My how time flies!

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Friday, October 31, 2008

Pumpkin Patch

I just realize I never got these posted. They are from our trip to one of the local pumpkin patches, two weeks ago. We went as part of a group of homeschoolers, but also ran into Kerry & Zachary, who were there with a bunch of people from MOPS.

Katie is turning into me as a kid, always asking either to get her picture taken...

...or to use my camera to take pictures herself.

Sammy of course wants his turn, too.

Sammy loved the slide. Katie was a bit too scared to go down it. Even the little one. I tried to go down it with her, but it was a little too hard on my big baby belly.
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There were baby goats to pet.

And lots of pumpkins everywhere. And photo opportunities everywhere, too.

The hay maze was their favorite part of the day.

The cracked corn box was their 2nd favorite.

The only thing we didn't do was ride the hayride. The line was long, and none of us were that patient.

At the end of the day, they each got to take a pumpkin home.

Pumpkin Carving

I carved my first pumpkin ever last night. And my second. It was a lot of fun. Sammy picked an easy pattern for his pumpkin. Katie's was not as easy, but still turned out OK for a first-timer.

The kids couldn't decide if they wanted their pumpkins painted or carved, so we did both!

Enjoy the pics!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Torn up

My MIL's awesome craft room is being disassembled this weekend. I don't envy my SILs the job. There is a lot of stuff in there. It makes me sad to think that it won't all be together anymore. It makes me sad that there's probably a lot of stuff in there I would have wanted, if I hadn't been too sad to really poke around all the drawers, shelves, and cubbies while I was there last week. It makes me sad that there are all kinds of paper crafting things I could have learned from my MIL if only I had lived closer or been able to visit more often...

Friday, October 24, 2008

testing mobile posts

Here's a girl who refused to go to sleep! Too may exciting new toys at Grampy's house!

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Katie has been dancing around singing "It's my birthday!" for the last two nights. This morning I looked at the calendar and realized she was half right. She is two and a half today! Happy birthday my sweet, spunky girl!

Heartfelt thanks

I want to say a great big "Thank You!!!" to all of you who prayed for my MIL and our family. Nancy passed away very early Wednesday morning 10/22, as we were driving from CO to TX to come see her. We were sorry to miss her, but glad she is no longer suffering. The last week or two were pretty painful for her.

We are here with the rest of the family. There will be a very short graveside (closed-casket) service for her tomorrow morning. Then, per her request, we will pig out on enchiladas and complain that they aren't nearly as good as the ones she used to make.

It is hard to walk into her craft room and not get teary and depressed. Or cook in her kitchen. Not that she got to cook much in this kitchen. But her pots and pig stuff and other decorations are everywhere reminding us of how much we miss her.

As of now Jeff is planning for us to head back to CO on Sunday so he can be back at work on Monday. That may change depending on how long his brother stays in town visiting before heading south.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Please pray

My mother-in-law is doing really bad. I mentioned before that she was off chemo and on hospice care. I guess she hasn't even gotten out of bed the last 2 days; doesn't even feel good enough to sit up in bed. It sounds like it won't be long. I cannot even begin to describe how sad I am. Or even think about it, really... 3+ years to prepare for this, 1+ of which we've been sure we needed to... And I just want to scream. And cry. And she's not even my mama... Anyway, please pray for her comfort and peace, and for her eternal soul to be with God where we all know she belongs. And for peace and strength for her husband and kids and grandkids and siblings (and in-laws).

There is a recent picture of her (and a bunch of the kids' cousins) from last weekend on Aunt Sharon's blog.

Too cute

I can hear my kids playing dentist and "cleaning" each other's teeth.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Stop tickling me!

Silly baby!

Rant: sick

'Tis the season and illness abounds here. Katie caught a cold and Sammy a stomach virus last Sunday or Monday. They traded on Wednesday, and each held onto the second illness longer. Katie's diapers are still, well... not something you'd ever want to read about. Let's just leave it at that. Sammy's cough is still lingering. We've missed 2 weeks of music class and preschool now.

I caught the stomach virus Saturday night. The Daddy on Monday. Thought I was better yesterday, ate some real food, then spent all afternoon gassy & bloated beyond description (how do you tell when your stomach is distended when you are 6+m pg???) and unable to bend over or move much. Woke up a ton last night in lots of pain. (Kept dreaming it was labor pains.) A hot bath helped, but only while I was in the water. All that finally resolved itself about 4 a.m. I feel better now but will be much more careful about what I eat today!

The Daddy started with the bathroom trips shortly after I stopped. And he still went to work today. I don't know how he can work if he feels as bad as I do. God bless him for having such an overwhelming desire to take care of us even when he feels terrible!

I wish I could just lie on the couch and rest but the mountains of dirty dishes and laundry and yesterday's yucky diapers and the fact that I can't find my floor or tabletops or countertops are all making me feel 1000x worse. Not that I could bend over or do anything about it yesterday. It is just so very discourgaing that EVERY TIME I get almost caught up on keeping things picked up, something happens and it is worse than the last time I started cleaning up. I am about ready to go hide in a hole indefinitely. And empty hole with no clutter and no mess.

Monday, October 13, 2008

LSMSA wonderings

Where was this back when I needed it? (Not that I still don't need it...)


Are the Hall twins really seniors this year?!?!?!?!?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Mosaic Meme

Borrowed from Mamaebeth

1. Type your answer to each question below, into Flickr Search
2. Using only the first page of results, pick one image.
3. Copy & paste each of the URLs for the images into Big Huge Lab’s Mosaic Maker to create a mosaic of the picture answers.

1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What school did you go to?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your latest celebrity crush?
6. What is your favorite drink?
7. What is your dream vacation destination?
8. What is your favorite dessert?
9. What do you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. What is one word that describes you now?
12. What is your Flickr/Blog name?

Photo credits:
Butterfly by Stacy Alexander, 2. Skillet Lasagna, 3. My school, 4. Forest Green, 5. Steve Burns, 6. macro water drop, 7. A Bit of Ireland, 8. French silk pie, 9. mom n baby, 10. For the love of God, 11. Tiger! Tiger! Burning Bright, 12. Where the cocoa is refined and made into chocolate

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Ho, Stop!

Every time we come to a stop sign, Katie says:

"S-T-O-P. Dat pehws 'Ho, top!' Hey, Mama, I tan WEAD!!!"

(I am guessing maybe the "Oh" at the beginning is because of the octagon?)

Sammy then gets very upset. "No, Tatie!!! It doesn't pell 'Oh, top.' It just pells "top!"

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Tax question for Frog diva

Can people who have medically documented dairy allergies deduct rice milk? Or the difference in price between rice milk and dairy milk? Is this considered a medical expense? How much documentation is required?

Happy Birthday Dear Roomie!!!!

Miss you! Hope you have a great one!!!


After 5 invitations in the last 18 months, I finally decided to join. Wow, the people I'd forgotten I knew!!!

Sick Day # 2 this week

I have been up since 3:30 when Katie randomly threw up. (Her runny nose and cough cleared up 36+ hours ago, so I don't think they're related.) I guess we should not go to preschool this week, either...

UPDATE 11:30 a.m. K seems fine, S's nose is obviously stuffy. Staying home was the right choice.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

One pot or two?

Today I am cooking for a family from the local homeschooling group who just gave birth to their 9th child. I intended to make them a lasagna, but lazy, tired, pregnant me decided a giant pot of spaghetti was a more attainable goal. I'm using my 12 qt. stockpot, which gets used about once every year or two. It's 2/3 full. That is a LOT of spaghetti!!!

Inquiring minds want to know... When you cook spaghetti, do you boil the spaghetti separately in water and then serve the marinara sauce over it? Or just cook the noodles in the marinara sauce? I was taught the first way, but my husband prefers it the second. It's also much easier/takes less time/attention. And there's one less pot to clean up. (Hey, every little bit helps!) So that's the way I'm doing it today.

Do you make your sauce from scratch, or get it from a jar or can? I prefer to make it from scratch, and did today, but I'm not above a jar if I'm pinched for time or feeling extra exhausted. We got a really good sauce with white zen in it from Costco that is my current favorite, when I'm not up to making it myself. But my tastes change a bit between pregnancy and non-pregnancy, so I may hate it in another 4 months.

Also, in case you ever wondered, I can *not* eat pasta without meat in the sauce. (It's a hormone-balancing thing, not just a personal preference.) I also prefer rice pasta over wheat. But today I'm doing wheat because it's a lot cheaper and this is a BIG pot!


(8:09 p.m.) Correction - he was their 10th child, not 9th. And his name is Samuel. And Katie wanted to stay there and watch Calliou with his big sister and his 1.5 year old nephew.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Another sick day

Katie has a runny nose, and obviously doesn't feel up to par. So we are skipping music classes this morning. I did manage to get a clean shirt on her, but she refuses to part with her comfy pajama pants. Hopefully it's just a cold and she will be feeling better in a day or two...

Sammy was a little sad to miss music class, but is now distracted with putting craft sticks (using a glue stick) on a sheet of construction paper.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Do you agree with Obama?

I am usually quite the news/politics ostrich, preferring to let my husband be my filter for such things (so as not to aggrivate my anxiety and reflux to unmanageable levels). So I found this test very insightful:

My score: "You DISAGREED with the Barack Obama position on 45 of the 48 test questions. This means you disagree with the Obama position 94% of the time."

I already knew I couldn't vote for him, based on his views on abortion (because, really, if we don't have the right to exist, what the heck do all our other rights mean? Nothing!) and his history of voting to deny medical care to viable babies born alive after botched abortions. But it was very interesting to see in writing what his stances on other issues are. Or maybe I should say very depressing. I pray that he is not the one elected in the fall!
(For the really curious, the 3 questions I agreed with him on were tax increase on fossil fuels, tariff on imported ethanol, and should it be illegal for convicts on probation or on bail to have contact with a street gang. The latter was probably only because of the wording...)

Another Meme

Saw this in 3 places (Aggiedoone, Mommy to Ander and Wife to Box, & Mamaebeth) so figured I would play too...

Based on an exercise developed by Will Barratt, Meagan Cahill, Angie Carlen, Minnette Huck, Drew Lurker, Stacy Ploskonka at Illinois State University. If you participate in this blog game, PLEASE acknowledge their copyright.


* Father went to college
* Father finished college
* Mother went to college
* Mother finished college
* Have any relative who is an attorney, physician, or professor
* Were the same or higher socio-economic class than your high school teachers
* Had more than 50 books in your childhood home (a large percentage of them were mine, though.)
* Had more than 500 books in your childhood home
* Were read children's books by a parent (& aunt)
* Had more than two kinds of lessons before you turned 18
* The people in the media who dress and talk like me are portrayed positively
* Had a credit card with your name on it before you turned 18
* Your parents (or a trust) paid for the majority of your college costs
* Your parents (or a trust) paid for all of your college costs
* Went to a private high school
* Went to summer camp
* Family vacations involved staying at hotels (sometimes)
* Your clothing was all bought new before you turned 18
* There was original art in your house when you were a child
* You and your family lived in a single family house
* Your parent(s) owned their own house(s) or apartment before you left home
* You had your own room as a child
* You had a phone in your room before you turned 18
* Participated in an SAT/ACT prep course
* Had your own TV in your room in High School
* Owned a mutual fund or IRA in High School or College
* Flew anywhere on a commercial airline before you turned 16
* Went on a cruise with your family (I did do this 5 years ago, but not growing up)
* Went on more than one cruise with your family
* Your parents took you to museums and art galleries as you grew up
* You were unaware of how much heating bills were for your family

Saturday, October 04, 2008

rIce Cream

We got a new ice cream/sorbet maker and attempted to use it tonight. It is very hard to find any frozen treats that don't have at least one of the things we have to avoid - dairy, eggs, peanuts, soy.

The first recipe was a flop. It didn't freeze in the machine at all. It's been in the (refrigerator) freezer for 3+ hours now and is just now starting to get slushy. And it is _slushy_ and _grainy_. Not creamy at all. I guess I should't be surprised, though, as there was nothing resembling cream in it... We used 4.75 cups rice milk, 1 cup Droste cocoa powder, .5 cup turbinado, .5 cup brown sugar, 1 Tbsp maple syrup, 1 Tbsp vanilla. Upon reading the menus that came with the unit, this was pretty darn close to their recipe for chocolate sorbet, except they called for water instead of milk. But I don't think their recipe would have frozen either... Maybe it's the altitude. (I know that sounds silly, but really, a lot of cooking problems I run into, other people from home who come to visit seem to have, too.)

Any ideas how I can make it better next time? Someone suggested a couple tablespoons of vegetable oil so it will have some fat. Also, some of the recipes in the book call for boiling the ingredients on the stove first, then chilling in the fridge, then putting in the ice-cream maker.

Jeff also wants to try some with some kind of soaked, ground nuts (maybe almonds). Hmmm... I wonder if he can approximate BR's Jamocha Almond Fudge. If he could, that would make for one very happy pregnant wife!

Prayer request for me

I am very stressed out lately and could use some prayer.

(The rant below is an excerpt of an email I sent to my BFF a little while ago. I probably wouldn't even post this, except that I am very tired and stressed, and my judgement is always very suspect in the middle of the night... although even during the day when my judgement is more reserved, am not sure what to do except ask people for prayers... If you don't want to read the rant, you can stop here. If you do read below, everybody I mention could probably also use your prayers...)

I am at my wit's end and then some with my vampire-hours-keeping brother, who recently stopped being any help at all around the house, also recently decided he was no longer going to work on the basement unless I paid him. Like living in my house and keeping my kids from having their room, his smoking excursions keeping us from being able to use our alarm system, eating our food and using our electricity and water, stinking up my house, not cleaning up after himself half the time, taking my still-damp clothes out of the dryer so he can do his own laundry, etc. is not enough!

I've had some kind of pinched nerve thing going on for the last 3-4 weeks (I guess in my back) that is manifesting itself as my arm going to sleep whenever I pick it up to use it (like cutting/prepping food. Or typing. Or sleeping in any position whatsoever). I've been going to the chiro twice a week instead of once and it is helping a very little. But barely enough to even notice improvement. I went for a prenatal massage Tuesday and she said my back was like a bunch of steel cables. (It occurred to me yesterday that this whole condition may be a result of all the stress. I cry every time I think about what all this stress is doing to my poor helpless baby.)

I wake up at the slightest noise after 1 a.m. (like my game-addicted husband coming to bed at 2:30 or my brother bumbling around the kitchen at all hours of the night) and can't get back to sleep until it is time for the kids to wake up.

I am getting more and more stressed every day about the basement not being finished and my belly being on the verge of too big to unpack now, much less by the time it is finished. If it EVER gets finished. I _need_ my shelves down there so I can move my books, unpack my boxes, etc. I know from experience there will be no getting anything done with a small baby in the mix, for at least the first 9 months. So it's now or never, looking more and more like never. And I am so tired of all the boxes everywhere, and not being able to park in my own garage, use my dining room, etc. Oh, and before the shelves can go in, they need painted (if the pieces are even all built) and of course I can't do it because everything smells 100x more intense/makes you physically ill when you're pregnant. (Like my brother's clothes/breath after coming in from polluting his lungs and the air outside my house.) My husband wants nothing to do with finishing the basement, other than paying for it. (I never ever thought I'd even see *that* day, so don't take me as complaining about him. Just know that him helping is not an option.). My brother, even when he was helping, said from the get-go he wasn't a painter. So I am at the mercy of helpful friends' busy schedules being able to converge with my own. There is a bunch of big heavy stuff that needs to go down there like Mawmaw's blue chair, the TV, the drawers for the built-in in the bedroom... but nobody around here who can actually lift things who will actually be helpful and carry them down.

Oh, and my MIL is doing very poorly, got off chemo and into hospice care several weeks ago and nobody even bothered to call and tell us.

</rant. !-- Thanks for your prayers -->