Saturday, December 15, 2012

Making Christmas Cookies

It's that time again! Yes, it is time to bake cookies like crazy. This week has been a cookie baking frenzy. I have made chocolate chip, peanut butter, sugar and oatmeal raisin cookies. I let the kids cut out and decorate the sugar cookies. Baking cookies makes me miss my family. But hey at least I took pictures...

Monday, December 10, 2012

Cloth diapers the good and the bad


BBH Hemp FittedSince bringing Mary home from the hospital we have struggled with diaper rash. The surgeon told us that babies with Hirschsprungs Disease have more problems with diaper rash than most other babies. So for several weeks we tried this, that, and the other thing, to get rid of the diaper rash that she developed in the hospital. But nothing seemed to work. Finally we decided to try cloth diapers. Some people love them, some people hate them, some don't know much about them. What I hope to do is to keep you updated on how cloth diapering is going for our family. So far I enjoy cloth diapering. Here are some of the good things: Mary does not have diaper rash anymore!, we are saving money every day, I can use the same laundry soap I use for my clothes (because it is a natural soap that is tough on stains and no there is no funky smells coming from her freshly washed diapers.), and she looks adorable in them. The diapers that I am currently using are called Baby Bee-Hinds the hemp fitted edition. I like these diapers because they adjust with my growing baby, they are all natural and very absorbent. Here are some things I don't like about cloth diapering: The diapers need washed daily and they take forever to dry, I have to sun bleach them every other day and I do not have a clothes line in the sun, If line dried they are crunchy and not soft on her bottom, you have to use covers with them, they are not all in ones. Other than those things listed, I am pleased with cloth diapering. All of the bad elements can be remedied. I am looking forward to learning more about cloth diapers, finding the right ones for our family and possibly even making my own...someday.


Monday, December 3, 2012

Birthday girl and I am lovin' this weather!

I forgot to mention that little Hosanna turned 2 last Tuesday. I can't believe it! She is such a blessing to our family. She is full of attitude and very loving. Here she is in her birthday crown.



I have been patiently waiting for cooler more enjoyable days here in the desert. Well they are finally here. With temperatures in the mid 70's to 80's. I feel like I am in paradise! Today is a perfect 72 degrees. I have to keep telling myself it is almost Christmas. SERIOUSLY! I forget that it's super cold back home. I guess they have had some warmer days over that way too. I don't mean to brag but I cant help it. I love that I can just throw on a pair of flip flops and go outside. I can wear tank tops in the winter time and not get cold. I have to turn on the a/c sometimes just to cool off my house! YEAH! It is great!!!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

A Turkey Dinner

 Psalm 118:29 O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.

I am looking forward to Thanksgiving day. Now that it just around the corner I am making my lists again. I am a list person. They work very well for me whenever trying to plan anything.This time it was a list of food items that I will be serving for Thanksgiving dinner. I am still perfecting my lists and adding things to the grocery list as they come to mind. The dinner list includes:
 Main Course:
 turkey
 mashed potatoes
 yams
 rolls or bread
 green beans
 stuffing
 salad
 cranberry relish
Dessert:
 pie
Appetizers:
 relish tray
 turkey cheese ball
 mixed nuts
Drinks:
 Tea
 Punch
 water
 Then I did the breakdown of how much I am going to need. This year I am planning to serve up to 15 guests, so my list went like this:
  25 people (extra food is always better than not enough)
 25 lbs turkey (whole)
 6 lbs. potatoes
 6 lbs yams
 4 loaves bread or 3 1/2 dozen rolls
 4 lbs green beans
 4 heads of lettuce
 8 cups gravy
 *undetermined amount of cranberry relish and stuffing
 *3 pies
 For appetizers my goal is to have around 120 pieces total. A relish tray will cover most of that and the turkey cheese ball with crackers and nuts on the side, will cover the rest. My next list I made is a list of groceries I will need to buy on my special Thanksgiving shopping trip. It looks similar to my list above only a little more broken down to include all necessary items to prepare the food accordingly.  It also includes:
Paper plates
Forks
Knives
Cups
Storage bags
Serving spoons
Foil dishes (for easy clean up)

Have fun planning YOUR special dinner and have a Happy Thanksgiving!




Saturday, November 3, 2012

Home school

I am back to homeschooling the kids. This is the third week since taking a long break before and after the baby was born. The kids enjoy school very much. I try to include all the kiddos in some parts of our learning. We all read the bible together, practice our weekly memory verse, practice sitting quietly while reading (looking) at books, daily. A few times a week I will include Silas in the lesson I will be teaching the girls. Mostly it is just review for Guinevere and the lesson is for Glory. But the more times that they can hear something the more likely they will retain it long term. Guinevere is now in first grade and Glory is starting kindergarten. The hardest part of my lesson plans is trying to do them consistently every day with a new baby. The baby always needs tending to when I am in the middle of writing on the board or when I am teaching the kids a lesson. Of course! I am enjoying teaching my girls. They are so different. They both have strengths and areas to improve upon. I feel majorly blessed to be able to teach my own children. I can pick whatever I want for them to learn. And I can expand on areas they are needing help with. They are a great bunch of kids. Even the smaller ones are learning many things daily. I really enjoy teaching the Bible to my kids. They love to hear the stories over and over. Deuteronomy 6:5-7 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Picture update...

Silly girl

Sweet boy


Hosanna and her babies

Don't I look cute?

Mom learning to french braid


Mary on her boppy

Guiny lost her front tooth


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

What's happening around here

Well to make it short and sweet, we have been really busy. Mary had to spend some time in the NICU after she was born over 3 weeks ago. She has what is called  Hirschsprung's Disease. We spent 5 days in the NICU before she was diagnosed with this disease.  She is doing very well now after having had surgery. We feel very blessed to have so many people praying for our family during this difficult time. Also our church family brought us dinner for 2 weeks, and showed us kindness in so many other ways.Whew! It has been quite an ordeal and we are glad to have Mary home after spending 9 days in the hospital. The kids adore their new baby sister! She is quite adorable and a perfect addition to our family.

This week has been hectic. Our van died on Saturday. For the past couple of weeks it had been doing some strange things. It ended up being the alternator which we had checked just a week earlier. So we have been without a vehicle for a few days. I even had to miss church because there was only so much room in husbands work truck. BOO! I am happy to say that it may be fixed as early as today, just in time to make it to get some extra preaching in tonight. Our church is having a guest preacher come and preach for us tonight. YAY! I hate missing church.

Next week my family was suppose to take a trip to Utah to be apart of my sister's wedding. BUT because of everything that has been going on those plans are changing. Of course I want to make it to this important special occasion. Sometimes God has a different plan. So far the back up plan is for me to fly there with Mary. Hopefully all of the specifics will work out so I can be there next weekend.

I have to say that there fails to be one dull moment in our family. And I feel blessed to share these moments with such a great bunch!!




Saturday, September 15, 2012

Birth Announcement

Our daughter Mary Allison was born on September 12, 2012 at 4:55 pm
7 pounds 6 ounces and 20 1/2 inches long
Praise God for the gift of children!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

"Have you had the baby yet?"

This is the question on everyones mind..."have you had the baby?" The answer is obvious! NO! I normally deliver early. But I do not know for sure when our little girl will arrive. My midwife assured me that the baby is big (at least for what I am used too) and that she is in a good position to be born (dropped into the right place). It could be tomorrow or the next day or even later. But I do not know when she will be born. I am sure having a lot of braxton hicks. And strangely enough they continue throughout the day, stop at night and start back up again in the morning. Only time will tell. I am due in less than 8 days! Next post will be a birth announcement!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Baby lizard

 A few nights ago I spotted a baby lizard darting across the floor. At first I thought it was a scorpion. I was NOT looking forward to killing it. My husband had just left to go to the store to get a few things and I for sure wasn't going to stand by and let the scorpion hang out in my room until he could come home. So I took a closer look at the culprit and discovered it to be a baby lizard. It was only about an inch long and it was even a little bit cute. So I snapped this picture of it with my cell phone and sent it to my husband. He didn't believe me when I told him that the lizard was parked right there on his dresser. One thing I was sure about was the fact that I was not going to try to catch it. And since it wasn't going to sting me, I was just going to let my husband catch it when he got home. I watched him for a long time, while he just hung out on the dresser. But of course when I tried to write a blog post about it he ran and hid under our bed. Luckily my husband came home and was able to catch the little guy. He did break off his tail. But I heard that those grow back with time. The little lizard played dead while my husband tried to get a hold on him and take him outside. The kids were thrilled to see it up close. We put it outside into a bush. I sure do hope it lived. POOR GUY!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Braxton hicks and a busy week of nesting

I am now 35 weeks pregnant! This  past week has been very busy and uncomfortable. Last Sunday night I started having painful contraction every 6-10 minutes. I thought it might be because I was dehydrated, so I drank some vitamin water and emergen-c then a little water and went to bed. These contractions lasted all night and into the day Monday. Monday they seemed a little less painful and less frequent, but they continued. And I can't say that they have let up too much since then. I am still having contractions and some of them are painful, some not so much. I think it is pretty clear that our little girl is almost ready. But I'm not! I just want her to stay in a little longer so that she can grow and mature. Not to mention all of the things I still have to get done before she gets here. This week has been a marathon of nesting activities. Monday my friend came over and helped me clear out our spare room and make it into the kids playroom. This was a huge project on my list, now near completion. Tuesday I worked on cleaning my house and straightening the laundry room. Wednesday I finished all of the laundry and washed baby items like the bouncy chair cover, the boppy pillow cover, etc. Thursday was Glory's birthday. It was a very busy day that included shopping at the Goodwill in the morning, stopping by the store, then making lunch, baking cupcakes, decorating that my friend helped with and then making  homemade chicken nuggets with fries. Last night I went to the store and spent a long while there collecting items that I needed to make freezer meals today for when baby arrives. This morning I vacuumed the whole house and cleaned up everything in preparation to start my day of crazy cooking. I only managed to make one meal, I made the same dish for dinner as well. I was just not motivated after a busy week. I also think the whole family has come down with a cold, me included. Usually I do not get sick with everyone else. But due to pregnancy and stress it does not surprise me that I am feeling sick too. My poor husband is feeling very bad so he went to urgent care tonight. He hasn't returned with a verdict, but I think it may be he has a severe sinus infection. Needless to say, tomorrow will be round 2 of my cooking frenzy. I hope to make at least 2 more dinners and a couple of breakfast items including: stew (uncooked and ready for a crock pot), meatballs (w/o the spaghetti, I will cook that up later), banana nut muffins, and peanut butter granola. I may even make a huge batch of waffles in the morning and freeze the leftovers. Realistically I will probably only get to a couple of those made, but hey...I can dream.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Pregnancy update

I thought it about time to do an update on how this pregnancy is going. I am 33 weeks pregnant. And feeling bigger than ever! The past week has been pretty difficult, I have not been sleeping well at all! I have not been feeling well either. I started feeling a bit better yesterday. I think that it has much to do with stress and hormonal changes as my body and mind are getting ready for birth.  I have so much to get done before baby arrives. I have now started on my lists. Before any big event I make huge lists. Lists upon lists. This keeps my brain organized. And due to pregnancy memory loss I welcome pen and paper all the more. I have started gathering all of my home birth supplies and plan on ordering my birth kit this week. My husband  hasn't been to any of my prenatal visits so I think he is a little in the dark as to what to expect. Here in a couple of weeks my midwives will be doing a home visit and I asked my hubby to make plans to be there. I also suggested that he might want to make up a list of questions. That way there are no surprises for him during the labor and delivery. I am also experiencing a little anxiety. Not so much about delivering the baby but all of the PAIN! Oh, yes how I remember the pain. Around this time in pregnancy I usually watch some videos on natural child birth. I do this to get in the mindset of pain and labor. I have also been trying to find some videos that are appropriate for my kids to watch on home birth. I want them to be prepared for what is to come. And I want them to be able to ask me questions so they aren't afraid or stressed about what is going on when the time comes. Other than what I mentioned there is not a lot going on with this pregnancy. Which is a good thing! I can't wait to meet our little bundle....we are still trying to think of a name for her. It seems more difficult every child we have.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Thrifty shopping

I have always loved a good deal. When I first moved to Phoenix I was introduced to sale Saturday's at the Goodwill. Everything in the store is 1/2 priced every other week. This is tremendous savings!! You can get everything, even furniture. I utilize thrift stores to pick up clothes for my growing kiddos. You can always find good quality for low prices if you are searching. About a month ago I stumbled upon $1 colored tag sales at Goodwill. I couldn't believe it! Every thing marked with a certain colored tag, is just $1. This will be my 3rd Thursday shopping the dollar days there and I have found some great buys for so little. Last week I saved over 75% on my purchase. And I bought 2 skirts, 1 shirt, and a dress for Guinevere. This week I saved over 80% and bought a dress shirt for Silas, 2 Maternity shirts, and 2 skirts for the girls. At just one dollar each! As an experienced thrift store shopper I have never seen deals like this one (at least not at a thrift store). Back in Grand Junction there are NEVER sales like this! Needless to say I have found some good ways to save my family money by utilizing these sales. And the best part is, a Goodwill is right down the street from my house. Easy enough to go there every Thursday when it opens at 9 am and search through the racks to find just what I am looking for. Strangely enough a lot of people don't know about the sale and there isn't a massive amount of people there. I have seen a lot of the same people there just searching for their next deal! It was also sale Saturday last weekend so I went by there and picked up about 10 quality books for under $4. Hey, did I mention I LOVE a good sale?

Friday, July 13, 2012

As I begin to loose my mind...

Since the weather has been so hot and I am almost 8 months pregnant, I have not enjoyed much of the summer. And of course that is to be expected. The kids also miss playing outside everyday and are limited to early morning playing outside until about 9am and evenings playing in the itty bitty swimming pool that we bought for them last week. The kids are getting cabin fever and admittedly so am I. I am so tired of hearing mom I'm bored, mom can you find me something to do. Mom he took my book, she took my toys, and wild acoustic screaming in my living room 5 days or more out of the week. So today when I woke up in the morning I checked the forecast for the day. And it said there would be rain in the morning, cloud cover during the day and more showers this afternoon. So I made a risky decision to scoot on down to the zoo. We haven't been there in quite a while due to the heat and other factors i.e. pregnancy. But we do have a zoo pass and I would hate for us to miss out on visiting the zoo at least a few more times before the baby arrives. As I left the house I could see rainclouds over Tempe where I was headed. Then my husband called me to tell me it was raining there and cautioned me to return home. Out of desperation I refused to turn back home. I was sick of staying home all day and just needed a little change. So we pressed on headed toward the rain and right around Sky Harbor airport we hit pouring rain which continued for quite some time. I debated what I should do but stubbornly chose to head on over to the zoo anyway. I picked up a couple of umbrellas at Walgreen's. When we arrived it was still raining but not too bad so I unloaded the troops and started into the zoo. About 10 minutes after we got there the rain had completely stopped. I was so glad! The kids and I lazily strolled a quarter of the zoo from around 10 am until about 1pm. Stopping whenever the kids wanted, I welcomed all of the play areas along our journey. It was a pretty sweaty day, but we had a lot of fun. When I decided it was time to leave we had just ran out of water. The kids were drinking water like crazy! And I felt that I could barely push on as we approached the car. I am sure that I will be feeling that in the morning. Right now I am enjoying some downtime as I watch my littles play in there little pool and have a great! time! They are content with the little things in life. We could definitely learn by example from these little ones. Hope everyone has a great weekend!




Glory making "eggs"





Hosanna loved the little people, they are just her size!

"cheeeeese"

"nose"




Happy as clams!

Silas the tortise

Glory is saying Cheeeese!

Those are creepy nails...


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Cravings

It seems that every pregnancy I have cravings. Some more than others. This pregnancy has been especially full of cravings. Normally I crave these 2 things hot and sour. I usually crave Mexican food (Taco Bell) and lemons. That has been pretty much the same with all 5 pregnancies. But this time around I find myself craving the whole range of tastes (except bitter) Sour, sweet, salty, and hot. One of the main cravings that has been pretty steady throughout is hot wings. I love crispy hot wings! One of my favorites is Chili's boneless buffalo wings. They are delicious with ranch...yum...yum..yum! I have also been craving homemade Mexican dishes, cinnamon rolls, cheesecake, ice cream (Ben & Jerry's Brownie Batter), bacon, waffles, pickled jalapenos, fried eggs and toast, homemade tomato soup, chili dogs, homemade chicken nuggets, and the list just goes on and on. One main factor, most of these foods are not very good for your health. At least I can say one thing, I try my best to make most things at home and don't over indulge in them if I can help it, LOL! I think there is one thing for sure, if a pregnant lady is craving something nothing with stop that craving until it's fufilled. I think I feel a craving coming on right now...Thanksgiving dinner with mashed potatoes and gravy, rolls, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, OHHHH  I can't wait!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Summer is here

Summer is now in full swing. Things are heating up here in the desert and temperatures are sky high! I usually enjoy summer. It is strange for me to be cooped up in the house during this season. But as pregnant as I am it is just dreadful to go anywhere during the hours of 10am-8pm. After the sun goes down it is bearable and even pleasant at times, especially when you can feel a breeze. Due to hormones and my tooth ache that I have had for almost 2 weeks I am especially grumpy. I don't feel much like doing anything. I have a lot to get done in the weeks ahead and just no motivation to do them. I found myself thinking this morning that I cannot wait until I start "nesting." I always get so much done when birth is near. The kids are stir crazy too. They are cooped up in this house and mean ole mom wont let them play in the back of the house. So they are confined to the living room, kitchen, and dining room all day. Poor children! I don't know what I would do without home school and coloring books. I am definitely looking forward to cooler days.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Oh how they grow...

As I have heard it said a million times before kids grow up so fast. I cannot believe that I will be the mother to 5 children in just a few months and that my oldest is almost 6 already! Where has the time gone? I suppose it has gone in to thousands of diaper changes, baths, and meal preparations. Not to mention the millions of loads of laundry. Then add in all of the memories and fun little moments I will never get back. Like the first time they all rolled over, crawled, walked, got their first owie, and the first smile, kiss, and their first words. I am grateful for they days I have spent being a mother and that I can stay home with my children and see them grow with each day. Thank the Lord for his gift of family. (Please excuse the poor picture quality my phone and blogger do not make good pics together)