YES, We Really Do Have Eight!

I love babies. When my babies hit their first birthday, I long once again for that tiny helpless little person that smells like baby powder and doesn't squirm away when you're staring at his beautiful little face. Now don't get me wrong. I love the other stages too. I laugh out loud when I hear the jibber jabber of his first words (Jackson). I giggle when I see one dance hysterically when she hears a Justin Bieber song (Bekkah). I beam with pride when she puts gospel principals into action as she prepares for her upcomming baptism (Emily). I am amazed over and over as he accepts and conquers challenges far beyond his years (Ammon). I burst with pride as I watch his determination and drive in all that he sets his mind to (Zane). I melt when I see the empathy, and concern she has for others (Mckenzie). I have to catch my breath when I see him snuggle with his baby brother (Zachary). I am amazed as I read his letters from his mission (Tres). I guess I just love it all. And this is why I have, despite my horrible pregnancies, we have eight beautiful, talented, amazing, wonderful children!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

If it ain't broke...

Things tend to break in our house. Oh, I'm not talking about McDonalds toys (we don't get those anyway because we'd have to take out a loan to afford it with our big group!) I'm talking appliances, furniture, cars that sort of thing. I'm very blessed to have a handy husband. He can fix anything. And I've learned a lot from him over the years. Recently our dishwasher broke...again. It just wasn't getting things clean. So Dan took it all apart and found this piece that looked kind of odd. It had this white and red plundger thing that resembled the pop up timer in a turkey, and it just didn't seem to fit snuggly in the hole. So Dan went to the appliance part store and showed the guys there. They agreed that it was a poor design and they didn't carry anything like that. Well he came home cleaned it all out good, removed some debris and put it all back together. It worked for a while, but then the same thing happened, again he took it all apart. Same thing, and he just couldn't seem to get that part to fit. Well with closer obseration we discoered that it was indeed the pop up turkey timer from last Thanksgiing that had somehow made it's way through the filter into the inside of the dishwasher. It works great now that he removed it!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Chores times seven!

With a family of nine, cleaning is a constant battle. We do two loads of dishes, and three loads of laundry every day. We have a "put away whatever you get out" policy. It isn't always followed, but we try. I believe in teaching a work ethic. Everyone in the house has a responsibility to contribute to the upkeep of our home. As any mother knows, it's much easier (and done much better) when we just do the chores ourselves. But I think that is a disservice to our children. And so this is how it goes.

Every day at 5:30pm it's chore time. This ensures that the house is clean when dad get's home from work. If friends are at our house, they go home, or help clean. Everyone has three chores plus 10 minutes cleaning time in thier room and 10 articles of clothing to put away. The chores include things such as garbage, dishes, clearing the table, vaacuuming, bathrooms etc. Everyone has the same chores every day. I used to try and rotate every week, but it was too much brain power! Every school year we switch up the chore list. That way they have a whole year of experience and they really get quite good at it.

In addition to 5:30 chores they have evening chores. Dad has made a simple spread sheet that tells who makes dinner, does dinner dishes, or the evening laundry load. They look at the chart and see what they are on that night. Little kids are paired with big kids, which, in theory, means the younger ones learn from the older ones. (That doesn't always happen and occasionally a fight breaks out) But they all know what's expected and rarely complain.

Saturday chores are at noon every Saturday. Everyone must fold 5 pairs of thier own socks from the "sock basket" (this ensures no sock hunting in the mornings before school), they each have a ZONE in the basement to clean up, they each do a pot from the sink if there are any, and they have some type of yard work, usually a hoola hoop full of weeds, or 10 minute clean up in the back yard. Then they get to pick one set of chores from the list. For example "clean patio and landing" or "clean windows/mirrors and mate dark socks" Since they have the freedom to pick, those who start chores on time get to pick the easier ones, and those who slack end up filling up our green barrell (most hated Saturday chore) Then of course, regular chores at 5:30pm.

Amazingly this system really works. Oh sure, there is occasional grumbling, but for the most part things go smoothly. So if you ever want to see the Huston house clean, come by around 6pm, cause it doesn't last long!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Rebekkah, our little miracle

Our little Bekkah has a rare heart defect called Ebstein's Anomoly which is a deformity of the tricuspid valve. She also has Wolf Parkinsons White Syndrome which makes her heart beat too fast. We found out on August 2nd when I took her to see her pediatrition because she had a stuffy nose. I felt ridiculous for going, (no mother of 7 takes her child in for a "stuffy nose") But I went none the less. When I got there the Doctor said it was just a cold. He listened to her heart. Then he listened again. He went and got a nurse to listen and then sent me straight to the emergency room to get an EKG. Her heart was beating 270 beats a minute. It's called supraventricular tachicardia. (Infants heart rate should be anywhere from 120-150 bpm) They filled a bag full of ice and held it on her face to try and convert her back to a normal heart rate. It worked for a little while, but kept speeding back up. They admitted her to the PICU. There were many scary moments, but none as scary as when they pushed Dan and I to the side, filled the room with a team of doctors and nurses, and gave her a shot of Adenosine to stop her heart. There was an erie silence while we all watched to see if it would start back up on it's own. That was the longest three seconds of my life. She spent 11 days in the PICU while they tried to figure out the right medications tocontrol her little heart. They used up all of her veins for IV's and ended up putting in a central line. When she was stable and we were ready to go home, they took it out and a blood clot formed. We were sent to the hematology wing for 3 more days while they played around with the right dosage of blood thinners for her. After 14 days we got to take her home, along with a heart monitor, shots in her stomach twice a day and 5 doses of medicine throughout the day. What a nightmare! Later we found out she has a rare blood disorder that has to do with clotting and her homocystein levels. Another medication was added. We check her heart every couple hours and give her medicine three times a day (it tastes like marshmallows! We joke that when she gets older she'll hate smores)

She turns one on July 2nd. There have been times when we didn't think we'd be able to keep her so this is a joyous milestone for our family. Throughout the year we've had many more scary moments, more hospitol stays, and more Adenosine. Bekkah is stable for now, and we all adore her. She has given us a wonderful gift. She has reminded us to enjoy every moment we have together and not to take life for granted.

About Me

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Our lives are dedicated to the Lord, we live by this creed: Be clean Be grateful Be humble Be prayerful Be smart Be true Be positive Be involved Be still, We BE the Hustons!


(and sometimes not so much)