Sunday, April 29, 2007


I am so happy!! Yesterday, while we were killing time, Emily started smiling huge smiles! Over and over and over! I was almost in tears. How sad is that? I was just so happy to see her look happy.
I'm thinking there may be something wrong with her tummy. I'm going to order some gripe water this week. She is really spitty, and when she burps, it makes her cry. I think her tummy just hurts.
In completely unrelated news, we now have a new dryer. Matt changed the heating element in the old one, and it worked long enough for me to get caught up on the laundry. So, we said to heck with it and bought a new one. We also bought an extended warranty, so we have a 4 year warranty now. At least that guarantees us 4 years of use, which is much more than we got with this one!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

How will your obituary read?

Have you ever wondered that? What will your obituary say about you? Will it say you were an encouragement to others? Will it say you touched many lives? Or will it just state the facts?
So yeah, I'm having a hard time with Damon's death. He was just so SO wonderful. He was an inspiration. I often wondered how it was that he was so nice. And the only answer is that he was walking so close with Christ. He was becoming like Him every day. And it showed. I want to be like that.
The other day, we went to a pizza place, and I sat there and thought, 'this must be a christian establishment'. I can't tell you why I thought that, because I can't put my finger on it. But, I want people to look at me and think, 'she must be a christian'
I have so far to go. I am trying to think positive thoughts these days. I'd like to eliminate the negative influences on my life. I'm stepping back from some message boards that aren't that uplifting. Not that they are bad, they just aren't uplifting. If that makes any sense.
Damon's influence continues in death. My mom said that church was packed yesterday, and that testimonies of him were cut off at 12:30. The funeral isn't till Tuesday. I can't begin to imagine how packed it will be then.
They donated organs, and were able to take stem cells, bone marrow, skin, eyes, almost everything. They said at least 50 people would be helped by him. How wonderful.
Another wonderful thing is that his grandma was able to buy him a plot right next to the very woman who introduced him to Jesus. Can you imagine that reunion when Jesus comes back? How very, very wonderful.
And so here is how his obituary reads. It speaks volumes to me.

Damon A. Huhtala, 28, a resident of Hayden; died April 18, 2007. He was born Oct. 17, 1978, at Roseville, Calif., to Diana Howe Jewell and Kerry Huhtala. Damon grew up in Sonora, Calif., where he graduated from high school.

Damon moved to Coeur d'Alene in 2000, where he attended North Idaho College Carpentry program. Later he helped construct the Hayden Lake Seventh-day Adventist Church, where he had recently become a member. He was presently employed by Edwards Construction Company. However, he had already laid plans to enroll at Weimar College, a Bible College in California to get a degree in theology and become a minister.

He loved fishing, boating, hiking, camping and all kinds of snow sports including: skiing, snowboarding and snowmobiling. He also loved children, but his favorite pastime was studying the Bible.

Damon's name means "loyal friend" and this describes him in the most accurate terms. Many people considered him their very best friend. He was a wonderful example, inspiration and encouragement to many others. His quiet, genuine and non-assuming ways were irresistible and made him the type of guy everyone wanted to be around. He will be deeply missed by all who knew him.

Friday, April 20, 2007

And I know it really doesn't matter

but Emily really isn't smiling yet.
She smiled that one time at Dillon, and once looking out the window at the sky.
Neither times were the type of smile where her whole face just lights up.
I looked and all the boys were smiling by now. She'll be 7 weeks old tomorrow.
When, oh when will I get those gorgeous heart melting smiles??

It only took two years

This last week, I joined a new homeschool group.
Yes, at the very end of the year. But that's ok.
These new neighbors are a little rough around the edges, and honestly, we don't really want our kids hanging out with them. Matthew is fine with this, they drive him crazy. But Dillon is just enamored by them. It scares me, because Dill is so impressionable, and I would much rather he be impressed my good kids than bad!
I went walking with a different neighbor last night and she said, 'you know, God either makes us a follower or a leader and there's nothing wrong with either one, we just have to help them to follow the right people" I think this is so true. I hear parents say, "well I've taught them right, they know what to do" I don't buy this for a second. I've taught Dillon well..and yet, in certain circumstances, he seems to forget what he's been taught!
Which led me to find a christian homeschool group. They also happen to be a military group. So, yesterday was park day. And we went. And it was great!
It was so nice to be around normal people! Normal by my standards anyway. People who enjoy having their kids around and aren't trying to get rid of them at every chance. People who also hated Texas when they first got here, but learned to like it while they're here. Just little things like that. I felt at home with them.
And the kids had a great time too. Of course it will take awhile to form real friendships. Dillon found someone he latched right onto. Matthew might take awhile longer. But it will happen. I hope.
Thankfully, they meet all summer long, so it really is of little consequence that I joined now.
I'm just so happy to finally be part of a group here. Finding homeschool groups was easier in Ohio and Idaho, which is funny, since San Antonio is much bigger than anywhere we were before!
Hooray for homeschool groups!!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Do your loved ones know that you love them?

My mom called me today, to tell me that one of our friends from Idaho had tragically died today.
He worked in the construction business. Today he was walking with a nail gun when he tripped on a cord. He fell down and the nail gun went off..shooting a nail through his head.
Such a horrible thing.
He was 28 years old.
And it made me think. Did Damon know how much he was loved? His life was certainly not easy. Not by a long shot. His dad and brother are in prison. I don't know anything about his mom. He had years of drug use behind him.
But he found Christ, and his life changed. He was a deacon in the church. He probably physically built more of the church in Idaho than anyone else. He was the type of person you could depend on. Over and over I heard what a hard worker he was. When Matt was in Korea, and we were moving..Damon was right there helping me. We had game nights at our house, and he was always there.
He was a quiet guy, but once you got to know him, he impacted your life.
I can't even tell you how much he will be missed.
And yet, I wonder, did he know? Did anyone actually take the time to tell him they loved him? Because we did. Anyone who knew him, must have. But with no family to tell him, did he ever hear it?
My stomach has been upset all night. You don't usually wake up and think you are going to trip and shoot a nail through your head. You don't wake up and think that when you go to class that day, you will be shot. You never know when your last day is.
Take the time to let your loved ones know you love them. Even if you think they know. And even if they aren't family, or the usual people you tell that you love. It could be your last chance.
Goodbye Damon. We loved you, and we will miss you so much. I only wish we had taken the time to tell you.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Ahh, the good (or not so good) ole days

So I'm washing lots of laundry, which I will take to the laundromat to dry later this afternoon.
Many years ago, before we had any children, Matt and I used to do our laundry at a laundromat. We had a great time.
There was an arcade next door, and we would set our clothes up to wash and go race each other on the car games. He always won, but it was still fun.
When the laundry was done, we would go across the parking lot to the movies and see a movie. Sometimes two.
I remember seeing the movie Nine Months then. And talking about when we would have a baby. We talked about having babies a lot back then. But we also talked about waiting until we could better afford it. Not that we wanted to. But we actually waited till we had been married two years before having Matthew. That was when we used to plan the baby!
It's funny, because I remember those times as good. But our marriage was also in a tremendous amount of turmoil then. I didn't think we'd actually make it. But somehow we did. It was at that time that we both got out tattoos, and there certainly was no church going to be had. Matt was working at Taco Bell, and I was going to cosmetology school. I have no idea how we survived. Times were not good, not at all.
Except for the weekly laundromat dates.
It's been 12 years since then. And we have come so far. Without the help of anymore laundromats!
Matt's now an audiologist, supporting us pretty comfortably. There isn't a doubt in my mind that our marriage will indeed make it. We've been through some terrible stuff and I figure there's not much else that could shake us. We have those babies we used to talk about all the time. More than I imagined? Nope, not yet! We are very, very involved in church, as a whole family unit. And I now wish there were no tattoos!
It's amazing to look back on those times. We were so, so young. God was hanging on to us when we were pulling away. He wasn't in our marriage at all, but He was going to try his best to be there.
Of course, I've made my trips to the laundromat since then. And it's always with fond memories of the early trips. I usually have someone to leave kids with, or someone to come with me. It will be totally different this go around. It'll be a whole new set of memories.
Maybe we'll even hit the movies afterwards.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

This is not good

My dryer has died.
Starting Sunday, it would only dry on high heat. And it was HOT HOT HOT. Earlier today, it was drying on high.
Now. Nothing.
It rotates around, but absolutely no heat.
This stinks.
I have too much laundry to worry about something like this! Matt is out of town till Saturday night. What will I do??
*sigh* I told him it would be good for me to go it alone for awhile. To get back to not fully relying on him. I just didn't expect to deal with this.
I had really hoped our washer and dryer would last long enough that we could save up and get those nice new ones. You know, the ones that hold like three loads. Oh my, that would be heaven. I guess it wasn't in the cards though.
I was trying hard to save a good chunk of money for when my in laws come to visit, but that chunk is shrinking by the day. We may just have to sit at home and twiddle our thumbs when they come!!
I would put up a clothesline, but that isn't allowed here in base housing. I guess I'll be making a trip to the laundromat tomorrow to dry the clothes in the washer and dryer right now.
Stupid dryer.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

I am so in love with this girl

I could stare at this little face forever. I feel like I have, actually, her face looks just like all of her brothers! These pics were taken last night, so you can see how much better it looks. I ate tomatoes last night, and nothing happened. One thing eliminated!
I think the top right pic is my favorite.
Put your cursor on the mosaic and click to start it. Then just roll your cursor over the pictures to see the big picture. If it stops, just refresh the page.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

General update

Emily is looking MUCH better. She is still really dry, but not red and inflamed. The other day, Chester came in to eat, I picked him up to put him out afterwards. The next time I held Em, she got really red. So for now, keeping Chester outside seems to really help. I'm afraid to add anything back to my diet though!! I don't know why, it's not like it kills her.
In fabulous news, Em saw the cardiologist yesterday and her heart is PERFECT! What a huge relief that was. I sat there fighting back tears as he did the echo.
I talked to him about some stuff that is going on with Zachy and he wants to see him and do a halter monitor on him ASAP. The problem is, he isn't Zachy's original dr. And that dr blew me off when I mentioned the issue. So I have to get a referral from the pediatrician and get Zachy in.
This morning, Bugaboo gave her first smile. And it wasn't even saved for me! Nope, it was given to Dillon. Oh Dill was THRILLED. It was so cute. She just stared at him forever smiling at him.
Last weekend was pathfinder camporee, and they got rained out. What a bummer. Matthew was having a blast. They came home a day early. They had a day and a half there though, so that was good. Matt said the speaker was really good, and unfortunately, he was probably someone that the kids needed to hear.
Everything else just goes on normally. Nothing major to report.
Matt leaves for Denver on Sunday for a week. I will miss him. We all will. It's rough to go from having him home all the time to being gone all the time! We will survive though!
Off to figure out dinner while bug sleeps.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

And by the way...

How much do you love this song?
It is one of my all time favorites.
How I wish I could save time in a bottle!!

Beside myself

I am feeling so incredibly overwhelmed right now.
I have eliminated chocolate, dairy, nuts, fish, eggs and now tomatoes from my diet. I had the last tomato on Thursday. Em's face is finally starting to clear.
But here's what I've noticed. Yesterday, we spend the whole day at church. The day before I had cleaned our room really well and shut the door, to keep out the animals. We have an air purifier going in there too.
On Friday, I also washed all her clothes in Dreft. I know, bad me, I hadn't been doing that before. But her body doesn't seem all that affected.
For weeks she has had a stuffy nose. We assumed it was a cold, but it hasn't gone away. And it drives her crazy. She also has a clogged tear duct and her eye is always goopy and icky.
Yesterday morning, for the first time, I didn't have to uncrust it to get it to open. Then we were at church, like I said. Throughout the day, I noticed the redness of her face going away too. And her neck was almost all flesh colored. Her nose wasn't stuffy at all, and I never once had to wipe her eye.
Within an hour of getting home, I was wiping goop out of her eye, and she was stuffy again.
Her face is sitll looking pretty good, not great, mind you, not great at all...but much better than the pictures.
Could she be allergic to the pets? Is that even possible at 5 weeks old? Younger considering when the stuffy nose and eye goop started. The eczema started about a week and a half ago. I wonder about the pets simply because I would think there would be dust mites and other allergens at a church that is all carpeted with cushioned pews.
And the bigger question is, how do we figure all this out? I certainly don't want to do allergy testing, and I'm not sure they would do it anyway.
Everything I read says that having animals in the house actually makes them have fewer allergies. But is that always the case? Allergies are inherited. My sister is allergic to cats, and I think my dad is too. Matt's family all suffer from allergies as well. I think most of them are seasonal allergies, but I'm totally not sure about his brother, who seems to be the worst of them. It seems entirely possible to me that that is what it could be. Even if she is young.
But is it the cat? Or the dog? Or the rodents or birds?? Or is it just something I was eating? But what about the eye?? Do you see how this is killing me? Around and around I go...and I haven't the foggiest idea how to get to the bottom of it.
Truth be told, I'm ready to banish all pets from the house, if it means my baby won't be miserable.
And speaking of allergies to's this for observant?? When we lived in Ohio, in an apartment, Dillon developed allergies for the first time. They were more severe than they have been anywhere else. And in the winter time no less. We coudlnt' figure out what in the world was blooming and making him allergic. Now it dawns on me that that is the same time we got the cat, who was strictly indoors at that point. Strangely (or not anymore) his allergies seem to always be worst in bad weather...hmmm like the times the cat stays in because it is too cold to go outside??!! How could we be so blind and not see that?
So it seems like a reasonable assumption that Dillon is allergic to cats. But what about Bugaboo? It seems awfully severe if that is what it is.
UGH..I just don't know. And I wish someone could just give me the answers and let me know what to do to fix this. Could you do that?? Pretty please??
These pictures were taken on Thursday. What you can't see is that in between any red area is totally rough skin. Also, what you can't see (obviously) is that it completely covered her neck, and spread down her back and chest, and now her arms. It's pretty bad. Today, her right ear is peeling from the dry skin coming off. I am lathering her in cetaphil constantly. My poor poor baby.

Friday, April 6, 2007

These kids are driving me UP THE WALL

Not mine, mind you..cause mine are perfect little angels. *snort*
They have decided to move some more families into our housing area, and there are quite a few kids. Since we have a community yard, so to speak, and we have the trampoline, imagine where they all migrate. The kids live down the street a ways, but they keep coming over here.
There is one family with 5 boys, and they are the problem. The three eldest I should say, since we haven't ever seen the younger two.
They ring the door bell over and over and over and over and over...and bang on the door till someone answers. I have told them repeatedly to stop ringing the door bell and pounding on the door. Not only is it annoying, but Emily has decided to be a fuss pot and not sleep, so I have about 10 minutes (ok that's an exageration) to get any work done while she sleeps. Every time they come to the door, we start the cycle over. I'm about to go tell their parents to have a talk with them, since they obviously have no intentions of listening to me.
And why do they do this? To say, "can I have a snack?" or "I ran through your sprinkler, can I have new pants and a towel?" or "Dillon isn't playing the cops game right, you need to come get him out of jail" When that was said, and I told the boy I wasn't going across the street because of their game, he informed me, with much attitude, that this was NOT a game. I told him that yes it was a game because he wasn't the real police. To which he got extremely huffy and stomped off.
My kids have all been outside playing and yet these neighbor kids continue to come to my house and tell me to send someone out to play with them. Sorry kids, I don't have any more to send out! I would ignore them, but as I said, they don't stop ringing and pounding till you answer.
UGH..I've so had it with them...and just think, they only moved in last week.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Where does the time go?

I've often wondered why it is that when you are pregnant, time drags. Then once the baby is here, time flies.
Little Emily is already a month old. I can't believe it. I keep telling Matt that the next time I look at her, she'll be 3. That's what happened with Zachy.
Things are going really well. The boys absolutely love her. Zachy still asks if we can call her Tarzan. He's so silly. Even though he asks that, he still says, "I love you, Emily" all the time.
Matthew and Dillon are huge helps to me. She settles right down on their chests. So sweet.
And yes, she needs settling. Zachary was the easiest baby in the history of babies. Not so with Emily. She isn't horribly fussy, but when she is awake, she definitely likes to be held. Which is fine by me. I just have to rush to get chores done when she is asleep. Which explains why I haven't been here much. Computer time has definitely gone by the wayside. Which is ok. It just means you have to wait longer in between updates.
Emily is currently covered in acne. Her face, ears, back, and chest are a solid mass of pimples. Took her to the doctor yesterday who said it was a classic allergic reaction. So right now I am taking dairy, nuts, fish, chocolate, and eggs out of my diet to see what could be causing it, because it is so bad. I'd try to take a picture, but she looks so red in all her pictures anyway, I'm not sure it'd show up. Maybe if I take it outside. We'll see.
She also goes to the cardiologist on the 10th. It is just an appointment to have her heart checked out to put my mind at ease. I've had a few freak out moments with her, and I just need to be absolutely sure her heart is ok.
Matt is still home. I don't know what he will do when he goes back to work! Shoot, I don't know what I'll do when he goes back. It's been really nice.
Tomorrow, he and Matthew leave for the weekend for Pathfinder camporee. They are both looking so forward to a weekend of camping. Course the weather is supposed to cool way down. I have to admit, I'm a little worried about dealing with the four younger ones at church on my own.
In our downtime, we are busy revving up for this year's VBS. It should be loads of fun, it is just loads of work for the directors. Hehe.
The boys have been busy doing their school. They are happy to only have 2 more months before having all summer off.
Laundry is calling, and Emily is sleeping, so I need to go get that done.
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