Monday, December 31, 2007


Here we are on the last day of 2007. It seems unbelievable to me that 2007 is gone and 2008 is upon us. This past year, like all others before it, has had its ups and downs, good points and bad, mountains and valleys. As I reflect back, I wonder, just what did we really do this year? What did we get done? What have we learned? Here's a summary of our year, broken down by months.

January- I began this blog. I had started another blog elsewhere, but let it go. I tried to keep this blog anonymous, but decided to "take it public" instead to keep in touch with family and friends. I enjoy "journaling" this way and look forward to posting often. (If you'll notice, this will be my 199th post- I will reach that 200 mark before 2008!)

February- The 20th anniversary of Paul and my first date!

March- I attended the Gulf Coast Above Rubies retreat with 7 other women from our church. It was a wonderful time of refreshing and fellowship. Paul, Jr. also got his drivers license during this month.

April- We were able to pull off an awesome surprise birthday party for Paul's 40th birthday. We learned the night before that a big part of our plan had fallen through, but it was amazing to see all the pieces fall into place that day even better than what we had planned. It touched my heart that God is interested in even the smaller things of life, like a surprise party!

May- Our family took a mini-vacation to Florida to visit family and friends. We had a wonderful time and enjoyed ourselves. Our church also held it's spring campout and again, it was a great time of fun and fellowship.

June- I found out I was expecting our 6th child. What a blessing and what excitement!

July- I turned 41! Paul, Anna, Ellie, Samuel and I spent a week at Junior Camp in Roberta, Georgia.

August- We started round 1 of potty training; we also turned off the tv and the dvd player. (We haven't missed them yet.) The girls left for 2 weeks in Kansas with their Grandparents and we redid their room.

September- We began our eleventh year of homeschooling.

October- We found out we are expecting our fourth son: Benjamin Robert Anthony and we couldn't be happier!

November- Sam stops sleeping in the crib and sleeps in a big boy bed. Potty training round 2 begins and ends in failure.

December- My Grandmother went home to be with Jesus. Her homegoing celebration was such a tribute to her, but more so to the God she loved.

I hope I'm ending this year a different person than when I began. I hope God never lets me get comfortable with who I am. This past year has had it's hard spots, but in looking back, the hand of God is evident in them as well as in the good times. One of my favorite verses in the Bible is in Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Hope and a future- that's what God promises, and really, what more do we need??? This is my prayer for 2008- that God will pour out his Hope on my family and lead us by His Plans into His perfect future for us all.

Friday, December 28, 2007

And more pictures of Zack!

6 weeks old

4 years old

5 years old

14 years old
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More Pictures of Zack

7 years old

1 year old

2 years old

18 months old
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Pictures of Zack

Zachary and Jacob, Twin Cousins

Zack, 14 years old

Florida, May 2007

Easter, 2007
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Sam enjoying his new toys

The return of Super Duper!
(Check out those pine needles on the rug!)

Dancing to his new "mp3" player

December 28th, 1992

(continued from yesterday)

We arrived at the hospital around 8am. My sister was already there, preparing to deliver her son via c-section. (For her side of the story, click here). We got all settled and the contractions began to pick up, but it still wasn't too bad. They did gradually get more intense throughout the day, but around 6pm, they stalled. I was dialated to a 7, but couldn't get any further. The doc then started the dreaded pitocin. (I have read somewhere pitocin referred to as the "devil's sweat"- I'm inclined to agree!)The contractions picked up almost immediately and around 10:32pm, Zachary Brian Dziadul was born. My first thought when I saw him was he was sooooo big, and my second thought was he's not crying. The doc soon had him crying and they brought him over to the scale- 10 pounds 6.7 ounces. What a baby!

Rebecca's son, Jacob, had been born about 10 hours earlier, but both cousins were born on the same day, in the same hospital, delivered by the same doctor. It was amazing! Our family was between both rooms and I spent most of my time in her room with Zachary. It was a very unique experience, and to this day, Zack and Jacob share a very special bond. They are so much alike, and when they see each other, they just pick right up from where they left off, no matter if its been months or years in between.

In honor of Zachary's 15th birthday, here are 15 things about him:

1. As a child, he was very creative, especially in drawing and making "stuff". Today his creativity comes out through his piano playing.
2. One morning around 3am, I found Zack at the bottom of our queen sized bed eating a hot dog, bologna and cheese. He was about 3.
3. He has always had an ability to mispronounce words. Some of the ones I remember: 1 maldation mal one (101 dalmations), hosipal, beeba (bird), and he still struggles with gift certificate.
4. He has grown 4 or 5 inches in the last half of the year. We compared last year's Christmas photo with this years and the difference in Zack is amazing.
5. He has quite a sense of humor and always has whomever he is with laughing.
6. One of his favorite things to do is go to Goodwill and "search" for treasures.
7. He had a beta fish named "Redman" and it died. He got another fish and named it "Redman 2" and it died also.
8. When we're out somewhere, he will usually surprise me with my favorite drink or snack.
9. He started school when he was 4 because there was no holding him back. He is now a grade "ahead" because of it. He will be our first totally homeschooled graduate.
10. He was thrilled to have a good amount of money this year for Christmas and was very generous with his Christmas gifts.
11. Even though they argue and bicker at times, he is very protective of his younger siblings.
12. He is a very good cook and likes to experiment, much like his dad.
13. When he plays the piano, he reminds us so much of my dad.
14. He looks like his father now, but he also looks like my dad when he was a boy.
15. He has kept life very interesting at our house the 15 years he's been a part of our family.

Thursday, December 27, 2007


The tree is undecorated and out by the curb. That's as far as we got today in our quest to undecorate the house. It will probably take us to Easter to get all the pine needles out! As the kids were getting the boxes out of the attic to store the decorations in, they discovered two more Christmas presents from my mom and dad (sorry mom)and Zack and Sam got to open another present. It was exciting for both of them.

Anna received a Disney/Pixar Monopoly game for Christmas and we started a game tonight and played for about 45 mintues. Then coffee got spilt all over the game board and pieces and we had to quit to salvage and dry out the game. Oh well. It's all a part of life, right? I felt bad for the kid who spilt it. I was always the one spilling stuff as a child, even though I tried hard not to.

15 years ago tonight, I was just starting out in labor for Zack. My water had broken and the contractions were off and on. I can't believe it's been 15 years- I remember it like it was yesterday. I had been induced with Paul, so I wasn't sure how labor would start or how it would feel. It wasn't so bad- yet. I didn't go to the hospital until the morning, so I spent the night waking up from the contractions. It's a good thing I didn't realize how far I had to go or how much pain it would be!

To be continued....tomorrow on Zack's 15th birthday!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas, 2007

I can't believe it's over! All that work and planning is over and done with. We had a nice day with our family. The girls were up first at 5, then 6, then for good at 7:30. Everyone was up and ready to begin around 8:30. Paul built a roaring fire in the fireplace and had the living room nice and toasty. Ellie and Sam were the only ones "willing" to pose by the Christmas tree this year. The children started by opening their stockings (or snockings, as Sam says). Sam wasn't sure at first, but it took him no time to realize what was going on, and he enjoyed it!

After the stockings came the hunt for the "golden" pickle. It's a German tradition that we started several years ago when my mom sent us the "golden" pickle. (I have NO idea why my children call it "golden"- it's perfectly green, but someone started calling it that years ago, and that is what everyone calls it now). After much diligent searching, Anna finally found it and her reward was to open the first present.
After that, it was time for the presents. We all enjoyed this part and everyone of us had fun opening or watching others open their gifts, Sam especially!

We stopped twice to clean up a bit and then Paul presented them with their "big" gift. We like to give them a bigger gift each year and cut down on the small stuff (although this year I don't know that we cut down at all!). We got them a computer that is connected to the Internet. All of them love to go on the Internet and read, research and play games. So we thought that a computer would be great for all of them. It is an understatement to say that they were surprised!

We went over Paul's parents house for a delicious lunch of turkey and ham. While we were finishing eating, I saw Sam fall out of the corner of my eye and hit the corner of the wall. I knew he had hurt himself because there was no immediate cry and when I picked him up, I thought I saw blood on his head. I carried him into another room, so I could see what he had done. When I turned his head to look at it, the blood was already dripping down his face and down my arm. After we got the blood somewhat cleaned up, we could see that he had a deep gash that would need medical attention. So Paul, Paul Jr. and I took Sam to the doctor (yes, his doctor's office was thankfully open today) for a couple of hours. The doc ended up putting 3 staples into his head. Sam did real good- he actually fell asleep on the table waiting on the doctor. He did cry when the staples went in, but was ok afterward. Here are some pics of his "big boo boo". The second one is very close, so don't look if you really don't want to see the staples in his head!

We finally got back around 4, and got to open more presents, have dessert and play a game.
It was a full, fun, tiring day and I am looking forward to heading to bed here in a few minutes. Poor Sam. I felt so bad for him, but he did quite good, and it really didn't slow him down any. He was so tired tonight I think he fell asleep as soon as his head hit the pillow.
And so tomorrow we begin to "undecorate" and try to incorporate all our new "stuff" into our household. And then, we begin to get ready in earnest for the new baby. Yay!
Have a wonderful evening.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas

May the peace Christ brought in the manger fill your hearts every day of the year. Merry Christmas to you and yours.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas Sunday

Here is a picture of my three youngest children this morning before church. It's not the best pictures, but the looked so nice this morning and I knew they would NOT look like this after church.

We had such nice services this morning. A full house and lots of visitors and old friends were there to celebrate Communion together.

Our church has six pregnant ladies- 3 attend regularly and 3 are daughters or daughters in laws of some of our members. All 6 were there this morning. As I looked around at the other 5 ladies, I came to some startling realizations:
*2 of them could be my daughters
*I am at least 10 years older than the next oldest lady
*I have twice as many children as any of them
*Even though I am not the farthest along (4 of them are farther along), I probably easily feel the farthest!

I know many, many people look at Paul and I and wonder why in the world we would start over at age 40 and 41. I look at this pregnancy as a gift- not that we HAVE to raise another child, but that we are PRIVILEGED to raise another child. We get to do it all over again, and that is a blessing. I am thrilled to have another baby to get up with at night, to change diapers, to take care of, to raise into another wild boy, to potty train, etc., etc. It's so not a drudgery- it's exciting and fulfilling. Now I'm not idyllic- I know the work involved and I know not every day is "exciting and fulfilling" but I also know the reward of doing exactly what God would have me to do at this time in my life.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Ellie's Night

Tonight was Ellie's night. We had a nice spaghetti supper to start it off. Someone said to Sam, "You sure are messy" and he replied, "Yeah. It's my little boy mess." We all had a good laugh over that!

Ellie then gave us all her nice presents, which we all enjoyed! Then it was on to the houses! What a mess, but it was alot of fun.

Sam did enjoy his gift!

Friday, December 21, 2007


Tonight was my night. I always do the same thing on my nights (unlike Paul, who does something different every year). We always go to a movie and then out to dinner. It is the only time we do this as a family as the cost is prohibitive with 7 people. We saw "National Treasure: The Book of Secrets".
We all really liked it- it was a good movie, and very clean. Everyone of the children enjoyed it and it is getting harder and harder to find a movie which they all enjoy. We ate dinner at Caliente's- a local burrito place. It was delicious!

When we got home, I had bought a new game for the family. It is called "Apples to Apples". I had wanted to get it for some time because it looked like fun, and it was. We played it for over an hour, and I think everyone had a good time.

Tomorrow night is Ellie's night and we will be making gingerbread (graham cracker) houses with the family. We bought all the supplies today and she finished up her Christmas shopping and is very excited to give everyone their gifts.

Thursday, December 20, 2007


What to do in the morning when you're tired and Dad says NOT to get back in bed.

This Week

I have been so busy this week I haven't posted since Monday. Tuesday we had our cookie swap- we brought about 100 cookies and took home about as many, and I think there may be one or two left! We had such a nice time fellowshipping and talking and the kids played outside all day long. It was rather cool that day, but that did not stop them one bit- in fact, most of them were running around barefooted!

Yesterday I focused on getting my Christmas cards out. I can't believe I am so late with that this year, but the first batch is in the mail. I cannot find my address list, so I have had to improvise. Feel free to let me know if you didn't get a card ( I'll be handing out the ones to the church people on Sunday) and I will mail you one.

Zack also had his night last night. He gave everyone such nice gifts, rented a movie, bought ice cream and made nutty fagan. We watched Rataoullie. It was very cute and everyone enjoyed it.

This morning I had a doctor's appointment. I was a little nervous about this appointment. I am 30 weeks pregnant and at this point in my pregnancy with Samuel, I was on complete bedrest for my blood pressure. I had checked it last night and it was good, but I never know what it will be when I get to the doctor's. I knew if it was high, there was a great chance I would be on bedrest, and frankly, I'm not ready for that. It was 120/82. I almost stood up and hugged the nurse. What a relief! Thank you God! I felt like I was given a reprieve, and spent the majority of the day finishing up Christmas shopping, all by myself. It was a wonderful day- I felt great, had lots of energy, and am just about done with the shopping.

Tomorrow I will spend wrapping, and finishing up some last minute things around here. Then I want to spend some significant time sewing- I have skirts to make the girls, and the baby quilt to finish.

Have a good night.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Anna's Night

We had our first "night" tonight. (If you don't know what I'm talking about, check out Paul's blog) She made dinner (with no help from me, I might add- it was very good- absolutely NO leftovers), and then did everyone's supper job. She got everyone a nice present, and then we played Phase 10. It has been a LONG time since we played a game as a family- too long. We laughed so hard, I think we all cried. It was good to laugh as a family over silly, silly stuff. And I might mention that I won the game!

Tomorrow we are going over some good friends of ours house for a cookie swap. The girls and I baked over 100 cookies this afternoon and we will swap our cookies for everyone else's cookies. The cookies will be nice, but it will be the fellowship that I enjoy the most.

Tomorrow evening Paul and I will take out Paul's brothers to do their Christmas shopping. This is a tradition that we do every year, and I think we all enjoy it. Our kids go to Nana's and Poppy's and we take their "kids" out. We are so late this year on everything- we still have a bunch of shopping to do ourselves.

Have a good night.

Sunday, December 16, 2007


Today we woke up to a cool morning. It has been so warm here- in the mid to high 70's and low 80's that a cool morning was very refreshing. Right now it is down to 34, and getting down into the 20's tonight. Now we only need some snow!

We had nice church services this morning, with a comfortably full church. Paul preached in Ephesians 3 about the "Mystery of Christ". It was an appropriate message for the season.

December is just flying by- tomrrow will be one week until Christmas Eve. Tomorrow the girls and I will be baking cookies for a cookie swap on Tuesday. They are so excited.

We made our last van payment this week. Woo-Hoo! How nice to be out from under that obligation! Now we pray our van will last until we can save up for another.

Zack has been studying for his learners permit test on the 28th. He insists on going the day he turns 15. I'm not sure I'm ready for this. I'm just now getting used to Paul driving- but Zack? How did that happen???

Friday, December 14, 2007

Super Duper

This evening, Samuel decided he was a superhero. At first, he called himself Superman, and then it evolved into "Super Duper". It was so cute- he had to have a cape, and ran around saying "Super Duper is faster". He had us laughing until he picked up a green Christmas bag and called it his purse. His father did NOT like that, but I thought it was funny. He said, "Look Mama. My purse on my arm." Too cute.

I was able to finally get back to Baby Ben's quilt. I finished all the blocks and now I need to iron them and sew them together. It's going together nicely, and I can't wait to lay it in the crib. No, what I really can't wait for is to wrap the baby in it as I bring him home. Less than 80 days! I'm so ready to be done being pregnant!
(I don't know why these pictures are a bit blurry!)