Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas 2007

I hope that you all had a wonderful Christmas! We sure did. The whole season is so much more exciting when you have small children. They are just so full of wonder and amazement at everything. The lights, the tree, the gifts, and the real reason we celebrate Christmas. My kids love the story of the best gift of all.....the baby Jesus. We went to the candle light service on Christmas Eve and then got everyone to bed early so they would be well rested for the big day! They got up at about 8 o'clock and we had Rachel's new scooter and helmet sitting out in the living room and Bennett's new Diego rescue pack. (We had got him a scooter too, but after Jeromy put together Rachel's he thought it would be too small for him.) They were pretty excited to say the least. We had pumpkin pancakes for breakfast, and I let them know that today they would be able to eat whatever they wanted. (I knew they would have candy in their stockings at my parents and didn't want to fight all day with them about it!)

We made a quick stop to the hospital to visit a man from our church who had had a heart attack the day before and then we headed to my parent's house. We opened stockings and gifts, ate way too much, and played cards all day. The kids ate a ridiculous amount of sugar and were literally bouncing off the walls. My brother made the comment that Bennett didn't stop eating all day long! It was a wonderful celebration and is such a joy to see my kids so happy.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


The first three pictures were the winners. Don't laugh at Ellie, she can't help how silly her mama made her look.

Here are the outakes (sp?), and boy were there alot of them!

There were about 15 of these pictures with Bennett's eyes closed, and Ellie getting madder by the minute.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Oh My!

If I never try to take portraits of my kids again it will be too soon. I thought that doing it myself at home like I did last year would be easier than going to the mall. I don't know if anything could be more painful than what I experienced today. I started out taking Rachel's picture first. She was so cooperative and smiled really well as Bennett was making her laugh. She was jumping around a bit which caused some blurry shots, but for the most part she was great. Next I got Bennett all dressed and started his pictures. He has the most fake smile, so it is hard to get a natural looking smile from him. His pictures always look like mugshots! Ellie was sleeping during the first two rounds of pictures, but woke up right in time for her turn. She didn't wake up as happy as usual. I think she sensed what was coming. I got her dressed in her Christmas dress which had a fluffy fur collar that made her look like Cate Blanchett as Queen Elizabeth. She was not so happy about it and she really did look pretty ridiculous. I hadn't tried it on her yet, so we were stuck with it. I decided to get a picture with the three of them together before I tried to get Ellie's picture alone. By this time, the digital camera's batteries died and I had to use the video camera that also has a digital camera on it. I don't know if the flash was brighter with the video camera, but all I got was 20 pictures of the kids with Bennett's eyes closed. He started crying and then the baby started crying and Rachel just didn't know what to do but constantly squirm around. This is when a sane person would decide to call it quits for the day before things got ugly, but not me! I was set on getting all their pictures done and getting one cute one of the three together. I moved on to Ellie and actually got some sweet pictures. None of her smiling, she just wasn't THAT happy with the dress on. I once again defied all logic and tried to get a picture with them together. Bennett continued to have closed eyes in each shot, Ellie was crying, Bennett was crying, and Rachel decided to cry just to keep them company I think. I was defeated and never did get a shot of all three together. Bennett was so mad at me that he told me that I was going to get disciplined when dad got home. Geesh, when will I learn?!

Friday, December 14, 2007


Are you all registered at I admit that I am and that I lurk about trying to find out where people are and what they are doing without them finding out. There is a setting that will automatically let a person know that you looked at their profile, or you can roam around anonymously. I choose to lurk anonymously. Why? I am not sure. It definitely makes me feel like I am still in high school to care whether or not someone knows I am checking up on them. The really neat thing about the website is that it has put me back in contact with 1 person I went to junior high/9th grade with, 2 people I went to 10-12th grade with and my favorite teacher. Before this year, I didn't have contact with anyone that I went to school with. It wasn't that I didn't have good friends, life just happened, and we lost touch. The other reason I think we lost touch was that I moved around alot growing up, and I never went to school with anyone for longer than 3 years (no my dad wasn't in the military!) I don't have any friends that I have known my whole life. My adult friendships have been longer than any I had growing up. All this is to say that I am really excited to be back in touch with old friends, and it is so neat how you can just pick right up where you leave off. Adults are basically still the same people you used to know as kids, but just more mature with more life experiences, and we all hope a little bit better! So, Hi to Shannon, Sarah, Jeff, Liana, and Mr. Edwards! I know it is presumptuous to think you all faithfully read this blog, but if you are anything like do and I am happy to be back in touch with you!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Christmas Busyness

I am so thankful for online shopping. The thought of dragging my three little ones out into the frigid tundra we live in to go from store to store is not my idea of a good time. In previous years, mostly because finances were tight, I made as many gifts as I could. I am thinking that this was a more thoughtful way to go, but this year that was not going to happen. I chalk all my shortcomings up to having a new baby, but this excuse is quickly becoming unusable as Ellie is approaching 3 months old. How long does one get? Anyway, I did nearly all of my shopping online which probably took more time, but I could do all my browsing while the kids were sleeping. I think it was a good trade off!

There were so many things I wanted to do this year for Christmas that I didn't get together in time. I wanted to decorate the house, and I know that I still could, but I feel like I didn't get the full month to have the decorations up, so it would be a waste. I wanted to get the kids advent calendars and make paper chains to countdown to Christmas day. I wanted to do daily advent readings about the Savior's birth. I wanted to have Bennett memorize a passage in Luke to recite on Christmas Day (I might still do this one as he is a fast learner and he memorized it last year so might still remember some of it.)

When I look at this list, these things seem so much more important than spending so much time buying the "perfect" presents and wrapping them meticulously. I have such a hard time with priorities. I know that I just need to lay in bed with the kids and snuggle and read books and play on the floor with them, but what about the laundry and cooking and cleaning and bills and blogs!?

I am a person that needs a schedule. Some people aren't that way, but for me to be productive and fit everything into a day that I want to, I need a pretty detailed schedule. I am hoping to get a treadmill soon (hint, hint) and my plan is to start a new daily schedule with the kids. I want to spend some time alone with each of them during the day to work with them on different things, I want them to have time playing together and playing alone. I am going to start rotating their toys so that they play with certain things at certain times on certain days. I know that sounds like baby boot camp or something, but if I don't do this, the kids take out all their toys, scatter them all over the room, don't play with any of them, argue and fight all day, and I stay in my pajamas until 4 pm and get nothing accomplished. Okay, that was too much information, but the truth!

I am looking forward to more structure in our day, and when I get it hammered out, I will post the results more for myself than anyone. I hope this post encourages you to stop and play on the floor a little longer today and worry about that pesky laundry a little less (but what do you do if your husband has no more clean underwear?!) Enjoy this blessed season and stop to think about why we are going to all the work that we are. It is all about HIM, not us.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Our Cute Little Baby

Ellie is growing too fast. She is losing her newborness every day. She is so alert and is "talking" to us now with all sorts of new noises. She weighs right around 12 pounds, and I love her chubby cheeks! She wants to be held upright so she can look around, no more lying down for her. She loves her big brother and always has a smile for him. Rachel, she isn't so sure about. Ellie knows she should fear her a little, even though it was Bennett who recently cut her hair! Luckily it was just a little bit. We are all doing well here. Jeromy is transitioning into his new network engineering job. He has been super busy trying to tie up loose ends in his current position. I think he will be happy when he only has one job. Bennett is enjoying the snow we keep getting. It melts in a day or so, but he goes out there and tromps around in it while it lasts. We got some more yesterday, but today it is in the high 30s and melting already. Rachel doesn't like winter she says. She wants to be carried outside when there is snow on the ground because she doesn't want to get wet and dirty. I got her bundled up a couple of times to go out and play in the snow with Bennett and she comes back in after 2 minutes, so I don't go to all the work anymore. She says she doesn't like the cold, she's like her mama. I have been busy getting ready for Christmas. I have been excited about it this year as my kids are getting older. They are going to be so excited this year. They love looking at all the Christmas lights and reading the Christmas story. It is going to be so much fun! Here are some cute new pictures.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Snow Fun and Shiners

We had some more snow last weekend (it has since melted with some crazy 60 degree days this week!) Bennett couldn't wait until Saturday when Jeromy could help him build a snowman. I went out to check on the snowman building progress and this is what I found them doing instead.

The snow was too icy and not sticking to the ball very well, so they gave up and decided to go on a walk instead. Rachel heard that they were taking a walk and cajoled Jeromy into letting her go along too. (Actually she cried at the door until Jeromy had pity on her, but whatever!) They walked down to a liquidation store we have in town and called me pick them up because they were cold and tired. We bought some things at the store and while we were checking out, Bennett and Rachel were playing with a turnstile, and Rachel got it in the eye. Ouch! The picture is what it looked like right after it happened. She woke up the next day with a full fledged black eye. Poor thing!

(p.s. Ellie is sitting in her bouncy chair at my feet and is learning how to use her hands. She keeps grabbing the bottom of her dress and pulling it up to her face. It is really cute!)

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Picture Impossible

It is so hard to get a good picture of one of my kids let alone three of them together. One is always not looking or not smiling or is making a funny face. They just happened to be matching before church on Sunday, so we decided to give it a whirl. You can see the results, pretty cute :D

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

You must have grown up in the 80's and early 90's if:

(This completely cracked me up and there were only about 5 of these that I didn't agree with.)

1. You've ever ended a sentence with the word "PSYCHE."
2. You watched the Pound Puppies.
3. You can sing the rap to the "Fresh Prince of Belair"..and can do the "Carlton"
4. Girls wore biker shorts under their skirts and felt stylish.
5. You yearned to be a member of the Baby Sitters Club and tried to start a club of your own.
6. You owned those lil' Strawberry Shortcake pals scented dolls.
7. You know that "WHOA" comes from Joey on Blossom.
8. Two words: Hammer Pants!!
9. If you ever watched "Fraggle Rock."
10. You had plastic streamers on your handle bars...and "spokey-dokes" or playing cards on your spokes for that incredible sound effect.
11. You can sing the entire theme song to "Duck Tales " (Woo ooh!)
12.When it was actually worth getting up early on a Saturday to watch cartoons.
13. You wore a ponytail on the side of your head.
14. You saw the original "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles " on the big screen ... and still know the turtles names.
15. You got super-excited when it was Oregon Trail day in computer class at school.
16. You made your Mom buy one of those clips that would hold your shirt in a knot on the side.
17. You played the game "MASH" (Mansion, Apartment, Shelter, House)
18. You wore stonewashed Jordache jean jackets and were proud of it.
19. L.A.Gear....need I say more?!
20. You wanted to change your name to "JEM " in Kindergarten. (She's truly outrageous.)
21. You remember reading "Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing" and all the Ramona books.
22. You know the profound meaning of "WAX ON, WAX OFF"
23. You wanted to be a Goonie.
24. You ever wore fluorescent clothing. (some of us...head-to-toe)
25. You can remember what Michael Jackson looked like before his nose fell off and his cheeks shifted.
26. You have ever pondered why Smurfette was the only female smurf.
27. You took lunch boxes to school ... and traded Garbage Pail Kids in the schoolyard.
28. You remember the CRAZE, then the BANNING of slap bracelets.
29. You still get the urge to say "NOT" after every sentence.
30. You remember Hypercolor T-shirts.
31. Barbie and The Rockers was your favorite band.
32. You thought She-ra (Princess of Power!) and He-Man should hook up.
33. You thought your childhood friends would never leave because you exchanged handmade friendship bracelets.
34. You ever owned a pair of Jelly-Shoes. (and like ..24, probably in neon colors, too)
35. After you saw Pee-Wee's Big Adventure you kept saying "I know you are, but what am I?"
36. You remember "I've fallen and I can't get up"
37. You remember going to the skating rink before there were inline skates.
38. You ever got seriously injured on a Slip and Slide.
39. You have ever played with a Skip-It. .
40. You had or attended a birthday party at McDonalds.
41. You've gone through this nodding your head in agreement.
42. You remember Popples..
43. "Don't worry, be happy"
44. You wore like, EIGHT pairs of socks over tights with high top Reeboks.
45. You wore socks scrunched down (and sometimes still do...getting yelled at by "younger hip" members of the family)
46. "Miss MARY MACK MACK MACK, all dressed in BLACK BLACK BLACK"
47. You remember boom boxes.. and walking around with one on your shoulder like you were all that.
48. You remember watching both "Gremlins" movies.
49. You know what it meant to say "Care Bear Stare!!" .
50. You remember watching "Rainbow Bright" and "My Little Pony Tales"
51. You thought Doogie Howser/Samantha Micelli was hot.
52. You remember Alf, the lil furry brown alien from Melmac.
53. You remember New Kids on the Block when they were cool...and don't even flinch when people refer to them as "NKOTB".
54. You knew all the characters names and their life stories on "Saved By the Bell," the ORIGINAL class.
55. You know all the words to Bon Jovi - SHOT THROUGH THE HEART.
56. You just sang those words to yourself.
57. You remember watching Magic vs. Bird.
58. Homemade Levi shorts.
59. You remember when mullets were cool!
60. You had a mullet!
61. You still sing "We are the World"
62. You tight rolled your jeans.
63. You owned a banana clip.
64. You remember "Where's the Beef?
65. You used to (and probably still do) say "What you talkin' about Willis?"
66. You had big hair and you knew how to use it.
67. You're still singing shot through the heart in your head, aren't you!!!?
68. You were practically raised on Kool-Aid.

Monday, December 3, 2007


I will no longer allow anonymous comments on my blog. You have to register with blogger in order to leave a comment. I in no way am offended by being challenged in anything I write, I would just appreciate an open dialogue where both parties are identified :D

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Funniest Conversation of the Day

Bennett: Why do moms have funny nipples?

Me: You know that they are for feeding babies, but isn't it funnier that boys have nipples? What do YOU have them for?

Bennett: ......No (pointing) those black things.

Me: Those are moles, Bennett, not nipples.

Trusting God With Your Fertility- Part 3

Several people have asked me if I would finish our story about how we decided to trust God to plan our family. I know this subject doesn't interest some of you readers, so you can stop reading at this point if you want to :D

In Part 2 (It has been so long since I wrote it, I had to go back and read it myself) we had decided I would stop taking the Pill due to the possibility that it can cause early abortions, and we started looking into other family planning methods. At the same time, we were faced with what the Bible says about children and who is in control of the womb. We had never been asked the question before. Our premarital counseling had only asked the question, "Have you decided what you will do about birth control?" not, "Will you take birth control?" but, "What kind will you use?" We had all the same concerns as everyone else has.

What if we have 12 kids?
How can we take care of a large family?
What if we don't have enough money?
Is it wise?
Did God give us our intellect to make our own good decisions on the matter?
Does God require it?
Is birth control a sin, or an area of freedom for Christians?

We decided that the only question we really needed to answer was, "Is God in control of my womb, or are we." For us, if God is in control and truly opens and closes the womb when He decides to, we can trust Him and His decisions on the matter. If we are in control of whether or not I get pregnant through our marital relations, then we need to be using some control and wisdom in this area.

We prayed and sought the Lord for 3 weeks, and I told Jeromy that the decision had to come from him. I didn't want to coerce him into anything and have him resent me and any children we had. We were just married for 2 or 3 months at this point and both still in college. I vaguely remember my mom telling me not to get married if I wasn't ready to have kids, but I didn't listen to her because I was going to be on birth control and wasn't going to get pregnant.

The Bible verses that resonated the most with us and led us to believe that we were to trust God with fertility were:

Psalm 139:13, 16, “For you have formed my inward parts; you have woven me in my mother’s womb. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me.”

Genesis 29:31, “Now the Lord saw that Leah was unloved, and He opened her womb, but Rachel was barren.”

When Rachel complains to Jacob, “Give me children, or else I die,” Jacob responds, “Am I in the place of God, who has withheld from you the fruit of the womb?” (Genesis 30: 1,2)

Ruth 4:13, “So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife, and he went in to her. And the Lord enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son.”

Deuteronomy 32:30, “It is I who put to death and give life.”

We didn't believe there was any other answer to the question of who is in control of my womb, so we took what felt like a huge leap of faith and decided to trust God. Jeromy believed that if God was the one who opened and closed the womb, surely I wouldn't get pregnant. It was seemingly a really bad time with us both still in school. Bennett came along 10 months later :o)

God completely changed our hearts once I was pregnant with Bennett. We knew that I was supposed to be at home with Bennett and that God would provide for what He called us to. He did. Jeromy was able to get through school without debt while I stayed at home with Bennett. It was miraculous, but God never calls you to something that He doesn't provide for.

We felt like we completely trusted God in this area and were comfortable with whatever that meant, even if it meant a large family. What we didn't understand at the time was that we had to trust God in the giving and the taking away. I had my first miscarriage when Bennett was 7 months old. I realized through that time of mourning that there was a small part of my heart that only trusted God if it meant what I wanted it to. I hadn't considered it might mean that I wouldn't have any more children. I came to understand that trusting God with your family size doesn't mean that you will have 8 kids. It might. It also might mean that you won't have any. I know of more than one family that gave this area over to the Lord, only to have no children. It means that you are open to whatever the Lord has for you. It means that you believe He won't give you more than you can handle. It means that He knows the end at the beginning, we don't. It is truly freeing. Someone bigger and wiser is in control, someone who has the big picture in mind.

People assumed that I would immediately have children in rapid succession. Some friends of mine do. Every 15 to 18 months, out comes a new little baby. That has not been the Lord's plan for me. I have lost a baby after each of my first two children. When people ask me how far apart my kids are and I tell them 27 months between the first two and the second two, I always get the comment of how we had perfect spacing. That always makes me smile because I know that they mean that Jeromy and I had done something to space them perfectly, but I know that it was truly perfect spacing because the Perfect One had his hand on our life and his will is always Perfect.

If you want to read further on this subject there are a couple of good books out there.
A Full Quiver
Be Fruitful and Multiply
and a website

Friday, November 30, 2007

Thanksgiving 2007

Thanksgiving is the big holiday in the Markwort household. Every year, all the family comes in from all around the world (Now that Uncle Carmen is in Mexico and G, Monica and Baleen are in Hawaii.) The rest of the family comes in from San Diego, Santa Barbara and the central coast. It is wonderful to see everyone once a year, and this year Mark's family came too. It was great to have Grandma Lee, Doug, Kathy and Matthew there to celebrate with us.

This is Sarah, Jeromy's cousin's maternal grandmother. She is so special to us. Even though we aren't related, we feel like we are and cherish our visits with her. She was happy to meet Ellie.

I am usually busy in the kitchen with Beverlee every year. This year Sally joined us and we so enjoyed her company. She didn't know what she was getting herself into I am sure and we are not willing to let her go in years to come. You are stuck with us now, Sally!

Bennett's mischievous grin.

A look at dessert time. There were about 25 people this year. Somehow everyone fits in the house and gets fed. It is amazing.

The yearly Markwort family picture.

Our little family.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Everyone Loves A New Baby!

Ellie got lots of wonderful attention while we were in California. Her Pop and Popgrandma were happy to meet her and give her some cuddle time.

Ellie and Pop

Ellie and Popgrandma

Ellie and Great Grandma Lee

Who wouldn't love that little face.

She is so smiley now. I love 8 weeks old. It is my favorite baby age. She is so aware and observant and smiley, and she still sleeps all day. I love 8 weeks!

Great News!

My awesome husband just got himself a new job at his company complete with a great raise! He has done so well there the last two years and has not gone unnoticed. He will be working as a wireless network engineer, and he is excited to learn a new skill and the challenges that it presents. Good job, honey!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The First Snow

Snow is so amazing to me. The fact that you can be outside and there is no snow and an hour later you look outside and there is an inch of it is so cool. It falls silently so is always a surprise. It fell last night, and I knew the kids would wake up and be so excited to see it. They got all bundled up and headed outside for some fun before breakfast. They lasted about 20 minutes before needing to come inside to defrost. The sun has come out now, and it is supposed to be in the 40s, so it will probably all melt. It has been overcast here since we got home, so the sun is a nice change. Hopefully we will get more snow. Last year we didn't get very much, but some years that we visited my parents before moving here, they got lots. It was enough to excite the kids at least!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

What Did We Do?

We had a wonderful time in California. The weather was amazing, so warm and even hot some days. I got a tan in November, crazy! The kids travelled really well. They are so excited to fly and were easily entertained during the flights. The baby slept the whole trip it seems. Every time we leave the house, she sleeps the whole time. She loves her carseat and passes out any time she is in it. Bennett and Rachel had colds most of the trip, but they were troopers and had so much fun. So, what did we do?

We visited a dear friend, Maria (Ria to Bennett). I worked with Maria at Lifeline Crisis Pregnancy Center, and she is now the director of that center and Choices Pregnancy Center in San Luis Obispo. I love her and miss her so much!

We visited the Schaefers. Elizabeth is two weeks older than Bennett, and they had such a great time with each other. Our visit was way too short, but we hope to see them again soon if they pass through Washington.

They just built an amazing new house. Erich is a contractor and built it himself!

This is their beautiful 360 degree view! It was breathtaking!

Pop and Popgrandma took the older two to the Morro Bay Natural History Museum (I think that is what it is called?) and to Avila Valley Barn while Jeromy and I spent some time in San Luis Obispo together. We ate at our favorite Thai Restaurant (YUM!) and did a little shopping. I even splurged on the world's best cinnamon roll at The House of Bread!

Jeromy's best friend, Arthur, came to see us after he and Jeromy spent the day together. He has a bad knee/ankle so walks with a cane, and Bennett loves playing with his cane. He did get it confiscated though!

We met Kristen and her boys at the Atascadero Zoo. It was so good to visit amidst our 5 little ones ages 4 and under. Between Rachel falling down a dirt hill and skinning her knee, crying and whining, we did get to catch up a little! Miss you Kristen!

They loved the zoo!

This is what Ellie did everywhere we went. ZZZZZZZZZ

We also visited our dear friends, the Coles, and went to the beach a couple of times with the kids. I can't seems to find those pictures right now, so I will post another blog later with Thanksgiving pics too. It is nice to be home and I might even catch up in the next two weeks! Laundry, argh!!