Friday, December 19, 2008

33



I've been much too busy lately. Too busy to post, and sadly, I've barely been able to keep up with the absolutely necessary things. Things should calm down dramatically next week. In the meantime, I'm celebrating a very special day today. Today, 33 years ago, my best friend was born. Although he hails from Indiana, he was actually born on an Indian Reservation in Washington state. His parents were missionaries there.

My life has never been the same after meeting him. Now, 10 1/2 years of married life together, and 3 children (so far!), I couldn't be happier. He's the best. My only regret is that today is supposed to snow like crazy and he will be plowing All. Day. Long. Our dinner plans at one of his favorite restaurants for tonight will have to wait.

Happy Birthday, Matt!

Another one...

Now that Noah has established where Gracyn came from, he wanted to know how long she would be staying. A few days ago this was our conversation;

Noah: Mama, how long is Gracyn staying?

Me: Forever and ever, Noah. Did you think she was going back somewhere?

Noah: Oh Cool!! Yeah, I thought she was going back in your tummy.

Me: No, I don't think she would fit anymore (thinking to myself that she barely fit when she was a newborn).

What was so cute was how excited he was to realize that Gracie was staying and not going anywhere. I love how much he loves her.

Monday, December 8, 2008

So funny...

This was an extremely funny interaction with Noah last night as I was putting Gracyn in her car seat to drive to my parents house for a birthday party;

Noah: Mom, where did we get her from? (referring to Gracie)

Me: I grew her in my tummy. Don't you remember how big my tummy got before Gracie was born?

Noah: Oh yeah, I forgot (followed by several chuckles).

Its terrible, but part of me wanted to joke with him and tell him we got her on sale at Walmart, just to see his reaction. But, I know inevitably, it would bite me in the butt. A few weeks later we would be out and about and an unsuspecting stranger would say something like, "Oh, is that your little sister?" And Noah would reply, "Yup, we got her at Walmart. She was on sale." Then, I would have to try to explain to the stranger why my son thinks his baby sister came from Walmart. I mean, I do spend a lot of time there, but seriously, I did give birth to her almost 11 pound self. I really have to remember to write down this conversation in one of their baby books. It was a keeper.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Sick

Sorry for the delay in posting recently. Both Noah and Gracyn had colds last week. On top of Noah's cold, he also had an intestinal bug...poor kid, as if one was not bad enough. So, once I've unearthed my hallway and laundry room floor from the mountain of dirty clothes and puked on sheets, I'll get back to posting.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

GO VOTE!!!!

If ever there were a time to vote, it is now! Please vote today. Not only is it your right, but your duty. In my humble opinion, you lose your right to "criticize" the government if you won't even take a few minutes to vote. Didn't vote? Then I really don't want to hear you bash the government when you couldn't even spare a few minutes to throw in your 2 cents. I'm just saying...

Sweet tooth...

This weekend, while rushing through Wegmans, I grabbed a few bags of candy bars that were on sale, leftover from Halloween. Since we don't take our kids out to Trick or Treat, they don't get much candy...just a few bags from my family. This means that when I steal candy from their bags, its usually noticed, which is not good. So...I grabbed several bags of candy for Matt and I to eat from, whenever we wanted: ) Last night Noah asked if he could have a mini Snickers bar. I said, "sure". He tried it and surprisingly did not like it. He even spit it out. I told him he needed to clean up his gooey mess. I was whipped from being on my feet for several hours making jam, so I sat down for a moment on the couch. About 60 seconds later I hear the baby make a strange noise, like a frustrated whine, while sitting in her high chair a few feet away. I jump up to check on her and see her hands, face and shirt covered in chocolate. Apparantly, Noah had set down the remainder of his uneaten candy bar on her tray. She grabbed it and gave it a try, and boy, did she like it. Her frustrated whine was because the slippery lump of chocolate had slipped out of reach. As I cleaned her up, she kept lunging forward, trying to grab that lump of chocolate. She was pretty frustrated that Mama ended her candy binge. All I can say is, "I'm glad to see she is not allergic to peanuts". Just to update you, this is what Gracyn has now tried:

* Rice cereal
* Sweet potatoes
* Squash
* Mixed veggies
* Peas(by the way...she hates them!)
* Applesauce
* Snickers!!!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Pretty things...







Several weekends ago, Gracyn and I went on a ladies retreat with about 17 other women from our church. We all stayed together overnight in a cabin at Camp Cherith in Nunda, NY. We were together about 24 hours and just had so much fun. I really got to know the ladies a lot better. We played a game where we each listed an obscure fact about ourselves. I think that out of the 17 women, I only knew about 6 of the facts. I was shocked because I really thought I knew these women well. Later, we played another fun game, "Imaginiff", which I will be adding to my Christmas list.

Gracyn was a little sweetheart the entire duration of the retreat, and I don't think she even cried once. The weather was perfect...Indian summer! We even enjoyed a visit to Letchworth State Park, which was only 15 minutes away and holding their annual Arts and Crafts sale. I was able to get a Christmas gift and birthday gift, which was great. The scenery was just spectacular in the southern tier, where we were. The campgrounds were just loaded with beautiful trees, rolling hills, forests, and this beautiful pond you see in the pictures above. My favorite picture is the forest reflecting off the pond. Its almost hard to tell where the forest begins and the pond ends. It was great to sit in that swing beside the waters edge and just enjoy the view. I even got to see either a turtle or fish repeatedly surface. And of course, another "pretty thing", my Gracie.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

First tastes....








Yesterday, October 22nd, was Gracyn's 6 month birthday. Is that possible? On the one hand it feels like she has always been a part of our family, but on the other hand I can still feel her warm, sticky, heaviness as they plopped her on my belly just after birth. Our lives will never be the same. She's so much fun. I think that I have always been a fairly relaxed mom, but with Gracyn I have progressed to enjoying my children more. They are less "work" to me now, because I have learned to enjoy the journey so much more. Its not that I didn't enjoy the other kids...hardly! Its more like I've finally come into my own and realized that being a mommy is one of those things I was created to be, so I embrace it fully.

With Gracyn, I decided to wait until 6 months of age before introducing solids. Both Rylee and Noah began at 4 months, but I knew that nursing was meeting all of Gracie's needs, so we waited a bit. I know she is definitely ready, though. The last month she has been trying to grab utensils out of our hands, reaching for our glasses, etc. Last night, on her 6 month birthday, we tried some cereal out on her. She was very eager, and managed the food really well, but you can tell the taste was just so different than what she is used to. She would open her mouth, take a bit off the spoon, let it sit on her tongue, then shudder wildly. It was hysterical. The faces were so entertaining. Matt and I and the kids were all laughing. Sorry about the closed eyes in some of the pictures, but you would blink too if you had a flash going off every other second.

Gracyn's personality is still easy going, laid back and super happy. She generally has one mood: Happy! She smiles non stop. She even stops nursing just to look at me and flash me a giant smile, then she'll go back to nursing. She loves attention and being held (what baby doesn't?). She already knows to react differently with different people. For instance, when Matt gets home from work, he scoops her up and she immediately starts "playing" and gently hitting his face and smiling. I think it must be a baby girls version of wrestling. With me, she tend to just smile and snuggle. With Rylee and Noah, she flashed these quick, engaging smiles to them that just beckons them to come play with her. She now says, "mama" with regularity. I think she even knows what she is saying because when she is tired or hungry, she'll cry "mama" over and over. Last week she started saying, "Hi!". Its not just any "hi", but rather a high pitched, drawn out "Hiiiiiiii!!", complete with hand wave. Imagine yourself saying "Hiiii!!" to a baby, and this is how Gracyn does it. Its pretty funny.

Gracie had definitely worked herself so completely into our hearts and lives that we just could not imagine our life without her. Happy 6 month Birthday, little one!

Wow!

Wow! You must read what Randy Alcorn wrote about on his blog yesterday:

http://randyalcorn.blogspot.com/2008/10/im-not-voting-for-man-im-voting-for.html

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I was tagged!

I WAS TAGGED! And I have no idea how to include the image of the rules and link to other people's blogs, etc. So, here goes, minus the links and rules. (By the way, anyone is welcome to try and teach me how to do the above if they feel inspired to. I know you tried once Carole.)

I was tagged by Carole. These are always a fun way to learn about people. Unfortunately for me, I'm a pretty "open book" which means its difficult to think of new things to include, but I'll try.

Seven random or weird facts about myself:

1) I absolutely LOVE tropical punch kool aid. Call me a kid. I know its probably terrible for me with all that red dye and sugar, but I pretty much never tire of it. I even try to limit keeping it in the house because then I want to drink it. Yes, I do have self control, but still...

2) Ditto that thought regarding cream filled doughnuts. Not the pudding stuff or "Bavarian", but the sickening sweet, white, frosting type filling. Once, again, they cannot be in the house or I'm a goner.

3) I spent a large portion of my Monday in the Dr's office in severe lower abdominal pain. Around 11:00 I felt a cramp like sensation, then within minutes I couldn't even stand up straight I was in so much pain. My arms and face went numb, like I was going to pass out. I was on the couch writhing and moaning from the pain (this from a person who had an almost 11 pound baby with zero drugs and rarely makes a peep during labor). Upon arriving at the Dr's office, the pain began to lessen, but my abdomen was very sensitive to touch. I was sent for a special ultrasound which revealed that I was perfectly healthy. I think that it was strange occurrence that prayer took care of. (For those that are interested, they were able to rule out kidney stones, tubal pregnancy and ovarian cyst)

4) Chances are, if my feet are cold, the rest of me is too! I tend to get chilled quickly and take a long time to warm up.

5) I don't mind "doing" the laundry. Its just the folding and putting away that gets me.

6) I thoroughly enjoy nursing. I guess it gives me a lot of satisfaction to know that my body is doing what it was created to do...nourish a child. And I know Gracie enjoys it ; )

7) One of these days I would love to have a mini orchard in my back yard. Complete with apple, pear, peach, cherry, and plum trees. As well as assorted berry bushes (although I already have some of them), and strawberry plants and grape vines. I also really wish kiwi and lemons could grow in our NY climate, but they don't.

Hmmmm.... I tag Jen B., Hannah, Jewel, Amy Jo (if you are reading this) and that's about it. Although I have people reading this blog, most don't have their own blog so I cannot tag them.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Concord Grape Juice




In my post last night I mentioned that we picked Concord grapes from our neighbors grape vines. He has more grapes than he can use and year after year he invites us to come pick to our hearts content. We are more than happy to oblige, especially after he told us about how his late wife and his daughters make juice. First, I just have to say that grapes must be one of the easiest fruits to pick. There are no thorns, you are picking right in front of you, not reaching above, and they come in beautiful clusters. The smell is amazing. I think my Nana must have had concord grapes at her house one time and allowed me to try them because every time I smell or taste a concord grape I am immediately transported back to 8 years old, or so.

Better than Welch's Grape Juice

Pluck grapes from stem and wash. Fill a 1 quart canning jar half full. Add 1/3 cup or so (depending on your tastes)of sugar. Fill almost to the top with tap water. Put lid and band on and tighten. Process in a hot water bath canner for 10 minutes. Allow them to cool. Enjoy.

That's it! Its so simple yet is so delicious. I forgot to mention that you do have to strain this before serving. We usually just use the lid to strain the grapes and seeds as we pour the juice out of the jar. Its healthy and delicious.

For the record, my kids absolutely LOVE making juice. Even Brock said in a sweet voice, "Thanks for letting me make juice, Jenny!" How sweet is that? I'm not even entirely certain why, I just know that Noah will sit for 1 to 2 hours plucking grapes for me, which not one complaint. Rylee, knows the entire process of juice making and does about 95% of it herself. She knows how many grapes, how much sugar, how much water, how to wipe off any sugar around the top of the jar, etc. I think the only thing I'm needed for is actually processing them. Noah has been begging since Saturday to make more juice. Maybe today I'll make his wish come true : )

Sunday, October 19, 2008

A fun, Fall day...


Yesterday was a fun day with the kids. It was one of those sunny, but crisp fall days. Friday night was the wedding of one of my friends that I have known since I was 13. She made a beautiful bride. I forgot to bring my camera, thus no pictures. My sister kept the 2 oldest kids overnight, so yesterday started with us sleeping in, then heading out with Gracie to breakfast. It was really nice to talk and not have to cut food up for little people before eating, although I would only want that break for a short time before I wanted to be Mommy again : ) We brought back both our kids as well as my sisters kids. We asked our neighbor friends to join us picking grapes from a different neighbor down our street. Tabitha, Peter and Emma helped pick grapes, then we came back to our place to make scarecrows. We hunted up some old clothes and the kids started packing them with hay. It was messy, but fun!
Tab's scarecrow looks almost real in this picture. She's in the flannel jacket. And there is our dog, Molly...always hanging out wherever we are. She's just content to be near us. What a sweet dog.


The kids are packing this shirt full of hay. We used a pumpkin for the scarecrows head and even put a hat on him. He really looked like a farmer with his denim overalls, plaid flannel shirt and hat. Would you believe after making him and setting him up on an old milk can that I forgot to take a picture? I'll have to remember to do that tomorrow (its dark out now).

After setting up the scarecrow, I cleaned up all the hay, and even cleaned up all the dead plants from the majority of our flower gardens that border our house. It felt so productive to get all that stuff done, yet we still did fun stuff with the kids. To top the evening off, we even had a campfire. It was so cold out, but we sat close enough to the fire and each other to keep warm. It was such a great day!

Friday, October 17, 2008

A choice of utmost importance...

I've never blogged about anything "political" before, but the time has come. With only 18 days to go until we decide the next leader of "the free world", I cannot stay silent anymore. I have the utmost of respect for friends and family...even if we don't agree on political issues. However, within the last month I spoke with 4 people whom I greatly admire and respect and who are all strong Christians, and the issue of the election came up. I was shocked to hear of their likely vote for Obama. "What about the abortion issue?", I asked. Each person gave good reasons why other issues took precedence in their own lives. They were compelling issues for sure. Even if these friends don't change their mind and vote for Obama we will still be friends, but part of me cannot help but think that perhaps they truly don't know the whole truth about Obama. Sure, he's "cool" and widely supported by just about every movie star (that truth alone is quite telling). But he has also made abortion the VERY FIRST THING he intends to deal with if elected into office. Hmmm...not the economy, the war, or other important issues, but abortion. The taking of innocent lives. Does that not speak to the man's character? Actions speak louder than words, and he can tell me all day long that he hopes to decrease abortions, but just look at his voting record and what he says. I, for one, don't want innocent blood on my hands.

The thoughts below are not mine, but Randy Alcorn, a famous Christian author. I came across his blog entry this morning via somebody else's blog, but his thoughts truly echoed mine. I apologize for the length of this entry, but some things must be said.



"I knew from the first time I heard him speak that Obama was cool. And if the candidate I supported, for reasons of substance, also happened to be cool, that would be a nice plus. I coach high school tennis, and I like it when the kids like me. And hey, my generation invented the word cool! (Of course it also invented the word groovy, but....).

Then the sad day came. I checked out Obama's actual position on abortion and I was demoralized. I found that in every single vote related to the issue he's favored abortion, its legality and even the killing of children who survive abortion.

But Obama is savvy. He wants to attract young voters, including young evangelical Christians who are sort-of-prolife. He knows to say that he favors reducing or limiting abortions. Which is like limiting rather than criminalizing murder and rape and kidnapping and slavery. A candidate could say “I’m personally opposed to rape,” while he has a 100% voting record favoring the legality of rape. And he could say he favors limiting or reducing the number of rapes. But if he actually supports the legality of the hideous crime of rape, discerning people would see through his rhetoric of rape-reduction.

When I discovered Obama was an all-out defender of legalized child-killing, I was disappointed beyond words. And I knew that in the next election, I was not going to get to be cool.

John McCain wasn’t my first choice for president. But at least McCain's a hero, he suffered for his country and fellow soldiers. And at least he thinks innocent children shouldn’t be slaughtered, and has consistently voted that way. And he's chosen a running mate who not only professes to be prolife but lived it out by valuing a precious Down Syndrome child that 80% of people would have aborted. McCain and Palin are far from perfect. But I believe they would honestly stick up for the most oppressed and violated people group in this nation, unborn children.

Of course, these days it’s especially not cool to support a Republican, even if he would defend innocent children, because Republicans are part of the party of George Bush, someone who is hated by cool people. (Nobody mentions that the Republican Party was the party of Lincoln, that opposed slavery; they were hated for that too.)

I am deeply concerned about the one, two or possibly three Supreme Court justices to be appointed in the next presidential term. If you listen to the candidates, it's obvious that McCain/Palin would make a concerted effort to choose justices likely to reverse Roe v. Wade and it is equally obvious that Obama/Biden would choose justices most likely to uphold Roe v. Wade.

So, does God care about who his children vote for? In many cases, with not much difference between them, I doubt it. But here's what he says about the needy and afflicted who have no one to help them and are on the brink of death:

"For God will deliver the needy who cry out, the afflicted who have no one to help. He will take pity on the weak and the needy and save the needy from death. He will rescue them from oppression and violence, for precious is their blood in his sight." (Psalm 72:12-14)

The blood of week and needy unborn children is precious in God’s sight. Please don't tell me abortion isn't the only issue. Of course it isn't. Treatment of the Jews wasn’t the only issue in 1940 Germany. Buying, selling and owning black people wasn’t the only issue in the United States of 1850. Nonetheless, both were the dominant moral issues of their day. Make no mistake about it. In our own day if we support a candidate who defends abortion, who is dedicated to that cause, we are supporting the killing of children. Yes, even if he’s the coolest candidate to come along in decades.

We will stand before the judgment seat of Christ for our decisions, and a vote is a decision in which we assume responsibility for the known beliefs and moral positions of the candidate.

This is not speculation, it is not a spin, it is demonstrable fact: Barack Obama IS committed to continuing the legalized killing of unborn children in this country.

Some Christians claim otherwise. But in his July 17, 2007 speech to the Planned Parenthood Action Fund Obama said,

"We know that a woman's right to make a decision about how many children she wants to have and when— without government interference—is one of the most fundamental freedoms we have in this country. . . . I have worked on this issue for decades now. I put Roe at the center of my lesson plan on reproductive freedom when I taught constitutional law. . . So, you know where I stand. . . The first thing I'd do as president is sign the Freedom of Choice Act. That's the first thing that I'd do."

If you don't know about the Freedom of Choice Act, it was written by the most radical proabortion activists because they saw informed consent and parental consent laws being passed at the state level. They wanted something powerful that would dismantle anything that could serve to reduce abortions through requiring that people be told the truth before an abortion or before their sixteen year old, who can't be given an aspirin without their permission, can have an abortion.

Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion provider in America. Obama standing in front of them and promising he's 100% on their side is the equivalent of a presidential candidate 160 years ago addressing an assembly of the owners of the slave ships, and saying, “If you elect me, the first thing I will do is sign an act that will insure slaves won’t be freed, and that nullifies any and all voter-approved state legislation that restricts slavery.” (And sadly, yes, even hearing this, some Christians would have campaigned for and voted for him.)

Now, “first thing” means first thing, right? So before helping the poor and protecting the environment and addressing the economy and national defense, what is President Obama going do? He's going to assure that abortion stays legal and that the numbers are NOT reduced, by signing an act that will devastate decades of work at the state level by the prolife movement. Requirements of parental notification and informed consent and bans on partial birth abortions? History, if Obama has his way.

When Obama made this promise, he was either lying or telling the truth. If he was lying, he has a serious character problem. If we can’t trust him to do this, why trust him to follow through on any other promise, including those for which evangelicals are supporting him?

Ironically, however, if Obama was not lying, then he has a far worse character problem. Why? Because he is committing himself to oppose the rights of unborn children to live. I would rather he be a liar than that he be the defender of the killing of weak and vulnerable children, the orphans and fatherless.

I think he is sincere and likable, but on this matter, a matter of enormous significance, it is no exaggeration to say he is standing in defiance of the Creator. (A Creator whose blessing we should not dare ask if we defend the legalized killing of the children He creates.)"

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Washington and friends....


I decided to update my blog starting with the most recent activity and working my way back. This past weekend, on our way home from our vacation in the Outer Banks, we stayed several days with our good friends, Mikey and Jewel and their crew. Mikey and Matt go way back and have been best buds since they were fairly young. They have one of those friendships where they don't have to talk all the time, they are able to just pick up their relationship whenever they next see each other. Don't get me wrong, they do keep in touch, just not as much as women seem to. We were pleasantly surprised that they lived only 15 minutes from "the mall" and the historic places in Washington. We were able to squeeze in a visit and I was so impressed. This is standing at the Washington Monument and looking past the Reflecting Pool to the Lincoln Memorial.
This is also taken standing at the Washington Monument and looking at the White House. I had no idea the president was able to look out his window and see the Washington Monument. Rylee was most impressed at seeing the White House. When she finally spotted it, she asked, "Can we go meet George Bush?" Isn't that great?
Here we are standing in front of the Reflecting Pool with the Washington Monument behind us.
I feel terrible that this is the only picture I got of the whole McRoberts family. As you can see, I was a little late snapping the picture.
Pretty, huh? I would say that overall I was very impressed with the beauty of these historic landmarks and how well they were taken care of.
This is the World War II Memorial. I'm ashamed to say that I didn't even know it existed. It was beautiful with large columns for each state and many fountains. There were scenes of battles and soldiers depicted. Someone even left flowers in one spot and it made me pause and reflect on how much we take for granted. So many lost their lives, and it was a sobering, but much needed reminder of the cost of freedom.
This adorable girl is Eden. Eden is beautiful. She's plump and sweet. She is a bit more reserved than her sister, but can be a cuddle bug when she wants to be. Mikey and Jewels children are our God children and we are honored to have been given that role in their lives.
This is Jordan. She's a little spitfire! She's spunky and loaded with personality. She's cute, and she knows it. She's also very affectionate and will just crawl up on your lap and make herself comfortable...especially if you are a man!
This is Mikey. He's a great guy. He's probably the smartest guy I know as well. He has a double masters and has always graduated in the top of his class throughout college. He works for the Navy and is currently stationed at the Naval Annex, which is directly across from the Pentagon. I'm glad our government has him! Although I didn't get a picture of her by herself (why is it that us Mom's are rarely in pictures ourselves? Maybe we are too busy taking pictures of everyone else!), Jewel is Mikey's wife. She's great, and we love her. She's so good with the kids and went way out of her way making awesome meals (Mikey made a great breakfast as well...apple oatmeal pancakes with Grandpa Wegner's real maple syrup he boiled down himself!). I'm afraid I gained some weight this weekend. Jewel and I are able to pick each others brain about homeschooling, kids, cooking, blogging, church, adoption (they have already and we hope to), etc. Sorry I didn't have a picture, Jewel!
This is Noah. He's not so fond of having his picture taken...can you tell? His name is Noah Daniel, while our Noah is Noah David. It can be a bit confusing and complicated at times. This boy knows more about football than I could ever hope to know. How sorry is it that a 5 year old knows the game and I don't?
This is Chi, short for Malachi. He's Noah's younger brother and only 2 months older than our Noah. I guess he got pooped out playing and just curled up on his chair and fell asleep. Isn't that adorable?
Here is our cutie pie, or one of them, I should say. Little Gracyn is just growing up before my eyes. She's beautiful. I know I'm partial since I'm her mom, but seriously...admit it, she's gorgeous! She is such a good girl and so sweet.
I actually got a little teary eyed reading what was inscribed in stone above Lincoln.
I must say that my favorite place we visited this past weekend was the Lincoln Memorial. I have always admired Lincoln. This Memorial was just an amazing place to see. On either end of the inside area are some of his famous speeches, The Gettysburg address and one of his inaugural addresses. I liked that they had little signs as you approached the interior saying , "Quiet, Respect Please". It was fitting. We had a wonderful time with friends and touring the famous landmarks in Washington. I look forward to going back in the future and seeing even more of the city. The architecture was stunning everywhere we looked. Although we did not intend it, it was a wonderful learning experience for Rylee. What a great field trip!

Monday, September 22, 2008

On vacation...

I know, I know, its been a LONG time since I have posted. I've been reminded of that by quite a few people. Suffice it to say that I truly have been busy with fun and legitimate things.

But....right now, I'm sitting in an amazing beach house on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, surrounded by most of my family. I went on a tour today to the 4 by 4 beaches about 10 minutes North of here. We drove in the sand the entire time, as there are no paved roads. We saw a whole bunch of wild mustangs. It truly was amazing. I'll blog more about it and most some picture in the near future.

For the next week, I'll be spending lots of time relaxing and enjoying my family.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

loving it...

Have you guys heard this song yet? Its called the Revelation Song. We just sung it for the first time this past sunday in church. Its one of those songs that I literally cannot get out of my head and I have been singing it for 3 days now. Its awesome. Here are the lyrics:


Worthy is the, Lamb who was slain Holy, Holy, is He Sing a new song, to him who sits on Heaven's mercy seat

Holy, Holy, Holy Is the Lord God Almighty Who was, and is, and is to come With all creation I sing Praise to the King of Kings You are my everything And I will adore You

Clothed in rainbows, of living color Flashes of lightning, rolls of thunder Blessing and honor, strength and glory and power be to You the only wise King

Holy, Holy, Holy Is the Lord God Almighty Who was, and is, and is to come With all creation I sing Praise to the King of Kings You are my everything And I will adore You

Filled with wonder, awestruck wonder At the mention of your name Jesus your name is power Breath, and living water Such a marvelous mystery Yeah...

Holy, Holy, Holy Is the Lord God Almighty Who was, and is, and is to come, yeah With all creation I sing Praise to the King of Kings You are my everything And I will adore You



I'm sure this song has been around for several years. Have you guys heard it before? Do you love it as much as I do?

Monday, July 14, 2008

Ha!

Last night Matt came downstairs for something. He saw that Noah had pushed a kitchen chair over to the coat hooks beside the front door. This is where I hang my purse. As Matt came down the stairs, this is what Noah said, "I'm not...um, I'm not....um, I'm not getting bubblegum from Mama's purse!"

Isn't that great?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

A Weighty Responsibility

Have you ever stopped to think about the responsibility that we parents have of raising our children properly. I mean REALLY think about it. Its heavy. It can really overwhelm you if you let it. A major portion of your child's personality, manners, and disposition rests on you as a parent and the upbringing they are given as a child. Sometimes I think I'm too strict, then other times (especially when I'm tired or frazzled), I feel like a pushover. Its a difficult line to walk. You have to set boundaries without totally smothering a child. You have to discipline, but not crush little spirits in the process. I admit I'm learning as I go, but aren't we all? There are times I look back and feel I should have handled things differently. Perhaps I was too harsh. Perhaps I let something slide that I shouldn't have. I shouldn't have raised my voice like I did...you know what I mean.

Perhaps an even heavier responsibility is that of raising a Godly child. One that truly loves Him and follows Him. Sometime I wonder if I'm up to the task, but then I am reminded that God does not give us more than we can handle. A real effort has to be made to not only live right before your children, but really make them understand Jesus and His ways when they are young. I've heard many times that 80% of Christians come to Christ by the time they are 18. After that age, opinions are well formed and its tougher to break through to people. They have often deadened their senses to God.

I want my children to be well rounded citizens of this great country...polite, loving, fun, patriotic, family oriented children. But more importantly, I want them to be followers of Jesus. I don't want to screw them up. I don't want them to be luke warm or apathetic. I want them to follow God with their whole heart because they adore Him. I want them to have their own relationship with God, not try to mimic mine or Matt's.

It would break my heart for my kids to turn their back on God. Ultimately the decision to follow God has to be their own, but its our responsibility to show our kids the real God. The real God is loving and fun. Yes, fun. I think God must have an incredible sense of humor (after all...just look at us!). God is not all about rules and regulations. Yes, there are things we should not do, but that is for our own good, not just for the sake of having rules. God does everything out of His love for us. We have to show that God, the real God, to our children. With the blessing of children comes a responsibility to raise them right, and its a heavy, weighty responsibility, but it should not be a burden.

That's just been what I was thinking about today...how about you?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

10 years!!!

Its hard to believe, but 10 years ago on June 20th, 1998 (I'm a few weeks late for this post, I know!), I married this handsome guy. (By the way, I'm not loving this picture of me as it really shows I'm still carrying some baby weight in my face...ugh...oh well!)














It was one of the happiest days of my life, and other than accepting Jesus into my life when I was a little girl, my best decision ever! He's my best friend and soul mate, and I couldn't imagine my life without him in it! He's one of the funniest guys I have ever met, although he complains that I don't laugh at his jokes often enough. He's so kindhearted and compassionate and wise beyond his years. God has really given him many gifts, but he's a great leader and very intuitive and can hear what God is speaking to us. He's a wonderful father and I know my kids often think of him as the "fun parent", although I'm no stick in the mud. He's a hard worker and does what he needs to in order to provide for our family. He's about as laid back as they come, and so we rarely argue or squabble. We were taught before we were married to "never go to bed angry", and we have practiced that. Even if it meant staying up until 3:00 AM in order to work things out.

Just today, I was talking with my friends Missy, Carole and Cindy, and I said that I almost settled for a loser boyfriend before Matt and I dated. I said that it would have been like settling for the Ishmael instead of waiting for the Isaac. I'm glad I finally saw the truth, and found my "Isaac". Life has never been the same, and for that I'm so thankful!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

I'm a "socialization snob"!!

I found this on a friend's blog. I loved it so much I stole it...thanks, Kim! This, in a nutshell, explains why we homeschool Rylee and will homeschool our other children when they reach Kindergarden age. As Kim said, this is not meant to offend anyone who reads this who sends their kids to public school, as it absolutely does not mean your child will not turn out to be an outstanding individual with strong morals. It simply mirrors my own thoughts on why we are not personally comfortable sending our kids to a public school.



Homeschooling's socialization snobs
Posted: July 05, 20081:00 am Eastern© 2008
Note: This column includes adult language.
Ask any homeschooling parent why they homeschool, and you're likely to receive as many different replies as there are families. Some of the common reasons include religious freedom, academic improvement, one-on-one tutoring and increased family closeness.
But for us, the single biggest reason we school at home correlates to the single biggest criticism homeschoolers get: socialization. Yes, it's largely due to the "socialization" children get in public schools that convinced us to homeschool.
Homeschooling allows us to be socialization snobs. We can filter out kids whose behavior offends us. We don't discriminate on the basis of race, creed, nation of origin, or other such nonsense. No, we discriminate on the basis of morals. If your kid insists on talking about the number of boys she slept with in the last month, I really don't want her around my kid. Call me fussy.
It's been said that too many rats locked up together in too small a cage will soon start tearing into each other. Same with kids. Schools force children to associate with other children based strictly on age. They are locked into cages containing dozens of rats … er, kids with one powerless and overworked teacher who is expected to be psychologist, counselor, nanny, babysitter and, oh yeah, teacher all rolled into one.
Manners are not expected and certainly not reinforced. If one child gets snarky with another, the other children encourage him until the snarkiness turns to meanness, which often leads to violence. This is the breeding ground for public school socialization.
I've been to homeschooling groups with up to 30 kids ranging from older teens to newborns. Everyone associates with everyone. Teens dandle babies. Twelve-year-olds play gentle tag with 5-year-olds. If one child gets snarky with another, there are five or six moms (as well as older kids) around to see the bad behavior and instantly correct it, so it seldom gets out of hand. Manners are expected and reinforced. This is the breeding ground for homeschooling socialization.
Why is this concept so difficult for the critics to grasp? I don't get it. I don't get it at all.
Recently, my husband came across a blog entry by a middle-school teacher that was so shocking that he waited until our kids were out of the room before calling me over to read it.
The blog entry [warning: obscene language] related a conversation this teacher overheard as she left school one afternoon. She passed a group of several boys and one girl (about 13) waiting for the bus. One of the boys had a plate of cookies. The teacher heard the girl say, "I'll give you a blow job for one of those cookies."
(Pause for a moment to marvel at how the heck a 13-year-old girl even knows what a blow job is.)
My husband e-mailed the teacher and expressed sympathy for the toughness of her job. The woman e-mailed back a weary verbal shrug and said it was all in a day's work.
Yes, all in a day's work to hear a child offer an intimate sex act in exchange for baked goods. And what does "all in a day's work" imply? That this type of social interaction is nothing unusual. Pretty typical, in fact. The teacher was just as horrified as we were, but she saw no solution. And people still have the gall to criticize homeschoolers for their … socialization skills? Or to criticize us for our parental desire to protect against this kind of exposure? I don't get it.
OK, so meanness, lack of manners and precocious sexualization are some of the "socializing" factors rampant in public schools. What about peer pressure and bullying?
We all remember bullying from our own school days. The fear of gym class. The avoidance of certain parts of campus such as the cafeteria, bathrooms or locker areas. The stomach-clenching dread of facing yet another day in which you were teased, threatened, snubbed or beaten up.
Kids have it tough. The desire to conform to peers is strong – strong enough to overcome parental influences, particularly when those parents are removed (by choice or by state) from being active in their children's lives. But even the children of good, involved parents can get mixed up with the wrong crowd at school simply because they desperately want to fit in. If you're not bouncy and pretty (as a girl) or athletic and handsome (as a boy), then you'll do whatever it takes to be accepted by the bouncy/pretty/athletic/handsome types, even if those types are bad influences in other respects.
"Homeschooling" implies that someone is at home. There are no latchkey kids. There are no after-school hours of "free time" before mom gets off work during which a 14-year-old with burgeoning hormones can get in trouble. Homeschooled kids are guided through the time of life when they have adult bodies but childish minds, a time when they can mature into competent adults or descend into horrifying mistakes. And yet people still have the gall to express concern over homeschoolers' … socialization.
Homeschooled kids don't live in a vacuum. While their publicly schooled peers are locked in a classroom for most of the daylight hours, homeschooled kids are out interacting with adults and children, picking up useful, well, socialization skills. And remember, one of the chief purposes of education is to teach children to become adults – productive, mature adults that contribute to society.
Academics are important, and studies demonstrate that homeschooled kids excel in this area. But there's more to life than academics, and that's one of the "balance" things homeschooled children learn in abundance. These are things like faith, honor, morals, patriotism, volunteerism, responsibility, family values, self-control and citizenship.
We sometimes hear the criticism that we cannot duplicate the benefits schools offer children, whether it's sports or music or chemistry labs. To which I reply, "You're right. We cannot duplicate your environment. We are merely trying to exceed your results."
Especially the results of socialization.

Lots of things....

Its been quiet here in blogland, but not for lack of things to write about. Simply, I have been busy, and I didn't want to post some things without the corresponding pictures. Said pictures are in camera, awaiting being downloaded into my husbands laptop. The camera is only about 8 months old, and the laptop less than a year old, so I'm still learning how to really use it.

Everyone here is good...just busy as usual. Maria, our Fresh Air child has been here a week already. Is that possible? Wow. She will be here another month before heading back to Brooklyn and her sweet family. We love having her here. As she was getting off the bus last week, a videographer from Channel 13 news asked me if I would mind answering a few questions for him. He told me our clip would likely be on the 5:00 news and possibly the 11:00, and very likely to be on the web. Well, we didn't see ourselves on the 5:00 news, although they did report about the Fresh Air kids arriving in Rochester. I assumed they decided to not use us for the story. I checked the web and we were not on there. The next morning I get an email from a friend saying she was surprised to see us on the news. Me too! Well, I have had plenty of people tell me they saw us. I wish I had seen the story so I could assess how much of a dork I made myself look like! Hopefully not too bad.

Last week when Maria arrived, I told my niece Madyson that she could spend the night if she wanted to. Her little brother Brock wanted to come as well. Not a problem as he and Noah are such good buddies and he usually just goes with the flow. When we got home, the neighbor kids, Peter and Emma saw that Maria was in town and they were excited to see her. We invited them over to play after dinner. Fast forward an hour or two...I now have 8 kids here at the house, and we all decide its a great idea for them to all have a sleepover together in Rylee's room. They all enjoy a dip in the hot tub, I make strawberry smoothies for them, and they all were great. I seriously did not even have to tell them once to quiet down and go to sleep. It was too easy! I wish I took a picture as they were drifting off to sleep. The 3 boys were on the floor together, Maddy and Rylee were on the lower bunk, and Maria and Emma were on the top bunk. Before heading off to bed myself, I checked on them. Peter was sitting up. He said he was "protecting the boys from the coyotes so the coyotes won't get them. Its OK, their safe!" How cute is that?

Yes, I did mention a hot tub in that last post, didn't I? Those who know me well, know I love a good bargain and can be quite the "deal finder". I have wanted a hot tub for years, but didn't really think it was in the budget. Yet I would still tease myself and search for hot tubs nearly every day on craigslist. Well, one day I saw there was a hot tub being sold at an upcoming estate sale. People were demolishing their cottage on Conesus lake and were rebuilding a new cottage in its place. They were selling all their stuff, including a working hot tub. Assuming it was out of my price range, I still contacted the people for more info. I was told it was an older model (about 12 years old), seats 5 to 6, and is in good shape other than the wood needing to be stained, as it has been left unstained for a while and has thus weathered. It even came with a cover. The man said he was asking $50. Yes, you read that correctly...$50. I immediately replied back that we wanted to buy it. The next morning I drove the 30 minutes to his cottage, checked it out, and paid him. Two days later we returned with help and moved it. (By the way, that was an adventure. Lifting a very heavy, large hot tub off of a deck, onto a trailer below, then pushing the trailer up a steep hill to the car, knowing the car would not be able to make it up the hill on wet grass, towing a heavy trailer.) It sat in our yard for 2 weeks until my very sweet cousin, who is an electrician could hook it up for us. We have since been loving the experience. Even the kids love it. Matt put our screen tent over it and we can now enjoy sitting in the hot tub without bugs divebombing our head.

The rest of this week is busy...a trip to the library, having some good friends over with their kids for a playdate, having one of my best friends and her husband over for dinner, having dinner at another good friends house on saturday with our husbands and kids. Good stuff! Hopefully, I can get Matt's help and can put up some pictures in the near future.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Gracyn, and why I love her...

My sweet Gracyn...
The things I love about her:

:: The sweet, content noises she makes when she nurses.

:: Her attempts at being a redhead like her mom.

:: Her beautiful, blue eyes.

:: Her rolls and dimples...what a chubby baby!!


:: How she is such a Mommy's girl.

:: How she needs to be touching me or grasping my clothing or holding my hand all the time.

:: Her sweet smell.

:: How intently she studies people around her.

:: How she is cooing and trying so hard to talk.

:: How when she is really upset she will yell "Ma" (I am not the only person to hear this!)

:: How much she loves when I give her eskimo kisses.

:: How she smiles all the time when I talk to her...so precious!

:: How she spits out her pacifier just so she can suck on her hands and hopefully find a thumb.

:: How much joy she brings to us and those who know her.

Good sites to visit...

I have recently come across a number of good websites that I visit regularly, and I thought I would pass the information along to anyone who might be interested. After talking at length with my very good friend, Hannah, about education and homeschooling (she is a first grade teacher for the Rochester City School District), she gave me several education related sites to visit. The first is www.handwritingworksheets.com. It gives you numerous options, such as cursive or print, dash or dot or hollow writing, and the option of writing your own words in different formats for the child to copy. I will definitely be using this for Noah and Brock to learn to write their names while Rylee and I do school work together. The boys always ask to "do school" also, but rarely want to do anything other than color or draw. The other site is www.carlscorner.us.com. Its is loaded, and I mean LOADED with tons of ideas, games, stories, worksheets, etc. It covers a range of ages, too. The other website was one that both Hannah and my sister, Missy recommended. Its called www.starfall.com. It has lots of fun stuff for kids to do, and they learn while they are having fun.

Thanks to my friend Carole, I was made aware of a hilarious site called www.stuffchristianslike.blogspot.com. Oh my goodness, this guy is ridiculously funny. He is able to sarcastically mock the silly and stupid things we Christians do on a regular basis. As he says, its like a holding a mirror up in front of ourselves. Its scary, but oh so funny! He also has a slightly more serious, but still very entertaining site that starts in Genesis and does a chapter "recap" for you. Its called www.97secondswithGod.com.

Of course, its hard for me to imagine that there are actually people out there that don't know what Craigslist is. Its an online classified section for your local area. Its got tons of categories, usually includes pictures, and allows you to search for something specific if you want to. Its www.craigslist.com. If its one of your first times visiting it, you will have to click on your state, then city.

Since I just started using cloth diapers, I love to check out www.diaperswappers.com. They have lots of different forums, not just to buy items, but to get other readers advice on breastfeeding, cloth diapering, adopting, etc.

A funny look at the lifestyle of a rancher wife from Oklahoma is www.thepioneerwoman.com. Once, again, I got this one from Carole. This website often has giveaways of some really nice stuff. All you have to do is leave a comment, and you are registered into the drawing. Ree, who writes for this site, is a pretty funny gal.

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a bargain hunter. In addition to finding good deals on craigslist, I will check www.ebay.com for something specific that I need/want. Its dangerous because you find yourself caught up in the auction and the thrill of bidding and winning, but can be a good place to find a good deal. I also like to see what is "on sale" via the website www.slickdeals.net. It lists really good sales or specials, can tell you how to get special coupons, etc. You can search by category as well on this site.

I know I have other sites that I like to check out from time to time, but these are some good ones that I think most people would enjoy. If you have some extra time on your hands, check them out. What are some of your favorite sites???

Monday, June 9, 2008

Cloth diaper update...I'm going green!

Some of you know that I have been contemplating switching to cloth diapers. "Whaaaa?" you say. Well, cloth diapers have come a long way. I mean, a LLLOOONNNGGG way. No more pins and crinkly, stiff rubber pants, although I'm sure you could still find those somewhere if you wanted to. My midwife asked me at one of my prenatal appointments "have you thought of cloth diapers?" Inside, I was saying, "Oh...here we go!" It fit midwife/ natural birth stereotype. In my mind, switching to cloth diapers was only one step away from long skirts and Birkenstocks...no offense to you long skirt, Birkenstock wearing women out there. It just isn't me. Or so I thought...

For the sake of humoring my midwife and being able to say, "I checked it out and its really not for me", I visited a website she recommended. I was astounded that not only had diapers come a long way, but there were TONS of moms choosing cloth over disposable. I was frankly quite overwhelmed by the number of choices available. I decided to give my friend, Carole, a call. I remembered that she used cloth diapers. We talked and she thought I should email her sister, who used a lot of different cloth diapering systems, whereas Carole used the more traditional "prefold" cloth diapers and covers. I emailed her sister (who was due for a baby only 2 days before I was!) and she was really helpful with ideas and what worked for her, etc. She even offered to let me see or borrow the different styles she had so I could decide what I liked best.

My research visiting different sites gave several reasons to switch to cloth. Some of them are:

:: The cost factor. I had two different numbers thrown at me. $1300 and $2500. These are estimates on the amount of money it will cost you to buy disposable diapers for ONE child until they are potty trained. Yes, ONE child...you read that correctly. I suppose it all depends on what types of disposables you buy and how long your child wears them for.

:: Health and wellness factors. I learned that regular, disposable diapers are loaded with tons of chemicals. Some of which are frankly quite harsh and probably not what you want next to your baby's skin for 3 years straight. I'm not a chemist, so I really don't know the science behind it.

:: The environmental factor (thus the green color of this entry!). Yes, disposable diapers end up in landfills and we all know our landfills are filling up quickly. I should know...I live less than a mile from one, and I can attest to how high it has grown since we moved in 8 years ago. I have to be honest and say that this reason was not as large a factor for me as the financial and health reasons of switching to cloth were. Just keeping it real.

I didn't want to invest a ton of money only to find out that I really couldn't stand using cloth diapers. I found a website that offered free shipping, and bought a "package". It included 18 high quality cloth diapers and 4 covers. It was enough to last at least 2 days before having to wash, and would give me a good taste of cloth diapers without a huge investment. Incidentally, I chose the more traditional method/style of cloth diapers and used the prefold cloths diapers and covers. The covers are cloth on the outside with a nice waterproof lining. They look very much like disposables on the outside. My other options were endless...AIO, or all in one diapers, where the diaper and cover are one piece and the entire thing gets thrown in the washer together. Or, there are contoured diapers, inserts, pocket style diapers...you name it, they make it!

Friday was the first day I started trying these diapers out. Matt laughed at how excited I was to try them! Hey, I'm a stay at home mom surrounded with little ones all day. SOMETHING has to excite me! I am impressed with how much these diapers hold. MUCH more than a disposable diaper. My Gracie likes to nurse, and therefore pees and poops frequently and heavily. She would often, as in at least once a day, leak out of her disposables. I was buying Pampers and Huggies diapers, so not the cheap stuff, but they still could not contain her. Also, she had a very bad diaper rash. She had had it for 2 weeks and nothing was helping. I tried numerous creams and ointments and was even contemplating making a Dr's appointment for her. The only reason I didn't was because she seemed totally unbothered by it. Well, from friday to today, her rash has completely gone away! Her hiney looks great and is no longer bright red! I purposely did not use any creams or ointments the last 3 days other than 2 applications of Lotrimin as her rash was starting to look "yeasty" as well.

All I can say is, "I'm a cloth diaper believer!"

More updates on this matter in the future...

My thoughts on this hot morning...

I wish I could bottle this morning. Its perfect...warm, breezy and sunny. My house has not yet heated to ridiculous temperatures, and I have not become crabby from the heat. The kids are all playing so nicely together a few feet away. The baby slept through the night for the first time, and did not leak out of her cloth diaper during her long snooze. My house is certainly not ready for Martha Stewart to visit, but its far from a wreck, however. I have not yet lost my patience or snapped at the kids, and the day just seems so fresh. In a few hours, the heat will really be turned up, and I hope I am still in this same mindset. Matt and I are considering installing central air. We don't really have the money, and it would mean financing it somehow. On the other hand, I think of how I tend to be really short when I have sweat pouring off of me. I get frustrated easier, snap faster and find myself irritable. I'm not normally like that. Which leads me to ponder...perhaps the cost is worth it. If it means I'm nicer, more agreeable, more patient and loving, etc. I'm even more affectionate, because lets face it; who wants to cuddle with your kids or husband when you are just soooo hot?! How much is too much to pay for a nicer me this summer?

Sunday, June 1, 2008

I've been busy...

Yes, I've been away too long. I have been truly busy. Of course I have the normal "busy-ness" of taking care of three kids, one of which is a newborn, and all that that entails, such as cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc. But I have also hosted two visits by family. My mother and father in law were in town for a week in May. We had a lot of fun hanging out, and they enjoyed seeing the newest grandbaby. Then, my brother in law from LA flew in to surprise his mom for Mother's Day (I helped plan that one since most men completely forget when Mother's Day is!), he stayed for a few days, visited Montreal, then came back here for a few more days with his girlfriend who had flown in on his way to Montreal. We had a great time together, and I enjoyed getting to know his sweet girlfriend. On top of all of this you throw in some birthday parties, some errand running, etc. and it makes for some busy times. We planted our vegetable garden. A few more plants are left to go in, and hope to get that done in the next day or two. I bought some new window boxes for the front of our house, but realize I need to get more plants to fill them.

Today, Gracie and I stayed home from church together. We both have mild colds. I know, she is only 5 1/2 weeks old. I feel terrible!! Noah had a slightly runny nose for a few days, and that is the only exposure I know of to anyone who is sick. I feel so bad listening to her snort and sniffle. Her beautiful blue eyes are glassy with the extra tears, although she has been far from fussy. She even has a mild fever. Poor girl!

My new cloth diapers came in the mail this week. I'm so excited to use them. First, I am waiting on the new laundry detergent to wash them first. I was instructed by the diaper company to wash them 5 times first to improve their absorbency. I ordered 2 bags of Charlie's Soap. I'm excited to try something I have heard such positive things about, and know that its so much better for us than regular laundry detergents. Not to mention how cost effective it is...only 1 tablespoon of powder needed for a large load. AND free shipping!! I'm hoping I truly love using cloth diapers as much as I have heard others do. If so, we will be saving a ton of money. Gracie loves to nurse, and everyone knows that means lots of diaper changes.

Speaking of which, my little cherub is waking from her nap and wondering if the milk bar is open. (Of course it is!) More updating later...

Friday, May 16, 2008

Thursday, May 15, 2008

"That's disgusting, right Mama?"

So this is one of those posts that only a mother could understand and appreciate. I cannot even believe I am going to tell this story, but I just have to. Its too funny to keep to myself. Several weeks ago Matt and Noah were working in our garage on Noah's power wheels. Noah started doing the "pee dance" with lots of urgency. You know the one, where you start dancing around holding yourself, trying not to go. Matt knew he could not get Noah up to the house fast enough to prevent an accident, so he told him to just go pee in the grass. Noah was quite reluctant at first, but since then, it has become his favorite thing to do. We will be playing outside, I'll turn around and find my little guy with his drawers around his ankles, proudly telling me, "I peed in the grass, Mama!"

Well, Tuesday I hear Noah calling me. I look over and he is down by our garage with his pants around his ankles again. I walk down there to see if he needs help pulling them up. He said, "Mama, I pooped in the grass!" His expression was a very proud one. I said, "You pooped in your pants?" and he says, "No! In the grass...see!" and proceeds to point to a spot a few feet away. Sure enough, there was the evidence, complete with buzzing flies and all. I think I must have said, "Oh Noah, that is disgusting! Honey, you can only pee in the grass, not poop, OK?" I got to thinking about it. It must be very confusing to him. We told him it was just fine to pee in the grass. We then expect he knows its taboo to poop in the grass. I guess we should have spelled it out for him. Yesterday, I was telling my sister, Missy, about the poop incident, and Noah chimes in, "That's disgusting, right?" Yes, Noah, that is disgusting.

Welcome to my world, folks!

Now, proceed to go and try to get that mental image out of your head. You know you'll be thinking about it the rest of the day. Hopefully it makes you chuckle.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Here is a picture of Gracyn that was taken yesterday after church. She was formally dedicated to God yesterday during church. Look at those blue eyes!! I think she's going to keep them.
Here are the three kiddos on saturday morning. I know they are mine, but gosh, they are cute!
Our friend, Missy, got Gracyn this adorable dress. Our other friend Cindy gave me those tiny knit shoes, and our friend, Lynda, gave us the blanket Gracyn is lying on. Look at those chubby arms and cheeks! I'm so curious about how heavy Gracyn is now...I know she certainly is feeling heavier to me, and she is filling out more, and outgrowing clothes quickly.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Its a girl!!!!

Our baby finally arrived last tuesday, April 22nd at 7:55 am. We named her Gracyn Lynne. She is 22 inches long, and weighed in at 10 lbs 13 oz. (Our midwife actually said she was 11 lbs, but she had a massive bowel movement before she could be weighed!). She has strawberry blond hair and the hugest cheeks. Of all my children, she looks the most like me. She is sooo observant and alert for her age. She loves to look at your face and study you. She turns her eyes to whoever is talking to her. She loves to be held, and loves to nurse. Matt said she is like a little drug addict when it comes to nursing.

As for labor....well, it was the hardest thing I've ever endured. It was so different than Noah and Rylee's labor. I did manage to have her natural, which was my goal. But, it took every ounce of strength in me to do it. Gracyn was posterior until 5 minutes before I pushed, so I had terrible back labor. And because of her size, the regular labor was extremely hard. I'm so grateful to my midwife, Catherine, and her care and expertise. Without her, I'm sure I would have had to have a C-section.

More to come, soon....but for now, just know that Gracyn is here and she's just perfect!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Thoughts on waiting...

OK...so I'm now 3 days "overdue"...whatever that means. This morning, while growing increasingly more frustrated at the slow pace of things, I tried to put it all in perspective. Lets see. What is the worse case scenario about how long it can take to wait on this baby. Standard practice in the medical world is to not allow a woman to go more than 2 weeks overdue. At that point, amniotic fluid is often decreased or getting reabsorbed, the placenta is starting to break down, and the womb, which has been a place of protection and growth just is no longer the best option for the baby. Add 2 weeks to my due date of April 14th, and you get April 28th. Today is April 17th. At most, I have 11 more days of being pregnant. YIKES! But, with that being said, the end IS in sight, and the "prize" is so worth it. My mom was 14 or 15 days overdue with me. Now that I'm just a few days past my due date, all I can think about that is "poor mom! I'm sorry I took so long to come!"

Even though I know that only about 10% of babies are born on their due dates, I think I mentally prepared myself that April 14th was the magic day. So when it rolled around, then a new day started, then another day started, etc...well, you tend to think your baby and your body just never got the memo that ITS TIME! In the meantime, I'm trying, really, trying to be patient. After all, what is 3 days? Not long. And at the longest, I only have 11 days before I meet our 3rd child. I'm blessed when you think about it that way.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Still Pregnant...

Well, I'm officially 2 days past my due date, but the baby does not seem to think so. Its content to "bake" a little longer. I'm now 3 cm dilated and 50% effaced. My midwife said that I cannot get much more dilated without going into labor, however this past week saw only a very minor change in how much I had dilated, so things seem to be moving more slowly at this point. I'm content, at least at this point, to let the baby come when it wants to. I'm trying not to become impatient, although I do have to admit that thoughts of labor, contractions, meeting this baby, etc seem to consume almost all my thoughts. I'm trying to avoid any labor inducing things for the sake of being IV free during this labor. So, no Castor oil, no stripping of membranes, no breaking my water, etc. In another week, it may be another story.

I'm so curious whether this little one is a boy or girl. Also, how big will it be? My midwife estimated yesterday around 8 1/2 pounds at this point. If she is right, it would be my smallest baby yet. However, they gain an ounce or two a day at this point, so every day its getting a bit bigger. My kids are soooo anxious to go stay with their cousins overnight for a few nights. I have to keep telling them we are just waiting on the baby. I was hoping to be at church on Sunday (preferably with the baby) as we have our missionaries from the Philippines in, followed by a potluck dinner. I thought it would be the perfect time (as long as I was out of the hospital) to introduce the baby, but we'll have to see. Who knows how I'll feel, also.

My house is super clean, my laundry is caught up, I'm picking up just a few grocery items this morning while Rylee is at her art lesson. I might even stop by the library for some reading material to pass the time. I've been avoiding getting books from the library because I know myself and know I would get totally absorbed and neglect my house. But, now that I have done 99% of what I wanted to get done, I feel comfortable getting something to make the time go a bit faster. It helps that the weather today is supposed to be wonderful. The kids and I picked up tons of trash that had blown through our yard during the last windstorm from our recycling box. It looks so much better now. Maybe I'll even get a good, long walk in today....
 

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