Flat Seals Goes to Guatemala

Hello people!

Tom here. The Flats Seals and I spent a week in Guatemala for a medical mission trip and I’m here to give you a snippet of our fantastic week!

We traveled out of DFW straight to Guatemala. The flight was about 3 hours and the time difference is only 1 hour. We then had to take a bus from the airport in the city out into the mountains where we stayed for the week.

Our medical team consisted of around 25 people and included physicians, practitioners, nurses, interpreters, and techs. For the next 5 days, we traveled up-down-around-and through the mountains to remote villages to reach the most needy. We would roll into town, set up our stations, and get straight to seeing the line of people waiting on us.Β We had long, hard days but helping meet the needs of so many people (physically and spiritually) was a blessing that was worth every drop of sweat.

For lunch the villages would cook as sort of a ‘thank you.’ They brought their best and prepared it all morning. It was really good, even the Flat Seals liked it! Considering the chickens would walk around our clinic and then disappear, I would say its the freshest most organic chicken soup you’ll ever eat! πŸ™‚

In total, we saw 1,258 patients, filled 4,114 prescriptions, gave 159 referrals to the next group that is coming for surgical procedures and making glasses!, fitted 132 pairs of reading glasses, gave 578 bibles, 690 gospel tracts, handed out 30 suitcases of shoes and clothes, and saw 250 professions of faith! WHEW! God is so good!

The last day, the medical team got the opportunity to visit the school and received 150 sweet hugs as a reward for our service. If a heart could burst, that’s the moment it would have. Thankful for this incredible week, the memories made, the family gained, the sweet souls of Guatemala and their beautiful country, and especially for our awesome God.

WHAT A WEEK! We enjoyed a movie on our flight home, arrived safely back to Texas, ate a good ole cheeseburger and we’re already daydreaming about our next adventure..

πŸ’™πŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ’™πŸ’—πŸ’—

Be Blessed,

Tom

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First Movie Date

Yesterday, I, along with some very special friends took Brady and the quints to the movies. This was the quints first movie theater experience so I knew I needed lots of extra hands, and I was right! During the summer our local theater shows $1 movies every Monday and Tuesday. I looked over the list of movies and found three I thought my kids would enjoy. The movie we watched was Trolls. We arrived 40 minutes early because we had a big group and I knew we needed to get there early for seats to ensure we’d be able to all sit together. Thankfully we got a row of seats. And the whole time we were waiting on the movie to start, we went to the restroom 10 times! Once the movie started, we went 10 more times. πŸ™„ Brady and Brant did great. The girls on the other hand thought it was fun to run up and down the hallway and go potty every 5 minutes.

Gracie kept telling me she wanted to see Trolls and I was like it’s on the screen. πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™€οΈ Popcorn was everywhere. But all in all, they did well and had fun.
I’m so thankful I had lots of help.

A very special thank you goes to Tom, Katie, Holly Boo, and Hadley Boo for coming with us. We had a blast at the quint’s first movie date.


Now before I sign off…. I want to share some little tricks that helped me yesterday.

  1. Ziploc bags are a must with big groups. I bought one large popcorn, then I used the ziploc bags to divide the popcorn to all the kids. The best part about buying large popcorn is you get a free refill! #winning
  2. I took the quints’ cups to the movies with me so that made it easy to divide drinks up. And I felt comfortable letting them hold on to their cups without the fear of them spilling their drink everywhere.
  3. Take lots of help!!! I knew I’d have kids that would need to go to the bathroom (I just didn’t expect them to need/want to go so much) so I knew I needed people to stay with the kids in the theater while I took the others to the restroom. I’m so thankful for Tom, Katie, Holly, & Hadley.

Be blessed,
Michelle

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Seals Summer Theme Week & Weekend Recap & Father’s Day

So the main story of last week was the stomach virus. 😩 Steven was out of town for the week (and he was sick with the virus too) and I was home with the kids. Unfortunately all six kids ended up getting it before the week was over. In addition, almost every adult that we came into contact with also got the virus. 😣 Thankfully, I never got sick which is such a blessing. I had several people tell me that drinking grape juice will keep you from getting the stomach virus, I tried to get the kids to drink it but they wouldn’t, but I did and I never got sick, so now I’m a believer!!


Bug week was a bust, I just didn’t have the energy to do anything but we did manage to have a big picnic.

Friday night we let the kids swim in the pool for the first time. They had a blast.






We did have a bug theme picnic Friday night. 😊



Saturday morning Brady had his t-ball party at the splash pad. He wasn’t in the mood to get wet. πŸ™„ So he just hung out by Steven the whole time. But the party was great and we are so proud of the Rascals; we had a great first year of t-ball. ⚾️




Then we went to my family reunion.

And G fell asleep on Chayce like this.

Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β Β πŸ‘‡πŸ»πŸ‘‡πŸ»πŸ‘‡πŸ»πŸ‘‡πŸ»πŸ‘‡πŸ»


Sunday we celebrated the awesome dads in our lives. Β The day consisted of church, lunch, Steven writing a paper for grad school, church, and pizza.




πŸ’™πŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ’™πŸ’—πŸ’—

Be blessed,
Michelle

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Tessa’s Homecoming Day

Three years ago we brought our sweet Tessa home from the NICU. Which meant we had 2 babies home (Brant and Tessa) and three in the NICU (Mia, Gracie, and Rayleigh). Having two babies at home was busier but not so bad. My family was amazing and came out to Dallas to stay at home (actually Paula & Dave’s home) with Brant and Tessa so that during the day I could still go to check on the other 3 in the NICU.
Our NICU didn’t allow us to bring babies back after they had been released.

It was also during this time when Rayleigh got so sick. And by sick I don’t mean a little cold, I honestly thought she was going to die. It was the scariest time in my entire life. I was so happy and thankful we were able to have 2 babies home but on the flip side I was on the brink of losing my mind over the thought of losing Rayleigh. But as we know, everything worked out and we eventually came home with all 5 of our quints.

Tessa is my loud child, and by loud I mean really, really, really loud (I seriously could keep going with the reallys). She’s so animated when she talks, its hysterical. She tells the best stories, most of the time we don’t understand what she’s saying but she thinks it’s funny and laughs at herself which makes everyone else laugh too. She is my girly-girl and loves to dress up and have her hair done and she always wants a bow in her hair. Tessa has brought us so much joy, laughter, and love. ❀️


Happy 3rd Homecoming Day Tessa!

πŸ’™πŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ’™πŸ’—πŸ’—
Be blessed,
Michelle

 

Posted in Higher Order Multiples, mom of multiples, NICU, prematurity, quintuplets, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Random Pictures

On my Facebook page I’ve been playing a Guess Who game with old pictures of the quints. It’s been so fun to read everyone’s guesses. And I have loved going through pictures of when the kids were little. Well, technically they’re still little but they are growing up so fast and have changed so much. So here’s a few of oldies for you to enjoy as well as some new pictures.

Gracie Lou

My girls πŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ’—

G, R, M, T

Brant and Tessa

Mia


Here’s some recent pictures. 😊

πŸ’™πŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ’™πŸ’—πŸ’—

Be blessed,
Michelle

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12 things you need when traveling with kids

‘Tis the season to be traveling! Since it’s summer and I know lots of people are going on family vacations, I thought I’d share some traveling tips that have come in handy with my crew.


Ziplock bags – I tell you what, I could be a spokes person for Ziplock bags because I use them for practically everything. The bags were particularly helpful when packing the kids’ clothes for our vacation. I labeled the bags and rolled up the clothes and it worked out perfectly.

I also use Ziplock bags in the car for food. I buy adult size meals and use the Ziplock bags to separate the food out for each kid.

They also make great trash bags in a moment of need.

Food – Listen to me mamas…don’t leave home for a vacation without some snacks and drinks. Food keeps kids happy and quiet for a little while. Also, it will save you money. I keep food in the van at all times.

Extra clothes – It’s just a good idea to always have an extra pair of clothes in the car, just in case, when it comes to kids. But it’s especially important when you’re traveling.

Hand sanitizer/sanitizer wipes – I always have hand sanitizer in my cars. I use it every time I get in my car or go through a drive-thru. Sanitizer wipes are nice for the kids.

Baby wipes – No matter how old your kids are, it’s always a good idea to have baby wipes on hand.

Potty chair – If your kids are at the stage where they are potty training or are just potty trained and haven’t learned to let you know they need to potty before the moment it’s about to happen….then I suggest putting a potty chair in your vehicle, just in case. I keep one in the van at all times, since potty training the quints in February and I can’t tell you how many times it’s been used. It’s so nice to not have to stop at a store, pull all six kids out and take them in a nasty public restroom just for one kid to pee. The potty chair has been a life saver for us.

Sunscreen – This time of the year, I keep sunscreen in my bag.

Night light – I knew the hardest part of our first vacation was going to be getting the kids to sleep at night. I’m so thankful I remembered to grab the night light before I left home. A little light made them feel more comfortable and came in handy when someone woke up during the night.

Plastic tote – Instead of packing suitcases, I used a large tote to put all the kids’ clothes, towels, blankets, etc. in.

First aid kit – I have a first aid kit in my van and in my mom bag.

Β (My first aid kit in my van.)

(My first aid kit in my mom bag.)

Extra medicine – Tessa ran fever while we were on vacation, I’m so thankful I packed Motrin, Tylenol, thermometer, along with other meds for our trip.


And while we’re talking about vacations, can I just add how wonderful it is to stay at a place that has a washer and dryer. Our cabin had a washer and dryer and it was so nice to come home with clean clothes instead of piles and piles of dirty clothes. Plus I didn’t have to pack as many clothes in the first place because I knew I could wash the same ones over and over. So, if you do stay at a place with a washer and dryer…don’t forget your laundry detergent. πŸ™‚

πŸ’™πŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ’™πŸ’—πŸ’—
Be blessed,
Michelle

 

 

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Father’s Day Ideas

Father’s Day is this weekend and I wanted to share what we do for Steven instead of giving him a million cards. A couple of years ago I saw this idea on Pinterest and knew it was perfect for our big family. Instead of each kid giving him Father’s Day cards I bought a notebook and each year, each kid writes him a special message. Since our kids are too young to write I put their hand print on a page and write a little message about what each kid likes to do with Dad. This year Brady signed his own name and everyone had the opportunity to decorate their hands. As the kids grow and mature I plan to turn the book over to them and let them be creative and personal. I love this idea because instead of trying to keep up with tons of expensive cards, all Steven’s Father’s Day messages will be in one place.

Doesn’t this book just stream Father’s Day!?!? When I saw it, I knew it was the perfect Father’s Day book.
(I got the notebook at Target, 2 years ago.)



Steven also does this for me on Mother’s Day.

Be blessed,
Michelle

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Life LatelyΒ 

So I spent every day last week posting on our vacation. So this week will be a catch-up week. Here’s what we’ve been up to lately.


Our Seals Summer Theme Week last week was Bugs. Unfortunately, I only did one real activity with the kids, so I’ve decided to extend Bug Week to this week too! I love not having any rules!


We got home from vacation around 12:30 Monday and had to have Brady at swim lessons by 1pm! He did so good and is very comfortable in the water now. Thank you Harley and Makenna for teaching him to swim.

​


Tuesday we went bowling.  🎳
And celebrated Brant’s 3rd NICU Homecoming Day!






Wednesday, Tessa got sick. 🀒😷
(Stomach virus)


Thursday, Brady had his last t-ball game. He played so well; I’m glad he ended the season on a positive note. We are so proud of the our little team. The Rascals had a great year!

​


 

Saturday, we celebrated Ms. Mary’s birthday.




By the end of Saturday, The Virus had claimed 3 more victims: Mia, Gracie, and Brady.
🀒😷😫

And Sunday Rayleigh became the 5th victim. 😫
This stomach virus hasn’t been as terrible as previous stomach viruses. Tessa had it the worst and felt bad for 3 days but everyone else would vomit or have diarrhea and then be fine. It was weird. I pray they are all going to be over it very soon. πŸ™πŸ»
πŸ’™πŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ’™πŸ’—πŸ’—

Be blessed,

Michelle

Posted in Life Lately, Sports, Summer Fun Activities, Summer Themes, Surviving Mommyhood, Updates | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Camping Trip–Day 4

We have finally made it to the last day of our vacation. On Monday we woke up, got dressed, packed up, took a ton of pictures (as you’re about to see), and headed home.

This was the perfect first vacation for our family. My idea of the perfect vacation is going to a beautiful beach. I absolutely love the beach. And originally, we thought about going to the beach, but we knew the kids just wouldn’t be up for it this year. We have to drive pretty much all day to get to a nice beach; we just didn’t want to stress ourselves out with such a long trip in the car. Broken Bow is only 2 hours away and not once did the kids complain about the drive. The lake was so nice and relaxing and it’s nice to know we don’t have to drive 2 days to have a nice, fun, and relaxing vacation. Maybe in a few years the kids will be ready for such a long trip, but until then, we’re perfectly happy vacationing close to home.













 

Here’s some extra “outtake” pictures.




πŸ’™πŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ’™πŸ’—πŸ’—

Be blessed,

Michelle

Posted in Higher Order Multiples, quintuplets, Summer Fun Activities, traveling, Vacations | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment