Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Wesley found a new playroom!


" Ah' a new room to play in and all by myself!"




"Oh' you want to play, too?"


"Why are you upset with me? I'll share and I was being so quite!"















Tuesday, February 26, 2008

James....our sixth child


Christmas 2007


Orlando, Florida November 2007

James is 7 and in first grade. James smile and soft heart helps him get out of trouble at times. He is a big time Mama's boy and my shadow. When he isn't up and underneath me he is all over Madison. I guess there are so many of us none of us get much, if any alone time. In James case this is a good thing, he always wants someone around. The other morning he wanted me to come to his room with him while he made his bed. Yes, he is high maintenance! You would think he would be shy but, he isn't. He loves people and very seldom meets a stranger. He really enjoys elderly people and loves to spend time with his great grandmother, she is 88. Each year we close the store for a week in November for vacation, it seems to fall on James birthday each year. This past year he got to spend his birthday at Animal Kingdom, he is already planning out the trip for this year. James isn't like Madison and all about sports, even though he loves to be outside. He would stay outside all day long if the weather permitted. He is a great swimmer and in the summer we find it hard to keep him out of the pool. He really likes to draw, color, paint, and work on any kind of project. He likes to be busy and he's not a TV watcher. He even likes to help me cook, I think that is because he is always wanting to snack. James is very funny about his appearance, hygiene, and his personal possessions. He takes pride in anything that is his, without being taught it just comes natural for him.Elizabeth has always been the same way. This can be good and bad, because they want to make sure everything stays like new or they want to save them in fear that it will get damaged. I'm working on this with him, Elizabeth does better now, yet is still a clean freak. There are somethings you wish you didn't pass on to your children!!! James has enjoyed his little brother Wesley so much, he is so gentle with him and loves to make him laugh. James favorite animal is the monkey, which suites him since he is a goof all the time and a face maker. Other things he enjoys are Lego's, pirate ships, and cowboy stuff. James is a very bright boy and learns easily...when he isn't being a clown! This can make teaching fun and never dull. He has so much energy, I wish I did. Shesh!! I pray James always keeps his positive attitude and continues seeing the glass as half full.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Jonathan's post

Jonathan's post was started days ago. So, you need to look for it under the post about his sleep apnea. Hope to post about James tomorrow and our medical updates. We still have 4 kids with fevers and sick. Tomorrow another doctor another kiddo!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

More laundry and a house under construction!

OUR HOME
A few weeks ago I was telling you about all the laundry I needed to catch up on.....well, I finally did. It took me 2 or 3 days. Since then I have done pretty well to keep on top of it until Wednesday. On Wednesday our dryer locked up and quit! Arthur got the washer and dryer set a year or so before we got married, that makes them around 18 or 19. Most people with a family our size would have gone through 2 or 3 of each by now. Did I ever mention Arthur is a Mr. Fix-it, he is! Bless his heart, this can be a blessing and a curse. He has repaired the washer and dryer several times. He loves to remind me that the washer has a stainless steel drum and will last forever. I laugh and say yes but the frame is going to rust away one day. I have wanted front loaders for sometime now. Here is the irony to the story....this time I just want him to fix it again. About 2 years ago we started adding on to our house for the second time, we have lived here for 15 years. The girls as of last May have a beautiful new room and bath. They even have custom made beds. A new addition to our garage is also finished. All that is left to finish is a computer desk area that was a part of the old garage but, is now in my kitchen since the walls were cut out. Last but NOT least the addition on to my laundry room. Arthur has done all the work himself with a his friend Phil's help, that is why it has taken so long. We feel very bless to have been able to pay for all the work as we go, without a loan. Now Arthur is trying hard to finish the kitchen computer area. The laundry room has been saved till last. He said lets just get the new washer and dryer but, I want to wait until it can all be done. Crazy, Huh! We still have some dry wall, flooring, and painting to do in there. Then we are going to buy the washer and dryer. We are also going to buy a bigger hot water heater....it's much needed with teen girls! So, I guess we will just fix the dryer one more time! I'll post pictures of the girls room tomorrow.

In my other post I told you I enjoy doing laundry and it could be one of my spiritual gifts. Well this week has really tested that....I don't enjoy the laundry mat!!!!

I'm very thankful for a husband who can build, repair, and keep our house running smooth. Glad he enjoys home repair/construction because we always have a project going. When we moved in Elizabeth was only 6 months old and it was a great fit. We over time started to out grow it, so we added on the first time in 1997 and started again in 2006. We have added over 1600 sq. feet all together. This house just feels like home, we love it.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Sleep Apnea



Well went to the doctor on Monday for Jonathan's result of his sleep study. As you can see he does have sleep apnea. Home health came to our house on Wednesday to bring his Cpap or as we call it Darth Vader Mask... he looks like he walked right out of Star Wars! William and Wesley share a room with Jonathan and the mask scares William.Jonathan on the other hand seems to like it. This mask is to big and we are going to have to call for a smaller one. The Cpap isn't FDA approved for someone of Jonathan's weight 40 pound but is for his age---insurance loves this and we are trying to work this all out. You know I just love the whole insurance circus..UGH!




I am working on posts about all the other children just been a crazy week. Doctors, Doctors, Doctors! That seems to be our life this winter but, still so thankful we aren't in the hospital!!! I'll update on all that later, too.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Jonathan Michael...our fifth child


Jonathan talking with Minnie at Animal Kingdom.

Jonathan making his gingerbread man.

Christmas 2007
Jonathan not sure where to start with him. There are so many things I could tell you about him. I will start with he is 9 and has down syndrome.We found out Jonathan had DS when I was 16 weeks pregnant with him. This gave us lots of time to prepare. Some of you know 9 years ago the books on DS were way out of date and it was hard to find stuff on the Internet. The information on DS has come a long way, I just wish society as a whole had come as far. People upset me because of their shallow thinking. That is one of the bazillion reasons I feel so blessed to have him as my child, he has taught our family so much. I have a very different view on life in general since Jonathan joined our family. Each day is a new adventure with him from learning to medical issues. I will blog about his birth story another day but, you need to know he has been a fighter from day one. Jonathan is a happy boy who loves to laugh and tease. He likes being silly, playing, and cutting up with his brothers and sisters. He likes to play with stuffed animals, Groovy "Guys" Girls, games, and dress-up with the Halloween customs. One of his very favorite things to do is eat and, he is always hungry. He wears hearing aids and has since he was 10 months old. Jonathan speaks very little and in the fall put two words together for the first time. He does sign when he's not to busy with his hands playing. These are the times we see his stubborn grumpy side come out, yet it doesn't last but a couple of minutes. Jonathan makes his own bed so well you could bounce a quarter of it. He is a great kitchen helper setting and cleaning off the table. Jonathan doesn't like to see anyone hurt or crying, he wants to love them up and make it all better. His sweet hugs and the pats on the back.... melt my heart. Jonathan has a very high pain tolerance so, if he cries it's because his feelings have gotten hurt.....and that breaks my heart! Jonathan's all time favorite things would be holidays, vacations, reunions, and birthdays (every ones b-day) because, these are the times when people gather to have fun and of course EAT! Here are just a few more words to describe Jonathan affectionate, trusting, compassionate, and forgiving these are just a few of the adjectives that describe him, the list goes on. Each day that I look at his smile I'm thankful for his extra chromosome, without it he wouldn't be Jonathan.....and we wouldn't know love the way we do now. We still have hard days but, I'm thankful to have a God of grace who carries us through!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Grandma Elizabeth's Birthday

Today is Grandma Elizabeth's birthday. She passed away when Arthur was just 23. She is missed very much by her 4 children. She has 14 grandsons, 4 granddaughters, 2 daughter-in-laws, and a son-in-law who never got the pleasure of meeting her. Yet, when I think of her I feel like I know her and have spent time with her. For you see she was an amazing lady... a wife, a mother, a nurse, a teacher, a missionary, and most importantly a daughter of the King. Her family speaks highly of her, as does everyone who knew her. She had a tremendous testimony. She is still very alive today in the legacy she left behind. I'm thankful to be part of this family.

Arthur and Wesley summer 2007


Sunday, February 17, 2008

Madison Harold....our fourth child


Madison with all his brothers August 2007


Madison last Father's Day at Grandaddy's grave.

Madison turned 11 this past Wednesday. He is our first boy and a wonderful big brother. When Wesley was just an infant Madison could calm him down or put him to sleep as fast as me.Most of the time he was the only one Wesley wanted besides me. Madison's brothers fight over who gets to play with him and they each want one on one time with him. Madison enjoys playing sports he has played baseball, football, and basketball. He has one more basketball game before the season ends. His true love is football. He eats, drinks, and sleeps football. He likes to play it, watch it, and TALK about it. The talking wears me out at times because, I'm not football savvy. I try my best, most the time he knows I'm lost. He will stop and say "it's ok Mom I know your trying." I'm not sure if he likes playing it more or knowing the players/ history of the game. He can ramble off stats from every year back to the early 60's. About 90% of the time Madison has a football in his hands, even inside. Madison gets his love for knowledge of sports from his grandfather Hal, Arthur's dad. He was a journalist, editor/cheif of a newspaper and taught journalism at Lee University. One of Madisons other loves from the time he was 3 has been the military. He really likes the Army. Arthur's dad was a retired Major from the Army and was in WWII. He was a journalist in the war and had losts of stories to tell, Madison enjoyed hearing them. Madison loved the time he spent with his Grandaddy. When Hal got sick with lung cancer a few years ago Madison would go and sit with him, when Grandma Charlotte had errands to run. He would take his Army men to their house and they would play out wars. Madison misses him very much, he was loving, kind an Christ like. Before his death Hal wrote a book of his life and we have some tapes of him telling stories. This is how our other boys will get to know him, too. Madison enjoys church he is in choir, Awana, and helps with the Manna ministry. He goes with our neighbor Lonnie about 3 hours a week in help work in the Manna store. Lonnie has been our neighbor for 15 years and is a wonderful Godly man and a true blessing as a Grandfather figure. Madison is natured so well. I can count on one hand how many spankings he has ever gotten. Oh' yes we spank... that may not go over well with some of you ...sorry to offend you! I pray Madison grows to be a true gentle man, and a man after Gods heart.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Rebekah....our third child


Rebekah and William at Rain Forest Cafe


Rebekah oh' so silly!

Rebekah is 13 as of this past Monday. She and Amanda are 18 months apart. Rebekah only went to public school for kindergarten and has homeschooled since. She is now in 6th grade. Rebekah's smile shines like the sun and her positive attitude is a joy. She makes me laugh all the time, even when I'm wanting to get on to her. She loves a good joke and clowning around, she keeps us going! Rebekah is very loving and mother hen like to her brothers. When I was looking for pictures to post most of them have one of the boys in the picture with her. I'm going to have to work on that! Rebekah is really very domestic. She can sew, her 88 year old great-grandmother has been teaching her. She has made purses, doll clothes, dog bedding for the store kennels, and baby blankets. She is great at fixing hair. In the spring when it's recital time moms call on her for their daughters hair. One of her big loves is cooking. She is great in the kitchen, to the point she will pass me up. Most the time when I'm cooking I turn around and there she is. I'd have to say she makes half the dinner every night....that is a blessing!!!! Rebekah is great with her hands and her mind thinks outside the box. This has given her confidence in herself that she has never had, you see she and Amanda both have Dyslexia. School is so hard for them but, they each are very talented. Rebekah is active in church with choir, Awana, and youth group. Rebekah has been taking drama since September and really enjoys it. Starting February 29th she is going to be in the play Disney's High School Musical, it will run through March 9th. She doesn't have big part, she is a student. I think she is thrilled to be a part of this production. Rebekah will be a fantastic wife and mother but, I think.....the sky is the limit for her. I can't wait to see what path God takes her down.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

The ultimate gift of LOVE

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Amanda...our second child


Amanda loving on Dozer



Amanda is 14 years old and looks the most like me of any of the children. She and Elizabeth are 18 months apart in age. Amanda went to public school until 2nd grade and has homeschooled since. She is in the 8th grade now. She is on a private christian schools basketball team. Amanda has taken piano and guitar. She really likes music and enjoys singing. Her new love is reading American history and the Dear America books. Amanda has been on many family vacations, New York with grandparents, and to Nicaragua and really loves traveling; to see new places. But, if you ask me what the first thing I think of when I think of Amanda, I would have to say her love for Animals. She has a unreal love for animals. This is great since we have always been in the pet business. (Side note Arthur owned a pet store when we meet and had it for 13 years. We sold it and then he managed a Petco for 4 years, was a sales Rep. for an aquatics/ live animal wholesale company in Atlanta, to present owner of a grooming, boarding, dog daycare. The grooming came from me I'm a licensed groomer.) Back to Amanda...all animals love her,too. When she was just 11 we had a lab mix at the store for boarding, we couldn't get it out of the kennel. Arthur and I both tried and it about ate us up. Sad to say we went and got Amanda and the dog came right out for her. Now we are like what were we thinking??? Anyway she is like our dog whisperer, she has such a way with them. You would think she would be scared of dogs. A dog bit her in the face when she was 4, at our store. The next day she was all over the dogs that came in for grooms and getting the kittens out of the sales cage. She has always felt the need to take care of Gods creatures. Amanda is active at church and loves helping with the 1st grade Awanas. Amanda worries about not knowing what she is going to do one day. We just tell her take it one day at a time. Not everyone has a plan at 14. I know I didn't, yet I never would have dreamed God would have me where I am today. I know that one day with all the different interest she has a unbelievable passion will grow. If you just leave it up to HIM! I'm so proud of her and the heart she has.

HAPPY 11TH BIRTHDAY MADISON


After having 3 girls in a row we wondered if we would ever have a boy. Madison was the perfect fit to our family. He is a great leader to the 5 brothers that followed him! NO BOYS ..... guess the joke was on us. We love you, Madison!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Elizabeth-----the oldest


Nicaragua mission trip October 2007
Elizabeth at the orphanage holding Katrina.


Christmas 2007


Elizabeth is our oldest, she will be 16 in just two weeks. She went to school until 3rd grade and has homeschooled since, and is now in 10th grade. From the day we found out she was a girl we knew she would be named Elizabeth, after Arthur's mother. Arthur's mother passed away before we met, but from all I know about her, we picked the right name. Elizabeth is shy but getting so much better. She likes organization and structure---it's a first child thing. She really enjoys being outside and sports of any kind, she was on a select soccer team for 4 years. As she has gotten older we are seeing new passions growing. Elizabeth has a true love for the Lord, children, and missions. She has been on 4 mission trips in the states. She went to Istanbul, Turkey last spring and has gone 3 times to Nicaragua. She has a great love for the people of Nicaragua and feels very drown to missions in that country. They have ask that she come and intern there this summer for 2 weeks. This would be without Arthur, myself or church members going. She would stay in the mission home of PIC based out of Knoxville,TN. and help the mission leaders that live there. This is we are praying about, she is still our BABY. Elizabeth is very creative and is now taking art. She was always a doodler but when applied she just took off. I'm sure this has to do with the fact she always trys to seek perfection in whatever she does. I think being the oldest and then having 8 other sibling behind you has to be hard. She has been the guinea pig for everything we have done and is such a trooper. We know God has great plans for her.

Family post ...still to come

Sorry I didn't get to start posting about the family today. Amanda had to go back to the doctor yesterday and get chest x-rays. When we got home I was so cold, yes a fever! There sould be some kind of written rule Moms can't get sick. After calling on some prayer warriors and lots of prayer in our house, we all seem to be doing better. Arthur and I were beginning to wonder if we were breeding germs, even with all the Lysol we have sprayed. So, tomorrow I'll write about the family, each day a different member. That should keep me busy for a few days. Please, be in prayer for Jonathan Sunday night as he goes for the sleep study and that we all stay well. Sixteen days of sickness that has touched everyone except Arthur and Madison. Thankful they have stayed well!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

California Trip



I wanted to share with everyone about our trip to Anaheim, California. We went January 16th thru the 21st. Arthur, Wesley and I went, wish we all could have gone. The other kids stayed home with a sitter. The store stayed open with Elizabeth and Amanda running things. We had some wonderful friends that stayed with the girls at the store. We went to hear the Maxwell family. It was a Homeschool/ Family enrichment conference on Friday and Saurday. On Saturday evening we got the great pleasure to attend Saddleback Church and hear Rick Warren speak. Wesley did great, even in a nursery he didn't know. They told us he must have felt right at home because, he gave them 2 very big stinky diapers while there. Of course they wanted to know where we were from. I ask Artuhr if he thought they were asking because of our accent or the big stinky....in hopes we don't return!!! Anyway the conference was great as was the service. We had the pleasure of staying at Disneyland Hotel overlooking Downtown Disney. This was hard not to have all the kids to share this with. We have only left the kids for mission trips in the past. This trip was one we prayed about for several months and the doors just opened for us to go. The other days we just drove around to sight see. I haven't been to California since I was 6, my mother grew up there. Arthur has been several times on business with Petco, but not for pleasure. So much to see so little time, but we enjoyed every minute we had!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Sick kids.... is there an end in sight?

Well life as I have said is never dull. As of yesterday we now have 5 with the flu and Wesley also has an ear infection. We didn't get the flu shot this year. What was I thinking? So, at this point we have been to a total of 9 doctors appointments in 8 days. Thank heaven for Lysol, hand sanitizer, and clorox wipes. Really we have a life beyond the doctors offices.

Quick update on Jonathan. Yes, he has the flu too. We didn't make it to the sleep study. There was a insurance problem so, we had to cancel. "Insurance" Ugh! don't get me started. The doctors office called today and they think it is all worked out. The ENT wants him in ASAP. We are set to go Sunday night at 7:30.

Starting Friday I am going to try and post about a different family member each day. This way our family can catch up on the kids, and help all our new friends learn a little more about us. We have much to be thankful for and at this moment I'm thankful our children are sick at home and not in the hospital. I count that as a blessing!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Updates for Monday


Jonathan did good at the hospital and stole a few nurses hearts. He got really sick on the way home with stomach cramps. This was his third endoscopy but the first time he has ever gotten sick. When we got home he laid on the couch all day. He drank lots but never would eat. I took his temperature before bed and he has a fever. I hope he gets some rest tonight. As far as any results well, we don't have any.That's not a big surprise. His stomach was red and inflamed it could be a bacteria infection, they took a biopsy. They also took a biopsy of his small intestine to check what it does with his sugar intake. Funny thing is none of this had anything to do with why we went but glad they are checking it. The doctor said none of these things would be keeping him from gaining weight. We'll have the results in a week or so. The doctor said then we are looking at doing more test.

Jonathan's ENT appointment went well. He too has ordered test. While there Jonathan didn't pass his hearing test, not a surprise he never has. Dr. St. Charles couldn't believe that Jonathan has had 10 sets of PE tubes and at his age is still getting them one set after another. Over the past 4 years little has been done for Jonathan, it was nice to see someone want to find out where his hearing loss comes from. To start Joanthan is going in tomorrow night at 7:30pm for a sleep study. He grinds his teeth and works himself all night long. He may have sleep apnea and he has had his adniods out but they think that they may have grown back. Next week he is going to a hearing/speech testing set up like a play study. Jonathan says about 50 words but some not very clear. Then in 2weeks we are going to have some new allergy testing done. Then the doctor will look at all of this together and see what he can do for Jonathan. We know his tubes are out and not working, after only 4months. He will get new tubes and another ABR. Our prayer for Jonathan is that he will be able to communicate better with others.

Years ago I would wonder what life would be like for Jonathan and our family if he didn't have down syndrome. I don't wonder that anymore because I know God chose us to be the Munck family. I know that Arthur, the kids, and myself have grown in Gods love because of Jonathan, a growth you can only have from being part of a special childs life.

Jonathan....more test...more appointments

Jonathan is going to have a upper endoscopy at 11:00am today. We are hoping that they figure out what is causeing him not to be able to gain weight. We have already done stool samples and they came back fine. He also has had losts of blood work done some good and some that left questions?! So, we are praying we have some answers soon. I'll let everyone know how it goes this evening and up dates on last weeks ENT visit. Another week of doctors appointments.

Elizabeth is now better form the flu. Wesley and James both have a cold and cough. Madison last week had 3 warts frozen...hope it works. As of this morning Amanda woke to a sore throat and fever...please NO flu! February, boy we are looking for SPRING!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

The Love and Hate MEME....... Jonathan



Jonathan got tagged from Renee and Kennedy at http://myspecialks.blogspot.com/ I hope that links everyone to you Renee. I am learning as I go and might I say not very fast. So here are Jonathan's great loves and his dislikes very much



Things Jonathan Loves......


His Daddy more than anyone!!!
His Mama, but remember I'm the one that takes him to all those places to be probed on!
His 5 brothers
His 3 mothers, oh' I mean sisters they just act like his mother
Elephants of any kind stuffed or real
Wizard of Oz, Mary Poppins, and Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory the original
Swimming as long as he can touch
His Magna Doodle
Spaghetti and tacos
His Crocs
His Night-Night
Stuffed animals and 'Groovy Guys' as we call them
Birthday parties --anyones birthday


Things Joanthan Doesn't Like.......

His hearing aids
The dentist
Sandwiches
Swimming in the deep end or being held in the pool
Kids that point at him or laugh
His booster seat
When other people have a BooBoo(band aids & cast)
Sitting to do his school work
FIREWORKS!!!!!