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!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Eating Crow... at Least to Some Music!

Here is a freebie I found this morning. It is a free, downloadable, printable, arrangement of Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus. Those who are proficient at the piano may enjoy that! I got the link from Abiding Radio, that you can stream in through the computer. They play very nice sacred Music. We have only heard a handful of songs that we didn't care for. Overall, an enjoyable resource, and pleasant background music.

Free Sheet Music

As for the eating crow.. I had to do that yesterday. We have been so busy here doing some extra cooking and getting ready for the Harvest dinner that I have totally ignored Dale's sweet warnings that I might be overdoing it. Actually, I believe he said I was indeed overdoing it. I figured that after a major meltdown Saturday, which seems to happen when I am fatiged and trying to cram too much into my schedule. However, I figured, after the Harvest Dinner, I could go to bed early, and be all perky for Sunday, ready to worship God.


When I opened my eyes Sunday I felt something like having been hit by a truck. My limbs were not enthusiastic when my brain told them to get out of bed. I had two cups of coffee and they didn't make a dent in my physical weariness. And that after a good night's sleep! I was so thankful it was Sunday and the only things I had to do was play the piano and sit in the pews with the kids. Oh, there was one other thing... I asked Dale for forgiveness for not listening to his advice. I was certainly paying for it. He just very sweetly gave me a hug and reminded me that I could do nothing all afternoon but sleep if I wanted. Well, I didn't sleep ALL afternoon, I laid on the bed and read, napped, read, napped, thinking that by evening I'd be all recovered, right?


Ugh! After doing NOTHING all day I was still bone tired. Not really sleepy, just unable to do much physically. We went to evening services, got home and I printed up some stuff for school today while the children got ready for bed and had a light snack, brushed teeth, etc. After they were in bed, Dale and I had our usually "date" snack, and then I went to bed to read, glad to have all night to lay down. As we prayed together and turned off the light, I thought, there, another good night's sleep and I'll be right as rain. Right?


Well, how long DOES it take to recover? LOL... I'm not as bad off as I was yesterday, but I am definately not my usual energetic (well, the 8th month of pregnancy version of "energetic") self. Today I have an appointment with my midwife at 4:30, then Dale and I will be doing the grocery shopping and some errands. It is going to be a busy evening, so I will be trying to set a good, slow pace for this morning and afternoon. There really isn't anything pressing today, just the usual "catch up" from a weekend. Lord willing some sewing. :)

FOR TODAY November 17th...

Outside my window... There is a powdery dusting of snow, and the smell of the woodstove in the air, and it is makes me feel very cozy, warm, and well provided for.

I am thinking... about what extra meals I would like to make this week to put in the freezer for after the baby is born.

I am thankful wise, sweet husband who loves me more than I deserve.

From the learning rooms... We are working on a bird unit study. This morning we are focussing on Purple martins, and song swallows. We are also starting a new read aloud book : "Pilgrims", a nonfiction to what we read last week: "Thanksgiving is on Thursday".

From the kitchen... Bread is being mixed up to bake later. It will still smell very good in the house!

I am wearing... a broomstick style skirt with autumn colors and a matching shirt, oversized to accomodate the baby bump. :)

I am creating... A happy, joyful, atmosphere in the home today, I hope! I have been very hormonal lately and need to watch my words and attitude.

I am going...for an appointment with my MW later today, and then running errands with Dale.

I am reading... Just the Bible and "Pilgrims" right now. I need to find something of interest to read in the evenings. I like to use that to unwind before going to sleep.

I am hoping... that my energy level will pick up over the next day or so, so I can get the applesauce canned!

I am hearing...Jerusha sing while she is doodling, dishes being washed by the twins, and the general soft buzz of children going about their morning chores.

Around the house... There is general picking up to do from over the busy weekend.

One of my favorite things... quilting! I keep eyeballing the quilt I want to be working on, but need to finish up the children's things first.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Get a couple meals in the freezer, do the applesauce, finish the girls' matching church dresses and get my jumper cut out.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

Saturday, November 15, 2008

More baking, more cooking, more busyness....

Yesterday was a typical day for school, but more busy in other areas. I cooked three hams and got them all sliced up for our Harvest dinner tonight. I made a HUGE batch of chili. We ate some for supper, and some went in the freezer for later. I also had Esther's math tutor here, then my quilting buddy stopped by for a quick cup of tea and a chat. We haven't seen each other in several weeks and needed to catch up. :)

After naps I took everyone over to the church and we cleaned and cleaned and cleaned and did a lot of decorating in the fellowship hall. It has been a while since I spent that much time and effort decorating for a dinner, and enjoyed it. Dale got home in the meantime and came over to help. By the we got home and had supper, I was too pooped to pop. It has been a while since I felt THAT tired! After I laid down for a while I was able to participate in family devotions, read a book to Jerusha, then did a bunch of Christmas shopping online. Thank the Lord for the internet!

This morning we are doing more baking. Some for tonight, some just for general use. Nothing for the freezer today. Benjamin made a triple batch of ginger snaps, Esther stirred up some bread. I will do two loaves of bread and then I will make up dinner rolls with the rest of the dough for tonight. I also made two struesel topped pumpkin pies for tonight. Jerusha helped me with making up the graham cracker pie crusts. She like cruching the graham crackers, and tried to help spread the crust in the plate. The only thing I need to remember to do later is when I put the sliced ham in the oven to warm up, then to heat up a veggie dish to take over.

As for the rest of the day, I will be getting ironing done for next week, doing some music practice, and administering a spelling quiz that we never got to yesterday. Lord willing I will have some sewing time too. I am so close to getting the girls' matching dresses done! I will be making a matching jumper (nursable) for me after I am done with their dresses. Of course, I will be posting pics too. :)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Busy Bees making.. well, not honey......

We were going to start applesauce today but I decided to wait since we have preparations for the Harvest Dinner to do for Saturday. It would have made our schedule too packed and would have caused undue frustration.

So, this morning we went on something of a cooking spree. My good helpers were such a blessing! First things first, as I was making my plans for the day, I realized we needed to do our out loud Bible reading and prayer time. If I had put it off, we probably wouldn't have gotten to it. That being done we split up into different stations around the kitchen and got to work.

Esther was in charge of stirring up some bread dough:

Benjamin had the job of peeling A LOT of potatoes, and you can see Josiah in the background tackling breakfast and baking and cooking dishes:

Elizabeth was helping me to cut and peel apples for pies:

She also helped roll the crusts:

Meanwhile, the littles were at the computer doing some schoolwork on Starfall:

AFter all the cooking was done, we yeilded 3 apple pies, four loaves of bread, and I made up lots of "company potatoes" with the mashed potatoes. They have sour cream and chives mixed in, and sprinkled with grated cheese. Everything, except for two loaves of bread will be going in the freezer for after the baby's birth.

When we got to a stopping spot in the cooking we finished reading aloud the book "Thanksgiving is on Thursday" and then had lunch. I was very glad to lay down for a while this afternoon, and now am looking forward to doing some sewing.
Have a blessed day!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Woodstove starting, mocassin making, bread baking, and glasses breaking

It's that time of year again! Time to fire up the trust wood stove. Dale started it up last night when he got home from work. There's nothing like wood heat to get you warmed up. I mean REALLY warmed up. I was up at two changing from my flannel nightgown into a summer nightgown, turning on the ceiling fan, getting a drink, and kicking the covers off. Today was sunny, and not very cold out, so it got up to around 80 at one point and I had to crack open some windows (shhh.. don't tell Dale!)

I have been debating all week about doing "costumes" for Thanksgiving as part of our unit study. The children were so excited about it that I told them as long as they do most of the work, we can do it. So, everyone decided what they want to dress up as. We'll have four Indians (I told them that wouldn't make any difference as they all act like a bunch of wild Indians anyway) and three pilgrims. I'm supposed to be Priscilla since I know how to make the meal, Jerusha will be a little pilgrim girl, Caleb a boy pilgrim, and Dale will either be Captain Standish, or Governor Bradford. I think he should be Captain Standish for two reasons. Captain Standish was in charge, basically, and also he had a moustache. I would love to get some of those "handle bar" type costume moustaches to put on Dale! Hehehehehhe. Benjamin has been experimenting making moccasins. Dale told him to be careful because the Bible says "Fools make a mockatsin". Pffffft.

Also on to-do list today was making bread, which we do with great frequency here. You can just imagine the smell that goes with this freshly baked bread!

As for the glasses breaking... well, shortly after Dale got home the lens popped out his glasses, hit the kitchen floor, and yup.. broke. Yikes! Both Benjamin and Esther need new glasses anyway, so I guess we'll make appointments for all three of them. Dale is using a pair of old glasses that look very, um... dated. So, Lord willing tomorrow we'll be able to make some appointments.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Win a Free Quilt!... or two!

See my sidebar for pics and links! Such beautiful work! Wouldn't you just love to cozy up with a cup a tea and a good book in that?

In case the link on the sidebar doesn't work:

Free Handmade Quilt

And the second one:

Butterfly Vintage Quilt

If nothing else they are gorgeous to look at! Enjoy!

Wars and Rumors of Wars

First of all, thank you to all those that have served, and are currently serving our country in the military, and to your families for putting up with the inconvenience, insecurity, and loneliness when a loved one is overseas fighting for our rights.

That being said, I thought today's Days of Praise was very apropos for Veteran's Day. It is written by Henry H. Morris III.


"And when ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars, be ye not troubled: for such things must needs ; but the end shall not be yet." (Mark 13:7)

Most major cities and our nation's capital have many memorials to honor the veterans and their sacrifices in past wars. Some of those memorials are magnificent, stressing the glory and joy of victories won. Others are somber and heartrending, stressing the pain and sacrifice necessary to gain and hold onto freedom. All seek to honor the people involved, for the cost is and has been enormous.

Yet, Jesus said that "such things must needs be"! Some wars are more observably "necessary" than others, like wars to stop the spread of evil or to bring judgment on evil nations (1 Samuel 15:2-3, etc.).

But all wars have their sources int he wickedness of men (James 4:1). One of the chief responsibilities of national leaders is to wield the "sword" of national power against those who do evil (Romans 13:4).

It is for those reasons that we honor the soldiers who demonstrate strength in the battle as King David and his "mighty men" did (2 Samuel 23:8-22). It is for this reason we erect monuments to commemorate great victories (Judges 6:24) or signal events in the battles for freedom (Joshua 4:5-7).

War is hideous and touches the lives of all involved. Yet it "must be" until the day when "they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more" (Micah 4:3).

Until that day comes, honor the memory of those who have given their lives and their livelihood to serve in this necessary duty.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Simple Woman's Daybook~ November 10

For Today...

Outside my window...Is a typical NY rotation of flurries, then sunshine. Nice thing about where we live if you don't like the weather just wait about 10 minutes and it will change!

I am thinking...about what to put in the freezer this week for after the baby's birth, and what nesting type cleaning I would like to get done.

From the learning rooms...We are starting a Thanksgiving Unit study this week, which I am very enthusiastic about, and looking forward to jumping into it!

I am thankful cozy bedroom where I like to curl up at night and read before going to sleep.

I am wearing...light tan maternity skirt, and a bohemian style type tunic with cranberry lace trim.

From the kitchen...Oatmeal and applesauce, and needing to make up this week's menu! I think we will do leftovers for supper tonight to get the fridge cleaned out.

I am reading...Thanksgiving is on Thursday to the kids out loud as part of our unit study.

I am hoping...that I will have lots of sewing time this afternoon and evening

I am creating...matching church dresses for the girls, and trying to find time to secretly make some Christmas gifts for the kids.

Around the house...unfortunately not as peaceful I as I like things to be in the morning, but it is okay. Aside from some minor infractions, some chores are getting done, and then we'll be starting our out loud Bible reading and prayer time, then jumping into our new Unit study.

One of my favorite things...Quilting on a chilly afternoon, feeling all warm and cozy, and thankful for the Lord's provision.

A few plans for the rest of the week...Tuesday is piano lessons and tutoring, and I need to get over to the church at some point to set up and decorate for our Harvest Dinner on Saturday.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Saturday's Doin's

Today has been a typically busy day for us. We are gearing up for winter here on several fronts. This morning we did our usual cleaning routine. I like to do a good job cleaning on Saturdays. It is nice on Sundays to know the house is in order for the upcoming week. I also did laundry, and the ironing for the week.

After lunch while the littles were down for a nap I rested for a while, then hit the sewing machine. I am STILL working on the girls' matching church dresses. They are quite involved with lots of work in them, but so far so good. I am pleased with the progress and how they are coming together. If all goes well, I should have them together by next weekend.

There was more wood stacking going on this afternoon as well. We won't be able to fit much more in the basement, and will have to stack on pallets outside the house and cover it with a tarp (that's tahp for us New Englanders, btw.).

More immediately are 5 bushels of apples that I will be making into applesauce over the next week, Lord willing. Well, we'll leave one bushel for eating on, but the rest go into jars. We have some left over from last winter so I don't have to do my usual 10 bushels or so this year.

Our wood stove is ready to use, but it has been too warm to mess with it. In fact, we haven't even been running the oil furnace. Thankfully this house holds in our bodies' btu's very well. Too well! I actually had to crack open a couple windows this past week on the warmer days. Don't tell Dale!

My nesting continues... sewing and general organizing and cleaning have been on my to-do lists everyday. I hit a new area every day or so. I am trying to take advantage of it while I can because I know that will wear off and then I will just be at that end of the pregnancy tiredness, and then good for nuthin' until after the recovery from birth.

Here is a pic of our current centerpiece on the table. I meant to post it a while back when I first put it on, but forgot, then went on vacation, and just plain hadn't gotten around to it yet. I love decorating for fall!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Putting on the Brakes and Backtracking

This is what we have decided to do with homeschooling Caleb. I've been keeping tabs on his reading and phonics and he just doesn't get it yet. I've been down this road before with another of his siblings, and will be just starting over with the basics and going from there. We really can't do anything more until he can read some on his own, so time to focus on that for now.

Also, I am breaking one of my own rules. I usually download freebies off the Internet for this type of thing, but decided to go down to Barnes and Noble to get a couple of KUMON workbooks. My time is too limited right now, and the money spent will be well worth the "time" savings.

This all goes to say that one of the good things about homeschooling is that you can do this sort of backtracking without worry or stress. Caleb doesn't have to fit in a specific group for his age, and there is lots of leeway. I am sure once he gets the basics of reading down then it will be much smoother sailing. This is a good example of how homeschoolers can tailor the curriculum to what they need without a child being labeled as "remedial" or whatever the term is now that they use.

Of course, as a homeschooling mom it is impossible for me to go into Barnes and Noble and not get ideas for unit studies and drool over the multitude of books! You can see in the above picture what we got for Caleb, plus a little research book that corresponds with the Magic Tree House book about Thanksgiving. Timely, I think! I also got Caleb a fun book with pasting, and several smaller books for the reading and phonics as I didn't find what I was looking for in the KUMON variety.

On Friday nights they have a read aloud time for the littles which was enjoyed thoroughly by Caleb and Jerusha, especially the latter. She will sit forever if you read to her! And being the shy type (NOT) she practically was sitting on the reader's lap a couple books into it. It was a fun night out for the family, and I'm glad we were able to go.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Free Sense and Sensibility Epatterns

Yes, that's right.. several patterns for free for downloading! Just follow the following link:

Free Sense and Sensibility ePatterns

Jerusha's Jumpers

Tuesday I finished up two jumpers I made for Jerusha. I had some trouble with lining the bodice, as it is all one piece. In other words, there was no openings for a zipper or buttons.. just a plain pull over style. I realized that was a whole different technique than doing the ling for a bodice with an opening. Once I got the technique figured out (thanks to Dana's blog! Thank youthankyouthankyou!) it worked very well, and has a very neat finish. Now if I could just get the little girl to pose as quickly and nicely...

I'm now conituing to work on the girls' matching dresses for church this winter. I have the collars on and faced, next is the sleeves. After that it will be just the buttons, buttonholes, skirt, and hems. For some reason after the bodice is done I always feel like I am "almost" done with a dress!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Why We Vote on Tuesday, and "The Powers That Be" Devotional

(Thanks to for the following information that satisfied my curiosity.)

Of course, every day is a good day to exercise our freedom, but why do we always vote on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November?

Since 1845, this has been the day designated for holding U.S. presidential and congressional elections.

Why in November?
Most Americans made their living from agriculture in 1845 and Congress felt that November was the most convenient month for farmers and citizens living in rural areas to get to the polls. Preparing fields and planting crops consumed lots of the public's time in the spring and summer months. But by early November, the harvest was over in most areas, and the weather was still mild and dry enough to allow travel over the dirt and rock roads of the day.

Why on Tuesday?
In 1845, and for many years after that, only the county seats had a polling places. For many voters, this meant at least an overnight trip on horseback or buggy. If the election were held on Monday, people would have to leave on Sunday, which in 1845, was reserved for church.

Why the first Tuesday after the first Monday?
Congress wanted to make sure the election never fell on the first of November. November 1st is a Holy Day of Obligation in the Roman Catholic Church (All Saints Day). In addition, many businesses tallied their sales and expenses and did their books for the previous month on the first of each month. Congress feared that an unusually good or bad economic month might influence the vote if it were held on the 1st.

But, that was then and this is now True, most of us are no longer farmers, and while some citizens still ride a horse to vote, travel to the polls is far simpler than in 1845. But is there, even now, a single "better" day to hold a national election than the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November?

School is back in session and most summer vacations are over. The closest national holiday -- Thanksgiving -- is still almost a month away, and you don't have to buy anybody a gift. But the runaway best all-time reason for holding the election in early November is one Congress never even considered in 1845. It's far enough from April 15 that we have forgotten about the last tax-day and haven't started worrying about the next one.

Bottom line? Any day is a good day to vote. Exercise your right and RESPONSIBILITY today!

On a more spiritual note, the following was in the Days of Praise for today, written by HMM III.


Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God." (Romans 13:1)

This day in our country we will vote for the men and women who will lead us for several years. Their beliefs and philosophies will impact our lives far beyond their specific terms in office. The choice we make is both a rare privilege and an awesome responsibility.

There are three perspectives that would be good for us to review as we prepare to exercise this duty.

First to consider is what this will require of us as subjects of those who are appointed over us. We will be required to:
1. Submit to the laws they enact (1 Peter 2:13)
2. Pay the taxes they require (Romans 13:6)
3. Honor their authority (1 Peter 2:17)
4. Pray for them by name (1 Timothy 2:1-3)
5. Fear them if we do evil (Romans 13:4)

Then, there is the anticipated behavior of what we should expect them to do. They should:
1. Be a terror to evil works (Romans 13:3)
2. Exercise the "sword" of judgment against those who do evil (Romans 13:4)
3. Promote a "quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty" ((1 Timothy 2:2)
4. Punish evil and praise good (1 Peter 2:14)

Finally, all who ultimately are placed in authority over men are there by God's appointment (our text). Sometimes the most unassuming are raised up (1 Samuel 2:8) or the evil leader is used to demonstrate God's power (Romans 9:17). WE must seek God's will in our choices, but we can be assured that He is in charge (Psalm 11:4).

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today...

Outside my Window...It is lighter earlier because of the time change. It is a very Novemberish overcast sky, and I can still hear the sound of the geese migrating from time to time.

I am thinking...How much I have to get done over the next month and a half and looking forward to going on a sewing spree.

From the learning rooms...Continuing with our Birds unit study, and Lewis and Clark study this week.

I am thankful for...God's protection and provision. As winter sets in I feel so humbled and blessed with our warm, cozy house and wonderful family.

From the kitchen...I will be making a list of what I want to make ahead for the freezer after the baby is born. Thankfully, my good helpers are willing and ready!

I am wearing...denim Catherine's choice maternity/nursing dress, socks and slippers.

I am Bible and a Tom Clancy book.. wow are those long!

I am sort through as much of my fabric stash as I can over the next couple days.

I am creating...jumpers for Jerusha, and matching church dresses for all us gals.

I am hearing...The children chattering while doing some prebreakfast chores.

Around the house...plans for nesting, starting with sorting and organizing my fabric stash, then moving onto the kitchen, then our bedroom closet.

One of my favorite things...The very early morning quiet, listening to the birds or geese fly overhead.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...Sewing, sorting, and organizing as much as possible. Also getting some Christmas shopping done online.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...

Don't forget to be in prayer and vote tomorrow!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Our Duty as Christians in the Election


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

A river may seem to meander aimlessly, but it eventually reaches its goal. The twists and turns along the way are constrained by a variety of hydraulic and geologic facts that determine its local speed and direction, but somehow it "just keeps rolling along" toward the sea.

So it is with a king -- or with a president, or any leader of a state or nation. He may have a goal in mind (honorable or otherwise) for the nation he governs, but there are numerous people and circumstances along the way that will either impede or help his progress toward that goal. In fact, we ourselves -- the Christian citizens of the this nation-- are an integral component of those circumstances.

But the president's heart is in the hands of God. In fact, "the powers that be are ordained of God" (Romans 13:1). Whether the ruler comes into power by election or inheritance or coup d'etat or some other way (depending upon the nation and type of government), God is in control and will accomplish HIS ultimate goal.

That is why it is vital that we frequently make "supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks... for all men," especially for "kings, and for all that are in authority" so that we will all be able to "lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty" (1 Timothy 2:1-1).

Our American nation has had many great men as our presidents over the years, and many of our ancestors were indeed men and women of prayer. We do have a great heritage in our nation of both leaders and followers who believed in the Creator God of the Bible and who prayed diligently for their country and the great decisions for its history. We must, MUST, do the same today!

(Written by Henry M. Morris, Ph.D, in the Days of Praise for November 1, 2008)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Road Trip Adventures and Belly Pic

After almost two weeks of "vacation" I'm ready for a nice long rest. However, that is not in the cards for me right now, with lots to do before Christmas and baby arrival.

We spent the day packing on the 18th, madly doing laundry, that is until the dryer broke. Ugh! Thankfully it was a sunny day and warm enough so I could hang stuff out, which was done in a mad flurry by my oldest children. Things were hanging every which way, but it got dry and we were able to complete a good portion of the packing Saturday evening amongst our other usual activities.. baths, ironing, getting stuff out for church the next day, etc.

Sunday was a peaceful day, though busier than usual. We had our monthly fellowship dinner, and tried to finish up the packing. There is always that "last minute" list that can't be done until you leave, but we were in good shape for leaving Monday morning at a decent hour.

Well, off we went, and about a half hour out of town we heard this scraping noise on the drivers side of the van like something was dragging. Dale pulled over and with a wise nod said "Oh, I know what that is!". It was a long, thin, rusted piece of metal off the part of the van just below the door. There is a special name for it, but I have no clue. Dale just yanked it off the rest of the way, threw it in the bushes (Litterbug!!!!) , and we were off again. The children did very well riding, I have to say. Some of that is due to their excitement of going to Grandma and Grandpa's, some to the fact they are older and a little more patient than they were before, and some due to the fact that we listened to Patch the Pirate tapes 8 million times.

All was going well until just before we hit New Hampshire. All of a sudden we heard this "Thunkitythunk" and then some very loud "broomblamblamblam....". Apparently all the potholes on the way (don't you love road construction?) loosened the muffler and it decided to part company with the rest of the van. The rest of the way to Maine was so loud we had to turn off the Patch the Pirate tapes (there's a mixed blessing) because they couldn't be heard over the din.

So, the first day of vacation, Dale got to replace the muffler on the van. I have to say I was very impressed with the expediency in which he was able to do it. He and my dad went and got the parts. My stepmother and I went for a walk after they got back, and they had it all replaced and cleaned up before we returned!

We had a wonderful time with going to the beach and finding shells and letting the kids run, yell, and just be, well, kids. They found some interesting things on the beach, and even constructed a little log bridge over a small waterway made from the drainage system. Jerusha tried to chase some seagulls which taught her that their little legs are faster than her long ones. I have always said that there is nothing better than that first sip of coffee in the morning. I was wrong. Getting that first sip and watching the changing moods of the ocean, marvelling at God's creation, tops it all.

When our time was up for being in Maine, we went down to Massachusettes to visit my mom and Grandmother for a few days. My grandmother celebrated her 88th birthday, and all of us, plus my aunt and uncle and their boys went out for chinese food. It was a all you can eat buffet, and I think the resturaunt lost money on us! I have no idea how many plates of food my children went through, but it was several, and they were very good about eating what they took. I personally LOVE the tea and drank more than my full share of that.

On Sunday we visited the New England Baptist church, and enjoyed the services. My husband knows the pastor from way back, and we visit there whenever we are in the area. The pastor asked us to sing that night, which we did, and was glad to be a blessing to them. Monday was a "girls' day out" for my grandmother, mom and me. We got our hair done, then went out shopping for a little while. Me being pregnant, and my grandmother in her 80's, we didnt' last long. We were back by lunchtime, looking forward to a nap. Exciting, aren't we? There is a little playground near my mom's house which we took advantage of. It also has a soccer feild, which wasn't in use while we were there, and Dale had the children running laps. Well, one lap. They all were quite winded after the first time around the field.

Wednesday we returned home, glad for the wonderful time we had on vacation, but also glad to be in our own beds that night. There is nothing like your own bed!

Thursday Dale was able to fix the dryer, for which I am very thankful. Friday we drove 2 hours north up to his mom's, and visited with her, his sister and her little family. We also made several stops at a bulk food store, a fabric store, and a mennonite store where we get our apples. The van was once again loaded down quite a bit as we came home last night. 6 bushels of apples, plus lots of flour, fabric, and sundry items tucked away meant for Christmas.

One little note is that on the way home last night we "clipped" a dear. He hit the passenger side front corner of the van. Dumb thing! He was standing still and then bolted right in front of us at the last second. I heard the antlers break, but didn't see what else happened to it. Dale pulled over, but it was a ways down on the road, and too dark to see where the deer was, dead or alive. Thankfully, not much damage was done to the van. A little dent in the fender, broken lense on the parking light, but the bulb still worked, but nothing vital was damaged. Oh, the funny thing is the kids slept through it all and a couple pried open their eyes when Dale pulled the van over and got out. The dome light woke them up. One asked "what's wrong" and I said "we hit a deer, and daddy is just checking the van for damage." Benjamin groggily observed.. "I thought we hit a pot hole!". I got a chuckle out of that, because there were quite a few that were pretty bad on our trip.

Today is a cleaning/finish unpacking/preparations for church and school next week day. There is PLENTY to do! I loaded the laundry lines and still had to run a couple loads through the dryer. As I am looking around the house I am taking mental notes on what I need to sort/organize and clean up over the next couple weeks. Oh yeah, I must be nesting now!

My sewing pile didn't get any smaller while we were gone . The sewing fairy must be on vacation too. I will be tackling the sewing with gusto from now until baby is born, along with the nesting stuff, and getting ready for Christmas.

There is our time away, in a nutshell! Oh, and here is a 32 week belly shot. Elizabeth took it for me. Excuse the apron and messy hair.. been doing housework before it was taken. :) I don't have any pics from vacation as we found out the first day out that the battery to the camera was dead and we didn't have the charger with us. DOH!