Saturday, December 25, 2010

Something to talk about

Well on the Tuesday before Christmas which would have been Tuesday, December 21, 2010 3 fun new things happened...
We finally made it to see Santa at the Mall in Texarkana!
Michal Kate lost her 4th tooth! This was the first one for her to lose at home so that was really neat!
Elijah smiled on purpose for the first time. Though this picture was taken on Christmas Eve where he thought his Uncle Jason was quite humorous.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Santa~Past and Present

I thought it would be fun to take a look back at our trips to Santa since we started having children. Some of them are a little humorous!
Christmas 2004~ Michal Kate's first Christmas
Santa in Lubbock, TX
Christmas 2005~ Noah's first Christmas
Santa in Lubbock, TX

Christmas 2006
Santa in Lubbock, TX
Christmas 2007~Jack's first Christmas
Santa in Texarkana, TX
Christmas 2008
Santa at Texarkana, TX

Christmas 2009~ Emorie's first Christmas
Santa in Longview, TX

Christmas 2010~ Elijah's first Christmas
Mr. Kendall as Santa at Debbie Riner's Childrens Christmas Party
I couldn't help it, I thought it was fun to look back at all the different years with Santa!

One Month and Santa Baby

I can't believe he is 1 month old already. At birth he weighed 6 # 10 oz and was 18" long. Now at 1 month he weighs 8# 11 oz and is 21" long. Though a big jump for him he is still only in the 25th percentile in his weight and 50th for his length. His is such a big eater and gets loved on constantly! I am trying to enjoy every moment, even the fussy ones since his is officially our last. It is kinda neat having one this little at Christmas which we have never done!
Elijah with his bear from Ashley
Elijah under the tree with the reindeer
1 month old

My sister got Elijah his Santa suit and with it being so cold today we wore it to church, which, as you can see, he slept through!

Christmas Parade

Last night was Mt. Pleasant's annual Christmas parade. The Dance Company has a float in it every year and though the girls rode in it last year, they just wanted to watch this time. So Jacob, Lori, and I took all the kids to see it. It was so cold and I was not prepared at all except for the baby! But, all in all, the kids had a blast.

Me and my baby girl. She loved being on my shoulders! The dancing she did as the bands passed was a little challenging for me, but she loved it.
I didn't have any kind of jacket for Jack so we wrapped him up in a blanket that Jacob and Lori brought. He enjoyed himself but froze. It was neat though because he had pulled away from Lori some and this reunited them!
Jacob and Eme
Madi and Michal Kate dancing like crazy people
We have been friends for 2 years and this is the first picture she let me take with her in it!Wonderful Christmas tradition! I love being with friends and family!

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Pick-up Sticks

While I was bathing Elijah in the other bathroom Emorie went into mine SILENTLY and decided to open a brand new box of q-tips and play pick-up sticks with them, or see what it might look like if it snowed inside...either way she was proud and she did help pick them up and all mommy could do was laugh!
p.s. that is an empty bottle of meds next to her!

Sunday, November 28, 2010


We had a great Thanksgiving break!
We started out Tuesday and headed for an overnight stay in Oklahoma City. We went to visit some dear friends, and though it was quick, we loved our time there, and of course the kids loved staying in a hotel. I think we could pick a hotel in Mt. Pleasant and stay there and they would think we had gone on a huge trip! Just a reminder of the simplicity of a child. We don't have to stand on our heads all the time, sometimes the simple things are just a good!
A picture of all 5 outside the hotel.

Then on Wednesday we headed to Dallas. This was the year to be with my side of the family on Thanksgiving so it was nice to have everyone there. We stayed with my sister and her family this time and the kids took turns going to Gram and Papa's for sleepovers at night. Emorie actually stayed there every night and was happy as could be! She has quickly become her Papa's girl. Thursday, of course, we all got together and stuffed ourselves silly! Then Friday and Saturday there was playing, shopping, and just hanging out!

Elijah's first Thanksgiving!I hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful and you found, as I did, that you have some much to be thankful for you can't even begin to make a list. Thank you God for all the blessings in life!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Well Emorie had to have a family photo for a school project so while we had Gramma here we got dressed and went outside. I was going to use this for our Christmas cards, but Richard wants a do-over...Richard wants to take another picture, what is wrong with that....This is our first family picture with Elijah since mommy felt so horrible in the hospital we don't even have the awful picture of all of us trying to sit on my hospital bed. (funny now that I think about it) I think it turned out pretty good for 5 kids...only one isn't looking at the camera!

First real shot of the 5 kids together!The boys together!

Dr. Visits

Elijah's first doctor's appointment was on November 9. We saw a sweet friend of mine that day instead of our usual doctor because he was out. He looked perfect. He was our first not to be dealing with jaundice which was an answered prayer! I forgot to take a picture of her with him or him being weighed or anything really except this picture of him in his car seat while we waited in the room. When we left the hospital he weighed 6# 4 oz at this appointment he weighed 6#7oz so he already started gaining and he was 19" which at birth he was 18" so who knows on that.

We went back a week later for our normal 2 week check up and I did remember to take a picture of him being weighed! Check out that GAIN! He was up to 6#15oz which is over birth weight. Of course he eats ALL THE TIME! and that isn't an exaggeration. I can't keep up he is nursing and getting formula during all the day time feedings!
Again I forgot to take the picture with our favorite doctor but we go back this week to our 1 month check up and hopefully I will remember then!

Breakfast in bed

Saturday morning I was surprised with breakfast in bed from my 5 children with the help of their Gramma! That night had been rough with Elijah up most of the night and Richard had to get up early and go over to the church for a work day. Evidently my oldest was very excited and had a hard time waiting for Elijah and I to get up. Once we were up and Elijah was fed (9:30 am) the kids came in with my breakfast along with juice and coffee. I am not sure how much of it I got to eat since most of the foods were their favorites and I had hands flying in at the tray. It was rather humorous. The thought was sweet and it was a fun time with all my kids.
All of us in between bites! Noah is holding Elijah.

And all the hands, flying in the bowl.
Noah loving Elijah while Jack sneaks a bite!
More of all the hands.We have been so blessed to have my mom come and stay for a week and a half and his mom stay for about the same time during Elijah's birth and my recovery. I am truly thankful for both of these women and how they love me and my kids!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Elijah Richard Castleman

Okay, so it has been 2 1/2 weeks and I am just getting this post up, but hey, I have 5 kids doesn't that count for something! Elijah's birthday was interesting to say the least. Monday, I was preparing food for a dear family all the while contracting about 5 minutes apart all day long. I avoided going to my doctor or talking to my friend who happens to be his wife for fear of them telling me to come in. Why? you ask, because Richard was home with a stomach bug and I didn't want to do labor and delivery of our last child without him. I get through the day okay, get the kids in bed and I choose to sleep on the couch far away from Richard!
First of all my final belly shot at 36 weeks!
I get up the next morning only to find out that though the bug has past, his energy is wiped and he still doesn't feel 100%! GREAT! I take all the kids to school and run into another friend of mine who sends a text to our friend Melissa, the doctors wife. Next thing I know Melissa is calling me telling me to come in and be checked. I hesitate but figure there won't be any change from the 3 I was last week so I'll just go. Well, they say every pregnancy is different for a reason because sure enough I was a 4! Dr. M says well lets just walk over to labor and delivery and have a baby. I have to call and wake Richard up and tell him to come on. I call mom and dad, Lori, and Richard calls his mom and we are off and running.
Early labor was no big deal, then it hit of course. I ask for my epidural and they come pretty quickly and administer it. Much to our surprise and 2 epidurals doesn't work. So at 5 cm I ask for something in my IV while we wait for another epidural attempt. That helps some but not great. Dr. comes in when the anesthesiologist comes in and checks and I am a 6! I sit up and 40 minutes, 2 more epidurals, and a spinal later, I am finally numb and an 8! I lay there for a bit then...the easy part. TWO PUSHES and Elijah was here!
Elijah Richard Castleman
Tuesday, November 2, 2010 6:08 p.m.
6 lbs. 10 oz. 18"
Daddy covering up just in case that ugly bug wants to live on
Gram and Elijah
Elijah with the bear that Ashley brought us
His first outfit change...3 a.m
Gramma, Jack, and Emorie meeting Elijah while I wait for surgery
Eme was very unsure of me being in that bed.
My sister got to come. This is pre surgery also.
While I was in surgery they attempted a picture of the 5 kids together!
My surgery went well. I was ready to come home Thursday morning when I got a spinal headache. Lots of fluids, caffeine, and a blood patch later it was a little better and we got ready to come home Friday morning.
Here is Elijah in his coming home outfit.
In his seat ready to go!

I know I have delivered 6 times to 5 healthy babies, but the miracle of life never gets old, boring, or indifferent. Each time I am amazed and in awe of God's miracle and the blessing that he allowed me to be a part of it! All 6 of my babies, pregnancies, and lives are such a blessing to me and I will never forget. More to come so stay tuned!