Saturday, December 27, 2008

Obsessed, and Not Afraid to Admit It

I freely admit to being totally absessed with the new little man in my life. I can spend unending amounts of time just staring at him, admiring God's handiwork. Maybe I am easily amused, but time passes quickly when I am just watching him sleep. I cannot get enough of just looking at our precious bundle! We are so thankful for Isaac, and grateful to the Lord for our newest blessing. Isaac is one well-loved baby, and kissed many times by his parents and siblings.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Isaac Nathanael Post

Finally getting a couple pics up...

Merry Christmas to you all! Will be adding more later. :)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Visited by the Stork last Night

Well, once again God showed His perfect timing in our lives. We were again toying with the idea of using castor oil to induce labor Tuesday night, but there was an ice storm predicted for between midnight and 6am Wednesday morning, and decided to wait until the weather cleared.

I was fine with that, and we had a nice supper, did the kids baths, then I got a shower and prayed for the Lord to keep showing us His will by opening doors or shutting them clearly, as I was not able at that point to be objective.

After my shower dh put in a movie for the kids and I laid down in bed and read for a while. I had a really good braxton hick around 8pm, and then felt a "pop". Yup... my water broke a little after 8.

Of course we called the mw and assistants and I assured her "It wasn't my fault!" LOL.

Our newest blessing arrived at 10:24pm, December 23rd. (that's about 2 hours and 20 minutes of labor, btw... )

Here are the stats:
Isaac Nathanael Post
8 lbs 5oz
19 1/2 inches long

Will be posting a pic soon as I figure out how to upload it onto the laptop.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Redeeming the Time....

Still waiting here... trying to fill the days with constructive activity as much as possible and not get too stir crazy! I am almost sorry that we ended school on Friday. Maybe it would have been better to just keep working until tomorrow? Too late to change now.

Did some more baking yesterday, a chocolate peppermint cookie from the Pioneer Woman's blog. Hers came out much nicer than mine did, so I'm not going to post any pics. I was told, however, that they tasted good.

Today we did some cleaning downstairs, some vacuuming upstaird, made and decorated some cut out cookies, did laundry, and some general puttering around. OH yeah, we stacked some wood. You'd think that would have started labor, but it didn't.

Dale is off work for about a week and half for their usual holiday shut down. It will be nice to have him home.

I am glad everything is in readiness, but I feel like I am basically sitting around, twiddling my thumbs, waiting for this little to arrive. I keep telling the baby "he" and I will both be more comfortable when he is on the outside. (He is a generic term... I am no politically correct!)

In the meantime, trying to be patient.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Still Waiting, and a Family Pic

Still waiting on baby here, and trying to be patient. Actually, I spoke with the MW this afternoon and she was on her way to another lady's house whose water just broke. The good news is this the last lady that was due before me, and apparently I am next in line. My official earliest due date is the 27th, so I shouldn't be too restless yet, right?

Yeah, right.

Surely it can't be too much longer, can it? Let's see, the roads are going to be slippery and icky this week, so yeah, sounds like a good time to have a baby!

Meanwhile, all my projects are caught up, school is out, and I am trying to keep from going stir crazy. I wonder if the children would revolt if we did more schoolwork this week? hehehehe... Tomorrow I will do some more special baking and some sewing from my UFO's box.

Below is a pic we took at church this morning. What a motley looking crew, eh?

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Hey, Great Idea... NOT!!!!!!!!!!

Do you ever do something thinking "oh yeah, how clever of me" only to smack yourself in the forehead later in one, big, "DOH!!!!"? Well, that is how I feel tonight.

First let me say that we had a very pleasant evening last night with the kids. Schoolwork is done for a few weeks, we are officially on break until about the middle of January, or until they get so nudgey and I have to assign some schoolwork just to regain some sanity . Did I say regain? How can you regain something you never had?

But I digress....

Anyway, we got all the evening chores done and we had a movie night with popcorn and everything. We watched "It's a Wonderful Life". That is probably my favorite movie this time of year. I usually watch it while wrapping presents after the children are in bed, but didn't do that this year. And I am DONE wrapping, believe me.

This morning everyone slept in, which was unusual, as we have some very early risers. Dale and I didn't roll out of bed until 9 a.m., feeling like well-rested slackers.

After lunch we went out and about. Dale and Esther got their new glasses.. finally! Then we made a ton of stops here and there. We stopped the bulk food store to get wheat gluten yeast. Then Dale dropped me off at JoAnn's with Esther, and he took the rest of the kids to the Dollar store and got white elephant gifts for the fellowship dinner/gift exchange at church tomorrow. Then we went to Aldi's to do some grocery shopping. We were just getting everyone and everything into the van when Dale realized his keys were missing. I had mine in my purse, which for a change I had with me, so that wasn't a problem. We hunted around in the slush of the parking lot and didn't find his keys. Dale finished loading everyone and everything into the van then went back into Aldi to see if they were in there. Nope. He left his name and number lest anyone find them and turn them in.

Dale keeps his keys on a key chain clasp off his belt loop. It is shaped in a "D" and you clasp and unclasp it by squeezing it open. What happened was it got turned upside down on his belt loop and squeezed itself open and the key chain fell off.

Anyway, to make a long story longer, we went BACK up to the dollar store and hunted around the parking lot, and he went in to the store, left name and number, in case anyone finds the keys and turns them in.

Then we went to JoAnn's and hunted around the parking lot, and he went into the store to leave his name and number in case anyone found the keys and turned them in.

Thankfully, someone already had found them, so he got his keys back! Whew! Onward and forward to more errands which included a stop at Walmart, Wegmans, and finally Barnes and Noble. We got home and I made fried egg sandwiches for supper, then realized I still had a TON to do before tomorrow. I made chili con quesa and frosted and decorated the cupcakes for tomorrow, and wrapped those white elephant gifts. I am SO done with this wrapping!

Running the kids through the baths took longer because, lo and behold, no hot water. Okay, swell. We have a new furnace system that got put in in October, and we have had more trouble with the hot water since then than before. ARgh! Dale fiddled with this valve and that valve, and we finally have hot water, and clean children again.

The whole point of all this was I was hoping all the running around and walking stores would put me in labor. But now I hope it doesn't. I am too tired!


Thursday, December 18, 2008

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree!

Finally! I don't know where the time has gone, but usually we have our tree up much earlier than this. Dale and Esther went and cut the tree and brought it home Tuesday evening, and we decorated it. The tree is smallish, so with all of us working on it, it didn't take very long. Though I didn't do my normal "all out" decorating for the season this year, having the tree up and trimmed certainly makes things look very festive!

Wednesday was a normal busy day, with schoolwork, chores, laundry, and church in the evening. Nothing out of the ordinary.. just everyday stuff.

Today has been busy... there seems to be a theme here, doesn't there? We made a double batch of bread, and I made a huge batch of cinnamon rolls, and just threw a big lasagna in the oven for supper. We are having some friends over for fellowship, and I am looking forward to it.

In the midst of all this we finished our Twelve Days of Christmas lap books and other schoolwork. The children tried to get a little extra done so we wouldn't have so much to do tomorrow, which is officially our last day before holiday break. I did a little bit of sewing today, but not much. Just a little while ago the kids helped me to stack some wood.

The weather report says "significant accumulation" for tomorrow, whatever that is. Sounds like enough snow to make the children happy! I plan on doing some organizing for the end of the first semester so when we start up in January everything will be ready, and we will also be making cupcakes and decorating them. In the evening after supper I was thinking it would be fun to do a family movie night. It has been a while since we've done that.

Still waiting on baby, still trying to keep busy and distracted, and trying to be patient but I think I am failing. I am short tempered, antsy, and not much of a mother these days I am afraid. This too shall pass....

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Another Project to Cross off the To-Do List

Finally finished this flying geese crib quilt! I love the colors in it. Most of the fabric is leftover from this past springs' sewing spree, specifically making the matching pinafore church dresses for the girls. The border fabric I did have to suppliment fresh fabric from the store. The mint green was given to me, yards and yards of it. I have a ton leftover!

On to the next thing...

Pregnancy Induced ADHD and Insomnia

I've never seen this professionally diagnosed, but I really believe that I am experiencing both those conditions now.

Yesterday I decided I needed to tune the violin. Then I noticed the dust on it. Oops, that means I haven't been practicing, but oh well. So I got out the dust rag and spray stuff, then noticed the entire top of the piano needed attention. I took off everything from the top to dust. I had the violin, flute, and four recorders, digital tuner, rosen, bow, and sundry knicknacks strewn about so I could do a good job dusting. As I was doing that I happened to notice the violin cases were also very dusty and had to shove the box of blocks out of the way to get to it, but also had to shove the footstool out of the way to move the box of blocks so I could get to the violin case. Then I noticed the back and top of the T.v.... yup, dusty. Before long I had the living room somewhat in shambles. Why is it to do a good job cleaning it requires making a bigger mess?

Amidst all of this, my friend Amy (the one I trade off piano lessons for tutoring with) stopped by. We didn't have anything planned, but she was dropping off some stuff she had for us that she forgot when we met Saturday. So, we sat in the dismantled living room, sipping tea, and chatting for a while. It was nice to have a long chat without the tutoring and piano lessons to mess with.

After she left I put the living room back together and we had lunch, naps, I set up the crock pot for supper, and did the school corrections. While everyone except Jerusha, was outside for I noticed dust on the vent over the stove. I cleared all the counters and took the stove apart, down to the knobs, the burners out, drip pans outs, and the top lifted up like the hood of a car, and scrubbed it down very well. Then I scrubbled the counters and toaster, and coffee maker.. you get the idea.

Then Dale got home from grocery shopping and we put the stuff away, had supper, did chores, family devotions, and then kids were in bed. I trimmed the baby quilt so I can bind it today. Then I had a snack, got a shower, read for a while, then went to sleep.

The violin never got tuned.

This morning I had a bout of wakefulness from 4a.m. to 5:30 or so. Ugh. I had the same thing Sunday morning too. Just.. awake. No contractions, not particularly worried.. just wide awake.

So, I am off to tune the violin... Oh look, something shiney!!!!!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Simple Woman's Daybook December 15th

Outside my window... It is warm, and springy feeling and everything is melty and muddy.

I am thinking... how good God is to us, and so thankful for all He has done in our lives. Also thankful that He continues to work in our hearts.

I am thankful sweet dh, and my children, and the many sources of encouragement the Lord sends our way.

From the learning rooms... We are finishing up our first lapbook project on the Twelve Days of Christmas. The children seem to really enjoy it!

From the kitchen...Leftovers from yesterday's dinner made into a delicious smell casserole in the crock pot.

I am wearing... my broomstick skirt with a matching shirt, slippers.

I am creating... Lord willing, an atmosphere in my home that is joyful, educational, and godly.

I am going... To Barnes and Noble, hopefully, later in the week.

I am reading... in the book of Joshua, and being reminded about being strong and couragous. Also enjoying reading in The Vision of the Valley.

I am hoping... the baby bee will make an appearance this week.

I am hearing... some good Christmas music on Abiding radio, and the rest of the family doing chores and puttering about.

Around the I detail cleaned in the kitchen, did lots of laundry, did some dusting. In a few minutes I will be tuning the violin and finishing up the crib quilt I have been working on.

One of my favorite things... Loading the woodstove. :) Smelling the woodsmoke, knowing we are well provided for with lots of wood this winter.

A few plans for the rest of the week: detail clean the bathroom, finish the flying geese crib quilt, and start a Square in a Square scrappy quilt. Our last day of school is on the 19th for Christmas break, unless the baby arrives first.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

Sunday, December 14, 2008

God's Provision

I'm sure all families find bargains and have their ways of pinching pennies. We have many different strategies that help us with our budget. One is thrift store shopping. This time of year, yard saling is out, so I loke to stop in the thrift stores when we are in the area.

Saturday we made a very good haul, I have to say. We stopped to drop of a couple of big bags of give away stuff I had sorted a while back. We needed some winter coats for the kids. I told them not to grow any more, but they were disobedient, and now we had to get some of them bigger coats. We found that all their winter coats were 1/2 off, as well as snow pants. Also, they were having a bag sale, and when we got in there was a little area off to the side that had FREE coats, leftover from a mission giveaway they had.

We got:
~ 4 winter coats
~ two sets of snow pants
~ a paper grocery bag FILLED with mostly boys pants, a sweater for Jerusha, and a dress for my neice, with the store tags still on it.
~ a book
~ a church SUIT (jacket and pants) for my oldest Ds (the pants need a little alteration to make the waist smaller, but the jacket fit perfectly, and the pants were the right length).

All that for a little under $49!

Sometimes God provides through other gifts, like food. For Sunday dinner today we had : Venison roast, potatoes, green beans, milk, and cookies for dessert. The total of the meal was just a little over $3.oo, and most of that was due to the 1/2 gallon's worth of milk the kids drank, and the green beans.

That meal was for 8 of us, most of us hearty eaters. I have plenty of meat left over for at least one more meal, plus maybe a big pot of stew.

How do we do it? We don't, but the Lord does. We are so thankful for His provision!

Friday, December 12, 2008

God's Handiwork... Amazing!

This was sent to me in an email that included some breath taking photos of the Aurora Borealis.

I just had to share. It is called a "Fire Rainbow". I had never even heard of it before! Here are some facts that came in the email:




God's handiwork. Beautiful sight! If it is that amazing via an email picture, can you just imagine what it must have been like in real life?

Pregnancy Update and 38 week belly pic

We had a good appointment with my MW yesterday, as usual. My weight was the same as it was a month ago, which is good. My bp was 112/62, urine stuff all normal, and baby movement good, heart rate good, etc. I asked her to do a check and I am about 2cm dialated, but no effacement, though the cervix is soft, but not thinned yet. Baby's head is down, so that's a go.

I have been told in the past I am a "full moon" birther, and tonight is a full moon.. but I have strict instructions from the MW to wait another week as she has 3 ladies who are due ahead of me all claiming to be full moon birthers as well. She said it wouldn't be fair for me to cut in line. :)

I did wake up in the night with some really good braxton hicks.. the real crampy kind that get your attention, but didn't amount to anything. I have been getting several per day, but it is usually more the "tightening" sensation of the muscles, not necessarily cramping.

So.. we are waiting until the end of next week before we think about any aggressive induction methods. I REALLY would like this baby to make an appearance before Christmas.

Oh, I almost forgot.. here's the 38 belly pic. Lord willing it will be the last one before baby is born. :)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Sewing Progress!

I have completed the girls' jumpers and boys pj bottoms, thanks to my friend Chris who came and spent the day sewing with me last Saturday! It didn't take long to finish them all up. The tricky part was getting it done when the children couldn't see what I was doing.

I also finished up doing the cards, and they will be going out in the mail tomorrow.

I wrapped the presents for our church families (thank the Lord for the Dollar Store and their packs of holiday gift bags!) and started some other wrapping that didn't matter if the children saw what I was doing.

Tonight after we get them all in bed I will set up camp in the living room, throw in a movie, and start wrapping their stuff. I doubt I will get it all done, but at least I can get a start on it.

Here are some pics of the finished sewn garments: (Sorry about the horrible lighting on those! Ugh!)

I just need to trim the fleece blankets I got for some of kids that didn't have them, then those will be ready.

Left on the sewing pile is: a baby quilt, and hopefully cutting out a couple nursing outfits. But honestly, the only thing I really *want* to get to is quilting the crib quilt. It is all sandwiched and basted and ready to go! The nursing outfits can wait. :)

I had an appointment today with the MW, but I will post about that tomorrow.

You Might Have to Think About This One

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Why, Why, Why????

Email from my dh....

Why, Why, Why?

Why do we press harder on a remote control when we know the batteries are almost dead?

Why do banks charge a fee on 'insufficient funds' when they already know there is not enough money?

Why does someone believe you when you say there are four billion stars; but have to check when you say the paint is still wet?

Why doesn't Tarzan have a beard?

Why does Superman stop bullets with his chest, but ducks when you throw a revolver at him?

Whose idea was it to put an 'S' in the word 'lisp'?

If people evolved from apes, why are there still apes?

Why is it that no matter what color bubble bath you use the bubbles are always white?

Is there ever a day that mattresses are not on sale?

Why do people constantly return to the refrigerator with hopes that something new to eat will have materialized?

Why do people keep running over a string a dozen times with their vacuum cleaner, then reach down, pick it up, examine it, then put it down to give the vacuum one more chance?

Why is it that no plastic bag will open from the end on your first try?

How do those dead bugs get into those enclosed light fixtures?

Why is it that whenever you attempt to catch something that's falling off the table you always manage to knock something else over?

How come you never hear father-in-law jokes?

And my FAVORITE......

The statistics on sanity is that one out of every four persons is suffering from some sort of mental illness. Think of your three best friends -- if they're okay, then it's you.

Making Progress on My "To Do" List

Over the last couple days I have been doing some more baking.. not a lot, but I did make four loaves of lemon poppyseed bread. Two loaves went into the freezer for later, and two loaves are for, umm... quality test control.

Also I finished up making our Christmas cards. Here is sampling of what they look like:

Last night I finished up some receiving blankets. They are double sided, flannel. Should keep baby nice and warm this winter!

I am hoping today to get some or most, or even all the Christmas cards filled out and ready to send and some of the sewing completed for Christmas. I worked for a little while last night on the kids' stuff, and am getting close to having it all completed. Then it will be on to wrapping!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Fun Giveaway!

At Proverbs 31 Living Blog. Woohoo! Nevermind the giveaway, it is a great blog to read and get creative, frugal ideas from. Hurry, the giveaway ends tomorrow!

Monday Stuff

The start of another week. I know, I know, technically Sunday is the start of another week. I guess I am thinking of the "Jumping in with both feet" type of thing. Sunday is a day of rest. Mondays the chaotic merry-go-round of everyday life starts up again.

I just spent the entire morning trying to print up two weeks' worth of schoolwork. I also cleaned out the fridge, and we got some picking up done around the house, some laundry done, and I did the menu for the week. Whew! I am so ready for a break.

Over the weekend I was blessed to have a friend of mine travel down with three of her lovely children. She brought her sewing machine and notions and we spent the day sewing, working on my sewing pile for Christmas. It was an interesting task trying to sew at the kitchen table with all the traffic flow. Mostly we told children to stay away from the kitchen, but that is the busiest room in the house because of its location. I set them to stacking wood outside for a while, then told them to stay in the rec area. In the afternoon Dale took all of them, except Jerusha and Caleb who were napping, over to the church to clean and finish decorating. They did a wonderful job! My friend Chris and I sewed and sewed and sewed. She worked on a stack of pj bottoms and I did the jumpers for the girls. We didn't quite finish them all, but all I have left to do is the hems on everything, and slip stitching the bodice linings down. I can easily get that done! Chris also made supper Saturday night. It was a huge blessing to have her here, to catch up, and to sew together. Once I get everything officially done, I will post pics, but SHHHHH! No telling the kids!

I also got started on some double layered receiving blankets, and got the flying geese crib quilt I had been working on sandwiched and basted. The sewing pile is shrinking!

Oh, I forgot to update about our glasses. What a fiasco that was! We bundled everyone up and piled into the van, and drove 45 minutes up to the eye place. We got in and the dr. said:
"Okay.. Dale... yours aren't in. Well, they were, but had to be fitted to the frames and then sent out for the chemical treatments for the photogray."
Oh.. so much for "all your glasses are ready". Ugh. At least that wasn't too bad, as Dale could scoot up there to get his glasses after work. Where he works is about halfway.
'Fraid not.
"Esther... yours aren't in either. They should be soon." He went on to explain that because of her drastic prescription it takes longer. She has her father's eyes, that's all I can say.
"Lisa, here are yours... oh, wait. Those are NOT glass lenses!" Why I don't know. The order was very clearly marked for glass lenses. Ugh. So, he did fit the frames to my face, and for now I am wearing them with the plastic lenses (I hate the plastic!) and when the glass comes in, it will be a simple switch.
The only one who got their glasses was Benjamin, and his was just replacements. He is eligible for an upgrade until February. Argh! So, in about a week or so, we *should* be all caught up.

One really nice thing was that work was so dead on Friday that everyone bailed out early and Dale came home on lunch hour, so we were able to do our running around many hours earlier than we thought. It was a good thing, as it took longer than we thought it would.

FOR TODAY December 8,2008...

Outside my window... It is a cold, wintry day, gray skies though the sun is trying hard to peek through.

I am thinking... that my hormones are getting the better of me these days!

I am thankful for... My friend being here and helping with the sewing this weekend. What a blessing that was!

From the learning rooms... We dropping all unit studies for now so I can start one on Christmas. I printed up two weeks worth of printables to do a lap book on the song "The Twelve Days of Christmas". We've never done lap booking before, so this will be an interesting experience.

From the kitchen... Nothing interesting there today, just some split pea soup on the stove cooking.

I am wearing... My heavy corduroy jumper with autumn colored blossoms splashed all over it, white turtleneck.

I am creating... a high strung atmosphere in my home today and I need to change that immediately!

I am going... For a MW appointment later this week.

I am reading... Lots of stuff online about lap booking

I am hoping... to finish making Christmas cards this afternoon, and get the wrapping done by the end of the week.

I am hearing... The Christmas CD "Back to Bach" by Shelly Hamilton.

Around the house... we have been cleaning up from the weekend, and will hopefully finish decorating for the holidays

One of my favorite things... watching Jerusha play tea party with her dolls.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Finish the Christmas sewing, work on receiving blankets, wrap presents, and get some more cooking and baking in the freezer.

Here is picture thought I am sharing:

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Childbirth Q and A

Q. Should I have a baby after 35?
A. No, 35 children is enough.

Q. I'm two months pregnant now. When will my baby move?
A. With any luck, right after he finishes college.

Q. How will I know if my vomiting is morning sickness or the flu?
A. If it's the flu, you'll get better.

Q. What is the most common pregnancy craving?
A.. For men to be the ones who get pregnant.

Q. What is the most reliable method to determine a baby's sex?
A. Childbirth.

Q. My wife is five months pregnant and so moody that sometimes
she's borderline irrational.
A. So what's your question?

Q. How long is the average woman in labor?
A. Whatever she says divided by two.

Q. My childbirth instructor says it's not pain I'll feel during
labor, but pressure. Is she right?
A. Yes, in the same way that a tornado might be called an air current.

Q. When is the best time to get an epidural?
A. Right after you find out you're pregnant.

Q. Is there any reason I have to be in the delivery room while my
wife is in labor?
A. Not unless the word "alimony" means anything to you.

Q. Is there anything I should avoid while recovering from childbirth?
A. Yes, pregnancy.

Q. Does pregnancy cause headaches?
A. Pregnancy causes anything you want to blame it for.

Q. Do I have to have a baby shower?
A. Not if you change the baby's diaper very quickly.

Q. Our baby was born last week. When will my wife begin to feel and
act normal again?
A. When the kids are in college.

Friday, December 5, 2008

The Mom Song

I'm sure everyone has seen this already, as I have, but I always get a good chortle out of it. Enjoy! (Plus I wanted to see if I could get the video thingie to work on here).

Keep Up If You Can!

The days are moving at a too fast of pace for me! I am 37 weeks today. I expect to have at least 1 more week, maybe up to 3 weeks, before baby arrives. There is much to do to fill the days, and that makes them go by even more quickly.

Yesterday morning, besides school work and regular chores, Esther made bread and Benjamin made a double batch of chocolate chip cookies. About the time the cookies were baking, was the time when breakfast wears off and you start getting hungry for lunch. It was torturous! :) Everyone else was busy with music practice or schoolwork, and I was doing some research on the computer about lap booking. I can understand how children would enjoy and retain well the materials they learn with this method. I am thinking of implementing this style for the unit studies we do, spelling lists, memory verses, etc. I will be looking more into it, to be sure.

Later in the morning the man from Time Warner came to hook us up to cable. He said it was easy because we already had the phone lines and cable entrance available. That was from the previous pastor. WE just hooked up the computer and phone. We didn't want the T.V. option at all. We don't want to get sucked into that habit. I know what happens. You watch just a little bit to "relax", or let the kids watch X amount, but is almost always grows to more and more time. Wasted time. I'm not against watching a movie as a treat, but we have tapes and DVD's for those times when we allow the kick back, make some popcorn, and watch a movie type of night. We are content with this lifestyle for our family, and it isn't something we are looking to change.

After lunch, and littles were down, I cut out Jerusha's jumper for a Christmas present, and cut flannel to make several double sided receiving blankets. Around 2 I laid down on the couch while the olders were doing their schoolwork. At 3 my piano students showed up... well, most of them. The oldest son was still at Basketball practice. So, I got started with the youngest and the daughter. She is also learning how to sew, so I was trying to juggle that in at the same time. She is working on a jumper (with my instruction). In the midst of all this the mom, who is tutoring Esther in Math, had to go pick up her oldest from Basketball, and I watched all the kids while doing sewing lessons. When she got back I did piano lessons with the oldest son, and she continued her tutoring with Esther. I think I will have to really help out with the sewing if that jumper is going to be completed before the baby is born. It is coming along slowly, but surely.

Just before Dale got home, the funeral director who did Aaron's funeral stopped by. He extended his congratulations when he noticed I was very pregnant. He said he wanted to stop by to drop off a card and small gift for the family, knowing that the holidays can be difficult after a loss. It was very kind, and I thanked him sincerely (Mom, you remember Sean, don't you?). Just as he was leaving Dale got home, so they chatted and I got back to my sewing and piano students. Meanwhile, from what I overheard while in the kitchen, the math tutoring was like pulling teeth. I don't know if Esther was just too distracted with 9 other kids running around, and me answering the door, the general chaos or what, but extracting multiplication facts from her was like getting a tax break from democrat.

I also got a call from Falcon Eyewear.. our glasses are all in! So, as soon as Dale gets home today we'll all drive up to get them fitted and be on our way. I also need to stop at Jo Ann Fabrics (pity, eh?) and pick up some batting. Yesterday amidst all the chaos and busyness I finished my jumper and in the evening finished the top to the flying geese crib quilt I have been working on. I measure it against the batting I had, and the batting in no way, shape, or form, will be enough. I was hoping to get it sandwiched and basted today so I could start quilting tonight, but that isn't going to happen. I also need to get some Aida cloth for Esther and Elizabeth who are both wanting to start a simple cross stitch project. I found a couple easy easy easy ones online for beginners.. free of course!

I had my friend and her kids stay for supper. We did spaghetti and meatballs, fresh bread with butter, and corn, and chocolate chip cookies for dessert. I had a spinach, ham, and cheese salad. Okay, yeah, I had a sugar free ice cream bar for dessert. :)

After they left we did the kitchen clean up, baths, get everyone ready for bed routine. We were just finishing up family devotions when the phone rang. It was a friend of mine I hadn't talked to in ages. She has a couple of my flannel nursing nightgowns and was confirming that she would be putting them in the mail since we won't be able to get together in the near future. After the kids were in bed I was tempted to work on my secret sewing projects, but Dale said "Honey, it's ten o'clock, go get a shower and put your feet up in bed!" Pfffft! So I did.

Today's schedule is pretty busy and I just remembered we need to make the guest beds and do a little cleaning downstairs. A friend of mine from up north is coming down with three of her children tomorrow and staying overnight. She is coming armed with her sewing machine, and helping me get some sewing done. What a blessing! Dale will be taking everyone else over to the church to finish decorating, which I hope will take several hours. LOL. With all that help from the kids, surely he can get it done in twice the amount of time! ;)

Around lunchtime I will be making sloppy joe mix to put in the crock pot for supper. That way we can eat when we get back. This morning, as soon as chores are done I will be having the children start making Christmas cards. I have been saving cards that were sent to us, they can cut what pictures they like and decorate and glue onto card stock that I have. Should be fun and interesting to see what they do. So, if any of you get some ... um, ... "interesting" looking cards, just keep in mind who made them. I am also planning on making a meatloaf to put in the freezer. I was going to make a couple loaves of lemon poppy seed bread for the freezer too, but I don't think I will be getting to it today.

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Playing Catch up Today

The canning is done for now, so we are finishing cleaning up and getting things put back in order in the kitchen.

I am playing catch up on some paper work for homeschooling. Quartly reports, printing up more lesson planning sheets, printing up some stuff for our next state unit study, recording grades that I got behind on in the last week, etc. etc. As I sit here I have both of our printers at work. Oh, and I have to put in a plug here for Donna Young's site for printables for home and homeschooling and a bunch of other goodies! All free, btw. ;) I put a button on my sidebar today, too, for her site.

Other than that, it will be a slower day. Most of us are in sundry stages of colds. I think it is the icky one going around that lasts 3 weeks. They all seemed somewhat better while we were doing the canning but today we seem to be moving slowly. That is fine.. we'll just rachet down the pace a bit. So, thus the "paperwork" day for me. The children will do their schoolwork, and maybe a few basic chores, and we'll call it good enough. After I get done with the paperwork stuff, I plan on working on my ever present sewing pile. My jumper is almost done! Then I will move on to... what? Hmmm... so many choices. Maybe some receiving blankets while the children are around, and then work on the Christmas presents while they are cozied up downstairs or something. It is going to takes some creative planning to get everything done without their knowing about it. I also have yet another baby quilt I started over the summer, that needs to have the borders put on, basted, sandwiched, and quilted. Not sure where that one is going yet. So far I am inclined to keep it, because I really like the pattern and colors. We'll see. I pray over each one as to where it should go. So far the Lord hasn't lead me in any direction on this one.

Well, back to the paperwork... the quarterly reports need to be ready to send out when Dale goes to the P.O. later. They are a little late, but thankfully the district here hasn't hassled me over it.. ever!

You all have a blessed day!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Stocking Up!

There has been a lot of that around here, and many other homes, I am sure. Stocking up on wood, on veggies and meats, and now applesauce. The job is done! I thank God for His provision of what we need, and for my good helpers over the last couple days. I am telling the truth when I say I could not have done it without them! We did around 52 quarts. We had to test it, of course, so I estimated about 4 quarts went into containers in the fridge to eat over the next couple days with meals.

I have also been stocking up on freezer meals for after the baby is born, and some baked goods. To date I have:
~ 2 disposable 9 by 13 pans of chicken enchiladas
~ 9 by 13 container of fancy mashed potatoes
~ another smaller container of the same
~ 9 by 13 of chili con quesa
~ 9 by 13 of tater tot casserole
~ 3 apple pies
~ 2 pumpking pies with struesel topping
~ 10 loaves of homemade bread
~ lots of ginger snaps
We also have lots of meat and veggies stored up. I still plan on making and adding to the stash:
~ Chicken Elegante
~Spaghetti pie
~lemon poppy seed bread
~ blueberry whole wheat muffins
~ cinnamon rolls

We were also able to stock up on some fabric for making dresses for the girls' next spring. They will need it! They are growing so fast and their current dresses are just plain wearing out. Thankfully, they should be all set through the winter with their warmer jumpers and dresses. But come spring, they'll need some new everyday dresses. So, while we were in the area of one of our favorite Mennonite shops, I attacked the bargain bin and got enough to do the job, or at least get by for a while until we go back up next spring.

We have also stocked up on birthing,postpartem, and baby supplies. Everything is coming together for a nice cozy winter. Not because of us, but because of the Lord's goodness.

Speaking of stocking up... our last "shipment" of Christmas presents arrived. I am so thankful for online shopping. It saved me a bunch of time, effort, and energy. I guess it is a good thing we stocked up on wrapping paper! So, you can probably guess what my next major "to do" is on my list!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Gearing Up for Applesauce, Sewing, Christmas, Baby....

Take your pick! LOL...

The priority for today and tomorrow is applesauce. I am hoping to get done in two days. We usually take a week to do what we need, but we had enough left over from last year that thankfully, I won't need to do a whole lot this year. As I type, Benjamin is washing out my big pots so we can get started after breakfast. He also hauled up the apples to be washed.

As for sewing, it will have to be done here and then when I have a minute. We are still doing regular schoolwork, and chores during the applesauce spree. The "Christmas" part refers to wrapping and decorating which I hope we will be able to get to at some time this week. I still have a few things to gather for baby's birth, and I need to get out baby stuff to have ready. I freely admit, I have been putting the latter off. Also, I have a couple more meals and some baking I would like to get in the freezer before baby arrives.

FOR TODAY (December 1st!)...

Outside my window... The sun is out after several days of gray, gloomy weather. Praise God for sunshine, and for SONshine!

I am thinking... about everything I want to get done, versus everything I NEED to get done and trying to stay focused. I am getting so restless with this pregnancy, and looking forward to meeting the newest bee to the hive soon!

I am thankful for... The time I have in the morning to read and pray before starting out on the many tasks I have planned.

From the learning rooms... We are continuing our Bird unit study, and reading about Clark and Lewis. Also, we will start making our own Christmas cards.

From the kitchen... Applesauce!

I am wearing... broomstick style 3 tiered skirt and t-shirt, soon to be covered with an apron.

I am creating... Christmas presents and receiving blankets.

I am going... to get my new glasses later this week, Lord willing.

I am reading... Dueteronomy, and just finished the Friday Night Knitter's Club.

I am hoping... to keep my emotions even as possible, and not get too restless or freak out before the birth.

I am hearing... My children help out getting ready for breakfast, and someone singing "Angels we have heard on high"....

Around the house... I am loving our new cozy spot in our rec area!

One of my favorite things... Being able to snuggle up under warm blankets with dh at the end of the day, knowing a full day's work has been done and a sweet rest coming.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Doing the applesauce, getting some sewing done, and Lord willing some of the Christmas wrapping done.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Taking a Deep Breath and Pregnancy Update with Belly Shot

Happy Belated Thanksgiving! I pray everyone had a wonderful time with family, and enjoyed the bounty of the Lord! Like everyone else, we had days of busyness leading up to the arrival of much welcomed grandparents, and a big meal on Thursday. Oh, and yes, we finished our costumes. Here is a group pic of what we did:

My folks had bought some new furniture and asked if we wanted the old. We did, and they generously rented a U-Haul, and hauled it out here for us. The new rec area downstairs is so tidy and cozy looking now! There will be many enjoyable hours spent around the woodstove, reading, playing a game, etc. Here is a couple pics of the new and improved area:

This morning I had my home visit with the MW and assistants. Woohoo! We are in the home stretch. We talked over all contingency plans and emergency plans, and figured out what else I need to add to the birthing stuff, and chatted and chatted, and did a quick check up. While she was getting the heart rate on the baby, the baby wiggled and squirmed, and promptly got the hiccups. My BP was good, as usual, for which I am thankful. It really won't be long now... 2 to 4 weeks at most. I am thinking about my "want to get done" list before the baby is born realizing NO WAY I'm going to get it all done. That's okay. I am working on prioritizing it now. Here is a side shot of my 36 week belly:

Here is a front view:

After all the adrenaline rush from getting ready for company, and having Grandparents here, we have basically taken it easy today, not getting our usual Saturday stuff done, but just doing the basics. I'll be jumping back into a mad sewing spree, and schooling, and nesting, and cooking ahead this week.

I was able to cut out the twins' jumpers that I am making for them as a Christmas surprise while they were outside today. They are made out of denim, with embroidered flowers in the fabric. I have one to cut out for Jerusha but ran out of time, and she was a little too interested in what Mama was doing and asking all kinds of questions, so I figured I better wait until one of her naptimes. I also have to cut out PJ bottoms for Benjamin for Christmas. I'll hopefully be able to get all that done pretty quickly. I also need to make some receiving blankets before this little one arrives. Those are all the priority right now. If I can do anything beyond that (besides getting the applesauce done, schoolwork done, and Christmas stuff wrapped, etc... ) then I'll be surprised. The time between now and when baby arrives is going to be busy, thankfully.

One "side effect" from today's visit that I hadn't really thought about was that it made my edginess go up a notch. As far as I am concerned, this baby can pop out anytime now, and it wouldn't hurt my feelings any. I am thankful that we are now in a safe zone as far as the timing goes. I am still praying to have the baby around 38 weeks, and in the middle of the night when the children are asleep. Oh, and I'm praying for a peaceful, smooth as possible, QUICK, labor.

At least I'm not picky, eh?

Monday, November 24, 2008

Whittling Down the Sewing List!

I got another small project out of the way today. I started this baby quilt a while ago, so all I had to do was get the border fabric on, sandwich it, baste, and machine quilt. I finished it this evening. It is made all of flannels. It will be very nice and warm! I still need to make the label and attach it, then it will be completely done.

Here is a close up shot:

The Simple Woman's Daybook ~ November 24th

Outside my window... Some snow, cloudy skies, but warmer temperatures that it was over the weekend.

I am thinking... That I have more to do in four weeks than I will be able to do and will have to seriously prioritize.

I am thankful for... God's provision and love towards us.

From the learning rooms... We have a shortened week this week. We will be finishing our Thanksgiving costumes, doing more reading on Lewis and Clark, Math, English, Bible reading, Pilgrim reading, and the Thanksgiving packets I printed up last week.

From the kitchen... Today is RCO night.. Refrigerator Clean Out night for supper. Tomorrow we'll be making whole wheat bread, and banana bread. Wednesday I'll make dinner rolls and cabbage salad for Thursday.

I am wearing... tan maternity skirt, hunter green tunic with embroidery around the neckline, socks and my slippers.

I am creating... a jumper for me that matches the girls' church dresses.

I am going... to our Fibers of Faith meeting tonight at church, and tomorrow a few of us have eye appointments.

I am reading... The Friday Night Knitter's Club that my grandmother recommended.

I am hoping... That we can get the downstairs cleaned up and old furniture taken to the thrift shop before Wednesday.

I am hearing...beautiful music from Abiding Radio.

Around the house... Lots of laundry today, schoolwork, starting the cleaning process, making up the grocery list, sewing, and music practice.

One of my favorite things... Going downstairs to tend the woodstove, and knowing that we will be warm and cozy this winter, also, curling up in my bed at night with a good book under our warm quilts.

A few plans for the rest of the week:Getting ready for Thanksgiving and company, Tuesday eye appointments, Wednesday morning giving piano lessons, and Lord willing doing some sewing at some point. I would really like to be quilting but the Christmas sewing pile needs to come first. :)

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

Sunday, November 23, 2008

God's Provision, Finished Project, and awards Thank You

Every so often in a digest I get, someone writes in about not eating unclean meat, as if we were still under the law. Recently someone said something against eating rabbit meat. I chuckled to myself thinking that in our area, there are many that have no problem eating rabbit meat. We don't, because we don't hunt rabbits. There is also various times that "you shouldn't eat pork" has come up. Really? Well, then, I guess God made a big mistake when He provided 500lbs of pork for us a couple years ago. In this same digest, someone was once whining that they couldn't bear reading the posts about deer hunting because it was just so terrible for her, and could we please not write in about that? Good grief! There are a couple thousand ladies that are part of this group. One bleeding heart gets to dictate what we write in about? Personally, I feel that if God provides it for us, then we eat it. Like the deer meat that was just given to us tonight. Dale figures it is 25 to 30 lbs. of venison. One of the men our church shot it and dressed it for us. That's a lot of work! We feel very blessed to have received that love gift, and are thankful for it. His wife is a woman after my own heart. She is taking the hides from the deer they shoot and treating them, making nice soft skins to make some mocassins and maybe a coat.

Enough of the soapbox... onto something lighter, like.. I FINALLY finished the girls' matching dresses Thursday night. They wore them today for church, so I took a quick pic before dinner. I am working on my matching jumper. Not sure how much time I'll have for sewing this week, but it won't be near so involved as those dresses, I know that!

As a third part to this hodge-podge post, I would like to thank Heart 4 My Home for these two awards:

The is the Marie Antoinette Award, given to those who are brave enough to be transparent in blog land.

This next one is a Butterfly Award.

I am blessed, Thank You!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

A Nice Hot Bath Would Be Perfect Right Now

... if I could only get up out of one! LOL

Yesterday we trekked up to my MIL's again. Dale's oldest sister and her family were out visiting from Ohio, well most of them. The two oldest were unable to come out because of work. We haven't seen any of them in three years! It has been too long. It was a joy to see them all again, despite the fact that several of my nephew tower over me now! I am glad she still has a couple that are still shorter. :) I cannot believe how much they have all grown up over the last three years.

Of course the visit ran later than we had planned. We left around 10:30pm, but then found we had to drive quite cautiously because of some snow squalls along the way. We made it in safely around 1 a.m. The children were all in bed and fast asleep by 1:30 and Dale and I weren't but a few minutes behind them.

This morning I woke up to hearing the coffee pot doing its thing, and Dale's side of the bed empty. I was thinking "WHAT is he doing up so early?" Then I turned over and looked at the clock. It was 9:30 a.m.! YIKES! The house was so quiet! Apparently all the gremlins were still asleep, which they did until about 10 a.m. We had a very, very, late breakfast, then did a little cleaning and puttering, and laundry. Then a somewhat late lunch, and then I had piano lessons to do, and Esther had a tutoring session. The family we exchange these talents with stayed for supper as well, upon my invitation. I made chicken enchiladas, a very large batch. Some went in the freezer for future. My twins and her daughter made an apple crisp while we rolled the enchiladas for supper. Her husband, who was at work, missed out so I sent a plate of food home for him too. It was nice to just fellowship and enjoy the time.

I have been keeping a list of what is in the freezer for after the baby is born, and things are stacking up! I have a few more main dishes to do, and some special baking. I probably won't get much done this week with company coming in for Thanksgiving, but after Thanksgiving is over, there will be a couple major cooking sprees, applesauce getting done, and hopefully a good sewing spree to finish up what I need to do for Christmas and before baby's birth.

Right now I am sore and tired, and will be glad to get the kids to bed, get a shower, and snuggle up in our warm bed with a book. I am sitting here in our warm, cozy house, sweating from ironing and doing some chores. I had no idea it was in the single digits outside until Benjamin just happened to look at the thermometer. Wow! I am so thankful for our wood heat!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Happy Birthday Honey!

We celebrated Dale's birthday today. His birthday is actually tomorrow, but we are going to visit some family we haven't seen in a long time, so we decided to do the festivities tonight.

This morning, the children made birthday cards, and a crown for the birthday boy. :) It is traditional in our family to let the birthday boy or girl pick their supper meal, and what kind of cake they want. Dale loves lasagna, so it was no surprise to me when he requested it. We also had garlic bread and corn, and a white cake with cream cheese frosting for dessert.

Here is a close up of the cake. I was trying to show the cow sprinkles on it, but you really can't see it.

After supper was the opening of presents...well, present. One "major" one from all the kids and I. In case you can't tell, it is a CD/cassette player to replace the one in our living room that hasn't worked in over a year.

The "king" with all the court jesters:

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A-Hunting We Will Go!

Not for deer.. for mice. After living here for 3 years without any sign whatsoever, our recent suspicions of uninvited guests were confirmed.

A few days ago I was up at 2 a.m. using the bathroom and I heard this scritch-scratching in the walls. I knew, from living in our previous residence, what that meant. I groaned but at 2 a.m., I wasn't about to go looking for any little furry rodents.

I told Dale about it, and sure enough, Tuesday morning while he wandered out to get some coffee, out of the corner of his eye his saw it. A mouse. Oh great. It went and ran under the microwave cart. Then it poked its head back out and ran under the bookcase in the entranceway. He stopped on the way home and got traps and some DeCon.

Last night after all the kids were in bed he set a trap under the microwave cart, and one under the bookcase. Around 1 a.m. we heard a "SNAP" and some clattering. Aha! Got one! He was going to leave it until morning, when we heard a few minutes later quite a bit of noise. More clattering and the like. Dale went out to see what was going on with this mouse, and lo and behold, the trap didn't get the mouse around the neck, but around the bottom half of its body, and it was trying to claw its way out. In other words, it wasn't dead.

Dale realized it was trying to get under the stove, so he went downstairs to get a small chunk of wood to put it out of its misery. By the time he got back up the mouse did indeed disappear under the stove. He pulled out the drawer, and saw kind of wedged up in the area where the draw attaches to the stove. Then he realized he needed to take the drawer assembly off to even get to it. He certainly didn't want it there permanently.

I was still in our room listening to all of the action, chuckling a bit. I could recognize the sounds of what he was doing until the very next thing. I heard this low toned, very soft grinding. "what in the world? That sounds like his drill!" I was thinking. I heard some slattering, then some more drilling, then some poking around, then BAM BAM BAM BAM! It was quiet for a minute and I heard some clattering, then the drill again. I almost got out of bed to take a peek but was inwardly cringing at what my imagination was conjuring up. Especially during the BAM BAM BAM BAM part. I was picturing a mouse smack-down.

What happened was he couldn't exactly reach the mouse that was stuck up in the stove, and had to take the drawer stuff apart. after he did that he went back downstairs and got the poker from the woodstove, and poked at the trap. He heard the mouse squeak and rattle in protest, but got it out. He then took the chunk of wood and... well, you get the picture. I assumed after he disposed of whatever was left of the mouse he put the drawer assembly back together (that was the second drilling I heard) and put everything away. The chunk of wood went right into the woodstove. He also put some DeCon out.

This morning he related all this to me adding that when he checked the DeCon, it was pretty much licked clean. Good. Bon Apetit, and make you bring some back for all your little furry friends.

Part of my chores was cleaning out the stove drawer and washing everything that was in it. Yuck!

Tonight we'll set more traps...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Pregnancy Update and Misc.

First off, I want to congratulate Leah and Scott on the birth of their daughter! If you scroll down on the Quiverful Blog roll on my side bar, her blog is The Reformed Farmer's wife. Can't wait to see the pics, Leah!

Yesterday, as I mentioned, I had an appointment with my MW. Everything is good, and as usual we spent much time chatting, though in our defense, most of it was "business" this time. I've been controlling my blood sugar levels with a strict diet, and she was impressed with how I was doing. The only thing is that I still have higher readings after breakfast than I would like, even though I eat all protein at that meal. I've tried several things, and my MW was able to give me another couple ideas. The numbers aren't horrible, just it irks me I can't get them down in the morning more. The rest of the day they are fine. Maybe it is a touch of OCD, I don't know. LOL.

My blood pressure was 122/64, and urine was normal. I did lose 6lbs over the last month, but after discussing it we figured it was due to the fact that I have been having almost no carbs in my diet for that long. I feel fine (well, except for when I overdo.. hahahahha) and actually have more energy in this pregnancy at this point than I have in most of the others. It isn't like I don't have extra weight to spare! LOL... baby is measuring right on for my 34 plus weeks.

Oh and woohoo! My next appointment will be the wonderful HOME VISIT! Those of you who homebirth know that the HOME VISIT appointment is a milestone in the pregnancy. It means... the end is very near! I will be about 36 weeks then, and we will start some methods of inducing.. herbal treatments that work over a few weeks, or something.

After having not done ANYTHING for this baby, suddenly it is all starting to come together. We have the birthing kit, thanks to the MW and the "leftovers" people have given her. I just have to pick up a few personal items. Last night at Walmart I got some caps for the baby, some onsies, and some nursing pads. It sounds crazy, but for me, that was a major step in my mental thinking about this birth.

I have discovered this baby does not like to share space. When I had the ultrasound, the technician was commenting on how long the baby is. Great... a tall baby on a short mama. Well, that makes for a very limited residence in utero. If I rest my arms on my tummy (it makes a convenient shelf!) the baby kicks at them as if to say "Hey, get out of my space!". While we were getting His/Her heartrate yesterday, the show of kicking, moving, twisting under the stethoscope was quite impressive. The MW had a hard time getting a read on the heartrate. Finally she was able to hear it long enough to get a count. But watching my tummy go back and forth and undulate was hilarious! Of course, me laughing didn't help at all either.

I had more blood drawn for an A1C count agian. I will be curious to see what it is after the last month or so of really watching my numbers and sugar/carb etc. intake. The tests have been coming out normal, though the high end of normal. It will be interesting to see what it is this time.

There is the basic update for now. :)

Next "project" I have going is finishing the girls' dresses (I really AM almost done!), doing my jumper, Christmas stuff for the kids, and maybe working on a couple of nursing outfits if I have time. Today I hope to finish making the buttonholes on the dresses and get the buttons on. Seriously, that is how close I am... then they will be DONE! I am also making yet another meal for the freezer, and Benjamin is working on some banana whole wheat muffins now as I type. The twins are doing the dishes, Josiah is helping with some folding, Jerusha is finishing her breakfast, and Caleb is changing his pants. The ones he had on were, well, very "Holy", if you know what I mean, and somewhat shredded, and too small for him, so those will be thrown out.

Oh, I almost forgot... looky what we have!