Happy Birthday, Victory Joy!

My little girl is 5 today! It is so hard to believe that time has passed so quickly.

Sweet Girl


Brownie Points

This morning we were awakened by a ringing phone. Immediately after taking care of the call, Tim looked at me and said, "Happy Anniversary!" I laughed and said, "I totally forgot!" So, he's earned some bonus points for that one! :)

Truth is, I didn't forget... not really. And once I'd had a chance to wake up a bit more I would certainly have remembered. I was thinking about it quite a bit yesterday, and it was one of the last things to cross my mind before falling asleep last night. On the other hand, my mind is really preoccupied with my upcoming delivery (which I want SOOOO badly!!) and with Christmas, and Victory's birthday (tomorrow - she'll be 5!!!).

So, even though I did say it this morning...

I love you with all my heart.
I am so thankful to God for giving us a second chance.
When I think of the coming years, I just can't wait
to see what God has in store for us.



Levi has some sort of oral fixation and often chews on things. His favorite thing to chew has been the tassels on his blankie. It's (they -- there are 2) are fleece and really disgustingly damp if they touch you. After getting after him several times (read "for weeks on end") I finally gave an ultimatum... stop chewing or the tassels would be cut off. This week, both blankies lost their tassels. The first I simply serged. Because of this, the tassels came off in one long line. Tim brought it upstairs and said, "Here buddy, this is all that's left of your blanket." Levi took a look, sighed, and said, "Okay..." and reached his hand out to take it. Tim assured him that I would be bringing the real blankie up in a minute, but it was cute that he was going to be okay with just the scraps. LOL

Today when I cut the tabs off the second blanket (it was already stitched) he gladly stood and watched and took piles of tabs to the garbage can until I was done.

He's still chewing... but it's not as bad as it was...


35 weeks!!!

Where has the time gone?? I had my 35 week appointment with Joy (my midwife) yesterday. It went well. No weight gain for me since my last visit 2 weeks ago. This is a pleasant surprise for me :) At the beginning of my pregnancy I lost 5 pounds. From that point, I'm up only 20 pounds. So, only 15 pounds from my actual pre-pregnancy weight. This is DEFINITELY the least I've ever gained during a pregnancy. I'm hoping that my post-delivery weight loss will remain about the same as usual (in the 10-15 pound range) and that I'll be able to lose more following that. It would be good if I could lose another 20 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight.

Enough about me... LOL Jericho is a busy little girl. I feel movement often, and it's strong! Joy says she still feels a bit scrawny (actually she says she has a bony butt - LOL) It's so hard to believe that in only 2 weeks she'll be considered full term! We are all looking forward to meeting her. The older boys remind me on a fairly regular basis that I HAVE to have dad wake them up if Jericho arrives in the middle of the night. They really want to be there for the delivery. When I had Shiloh all the kids slept through everything (she was born around 3:00 in the morning).

I guess our Christmas plans are a little bit up in the air... the current plan is spending time at my mom and dad's in Pillager. My aunt and uncle from Colorado Springs, as well as my aunt who is a missionary in Ethiopia will be there. It's my brother's family's year with our family, so he will also be there with his wife and son. Wow... it sounds hectic just typing it out! Of course, if Jericho arrives earlier than her due date we could have a new baby to introduce! And, I guess beyond that it really depends on how I'm feeling. Based on previous pregnancies as well as how I've felt through this pregnancy, I'd say we'll be in Pillager for Christmas :)

So, there's my update... hope you're not too bored! :) I'll try to update again soon.


My Weekend (or, Why I Hate Hospitals)

On Saturday, Tim had to work for a while. He took Alex and Chase with him so I was home with the three littles. Things weren't going too bad, but my back was a bit sore. I just figured it was because I spent Friday night in the very front row of the theater watching "Fireproof" (excellent movie, btw). As it turns out, it was something more...

By 1:30 I was really in pain. I couldn't get comfortable, and if anyone touched my belly it about sent me through the roof. I finally laid down on Chase's bed and hoped for the best. I dosed off and on, but if I moved at all the pain was excruciating. Finally, I called Joy (my midwife) to see if she had any ideas for me. Her advice? "Head for the ER." I knew that... but I was hoping against hope she'd have some miracle cure for me.

I called Steph and she came (after calling Mitch and telling him he needed to come home with the older kids) and took me to the hospital. When you are pregnant, the hospital policy is to send you to L&D. They want to make sure the baby is okay, and that you aren't in labor. At 32+ weeks I couldn't really pretend I WASN'T pregnant...

When I arrived in L&D they wanted me to put on a gown. I refused (politely) saying I would much rather keep my own clothes on. Anything they needed to do could be done easily enough whether I was wearing a gown or street clothes.

After monitoring the baby and making sure I wasn't having contractions, checking my cervix (dilated to 1cm), drawing some blood, and taking a urine sample, and left me alone. At this point, other than confirming that I was in pain, and the location of the pain, there was no attempt to diagnose or treat me.

The tests showed no real reason to suspect an infection but did suggest that I was somewhat dehydrated. I was presented with a cup of water at some point, but no pitcher to keep it filled. Steph filled it for me a couple times... Still, no attempt was made to evaluate my pain. It seemed that since I was not in labor, there was no problem! But let me tell you, I have never experienced prolonged pain like this!! After talking to the dr. (via phone) the nurse came to let me know I could go home and should just make sure to stay well hydrated.

WHAT?!!? I was really not comfortable with that! I was in an immense amount of pain (have I mentioned the pain??) and no one had made any attempt to evaluate that. You know the "...on a scale of 1 to 10"? I was a solid 6 - maybe 7 - when I was lying perfectly still. When I moved, I hit a solid 10, and it stayed there until I'd been still for at least a couple minutes, at which point it lessened once again to a 6 or 7. (Keep in mind here that I have delivered 3 babies with no pain meds.)

After another call to Joy, I asked Steph to do something for me that is completely out of her comfort zone... I asked her to speak up, and let them know that I was NOT in any shape to be sent home. She did -- and did a GREAT job, I might add.

The nurses returned and we asked that they call the doctor and have her evaluate me in person. About 30 minutes later, the dr. arrived. She chatted with me the same way the nurses had. She explained that the baby's heart rate was good, and she was reactive so they weren't concerned about her, and I was not contracting, so I wasn't in labor. At that point I mentioned that I sure felt like I was having contractions because I had regular intervals where my pain would increase and then it would back off again. I asked if perhaps they could put the contraction monitor back on me... and also asked them to take my temp since I really felt like I was getting a bit feverish.

[I’m really fuzzy about the order of things here, but at some point the nurses started to get really rude (about the time we requested the doctor be called in). The doctor also got rude (snotty) after I refused to accept her repeated claim that what I was experiencing was “general pregnancy aches and pains”.]

Although the nurses and doctor had agreed to take my temp and hook me back up to make sure I wasn’t having contractions, Steph had to step out in the hall and remind them after they all left the room. From that point on, we were BOTH treated poorly. As it turns out, I did have a temp… the nurse blamed it on the fact that I was still wearing my sweatshirt and made me take it off (another trigger for a solid 10). I felt pretty - well - cocky when they took my temp later (again at my request) since it’d increased another degree.

Since I see a midwife, and deliver at home, they have no prenatal records on me. That means, I get whatever doctor they assign. Never mind that we’ve determined I’m not in labor and the baby is fine. Never mind that I have a family practice doc that I love at another clinic. Finally, Steph and I decided that I needed to see either MY doctor or another doctor from St. Cloud Medical Group.

The call was made, and eventually, Dr. Danielson arrived. FINALLY, someone took the fact that I was really in pain seriously. I was able to rate my pain. Dr. D went through all the possibilities of what it could be, and eventually had me admitted.

I was given an IV bolus and then a constant drip for the entire night. An ultrasound was ordered to check (among other things) my kidneys and gall bladder to make sure there were no stones. I was given Tylenol for my pain.

Slowly, over the course of the night, I began to feel better. By morning I was still experiencing lingering discomfort, with minor amounts of pain when I moved, but was feeling much better. Dr. D came to check on me in the morning (after reviewing the labs from the blood draw they took at 6:45 am). He was still at a loss as to what had caused me so much pain, but felt that I was okay to go home (and this time I was comfortable with that as well).

Overall, what I took from the experience was this:
*I WILL NOT go to St. Cloud Hospital unless I’m dying and there is ABSOLUTELY NO ALTERNATIVE.
*I love my midwife, and am so glad to have made the decision to homebirth my babies where I and my family and my baby will be treated with love and respect.
*I am scared to death at the thought of ever needing to go to L&D at SCMC ever again.
*Dr. Danielson is great.
*Stick up for your rights! and don’t go alone -- take someone with you that will also stick up for you when you are in too much pain and crying too hard to stick up for yourself.


Politics (**shudder**)

I very seldom discuss politics, and I don't follow them at all.  When it comes time to vote, I vote based on the candidate that most closely matches my stance on the *big* issues.  Who did I vote for tonight?  McCain.  Coleman.  Bachmann.

Then, my husband got me hooked on "watching" the race.  And now I'm anxiously awaiting the results of the on-the-fence states -- Virginia, Indiana, North Carolina (among others).

Poor Alex couldn't fall asleep because he heard somewhere (and we've discussed politics -- at his urging -- several times over the last week or two) that if Obama gets elected, the war will come here.  And he's my worrier.  So, I don't know what I'm going to do with him in the morning if I have to tell him Obama won!  

Actually, I do... we'll pray.  While we look from a human perspective and have an idea of who the *right* candidate is, the wrong person will not be elected!  GOD IS IN CONTROL.  No matter the outcome of this election, he already knew.  And whatever the outcome, HIS plan WILL be accomplished.

And maybe if it gets too bad, I'll just pack up and move to Canada...


Gratitude (updated)

I've fallen behind on sharing my gratitude.  Not only on my blog, but in my *real* life too.  One blog I read for it's uplifting and heart-touching and push-to-soul-searching entries led me to another blog today with a post about *baditude*.  Wow.

Certainly I am guilty of baditude.  And on an almost daily basis.  And so, today my gratitude is for friends and family that love me and accept me -- right along with that baditude.  Apologies to those who see my batitude more than my gratitude.  My closest friends, my immediate family.  These are the ones who deserve my gratitude more than any other.

More than any but Christ.  And He certainly sees my baditude more than anyone.  Shame.  For the one that deserves it least to see it most.  And yet I am forgiven, and loved deeply and without condition.

edited to say (after a few hours with my parents this afternoon):
I am eternally grateful for the wonderful parents God gave me.  And when I said gave - I guess he really gave me to them.  I was adopted at the age of 4-1/2 months.  They were childless for 11 years until they found me.  I can only pray that as my children age I will be able to serve them with the same selflessness my parents have shown.

They give so much -- their time, their finances, their lives -- to my family, to their church family, and so many others. (If you follow the link, click photos and check out the couple in the second row of pictures, that's my mom and dad.  He's been the pastor at FBC for 30 years, but will be retiring from the ministry at the end of this year.)  Never do they expect anything in return.  I guess that's how you live a life of gratitude.  Thank you God for giving me my mom and dad.  Thank you mom and dad for giving of yourselves.


Time for Change

Last night as the kids were getting ready for bed Alex said to Tim and me, "Don't forget to change the clocks!"

I said, "We won't."

He looked at me, confused, and said, "Why?!"

After pondering for a moment I responded, "We won't forget..."

LOL  He thought I meant we wouldn't change the clocks.


Say, What???

Actually conversation at my house today:

Me:  "Levi, did you pee in your pants?"
Levi:  "My wee-wee naughty!"

So, apparently, it wasn't HIM...  it was his wee-wee.  LOL


Of course politics are on the mind of everyone these days.  While I rarely involve myself in the political realm (outside of voting) when I received an email from Summit Ministries today the main article caught my eye.

You can follow this link to see the article 

Or, read it here... (it might be easier to follow if you go directly to the page as there are formating items that did not copy to Blogger).

September 2008

"When all is said and done, Tiger, we'll either hold fast to the truth, or we'll face the consequences."
— Dr. Noebel, President, Summit Ministries

Politics and the Christian
Separating Church and State?

When Wisconsin public high school senior Rachel Horner provided the school faculty with the lyrics of a song she planned to sing at her graduation ceremony, they came "unglued." The reason? The song mentions God three times. The school principal told Rachel that "God" might offend some of the audience and would violate the "separation of church and state." The principal suggested Rachel replace references to "God" with "He," "Him" and "His."

When Miss Horner filed a federal lawsuit, the school reversed its decision concerning the song but nevertheless insisted she not mention God in the introduction to her performance.

In another instance, first grader Zachary Hood was not allowed by his teacher to read a story titled "A Big Family" from his own The Beginner's Bible. Although the teacher rewarded students' reading proficiency by allowing them to bring from home and read to the class a story of their choice, and even though Zachary's selection does not mention God, the teacher refused to allow him to read it "because of its religious content." 1

How have we come to the place that public school officials are afraid of having the word "God" mentioned in public places? Does this represent the correct way to apply the concept of "separation of church and state"? Or is this a gross misunderstanding of the founder's intent regarding the role of religion and government? To better understand why we are experiencing restrictions on religious freedom, we must first understand the influence of Secular Humanism in law and politics.

Separating Church and State?
Although the concept of "separation of church and state" dates back to Thomas Jefferson, it has taken on a radically different meaning in recent years. Chuck Colson explains the background when he writes:

Radical separationists see themselves as heirs of Thomas Jefferson. During his presidency, Jefferson wrote a letter to a Baptist group in Danbury, Connecticut, in which he described the First Amendment as having set up a "wall of separation" between church and state.
That is the origin of the "wall of separation" metaphor: not the Constitution, or any of its amendments; not the Declaration of Independence—just a letter from a president to the Danbury Baptists. He wrote the letter to assure them that the federal government could not set up a state church and thereby disenfranchise those, like Baptists, who would be unwilling to join that state church. This had been the history of Baptists in England, and they were concerned. The president's letter put their minds at ease by assuring them that, as religious believers, they had a place in the public square that could not be taken away from them.
Regrettably, the Supreme Court took up the "wall" metaphor [in 1947] and misapplied it. Thus the phrase that Jefferson used to reassure religious people became the instrument of radical separationism—government, that is, cannot help religion at all. 2
Because it is repeated so often, the idea of "separation of church and state" has become like an urban legend that takes on a life of its own. This misapplied notion has led to bizarre incidents such as the ones mentioned above, where in a nation founded on religious liberty, a high school senior is intimidated for trying to sing about her religiously held belief in God at her high school graduation or a child is kept from reading a Bible story to his classmates. Yet, these two examples could be multiplied hundreds of times.

Uniting Religious Ideas with Politics
However, the truth is quite different from the current myth of separation. The founders of this nation never intended for religious ideas to be eradicated from public discourse and political deliberations, nor even the education of our children. The late John F. Kennedy understood the connection between religion and government. As President, Kennedy wrote the following words in a speech:

We in this country, in this generation, are by destiny rather than choice the watchman on the walls of world freedom. We ask therefore, that we may be worthy of our power and responsibility, that we may exercise our strength with wisdom and restraint, and that we may achieve in our time and for all time the ancient vision of peace on earth, goodwill toward men. That must always be our goal. For as was written long ago, 'Except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.'
Kennedy never delivered these words. The day was November 22, 1963, and as his motorcade slowly wound through the streets of Dallas, Texas, an assassin's bullet took his life. Yet his words are an echo of another politician from 174 years earlier, Benjamin Franklin, inventor and statesman from Pennsylvania. Franklin was 80 years old when he attended the Constitutional Convention that gave birth to the United States. After several weeks of bickering between the delegates, Franklin rose to speak. As a hush came over the room, the most senior delegate addressed his remarks to the President of the Convention, George Washington:

I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth—that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings, that 'except the Lord build the House they labour in vain that build it.' I firmly believe this.
Franklin went on to recommend to the delegates that they begin each day in corporate prayer. George Washington, in his Farewell Address after his second term in office, said, "Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.... Virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government." 3 Similarly, our second President, John Adams, wrote "religion and morality are the only foundations ... of republicanism and of all free governments." 4

And we even find the following words of Thomas Jefferson etched into the memorial dedicated to him in Washington, D.C., "God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the Gift of God?" We could cite hundreds more examples of similar comments made by those who formed our government, as well as later politicians, Supreme Court Justices, and political historians. 5

As is evident from these examples, there has been a sea change in how our politicians and public officials approach religious liberty. Unless Christians wake up soon, they will find themselves engulfed in a secular humanist society that no longer tolerates any expression of religion—public or private. It has happened as recently as this past century under Marxist and Nazi governments, and it could happen again.

(This article, slightly revised, was first published in Truth & Consequences on September 2004. It is taken from Countering Culture, chapter 6.)

George F. Will, The Censoring of Zachary, Newsweek, March 20, 2000, p. 82.
Charles Colson, Historic Preservation: The Wall of Separation, BreakPoint Commentary #030708, 07/08/2003.
George Washington, Address of George Washington, President of the United States ... Preparatory to his Declination (Baltimore: George and Henry S. Keatinge, 1796), p. 22-23.
John Adams, Works, Vol. IX p. 636, to Benjamin Rush on August 28, 1811.
For additional resources on the original intent of the founders concerning their understanding of religion and government, see David Barton's well-researched book, Original Intent, or search his website at www.wallbuilders.com.
By Chuck Edwards


...And More on Gratitude

While I listed my family, that only scratches the surface.  Each one of them is so uniquely and wonderfully made by our Creator!  Each touches my life in a different way.

So, to Tim, my loving husband...  He grounds me.  He teaches me without even knowing, how to be, how to grow.  I watch him work because I enjoy it.  While I sometimes feel guilty that my own work is left undone, I know he likes having me there.  Someone to talk to when a thought comes.  Someone to help when the need arises.  And in the times we just sit, silent, enjoying one another's company, I know he loves and accepts me.  Warts and all.

And the children love to watch him work as well.
A father, teaching through example.


Gratitude for Gifts Given

I have been given many gifts in this life.  Thanks to the encouragement from a blog I read regularly   I've decided to use my blog as a way to remember and recognize these many gifts.

Today I am grateful for:
*Victory Joy
*Jericho (baby bean)

More details will be forthcoming in future posts. :)

What's In A Name?

We have a name...  I'll tell you, but you are only allowed to make encouraging comments :)

Jericho Faith

How much faith did Joshua have at Jericho?  I can only imagine!  Also, since we've already established the fact that some of my kids and some of Steph's kids are "intended" for one another, I think it would be fitting if we added Joshua and Jericho to that list.  The age difference isn't too much, and it would just be fun to sing "Joshua fit de battle of Jericho..."  :P

There seems to be much more I should be updating about, but I'm going to leave it at this for now.  And speaking of updates... if you've followed Steph's blog at all, but haven't checked recently, go see what's up!

I'll be back to post again soon. I have an appointment with my midwife today.  Can you believe we're at the 25 week point already?!?  Where does the time go!  I hope the remaining 15 weeks of this pregnancy pass as quickly as the first 25!



Waving hello.

Little foot.

She was stubborn, but we did find out we are having a girl!  Who do you think she looks like?



When Shiloh had her bath tonight she was splashing - A LOT! - and got some water in her nose.  She sneezed a couple times, and both times she laughed.  So, what I heard was "ah-chee-he-he".  It was quite adorable :)
Having a great time at Steph's yesterday :)


Sweet Prayer

Victory prayed for supper tonight...

"Thank you for the food... thank you for the food... and I love you, Jesus.  Amen."

Makes me smile :)  And so does this picture!



It's getting to be that time of year...  I've ordered most of our homeschool materials for the coming year and I'm working on getting everything in order.  I'd love to start as soon as possible!  But, before I do, I want to make sure I've got my ducks in a row - so to speak.

This year we are using a curriculum called Tapestry of Grace.  I'm excited to use something that is completely integrated with Biblical knowledge!  While the AOP LifePacs we used last year were certainly Christian based, TOG uses the Bible as the background for all studies (linking history and geography to the Bible being of utmost importance).

One of the great benefits for me, as "teacher", is that this curriculum can be used across the board.  That means, even when Victory starts full time next year, I won't have to buy separate teachers manuals for each student.  I teach them all from one book and simply make their assignments suitable to their age/learning level.  I'm starting out easy this year by doing pretty much the same thing with Alex and Chase.  Next year, when I'm more comfortable with the curriculum, I'll add Victory... and in succeeding years, the other kids.

I reviewed some of the information we'll be covering in the first weeks with Alex, and he is VERY excited to get to work!  I hope and pray that excitement carries through the entire year.

Even Victory gets in on the action this year.  Although she won't turn 5 until December, she is very excited to "do school".  Almost every day last year she insisted that she needed to do her "homework".  It was great :)  This year I'm starting her in the same Math curriculum the boys are using.  They have a pre-K/4 yr old program that will be a great stepping stone to getting fully involved in hs next year.

So, while "back-to-school" looks a bit different in our home than in many others, it's still an exciting time!  And, I don't have to worry about new clothes for the kids, or backpacks, or figuring out the bus schedules.  Yippee!  :)



I already know who will be the future spouses of at least 3 of my kids. What!?  You think I'm kidding?? LOL  Well, I thought I knew... but I guess these things don't always turn out exactly like we plan.

Case in point -- I overheard a conversation between Caleb and Eden today at Steph's. (I didn't hear the entire thing, but it went something like this...)

C: "How old do you think [Shiloh] will be when I'm grown up?"
E: explains that S is 6 years younger and will still be that much younger when C is older
C: "Well, I think I want to marry her when I grow up."
E: "You can't, she's going to marry Malachi!"

Hehe :D It's true! Victory will marry Zeke, Malachi will marry Shi, and one of the boys will marry Eden...

Okay, so I realize that is probably NOT going to happen that way, but it's a fun thought. I can't think of anyone else I'd want more for a M.I.L. for my kids than Steph :) Of course, that means that Mitch would be their F.I.L. ... yikes!! =S (Just kidding, Mitch. You're not THAT bad! LOL)

In all seriousness, Mitch and Steph have a wonderful family, and I know their kids are being raised to love the Lord.  That's most important... and someday, their kids will make wonderful, Godly spouses.  Whether or not they are my kids spouses is something only God knows. :)

Malachi & Shiloh


Zeke & Victory Joy
(Okay, seriously... I'd have the cutest, blondest, most curly-headed grandkids ever!  LOL)


Things heard in my house lately.

"I dot it, mom" -- Levi's response when I gave the kids the 'bedtime speech'.  Followed almost immediately by him breaking both the 'no talking' rule and the 'stay in bed' rule.

"Cry in your own room!!" -- Victory's command to Levi when he went to her room after being disciplined for play at the table and spilling two cups of juice.

"That is just so...  not right!"  -- Tim and me in response to the news that a few of our friends have recently lost their jobs under really bad circumstances.

Okay, I'd give you more, but I have to change Shi's diaper and get out the door for the LAST DAY OF VBS!!!  YIPPEE!!!


I post because I must

There are many things I need to post about -- like our vacation, and the stuff we'll be involved in during the next few weeks, and my kids, and just random stuff on my mind.  But, now is not the time.  I've got screaming babies that are just being naughty, and older kids that STILL have not finished school.  So, off I go to do my motherly duties, but I WILL be back to blog sometime soon...


Because He Lives

My boys asked me today who wrote the song "Because He Lives".  I told them it was an old hymn, but then looked it up.  Turns out it was written by the Gaither's in the early 70's.  Shame on this good ol' Baptist-grown girl for not knowing that!  LOL  (And for the record, it's not old... it's just a couple years older then me. *grin*)

The following video is an interview done with Bill and Gloria about the song "Because He Lives", and after listening I felt I had to post.  

Many people think we are crazy for continuing to bring kids into this fallen world.  Here is the reason we can, without fear!

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives, All fear is gone.
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living just because He lives.

How sweet to hold a newborn baby,
And feel the pride and joy he gives.
But greater still the calm assurance,
This child can face uncertain days because He lives.

God has promised to provide. He gives us the freedom to live without fear. He LOVES us.  He holds the future, and that truly does make life worth living!


Awesome Sling Give-Away!

I'm not, but if you go here you can enter to win an awesome sling.  And, if you go here you can see the great slings in action.  I actually made myself a sling like this and have used it several times with Shi.  I love it because it's easy to use for an infant, and also for a "hip-sitter".

I'll try to get another blog in this weekend.  I don't know if we'll be home, or up in Pillager.  It's Fathers Day (for those who have bad memories -- like me!!) so we'd like to spend some time with our dads.

Oh, and Candace?  I'm not feeling a whole lot better :(  Throwing up, dry-heaves, and just plain nausea are a regular part of my days.  But, I've been able to sleep a lot, and Tim has picked up so much of the slack around here.  I'm sure it's frustrating for him, but he's been awesome.  I love that guy!!


My Ant Died

Now, before you get all worried and sad, that wasn't a misprint...  LOL  Levi has a great fascination with ants.  The small annoying ones.  The ones that love the crumbs that have fallen on my desk.  So far, it's not an infestation, but every once in a while one pops up.  Levi has me catch them and put them in his hand.  Then he watches them run around until he loses them, or accidentally squishes them.  He looked at me after he lost the last one and said, "Mom, yo' an' die."

Okay, and on another note, it suddenly got dark and the wind is really whipping here!  Think I'll head off to check the weather report.


And it starts

As of yesterday afternoon/evening, the hormones involved with being pregnant finally caught up to me.  I've been tired for the last few weeks, but now I'm also sick.  Not really sick... just a constant feeling of not feeling well.  I'm having a hard time with anything liquid -- even water doesn't sit too well on my tummy.  I'm trying lots of remedies -- taking ginger, adding lemon to my water, watering down juice.

In other news, a bird did a fly-by of the house yesterday.  The bathroom window was open, and the top of my toilet tank and seat were splattered.  Lovely.  When I first saw it I thought maybe Tim had an episode with the sprayer we use on dirty diapers.  I think I would have been more okay with that than the truth.  *shudder*  At least (as Tim so kindly pointed out) no one was sitting on the toilet at the time!! *BIG shudder*

Off I go to try to keep myself hydrated.



And here are the results...

details... and a short story

Candace asked for details, so here they are :)  I am about 6 weeks along. So far, I'm not feeling sick, so that's great! Every morning, and every night I pray that God will spare me from the nausea and vomiting... Any prayers any of you want to offer up are okay with me too! :)

We are all very excited about the new baby. Thrilled really. Oh, and Angie? Yes, we are trying to keep up with the Theis', but Mitch says he might just have to do something about that. LOL And Steph says it's twins! Guess we'll just have to wait and see what God has in store for all of us ;)

As for the short story... I'm still breastfeeding Shiloh.  She is often a little acrobat, and today was "standing" on my lap in an inverted "V".  I yelled at the boys to grab me a Kleenex because I thought her nose was about ready to drip on my arm.  Turns out it was just milk... LOL  Apparently when you drink *upside-down* milk will come out of your nose.  HA!

I'm off to take a personality test...  Have a great weekend!


Get it?

Here is the new shirt I made for Shiloh...  

If you need an explanation, think a little harder.  

If you still need an explanation, well, I'll think about helping you out.  LOL

Psalm 127:3-5  
"Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, 
the fruit of the womb a reward. 
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. 
Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!"


Shiloh's B-day Pics

In order:
*Enjoying being outside
*Hangin' with her buddy Malachi
*Enjoying her Angel Food Cupcake :) (3 pics)
*Opening presents (2 pics)

And here's one for *old times sake* :)
She is about 5 minutes old in this picture.


The *great wisdom* of a four-year-old

Victory was having a little fit (and when I say *little*, what I really mean is scream-crying and saying "I don't want to...!!!") while refusing to do what she'd been asked to do.  Because apparently it's just too hard to put on the jammies that daddy told you to...

I *corrected* her behavior, and after she got her pj's on and crawled up on her bed she said, "I wish I was the mom and you were the kid."  I said, "Why?  So you could wash my mouth out with soap and swat my butt?"  "Yes", she said.   I asked if I'd done something I wasn't supposed to -- like mouthing off or throwing a fit or disobeying.  She said no.  I told her that it wouldn't be fair to discipline me for nothing.  LOL  I think (*hope*) she got the point. :)


What goes through their minds?!?

Levi came to me crying this morning.  He was picking his nose.  I couldn't tell what the problem was, but he eventually started crying.  I began to suspect he had something stuck in his nose...  Eventually, he sneezed several times and this is what we "retrieved"...

In case you can't tell from the photo... it's the broken "hinge" from a cd case.  What goes through their minds when they do these things???  "Huh, I wonder what would happen if I shoved this tiny little thing up my nose??"  LOL

Just for the record, he's none the worse for the wear.  This photo was taken just moments after the final sneeze. :)


Down Here, Jason Gray, and Shawn McDonald

Wow, just WOW!

Tonight was AWESOME!  The concert was just so great.  And one of the best parts was being able to meet the guys and hang out with them a bit during the day and then visiting a bit more after the concert.  What a great group of guys... very down-to-earth, Godly men.

I really don't know what more to say, other than if you have the chance to see them perform, DO IT!  :)


Just because...

... I feel the need to post.  LOL  This will be a *mish-mash* update, but it'll be good to get some things out of my brain and onto paper (so to speak).

I had a busy week and wasn't home much since I was helping my friend Steph with her diaper business.  It's a lot of fun for me to be able to help her especially when she's been so crazy busy!  Working with her gives me a chance to have the friend-fellowship that I need and also do something I love to do.  Today I was home and managed to get most of the laundry done (it had been over a week...) so that was good.  And, to top it off, I even got a nap in! :)

What I really need to do is get some of my own sewing done at home, but my stinkin' serger went on the blink again today.  I did a test seam and everything worked great.  Then I started sewing the important stuff (a really cute diaper I'm working on) and I had a myriad of problems.   First, the machine was skipping stitches.  Then the thread broke.  Then I couldn't make the corner around the wing because of snaps being too close to the edge.  Then my needle broke... in three pieces.  I got that replaced and the thread broke again.  GRRRR  I'll say right now that I will no longer complain about spending more money on better quality thread!  When I'm using quality supplies I rarely have an issue.  The cheaper Overlock Thread I get a JoAnn's is usually fine in my sewing machine, but seems to break quite easily in the serger.  When I'm using a quality product like Gutterman's then I don't usually have ANY problems!  So, lesson learned...

Today I bought Chris and Wendy Jeub's book "Love in the House".  I'm am so looking forward to getting it and being able to put some of their household practices to use in my own home.  I also ordered Wendy's new cookbook "Love in the Kitchen".  When I get them and have a chance to read through, I'll have to try to remember to do a little blog "review" :)

Shiloh had her first birthday last Saturday.  I can not believe how quickly the last year passed!  She is really close to walking, and I think she would do it more, but she gets around so quickly while crawling that I'm sure it just doesn't make sense to her to go more slowly :)  She is still a little peanut at just 16 lb 4 oz, but the doctor was pleased with the weight she'd gained in the last couple months, so at least I'm not getting a guilt trip about how small she is.  I looked back, and VJ was only 16 lb 6 oz at her one year checkup, and now she is a very average 4 yr old (maybe even a bit on the tall side).  Needless to say, I'm not too concerned...

In other news, I have some health issues I'm dealing with after having my yearly exam...  I have some prolapse of the pelvic floor muscles.  It's something that has been worrying my mind, but when the fear and doubt creeps in I just turn it over to the Lord.  I know that He knows what's in my future, so I should just let it go.  Knowing and doing are not often intertwined...  Also, to add more insult, I got back my cholesterol readings (first time I've had it tested) and my levels are too high.  Total is 241, with HDL (the "good stuff" being only 39) and LDL (the "bad" stuff) being in the 170's.  =S

The pictures from Shiloh's birthday party and other's that I'd like to share are still on my camera.  But, when I get in gear and get them in iPhoto I'll be sure to post a few :)

Tomorrow, my parents are coming to take the kids -- ALL FIVE OF THEM -- for the weekend. It will be a nice break for me, and on Saturday I'll get to go to the Shawn McDonald concert at our church along with Steph.  (She has to sit by me 'cuz I've got her ticket hanging from my white board right now - LOL)  My friend Angie is the person responsible for getting him to St. Cloud in the first place. She's over the moon, and I'm really looking forward to the concert, as well as being really excited for her! :)

Well, I think that's it for now... I'm sure there's more, but my mind is blanking for the moment.  Hope you enjoyed the update!


It must be April Fools!

Oh, wait, that was LAST week!  But, this is what we woke up to this morning.  And it's supposed to continue to snow throughout the day and tonight as well.  Tim is taking the afternoon off and is hoping to build snowmen with the boys.  If they get out there, I'll get pictures to post :)

Notice the snow stuck to the front of the garage...

And just for comparison sake, here's a picture from two years ago (Easter Sunday, 4/16/06).


First Fire

We love a good fire.  The smell, the sounds, the sights... and tonight it was quality time with the family.  Only Shiloh missed out -- she went to bed instead :)  This picture is from a couple years ago, but the sights are the same.  I have many good memories around the fire, and am looking forward to making many more with the kids.


What Do We Really Need?

I've been thinking about how to make my small space *larger*. Last week I wrote up a list of what I thought we really needed... especially in regard to clothing, etc. Now I'm sharing it with you, my blog friends, in hopes that you can help me decide if I'm on the right track. Please, post and let me know what you think!

The following is what I typed up for Tim to get his opinion... and now I'm asking for yours.

Here is a run-down of what I feel we really "need" in regard to clothing towels, etc.

Each person should have 2 bath towels and one or two washcloths.
2 towels x 7 people = 14 towels (4 oversize for Tim & Kristin)
1 or 2 washcloths x 7 people = 7 to 14 washcloths

Also, as a household I think we should have about 1/2 dozen each: kitchen towels, dishcloths, hand towels.  One set of nice bathroom towels would be nice for any guests we many have, but is not entirely necessary since we don't really have space for guests. :P

For clothing... well, I guess I really don't know, but definitely a lot less than what we have!!!  So... maybe 3-5 pair of jeans, and 2-3 pair of dressier pants, 5 or 6 t-shirts, dress shirts, and long sleeves.  2 or 3 sweatshirts, 8-10 underwear (except for potty-learning children who need AT LEAST 12), 8-10 pairs of socks, 2-3 pair of play shorts and 1 or 2 dress shorts.  Girls of course need dozens of cute outfits and dresses. =D  These clothing guidelines do not necessarily apply to babies who tend to soil more clothes than the average bear.

When I say that, I think... gosh, that's still (at the very least) TWENTY-ONE jeans, 14 dress pants, 30 t-shirts, etc, 14 sweatshirts, 52 underwear, and 96 socks.

We certainly don't need the 300 coats we have!  One or two coats for winter and spring and another 1 or 2 fall-ish coats per person would be more than adequate.  We do have a washer and dryer for Pete's sake!

So that seems a good start to me...

So, now let me know what you think!  Am I on track?  Am I still using the messed up society we live in as a guide and thinking too big?  As for the coats, keep in mind that we live in MN and it's COLD!  And, when it's not cold it's often wet, so kids stuff gets really messy outdoors :)

I am SOOOO looking forward to creating more space!



Cute Victory Story

The dog needed to go "out", so Victory let him out. When he was done, she let him back in. When she told me the story later she said, "I let Romeo out and I let him back in and I gave him some food and I prayed with him." LOL So, the dog's food was blessed before he ate it tonight :)

Those are the moments when I think, just maybe, I'm doing something right...


Good News!

I don't have a poop story to share! LOL

The boys are doing better with homeschool... We tried a "new" method this week that worked really well. I gave them the day off today. It is after all Spring Break. I figure they could have ONE day off! :)

Tim's niece Jenny moved in with us a week ago. It's going well, and I'm just so proud of the many great changes she's making in her life. Surprisingly, having an extra adult in the house has not made it feel all that much more crowded! The kids may disagree since they are all in one bedroom for the time being, but it's good for them ;)

I have so many thoughts swimming in my head right now. I just don't even know how to put them all into words. So, the list:
God's sadness and Satan's glee

Is your head swimming yet??

I don't know if we have plans for the weekend. Maybe we'll go hang out with the Theis' tonight. That would be lots of fun! Tim has to work tomorrow and Sunday. I don't know for how long, but I'm kind of bummed. I miss him enough during the week when he's working, and to have him gone even partial days on the weekend really throws my whole week :(

If I can gather my thoughts maybe I'll post again this weekend about one or more of the topics that are invading my brain... Hope y'all enjoy your weekend!


Today, for the first time, Shiloh ate

poop. ****HUGE shutter****

*Sigh* I certainly hope it's the last time. And to make matters worse (tho I'm not sure they can be) it wasn't her own. I love my kids, but let me tell you, sometimes I think about trading them in. lol This time it's the 2 year old potty-learner (who obviously missed a lesson!!). He took off his wet/dirty underwear right next to the baby. She of course thought it looked fun to play with. I *thought* I caught her just as she was first touching it, but when I picked her up I realized her lips were brown.

Can I just go hide in a corner and cry now?


Lego heads cause pain.

I know this because I've stepped on my fair share. For some reason kids just don't leave Lego men together.

I also know this because it is one of the items I found in Shiloh's diaper last night. She'd been pretty cranky all day, and I knew she needed to poop. Finally, results! Also found in said diaper -- part of a ladybug, a glob of paper (source unknown) and a small piece something else that I could not identify.

Update on the hives:

I had hives for well over a week, but about the 3rd or 4th day we figured out I have an allergy to cashews. Explains why I never really felt the need to even try them during the first 32 years of my life!



Man... it's been a long time since I've had a case of hives this bad! When I was a kid I would get hives if I ate too many strawberries. Or, if I got TOO anything... too excited, too nervous, too tired... I don't know what caused these, but man do I itch! And of course Benadryl just puts me down for the count. I hate being itchy, but I can't decide if it's better to resist scratching or to have to fight to stay awake. GRRRR



While I've alluded to our quiverfull conviction previously, I have never really taken the time to explain what it is or why we believe as we do.  The easiest way to explain the "what" is to say that we do not use any form of birth control or practice NFP.  In simple terms, we don't prevent pregnancy, and we don't "try" to get pregnant.  We believe that God's will for our childbearing (if/when/how many) is not meant for us to try to control.

I need to qualify this by saying that we have not always believed this way.  However, through much prayer Tim and I came to the conviction that this was the best plan for us -- God's plan.

One reason we no longer use birth control (in particular the pill or and IUD and other similar hormonal methods) is because they are proven abortifacients.   If I am willing to use one of these methods in an attempt to control if/when I have children, can I call myself pro-life?  I don't think so.

The Bible says that children are a blessing.  I for one do not want to turn away any blessing the Lord chooses to bestow upon me!  No matter the world's view of my situation, God truly does know best.  He sees the *big picture*, and I know that I can rely fully on him to provide my needs, be it money or food or shelter or any other material thing.

Making the choice to allow God full control in this area of our lives has been very freeing!  We never again need to worry about whether or not we are making the right decision regarding when to have another child.  It has also been convicting -- if I can trust God fully in this area, why do I have such a hard time fully releasing other areas of my life to his hands?

One question we hear often (actually, it's a statement disguised as a question) is "You're not going to have more, are you?"  And now you know the answer!

If you have more questions about what I believe and why, you can ask... or you can check out some of the other sites listed in the Quiverfull Blog Roll (see sidebar).  Or, read your Bible :)  The answers are all there.


Cure for Insomnia

Well, if you live in MN in the winter, I would recommend shoveling snow at 1:30 a.m.  Did wonders for me!


Increasing Sin

If I've recognized the problem (which I have as supported by my previous blog) and continue on the same path (the one that is fraught with a lack of motivation and little to no action) then is the sin increased?  I believe I AM sinning if I am not living my life in the way in which God intended.  I believe he wants me to be the maker of my  home, primary caregiver to my children, and a devoted, submissive help mate to my husband.  If I am failing in any of these callings, then I am sinning.

And so I go humbly to the feet of God, each and every day.  I beg, I plead, sometimes I cry.  And the next day goes on as the one before.  This is beginning to feel like a bit of a pity party.  And so the guilt increases.

I know I am not accountable to any of you... I am accountable to God.  It is his view, his opinion of me that matters.  I know that he loves me, even when I fail.  But how great would it be to succeed!  To live up to the expectations of my creator.

And now I will attempt to pull myself up out of the mire I've made and get to finding that other path!


Lizard da Paz

What is this you ask?  Well, apparently it's a great movie!  Peaceful Lizard??  LOL

Victory came to me today and said she wanted me to get her that Lizard da Paz movie 'cause she really likes it.

Any one for "The Wizard of Oz"?  *grin*


Shiloh's "Taggie"

Kids love tags... at least mine do.  They love to chew on them.  If you ever pick up a stuffed animal one of the babies has been playing with, the tag is soaked.  lol  I can't claim this blanket as an original idea, but mine was much cheaper to make then the real Taggies.  I just used scraps I had from other projects.  The loop on the angled corner (upper left) is perfect for a link-a-doo.  As a bonus, the blanket is small - only about a foot square - so it's quite portable, and keeps Shiloh really happy in the carseat! :)

I'll share some other sewing projects later, but wanted to get this one up as I've been intending to do it since I finished the project!  (Hence, the picture...) lol


Moving in the right direction

While I still have a long way to go, I feel that I'm stepping out in the right direction.  Thanks to the wonderfully supportive hubby God blessed me with (twice!) I am improving day by day.  We sat down and came up with a menu - and subsequently a shopping list - for two weeks worth of suppers.  It was so nice tonight not to wonder what we were going to eat.  And, I know already that I can do tomorrow's meal no problem :)

Homeschool is coming along.  It certainly is an adventure!  Have a mentioned that?  lol  Chase is catching on to the "get your work done and have the rest of the day to play" thing, but Alex still struggles with his focus.  So, now, at nearly 9 p.m., he is just finishing his work from today.  I pray that tomorrow goes much better!  Chase was done before lunch (around 1 p.m.)...  If they can both do that on a semi-regular basis I'll be thrilled!

Time to prep for tomorrow...

Thanks to all my friends - real life, and cyber - who pray for me and support me in my daily life.  It's so good to know I'm not alone in this!



Where I am

Maybe more appropriately this post should be "Who am I?"  I wrote this today and didn't know if I should blog it, but decided to put myself out there...  If anyone wants to pray for me as I deal, I wouldn't object!


I don't think I'm doing so well.  Maybe it's a severe lack of sunshine.  It's not that I can't figure out what needs to be done -- it's a complete lack of desire to do anything.  Certainly the list of things to do is long enough: laundry, meals, cleaning, teaching, planning.  I need help.  Someone to come alongside me.  Someone to be here all day for a day or two to push me. God has called me to be more than this!  Why do I continue to struggle so much?!  Do I not ask enough?  Do I not trust enough?  Have faith enough?  HELP ME!  Maybe I'm not clear enough in my own mind what it is I want/need/desire to be.  My kids need me to be more.  Tim needs me to be more.  I need me to be more.  God desires for me to be more.  So what does that look like?  What do I think it should look like?  I guess it all starts with my relationship with God.  He created me!  He loves me.  He has a plan for my life.  In order to be clear on that plan I need to know Him more intimately.  My days need to begin and end with him.  And they need to begin and end earlier.  How great would it be if I could wake each morning around 6:30 a.m. and spend time reading and praying.  Once everyone else was up I would already have my heart in the right place.  My night would end with Him as well.  And it would end before 11 p.m.  Ideally it would end around 9:30 p.m., but that just seems so impossible.  LOL  And how does my day look between the good start and the good end?  It is joyful!  The kids would be taught and cared for.  Specifically?  I would fix them a good breakfast.  Meal planning would mean all ingredients would be on hand.  When the meal was done each child would get dressed and the table would be cleaned up and dishes dealt with.  Small ones would have quick baths if needed.  Then school would begin for the day.  We would pray, read/recite/review Fighter Verses, and get on to other subjects.  A load of laundry would be started while another load was folded and put away.  Some touch-up cleaning would be done while the older boys worked.  I would be available if they had questions.  Everyone would have a healthy snack (once again, pre-planned) and while the older boys got back to work, I would work with littler ones on letters, numbers, shapes, etc. and spend time playing with them.  Everyone would have an activity to keep them busy while I prepared a light lunch.  We would eat, and little ones would head off for naps/quiet time while bigger ones read quietly.  I would switch over laundry and fold dry clothes.  Then, while the bigger ones finished up school, I would do grading and planning for the following day.  If time allowed, I would take a short nap.  When littles woke up everyone would have another snack and I would prep for dinner.  About 4:30/45 a.m. we would do spot cleaning so things were calm/neat for Tim when he got home.  While I made the (pre-planned) meal, the older ones would sit quietly reading with the littles.  We would sit down to a timely meal after which dishes would be taken care of and then family time would commence.  We would have our devotions and play a game together. After a quick/small snack the kids would head off to bed.  Hugs, kisses & prayers would be done.  I would then check email, finish school prep, do a quick cleanup if necessary.  Tim and I would then have "us time".  Specific enough?  I think so.  Realistic?  I don't know.  But now it's "out there".  We'll see if that helps... 


It's fun to *play* at the Y.M.C.A...

For the last 3 months I've been going to the YMCA.  The 3rd Saturday of every month is Women's and Girl's Night.  They close down and open to all women and girls in the community free of charge.  Even the childcare is free!  Steph T., Tami G., and I went the first month.  This month, Jennifer M. joined us, and we had a great time!

Steph and I fell all over ourselves playing racquetball last month, and tonight Tami and I played.  It's a great workout, even if we don't play "by the rules".  Laughing is probably as much exercise as the actual game. :P

Our family is planning on getting a membership soon, and then I'll be able to go even more!  I'm looking forward to working out and beginning to get in shape.  I'm also excited to get the kids in the pool.  They'll have so much fun!  And the Rainbow Room will be a great place for them to play so Tim and I can have some "alone time" and workout together.

Hope this got you singing :)   Y.M.C.A...


I loved this :) And for the record...

1)All of them and then some!
2)We're not Catholic or Mormon -- we are children of God
3)With God's provision
4)If that's God's plan
5)Yep... we are so blessed!
6)If that's your attitude, absolutely
7)Only through God's grace
8)Well, God causes it... and the method he chose sure is a good one!
9)Maybe the next one(s)...
11)Train up a child in the way he should go...