The signs of the end of pregnancy are here! I have been in a major organization, de-cluttering, dusting mood lately, which is WONDERFUL!! The house has needed it for many months!! I think the impulse began with Adrian cleaning and organizing our basement, and it just went from there—10+ bags shipped off to the thrift store, mud room made efficient for winter gear, space for baby clothes found in an existing dresser, computer and scrapbooking desks overhauled, tool and art supply bins meticulously organized, lesson planning done, car seats all cleaned and adjusted to make room for baby, truck vacuumed… it all feels so good!!
Other signs of the end of pregnancy: *my husband has to help me pull on and zip my winter boots *I’m really tired of maternity clothes and look forward to wearing normal stuff soon *on Sunday when hungry for lunch, I pulled out the makings for a green salad with a boiled egg. Was hungry so drank a root beer while the eggs were boiling. Root beer filled me up, so put the salad ingredients away. A short time later, made tomato soup and grilled cheese instead! That’s a pregnant lady’s prerogative, right? *Finally didn’t sleep well last night, which I remember being more typical as the birth approached with the first three… so hoping it is sooner than later. As one person encouraged me, “Babies are always on time—their OWN time!!” *Even though we have had 3 healthy births, there is some trepidation (and no guarantee) with going through it again—so, my prayers are consumed with God watching over the process, and blessing us again. Soon we’ll all be enjoying this child God intends for our family!
Let’s just get something straight here!! I feel really, really weary today of the constant discussion about whether our baby is a boy or a girl! There are still folks we know who are just now finding out about the pregnancy, so I get to go through the same conversation virtually every time I step foot in public. I really try to be gracious when I tell people that no, we won’t know baby’s gender until the birth! And then the inevitable assumption comes, from nearly every person that we are “hoping for a boy this time”. My teeth clench, my heart pounds, my mind becomes so angered because that is really very far from the truth, and in my opinion, an obtuse remark! And yet, how can I succinctly (or lovingly) explain all of those feelings to the person before me who obviously thinks it must be true? After all, why else would a family have 4 children, right? Is our society so bent on having everything we want, which includes excessive belongings and being able to choose from thousands of items at every coffee shop, restaurant, mega box store …. that the attitude also transfers to the matter of having children?? Believe me, I am NOT enduring childbearing with some great hope that my baby will be one certain gender! We are not basing our family size on what gender our kids are, either! In fact, if you tied me down and twisted my arm to choose whether I’d rather be buried in pink or blue in approximately 4 weeks, I would say I’d rather have a girl! That’s probably mostly rebellion to the nasty assumption. But also, my practical mind says we are all set up for a girl—with loads of clothes stacked in bins in the basement, and more girly toys than you could imagine. I’m also more excited about the girl names that have surfaced during this pregnancy than the boy name we agree on, though it is a solid good name too. Oh, all this suspense the sweet child keeps us in-- I love it! I love the intense moment of a baby’s delivery when you first see their skin, such a little body, you realize the worst is over, you hold them close, and then the awesome experience of getting to know little him/her just as they have arrived: a precious gift from God, no matter what!!
I haven't had the camera out much lately, but we are having good times! I like this picture of my two youngest sweetly sitting on the couch reading together because sometimes there really is a quiet moment like that, and they are such good friends and SUCH good kids!! (For those that do not know, you can click on the picture to see a larger version). What have we been keeping busy with?? In addition to the normal work, homeschool, baby appointments, Bible Study, Kids Club and choir (the latter two ended this week, freeing up our weekly evenings), we have successfully leveled the floors of our house (and are still cleaning up the cracks, misalignments and dust that resulted!). Adrian has taken 1 elk and 1 deer and may go get another deer before hunting season is over. Last weekend we got to see a brand new family member: Bentley in his first hours of life-- what a blessing to be close by! We had a great Thanksgiving dinner with friends yesterday, and have so much to be thankful for every day. I encourage my children to tell God what they are thankful for each evening, 'cause there is never a lack of what we can thank him for. My list of thanks, every day, begins with my wonderful husband and beautiful daughters. These gifts are a few of many that make me understand that everything I am and everything I have is a product of grace, and not my own doing!
Wow, mid-November already. Sometimes with toddlers underfoot the saying is, “days go slow, years speed past”. However, I feel like each day is speeding fast right now. We are now 7 weeks away from the anticipated birth of our fourth child. Adrian and I will both turn 31 next week. And 2009 only has a few more days left!!
All 5 of us survived the so-called swine flu, and I’ve never felt happier to be healthy than these days following the illness. When you’re sick, you can’t imagine feeling well again. And when you’re well, you can’t fully grip the misery of illness. We lost about 2 weeks of our lives to feeling crummy, cancelling plans, not stepping foot outdoors, and falling miserably behind on house work. But now that we’re better, it’s been wonderful for an excuse to sanitize everything, get into every corner, and enjoy getting out of the house! God was truly good to us, answering our prayers for protection for the unborn baby and healing us all.
For lack of more to say, I’ll post some recent pictures. We love our girls so very much! Here’s Jaci with her amazing blue eyes. When we tell the girls to get their jammies on unsupervised, this is what they do. Bottoms on top, tops on bottom, parading around like a couple of monkeys. Creative, cute, and accompanied by endless giggles.
When we cut Adrian’s elk, the girls wanted to help, so they both practiced with knives cutting some ham.
Here's what's keeping us busy ... homeschool and extracurriculars already! Last week we attended the 4H Fun Day in Deer Lodge. Ella's 3 classes were no bake treats (she's dipping a pretzel in chocolate below),
Rocketry (after decorating her rocket it was propelled by an air compressor)
and a Lewis and Clark demonstration from a guy who actually did the expedition a few years ago. The little sisters tagged along, and we all think 4H is going to be a bunch of fun for years to come!
This week, Jaci continues to potty train while we homeschool in the mornings. She hasn't had any great success to boast about, but her interest level is very high, so we're giving that some attention until the new baby arrives. We are also busy in the evenings, and glad to be healthy to be able to do it all... Monday night: Bible Study; Tuesday Night: Kids Club Wednesday night: Ella's choir. Thursday morning will find us at the Anaconda Fire House for a field trip with several other homeschooling families. And it's already time to line up a November field trip! Keeping busy makes the days go fast while daddy is gone-- he is working in Vancover this week.
Oh and baby #4 (sorry, no photo available) seems to be growing healthily. S/He is active, measuring on time, and keeping us in suspense about WHO it is and whether it will be a 2009 or 2010 baby!
This week marks 10 years since my friend Angel went to heaven. I miss him still. And over the last 10 years, God has been so good to me! I have often been able to see the purpose of walking through that sorrow, and the many ways it has changed me, changed my course, changed my heart, helped me let go of this life. The love of God, through a good friend named Angel touched me a decade ago, and still reaches out to more people than I can imagine. Angel and his dad were both good men, the type you'd want to hang out with. They were honest and they loved God and talked very openly about the truth written in scripture. But the only really good one is God himself, who made Angel and Lucho something different than they would have been by nature. Praise Him!
Part of me really wants to see Angel, to hug him one more time, to say the words I never got to say, to respond to every letter he wrote. But ALL of me is glad that Jesus is preparing a place for me and every believer. This old earth isn't a suitable long-term dwelling place for any of us, anyway. "Yo estoy seguro que tu vas a regresar y por eso yo te voy a esperar" "I'm sure that you're going to return, and that's why I'm waiting for you". Jesus is coming, people get ready! When he returns he will be accompanied by the dead in Christ! Wow. I'm glad that soon, around the throne, day and night we'll all be worshipping the Lamb, and our focus will be him -- no more sorrow, no more pain! Thank you God for your awesome promises, for the undeserved gift of salvation, and for believers who are the light of the world for you!
"Fue lindo el corto tiempo que pasamos juntos y te agradesco por hacerme entender que no es lo que uno se piensa si no lo que dios dispone." "It was so nice the short time we were together and I thank you for making me understand that it's not what we think, but whatever God wills."
We are back at home after being gone for most of August! It is nice to settle into our little house, and our own routine. We began homeschool after Labor Day, and I am having so much fun with it! I know the girls are too! Here’s a picture of them on the first day of school: I get so much done on school days; I guess it’s because we have so much to pack in, I have to be organized! We are having a blast exploring the Bible, geography, math, reading, art, Spanish, cooking, and taking breaks to turn up the music, dance or do a little yoga stretch. We get our morning chores, breakfast, and ready for the day done before 10 a.m., at which time school begins. (We have been a few minutes tardy before, but it’s always because mom’s not ready; not Ella or Tessa!) We homeschool for about an hour before everyone needs a snack. We sit down to learn some more, then break for lunch and naptime.
Other than school and kids, we are also involved in church activities, and hope to begin participation in 4H next month. We also plan a field trip for local homeschoolers once per month until the end of the year. Weekends have been filled with canning peaches, more peaches, applesauce, and apple pie filling. We harvested the apples from our own back yard and put up over 5 gallons of canned goods to enjoy all winter. Here's how we used every square inch of surface area in our little kitchen: Last week, we demolished the house next door which will be a vacant lot until we save money to build a garage there. On the first day of demolition, we had a bunch of homeschool friends over to watch the process, and then we did worksheets related. Here's one last picture of the house:
It is a busy, busy time in our lives, but with every prayer I am thankful that I couldn’t be happier—I love my family, and I love spending time with them!! MORE photos to be posted at http://www.happyinmontana.myphotoalbum.com/ !
Hey, Anna here. Since we just got the bill for our other photo website, I decided to try something free instead. So here I am on blogger. I won't be uploading as many photos as I did to the other site, just selecting my favorites, to update you on our lives.
Jaci is teething, walking and getting into everything. Tessa cracked her collar bone on Monday, so life is complicated by remembering to never pick her up under her shoulders. Yes, we have already forgotten many times. Ella is thriving in summer weather, but she seems to fit in and jive with whatever the weather, whatever the activitiy. Next week she will be in Vacation Bible School, and I'm curious to see if she learns more than the 2 weeks of swimming lessons that are behind us. It would be really hard to learn less than at swimming. I actually have pictures (not on purpose; in the background) of a lifeguard eating a Cup of Noodles, and the 'teacher' with a sucker in her mouth -- 'nuff said.
I absolutely love to write. As often as I can, I open a Word document and type out something cute the girls have said, or what they measure in at. With 3 kids underfoot, homeschooling and the other demands of life, I'm getting behind on photo and written documentation. I'm pretty sure there's not enough time to live life and write about it too. But if I do ... will somebody take all my postings from blogspot and make them into a book for my kids to read later?
The following picture is my girls today with Coy at the Grant-Kohrs Ranch in Deer Lodge. I love how it shows the hot summer sun on their faces and Jaci's little dimple under her right eye, which I can hardly ever catch on camera. They are 5, 3, and 1; Coy is almost 10 months!
I love this photo of Ella and Tessa intently working on a craft at the kids' booth...
Tessa did NOT want to show the camera her sling, so this is the best I got. As kids heal so quickly, she'll be back to normal in a jiffy.