Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!!!

Merry Christmas from our crazy home to yours! Hope Santa was good to everyone last night....we have yet to even make it downstairs and it's 9:15! (we're a lazy/tired bunch!) Can't wait to see what Santa brought the kiddos...Baby Ash is especially excited to see what the big holly jolly guy got her for her 1st big holiday! Hope you all have a splendid day and if I don't talk to you before the New Year (cuz we're off to FL tomorrow!)...have a great start to 2009 also! Hurrah!

***Update***Well, the tearing-open-of-the-gifts is done. It's amazing to me how it takes hours to wrap everything and just minutes to tear it all open :) But, the kids had a blast. My fav. moment was having Shelby give us all "her" gifts. By that, I mean she actually went in her room a few weeks ago and picked out special toys of hers to give us and wrapped them all up. It was very, very sweet. Daddy got a mini Hello Kitty, which of course he was tickled pink about! Ash got a pony which she actually was swinging around by the mane (she loves to grab things!)...and even Syd (our cat) got a toy mouse! It was very sweet...she even drew us all special pictures. As much as I razz our crazy Shelby she does have a heart of gold :)

So the morning was a success (I think). Hailey didn't get the Nintendo DS like she wanted and asked Santa for, but she never said a word about it....instead she seemed happy with her AG wheelchair (for her new AG doll from N&P Stegs...yes, doll #3)...and the girls loved their new sleds (though no snow to use it right now, but the basement seemed sufficient for trying them out)...and Dylan loves his new bike (though he also loves Shelby's new Polly Pocket boat too...he has all his trains stacked in it now :)). Shelba...she was just happy to get ANY gifts. She was VERY worried this year that a lump of coal was gonna be her only gift, ever since mama mentioned that "only children who had been good all year get gifts from Santa" :) Apparently she knew she has been less than than perfect in 2008 :) :) And Ash....she was just happy with her new onesies and clothes and pool (yes, she's already planning for her first summer time fun!). So, Santa was good to us (he even left mama and dad some choc. in our stockings :))

And I am just wallowing in thankfulness this Christmas day. Thankful for the gift of God's son, thankful for the gifts he keeps giving, thankful for the gift of my husband and children.....and smiling thinking that last year this time Ashley was already in-utero and we had no idea. Never did I imagine sitting here this Christmas with 4 sweet children around our tree. God is very, very good. I know I have had my moments of insanity lately, but I do know how blessed I am even when I'm losing my mind :) And how very blessed I am this Christmas for all the gifts I've been given.....so, until next time (which will be in 2009)....hope you all can count your blessings!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas Eve!


Merry Christmas Eve from the Steg kids! (and, no, we aren't going to have a white Christmas...this was taken a few weeks ago when we had our first "big" snow...Ash didn't seem to mind the cold, white stuff!) :) Praying you all are well and keeping warm! We've been a single-child fam. since Sunday as Kev's parents took pity on our sick souls and took the 3 oldest off our hands...then due to an ice-storm yesterday we still don't have them all back...hopefully today since we need all our babies under one roof for Christmas (though we hear Shelba now has the vomit bug so it could be a "fun" day!) Hope you all are fairing better than our fam. this holiday....

Sunday, December 21, 2008

3 mos...wow!


Well, hard to believe but our "Baby Ash" turns 3 mos today. Don't know where the time went, but it's fled right by and now here with are with a no-longer-newborn who loves to smile and chat and is just the prettiest little baby. We are blessed, that's for sure. Trying to keep that in the back of my mind on the rough days. In celebration of month #3 of life we are recovering from the vomiting/GI virus. I kid you not our poor immune systems just can't take anymore (yesterday Kev had it and last night I had it...Hailey had it last week)....I honestly just can't wait to start fresh in the new year (sigh). Thanks to all who've been praying for us and thinking of us and for the wonderful words of support you guys posted on my last oh-so-sad post. It truly warms the soul to know we're not alone in our insanity :) Love ya'll...and happy month 3 to our Lil' Ash Girl!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Sanity Lost

Well, friends, I debated whether to even post about this, but in all honestly my blog is a public diary of sorts and I've never made it a secret that I'm no super mom....so with that being said....

I'll just say that I hit bottom yesterday. In all honesty I'm actually surprised it didnt' happen months or even weeks ago, but somehow I held on 'til the week before Christmas and wham bamm...I could not hold it together anymore. I really don't want to rehash the whole event or for you to feel sorry for me...I just simply want you all to know that I'm struggling....in many ways...physically, emotionally, spiritually. I've made it no secret that I've been overwhelmed lately. It has nothing to do with having a houseful of kids (that is my greatest joy lately), but mostly it has to do with me not taking the proper time to slow down after Ashley's birth and thus feeling very run down....being sick made that all worse. I've not been taking care of myself in any aspect...yes, that's my fault mostly...I'm not eating enough, not resting enough, not taking time for me. And I guess I need that cuz yesterday I just lost it entirely (Kev can be my witness). I think we all have those moments where we want to scream and let it all out...well, I did...and I felt entirely exhausted after. Luckily my sweet hubby was home and he wrapped me in his arms and sent me off to bed. It was the best thing anyone could have done for me...just to hug me, tell me it was going to be ok and to let me rest. And today, things are better and I know it's going to be ok. I also know that I need to make some changes in 2009 (or even sooner). I need to stop taking on so much responsibility and I need to slow down...mostly for my own sanity and health, but also for that of our family. I know that now...yesterday showed me the ugly side of myself and I don't want a repeat any time soon (or ever)....

So, if you could...please just say a prayer for me and for our family. As joyous as this year has been with the expansion of our family it's also been very tough in many ways too...with all the basement work and the time that has taken away from our family and just how exhausted Kev and I are on so many levels. It's not been ideal. Goodness knows it could be worse...but I really am hoping for more down time and more family time in 2009. So, there ya' go...I'll sadly be winning no awards for super-mom/wife/friend/person in 2008...sometimes I put on a good front, but the cold hard truth is I have issues too (and I'm guessing most of us do). Mine is perfectionism and not being able to say "no" and just being able to let stuff go (this year it's the Christmas cards...you won't get one from us this year...it pained me not to do one, but for sanity's sake it had to go...though you might look for someting in the mail around Valentine's Day :)). And to all you out there feeling the Christmas stress.....try to remember the reason for the season and that no one really cares if your house looks perfect or you have your tree decorated (we still don't)...or if you send out the cutest Christmas card or if you bake the nicest cookies....try to focus on the the big picture...and be thankful for what you have this year....I know I'm trying to be better about that....

Here's to better/slower times in 2009! :)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I love my kids! :)




Well, simply put, I just wanted to let ya' know how much I love my "babies" :)
I've gotten slightly overwhelmed this holiday season with the flu bug and "some" other things going on...but in the midst of all that other unimportant stuff, I know how blessed I am and I need to remind myself of that every day I feel slightly anxious about life. Six years ago I would have never dreamed we'd be a family of 6...in fact I really thought we'd be half that...and I was going to be ok with that. I felt it was God's plan for us to be a small family. And now I almost laugh as I sit amidst the chaos...boy, did God want to make sure we were never bored! So, praise the Lord for that....and for all the blessings he gives our family on a daily basis...and all the blessings he gives all of you, my dear friends/family. Keep it all in perspective on these crazy days...
...I sure love these cuties that make my life so crazy...I can't imagine life w/o any of them!

Monday, December 15, 2008

What an Angel! :)

Just in case you forgot what a blue angel looks like...here's a reminder :) I only have a few Nutcracker pics for viewing at the moment, but I know I gave very little info about the whole performance sha-bang this year...so at least wanted post a few pics of our pretty angel girl :) I guess once you've "been there, done that" for one year it's no big deal to do it again...thus why I didn't chat it up on the blog this year (well, that and the fact that we have one extra kid this year :))....and I feel badly that I never posted the link the the live Nutcracker performance feed so any interested folks could watch Hailey's 60 seconds of fame on the computer...oh well. Just know that it was a great weekend last weekend, and the angel in blue did wonderfully! Here are a few pics from the Thursday my mom and I helped out for dress rehearsal (the night Dylan became a staple-head :))...we were so glad Nina G. could join in on the fun!

Here's us pretty ladies before leaving for the big rehearsal...


The "waiting room" :) Hailey showing off her splits...


All ready to go...

Nina and her Angel


Waiting to get the pretty powder blue wig on! :)

lined up in the hall waiting to go on-stage...Hailey was hiding from me....she was not photogenic this night :)...and nothing like an elevator full of angels to make you smile....can you tell Hailey was saying "MOOOOOM!" (as in, "stop taking pictures!")


Saturday, December 13, 2008

November Recap...yes, late as usual :)

Well, things are just "blah" here in the Steg household...I have nothing real pleasant to say. I'm still feeling very under-the-weather and whatever virus has gotten me...it has gotten me good and I'm down and out :( I know I shouldn't complain, but it's so hard being sick this time of year and if I thought I was behind on things before....being sick hasn't helped. But...I didn't get on the ol' blog to moan and groan about life. Instead, I wanted to post a few pics from Nov....a sort of recap of the month....above, the kids helped finish the basement...daddy let them paint the closet :) They love to help!
Hailey does double duty...practicing ballet plie's while rolling paint! :) What a talented ballerina we have!
Even Dylan lent a hand :)
We voted....ok, I (and Kev) voted, but Hailey was my early morning voting buddy :)
Ashley experienced her first Election Day...
She was pretty bored with it....
Baby Ash tried out some leaf-laying...she wasn't so sure about it :)
We had our last warm spell and got to wear our last cute summery clothes....complete with matching shoes :)
Ash decides she much prefers summer clothes over all these layers of winter ones she now wears :)...oh, and don't be jealous, but she's been sleeping through the night for 3 weeks now...not just 6-8 hours either...sometimes 10-12. Yikes, we're lucky! :)
Ashley tries out her crib (she currently sleeps in mom and dad's room in a portocrib)...unfortunately brother decided to join her and raise a ruckus! :)
Ash joined the Navy...ok, not really...but she decided to go sailing...ok, not really...she just got this cute hand-me-down outfit and mama had to try it on :)

Shelb and Dyl had a "Joshua" program at church...they did great :) Shelby sang a group solo (which, I guess, is not really a solo :))...but she did great :)
We finally got our long-overdue baby announcements out! YAY!!! We made a few by hand (for family mostly) and had a bunch preprinted from the computer. I didn't realize what a huge undertaking that all was when I bought the supplies before birth....phew...I was crazy to attempt that...and I'm so glad it's done! Yes, daddy Kev helped...if I haven't mentioned that he's the BEST guy around...this should show you...what guy will stamp and cut girly paper for his wife (and new daughter :))???
If your sister's too small to play with you...then just find your own way to play with her! Ash actually enjoyed this new play technique...
The boy really does love his baby sister :) And Ash loves her play gym...it's one of her fav. spots (aside from the #1 swing spot!) :)
Daddy worked hard in the basement in Nov.!
Shelby had a Thanksgiving feast at preschool with her buddies/fellow Indians :)

Dylan and I joined her...Baby Ash was there too, but she was sleeping in a closet at this time (perfectly safe in her stroller, mind you :)) Yes, we made these little gobblers for the preschool party...very easy and very cute...thank you, Family Fun Magazene!
Somehow this is out of order...but here in the program that Shelby and Dylan performed in...can you find them?! Dylan's the one with his shirt all frumpy and untucked :(
Ash really likes to grab things now...she loves her bouncy seat toys which are so totally unnexciting....but she really focuses on them and holds them tight....oh...and she just started laughing this week Thursday (right after Nina and Pops left)...I love baby giggles :)
Here's something to laugh at...Shelb in her winter? attire :) Goes to show you can never protect your eyes enough from all those harmful UV rays :)
Hailey did A LOT of dancing in Novemember....too much if you ask me!
We took part in the annual Operation Christmas Child....giving toys and supplies (in shoeboxes) to needy kids all over the world...the girls had a good time packing up the goodies....
Dylan's been getting his fair share of time outs (nose in the corner)....such a sad sight...ok, sorta funny from this side....
Is this not the cutest girl in the cutest outfit (courtesy of my sis)...I love it! I even found a matching hat for like 99 cents at Gymboree :) Gotta love this smiley, pretty baby!

Dylan gives his first bath to his lil' sis :) Me and my babe after church...
"Smiley"...that's her nickname and this pic shows you why...she loves to smile...at least at her mama :)
"The Pod"....one of the BEST gifts we've ever gotten (thanks Nina and Pops in FL!)....we've never had a carrier cover for our other kids, but they are awesome! Ashley loves her "heat capsule" and I kinda wish I had one to curl up inside during this snowy, cold winter season :)
Here's our fun Thanksgiving Dinner with Nina....we had some yummy crockpot chix...courtesy of chef daddy :) Ash was complaining about her lack of good food :)
Shelby helped out in the kitchen at Nina Stegs' on Turkey Day...she even got a new "diva" apron! :)

The Steg 4 on Turkey Day giving a "gobble, gobble" shout-out!
Our super yummy pre-Turkey Day shin-dig with our BBF's here in Bloomy! Love you guys and thanks for an awesome Turkey Dinner with all the fixin's!
Here it is...what you've been waiting for...our new basement!!!! Complete with rowdy kids...Hailey doing cartwheels and Dylan running like a crazy boy before falling on his noggen and going to the ER a week later :) Our trip to the Bloom. farmer's market...our first time doing this...we saw Santa....had some organic food (not a fan of that stuff!)...took a carriage ride...and had fun :)
Hailey went caroling with her new Brownie/Girl Scout troop...she was in the newspaper the next morning too! She was also on Fox news with her Nutcracker dance group :) She's so famous, isn's she?!
My happy baby...I just love her smiles :)
Nina visits....and spends lots of quality time with her grandkids....oh, and here are the girls spending their first night in the basement (Ash not included) :)

Ash had her first Turkey Day...but all she got was leftovers :)
We tried her first bottle...she didn't much care for it...


she does however like to watch TV :) Big surprise!
Nina gave Ash a bath with big sis' help :)
here's our carriage ride....and my blue-eyed boy :)
And that's all I've got for now.....let me just end by saying that I think my proper blogging days are over....at least til this crazy holiday season blows by. For now I'm lost in the hustle and bustle of the season and just kinda wishing for the craziness to be over....is it even realistic to wish for less craziness with 4 kids?! Probably not! Hope you all are having a blessed Dec. so far....I'm hoping for better days ahead.....and healthier ones....