Friday, December 11, 2009

home again, home again

We're back from our mini-break and it was wonderful! We had such a great time and just relaxed. We read, went to the movies (that's a rarity!), shopped, ate, and we got to swim for the first time in a really long time.

Nathan is going on a business trip next week for four days, and I'll be home by myself with the kids. We have never been apart for more than 24 hours, so I'm a little anxious. Plus he's going to Boston, so if there is a blizzard, well, I just will try not to think about that. I will also be responsible for the cows for the first time. We'll have to get him packed up and ready to go. We also have another Christmas celebration this weekend, so it'll be busy busy here for a couple of days.

Also, hopefully I'll be getting a haircut! I'll let you know if it changes color :)

Monday, December 7, 2009

gettin' the heck outta dodge

Packing, cleaning, and planning for our vacation this week! Three days and two nights of fun, reading, crafting, sleep, and shopping! I can't wait! I got snacks and drinks at the grocery store last night and started packing the kids bags. Right now Nathan is at a foreclosure auction hoping to score some cheap land right across the street from our property. I had a dream that we got it for $500 dollars last night! Hoping that was a premonition :) I'll let you know if we get it or not.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Thrifty Finds

I found some 100% lambswool yarn at goodwill--a gallon size freezer bag full-- for $1.50... Are you as astonished as me! And it is a pretty brown with some other specks of color thrown in! It does smell a little like old people, but I'm willing to work with that. Any tips on washing wool? I love thrifting. I also found 3 books and 4 orange place mats that are going to become a tote I think. I'm going to go to a different goodwill today:)

Update on the gym--not cheap. I would almost consider it false advertisement, so I will be looking around for a good deal. Sometimes the wellness center in Danville runs a special after new year's.

Hoping your advent season is wonderful!

Friday, December 4, 2009

and so it begins...

Well, Christmas celebrations begin this weekend with an annual pot luck/family reunion of sorts hosted by 2 of Nathan's great aunts who are just super ladies. After that one there will be at least 5 more Christmas celebrations. I'm getting nervous that I am not going to get all my crafting done in time for Christmas. I'm pretty sure of it in fact, but...

Next week Nathan has the whole week off! We are going to take a couple of days to disappear and have some fun without the kids. Of course, we'll take Chloe so she can eat, but the others will go have some fun with grandparents or other relatives (not exactly sure which ones yet:) I think we're going to the Gatlinburg area, so if you have accommodation suggestions, please leave me a comment. Maybe I'll get some crafting done while relaxing in Tennessee.

Enjoy your weekend!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Disconnect...

Lately I'm becoming more and more aware of the disconnect between the way things are and the way I want and need them to be.

I want to be this on fire for God Christian showing Christ's love literally with every breath and word. I am failing miserably to do that and even struggling to spend time in prayer. Struggling with myself as we search for a church to know exactly what I believe, and to know that the kind of church I'm comfortable in may not be the kind of church i should be in. And, honestly, just struggling to understand why I believe what I believe.

I want to eat sustainably and responsibly but there is a struggle with actually cooking that way and affording to cook that way and spending my time that way. I know this will come with time especially once we're all moved out to the farm and raising almost all our meat, fruit, vegetables, and grains, but it very frustrating to want one thing in my head and another in my mouth. I'm not gonna lie, I could eat a whole box of hostess cupcakes if I had to :)

I want my house to be clean or at least moderately straight most of the time. I am not talking immaculate, I would just like to not have to freak out if company is on the way in 20 minutes. Housekeeping is a struggle for me and always has been. Growing up I always said I would have a maid. Ha!

I want to be a normal weight and I'm not. I want to eat healthier and exercise more (it wouldn't take much to be more!) in order to lose some of the 4 babies in 4 1/4 years weight I have put on. I think I am actually joining a (very cheap) gym tonight. I'll let you know how that goes.

As disconnected as I am feeling right now, it is a very happy time in our family right now. Nathan and I are getting along famously and the kids are growing and amazing. I guess this is the way it is in this life, ever striving...

Monday, November 23, 2009

Happy Belated Birthday, Isaiah!

Isaiah turned 5 on the 17th! I can't believe my baby is a big kid now! We took him bowling with all his cousins yesterday and had a really great time. It was the lowest stress party we've ever hosted because we didn't cook, clean, or stress in any way. :) Happy birthday my sweet boy!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Sick Day

5 vomits (from 2 kids)
2 loads of laundry
1 shower
1 trip to the store
2 diaper changes
3 popsicles (liquid breakfasts)
3 real breakfasts (as real as cereal can be. Kashi honey sunshine anyone?!)
2 nursings
15 trips up the stairs (approx.)
And it's only 9:30 in the morning.

Welcome to my world on a sick day.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

5 Dozen Eggs

There is freedom in having 5 dozen pastured eggs in the fridge. Eggs will be enjoyed thoroughly for the next 2 weeks.

On the crafting front, I am big into crocheting this week and have kind of abandoned the sewing machine. I will return to it before Christmas, but it is so easy to take crochet wherever I go. Not so much with sewing. I found a great little crochet flower tutorial in video form and I learned how to crochet a flower in 2 viewings. Now I am addicted to making all different colors and sizes of flowers. Anyone know how to crochet any other cute shapes?

In baby news, Chloe is rolling over and laughing a lot now. She is starting to actually play with toys and she loves laughing at her brothers and sister. She is still the most satisfied baby ever and still sleeps a lot. She startles easily, and is utterly beautiful. Toby is saying a whole slew of new phrases. I was a little concerned about his lack of verbalization, but now he has a new phrase every day, usually directed at his siblings. I believe I heard him say, "Hey! Get offa me!" yesterday. He is starting to show us his defiant side, but overall is a sweet, funny kid who loves and responds to music in a way that my older two didn't at this age. He sings (in his own language) and dances any time there are tunes on. It's so funny to see how each kid is different. Toby has been called "bruiser" by many and he is so tough! Lydia is so funny and independent. She is the bossy sister who doesn't get her feelings hurt very easily. And she is a princess. She makes up songs all day long. Isaiah is a sensitive ninja, always karate-ing his way through the house and world. He is sweet, kind, and his little mind never stops thinking things through. Yesterday I was trying to get him to move his toys and he told me, "I build things. It's what I do!" like it was his purpose in life to construct his block tower at that exact location. I guess yesterday it was his purpose in life.

Okay, I must get to work! A clean house is the goal today. Must accomplish!

Friday, October 30, 2009

pear butter and costumes

I made pear butter yesterday with some free pears that got sent my way. Yummy plus there's enough to save for a couple of Christmas gifts. I also made a no-sew tutu for Lydia for halloween and it is awesome! So easy to make and only took a couple of leisurely hours. Pictures will come sometime after trick or treat. I have to fix my sewing machine so I can sew the boys costumes before trick or treat tomorrow. The thread is getting all bunched up on the underside of whatever I am sewing. I have no idea what I am doing wrong, so if you have any suggestions please enlighten me!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Monday Update



1. House is a disaster!
2. Thinking about moving to the camper. Must get soil evaluation so we can get building permit, so we can get temporary electric run to the farm.
3. Homeschooling is not going as planned, but we are still learning things most days.
4. I have been working on Chloe's birth story, and it will probably be my next post. I am trying to remember everything so I can read it again in 20 years and feel like I am there again.
5. Thinking about making sprouted grain bread. Any ever done it? Have any tips or recipes?
6. I think I am gaining weight. Hence the thoughts about sprouted grain bread. Yes thoughts of sprouted grain bread while eating a cupcake.
7. I love fall. Spending a lot of time at the farm and the wood smoke in the air with the bubbling of the creek mixed with the damp, fresh country air... well it makes for an enjoyable scenic afternoon.
8. I actually nursed in a field while keeping cows in. In the dark. Chloe couldn't wait any longer, and the cows had to be contained.
9. Halloween costume ideas are welcome. Lydia will be a "tappy princess" per her request, Isaiah will be a pirate or an alien probably, Toby will be Jedi warrior Toby-wan Kenobi if I find the right material before Saturday, and sweet Chloe...I'm just not sure yet.
10. Vegetable soup for supper. Yum.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Crazy Crafting

I love making things. This year I am crafting with a purpose. Our Christmas is going to be a mostly handmade Christmas this year (hopefully!). I have a really good start on my sewing projects and am hoping to keep up the momentum. I am working on making this doll and this doll for all the little girls in the fam. I have already completed one, and most of another but I can't steal any more stuffing from the couch cushions to fill them with, so I have yet to put my 2nd and 3rd ones together. I am planning on making these capes for Isaiah, Lydia and Toby, and maybe a niece or nephew or two. I want to make some ribbon twirlers, felt shapes, and a geoboard also for Christmas. I have already started a magazine bowl (for a gift) and a rag rug (for me). Handmade Home has been an inspiration to get me started and then I found all the free patterns and tutorials at The Long Thread and now I can't be stopped!

Somebody posted a craft supply swap on freecycle that was held at the Jessamine County Public Library and I went today! I got two sacks full of craft supplies for FREE! This is stuff I was going to have to buy! Embroidery floss, fabric, ribbon, bias tape, zippers, lacing cord (a whole roll which I needed for my rag rug!), and more! I just had to take some craft stuff to exchange, which I already had a box of just waiting to put on freecycle! Plus I found some awesome vintage bedsheets, a tablecloth, and some fabric remnants at goodwill! It has been a thrifty crafty weekend.

In other unrelated news, the cows got out this week while Nathan was in Lexington at work and had the van. He rushed home and we all got ready. We found the cows in the neighbors yard munching on some hay. Nathan then led them up the road to our property with a little bucket of grain. Just picture me with the van parked across the road and the gate pulled across the road blocking the escape for the cows, while he leads three cows with a tiny coffee bucket of grain. He is working on fixing the fence and providing a water source other than the creek. They have been walking up the creek bed to escape.

The Farm is beautiful right now (minus all the rain) and monarch butterflies are abundant in the field. They love all the purple clover and the kids are loving spotting them. The mosquitoes and lightning bugs have gone for the season, and we can't hear the bees swarming on the sunflowers anymore, but fall is hands down my favorite time of year here. And we discovered that there are three black walnut trees on the property. Anybody know how to get one open? They have such hard shells that a hammer doesn't even make a dent.

Another fun find this week is Adventures in Odyssey and StoryNory radio programming for the kids online.

Happy crafting this week and enjoy this beautiful season :)

Friday, September 25, 2009

favorites

The giant cool tree at Old Fort Harrod.
With kids of mine on top.
Nathan says 10% of our pictures are of food.
Our first home canned goods.
:)
Toby loves bubbles.
I love Toby.
And bubbles.


Homeschooling has begun.


My very first thumb sucker.
Words cannot describe how much I love this.
And her.


My first picture of the Rose Hill water tower.
There will be many more hopefully.
It could be my favorite part of the drive to our land, passing this water tower.

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Friday, August 28, 2009

Also..

My BABY is one MONTH old today!!!! How did this happen?! She is so sweet, and such a good baby and now she is 1/12 of a year old! It's ridiculous I tell ya.

This week

Typical morning... one child naked, one in time out, one sleeping on my chest, and one leaping from couch to couch. Can you guess which is doing what?

Interesting things from this past week include my first time making nut butter (didn't follow this recipe exactly, but still super yummy!), buying fabric and "making" my own moby wrap, kind of setting up my sewing area and proceeding to sew nothing. (I'm totally waiting to get this book), Turning 3 gallons of tomatoes into spaghetti sauce which is in our freezer (we will be getting 10 or so more gallons hopefully!), stretching one gallon of milk since Monday, and only eating out once this week! That was last night and it was pizza and it was GROSS. Today is pay day so we might go out again! And we will be making a trip to the grocery soon as well.

Update: now 2 are naked

We also received our first copy of Countryside and Small Stock Journal this week. We can't put it down! So many good ideas!

Well 2 are screaming now! Gotta go!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

back in the swing of things

Hello all! I have been putting off posting until my pictures were all uploaded, but I can't wait any more! Pictures really will come soon(ish)! Things are going well around here as we get to know our new sweet little one. I'm feeling more and more like my old self every day, and I am so relieved to feel inspired and also have the energy to follow through! Current projects include changing my pantry over to all glass from plastic, creating a sewing area (haven't started this yet), and cleaning out the refrigerator and using the food that is about to go bad. Tell me, would you use the organic sour cream that expired August 2? It's unopened and I'm thinking hard about it as long as it doesn't smell bad, or look funny. Suggestions for its use are welcome :) Oh, also, buttermilk that expired 12 days ago. Is that safe? I mean, it's already soured, right? Ditto the SOUR cream.

Moving on... The kids are all adjusting pretty well to life with a new baby Chloe. It also helps that she sleeps like, 20 hours a day. Eight hours at night almost every night since we brought her home. Some nights she'll wake up and nurse, but most of the time if she wakes up and I pull her in the bed with me, she falls asleep before I can even feed her. She reminds me a lot of Lydia that way. I haven't yet made my Moby type wrap, but I need to do it soon. I have wanted it several times already.

We are trying very hard to get back to a healthier eating style after the insanely bad eating we have done for the past couple of months. Me being SO pregnant and only wanting garbage, and now I'm nursing, so I get extra calories right? NO! (Says the woman who had Long John Silver's for lunch yesterday) It's slow going incorporating the healthier foods back in with our garbage, but we are working on it now. And Nathan is experimenting in the kitchen lately, making his own BBQ sauces and after paying $3.19 for taco sauce at the grocery store last night he made taco sauce that's pretty darn close to what we buy. I love that he cooks. While I have been pregnant and recovering he has done so much cooking. I'm hoping that it doesn't stop!

I'll end with a few things I'm loving right now:
Little tiny baby snuggles
little tiny baby yawns and "o" mouths
being able to hug my husband without a baby in my belly (I feel like me again! Well, almost:)
reading stories and playing puzzles with the two oldest
Toby's snuggles and new words every day (but only when HE wants to say something)
and watching Design Star on hgtv.com

Friday, July 31, 2009

Welcome

Welcome Chloe Jean!

We are so glad you are finally here!

More pictures will come soon! 4 sleeping babies at my house right now! Ahhhhh. Just wait until you see the good pictures! She has a full head of dark hair, a beautiful complexion, and she is just SO sweet! I love love love her! Plus, she's a good sleeper :) The picture above is shortly after she was born, just a little over an hour after we got to the hospital. Maybe I'll write an all-about-the-birth post soon. Right now I'm just gonna enjoy the peace around here.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Still Waiting on Baby

I have about 2 or 3 half finished posts that will probably never see the light of day. We are still getting used to "plex" living, especially with neighbors who have children who want to play ALL day, every day. (No knock on the door yet today, so cross your fingers for me!) But, when school starts we won't be as bombarded, and that's only a few weeks away. Plus, any day now we will have a new baby and will probably be spending a lot of time away at the camper. We spent the night up there on Saturday night, but this time we had light! We got a couple of tiki torches and an oil lantern that we filled with citronella oil to keep the bugs away, plus we have a little oil lamp for inside. It made such a big difference. It also stormed while we were there. The lightning was amazing all across the big hill on our property. We just sat on the couch and watched it for about an hour, while I had contractions that eventually went away. (boo!)

Do you all ever basically run out of groceries and then spend the next four days wondering why you have been eating out for every meal, or cursing the empty cabinets and having peanut butter crackers? We do this about once a month. Finally, I got groceries last night. The only things I didn't get were oikos yogurt (they didn't have it at the H-burg Kroger, and by the way, the greek yogurt is soso yummy and thick but too expensive), and pears (hoping to go into labor and didn't want rotten pears waiting at home for me). Plus my dad gave me a huge bag of fresh corn and 2 bags of cut up apples.

This weekend we got popsicle molds! If you have any good recipes let me know! I think I'm going to start with a blackberry yogurt pop....

Friday, July 10, 2009

Starting to Settle In

I'm back! We have moved into an apartment just about 10 minutes away from our land. On said land we have a 28ft fifth wheel parked and a shed (from our old house) full of all our appliances and mower and other things we didn't want to bring to the apt. We are very busy still getting things in order, but thank goodness we finally got the internet here this week. The kids are adjusting (some are taking the move easier than others) and there will be more to adjust to once the baby arrives. I think the hardest part for the kids is all the going we have been doing. They have been staying with relatives lots while we move and we are having a hard time establishing a good routine that doesn't get interrupted. The one thing that has seemed to help is reading books to them. We used to read occasionally, but now we read books when we wake up, books before nap, books before bed, and last night all 3 of them snuggled with a book in their bed. It was so cute to see them all asleep with their arms wrapped around a book. That is one thing I can do without having to chase them around and we can stay entertained for hours reading. It's easy on pregnant mama.

There are still lots of chores to do around here, but moving into the smaller apartment made for getting rid of lots of stuff and so dealing with less stuff is always helpful. Also, paper plates are awesome. We basically gave up paper products (except toilet paper) when gas went up to $4 and then just continued to save that money, but we bought a giant stack before the move and my mom gave another huge stack a few days ago, and that has really made my life a little easier. Obviously we won't use paper plates forever, but for now, they are my friend. Another thing that has helped make my life easier is the layout of this apt. Upstairs are bedrooms (and the only bathroom!) and down are living/kitchen/laundry. The laundry "room" is a closet in the kitchen which I love so far. I am always in the kitchen or living area, so it is so easy to keep the laundry up with it being so close at hand. Taking the clean laundry upstairs to put away, well, that doesn't get done quite as much.

Other various tidbits:

This baby needs to come out. Very Soon.

Garbage pick up day is Friday here...so weird.

We are completely using the microwave again. I gave it up for about a month, but it has made its way back into my day. I'll try again. Maybe it's like smoking...I'll beat it on the 3rd or 4th try.

Our CSA finally sent some veggies I recognize this week!

I made bread this week! Hurray!

Nathan made brownies this week!!!!!

We have enough chinese leftovers in the fridge that I won't have to cook until next week. My parents brought a whole bunch of food over last night when they came to visit. :)

I miss whole foods, but Kroger and Wal-Mart are closer to us now than ever before.

When we moved I got a new shower curtain and hooks that just slide on and off!! I had some hooks kind of like them a year or two ago but they rusted. I don't think these are going to, at least not at the rate the others did.

Nathan and I "celebrated" our 6th wedding anniversary on July 5th. I love him and I love being married to him more every day. The sixth year was very great and I hope the seventh is even better. He really is the coolest. I love how his brain works (although sometimes I wish it would take a break:) and his sense of humor. And our ability to produce the coolest kids ever. And his sweet patience with me toward the end of this pregnancy. I have been so uncomfortable, and huge, and whiny and he has been so helpful and kind and serving. Really serving. Like gets me stuff all the time and helps me up whenever I ask and bends over for me, and cooks a lot, and I love him.

Also, Toby loves fireworks, Lydia prefers to stay inside. Isaiah loves them a lot too. I think they would all love the little stuff too, but we didn't have sparklers and smoke bombs this year, just a few bottle rockets and snakes. Maybe we'll find some on clearance at Wal-Mart when we take our next giant trip. You know, the kind where we have put off and put off and dollar stored it for as long as possible only now to have to go and spend $$$$$ to re-stock our entire house. Yeah, next paycheck that trip is coming.

Such a long and random post, but there is a lot to catch up on. I'll come back soon!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Museli-tastrophe

Attempt at granola-ish type bars from leftover museli failed. Gross, yuck, gross. Worse than in a bowl with milk. Instead of "saving" our leftover breakfast I spent some honey and an egg among other ingredients. So much for my eperiment.

Closed!

Officially, we are land owners! And still currently debt-free!!!!! We are still discussing our options for what we will be moving into as more and more objections and potential problems come up with our current plan. I am pretty highly stressed, but I am trying to take it easy and relax and pray. Pray for wisdom for us to choose rightly. We have to be out of our house by July 15 officially. I am due on July 26.

New dress! I got one and it. is. cute. I have been wearing it since I bought it basically. Maybe I'll post a picture later of it and my new haircut, although that would mean I'd have to shower and somehow take a picture of myself.....

We tried an apple raisin muesli this morning and it did not go over very well. 2 kids gagged and the rest of us only ate part of what we had in our bowls. Sooo, I think I will try to make some granola bars out of what is leftover. Not sure if it will work or not, but, what's to lose (besides half a $4.29 box of muesli!)? I'll let you know how it turns out.

We took a giant load of stuff to goodwill yesterday and I am so glad to have it out of the house!! We also plan for a BUNCH of large items to be picked up next week and we have another large load for goodwill. Plus I have a bunch of stuff I am wanting to freecycle and 6 or 7 bins of clothes will go to be stored at Nathan's sister's house. I can't wait to be rid of all this stuff. Also, all our dining room furniture belongs to Nathan's dad technically so as long as he still wants it, it will be going away too. Stuff be gone!

Random thoughts and incoherency is the language of my brain these days. Pardon the abrupt shifts of thought please!

Monday, June 8, 2009

New Yummy Bread

After taking a bread making hiatus for about 6 months, I finally decided to make some. I wanted to try a new recipe for oatmeal bread but I love this recipe because it is EASY and comes together so quickly. So I used the aforementioned recipe with a few changes. I always use butter instead of shortening in my bread but I changed a few more things this time. I used molasses instead of honey and added about a cup (probably a little more) of leftover oatmeal from breakfast. I also used all whole wheat flour (no white flour) as that is the kind of bread we generally tend to prefer. I just pulled the bread out and had a warm piece with butter. Mmmmmm. I like this so much better than my other whole wheat recipe. I think I am just going to use this recipe as a basic recipe and make all my breads a variation of this super easy dump it in the kitchenaid, watch it mix and knead and let it rise recipe. Definitely a success :) And I definitely want another piece right now.

Good-bye Mortgage!

Just a note to say that we paid off our mortgage on Friday! AMAZING to be debt-free! Also, got a killer haircut and I feel like a new woman. VERY VERY pregnant today but still hoping to get a lot done around the house. I need to be packing since we no longer own the house we are in. We have approximately 27 more days until we need to be out. We would like to be out a bit sooner because thirty days from when we got paid is our anniversary and I would kind of like to enjoy it! Starting to stress a little that the baby might come before we get moved. That would really throw a kink into things. Supposed to close on new property this week. We went over there on Saturday to walk the property and see where we might put our shed and eventual house and think we found a spot we might like. I actually got to go on top of the hill this time and it's really just beautiful. The creek was pretty shallow so we just waded across the easement. I guess that will be our first official project once we own the property--to build up the easement so that we can get across in the vehicle.

Feeling old. I saw a kid with his window painted '09 and was remembering the big '02 on my car when I graduated. 7 years!!!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Orchard Beginnings

Last night at about 9:00 or 9:30 we got an unexpected knock at the door. It was Nathan's sister and husband bringing us 6 cherry tree starts from a relative. I had expressed interest in getting some of these starts and they showed up last night! Right now they are planted in buckets full of dirt until we can get them planted when we move. I think we are going to give a couple to my dad who is starting his orchard this year as well. Nathan can't wait for cherry preserves like his Nanny used to make. This fall or next spring we should be getting some peach tree starts as well. This means that in just a couple of years these trees should start producing fruit. They don't take too long to get started and I am so excited!! It was so kind of those guys to share with us and they even provided the buckets filled with dirt so we would have somewhere to keep the plants until we move! How thoughtful!!

To Do

While waiting for our money from the state we have been trying very hard to find an inexpensive structure that we can live in until our house is built on the new land. Today we are leaning toward one of these (the lofted cabin style). We went to see them this past weekend and they seem to be very sturdy and at least a little better option than a tent. Especially if we tie it down with mobile home straps. We also looked at a different brand at Lowe's which had one with an upstairs, but it didn't seem nearly as sturdy because (we just found out) that the dura-built ones are Mennonite built. They really were a much better product and not at all more expensive.



To do:

pack up all fall and winter clothes

purchase something to pack clothes in

narrow all 3 children's clothing (plus new baby's) into 1 (count 'em 1) dresser

narrow all Nathan's and my clothes into 1 wardrobe/dresser

continue to go through and pull things out for MASSIVE yard sale

get delicious cinnamon crunch bagel from Panera and DON'T SHARE IT

Tell my midwife to take a hike if she mentions my 4 pound in 2 week weight gain again

find inexpensive night stand (maybe go back to Peddler's Mall)

do something fun with kids

go grocery shopping

disappear with my husband for a couple of days

discover an effective way to get my daughter to stop screaming

discover an effective way to get my eldest son to stop whining (all the kids for that matter)

Enjoy this time in my children's lives. They are all at ages that are so special and brief and magical. Toby is blowing kisses all the time now, and his vocabulary is growing day by day. Yesterday he started saying ball in addition to all his other words: mama, dada, saiah, up, bye-bye, night-night, milk (sometimes), more (sign language) and I'm sure much more than I am remembering right now. He is also repeating sounds that he hears other things make such as toys and songs. He seems to be learning to speak in terms of pitch rather than learning how to form the words by watching us speak them. It's very interesting to watch him learn. Also, when I lay him down for his nap, he must turn out the light switch first and then I lay his sweet self down and he just snuggles down and then pulls the covers up around himself. These are all things I want to write down for myself just so I will remember them.

Isaiah just came in and said, "I have a very funny knock knock joke for you. Knock knock"

"who's there?"

"Cuckoo"

"Cuckoo who?"

"Cuckoo you!!!"

Friday, May 15, 2009

csa

We joined a CSA yesterday and picked up our first box of vegetables! It included a big bag of mixed salad, a bag of spinach, a small bunch of the cutest carrots I have ever seen, some beets, some radishes, and some oregano. I just love that even though we aren't going to get to plant our big garden this year that we will get some fresh vegetables every week. We went out to Terrapin Hill Farm for our pick up and to meet the owners of the farm and to see how the farm looks. Everything looked sustainable and well taken care of and the kids had a great time checking out the chicks in the brooder and running in the mud. (We took our three plus my niece and nephew that I watch 3 days a week. The van was packed. :) So, we got our veggies and now I am trying to figure out what to do with beets. I used to eat them as a child but I have no recollection as to how they were prepared. Anyone have a good beet recipe? This farm is actually just up the road from where we are moving to in Harrodsburg, which means that it will be nice to get to know some folks in the Burg of Harrod before we even get there. And hopefully even though they are a farm that we'll essentially be "competing" with in the coming years, their focus is not at all the same as ours with the exception of pastured poultry, and there is no way there are too many people raising pastured poultry. I feel good about supporting another local farm until our own local farm is up and running.

By the way, last Saturday we played Settlers with some friends and it was so much fun! We are going to have to make it a regular occurrence. They even brought us a gallon of raw milk to go with our brownies, which was gone the next day. Only a little longer until we get a cow. Then we'll have to learn to milk it. But, oh, the awesomeness of milk straight from our own cow... Seriously, buying milk is just the pits. We go through something like 5 gallons a week (sometimes more) but if we have our own cow and we get something like 4 gallons a day (being hopeful here) then we can just drink milk until the cow runs dry. And make butter, and then we'll have buttermilk, and make all kinds of cheeses, and yogurts, and whatever else strikes our dairy fancy. I hope we have enough to at least share with my dad who would absolutely love the fresh milk. We went over to my parent's house last night for supper and had a good time. I got to see Dad's vegetable garden which is looking good, and all his flowers too. He just got 4 new dwarf apple trees and a pear tree which has gotten me thinking about my own orchard. SOON we have to plant an orchard. A HUGE orchard with all kinds of apples and pears and cherries and peaches... and we have to do berries! of all kinds! I could go on and on and on...

There is much more to say about the farm, my kids, the camper situation, the new house design but for now 2 posts in one day is enough.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Lydia Speak


fairy tale = pony tail
bunny ears = two pony tails
choking = joking
pianyos = piano
bandaddy = band-aid


Although Lydia is having a hard time with her attitude these past few weeks, I have never enjoyed her (in the non-screaming at the top of her lungs kicking on the floor moments) any more than I do right now. She pretends all the time, and puts on "shows" where she dances across the room ballerina style with a few other styles thrown in. She has entire conversations between two imaginary people without even playing with a doll. I just love listening to the songs and conversations she makes up and I really want to enjoy this time where she will just openly pretend in front of me.


I feel like I am having a hard time getting to enjoy everything about each of my children! I love having many children close together, I just feel like I can't know as much about each of them as I would like to. Every time they do something hilarious, or new or exciting I feel like I should just wrap up in the moment because they are already growing up--sometimes I can't just enjoy the moment though, and that's where I feel like I'm missing out. I think when I actually took Mother's Day to put aside other things and just enjoy my babies I realized that even though things are very hectic and busy and changing right now that it's so important to just sit and play and paint and pretend with them.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Settlers!

I love Whole Foods. I don't think we had been there for 4 months or so as we have been shopping at kroger a lot more because it is much closer and less expensive. Yesterday we went to Whole Foods, though, and spent more than I anticipated, but for supper I had the yummiest berries and cheese and I thought it might be the best meal I have had this pregnancy. Blackberries and strawberries (with cool whip!) and cabot extra sharp white cheddar.

We are trying meal planning this week, hoping it will cut out some stress and make meal times easier since I will know exactly what's coming. Today it's leftover spaghetti for lunch and chicken fettucini alfredo for supper. Lots of pasta today, but that's the plan. I may try to throw in some broccoli for something green.

We ordered a earth bag building book last night, but the best thing we ordered is Settlers! and the extension pack! I am so excited that we can start playing this game!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Baked Goodies

Yesterday I went on a baking spree. The kitchen was all clean and the clear counters beckoned me to cover them in flour. I started off with a breakfast of sausage, biscuits, eggs, and gravy. After that mess was cleaned up and we had all eaten, I made a double batch of banana nut raisin muffins (because I have no loaf pans. The ones from the dollar tree turned my bread green last time, so they are being re-purposed into something outside). I froze 8, gave 4 away, 4 got eaten pretty quickly, and now we currently have 6 left outside the freezer. I also made pecan chocolate cherry bars again and I have an update. I used all whole wheat flour, only 1 cup of loosely packed brown sugar (instead of firmly packed 1 1/2c.), and made sure to chop my cherries up before adding them and they turned out pretty well! They are a little bit more crumbly than last time (only a little), but I only miss the white flour a little bit and I don't miss the sugar at all. I will probably keep the recipe this way so we can eat them mostly guilt free for breakfast. Let's see...next I made a couple loaves of bread out of some graham flour that I bought a couple months ago and had to use up. Eh, it's edible, but only with much butter, or other yummy topping. Lastly, I made pizza for supper using this dough recipe. That was the best thing I made all day. The baking madness has come to a halt and now I have the urge to organize. It's just the first inkling of an urge, so it will probably take a few days to get in full organizational swing, but I feel it coming. I need to entirely re-do the pantry, the spice cabinet, and the craft closet and craft fridge. I am not looking forward to the pantry, so it may never get done :)

Well, it's naptime, and I may take a nap today too.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

land, whining, deodorant, and mother's day perks

Well, here I am blogging when I can't even see the surface of the desk in front of me. Do you ever think of holding the garbage can at one end of a surface and sliding every last thing on top of said surface into the can? I have had this image, nay, vision, come to me twice in the past two days, and I am seriously contemplating it....

Currently, we are working out loan stuff for buying our property!!! I won't go into the boring, tedious details, mostly because I have basically handed the reigns over to Nathan. Anything except the occasional phone call (what is it with guys and making phone calls?), I am leaving up to him. I'm not sure if he knows this yet, but he will soon :) We have made an offer, it was accepted, we have signed the offer letter on our current house from the state, so they should be getting started processing our payment. In the next 3-6 weeks we will receive payment for our house and from that day we will have 30 days to get out of our house. Did I mention that the (amazingly beautiful and perfect) land that we are purchasing does not have a house on it? Did I also mention that we might be living in this? We haven't purchased it yet, but it seems like a real temporary housing option for us. There are so many things we still have to consider (like running electricity and water to the property and building a bridge, etc...), but thankfully we don't have to worry about it on our own since we are going to be sharing our land with several other couples. We will be tackling most of the land decisions together and we will be sharing expenses which will help us all out!

I am also pregnant. Very pregnant. I am hoping to somehow dream my current midwife away and never have to go see her again, but every time I think of actually just not going back and calling another midwife for homebirth, I have to ask the question, can I have a homebirth without a home? (or in a camper? or outside?) So, instead, between visits, I badmouth her to Nathan, dreaddreaddread, and then go back with a smile on my face, because, really, this is the best option for the situation we are in. This midwife is much more medically inclined (as opposed to naturally inclined) and basically she just gets on my nerves, but she is a midwife, which means my choices get heard a little more and some of the things I really want/don't want for this birth will go my way barring some great emergency. We are still hoping to go home as quickly as possible after the birth and my other children will likely be split up among the relatives for a few days, so even in a camper we should have a lovely time with our newest.

In armpit news, I was hoping to have discovered the best possible way to apply baking soda to the pits, as currently there is much baking soda falling into the garbage can or toilet depending over which I am standing when applying my deodorant of choice. I got the arm and hammer fridge pack, which you peel the sides of the box off to reveal a thin material through which the stinky fridge odors can be sucked into the baking soda. and I was hoping to just peel one side off and kind of pat that in my armpit with the same results as rubbing it in with my hands, but I am afraid that will not work because no soda can actually get through the side of that thing. I wonder if perhaps I poked a few tiny holes in the side if it would work then, but basically it would be just as messy as before.... I'll have to see if just rubbing it without the actual soda coming out will deodorize as well as the other method before I start poking holes anywhere.

I bought some material to make a ring sling a week or two ago, but I have since decided that I want a moby style wrap. Since I have the material already, I will probably go ahead and make the ring sling, but I am super excited about the moby wrap too. I think I will probably make my own, to custom fit, rather than buying one, but it would probably be cheaper just to buy one. Still debating. It will really just depend on whether or not I can find the kind of fabric I need at a reasonable (by reasonable I mean insanely cheap) price or not. I think I may be taking a mother's day trip to JoAnn's fabrics and Starbucks. We shall see.... The first of the mother's day purchases came last night at Wal-Mart where I got 24 brand new permanent markers. (There are 36 in the photo so some of those colors aren't included in my fabulous set.) They are going to be my new medium for a while. I did a lot with paint for a really long time, and had my bouts with decoupage and scrapbooking, pencil and pen, but now we enter the marker phase. Really, I could not have been more excited to get another craft supply. If you only knew the places the craft supplies are tucked in this house you would be amazed. Who knows where it will all go in the camper! I am going to have to learn about how to work with markers to get the results I want. I played with all my new colors last night while we watched X-Men last night. I actually kind of like those movies so I don't really mind that Nathan bought the 3 dvd set last night and will be having 3 consecutive nights of x-men viewing.

Enough random blathering! I need to watch the Biggest Loser! I forgot it is Wednesday! You know, right after I clean off the desk. And eat something besides week old chocolate chip cookies for lunch.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Fabulous Fabric


Okay, I have much to say about many things, but all I can think about right now is how much I love anna maria horner's fabric and want my whole house/wardrobe/children to be covered in it.



This is a welcome distraction from all the other things in my head right now.....if only I could sew anything more than a pillow. If I could have known that I was going to be a housewife and mother to many, I would have taken more than that one home-ec class in the 8th grade. (The one where I learned how to make a pillow.)
Does anyone love this fabric as much as me?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Driveway is Golden

We made some killer cookies this week. Isaiah loves the big soft sugar cookies with icing that can be bought at wal-mart and other big stores. We have never bought them, but Isaiah has them in Sunday school just about every other week. So I decided last week that we would make some of our own. All I can say is if you love those kind of cookies, never make them because just knowing the ingredients makes me feel guilty with every bite. There is no redeeming ingredient in these, but they are sooooo good.


Isaiah and Lydia really enjoyed licking the icing beaters and helping me add all the ingredients together. They are going to be great at cooking someday!


And Finally! Here are my Easter cuties all dressed up and upside down! Toby was sleeping but I wanted their picture before they got all dirty.


And here is another one with all my babies plus my niece. Plus the side of my face.


It has been a tiring long week already, but we are on the downward slope now, and tomorrow we get to go see Joel Salatin at Berea College! I am really excited! This will be my first time hearing him and I think it will be a lot of fun.
Some things just make my day better... Last night when I was tucking Isaiah in, we were saying our prayers and got into a discussion about where God is and how do we praise God and why we praise God. Somehow we got on the topic of heaven and I was telling Isaiah about how God made streets out of gold and about the jeweled gates, so then he decided to sing a praise song of his own making which went, "Golden, golden, golden, the driveway is golden..." :)
Our friend Daniel is in town and Nathan went with him and Josh and Terry yesterday to look at land. I think they had a pretty good time and Nathan didn't get home until midnight and then we stayed up until after 1:00 talking, so I am just zonked today. You can probably tell from my incoherent writing and jumping from one thing to another. I think I will go rest while my children jump and scream.




Monday, April 6, 2009

My Very Own George of the Jungle

video

Okay, in this video I appear to be a delinquent parent, as my young son is standing in a chair and falls over a bit, but I was right there and if I thought he was going to fall out I would have caught him. My bad parenting aside, I have been trying to get this on video for over a month. Toby has been doing this george of the jungle thing for a long time and I never could capture it until the other night. I couldn't be happier that I finally got this on camera. Also, I just love the little laugh and wave at the end. I wish I hadn't said anything out loud on this video, but I just couldn't contain my joy!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Everyone Knows

Finally, everyone knows that I am pregnant. I HAD to tell my great aunt today, because everyone else knows and it was starting to spread. So, I got up the courage and went over to her house and we had a great conversation and talked about everything under the sun, and then just as I was about to leave, I told her. Things went about as I expected with lots of stuff I didn't want to hear, but I took it well, if I say so myself. I basically just let the stuff she said go in one ear and out the other. She is concerned that my body needs a break and on and on (I'M concerned that my body needs a break--I really don't need anyone else's thoughts on that.) But at the end we hugged and we love each other and I can live with the conversation that we had. And she sent me home with a jar of homemade grape jelly which will be eaten with biscuits ASAP.

By the way, if you don't already know, it's a......GIRL!

Also, my mom bought me some great new shirts that FIT! And I finally figured out how to fix my hair. My hair used to be perfectly straight and all I had to do was wash it and let it air dry and it was stick straight and I loved it. After I got pregnant the first time it changed to become slightly wavy and frizzy and continued with each pregnancy to increase in waviness and frizziness. I tried all kinds of shampoos and conditioners, frizz-eases, gels, mouses, b bbbbnjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb hmmmmmmm mmmmmmmm bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb vvvhvh and a brief interlude typed by Toby. :) SO I tried it all and finally am using whole foods shampoo and conditioner and coconut oil. I put the coconut oil on after I wash it and leave it in and it works like a de-frizzer/deep conditioner and after that I bobby pin the front back so I'm not constantly tucking it behind my ears and let it air dry. That's it. Finally it's fixable in just a couple minutes and it actually looks good. I wore it this way twice and got so many comments on it at church today. I was kind of surprised, but then Nathan reminded me that I have been wearing it up for something like four years. Oh and I brush it before I get in the shower, but definitely not after.

Okay, while I was away from the computer (when Toby left his message) I got a phone call from aforementioned great aunt, who was calling to ask me not to be upset with her for the way she reacted today and to FORGIVE her for the way she responded. Okay, I cannot convey the shock and surprise of such a phone call and while I had actually already forgiven her, it is just so nice that she called to ask. The sermon at her church tonight must have been really good. ;)

Monday, March 30, 2009

Pictures!

Finally some pictures to go with the past several posts. I love birthdays.

Here is Lydia in her new cool roller skates and pads and her new cheerleading dress up dress. I'm not sure she even knows what a cheerleader is, but she is a rock star on skates and she loves the dress regardless.

Here is my beautiful princess in her birthday dress.

Here is my sweet baby covered up in chocolate.






He sat there for like 10 minutes before he finally dug in. We had to give him a spoon first. He didn't use it to eat, but I think he was concerned that we had lost our minds giving him a chocolate cake as big as his head and didn't know it was okay to eat unless he had a utensil.


Birthday Pancakes


There will be more pictures and blogs to come soon!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Lydia's 3rd Birthday!

What a fun day yesterday! Lydia's birthday was yesterday and we had so much fun! We got up and I fixed birthday pancakes (a birthday tradition in our house), so we all had a good breakfast. While I was fixing the pancakes, I gave Toby a bath in the sink because he peed out of his diaper. It was a very fast bath. Then I started getting the kids ready. Lydia got a special birthday dress from Nannie that is pink tulle and very, very girly with a matching head band. She LOVED it and wore it to church. I can't wait to get all my pictures on here. We skipped Sunday school and took our time with birthday presents and pancakes and getting ready. We headed out to church and got there a little early, so after we dropped the kids off in the nursery we decided we wanted to buy a BBC Choir cd, but we had no cash or checks. So we took a walk down the street to the bank to the ATM. We walked all the way around and there was no hole in the wall, so we almost gave up but right across from the bank was another bank (actually another bank of the same name..I was confused) and we found the machine there. It was beautiful weather and so nice to be out and walking in it. We went back to church and bought the cd and got in a seat just in time for church. It got so warm by the end of the service I was having a hard time keeping my eyes open. I hate that I was more concentrated on staying awake than I was on the sermon and reflecting. As we were picking the kids up from the nursery, I saw a girl that I met at Peacecraft a couple of weeks ago and she was waiting to give me some handmade cloth napkins! I couldn't believe that she not only had remembered our conversation but had hand crafted a gift for an almost stranger. It was just so sweet of her! So now I have 16 lovely cloth napkins! I am still kind of shocked that a person I just met would do that for me. Oh, I'll just have to get some pictures on here!

After church we took the kids to McDonald's, otherwise referred to as "the garbage place", but it was Lydia's birthday and they played in the play place for 30 minutes after we ate and it was fun. The kids had so much fun just getting to climb and slide and we got to kind of just sit back and let them go. Not as much as some of the other parents there (Nathan removed a stranger's child from the top of a table before she leapt off), but really it was a pretty relaxing way to let the kids get some energy out. We headed home to take a nap with only minor complaints of wanting to stay.

At about 5:00 we headed out to a surprise birthday party for Josh at Jordan and Kim's (and Josh and Jamie's for now). We had so much fun just getting to hang out with friends! I hope we can all get together again:) And there was some awesome Pike Valley chicken salad there. This pregnant lady was very happy. The kids loved playing in the rocks and sticks with all the other little ones. We had to really keep an eye on Toby and mostly Nathan and I just had to hold him so he wouldn't eat the sticks and rocks, or climb on top of tiny babies. We just had a really good time visiting. I also got a midwife's number from Kim and I am thinking about giving her a call. She does home birth for the same price as our co-pay would be for having a baby at the hospital. Actually it might even be a little less expensive. I'm still a little wishy-washy on making that decision, but maybe I'll at least call her and see.

We are supposed to hear back from the offer we made today. I hope they will at least counter our offer. It was very low, but they said "offers encouraged!" I'll let you know what happens! Oh, and here is the house we made the offer on. Just thought you might want to see it!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Chocolate Chip Cherry Pecan Oat Bars

A new recipe (adapted a bit from a Kraft Foods recipe called Chocolate, Cranberry and Oat Bars) that I have been trying to get made since Christmas turned out way better than I imagined. But really, how can you go wrong with chocolate and cherries and oats?

Ingredients:
1 cup dried cherries (or cranberries, or raisins... If you use cherries chop them up a bit)
1/4 cup orange juice (juice of 1 orange or store kind)
1 1/2 cups flour (I used 1/2 cup whole wheat flour and 1 cup white, but next time will use more
wheat)
1 1/2 cups quick oats
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks), softened
1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 bag (6 oz.) chocolate chips (Kristin! This really is enough! :)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans (or other nuts)

Directions:
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2) Combine cherries and orange juice and heat in microwave for 30 seconds, or on stove top until
warmed through. Let stand 10 min.
3) Combine flour, oats, baking powder and salt, set aside
4) Beat margarine and brown sugar with mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time
beating until well blended after each addition.
5) Gradually add in flour mixture mixing well after each addition.
6) Stir in cherry mixture, chocolate chips and pecans
7) Spread into 13 by 9 inch pan, use cooking spray or butter and flour
8)Bake 20 to 22 minutes or until center is set (mine took 27-28 min)
9) Cool completely on wire rack before cutting to serve (yeah right!)


These are too yummy straight from the oven and we are having them for breakfast today. (Hey! there are oats in there! and fruit! and nuts!) They are like a big thick chocolate chip cookie with cherries and nuts. Or maybe a little like a blondie. I will say, if you want them to be pretty when you cut them without crumbling apart, do let them cool completely. Obviously you don't have to let the whole pan cool.

PS We are making an offer on a house on Saturday! I hope it goes well!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

finally, some stress is being relieved...

Lots is going on here! We found a house with some land that we really love and are preparing to make and offer on it. As soon as we get our (bigger better) offer letter on our house from the state I believe we will be able to put an offer in on the new one. We actually really love it and hope everything works out. It's in Harrodsburg, but is very close to most everything we wanted to be close to. It's not close to church, so I'm not entirely sure if we are going to find a new one or not. (We most likely will.)

Also, I went to the obstetrician yesterday to have a baby appointment. It had been so long since I was there that they insisted that I see a DR instead of my midwife to get a "good" check-up. I was a little disappointed and a bit angry. I had missed my last appointment because of the giant ice storm and never made another appointment, mostly because I was trying to decide if this midwife was the way I wanted to go. She was friendly and I liked her well enough. She answered all my questions satisfactorily (at least the ones that I remembered to ask), but I was still considering a home birth. (I would actually love to have one, but with moving and not knowing exactly where our home will be this far into the pregnancy, I decided against it.) Back to the point--I was hoping that since I was seeing a midwife that there wouldn't be a freakout since, you know, pregnancy and birth is considered to be natural and not a medical emergency or event, however, I went to the appointment and got an outspoken nurse who was a bit surprised that I asked questions at all. The OB was a bit weird and not at all who I want to deliver my baby. Actually I would like Nathan to do it, but we'll see how that goes over at St. Joe East. Hopefully this was a one time visit with this Dr and he will be far away when I have the little one. It feels strange now to question doctors and nurses after a lifetime of taking them at their word, but it's so cool too, to know that I CAN question anyone at all. (By the way, I think the new word for cool is "sweet", but I feel like a dork saying that in any other way than I already do, so I'm sticking with cool.") Nathan and I went to the appointment together yesterday, while his sister Trina kept our kids. We had a really good time laughing at everything ridiculous together. I love my sweet husband. He makes me laugh and laughs at the same things I do, so even a trip to the OB is a very fun, funny event. We also stopped and ate at chick-fil-a, went to whole foods for our dairy products and some produce (and some yummy whole wheat organic "pop-tarts". Yeah, I know, but they are SO good and it keeps us from getting McDonald's on the way to church on Sundays. And they were on sale:) and stopped by Cato's where I got a pair of pants that actually fit at this point in my pregnancy. All in all it was a pretty good day, you know minus the weird Dr part.

I had an ultrasound yesterday as well, and it was a really fun little appointment. They had the latest technology and it worked so much more quickly and efficiently than the ones we had with the other kids. We saw all the little parts and everything looked so healthy and whole! I am so thankful for the blessing of health on our sweet new baby. We got a few pictures and saw the little one move and wiggle and show us every part. Yes, we know what the gender is! Do you want to know?

Friday, March 6, 2009

Spring!

Good morning! I think spring is here!!! Nathan says it's supposed to get cold again, but I am refusing to believe that and today it's almost 60! The sunlight is streaming in through our living room window because our blind broke last night. We had to rig up a curtain rod and the kids threw open the curtains first thing. Also, I am eating ice cream for breakfast this morning. Leftover baskin robbins reese's cup sundae from last night. Yes, I believe it's going to be a good day.

I have to clean clean clean today for the party on Sunday. Yuck. And I have to do it without the help of videos because the kids attitudes are going downhill since we started renting more videos from the library. They are just watching too much stuff and it's affecting their behavior. All the videos are age appropriate, but just watching more makes them crazy!

Someone encourage me! I'm getting unmotivated to clean already!

In sad sad news, Nathan put Dakota down on Tuesday. She was laboring to breathe and just really really sick and hurt. We are so sad that it had to end that way. If only she could have made it a few more months we would have let her run free on our new farm and she could have died happily in the woods in a tangle with a bear..... We will miss her. I keep checking out the kitchen and bathroom windows for her, but she's not there.

More upbeat now! Last night my mom took Isaiah and Lydia for a few hours. (And cousin Ella went too.) We just chilled with Toby and then went out for ice cream. I obviously couldn't finish mine :) The kids came back with a slew of stuff from wal-mart. Isaiah got Spidermanned out with a hat, shoes, a t-shirt, and umbrella. Yes, an umbrella. Lydia chose a pretty dress, canvas shoes, and an Easter hat and purse. They are wearing most of what they got last night. Oh and Mom brought Toby a light up spiderman jacket. They also got to eat at McDonald's with Pop and Nannie and cousin Ella and get ice cream. It was a big night for them.

Also, we ordered our seeds for the garden. We placed an order with Heirloom Acres and Seed Savers. We went a little overboard in my opinion, but Nathan says we are going to become awesome gardeners and have a ton of food. Then we will save all our heirloom seeds and re-plant next year, and never have to order seeds again. We also ordered pretty flowers for me even though I am notorious for killing everything except mums. We got zinnias, verbena, and 3 kinds of sunflowers. I just couldn't resist these. We are going to have a garden just for sunflowers, and I plan to have a vase of flowers on my table until November. Super excited about the zinnias too.

Alright. I have procrastinated long enough. Must. Go. Clean.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Happy 1st Birthday Toby!!!!

It's Toby's 1st birthday! My sweet, sweet baby is a big boy now! We had birthday pancakes this morning as is tradition at our house and Toby dug in. He's still sitting in his high chair. He must be full and really happy because he's not trying to climb out.

We've been very busy looking for a new house and some land, taking (just had to go get Toby because he started climbing out of high chair) care of our old hurt dog and trying to decide what we are going to do about her, planning Toby's birthday party for March 7 and Lydia's for probably the 21st and we need to plan a yard sale for sometime in April. Also, I'm pregnant. Secret's out. Actually, I'm due July 6th so I'm about halfway through my pregnancy. I still haven't told my aunt, grandparents, great aunts, Nathan's parents, or grandmother. We are just trying to keep it quiet for as long as possible to avoid the negative feedback for as long as possible, and so far, no one has guessed. (Most of the negative feedback would be that I need to wait longer in between having children and why oh why would I want this many kids in the first place, although I know they love my kids and me) I'm just starting to expand and it will be another month or two before it would become undeniable (not that I would deny it :) but we are probably going to have to spill the beans soon. I'm really excited and hope it's a girl. Nathan keeps calling the baby "them" like there's 2 or 3 in there. He's determined that we will have a set of multiples even though it doesn't run in our families. I just told Isaiah today, so now I have to tell my family or he will.

Also, Nathan had a brief virus this week or something, and I have been feeling increasingly tired, so while I wouldn't say I'm stressed, I certainly have a lot to deal with right now. I think that once we've told the family and figured out how best to take care of Dakota (Nathan's dog of 16 going on 17 years) that the pressure will have decreased in a major way. I feel a little better now that I have spilled to my blogger friends. By the way, if you live where I live, don't spread the news around until I have told my whole family. They would be pissed to hear it from someone else:)

Busy, busy times here, but basically took last night off and just laid on the couch for hours and then went to bed at about 9:00. I do feel much more rested today. Alright, I must go clean something, but to tell you the truth I will probably just read a book. If you know of any good Christian fiction books to read let me know. I love, love fiction and am finishing a 9 book series today or tomorrow. I have no idea what to check out next and tomorrow is library day! Input please!

Pictures of the birthday boy to come later!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Library and Other Random Stuff

I have rediscovered the library. Lydia and I went yesterday because there was a book that I wanted to check out and I thought we could start making a weekly date with each child individually. I had a lot of errands to run yesterday and Nathan was working from home, so Lydia and I took off to the library. When we were getting our new library cards I discovered that I hadn't had library card in my hometown since 1995! By the way, same librarian. There was some guilt, however, because I currently have 2 books that I checked out under Nathan's name when we were either dating or first married. Either way, they are about 5 years overdue and that's a late charge I can't afford. I will return them, I just can't figure out whether to drop them off in the book drop with money inside the book, or to actually take them inside and be thoroughly honest. Thankfully it's under Nathan's name so I have time to figure it out.


I hosted a pampered chef party last night and we had a lot of fun. My mom rounded up my granny and Aunt Elsie and made them come with her :) It was nice to have a bunch of girls at our house and just get to eat and talk. I still don't know what I am going to get with my hosting benefits, but I need a really good knife, spatula, whisk, pastry blender, and I want the garlic press and this really pretty deep covered baker for cooking whole chickens and such. I will definitely have to narrow my choices down. Another benefit to hosting this party is that my house is clean, still/again. It's been a week or more of cleanliness around here (except when I let the dishes go over the weekend), and Nathan fixed the sink so it no longer leaks! I still have a lot of laundry (always!) and our bedroom is almost un-walk-through-able, but the rest of the house is presentable!


Isaiah is now able to take scraps out to the chickens. This is fan-tas-tic. He has also been Kung Fu-ing all over the house since Christmas. (He got the movie Kung Fu Panda) He is a Kung Fu Master by now and he bows all the time.


In other random news, we have colds. Toby is the worst right now, I'm right behind him, Lydia is getting over hers, Isaiah will probably not ever get it because his immune system is apparently the bomb (wait...are we still allowed to say that...I vaguely remember that being a saying when I was in middle school which was about 10 years ago. I wonder what the new "bomb" is...Let me know if you know so I don't sound like an old fogey.) Poor Toby and his snotty nose and sad little sick eyes. At least he's more snuggly when he's sick which I just love :) Oh and Nathan will probably be orange juicing up and vitamin c dropping so he doesn't get it.


And, I have a confession... I bought bread. I bought hot dog buns for the mini hamburgers we made for the pampered chef party last night (which I am not even counting) and I bought a store made (like by the Kroger bakery) Italian sweet loaf, AND I bought whole wheat bagels. I have missed bread. I haven't made any since I was in Texas. So I broke down at the store yesterday and went crazy. The bagels rock. And I bought doughnuts. Oh dear.
Wow, I had no idea what I was going to write about today, but I just keep going and going....I think I am going to go read my library book now since it is nap time :)

Just a couple of photos from a month or two ago. I rarely ever get them all together!


Saturday, February 7, 2009

Chickens and Haircuts

Well, today Nathan killed 2 chickens. One had gotten a hurt leg and the other, I think, was crowing just a little too loudly in the mornings. So, while we were getting all our supplies together and I was putting the scalding water on to boil Isaiah asked if he could wash the chickens. Now, I'm sure he had seen part of the chicken killing process before, but certainly not the death or evisceration, but he somehow knew that Daddy gets to use the water hose to wash the blood off and he volunteered for that job. We thought since he knew so much about the process already that he should be ready to help out some. So, Isaiah helped Daddy kill two chickens today and wasn't even phased by the process. He said that he liked the blood because it looked like red paint, and then proceeded to do a song and dance about eating chicken. As Nathan and I were plucking the feathers off, Isaiah said, "It's white!", but he was not grossed out and is beyond ready to eat chicken very soon. As Isaiah was singing, his enthusiasm was contagious. I, too, cannot wait to have some delicious, home-raised chicken! What am I going to make with our chickens? I haven't had chicken at home for months! I am so excited!


In other news, I gave Lydia her first haircut this week. Her hair is so thin that in the back where her hair was longer than the front was really stringy and we thought it might thicken up if we cut off the extra that was hanging down in the back. I did not cut any around her face, just the longer part in the back and it turned out really cute!

This is the before shot. She was actually excited about getting her hair cut and wanted to use the buzzers like daddy and Isaiah use. We decided to go with scissors instead.


This is the during photo. She ate a banana to keep her still throughout the cut. It only took a few minutes. Notice how long her hair is on her back!


This is the after photo. After she got her hair blown dry and "styled" otherwise known as brushed. Isn't she a cutie?!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Finally!

Today I got the call from the guy to set up an appointment for the state people to come and make an offer on the house! Wednesday at 6:00pm!!!! I can't believe the day is almost here. We've been anticipating this day for a long while and really have no idea what they might offer us. Please pray that all goes well and that we get an offer that we can actually work with. Now I should really be cleaning the heck out of my house! I don't want those people coming over and thinking, "Hmmmm.... this place doesn't look like it's worth that much!" Also, I am considering asking my dad or some other "elder" to be present for the negotiation because we are considerably younger than most of the people the negotiators deal with. Do you think that would make us look even more inexperienced, or that it might help with the negotiations? I always like a confirmation or second opinion, but I also know we can probably do this on our own. We have never had to make offers/counteroffers on a house before so we really don't have any idea how this should work. Also, since we are dealing with the state, basically, they are going to take our house so the road can come through no matter what we get paid. We can't stop them or just not sell our house if the offer isn't enough for our liking, so really we have to approach this sensitively so as not to get kicked out of our house and have it condemned and therefore worthless.
BLAH....I don't feel like I am being coherent today! It has been such a long day of cleaning and keeping kids in line! How many time should I really have to explain to the children in the house that it's not okay to hit each other in the face with the ball, or jump on the bed, or take toys away from the others....yeah, yeah, yeah I know it's all normal mommy stuff, but, whew! I am tired! And my nephew called my daughter a dumb butt today. Yeah, really nice, and now all my kids know that word, though at this point they dare not use it.
Okay! Time to clean and fold, wash and scrub!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Traffic Signals

Don't you wish there were a way to let other drivers know exactly what you're thinking....No, no, no I do not mean ugly hand gestures. I mean how do you tell a person thank you in the dark. I am a big believer in "the thank you wave". If I let someone out/in I expect one and would definitely give one if someone was to let me out/in. But how does one show their appreciation in the dark? Should I start a new thank you signal by signaling to the left, then right, then braking lightly twice? I don't think that would go over very well. Also, HOW do you let someone know that their signal has been on for the last 15 miles? That is one I would really like to get started. What should I do? Turn my signal on and leave it so they notice my signal has been on forever and maybe they will think to check their own? Maybe a hand signal, like opening and closing my fist while hanging it out the window? Again, though, what about in the dark? You see, my brain has so many important thoughts... Yikes.

Do you have a signal you are dying to get started? Like maybe the signal for "your brights are on and you're behind me so I can't flash my lights at you".

Monday, January 26, 2009

S-N-O-W

Before I forget and never ever write it down anywhere, Isaiah SPELLED his first word last week. He spelled s-n-o-w. Of course I helped him sound it out, but he knew each letter on his own with no additional prompting from me other than the actual sound the letters make. Yay! An appropriate first word to spell considering how often it has been dusting us with snow lately. Supposedly we're getting a foot of snow tonight, but that's impossible with global climate change, right?

This makes me excited for homeschooling! I even started moving all the homeschooling stuff together in the dining room so I can have a nice place to sit them down when we do sit down stuff.

Friday, January 23, 2009

I've been thinking.....

I have been thinking lately. I mean really thinking about everyday decisions that I make. I never really questioned before. Until my husband insisted that, yes, chickens in our backyard were a great idea, I had kind of just gone with the flow. Really, my entire life. I was pretty good about obeying my parents, I have never questioned my faith, I was great at doing school (until I got to college). I mean, there was always something a little different about me compared to my friends growing up. I never really "fit" into any specific group entirely, partly because I don't really like to exclude those who want to be included. I had a few friends who I stuck with for the most part, but I was the one who befriended the new kid. I had a great new-kid friend in elementary school that moved away a year later, and I had a great new-kid friend in high school who eventually found a crowd she "fit" with so we drifted. I had a very manipulative friend who disappointed me greatly, and she actually passed away a couple of years ago, after our friendship was kind of nonexistent. I had a group of guys I hung around with for years, but I've drifted probably because I am married with 3 kids now. My "group" growing up kind of held me at a distance, I think, because I was always befriending someone new. I love them, but sometimes I felt like I didn't fit with them. Now my place doesn't determine my friendships and I have a super-cool best friend now, and I am so grateful to have someone I can go to no matter what. Plus, my husband is the best. It is so cool to choose your friends.
Anyway, I'm glad to be thinking and questioning now. I don't just believe everything I hear or read, or someone tells me. I like to find out if it's that way for myself, or I ask Nathan to find out for me since he's always been a thinker--it comes more naturally to him. I am running into some trouble with all this thinking, though. What do I do when my mom disagrees with me. That's been happening more and more lately, and I hate it. I love my mom very much and to cause her grief or worry just plain sucks. But now that I have started down this path, it seems there is no going back to accepting everything just the way it is presented. The worries began with the chickens, but that was just the beginning. I think the dissension really began when we chose not to vaccinate Toby, and is growing over our decision to hopefully move to a farm and live as sustainably as possible. I think it's really hard for her to accept that we may one day live without electricity and milk our own cow and use a composting toilet. (not yet, but someday.)
On top of this I am feeling far away from God. It might be because all this questioning has raised some issues. Not really about my belief. I really truly deeply believe in and put my faith in Jesus. But sometimes about how I might defend my faith if needed, or about following what Jesus might ask me to do. I struggle with being unwilling, disobedient, and especially undisciplined. I have never been a faithful reader of my Bible, and although I pray often, lately it seems like the prayers are more like conversation in my head than conversations with the True and Living God. I am also struggling with the issue of birth control and what to do/not do about having more and more and more children. I think I am afraid to pray about it because the answer might not be one I am going to like-or one that I am willing to obey. I don't want to disobey God--but I also don't want to have 20 kids. Although, I know, I know it would be a blessing. (The prior sentence reads a little too easily--this is a struggle--and a paragraph that I cried through--I really need some peace about this) In this regard, please pray for a hunger to read God's word, wisdom in decisions about more children, and that I will have the courage to obey if the answers I get aren't the ones I hope for. Or you could just pray that God will tell me to tie my tubes : )
I guess I never really faced opposition before, because I never really opposed those around me. Now it seems like all the things I get really excited about are things that will cause some sort of dissonance between me and the family that surrounds me. Who knew that the number of children you have could be an open topic of discussion around the table between the women of my family? What about homeschooling? Although, not nearly as hot a topic as immunization or baby count, still something we differ on with some of the relatives. Also, who cares if I have a cow? Apparently there are some who would adamantly demand that I never have one. (Well, just one, actually.) Who needs to be concerned about the type of dwelling we choose to reside in after we move? Lots of those people, too. They can't talk me out of wanting one of these though.
I love my family dearly, and I just hope we can find a way to live in peace now that I disagree with some of the things they think are best for me. By family I of course mean those outside of my home, you know, Nathan and I agree on the big stuff we are choosing to do together. By living peacefully, I of course mean they will come to fully accept, understand and convert to my way of thinking ;) No, really, just no anger or disappointment would be fantastic. Or worry. No worry either.
Well, being this honest has made me hungry. I may go make some potatoes the way Kristin taught me. Nathan's new favorite breakfast. But seeing as it's 11:15 pm I'll probably just have some cheese or something. We got some really awesome cheese at the Amish store. It's almost gone so I'd better be quick.