Wednesday, May 28, 2008

In the fifth month...II Kings 25:8

Today I'm at 18 weeks and 4 days of this pregnancy, but who's counting? I haven't really spent much time dwelling just on the pregnancy (here on the blog or in "real" life) because we've had so many other things going on. Sacagawea is extremely excited. Last night she came in our room, climbed up on the bed, and read a story to the baby. I told her that the baby could hear her talk now. She thinks it is absolutely hilarious.

I had my regularly scheduled appointment with my doctor today. My blood pressure was great, weight gain was fine, and my uterus is measuring right where it is supposed to. Boring is good? Yes, my doctor agrees, boring is good.

The only time I've felt the baby move is in the morning before I get out of bed and in the evening after I get in bed. I guess there are too many other things going on in between to pay much attention to it. The little one does have a heartbeat, although he/she kept moving around. My doctor finally gave up trying to chase it around with the doppler to get an exact number and just proclaimed him/her healthy and active.

I'm in the process of packing away all my non-maternity clothes. I won't be needing those again for a few several months.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

It shall be clean...Leviticus 14:33

The Man said yesterday must have been a slow news day if I had nothing better to blog about than toilet tissue. Hey, sometimes boring is good! I did get a chance to try out my new toy yesterday.We bought our very first new vacuum cleaner about a year after we were married. Not long after we bought it the zipper holding the bag split open and thereafter, every time we changed the filter bag, we had to duct tape the bag closed. Nice. But it worked just fine. When we moved to this house, the sellers left behind the barely used vacuum that we've used the past five years. It works ok, but I can't use it very well since it is so heavy. Once upon a time it was supposedly self-propelled, but that feature doesn't seem to work. Now that I'm at the point in my pregnancy when ligaments seem to be stretching every which way, pushing that vacuum around just isn't a fun option. Oh, and the little latch that is supposed to hold the vacuum upright when not in use has been broken for a few years.

Sunday while we were shopping at the warehouse store up in the big city I looked over the selection of vacuums. The deciding factor for me was that this one was the lightest. Since I got it cheaper than what Amazon is selling it for in the link above and there is no sales tax up in the big city, I was very satisfied with the purchase.

I put it together yesterday morning and vacuumed the living room. Ewwww. I showed The Man the dirt that had accumulated on our carpet since the vacuuming on Friday (32 extra people plus a shedding dog can really add the dirt). I emptied the dirt cup (so easy) and vacuumed the hallway and entryway. I again showed The Man the dirt. At that point he thought I was enjoying it all a bit too much.

Someone once told me that carpet should be vacuumed 1x/week per person or pet in the household. That means that our carpet should be vacuumed 7x/week. That's never happened, but I will be vacuuming more with this fun new machine.

Sometimes boring is good.

Monday, May 26, 2008

A great feast...Genesis 21:8

I spent last week recovering from the previous weekend, gutting the younger boys' room of all things that didn't belong in preparation for the seasonal clothing changeover, and getting ready for the end-of-year homeschool potluck/party which was supposed to be held at the local park last Friday. The clothing changeover is on hold since the weather turned very cool last week. And it rained. At 3:00 on Friday afternoon I finally called the other person that was helping with the homeschool party and we agreed that the weather didn't look promising for an outdoor party. I offered the use of our home.

This is where everyone that knows me can dissolve into a puddle of hysterical laughter.

I don't handle surprises or spur-of-the-moment events very well. "Are you sure you want to do that?" asked The Man. He knew better than to call me crazy, but it was not something I would normally do. I had already cleaned the bathrooms Friday morning, the living room and hallway had been vacuumed, Sacagawea vacuumed the bathroom and kitchen floors and J mopped. Sure! Invite dozens of people over! Why not?

The other lady that was helping asked if there was anything I needed. Well, yes, I had just put my last roll of toilet paper in the holder...She laughed and said she would be more than happy to accommodate my just-in-case very reasonable request. She also promised that everyone knew I was pregnant and no one would do a white-glove test on top of my door jams. Phew!

There were 26 children (counting our own) in attendance, ranging in ages from 6 months to 15 years old. Those children were representing 6 families, and with all 12 parents in attendance that brought the grand total of people to 38. The official kid-count by families: 9, 5, 5 (only 3 in attendance), 4+, 3, & 2.
Look! TWO white 15-passenger vans in our driveway, along with the blue 12-passenger and other vehicles. We were definitely having a party! Fortunately the weather was cooperative enough that most of the folks stayed outside on the porch and lawn. When everyone was gone, all I had to do was run a damp mop over the floor to wipe up the spilled lemonade. I didn't even have to haul all of my food around. That wasn't bad for a huge party, and I didn't have to stress about it all week!

Yesterday the younger three kids and I went up to big city and did the shopping. We did remember to buy more tissue. A few more rolls need to be taken out of that package then the remainder will fit nicely in the vanity of the 1/2 bath.
I walked in the bathroom this morning and saw the wrapped tissue on the holder. I laughed, grabbed the camera, and took some more pictures...
Does that wrapper look like someone tampered with it?
Hmmm...hanging against the wall...I just asked the three younger kids who are at home if anyone knew who hung up the roll of tissue in the 1/2 bath. The oldest of the three younger (who wishes to remain anonymous, but I won't let him) admitted to it. He said he put the roll on the holder, used it, then replaced the paper covering as a joke.

Do you put your tissue on the holder with it hanging down in front or against the wall? I hang it in front, but I'm not the type that will go to the trouble of changing it if I happen upon a roll that is hanging against the wall.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Give them something to eat...Matthew 14:16

Food has always been important to my family.

When M was 2, he started learning his Bible memory verses each week. Not just learning them to recite to his teacher at church, but actually using them to convey messages to Mom and Dad. Once when he wasn't doing something he was supposed to be doing I gently reminded him of one of his memory verses. "Children, obey your parents." (Ephesians 6:1) M immediately countered with another one of his verses: "God is in trouble!" (Psalm 46:1)

Like most 2 year olds, when he was hungry, he asked for food. One time I agreed with him that it was supper time, but first...he needed a diaper change. But he didn't want the diaper change, he wanted to eat right then. "Jesus replied, 'You give them something to eat.'" (Matthew 14:16) He still got the diaper change first, but we marveled at how well he was applying the Bible to life.

Last year I started putting together a new blog for my recipes, menus, and other food stuff I wished to save for posterity and to share. I even made my first post in January...but then something happened. The last few months I haven't wanted to dwell on thoughts of food. Now that I'm well into the second trimester and I'm starting to regain my appetite, I'm going to try to start posting some more over there. All recipes will be vegetarian, and most will be vegan.

Give them something to eat...


I can do all things...Philippians 4:13

Aim high, and hold my aim

Those who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it

"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Philippians 4:13

M is now officially in high school. We had his eighth-grade graduation ceremony and reception on Sunday afternoon. In some ways it is hard to imagine that it has only been eight years since he has officially been in school, in other ways, it is hard to imagine that it has already been eight years.

Grandparents, a DVD with video and pictures will be forthcoming. Here is the program.
Sorry about the scan, but The Man was the last one editing it, and I don't know where he saved the final copy. I have a suspicion that it didn't get saved.

Here is the cake...
This was my first attempt at making a vegan cake for an "occasion." It took many tries to find a recipe that everyone agreed was acceptable. It was a lemon cake with raspberry jam between the two layers. I won't tell you how late I stayed up Saturday night/Sunday morning decorating it, but it took a lot longer than the half hour I'd planned! As you can see, the icing on the front of the cake got munched during transport.

We had a table set up at the reception with M's pictures through the years and a variety of the books that he has used.
Here is something that I found last week. I have no idea when M did it, but since he writes of Duplo blocks instead of Legos, I think he was 4 or 5. He said I could include it as long as people knew he did it a long time ago and not last week.

I can play with my Duplo blocks

A bear can't play with my Duplo Blocks
A bear can roar

But a bird can't roar
A bird can sleep in a tree

But a fish can't sleep in a tree
A fish can sleep with their eyes open

Just because I can do all things doesn't mean I should. I am extremely grateful for all the help The Man gave in preparing for the service and the reception. Also, I had some wonderful help cleaning up after the reception. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I really mean it.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The pleasant furniture...Nahum 2:9

Last Friday after we left the Civil War, we made a quick trip to the store to pick up some stuff that I forgot the previous day. I did chuckle at an old pick-up truck in the parking lot that had "Redneck" and "I brake for furniture" bumper stickers on it. After we got home, M changed, and I drove him to his job. He could have ridden his bike, but it is so hot on Friday, and I knew we were running late.

I was so glad I drove him because as we pulled out of the parking lot onto the road I spied something across the road. I did a quick (and safe) u-turn and parked in front of the house. I opened the back doors of the van, lowered that back seat, and looked gleefully at my find...TWO DRESSERS! AND THEY WERE FREE! I've been looking for some dressers to accommodate my growing kids' growing clothes for months. Since every piece of furniture in our house (with the lone exception of the boys' bunk-beds) either came from a friend, relative, or some other 2nd-hand source, I haven't been able to justify paying retail for a dresser for the boys' room.

Before I had a chance to load them up in the van, a lady came out of the house and told me that one of the dressers had been part of her son's nursery. He's now 36. If it survived 36 years with only a few missing knobs and scratched paint, then it should have a few more years left in it! She left to go get someone to help load it. I told her I could do it. "Oh, no you don't," she said, wagging her finger at my bulging belly. She went back inside and returned with another lady to help load the furniture into the pregnant lady's van.

I wasn't sure how I was going to get them out of the van with both The Man and M being gone, but I shouldn't have worried. I still had two strapping boys at home with me. J & S pulled the drawers out and moved the furniture onto the back porch for me.

M will remove the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle stickers on the side and sand down the yellow one. We'll paint it for his room, but we're still contemplating the color. He has a similar one in his room already, but it only has three drawers and doesn't hold all his clothes. He thinks it is silly that the top drawer has four knobs and looks like four drawers when it is just one.

I'm not sure if we'll paint or refinish this one...

The top drawer needs to be reassembled. Either this one or M's old one will go in the other boys' room and the other will go in our room for baby. I think. We shall see.

Friday, May 16, 2008

War...Revelation 11:7

Last Thursday afternoon as we were on our way back from music lessons we pulled off the freeway and the kids noticed that something being pulled by the vehicle in front of us was pointed right at us. A cannon! A cannon? We quickly figured out that the Civil War reenactment was happening this past weekend and not next weekend like I thought. Hmmm.

The internet confirmed that it was indeed time for the Civil War, which meant that the School Day was last Friday. I had a lot of stuff planned for Friday morning, and I really didn't want to go, but we did.

A "Civil War surgeon" shows us his tools of the trade. There was a "blood" covered rubber foot in the bucket next to him. It must have been a recent amputation.
One of the "nurses" with her medicinal collection...

Some of the essential tools from the 1800s...She claimed this one was great for shooting squirrels!
Here's Sacagawea holding hands with one of B girls...
Learning about some of the latest fashions...
"Clara Barton" tells the children about her life...
This soldier from Texas presented J with a prize because he was the first one to correctly identify the president he was fighting under...Jefferson Davis. The prize? A genuine fake confederate $10 bill!
The cannon...

Sacagawea didn't care for the loud artillery, so while the boys watched the cannon demonstration, she and I strolled down the road to a Union camp. The officer offered her some of his peanuts. My hands were full with the water bottles and cameras so he had to show her how to open up the shells of the goober peas.

More work...Exodus 5:9

M has a job! The owner of the local physical therapy and fitness center called me up a few weeks ago and asked if M would work for him this summer mowing the grass. M agreed, so I took him down for the orientation.

No one was sure where we were to get a work permit. We ended up at the local school district office to get one. Even the folks at the school district weren't sure. They called the local high school and got them to fax one of theirs over for us to fill out. Just as it arrived one of the school district ladies showed up in the office. It turns out that SHE was the one that knew all about them.

Once we got all of that filled out, M's new employer gave him the tax withholding forms to fill out.
"What is this for?" M asked me that night.

"So they know how much taxes to withhold from your paycheck."

"Taxes? Why do they have to withhold taxes? How come I can't just keep all the money I earn?"

He probably will get to keep most or all of it since he will make so little, but someday he will understand just how much the government can take.

So far he has pulled and dug up a lot of weeds and wayward grass and mowed the lawn. It is just a few miles away, so he has ridden his bike home a few times. Once school is out for him and he has more time of his own, he can ride both ways.

S and J are counting the days until he gets his first paycheck. I'm still trying to figure out why they are so interested in that.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

They shall run...Isaiah 40:31

Last week the church school up in the city had a track & field day. They invited another local private school plus some homeschoolers to join in on the fun.

M taking off for the long jump...
J going over the pole for the high jump...
S in the midst of his long jump (he won the blue ribbon for his grade category)...
Since the day was geared for grades 1-9, Sacagawea spent most of the day on the playground...
(This was when I noticed my camera is having problems opening the lens on its own. I had to coax it completely open with my fingernail the rest of the day. Anyone know of a quick and easy fix?)

They did offer a 50-yard dash race for all the younger siblings...
Crossing the finish line...
A good time was had by all, although they were quite exhausted from all that running, jumping, and throwing.

Do you know what this is a picture of?
It is deer hair. Apparently the deer know how to run also...right in front of trucks.
The Man couldn't find any other evidence or damage of the deer other than a tuft of hair. He did stop and look for it along the side of the road, but it must have run off somewhere. Probably to some alfalfa field where it will succumb to its injuries. There it will rot. Then a dog will come along and roll in the carcass. Speaking of which, the Dog REALLY needs a bath today.

Remember our van dilemma a few weeks ago? New/different van: $$$$$ engine: $$$$ seal: $$$. Fortunately it only needed the new seal. We were able to get it back from the mechanic last Friday. Hooray! No white 15-passenger van in our near future.