Monday, December 29, 2008

Mark is here!

Mark was born on 12/19. He weighed 7 lbs, 14 oz, and was 20 1/2" long. We went home at 1 o'clock the next day because another ice and snow storm was on its way. :-) Our area had a giant weather system of ice and snow, and were iced in for almost a week. Church had to be canceled for 2 Sundays in a row, because of the ice, so I got lots of good snuggle time with baby!

Mark is quite the tough little guy! He was born with the card wrapped around his neck, not once, but 3 times. As an added bonus, there was a true knot in the cord. Praise God for his grace in allowing Mark a safe birth!

Mark also has another challenge to overcome. He was born with bilateral (both sides) clubfoot. Basically, his feet are turned in, and he will need either surgery or braces and casting to walk. Thankfully this is something that is usually successful, and he shouldn't have too much trouble after the first year of foot therapy/casting/braces.We are hoping to meet with the specialist ASAP, and would covet your prayers that we could get the casting and brace process started soon, and that the insurance we have would cover the right doctor.

Mark is such a sweet boy! He sleeps well, barely cries, and is eating like a pro. :-) Oh! And he makes the cutest "bitter beer" face ever!

Thanks for all your prayers!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A Joyfuly Content Day

Ahhhh...... The blessings of visitors.

We had a friends and two of her kiddos over today to visit, and had such a refreshing time! It was so nice to have company and as an added bonus, my house was all perfectly clean for the rest of the day. So relaxing and fun! As a result, I felt free to do fun things with Charlotte during the rest of the afternoon.

At first she wanted to learn to knit, but that was too advanced for her.

Crochet? No-chay.

Aha!!! Hand sewing! I grabbed a few bits of leftover cloth, and set her up with a hoop and a piece of fabric to sew onto a background. Here is what she came up with.

Isn't this the cutest thing ever? She was on her second piece of white fabric, and wanted to do a triangle, and was delighted to discover her first 3 stitches (blue) made a face! "Look!!! A bad girl face Mom!" Then she decided to finish the girl, (she's not bad anymore) off with hair, a smile, eyebrows and cheeks. It is her! See the braids? That's what she had today, and we had to be sure to get the girl just right, with the same rubber bands, etc. Hee hee..........

She had help with the french knots, and did about 1/2 of the braiding, but the rest is all Charlotte... :-) Oh, and the yellow around the mouth is her smile, "because she isn't bad anymore."

Baby Tales....

My Wed. Appointment went great, no protein, normal blood pressure, so all is well. I did however, pester my midwife again about inducing...

Me: "So, if we have to wait the whole 2 weeks that would be the day before Christmas eve, would you schedule me for the day after Christmas? "

She: " No, that would be too late, after Christmas, well, let's see if we can schedule you earlier..."

After a phone call I am scheduled for an induction on Thursday the 18th! Of course, since I am not actually overdue on that date, if the hospital fills I will be bumped, but hey, at least the end is in sight! I'm looking forward to my stomach being my own again.... :-D

My guess is that Jr. will decide to come the day before. :-D

Monday, December 8, 2008

Nope, no baby yet!

I had an appointment with the midwife today and my blood pressure was higher than usual, and I had a bit of protein, so I am going in again on Wed. to recheck .

I have super great blood pressure, so anything other than the usual great level was a surprise. If things don't look better on wed, I get to go back on Monday for a bunch of lab work and ultrasound to check fluid levels, etc. If those results are not good, then they will induce. This is perfectly fine with me, since the boy's due date is tomorrow.

Maybe, just maybe, I will deliver before Saturday! Kerri, if you read this, I hope that I beat you! :-D

Happy December 8th!

Monday, December 1, 2008

The little kiddo that wouldn't.....

Well, those of you who know me in real life have no doubt been wondering "Has the baby come yet?" Alas, NO.

Jr decided to give me lovely contractions all Saturday night starting at about 10 pm, and continuing through the night till Sunday eve. I asked my midwife... what should I do? They aren't getting too strong yet, and not painful enough yet, but they have been consistently about 15, then 10 then 5 minutes apart all night. She told me to get checked at 6pm Sunday eve. if nothing had changed.

So, hoping against hope, I went in, and NOTHING!!!!!! Plech! My other 2 deliveries were not like this, I never had BH contractions with either one, and NEVER had "unproductive yet painful in my back etc contractions."

After the labor nurse told me "nothing doing", the lovely midwife gave me Ambien and sent me home to sleep. :-) WOW! Does that stuff work fast! I was slightly tilty when I got home, and fell sound asleep till 5:30 this am. No more contractions, and JR seems to be fine, showing his love with the occasional foot to the ribs. :-)

Sooo anyway, thanks for the prayers... If you want to keep praying that he comes out BEFORE the middle of Dec. I would appreciate that. :-D

Boy are the kids going to be disappointed when I pick them up from Grandma's. :-)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

10 Years of growing together in God's grace.

Mike and I have been married for exactly 10 years on 11-21-2008

I am so thankful for God's never ending faithfulness in our lives.

I am :
thankful for God keeping us faithful to each other
Thankful for God giving us all that we need, and SO much more.
Thankful that God gave me a husband who is willing to work through the hard times, and rejoice in the good times.
For God using our marriage to mature us both in our walks with Him.
For our 3 sweet children. :-)
For the faithfulness of our Heavenly Father who will perfect that which concerns us.
For the increasingly lovely fellowship with my husband.


Monday, November 17, 2008

Baby update...

Well, after a yukky ol' IV and 60 minutes of waiting, we found out that baby is head down again!
So the external version was not needed. Yippee!
Praise God! I wasn't really looking forward to recovering from a C section either.

It was a rather surreal feeling though, being checked into the birth center, and then leaving again with the baby still inside. :-D

Thank you for your prayers!

OH, BTW, I was pretty lightheaded during the IV, but the middle verse of the Lorica helped keep me focused....

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

Don't you just love that last bit, "Christ in mouth of friend and stranger?" I find this comforting.
Here is the whole thing if you want. I prefer piano over the organ, and maybe a bit of soulful violin for the middle bit.

How do you like the hospital bracelet I got?? Think allergies, not diagnosis. :-)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Wiggleworm Baby

Aha! No wonder I have been so uncomfortable... he is semi sideways. Drat! And I thought all that discomfort was early labor....

I found out on Mon that baby is not head down like he was the week before, but has decided that he likes laying semi sideways. This has complicated the weekend plans I had. Ah well, better to play it safe than enjoy a whole weekend of fellowship and shopping for Christmas presents at the beach.

This coming Monday I am going in to the hospital to have an external cephalic version at 6AM. Sounds not too bad right? Well....I didn't realize that the whole flipping the baby thing was so complicated at first. You have to have a non stress test, followed by an epidural or other meds to relax the body so flipping will be easier. We must also be ready for an emergency csection just in case of placental seperation. This means no eating or drinking after dinner on Sunday night for me. I don't do well anymore with the IV's, especially when I am dehydrated, so the odds of lightheadedness/fainting seem pretty good on Monday.

The kids are going to have to spend the night at grandma's house, and we have explained to them what is going on... Their only concern with a csection was that they get to see that baby before other people AFTER it is washed clean.

Levi hopes they have to do the emergency csection on monday so he could see the baby sooner. Silly Boy!

Me..........not so much..... :-)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


My oh-so-awesome and tons of fun little sister (16) was babysitting last Saturday. She decided that she would go hunt through our closet for her Christmas present... ( No, she didn't find it) This was very concerning to my children.

They have been warned to never ever go looking in Mommy's closet, so they were very afraid. Levi informed her that she shouldn't be naughty, or she might not love Jesus anymore and go to H-E-L-L, (spelling so as not to be caught swearing:-) and Charlotte shouted out from across the room...... "Dot com"!

Apparently the lake of fire has gone digital.

Hee hee....

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Election Excitement

Overheard on the way to the dentist yesterday.... :-D

Charlotte: "Mom, if Obama wins will he put lipstick on the pigs?"
Mom: "No sweetie, but where did you hear that?"
Charlotte: "At grandpa's house on the radio, I think."

Both children have been a bit concerned about the election results...

Charlotte: "Is Obama bad or good?"
Mommy:" He is just a man. He might have some good ideas or some bad ones, but God is the one who is in control."

Before dinner yesterday:

Boy: I'm McCain, watch out Obama! (shoots at sister)
Girl: I'm Obama, I'm going to get you McCain! (shoots at brother)

Proverbs 21:1
The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.

The really surprising thing to me was the local ballot measure results... some of the most obviously yes/non-controversial things were voted down. Hello! How hard is it to understand that being taxed twice on the same money is wrong? People just are so strange! I feel a bit like Johnny Depp in the Willy Wonka movie "You're really weird." This just goes to show you that we really are in exile here.

It baffles the mind, the insane suppression of truth in unrighteousness that abounds in our culture today. There are so many things that seem soooo simple and obvious to me, yet the majority of Americans are just blind about. The thing that is really upsetting is that the church in America is so asleep that they might be termed comatose. But what can you expect? If the church in America can't even agree that God created the world in 6 ordinary days, and follow the COMMAND to keep the sabbath, how can we expect maturity in other areas?


"Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, to all who were carried away captive, whom I have caused to be carried away from Jerusalem to Babylon: 5 Build houses and dwell in them; plant gardens and eat their fruit. 6 Take wives and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons and give your daughters to husbands, so that they may bear sons and daughters—that you may be increased there, and not diminished. 7 And seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captive, and pray to the LORD for it; for in its peace you will have peace."

Jeremiah 29:4-7

Enjoy your families and homes... :-)

I'm really enjoying mine!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Now VS Then

Last Friday was lovely, and a just a wee bit tiring. We got off to an early start, and were pretty joyful all day. Today however, was just tiring. Then, my sweet daughter was cheerfully doing the above, and today she was whiny, discouraged and generally grumpy. I fear that this is my fault. I am having a hard time knowing quite what to do to keep her occupied. She is not a play by herself sort of person, and she isn't quite ready for the workbook things big brother is doing. She is eager for knowledge, but is at the stage where I must be sitting by her side imparting it.

Perhaps a trip to the dollar store for more fun school workbooks, or to our local homeschool store for something better is in order. Maybe special mommy time before big brother gets going?

Feel free to give advice.... she is 5, and is teaching herself to read quite nicely... but is easily frustrated with sounding out longer words.

Oh, one more thing, anyone know how to get sleep when you are 35weeks preggo? The last three nights I have been up on average 6 times a night.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Morning Domesticity

I am not a natural early riser. Especially when I am 34 weeks pregnant. However, I have become increasingly convinced that I need to get going earlier in order to keep our home joyful. You see, my children and husband rise early. They begin moving at 6:30, and the slowest is up and begging for breakfast by 8. If I haven't had my cuppa and gotten dressed, I am in no mood to flip pancakes or pour cereal.

I am trying to at least a few times each week get up with my husband. When I actually get out of bed at the appointed time, I have a very productive, and fairly focused day.

This morning, I was out of bed before Hubby at 6:45, (he waited till 6:50) and I was serving coffee and prepping a lovely Good-morning Apple Crisp by 7:15.

So far, things are going swimmingly, Sonshine is already working on his schoolwork, the dishes are washing, the crisp is almost done, and I am Joyful!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Neat and Organized!

We are planning on using cloth with bb#3. Yes, I know, you think that I am crazy. But, I should end up saving money. And for me, that is worth it right now. I might change my mind, but for now the initial cost has already been forked out, and I don't want to have to go spending an extra 10-20 on diapers each week. I would much rather spend that on date night, or a new pair of shoes.

Today I had a bit of fun organizing my cloth diaper stash, making sure that everything is ready for baby. Ahhhhh..... so neat, I LOVE my laminator!

How do you like the pin label?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Longing for December....

OK folks, I know, all those annoying retailers have some Christmas stuff up already! How dare they?

Usually I am the first to protest, but this year I am highly tempted to just put up our tree now. Baby is due Dec 9th, so Christmas must be all prepared by Thanksgiving, and while I am trying to shop for gifts now, it is VERY HARD not to have Holy-day music playing at the same time, and visions of sugarplums(well, goodies anyway) are dancing in my head.

I love the whole Christmas season, and just want to start early!! What do you think? Is it a crime at your house to skip on the whole fall decor and got straight for Christmas??

My soul is longing for the joy of the advent season.

That and the "mary's boy child" song on the radio... :-D

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Birthdayish treat!

My dear hubby bought me flowers for no apparent reason last Saturday! WOW!!!! I was just tickled pink, and wanted to share the joy.....

All you husbands out there, random acts of love mean sooo much to your wife! For some, it is flowers, for others a note, or maybe just a loving gift like folding a basket or 2 of laundry for her. :-D

Choosing Joy or Pain?

Anyone out there have any good tips on ignoring other peoples sin? I have a hard time letting unthinking harsh words and general grumpiness not sink in. I know that the person was being illogical and just in a bad mood, but it is hard to somehow not take it to heart and let it color my whole day/week.

How seriously should I take their point when their whole attitude and demeanor was obviously just out for the kill?

What do you do?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Sweet Little People.....

Make my heart leap with JOY!

My dear hubby faithfully takes out the trash each day. Each day, I forget to see if he has, and accidentally drop something in there before replacing the bag. I usually groan about that, or grumpily get a bag. (yes, I am a sinner)

This morning, before eating breakfast, while I was still picking out clothes for the day, my sweet little girl came up and said, "Mommy, I put a trash bag in!" :-D
Not bad for never being asked to do that, or shown where the things were, and being 5.

Little acts of kindness make the whole day sunnier!

Monday, September 15, 2008

WoooHOO!!! Praise Yah!

Heehee... remember how I told you about those times when you are given an amazing blessing, just when you need it?

We are having a baby in dec, and are not rolling in dough.
Well..... Look what I got today, new, in the box, from goodwill for only $39.99.

Yes, this is the nicest looking version of the evenflow triumph, with leatherish trim... No, it is not old. Just made in 7/08... Nope, no recalls.... yes, it was unused, tags on and all bits still in the bags.

It is still for sale at and I got it for 81.25% off retail!

PRAISE GOD!!!!!!!!!!!

Goodwill had it priced at 49.99, and I had a $10 off credit from using my goodwill card.

This is 3.98 less than the very cheapest car seat out there. :-D

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Attitude Adjustment Fun!

What songs keep your attitude straight?

I have to confess, I like songs from almost all music styles, from classical to rock and all sorts of things in between. One of my current favorite songs to listen to when I need a bit of coffee and an attitude change is Mary J. Blige's "Just Fine"

Here a few of my favorite bits.

"Let it go……
Can’t let this thing called love get away from you
Feel free right now, going do what you want to do
Can’t let nobody take it away, from you, from me, from we
No time for moping around, are you kidding?
And no time for negative vibes, cause I’m winning
It’s been a long week, I put in my hardest
Gonna live my life, feels so good to get it right

"Feels so good, when you’re doing all the things that you want to do
Get the best out of life, treat yourself to something new
Keep your head up high
In yourself, believe in you, believe in me
Having a really good time, I’m not complaining
And I’m a still wear a smile if it raining
I got to enjoy myself regardless
I appreciate life, I’m so glad I got mine

You see I wouldn’t change my life, my life’s just…..
Fine, fine, fine, fine, fine, fine, ooooh
Fine, fine, fine, fine, fine, fine, ooooh
Just fine, fine, fine, fine, fine, fine, ooooh
You see I won’t change my life, my life’s just fine

Somehow I doubt that she was thinking of what I think of, serving Christ, homeschooling, budgeting, mopping the floor, contentment with what I have, etc.,

But it sure is a nice upbeat way to change my attitude quickly.

PS this is not an endorsement for all of MJBs songs, just this one. :-) And only while having the right attitude. :-D

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

How do you do "Girl Time" with convictions and no cash??

Why don't I go out with girlfriends more? Well, I have convictions on certain things and no cash. I cannot in good conscience put my children in public school. Therefore I must home school them as private school is far, far beyond our means. That pretty much rules out days unless you want me to bring my 2 school age children with us as we try on dresses or see a movie. I cannot usually go out at night, because by the time my hard working hubby gets home, he is too tired to have to put the kids to bed.

I work 1 day each week to help buy things like clothes, school books, and dates. My gracious mother watches my children during this time. I cannot afford a babysitter, so if we do get to have a date it is once again up to Mom to watch the kids. She seems to enjoy this vastly, but more than 1 -2 times per week seems just too much for me to ask.

I cannot ask my sister to watch the kids for long, because her kids take a nap right after lunch, and my kids don't anymore and are too noisy. I cannot ask my other sister because she has been attending private school, and is usually way too busy with homework, or super tired. (this may change)

No, I don't have anyone interested in doing a kid exchange during the day. We live too far away. But, of course, we can't afford to move closer.

I have a hard enough time just trying to get to the grocery store...Let alone actual fun girl time. I would much rather hang out with you than go to the grocery store, but let's face it life is about doing the right thing, not always the fun things.

Occasionally I get to leave on a Monday night and play cards with a few friends, but this always depends on how difficult the day has been for my husband, and me. It is hard to go play cards when you feel super depressed or lonely or just plain old tired.

So in short, forgive me if I seem to be unsocial. Really, I would love to go hang out, shop at the mall, see a movie, or go to goodwill, I just have a hard time getting out.

If you have any ideas on solving the dilemma, let me know. :-) 'Cause I really want to go shopping with other grownups... :-D

Holidays ! Could you, would you on a holiday/Saturday?? Maybe for a little bit, but my husband uses these days to get caught up on some of the myriad of projects that swamp our time. Here is the current list:

1. Replace rotting porch step
2. Hang towel rack and paint bathroom door
3. Mike work extra to save up for possible mission trip
4. Meet with people re possible business purchase
5. Repair work on 3 cars
6. Mike work

Well, I could go on, but you get the picture. I did sneak out to the outlet mall for 20 minutes yesterday (Labor Day) while hubby was working on one of the cars, but I had no advance warning this might happen, so I couldn't ask you to come too...

My time is not my own.... :-D

Thursday, August 28, 2008

School progress report.

Well, this was our first week of school. I had hoped to start last week, but instead spent an busy and satisfying week with my sister and her new baby girl, and with driving little people to the dentist. So our first day was monday.

My sweet little girl has a cold, so we have been doing a light schedule to allow for things like sleeping in. It just seems wiser not to wake the 5 year old who slept poorly with chest congestion when she is finally sleeping well at 7:00 am.

So we have done the school items assigned, but not taking the time alloted. With most subjects this is not a problem, but with history I had hoped to spend more time together curled up reading. I'll have to try the appeal of snuggling on Mom's bed while we read of the Ancient Egyptians. :-) I think that they may be a tad bored with Egypt now, but it is our last week there, and I probably shouldn't have let them look at the library books early....

Circle time is also suffering.... But their verse memorization seems to be going just fine.

Hmmm not to horribly bad for a sick week.... :-)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Guy vs Girls..

Or.... Why does my husband have over 32 tshirts in his drawer??

I have often envied my husbands body. No, I do not wish to look like him, but his shape hasn't changed much over the past 15 years. He still wears the same size shirt, and pretty close to the same size pant. So when he buys an article of clothing it sticks around for quite a while.

I, on the other hand, have been pregnant 3 times, and have lost/gained/lost 15 lbs. My size has changed with the seasons of my life, pregnancy, nursing, dieting, gaining, pregnancy again....

I do not have 32 shirts that fit.

Fooey.... :-)

Thursday, August 7, 2008

A Bouquet of Newly Sharpened Pencils...

I couldn't find a picture of pencils, so, for your viewing pleasure, a site of pencil art.

Yes, I know, I'm a bit early, but who can resist the lure of fall clothes, pencils being sharpened and the fun of buying schoolbooks?

I have had my curriculum for the year planned out for a while, and part of the original plan was Tapestry of Grace, Year 1. That is, until I realized that I would need to spend almost my entire school budget on it, in order to buy it new. So, I decided to just go through a few of the books they have listed on their site. I still hoped for the used copy, wanting to pay about 1/2 of what it is currently going for on eBay.

Imagine my surprise and delight when Exodus Provisions had TOG units 3&4, in the year I needed, USED for the price I could afford! Yippie! It also included the base unit, which has a list of the books needed each week for units 1 and 2.

My TOG came home last week, and I spent an afternoon putting the info that I had about the first 2 units into a spreadsheet. I am very glad I started "early" prepping for the first unit... It turns out that with BB due Dec 9th, I need to start in about a week. :-)

Hahahaha!!! So much for a leisurely 2 weeks of prep!

Kids! Get out the pencil sharpener!! :-D

PS. now has all their used books online too, so it is super easy to find what you need at at GREAT prices.... plus their shipping is only $3.50, no matter how much you order. :-)
Enjoy the pencils!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Heavenly love at a rummage sale......

We went out searching for BB things and found a lovely sale where everything you could squish into a brown paper bag was $5.

Our bag held:

blueish pooh crib bumper(to replace the pink one that came with the crib)
Hello kitty Raincoat VERY NICE for my girly girl
White Sweater to wear to church, also for the girl
0/3 One piece jammies
0/3 One piece outfit
0/3 month blue knit (nice) pants
pair baby socks
pair baby socks
pair large infant size jeans
6/9 month jacket for bb Boy
9 mo pair shorts
12 mo pair shorts
4 misc toys for the helpers
1 Book

Not bad for $5.... :-)
I probably would've paid $5 for the bumper alone....

Things like this always remind me that God loves us, and is actively involved in the small things in our lives. Like those times where you find the exact game you have been wanting for home school for only $3 at Goodwill instead of the $20 you saw it on sale for. :-)

It's a .....................


(not my ultrasound..... My camera is dead)

Levi is super happy to be having a brother, and Charlotte, who had said she wanted a boy so it wouldn't have to sleep in her room, was teary. I asked her why, and she said, "because I wanted the baby to sleep in my room" after all. Ahhh the logic of a 5 year old! I told her that the baby would be in her room for quite a while anyway, and that baby boys are just as fun as baby girls. They do exactly the same stuff for quite a while.

My Mother and Sister came to the ultrasound along with the kiddos and I. It was a lot more enjoyable than just me and 2 kiddos. There were two extra pairs of hands to hold purses and play the peanut butter and jelly card game while we waited. Besides, I thought that my younger sister Charity would love to see the ultrasound. :-) She immediately "named" the little man Bertram... :-P Hmmmmm not what I will chose in the end... but that sure beats piglet, and plummy baby, both previous suggestions for nicknames from my children.

Now I need to go shopping! I had bags of stuff collected for a girl, and realized that after all I had kept a blob of Charlotte's cute little girl things. But Levi's old clothes were mostly hand me downs from a family with multiple boys, and by the time Levi was done with them, they were fit for Mike to use as a shop rag. I plan to swing by the thrift store today, and scrounge in the church clothing closet this Sunday, hopefully it will be open.... Good thing I have a while, because I have only 5 things in 3-6 month size. :-)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Fun Summer Food...

Well, I am too hot to eat very heavy things, so our diet has suddenly included many salads, and TONS of fruit. The rest of the family seems to be enjoying this as well. I remembered my drink machine/blender last week, so have been having fun whipping up cool drinks. My kiddos have been requesting Kool-aid icees each day... Yummers!

Not too sweet, but very refreshing

Kool-aid icees

Blend :
about 5c. crushed ice
1 packet koolaid mix (grape is soo good!)
2/3 C. sugar
2 C. cold water

This is not too sweet, and delightfully cool. I found it on I think. :-)

Enjoy the sweet taste of summer!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Christian Love in action....

Well, after all that whining, I had a lovely day after all. My dear sister Charity, wonderful Mother, and dear sister Jojo, came over and cleaned my house! They heard that I was stressed, and they came over, and helped me with the trouble spots of my house. :-)

The biggest help was the encouragement, and motivation that we could actually get some thing done.

The ukko clutter in the hallway turned into 2 nice clean shelves, one with folded laundry, and one with school supplies on them... AHHH I can get through the hallway again! AND a spot for school things... !!! We moved all the kids school clutter out of the Living room, and onto the shelf in the hallway. It was amazing how much better I felt with a place for the school things. I have tried baskets, etc, but there was just too much to have scattered throughout the living room without it looking like trash. The shelves are perfect. :-)

I was stressing about curriculum too, but my wise and very experienced Mother suggested that I simply use the book list from the Tapestry of grace website, and just read through them with the kids in the right order. I think that TOG is worth the $$ but I just don't have the cash right now, and can't find a used copy for less than the new. I'm pretty sure that I can squeak buy just teaching it on my own, and using the tapestry evaluations cd to make sure they are learning what I want. This will give me more time to save up for the whole shebang.

Dad got his tests graded without a hitch, so I must've saved them in the right place on the computer. :-)

The elusive hat turned up at the game, so Levi and Daddy both got to wear their hats!

My sister was enjoying our time together even without the waterpark.

I found a dinner alternative, and Mike didn't even make it to dinner, so no worries!

The birthday party is still pending, and I still need to return the books.

Overall it just goes to show you that list #2 is more accurate. :-)

Friday, June 20, 2008

life clutter....AKA too many things to do...


Ever overwhelmed by the many things that must be thought about, done, etc during a day. ???

One day is lovely, then all of a sudden you get a whopper. Today I want to:

1. Find a literature based history program for less than 320 including the books we cant get from the library. I had hoped to get Tapestry of Grace, but am having a heck of a time finding it used. I was the first poster on a sale ad, emailed the lady immediately, and checked my email till about 10.30 that night. The next morning after a dentist appointment I checked to see if she had replied and she had! She said that she would sell it to the first person who firmly committed, to buying, so I said yes, I want it, I can pay asap... then she emailed back that since she hadn't heard from me between 6am and noon she had sold it to someone else. I have since been outbid on the same item on ebay, and lost all hope of finding it at an affordable price. I then spent all afternoon yest. trying to find an alternate, cheaper plan. (TOG is insanely expensive, but you can use the same program with all levels of children, from 1st to high school) So then I thought Sonlight might work?? nope, I hate the way their books are mostly fiction, and I just don't like the way they have you skipping around during the year, and not even spending a week on each topic/chunk of history.
I wish that there was a mini tog available, with just the study guides for the level I need, then it might be more affordable for those of a budget. Maybe we'll just end up reading the book list out of the tog and hoping that I can tell if they are getting enough out of it, and trying to come up with geography/art/tests myself. AND I need to make up my mind, cause the used curriculum sale is tomorrow, along with the giant once a year HS conference with all the lovely curriculum vendors onsite.

2. I need to make sure that Dad can find the test scores I was working on at the office. The tests are due back today... Once a week I have been working for as my Dad's assistant, while the kiddos hang with grandma. But this is getting tricky, as I may lose my insurance through the state if I continue to work there, because the income level is close... Stinky huh? We haven't had insurance through an employer for a Loooong time, about 5 years, and we don't make enough $$ to buy our own. I could have a home birth, but I had hoped to use the money for that to buy a minivan. Squishing 2 school agers and a bb in to the back seat isn't' so appealing. That brings me to problem #3

3. Mike and I need to figure out what we should spend our tax rebate $$ on. If I wasn't pregnant I would say spend about 1000 on carpet for all of our bedrooms... (ancient yukko hardwood floor splotched with yukky wall paint from the previous owners) and SAVE the rest. Now, we also have a bit of a tax issue, Mike worked for himself for 3 months this year, and the income looked good, UNTIL you take out 35% for taxes. that left us with about 1/2 of what we needed. I saved the tax money, and now since our income is just squeaking by, we have had to use some of that $$ for necessities. Our oven had to be replaced a month or so ago, so we need to pay for that too. It turns out my handy dandy budget hasn't been setting enough aside for things like schoolbooks and gas. Soo I need to come up with $$ for those things too. (I had hoped to pay for the kids schoolbooks on the 322 from my last paycheck including extra time filling in for the secretary, but this seems about 100 short)

4. My sister wanted to go to the water park with me and the kids, and is unhappy cause I said I didn't know what I was doing today.

5. The house needs to be spotless!! I need to do dishes, sweep, make dinner, do 2 loads laundry, fold and put away 5 loads, supervise the cleaning of the kids rooms( this will take a long time) and get my hubby to move the excess 2 bookshelves down to the basement, and take a giant tote of Christmas things to the attic. Oh why today? Well all the bookshelves and the tote are in our tiny hallway, making it very difficult to get through, not to mention an eyesore that is driving me NUTS!! Also DH is not able to relax without things being Martha Stewart. Too bad he married me!! JK :-) I am a bit of a clutter person, and homeschooling with 2 younger kiddos AND NO YARD makes for a slightly chaotic house. I think that a yard would be helpful, then they can have a place to run, and play loudly without Mom and Dad telling them to be quiet all the time. Just think, the house might be quiet for an hour when Daddy get home, and he might be able to RELAX!

6. I need to find a replacement black baseball hat for my son. His bb hat disappeared at the last game, no it wasn't left behind, it left with someone else. He has a game tonight, and cannot play with out the hat. ( had hoped it would turn up at the last practice)

7. Deposit my paycheck? or cash it??

8. Dinner.. It turns out that I didn't get quite enough of the chicken for a salad I was planning on making for dinner, so I have to go buy more. We have no more cereal that I can eat for breakfast, but oatmeal isn't quite cutting it for the preggo lady.

9. Waste time doing a blog post?? Well, it beats crying about it. Yes, it is stupid to cry, but remember, I am pregnant, that means crazy hormone lady till probably around Feb of next year. This listing of things, and venting of frustrations, oddly enough helps to calm my frazzled nerves. THIS IS IMPORTANT!!! If I don't calm down I will get almost nothing done, and cry while I do it.

10. Take back the Library items that are now almost due.. I f I wait till Monday, it won't get done and my DH will be upset about fines... They just increased to .25 per day per item.. YIKES! .10 per day was not that bad If I missed a day, but 1/4 of a precious dollar?? nope, not doing it.

11. Plan birthday party for my 5 year old, and her brother. No they do not have close birthdays, but we skipped L's last fall cause of scheduling chaos... and were hoping to have a picnic at a water playground. I thought that Charlotte wouldn't mind waiting 2 weeks for a party, but she cried herself to sleep on her birthday because there was no cake. Not an awful whining, but rather a soft, gentle sniffling for the cake. Never mind that I took her out for ice cream, and let her pick out fabric for a birthday skirt. THE CAKE!

12. This can wait for another day, but it is hanging over me like a cloud....WE NEED a place to do school work... We have so far been doing school in the living room, at the dining table, and wherever else we end up. But this is no longer practical. The amount of stuff to store is too much for DH in the living room/ dining. We need a real place where the binders, books, and assorted art supplies can rest, fully visible without annoying DH sense of clean. I would like to use the basement for this, but there is no heat down there, and it is colder than the outside usually. Nice in the hot, hot summer, but disgusting most of the time, after all this is OREGON! So I want to, add carpet over the cement floor, put the extra bookshelves down there, paint them arrange the desks, and add some light. It is really gloomy down there and I find myself not wanting to go down, just because of no sunlight. But I'm sure with a few more lamps, nice carpet, pretty bookshelves, and a space heater I'll love it Right?? It would be really nice if the walls were white beadboard instead of cement with crumbling plastery stuff. But that can wait.

Anyway, thats my brain for today... aren't you glad that I unloaded it all on you??? :-D

What's on your to do list?

Hmmmmmmm.............. perhaps my list should be this instead:

1. Trust GOD.... don't worry about most of this, be happy.

2. Realize that I cannot do all the thing that I feel that I should. I am only one person, and simply cannot keep the house Martha Stewart clean, homechool the kids, love the kids, and stay in our budget, and keep sane all at the same time.

3. Make dinner, clean house to MY satisfaction, do laundry, then take a walk to the library.

4. Not listen when people tell me it isn't good enough.

Thoughts anyone??

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

We're Baaaccckkk......

Home again, home again....

We returned from our church's annual Family Camp last Saturday. A good time was had by all, despite the nasty cough cold fever thing that Levi and I came down with halfway through camp.

Both of the kiddos were off with their friends most of the time, so I had only relaxing to do! Very Nice! I took full advantage of this, since next year I will be running around with a 7month old on my hip... :-)

My dear Hubby came to camp this year for more than his usual single night... SOOO WONDERFUL!! Someone else to help get kiddos dressed, fed, entertained, etc. I really hope that next year he can come for the whole time. He really seemed to enjoy all the fellowship too.

Now, to get back into the whole homeschooling , housekeeping thing... and catch up on all that laundry!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

To vaccinate or not?

OK, I have strong opinions here.

Don't read on if you are faint of heart and will become easily offended...... :-)

I vaccinate, you may not. No problem, but PLEASE Don't bring your kids to social events like church etc. if they are sick.

If your child or older family member does get, let's say pertussis for example, and you bring said person to church, and my baby who came to get baptized gets it and seriously sick or dies, I will be pretty upset, and I'm sure that you would be too. :-)

"Persons infected with pertussis may present with cold or flu-like symptoms, such as runny nose, sneezing, fever and a mild cough."

Sounds fairly non life threatening right? But if a small infant gets it, it can be very dangerous.

Also, where you live give you a different perspective, I live in a low income, predominantly non English speaking area. These people are great people, neighbors and parents, but they haven't always been able to get things like vaccinations and good healthcare. The health rate seems a wee bit low here, and since we have low income ourselves, we have to go to the public clinic along with all the other sick people. :-)

So vaccinate or not, it's up to you, but please keep others informed (church nursery workers, babysitters, schools, summer camps), and keep the sick kidlets home.. :-)

Love all you vaccinating Mamas and Non needling Mamas alike.... :-D

Yes, the odds are slim, but I'd rather be safe than sorry... :-) We have vaccinated with practically no reactions, other than a bit of sleepiness, so we'll probably continue. (I do hate having to hold the wee little arms for the shot though... Bleech)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

To know or not to know .. that is the question....

Well.... For us right now the decision to know the sex of the baby or not is influenced by two factors.

1. Money. We are applying for the OHP for me because our insurance from a previous job ended in February. I got pregnant in March. This means that with the new health insurance from his current job, pregnancy is a preexisting condition, and therefore not covered. In fact, I think most insurance will not accept pregnant clients until the pregnancy is over. For me to find out would cost at least $100. If I am approved for the Oregon health plan I will be 100% covered, and can find out for free. I should know if I am approved by the end of this week.

2. Mike. My Husband doesn't want to know, so if I can find out, I will have to be tricky and keep him in the dark. He thought that this would be fine with him, and even said my sister could find out!

I hope that I do get approved for the health plan, and that I can find out. It would be really fun to know before Mike... :-)


OK, My dear Husband, no longer remembers this conversation, and is starting to say things like Maybe I want to know, etc, so maybe everyone will know!

The OHP people still haven't decided on my application yet, the case worker I have seems to be too lazy to do her job quickly and effectively. I have had to talk with her 3 times, and each time she gives me a new excuse for the delay. :-P It would be nice to see a Dr. before the 2nd trimester, but since that would have to happen by tomorrow, I don't think so.

Oh, in case you wanted to know, the shirt is from Pink Ink Art

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Mission Accomplished!

Yippie I have a crib! Ahhhh I feel soo much more relaxed now. I am still collecting little things, and washing them to fluffy softness. They reside in a sweet basket in the beautiful crib.

My parents and my sisters and brother in law gave us the amazing, SOO STURDY crib. It is a million times better than the antique one we had for a while. You don't even need 2 hands or a weird bar to step on to open the crib, just lift the top about 1 inch, and push a wee bit on the side with your hip. THANK YOU ALL!!

Miss Lottie has decided to share her things with the baby, so frequently a giant pile of big girl toys shows up the crib, and mama gets to explain again, that the baby will need a place to sleep too. :-) See her purse on the crib corner? What a sweetie!

Levi is very excited about the baby, and he has already bought a Christmas present for the wee one. He tells baby hello every morning, and loves to make sure that Baby gets enough food, etc. Anticipation, so much fun!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Guess what?

We have a new member of the family coming around Dec. 10th, 2008. I am soooo happy! I've been praying for a new baby for about 2 years now, and we have been discussing it for about a year. We still weren't sure if this would be wise, with a week by week work situation. But, God decided that now would be good.... :-D

I have been a wee bit busy lately, with all this kitchen remodel, then a week later, baby news... :-) For some reason, my emotions are very wacky with this pregnancy. I am panicking about a crib. A crib????? the baby isn't even the size of a pencil eraser... I think that this is just SUPER DUPER EARLY nesting... not craziness right??

Anyway, sorry for the delay in posting. My brain was occupied with cribs.

Happy Surfing!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Kitchen Sink

We had a clogged drain in our kitchen last week... That's right the week before Resurrection Sunday. Nope, the Draino didn't work, nope, my feeble attempt at using a snake didn't work.... Sooooo DH snaked the pipe from below. We were done around Midnight... Plech! This processes involved filthy drain water gushing over my head, but at last we had flowing water, and the ability to wash dishes again! The whole process of trying all the fixes took about 4 days.

After we did about 4 1/2 loads of dishes, the kitchen was habitable again by Friday evening. We went on a much needed date on Sat. and came home happy and content around 10:00. "I'll just clean out the sink before I go to bed" I thought, WRONG... the sound of water gushing out of the pipes under the sink greeted my tired ears. We apparently had a slow leak from the previous 3 removals of our trap, and the sink had been slowly dripping into my mop bucket, (conveniently located) and now at last, a giant gush of water went through the floor, into the basement below, right on top of our family scrapbooks. Yes they had page protectors , but they don't protect much from overhead water. Well, after feverish cleaning, and cutting out of basement carpeting, we fell exhausted into out beds around 12:30.

Since all this had happened we have decided to go ahead with a tiny and as cheap as possible kitchen counter remodel. DH reasoned that since he was going to have to replace all the under sink plumbing anyway, he might as well replace the sink (50s cool looking, but impossible to get parts for the leaking, broken hardware) and really, why not do the counter as well? We had already been saving for these items, and since we had a sink from a friend, he went full steam ahead. So now the kitchen is about 1/2 done. We have the counter top cut to the right length, most of the plumbing ready, and the sink hole is ready to be drilled. Doesn't sound like much does it? But, My Amazing SuperHubby got home around 3:45 or 4:00 on Monday, and that's when we started. The old counter (ancient Formica) was ripped up, the Formica glued to the wall peeled off, and the 250 Lb cast iron double sink was sloowly dragged out. That was a chore! Today we had to get a new counter top, because the first was a mite too short and we picked up the fittings for the sink, so we were back to work at about 1:30. So really, we haven't been working on the actual project that long.

I am SOO looking forward to cleaning the counter!! It has no seams, so wiping it up should be a breeze. Our counter is slanted toward the sink, but whoever remodeled in the 50's had not realized that and just slapped on Formica. When the counter top hit the sink edge about 1/2 inch lower than it should have been, they just gummed it full of caulk. Sooo every time I tried to clean it, all the gunk would end up in that valley of caulk. The counter was beginning to actually swell from all the years of water dripping into there, so when we took it off we were thankful when the cabinets seemed just fine.

When this project is done, I am hope to reline all the cabinets etc. They are ukky too, but at least no one can see the linoleum tiles attached to the shelves with brass furniture tacks.

God is Good!

PS.. Oh Fooey! I just realized that when DH took the sink to the metal place, he left my good dishtowel stuffed in the drain to keep plaster dust from falling into the plumbing. :-)

See the curve on the sink ? Impossible to find a replacement for the original fittings.. Ours had the same curved back. Lovely, but you can't replace the cracked & pitted faceplate.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Parks Series....

Last summer we were exploring the local park scene.... So far, we really like Canby's River park behind Safeway. The park behind Safeway is great during the hot summer months, there are tall tall fir trees that provide just the right amount of shade, and also a giant field that the kids can run about in. There is also a duck pond, that can be fished in... a nature walk along a creek behind it... (bring boots or wait till hot weather starts) an honest to goodness merry-go-round, big kids metal tall slide, and a few bits of other assorted playground fun. There is also a section of the park that borders the Molalla river, and if you are a bigger person who is a strong swimmer, adult-type people love the swimming hole there.

If you are needing a bit of nature study for your home school, this park is great, we feed the ducks, Canada geese, regular geese, and have seen muskrat/river rat/otter thingies (yes, yes, I need to find out) playing on the creekbank. You can also fish in the pond, and in the summer there are actually big edible fishies there. The pines are home to quite a number of squirrels, who do amusing things like eat the crackers you toss to them while sitting on a branch just above you.

It is however only a park that would be fun if you have children who will come when called, and who are capable of doing these biggish kids activities... Not so fun for the toddler toting Mama. My Dear Sister brought her daughter here with us last summer, but Dear Niece was too little do do most of the fun things, and was not into coming when called at the time, so my poor sis was always running after little Miss Naughty and keeping her from jumping in the pond, getting dragged by the merry-go-round, etc. Thankfully, this year is much more fun for both of them and obedience is the norm. My sweet little niece is just the right size now to do all the park rides with her cousins. So Fun!

It is a great picnic spot, and in the hot summer evenings is generally crowded by river swimmers and picnickers... but during school days it is usually empty.

Also conveniently located just next to the Safeway, is the Dollar Store, home of such fun park activities as Bubbles, Frisbees, bouncyballs, and bug boxes... just don't forget the snack crackers.... :-)

I wish I wasn't sooo tired......

Well, we have the plague... or rather had, most of us are getting over the last trace cough of this spring's flu/cough/fever/headache/achyness /dizzy/weakness...... We missed all the sunny weather here, and also the long awaited trip to the pool.

My kiddos and I were happily enjoying a trip to Canby's River park (behind Safeway) and we frolicked in the sun, tried to feed the overfull ducks, and were mad happy creatures for all of the 18th. I was so inspired by the lure of the spring sun, that I promised to take the kidlets swimming the next day. The next day did not begin well, DS awoke with rare grumpiness oozing out of every pore, and was soo naughty that he was reprimanded 2 times before breakfast alone. After struggling through the next 2 hours, he finally admitted, "My head hurts Mom. " Hmmm...... I kissed the naughty one's head, only to find a fever! No wonder he had been soo grumpy. This was the beginning of a 2 week long stay-at-home-while-sick time for us. 3 days later, Mommy was sick. Then, about 6 days after the original outbreak, DD got sick. Needless to say, we are tired, and still coughing.

Mommy really needs to clean the house, but isn't quite well yet, and if she does too much, she will be sick again.

Now if only the kids will forget about the pool till we all quit coughing. :-)

Saturday, February 16, 2008


I have a few favorite blogs that I like to read to get the web equivalent of coffee... You know, one of the blogs that give you that extra bit of energy to get you going into your day victoriously. I haven't read a couple of them lately, and when I checked, I found that Maryanne of The Happy Helms had written one of the most encouraging posts I have seen this year...... So, if you are a Mom who needs to get a bit of ZING into your day, read the post on Founding Mothers here...

The Happy Helms

Monkey Shines

As a science project we started a tank of sea monkeys a few days ago. My 7 year old son and 4 year old daughter are sooo excited... I was explaining that they are not really monkeys, but a kind of brine shrimp.

Charlotte says "Ohh, we are going to feed them and they will get bigger?"
Mom: Yes
Charlotte: " Really Big?
Mom : Not too big.
Charlotte: But just right to eat?
Mom: What ?
Charlotte: Big so we can eat them right?
Mom: (Doubled over laughing)... Not these, they are too small , and are going to be our pets.
Charlotte: (looking relived) ooohhhhhh.... Big grin.


Life is good.... enjoy the gifts.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Blogging, the ultimate false front?

Should the blog be a "false front" of ever present cheeriness, and perfect house pictures? Or, should it be a more accurate record of my journey? Hmmmm........ I guess that I'll do a mix, focus on the good and lovely, but admit the tiring running that is involved in the race.

Why haven't I been blogging? Let's just come right out and say it, I don't have anything inspiring to talk about. I originally wanted to keep a record of the small efforts I make to keep my home joyful. If I haven't been doing that what can I write about?

I could show you pictures of the laundry that has been my daily chore, or the finished worksheets of Saxon math that are floating about the house. (not neatly organized in a binder) Or, I could show you the occasionally successful effort that I have put into being a mama with the "Law of Kindness in her mouth."

But really the only thing that sticks in my brain lately is what I haven't been doing... the unswept floor, the needing to be mopped bathroom, the unattractive pile of unwashed dishes from last night, the struggle with DD's pottying and the guilt pile (AKA ironing basket.) By the time I am done with those things, I am out of energy to be a Joybringer, let alone post about it.

How do you fight the good fight?

I think that I need to remember that the everyday and not so pretty things are part of the Joy. After all, I am doing these small services to please the King of Kings, and my family does benefit from these small things even though they are not as obvious as the larger things, like new clothes, or a special bit of home decor.

Well, I'm going to try to bask in the sunshine when it peeks out from behind the clouds today.
And do all that other stuff too...

Monday, January 28, 2008

Karate Kiddo and the Robot Jammies

I whipped up this "super duper awesome" jammie set for my DS tonight. He has been growing like a weed lately, so new duds were a must. I decided that instead of taking my $$ to the store, I would simply shop my fabric stash. The blue knit was obtained at the amazingly cheap walmart $1 yrd table, and the oh-so-boy robot print flannel was a leftover from jammies a few years back. I have to say that this is one of my all time favorite boy prints ever. It is flannel from the Alexander Henry "Ready, Set, Robot" line.

It only took about 2 hours to do the whole set, complete with the usual interruptions of, "May I have some milk Mommy?, and "He's bugging me!" The pattern was Simplicity 7036, and I tweaked it. Yes, that's right, I didn't obey the rules! The knit shirt was designed to have a ZIPPER in the back. Hmmm all that nice snuggly soft blue knit with a bumpy uckky zipper up the back. What were they thinking?? I just eliminated the entire back seam, turned and stitched the neckline, and it went over the boy's head just fine. The pants are the same pattern, and they fit great, except I cut the elastic a tad too big, so they hang a teensy bit below the ideal waist point.

Well, I feel that I accomplished something today, since I sewed 2 pair corduroy pants, and 1 pair of jammies, kept the house from disintegrating, taught school, made dinner, and only drank 2 lattes. Happy Stitching Y'all!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

The solution...

OK, I know that it is not Martha Stewart or Pottery Barn, but it is neat... normally the red fabric hangs down over the books. This is my basement school resource area. It is so nice being able to go down grab all the books on Christopher Columbus and read them together without worrying about library due dates.