Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I wait all the day...Psalm 25:5

Hello! We hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. We went to New York for Christmas. We are home now.

Here is the long saga:

On the afternoon of December 22, while I was busy with last-minute packing, S came and told me that Sacagawea had just gotten sick all over the couch. Packing ceased while I simultaneously took the slipcover off the couch and threw it into the washing machine, put Sacagawea in the tub for a scrubbing and hair-washing, and gave orders for everyone to take a dose of charcoal.

After The Man came home from work, we loaded up the van and set out for the airport 4 hours away. We even packed a bucket for Sacagawea to use in case she needed it. She did.

Our flight wasn't until 6 a.m. Tuesday morning, but with unpredictable weather, we wanted to get over the local mountain passes while they were still passable without chains. We arrived at a rest area just north of the airport about 1 a.m. After a few hours of fitful sleep at the rest area, we went to the airport. S got out of the van and threw up. After careful questioning it was determined that he was the only one that didn't get a dose of charcoal. Fortunately, there was no more throwing up after that.

We were kept on the ground for awhile due to extreme weather conditions in Chicago. We had nearly a 2-hour scheduled layover there so I wasn't concerned. G enjoyed his first flight.
When we arrived at Chicago O'Hare we discovered that our flight to New York was one of the hundreds that had been canceled. in, it's not happening. Deep breath. Ok, I'd done this before. We could handle it.

I approached a lady at a counter and asked her to point me in the direction of where to go. She did and we all set off to stand in a looooong line. A few minutes later the same lady came by and took me out of line to a kiosk where she entered our information to get us waitlisted for the next flight. I went back to where The Man and children were in line. Soon another lady came and told me that I was welcome to sit on bench behind the information booth with some of the children while The Man was in line. That was wonderful.

Unfortunately, there wasn't much that could be worked out for us, so we made our way to the terminal and gate of the next flight, and the next, and the next, and the next. By 1 a.m. the next morning we had actual tickets for Christmas morning and we were on the waitlist for the 6 a.m. flight Christmas Eve.

The most frustrating thing about our experience was not knowing until right before the doors closed after boarding whether or not we could get on the plane. We literally had to be ready with coats on and carry-on luggage ready by the door for each and every flight. It was tiring for all of us except G. G didn't get put down the entire time we were at the airport. We had tried to gate-check his carseat, but the agent said we couldn't. It was checked all the way to New York.

M used his "free time" well. While waiting for the 11 p.m. flight, which didn't leave until after midnight, he got out his violin. J was enlisted to hold the hymn book, and M played Christmas carols for the fellow passengers that were waiting.
Considering it was after 10 p.m. at night, I was impressed that other passengers appreciated his playing to the tune of $28.84 tossed into his violin case. J was excited that M gave him $5 for holding the book.

After the flight left after midnight, the terminal quieted down. I took G to the bathroom for a bath. The kids stretched out on the seats to sleep and The Man and I took turns staying awake.

About 4 a.m. we roused the children and made our way to the terminal of the 6 a.m. flight. At that point I had the brilliant idea of getting a cart on which to put all of carry-on luggage. It was the best $1 we spent at the airport.

We didn't make that flight, although we were offered 4 seats. Nor did we get on the next flight. When we arrived at the gate for the 2:30 p.m. flight (24 hours after we were supposed to leave), the agent pulled us aside and told us there would be some folks that wouldn't make the flight due to misconnects. Chances were good that we would all make it on the next flight, but we should be willing to split up if only 4 seats were available. Ugh. There were only 4 confirmed seats available, but there were also 2 other seats availble at the end of boarding, so we all left O'Hare together. Sort of.

After we were in the air, it occured to me that I knew The Man was on board, I knew Sacagawea and G were on board, and I was pretty certain I saw the other boys go down the jetway, but I had no idea where the other boys were sitting. Between sleep deprivation and the last-second boarding, I can easily see how those "Child Left at Airport" headlines occur. The Man later assured me that
he knew we were all on board before we left the gate. Whew.

We finally made it to New York! However, all of those "Don't you dare ask us about your luggage because it is already at your final destination" (I'm paraphrasing) recorded annoucements that were played over and over and over and over and over again at O'Hare were not true! So, after waiting around for the bag lady (heh) to go borrow some car seats from another airline because all of theirs were nasty (her words) and giving the address where our luggage could be delivered the next day, we were out of the airport.

I missed supper because I fell asleep on the couch while feeding G. The rest of the week was wonderful, but kind of a blur. I didn't feel like I was caught up on my sleep until we were ready to go home.

The kids loved meeting some of their cousins for the first time and had lots of fun playing. I didn't take as many pictures as I should have, but you can find some here. Sacagawea especially enjoyed playing with Play-do. Grandma gave them some tin pie plates and they made many pied pies.

Sacagawea was also introduced to the American Girl catalog. The girls brought me a sheet of paper with a bunch of numbers carefully printed on it. "These are the item numbers of what Sacagawea wants. And those numbers are the ones you have to dial to order."

Yesterday we got up early and were back at the airport along with a goodie bags full of food so we wouldn't have to pay exorbinate airport prices and tissues for our headcolds (THANK YOU!). Uneventful. Wonderful!

When we got to our gate in Chicago the agents were begging people to take a later flight in exchange for free tickets. I was told that they had overbooked the flight by 34 seats! They were offering first class tickets on a later flight. No thanks. We weren't the least bit interested. Any other time and it might have been tempting, but we all wanted to get out of O'Hare as quickly as possible.

The next flight was ok, except the altitude changes coupled with my cold did a number on my ears. I wasn't able to hear properly again until we were driving up in the mountains near home.

We made it home just after 7 p.m. last night. I still have a cold. Most of the luggage has been unpacked and I need to go fold some laundry.

We hope you all have a wonderful New Year! Given our year of flights, we aren't planning on traveling through Chicago O'Hare next year!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A horse...1 Kings 10:29

Many things have been added to our daily lives that weren't on the agenda. There haven't been enough hours in the day to do everything we have wanted to do...never mind all the stuff that we didn't want to do.

I've been reminded by more than one person that I need to get started on our Christmas letter. Is it December already? I suppose it is. I was contemplating what kind of photo we would include in our letter this year. Peaches the Wonder Horse has been an integral part of our Christmas photos since she joined our family over 3 years ago.
Christmas 2005

Unfortunately, Peaches won't join in on the picture this year. On Monday afternoon M found her on her side by the barn. She tried valiantly to get up, but her old stiff legs wouldn't cooperate. She was bleeding a bit from her mouth where she had broken some of her front teeth (probably in her fall). We already knew that she was close to 30 and probably wouldn't make it through the winter, but still, we weren't quite prepared to deal with situation.

I called The Man at work and asked him to make the call to the vet. Guess what? Our vet was out of town. The vet that was filling in for him was also out of town. Rather than having a vet come over from the city, the Man decided he would do the deed himself. So, after a day of trying to help people get better, The Man came home and spent another half-hour saying good-bye to Peaches while trying to see if there was any way we could help her to comfortably live longer. There wasn't.

We all shed some tears for the dear, faithful, patient horse. We feel privileged that we were able to own her the past few years. She will be missed!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

News...Proverbs 25:25

We are doing fine, but we all haven't quite mastered the art of multitasking. Between feedings, diaper changes, and much needed rest periods, blogging hasn't been a priority.

At one week, G's weight was back up to 7 lbs., 8 ozs. At two weeks he was 7 lbs., 14 ozs., and last Saturday he weighed 8 lbs. 4 ozs. We did take him to the hospital a week ago on Sunday to have his bilirubin checked. It was over 15 with the scan and blood test. Very high, but not high enough to start treatment. His color has improved tremendously. I may stop by and have him scanned again today while we are up in the city just to see how far it has come down. (The preceding paragraph is more for my own information than yours...this may the closest thing G will have for a baby book!)

Night times are pretty good with G usually going down between 10-11 and waking up at 2-3 a.m. and again at 5-6. Last night he went down at about 11 and didn't wake up until 5:30.

This is a photo I took this morning of S and G. Obviously some of us are learning to multitask...
G is awake again and wanting to eat. Hope you all have a Merry Christmas (just in case I don't get back here before then!) and a Happy New Year!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

A cake...Numbers 15:20

Happy Birthday, S!

He's nine years old today! We won't be celebrating until tomorrow and the weekend. He still hasn't figured out exactly what kind of cake he wants. His last suggestion was a 2-layer strawberry and chocolate cake with "I Am 9" written on it. He better make up his mind soon!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

That shall reign over you...1 Samuel 8:11

The kids and I went to the polls this morning. Don't worry, ACORN hasn't corrupted our little valley. All the kids got stickers just for showing up with me. [For those that are concerned, G's sticker was on him just long enough for the picture.] They have "voted" in every election since they've been born. Here is an Electoral College map for the young ones to color.

I wasn't thrilled with any of the choices, but since The Man's campaign never got off the ground, I had to go with what was there. I am glad that election day is finally here, and I pray that we are all able to survive the next four years, no matter who takes office.

The Man won't be able to go to the polls until he gets off of work this afternoon. He starts a new job today. Yes, another one! Hopefully this will allow him to cut back or discontinue his overnight/weekend work in the ER.

Last night was a good night for G (and for me). I think the time change helped us out a bit. He went to bed about 10:30 p.m. and didn't wake up again until about 3:00. After eating and going back to sleep, he slept until about 8:00 this morning. He's been either eating or awake most of the morning and just now went down for a nap. I hope we finally have his days and nights switched around to where they should be.

For I know...Jeremiah 29:11

Happy Birthday to Me!
Yesterday I caught up with The Man again in age. I didn't take a picture of my birthday cake. See the previous post, imagine about half the cake gone, and then you'll have a pretty good idea what my cake looked like!

Yesterday also marked the 20th anniversary of the day I first remember meeting The Man. He claims he met me several weeks prior, but since I don't remember, I don't think it counts. After several rounds of "If I had told you that day that 20 years later we would..." it was agreed that it was probably a good thing that our future wasn't all revealed to us at that point!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Face to face...1 Corinthians 13:12

Happy Birthday to The Man!

I pulled out his baby pictures. Does this one above look familiar? It looks almost exactly like this one of Baby G that I posted last week.
G's cheeks are chubbier. If I'm not careful, they just might fall off from being kissed so much.

S and Sacagawea made The Man a birthday cake. They decorated it all by themselves. We didn't have enough candles so they improvised with 3 on one side and 8 on the other.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

And his son...Judges 6:11

For those that didn't see The Man's comment on Friday's update...
It is a boy! We are all thrilled. Baby G was born on his due date, Saturday, October 25, at 9:57 a.m. (my apologies to those I have told the wrong time...blame sleep deprivation). He was 7 lbs., 9.8 ozs., and 19 1/2" long. We praise the Lord for this perfectly healthy baby and his safe arrival.

Some of you may wish to just skip ahead and look at the pictures. If you are the sort to want to know all the labor details, read on.

On Friday evening the contractions started back up much more seriously. By 10:00 p.m. The Man and I were loading up the rest of our stuff and were on the way to the hospital. By 11:00 I was hooked up to the monitors. The first contraction showed the baby's heart rate went way down following the contraction. It took a minute for it to come back up. I wasn't too concerned, but the nurse was. She made me lie down, put oxygen on me and called the doctor. The doctor came and observed a few contractions and said that everything looked just fine.

I was let off the monitor and given permission to move about as I pleased. The Man inflated and filled the pool that we brought. The hospital does have a physical therapy tub that the women can use during labor, but it is down the hall from the OB department. I received permission from my doctor and the nursing staff to bring my own pool to have in my room so I wouldn't have to be traipsing up and down the hallway while in labor. A few hours later I got in the pool and was able to doze for a while.

About 6:00 a.m. my doctor checked and said I was only 3.5-4 cm. The contractions had lessened considerably. She offered to let me go home or give me Cytotech to stimulate the labor. I wasn't excited about either of those options. Actually, since I hadn't had any real sleep since 2:30 Friday morning, I wasn't very excited about anything at that point.

After discussing it with The Man, I decided that I wanted to go the route that I did when A's labor stalled. I asked to have my water broken.

About 6:40, my doctor broke my water and put me back on the monitor. It didn't take long for the contractions to pick back up. I was 4.5 cm. when I was let off the monitor and I got back in the water.

After an hour they wanted to monitor me again. The contractions were very intense at that point. I asked The Man to get me a basin in case I needed to throw up. I did. I was somewhat surprised since I'd never gotten sick during my previous labors.

About 8:30 when they got me out of the water to monitor me again, I was about 6.5 cm. The doctor only monitored me through one contraction. I got sick again during that contraction so she let me get back in the pool right away, telling The Man to be sure and get her when I had the urge to push so she could get me out of the water and check me. She had already told me that we couldn't do a water birth!

The contractions got very intense even while I was the pool. I was beginning to wonder why I wasn't handling this labor as well as I had my previous labors. The contractions started coming fast and furious and I wasn't having very much fun!

Then I told The Man that I did need to push. He went out to the nurse's station to get the doctor. They came back in the room and she started to check my dilation, but noticed the baby was crowning. She told me to go ahead and push (which I was already doing), and during that one contraction, Baby G was born.

I held him for a minute while the nurse suctioned him and the cord was clamped and cut. It was then that we noticed the approximately 2 1/2 ft. cord had a true knot. That must have happened during his late night gymnastics last summer.

We got out of the pool, and the rest of the day was rather pleasant. He had a bit of bruising on his face due to his very rapid entrance, but there wasn't time for any head molding. He has dark hair, unlike his siblings who were all bald or blond.
First official bath at 5:00 a.m. Sunday morning...
At home Sunday night...
He reminds me the most of J. I need to pull out all the kids' baby pictures and compare.
We've had many "discussions" today about whose turn it is to hold him. I usually win. He likes to cuddle, eat, and sleep.
The Man is taking the week off from work. We're all going to try to get some rest now!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Ready...Genesis 18:6

This post is dedicated to the lady that has checked my blog no less than EIGHT times today. Just what were you doing up at 4:30 this morning? I know that I was having contractions. Not huge big ones, but enough to move me beyond 3 cm.

I made up a list of all the stuff the kids were supposed to do today in case I wasn't here. Even though I was here, I just had them follow the list anyway. The house is now fairly well picked up, school work is done, and the kids are enjoying a video before supper. Now I need to make another list of what they are to do tomorrow in case we aren't here.

I do think it will happen tonight. Just because.

P.S. I just realized that this month I've had more blog posts than any other in the history of this blog. Of course most of them were to simply inform you of a non-event. :-)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The same things...Acts 15:27

I had my visit with the FNP yesterday. She is as anxious for me to have the baby as my doctor is. After assuring her that I am patient enough to wait until my due date (although I wouldn't be upset if baby decided to come early) or beyond, I made an appointment with my OB for next Wednesday. Although I fully expect to cancel that appointment, if I do make it there, we will discuss other options at that time since nobody likes to let pregnant ladies go beyond 41 weeks these days.

So, one way or another, I will have this baby by a week from tomorrow. Aren't you all glad that there is a definite end in sight? The FNP said I'm at least 3 cm. now, so progress is happening. I fully expect the baby to arrive Saturday on the due date. I think The Man is making sure that it happens then since, as far as I am aware, he hasn't lined up anyone to preach for him that day!

Sacagawea lost one of her front top teeth the other day. She had been wanting it out for quite a while since it was so hard for her to eat with the wiggly tooth there. We had wondered if her tooth or my baby would come out first. She won! I think she would have preferred for me to win that one.

P.S. The Man says he doesn't see a need to post an entire blog post when the baby comes, but he will leave a comment in my most recent post if need be.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

In due season...Galatians 6:9

It was a long and tiring day yesterday, but now my pantry is stocked, my refrigerators are full, and we don't have to take M to another music lesson until next Wednesday! I slept like a log last night and didn't get up until about 8 this morning. Whew!

Less than 24 hours after posting an update you folks started bugging me for another. I do have a life, you know! ;) I seem to be the only one not concerned that I haven't had this baby yet. It isn't even my due date!

With M (for those of you that are just itching for a birth story, click on links), based on dates and an early ultrasound, I was given due dates of either April 8 or 10. I went into labor on the evening of the 8th and he was born on the evening of the 9th (Saturday).

J ~ I was given a due date of May 30 based on dates. A few months later the sizes weren't matching up so an ultrasound was scheduled. Based on that ultrasound, I was given an approximate due date of June 25. My water broke on the afternoon of June 21 and I went into labor the morning of the 22nd. J was born about 6 hours later (Sunday).

S ~ based on dates I was given a due date of November 10. The ultrasound wasn't too far off, so the original due date was kept. He arrived on the morning of the 6th (Saturday).

A ~ due date of April 12, which was when she arrived (Friday).

Although a few of them arrived prior to their official due dates, none of them have gone past. With the exception of Sacagawea who arrived on her due date, the others were born on the weekend. Since my due date falls on this Saturday, I'm truly not going to get excited until then. If this one happens to arrive before then, great. If not, we'll deal with that concern the following Wednesday at my OB appointment. Yes, I am that patient! The baby will arrive exactly when he or she is good and ready!

Oh, by the way, my bags are packed and in the van. That is why you haven't seen any pictures lately. If I'm inclined to take some pictures, I have to get the camera out of the van, take the pictures, make sure the battery is charged, then return the camera to the van.

I still need to school The Man in the art of blogging. He should be able to find a computer somewhere in the hospital (if we don't take ours) to update y'all when the event occurs. Grandparents' phone numbers are in our cell phones so they will get official calls before a blog post!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Not yet...Genesis 15:16

We did make it up to the hospital yesterday to see The Man's assistant's new baby. The attempted induction for a VBAC turned into an early morning c-section. Mom and 8 lb. baby boy are both doing well.

We went to visit the other man who had surgery on Friday, but were very surprised that he had already gone home!

This morning we are headed up to the big city for shopping and music lessons. There is a special group music lesson this afternoon that M's piano teacher wanted him to attend, so we switched days this week. We won't be back until after 7:00 tonight. A long, long day!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

A friend...Proverbs 17:17

Last night my 14-year old niece introduced me to Facebook. Over the past few months I have had some friends and family ask me if I had an account, so I thought I'd go ahead and give it a go.

I don't have time to randomly guess which people I know have accounts, so if you do, and you'd like to add us as a friend...

Our first name: Tree
Our last name: River
Clever, huh?

I may even put some actual pictures over there.

(This is my sneaky way of saying I didn't have the baby last night without posting a pregnancy update!)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Reasons...Job 32:11

I know some funny people. Last Wednesday night I was awake for quite awhile with some pretty heavy contractions. I told The Man that if the baby was going to come early it would be on Wednesday night due to my somewhat strenuous excursion to the big city on Wednesday. Nope. Nothing significant happened.

On Thursday afternoon a friend stopped by with a newer infant car seat for us. She said she had prayed the night before that I wouldn't have my baby yet because the cover she had washed was still air drying. Ahhh. So that's why baby didn't come!

Today I see that Ann has been hoping that baby news waits on her keyboard!

Carseat? Check.
Ann has her keyboard? Check.
I think we're ready for a baby!

In addition to The Man's brother's family, we also had another couple for lunch today. The Man and his brother knew the man from the church they went to as youth. We were surprised when we first visited our current church to learn that he had re-married a lady here. We've enjoyed having them in our church the past five years, and we're sad that they have sold their house and are moving to Washington to be closer to her family. We all had a wonderful time singing after lunch as our sister-in-law played the piano, our niece played the violin, and M played the organ (given to us by this couple).

The couple went home, and everybody else (except me!) headed for a walk behind our property in the National Forest. A few minutes after they left, it occurred to me that I could hear the water running in the bathroom. Uh-oh. I shut off the water, grabbed some towels, and called The Man on his cell phone. I knew he couldn't have gotten very far. He ran back to the house and took care of the puddles over behind the toilet that I couldn't bend over to reach. I am so glad that I stayed behind, otherwise we all would have returned to a major flood!

We may head up to the hospital later this afternoon, evening, or perhaps tomorrow. The Man's assistant's wife was actually induced this morning, so we would like to go see that baby. Also, we found out that The Man's 2nd cousin and family are up here because his father had surgery yesterday. We want to get up to the hospital to see all of them also. Perhaps I may even need to go to the hospital to have this baby!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Patient waiting...2 Thessalonians 3:5

Here is another quick update to let everyone know we are still patiently waiting. The doctor's appointment on Thursday was fairly non-eventful except that things are slowly progressing as they should. My doctor offered to induce me if I wished, especially since she's heard rumors that we didn't make it to the hospital for S's birth. My doctor is on call this weekend, next weekend (my due date) and the following weekend, so at least she will be the doctor present when the baby is born.

I did get a lecture from the nurse since I haven't gained any weight over the last three weeks. I really haven't had much of an appetite lately. Even if I did, I'm not sure if there is any more room in there for additional food.

The Man's brother and family are coming up tomorrow for church. The Man thought he should have someone else lined up to preach just in case we have somewhere else we need to be.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Nothing new...Ecclesiastes 1:9

I am completely appalled at the amount of sawdust in my house. Apparently installing a sliding glass door is a very messy undertaking! This morning M went out to the shop to get the shop vac for me. It is one of those items that came with the house, and it is not the greatest machine, but I would rather suck up the sawdust and nails with that than my good vacuum. I'll still need to go over the living room again with the real vacuum, but this will be a good start. I have to round up another extension cord before I finish that project.

I am managing to get a good sleep about every other night. Last night was not one of the good nights. I got to bed about 11:00, woke up at 12:30 and didn't get back to sleep until after 5:00 a.m. There weren't any heavy contractions or unnecessary baby movements (child has been behaving wonderfully), but I had terrible heartburn most of the night. I keep a bottle of antacids on my bedside table and I usually take a dose once or twice at night. This morning it occurred to me that I really have no idea how many I took last night! I've never worried about on antacids before, but I'll need to watch that more closely.

Tomorrow The Man has to work all day so I'll be taking the kids to M's piano lesson in the morning, then a trip to the big city for a Costco and grocery run, then back to M's violin lesson, and then home. The Man informed me over the weekend that M's violin lesson was switched from 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. this week. That wasn't going to work because I had an OB appointment scheduled at 3:45. I called Monday to reschedule my OB appointment for Thursday. A few hours later M's violin teacher called to say that we could do the violin lesson at the regular time. Eh. I had already started my Costco list, and since we wouldn't otherwise have time to make the trip, we're keeping the 3:30 lesson time. This (hopefully) will be the last chance I have to do a trip to Costco and the grocery store with cheap prices (but we have to bag everything ourselves) before the baby is born.

So, don't be concerned if you don't hear from me tomorrow since we'll be gone all day. Don't expect to hear from me Thursday either. Friday will be busy also since The Man is planning on working all day (his assistant's wife may be induced that day--they didn't coordinate their wives' due dates very well!). The weekend isn't looking too good for an update...

I will try to let y'all know if and when ;) the baby does arrive, but no news means no news!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Wait patiently...Psalm 37:7

Still waiting! We all are getting anxious to meet the new little one. Even The Man has started nesting.

Last week The Man assembled the little bed for the baby. I found this neat bed online, but I didn't think this particular design would work with our bed (not to mention that I found the cost exorbitant for the few months it would be in use). I sent the link to my dad with all the changes that I wanted made. Last summer he designed and cut out all the pieces and sent it back with us when we visited. For the past 4 months,the pieces have been patiently waiting in the corner of the bedroom. Now it is assembled and installed on my side of the bed, just waiting for the baby! I would like to prime and paint it first, but The Man thinks it looks great as it is. I may get it done, but it is not a priority right now.

This morning The Man attached the supports that fit snugly under our bed frame to keep the baby bed from tipping or moving away from our bed. He also attached a top to some drawers in our we have an official changing table!

Yesterday The Man cleaned out the chimney so we are using our wood stove for heat now. He also installed the new sliding glass door that we purchased. I really wanted it done so that I wouldn't have to be the one to open the door for the kids when they bring in wood. Yesterday was the first perfect day that we've* had for the job. The frosts that we've had have killed off most of the bugs and and it wasn't too chilly during the day to have an 8-foot opening in our living room. He still has a bit of trim work to finish up, but I'm really liking the new door!

Last night a church member brought a few bushels of apples for us. The Man and children are excited about making some apple sauce this afternoon. I better go start washing some jars!

*I did give my opinion a few times, and even helped steady the door during installation, but I left the hard work to The Man and boys.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Such water...shall be unclean...Leviticus 11:34

Don't assume anything, especially when you hear water splashing in the bathroom. After a minute I finally went in to tell whichever child was in there to quit playing in the water. HA! No child was there, but water was running over the edge of the toilet bowl and there was 3 inches of water behind the toilet on the "low side" of the bathroom. It is times like this that I'm thankful the floors in our old house slope a bit!

I immediately shut off the water to the toilet and yelled for someone to bring me towels and the mop. I would have gotten them myself, but my socks were wet from getting over near the toilet to shut off the water. M brought me two towels. NO! TOWELS! LOTS OF THEM!!! You would think they would learn that when I yell for towels AND a mop, that mama needs more than two measly towels.

I got all the water sopped and mopped up off the floor. That bathroom is officially out of order until The Man gets up from his nap (tonight he is working his last shift in the ER until after the baby is born). I cleaned up the mess so I'll let him make sure it won't happen again.

This is not exactly my idea of nesting, but at least that bathroom floor will be nice and clean!

A deep sleep...Genesis 15:12

I'm very pleased to report that I went to bed at 8:30 p.m. last night. Despite the contractions I was feeling in my back, I didn't have too much trouble drifting off to sleep. Sometime during the night I woke up and turned over to my other side. Just before 8:00 a.m. The Man came back into the bedroom to get ready for work. That was when I woke up for the day. Ahhhh. I'm so glad that this baby is taking the concerns I expressed yesterday seriously. He or she is now happily wiggling about. I think the rest was good for the baby also.

My OB appointment yesterday (actually, it was with the FNP) went well. Blood pressure, weight, movement, size, and position were proclaimed perfect. 2 cm., just a lip of the cervix left, and baby's head at +2 for those that actually follow such statistics. Basically, that just means that things are progressing as they should be.

I've got to go do some more school with the kids. Then we may even go clean the bathrooms I didn't get to do this morning.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Rise up early...Exodus 8:20

These pictures were still hanging out on our computer, so I'll put them here. The Man took the children to the balloon fair a few weeks ago. I stayed home and rested went to the gym, fed the horse, fed the chickens, fed the dog, and cleaned the house.



Date: October 8, 2008
To: Baby
From: Mother
Subject: Sleeping Arrangements

It has come to my attention that there are lots of other things you would rather do than sleep. At this point in your life, your non-sleeping activities have mainly consisted of rolling, kicking, and punching. That is fine. Actually, it is exactly what is expected of you, and you may continue for the duration of your time within the womb.

However, repeated abuse of these other activities at times in which your mother is supposed to be sleeping (as in the few weeks before you make your out-of-the-womb debut) is not appreciated and will be met with dire consequences. When these activities are alternated with whatever it is you do to make the uterus contract, it makes for a long and sleepless night for me, your mother. 11:00 p.m.-1:00 a.m. is not a sufficient night's sleep for me. No longer will I lie in bed quietly until 3:00 a.m. waiting for you to settle down. I will get up earlier to call your bluff (some people refer to it as "nesting"). Yes, the kitchen floor DID need to be mopped. I'm so sorry if it disturbed YOUR sleep.

Tomorrow morning we can clean the bathrooms if you so desire. I'm sure the rest of the family would enjoy fresh homemade biscuits every morning (they gave me heartburn). Last, but not least, we could be at the gym when they open tomorrow morning also. That leisurely mile on the treadmill certainly kept you kicking and the uterus contracting. Oh, that "whump, whump" you felt was my legs hitting my abdomen while cycling. Either settle down, come on out, or learn to deal with it.

I love you.


I did get a few minutes of dozing done between contractions after The Man and boys left for M's music lessons. Sacagawea and I will head up to the city after lunch to do a bit of shopping and go to my OB appointment.

Here are a few pictures from the baby shower at the church last Saturday night. We now have pretty much all that we need except newborn-sized diapers. We'll remedy that today.
Our baby and the almost 1 year old that just moved in with his grandma were the recipients of the gifts.

M took all of these pictures. Almost all of the family pictures were "headless." Maybe I should explain to him that I can crop them on the computer for the blog.A knitted blanket and little blue cap.
A pink and white crocheted blanket...with an assurance that a blue and white blanket is all ready for a trade in case Sacagawea doesn't get her wish of a baby sister.

Many, many other gifts plus a nursery monitor as a group gift from the church...
I think it is time for another nap.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

The money...2 Chronicles 34:17

I'm doing much better today. I ended up sleeping on the couch again last night because it was just so much more comfortable. I am going to try the bed tonight. The Man is working overnight in the ER so I won't have to worry about keeping him awake with my tossing and turning...I'll let his patients do that!

I spent most of the afternoon updating Quicken with all of our credit card transactions since...well...basically since I got pregnant. The Man took over paying the bills around that time. I continued to reconcile the bank statements (not promptly, but I did do it), but the credit card statement was just looked over to make sure all the charges were legitimate, the bill was paid, and the statement was filed. Since we do like to keep up on how much we actually spend on certain things, and since I anticipate being quite a bit busier between now and the end of the year, I finally got around to catching up on that chore today. I could only do one month at a time since it hurt my back to sit in the chair at the computer desk (that made me realize why I spend most of my computer time with the laptop on the couch), but they are all caught up now.

We started using Quicken years and years ago (remember back before Windows?). We were forced to upgrade in January of 2000 due to a Y2K date problem. That has served us sufficiently the past 8 years, but it is so old that we can't link with our online bank accounts, credit card, TurboTax, etc. We are now considering upgrading to the newest Home & Business version.

What do you use for financial budgeting & tracking? Just your bank? Quicken? Some other program? Mattress & envelopes (which I'm beginning to think is the safest way to go)? Please tell me about what you use and why it works for you.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Could not sleep...Esther 6:1

I went to bed at about 9:00 last night. I slept well until about 11:30 when I woke up with an intermittent backache. I stayed in bed for a half hour, then I got up and took a hot shower. That seemed to help some, but I still couldn't get to sleep. After tossing and turning for over an hour, I moved to the couch. I've been here for over an hour. I'm a bit more comfortable, but I don't think sleep will come anytime soon, so I thought I might as well update the blog!

The baby seems to be fine. He or she (I'm trying to quit referring to the baby as "It") is still very active. Sometimes the head is down, sometimes up, sometimes the baby is sideways. Hopefully a favorable position will be settled on soon. We have less than a month to go as long as this baby is as prompt as the siblings were! We are still working on names.

On Tuesday there was a surprise party for The Man's assistant. He became a US citizen last week! We had a lot of fun and about 100 people from the valley showed up to congratulate him. It was quite a feat to have a surprise party when nearly the whole town knew about it!

The Man has changed his work schedule so he is off on Wednesdays when we drive up north for M's music lessons. M has his piano lessons in the morning, then we go to the library, eat lunch, and M's violin lesson is in the early afternoon. Once or twice I've ventured on up to the big city to do some shopping either before or after the lessons, but I've decided that it makes for too hectic of a day while I'm pregnant. Now that The Man is going with us (or I can stay at home), I can fit a nap in the schedule. It is a lot easier to nap when I'm not the one driving ;) !

Last week was the first time The Man was able to go to the library up there with us. We were able to get a card because of the reciprocal arrangement they have with neighboring counties. That is pretty cool considering it is in the next state! The library is a lot bigger than our local county library, and I'm excited that they actually have most of the books that I search for.

The kids get quite a bit of their schooling done on the drive up the lessons (one hour from our house to the piano studio) and I'm able to help the younger kids with most of the rest of it during M's 1-hour piano lesson. Anything they don't complete is worked on instead of playing in the park after lunch. That's been incentive enough for them to complete all of their work promptly! They look at their library books during M's violin lesson.

Yesterday was busy with a lot of cooking and cleaning. I tried doing mostly supervising, but sometimes if I want something done a certain way, I just have to do it myself. I think the vacuuming I did is why my back is bothering me this morning.

I'm going to try to go back to bed now. It is only 2 1/2 hours until I'm supposed to get up!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

All pleasant pictures...Isaiah 2:16

Update at bottom!

Two weeks since my last post? No wonder folks are calling to see if I'm ok. We're just fine. Busy. Tired. Fine.

We did our school pictures last Tuesday. We made it to the top of the hill behind the house, down in the dry creek bed, and several places in between. I took just under 300 pictures. About 50 of my favorites (nice, silly, and a few Sacagawea may be embarrassed about in a few years) have been uploaded online (quite a feat, since it took nearly all day on Friday with our dial-up). Click on the link above on the right to send me an email if you would like to see them.

UPDATE: It seems the email with the link is ending up in some junk email folders. Try this: EXCEPT, take "smith" out of that url and enter our real last name!

Friday, September 05, 2008

Pain...Psalm 48:6

OK, so it is no longer a boring pregnancy! I spent 3 hours in the hospital this morning getting poked, prodded, monitored, and scanned. By noon, baby and I were proclaimed "probably just fine."

Pain. If the pain had occurred at any time other than during pregnancy, or any place other than my abdomen, I would have just tried to ignore it for a few days. When asked to rate my pain on a scale of 1-10, I told the nurse that it wasn't quite the severity, but the unusualness given the fact that I'm pregnant and had no idea what was causing the pain. The Man insisted on getting a wheelchair to take me to the OB department in the hospital, but he allowed me to shuffle out on my own two feet.

My OB said she thinks the pain is caused by the fibroid she found lurking in my uterus during my first ultrasound. Up until now, it hasn't caused any problems. The ultrasound (No! I didn't ask and they didn't tell...we still don't know if it is a boy or a girl!) and blood work didn't indicate any problem with the baby, placenta, or my appendix, and The Man told them not to bother looking for my gall bladder that was removed over 5 years ago :) even though my doctor wanted them to look at that also.

So, there you have it! I'm still in pain, and I've developed an old lady walk as I shuffle around the house. As long as it doesn't get any worse, I'll just deal with it for the next seven weeks since everything else seems to be completely fine and normal.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Home...Genesis 43:16

He is home! They were able to get through customs, etc. in Dallas quickly (they all had just carry on baggage) so they were able to get on stand-by for an earlier flight to SFO. Since they were 2 hours ahead of schedule, I requested that the folks he was traveling with drop him off at my doctor's office up in the city. They arrived just after I finished my appointment (good visit, another 1/2 lb. weight gain, no lecture). I dawdled in the parking lot because I knew they would be arriving soon. The kids were all surprised!

The Man loaded up his stuff in the back of the pickup and drove us all home. Fortunately, I had prewarned him over the phone that the camper shell no longer had a door attached. It had been slightly damaged long ago when it was off the pickup and a wind storm was unkind to it. It was still functional, but while The Man was gone, I noticed the door was slipping down slightly. Yesterday while going up over our local mountain pass on the way to the big city for M's violin lesson, I glanced in the rearview mirror and was surprised at how clear the view was. Yikes! The door was gone! I pulled off the road as soon as I could and went to investigate. The camper shell door frame was still attached to the shell, but only at the very bottom, and the frame was bent so the door was leaning over to the inside of the truck.

I lowered the tailgate and had M and J crawl up in the bed. With a bit of coaxing, they were able to completely remove the frame and door and lay in down in the truck bed. Whew! I don't know if it can be repaired, but I'm so glad it didn't fly out and damage someone else's vehicle (or worse)!

The Man took several pictures during his trip to Chile. I'll have to have him do a guest blog post so he can explain them all!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Return....Genesis 31:3

He's on his way home! We think! One of the sites says his plane never took off, but another says it took off on time. We're being optimistic! We tried calling him this afternoon via the Chilean contact's cell phone about 5 hours before his flight, but he had already been dropped off at the airport.

Busy, busy day scheduled for tomorrow. We're going up to the big city for M's violin lesson (his piano teacher is taking the week off). We'll run some errands while we're up there and we need to be back to our local city by 4:00 for my OB appointment. I think I'll be getting another lecture...not a good one! Back home for supper, then to church for the midweek service, and then home again to tuck the kids in bed. The Man might be home by that time. I hope so!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Take the box...2 Kings 9:3

I'm tired! No nap today. After breakfast we went to church and retrieved some items we forgot yesterday and then we went and got M. On the way home we stopped by the store to pick up a few items, including some ice cream. It was not all for me, I had ulterior motives. We then came home and ate leftovers from yesterday and some ice cream.

Once the kids were nice and happy I took them to The Garage...which has become a dumping ground for all things. I had them set up a lawn chair out in the sun for me (it was kind of chilly today) and I sat and directed. First, the children emptied the front of the garage of all things that have prevented me, in my current, enlarged state, from venturing to the back of the garage. I've actually been concerned about getting stuck between piles of boxes! Next, each and every plastic storage tote had evidence of spiders and rodents removed from it, was opened, and the contents were compared with the outside label. Those are all now stacked in a reasonable manner on one side of the garage.

We did find the boxes containing newborn-sized boy and girl clothes, so those are on the front porch waiting for me to wash them so they will be nice and fresh for the new baby. The other boxes of larger-sized clothing were stacked in "boy" and "girl" stacks so they'll be readily accessible when/if needed. I just recalled that I do have some boxes of girl clothes in my closet and Sacagawea's closet, so we'll deal with those tomorrow.

After I swept the garage and M re-stacked all the boxes, the younger kids proclaimed the garage completely clean (ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha....). Too bad I don't have the camera, or I could show you some before/after pictures. I guess you'll just have to take their word for it!

Next, M and I put the canoe back in the garage (I'm still perplexed as to why/how it ended up in the garage in the first place rather than back in the barn, but in case there is a really good reason, back in the garage it went) and he neatly stacked all the paint cans, etc. that were in the driveway back in the garage. The driveway in now clear of all items that were taken out of the garage, I was able to shut the garage door, AND I can get out the door from the utility room to the garage. In addition to getting into the garage, I can walk comfortably around the canoe, and safely walk to the back of the garage to the freezer.

We do have a few boxes of items on the front porch that I think can go in the dumpster, but I'll let The Man make the decision on those when he returns. Is there really any reason to keep the old motherboard from the computer we upgraded over 8 years ago? I don't think so, especially since we bought a new computer 6 years ago. Is there any reason to keep operating system and software disks from that old computer, other than nostalgia?

We got an email from The Man this morning letting us know that it is ok to call him, but he can't call us. So, we all got to talk to him again tonight. And, since he is able to check the blog, I'll ask him...

What was the canoe doing in the garage?

Saturday, August 30, 2008

The weasel...Leviticus 11:29

Several weeks ago as we were coming home, we noticed two animals frolicking in the driveway. The Man identified them as weasels. Most of us had never seen weasels in real life before, so that was exciting. We think that our pair are long-tailed weasels.

A few weeks later when M's nightly egg collection dropped off to nearly nothing, we suspected the weasels. After some encouragement, he started making frequent trips to the hen house during the day. Sure enough, the first day of frequent trips produced 11 eggs.

Since M has more important things to do than make hourly trips to the hen house, the other children are often sent and come back with tales of weasels in the nesting boxes eating the eggs. Our field guide states that weasels are beneficial animals. If they really are as great at taking care of rodents as the experts say, we would love to have them on our property. We certainly don't mind sacrificing a few eggs now and then to help control the ground squirrel population.

M went home with some friends after church today, so S went to gather the eggs when we got home. We were all surprised when he came back with seven since we had been gone for nearly five hours (potluck today at church). After my nap :) I sent J out to check for some more eggs. He came back with the report of the hen/weasel fight in the hen house and a punctured egg in the nesting box. Both creatures were ruffled, but the weasel ran off when J entered the hen house.

Now what do we do? We do have a small live trap that we could set under the hen house tonight baited with eggs...but then what? So far, they haven't actually harmed any of chickens. Of course, it is a holiday weekend, so I can't get any advice from fish & game until Tuesday. By that time, I might as well wait for The Man to return on Wednesday.

I'm pretty sure that our hen house, which is up on blocks with a wood floor, is weasel-proof at night when the doors are closed. Those hens have shown that they can be mean when they need to be during the day. I guess we will try to wait it out unless the weasels prove they are after more than just our eggs!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Return unto his own family...Leviticus 25:41

The Man is gone. He left about 4:30 yesterday afternoon to drive to the airport with a couple from our church. They spent the night in the airport city and this afternoon they started on their journey. Right now they are probably* somewhere over the Pacific Ocean on their way to Chile. They are doing a "site visit" to get ready for the church mission project next February. The other man promised he would make sure The Man got back safely. He better.

After they left, the kids and I left the empty house and went to the local farmers' market. Yum! We have such a short growing season at our elevation so it is nice to at least see some of the potential of our area. We left with some melons, tomatoes, cucumbers, currants, and corn. From there, we went to the church and worked on organizing some of the materials left over from the fair booth. Soon it was time for the mid-week service. We received a lot of squash and some lemon cucumbers from one of our members.

Sacagawea & S usually color left-over children's bulletins or draw during the mid-week service. Last night Sacagawea traced her hand and wrote, "I love Mom and the Man" in it. I didn't realize she paid that much attention to this blog!

You may just be seeing more posts from me this week while The Man is gone. He took the camera with him, so I won't have the pressure of trying to upload pictures via our dial-up! I still have a lot of catch-up posts brewing, so I'll try to get them posted this week!

*I just tried tracking the flight on, but because it is an international flight, they can't track it. If anyone knows of an international friendly site, please let me know before next week!
Update: I should have G**gled a few minutes ago. I found the flight map on He IS currently over the Pacific traveling at a ground speed of 534 mph. The kids were happy to see that the flight status is "In Flight." Only another 6 1/2 hours to go!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

In the eighth month...Zechariah 1:1

A few have been asking, so here is a pregnancy update...still nice and boring! I went in for my 30 1/2 week appointment on Wednesday. I have 9 weeks and 2 days (give or take) until we get to meet the little one. The other 4 arrived on their due dates or a few days early, so I don't know what I'll do if this one decides to hold out on us.

I did get a lecture from my OB last month for my excessive weight gain. I got another lecture on Wednesday from the FNP because I'd gained too little. The last time I saw multiple providers with a pregnancy was with M, and I got the conflicting lectures then also. Oh, well! Overall, my weight gain stands at a healthy 19 1/2 lbs. The baby seems to be measuring just fine also.

The FNP told me that last month the baby was breech (the OB never said anything to me, but she noted it on my chart). On Wednesday the FNP said it seemed transverse. I think this child is preparing for the Olympics, because it certainly likes moving around quite a bit, especially at night as I'm trying to get comfortable in bed. The Man laughs at the "Pregnancy Palace" that I build with all the pillows in the bed trying to support anything that needs supporting. By 36 weeks, we hope he or she settles down into the proper position.

S and Sacagawea love sitting up next to me so they can feel the baby kick them. Funny...they often get upset if any of the other siblings even touch them. We shall see how they feel about a younger sibling kicking them in a few years.

We're still discussing baby names. As a rule, I refuse to tell anyone what names we are considering until after the birth. It makes it a bit harder for people to say how much they hate the name if there is a cute baby gazing up at them! I will say that The Man and I haven't found any that we both agree on yet. The Man said his biggest fear is that we won't get a tax break for this baby, because we won't have a SS#, because we won't have a birth certificate, because we can't agree on a name! I think he was kidding.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Teach them diligently...Deuteronomy 6:7

This post contains photos that may not
be suitable for squeamish visitors.
Viewer discretion is advised.

Last week we "officially" started our school year. The kids have all been doing some school since the new books started arriving in the mail. M couldn't wait to get started on his Spanish, J was eager (yes, eager!) to do his new math program, and Sacagawea begged to start reading. S was the only one who wasn't keen on starting school...until I told him that if Sacagawea kept up at the pace she was going, she would pass him up by the end of the year. That got him started!

Our school day started promptly at 8:30 as The Man was leaving for work. He gave a health & safety lecture/demonstration as he removed the
stitches from S's leg. One of them out... Then the next one... Then the third... All done... There! I certainly hope S learned that lesson!

The Man gave M his assignments and then went to the office. I decided we (the three younger children and I) were going to ease into the school year by just doing science on Monday. I really like the Apologia Zoology book we are using this year. After I read the first part of the chapter, J and S got started on an experiment related to why birds are able to fly. It involved experimenting with water and air currents.
Once they got the table (and each other) nice and wet, I had them dry off the table (and the floor) and take their water outside where they could experiment to their hearts' content. Then, Sacagawea and I sat down at the table and got started on her bird lapbook. It was loads of fun, involving lots of paper, glue, and staples.

Just before 1:00, I called a certain child to clear the table for lunch. I heard a scream. Apparently the child decided to play with an item instead of putting it away.

"Take me to Daddy's clinic, NOW!" the child wailed.

I tried to hold in my giggles at the predicament in which the child had placed himself. It was NOT funny. The child was in pain. "There's no reason to go to the clinic, Daddy is on his way home for lunch." I did attempt to call The Man on his cell phone, but he didn't have it on yet, so I called the office. He had just left, but I was transferred to The Man's assistant. I explained the predicament, and after he asked a few questions about the situation, I was given permission to deal with it on my own.

I went back inside (I had gone outside to place the call since the child was crying too loudly) and explained that The Man was on his way home, but I could take care of it...right after I took a picture (to show The Man, of course).


Yes, the staple went in all the way. After I took the picture and retrieved the pliers, the child refused to let me touch it, but preferred to wait for The Man. Fine. I did give him some OTC pain reliever, not that I thought it would do any good, but I wanted him to think I was trying to help.

We went into the living room and I read him a book to calm him down while everyone else started eating. He was afraid he was going to lose the finger until I told him that people go to the ER all the time to have The Man put staples INTO them. He was going to be just fine.

I tried calling The Man again, and was able to get through. I told him not to stop anywhere, including the post office, on the way home, but just come home. He arrived a few minutes later. The child still did not want it removed. He insisted on a shot of Lidocaine until The Man explained that the type he had would hurt worse than the removal. After about 10 minutes, he finally consented to The Man pulling it out of his finger. Less than a second later, it was out and the child was on the mend.

Whew! We made it through the first day of school...barely! Fortunately the rest of the week involved more academics and less drama and trauma.

Over in the sidebar to the right I have included some of the books the children are using this year. Those are not complete lists (I haven't included the Bible/character resources...we use so many and they vary from day to day), nor do we do every item every single day. They may or may not be the exact edition we are using, and they may or may not be linked to the exact place we bought them from, but I tried to include links to all of our favorite homeschool suppliers. Please let me know if you find any broken/wrong links. I put those lists together rather quickly.

Some of the items are things we have used in the past, such as the Story of the World history series. I really like the activity books and CDs. I can do one or two other things while they are listening to the chapter being read to them, then they can go outside to work on the activity. This week they gathered sticks to build nomadic shelters. "We're HAPPY! We're No-mad!" they declared to The Man when he arrived home for lunch on Tuesday. They pulled him outside after lunch to inspect the structures.

Other items, such as Rod and Staff English, are new for our homeschool. The reading program that M used through his elementary years had quite a bit of English built into it, but the reading program the other two boys are using isn't quite as extensive. Since J has never done "English" before, I started him with S at level 3. J is breezing through it, and I'll probably have him skip the next book or two if he continues doing well.

M thrived with Saxon math up through Algebra last year. J was doing ok with Saxon, but when I saw the Teaching Textbook program, I thought it might suit him better. I was right. I'm glad we made the switch. Math is far less stressful for both of us. I'll probably use Saxon to supplement some of the lessons, but the computer/audio format works for J.

S's favorite subject is definitely Art! He is loving that this year.
I'm loving the art because it is a perfect activity for the children to quietly work on while I take my afternoon nap! S is hovering between 2nd & 3rd grade level work, depending on the subject.

Sacagawea's list seems pretty intensive for a first grader, but she loves doing school. She can get through the entire list of subjects in less than an hour. She plays while I get the boys started, then we work together in between the boys needing help.

The Man and M designed M's freshman year courses. I told The Man that he had to put time limits on how long M could spend on each subject...he was spending so much time in his room studying that J was complaining that he didn't get to see him anymore! He's only been working on 3-4 subjects a day. So far, he seems to be enjoying it all. He's anxious to learn Spanish well before the mission trip to Chile next February!

M did tell me that he needed a graphing calculator for his Algebra (he's finishing up the last few chapters from Algebra I before he starts on the Algebra & Trigonometry). I pulled out mine that I used in high school and college. After we get new batteries for it, it should be suitable at least for this year. I told him that it a piece of history!

*The child later gave complete permission to blog about the incident IF I would finally post the child's birthday post first.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Birthday...Genesis 40:20

I love you, J. A lot. The fact that later this week you will be 11 years and 2 months old, and I am just getting around to doing your

Happy Birthday!

post just means that we had sooooo much fun for your birthday this year that I've been procrastinating loading all those pictures!

Your birthday celebration started off a few weeks early when we were in Indiana. Grandma and Grandpa got you cupcakes, ice cream, and your very own digital still/video camera. Unfortunately, I was in my inertia mode and I don't have any photos of that celebration on my camera. Grandma?

On your actual birthday, June 22, we celebrated with a family picnic with some ice cream cone cupcakes. Notice it looks like "11." Yep, that was planned!
We weren't at home, and I forgot to pack the matches. Fortunately Daddy had his magnesium/flint fire starting tool handy and lit up a napkin to light the candles.
Unfortunately, the napkin was a bit hard to "blow out."

You got a new Lego set from your siblings and instructions on how to build a air car/hovercraft from Mom & Dad.

That next week you and Daddy collected all the miscellaneous supplies and worked on putting it all together.
Daddy was skeptical that it would actually lift a 200 lb. person with just one old vacuum cleaner motor.
He was right, although it did work (a little) with the 2 1/2 year old guest at your birthday party. We're on the lookout for a heavier-duty motor to replace the current one.

I had fun making a skirt for you for your birthday! OK, so it was a skirt to go around the edge of the hovercraft to keep the air where it is supposed to be, but I had fun telling everyone that I was making a skirt for you! I couldn't find any nylon thread in our local stores that the directions called for. Fortunately I found some in the stash from the sewing cabinet passed down from your great-grandmother.

We put off your birthday party until the Sunday after your birthday. You requested tomato sandwiches! We had the same lemon cake that M had for his graduation, but instead of icing, we just put the raspberry jam on top. You made the ship with smoke stacks resembling "11." Of course, there was homemade strawberry ice cream also.

You got lots of fun noisemakers (it's kind of fun to have a birthday near the 4th of July), squirt guns, and water balloons.
A good time was had by all the little and big kids. No pictures, I had to keep my camera dry! Thank you for being so patient waiting for me to finally do a blog post about your birthday!