Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Sweet-Bitterness


The day has come, another year gone in a flash. You have brought so much joy and laughs to our home. Even though you have six older siblings, you are unique in every way. I am loving watching your personality take shape. When you sit on the floor next to me in the kitchen while I am preparing dinner...when you crawl under my desk and play with something quietly while I'm working on the computer...when you wake me up at least once a night to nurse (STILL)...I love it! I love that God let me be your mommy!!!

Happy Birthday Sweet Ava Rose!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Great Product

Moms of boys you will love this. I hadnt ever seen anything like this until today. In the past we have used a step stool for those little guys who just arent quite tall enough. Now there is this!



I love it, a urinal for boys called the Weeman. You can find it at Snuggybugz.com

Oh My!

Let me translate this from chicken to human for you. "Oh my.....you had a 13 pound baby, you poor poor thing!" What are those chickens eating?


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

An Award!

I have been blogging sense November of 2004. Today I received my first award. I am so exited!
From Robin Sampson no less, the author and founder of the Heart of Wisdom website. She has written so many wonderful books, many of which I own and LOVE. We use the HOW unit studies in our homeschooling, and we enjoy it immensely!
Now back to me ;-) I won an award! Thank you Robin!


Not only have I never received an award before I haven't ever given one away. So I am so excited to be able to pass this award along to some blogs that mean alot to me. I am not one that reads an enormous amount of blogs, just due to times sake....so the ones I do read I feel are Excellent. Here they are:

Elise @ http://mamahooper.blogspot.com/
Tiany @ http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/Tiany/
Ann@ http://holyexperience.blogspot.com/
Robyn @ http://lentilsandrice.blogspot.com/
Lisa@ http://followingtheancientpaths.wordpress.com/
Letisha @ http://ourlifeforhim.blogspot.com/
Nathan@ http://cfhusband.blogspot.com/
Kelly@ http://heartsforfamily.blogspot.com/

The rule, if you choose to except it ;-) is to pass along this award to 10 blogs that you feel are excellent!

One last thing, you must read this. I hear so often that I have to allow my children to date and "look around for a suitable mate" but I believe my Father is bigger than that and we need not search. This story gives me hope that indeed my children are the apple of HIS eye and He will leave nothing undone in their lives!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

He is God

I read this today and these words just jumped out at me and resounded in my Spirit, so I'll share them with you. I like most think I can plan my life, or that I know what to expect next....when the next child will be coming, how many I will have before the Lord closes my womb. Strangely enough we are not expecting yet, even though by my past record, we should be by now. Just HIM letting me know that I don't know it all and that HE is truly the giver of life.

Audrey wrote:
"I am not ashamed or embarrassed to say that apart from my God and my husband, my children are my life. I count it a tremendous blessing and responsibility to have them. Carl and I welcomed them into our home and always thought we would be welcoming more. But these are the children God has given us. He is God. He can do whatever He wants. My life and my heart are in His hands."


It doesn't get any plainer than that...He is God. He can do whatever He wants.

Cabin Fever....Anyone?

Why I have a bone to pick with Old Man Winter. No I'm not sure why there is carpet remnants on my floor. Hubby brought it in the other day for the kids to play on, and they are doing just that.


video

Monday, January 21, 2008

Who said learning wasnt fun?

Hard at work, finding the missing dimension of a rectangle and multiplying a single digit number times a multi-digit number using the expanded form of a number. My brain hurts just saying it.

Goof Balls!

Productive Weekend

It has been a great weekend, filled with lots accomplished. I had some stuff on my list that kept being pushed back, so I concurred them this weekend. I went through all the business receipts and labeled and recorded them. I uploaded the business bank statements from August to date to Quicken and categorized and reconciled them (I just purchased Quicken a few weeks ago to help me track business accounts) So I think I am ready to do out taxes. One huge task down.

I went through the MomPack fillers I have received over the past few weeks and made MomPacks. If you are interested, Mompacks is a group set up for moms who are business owners to send there promotional material (ei, business cards, etc.) to each other. In turn they are made into packs and given out at any and all events you can think of. I send them out with my orders and give them away at homeschool meetings. Its great for the mom who is receiving it because there are always coupons and samples and little treats.


Then I sewed a dog bed for Franklin. He had taken to sneaking up in the couch at night, which is not allowed. The bed is very big, but so is he. I think he likes it because he hasn't been on the couch sense. The girls thought I had made it for them. Ava was so cute, she crawled up on it and laid her head down like she was going to sleep.


I finished painting the base and window trims for the bathroom and Rob nailed them up. We are 98% done with the bathroom, just a few minor touch ups and shelves to add to the walls for storage. I am so happy with this bathroom. It is the first time I have ever been able to design a bathroom, and after what we had before, to me its beautiful. I have some before and after pics below. Please remember that the before pics are from a 106 year old bathroom.

Bathroom before

After we ripped out a wall to double the size of the bathroom.

New bathroom, with the tub we refinished.

Double sinks so that now we can have two short lines to brush teeth instead of one long one!

I also finished painting the wall downstairs that we had to go through to change out the plumbing. Rob patched the Sheetrock and I painted it and put the baby pics back up with one addition, Miss Ava Rose. I am on the hunt for a matching picture frame, it really sticks out. I didn't keep baby books, so this is the one thing that I do, when each one is 9-11 months they get a formal picture taken and we add it to our wall of fame. If I ever get frustrated I just sit in front of it and remind myself what I was placed here to do and I can see how sweet and precious they started out as ;-) hehehe there still sweet and precious, most of the time!

This is turning out to be one long post, sorry about that. On to the important stuff. The winners of the contest are........EVERYONE! Let me know if you have Boys or girls and how many and I will put a package together based on that. You can contact me here! Have a great Monday!




Friday, January 18, 2008

Giveaways

Crystal at Biblical Womanhood has featured the Extend-A-Bibs as this weeks give away. You can scroll down and find it under January 15th. Its late notice but if you get over there in time (by Saturday) you can leave a comment and throw your name in the hat.

I am also having a little giveaway as well. I'm feeling really "givey" LOL. I LOVE to give stuff away, if I were a wealthy person you all would have free bibs for life....hehe. So heres the contest. Leave a comment and give me some ideas that I could use for a tea party. If you were inviting your homeschool groups moms and daughters to your house for an old fashioned tea party what are some things you might do?

I said I was feeling "givey" and you will see why! The giveaway ends Sunday at midnight, so leave me a comment!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

A first on film

Rob has been asking me for the past few weeks to buy Ava a sippy cup. Although she has been eating foods for a few months she has not had anything other than "mommy milk" to drink. I figured sense she is going to be one in 12 days (waaaa) its probably time to move her on to a cup. So I bought one today and we got her first sips on tape. She is still walking around with the same cup and it is still pretty full so I think she still hasnt quite figured out how to tip it up. Please ignore my kitchen, its being remodeled (veeerrryyy sllooowlllyyy). Oh and just so its on the record it was not my idea to make her first sip from the outside world, Gatoraid...that would be my husband.


video

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

A Garden Elaborated on

I wrote A Garden in an attempt to pull my thoughts together on something that has been on my mind as of the past few days. Why is it that sometimes moms just cant pull it together? So much so that dad and probably the whole family just are miserable. As I stand outside looking in I can see the areas that need tending, I can see changes that could be made to make the situation much better. Of course just in the physical realm because we all are a work in progress in the spiritual realm.

I want to say that I do not have it all together, I am far from perfect...but I think I have a pretty good understanding of what it takes to keep a home with a bustling family. Aside from just being an example how do you help a mom that is in need of frankly some "suck it up girl and get to work" kind of encouragement? I sometimes wonder if you can. It hurts me to see families in a tail spin. Dads tired of coming home to disrespectful children and a messy home.

Interestingly enough one of the overlying factors in both cases was stuff. The stuff clutters their homes and their minds and lets face it when you have a large family sometimes just bodies can clutter up a room, never mind material clutter. I don't know what the answer is, perhaps theres not one. My personality is to help them fix it, but in reality it would not stay fixed unless they learn the tools themselves. How do we help these moms? Any ideas?

A Garden


Our homes are like gardens. Some gardens are eclectic, with a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Some are ordered neatly in rows. Others have herb gardens, rose gardens.

Some gardens are large taking up an acre or more, others may have a balcony garden, a porch garden or a nice backyard garden. Envision ALL the different gardens that you can and think on it for a moment.

Gardens of all kinds are beautiful, from the grandest to the single rose bush positioned lovingly in the container on the back porch. A garden no matter the size must be tended. Weeded, watered, LOVED....or the fruit will not bare.

Now picture your garden over run with weeds and having been without water for a few days. It may look messy, cluttered. The flowers will begin to slump and wilt. Imagine that same garden left to itself for a month.

Each of our gardens is completely different. We have houses, husbands, children, health issues, school issues, spiritual issues or the lack thereof that make our gardens unique. Yet there is one thing that makes them all the same. As the gardener we are to tend them, each in there own needs. The weeds (house keeping, discipline, spiritual issues, relationships) must be pulled or they will over take your garden.

Yet, a garden that is LOVED, well planned, thought through, organized, tended to daily, watered, prayed over, sung to, weeded.....will flourish and bring forth fragrant beautiful flowers; will produce bountiful foods and most importantly will be a place of beauty, peace and JOY!

What is the state of your garden?

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Been Busy

We have been pretty busy around here. Ava was and still is sick for the first time, so she wants to just be held most of the time. Eve is sick still, seems like a cold. Rob and all the boys were sick for one day and then were fine. The good news is I haven't been sick! It is a rare thing that we get sick around here, so I wont complain.

We are finishing up that bathroom I told you about a month back...yes no bathtub for a whole month. I am ready for a bath! It looks SO much better though. I'll show pics when it is complete.

Getting tax stuff ready, closing out the old year so we can bring in the new ;-)

I have some new items at Seams of Love. I have hair bows as well as Bow holders for sale. I also have some new products from a fellow mom, she has designed a new type of hair band, they are really cute! Go check them out.

I also want to ask that you pray for a sweet family that is walking through a time of great uncertainty. Tricia has CF and had to have an emergency C-section at 24 weeks. Baby weighs in at just over a pound. She is beautiful. Tricia, needs a lung transplant and is very sick. Please go visit her husbands blog. I haven't met very many folks with the faith and trust that this man has. Not just with a faith that his "girls" will pull through, but an even deeper faith that if they don't he will be OK. He has been an inspiration to me!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Results

Well, its a two edged sword. The Echo showed no abnormalities. There is some "leakage" but nothing abnormal. They cant find any reason why I am feeling tight chested. He suggested asma (sp), but the x-ray would have shown that, I would think. So I am HAPPY to hear that there is nothing showing up on the tests, yet I still do not know what is making me feel this way.

So I am going to focus on cardio and see if that helps. I used to jog, and I just might take that up again. Perhaps I am just not getting enough exercise? Thank you all so much for praying for me, you ladies mean more to me than you will ever know! They (your prayers) were answered today in a very obvious way when the cardiologist only charged me half of the original quote for the Echo....Praise The LORD!

I am still feeling out of breath but at least I don't have that looming concern of my heart failing! That is a huge relief!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Update

So I waited as long as I could, hoping it would go away, then I went to the ER. They found that I have a heart murmur. Which in and of itself is not necessarily a problem. The problem is that it is a new problem and not something that I have had from birth. I am not pregnant (which can cause heart murmurs) so they are sending me to the cardiologist tomorrow for an Echo. The cardiologist is willing to let me pay out the $1600 echo costs so that is good. So by tomorrow I should know what the problem if any there is. I cringe at the cost of all of this, but I just cant worry about it. Thanks for your prayers!

Monday, January 07, 2008

Just how messed up things are

I have talked before about how I feel there is something wrong with my heart. It comes and goes, so like most of us moms we forget about it until it comes back again. Last night it returned. I was up until 2:30 with a tight chest and having a hard time breathing. I got up at 2:00 and started riding on my stationary bike because I felt like I just needed oxygen. I am still feeling tight chested this morning. I decided this morning I would call and make am appointment to see a Dr. So I get on the horn and call the two cardiologists in the area. Ready to hear what I was told? I informed them that I had no insurance, but can pay cash. She then proceeded to tell me that they can not take patients with out insurance for heart evaluation problems because the tests are so expensive its just not feasible. So I was basically told today that I can not get my heart checked because I do not have insurance. We live in the greatest country in the world, with the best health care in the world? Really...are we sure about that? I'm not! So I'm asking for prayer, because apparently that's my only route! Please pray for complete healing of whatever the problem may be!! Thank You!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Getting things done


I have been asked alot how I get things done while having the children around. I dont know that there is one magic answer. Although there was one thing that I decided long ago and that was that having children would not keep me from doing the things that I needed to do. If you think about it woman of old had to go out catch a chicken butcher it (which is a time consuming and messy thing to do;-) They had to carry their clothing down to the river or carry water up from the river or well to do there washing. There were always time consuming things that HAD to be done just for survival. So I guess I just made a decision that I would not live my life according to my children, but that I would include the children into my life and duties.


Now there are practical ways of doing that and it will differ from family to family. When I had three small boys and was pregnant with my 4th I cleaned our 20,000+ sq ft church with no help. As you can imagine I had to take my children with me. There were many things that I would do to complete my duties. We had a nursery and if I was in that side of the church cleaning, I would leave them all in the room (that was very safe, and had a half door that locked from the outside) and Devon was in charge. They had plenty of toys to play with and they were in ear shot of me. They certainly new that I expected only the best behavior possible and I got it most of the time. I would take them with me into the sanctuary while I dusted and vacuumed and they knew what was expected of them.


Babies are even easier. If you have a walker or bouncy seat you can keep them in one place, safe and do what you need to do. I will let a baby (6mo to toddlarhood, I think infants should always be tended to when they are upset) cry for 20-30 minutes if I have something I have to get done. It has not made any of them insecure, and I can bet you that if you were to walk into a home from days of old you probably at some point would hear a baby crying while mom was kneading dough or cleaning game for a meal. Luckily I have not had any that just would cry until I came back for them...they usually got the message that I wasnt coming and would decide to make the best of it and play. Lastly dont forget nap time, that is the best time to get things done that require nonstop action, like painting and the like.


Life is much easier these days as I have 'BIG KIDS" that are a true blessing. For example while I was painting and grouting the other day, I did it in shifts. The first shift was painting. The baby was in the hallway off of were I was working, in her stationary walker, playing. The second oldest was in charge of Eve and making sure she didnt get into markers and color all over the house. The only two that need to be watched on a constant basis are the little girls. The boys all know what is and isnt allowed and boys just seem to be able to occupy themselves so well. If I do have a boy that has decided he is going to have a bad day than he is my helper and stays with me until he gets his act in shape.


So if I had to break it down into a few key things I would say:
  • realize that children should not dictate what you do but that they complement your duties with whatever they can do to help, even if helping is just being on their best behavior and letting mom finish her work.
  • get creative in keeping them busy.

  • older children need to be given responsibility in watching the younger ones and not coming to mom for every problem. I have told my boys on occasion, do not interrupt me unless someone is on fire (they know that means only if it is really serious, and not just to tell me that someone looked at them funny;-)
  • realize your limitations, only schedule what makes sense, I always fall short on this part and dive right in, but thats just my personality...if I see that something needs to be done I do it, sometimes getting halfway through and then realizing I had bit off a big bite of that elephant.
  • Children 4 and above in my opinion should be able to get along without you for an hour or so, as they play in a room beside you while you work, without interrupting every 10 minutes. If they cant than perhaps they have been catered to a little to much ;-) Ducking for cover!!

Friday, January 04, 2008

Strive

One of my favorite things penned:


Strive, as in an agony of holy fear. A promise has been made of your entering into His rest (Hebrews 4:9-11). Strive, lest you should come short of it...................

Strive to enter in at the narrow gate. Strive, not only by this agony of soul, of conviction, of sorrow, of shame, of desire, of fear, of unceasing prayer. Strive, likewise, by putting in order all your conversation, your whole life, by walking with all your strength in all the ways of God---the way of innocence, of piety, and of mercy. Shun all the appearance of evil......

deny your own will in all things, and take up your cross daily. Be ready to cut off everything that would hinder,and to cast it from you. Be ready and willing to suffer the loss of possessions, of friends, of health----of all things on earth---so you may enter into the kingdom of heaven."


Are you striving?? For the path is narrow and few will enter!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

IT IS COLD!!!


Actually Freezing would be a better adjective. It has been as low as 27 the past two nights. We were supposed to have a warm front come through but it has been pushed back a few days. So to keep warm I painted the bathroom upstairs and grouted the tile Rob laid a few days ago. I am in a hurry to get it finished so that we can move the tub back in and I can take a HOT bath! But that means that tomorrow I will have to get out in to the cold air to refinish the tub. Its a sacrifice I am willing to make!
Oh that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever! Duet 5:29