.  I pray that each person that reads my blog will find the blessings that God has bestowed upon each of you.  Sometimes they seem small but I believe they are still out there.

I'll have to add a picture of my growing girl soon.  Tonight is much too late to mess with electronics.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Blessed & loving FALL

This morning I got the kids ready for school as usual.  After they drove away on the bus it was not the usual.  I had to hurry to get Morgan a bath & dressed & get us ready to go.  We stopped by the school to drop Gabby's lunchbox off that she forgot sitting on the counter.  We stopped to fill the car full of gas and then headed to Iron Mountain for baby appointment #2.  I was feeling sort of rushed but not enough to be driving crazy.  As I approached the intersection at Hyde when a black hybrid vehicle failed to slow down much let alone stop at her stop sign & she pulled out right into my lane on US2.  With God's protection I was able to slow down a little & maneuver my car into the turning lane to avoid hitting the black car.  Morgan said, "whoa mom, what are you doing driving crazy?"  I told her I was driving like that to avoid an accident.  The woman looked absolutely clueless as I made my way past her.  Then she proceeded to drive very close to my bumper for the next few miles until she cranked it into the turning lane at Cedar Hill medical building.  Wow!  My adrenaline was up as well as my blood pressure...I was sure of it.

When I got to Iron Mountain I dropped Morgan off for my Gram to watch her while I went to my appointment.  It was a longer appointment then just the basic measurements so I thought Morgan would appreciate not having to sit & wait for so long.  It is such a blessing to have family nearby to help with my kiddos when I need it.  I am very thankful to them.  My mom usually goes out of her way to help me out but she had an appointment this morning at just about the same time.

Today was an exciting day for me.  Today was the day that I got to hear the heartbeat of our next child.  It's always been a nerve-wracking appointment for me but today I was at peace & excited. I  even recorded the whoosh, whoosh of our baby's heart.  It sounded so wonderful to my ears.  Yet another blessing bestowed on me today.

Each season is special in some way to me and fall is no exception but I think that if I absolutely HAD to choose a favorite season, it would be fall.  Despite the horrible allergies I have each year (and this year being worse since I am unable to take medication that helps due to being pregnant & the meds that work are not safe for a growing baby) there are so many things that I love about fall.  I was excited to remember that each fall for the past few years I have had to travel to Iron Mountain for different doctor appointments & there are 2 spots along the way that are usually drenched in beautiful fall colors.  They both have trees up on hills that have some of the brightest red leaves I've ever seen.  Then mixed with orange, yellow, some evergreen trees, some brown leaves...the colors are breathtaking.  I actually slowed down in both those sections of road so that we could take in the colors for as long as possible without causing an accident.  When I pointed the trees out to Morgan she said, "mom you are right,t the colors are so bright & pretty!"  I love playing in the leaves with the kids.  Taking turns burying each other & raking a big pile to jump into together.  Throwing leaves in the air to wait for them to fall on your head as if they are HUGE colorful chunks of snow.  My all-time favorite is taking a walk with my family & trying to find the BIGGEST piles or even the smallest piles of leaves to crunch through.  The kids think it is the best.when I, their very serious business like mom, takes them on walks & acts just like a kid. I think maybe that's why I love it....because I get to be a kid again each & every year.  I am often task oriented but when fall comes, I throw caution to the wind *so to speak* and the kid in me comes out.  I've been told before that I love fall because the colors look good on me with my fair skin & my auburn hair.  And I was actually born at the end of October so Fall means celebrating my birthday.  But whatever it happens to be....FALL is my favorite season.  Gotta go....its time to be a kid again! :)

I'm especially looking forward to next week. I think we'll be getting our family pictures outside in the beautiful leaves if it isn't raining.  I can't wait.  Because I love this picture from 2009 but Adam was missing. Can't wait to add a family picture to our wall in the living room with all of us in the leaves (until next year when we have our new little one.)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Surprise Revealed

I have been quite tired lately & still trying to get all the things done that I am used to doing as well as volunteer at the elementary school & its getting harder to keep going.  Why you may ask.  Well...on April 15th or around there we will be expanding our family.  Yes, that's right.  I'm pregnant.  I'm excited, concerned, tired, & trying to still keep things as normal as possible.  It isn't like my body has done the greatest of jobs growing babies in the past & after Miss Morgan's 25 day stay in the NICU before we could bring her home....well I'm a little nervous.  Add to that I'm now considered "Old" for being pregnant & at a slightly higher risk for having a baby with issues.  Should I worry & fret about the outcome?  Should I think about the worst that could happen?  Well I could but I'm choosing to SEE what God has in store for us in a positive light.  This baby is sure a blessing & I have already started looking through the baby name book to find how to incorporate a name that means Blessed if possible. I haven't made it past the B/s yet so we'll see what winds up on the list of possibilities.

Are you wondering what the kids reactions were to the news?  I'll see if I can post the video of how we shared the news with them on Thursday evening.

Got questions?  Leave a comment & I'll do my best to answer.

Friday, September 9, 2011

BIG news coming soon

Hi All,

I have been super DUPER busy lately & am sorry I haven't been on my computer much.  I have been volunteering at my children's school helping set up their library which was moved from a trailer in the yard to a room inside the school.  It was a mess but is coming together nicely despite all the budget cuts & setbacks our school has had.

I wanted to remind anyone that visits my blog to follow via email so you can find out the BIG news that is coming soon.  You won't want to miss it so sign up NOW!  Thanks :)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Back to school Backpack Savvy

Just a quick message about helping keep your children's backs in good shape.  I'm sure many have heard that kids carry too much in their backpacks.  They are simply too heavy.  But did you know that your child shouldn't carry more weight than their age.  That means if you have a 6 year old, he or she should  only carry at max 6 pounds.  Try to limit the stuff your kids carry to save their backs.  They may never thank you personally but you can feel good that you are helping them be healthier.
I'm not promoting the www.necksolutions.com backpacks or anything because I've never tried them but when I did a search for a picture of kids with backpacks their site popped up & they have some good tips on how to load a backpack so that there is less stress on one's back.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Did YOU feel it?

Nope I didn't feel the 5.9 earthquake but thanks to the many friends I have all over the place I saw on FB that some in Canada felt it. Some in VA felt it as well as some family in the Carolinas.  My thoughts...Crazy!  And far too close to home for my taste.

I think it is about time for me to get an emergency kit prepared that sits on a shelf in the basement.  That means I must get moving in decluttering the junk from down there.  Way too much stuff to keep and we need to have something in place just in case we get some super terrible storm so out the door the junk goes.  I believe that the Red Cross has an emergency kit checklist.  And since I love and live by checklists I will be using it to prepare our kit.  Probably should set a goal date to have it all ready by. Maybe within 3 weeks. That should be plenty of time that I can get the space cleared out & 2 of 3 kids will be back to school.  That's my plan.  Check out the Red Cross website. They have great info to help prepare people for emergencies.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Delicious Trickery

I had a rough night.  Had a hard time falling asleep. I tossed & turned & instead of waking my wonderful husband up or keeping him from getting the rest he deserved, I tossed & turned on the couch only to be awoken early this morning by my 4 year old who was having trouble breathing. Smack forehead. I totally forgot to give her Claritin last night before bed.  She's got breathing issues & being outside all day yesterday probably triggered something.  Needless to say I didn't get a whole lot of sleep, need some energy & was hungry & wanting a tasty & quick breakfast.

I took out the blender. Got out the skim milk & added 1 C to the blender. That's 90 cals. Next I scooped 1 scoop of chocolate Shakeology into the milk, that's 150 calories).  Turned it on low & blended it up.  I then took out the almond butter & added about 1 Tbsp (maybe a little more, I didn't measure) so we'll count that as 120 cals. Next I added about 5 ice cubes & blended it until it was a thick chocolaty smooth malt.  That's only 360 calories for a delicious malt that is packed with tons and I mean TONS of vitamins & minerals that come from about 70  whole super foods with no added chemicals.  How did I get so blessed to find something so good for me, so tasty, & not packed with tons of calories?  If you would like to try some Shakeology, let me know.  I have sample packets in Greenberry & Chocolate. In a few months I should also have Tropical.

Great start to my day.  I wish you all a Fabulous Friday too!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Fun Fitness for Kids

This morning I did my 55 EZ Turbo Fire Class and when I was nearly done, Morgan came to the basement to find me.  She started to try the moves I was doing & then quit.  I think she got frustrated & gave up. After I was finished, I asked if she wanted to exercise too & she said YES! So I popped in the Shaun T's Fit Kids Club DVD & exercised for about 25 minutes with my 4 year old.

It is recommended for ages 7 and up but I have always taken those to be "suggestions" when it comes to things for my kiddos.  Morgan was slightly uncoordinated when it came to the moves but was starting to get the hang of it as the video neared the end.  I think she got tired when there was only about 3 minutes & was about to quit when I told her she just had 3 minutes left.  She kicked it into high gear & finished it strong. The video has 2 workouts on it.  We've only tried the first one so far.  I must say that it does work the abs & has fairly simple moves.  Shaun breaks it down so it is simple & fun & most kids & even adults won't realize how much of a workout they are getting because it truly is enjoyable.  We'll be doing more of that in our house, especially when the older 2 get home.

Oh, and I found out a cool thing that I'm totally excited about.  Since I'm a Beachbody coach, I can do a fundraiser with the school & for each Shaun T's Fit Kids Club DVD that is purchased, 40% goes to the school for the fundraiser.  If you are interested in this for your school or know someone that is, please contact me.  What a great way to help our kids & even parents get moving, get fit, & end the trend!

Monday, August 8, 2011

That was close

Yesterday the family & I went down to Green Bay to celebrate my niece's 5th birthday.  We lacked sleep due to our 4 year old waking several times so my husband asked me if I wanted to drive down or back.  I chose to drive down.  I think about 30-45 minutes into the drive Adam was playing with the kids & his cell phone.  They were doing something like Talking Tom.  So I saw this dark color of something off to the right in the ditch.  Sometimes I wonder if I'm seeing things so I kept looking back to see what it was.  Then it started to move so I hit the brakes a little.  And then it didn't just start to move....it barreled itself and all 200-300 pounds across the road just barely in front of our car.  I was stepping pretty hard onto the brake & praying that it would be okay.  Whew...that was REALLY close.  We were blessed not to have a teenage black bear smash the front of our car & crash in the hood & windshield.  Instead, we continued on our journey to celebrate a sweet little girl who is precious to us.  WOW!  I couldn't believe I nearly hit a black bear.  I haven't seen one of those in the wild since about 1994.  I know they are around all over in the U.P. But it isn't often that I've seen one.  Glad this one survived its journey to the other side of M-35.

Dear Cute & probably not so cuddly Black Bear,
Next time you decide to take a walk across the road to see the view of Lake Michigan better.  Please don't do it so close to the front of my car.  Or at least give us warning so we can make sure not to hit your beautiful self & have time & sense to hit record on the phone that was being played with in the back seat.  Thanks.  It would be much appreciated! :)

Saturday, August 6, 2011

A day to Pack & time to spread one's wings...just a little

Ahhhh...my kids are growing up and I'm not sure I'm ready for this.  Gabriella is 9 and will be heading to Bible Camp on Monday.  She really wanted me to go with and kept saying she wouldn't go without me but oh how things change.  I knew that it was in her best interest for me not to attend no matter if they needed me to be a counselor or not.  Well, God worked it all out.  We have 2 wonderful female counselors going & 1 wonderful male counselor so its all set.  There will be 5 girls & 5 boys going from our church.  Being in the position I am (my husband & I are now the children church pastors),  I knew it made sense for me to go but I think it is time for Gabby to spread her wings a little & see that she can do things that are fun & not scary without her mom with her.  Over the past several years I have had to push  Gabby to do things she says she doesn't want to do because of her shyness.  Thankful she usually thanks me for 'making' her do something.  For years I have had to put her on the bus (I'm talking actually carry her onto the bus some days), have the bus driver hold her backpack so she couldn't follow me off the bus as I quickly jumped off & then he quickly closed the doors.  Last year was the first time she didn't really do that very much.  It did help that her little brother rode the bus with her. She finds comfort in being with family which is wonderful to love one's family so much but I also see that she needs to do things on her own to grow as a person & Adam & I try our best to make that possible.

So today we pack Gabby up for a week of Bible Camp. And we pack Braly, our 7 year old son up to go visit Grammy & Papa. He plans to exercise with Grammy & go fishing with Papa.  Should be a fun week for him.  I was impressed that Braly knows the difference between some fish.  Guess my dad is doing a good job teaching him. :)  That's cool.  For the last few summers I have packed Braly up (well one year he packed himself because he was ready to go) & he goes to stay for a few days without any girls.  Grammy is there so I don't know how she doesn't count with the 'girl' thing but it works.  And when he comes back, he's a delight of a boy to have around.  I think he just gets overwhelmed with having to play with his 2 sisters ALL summer long.  So my 2 oldest babies are growing up enough to go off without me more & that is a welcomed & scary thing.  Well, maybe scary isn't the word I would use but rather bittersweet.  It is what my husband & I are working towards. Raising our children with a strong base in our faith, teaching them right from wrong, & how to make wise decisions so that one day, altogether too soon, they will be on their own.  I know I'll be okay for 5 days without them & I know they will be okay for 5 days without me.  Just makes me sad & proud to be to this point in their lives already. *sniff *sniff*  Sometime next week I may even shed some tears as I miss my babies.  I take no shame in those tears either. They will be well deserved. Our children are a delight & joy from God to us.

When WINGS are grown, birds and children FLY away. ~Chinese Proverb

Monday, August 1, 2011

Big, BIG news!!!

I signed my 1st coach this afternoon & I'm so excited.  I know she's going to be awesome because she's my older sister, Rachel Jaquish!  It's gonna be fun & interesting to work with her on my team. Yay for sisters!!!  Woohoo. Can't wait to see the success you have Rach.  I love you!

Not so Typical Monday

Last  night I made more of an effort to get to bed at a decent time.  Before 11pm is good for me most days.  Last night I was successful with this goal.  This morning I woke up just before my alarm went off at about 6:30am & was trying to hard to get out of bed.  I have been sleep deprived over the last few days because I wanted to spend as much time with our family that came to visit as possible & was trying to get some Vista print stuff ordered the other night.  Well, it caught up to me.  I'm not as young as I look is all I have to say.

I headed downstairs to my new workout area to put my video in & do some stretching.  My body really needed it.  Only I found out that I had a problem.  No remote for the DVD player.  Now normally that wouldn't be a problem right?  One can just push buttons on the front & make it work.  Well, not in this case.  It's a DVD & VCR player & since I had stored the machine in the basement for months b/c we had been using our PS3 for a DVD player upstairs we weren't using it & the remote was misplaced.  I searched  high & low for it.  NOTHING. I even had my husband looking for it before work.  So I switched to a different DVD play that was in the basement to get 5 mins into the workout & find out why we put it in the basement in the first place. It was a glitchy & annoying.  I know it wasn't my dvd because I had already played the first workout on the other machine when I was trying to get it to the 2nd workout.  I was hoping it would jump to it after playing through the 1st one.  NOPE.  So finally my 7 year old son woke up & came downstairs.  I said something to him & wouldn't you know he ran & brought me the remote right away.  It was in the remote control holder the whole time & in my state of forgetfulness that I can sometimes be in, I had forgotten it was there.  Needless to say by the time this whole fiasco was done, I had NO time to do my stretching workout with my new yoga socks & in my new space so I shut everything off, put the laundry away & got ready for the day with every intention to head back to the basement later today to get my stretching in.  I will not miss it today. My body is calling for a nice long stretch & I plan to listen.  After all, I keep telling my kids to listen to their body so I need to lead by example & listen to mine.

To add to my non-typical Monday, I had a friend come over & watch my kids so I could head to the church building & get a few things done.  My husband & I recently took over the Children ministry after our youth pastor moved to a new church.  And I am currently camp coordinator so I have had to make sure that everything is ready for camp next week.  I ran a few errands & got back just as my daughter's friend was being dropped off for a playdate for a few hours this afternoon.  It didn't take long for the kids to start running all over in the house.  I had to laugh because it wasn't like we added a ton more kids & I knew it was from excitement.  After about 3 mins of that, I put an end to the running before someone got hurt.  So now I am getting some work done at my desk.  Clearing off my desk & organizing things so I can be more productive this week with my family as well as my ministry job & my Beachbody business.

Saturday, July 30, 2011


Well, I finally did it. I just ordered a TON of stuff from Vistaprint for my business.  I'm excited & hope that it doesn't really take them as long as it says it might in the shipping section.

On a side note, I finished the Shakeology Cleanse yesterday & was down 4.2 lbs.  Definitely on my way to my goal weight.  Do you have a specific number in mind?  I don't. I have a 'in the area' number because I'm not sure what the scale will say & I don't really care but I would like to be comfy in my body again because I prefer not to have so many aches & pains.  Turbo Fire routines as well as Shakeology have helped immensely with decreasing the aches I had but I still have some & I'd like them to go away altogether if I could.  I'm sure what is left will continue lessening as I get in better shape.

Join me in the Wowy Gym to workout.  You can even be entered to win cash or prizes.  Nothing like getting rewarded from someone else for choosing to be healthy! Woohoo Beachbody for providing the opportunity to win great prizes & encourage people to be healthy.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Day 2 of Shakeology Cleanse

Ya know when you do something with a friend it seems a lot easier & more fun.  Well that has been the case with doing the 3 day cleanse with my sister who has been visiting for a few days.  Monday was my son's 7th birthday & for brunch we had stuffed French Toast with a fruit salad that was covered in yogurt, cool whip, & pudding mix.  It was delicious.  We topped that off with a dinner of quesadillas that were fried in butter & then ended the decadent day with a fabulously tasting but simple ice cream cake.  And then my guts told me they weren't too happy with my food choices.  That's when I had the brilliant idea to ask my sister to do the cleanse with me.  I've done it before but I must say that it is a lot easier to say no to sweets & stuff when someone else is saying no to the goodies with you.  She's leaving tomorrow though & so I'll be on my own. I have to find out if I need to send stuff with my sister so she can complete her day tomorrow too.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Welcome to my new blog

I have been trying to figure out what to do now that I own my own business as an Independent Beachbody Coach and all I have to say is WOW! this blogging, internet, domain name buying, hosting, etc stuff does NOT come naturally to me. However, I am doing my best so please be patient with me as I learn how to set up (what I hope is) a cool new blog.  I know I tried to start a blog about my "Journey to a Healthy Life" but ya know what?  I wanted to incorporate my Pierce Productions name into my business so starting a brand new blog seemed like a better idea then redoing the old.

Please be patient with me as I add new content & move things around, change color, theme, background, etc until I find what I like & what looks good.  It's a learning blog journey for me as well as becoming healthier, more active, growing personally & within my faith.  I'm working to grow & change & hope that you embark on this adventurous journey with me.  I love interaction so comments are welcomed.