Slacker Mom: November and December

3 Jan

Well, I win the slacker-mom blogger award. But, in my defense in November I had a TON of clients, therefor in December I had a TON of editing to do. And then The Holidays came. So, needless to say, I was busy. BUT, I did still get the camera and at least took some pictures!

In November we ended up having a power line go down that was attached to our house that knocked our electric out. Because it damaged our box, we had to have a contractor come out and repair it and have the inspector approve it. We thought that we were going to be out of power for at least a week – so our insurance put us up in a two bedroom hotel suite for a couple of days. Luckily it ended up being just that, and we didn’t have to stay for longer than a few days. Trying to keep four kids occupied all day in a hotel room is not easy! And it gets messy FAST! Thank Goodness we had our family friend Julie here to help me pack all six of us up (in the dark) and get everyone there safe and sound in the cold and rain.

Shortly after that, I found out that my grandpa had to be admitted to the ER for blog clots in his lungs. A little bit scary! I guess he wasn’t doing very well at all for a while there, so we were so thankful when we found out that he was going to be going home – on blood thinners of course.

And then I got an invitation to Pinterest, which means like a week of my entire life disappeared. Ok, not really – but a few days I was really sucked in there!

Evelyn got her hair cut short, Olive went to a lot of therapy, and the kids lost all of their toys for at least a week (don’t clean them, they’re gone!).

We took some pictures for Christmas gifts and also for My Little Pixies, the maker of these headbands.

Then Ethan got a busted lip and a bruise on the school play ground and it broke my heart that I wasn’t able to be there for him.
I seriously considered pulling all the kids out and just home schooling them so I could protect them from EVERYTHING EVER! OK, not really. But, it did really suck to go through the first bump and bruise where I wasn’t around to protect my baby.

And then Jobee turned 11 months old! She jumped from 3 month clothing to 6-9 month clothing! She gained 2 pounds very quickly and I’m pretty sure she got longer too. I am NOT a formula momma, but I’m glad that the combination of breast feeding, baby food, and formula is working and keeping her growing!

Then my heart was broken all over again for orphans as I came across this blog: The Blessing of Verity

Then the first part of December I was buried in front of the computer finishing all my editing, taking Olive to therapy, and checking out school options for her.
We looked at Lincoln, the MOSI program at Bowen, and Grand Rapids Christian Elementary’s Special Ed program. GRCES’ program won by a mile. We are SO thankful to have a school choice for her that isn’t just convenient because the other two go there, but also the program really is rockin’! She’ll be included in a regular pre-k classroom with an aid and out-of-room additional support services including a sensory room. So excited.
We also have been making good progress as a family in therapy with her. We have started play therapy, and Karl and I are both alternating going alone too. It’s been good for everyone.

Then I got brave and took all four kids out to make cookies at Mama Kasey’s house all by myself in the totally yuck weather.
(Kasey took these)

Ethan did make some cookies too, but mainly just wanted to play the Wii with Simon. Jobee say in a high chair and ate crackers the whole time :)

And then, again my heart was broken for orphans and adoption again after watching this video.

Then we tried taking some pictures in front of Nana’s tree… some turned out and some just turned out funny.

Then it was time to decorate OUR tree and take our annual photos in front of it.

Jobee, almost 1!

Evelyn 3 (and a half she says!)

Ethan 4 (almost five he says!)

Olive 5! (And if she could, she’d say, “Mom, five and a half!”)

And then we caught Olive in a funny mood. And she took her turn being the Queen of Faces for a bit!

Late this month Karl’s brother Joel and his wife came in to town for Christmas. We went to see the trees at FMG.

They got a lot of practice that weekend at being ‘parents’!

And then we had a whirl-wind of two days over Christmas Eve and Day. We had five things in three days, with two of them being 3.5 hours away in Indiana!

The kids did really, really well actually. We did a lot of the driving at night time after their bed time so they could sleep the whole way – and it worked nicely. Mom and Dad felt like we were hit by a truck by the end. But, it was well worth it. It was really nice to be surrounded by family over the holiday, especially with Joel and Gina.

And then we came to the end of the year. I’m not a resolution kind of girl – but there is something about turning that last page on the calendar and starting a fresh new one that makes you want to evaluate where you’ve been the last year and where you’re going. As I did that, I came up with some goals that I’d like to see realized for my family in 2012 and one of them was to take more pictures of the kids and our family just doing what we do. I often leave the camera in my bag and only pull it out for client work or special occasions – but this year I want to change that.

So, here’s Daddy reading stories to the kids while he’s able to. We love school vacation because that means that Karl gets to work days. Everything in our household just works better when Daddy is on days. And everyone loves it when he gets to read to the kids, pray over them, and snuggle them in to their beds. Today is the last day that Karl is on first shift until summer break – we’re all sad.

And here is Miss Evelyn today in her beeea-utiful Princess get up.

And just today I found out that my photography and my little lady was featured in a Grand Rapids Women’s Lifestyle Magazine!

As I sat down and thought about what I’d like to have for myself and my family in the coming year I came up with a list of things that I will be praying over until they come to be realized in our lives.

Here are (most) of our Goals for 2012:

1. To find a home-church that we really, really love and motivates us to want to come back. (We tried Ada’s Kentwood Plant with family and family friends this week)
2. That I will be able to stay disciplined in reading God’s Word or at least spending quiet time in prayer or reading a Christian book for a while each day. (So far, so good!)
3. That I will be able to shift focus from everything that pulls me away from my kids and family and focus more on them this year. (I don’t know when the title Photographer started over-shadowing my title of MOM. But, that will be changing this year)
4. That Karl will find a position that is first shift, in a place that he feels welcomed, loved, appreciated, and valued for the great man that he is. (Hopefully within GRCS, but where ever the Lord leads is fine with me!)
5.  That finances will not be a struggle this year as I pull back from my work a bit to focus on my family. I’m not sure how that’s going to be possible – but I believe that God is big enough to provide!
6. That our family’s support circle will widen and that the relationships with the people who are already within it will deepen. We believe that many hands can make light work and when our load is lightened we’re freed to do more for the Kingdom! We all have our callings, but I think especially in our case, what we’re called to requires support to do it. I pray that we will also find mentors that want to pour in to our lives and the lives of our children.

I know that in asking for these things, our hearts are in the right place, and look forward to seeing how God answers our prayers!

Anyway, that’s my attempt at filling in the details of November and December that I had forgotten and I hope to do a better job at keeping up in the future!


2 Responses to “Slacker Mom: November and December”

  1. Jo January 12, 2012 at 5:33 pm #

    Dear Ashley ~ Your posts may be few and far between, but they are always FULL of love and Joy! You are a precious Daughter of The King and He is surely proud of all that you do! And, I am always touched by the photos of your beautiful children and the rest of your family! I LOVE seeing how all of the kiddo’s have grown. Every single one of them are just gorgeous. Okay…Evelyn: the new haircut is darling! She is adorable. The most recent photos of her in her “beeea-utiful Princess get up” is the sweetest. She’s a cross between “Fancy Nancy” and “Pinkalicious”! Ethan: Such a sweet, tender spirit in your son! I especially enjoy that he can be timid about new things and then see him wrestle with his sisters, oh so gently. Ethan is a special boy and I believe he will bring you much pride in the accomplishments he has in the future. Olive: Oh, I’m so happy to see that little girl thrive and grow in your care! I’m glad that you have found a good therapy program for her and that it is helping all of you. And, that she gets to attend the preschool with her siblings. Isn’t it wonderful how He works out the things that will be helpful for each of us?! Now we just need to pray and trust that He will bring THE job that is the best for Karl. Know that I will be praying for that specifically! And, that it pays above and beyond what your family needs. I am so moved by your knowledge that “Mommy-ing” is more important than your photography jobs. God has given you SO many Gifts, Ashley. He has given you Wisdom… He has given you the Gift of Love for Orphans and you have moved on that by bringing Sweet Olive into your family…. He had Gifted you with the ability to Love your family, your husband and children, with a heart of true compassion. And, without a doubt, He has given you a Gift in your photography! And, I KNOW that, because I have a sister who is a professional photographer! I’ve watched her grow over the years…watched her skills and her “eye” change, as she “sees and feels” things that others might not and then through a lens has the ability to capture beautiful, poignant moments that will be treasured and passed down for generations to come. That, my Friend, is what YOU do so well! Oh, the sweetness that you capture! They are true Treasures! Like your precious Jobee in her early morning softness! I felt like I was there! I could feel her warmth and smell that sweet smell, that only an infant has. It has been so wonderful to be able to watch her grow from her being still inside you, to that teeny tiny newborn, who I was honored to pray for. Prayers for a tiny baby girl who was struggling in her first weeks, to that Beautiful (still TINY) baby girl who just glows as she grows into a bouncing (literally) baby girl who is sure to become as sweet as her older siblings! So, remember to keep that camera ready to keep capturing all of the Love that is all around you! I am proud to call you a Friend, Ashley, but even prouder to call you my Sister in Christ. I pray that 2012 is Filled with Much Joy, Many Blessings , Good health for all and that your Faith in Him continues to grow through reading His Words! Love You ~ Jo

    • Ashley Malefyt January 23, 2012 at 6:20 pm #

      Thank you for all of your encouragement Jo! It really is a blessing!

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