Saturday, February 28, 2009

a great quote

"If I am INCONSIDERATE about the comfort of others or their feelings or even their little weaknesses; if I am CARELESS about their little hurts and miss opportunities to smooth their way; if I make the sweet running of household wheels more DIFFICULT to accomplish, then I know NOTHING of Calvary love." (Amy Carmichael)

Psalm 133:1 "How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity."

These two quotes are really one concept -- the ideal of human interaction.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Where does he come up with this stuff????

Tonight, we all went mini-golfing at Castle O'Malley with the Down syndrome group. It was pretty fun. Or at least pretty funny. We're NOT professional golfers by any stretch of the imagination. There was a LOT of picking up the ball and rolling it through the obstacles :-) Then we had pizza, and the kids ran around or watched people play air hockey. On the way home, we stopped by McDonald's since I couldn't eat the pizza and Luke had only eaten a few bites because he was too distracted with running around and watching people. Luke and Makenzie didn't get happy meals, so they didn't get drinks. When we got home, they were pretty thirsty. I gave Luke the rest of a bottle of water that someone had brought home from I don't even know where. When he was finished drinking the water, Luke said that he was drunk! Jason reminded him that the bottle had contained WATER. Luke said that he knew that, but that someone must've added alcohol to the water because he was drunk. Where in the world does he get this stuff? I think I've mentioned alcohol a total of three times in his entire life. Funny kid!

Seth was reading his book -- he LOVES to read and be read to :-)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Angel Unaware

I just finished reading a book by Dale Evans Rogers, Angel Unaware. I didn't know that Roy Rogers and Dale Evans had a little girl with Down syndrome. It was a very interesting book (very short, too, but she fit a lot of meaning in that small space!). She wrote the book from her daughter's viewpoint, which was EXACTLY what many people (myself included!) really need to think about -- special children shouldn't be pitied; they are messengers from God Himself. Dale's philosophy that she shares through this book is that God sends angels to us to teach us lessons through special children; and when these certain people have learned or at least started to learn what God wants them to see, He takes the angel back up to Heaven. The Rogers' daughter, Robin, only lived for two years because of heart problems; but her short life changed the Rogers' lives. They became more aware of children who were sick and/or handicapped and started helping to improve their lives. At that time in history (the 1950's, I think), children with Down syndrome were still called "mongoloid" (a term that is like nails on a chalkboard to me!) and were generally put in institutions. The Rogers were Christians and wanted to love their baby girl no matter what challenges she and they would face.

The lesson that I learned from this book is that Seth is a gift (well, I knew that already, but I didn't allow myself to think too deeply about the entire concept). Seth is a gift to me, first of all. His presence in my life has opened my eyes, mind, and heart to complete acceptance and compassion for people with disabilities. Before I had Seth, I avoided these people because they made me uncomfortable. That was wrong of me. God made each person exactly how they are, and each one deserves to be loved and respected. Seth is also a gift to every single person who has the privilege to meet him. His smiles, his laugh, his hugs, actually everything about this child can be uplifting and life-changing. I thank God for entrusting me with this precious angel, and I pray for the wisdom to teach him and learn from him everything that God has purposed.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

new religious lessons

I looked up Easter traditions on and found some GREAT information. I'm not converting to Catholicism or anything, but learning from some of the traditions of the Catholic church:
Today is Ash Wednesday. Ashes are a symbol of penance and contrition. Ashes are a reminder that life on Earth passes away and that God is gracious and merciful to those who call on Him with repentant hearts. Ashes help develop a spirit of humility and sacrifice. I should seek God's mercy with reflection, prayer, and repentance.
Lent is about conversion, turning my life more completely over to Christ and His way of life, giving up sin in some form, not just abstaining from sin during this few week time period, but rooting sin out of my life forever, leaving behind an old way of living and acting in order to embrace new life in Christ.
Scrutinies is a tradition that I'd never heard of, but it's an excellent concept -- Pray for strength to overcome the power of sin in my life and to grow in virtue. Scrutinize my own life and allow God to scrutinize and heal me. Reflect on what obstacles to gospel living exist in my own life.

I'm glad I did this little study. DEFINITELY good food for thought and hopefully ideas that lead to positive changes.

For anyone reading my blog, please understand that I'm not writing these things to "preach" to anyone but myself. If you feel encouraged or challenged, good. But that's not my intention. I'm just sharing things that I'm learning for myself.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

other side

I've been sitting here for way too long
It's time that I was moving on
I know that there's a better way
I think I'm going to make a change
So come along now to where I'm going

Take me to the other side
'Cause I need something better
Take me to the other side
'Cause I want to live forever

One thing that's for sure I know
This won't be an easy road
Let me ask before I leave
Won't you come along with me

So come along now to where I'm going
Come along now to where I'm going

Take me to the other side
Take me to the other side
Take me to the other side
'Cause I want to live forever
Live forever
Take me to the other side

Those are the lyrics to the Third Day song "Otherside." GREAT song!!
"Life" teaches many lessons, some very difficult. A verse that everyone raised in church knows is "be ye kind one to another." This can be much harder to DO than to SAY. Sometimes a person just NEEDS and doesn't have anything inside to GIVE, but giving is demanded. That's where God's strength and grace and love step in and take over. So there are two sides -- God's side and man's side. Man's side is full of "self," but God's side is full of service to others. Man's side can be full of "fun" and what seems like good things, but God's side is real and true and right. Man's side holds the "pits" of darkness, depression, sin; God's side holds His perfect light.
I thank God that He allows "man" to join Him on His side!

Monday, February 23, 2009

blah blah blah

Nothing's really been going on here, so I haven't been writing anything. I guess the more accurate version of that sentence is that I haven't taken any pictures lately, so I haven't been posting lately. Erin put a cute picture of her and Seth on facebook, but I don't know how to put it on here.

Friday was my nephew Gavin's second birthday, so we went to his party on Saturday. He's SUCH a cutie pie!!!! I've forgotten (or blocked out) what regular little kids can do. Gavin is SO smart -- I'm really impressed with his ability to follow directions. Seth is doing GREAT for Seth, but his time schedule for learning is much different from other childrens'.

I got another Third Day dvd in the mail recently and watched half of it this afternoon. It's AMAZING! Those guys are so very talented!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm hoping to watch the rest of it tomorrow :-)

Friday, February 20, 2009

i forgot my camera

I keep forgetting to carry my camera around to get pictures to put on here (and to send to my mom). This was "spirit week" at school, so the teachers and kids all dressed up crazy each day (my kids, not so crazy because I forgot all about spirit week). Thursday, Jason dressed up as a pirate. If anyone took a picture of him and shares it with me, I'll put it on here because he looked hilarious! He put his beard in two little pony tails and got a great costume.

Today was the speech meet for Joel and Makenzie. Joel recited a fable, and Makenzie recited a poem. They both received blue ribbons for their work. Those two kiddos are so completely different. The day Makenzie got her poem for this event, she stayed up late memorizing it even though the speech meet was still over two weeks away. Joel just finished memorizing his story a couple days ago. He had us and his teacher pretty worried, especially since his teacher had picked him to go to the speech meet even though he hadn't done the prerequisite work of memorizing the piece before the final pick. Anyway, it all worked out nicely :-)

Today's Friday, Happy Meals for the Hofackers Day :-) Actually, Makenzie has decided to branch out and start getting the ranch snack wraps. The important thing on this weekly holiday is that everyone is fed and I don't have to cook -- we're all happy :-)

The sun was up this morning at EIGHT O'CLOCK!!!!! I'm SO very excited about this!! The darkness has made me feel so sleepy this year and has, I'm sure, contributed to many bouts of depression. I hope this will be a MUCH sunnier summer than the last one (as I'm positive every Alaska resident is hoping)!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Happy Birthday, Makenzie!

The weekend is officially OVER :-) And I'm pretty much still alive -- very tired and uncomfortable from a chest cold, but surviving. This morning, we had chocolate chip waffles (the frozen kind, I didn't have the energy to make waffles, but the kids love store-bought food better than mine anyway).
Then Makenzie got her gifts from all of us.

After I got everything ready for the afternoon and evening, we went to McDonald's. That's Makenzie and Luke peeking through the cracks of the castle.

Then it was party time. Once again, I forgot to ask the parents if they minded their kids' pictures being on the internet, so all I have is Seth. He's the easiest to get a picture of anyway. Everyone else was running around CRAZY!

We had enchiladas for dinner while watching the movie Makenzie got for her birthday. It was a good day. I forgot to chart Makenzie's growth on her polar bear growth chart, but we'll get to that sometime this week. I doubt that I've ever done that on any of the kids' actual birthday. It's always sometime close.

I'm really looking forward to SLEEP!!!!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

two-thirds done

Valentine's Day celebration -- check.
Makenzie/Gavin celebration -- check.
Makenzie & friends celebration -- tomorrow.
Today went very well. The food all turned out yummy, kids were pretty well behaved, no giant messes, Gavin and Makenzie seemed pleased with all their gifts, everyone's still smiling :-)

My sweet princess :-)

Seth LOVES those birthday cards that talk and/or sing when he opens them. Uncle Richard gave Makenzie BOOKS -- she loves to read (that's my girl!).

Gavin opening his gifts (in his cutie little Elmo undies).

Gavin loved his Mickey Mouse coloring book :-) Seth's asking Makenzie for a hug.
Princess toy for the princess :-) And a pink winter vest -- CUTE!
Gavin takes present unwrapping VERY seriously!

Gavin was a little scared of the singing toy, but he liked it :-)
(I don't know why my camera keeps changing the date and time. If you can even see the date and time, ignore it.)

Darryl's parents came up to see Gavin close to his birthday, and they brought Makenzie presents, too -- so thoughtful of them! (Barbies and pink Barbie clothes -- perfect :-)

Makenzie picked tacos for the family birthday meal, and Gavin picked chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. I put a "2" candle on Gavin's and an "8" on Makenzie's and spelled "Happy Birthday" across them both. Gavin ended up not eating any cake, I think, but he liked the ice cream. Makenzie doesn't like cake -- which makes me wonder if she's really mine -- but she picked out peach ice cream and enjoyed that :-)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

almost ready

I definitely earned my paycheck today! oh, yeah, I don't get any money for this job. Good thing Jason doesn't look into the checkbook because he DOES get a paycheck, but I take it :-) That's how it's supposed to work, isn't it? (That's a rhetorical question, by the way.) Anyway, my day started at about 4:45 a.m. with my normal routine of getting ready. I didn't make any coffee, however, because I planned to stop by Radio Espresso on my way to Walmart. One problem -- that place doesn't open until 9 a.m. on Saturdays. That's stupid! So I went to the drivethrough coffee place in the parking lot of Value Village right across the street from Radio Espresso. One problem -- they didn't have any decaf made yet. I was pretty upset by this time! I think a couple tears even slipped out, but I had to hurry on to Walmart to get there and back before Jason had to leave for work at 7:20 a.m. (I made it.) When I got home, the first thing I did, of course, was make my coffee! As soon as everyone was finished with breakfast, I started working -- cleaning, cleaning, and more cleaning. Lunch break and put-Seth-to-bed break, and then back to more cleaning. I finally got the house clean somewhere around 4 p.m. and started the food for tomorrow. Happy Meals for dinner since I was pretty brain-dead from a full day of cleaning. When Amanda and I were deciding where to have Gavin's/Makenzie's family birthday party, we had the argument of her house already being cleaned because Darryl's parents would be coming. I said that I probably wouldn't clean whether they came or not. HA! I had to take that comment back once I looked around a little bit and saw just how filthy my house had gotten. Where'd all that dirt come from, for crying out loud? You'd think six people lived in this place or something. So the house is clean, the taco meat is cooked, the tomatoes and onions are chopped, the salsa is mixed, the coffee is ground, Gavin's presents are wrapped, the leaves are in the table, the cakes are baked. Now I just have to put up the decorations, start the dishwasher, frost the cakes, and go to Fred Meyer because I just remembered that I forgot to buy lettuce (which is ok since I was going to Fred's tonight anyway). This is the first time we've stretched out our new GIANT table. It's HUGE!

This is a BORING post -- but it helps me to recount what I did on a day like today.

Friday, February 13, 2009

good start

I've made a pretty good start to the weekend activities: Valentine's box and cards/candy sent with kids this morning (Luke and I made them last night -- he got almost as much red ink on his fingers as on his box), pigs-in-blankets all made and ready to go to Luke's class, laundry halfway finished for today (that's an amazing one!!), "stuff" ready to go get in the van as soon as I finish typing this and brush Seth's teeth, library movies ready to be returned ON TIME (paying an overdue fine on library movies defeats the whole purpose of borrowing instead of renting!). I hope the rest of the weekend goes as smoothly as this morning has gone!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

what a movie!

Last night, I watched the movie The Memory Keeper's Daughter. Actually, Seth and I watched it together. After the first five minutes (which were almost exactly the same as the first chapter of the book, which I wrote about in an earlier post on here), I was crying so hard that I almost choked. I HAD to hold Seth, look at him, hug him, kiss him, tell him how much I love him. Of course, he didn't understand why I was crying; but he patted my back and then rubbed my arm to say, "It's ok, Mom. I'm here and I love you." He always does that when I'm upset. The movie was MUCH sadder and MUCH more upsetting than the book, probably because I was seeing real people acting out those events. The book has so much more detail, making it easier to "take a break" from the upsetting parts and focus on some details before getting to something else upsetting. Anyway, it was a VERY good movie; but it REALLY got to me and I'm not over it yet.

On a happier note, though, I ordered the beads for the lamp shade I'm going to make when I finish re-organizing the house :-)

And another good thought -- I have what I hope is a complete list of grocery items and cleaning activities for this weekend. Those are two of my least favorite topics; but if I have to do them, at least I have a good list to keep me on track :-)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

sleepy couch potatoes

When I went downstairs to switch the laundry, this is what I found :-) Notice Luke -- thumb of one hand in the mouth, remote control in the other hand, eyes watching show INTENTLY. Still my baby, definitely a boy!

irritation and relief

First, the irritation. Apparently, Aussie has stopped making their "Moist Leave-In Conditioner." I can't find it anywhere -- went to two Walmarts, two Fred Meyers, several websites, can't find it :-( Today was, therefore, a VERY bad hair day! I bought some spray kind of leave-in conditioner, but I'm not holding much hope for success with it. This is a piddly little thing, I KNOW, but it's the little things that really irritate!

Now, for some RELIEF: Luke and Seth saw their orthopedist today. They were pretty well-behaved, but that's not even the best part. Seth's feet and legs are growing correctly so well that he doesn't need to wear his brace anymore at all (which is definitely a relief since he hasn't been wearing it much -- when he's having trouble breathing, he can't wear it unless I want to sit up all night holding him so that he can breathe; after the eye surgery, he hasn't worn it because I didn't want him to have to deal with two discomforts). And Luke's feet are doing great, too! The doctor could stretch Luke's well past a ninety-degree angle -- YAY! Then he had Luke stand on the edge of a stool and drop his heels down. I was shocked at how far down they could go! Luke was pretty uncomfortable, but stretching anything tight is always uncomfortable. He really needs to stretch on his incline board for five minutes twice every day. I'm going to have to get better at making him do that!! Both boys' feet looked so good that they don't have to go back for a whole year!

Now on to Valentine's Day preparations, birthday party grocery shopping and house cleaning. Then there will be the birthday party cooking and cleaning up. Then THANK GOODNESS, no more birthdays for me to take care of for over two months!

Here's a confession: I HATE TO COOK!!! (oh yeah, I've said that many times before, haven't I?) I'm pretty much "at the end of my rope" on finding things to eat. Tonight, we're having baked chicken marinated in Thousand Island dressing. I don't know if it's a good idea to cook that stuff, but I'm doing it and hoping no one gets sick from it. We had bbq chicken on Monday, so I couldn't do that one again. I need to do a better job of meal planning, but that idea will have to wait until Tuesday.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Last night, I read an old friend's blog ("old" as in when we were in jr. high/high school in Arizona, not "old" as in age). She wrote about happiness and unhappiness being a choice. "Stuff" happens to everyone, and we each have to decide whether to have a positive or a negative outlook. I didn't realize that there would be a quiz, but thankfully I had paid attention so I passed with at least a "C-". This morning, a whole string of "little things" went all wrong:
1. I woke up at 2 a.m., needing to use the restroom. As I rolled out of bed, cursing my aging bladder,
2. I realized that I had a headache (part two of the Saturday/Sunday headache which was on the left side of my head -- today's is on the right, but the same exact feeling). That meant I also had to go get some ibuprofen, keeping me away from much needed sleep for another minute.
3. As I was about to step into the shower, I saw that I was out of my leave-in conditioner. I wrapped on a towel and went to the "extras" box in the hallway closet. NONE. This might seem irrelevant to most people, but have you seen my hair? There's A LOT of it, and it's CURLY. Without extra conditioner, it's usually a giant frizz bomb requiring a pony tail (which always ends in headache, which I didn't need more of today).
4. When I was getting dressed, I noticed that my shirt was missing a button -- the button that I found on the floor of the laundry room last week and threw away because it's next to impossible to find the matching piece of clothing, so buttons just pile up and I'm on a "clean out the junk" mission right now. So I had to remove the top button (never button that one anyway) and sew it on the empty spot.
5. Luke came upstairs just as I was coming out of the bathroom and heading for my Bible reading time. That usually means a shortened or interrupted Bible time. He did lie on the couch quietly until I turned on the music (the signal that Bible time is over and children may enter the kitchen). He tried to tell me about his nightmare, but the breakfast prep and my headache made me have to tell him that he needed to stop talking and tell me about the dream after breakfast.
6. All of these delays put me behind on the kids' breakfast, which means my breakfast (a.k.a. COFFEE) has to wait until everyone else is eating. Hunger and being off-schedule does NOT help a headache.
7. Jason either overslept or stayed in the bathroom longer than the "allotted" time (all three boys need showers/baths each morning -- they're stinky sleepers).
8. All through these things, my mind kept going back to the million things I still need to do for the kids' Valentine's Day activities, Makenzie/Gavin's b-day party on Sunday, and Makenzie's b-day party on Monday.

Now, these are DEFINITELY all LITTLE things. But with the headache thrown in there and the fact that it was all in the MORNING (hectic time of getting everyone off to school), I would've normally been a short-tempered wreck! Plus, I usually skip or move Bible time if I'm behind. But I remembered my friend's blog and recognized this morning's little problems as either a quiz from God or an attack from Satan. Either way, I was going to try my best. There was no yelling this morning, everyone pretty much cooperated with getting ready for school, my headache didn't get any worse, I did get to have coffee and breakfast before "the shakes" started (by the way, that's decaf coffee -- I just like the taste of my coffee, it's not a caffeine addiction), everyone left pretty much on time with little or no crying, it didn't turn out to be a bad hair day, I have a list pretty much made for what needs to be done for the rest of the week, and I DID read my Bible this morning.

Psalm 14:1 "The fool says in his heart, 'There is no God'."
Ruth Bell Graham: "This designation goes for those who doubt God's sovereignty as well as those who deny Him. Either He is sovereign, or He is not God. Therefore, when we become so preoccupied with and dismayed by circumstances and certain people that we doubt God's ability to handle things in His own way, and in His own time, then we, too, are fools."

p.s. If you have your speakers on, you heard the song "Saved" playing while you read this. If you didn't have your speakers on, turn them on and click on this song on my playlist at the bottom right side of the screen. It's the song that makes me SMILE, even on mornings like this one! Seth and I are going to Classic Toys today to buy tambourines to play with this song :-)

I took this picture this morning as a "I'm going to keep smiling today! SO THERE!" Seth normally messes around when I try to take his picture; but TODAY, he took a great picture!

Monday, February 9, 2009


Seth finally got chatty with the speech therapist. He's always cute and cooperative (well, mostly cooperative anyway), but he never says more than one or two things. Today, he repeated almost everything the therapist said to him!

I forgot to take a picture, but I bought a life-saving-device for Seth and tried it out for the first time today (a.k.a. baby leash). I almost lost him last week at the school. I turned right, but he continued walking straight ahead until he found some stairs. If he'd gone a little faster up those stairs, I would've had to wait for a teacher to find and return him because that building is so huge. I can't carry him everywhere because he's about 30 pounds now. The stroller is a pain in the neck to get in and out all the time. So a baby leash was the only workable solution. He LOVED it! He was giggling the whole time he had it on and running, stopping, pulling, sitting down to test the limits. The best part: he didn't get lost! He can't get more than two or three feet away from me :-)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

another week's begun

This week has a few appointments. I try to space them out to one a day, but that doesn't always work out. Today ended up being a good day. I didn't think it would be since a headache started yesterday morning and got worse and worse all day. I went to bed thinking it would be gone when I woke up, but several things prevented that: Makenzie wanted me to sleep in her bed, so I stayed in there for a little while. But then I did fall asleep and woke up at 10 p.m. with a worse headache and a little kink in my neck -- her bed and pillows are not quite right for me. Then the phone rang at 11:30 p.m. (work call for Jason). Then I woke up about ten more times, probably subconsciously checking to see if the headache was gone. I finally gave up at 6 a.m. and figured the headache was staying and I'd just have to do my best to crawl through the day. It wasn't a migraine, so I didn't feel right about calling in sick for my nursery ministry. I was just hoping there would be no loud criers or, God forbid, any screamers (some one-year-olds just don't handle separation from mommy well at ALL). Thankfully, all the children were pretty happy to see me this morning :-) I still didn't progress to a migraine, so I stayed for church (which was good since Preacher gave a sermon about how important it is to physically GO to church services). Seth and I went home for lunch and naptime, and I still didn't have a migraine (maybe because I'd taken six ibuprofen by this time). When Joel got home, we went to Starbucks for coffee, some reading, and a few games of hangman :-) Still no migraine -- amazing! I THOROUGHLY enjoyed the music at church tonight! Definitely glad I went to church tonight. And by the time church was over, I had only the shadow of a memory of a headache :-)

The other day, Seth was saying everyone's names in our family and I noticed a little problem:
Daddy = "Dad"
Mommy = "Bom"
Joel = "Doe"
Makenzie = "Ess"
Luke = "Ook"
Seth = "Ass"
(chuckle chuckle -- I guess I need to work a little harder on getting him to say the beginning sounds of words! Then at least it might come out "Sass.")

I did a little survey on facebook about remembering when my first child was born. I attached these two pictures to it -- one of Joel's first days and one from just today :-)

Friday, February 6, 2009

finished another one

I just finished reading Expecting Adam by Martha Beck. What a book! There's a lot in the book that is absolutely maddening (all the pro-choice philosophy and the Harvard "intellect and education are the most important things" philosophy) and some things that make me wonder about the author's spiritual well-being (she received a lot of supernatural help while she was expecting Adam -- angels or demons? I don't know. I want to believe that God and His angels were helping her and drawing her to Him, but I'm not sure.) I also got a little frown every time she called Adam her "retarded child." I don't like that word at all, even though people with Down syndrome are mentally retarded. That word has just always been used as a put-down, and now it's just a VERY offensive word to me! But there is more in the book that is so familiar to me (the fear for my sweet child, the anger at the world's meanness at times, the unbelievably intense love for someone that many people would have killed without even a twinge of guilt). I think this woman had a harder time than I've had dealing with other people. She seems to have implied that people did not accept her child with Down syndrome and that she felt many people's negative responses to him. I've never once encountered that since I had Seth. Not one time has anyone made me think that they looked down on Seth or me or that they had any kind of negative feeling toward him. Everyone that has ever seen Seth seems to have been drawn to him and to have loved him.

Here are my two favorite quotes from this book, sentences that really sum up the meaning of the book and the lesson that surely all parents of children like Seth learn quickly:
1. "I have discovered that many of the things I thought were priceless are as cheap as costume jewelry, and much of what I labeled worthless was, all the time, filled with the kind of beauty that directly nourishes my soul."
2. "He [Adam, her son with Down syndrome] has taught me to look at things in themselves, not at the value a brutal and often senseless world assigns to them."

Seth's haircut

Seth did an incredible job getting his first real haircut! He sat almost completely still the whole time. I forgot to ask my hairstylist if she minded being on the internet, but I will next time we go in. She loved him, of course, and taught him a new way to put on his coat :-)

before the haircut, waiting for our turn

during the haircut

after the haircut

We also finished all the paperwork on refinancing our house. Our monthly payment will be about $275 less, we'll be getting a check in the mail from escrow (yay!), and we'll be getting a deposit to our checking account for the difference between the old loan and the new one. This was just an all-around WIN for us!

And -- hurray -- it's Friday (official Happy Meals Day for Hofackers)!!! What a great day :-)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Super Woman

I did some GOOD work today! I cleaned out a cabinet, making room for stuff that used to be on the floor to have a real spot. I threw away a whole trash bag of junk, took a garbage bag full of donations to the van to take tomorrow, took a Walmart bag of school shirts to the van to give away at school tomorrow, and took out several empty boxes. Plus, I posted seven items on Craig's List -- with pictures even :-) And I did all that in only an hour or two. Productive afternoon :-)

grossness found :-(

This morning, I decided to get some of the junk out of the computer room. I'm just moving it down to the laundry room :-) I had barely started the project when I found GROSSness! I had tossed two old pillows in the corner behind Seth's crib and left them there for I don't know how long. I decided to move them from that corner to probably some other corner (moving the junk around counts as cleaning in my opinion). The bottom pillow STUCK TO THE WALL! EWWWWWWW!!!! It had frozen to the wall, melted, refrozen, and mildewed. GROSS GROSS GROSS!!! It was easy to clean up since the mildew was just on the pillow and in the ice, not really on the wall. So first of all, shame on me for leaving stuff all over the place instead of either finding a proper spot for it or disposing of it; and second of all, what in the world kind of place is this that things freeze to the INSIDE WALL?????!!!!!!

I'm forcing myself to get this place de-junked (not just moved around -- that's only a temporary fix). I'm DYING to make a beaded lamp shade for this new lamp someone gave me, but I have to complete Project De-Clutter first. The bead project will be very time-consuming and detailed, so there will be no hope of finishing the cleaning project if I start beading first. The beadwork will be my reward for cleaning up. That's why I moved the computer room junk to the laundry room. I can't clean much of anything except during naptime and at night after the kids' bedtime. Seth's room doubles as the computer room and junk room, so I can't do any work in there during my allotted work times.

We are almost finished refinancing our house. We're getting back quite a lot of money and also lowering our payments quite a bit. I honestly don't understand one thing that's happening, but I'm getting pretty good at acting like I'm following along properly :-)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


I decided to take snapshots of all four kids yesterday. Seth's always with me, so I take lots of pictures of him. Makenzie's the only girl, and I can think of all kinds of excuses to take pictures of her. Joel and Luke are usually either too busy or too grouchy to get their pictures taken. How many pictures can I take of them playing the wii before people think that's all they do when they're home?

Seth looked just ADORABLE in his little overalls outfit! He saw the cardiologist today -- charmed her, of course! His heart seems to be perfectly healthy, and he doesn't go back to the cardiologist for TWO years unless (God forbid!) something goes wrong between now and then (such as passing out or a significant, consistent loss in his activity level). From birth until about age one, he saw the cardiologist every month or two. After he was completely healed after his heart surgery in 2006, he saw her yearly. Now it's every two years because he's doing so well -- praise God!

Luke was headed downstairs when I stopped him to give him some instructions. When I prompted him for a response like "OK?" he turned around with this devilish little grin and said "ok." I on purpose didn't remove the red eyes because they add to the sense of mischief surrounding this child.

Makenzie is still too afraid to get her ears pierced and can't even wear normal clip-on earrings because they hurt her ears. So she sometimes wears these little play earrings. She's trying really hard to work up the courage to get them pierced, though. She really wants to wear the pretty earrings that I've made and/or bought for her.

Joel wanted me to take a serious picture of him, but I kept making him laugh -- which is NOT a difficult task. He's easy to "give the cracks." That's a phrase he made up one night after his bath. He said something that made me laugh out loud, and he said, "Mom, I just love it when you get the cracks!"

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

bath boys

Nothing exciting is happening today, so I just have these two funny pictures. Seth's hair is REALLY long. I did finally make an appointment for him to get a trim this week (pictures of that event to be released by midnight Friday night). Luke wanted his picture taken in the bath just like Seth, but got soap in eyes. Plus, I buzzed his hair off a few weeks ago, so there wouldn't be the halo of "seaweed" all around him (final decision on the haircutting issue: pay someone else to do it from now on!).

Seth did pretty well in speech therapy yesterday (he's learning to point with his pointer finger at whatever he's asked to point to and to recognize colors) and occupational therapy today (he's learning to eat with a spoon, twist a lid off a plastic jar, and color). He's so cute, I just love taking him everywhere to share his cuteness with everyone around. He's the kind of little person who makes even the grumpiest day a little brighter :-)

Monday, February 2, 2009


After fifteen tries to get a good picture of Seth today, I gave up -- these are from a couple years ago. Seth did not complain in any way to being awakened by the camera flash :-) I just read a few more chapters of Expecting Adam and had to write out how I'm feeling about what I read and what God has blessed me with. The people in that book are from very "intellectual" lives. People advised them to kill their baby, using the "socially acceptable" term of "terminating the pregnancy." Some people gave this advice because a baby would be an inconvenience to the parents' careers. Others gave this advice because raising a "retarded child" was just unthinkable to them. So on to the title of this post: BLESSED! I have been BLESSED with a good childhood in a family that raised me to know that the top priorities in life are God, family, and friends. I have been BLESSED with a tender heart that God has shaped to be compassionate, accepting, and loving toward all people no matter what race, religion, or abilities. I have been BLESSED with three beautiful, intelligent, creative, healthy children. I have been BLESSED beyond all explanation with one perfectly amazing angel child. To even consider the fact that without the first two blessings, I might not have been granted the fourth blessing makes me cry in gratitude for my Lord's goodness to me.

Sunday, February 1, 2009


ATTENTION, ALL OCD-TYPE PEOPLE: When was the last time you pulled out your oven to clean? I am apparently not a very good ocd person because I had NEVER pulled my oven out to clean the entire four and a half years that we've lived here. "YUCK" doesn't even begin to express what I found there! But it's pretty much clean now. So why did I decide that TODAY was the day to tackle this project (ha ha -- pun on today being super bowl Sunday)? Last night, I broke my snowman night light which is plugged in right next to the oven. Three pieces broke off the poor guy -- his carrot nose, his broom top, and his hat brim. The first two parts were on the counter, so I super glued them back on; but I couldn't find the hat brim. I looked all around, but figured it had to have fallen behind the stove. With all the gunk back there, the only way to know for sure was to pull it out and clean. It wasn't there, but I was still glad to have finally done this nasty job. So where was the stupid hat brim? In my utensil jar (which I did look in last night, but obviously not well enough) :-) Jason was a little annoyed about that since he was the one who had to pull the oven out instead of relaxing in front of the tv, but he didn't complain because he knows that I really wanted to clean back there anyway.

This might be a good place to add #26 to my "random facts about me" list: I HATE SPORTS! Please don't look down on me for that just as I don't look down on all you sports fanatics :-) I don't think anything about other people loving sports as long as it doesn't interfere with what's really important in life like God, family, other people's self-esteem (I don't tolerate people making fun of their kids or yelling at their kids for messing up in sports or for not wanting to be involved in sports), a good Christian testimony, common decency/compassion . . . I'm sure my dislike of sports is caused by my COMPLETE inability to excel at ANY type of athletic activity. The only sport I'm even semi-good at is badminton, and I'm really only as good as most nine-year-olds -- I'm sure Joel will be winning our family tournaments this summer since he is now ten, one year past my skill level. Anyway, this piece of personal info was on my mind since most people are so wrapped up in watching football today.

The Hofacker Family 2008