So Long, 2012!

Some years are better than others…

We had some awesome stuff that happened this year. We went to Ohio and saw my fabulous family on my long last dad’s side.  We played with our fantastic baby Fiona, who has been such a wonderful blessing.  We traveled and took part in all sorts of great adventures like Civil War Days and a Flim Flam event and the Wilder Pageant.  I wrote a book.  Victoria went to New York City.  We made new friends.

But then there was that cancer business with Victoria.  And the subsequent life threatening infection and emergency surgery.  And sickness.  And sadness.  Tight finances.  More sickness.  And messes, and crises, and yeah, more sickness.

I haven’t updated lately about Victoria’s latest medical adventures.  It wears me out.  It’s sad.  I don’t want to talk about it.  I want to just wish it away.  But there’s still ongoing issues.  Not cancer this time, but immune issues and mysteries and… sickness.

Alex is having surgery next month, having his tonsils and adenoids taken out.  Daryl is headed to the Mayo to see what hope they can offer for his legs and terrible pain.

We’re all still here.  Despite the dramas, we prevailed.  We laughed and learned and played and acted like loons and made memories and are going into 2013 stronger and smarter.

So hurry up and come, New Year’s Eve.  Let’s throw some confetti and start a fantastic new year.


Good in the Face of Evil

Our family, like many around the world, has spent a lot of time keeping up with the news about the shootings. It has led to many discussions, many tears and many hugs.

I am holding a sleeping baby as I type this, listening to the president speak at the memorial for the victims and crying again for all those affected.

One quote that has been repeated is that a teacher told her hidden students at one point, “Wait for the good guys.  The good guys will come.”

The only way to respond to this and try to heal is to flood the world with our good.

It is not enough to love our own children. Yes, peace starts in the home, but it must not end there.

It is not enough to pray.

It is not enough to talk about what should change.

A few weeks ago, I wrote an article profiling ten kids who were making a difference in the world.  It has made me think a lot lately.  If an eight year-old child can raise enough money selling lemonade to free 500 child slaves, what could a community of adults do if they put their energy into doing good?

It’s something I plan to work on now more than ever.


A Little Fiona Update

(photo by Victoria Bayer)

Fiona at 14 months:

  • Still is not walking, though she likes to hang on to things and “cruise.”  When she decides to go somewhere, she just drops down and crawls like crazy to get there the fastest.
  • Says a few words:  Dada (for mama or dada — we’re apparently interchangeable!),  cat (or cat-cat), dog, pretty (pit-TA!), that? (she points and asks “that?” to find out the name of everything), bye-bye (more like dye-dye)
  • Uses some signs:  hi, bye-bye (totally different sign for her than hi), take me, no, bird…
  • Current loves: cats, silly stuff, music, siblings, her “Aunt” Nancy, Mexican food (especially guacamole, black beans and spicy stuff), bubbies (natural salt brined pickles), taking everything out of the cupboards, throwing things in the garbage (like remotes!), watching funny videos, nursing, treasure baskets, small motor stuff (she has fantastic fine motor skills and loves doing delicate work like inserting one thing into another and taking things apart to put them back together again)
  • She’s currently getting a ton of teeth and is not happy about it.  I have a baltic amber teething necklace ordered but it’s coming from Lithuania.  I’ll report back about whether or not it works.  Science!  😉
  • She looks very much like Toria at her age.  She’s also currently very smitten with Toria and it’s cute to watch.  She sees her and waves hi right away and then holds out her hands in her “take me” pose and grins and grins.
  • She is LOUD.  My goodness.  Everybody in our family is, but even her grandma noted that she seemed to be the loudest yet.  She said, “She’s a happy loud, though!”.
  • She is funny and silly.  She loves physical humor and anything ridiculous like pictures of cats on people’s heads.  LOL  She loves to laugh.
  • She is utterly delightful.  I know it’s my job to say that as her mama, but she really is such a joy.  We are all in love with her, and it’s so sweet to see how much she adores her brothers and sisters back.  Alex (5) would move heaven and earth for her.  They have a really phenomenal bond already, and it makes me so happy to see it as their mama.

We got really lucky, five times over.  Life is very noisy and chaotic these days (to be truthful, it was when we only had two!) but I am still so fantastically pleased and amazed that we ended up with this tiny lottery winning of a child when we thought all that stuff was behind us.  🙂

This also means that by the time Fiona graduates, I will have homeschooled for more than thirty years….