Saturday, December 27, 2008

Did you have a good Christmas?  Ours was very nice and quiet.  The snow was still thick on the ground and we just stayed cozy at home and enjoyed a quiet, relaxing day together.  I'm so thankful that our children enjoy each other's company and we can be joyful and appreciative of a quiet day at home. 

Today the green grass is back, rather than snow, hubby is back to work and we are slowly making our way back to normalcy and routine.  We had church again after two weeks of cancellation and that was very nice.  The children thought they would just DIE if church was canceled again!  Everybody was very happy to be back and see each other again.  

I hope everything around you is warm, friendly and joyful as well.

The Lord bless you and keep you

Sunday, December 21, 2008

I try to arrange my pictures all nice down the side of the page w/the captions along side, and on my desktop computer, that's how they show up, but then down on the laptop they are all muddled. so, should I take the time or not? Hmmm..

Anyway, we have about a foot of snow outside, and have had white on the ground for about week now. This is s unusual for us! Usually, maybe we get one or two snow days, and it melts pretty quickly. So the kids have really been outside making use of it. We've also been taking more pictures than usual.

                                                                                   Awww, Joseph, you're still my baby too!

So, hows the weather where you are?

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Some Pictures of Noelle

Amanda and her baby, Lucy..

Proud Papa

Amanda holding Noelle with Irene

Matt and Karen came by to see the baby and say "hi"..

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Well, I am very happy to announce that we have a baby! Her name is Noelle Lorica, 8 lbs, 4oz, born last night. I am so thankful to the Lord who is so completely in control of every detail of our lives, and occasionally we get to catch a glimpse of His minute care of us.
As a lot of people know I was really dreading labor this time around. It seems like eveytime I go though it there is more and more revealed to me of what could go wrong. From yucky waters, cord issues, blood pressure, excessive bleeding... Goodness-how long is the birth canal, 6 inches? How could there be so much peril wrapped up in that little distance? But I am a worrier and especially at night my mind goes to all these situations and plays them out until I think I will go nuts. I know I shouldn't. I know it is a lack of faith. Consider this a confession.
Besides. It hurts.
Well, my midwife came and gave me the tablet that would bring on contractions. We putzed around much of the afternoon.. Finally about4:00 the contractions came on strong enough that I knew we were going to have a baby. But all in all they really weren't all that bad. I paced around for a while and everything seemed to be going in textbook order. Waters were clear, blood pressure stable, no cord obstruction problems.. Thank you Lord!

But the baby just would not come down! My midwife decided she was probably being held up by the cord-whether around the neck or the body, who knew? But the heart tones were still good and she decided to deliver her quickly and untangled her as we went. And there we are-a baby! She was a bit purple from the cord. Her color is getting more normal now. And she nursed right away and 'talked' to Rand and looked about her for a while, and went down to meet all her brothers and sisters. They were so excited to have a sister! We love our boys, but after four in a row we were thinking a girl would be rather nice.

But I am so thankful, for a lot of things-Mostly I really felt like the Lord was with us and in control of each step along the way. I am really thankful for all the people I knew were praying for us, I felt those prayers. Except for a little bit when we realized the baby just wasn't coming down I didn't get fearful or lose the feeling that He was there caring for the baby.
My midwife thinks it was real provision that we had the baby on just the right day. Though the waters were clear when we broke them she had a lot of waist-down meconium. Betty felt that if she had released all that in utero it would not have been good. I usually am really hard to induce as well,most of the time it takes at least two tries. So it was really gracious of God to allow it to work the first time this time! Also, there was a snowstorm over the weekend. And one point I thought the contractions were dying out and had the roads been clear I probably would have told Betty I didn't think it was happening and lets try again in a couple days. But I was afraid with the snow she might not be able to get back! Thank God I didn't!

So now here we are, she's sleeping peacefully beside me, I can hear the kids running around downstairs, and Joseph yelling... Rand is cleaning up (there is a ton of laundry involved in a home birth) and bringing me bits to eat... Ahh.. So good to be on the postpartum side of another pregnancy. Such a privilege that God gives us to mold and shape another wee person. And I am so thankful He deals with us according to His mercy and not our deserving!

So now it's Lana's turn and we can all start praying for her!!
(Who I would link here ordinarily, but I'm on the laptop and I don't know how to left-click on it. But she's @ Art of a Joyful Home on my sidebar...)

Nappy time!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Nope, no baby yet.
I was going to induce on Saturday, but after thinking about it, we decided to go for Monday. We had thought maybe Saturday, but I know my energy cycle all too well, and I am usually too exhausted on Saturday to get much done at all, let alone labor. Then I go to church, have communion, a little encouragement, visit with people, rest, and generally on Monday I feel much, much better. To start the cycle for the week over again. Also, the baby seems to want to turn posterior, and that means back labor. So I'm hoping if I get down on my hands and knees and scrub floors it will help gravity help me, and the baby's back will turn away from mine. I wish we were all done and I could see my baby and know everything is OK, etc. I am ready to be done.

Monday we were blessed by our dear friend Mrs. Darling with an invitation to go bake cookies at her house. My kids absolutely love Mrs. Darling. When most grown-ups come over they clear out, thinking the conversation will be quite dull. Not with Mrs. Darling! Then they show up, coffee cups in hand wondering what int-er-es-ting things she will talk about today! Like the time she talked about her dad finding a dead body on a boat or growing up in a timber family in backwoods Estacada> Shayleen says she's like the line in "Sense and Sensibility" when the youngest daughter says "I like her. She talks about things." Yes indeedy!

I forgot the camera. Well I forgot to tell Shay to bring her camera, since technically, I don't have one. But we did take a few pictures when we got home, to show the fruits of our labors.

I think Zeke is already experiencing a sugar high...


Noah inspects cookies..

Mrs. Darling caught some much better pictures than I did. Isn't that the nice thing about getting together with fellow bloggers? If one doesn't get pictures, the other will, and they are sure to be shared. :) And she sent us home with plates and plates. Now, isn't that a sign of a true friend? When they send you home with cookies?

Also, Marbel has a hymn posted on her blog of one of my very favorite hymns that we sing at our church for advent.

I didn't actually watch the video, just listened to it. It's such a Christ centered hymn, and haunting and beautiful.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Well, today was my due date and I am still quite pregnant. I used to try and try to get myself to go into labor-I know all the tricks. Bumpy car trips, running up and down stairs, a vigorous day of yardwork, spicey food.. But I have come to expect that I will always be quite late. I have only gone into labor once unaided, and that was because I had my dates wrong. That was with Shayleen, 17 years ago on Wed. Amazing it could be that long ago. Do I have a 17 year old daughter? It seems so impossible! It doesn't seem like 17 years old was that long ago for me!

Happy Birthday Shay.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

As the weather gets cooler we are reading together more. Reading to the boys is about the only thing that calms their fidgets! Every week I put as much stuff on hold on my library card as I can. They only allow ten holds at a time, but when the stuff arrives at my destination library, they scan it through and I can put more on hold without having picked the other stuff up. I love book lists. I refer to catalogs and lists constantly, especially when I start to notice someone else has the same tastes as I do.

Here are some of the things we've been reading lately. Some worth buying, some are just a "check-out and read a few times" type book:

To the little boys:

Daniel Boone's Great Escape

Patrick Paints a Picture

The Adventures of Brer Rabbit And Friends

Young Mozart (Picture Puffins)

To the kids at lunch I am reading the "Childhood of famous Americans" edition for Sam Houston. Which I can't find anywhere to make a link, so maybe it's out of print. My girls especially really enjoy this series and read these biographies quite willingly.

Shayleen just finished

Letters to a Young Conservative (The Art of Mentoring)

And she really, really enjoyed it. I can tell she enjoys a book when she follows me around the house telling me about it. I didn't read it myself, but she felt that he made conservative arguments quite plain, and maybe more importantly, easier to vocalize and give to others when explaining our view point. Because when have we not been in a situation where someone puts something forth and we don't speak up or defend our own view not necessarily out of cowardliness or uncertainty, but out of not being able to capsulize it into something we can put forth easily and quickly? So based on her reaction to the book, I would recommend it.

Forrest? Computer programming books. Which I have no understanding of, no comment about, nothing to say except, well... I guess someone has to read them. *Yawn*

The Lord bless you and keep you

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Tuesday, is my going out and about day-at least usually. And this week in spite of a wind and rain storm I foolishly decided to keep schedule. We usually use this day to go to the library and run a few errands that take place around the library. The fabric store, the grocery, etc. This week two of my girls needed shoes so we also walked a little out of our way to a strip mall further on so we could go to Payless Shoes as they are having a "Buy one get the next half price" sale. It is a pretty good long walk-maybe a mile and 1/2 or two each way? I'm a terrible judge of these things. But usually it would have been no problem, but I forget that I am pregnant and carrying a bit of extra weight, and it was very windy and rainy.. Well..

I knew when we got home I had done too much. Just feeling very, very run down. And then Wed. I still had basically no energy, but I tried to ignore it and carried along as usual. I was also feeling off, my stomach just didn't feel right. Nothing really big.. I sent all my older kids off to choir, violin and guitar and Rand also went out with some friends so it was just me and the boys.

I really rather enjoy my time with my little boys, when I can really focus on them. They are such nutty little characters. I have been reaching to the back of my brain to teach them some of the Sunday School songs that my older ones learned. Like "Zacheus Was A Wee Little Man"

"Zaccheus was a wee little man
And a wee little man was he
He climbed up a sycamore tree for the Lord he wanted to see
And when the Savior passed that way, He looked up in the tree

*spoken* and he said: Zaccheus, you come down *spoken*

For I'm going to your house today
For I'm going to your house today"

We are also working on a song by Jamie Soles, "Cain and Abel"

Cain and Abel sittin' at the table
One was happy and the other was mad
Abel made a sacrifice pleasing to the Lord
But Cain was very bad
The Lord said "Cain, what's the matter with you?

If you do what's right, I'll be happy with you."
But Cain wouldn't listen; he just frowned
Then he spilled his brother's blood on the ground
Cain was a murderer but so are you

If you hate your brother in your heart it's true
So be like Abel, who trusted the Lord
And not like a man named Cain

And also some scripture memory songs and stuff. They are so enthusiastic about their songs and try to yell them out fast before me or the other guy to show how well they know them. Boys are so funny.

But all of the sudden at 8:00 or so, I started feeling really, really bad. It came on so suddenly and I wasn't expecting it.. Thankfully my older kids got home pretty quickly after so I could leave the boys with them and go to bed. Oh, I just felt awful. All night I felt so awful.

Why did I have to push it? I could have gone today, and the sun is out and I could have at least taken the bus some of the way.. But NNNNOOOOOO!!!

So today I had to make a sad decision to cancel Noah's birthday party with Grandma and a dear friend who also shares his birthday date. I had a ham and presents and everything all ready. Boo-hooo. And big sissy made 3 muddy pies, too. I was lamenting to her, "Oh why did I have to get sick today? And she said because we never celebrate a birthday on the actual date and it would have been breaking tradition. Waaaahhhhh! Well, she's right about that. We never do do the birthday on the day, and one year we did none so we saved them all up and went to Enchanted Forest and called that the "all together birthday year". But it is a bummer to have Noah all excited and everything ready and not be able too.. But we can't get everyone else sick, now can we... I'm still not sure what we will do tonight. Let Noah have his pie and give him his gifts? What to do, what to do.

Today I have been sleeping most all day with an occasional wandering downstairs to see what is up. I remember when I had 6 kids twelve and under-I never could have just hid up in my room and slept all day. The few books I found at the time promised that things would get easier when my older ones got bigger (if I trained them right) no matter how many kids I had, and that has certainly proven to be true.

Well, if Noah has any sort of party soon I will get some pictures.

Oh great, now Zeke has a broken tooth.... Easier was I saying??

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Here are some of the pictures from Reformation Day last week. What a busy time we had of it getting ready! Fiona was my official pattern cutter outer person.

She took her job very seriously. She likes to do these "hands on" type things, and she also likes to feel useful. I guess being the youngest of the three middle girls, she likes to feel like she is an important part of all our projects. :)

Try to keep the boys from walking all over everything with a book and a designated spot.

Shay was upstairs working on her dress...

Into this mess Papa walks and sets some home grown apples he got from a clients tree and asks for a pie. Yes dear.. :)

At the church Shay and a friend ran a booth together and pass out candy to the kids. Here they are burning the Papal Bulls that were sent to Martin Luther.

Turn around and look at Mama with your sticky little face Joseph!
And then the camera runs out of batteries. Isn't that the way.
Well, the chocolate is all eaten and the kids are down to the lollipops and such. The wrappers were drifting around the house like autumn leaves, but they are all pretty much cleaned up now. The costumes are packed away and now we move in to real autumn here in the NW. Which means rain. But you know I like the rain, so let it come.
Thank the Lord, I saw my midwife last week and my blood pressure is still holding steady. I'm officially in the last month now, though if things go as they always have before, I will probably have about 6 more weeks.
As for the election.. I got up last night and Forrest was still up doing his math at around 12:00. He told me O Bama had won, (And Shay told him he shouldn't have, he would give me insomnia!) of course I wasn't surprised, but still, having it all official was a bit of a bummer. I read Psalm 37 and decided to take that as my motto and not allow myself to worry. Then this morning one of Shay's friends mentioned the same Psalm to her, so maybe it's God just reminding us all not to worry. Ultimately this war will not be won in the political sphere, and there are many battle fronts. We must keep on, train our children in godliness, pray and watch and tend to the sphere of business God has given each of us and let nothing distract us from it.

The Lord Bless You and Keep you...

Friday, October 31, 2008

Just checking in real quick, as today promises to be busy. I have four little boys' costumes to sew up for our church's Reformation Night party tonight, and Shay and I will probably be competing for the sewing machine as she is finishing up her dress. When we have projects going on the whole house pretty much goes to the dogs as I don't have a neat tidy place to hide away my sewing machine and such. It all gets mixed in with real life around here! Pattern pieces, little boys' feet, school books, fabric scraps, apple cores because nobody wanted to make lunch when we are all so busy... But it all gets cleaned up eventually and if we couldn't do anything without making a mess, we'd never get anything done at my house.

Reformation Night is one of my kids' favorite nights of the year, probably just down from Family Camp and Christmas. We don't usually do Martin Luther alone as some churches do. We focus on a different Reformer or historical figure every year and the older kids and grown-ups make booths and activities that illustrate something about that person's life and the kids play the games and get loud and jazzed on candy. It is usually very loud, bright, loud, crowded, loud.. well, you get the picture.. I usually go home early or if I have a very little one, hide in the nursing room. It's just all too loud for me.. The kid's are putting dibs on which of the little boys they get to be in charge of for the night. It will be Joseph's real first year, since last year he was just a baby and everyone is excited to see him have fun. Children really are such fun. They make everything fresh and new with their excitement over things.

Elisa went to the doctor Wed. as she has been having chronic headaches. The doctor says she is allergic to grains which included wheat and oats. We usually have oatmeal for breakfast two or three times a week! Poor thing. So she has to fast off those things for the next two weeks and the doctor will try to desensitize her. I hope this helps with the headaches. It's just miserable to see her not feeling well so much of the time. This is such a bad time of year to be on diet restrictions-don't I well know because I can't have the sugar or high carb things right now either! But I know God must have a reason to bring about this time of suffering for her and I pray she will benefit from it in the long-term, character wise. It's hard to see our children go through hard times. So often we want to just fix it and make it all better and smooth for them, (Not that I could with this one, even pain relievers don't seem to help much,)but sometimes we just have to teach them that God has a plan for them and they too, just like grown-ups, have to submit and trust God in suffering. I do still hope, though, that we can get her feeling well and back to her energetic cheerful self soon.

Well, I better get those costumes going. I'll try to get some good pics and show off the results later!

The Lord bless you and keep you...

Sunday, October 26, 2008

I don't know why, but I've decided to start a new blog and quit the old one. Maybe it's just that feeling of wanting a new start. Hopefully I'll be a little more diligent to post on this one..

I had a midwife appointment last week and my blood pressure has gone down 4 points. I'm taking a lot of calcium and eating a lot of protein so hopefully that will carry me through and keep my blood pressure down. When I was younger I thought I would get more blase about pregnancy as I went along, but actually the reverse is true. Though I am making a real effort not to allow worrisome thoughts to penetrate my day-whether about pregnancy or the economy or politics or whatever else. There is certainly enough to worry about in the world, but there always has been, so we all must just continue on to work and plant and trust God for the increase, or as Elizabeth Elliot says, "Do the next thing."

I just finished reading Kevin Swanson's The Second Mayflower. I enjoy reading and rereading books that help to sharpen my vision for homeschooling and family life and Christian life in general. A lot of what he wrote wasn't particularly new to me, but it is good to remind myself that we are planting for the future-the long term future (as I am post millennial in eschatology) and that as I plant memorized scriptures, catechism questions, biblical principals etc in the lives and hearts of my children that they are the vessels that God will use to carry His kingdom into the future. Liberal media, public school system, raging special interest groups and ACLU not withstanding. How we should laugh at them. And pity them, for they are certainly fighting a losing battle.

Most of the family is at church this morning, but I had to stay home with sick kids. I am resisting temptation to look at clothes for the boys on ebay, because we observe Sunday sabbath and don't do commerce on Sunday. One of the mysteries of having a large family is the phenomenon of some of the children getting a ton of clothes through hand me downs (which most of our clothes are, in one way or another) and others having almost nothing. I would think it would be somewhat even, since they mostly pass from on to the other. But this year Noah has very little (especially in pants) and Joseph has a ton.. So I've been trying to cushion his wardrobe a little from ebay. I know there are some things on ebay that go for a lot of money, but there are some really, really good deals too. I got Forrest three pairs of almost new pants last week for 15.00, including shipping. Our local Goodwill mostly starts at around 7.00 so I did better on ebay, and didn't have to leave home. :) I like it when I can get things done without leaving home.

Well, I am going to cut myself out a skirt, as most everything I had for late term pregnancy wore out on the last one, and I only have a couple things that fit me for this last month and a half. I'm trying to make things that I can reduce in size once the baby comes. Maternity clothes are so odd these days. I really hate those under the belly waists. It seems like you'd always be feeling a draft! And they aren't very comfortable either. So I've been making my own clothes out of plus size patterns and that seems to be working better for me-and cheaper too, since maternity clothes just seem to be ridiculously expensive-maybe I just don't know the right stores.

May the Lord bless you and keep you..