Thursday, May 31, 2012

The End Of May

Wow...I can hardly believe that we are just a couple hours from being DONE with May...that means Father's Day is coming up, and J's birthday is right around the corner.

It also means our baby is due next month.  So far, we have never made it to our due month, but we are hopeful that God will take us there this time!

Here are some pics I took today...just some fun things that people were doing.  It was mostly during piano lessons, so the older ones were busy with their teacher.

Serenity, showing me her puppy.

After I read this book to J, he went over to read it himself.
I thought it was pretty cute!  I am so glad that all of my
children love books and reading!

Callie had fun pushing Seren in the basket, but said it was
hard with her weights on (she wears arm and leg weights
each day as part of her therapy).

Skating is one of Brianna's favorite therapy activities.
Ashley is happy to be able to join her with her own skates!

When did this girl start looking so much
older and more mature?!

So here we are at the end of May...the garden is in and growing, the chickens are doing well in the coop and run, the cows now have about 3 acres fenced in, baby clothes are washed, folded and put away, the children are clean, fed, loved, and cared for, therapy has gone well (Brianna is at 100%, Callie has not been able to do everything every day due to a knee injury, then not having a contraption build - more on that tomorrow - and me not making the effort to get her out to walk up and down hills)...I would say that May has come and gone well!  We have accomplished quite a bit, and are looking forward to getting even more done in June!

The children are all in bed asleep.  The house is now silent.  My hard working husband is still at work.  I think it is time for me to go to bed as well!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Ashley's Day

All day, she was hoping and waiting for this evening...when everyone would be home, and she could have her special dinner, ice cream cake (or so she hoped, as Daddy was bringing home her cake!), and the presents she hoped she would get (there were none set out, so at times, she was a little concerned today!)

Ashley's dinner of choice was pancakes w/berries and whip cream and a quiche.

As dinner was winding down, we told stories about Ashley, starting with her birth story, and continuing on with other fun memories of Ashley.

Then it was time for presents!
The twins got Ashley a movie about Daniel (her favorite Bible story).

Her grandparents got her a nick knack shelf.

Justice got to bring her presents to her...

With Callie's assistance.
(Her siblings got her a pair of roller skates, though I didn't have an pics of her opening them!)
Then her Daddy said he had a story he wanted her to act out...Goldilocks and the three bears.
Here is Ashley walking through the forest.

Then she came to a house, and knocked on the door...

Finding no one home, she came in and tried the bowls of porridge on the table.  The first was too hot, the 2nd too cold, and the third just right, so she ate it all up!

That made her tired, so she went in to find three chairs, the first was too hard, the 2nd too soft, and the 3rd, just right, but when she settled into it, it broke.

This made her very tired, so she decided to go upstairs...

Where she found a GIANT BEAR in her very own bed!

This is something Ashley has wanted for almost a Christmas time, right after we decided we would relent and get her one, Costco ran out of them in the entire area!
 Costco was able to get them back in about 2 months ago.

Then it was time for cake - she chose an ice cream cake since I told her I would make a castle cake only for her party day!
 Our Ashley has gone from liking things that are teeny tiny to GIANT sized, lol!

 Then we ended the evening with a bedtime story.

Happy Birthday, Ashley!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Ashley Elizabeth

Our Birthday Girl!
Happy 8th Birthday to our sweet, energetic, silly, imaginative, creative, intelligent, beautiful, compassionate princess Ashley Elizabeth!

This girl is such a blessing to our family!  She is fun loving and always keeps the mood in the house light and uplifted!  I took the time this morning to talk with her, and thought I would share some of that conversation with you here.

She loves to do her school work, big projects are her favorite, especially those about beavers!  She also loves to read now.  Her favorite animal is the beaver, and her favorite color is dark blue. 

Tonight she has chosen to have pancakes, with fruit, and whip cream and a spinach/broccoli/bacon quiche for dinner...though she also wanted to have Top Romen, lasagna, go to Denny's, and to have Red Robin sing to was a tough choice!
Some of the decore she is so excited about!
She enjoys taking care of the chickens, but thinks it will be even more fun to take care of a baby brother.  She is most looking forward to dressing him in all of his cute clothes!

She has been excitedly waiting for her birthday for the last 6 weeks or so, and now that it is finally, here, she says that it is even better than she thought it would be because she woke up to having the house decorated with different things than normal and there was a new moose at her spot at the table!

Now she is looking forward to cake and presents, her party in a few weeks, having a new baby brother, oh, yeah, and getting her ears pierced.

Her excitement and energy in her answers would have much better been captured on video though!

Happy Birthday Ashley!  We are so proud of you and the young lady you are becoming.  We love you very much and are so glad that God blessed us with you!

Baby update

This weekend, we started with trying to dig out the baby boy clothes - only to find that they were all jumbled together with baby girl clothes, toddler boy clothes toddler girl clothes - and that all of the 4 bins looked about the same!

This has been a rough pregnancy.   So glad to have God's grace and provision through all of it!  This baby has now had longer in the womb than Callie (and even then, Callie's last week was not the best or most conducive to developing since she had a zero fluid count and we got an infection!).  We are hoping and praying that God would sustain us for another 4 weeks, but 6-7 weeks would be even better!

So it turned into a big project of having to sort all the clothes - which then turned into getting different, smaller bins so we could do 1 bin for each was a big job, but one I could do while sitting, so it made for a good project for me!  We were also able to get clothes out for the little girls, who were getting a bit shy on things to wear that actually fit them.

We have now found all of the baby boy clothes, and have spent the morning getting them folded and put away.  It is always so much fun to go through baby clothes, reminiscing of who wore that and the memories that go with it!  The twins remembered the outfit J wore when they met him for the first time, along with several other outfits that they remembered.

The girls wanted to 'practice' dressing a little baby again, so
I let them put the clothes on a doll.

Ashley had a lot of fun making outfits that she
wants to put baby brother in!

Every outfit Brianna picked up was her
new favorite!

Love the static bringing her hair to the balloon!
She was so excited and unstable, it might
have made the difference between her staying
on her feet and falling, lol!
The older girls kept telling J that he was once small enough to
wear this outfit - he didnt' believe them.  But he was very excited
that baby brother gets to wear a train!

The process of washing the clothes that were in boxes meant that we also had quite a bit of baby girl clothes in the house, too...Brianna was looking at them and said, "Awww, these are so cute!  Can we have a baby girl soon?"

I love their excitement when welcoming a new sibling!  I love that they see each baby as a blessing, and a cherished, valued member of our family, created in God's image, knit together in my womb, and that we are able to INCREASE the amount of love in our family each time God blesses us with a new baby!

Here is a (very short) video clip I will leave you with on this post, of J, telling us what the train says.  If you listen closely, you can even hear the name we think we are going with...but since J's articulation isn't the best, it will likely leave some wondering...not sure when I will officially announce baby's name on the blog - but it might be when we announce his arrival.  I do wish I would have let the video go a little longer as J was very sweet in talking about baby's excitement to wear the train outfit, and how J will get to hold him while he wears it and that J will rock the baby...his whole conversation just made my mama heart melt!

My view this morning

This is the view I looked out this morning...the twins tending the chickens, who were excited to be out let out for the day, and the cows, just beyond the fence.  you can also see both of the garden areas in this pic, which I have not posted any good pics of yet, either!  (We have been so busy that I have not put many posts on the blog - trying to get it caught up a bit today though!)  The chickens are currently working on clearing out the last patch of garden space we want for this year.

Memorial Day Weekend

For us, it turned out to be a big work weekend, where we got a LOT done!  (though there is still a lot left to do...)

We got a lot done in the garden.

Baby clothes are now washed, getting folded and put away today.

Carseats are washed.

The bus was been re caulked to hopefully make it stop leaking.

A fence was put up so the cows can have access to about 2 more acres of pastureland.
The cows have been so happy with more room to run!
They keep running back and forth, and stopping here and
there to graze.  Each time we look out, they are in a different
spot in the field!

We started cleaning out the garage.

All of the clothes we are not currently using were re-sorted (not sure what happened, but it was a MESS!), and ready for the next child who needs that size.

3 boxes that had not been touched since we move from the duplex (2 1/2+ years ago!) were unpacked. (Baby clothes that I KNEW I wouldn't have gotten rid of and couldn't find for Seren, but are now too small, among other things were found!)

And when I say 'we' did all of these things...what I really mean is that while I sat around, everyone else was working. :/  Mountains of laundry have been done, and more are waiting...instead of having a whole mountain RANGE of laundry, we are down to just a single mountain and maybe a foothill, lol!  Hoping to get it all done and caught up today - only about 8 more loads for that!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Happy Birthday to my Love!

Yesterday was Chris' birthday.  We always enjoy the opportunity to show him how much we love, appreciate and respect him.  He works so hard for his family, enjoys spending time with all of us, is a wonderful father, and an awesome husband!  I truly never expected in my life that I would be blessed by such a man (it certainly wasn't the example I was given growing up).  He is a fantastic example of loving me as Christ loved the church, even when I am very much unlovable.  He is a great priest, prophet, provider and protector for his family.  He truly lives out what it means to be a follower of Christ, to deny himself and live for his God, and his family.

He is very supportive of me even through a difficult pregnancy.  He is supportive of the children in all of their interests and activities, recitals and concerts.  He is always willing to pitch in and help with the big projects I come up with - like fencing the back pasture so the cows can go out there, or building a chicken coop.

So when it came time to celebrate him, the girls wanted to decorate. Thanks to the dollar store, I was able to let them go all out! :)

He requested Lasagna for dinner.

For presents, he wanted Blue Mountain that is what we got him, lol!

Unfortunately, he was called into work, and ended up working most of the night...then he has a change tonight that will keep him again most the night.
The sign on the mantle says "Aged To Perfection"

Relay race to pass balloons through teams, then be the
first to pop them!

blurry pic, but it really captures J's excitement (jumping
up and down even!) that he popped the balloon from the
previous pic

Ice cream cake

He had lots of help to blow out his candles!

Even Beta got into the festivities!
You are such a blessing my love!  I hope that you know and feel just how respected, honored, loved and cherished you are.  We thank and praise God for you and your life each and every day!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Adventures in Farming - Chickens

Our chickens now consider their coop to be home!  They go in, all by themselves at night, and are excited to come out in the morning.

Each time we walk near their run, they come over to see what we might be coming to give them.  So here are our girls (and boy - so far, it looks like we just have 1 rooster).

Monday, May 21, 2012

30 weeks, 2 days

This baby is 30 weeks, 2 days along in gestation. He is probably about 3 pounds, or just over that. He is very active, all the time. I am currently 2 cm dilated, and about 30% effaced. None of that is overly concerning...I have only progressed about 1/2 - 1 cm in the last week and my cervix is still pretty long for this point in pregnancy.

But then, today, 30 weeks, and 2 days, makes me nervous just because of today. It was on this day during Callie's pregnancy, that my water broke. I remember the audible sound of the bag popping. It was loud enough for Chris to hear it, too, while we were watching the season of 24 that we had borrowed from his parents. I remember the way my mind raced as I thought about how much earlier she would be than Brianna, and what that might mean for her...I remember waiting through the next 6 days, concerned with the doctor's decisions to not take her right away, but to let her continue with a zero fluid count...

I remember how tiny and frail she looked. I remember at the time, looking at her small, weak looking body and wondering how she could have seemed so much stronger while she was in the womb than she did laying in the iscolette, hooked up to all of the monitors, having tube feedings, which graduated to syringe feedings, then finally, after several weeks to trying the bottle...

I could go on, but really this is about this new baby, at least in I go about today, it is very much an exercise of giving fear to God, and trusting Him to carry us as far as we can into this pregnancy. To keep this little guy safe and secure, so He can continue to knit him together in my womb.

But it is also about mourning the rest of the pregnancy, when I shouldn't have had to share Miss Callie, but had to not only share her, but leave her day after day at the hospital. It is about looking at her struggle and fight with cp, and hoping and praying that this baby is spared from it. Callie has done well. She is a fighter. She works hard for the mobility she has, and continues to strive for me. All of this is a blessing from God. I have watched God work countless miracles in and through her as she surpasses what so called professionals say will be her limit. I praise God for her life, and wouldn't trade her or the way she is for anything.

And yet, I continue to pray for a term baby this time. Another 5 weeks, and we would likely go unassisted at home. Another 6 1/2 weeks, and the midwife will delivery us at home. Even in a difficult pregnancy, filled with sleepless nights, discomfort from multiple issues, potential pre-eclamplsia, and the ever present threat of a pre-term baby, I wouldn't want to end this pregnancy even a day before God would have this baby naturally come. Each day we make it is a victory for this baby! He will be that much stronger and better off to be in the womb, Lord willing, for many more weeks to come! I give God the glory, honor and praise for bringing us through this far, and pray that He would continue to guide us in His perfect will and timing for this baby's birth.

God is good, all the time!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Fun Family Evening Around the Fire

Setting up

Starting the fire

Grandma roasting hot dogs
 Justice waiting for food
Bible Charades

Justice playing on the lawn mower.