"No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow." ~Lin Yutang

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

gratituesday : friendships that work

at each stage in our life we have friends... hopefully.  when we're young they're just a good play buddy.  as we get older, our friendship needs blossom.  they turn from someone who is fun to play compatibly with to someone who we like to talk and listen to.  then that blooms into someone who can set aside their time to be there for you, while you're willing to set aside time for to be there for them.  as we mature and grow, our friendship skills do too. 
at this stage in my life, i am blessed to have several friends that understand and put up with me.  these, to me, are friendships that work.
i am a mom and my first priority, after my relationship with God, of course, is my family.  i am so thankful to have friends that understand and respect that. 
i am so thankful that God gave me these friends because i need them.  and i love them.  and... i think i just did a post on this not too long ago.

well, my husband and i also have some friends.  currently we are praying for a few of them because of difficult times they are going through.  i'm not going to share anything personal, but will you please pray for our friends?  two families specifically that are really struggling.  you can pray however you want, because God knows ALL ABOUT IT (trust me, i talk to him daily about it)...  i'm currently praying for strength and faithfulness, love, and encouragement for these friends. 

thank you, God, for giving me friends to help and lift me up in prayer.  thank you for giving me people to friend who also can use my prayer and support.  God, you give us such a good example of friendship in your Son that came to earth to teach us as no greater friend.  please be with all of my friends... 

Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Monday, January 30, 2012

years gone by

i found a great blog (a friend of a friend through a friend, or something like that) and loved the idea.  i'm modeling this one after that one, but it won't be the same because i don't even know the girl, so don't worry about plagiarism.
also, i'll see what i can do as far as pictures go...  *note to self, this post would rock-a-diddle if it had pictures!*

last year:  i turned the age that every woman wants to be for the rest of her life.  29.  it was a great year, but i'm looking forward to my 30s... i mean, everyone else has been in their 30s for YEARS it seems!!!

2 years ago: i had a new (3-mo-old is still new, right?) baby boy to snuggle with.  he wasn't very little, but he was such a sweet snuggler.

3 years ago: i helped my little sister plan her wedding.  attended that wedding and witnessed a wonderful thing.

4 years ago:  i was about to have a precious bundle of girl born to me!  she looked different than the others and had a head full of dark beautiful hair! 

the birth though, isn't one of my favorite memories... 
i wanted to go natural but we lived two hours away from my ob.  a week early, one of the drs talked us into being induced because it was february in northwester usa.  weather's unpredictable.  roads are unpredictable.  babies are even more unpredictable in regards to their arrivals!  so, knowing i was going to be induced i decided i'd be firm in everything else.  no breaking water.  no epidural.  etc. 
two hours after arriving, i tell the dr. that was working that day (different than the one i had discussed my induction with the day before) my decisions and he says firmly, "do you want to have this baby or not?!"  well, that should have given me a clue as to what i was going to be dealing with [him] all day. 
it was NOT my birth plan, it was all HIS.  and when it came down to the baby being pushed out he had just laid down to take a nap... so, needless to say, he was NOT HAPPY when i decided to have the baby that day!  after delivering my sweet bundle of goodness he immediately started stitching me up.  and then i decided to deliver the placenta (because it was time).  well, unfortunately he had stitched enough up that the placenta "popped" out.  it busted blood and gore and grossness ALL OVER HIM (and most of the room)!!!!  i felt horrible.  he looked like he could've killed me if there wouldn't have been so many witnesses.  i apologized all over myself.  i was so embarrassed

as i look back, i should have replied, "nope, i'd like to keep this baby IN ME!" to his first question of the morning.  if that didn't work out for me, i really should've kicked him at some point or the other and demanded a dr that had some either compassion or sleep catch my baby!

but anyway, off of that memory and on to the next year.  5 years ago we lived in a lovely little two-bedroom/one bathroom duplex in a tree-infested side of town.  there was shade galore and parks scattered on every corner.  our backyard was this forest-kid-wonderland.  it was small, but an amazing imagination-growing chapel!  almost all of our neighbors had kids and dogs.  and kids and dogs ran amuck in our little circle/culdesac.  it was a great home.  ... i miss a lot about it!

6 years ago, my hubby was nearing the end of his academics in aircraft and propulsion.  i was pregnant and expecing my first son.  later in that year, he was born.  he was cute.  he looked just like the first one, except with different parts.  my smart hubby had his final exam (of some sort, i think it may have been an oral test or something like that.  anyway, it was a huge deal) the same day the little dude was born.  he had to stay in school for another week so that he could reschedule.  we lived in a teeny tiny town in idaho.  it was one of those towns where everyone knows everyone else and their business.  however, it was also amazingly refreshing in a nice-ness.  there was a reservoir just about a mile from where we called home.  there were trains that came through every hour (day and night).  the tracks were in between us and the reservoir.  the trains would literally shake our windows (again i'll reiterate day and night).  again we were surrounded by others with kids.  lots and lots of kids.  if i could give one complaint, it would be those kids.  but i won't.  i'll just leave it as an amazing refreshing in a nice-ness town. 

7 years ago... well, i just posted that post earlier this month.

8 years ago we lived in a different town.  in a different situation.  on a different street.  i had 3 grandparents living.  i had a great job that had just changed owners.  i was a newly wed.  life was good.  really really good.  simple.  steady.  and good.  very very different that the life i have now (not that the life i have now is bad.  no, it's great!  just very different in 8 short years.)

9 years ago i got engaged.  i also got married and became a mom (all in two small words) and pregnant.  that was a big year! 

10 years ago is when i met my mr.  it was march/april 10.  i also graduated from college.

i'm skipping year ten because although it was a great year in a great town with an awesome roommate and millions of changes happening, it's worth skipping.

11 years ago was that tenth year i was just referring about, so i'll forgo it too. 

12 years ago i was getting ready to graduate from high school.  i had a great school and a great time doing it.  but i was soooooo ready to get out and away.  i graduated and was out within a month.  i moved to a camp in paradise and learned a whole new way of life.  i grew up.  all in one summer.

about 13 years ago, i had my first "real" boyfriend.  the kind that takes you out on dates and stuff.  that was a big deal back then. 

and about 16 years ago, my first kiss.  it's stupid now, but it wasn't so stupid then.  (*yeah, i don't have a picture of that!)

18 years ago i made my first team.  in 7th grade, i made the girl's basketball team.  it was awesome.  it was what i wanted to spend the rest of my schooling doing (playing sports).  unfortunately, it was also the last team i ever made.  apparently size does matter.  :(  that still breaks my heart to this day.  it also really irks me that we now live in a big enough town that they start kids trying out for some sports as young as 2nd and 3rd grade. 

20 years ago, there was a huge snow storm where i lived with my two older brothers and one younger sister.  my parents lived with us.  my father farmed and my mom worked a town away as a nurse.  the snow was so deep on our road, that we had to park down at the corner mile-road and walk home (uphill both ways).  the snow drifts were so high, one could only see the snowplow coming through from the huge blast of snow he'd throw above and out into the snow fields.  it wasn't the regular snowplow either.  we had to have the national state of emergency snowplow guy.  we missed so many days of school that year, that they had to lengthen the school day for the rest of the year (once school resumed).  it was worth it though.  we had so much fun sliding down snowdrifts out in our yard/field/driveway.  it was like there was a ski hill just outside our door!  ---only we didn't ski.  it didn't have any lifts.  no one paid us to use it.  etc. etc. etc.---

so that means that about 25 years ago i started school.  i remember riding the bus and being so nervous.  i remember practicing my teacher's name over and over, so if something happened i could just say i was supposed to go to mrs. ostermeier's class.  nothing happened.  everything was fine. 

i met my best friend and did well in school.  recess was filled with running from boys.  25 years is a really long time ago... but i still can remember some things and my emotions fairly well. 

30 years ago, i was born.  happy birthday!

Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Sunday, January 29, 2012

organization on these fronts

my favorite findings on pinterest have been food related (see the past two menus) and organization related.  we live in tight quarters, but we like it that way.  so the more ideas we can get on organization, the nicer it looks around here. 
i decided to start 2012 with a organization of time.  we started off by having a family calendar that i'm in charge of, posted in a convenient, we-go-there-everyday spot.  (the door in the kitchen that leads to the laundry room) 

i put all of our family's plans on this calendar.  i started really using a calendar like this after jones was born.  when binkins was born, i was still "with it" enough to write down a monthly progress chart for her.  i might have even done it weekly.  but after jones was born, i couldn't keep up with EVERYTHING...  so i'd write down his big milestones and accomplishments on the calendar and then i'd file it, at the end of the year, into his forever-file.  the calendar has just gotten busier and busier with each kid and with the years.  i believe i still put last year's calendar in starboy's forever-file... but it was filled more with are agenda than with his growth... since he turned 2 last year.  usually we have another baby by then to file it under.  ;)
i've found out it sucks to pin up a calendar that you use.  unless you just want to pound a nail in your wall... but that doesn't work in a door.  so, i came up with this lovely system:

 i use a binder clip to securely hold up the calendar...  the holes on all the calendars i've ever used on nails always get pulled through!  so with the binder clip, i don't have to worry about torn holes.
 and i use an "eye" from a hook and eye couple, screwed into the door.  when i want to change the month, i just have to unscrew the eye half a turn and take off the binder clip.  if the eye is screwed horizontally, the binder clip can't come off (even if it's pulled), so the calendar is secured nicely. 
and the binder clip doubles as a coupon/business card holder.  i keep my ob and cardiologist's cards up there, as well as a few coupons that the kids get as prizes from school (like for a free ice cream cone for 100% attendance or whatever).  nice.

also, otter pop carries around a day planner so that he won't forget his commitments, meetings, classes, etc.  so i don't always have his stuff on our family calendar.  that's changed though now. -more on that later-
anyway, it works well to have a system like this.  but i wanted more organization with our time mostly concerning the kids and the way they use THEIR time. 
our mornings were filled with lots of yelling, rushing, whining, and complaining.  i was spending all morning nagging the kids to stay on task and get done what they needed to get done before they went off to school.  it was chaos. 
so, we (the parental units) brainstormed and my lovely brains (aka husband) decided we needed a big white dry erase board.  so, even though i didn't really love the idea... it's not like i cover our walls with beautiful home decor... so i couldn't backup my argument of dislike with anything other than, well, i just didn't think it'd help.  and so i went ahead and submitted and let him be the leader of our family.   and i bought one.  and a pack of dry erase markers (6 in a pack.  all different colors.)  and i put all the kids names at the top (each with a different color), and then listed off their to-do agenda for the day... in order that it needed to be done.  and it has worked.  a-mazingly!  instead of me harping on the kids to get done what needs to get done... if they're walking around aimlessly, i remind them to go to the white board and start doing what needs to be done.  the three school-bound kids can read what they need to do.  and at the end of their morning schedule is "serve" meaning "help others".  so, they're never really done... it's been really great.  really.  simple.  and great. 

and that was good enough.  for me.  but then i ran across a CUTE idea on pinterest, that i decided we must have.  it was a weekly agenda post.  i thought it was a good idea, but once i made it i realized why it was a great idea. 
(top one says "our week", then each are stamped with a day of the week)

each sunday evening, i use a dry erase marker and start jotting down our next week's journey.  for each day, i'll mark whoever has something going on that day.  this is a great idea because it gives us an overlook of our day in one fall swoop.  it also gives us a head's up on tomorrow.  AND it helps us know what's going on in each other's lives.  this is more detailed (in some ways) than my wall calendar.  for instance, it lists off homework assignments for wolfie.  so it doesn't sneak up on her at the last moment...  and it lets the kids know what's up with dad's schedule, knowing if we need to set the table for him or not.  ---and just things like that---  plus it's eye-appealing.  and we don't have much of that around our house.  ;)

Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

monday menu #4 for 2012

i can't decide if i should 1.) make a new menu, even though we only made it half way through last weeks... or 2.) wait.
also, i REALLY (and yes, i meant REALLY) liked the new recipes i tried last week.  so much in fact, that while in my indecisive state, i've already picked out another 5-1/2 recipes from pinterest to try on my next menu.  i guess i'll just make a new menu and make sure i use my fresh ingredients first.  we have a birthday coming up this next week, so i need to make sure and get a birthday dinner from her.  the kids are really excited about a cake too... so i hope to use pinterest ideas for that one!
on to the menu:
maybe i am craving...  because this list is filled with chicken, cheese, cream of's and broccoli!  anyway, that's all, so this PLUS our leftovers/roll-overs from last week should carry us through into february.

what's on YOUR menu?!

Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Thursday, January 26, 2012

33 weeks

33 weeks along today... phew, these 7 day weeks are really getting short!  didn't i just write one of these the other day???

How far along?  33 Weeks
Total weight gain:  i don't know and i don't care.  i'll find out again next week at my 34 week appointment.  however, on a good note, my appetite has decreased dramatically!
Maternity clothes?  yup.  sure snuff.
Stretch marks?  yes.  boo asked today if today if the "one" above my belly button was buttercup's foot.  ;)  i think she may have seen this picture posted in the gratituesday post i posted today but pre-dated to last tuesday.  (sneaky, i know)
Sleep:  sleeping without my hubby this week.. so in some ways it's better (more room), but in other ways it's worse (less support).  i miss him though, so i'll say "no good" just to go along with my pregnancy updates thus far.  
Best moment this week:  seeing my sweet pea movin' from the frontal view... it was so precious i almost cried.  (see above link "this picture" to get more details.)
Miss Anything?  i sure miss my hubalub!
Movement:  again, see above link to my gratituesday post.  it's all about movement!!!
Food cravings:  i have decreased my cravings for sugar (thank the lord) and i don't think i'm really craving anything lately.  i made some of my gramma's parker house rolls the other day.  they were good.  but they gave me heartburn because they're so sweet.  that didn't detour me from making some of her cinnamon rolls the next day though...  thankfully they weren't that good.  the kids liked them though.  i had two today though and found out i just like them better the next day, not straight out of the oven.  -kinda like cookies!  hmmmm... never knew.  but i limited myself.  ... i could've eaten the whole batch!
Anything making you queasy or sick:  not really.
Gender:  Girl ...and perhaps she doesn't have a name anymore.  aren't you glad we didn't share?!
Labor Signs:  Nope  (here's another hidden gratituesday post about that though)
Symptoms:  heartburn, unpredictable sleep, and sharp cervical pain.  other than that feeling pretty good.  making it through the days without a nap...  or dire need of one either... things are good!
Belly Button in or out?  out.  and it is showing through clothes now too.  (see pictures)
Wedding rings on or off?  off, but i looked for a new one last week after posting... 
Happy or Moody most of the time:  i'm happy to report, HAPPY!  i must be feeling better. 
Looking forward to:  otter pop's flight arrival tomorrow evening!  i have missed him SO MUCH... i can't believe i have to do this again in march.  ugh!  i'll just treasure our time together even more.  (yes, i'm a sap.  yes, i love my husband!) 

from boo's perspective

from jones' perspective

with wolfie's styling help

it's hard to take a picture of me!

another boo pic.

and leaving off with this one...

Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! memories

did i tell you we got a wii?  otter pop traded some debt owed to him and an extra toolbox for a wii with about a couple dozen games and accessories.  it's kinda my birthday present.  kinda.  it's for the whole family.  and i don't like video games...  but kinda. 
it's been fun, but it restokes some burning memories in my brain.  of course we didn't have a wii growing up...  we didn't have a nintendo of any sort.  no gameboys... none of those things.  in fact we didn't even have a vcr for most of my years.  i even think we might have had black and white tv for some of my childhood.  maybe not... but close to it.  we never had cable, we lived out in the country and had about 5 channels on a clear day.  but anyway, i'm NOT complaining... i'm totally bragging.  playing wii with my sweet little family makes me remember these things:
  • playing nintendo at piano instructor's house waiting our turn for piano lessons.
  • playing computer games down in my eldest brother's room on his computer.
  • playing nintendo at our good friends, the debliek's house.
in all three of these instances i know i watched my older brothers play 500 times more than i ever played.  watching my kids take turns at the games helps me remember this.  boo is so sweet and patient (reminds me of me), never even asking to take a turn (like me), but being so content just sitting there watching.  ...and then she gets her turn (finally) and she's so excited, and she dies in the first 5 or 6 seconds (or less) and her turn is up. 
wolfie has been awfully unselfish with the games, which has been nice.  however when she plays, the other kids don't pester her or beg to take their turn, they just sit and watch her master level after level without dying.  she knows she can play "after hours" because her bedtime is now 9:30 ---a whole hour plus a half of another after the other kids are in bed!
binkins is a master compared to her younger siblings too, but she possess the will to keep trying (she's a competitive little spirit) even after she dies. 
jones LOVES the idea of playing.  he likes to pick the game and likes to be first and likes to take his turn.  however, he gets discouraged when he dies and easily hands off the remote (or whatever it's called) to his older sister(s) to get him past the hard part --where he keeps dying.  of course (just like my brothers would) those sweet helping sisters will keep the remote for as long as they feel (without his bickering) to "help" him get further along on the level.  --he usually lets them too.  cheering them on the further "he" gets!
i already told you about boo.  and starboy doesn't care.  he'll sit and watch for a little bit if it's a game he's interested in, or if it's a new game.
and then on another hand...  i haven't improved much with my skills.  but i'm better than most of the kids.  probably a little worse than wolfie... or a lot worse, depending on the game and how much she's played it already (at friends' houses). 
otter pop likes to play.  he likes to let boo pretend that she's playing, all the while he's behind her with the remote that's on.  now THAT's fun to watch.  boo got all the way to level three on one game that way.  when she finally died, we all cheered her up and down telling her that no one had gotten that far before!  she's so great!!!  you should've seen her smile.  it was precious.  she then took her seat and watched everyone else die on level one.  :)  it was really cute because she plays with her whole body... where you don't just push a button to jump... the remote has to jump.  (she even jumps sometimes).  you don't just press a button to squat down... the remote goes all the way down to the floor.  and when you press go or turn corners... well, you get the idea.  binkins also does some of these things, but not quite as exaggerated.  as do i.  (it's true)
i never thought i'd like for our family to have a video-game player of any sort, but i'll swallow my pride and confess that i've really enjoyed it.  what are some or your favorite family memories you recollect as your family grows?

Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

gratituesday : help

my mr. incredible is gone for the week and right now i am ever so thankful for all the offers of help i have received.  whether it's a "let's hang out while we're lonely", a "call if you need me", or "i'll come over in the evening"... i am so appreciative. 
i'm not really one that asks for help, so these comments and offers are really heartwarming to me. 
i am especially thankful for a mother-in-law that lives in town.  she takes the kids a lot and we both really appreciate her love and devotion to them.
Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Sunday, January 22, 2012

monday menu #3 for 2012

on sunday, because otter pop's gone and i'll have to really rush to get groceries tomorrow morning!  here's the menu: 
  • tonight is small group and we're having a baked potato bar with broccoli salad.  yum!
  • Oma's sour cream chicken with rice with sliced bakers and some cherry tomatoes (because they looked perfect in the sour cream chicken picture.)
  • Slow cooker parmesan honey pork roast with mashed potatoes and gravy and green beans.
  • Sherry's aussie chicken with french fries.
  • goulash with cottage cheese and hopefully some phr's... but i won't count on it.  i never remember to make them!
  • mulligan stew w/ fresh baked bread
  • lasagna... because i love it and my mr. doesn't.  so i should take advantage of that he's gone.
i'm using new recipes this week (top three are new) that i've found on pinterest and posted to my "dinner recipes" board.  i suppose instead of just FINDING all these great ideas, i should try them out too.  and it's good timing because i was getting into a menu slump.
one of my boards is "sweets" and i'm ashamed to admit that it's (by far) my largest board.  i have a million recipes to try on it.  i hope i don't!  although i've tried several already and not all of them are as delicious as they look. 

Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Friday, January 20, 2012

girl scout cookies anyone???

if any of you would be interested in buying some girl scout cookies, give me a shout.  you can comment me your email address and i won't publish it, but instead get ahold of you with the information you'd need to mail me some money.  each box is $3.75 and there are LOTS of different flavors
if you buy 5 or more, each increment of 5 will get you a coupon that can enter you in a drawing to win another 5 boxes!  so, if you're thinking of buying 4... just go ahead and buy the 5th.  just for the chance! 

i'm not a big fan in promoting sales fundraising from my kids.  so, don't think that i'll be doing it a lot in the future.  however, i am a big fan of girl scout cookies, and think that lots of other people are too.  so, this is a way, that if you love these cookies and if you don't know your own little girl scout representative... i do and i'll hook you up!  also, i'm willing to ship the cookies afar, if you're willing to mail me the money by jan. 29th.

binkins is a daisy scout this year.  it's her first year of girl scouts and she really loves it.  they meet twice a month after school and then usually have an extra fun night each moth as well (with other troops).  if you'd like to know what my girl is working toward, it's a mom and me girl scout camp-out week this summer.  it only costs $75 per person (so, $150 for the both of us).  she's already met her personal goal so that (as long as the other girls meet theirs) her group gets a party... but above and beyond that goal, goes towards funding our week away.  thanks for your help!

Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Thursday, January 19, 2012

32 weeks

again, questionaire:

How far along? 32 Weeks 
Total weight gain: so i'm up another 3 pounds...  boo.  that's because of some homemade cookies that have been around this past week. 
Maternity clothes? yeah.  this answer will NOT be changing for a while.
Stretch marks? same ol' same ol'
Sleep: not good!  i've always been a good sleeper... this is different.  or, i should say that i really don't remember sleep being affected so much with my other babes.  it's not just tossing and turning... i'll wake up at 1,3, 5am...  last night i woke up at 1 and had to move out to the couch.  yeah... not good!
Best moment this week: we got dumped with snow yesterday.  i went out with jones and boo and built two snowmen.  in all my largeness, i was down on my hands and knees rolling balls of snow and lifting them atop eachother.  it was glorious!!
Miss Anything? i am missing lots of things, but really want to enjoy this pregnancy rather than complain of all my aches and pains.  it's REALLY uncomfortable to put on snowboots with a big belly in your way!
Movement: lots of big movements and lots of kicking and adjusting.  she's pretty predictable and you can make her move around just by rubbing my belly most of the time.  she's likes to stick out here and there.  oh, and hiccups... :)  i love her!
Food cravings: still craving sweets... and i went on a baking spree... so pretty much have been eating lots of cookies.
Anything making you queasy or sick: nope, nothing other than the flu...
Gender: Girl
Labor Signs: Not at all.
Symptoms: Heartburn (the sugar makes it WORSE.  note to self... don't eat sugar!), lots of pelvic pain this week, lower back aches at the end of each day, sore lower abdomen (like below my lump, but above my crotch... maybe the downswope of my lump.)  tired/exhaustion...
Belly Button in or out? it hasn't gone back in...
Wedding rings on or off? still off.  :(  maybe i'll get a new band for my birthday...
Happy or Moody most of the time: we got sick and now i'm congested with a little sore throat... i'd like to think this is why i've been a little short tempered. 
Looking forward to: another 3-day weekend!!!

Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

gratituesday : movement

i have a mover in me.  a mover and a shaker and a dancer and a wiggle-wart.  it's so fun to experience it even though sometimes it really hurts.  i think she thinks she has all the room in the world and sometimes she REALLY stretches me out so that she can get in the position she's wanting.  when i'm laying in bed, i swear she moves the whole bed when she's restless.  i feel like someone could see her kickin' around if they were sitting clear across the room (as long as they were staring at my belly)!
i love to watch my belly move.  i mean, it's cool to feel it... but i love watching her move me around.  i like it -even though this is when it hurts- when she gets her big head (or butt... i don't really know how people can tell) and pushes and pushes until i have a totally deformed and lop-sided belly, and then settles down into place.  it's sweet now that i can cup my hand around whatever body part that is and imagine how big she is inside me. 
and while i imagine that... i'm pretty sure if she was born about right now, she'd be about the size of a lot of newborns i see.  that bump has exceeded my hand when cupped...
yesterday morning i was doing my hair in front of the mirror without my shirt on.  tmi... sorry.  but i saw her move from a frontal view and it. wasAWESOME!  it wasn't a big head or butt.  it was a little sharp something... a couple of them.  i melted.  i think i even let out an audible "awwwwww!"  from my normal top-view i see her move all the time, but the frontal view gave me a totally different perspective.  it was so sweet!!! 
it reminded me of this photo, that i always kinda thought was fake:

perhaps that's actually happened with me, but it's hidden from my top-view.  although i still think it looks fake.  that belly isn't a quarter the size of mine!!!  either way...
i love this little girl.  i'm getting so excited to meet her! 
thank you, God, for this movement i get to experience inside me.  thanks for the smiles it brings.  thanks for the life it means.  i am so grateful!
Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

our weekend, in letter format

i wrote this email to my brother this morning and thought it was informative enough to share details with all my faithful readers...
dear readers,
we spent the weekend sick.  starboy threw up friday morning and was sick all day only wanting to cuddle up and die (he had diarhea too). 

he couldn't keep anything down but soda crackers and sweet water.  his energy picked up a smidgen that evening, but i could still tell he wasn't feeling great.  on saturday, he seemed fine and he didn't throw up that night.  he still had vicious diarhea, but he had energy and smiles.  i took jones and boo to lowe's to participate in their "build and grow" projects they put on (look it up if you have a lowe's near you).  we were ALMOST done when jones said he had to barf and then proceeded to do so... slowly.  thankfully he was slow enough at it that i put the bag from the project under him and there was only a small few drips on the floor and his coat.  we went home and he didn't seem to  lack energy for the rest of the day... or appetite.  he also didn't have diarhea, but i made him lay down and keep his germs to himself. 
that night at dinner (which we all ate a little of), boo shared her eating utensil with starboy.  i was afraid i'd be up all night with her.  however, her bed is so big, she's been known to barf, roll over, and then go back to sleep.  binkins went to stay with nana for the weekend (to celebrate her 7th year of living), so when i woke at 1am to go to the pot and barf, i then went in to check on boo.  she was fine.  however, wolfie popped up and grumbled, "i don't feel too well."  i told her to rush to the toilet because it came on really fast with me.  she said it was just a bad headache, so i got her some ibuprophen and sent her back to the bed.  she reassured me that she wasn't upset to the stomach at all, so i kept the puke bucket all to myself.  at 2pm i had to get up again for the other end... i took the bucket with me and used them both.  finally i went back to sleep but i felt really lousy (i'm talking REALLY LOUSY = no energy, nausiated with the runs, and crappy) all day.  starboy still had the runs and by day 3 pretty much knew that if he felt even a little toot, that he needed to run to the toilet.  unfortunately for me because i couldn't run and i felt like throwing up or pooping everytime i SAW the toilet (which was about every 5 minutes all day long with starboy's toots.)
nobody else seemed to be sick, so when sophie called to bring binkins home and pick wolfie up for some community service i arranged for some friends to come get binkins so she wouldn't have to be exposed at all.  [if you've caught on to the pattern though, i'm going to start the next sentence with a "however".]  HOWEVER, as she exited sophie's car, her cheeks were full.  she burst into the house and ran straight to the pot to barf her little brains out as well.  she felt like crud the rest of the day as i started feeling an itty bit better each hour.  she ended off her night with the bucket beside her, slowly filling it in her slumber.  :(
yesterday went well.  we all were feeling MUCH better and didn't have any puking episodes.  in fact, starboy even had a solid bowel.  i was feeling like there was a light at then end of our tunnel of sickness.  [wait for it...] HOWEVER, after putting the boys to bed, about a half hour later, otter pop called me into the boys' room because starboy had barf ALL OVER HIM and his pillow, and a blanket! 
so we got him all cleaned up and sheets changed and areas disinfected and air freshened... and put both the boys back to bed.  nothing else happened last night.  everyone seems fine today, including starboy.  the kids all went to school but i called and told the teacher i wouldn't be volunteering because (of course) my babysitter didn't want a kid who barfed just last night over infecting her kids.  i, personally, think he just filled his little tummy too full with dinner (after it had shrunk up all weekend long) and then when he laid down it made his little tummy mad.  BUT, if i were her, i wouldn't want him over at my house either.  puking sucks.  his diarhea is gone though for sure.  he's not lacking energy or anything.  i think he's fine.  and the lady that i babysit for is fine with her kids coming over... so that's my plan for the day.  i also have to make a snack for binkin's girl scouts meeting tomorrow.  btw, are you interested in any gs cookies?!

Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Saturday, January 14, 2012

book review

just recently i finished a novel by jodi picoult called handle with care.  it was really good.  it was really really good.  i loved it.  like some of her other best sellers, she writes this book in many different perspectives, taking on a different perspective each chapter.  unlike some of her other best sellers, this one doesn't have nearly as much profanity. 
i love they way picoult writes!  i love her stories.  i love the reality in them.  i don't recommend reading this book if you're pregnant and emotional... but if you're anyone else, i highly recommend it.  it's about a the controversial dillemas (expenses, family life, and even friendship) that come in raising a child with a disability...
Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Friday, January 13, 2012

preggo update

i had a friend point me in the direction of a cute blog all about this woman's pregnancy, and it was ironic, because i was just thinking how lazy i'd been on keeping track of all the remarkable milestones in this pregnancy.  so, here's a little snippet:  (in questionnaire form.  what better way?!)

Hw far along: o31 Weeks
Total weight gain: it's hard to say.  our scale lost it's batteries, so i'm not sure what my starting weight was.  i think i'm up about 17 pounds, but it could be 27...  or, i could just point out that i'm approximately 50-60 pounds overweight!

Maternity clothes? mostly yes.  ok, all the way yes.  of course!

Stretch marks? no new ones.

Best moment this week: 

Food cravings: sugar!  i want SWEETS!  it's a little different for me... but i'm trying to control it.  especially at night.  i'd really like an ice cream sundae each night at about this time.  or earlier.  or later.
Anything making you queasy or sick: not really.  starboy puked this morning and i almost puked cleaning it up... which is unusual, but not really.  i mean, it was gross!

Gender: Girl

Labor Signs: Nope

Belly Button in or out? it is out.

Wedding rings on or off? off.  i had to cut it off at the beginning of this pregnancy because i couldn't slide it off.  i don't think my hands have gotten swollen at all though.  :(

Looking forward to: tomorrow, i guess.  we have a three-day-weekend, so that's great.  i'd like a good night sleep that would rejuvenate me for a WHOLE DAY!  is that asking too much?!

Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

friday food post : chili con carne

here is my chili recipe.  i'm posting it here because i'm sure you'd love it, but mostly because i combine three recipes out of two books... so it's kinda my own... and i don't need to keep getting out two recipes books when i could just have the whole recipe here.
it's a crockpot version... but, as all crockpot recipes go, you could make it the quick way too, if you're in a rush.  it's easy.  it's good.

1 lb ground beef
1 c. chopped onion
3/4 c. chopped green bell peppers
1 garlic clove, minced
14-1/2 oz. can of kidney beans, drained
16 oz. can pinto beans, drained
8 oz. can of tomato sauce
 1 T. + 2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1-1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. dried oregano leaves
1 tsp. cocoa
1/2 tsp red pepper sauce

  1. brown beef, onion, green pepper, and garlic in saucepan.  drain.
  2. combine the rest of the ingredients in slow cooker.
  3. cover.  cook on low 5-6 hours or high 3-4.
  4. (opt.) serve in a bread bowl.  (i like it topped with cheese and sour cream.)

i usually double this recipe.  i at least tripled it this time, to put some in the freezer.  also, when making a large batch, as i have discussed before, it's more frugal to use dried beans instead of canned beans. 
recently i found out that one can (14-1/2oz or sometimes 16 oz) of beans is about 1 1/2- 1 2/3 cups of beans, depending on the beans and 2/3 c. of dried beans = about 1-1/2 c. cooked beans. so it'd take about 2/3 cup of dried beans to equal about 1 can (14-1/2 oz.) beans.  so, in my world, that would make a lb. bag of dried beans = approximately 3 cans of cooked beans (but not until they're cooked, of course... which is the only set back.)
so, to make this recipe really easy for a large family (as i do) you can precook either a whole bag of red kidney beans and a bag of pintos ahead of time and put 1/3 of the cooked beans in a jar in the fridge for the next recipe that calls for a can of beans... or just cook 2/3 of the bags.  double the rest of the ingredients.  1 c. chopped onion is about 1/2 of a large onion.  2/3 c. of a green  bell pepper is probably half of one, but why use half because the other half will probably go bad in your fridge?!  go ahead and throw in a whole chopped up green pepper!  and then the garlic...  well, if you haven't put in too much garlic, you haven't put in enough!!!  easy peasy... i'm just making it difficult with all this "large family" gibberish.  the easiest way to make it is the way it's written.  i'm just trying to help you be frugal.  because that's how i am...

Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."