Friday, December 30, 2011

She saw this!

When Julie came down this afternoon from her well-deserved nap...

She saw this!


Oh.

Well, she did, that's true.  But that was not the exciting part.

(I wonder how much Pepsi paid for that spot?)

 Then she turned the corner and saw this!


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Visit

Lincoln inspecting Everyn
 Everyn was born at 1855 on Monday.  The other kids were at my parents and ended up spending the night there.  Tia Erica even took them to McDonalds.  I was pretty miserable Monday night- very nauseous and dizzy, so we decided to wait until Tuesday to have the other kids come visit.

On a side note my heart rate has been in the 40s to low 50s the whole time I have been here.  I don't know if that is my new baseline and I just hadn't known before, or if this is something new.

Noah stayed until after midnight since I was feeling so sick.  The hospital I was at with the middle 3 really encouraged babies to go to the nursery so the moms could rest.  This facility is more into Mom/baby bonding and does not encourage the use of the nursery as much.



Roman laughing
 The first thing Lincoln said when he walked into the room and saw the baby was, "she is much smaller than Berean".  I am not altogether sure what he was expecting.  He was moderately interested in the baby, but probably still most interested in his new Leapster he got for Christmas.

Roman was very interested in Everyn initially, but he soon  moved on to asking if he could "turn on the telly" (yes, he thinks it is cool to call the tv the "telly").  He also became interested in taking pictures of everything and everyone in the room.

Lincoln and Everyn

Leapster and Cheerios














Deacon wanted to hold the baby and was heard to say, "there is just something about newborn babies that make me want to just look at them."

Everyn and I are looking forward to getting home to everyone and  getting back into a routine.  Sitting around for 48 hours is a hard thing to do!  Thankfully I have a book, my laptop and the "telly" to keep me busy.  (oh, and of course the baby, but she is under going bili-light therapy so I am not supposed to be messing with her that much.)

The whole family- wow, that is a lot of people!



Monday, December 26, 2011

Everyn Laura's first post!

This evening at 6:55 we welcomed Everyn Laura officially to the family!  In brief, we came in at 9:30 this morning to get the party started, and after some induction and some pushing, there she was tonight.  None of that to take away from what Julie did, but Julie will tell you more about it at some point I'm sure.  I'm just the ghost writer.

She came in with the following vitals:
Dec 26, 2011
7 lbs 15 oz
20.8 inches


We are thankful to God for a straightforward delivery and a mom and baby that are doing well.  Julie is nauseous and tired, but tear free, and Everyn is a trooper and has taken to eating right away :)

A mighty cheer went up from the boys when they heard they had another little sister.

-N

The Big Update


 This is the final update for the "70 things to do before Baby"- things I wanted to get done in the last 10 weeks of my pregnancy.  I am most proud of walking 210 miles.  We got a lot done, and actually we got a lot more done than what actually made the list.  There are a few things left (as documented below) but for the most part those things will either get done in the next week or they are things that are really beyond my control- and I am ok with that.  All in all, I consider this project a success and am already planning out my next list :)  Incidently, my list-hating, non-goal husband kind of secretly liked the list too.


Go to zoo (actually went to an aquarium, but since we did that I won't be taking them to the zoo before baby)
2. Children’s Museum
3.Buy Carseat
4. Find/Wash baby clothes 
5. Make L an ENT appt
6. Take L to ENT appt
7. Clean out van- OCT
8. Clean out van- NOV
9. Clean out van- DEC
10. Fall Yardwork
11. 210 mile Challenge- OCT (I have determined to run/walk 210 miles before baby!) (21 miles done this week!)
12. 210 mile Challenge- NOV
13. 210 mile Challenge- DEC
14. Seasonal clothes swap
15. Winter weather wear established
16. Finish and Mail Roman’s thank you notes
17. Office to our room
18. Move Boys to office
19. Berean and Baby to boys room
20. N- make vision appt
21. N- go to vision appt
22. FMLA paperwork
23. 2012 insurance selection
24. Preregister at hospital
25. Clean out garage so cars will fit 
26. Freezer meal cooking (
27. Cabinets finished and installed 
28. New countertops 
29. Backsplash (HOPEFULLY WILL BE DONE BEFORE THE NEW YEAR!)
30. Replace microwave 
31. Fix/replace CD player in van
32. Pay off lot (HOPEFULLY WILL BE DONE BEFORE THE NEW YEAR!)
33. Mattresses for boys beds
34. Take pictures of boys
35. Mail pictures to Grandparents
36. Christmas letter/pictures/birth announcements (DECIDED TO WAIT TO MAIL OUT THE CHRISTMAS CARDS WITH THE BABY ANNOUNCEMENTS- DID HAND CHRISTMAS CARDS OUT LOCALLY.  HOPE TO HAVE THESE MAILED OUT BY END OF THE YEAR!)
37. D’s birthday party
38. Christmas shopping 
39. Christmas presents for teachers 
40. Christmas decorations 
41. Study for ACLS 
42. ACLS 
43. N- fix computer (COMPUTER IS STILL MISSING, BUT NEW LAPTOP WAS PURCHASED SO WE ARE OPERATING OK RIGHT NOW.)
44. N- finish knife
45. Get ring fixed (NOAH WILL TAKE CARE OF THIS IN JANUARYl)
46. Finish cleaning kitchen
47. OCC boxes
48. Sparks Fall Frolic
49. Dentist- me
50. Paint boy’s room
51. Paint Berean’s room
52. New blinds for boys room
53. 32 week appt
54. 36 week appt (scheduled!)
55. 38 week appt
56. 40 week appt
57. Make yogurt on a routine 
58. Sign boys up for basketball
59. Basketball evaluations 
60. Swimming lesson sign ups
61. 21 day plan (HOPEFULLY WILL START THIS FOR THE NEW YEAR.)
62. Buy shoes
63. Potty train Berean (IT's GOING...APPARENTLY I CAN't CONTROL THIS ONE)
64. Christmas charitable giving with boys
65. Mystery of History Timeline
66. Bean Candles
67.Paint family room (THIS IS THE ONE THING I AM DISAPPOINTED THAT I DIDN"T GET DONE.  HOWEVER, WE REALLY NEED SOME NEW FURNITURE, SO IT MAY BE BETTER TO WAIT A  LITTLE BIT SO EVERYTHING MATCHES :)
68. Family trip to Duluth
69. Go through toy cabinets
70. Fix Oven



Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Christmas Without a Sink (But With a Microwave)

New counter on a new cabinet (thanks Jere!).

Quartzite tile. 

New tile on old counters (no backsplash yet).

Backspash still to come!  Then a sink!  Progress!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Kitchen Island for Christmas

Islands with ranges are trendy right now.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Kitchen Sinks are Not Overrated

You may have already realized this, but I am crazy.  Do I love chaos?  Do I embrace stress?  I am not sure. I do know that I do well under stress, and I get more done with deadlines.  Noah and I were talking last week about how close I was to completing my goal of walking 210 miles between 30-40 weeks of pregnancy.  I almost said what I was thinking, but then thought better of it.
He knew what I was going to say and challenged me to say it.   Secretly I don't want the baby to come until after the due date so that I can finish the 210 miles.
That is crazy.

 Here is a little picture of Baby Fett.  Berean wanted skim milk today because it had a pink cap.  Berean repeats most of what we say, thinks that pooping is peeing and has pooped on the potty 4 times and peed on the floor numerous times.  Apparently  #63 on my "70 things to do before baby" list is not something I am going to be able to control.  She spills milk on the floor just so she can clean it up.  We all love her, but she is definitely giving us a run for our money this month.
 Here is a picture of our beautiful new cabinets.  It is amazing how much storage they are going to give us.  I say going to, because right now they just have random stuff stashed in them while the rest of the kitchen is under construction.  January's project will be to organize them.
 Last Friday night we started the tile countertop and backsplash project.  We were supposed to meet with our small group, but we had declined because of this project.  Last minute everyone else backed out of small group, so our friends Matt and Becki called and came over and brought pizza.  Matt helped Noah get a start on the project and Becki, Cole and I wrapped some presents.  I love working with friends, and I gotta tell you the fudge that they brought over has really helped me out this week :)
 Early in December the "Santa Parade" lined up in front of our house to begin their rounds.  Berean learned how to say "fire truck" and now thinks that anything larger than a mini van is also a fire truck.
 It was an impressive (and loud!) sight!
 I put together sand art brownies for the boys teachers.  For being homeschooled, they sure have a lot of teachers!  Yes, I was up quite late curling ribbons, but it was fun to make something pretty and crafty.
Deacon was in "GT and the Halo Express: Ticket to Christmas".  The whole group did a wonderful job, Deacon showed skill in singing and choreography, and it is my all time favorite Christmas drama.  What could be better than that?  (yes, I am not a huge Christmas music person, but I love the songs on that cd).


What else is going on?  Well, Saturday our soon-to-be BIL James came over and helped Noah work on tiling the countertops.  It was a big help, because as Noah says, "I love working with you, babe, but James- he understands the metric system."  sigh.  The metric system is one thing (to my shame) that I seem completely unable to grasp.  Saturday evening we hosted Deacon's "kid" party at our church.  Thankfully it was at our church because we had 13 boys there ages k-3rd grade and it was crazy.  Some of the dads stayed and they all had fun playing dodge ball, eating, watching a movie and than playing more dodge ball.

Sunday, Noah worked more on the tiling and removed the kitchen sink.  It is not an easy thing to take care of a house, be 9 months pregnant and keep 4 children fed without a kitchen sink.  Just sayin'.  I have only had 1-2 near panic attacks in the 48 hours we have been sinkless.  Noah is quite helpful when I am about ready to lose it saying things like, "stop it right now."  That sounds mean, but it actually is quite effective in helping me to buck up and just deal with the situation.  After all, I asked for the countertops.

Monday night we hosted Deacon's extended family party without the sink.  Let's just say there won't be any more parties at my house until I have a sink.  The oven has also been out of place and the microwave and dishwasher are no longer usable either.  Noah thinks maybe Christmas Eve I will have everything back.

Tonight's plan is to finish wrapping presents and get my room and some stacks of papers in order.  Every night before I go to bed I look around and feel panicky...if I were to go into the labor during the night I would be leaving the house in a very disorganized state.  Tonight I am hoping to feel better about things when I go to bed.  Good night!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Contest Time!

This is actually going to be a prize-less contest. Honestly, I ran completely out of toilet paper yesterday, my list has about 10 large projects to accomplish in the next 10 hours AND I don't precieve that things will ease up all that much in the near future. Because of those things, please go ahead and guess in the contest, but do know there will be nothing but recognition for the winner!

Here are the questions:

1. When do you think baby #5 will be born?
2. How big will the baby be?
3. Boy or girl?
4. Name?

Just so you know...

*I have been induced 3/4 times after my due date (my date is 12/25 this time).
*My 3rd came on his due date.
*All 4 of the kids have ranged from 7 lb 10oz- 8 lb 5 oz.
*Our kids names are Deacon Christopher, Roman James, Lincoln Andrew and Berean Joyce. No "Mary", "John" or "Sarah" for us. Just so you know.

Guess away!

My coworkers are guessing that the baby will come today and that it is a girl...




A Girl After My Own Heart


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Oh, Blogger

I have been fighting with blogger this am, trying to get my 70 things list up and running...it is posted below, but I can't really edit it except in HTML- and since I don't understand code, I keep messing things up. So it is partially edited...and maybe later things will magically fix themselves! One can hope, right?

1. Go to zoo (actually went to an aquarium, but since we did that I won't be taking them to the zoo before baby)
2. Children’s Museum
3.Buy Carseat
4. Find/Wash baby clothes 
5. Make L an ENT appt
6. Take L to ENT appt
7. Clean out van- OCT
8. Clean out van- NOV
9. Clean out van- DEC
10. Fall Yardwork
11. 210 mile Challenge- OCT (I have determined to run/walk 210 miles before baby!) (21 miles done this week!)
12. 210 mile Challenge- NOV
13. 210 mile Challenge- DEC
14. Seasonal clothes swap
15. Winter weather wear established
16. Finish and Mail Roman’s thank you notes
17. Office to our room
18. Move Boys to office
19. Berean and Baby to boys room
20. N- make vision appt
21. N- go to vision appt
22. FMLA paperwork
23. 2012 insurance selection
24. Preregister at hospital
25. Clean out garage so cars will fit 
26. Freezer meal cooking (can't do this until the oven is fixed and I can cook a turkey!)
27. Cabinets finished and installed 
28. New countertops (next weekend?)
29. Backsplash (next weekend? Or am I too hopeful?)
30. Replace microwave (next weekend!)
31. Fix/replace CD player in van
32. Pay off lot
33. Mattresses for boys beds
34. Take pictures of boys
35. Mail pictures to Grandparents
36. Christmas letter/pictures/birth announcements
37. D’s birthday party
38. Christmas shopping 
39. Christmas presents for teachers 
40. Christmas decorations 
41. Study for ACLS 
42. ACLS 
43. N- fix computer (first we have to find the computer, so this goal is kind of on hold.)
44. N- finish knife
45. Get ring fixed (probably will wait until January since I can't wear it right now...may replace this goal)
46. Finish cleaning kitchen
47. OCC boxes
48. Sparks Fall Frolic
49. Dentist- me
50. Paint boy’s room
51. Paint Berean’s room
52. New blinds for boys room
53. 32 week appt
54. 36 week appt (scheduled!)
55. 38 week appt
56. 40 week appt
57. Make yogurt on a routine 
58. Sign boys up for basketball
59. Basketball evaluations 
60. Swimming lesson sign ups
61. 21 day plan (this never really got off the ground since it is the holidays...we'll see...)
62. Buy shoes
63. Potty train Berean
64. Christmas charitable giving with boys
65. Mystery of History Timeline
66. Bean Candles
67.Paint family room
68. Family trip to Duluth
69. Go through toy cabinets
70. Fix Oven



Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Video "Vader Did You Know"

One of my friends posted this on facebook...check out this video if you love Star Wars!

What is your favorite line?

(personally I like, "Obi Wan would be his next door neighbor". As Noah says, "that is a prime example of searching for a rhyme and coming up with something awesome").

Monday, December 12, 2011

Not the Kids

I passed the 38 week mark this weekend! We are in the homestretch now! Noah and I were laughing earlier about the differences between a 1st baby and a 5th. With our first I had carefully packed a bag, the carseat was installed, we were ready at a moments notice.

With this baby I have no illusions of going into labor anytime before an induction date of 40 weeks plus 5 days. I know in my head that it could happen, but my heart says it is not going to.

Maybe it is not my heart, maybe it is my cynical nature.

Anyway, I had a lot of contractions at work last night and all day today. Noah wasn't home from work yet, and I suddenly realized that we have not made any plans at all for what to do with all the kids if I were to go into labor. I called my mom and asked what she was doing over the next couple weeks. I want to avoid the 17th and Christmas day, but other than that- I think anything would work fine!

---

The other day I was reading my sister-in-law's blog. She said something about talking to her husband about stuff other then her kids. Now, it totally wasn't the point of the post but it did get me to thinking about my own marriage.

Noah and I have been married for 11 years, and "together" in some sense or another since jr. high. We have known each other since childhood. There is not a lot about our childhood memories that we haven't shared sometime over the last 27 years. And actually, we have a lot of shared memories from our past as well.

So what do we talk about now?

Even though we have a lot of children, we don't always talk about them. Sure, we do some but we do fit in other topics. Consciously or unconsciously, we have developed a system of staying in close communication. We talk a lot, we talk daily and we talk about a wide variety of things.

Talking about our jobs often leads to discussions about morals, ethics, other peoples perspectives on life and just plain funny stories. Obviously, I have constraints due to confidentiality, but there is plenty of coworker drama to lead into conversations about more serious underlying discussion topics. We both are familiar with each others coworkers- not because we are gossiping about them, but getting to know the people that we spend so much time with helps us know each other better.

I spend my days with such a variety of people with all different perspectives, personalities and interests that discussion topics are always coming up. Friends, co-volunteers, homeschool moms, speech teachers, neighbors, people at the Y- all bring new interest and stimulation into my day.

Noah is very good at keeping up on current events and paying attention to trends, culture and news. I hit the highlights and we spend time discussing politics, local news and national news. Noah keeps up with sports, and although it isn't as interesting to me, I make a point to have at least some rudimentary knowledge of what is going on in the major sports arenas. That way, if he brings up something he wants to talk about, I at least have a little background going into the discussion.

I don't read as much as I would like to, but I do read some. Noah doesn't read as much, but I summarize books for him and then we discuss them. Noah teaches the youth group some Wednesday nights and Sunday mornings and so the studying he does for those events also can lead to more serious discussions between us.

Sometimes I miss those days when we had nothing but time with just each other, but I am pretty happy with how we have managed to keep a measure of freshness in our interactions with each other. Looking back at my list, it is clear that having other people in our lives helps keep us on our toes and keeps us from getting into a rut discussing the same old topics.

But, all that being said, discussing the kids isn't all bad either :)



Friday, December 9, 2011

Sometimes I get Encouraged

We bought our tree from the lot at Ace Hardware. It has become a sort of tradition- some of us go to a "real" tree farm with Noah's family to look at trees and cut one down for his parents, and then our family goes to Ace and picks up one for ourselves.

I told the boys that it is so that we would have more money for presents.

They like that.

And it is a compromise between my frugal side which chafes at the idea of paying for a dead tree every year and Noah's sentimental side that requires what he considers a live tree every year.

And it is a tradition. Last year Deacon puked in the tree lot. We remember that. No one vomited this year. As the kids excitedly ran around the enclosure, the tree guy said, "are the kids picking out the tree?" I replied, "no way. I am."

Guess who picked out the somewhat lopsided tree?

The kids.

And I decided that I was ok with it. It is dead anyway, right?

But the best part of the night for me was when we pulled up to Ace and I heard a conversation from the back:

R: "I don't like going by this store. I don't even like to see it."
D: "Why?"
R: "It reminds me of breaking mom's screen and this is where we had to take it to get it fixed." (referring to the screen that he cut a hole in so that he could have a "secret passage")
D: "I know what you mean. Sometimes I still think about the lego gun I dropped down the drain." (when he was 3).
R: "I just don't like remembering the screen."

I interjected at this point and assured Roman that he was forgiven by us and that he had made restitution.

R: "I know, but I wish the whole thing had just never happened."

---

I don't want my son to feel guilty his whole life about things, but Roman is a kid who often does not show any remorse over anything at all. We often wonder what he is thinking and feeling and if he even feels bad when he does something wrong.

This incident made me realize that he does in fact feel remorse, maybe more than his brothers do because he internalizes it. Hopefully this new insight will help us in dealing with him- and help us be more sensitive to what he may be feeling and just not saying.

Ah, parenting.

It is such a learning experience.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

This Was Going to Be An Actual Post

Hi All!

I am 37 weeks pregnant today, and my friend who was due 2 weeks after me just had her baby today. I doubt that I will go early, but even if I am late, it is not that far away! I am having some reflux and say "ow" about 20 times when I get up in the morning because my hips threaten to give out on me...but once I am up I am doing ok!

We got new cabinets installed this weekend (pictures to come) and we have been busy with a bunch of other things too- both Christmas related and non-Christmas related. Oh, and of course, I have been walking like crazy because of this silly "210 miles before baby" plan I am on. In case you were wondering, I think I just finished mile 148.

Speaking of crazy, last night I was telling Noah that I wasn't sure if I was going to attempt to study for (and take) this big nursing exam during my maternity leave. He encouraged me to use the time to do it, which surprised me. I asked him about it and this is what I got back: "I know it is something that is important to you, and honestly, if it is not this you will get some other cockamamie idea in your head." Apparently, he thinks that having me busy studying for a test will keep me out of trouble, and will keep him from getting roped into another scheme. I do recall him begging me to go back to work when I was on maternity leave with Berean because I was getting too much sleep and driving him crazy. I doubt that will happen this time, however, because of the homeschooling and the fact that Berean is still so young and relatively needy.

Well, I was planning to write an actual post versus just an update, but it is currently midnight and I need to get some sleep...otherwise I will be falling asleep during the fifth reading of "Diego Saves the Sloths" tomorrow...

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Banana Lasagna

The boys checked out a movie from the library, Nickelodeon's Barnyard or something. It stars a cow/bull named Otis with a male voice but an udder. I'm confused. I don't think it's a "progressive" [trans-bovine?] thing, but I guess I don't now. Shudder. I suppose I should check it out.

According to the Nickelodeon interweb, "Otis is a cow with charisma...Ultimately, he's a good cow who cares about his friends...and even the farmer. " [emphasis is mine]

Julie's grandpa Andy, the dairy farmer, would have a few words with the show creators about that.

Why was I telling you all of this?

Oh yeah.

Apparently in one of the episodes, there is a monkey and they bribe him with banana lasagna.

The boys thought this was hilarious.

But now my wheels were turning.

So I was going to to come to you all for suggestions. I had some ideas: layers of 'Nilla Wafers, pudding, whipping cream, bananas, maybe some yellow cake...

But then I got to thinking, "This is 2011. This is the age of the internet. Someone out there has done this." Sure enough, a search for "banana lasagna" turns up almost 2200 hits, most of which look like recipes. They star things that I had thought, plus ingredients like pound cake, strawberries, Cool Whip, etc.

But the most interesting recipe was from Puerto Rico, and was an actual lasagna with ground beef, onions, green pepper, spices, cheese...and fried plantains
[big bananas, or are they little bananas, or is that just another name for a banana? I'm really confused right now].


Sounds weird.

Sounds like something I'd try.

-N

Friday, November 25, 2011

70 Things- UPDATE (4 weeks and 2 days left!)

(66, 67 and 70 aren't actually done- but by accident I struck them out and I can't figure out how to unstrike them...guess I will just have to do them!)

1. Go to zoo (actually went to an aquarium, but since we did that I won't be taking them to the zoo before baby)
2. Children’s Museum
3.Buy Carseat
4. Find/Wash baby clothes (found part of them!)
5. Make L an ENT appt
6. Take L to ENT appt
7. Clean out van- OCT
8. Clean out van- NOV
9. Clean out van- DEC
10. Fall Yardwork
11. 210 mile Challenge- OCT (I have determined to run/walk 210 miles before baby!) (21 miles done this week!)
12. 210 mile Challenge- NOV
13. 210 mile Challenge- DEC
14. Seasonal clothes swap
15. Winter weather wear established
16. Finish and Mail Roman’s thank you notes
17. Office to our room
18. Move Boys to office
19. Berean and Baby to boys room
20. N- make vision appt
21. N- go to vision appt
22. FMLA paperwork
23. 2012 insurance selection
24. Preregister at hospital
25. Clean out garage so cars will fit (we are almost there, but Noah has been using his tools out there a lot)
26. Freezer meal cooking (can't do this until the oven is fixed and I can cook a turkey!)
27. Cabinets finished and installed (should be finished this weekend, hoping to install next week!)
28. New countertops (next weekend?)
29. Backsplash (next weekend? Or am I too hopeful?)
30. Replace microwave (next weekend!)
31. Fix/replace CD player in van
32. Pay off lot
33. Mattresses for boys beds
34. Take pictures of boys
35. Mail pictures to Grandparents
36. Christmas letter/pictures/birth announcements
37. D’s birthday party
38. Christmas shopping (started this and have a plan)
39. Christmas presents for teachers (should be done by the end of the weekend!)
40. Christmas decorations (my decorating consists of a tree- maybe next weekend :)
41. Study for ACLS (in progress!)
42. ACLS (next week!)
43. N- fix computer (first we have to find the computer, so this goal is kind of on hold.)
44. N- finish knife
45. Get ring fixed (probably will wait until January since I can't wear it right now...may replace this goal)
46. Finish cleaning kitchen
47. OCC boxes
48. Sparks Fall Frolic
49. Dentist- me
50. Paint boy’s room
51. Paint Berean’s room
52. New blinds for boys room
53. 32 week appt
54. 36 week appt (scheduled!)
55. 38 week appt
56. 40 week appt
57. Make yogurt on a routine (did this once!)
58. Sign boys up for basketball
59. Basketball evaluations (will be taken care of next weekend! Wow, I think next weekend could be busy!)
60. Swimming lesson sign ups
61. 21 day plan (this never really got off the ground since it is the holidays...we'll see...)
62. Buy shoes
63. Potty train Berean
64. Christmas charitable giving with boys
65. Mystery of History Timeline
66. Bean Candles
67.Paint family room
68. Family trip to Duluth
69. Go through toy cabinets
70. Fix Oven

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

27 Hour Vacation

At this stage in our lives, vacations that are less than 48 hours are the best kind.

As Noah pointed out, if you go on a longer vacation some of the time needs to be downtime; the problem is, with 4 kids and one on the way, there is no vacation downtime. Well, at least no relaxing for the adults of the clan, anyway.

The environments aren't child proof, you are constantly having to be one step ahead of the "I'm starving" cries and apparently just "tough it out" is not as easy for a 4 year old as it is for a 33 year old.

Last year we took a November vacation to Wisconsin Dells. We had a great time, but it was somewhat stressful. This year we decided to take a shorter trip and just head north a couple of hours and stay at a waterpark hotel overnight.

We got a late start on Sunday because of a volunteer commitment, and so we didn't arrive at the hotel until 8:15pm. The waterpark was open until 10, however, so we got some swimming in upon arrival. When you have a family of six, nothing is cheap- but how is this for a deal? Our room was $100 and it included a room with 2 queens and a foldout, microwave and fridge. It also overlooked the waterpark, which is worth more than you think when you have an almost 2 year old. Berean usually tries to destroy hotel rooms, but she was so interested in looking out the window that she left everything else alone. Included in our room rate was a large pizza, a couple of drinks (Pepsi!), continental breakfast and waterpark evening/morning passes for the 6 of us. Definitely a good deal.

The waterpark was less stressful than WI Dells had been because this one was smaller and there were only a couple of very small areas that were over 48 inches in depth. Basically, Deacon and Roman were able to go down all slides and we didn't have to worry about their safety in the pools
as much as we did last year. Of course, one of us had to be with Berean and Lincoln, but the whole park was more at our kids level which made it easier to handle. Berean was content to chillax in her life jacket on a tube with me in the lazy river. If we weren't on the lazy river, she just let me carry her around the pool- as long as she had a ball in her hands. Lincoln was able to go down slides with Noah and to do some of the other activities on his own, as well as just playing in the water.

After we left the hotel the next day we got lunch and then went to the local aquarium. We are discovering more and more places where it is cheaper for us to buy annual memberships than just to pay one time admission fees for our whole family. We had a good time looking at fish and then headed for a huge Christmas light walk-through display.

We headed for home about 24 hours after we arrived.

And now we are home, working on our "70 things to do before baby" list and enjoying Thanksgiving week!

(I am planning to update the list on the blog soon, but I have been having some problems with blogger. I am about 8 miles behind on my walking, as well, so I gotta spend some more time getting caught up on that!)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Snowpants

When I was young, my mother wore snowpants wherever we went.

At the time, I thought it was a little strange.

When I was older I thought it was even more strange.

But now, standing outside trying to herd 4 kids in the van,

buckling seatbelts,

tucking in coats,

fixing mittens,

running inside for forgotten items.

Yeah, I am thinking about snowpants.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Problem With Having a Double Oven

The problem with having a double oven,
is that if something happens to one, you still have the other.

So instead of calling a repairman,
your husband may tell you (3 weeks ago), that it should be easy to fix.

In the meantime,
you have the other.

Then you go to the store and buy a turkey,
and you realize it won't fit in the top oven.

After you put your turkey in the freezer,
you may get ready to make your husband's annual angel food cake.

Only the angel food cake pan won't fit in the top oven.
So you go to Dairy Queen.

And now your husband is ordering parts,
so that he can have turkey and angel food cake.

This is what may happen to you,
if you have a double oven.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Blessing Box

I wrote the below post several days ago, but of course it never got finished and published. My sister wrote a comment on my last post, "Where ARE YOU?"

Where am I?
I am in the basement, painting furniture.
I am in the kitchen, making food.
I am walking.
I am running.
I am in the waiting room at the doctor's office.
I am in the living room, reading stories.
I am in the dining room, teaching math.
I am in the bathroom, giving baths.
I am in the car, listening to cds.
I am making appointments,
crossing things off.
I am feeling the baby kick.
I am in bed, not sleeping.
I am at the hospital, saving lives.
I am holding my children, cutting fingernails.
I am in my yard, raking leaves.

I am here.

---

11-08-2011

Today I read a post by Lindsey, over at ifweabideinhim, that inspired me. I love this idea of a blessing box.

Last night a friend of ours auctioned off all of his "stuff" in order to donate the money to feed starving children. Tonight we are going to an organization to package food for starving children as part of our friend's birthday celebration.

As I look around my house, as I look at our bank account, as I walk through the grocery store, I am struck again over how blessed we are. Deacon wears a shirt that says "1 in 7 people go hungry everyday". We have (nearly!) 7 people in our family now. I think about moms trying to find scraps for their children to eat, I think of brothers stealing things to feed hungry siblings. I think about instances of human trafficking brought on by extreme poverty.

And then I look around my house again.

This year I am determined to give. Give more than I want to. Give more than I have to. Give to bless others and to teach my children that feeding the hungry is part of our work as Christians. We have a picture now that says, "Blessed are those who are generous, because they feed the poor." Proverbs 22:9.

Yes, I want an addition. Yes, I need a new couch. And I think those things are fine - but I refuse to let them take the place of GIVING and of service. As I explain to the boys,"we don't buy you everything you want- not because we don't have the money, but simply because we believe there are things more important than toys to spend our money on."

Oh, how I want them to be generous. Oh, how I want them to love people.


Saturday, November 5, 2011

Weekly Catch Up

*There are flies in my house. They are skittish things (as Deacon would say) and I am having trouble killing them

*Berean is talking a lot. Her most common word is "yeah" with which she answers questions that she wants to answer in the affirmative and questions that she doesn't understand. Today when I got home I saw that she had made quite a mess with a blue marker. I said, "Berean, was daddy keeping an eye on you?" She violently shook her head "no". Poor Noah.

*Two of the boys are now on antibiodics for strep throat. Their only symptoms were occasional headaches. I finally brought them in on Wed morning for cultures, because I know sometimes kids don't get the typical sore throat with strep. Their rapid cultures were negative, and the nurse told me that they would incubate the cultures for 36 to 48 hours and call us by 1pm if they were positive. By 1pm on Friday we had not been called, so, it having been 48 hours, I figured we were in the clear. Friday night Deacon got a headache again and I started to worry that he was going to start getting migraines or something. Saturday at noon (while we were on our way home from a party with their friends), the clinic called and said their strep tests were positive. I feel really bad about exposing people in the interim between the negative and positive results, but I am glad that it is strep and that Deacon is not headed for a lifetime of migraines. I also think that it would definitely be easier if people who had strep would have a sore throat, and maybe a temp over 99?! Seriously, shouldn't those be some of the rules?

*My mom and I took the kids to the Children's museum this week. We had a good time. Berean and Lincoln especially had fun, and once again I felt bad that I don't do those "age appropriate" kind of things with them more often. It is just so hard to balance the older ones and the younger ones. There are not enough hours in the day, that is for sure.

*I am using my extra hour tonight to write this post.

*Today I painted Berean's room. We are slowly getting closer to getting everything moved around and into new positions. My basement and garage, however, look like we just moved in. I know we will get there, but right now getting everything resettled feels very daunting. Hopefully by the end of the weekend she will be moved in to her new room and the office will be semi-established in our room. That will help my blogging- sitting at the kitchen table with a laptop in my 33 week pregnant state is not very comfortable.

*I am glad I don't have a desk job. Honestly, pushing beds and moving people around is easier right now then sitting. The baby jabs a foot under my ribs when I sit down and it is quite uncomfortable.

*Today I broke the rung of the bunk bed ladder when I stood on it to change sheets on the upper bunk. I also weigh more than several of my friend's husbands. Yep, I am getting to the point of looking forward to having this baby and starting 1/2 marathon training in earnest. Oh, to be small again!

*All that aside, though, I am not expecting this baby to come until after it's due date. I will be totally surprised if it does come early and it will probably throw me for a loop.

Well, I'd better go on another walk if I am ever going to get this 210 miles in before baby!


70 Things to Do Before Baby- UPDATE (49 days left)

1. Go to zoo
2. Children’s Museum
3.Buy Carseat
4. Find/Wash baby clothes (found part of them!)
5. Make L an ENT appt
6. Take L to ENT appt
7. Clean out van- OCT
8. Clean out van- NOV
9. Clean out van- DEC
10. Fall Yardwork (this has been started, but I am not ready to call it completed yet!)
11. 210 mile Challenge- OCT (I have determined to run/walk 210 miles before baby!) (21 miles done this week!)
12. 210 mile Challenge- NOV
13. 210 mile Challenge- DEC
14. Seasonal clothes swap
15. Winter weather wear established
16. Finish and Mail Roman’s thank you notes
17. Office to our room
18. Move Boys to office
19. Berean and Baby to boys room
20. N- make vision appt
21. N- go to vision appt
22. FMLA paperwork
23. 2012 insurance selection
24. Preregister at hospital
25. Clean out garage so cars will fit
26. Freezer meal cooking
27. Cabinets finished and installed
28. New countertops
29. Backsplash
30. Replace microwave
31. Fix/replace CD player in van (purchased one, Noah just has to install!)
32. Pay off lot
33. Mattresses for boys beds
34. Take pictures of boys
35. Mail pictures to Grandparents
36. Christmas letter/pictures/birth announcements
37. D’s birthday party
38. Christmas shopping
39. Christmas presents for teachers
40. Christmas decorations
41. Study for ACLS
42. ACLS
43. N- fix computer
44. N- finish knife
45. Get ring fixed
46. Finish cleaning kitchen
47. OCC boxes
48. Sparks Fall Frolic
49. Dentist- me
50. Paint boy’s room
51. Paint Berean’s room
52. New blinds for boys room
53. 32 week appt
54. 36 week appt
55. 38 week appt
56. 40 week appt
57. Make yogurt on a routine (did this once!)
58. Sign boys up for basketball
59. Basketball evaluations
60. Swimming lesson sign ups
61. 21 day plan
62. Buy shoes
63. Potty train Berean
64. Christmas charitable giving with boys
65. Mystery of History Timeline
66. Bean candles
67. Love and Respect series
68. Family trip to Duluth
69. TBD- Noah to submit
70. TBD- Noah to submit

Monday, October 31, 2011

Over Achiever

The other day I admitted to Noah that my "70 things to do before baby" list and the 210 mile challenge I put myself on is really taking a toll on me.

He laughed. I think he liked to hear me say it.

That doesn't mean I am giving up though, it just means that I am more determined than ever.

And I will admit to being slightly frustrated that everything on my list that I do accomplish seems to generate 3 more things that I must do.

Tonight he bought me roses (on sale ones, which are the only kind I accept)

And we watched "The Lion King" with the kids.

We ate Pear Pie- which Noah decided to make after being inspired by a 3 year old at Sunday School who made a pear pie out of play-doh.

Tomorrow will be soon enough to finish the laundry, and everything else.