Wednesday, March 27, 2013


Well, I'm still pregnant. I should expect to be, considering I'm only 38 weeks. I've been so antsy about just having the baby already. I'm uncomfortable, irritable, and ready to be able to roll over in bed without it hurting. After talking without my midwife yesterday, and taking some real quality time snuggling my kids one on one, I realized how much potential there is there. Here I've been whining and boohing about how done I am and how I can't wait to meet this little one and all that, that I have not really celebrated the last few weeks/days/moments I have with just me and my 4 children. There is about to be a shifting of balance in our family. How quickly I forget how important it is to really feed into the needs of each of my children, when I'm so busy thinking of my own wants. It was so nice to just snuggle each of the ones who wanted snuggles and to let them know, mama still loves them. I hadn't realized how much our quality time was suffering, with my birth preparations and self centeredness.

With a new baby on the way and sports season picking up, it's even more vital that I make sure that we have genuine quality time together. Not just being in the same place at the same time, or doing school work together, or any of that. Time having fun, smiling, and laughing together is what my kids seem so hungry for. You'd think that would be easy, but we busy ourselves so much that there are nights I lie in bed thinking about how little I truly interacted with my kids.

On a more positive note, last night I celebrated the Passover for the first time since I was around 10. I know these festivals are not required and some would even say it is wrong to celebrate them. (I have been told this) It was a Messianic sedar. I found the "ceremony" to be interesting and am glad I participated. There are so many things in the old testament that when we look at Jesus we see them fulfilled. I want my kids to understand that.

I'd write more, but my boys are now awake and asking for some attention. I'm going to take advantage of that.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Boogers and Bands

My husband seems to have brought home a cold or something. My boys and I are sneezy, snotty, and stuffy. Hopefully it will pass quickly.

Last night my girls went to their first concert. The youth group at our church was going to Winter Jam and allowed my daughters to join them. My oldest loved seeing Toby Mac, her favorite singer. Blessing #2 said she thought Red's pyrotechnics were cool, but she wasn't a fan of their music. Too much screaming. They both agreed it was lots of fun and were glad they got to go.

Then it happened. The fun turned to fighting as each told me how the other one was mean to them. They fight every day. Blessing #1 tells me Blessing #2 hits her and makes faces at her. Blessing #2 says Blessing #1 says mean stuff to and about her and hits her sometimes too. Then Blessing #1 started crying because she doesn't understand why Blessing #2 is so mean to her. Then Blessing #2 rolled over in bed pouting because she doesn't understand why Blessing #1 is so mean to her. And there I stood not knowing what to do. Between hormones, hurt feelings, and all that, what do I say? I've tried to talk to them about it before and tried to help them with it.  I don't know how much each of them says is true since they both have lied to me. It is stressful and frustrating.

On top of that, my husband is considering putting Blessing #1 in public school next year and my heart says no. But what if my heart is wrong. Academically she just might do better in that setting since she spends most of our time fighting with me over her schoolwork. Namely, math. But I invest so much time to working with her that I don't seem to have much time for the rest. It's emotionally draining to work with her resistance as well.

I went to bed praying for God's guidance and for His will to be done. That He would bring  my husband and I into agreement on what to do for each of our children as individuals. That we would be in alignment with Him.

There is also the baby. I'm now 37 1/2 weeks along. Baby has started dropping, but wasn't quite engaged on Tuesday when I saw my midwife. However, they can come any time. I'm so excited to meet this new person and to hold them, snuggle, them all that lovely stuff. But do I have what it takes. Will I be the mom this baby needs, when I feel like I've failed at being the mom my other children need? I know anything is possible with God. I just keep trying to lean on and trust in Him and what He can do.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Another Great Weekend

It has been another great weekend for us. Saturday, Blessing #3 got to go on a daddy/ son date and shop for t-ball stuff. Then I went to a baby shower held for me and a friend at church. I had just enough time to drop off the gifts I'd received, at home, before heading off for a little outing with couple of my other friends at a local cafe`. During that pit stop at home, I found my husband working away in the bathroom that I want to birth in, getting it ready to be painted. He spent the whole evening working on this, as the kids played.

Yesterday, though we woke up late, the kids and I managed to make it to music practice at church, on time. Usually we only sing for the morning service, but yesterday we sang for both. Both services had messages that gave me something to really "chew on". In between services, I had planned to clean like usual, but I was so tired. I considered a nap, but resisted. Instead, I ended up playing a game of phase 10 with Blessing #2. I didn't hold back and blew her out of the water. She kept up with me, pretty closely on phases. It was her points that really lost her the game. I could go easy on her, but she can always tell when I do, and doesn't want to win that way. Though, there was much to be done around the house, I'm blessed to have taken the time to spend with her instead. While we were at church in the evening, my husband was working away on the bathroom again, getting the trim painted. I can't wait to see when the bathroom is all finished! He is doing a great job and I'm so thankful that he is willing to do this. It all started with me, a picker, finding a piece of peeling wall paper and slowly ripping all the wall paper in the bathroom down. He certainly puts up with a decent bit from my curious and creative mind.

This morning I got up at 7:30 and woke up my girls. I had made an agreement with them last night that if they would get up and get their school work all done we'd have a much better chance of convincing daddy to take us to the Henry Ford Museum. They've been wanting to go and check it out. Not enough, though, seeing as it is about an hour later and they still haven't gotten out of bed. I've managed to stick to my own plan for the morning, thankfully. Getting the downstairs all tidy. I will be 37 weeks tomorrow. Which means I could have as many as 4 weeks left, considering my last 2 stayed in for about 41 weeks each. Then again, this baby could come any time! I want my house to be manageable while I'm taking my baby moon. Normally, it's a disaster. Clutter everywhere! Usually just lots of small stuff scattered everywhere to look overwhelming when, really, once you get cleaning, it takes like 10-20 minutes to get it all put away.

Whether or not we will do anything outside of the house today, I'm not sure yet. It has started snowing and is kind of windy outside. We may choose to make it an at home family day.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Zoo Day

It was a zoo school day, today. Blessing #1 gave a report on moose families. While the older 3 blessings enjoyed their classes, my husband and I took Blessing #4 to see some of the animals. First it was the primate area. There is a new baby gibbon there and Blessing #4 loves to watch as it clings to its mama and the older ones all swing around. Then it was off to see the frogs and other amphibians. I pointed out each of the ones I could find and we listened to what they sounded like.

After picking up the older blessings, my husband took Blessing #1 to the aviary. Last time we went the other 3 blessings wanted to rush right through it, but Blessing #1 is interested in ornithology right now and wanted to take her time. The younger 3 blessings and I went and checked out the elephants and the penguins.

There they are watching the penguins. One of them was actually swimming around this time.

After we got home Blessing #2 challenged me to a game of phase 10. She's getting pretty good at it and almost beat me. 

Then we watched Father of the Bride 2 while working on our knitting. I still have to finish the baby blanket. I don't know why I always use such skinny needles. It always takes me FOREVER to make things with them.

It has been a pretty good day.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Beautiful Day

Though we aren't completely caught up on lessons, we certainly are pretty close. I was actually able to get my girls to sit down and be attentive, without moods and crankiness getting in the way.

After lunch, with the sun shining and the sky so blue, we headed out on some errands. I was able to get the rest of what I needed for my birth supplies. Too bad I didn't realize we were out of regular trash bags, though. At least we don't need a new one yet. The kids did hit a down slope while we were shopping, but by the time we got home we were back to an upswing. Instead of keeping them cooped up inside, I sent them all out to enjoy the sun and play, while I cleaned. Nesting is definitely kicked in. Now if only I can get more beautiful days like today where I can make the kids go outside so they aren't undoing all I'm doing!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Ready for Spring

With spring on it's way, our green thumbs are itching. We decided to pick up some fruit trees and seeds today, after a pit stop at a local bakery. I will say, trying to climb in and out of our truck is currently difficult and uncomfortable for me. Trying to put car seats in, myself, is pretty much impossible. Or at least it feels that way. Thankfully Blessing #2 enjoys helping with stuff like that.

Also thankful my kids played well together today, as I took a bath trying to settle some of my discomfort. Afterwards, they joined me up in my bed for snuggles and stories since I was still not feeling great. Blessing #2 decided to work on her palpating skills. She can't wait for this baby to arrive, but loves playing with my belly. She's getting better at feeling different parts.

I did manage to get us to church tonight, in spite of how I felt, Blessing #1's mood, and the incessant fighting of Blessing #1 and 2's. We were a little late, but didn't miss much. I'm thankful we made it and I was able to have a small break from the kids, the house, and all the stress both involve.

Back home chaos smacked me in the face. The playroom disaster didn't bug me. I actually welcomed it, because my kids actually played in there today. It was the garbage the dog had spread across the kitchen floor that got me. I over came my frustration, cleaned it up along with the dishes. The playroom is still in need of attention. Blessing #3 has said he will help clean it, so that he can vacuum. Currently he is playing treasure  hunt, with a map he made.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Monday Madness

Monday was an emotional day for me with highs and lows. I woke up with a plan of making a recipe I'd seen on pinterest. It was bread with somewhat cooked bacon and an egg inside a muffin pan. Bake for a little bit and ta-da something yummy looking! Sadly, we were low on bread so I threw that idea out the window and decided to see if my girls wanted to try their hands at helping make pop tarts. They did. I used the pastry pies/tarts recipe from my Betty Crocker cookbook, this time. It worked wonderfully. However, it took a long time to make our pop tarts for some reason. They ended up being a mid morning snack.

Blessing #2 was able and willing to get all her school work done as soon as we were done eating. Blessing #1 was doing great, until we hit a snag with her math. She was doing great at first, seeming to understand. She watched the video and seemed to understand even more, but then we took a break. When it was time to get back to it her mood and everything changed and I just don't know what to do about it. Suddenly she was complaining about being hungry and how she just didn't understand it and how I wasn't even trying to help her. She threw her papers to the floor and roamed the kitchen complaining about how we never have anything to eat. How I never feed her. This happens almost daily. It is very frustrating. I decided to let her have a break.

Most of the day I spent working on cleaning this that and the next thing around the house. Blessings #3 & 4 decided to help me with their playroom today, just so they could try vacuuming. They actually did a great job of it too and were good about taking turns.

After allowing her to take some time for herself, I tried again to help Blessing #1 with her math, but the battle began all over again. I had to walk away. Angry words don't help and I was overwhelmed with frustration so I went to my room where I cried and prayed. We never finished her math yesterday. I'm hoping today will be a better day.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Great Weekend

It has been a busy but wonderful weekend. It is the first weekend in a while where we have not been trying to catch up on school work, so we were able to actually relax and enjoy each other.

Friday, the kids and I went out shopping for their gifts for the baby. It was great watching them each, even my youngest, looking at everything trying to figure out what they felt would be special. That afternoon I allowed the girls to have a friend over for a sleep over.

Yesterday morning included a softball evaluation, running to the post office and library, and some bird watching. The girls played with friends all afternoon. I got to read my library book, "Quiet". The boys just played.

 Last night was our second Saturday Family Chopped Night. My husband vs. Blessing #2. The ingredient for dinner was rice. For dessert was tortillas. My husband made a garlicky rice with peas and mushrooms. A bit strong on the garlic. He topped it with a simple pan cooked chicken breast. Blessing #2 made white rice topped with soy sauce. It was a bit crunchy, though. I helped her make some bbq chicken as well. It was tender, juicy, and I liked it a lot. Due to plating, creativity, and the fact that Blessing #2's rice was crunchy, we decided that my husband won the dinner round. Dessert was a little harder. Both of them chose cinnamon chips. Although my husband also made whipped cream and actually toasted his chips, Blessing #2 won the dessert round. Her chips actually had the cinnamon sugar flavor to it. I had to admit I was a little disappointed that their wasn't a Mexican rice dish made and there wasn't more creativity with the tortillas, at least from my husband, but it was still a good time that got us cooking as a family and that's why I love doing it. Next week is supposed to be my brother in law vs. Blessing #1. Ingredients are supposed to be, dinner: ground beef and dessert: fruit of any kind. I hope with the advanced notice on ingredients they can come up with some really yummy stuff. We'll see!

Another great thing about last night, was that we all worked together to clean up. Sure there was more we could've done, but we went to bed with clean counters, tables, playroom, den, and fireplace room and I didn't have to do it all by myself, like I usually do. I hope we can make that more of a habit as well. To me, a family is like a team. We all need to work together to be able to have the time together that we want. When one person is left to do it all, there is no time for them to enjoy the gift of being with the others. 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Caught Up

Finally my girls are, pretty much, back on track with their lessons. I still need to help them get caught up with Science, which is not too bad and they have health and character to work on. I'm hoping that by the end of today, we will be all caught up. This will make "school" and life a lot more enjoyable for all of us. I've got the rest of this semester all written out in each of their planners so they know what they need to be doing each day and I've given them permission to get ahead where they want to.

All our library books are back at the library too, which is another weight off of my shoulders. I hate when we borrow books and then get so busy that the weeks fly by and it is time to return them. I would like to have a routine of going to the library weekly, but we just haven't gotten there yet. Sounds bad with us being homeschoolers.

Tomorrow, I'm hoping to catch up on my house cleaning and meal stuff. 5-6 more weeks and this little one should be here! Hopefully with everything caught up, we can all stay on task and still have plenty of fun. So much more free time when things are caught up, at least for us.

I plan to catch up Blessing #3 with preschool over the summer, so he is on target for starting Kindergarten this fall. I feel as though all this catch up the girls and I have been doing has really hindered what I've done with the boys. We're pretty relaxed, too, so it's not that we need a break!

It has been a wonderful day and I'm so pleased with them, though. Seeing the improvements in Blessing #1's handwriting since we started doing handwriting lessons at the beginning of the semester. And her use of proper capitalization has improved as well! Blessing #2 is starting to pay more attention to directions, realizing that she can fly right through the work a lot better when she does. Otherwise she makes mistakes and has to correct them. I don't always acknowledge these growths, but the truth is each little growth is important enough to let my kids know, I see them. The way their eyes lit up today when I told them some of the things I noticed and was pleased by, warmed my heart and reminded me of one of the reasons why we homeschool. Even though it is often a battle, a struggle, and I often think I should just give up. I'd have a cleaner house, my boys would have more attention, and I'd have more time to do my thing if I did. But then, there are reasons I've chosen to take this route and even though I don't always see the rewards of it, they are there. Growth is happening. And it is all well worth all that I "give up" to make this possible.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Family Chopped Night

Yesterday was not a good day for me and "mean mommy" showed up. I hate when "mean mommy" shows up and try my best to keep myself in check. However, I have a breaking point and when my girls aren't getting things done when I ask them to, or tell them to, and I'm working hard to get the house clean, and the boys are into everythingit makes it really difficult to just breath and let it go. I cracked. Cracking turned out to be a good thing though and made me wonder if maybe there are parts to "mean mommy" that need to show up more often. Most nights, my kids go to bed when I do. Last night, I actually got 'me' time, after I sent them all to bed at a normal bed time of 8:30. Maybe "mean mommy" isn't so bad after all. I didn't beat my children or anything like that, though I did yell at them and let them know how angry I was.

Today was a much better day. Some of the school work, that didn't get done yesterday, got done today. Blessing #2 helped me out in the barn with feeding the animals. Something my husband usually does, but we've recently changed the feeding schedule. It would've taken so much longer for me to do on my own and I wouldn't have been able to give them everything, since we ran out of hay in the middle of measuring it out! Thankfully she is one hard worker and loves helping in the barn. She climbed up to the loft, which I currently refuse to do (after all I'm almost 35 weeks pregnant!), and shoved a bale of hay over to the edge where she could shove it over into the trailer.
Here are some pictures, from the barn, from yesterday:

After the animals were fed and the kids and I had lunch, we got ready and headed out to the grocery store. I was totally reminded of why I hate shopping on the weekends. I don't mind people but I don't like crowds. Especially crowds that move carts around the store (taking up the aisles and walking straight at me!) as badly as they drive. Amazingly, we made it through the store in 2 hours without a major break down or misbehavior from any of the kids. The girls were super helpful. I think they love being in charge of grabbing things for me. Makes them feel more grown up. I certainly appreciate the help, as it makes the trip much shorter! We also hit up Costco for a couple of items. It was just as bad as the grocery store! But we survived and made it out in a rather short amount of time.

Finally we were headed home, except, I kept taking wrong turns. Apparently I was not paying enough attention or something. After going around in a circle we really were headed home. Where I discovered 1) I couldn't park next to the house to unload groceries and 2) neither of the 2 grown men in my house made themselves available to help me and Blessing #1 bring the groceries in! Let's just say I was none too happy about that. Then again, I didn't ask anyone to move a vehicle or to come help, so I got over it and put the groceries away, thanking God they all fit into the fridge.

Then it was time for Family Chopped Night! We like watching food network and one night my husband or I decided we should have our own version of chopped. We'd pick 1 ingredient and each of us would have to find a recipe and make a dish and the kids would judge it. The first time we did it, my husband and I cooked lamb for the first time. Tonight it was Blessing #1 vs me. The ingredient for dinner was spaghetti noodles. However, recently the girls and I decided we would also make a dessert and not have dessert the rest of the week to make this even more special. The ingredient for dessert was fudge.

Blessing #1 chose to make a low mein dish and fudge brownies. I made a simple pasta dish and a fudgey cake. I ended up winning the dinner round and may have one the dessert round, I didn't really hear clearly. We don't time the competition, thankfully, and my cake took much longer to make than expected. It looked horrible and I haven't tasted it yet, but I heard it was delicious.
Here are some photos of tonight's competition:

 Below is my pasta dish.
 Blessing #1's low mein.
 Blessing #1's brownies.
 Me and my "monstrous" cake! (My husband's words...) Oh and, though my glasses did break, I had my old pair and am using them. Although my prescription is slightly different now since I got that pair. I need to go have my other pair fixed and see if I can get my new prescription put into these frames. 

I'd go into more detail, but my body hurts from being up so much and not resting. Plus it is after 11pm at my house and I still have to get ready for bed. I have church in the morning and have worship practice before hand!