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Welcome to my family blog. I have been married to Mike for over half of my life. I love my Savior, Jesus. I am a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom to six terrific, interesting children. My 3 oldest were born to me in my younger years, while my 3 youngest were given to me by God in my older years. I am very blessed. ~Cheri


Food...Eggs To Be Exact

Since Ivy came home in February 2010, she has continued her love for Chinese food.  There are some things I was shocked to find that she does not like...simple things like cheese.  She will not eat cheese of any kind unless it is hidden on a pizza or lasagna.  There is never cheese on a sandwich or even a cheese stick.  The same has gone for eggs.  The only type of egg she will eat is a hard boiled one.  To me, that is just anti-American.  No eggs?  So, we wiped that one off the breakfast list for her.  But, the other night, the guys were gone to play soccer in 40 degrees with sleet and rain.  Sorry, I had to miss that one, but I decided to fry myself an egg.  Not only did I have an egg, but I had an egg fried in bacon grease...the best kind.

Then, I asked the girls if they'd like one?  I had to explain to the girls how it was fried in bacon grease, cooked only until the whites were done, leaving the yolk a bit runny.  I also explained how they had to dip their toast in that yolk and cover it with a tad of salt and a lot of pepper.

Slowly, the idea of a fried egg started sounding good to them, and they allowed me to fix them eggs and toast for dinner.  Well, everyone except Joy, who was eating her usual Mac 'n Cheese.  She never lives on the edge.

Not too bad!  Notice Joy in the background enjoying her pasta.  Nothing makes her happier!

So, now I have another item to add to our breakfasts.  This a true first for Eva and Ivy.


My Small Wish List

When I was younger, I never imagined what my life would be like.  Some people have it all planned out; the romantic courtship, fairytale wedding, 2.5 children, retirement in Florida.  Nope, not me.  I just lived day to day.  Still do.  Now, that I'm getting older, so much older, I long for those carefree days.  Sounds like an 80's song, doesn't it?  So, I've a few things on my Wish List.  Some I can make happen, others I have no control over.  But, it is fun to imagine.

*Go to a South Pacific island, alone with my husband, for at least a week.

*Ride in a Hot Air Balloon.

*Take Jack to Hawaii.

*See the word "orphan" become non-existent.

*Lose 20 pounds.

*Re-live my children's birth days.  (Even the ones that passed away.)

*Visit Venice.

*Watch Seth parent a son who is just like him.  (You have to know him to understand this one.)

*Go to a South Pacific Island, alone with my husband, for at least 10 days.

*See Joy master tying her shoes.

*Live in a foreign country with all my children for at least 6 months.

*Watch Jordan marry a man who believes she is the best thing since sliced bread.

*Hike part of the Appalachian Trail.

*See Eva become a lawyer.  (She has an answer for everything.)

*Listen to Ivy play classical piano, once she masters it.

*Read a whole novel, within a week.  (I haven't done that since 2003 when I read The Count of Monte Cristo when Mike was out of town for 3 days.  I didn't feed or bathe the children during that time.  I just read the book, and Mike had no idea I neglected his offspring.)

*Work in an African orphanage.

*Re-live my childhood.

*Go camping with the whole family.  (Not on Mike's to-do list)

*Have one more day with my dad.

*See all my children serve their Savior.

*Run a marathon.  (I know that will never happen because of my shins.)

*Visit the place I grew up the first 10 years of my life...Mentor, Ohio.

*Go to a South Pacific Island, alone with my husband, for at least 2 weeks.

I'm not asking for much, am I?


She Morphed Into Munk

I am not a big fan of nick names.  I had/have one...Sissy.  I despised it.  The way I looked at it, it wasn't a name at all, just a definition.  I was a sister, so they called me Sissy.  I tried to name my children names that could not be shortened.  I think I did a pretty good job, but inevitably someone is called by a nick name.

When Jordan was younger, I playfully called her Georgy Porgy.  Seth was Seth Monster.  Jack is still called Jack Sandwich, compliments of our friend Dan, when he put Jack between 2 pillows and made him into a sandwich.  I never call Ivy anything playful.  Nothing really fits.  Eva is usually lovingly called Eva Beneva just because it rhymes so well.  Then we have Joy.  Joy is lovingly called Munk by her big brother Seth.

As I sat next to Munk on the sofa, nursing some fresh knee wounds, I thought about her name, Joy.  Despite her temper and the stress she causes me on a daily basis, she is a joyful Joy.  Even after throwing her daily fit, I can usually make her happy again with just a hug and a smile.  She started on the fit path when she fell and bloodied both knees.  This incident was enough to put Joy in a rage, stomping her feet angrily that she was hurt.  She asked for band aids.  I told her only after she stopped getting so upset would I bandage up her wounds.  As I was washed off her knees, I thought of her Chinese name, Chun Meng, pronounced Chun Mung.  I'd call her Chun Meng occasionally.  Seth picked up on it, changed it to Chunka Munka.  Eventually, it morphed into the shortened form of Munk.  It kind of suits her.  I love hearing Seth every morning greet Joy with "'Morning Munk!" 


We're Crazy

Only a crazy family will drive 5 hours round trip to sit and watch a family member play a 90 minute soccer game.  But, it was good family time.  Rarely are we all together at the same time, doing the same thing.  It was good; especially knowing that the time is soon coming when we will not all be together often.  Since Mike was speeding making good time, we stopped at an overlook, where a gracious lady patiently took a well-needed family picture.

Then, my patient children allowed me to take their picture.

Why is it so difficult for everyone to look at the camera at the same time?  Is that really too much to ask?  I just want happy faces for 2 minutes, please!  Appease me.

We made it to the fields, hung out on the bleachers eating apple pie bites until the game started.

And, as always, there is the interesting journey to the public toilet facilities at these soccer fields.  Sometimes it is the port-a-potty, which my girls are terrified of and only use in desperation.  Other times, like yesterday, we had a wonderful 20-stall bathroom at the local high-school stadium at our disposal.  Joy had to go.  I had just taken her 10 minutes earlier.  But, you know...she had to go again...more.  She and I made the trek to the humongous bathroom.  I sat her in her stall, headed next door myself.  Joy, loudly making it known what she was doing, let me know she was done.  Now, Joy is a tiny girl.  She's not yet his the 30 pound mark for her 5 1/2 years.  I'm not sure if the toilets were on a sensor or not, but the thing just kept flushing over and over.  She is so tiny, she cannot get off by herself (plus the fact that she's not allowed to touch ANYTHING in a public bathroom makes it difficult to just hop off).  She kept screaming, "IT KEEPS FLUSHING!".  Poor girl.  By the time I made to her, it had flushed quite loudly 5 times.  She was not happy.  I'm hoping it makes her think twice about using a public facility again.

My tiny girl, Joy.

Rare mother/daughter photo.

Don't these guys look ridiculous?  Seth is the lone blue guy, the only one who looks like he is working.

Now, I have to decide if I want to make another 2.5 hour drive tomorrow to watch Seth play on a different team.  I know the kiddos will be miserable if I take them, but I really want to go.  Anyone want to swing by and watch my 4 youngest?


Because Seth Would Not Pose

I had to resort to using Ivy as a model.  Bear with me while I brag just a bit.  (And, bear with me the next few months as I sort through feelings of my first son leaving home to join the Marines.)  But, Seth is wrapping up his season of soccer.  Today he and his team mates received 3rd Place in their Region.  This is the team trophy that we get to keep because Mike is the Coach.  Ivy is beautifully wearing the 3 medals Seth received for this particular tournament.  I am so proud of Seth.  He has worked incredibly hard with his team.  Seth has been with some of these guys for the last 4 years and has loved every minute of it.  I will definitely miss sitting on the sidelines cheering my son on (sniff, sniff).

Fortunately, when this season ends with this team next week, he still has another month of games on another league thru November.  I'll savor every minute of watching him play, win or lose.


An Unexpected Feeling

Today, a friend shared with me that she is 16 weeks pregnant!  My first thought was, "Congratulations!"  I knew that she had a miscarriage earlier this year, and I was so happy for her and her family.  Then, suddenly, a little twinge of sadness came over me. 

Don't misunderstand.  I'm perfectly, wonderfully content with my clan.  But, for the first time in quite a while, I actually felt a loss.  A loss that my body will never experience the growth of life again.  A loss that I'll never nourish another child from this aging body.  I don't particularly want to be pregnant again, especially at my age, or even have another baby in the house.  Maybe the reality that my kids are growing up caused this passing sadness.  Maybe it is just a reminder of the children I've lost over the years:  Ashton, Grace, Ben, and Rachel.  Maybe I'll always feel this way until my life is over.

Eva and I

But, soon chaos will ensue our lives once again.  The sadness will fade into the background until another reminder comes my way.  Life is good.  It is such a precious gift from God.


This I'll Miss

Last week, Seth found out that he got his first choice MOS (military job).  He will be part of the Marine Security Force.  I did not know much about it, but I was just thankful that he did not go straight infantry as he had planned.  Nothing against it, but this mom did not feel good about it.  So, when I heard him hoot rather loudly, I knew something good had happened.  So, I did lots of googling.  Not only did I search Security Force, I searched FAST Marines.  FAST stands for "Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team".   This is actually the one that Seth is hoping to become part of (it is overseas).  It sounds scary, but interesting.  After hours online, I figured out that these groups of guys are the ones that go in and secure an area of our nations' an embassy, a military base,  a Navy ship...things of that nature, after an attack or disaster.  I read that this FAST team went to Panama, Saudi Arabia (after the bombings), Middle East after the attack on the USS Cole, and quite a few other places.  Apparently, they are not in one place too long.  They go, get control, and move on. 

Since Seth has not graduated high school yet, we have not been given a date for his departure.  I am sure I'll know something after the new year and his graduation, which is in January.  In the meantime, I've been thinking about Seth's life.  There are so many things I can write about him.  So many heartaches we shared and lessons learned  But, for now I know I'll miss sweet moments.when he takes time out of his busy life and just hangs out and enjoys his family.


Another Early Birthday

Officially, Ivy will be 9 tomorrow.  But, today we celebrated her 2nd birthday.  Not just her second birthday with us, but her second birthday celebration ever.  So, while Ivy, Mike, Seth, and I were at soccer games, Jordan stayed home to bake cupcakes and take care of my other sick children.

She looks like a well-adjusted 9-year old, home with a family for 1 1/2 years now, doesn't she?

So, we all gathered 'round to watch Ivy open up her presents.

Some of the children looked on with excitement...

...wondering what could be in those packages?!  Others, with anticipation.

 Even a stink bug came to the party, along with 20 of his friends.

Ssshhh.  I bought Ivy some trick candles!

Beautiful!  Blow those candles out, baby!

Maybe this angle will work better?

Maybe she needs some reinforcements?

 "I'm done.  Let's eat!"


Green Day

Today was co-op.  Today was green day for Joy.  She loves dressing in the color of the week and eating colored snacks. Joy was not able to go to green day in her kindergarten class because she is sick.  It is 4:30, and she is still in her jammies.

She just asked me, "Did they pause green day, Mom?"  No, honey, they did not pause green day.  She will have to settle for yellow day next week.  She went to bed at 9:00 pm last night.  By 2:00 am, she had woken up only 5 times.  At that point, Mike, Joy, and I were up watching House Hunters International.  Do you know how expensive it is to live in Sweden?  It is beautiful, but I couldn't afford a decent house there.  So, Joy and Mike continued watching TV, and I headed off to my own bed.  If Joy continues with her croupy cough, I'm sure we'll be channel surfing at 2:00 a.m. again.


Clarification of Previous Post

I want to clarify that my post from yesterday was not about Seth.  Seth actually signed up for the Marines last month.  He will be home for a while since he needs to graduate high school first.  But, my new military child is Jordan.  She is planning on joining the Navy.  This is something she has given much thought and research to in the last 2 months, and she feels pretty confident about her decision.  Her dad was Navy, as well as uncles and cousins.

She has not signed her life away just yet.  There are some things to take care of first...mainly her college degree.  I'm excited for her, though.  She has a plan, a desire, a focus on her career, a goal.  She is hoping for a specific job in Navy, which I think she will have no problem obtaining.  Fortunately for me, she will be home through May when she finishes school.

Your prayers for Jordan are much appreciated.


There Must Be Something In The Water?

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