Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

From the Hirsch family, we hope you all have had a wonderful Christmas season and have a great New Year! This is our attempt at a family photo with our Christmas outfits...and we finally gave in to a silly face, crazy picture. 
Probably more accurate of our family, anyway!  :)

Ours was a blessed much fun this year, with the new baby Brie and three girls eager to actually be a part of handing out gifts and capable of tearing up the paper. It was funny at times, trying to get them to slow down. At one point, Belle was handing out gifts to whoever she could get to take them, even if they weren't theirs. Bekah was quick to help straighten that out- that was quite a stretch for her personality. We have laughed often this holiday.

We were able to finally breathe from all the preparations, and I've definitely learned what NOT to do in adding to the already hectic schedule. People, do NOT bake 12 loaves of bread in one evening. Yes, this mom of four did stay up til 4 am baking bread that WOULD NOT rise and had a frustrating run in with a Walmart employee who was obviously just worn out from the holiday crowd. Thankfully, God reminded me that her day was probably just as insane as mine and prompted me to ask her about it and how she was rather than tell her off like I really had wanted to at first. Amazing, how when we stop long enough to think, we can get over ourselves. Anyway, so just don't do it. Bake the bread early enough to freeze it so you're not up all night. :) I AM learning!

Anyway, a few things we got to do in celebration of our Lord's birth:

  • Had a Christmas celebration with the Wiehe family and got to hang out before it got really crazy. It was so fun to watch them open their presents. And hysterical, as we got them (Kurt & Melissa) what they had gotten for each other! (And that sweet Melia in the middle, she didn't want a purse, she wanted a dolly...but let me tell ya, a few days later, she was missing her purse cause her momma put it away until she had a grateful heart and as her sissy Natalie on the left carried hers around, it was making Melia want to have a grateful heart. A few days later when we we over there, she came up to me and said "I forgive you" which Natalie quickly helped her reword it to "I'm sorry I was ungrateful for my purse and said I wanted a dolly. Do you forgive me?" People- these are two little girls, learning. It was beyond cute.)

  • Christmas Eve morning we spent at Lynette's family's house, waking up like it was Christmas morning. Tia and JaJa were with us, so it was extra special, since all of that side of our family was together. We also got some very thoughtful presents, some even handmade. (Notice Belle holding up her sissy Brie's head. She was thoroughly worried about her head not being "up." Bethany is obliviously happy, in her own little happy world.)

  • Christmas Eve night we ate Chen's with the family (a tradition since living in Missouri) and then began our own tradition with the Igos, skipping the candlelight service and instead coming back to the house to have our own time together reading the Christmas accounts and letting the kids act it out with their nativity sets. And we tried to sing some songs, but kept forgetting the words. Then we played a mean few games of Sequence, which by the way, the women WON! This has been an ongoing thing since we've been friends, but seemed like the women were always getting beat. So, this was a nice relaxing time and one I'd like to keep instead of trying to juggle kids in the crammed sanctuary and keeping them quiet and not burning down the building with the candles. (The Hirsch/Reavis families in our annual color coordinated picture!)

  • Christmas morning we woke up and read from the Bible and then gave each other gifts in celebration of Jesus. It was really fun. It's funny to see the girls personalities come out as they opened gifts- Bekah more quiet, smiling, Belle screeching every time anyone opened anything, and Bethany trying to steal everyone else's stuff or beating them on the head with it, and Brie just chilling. I really enjoyed that Bekah has been so excited about getting gifts for people, and had asked about doing some "work" to earn money to buy her own gifts. She did, and got some things for her sisters at the dollar store. It was so sweet to watch her get excited about giving and thinking through what they may like and then her watching them as they opened their gifts. Bethany's reaction was so wonderful. I was blessed with way too many things from my sweet husband, but my two most favorites that I've really really really wanted- my very own new ESV study Bible (the new ones that came out!) and a Cricut for all my crafting needs. So fun! I was feeling overwhelmed at one point and told Gary that it was all too much, to which he winked and responded- you have to learn to receive graciously before you can give graciously, right? We've learned much in the giving and getting area- one being that.

  • Christmas day we went over to the family's and had a huge lasagna meal with them, the Igos, and Gary's dad. We got to just chill out and enjoy company with bellies full- way more fortunate than so many others. (The girls with Gary's dad, Mopa)
We have begun looking toward 2009 with prioritizing and planning. I love a fresh start. It's a great reminder of what God's done for us. Everything new, clean, hopeful. Gary and I have talked a lot about what we'd like to see happen with our family this new year.  He's expressed some things that God's put on his heart to lead us in, and I'm really excited. I know we'll fail at times and priorities will be turned upside down, but we're grateful that we can start over at any time. We hope to begin the year strong, prayerful and ready to be flexible with whatever God wants to do with us. We really desire God to be seen through our family, in whatever ways He wants to do that. We pray that for our family and friends too! Have a Happy New Year! Party like it's...2 thousand and nine!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas time celebrations, new adventures, home school fun

So these days have been full. "Normal" for our family has been officially redefined. We can safely say that we have now been acclimated to our family of six. It takes a lot of work, but the rewards are great. There is much dependence on God, just to get through the day all in one piece. We may have a lost shoe or someone screaming about something, but in the end, after the shoe is found and the screamer calmed done, it is good as long as we've seen God through it. We're laughing more...and also enjoying quietness more.

We enjoyed our business Christmas party for Kosh Wholesale and Home Matters. Gary and I had fun coming up with the awards and prizes for our "awards ceremony." Some of them were REALLY fun, but all of them shared a bit of each employee. We really are so blessed with the people who work with us. 

Angela with "chinese" eyes, sitting with her husband Carl, Ciera and Pat.
 These ladies are always asking us when we're going to bring them chinese for lunch.  

Miss Pat with her husband Howard, looking on as Gary is presenting some "awards."
 (With that silly grin on his face that I love so much!)

Is that...Anderson Cooper? Oh no- that's just Kurt, with his wife Melissa. 
Kurt won the celebrity look alike award.

On that same day, we became owners of a school bus. Yes, people, a school bus. And no, it's not our new family vehicle- though some day we may have need for one. (like taking family trips with the Igos and Wiehes! ha.) Really, though, it is a part of our expanding the business and taking on a new adventure- doing flower wholesale to florists. This is going to be a really fun one too. It is in the works. 

Kurt, Melissa, Me and Gary in front of the bus- before the renovations!

And so, before we had to do the renovations on the new bus, we took it out for a spin around the big city. Since our friend Becky's 30th birthday party had to be rescheduled due to strep throat, we went by there and sang Happy Birthday to her and delivered flowers. Then we went around and looked at Christmas lights and sang to some other families. It was a good time, topped off with hot chocolate too. Kurt even strung festive lights on the inside of the bus. It was hysterical. Good times. 

The Wiehes, Cobbins, and Hirsch families all aboard the bus. Don't worry- Kurt has a cdl.

We also finished our chapter on Mars in our Science curriculum. Did you know Mars has the biggest volcano in our solar system?- Yep, Olympus Mons. Keep that for your trivia info. So, since Daddy oversees science projects, Bekah and Daddy built their own volcano, and then the next few days it has been erupting numerous times. I always wanted to do that as a kid, but never got to, so this was fun for all of us. Belle was a little nervous about the explosion and it getting all over the place. She'd whisper- I scared. And then ask to do it again when it was done. Silly girl. 

Daddy and Bekah building their volcano

Watching the volcano erupt

Now we're just having Christmas celebrations and preparations. JaJa and Tia come on Saturday for the holidays. The countdown has been on. Bekah will not let me forget. 
Hope your days are full of joy as you prepare to celebrate too!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Bread and biscuits

Well, more like biscuits and bread. This past Friday Carolyn, a woman from our church fellowship, taught me and my friend Leigh Ann how to make her homemade biscuits. She also happens to be our pediatrician. She'd brought them with a dinner to us after we had Brie, and Gary and I both agreed they were the best biscuits we'd ever eaten. Come to find out, they are so simple, made of 4 ingredients! Her trick is to not really mix them hardly at all, and to make smaller ones that will cook through without burning. They are oh so yummy! I made 2 dozen myself to bring with us to Gary's grandma's for dinner with a bunch of the family. They turned out perfectly.

Then, yesterday afternoon after church fellowship, my dad taught me how to bake his bread. We-mostly him- made 18 loaves! He was making them for his staff Christmas party, as gifts. Anyway, so yes, my dad is the one who bakes the bread in our family, and it is SO good. He used to make it for the cafe- all their sandwiches were made on homemade bread. Anyway, it was fun to get to learn with him and I'm anxious to try it out by myself. I'm one that has to learn things like that by watching and then doing it myself with them there, and when I feel confident, to try it out myself. I'm ready to test the bread.
That was most of our weekend. Lots of errand running and little things here and there. We have our business Christmas party this Friday night and a friend's 30th birthday party Saturday night that I'm preparing for. Mom and I are going to start bake cookies sometime this week too. And I have my 6 week check up- praise the Lord!  Our week is already full of things that need to get done. I am praying that with the busy-ness of the season, we are quick to spend time at Jesus' feet before doing all these things that celebrate Him. If we're missing Him, then what's the point of doing these things to celebrate Him?! I'll have to share some things from the Christmas passages that have been stirring as we've been reading through them for our quiet time and family worship time. I'm still rolling them around. What are some things that are meaningful to you this Christmas season?

Monday, December 1, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving...One Month Old...

Happy Thanksgiving...a bit late, but with four little girls it's not always easy to get blog time. Anyway, wanted to share a few pics from our first Thanksgiving as a family of six. My sister came up, which Bekah was ecstatic about...we were all glad she was here, but Bekah was REALLY excited. Now she's counting down to Christmas. (thanks Tia, for encouraging will be something I hear numerous times between now and then)

Our family- yes, Gary is way outnumbered.

silly faces with Tia

I wish you could hear the laugh that goes with that face

Sweet happy faces

This pic cracks me up!

Another milestone- Brie turned 1 month old on November 29th! What?! Yes, already a month. Time flies. Brie stays awake often after feedings, and her eyes are so big and bright. She's very alert.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

a good week

Some pictures of the girls:

We've had a great week, getting into the swing of things with 4 little girls. I ended up not having my first full day with all the girls myself until Friday, and all of us survived. We've even been up to having friends come to hang out, and went out to the Igos for dinner too. It was nice to get out of the house! Anyway, God continues to be very gracious to us, with so much help and pouring out of love towards us. It has made the transition go smoothly. We're very grateful to the Lord for His church.
Gary and I have been reading at the last night feeding of the day before letting the baby sleep as long as she'll go. We finished reading Francis Chan's "Crazy Love". We HIGHLY recommend it. It is SO what the church needs to hear. So so good. Easy to read, but filled with so much truth and is challenging. Right now we're in the middle of John Piper's new book (one of the new ones) "This Momentary Marriage." So far, it's been excellent. It has sparked much conversation between us, and has been such a refreshment.
I am grateful for this season of our life. It is tiring...and it is challenging at times. Lack of sleep causes the flesh to really "come out." But, it is good. Opportunities to grow, and to learn together. Having the times together of reading, reflecting, praying, and talking of Biblical truths have really helped overcome the flesh. Along with our family and friends who've been so very helpful. Thanks to all of you who've prayed for us. We appreciate more than we can say!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The Past Week (and a half)

We are slowly adjusting to a family of 6. I can't believe that Brie is already a week and a half old! Gary has been so wonderful during the adjustment. Either he or Mom has been able to be here with me and the girls during the day. We're blessed to be able to have a flexible schedule for Gary to be home. I am a little nervous for my first full day of having all 4 girls by myself-which is this Tuesday. We definitely will not be making any big outtings yet! Here are a few pictures:

A sweet picture of big sister and baby sister cuddling to sleep. Bekah was worn out from all the work. 
Helping with her little sisters is a tiresome job!

Belle and Bethany giving sweet kisses.

Brie at 1 week old, just relaxing.

Her cute little scrunched up face!

We actually managed to get a picture of all four of the girls together, sitting, not crying, and somewhat looking in the same direction! Family pictures are going to be fun!  But they sure are sweeties!

Monday, November 3, 2008


So, we're not big on the whole political realm thing-probably not as much as we should. However- we are very grateful to live in a country that we can have a voice. So, go vote tomorrow. Today was Brie's due date, and before that, the 4th was her original due date. So here's a picture in honor of voting day. I guess you know how we're voting.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Aubrianna  (Brie)  Faith  Hirsch
born October 29th, 2008 at 2:24 am
7 lbs, 8 1/2 oz  ~  20 inches

She is FINALLY here! We're so excited!  Here's the scoop... I was having contractions and feeling oh so very pregnant. My doctor offered on Friday at my appointment to take me in on Tuesday or Thursday, since he would be out of town over the weekend. We didn't want to induce if she'd just come on her own, but then after talking and praying, decided we really wanted Dr. Watson to deliver. I was feeling sick on Monday and thought maybe it was coming soon. I was disappointed on Tuesday morning when I woke up and realized I made it through the night.  I called my doctor to schedule to get in on Thursday. He called me back at 12:30 pm, while my mom and I were at Walmart with all the kids picking up some things. He said- I can schedule you for Thursday, but you could come in this afternoon. No one's here now and I've got a couple women on Thursday already. How about you come in around 2:00pm?  I was like- are you kidding?!  So I talked to Gary and we decided to go ahead. I did explain that I was standing in Walmart and needed to do a few things and get kids situated before getting there. Now, only WE  would run to the post office (had to mail my brother's birthday was already late) and to the bank, etc. We got to the hospital and they gave me the lovely pill around 4:00pm. I love that thing. It isn't like petocin, and it just sent me over the edge with the contractions I was already having. We hung out and labored nicely- as nicely as labor can come. I got my epidural- praise God for modern medicine- and I was able to rest a bit. Little Aubrianna was holding out for her uncle's birthday. Her laboring was pretty uneventful, apart from the roomful of family and friends that hung out with us and enjoyed laughs through it until it was time to push. Here's the best part, and a testimony to the chiropractor- she entered the world in three sets of pushes, lasting only 9 minutes. The longest amount of time was spent waiting on the next contraction to push. I'm telling you people, if you're pregnant, GO TO THE CHIROPRACTOR. Bethany and Aubrianna's births were both only 3 sets of pushes in 8 & 9 minutes as opposed to Bekah and Belle who were 1 1/2 and 1 hour of pushing. There's my "push"- pun definitely intended. So, now Aubrianna shares my brother Jonathan's birthday...just like Bethany shares my sister Tiffany's birthday. We may need to have one more to share my brother Christian's birthday.  ;)
We are blessed beyond measure- so grateful for our new precious little princess. We are thankful for the way God has increased our family. Each little girl is so sweet and so her own person. We can't wait to see how Brie's personality develops. She's already showing to be pretty laid back and observant. We're thankful for a safe delivery, healthy baby, and healing Mommy. Mommy is feeling great. I think I was made to birth babies. :)   I am really thankful for my sweet husband, who is just the right kind of man to have 4 little girls. He is so supportive and wonderful during labor and the weeks of adjusting that follow. My family is SO wonderful, helping out however we need.  (And we miss JaJa and Tia, being so far away right now!) And we have amazing friends- some who stuck through to the end to see Brie's grand entrance- many who are helping out with food and kids and have expressed willingness to help out however they can. (We miss the Igos being away this week too..but we'll see you after Sunday!) We're overwhelmed with God's graciousness to us through all of you. Lots of love!

Little Aubrianna's first moments

My wonderful doctor, Dr. Watson

Proud Daddy- don't they look alike?!

Proud Grandparents- Poppy and Gammy and Mopa

Mommy and the girls- all FOUR of them!

The Biggest sister, Bekah (She is a little Mommy!)

Big sister Belle, giving a sweet kiss to the "baby" (She LOVES her!)

Big sister Bethany, patting the baby (We're gonna have to watch her!)

Our four precious little princesses!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Catching Up

Okay, so I'm still pregnant. Still waiting. I so didn't think I'd still be carrying this one around inside of me at this point. I am SO ready. In the meantime, I thought I'd catch up on a few posts...

My friend Jennifer tagged me a while back to post some of my hubby's favorite, a few of Gary's favorite things include:
1. ME!   :) (which leads to #2...
2. His baby girls
3. Reading/studying good books...his favorite author/speaker is John Piper
4. baseball...watching/playing...which has evolved into playing softball in his middle age
5. food...he thoroughly enjoys the whole experience of eating/savoring a tasty meal
6. fellowship...he likes down time which has become precious to us especially in this exceptionally chaotic season of life
There's a few of his favorite things. (I'm feeling a bit like the Sound of Music here.) He would be included in mine.

Okay, so another friend Melissa wanted us to post our favorite soup recipe, in light of the fall season being here. I think I have many favorite soups. I love the cold weather so I can enjoy a nice warm bowl of soup while wearing a cozy sweater. I just love the different seasons. Anyway, so one of my absolute favorite soup recipes is Pasta Bean Soup, one I found in a Light & Tasty magazine a while back that my parents even made in their cafe while it was open. I promise, it tastes way better than the name. It is SO good, and very nutritious. Just try it.

Pasta Bean Soup:
8 oz small pasta, cooked
2 celery ribs, sliced
2 carrots, sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 c water
1 can diced tomatoes
1 1/4 c chicken broth
2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp rosemary
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 can white kidney beans
2 cups shredded fresh spinach (or use frozen- it works just as well)
shredded parmesan cheese

Cook pasta, drain & set aside. Saute celery, carrots, onion & garlic in oil for 5 minutes. Stir in water, tomatoes, broth, basil, rosemary, salt and pepper. Boil. Reduce heat, cover & simmer 10 minutes. Add pasta to veggie mixture. Add beans, heat through. Stir in spinach, cook about 2 minutes (or longer if using frozen). Sprinkle with parmesan cheese for each serving as desired. 

Okay, so we did go to the Pumpkin Patch as a family with our homeschool co-op group, and I got some super cute pics of the girls...but I really need to find my cord to load them onto the computer and share them with you. I have to find that thing before the baby gets here! Oh my! 
So, that's all for now...I really do hope little bit gets here soon. Pray with us in the waiting!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Settling In

It feels like we've been through a whirlwind...our new store is open, we are "mostly" moved into our new we are just waiting on Baby. There has been nonstop activity, so much to get done. Just when we think we've got it all, something else comes up that needs to be dealt with. Thank the Lord, His grace is sufficient.

So, now we're just waiting on the next big life change- BABY! Woohoo! Literally, at any time now. Two weeks ago I was having some major contractions, last week- nothingness. It was almost depressing. Then, starting last night around dinner time, I've had them almost nonstop, just sporadic. So, we're hoping soon. 
Thursday evening we were blessed with a beautiful baby shower. It was a sweet time. Really. It was a dessert shower. Oh yum. I'm so glad I don't have gestational diabetes. But let me tell you, it got Baby moving for sure. So we got some really wonderful things, like diapers and wipes (I never understood that until having so many babies! Now I love getting them as gifts!)...and cute little clothes and handmade things. It made it all seem real. Up until then, it was still hitting us that we're really having another baby?! And it just wasn't getting through. When I started seeing all the itty bitty clothes and the immensely tiny newborn diapers, I remembered. And now am more mentally prepared. I have gone through the whole freaking out of labor and what I'm about to go through- I hate pain, people. I have to mentally prepare myself before labor that it's going to hurt like nothing else in this world, but that it is not without purpose...and I also thank God for modern meds. But it helps me to just go through the whole accepting that it's going to hurt and be uncomfortable, but that it's going to end and there will be a beautiful baby that will be worth it all when it's done. That helps me to keep focused during labor and not fight the pain. Seriously, I could get into a panic attack if I think on it too much. I have to sit and think on reality and just let God help me overcome that, and then it's all good...not to mention that my hubby and my mom will be there with me to keep reminding me.
That's all. This has been the Hirsch life these days. Lots of craziness...but, then, I'm not sure that it's ever really stopped! Seems like God brings us from one thing to the next. He's good like that.
Hopefully, next post will include some pictures of our newest addition to the family.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Joys of Parenting

So, in the midst of the chaos, God has given us glimpses of some of the joys of parenting. Gary and I were talking about how sometimes, especially now, when things are so busy and we're so tired, it can be easy to just go through the motions and do our practical parenting duties- like feeding,clothing, bathing, etc- and slack off in others- like discipline- and miss out on the blessings of parenting. 

One of the things that is a lot of hard work, but that I'm really enjoying, is the time of home school with Bekah. She just finished reading Charlotte's Web last week, so we had Brenna and Taylor over this past Friday night for a sleep over celebration party. We watched the "real" movie Charlotte's Web, made spider cookies, ate ice cream with spider sprinkles, and made friendship books. It was fun. Bekah had wanted to see the movie, but in our house growing up the rule was- you don't get to see the movie til you read the book. So, we've implemented that in our house too. It was a real motivation for Bekah. She read a chapter a day til it was done and was so pumped up about the celebration. Fun thing was, Taylor was reading it too. Oh, and by the way- doing Charlotte's Web during the fall is PERFECT. Lots of spider stuff out for Halloween.

The other night I was really tired by the end of the day, just from the regular duties of life. I sat in the bathroom while the three girls were all in the bathtub, and got to enjoy the three of them being very silly. We just laughed at them, and I thanked God for our beautiful girls that have a carefree life, are healthy, and are free to just be kids.

After bath time, we gathered in the living room for family worship time. I sat there and thanked God through tears for the reminder of why we do the hard things with our kids, even when we're as exhausted as we are. We were singing the Doxology, and all three of them were swaying back and forth, singing, or at least attempting to, clapping hands with smiles on their faces. I was so thankful for that little reminder, cause there are moments when in my flesh, I'd like to skip on the discipline cause I'm so tired and do I really have to deal with that AGAIN???...or skip on family worship time cause I'm too tired and just want them to go to sleep and have a moment of quiet...or skip on spending that extra moment and effort to explain to Bekah what she just asked about...etc. I was thankful for the reminder that God gives the strength to die to myself and do the better thing for the glory of God, the good of others- and for our joy.