Thursday, December 30, 2010

Knitted Cell Phone Case and Other Pictures

I knitted a cell phone case!  I had to rework the pattern a little because I couldn't find the purse frame the pattern called for (very frustrating by the way).  I ended up putting an I-cord in the casing, leaving it open at one edge so that I could be hooked to a bag clip or over the wrist.  It also works as a drawstring so the phone doesn't fall out. 

I needed something to put next to it to show size so I grabbed my sunglasses, which by the way fit in it perfectly!

Since I am uploading pictures anyway, here are some new family shots:

My family :)

A Book Review - Tandem by Tracey Bateman

As a new Blogging for Books reviewer I was so excited to get my first book, read and review it.  In my house, nothing ever goes like planned.  I read through the list of available books and then was called away from the computer.  When I came back the next day I didn't reread the book descriptions, I went from memory, which is never a good thing with me.

I received my book and was excited to get started reading while Abby took her afternoon bottle.  After the 2nd chapter I had figured out it was a vampire novel.  Bleh!  I am not a big fan of vampire love stories, but I did love Anne Rice as a teenager so I decided to keep plowing ahead and hope for the best.  After the 4th chapter I couldn't put it down.

Somehow the author manages to weave vampires, a saucy mystery, a romance (not with the vampires so much) and a little Christianity into one book.  Tandem seems to be the 2nd book of a series (Thirsty being the first) but it can absolutely be read alone.  I fell in love with the main character, struggling to find her own identity while caring for her ailing father.  I empathized with the main vampire character even if she did appear to be a little stuck up at times.  Several of the other characters surprised me, so I'm not giving away the story :) 

If you want to read a little on your own you can see the first chapter HERE.  Although I will try to choose my books selections more carefully in the future, this was a pleasant surprise.

DISCLAIMER *****I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Christmas

A little late, but better than never, I suppose.

We have had a wonderful holiday here, celebrating the birth of our Saviour.  Norman and I always try to keep the focus on the real reason for the holiday and again this year I was reminded often of why we were celebrating.

Sunday evening we met with a group from church and went Christmas caroling.  I love to Christmas carol.  I always feel so blessed afterwards.  There was snow on the ground and flurries in the air making the atmosphere just perfect.  We ended the evening with pizza at Joe's in Newton.  I love their new addition.  The fireplace is delightful!!!

Monday evening, I fixed a dinner for Norman's mom, sister and her family and cousins.  It was nice to have the house packed with people.  I carefully dressed the table and used the good dishes.  It was somewhat embarassing to discover that we only own 4 butter knives.  LOL  So we shared, we were only using them for butter anyway. 

Wednesday evening we gathered up our crew, plus a spare, and met some friends at McDonald's for supper.  Afterwards we visited the park in Olney for the light display and the little ones were able to sit on Santa's lap.  It was very nice.  I love to look at the lights through the eyes of a 3 year old.  Bear was enchanted to see all his favorite characters all lit up in the park.  I think he met some new ones as well.  I have very fond memories of driving through that park during the Christmas season.

Thursday we braved the crowds and made a trip to town for movie rentals and last minute shopping at Walmart.  By that, I mean, the boys got gift cards from Grammy that were burning a whole in their pockets.  LOL

Friday we celebrated Christmas here as a family.  Norman was off work and we decided to do gifts on that day so we would have the whole day to spend together.  Norman blessed me with a cricut.  I enjoyed the 2+ hours that I was able to scrapbook but was depressed to realize how far behind I am!  I wonder if I will ever get to Abby's pictures??  The rest of the day was spent with games and Rock Band.  Too bad I've had a cold for a week and couldn't sing.

On Saturday, the boys and I stayed home while Norman went to work.  Normally we would have went to be with my parents or grandparents, but I just didn't feel that we would be welcome this year and didn't want to deal with the stress.  Christmas shouldn't be a time of family strife, so I proposed to make it stress-free, for my family at least.  The boys and I tried to build gingerbread houses (an epic failure) and then spent the rest of the day playing Xbox and watching movies.  When Norman came home from work he showed us all how to be gingerbread house architects.  LOL  Another movie and we concluded the day in bed. 

Today (Sunday), the boys and I are lazying around the house again.  Norman deemed the roads slick on his way to work so I didn't chance getting all of us to church.  I have really enjoyed spending so much time with my boys.  Normally we would all be doing our own thing in separate rooms, but for this weekend at least, we have made an effort to be together and enjoy things together.  I feel very blessed by that. 

I will be honest, and admit that at times loneliness has crept in.  I don't understand why members of my family have chosen to treat me the way they have.  I don't understand why they do the things that they do.  It makes me sad that I wasn't a part of the hustle and bustle (but don't miss the stress!!!!) of the family gatherings this year.  I realize that I don't get to make choices for other people.  They make their own decisions and choices, the words that they speak and the things that they do are their own.....yes, those choices frequently affect me and my family, but I refuse to let that get me down.  New traditions are being made.  Love was shared.  Christ is remembered.

I hope that all of my readers and friends have had a wonderful Christmas, regardless of the circumstances you find yourselves in.  Here, we are looking forward to a wonderful New Year......every day, week, month and year is a gift from God and I intend to use it to its fullest potential :)

Friday, December 17, 2010

A Penny for My Thoughts.....

I doubt that they are worth a penny though :)

I've been baking, a lot.  With 3 hungry boys and a growing dh I can't seem to keep snacky type things in this house.  LOL  Almost everyday, Cooker Bear and I mix something up.  Bear loves to cook.  I think it is mostly the mixing/pouring aspect but that's ok.  I suppose that there is some form of educational value in there somewhere but for the most part he thinks it is fun and it keeps him busy for a minute.  He is always so proud when Daddy complements him on his cooking.  Ever humble though, he always shares the credit with me or whoever else helped.  Such a sweet little fellow.

I finished the big project I've been working on lately.  A tied, orange and blue quilt, ordered by a friend as a Christmas gift.  Dh delivered it today.  I have a stockpile of dishcloths for sale and a hat or I decided to knit something fun.  I came across a pattern for a knitted cell phone case.  Cute as a button and made out of sock yarn.  Using up a little bit that was left over after a pair of socks came off needles, it looks fantastic.  I think I can use the pattern and more little bits to make me and Abby some headbands.  I love sock yarn and there are always bits left after a pair comes off the needles so this is a fantastic way to use it. 

Currently, I am using a twin sized flat sheet as a tablecloth.  With all the leaves in my table (and it makes it seat a "roomy" 6) none of my other tablecloths fit and it isn't a "standard" size.  So I ironed some fabric to make a tablecloth.  I am going with a 9-patch pattern of my own design.  We will see how it turns out. 

A new book I am gaining much inspiration from is Marie Osmond's Heartfelt Giving: Sew and Quilt for Family and Friends.  My favorite project from the book is a ruffled shower curtain.  Marie does it in pinks and black.  I can't imagine all the testosterone that lives here going for those colors but I might try something in blues or greens.  I love it :) 

I am looking forward to the New Year.  Many changes are before us, but I am at peace with all of them and ready to embrace our future.  We are together and happy, that is all that really matters!  Stay warm, my friends!!!!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010


My real-life friend and fellow homeschool mommy blogger, Vicky, has blessed us with a Christmas gift!  Head on over to her blog and check out the Family Meal Time Conversation Starter Cards that she and her family have come up with.  We all know how important meal time is but sometimes it is hard to get the conversation going.  Vicky says her children feel left out when she and her dh get to catching up.  At our house my dh and I can't hardly get a word in edge-wise because of the kids.  LOL  We all have challenges.  I love the idea and look forward to using them.  Thanks again Vicky!!!!!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


I'm waiting on Greg to get up (he is not a morning person) so decided to update on school around here.

*knows all his shapes and colors
*knows most body parts
*is familiar with positional words and directions
*learning left from right
*learning letters A-F
*he can count to 20, but we are working on number recognition
*basic addition (he understands 1+1, 1+2, etc)
*he has most of his favorite storybooks completely memorized and can "read" them to you.  He is getting new books for Christmas.  I hid all the early readers so I would have something new he could read while learning phonics otherwise I won't know if he is reading or reciting.  LOL

We finished up modern American history.  I love American history.  We started ancient history.  I hate ancient history.  We are using Diana Waring's new series available through Answers in Genesis.  She makes history interesting and even I am not bored.  Right now Greg is enthralled with Louis Lamour books.  Our library card expired so that is a problem, but he is reading from our extensive stash of historical fiction and biographies...the stuff he really likes.  Right now he is reading Davy Crockett's autobiography.  He says it is very good.  Math, language arts, spelling, and handwriting are going well.  We are reading Men of Science, Men of God for science and Minn of Mississippi as our read-aloud so that is covering science.  Diana Waring has science topics woven through her curriculum so after the new year we will pull some stuff from there as well rather than do science separately.

I guess that is about it.  Everything is going well.  After so many years of homeschooling we finally have a good routine and so everything just kinda gets done.  There are crazy days and days when it takes longer than others but for the most part everything is fairly stress free. 

Now Greg is late getting up so I get to go be the bad mom.  LOL  Have a great day!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Winter Weather

***To my readers on facebook ***  I know most of this is old news to you, but I do have other readers that don't live around here or aren't with me on facebook.  Feel free to read on or skip :)

It snowed Sunday.  If you ask me if I like snow I say yes.  Almost always.  I like snow.  It looks pretty, I like to feel it float down on me, I love the peaceful feeling that seems to envelope everything when it snows.  However, I hate to drive in snow.  I hate to be driven around in the snow.  I hate for people I love to be driving in the snow, or away from home when it comes.  So, I guess really, I like snow when I am home, everyone I love is home, and nobody has to go anywhere for the forseeable future.  I think you can see the problem there. 

Snow causes me major anxiety.  It had just begun snowing when Norman left for work Sunday morning.  By the time I got back up at 6:30 it was really coming down and there was a good coating on the lawn and driveway.  It wasn't blowing, no visibility problems, so I decided to be brave and go to church....a 30 min. one-way drive from our house.  Unfortunately, Norman had fallen on a patch of ice in the parking lot of work (along with 7 others in 25 mins.).  Fortunately he met us in Newton and went to church with us.  Poor guy couldn't straighten all the way up, or hold any weight in his right arm, but he was being a trooper.  Anyway, by the time we came home, it had started blowing.  We had plans that night.  A beautiful candlelight service and supper with friends.  I wanted to go, but didn't want to go.  Norman said we would go to supper, as it was only 5 miles from home.  We made it down our long drive, couldn't see for a good part of the drive, made it to our friend's house.  Had a quick supper and everyone headed for home.  We were gone less than 2 hours and our driveway was drifted completely shut.  We drove through the grass at the road end and managed to make it 2/3 of the way to the house before becoming completely stuck.  So we walked the rest of the way (not far really, couldn't have parked that close to Walmart).  Very thankful that we were home, warm and together.

By morning the snow had stopped and the blowing had stopped, but the snow fairy had NOT dug the van out of the driveway.  Things being what they are currently with extended family, the boys started digging.  Norman tried to push the van out with his truck.  Finally he got a come-along and chain and managed to get it out after all day of working on it.  The boys shoveled a lot of snow.  LOL  Norman couldn't get in to see our doctor on Monday because she was out of the office so he stayed home from work on Tuesday to see her.  Lee got out of school on Monday but had to go back today. 

Now, our driveway is passable.  I am still afraid to drive down it.  LOL  I hate to drive in the snow.  I haven't left the house since Sunday evening.  I have no idea how bad it is out there (and I hear the roads aren't bad at all), but I really have no desire to find out.  Grocery shopping will need to be done at some point though. 

I wonder what the odds are of me being able to stay home for the rest of the winter?  Not good since I have to take Lee to the bus every day, LOL, but you can't blame a girl for trying!!!!!  I suppose that God made snow so pretty so that we would be able to tolerate all the inconveniences that it brings.......I will try to remember that next time!

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Christmas Traditions

I've never really made a specific effort to create family traditions for holidays around here.  We usually go south for Thanksgiving.  Otherwise, I don't think that there is anything we "always" do for any holiday.  With all the upheaval around here lately I feel that needs to change.  So change, it will.

This year, the kids and I are going to make gingerbread houses.  I can honestly say that I have never made a gingerbread house.  Not to overwhelm us, I will be buying the kits from walmart.  You know, the ones you only need to decorate.  I am cheating but that's ok.  Maybe I will do better next year.

I would love to hear about some of your family traditions....specifically for Christmas or New Year right now, but I will take anything.  Comments please!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

A Gabby Mom

Just a heads up (to anyone that cares) - I have been selected as a Gabby Mom for 2011 by TEACH magazine.  I will be given products of interest to homeschoolers/homemakers/moms to check out, use and the reviews will be posted here on my blog.  I should be receiving my first item soon so keep an eye out to see what I've been up to. 

And if you don't know about Lorrie Flem or TEACH magazine, you can see what all the fuss is about HERE.  Lorrie has some of the most outstanding homemaking products/articles/advice I have ever heard.  This is great stuff and I know that you will be thankful that you checked it out.

These Boots Are Made for Walking...

I LOVE boots.  With that said, I have never actually owned a pair of above the ankle boots.  Love the looks but my whole life they were either too expensive or wouldn't fit over my fat calf.  I've always had a fat calf :(  Anyway, in high school I would borrow my younger brother's cowboy boots on Friday/Saturday nights before he turned 16.  They always seemed to fit.  I loved those boots. 

Anyway, Norman blessed me this weekend with a pair of boots.  Almost to the knee, supple brown leather boots.  I wore them today for the first time outside the store.  They are pure bliss.  Something about a boot......

Cute pink sweater, A-line denim skirt and those fantastic leather boots.  I almost felt like a million dollars.  I graced Newton Tire Center, the aisles of Newton IGA and the Jasper County Health Department in my new boots.....I doubt that anyone noticed, but I sure felt beautiful in my boots today.  Thanks babe!  Now Mommy has shoes as nice as Abigail :)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Many Things to be Thankful For

One of our 2 wonderful ministers asked me to give a testimony on thanksgiving yesterday as it was Thanksgiving Sunday.  After trying to come up with an equally appropriate Thanksgiving post for heer, I will just share what I shared there yesterday.

One of my most favorite Thanksgiving memories is of eating at a Waffle Hut in Metropolis IL.  We usually spend Thanksgiving with my husband's father and family in Metropolis.  That is quite the drive from here (about 3 hrs).  This particular year we had eaten a quick lunch with my family and headed off as part of a "caravan" with my husband's little brother and family (from Quad Cities - they broke their drive into 2 days).  Anyway, we get to Metropolis, get checked in to our hotel rooms and decide to order pizza for supper.  However, nothing was open.  No pizza places, no fast food, no slow food....nothing.  My sil Michelle and I were frantic trying to figure out how to feed 3 little kids (my 2 oldest and their oldest).  Finally, we got ahold of the Waffle Hut.  I think they thought we were funny with how relieved I was that they were open.  It was late, well after 7 p.m.  I was thankful that they were serving stuff other than waffles.  LOL  The place was busy with truckers and travelers.  A very kind couple at a nearby table spent time entertaining the kids with jokes and quarter tricks.  My oldest boys still remember it. 

We've had a rough couple of months.  Through everything we have a lot of stuff to be thankful for.  Here is just a short list:

1.  our friends  When I thought that my world had fallen apart and I had nobody left, my friends, our friends, were there.  With hugs, kind words, thoughtful actions.  God used the people in my life to remind me that I wasn't alone. 

2.  my husband  Norman is such a wonderful husband.  Patient, kind and loving to me and the kids and throughout this whole situation and before, he has been a testament to mercy and grace.  We are not perfect and I know that he isn't either, but he has shown great strength in the face of adversity.  He is my whole world and I don't know what I would do without him. 

3.  my children  As I said yesterday, some we worked hard to get and some showed up when we were least expecting it, but they are all so precious to me.  Several days in the last couple of months they are the reason that I got up in the morning....their smiles and laughs kept me going.  This stuff isn't easy for them either but they have the ability to make each day a little easier for me.  I believe that God always knows what He is doing when he places children in a family :)

4.  my Father God  The people on earth will fail you, but I have a perfect Father in heaven.  He knows how to comfort me, how to teach me and how to forgive me.  No matter what.  I am thankful that He shows His love through His word and through the actions of others.

5.  my Saviour Jesus  Jesus took all the wrong things I have done and will do; all the pain, suffering and punishment I deserve, and bore it all for me.  That is true love.  I can never repay such an offering but hope to grow more like Jesus every day.

6.  my relationship with God  In trials, there are 2 ways to go, forward and backward.  I believe that God has used and is using our current circumstances to draw us nearer to Him.  I can honestly say that I believe my relationship with God is 100% stronger than it was.  God works through all circumstances and I am so thankful for that.  I don't have to know the future, I just have to know who is with me on the journey.

There are so many other things to be thankful for.  I encourage all of you to look at your lives and this past year (or 2 or 3) and thank God for the gifts He has given to you.  Sometimes you won't even know it was a gift until you can look back. 

Enjoy your family this Thanksgiving.  We have a busy week so I probably won't be posting again until next week.  Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!

Friday, November 19, 2010

I Talk Too Much

One of my earliest memories is of my Mom telling me to be quiet.  I was 5 or 6 and had just come home from school.  I asked her when I was allowed to talk.....I had to be quiet at school, on the bus, at the dinner table....when could I talk.  LOL 

The truth is, I was/am a very shy person.  It takes a lot for me to stick my neck out there in social situations and I am by far 100% better than I was.  As a child, social situations literally made me sick.  I can remember going days at school and on the bus where I didn't speak to anyone.  I did have friends, and I did talk to them, but I often felt left out of conversations that they were having with others.  A snide or sarcastic comment from anyone would shut me up for a week.  A cousin told me once that if I couldn't sing the song right, to not sing it at all (in her defense I was singing Johnny Cash and I am a soprano).......I still occassionally doubt my ability to sing (I am not Miley Cyrus by any stretch of the imagination, but I can carry a tune).  Getting in front of people to sing, speak or play flute was the worst kind of torture.

In high school, at a parent teacher conference my freshman year, Mr. Buttemeyer told my mom that I was an introvert and that she needed to get me some help.  My mom didn't see where that was a problem, but she came home and told me I needed to talk more.  LOL  Now my mom seemed to me to be the popular girl in school, always knew everyone and could carry on lengthy conversations with people she had just met.....I envied her swavy in social situations.  Her telling me to talk more was like a cheetah telling a turtle to run just wasn't going to happen. 

But I did try harder.  Acquired myself a larger group of friends made up of many guys.  I find guys much easier to talk to.  If they don't like you, don't want to talk to you, or think you are stupid, they will just tell you.  You don't have to wonder "do they think I sound stupid", "do I look like I just got out of bed"....for the most part they will let you know without you even having to ask.  I still, to this day, have trouble dealing with females.  Maybe it is the comparison factor.  I worry about what my hair looks like, whether my socks match and whether or not I am wearing baby food before I ever manage to say hello.  And God forbid, that she be someone in a tailored suit with pefect hair.....I am already out of my league before I even started.

All this to say, I discovered after high school, when I met dh and his family for the first time, that people believed me to be stuck up.  I was astounded, because I was as far away from stuck up as a person could be.  I would do anything (almost) to be included and accepted.  Apparently I gave off that impression know, since I very rarely spoke.  LOL  It is a miracle I ever met anyone in my entire life.  So I tried harder.  A smile seemed to break the ice often so I used it.  It became easier to make small talk with other people.  I discovered that most people weren't judging me, they were just trying to live their lives as best they could.

My oldest son, Lee, has never met a stranger (neither has dh for that matter).....he drug me out of my shell a little more.  The things I would have avoided doing, he loved to do......the places I didn't want to go, he did, and guilted me into it.  Most people who see me now would never believe that I was so shy as I child/teenager/young adult.  I'm not perfect in my approach to social situations though.  I often ask who will be at a function so I know if there is someone there I already "know" and can latch onto.  If I see an acquaintance in town, sometimes I don't go up and say hi....."what if they don't remember me, what if they don't care to talk to me....etc".  I have these conversations with myself all the time!  And then I think, "what if they were thinking the same things?"  We could have made a connection and didn't.....because of fear!  What a deal that would be. 

If you are a close personal friend.....I apologize.  Not because I don't love you....I do!.....but because I talk.  A lot.  I have a ton of things to say and if you are "lucky" enough to be someone I will freely talk to, you will be the one who gets to hear all the things that ramble around in my brain.  It can sometimes be an ugly place in there!  I also love to listen and want to hear about all the ugly things that are rambling around in your brain. 

Remember when we were teenagers and would just drive around all night talking?  I yearn for those days back....not for the youth or lack of responsibilities, but because of the connections that were made in the sharing of hopes, dreams and futures.  Laughing about some little thing that happened that day. 

I write, here and on facebook, because that is almost like being able to sit down with a cup of coffe/tea/coke/cold beer and talking to you for hours on end.  You share your struggles/hopes/dreams/laughs and I will share mine.  For all the hours I spend writing, what I am really hoping to do is make a connection with someone.  Mainly you :) 

I hope that you have a great day!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Another day in the Neighborhood

I could sit here and list off the stuff I managed to get done today but lets suffice it to say that there was much done and much undone :)  I think that is how it goes.  Another day of loving and serving my family is almost over and I have much to be grateful for.

On facebook I and several friends have been listing something every day that we are thankful for.  Today, I was (and still am!) thankful for coffee.  I wrote that with tongue-in-cheek because I have been out of coffee for the past 2 days.  I'm not an addict (yet) but it sure helps me get going in the morning.  Other days my thanksgiving has been directed toward my husband, children and friends......most importantly my God and His word.  No matter our circumstance in life (and ours aren't what we would hope they would be at this moment) there is always something to be thankful for.  I find it helps with contentment to think daily of our blessings. 

Bear ran with me to the post office.  Today a sub for the sub was working.  LOL  Our postmistress was sick and our substitute postmistress is on maternity leave.  So there was a very nice lady that we didn't know working the counter.  She was very helpful with my package.  When we got ready to leave Bear wanted to give her a hug.  He likes to hug everyone.  I told him he would have to blow her a kiss, so he did and a hug too.  He is the sweetest little fella. 

I've been knitting lots lately.  Mostly for sale.  I have some project ideas in my head for some stuff for me and Abby though.  After Christmas I think, when the orders slow down, I will see about getting some of that stuff started.  I have also started a denim quilt for Lee.  I hope to do one for each of the children over the next year.  I love having a creative outlet to express myself.  It is nice, also, to keep my hands busy during stressful times. 

Well, I guess that is all I have to say for tonight.  Have sweet dreams, my friends!


If you want to see persistance in action, please come see Abigail.  This little girl is the picture of persistance.  She has just spent 15 minutes on the living room floor trying to roll over inches from Bear's Bob the Builder crane.  She was trying to reach her binky.  When she finally got rolled over (how exactly she fit in that spot, I am not sure) she decided to play with her plastic rings instead.....but that was her choice and she made it.  I guess after all that work she had earned the right to decide what to play with.

I wonder how persistant I am in doing what God wants me to do.  Often I start out with gusto, but end up with a wimper......I get tired, I can't see the end of the line.  I want results RIGHT NOW and get frustrated working with nothing to show for it.  I wonder how often I miss the blessing of the journey.  I also find it interesting to think that oftentimes at the end of the journey there may be a better toy than the one I began reaching for (just ask Abby).  I've got to keep going!  Keep working, keep reaching and never give up. 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Listening to Myself Think

I am dangerous if I get to thinking for a while....real dangerous.  You are lucky that it doesn't happen very often. 

For many years I struggled just to get the basics done and often times wondered what all the fuss was about with colorful curtains, a "dressed" bed, throw pillows and blankets, fancy towels, etc.  I had enough trouble keeping food on the table and clothes clean....there wasn't any money for anything extra.  I always equated "pretty" with "money".  We didn't have money to make or buy fancy throw pillows, or nice curtains, bed sets, beautiful pictures for the walls. 

We still don't have any money and if we do manage to come across some, we tend to spend it making memories rather than on things (or on things to make memories with LOL).  I am learning though, that pretty can be achieved easily with things on hand. 

I am not God's gift to fact, there is a whole nother world above my standard of housekeeping, but in all honesty, I try my best with what I have.  I try to make things pretty and I try not to spend all my time fussing at the kids about the messes.  The messes will clean up sometime....the memories, I hope, will last forever.  It is hard.  Some days I just want to scream.  You can tell when I've reached my limit.  I figure one day, in about 18 years, my decorating.....will be up to some kind of societal standard.  At this point, I don't really care. 

Acquiring things isn't a very good goal to have.  LOL  I am beginning to understand that as I started to pack....we have so much junk.  Some of it is reasonable stuff that we have used or will use in the future.  Some things need to be kept for future generations.  Most of what I have a tendency to acquire doesn't meet any of those criteria though.  I have already gotten rid of loads of stuff and hope to get rid of more....MY stuff :)  I'm trying very hard to leave everyone elses junk alone. 

As I am packing, and grouching, I am trying to think of those pioneer women, who moved everything they needed in a covered wagon......all the food, clothing and household supplies they would need to reach their destination and set up house once they got there.  Can you imagine?  Our favorite saying while packing for a trip is "there's always a walmart if we forget something".  No stores, no way to get things if you forgot it or ran out on the way.  Those women were something!  I believe that most lived happy, fullfilling lives out there with their families....making a future for themselves and the ones they loved.  Maybe you could just drop us out in the middle of nowhere to live in a little log cabin.....make sure to pack our TV, laptop and cell phones please :)

Aren't you glad I don't think very often?  I guess there isn't really a point to this post.  You can call it a "getting to know me" post.  This is how I think.  When I have the time and energy to do it.

Have a great evening! 

Monday, November 15, 2010


Last year, Norman bought me a new queen size mattress set (moving up from a full size).  It was a good purchasing decision because we barely have enough room in our bed now.  The older boys went to 180 Saturday night.  Bear doesn't like to sleep in his and Greg's room alone.  So I wake up in the middle of the night to find on the top 3/4 of the bed (from south to north): Norman, Bear, me and Abby (in her cosleeper - thank goodness).  On MY half of the bottom 1/4 of the bed is Sadie and Tiger.  I had no blankets.  It was cold.  I didn't freeze.  It is a miracle :)

After Norman went to work yesterday I laid back down with the babies to get Abby back to sleep.  It is bliss to be snuggled in a warm bed with 2 babies :)  They are bed hogs though so I got up after she went back to sleep.  I had the honor of snuggling her back to sleep again this morning.  I think that is the best way to start a day.

We ran out of coffee yesterday.....going shopping tomorrow.  So I am indulging in some delicious hot cocoa to warm me tea is brewing for the caffeine later.  The last load of laundry is in the dryer and I am getting ready to take Lee to the bus stop.  Today is a "home day".  I love "home days".  The older I get the less I like to run around like a crazy person.  I remember when I hated to stay home.  Maybe God changed my attitude. 

Lots of household tasks to do today....and lots of playing, snuggling, and reading as well.  I sure do love my kids. 

Have a great day friends!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Life Happens

I'm here :)  Just been busy.

My extended family imploded, causing a lot of issues for us.  By God's grace, mercy and great friends we are making it through.  We are, however, going to be moving.  When we moved in here 7 years ago, I swore we would never move again.  I will never, ever say that again.  I hate to move, with a passion.  We "settled" here....acquired stuff I never dreamed of needing to move.....acquired 2 more children and all their "stuff".....but it is what it is....I will manage and I know we will be better for it in the end.

Packing, or planning to pack has become a part of every day here.  For the most part we have all the seasonal stuff and collectibles packed up and in storage to be dealt with later.  We will be spending Christmas here (I believe anyway) so I am thinking about holiday decorating.  Thinking of new traditions for the kids.  Mentally busy.

Abby moves her walker....and rolls all over the living room.  That is keeping me busy.  Cleaning and decluttering to keep the house ready to "show" keeps me busy.  School planning, playing with Bear, knitting for sale and gifts.....all keep me busy.

I have found, though, that during this time I have found extra time to spend with God, His word and His spirit.  I am learning so much about my God and expectations, my attitudes, my deficiencies and making new goals for myself.  I am so glad that I haven't walked through the last 8 weeks alone....God has been carrying me and has sent others to walk with me along the way.

My little family is so great!  I always knew that, but we have "pulled ranks" and are really enjoying each other, learning about each other......we are here for each other. 

Well, my baby is fussing so I'm going to try to put her back to sleep.  I hope to post more.  Love you, friends!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Monday, Monday

It is Monday.  Doesn't really matter to me that it is.  Right now my weekends are frantic with soccer and stuff.  Norman has Tuesdays and Wednesdays off.  So Monday, right now, is just another day of work, school and household practice in the evening (although I think that this is the last week of one of them). 

I like Norman being on day shift.  I am getting more done every day (although the house doesn't look like it) and I am losing weight (we are eating meals like normal people).  His days off don't feel weird to me like they did when he was on 2nd shift.  For the most part, everything stays the same, he is just home.

The only complaint I have, and it isn't really a complaint....more of a that I am not a morning person anymore.  Mind you, I am NOT a night person.  I really prefer to be in bed around 8:30 p.m. and we are some nights.  In younger days I would bound out of bed at 5 a.m. and the world would be my stage......sometimes all my work would be done by 8 a.m.  LOL  Now, I am dragging out of bed at 4:55 a.m.  Stumbling around starting laundry and the dishwasher.  I have a nice routine going so I am still getting things done, but I feel like I have been hit by a truck....every single morning.  LOL  Maybe the difficulty lies in that I am getting up early every-single-day.  Norman has to get up at 5 on the weekends for work.  Lee has to be up early for school on Tuesday/Wednesday.  Abby still wakes up at least once a night and sometimes twice......I had to let Sadie out and back in once last night.  Maybe I will feel better when Abby starts sleeping through the night.  For now, I am making the best of it.  Getting off the internet and taking a shower.  It's time to start the day!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

My Precious Children

I love all my children equally and try very hard to be fair in all decisions, time spent with them, etc.....but I am loving this special mother-daughter relationship with Abby.  Yes, I do realize that she is only 5 months old and I anticipate that our relationship will only grow, get sweeter and be tested over time, but it sure is nice to look into her chubby, little, round face with her tongue hanging she tries to eat every magazine she can get her hands on.....and her socks.  LOL  She is a perfect snuggle bunny......all of my kids are......I just love her to pieces.

Now Bear, he is being incredibly cute lately.  My personal favorite is when you compliment him and he says "awww shucks".  It is too cute!!!

Greg caught a tame rabbit in his live trap yesterday.  That is good because the little bugger got out a few months ago and they couldn't catch it.  Lee is looking forward to his first year deer hunting with his bow. 

So much going on here as my children just keep growing.  Everything changes :)  I guess that is enough rambling for today.  It is a beautiful fall day and we have soccer games to attend.  I hope everyone has a wonderful day :)  And a wonderful week!

Friday, October 15, 2010

God is carrying Me

Remember the poem, Footprints in the Sand?  That's how I have felt the last few weeks.  Dealing with a very stressful family situation, an upcoming move along with normal kid/household stuff has really taken it's toll on me.  Some days I feel like screaming, some like crying and some like running away.  For the most part I don't do any of those and I know the only reason why is that God is carrying me.

You see, God never promised that everything would be roses, He just promised that He would be there.  I have felt God so many times in the last few answered prayers, comfort from a friend, a verse from God's word.  Sometimes the tears are comforting, as I have begun to see how past hurts from the same people have shaped issues I am still dealing with to this day.  I am beginning to see how parts of the puzzle of my life have been fitted together.  I am thankful, though, for everything  that I have been through, because all of my past has made me, ME. 

This week was particularly overwhelming for me.  So I have taken a step back and am just focusing on the normal household tasks and the kids.  The kids need me and they need me to be completely available to them, emotionally and physically.  So does my wonderful husband.  I really don't know how he has managed in this situation for so many years.  He is truly my hero :) 

So, my encouragement for the day is that you are never alone.  God is always there, watching, listening, comforting and carrying.  I am so thankful to have such a big, loving, faithful, merciful God. 

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Fireflies and LadyBugs

Today's science lesson was on Fireflies and LadyBeetles (Ladybugs) - because officially neither of them are bugs or flies....they are both beetles :)  There is your science lesson for the day.  Also note that I was spelling beetles like the rock group...but spell check didn't like that!  LOL

Anyway, Bear is terrified of any bugs, but especially ladybugs and fireflies.  No matter how much you explain about their good qualities, he screams whenever he sees one.  Heaven forbid they be in a herd.  LOL  But he participated and drew a fantastic rendition of a purple.  But hey, that's something anyway.  He has also been "teaching" us all about ladybugs and fireflies.  I hope he remembers some of it for his dad this evening!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Heads Up

Feel free to head on over to Sew Blessed if you are looking to do some early Christmas shopping or perhaps something for a wedding/baby shower.  Just up are knitted dishcloths.  They are 100% cotton.  Check them out!  More items to come :)

Walking through the Teen Years

Leland turned 13 this summer.  That statement makes me feel old and I worry about what will happen to our relationship as he gains independence and becomes his own person. 

I usually walk around town while the boys have soccer practice.  Usually I am pushing a stroller, but last night Norman kept the babies at home.  I had my ipod in my hand and was ready to go when Lee offered to go with me.  Now, walking is my time.  I zone out and have a terrible tendency to ignore the ramblings of Bear (isn't that horrible???) while I try to refocus and relax.  Last night I was going to be able to be ALONE!  And Lee wanted to go with me.  So I left my ipod in the van and we walked.  And talked.  I shared some life experiences and learned a lot about my teenage son.  I am so very glad that we were able to have that hour and I hope that he and I (Greg and I, Bear and I, Abby and I) can carve out more time over the next few years to spend some one-on-one time and get to know each other better.  Maybe the teen years won't be so bad after all..................and for the record, I am going to forever be 33 :)  So maybe getting older won't be a problem after all.  LOL

Saturday, September 11, 2010


I had to do something today that I never wanted to do.  I had to explain Sept. 11th to Greg.  My oldest 2 children were 17 months and 3 years old on Sept. 11, 2001.  Although Lee (3) watched the news with me, I knew he didn't understand and didn't remember the frantic 3 hr. drive home or the anxiety that kept me up nights for the next few weeks.  However, he has seen the news coverage, the TV specials and has heard me talk about it many times.  Apparently Greg has not, or didn't realize what I was watching.  He came out and watched the news with me for a bit this morning.  And the questions started.

I found it relatively easy to explain the facts, the actions, the events.  Just like a history lesson.  What I found more difficult was to explain my do you explain the fear?  The need to get home to a safe place immediately?  How do you explain that to a 10 year old that hasn't ever experienced anything remotely similar in his young life?  I tried and I am sure failed miserably.  Honestly, I hope he never feels those same things.  I hope that nothing like this ever happens again.  I can never forget.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Fall is Here

I am my father's daughter.......a farmer's nothing smells more like fall to me then the smell of corn dust :)  I know, people with allergies hate me, but really, you know it is fall if the combines are running!  LOL  So, my parents shelled the corn in the field between our now I can see what they are doing and EVERYONE on the road can see what we are doing.  I hate that. 

This is day 2 of Norman on dayshift.  Yesterday was anything but normal with a bunch of emergency trips to town for my brother thrown in, but I still think everything went well.  Today is going great!  School is almost done (its 9:40) and chili is simmering in the crockpot for supper.  Laundry is almost done and the house is picked up.  I just have a few more small tasks to complete before we head to town for a library event this afternoon.  I look forward to having Lee and Norman home for supper :)

I think I may have to pack up my shorts and capris though.  I am sitting here freezing!  LOL  Have a great day everyone!!!!!

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Choosing Joy

In this lifetime I will have many choices to make.  Many choices to be made every single day.  Although most of the choices I make have no bearing on my eternal life, many will impact how my day goes or how others perceive my life or how my life experience is remembered.

Some of the choices I have faced today include:
*when to get up (although for the most part, Abby did that for me)
* what to have for breakfast (don't tell WW but I had leftover pizza)
*TV news or Bible study (sadly, today I chose TV news)
*shower or just dress (I showered)
*chores or my fun stuff (I did "must do" chores and then knitting)
* lunch menu (leftovers)

You get the idea.  Out of that list, the only thing that I can see that would have eternal value was the choice NOT to have Bible study.  However, several of those choices will impact my outlook on the day - did I feel rushed because Abby got up the same time I did? How is my energy level because I chose a crummy breakfast? Am I ready to face the day since I chose a shower? Do I feel somewhat justified in my choice to do something for me (knitting time) now that I have the household running somewhat smoothly?

No matter what option I choose at each crossroads I always have the choice of JOY.  Choosing joy means that I am at peace no matter what time Abby or the clock wake me up.  I can feel JOY that I didn't have to make myself a big breakfast (or JOY that I had the time/ability/desire to make a healthy breakfast).  JOY keeps me smiling when I don't have the time to do my things.  JOY breeds patience and kindness when Bear tells me something 25 times or wants me to build the lincoln log town.....again.  JOY reminds me that having my husband home every evening is worth the 4:45 a.m. wake-up call.  Joy leads to contentment when I wish we could go out to supper, or I can sit on our "imaginary porch". 

Living a joyful life enables others to see Christ through me.  Do I lead a joyful life daily?  Unfortunately not.  I hope though, that most of my days are filled with joy.  I ask God daily to give me joy in my heart and that the joy I feel will lead others to see the joy of Christ in my life.

Sometimes it is easier not to choose joy.  Sometimes feeling joyful takes effort.  I have found though, in my life, that the little effort required to find the good in each person or situation leads to wonderful blessings in my life.  A day may go from bad to better or at least memories will be made. 

My lincoln log mayor is calling me to rebuild his town :)  So for now, I am choosing joy in playing with this little who won't be little for very much longer.  Thank you God for the ability to live with JOY!

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Nobody Should Pay Full Price for -------

I was going to entitle this post "Nobody Should Pay Full Price for Diapers", but then stopped because most of the points I make will apply to just about anything that you buy on a regular basis.  For the ease of understanding, I will be discussing diapers.

I have a 4 month old in diapers.  Unless you have already bought cloth diapers and are using them exclusively then you will be buying diapers at some point in the future.  Here are some ways to get your diapers cheaper or even free!

Diaper coupons abound.  They are everywhere.  You can get them from your local newspaper or the internet.  They are also included if you order a diaper sample.  I get diaper coupons in the mail after having signed up for new baby type information on the internet.  If you haven't done this, then you should.  You can also earn diaper coupons if you have a favorite particular "brand" like Pampers or Huggies.  These diapers contain a code on the packaging that you can enter into an online account.  Save the "points" from Pampers and you can earn a $3 coupon sent to you by mail.  I assume you can do something similar with the points on Huggies packages as well.  These codes are also available on packages of wipes :)

Occasionally CVS will have store coupons for diapers that print at the bottom of your purchase receipt.  You can use this with a regular diaper coupon for more savings.  I try to never pay more than $5 a jumbo pack for diapers and I almost never buy a store brand (although some are very, very good).

By far the cheapest way to get diapers is from  Most name brand diapers cost around $8 for a jumbo pack.  I can get the equivalent of 3-4 jumbo packs of diapers for $23 (a savings of $1-$9) with free shipping by choosing to have diapers shipped to you on a regular schedule.  It is called Subscribe and Save.  Anyway, I get my diapers for FREE using this option.  Want to know how?

Go HERE and sign up for Swagbucks.  Install the toolbar on your computer(s) or use their homepage while doing your internet searching.  Shop through regular stores from Swagbucks.  Take surveys and check out special offers.  While doing all these things you will be earning points.  Every 450 points earns you a $5 Amazon gift card. You can also use your points for other gift cards or items from their store, but we are talking diapers and other items here!  Stay with me :)  Anyway, you can store these $5 gift cards on your Amazon account, allowing them to accrue.  Then you use that "money" that you "earned" to buy your diapers (or whatever other items you can get from Amazon).  Remember that Subscribe and Save shipping is FREE :)  So I have huge boxes of diapers shipped to my house with NO money out of my pocket - or very little depending on how much internet searching my kids or husband do.  You can start doing this also by going HERE and signing up.  I promise, this isn't some weird way to get your banking information or making you buy something you don't want.  You use their search engine just like you do google.

I know times are hard economically for a lot of people nowadays. I hope that this information will help you stretch your budgeted dollars a little farther.  Have a great day!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

First Few Days of School

Many of my online blog friends have been doing "first day of school" posts. I don't think that I usually do one but there isn't any reason not to so here we go.

Lee had his first day on Friday. At least I didn't cry this year. And yes, I do realize that he is 13. I think I am making big strides in the "letting go" department. Anyway, he had a good first day and the last 2 days have went well also. He is very glad to have a study hall this year. He is on a new bus route in the afternoon. He gets home at the same time, but is with different people. So some of his friends that he rode home with last year have dropped by. I always wanted to be the house where all the kids hung out, but let me tell you, teenage boys EAT....a LOT. LOL I will definately need to go grocery shopping and I need to just plan on baking several times a week in anticipation of a visit. It is great getting to know his friends though.

Greg and Bear had a very short "here is the plan" class on Friday and then a short day on Monday - dad supervised while I was in town. So today was actually the first "real" day of school for them. I think it went well. I gave Bear my undivided attention right off the bat. He was THRILLED. We are using a free curriculum I found on the internet. It is going really well. With our letter of the week we are using the Abeka memory verse cards that my friend Shanna gave to me. So this week for the letter A we are memorizing "All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23". We drew pictures, sang songs, read about the days of creation and several books that I had gotten from the library. I think it went really well.

While I was working with Bear, Greg was working on independent stuff. Mainly drawing. I am encouraging his artistic abilities this year. I think it is going well so far. Everything else went about the same and I was done with schooling by lunch time, just like last year. I was afraid with the addition of another scholar and a baby that I would still be working after lunch, but other than a few minutes of grading I was done by 10:30. Greg finished up shortly after lunch and was done with chores and everything by 1:00 ish so that isn't bad. He hasn't started working on his character building projects yet, but I don't anticipate that taking to much more time.

Abby is her normal sweet self :) I have nicknamed her smiles. She is such a sweetie. Loving her so much and yes, she is very different from the boys. So very thankful to have her every day :)

Our family is very blessed in that my husband will be going to day shift in 2 weeks. He has only worked less than 1 year of day shift in the 15 years we have been together. It has been at least 11 years since he worked day shift. I am so excited! I am sure that I will have to rework our schooling a little as I am used to him being home and awake at least during lunch time, but Greg and I agreed that if Dad wasn't home, we could eat lunch whenever we wanted! LOL

Thinking about sharing some struggles, but will save that for another post. Have a great week!

Monday, June 14, 2010

July Molly's Money Saving Digest

Hello! I know that most of you have heard me talk about Molly's Money Saving Digest. Again, I can't begin to tell you what a wonderful resource this is for those of us trying to watch where our money is going. Molly makes counting pennies fun!

In July's digest, Molly begins by explaining how she keeps a picnic bag in her car for improptu picnics. I love picnics and we need to have more of them. I am so thankful for her list of items to keep in the car and ideas for fun things to do while picnicing. If you need a reason for a picnic, Molly lists several fun special dates in July - national ice cream day anyone???? LOL The forms that Molly provides this month would also be helpful on a picnic, including scavenger hunt and nature study forms (with ideas on how to use them).

Molly provides a weekly menu plan and recipes including Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken, Banana pudding, Grilled Shrimp and Noodle Salad - and others! Molly also includes a grocery shopping list so that you can follow her weekly menu with as little work as possible.

The kids are home for the summer so Molly gives us a bunch of fun science activities that make something else that they can use......such as Homemade Bubble solution and Oobleck.

Need something to do with all those plastic grocery bags you get? Would you believe there are instructions for a day pack made from grocery bags? You will love it! I can't wait to try it out.

Molly wraps up this digest with an alphabet of fun summer activities. Now you can't complain that there is nothing fun to do!

Molly's Money Saving Digest can be found at The Old Schoolhouse Store for $4.95.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010


I am reminded again today how blessed I am to be a stay at home mom.

There are many days that are hectic, busy and I get overwhelmed....many days that I wish I had somewhere else for either me or all these kids to go for just an hour.....but the many, many benefits outweigh all those times.

While many working mothers struggled to get their kids up, dressed and to the sitter so that they could go to work I woke up at 7 a.m. and spent an hour snuggling a cuddly baby and sleepyhead toddler. I watched cartoons on NickJr. and played kick ball (yes, in the house). I washed laundry and was reminded of how thankful I am to have a dryer (I don't yet feel up to hanging things out on the line). I made a nutritious lunch (tacos) and cleaned up the kitchen - thankful again for a dishwasher. I was able to do my cleaning tasks while Abby was napping and Bear was hugging on daddy.......working around the needs of my babies rather than someone else's schedule. This afternoon we are going to spend a much needed afternoon with Grandma - the spring planting is finally done!

I know that not everyone is able to stay at home.....I didn't when Lee was a baby. However I am grateful every day that my husband is able to provide fully for us......I am reminded to be content when there are projects that don't have the funds to be completed (my imaginary front porch and garage for example). I know how easily these years will speed by. I am thankful that I am able to be the one to get Lee up for school and be here (or where ever he is) when school and sports are over. I am thankful for yet another year to homeschool Greg. I am thankful for silly games of hide-and-seek with Bear and snuggle times with sweet little Abigail.

Thank you, God, for blessing our family so richly!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Memorial Day Weekend

It is Memorial Day weekend. This is one of those times I don't like being "old". As a child and then a teenager/younger adult we always had something fun planned for Memorial Day weekend. The only exceptions were the springs that were wet and pushed planting into the end of May. Here I sit today, a non-farming adult, with absolutely no plans for the weekend.....and dh has no intention of making any either. (((sigh))) So here we sit. The boys are mowing the yard.....I canned 6 pints of cherries this morning and did the normal housekeeping duties. Dh took a nap.

Abby is growing well. At her 2 week appt. she had already gained over a pound, weighing in at 8 lbs 8 ozs. She sleeps really well at night and is becoming more alert during the day. I swear she must be deaf though because she very rarely even flinches when the chaos is swirling around her. LOL

I am feeling really well with the exception of the headache I have had for 4 days now. My incision is healing well with just a little pain on the left side after I have been doing something I probably shouldn't. LOL

I am very glad that Lee is done with school for the year. It is very nice to have all my children home together for the summer. Of course, with camps and such we won't be together all summer, but that's ok.

I hope that the beginning weekend of summer is a fun/safe/happy time for all of my friends!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Our Miracle - Abigail Caroline

So here is her birth story.

We got to the hospital for her induction (scheduled due to the fact that they think she weighed heavy) at 6 a.m. May 11, 2010.I was immediately hooked up to pictocin and all that jazz. The dr. came in and broke my water about 8 a.m. He became concerned because her arm was above her head and instructed the nurse to watch it.
*****sidebar - 2 of my nurses for the day had been nursery nurses at St. Anthony's when I was born 6 weeks premature 32 years ago and they remembered me. I was there for 4 weeks then and that was pretty rare. LOL One even brought in a picture that she had of me right before I was dismissed. It was great!*******
Around noon the contractions were fairly intense and every 2-3 mins. apart. The nurse kept coming in and pulling the baby's heart rate sheet off the monitor but I didn't pay much attention.....I was otherwise occupied. LOL The nurse decided to check the babies position and how much progress I had made. Big's arm was still above her head and BIGGER problem was that every time I had a contraction her heartrate went from 150 to 50. Every 2-3 mins. She called the doctor. He got there about 1 p.m. checked me and immediately called for an emergency c-section. He said that if I would have been a 10 he would have delivered me but I was only dilated to a 5.....her arm was the only thing coming out. LOL

So.......I quickly signed papers, got shaved, got my catheter, met the anesthesiologists, etc. Was wheeled down the hall......crying. I told my mom I loved her (only 1 could come back to OR with me). Norman donned his scrubs. They gave me a spinal block which wasn't nearly as bad as I might have imagined although he had to do the actual needle stick while I has having a contraction (they had turned off the pitocin but I was still contracting although not as frequently). Norman was brought in, cutting was started.........Abigail was born at 1:21 p.m. She had the cord wrapped around her neck and her arm was delivered last. LOL She rated a 9 on both apgar scores. I was stitched up and returned to recovery. I didn't really have any problems with the spinal. After 1.5 hrs I was moved to my regular room. Norman brought her in to me after I got settled in recovery. She is beautiful. She has the longest little feet and toes :)

C-section recovery is not fun. Although all the baby books tell you that you will stay an extra 2-3 days in the hospital after a c-section, that isn't so in Effingham. LOL I was booted out exactly 48 hrs. after her birth. The pain is excruciating. And this is from the lady who delivered the first 3 without any pain medication. LOL Norman says I have a very high tolerance for pain. So I have been sitting mostly. Getting out of bed is agony. Friends say to walk and I am trying but I am bent over at a weird angle and it is terribly painful. I am hoping for improvement.

Abigail is wonderful. She is the most precious gift from God. I am so thankful for L&D nurses who were watching that monitor and knew what they were looking for. We could have lost her so easily. Also, the nurses in OR were great.....although I didn't find out until afterwards they kept having to give me epinephrin in my IV because my blood pressure kept going low. The OR was such a calm place wouldn't have ever known that there was an emergency or that anything was wrong with me in there. That really helped with my anxiety level.

So we are very thankful to be through this and so very thankful that we are safe and healthy. Everyone is adjusting and Norman is taking wonderful care of all of us. We have been very blessed and protected by God this past week.

Monday, May 10, 2010


I was dilated at 2 cm at my appt. today so tomorrow morning 5/11/10 we are to be at the hospital at 6 a.m. for induction. Prayers for a safe and speedy delivery are appreciated. Thanks a bunch!

Saturday, May 08, 2010

38 weeks 2 days

That's how far along I am.

I love being pregnant, really I do, but at this time in the game I am done. D O N E done. At the last ultrasound 2 weeks ago, baby Abby weighed an estimate of 6 lbs 11 ozs. I do realize that is an estimate and that it can be off +/- .5 to 1 lb either way. EITHER WAY. So she might not have been that big......or she might have been a giant. One way or the other. Dr. Schulties is generally not impressed with my baby growing skills. At last week's appt. he said that this Monday (May 10th) we would be scheduling the induction. Now, you would think that the over-cooked pregnant woman would jump at the chance to be induced. You would be forever wrong. You see, I have been induced all 3 other times I was pregnant. Lee and Greg were induced at 40 weeks (on their due dates) and Bear was induced 11 days early (high fluid levels). I've never went into labor on my own.....never had the excitement of rushing to the hospital......never been able to labor for even part of the operation in the relative comfort of my own home. I would really love this time to be different. I also dread a long labor. Here are my stats so far - start to finish - Leland no dilation or anything 28 hrs., Gregory no dilation or anything 15 hrs., Bear dilated to 3 cm upon arrival at hospital 6 hrs. I am also one of the dummies that refuses pain medication. LOL Now you understand my reluctance to have a long drawn out labor. I would really like to have a repeat of Bear's delivery (minus the hour or so it took them to stitch up things that shouldn't need to be stitched up afterwards - without pain medication again I might add - although I would have gladly taken the pain medication at that point - but the nurses were too busy dealing with bad lighting and excessive bleeding on my part). Sooooo.....when we go to the appt. on Monday, if I am dilated, I will be agreeable to whenever the dr. wants to induce.....Norman would prefer Tuesday. LOL If I am not dilated I am going to beg and plead that we wait for Friday the 14th.....just to give little miss an opportunity to assist a little in the process. I will note that I have been having contractions of varying strengths for about 3 weeks now......3 WEEKS. Yeah.....and probably it is my luck that I have made NO progress. I guess we will see Monday. So there ya go. Probably way more information than you wanted. I bet ya like my logic though.....don't ya???? LOL

Oh, and the viagra comments have stopped, thank I have comments about various herbal supplements and modeling agencies. Like anyone would hire me at a modeling agency. (rolling eyes)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

It Has Been a Bad Day

I tend to have these sometimes when I'm not pregnant so I guess I shouldn't feel immune when I am. Some people just have the ability to bring out the worst in me.

Facebook is an interesting forum for conversation. Did you know that people can delete the things they say (after they said them) leaving you looking like the donkey's behind when the whole thing is over? Yeah, happened to me yesterday. LOL I should have known better. I am frustrated about something and managed to get in an argument with someone that I knew couldn't make it better. Even though to read the stuff this guy posts (and then deletes when called on it) you would think that he had all the clout in the world. I get so frustrated when I feel like my kids are being wronged.....I know that doesn't justify my behavior......I needed a little bigger dose of that Christian love......but that's how it goes.

I find friendship to be fickle too sometimes. I always make friends with forever in mind....but I guess others don't. That makes me sad and confused and is probably why I am actually typing this at 2:30 a.m.

And why don't I get anything but trash comments to my blog? LOL If I get one more link to viagra in my blog post comments I am gonna scream!

Norman is on vacation. That means it is fishing time :) I am glad he got to spend the whole day out on the lake (and for once it seems the boat was working perfectly!). I forget that it takes hours to clean all those fish when he comes home. I had Bear all day and he was a sweetheart and we spent most of the day at mom's house, but I thought when Norman came home I would be off duty. In dealing with the stuff I shouldn't have had to be dealing with I was tired! But it was 10 p.m. before he came in and took over Daddy duty. And I could have had Bear asleep before that if Daddy wouldn't have been outside. LOL Ironic, huh? I think they are doing it again tomorrow, too. Hope we don't wear out our welcome at Mom's house.

Why again am I blogging at 3 a.m.? Oh yeah, pregnancy and stress induced insomnia. LOL

I've been reading a lot. Not going to post the titles cause most of them have already returned to the library or my Mom's house. I am a better reader than a blogger I guess. Use your imagination.....mostly romance and mysteries.

The baby is doing well. Norman decided to name her Abigail Caroline. My blood pressure has been normal now for 2 visits so I guess that was a one time issue.......good thing I didn't check it today though. LOL Probably would have been high. I have been having a lot of contractions - ironically none today. LOL Apparently they are not stress induced. And I walked a mile slowly with Bear and was the best day for contractions by far. I love to feel her moving around in there.......I just can't wait to meet her. I am so excited to have a daughter.

Maybe I can somehow teach her to keep her mouth shut when people act like dummies on facebook..........I am sure by the time she is old enough to know any better there will be something better than facebook.

Maybe I have dumped enough of my mind to sleep now. Maybe. I am hopeful. I've been praying but I don't feel easy about the problem.....maybe it is my reaction to the people involved that I don't feel peace about. Maybe I need to pray some more. Or get some sleep for the 1st time in 2 days. Or a combination of the 2.

If you have taken the time to read through this mess, either here or on facebook, please pray for me. I need control of my tongue - or fingers as the case may be (NOTE TO SELF - you don't have to respond to people who are being snooty - even if it is about an issue with your kids) and I need to learn patience and I need some sleep. Not particularly in that order.

Tomorrow should be another good day. Please God, help me to enjoy it!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Almost April

First my completed reading for the week:
The Face of a Killer by Robin Burcell

Now then,
It has been an interesting week. As predicted the doctor gave me another round of antibiotics. I am feeling much better. However, my blood pressure was up. Not alarmingly high, but high enough that we got a 1-week appt. and an ultrasound for this Monday - day after tomorrow. I am eager to see our baby girl, check position, fluid levels, etc. I am a little concerned that I am carrying too much fluid again, but we will see.

The most interesting thing this week is that I have been having contractions. Strong enough, ya feel them contractions. Probably braxton hicks, but stronger than I am used to. I find this interesting because I haven't ever went into labor on my own. All 3 of my boys were induced, although I was "almost" in labor with Bear......I had contractions the night before induction and was dialated to a 3 by the time I got to the hospital. If it wasn't for the high fluid level requiring the induction he might have actually shown up on his own....LOL So I find the feeling of non-medication-induced contractions interesting. I sure would like to have this baby come on her own, but we will see about that. They have all managed to get here, one way or the other :)

Been trying to do a lot of cleaning....projects that need to be done. My energy level very rarely lasts to the end of the list though. And it turned off cold again, just when I was planning to work in my flower and herb beds. LOL There is always next week.

The older 2 boys went with Grandma and Grandpa RVing in southern IL this weekend. It is a first trip together thing and I think that they are having a lot of fun. I sure have missed them. Bear plays for a while by himself, but he is used to having the others around somewhat so it has been difficult for him and exhausting for me. Tomorrow Norman is off work and the boys will be home, so we will have made it through :)

I guess that is all here. I will update again after the doctor's appt. Monday unless there isn't anything to update.......Have a good weekend!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Happy Birthday!

Gregory Robert turns 10 tomorrow! Happy Birthday sweetheart :) We got him a new electric acoustic guitar last week - exactly what he was wanting. He has been enjoying it so very much. He is a joy to our family and I am so very thankful that God placed him in our lives 10 years ago.

Despite the current festivities (he chose chocolate cake with chocolate icing and ice cream for dessert tomorrow), I have had the grouchy/grumpies for a few days. I have no idea why. Maybe just hit the "exhausted and I don't want to" part of pregnancy. There are many things to do and I just don't feel like doing any of them. LOL I hear pregnant women talk all the time about nesting, but I never really feel that urge. Usually I go the other way.....the further along I get, the less I care....about anything :) It doesn't help that I have been reading rather than doing projects.

Norman has been working on my new pantry. I am very excited to have it done soon. He and the boys installed the track lighting today. It is really coming along. Goodbye to having food stacked up everywhere after a big shopping trip!

Bear is being a typical 2 year old also. That probably isn't helping my disposition any. LOL Today he couldn't make up his mind....inside or out? When the cold front swept through I made up his mind for him and of course, he didn't like that any. Greg finally found something to entertain him. Yeah, Greg!

Completed reading list for this week:
Act of the Apostles
Under the Dome by Stephen King (haven't read a King book in quite a while and this one was very good. Over 1000 pages, but very good!)

We have a doctor's appt. on Monday. Looking forward to Monday.....I think that Mom and I will be going to Terre Haute after my appt. That is sure to improve my mood :) Chinese food, here I come!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Completed Reading this Week

The Wolf At The Door by Jack Higgins
The Bone Chamber by Robin Burcell

Now, I am off to work on finishing the "lone sock".

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Spring Might Be Here!

First my reading list for the last 2 weeks:
Galatians-Philemon and the Gospel of Luke (finished today)
Impact by Douglas Preston (finished today)
A Parent's Guide to Training Children to Sit Still and Smile About It by Lorrie Flem
Books for Sonlight Core 4 (prereading for Greg):
A Scholastic biography of Thomas Alva Edison
The Wright Brothers by Quentin Reynolds
Helen Keller by Margaret Davidson
The Terrible Wave by Marden Dahlstedt

Still working on that silly sock though!

My cold is back and worse. The nurse that I saw refused to give me any more antibiotics. So I imagine I will have this for the duration - unless Dr. Schulteis is willing to give me some in 2 weeks. We can always pray for that!

The boys are all good. They are loving the wonderful weather that we have been having. The sun is peeking through the clouds again today. Lee started track practice last week and is really enjoying it. Thinks that he might do hurdles. So our spring will be busy! Busy is good I guess.

Baby is growing nicely I think. We will have another ultrasound in a few more weeks. I am almost 30 weeks along. I can't wait to meet our new little blessing!

I am sitting here trying to think of something deep or witty to say about things, but I don't have anything. So I guess I will leave it at that. I hope that all of you have a wonderful week!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

2/17/10 Reading List

Finished reading this last week:
Abomination by Colleen Coble
Too Many Murders by Colleen McCullough
most of Creating a Beautiful Home by Alexandra Stoddard (Decorating book and I just couldn't get into her style, although I liked some of what I read)

Gospel of Mark

Monday, February 08, 2010

Reading from the Weekend

I may make it to the library this evening before the next snowstorm hits so I decided I would post the reading that I did before I took the books back :)

First the Dead by Tim Downs
Adorable Knits for tots by Zoe Mellor
Cozy Knits for Cuddly Babies by Elanor Lynn
Homesteading edited by Abigail R. Gehring

Still got books here, but you know me, I will probably find some more :) Happy reading!

Friday, February 05, 2010

Current News

First off, my completed reading list for this week:
How to Study the Bible for Yourself by Tim Lahaye
Shade of Grey - a Sonlight Core 4 reader - I don't have the book in front of me for the author's name
The Book of John

It has been a good week! After having a cold last week I was blessed to feel better this week. Still sniffling and have the never-ending-cough but otherwise I was able to work on some projects that needed done and decluttering the house. I finished one sock of a pair and got the 2nd started.

Today I had my 25 week check-up. If you watch the Dugger's - 19 Kids and Counting - I am as far along as she was when she delivered in December. I found it interesting to see little Josie, as that is how big my baby is right now. I am praying for baby Josie and the Duggar family and hope that she will grow and get stronger every day. I also pray that I won't deliver this early! Course, I had severe contractions today....starting in my back and radiating around. They only lasted 10-15 mins but were continuous.......Norman rubbed my back and put me in bed and I slept for an hour. Now I feel horrible, but no more contractions. Hoping to hit the bed early tonight and get some rest and very thankful that I don't have to get up so early tomorrow.

We bought some movies last week. Bear is loving Cars. LOL I can't begin to count how many times we have watched that movie the last few days. In fact, they are in my room watching it right now.

Thankful for so much this week. Especially my family and friends!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Our News.....

There really isn't any news, but I didn't have a better title so, there ya go!

It is snowing. At least it isn't raining, but I suppose in the end it won't make any difference....snow and rain make mud just the same and we already have gobs of that around. Yuck. We desperately need gravel on this driveway. Someone remind me of that when it is nice and dry. LOL

We had the stomach flu......again. I don't think that anyone should be cursed with it more than once a year.....poor Lee has had it 4 times, Greg 3 times and the rest of us about 6 weeks. Fantastic, huh. Now we all have nasty colds. That is only marginally better. For the most part I am still functional so that is something anyway. LOL

On the sewing front:
I made a nightgown for myself from an old sheet that didn't fit out new bed. It turned out well. I hate working with ribbing though so I don't think I will use that pattern again. Norman and I bought some pink flannel and seersucker while in Terre Haute for our anniversary and I made up 2 blankets for baby. Very cute. I have some flannel and chennile for more blankets but I am going to try to wait to feel better before dealing with them. I really have to have 100% brain power to sew.

On the knitting front:
I am about 3 inches from being done with one sock. I still have it's mate to do.....Course I have found several little sock patterns, bonnet patterns and dress patterns that I want to make up for the baby. So, I really need to be knitting.

On the reading front:
I am almost done with How to Study the Bible for Yourself by Tim LaHaye. Good book with lots of great helps. I am reading I John in the Bible currently, just having made it through Philemon. I have a home decorating book and several knitting books sitting here also. And the library called a few minutes ago and said I had more books in. WooHoo!

I think that is all the is new with us. I love to hear what everyone else is doing so I am going to try to keep up with these posts and book lists.....keeps the ideas flowing. Although I hate to upload pictures to this blog, I will try to get some pictures of projects and get them uploaded at some point in time. I promise :)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Molly's Money Saving Digest - February 2010

Molly Green does it again!

If you've never read one of Molly's digests, then you are in for a treat this month. Molly begins by explaining the nutritional content of the potato and several wonderful sounding recipes for their use. I can't wait to try them. Several of them were recipes that can be frozen ahead and reheated later. With the new baby coming, I was especially thrilled with those. If you are looking for more yummy recipes, Molly gives a week's worth of dinner recipes and 2 desserts for the week leading up to Valentine's Day. I am hoping to try all of them! As always, Molly's menus and recipes use things that most pantries have readily available and are quick to fix. No searching grocery stores for weird ingredients!

Last month Molly explained the home management binder system. This month she includes more forms for your use.

Cabin fever sets in during the long winter months, but Molly helps us out with activites for the whole family and thrifty ways to show our love this month. She also has gift-closet ideas so that we are always ready, no matter what occasion sneaks up on us.

Molly's Money Saving digest is available from the Old Schoolhouse for $4.95

Friday, January 08, 2010

Back to School

Lee was back to school this week so that means we went back to the books here at home too. I thought that I would give a run down of what was accomplished this week. Keep in mind that our little snowstorm canceled school on Thursday and Friday so we had a short week :)

Greg - 4th Grade
We are one chapter from being finished with Caddie Woodlawn. I guess we will finish it up next week :) Amazingly he has been able to see several birds and gotten good use out of the bird field guide that he got for Christmas. In history we are studying 1865-1890's - and all the exciting things that changed our world during that time. In science we are studying feathers.

Bear - 2 years old
This would be tot school. This week Bear has spent quite a bit of time working his Melissa and Doug puzzles, play doh and pegs. We used the pegs to sort colors. He also loves to build towers with blocks and sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. Very cute.

We have been very blessed today to find out that the baby is a GIRL :) According to the ultrasound she is about 13 ozs. We are eagerly anticipating her arrival in a few more months.

I hope that all of you have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, January 01, 2010

Happy New Year!

After a couple months of not writing I suddenly feel a desire to write all the time! LOL I figure facebook friends are deciding that all I do is update facebook so I am hoping a daily journaling here will slow me down some. Maybe, right?

Bear is watching PBS - Bob the Builder. Glad my aunt told us Bob is still on PBS. Makes his day a little interesting for a while......we have DVDs but he has to get someone to put them in and change them so this is a little easier. He and I played blocks for a while but I get tired of him destroying my creations and give up earlier than he would like. LOL This pregnant momma is having trouble keeping up with the energy of a 2 year old. I don't remember it being this hard when I was pregnant with Greg.

We had a wonderful time with friends last night celebrating the ending of one year and the beginning of another. I stayed up way past my bedtime but Bear let me sleep late. Lee is still in bed. LOL I forgot how much teenagers liked to stay up late and get up late........course my parents didn't allow too much of that......If you stayed up late you still got up early, so I don't have a lot of sympathy for him. He is grouchy when disturbed though! Having supper with another set of friends tonight.....the desserts I am taking are almost done. For some reason I am not craving chocolate at the moment, just strawberries. I love strawberries! I can't wait to get ahold of some fresh ones in June.

I quit doing New Year's resolutions a couple of years ago. I just try to live each day the best I can and do what God wants me to be doing.....every day! That's hard enough :) I do, however, usually set some goals throughout the year. Here are the goals I am working on now:
---reading through the Bible. I have been working on this since mid-year 2009. Not reading straight through, just picking books and reading them through. I have learned so much and hope to complete the project before the baby comes in May.
---exercise. I was up to 3-5 miles 5 days a week in October when I quit walking. Morning sickness was just too much for me. I started walking again this week and was aghast to find out that I could barely huff my way through 1/2 a mile. So I need to get to work on that.

Right now, that is about it. I will update again if I come up with more but for me, simplicity is bliss.

I have a knitting project on needles (socks), a quilting project in the works (tote bag) and a sewing project on the drawing board (nightgown for me). I hope to have pictures of completed projects soon!

Guess that is enough for now. Hope that all of you have a wonderful beginning to 2009!