Sunday, December 4, 2011

November and December so far

It's been a full couple months, OK a full year :) Back in September Isaac started his first season of soccer, which he just loved. It wasn't a team with games, just learning basic skills in a fun way once a week. He wasn't very thrilled with the idea when we told him about it, but after the first practice he could hardly wait for the next Monday. The season wrapped up in the beginning of November. Another wonderful means of expending the kids energy is the 13-foot trampoline I got off freecycle! It's in great condition, we just need to fix the net, but so far no one has fallen off :) Don't worry, they aren't allowed to jump without us there! I love freecycle :) My parents came up in November in the middle of the pastors' conference at our church so they could watch the kids for part of it anyway. We had a great time together, as always! Never a shortage of house projects to work on either :) We spent Thanksgiving with some friends here in town since all our families live far away. Plenty of kids to play with and lots of food to eat. We all had a great time, but it's just not the same as being home with all the family! No Black Friday shopping for me this year! All I heard was how crazy it is up here. Well, we did stop at Wal-Mart in the small town near us to buy a Christmas tree stand, but it was just about like normal there. Gotta love small towns :) Then it was on to get our very first live tree! Some friends had told us about a nursery about 30 minutes away that gives you a free tree when you buy a gift card of equal value. So we'll go back in the spring to get grass seed and our garden veggies. We were super glad not to have to pull out every little branch of our artificial tree, plus it makes me sneeze and itch from the dust! The tree is so pretty and smells so good! Another first was having an actual tree topper and not a bare branch! That was an after Christmas deal last year :) Since Luke is into everything we put the tree in the foyer to minimize temptation for him. So far he's only gotten to it once :) And the latest big event was the kids being in our babysitter's wedding yesterday! Sarah has been watching the kids for at least two years, and she's just so dear to us all! She and her now husband came over a few months ago to talk with us and ask about our courtship and such. When we had shared how we so quickly felt sure we wanted to marry the other, and both shared such similar visions and desires for life (including seminary), they looked at each other and said "that sounds like us!" They got engaged the next week I think :) I think Sarah must have told the kids something when she was here b/c they weren't very surprised when i told them they were engaged! So Samy has been counting down the days until she got to be a flower girl, while Isaac, on the other hand, would say, "It's so girlish!" They both made it down the aisle, no stage fright at all! Isaac forgot who he was supposed to take the rings to when he got down front though, causing one of those classic AFV moments when he calls out "What??" as i tried to tell him where to go :) oh well! We were so happy to be part of their big day, but I was totally exhausted at the end of it. Luke was cheery for all but a few minutes of the 5 hours we were there! Thank you kind God!!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Blog worthy day

I can't help but blog about my sweet Isaac today!  I was working on Christmas decorations this afternoon while Samy and Luke were both asleep and Isaac was just hanging out in the room with me when he asked (totally out of the blue), "Mom, when did I say Jesus was my Savior?"  I said I wasn't sure he'd ever really said that and asked if he wanted to now.  He said something about being much younger than me, how I was 20 when I did.  Wow, I think I've only mentioned that once, but he's obviously been thinking.  So, I asked if he wanted to ask Jesus to be his Savior and he said yes!  I was so glad Keith was home.  We went out with Keith and prayed with our little guy.  Mommy was just trying not to cry :)  We're praying this is the day of his salvation and that he will walk with the Lord all his life! 

And this afternoon Isaac officially learned to ride his bike without training wheels! He's just growing up so much!
While I'm here, I'll just update on Isaac in general :)  We're plugging right away with our first year of home school.  Isaac's a smart fella, so it's been easy in that aspect.  It's certainly not been like I had envisioned...all those fun art projects and reading historical narratives just haven't happened.  We've stuck with phonics, math and grammar.  And then our Classical Conversations co-op too--which I guess is quite a bit more than most first graders are doing :)  I can't believe all the things these kids are memorizing!  We do a history timeline that goes from Creation to modern America.  We just made it to the ministry of Christ--56 cards so far, and Samy in particular can rattle them off with little hesitation!
The rest of life will have to be updated another day, I'm ready for bed :)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

The difference in my children

This part of the post I wrote a couple years ago but is still mostly true:
Samy loves "helping" me put away groceries, wash dishes, load laundry. Isaac responds when asked to help, "You do it." (He wouldn't say that anymore, he'd be glad to help, usually :)
Samy carefully arranges her Little People around the table to eat. Isaac quickly knocks them down.
Samy has to have her 4 baby dolls, 4-5 stuffed animals, 4 blankets, pillow, and her water in her bed all arranged just right to go to sleep. Isaac has his one blankie. (Now he's got quite a few animals in his bed too)
Samy walks her dolls slowly in her stroller. Isaac sees how fast he can run with the stroller (and often rams into something). (That hasn't changed at all!)
When Samy doesn't get her way she is upset for an hour. When Isaac doesn't get his way, he gets over it in 30 seconds. (And neither has this.)

Though there are many differences between Isaac and Samy, I love seeing them compromise because of their friendship.  Here are a few fun examples of things I'm certain wouldn't happen if they were both boys or both girls: playing "battle princess" or "Super Megan", Samy's love for Star Wars too, when Belle becomes a Jedi, lightsaber fights all over the yard, Isaac watching Tangled and Beauty and the Beast multiple times b/c his sister likes them, and the one I  hear most often "Let's play Legos and princesses!"  :)  I just love how they've learned to combine their favorite things so they are playing together.  There are fights, of course, but who wants to hear about that!  I need to be reminded of the grace that is there b/c many days it feels like all I see are fights.

From December 2008

Was just looking at all the posts I began and never finished.  This one is from December 2008 and it's just fun to see how much Isaac has changed:

Time sure does fly by! Isaac is almost 3 and a half and Samy is almost 20 months old now! They change quickly and grow up way too fast.

Isaac loves puzzles and is getting really good at them. Maybe he got mommy's logical thinking skills :o) His vocabulary seems to expand everyday and he's quite the chatterbox. I think my favorite thing he says a lot is when he calls me or Keith or Samy a "turkey goose!"

Sunday, October 30, 2011

October around here

Ah, the first snow of the season. Wait, there are still green leaves on the trees! This just ain't right my friends.  The kids were out having a snow ball fight with a neighbor yesterday.  I slipped on the icy driveway this morning (when I locked the kids and I out of the house leaving for church).  This is just craziness!  But it really is still pretty, though a bit weird to see green leaves with snow on them!

Last night was the Harvest Party at our church.  It was pouring snow all day yesterday and Keith was rather concerned about the roads b/c they were saying it was going to freeze, but we knew the kids would be so disappointed if we didn't go.  So we set out and by the time we were out of our little town there was almost no snow on the ground!  Crazy how different the weather can be just a few miles away.
Samy was Rapunzel and I made her a long braid out of yarn.  (if you look close at the pictures you can see her cast!)  Isaac was Anakin Skywalker, wearing the Jedi cape I made for him and armed with his lightsaber!  Our neighbor was dressed up as Rapunzel too and had her own yarn braid :)

Time to get to church, but hoping to update on the kids later!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Colonial us

It has been a very colonial beginning to our school year! A few others ladies and I decided to make our own little Classical Conversations (CC) co-op at my house rather than shell out the big bucks to do it with the official one. We meet every other week and the kids (five actually doing school and two babies) have a blast! This year CC is focusing on American history, which worked out well with our family vacation to Williamsburg. I made Samy a very simple colonial dress to help her get into it a little more. We read some books about the time period too, but they still preferred climbing trees and playing in the dirt to seeing all the cool historic buildings :) Oh well! We also spent some time at the pool, mini golfing, ice cream eating, and (the kids favorite part) watching Episodes 1 and 2 of Star Wars that we borrowed from friends :) I, on the other hand, LOVED Williamsburg and would love to go every year! They had this fun game called RevQuest where they give you a set of instructions when you check in and special bandannas to wear. You meet your secret informant who starts you off on your secret mission and tells you to beware of spies (anyone not wearing the same color blue as the bandanna). Isaac and Samy liked the secret spy part and kept Daddy from getting us thrown in jail when someone started asking him questions related to our secret mission. Isaac said, "He's a spy, Dad! Stop talking to him!" You are given clues and have to find answers around Williamsburg and then text answers to get the next clue and if you are successful in saving the person from danger by figuring out the whole message then you get a little coin with the year and Colonial Williamsburg on it. It was so much fun, though the clues were way over our kids' heads. I sure enjoyed it :) Well, we completed our mission a little after the time of the ceremony where you receive your coin (you find out the secret time and place when you finish the game), and we were leaving the next morning, which was a big bummer! But God was so kind to allow us to see our "secret informant" we had met that morning and I asked her if it was possible to get the little prize for the kids. She was so kind and met us behind a building and went through the whole thing with us about the mission and giving us all our coins. It was great!

And then we also took a field trip with lots of friends to a colonial farm nearby in late September. We got to card and spin wool, crush grain, make candles by dipping wicks into beeswax, play some games from the time period, and then explore the farm while talking with a farmer's wife (very in character!). We even pulled weeds in the garden :)

Isaac's birthday party

Is it sadder that it took us a month to have his birthday party or that it took me two months to post pictures?? :)

My big boy certainly had a blast at his Star Wars party!  He invited a few friends and their families for an evening of Jedi training, galactic grilling and Wookiee cookies.  Keith trained all the young Jedi to be ready for battle: running through a little obstacle course, whacking Storm Troopers while avoiding Princess Leia, balancing, "thermal detonator" toss, and then finally destroying the Death Star pinata (that took me a week to make and 30 seconds to destroy).

Monday, July 25, 2011

We're experiencing some technical difficulties

Sorry for the long silence computer is down and only works in safe mode, which means i can't get my pictures off my camera.  Apparently my computer wasn't a big fan of Isaac playing Lego games online :) 

So we've been busy little bees around here since my last post: the boys went camping, Grandma came for a visit, Grandan and Bubbe came for a visit, planning for home school, replacing and painting the boards on our front porch, and just all the normal stuff of life.
Luke is huge!  3 months old now and around 15 pounds.  The boy is the most contented baby I've ever seen, such a little sweetie!  He's sleeping from around 10 pm till sometimes 9 am!  He LOVES to suck his thumb (which may be why he's so very content), but he also loves to talk to people and see their faces.  It really is like a conversation in baby talk :)

Isaac turns 6 this Thursday!!  I can't even believe how quickly these years have gone!  He is a great reader, but we're still working on that love for reading :)  He and Samy were begging me to start school this past week after some of our stuff arrived in the mail, so I read them some history stuff which they weren't so excited about.  But have been having a good time with the geoboards and rubber bands :)

My parents arrive Wednesday, the last of our summer visitors.  Can hardly wait!  For them to arrive, I mean, not that they be the last :)
Whenever my computer is up and running again I'll post some pictures and hopefully get a few more posts about life in the near future!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

For the dads in my life

I wanted to wish my Daddy and my Keith a happy father's day on here so I could tell you all how grateful I am for them!

Daddy, I am grateful for your example of hard work (even in "retirement"!) and providing for your family.  You have always been faithful to help all us kids with any and every house project we could throw at you, patiently teaching your sons and sons-in-law as you did (but thank  you to Matthew for breaking him in for Keith!). 
I am grateful that you are so committed to your family that you would drive hours and hours to be with us in our various states, toting along truck-fulls of generosity. 
I am grateful that you care enough to remember things that I don't even remember that need to be fixed in our house and then bring the stuff to fix them.
I am grateful that you are willing to sit down and play with your grand kids, to take them camping, to build special things for them and with them.
I am grateful that you would release (and encourage) Mom to come BACK up here to take care of me and the kids after Luke was born.
I am grateful that you took care of me for 24 years and then lovingly gave me away to Keith. 
I am grateful that you are my Dad and always will be!

Now to my precious husband!
Keith, I am so grateful that you love the Savior more than you love me and the kids!  That you pursue Him first and with passion. 
I am grateful for your leadership in our home--for taking initiative to lead us in God's Word in principle and practice, for being a good steward of our finances and time, for planning family time and making memories, for making decisions and carrying the weight of responsibility.
I am grateful for your humility and how much you've grown over the last couple years--confessing sin, patiently bearing with your sinful wife and children, not seeking to draw attention to yourself, seeking others' input.
I am grateful that you take care of us--you provide for us without grumbling, working hard as unto the Lord both at work and at home.
I am grateful that you are so eager to bless us with things that we love--camping, flowers, bagels to name a few :)
I am so grateful that you married me and are the father of my children!!  I couldn't ask for a better dad for Isaac, Samy and Luke!
We love you so very much!!!!! 
Happy Father's Day!!!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Isaac the Graduate

Yesterday was Isaac's kindergarten graduation picnic!  It has been a wonderful year at school, I know Isaac will miss his buddies and Mrs. Goodling, his teacher.  They gave the kids "diplomas" and each child received an award for character traits that they demonstrated throughout the year.  It was so precious!  And I was almost in tears listening to each award as I've gotten to know Isaac's class so well because Samy and I helped almost every Wednesday morning (until Luke!).  Isaac received the contentment award--something he's certainly grown in at home too. 

Isaac has certainly worked hard this year and been an eager learner!  He's one of the top readers in his class and is way beyond kindergarten level in math (must take after both mommy and daddy!).  We're so proud of you big boy for doing an excellent job at school this year!!

Isaac and his buddy Ky

Lukey at the picnic

Mrs. Goodling

Mrs. Henry, Isaac's art teacher and teacher's aid

just cute :)

Here's my first attempt at putting up a video...Isaac getting his diploma and award.

Sundays and such

Most of you probably know that we love spending our Sunday evenings eating popcorn, drinking lemonade and watching America's Funniest Videos.  While since the NBA playoffs were on last Sunday evening, we had our popcorn on the front porch, followed by football and tag.  Isaac and Samy were too cute sitting together on the swing talking about Star Wars and princesses I'm sure :) 

Luke is growing like an adorable little weed!  He's grown 3 inches!!!  I haven't weighed him, but I guarantee he's still at the top of the chart.  I caught a few smiles on camera this week and had to share those.

Friday, June 3, 2011

While Daddy was away

Keith got to go to the NEXT conference in Orlando over Memorial Day weekend, which meant me alone with three kids for four days.  So I purposed to do lots of fun things we don't normally do, knowing that my temptation toward anger would be that much greater without Keith here to help.
As soon as Keith left Saturday morning we headed out to pick strawberries!  They weren't nearly as sweet as last year, but maybe it's because it's the very beginning of the season.  Samy had only one strawberry in her bucket at the end of it all because they all went straight to her mouth!  No wonder she had a tummy ache :)  When she had had her fill she started picking flowers instead.  Isaac lasted a little longer, and Luke slept the whole time.  We'll have to go with friends later in the season so they'll be more distracted and I can get more berries!
That afternoon Isaac's best little buddy from school came over along with him mom, and little brother and sister since his daddy had gone with our daddy to the conference.  The kids  had a super time running around and I got some time talking with my friend.  Then mac-n-cheese for dinner (their fav!) and ice cream for dessert.
Sunday after church we went to a little deli for lunch and ran into a couple Keith met through his evangelistic bible study last month.  They were so happy to meet the kids as they had already dubbed themselves Aunt Gloria and Uncle Peter :)
Oh, I should also mention that I woke up Sunday morning with no voice!  It was almost gone Saturday night, but I could scarcely speak by Sunday morning!  Allergies are in full bloom here ya know!  And then I must have pulled something in my back putting Luke in the car after lunch b/c I couldn't get the car seat out when we got home.  I could barely move without shooting pain!  I was finding all this somewhat humorous since Keith was gone when I lost my voice and could barely move :)  God's grace was quite evident that I was reacting in laughter instead of anxiety or anger!

Since it was blisteringly hot Monday I got out the Slip-n-Slide for the kids and they had a blast, though Samy was to afraid to actually slide, she just scooted herself down :)  Before he left Keith had gotten the A/C unit in the kids' room but forgot about the one in our room.  It was an adventure getting that heavy unit to our window, especially with my back out of whack :)  but Luke and I needed to sleep in the cool, it had to be close to 90 in our room!  Again, laughing that we were having a heat wave while my hubby was away, as well as our neighbors, so no help there.
Tuesday Isaac was back to school, which means out the door by 7:30 to pick up our friends' kiddos and make it on time.  Well, getting three kids out the door that early after a rough night (because Luke was in the room with me) was hard enough, and we were already a few minutes late, but then I went and locked my keys in the house after getting everyone in the car!  I called Helen and said I was so late and she took her boys to school.  And I was just grateful that it was so hot that day because I had already opened all the windows downstairs, so I pried off a screen and climbed in :)

Let me just tell you, I was so happy to see my dear hubby that evening :)  But truly, there was so much grace in the midst of all the hiccups in my plans!  I know how I have reacted to such things in the past, with anger and harsh words toward my children (whether it be their fault or not), but the Holy Spirit was working miracles in my sinful heart this weekend!  I truly was finding humor in the myriad of difficulties and seeing all the good gifts of friends and fun and not setting my expectations too high.  It was only by the grace of God! 

Here's some pics of the weekend and lots of little Lukey :)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

May showers

Isn't it supposed to be April showers??  Well, we've had rain everyday for 2 weeks I think!  The ground is always muddy, which means so are my children :)  Last Sunday they couldn't resist going out to jump in the puddles (more like ponds!).

And a little catch up since I finally downloaded the pictures from my camera...
Just before Mom left we took her to the local paint-your-own pottery place to make her gifts to say thank you for taking care of us for two weeks/Mothers Day.  The kids each painted a coaster for her and I painted a vase for her new sun room.

Since the sun came out for a while on Monday we all headed to the park to enjoy it.

little tough guy!

beautiful girl :)

precious (and getting so big!) Isaac

he loves his paci, just like big brother did!

Tuesday I began my cloth diaper adventure!  I did it Tuesday and Wednesday with no leaks, but quickly discovered I need more diapers :)  So they are on their way and the other ones are washed and ready to go again.  It really wasn't that much more work than disposable, and a heck of a lot cheaper in the long run!  I even made my own cloth wipes out of an old flannel sheet.  I feel so Martha Stewart, though I'm sure her stitches would be considerably straighter than mine :)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Luke in the sun

Luke and I were walking around outside one day last week, and I couldn't resist the beautiful scene of the rocking chair in the sun.  My neighbor offered to take some pictures of him one of these lovely days soon--can't wait for some more professional looking ones :)  but he's so cute even when I'm the one taking pictures...

Saturday, April 30, 2011

For those who like to hear birth stories :)

Oh what a delight to have our little guy in our arms!  Especially after all the waiting :)  A few ladies  have asked about my birth story so I thought I'd share...
We went in early on the 22nd to be induced.  We were only at the hospital a few minutes when we saw (Keith says we were tackled) Cheryl, a nurse in the mother/baby unit who we know from our church.  She was just getting off her shift but said she'd be back at 7 that night.  A wonderful greeting to begin our day :)
We chose Friday the 22nd for a few reasons, one being my favorite doctor (Dr. Jones) in the practice I go to would be on call that day.  She thought I would just need to have my water broken to get things going.  So after my round of antibiotics (I was positive for strep B) she broke it at 9:30.  Things got going but I was making no progress after a few hours (stuck at 2 cm just like the past almost two weeks), so pitocin was started and the contractions quickly got stronger.
Keith was just wonderful through the whole thing, and I remembering commenting that I'm glad I don't have to watch him do this :)  God is certainly wise in assigning our roles!  Before I started pitocin we had alternated walking 40 minutes and monitoring 20 minutes, so at least we weren't stuck in the room, but after pitocin began I was stuck.  Keith read aloud from a book on Jonathan Edwards, and though I have no idea what he was reading, it was soothing to hear his voice.  And he kept me laughing when I wasn't in pain.  As he shared on facebook, the funniest moment was when he pretended to read the ingredients on my IV bag and said high fructose corn syrup was the first ingredient :)  This after we laughed about the nutritional value of all the Popsicles I'd been downing!

Dr. Jones was such an encouragement, even as I made no progress and the hours dragged on.  She was certain I would just progress all at once, which was exactly what happened.  I got an epidural around 5, when I couldn't take the pain anymore and I was still only 2 cm.  The nurse checked me again around 6:15 and I was still 2 cm.  Dr. Jones came in shortly after that, just before her shift ended, and was stunned to hear I still hadn't progressed.  At this point I'm beginning to think I'm going to end up having a c-section because this kid just doesn't want to come out :) but she encouraged me again that she really thought I would go all at once. 
Around 6:45 the nurse checked me again--8 cm!!  Oh, I was so happy!  And within another 15 minutes the nurse had called  the doctor and he was on his way because I was 10 cm.  The doctor now on call was one I had never met and was completely opposite of Dr. Jones. She's very animated and talkative.  He is a much older, quiet, stoic Jewish man.  But he got the job done well!  After about 10 minutes of pushing, there was our precious little BOY!  It really was fun to not know what they would announce.  Since it was after 8, our friend Cheryl was back on duty and she came in to ask if she could take care of us--I was so glad to have her as our nurse! 
We called the grandparents and then I was able to let him nurse.  Then Keith was off to get me some food!!  A huge burrito from Chipotle wouldn't fit in my stomach when I was pregnant, but it was no match for my hunger at the end of that day!   And a Krispy Kreme doughnut too :)  We won't talk about the nutritional value of that :)
Sometime the next day we were about settled on the name Luke.  When Keith brought the kids up just before dinner and Samy says out of the blue "I love Luke!" in her sweet voice, it sealed the deal!
We were discharged Easter Sunday.  Made it home before 1 pm!

Here we are a week later, and I'm feeling good.  Luke is sleeping well, though we had a few really tough nights.  The kids frequently just stop what they're doing and come give him hugs and kisses.  They love when his eyes are open and they talk to him and wave at him.  My mom arrived Monday night and has been a HUGE help!  Don't know what I'd do without her :)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Pictures of Luke

Sorry for the long wait for pictures, been a little busy. I was afraid all those grandparents would be calling to yell at me if I didn't get some up today :) Without further ado...

Saturday, April 23, 2011

It's a boy!!!

Our newest addition arrived Friday, April 22nd at 8:09pm--one really big boy weighing in at 9 pounds 8 ounces and 21 3/4 inches long.  And thankfully he was my fastest labor (unless you count the last 2 weeks of contractions!).  I'll have to give the full low-down on all the wonderful way God answered our prayers in my next post, just wanted to get the announcement out there and a picture or two.  Oh and I think we've settled on Luke Jerome (after my dad) but I guess it won't be official until we've signed the forms :)  here are a couple pictures...

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Awaiting baby

Since mom and dad came up a week ago yesterday, I've certainly been more desirous for this baby to come sooner than later! But God had other plans. It was wonderful to get my parents here for a week without a newborn to take care of :) My dad and Keith got most all the electrical in the house fixed, and Mom and I got to go to the tag sale! They left after lunch today and my mom will return after baby comes, probably on Monday. Oh, that's the big news for now: if I don't have the baby by this Friday morning I'm going to the hospital and the doc is going to break my water to get the ball rolling! The end is in sight!
So for now we just wait and enjoy the last two nights of sleep without nursing and diaper changes. Oh my, that really is going to happen isn't it!  Yikes :)

All this waiting certainly has been revealing of my heart--a desire for control, impatience with God's timing, thinking I know better how things should go, fear of what others think about me and my false alarms, anxiety over what we'll do without my parents to take care of the kids, etc. etc.
Nothing like a good squeeze to get some sin out of your heart :) But all that sin was met by God's grace and I am the richer for it! I know He will meet all our needs for child care and meals. I know He has the perfect birthday planned for our little one. I know He holds this baby in His hands and me as well. I know His grace is sufficient for today, and that will be true tomorrow as well.

We will try our best to keep you updated! We would appreciate your prayers as the waiting ends and labor begins :)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Samantha's Fourth Birthday and Easter Egg Hunt

Our little girl turned four yesterday!  Hard to believe it's been that long since we had her and we are so grateful the Lord put her in our family!  She is snuggly and gentle, tender and caring, inquisitive and observant.  She can remember every detail of stories we read.  We laugh that she knows her Sunday school answers :)  The story of the Sunday school teacher asking the class "What is small, brown, furry and gathers acorns?"  And the class answering "Jesus!"  That would be Samy :)  But she also has such a tender heart and growing faith in the Lord!  One day after being corrected for her bad attitude, she asked me without prompting if we could pray for her.  She is frequently aware of how her sin hurts her Heavenly Father.

We celebrated with cake a week early just in case we were at the hospital for her real birthday.  Our neighbors came over to enjoy the cake with us.  And Saturday we had ice cream sundaes and opened presents.  She's so opposite of her brother, who is VERY expressive.  She on the other hand didn't crack a smile while we sang, but was concentrating fully of blowing out the candles.  And even opening presents, I saw very few smiles and certainly no squeals of excitment like her brother (or mom for that matter!).

We also had our egg hunt with Grammy and Papaw since they're here and we are still awaiting baby.  Here's some pics...

Friday, April 15, 2011

Home again

A very disappointing night for Keith and I as we rushed to the hospital around 7, but got sent home at midnight.  I started having contractions appearing to me to be real labor on Monday evening.  I was certain that night we would be going in the next day.  My parents drove up Tuesday.  I continued to go in spurts of contractions, some really painful, but in the morning they would always subside.  Yesterday they were getting super strong and had been 8-10 minutes apart for an hour, then 3-5 minutes apart for another hour and it was getting really intense.  I was so certain "this is it!"  I shouldn't have said that :)  So after dinner we headed down to the hospital, got checked in and put on the monitors.  By then the contractions were already a little less intense, but continued to be close together.  The monitor was picking them up every 2-3 minutes, but I was only 2 cm and 50% effaced (which is what I had been the day before when I got checked by the doctor at the office).  So the doc had us walk around for an hour and come back to the monitors.  I was up to 75% effaced, but still no more dilated.  My contractions were further apart, but more intense.  After about 20 minutes (just when the nurse was coming to tell us we could go home), the baby's heart rate dropped below 100 (normally 120-160) for about 30 seconds or so.  So the doctor wanted me to get an ultrasound just to make sure everything was OK.  So we got to see little baby's face and tiny hands and wiggly body :)  we made sure we didn't see the sex!  Everything was fine, they figure baby just grabbed the cord and then let go.  Back to the monitor, then got checked progress, so home we came at midnight. 
I was definitely disappointed not to be holding my baby, struggling with pride too after four days of false alarms.  The contractions continued as we drove home and went to bed, but have subsided this morning. 
No matter how you slice it, it can't be long now with my due date this Wednesday!  We will keep ya posted.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Blogging before baby

Hard to believe the time has almost come to welcome baby number 3!  I'm fairly certain this baby is going to come early, just that motherly instinct :)  And Keith and I both think it will be a boy...we'll see!

Thought I'd better do a quick blog before the time does come and then I never get the adorable pictures of Samy's ballet "show" (as she called it) up.  Also a few other pictures...some from our trip to Cold Stone Creamery to celebrate the lifting of the plague in our house :) 

My parents are in DC this week seeing the sights with my aunt and uncle. Keith, the kids and I went down Saturday afternoon with them and stayed until Monday night--a wonderful little rest before baby arrives! We hung out at the resort and played Wii (Isaac is addicted), and let the kids swim in the indoor pool, watched Toy Story 3 all together, ate way too much, and just got to enjoy being warm for a change in the super hot hotel room! (we actually turned the A/C on!!) I did remember the camera but never took any pictures :)

Now it's back to preparing for baby--making sure bags are packed and laundry is done. Went to the doc on Tuesday and she said I'm 1.5 cm dilated--a lot more progress than I had with first two! With them I was in labor for hours before I made it to 1.5 cm, but it could still be a while before anything happens...or maybe not :) I'm just glad to be a little ahead of our usual game!
I would bet the next time I blog it will be with a birth announcement! Until then...

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Did you think I gave up on blogging?

So it's been almost 2 months, I think, since I blogged :)  In that time we had a visit from what we call "the Plague" that lasted for almost 4 weeks.  We've been busy putting up cribs and pulling out baby gear and clothes.  We painted the living room and got new couches.  We finally moved Isaac's dresser into his room and the train table out of baby's room.  And of course a few snows.  I can hardly wait for spring!!  The kids are actually sick again with runny noses and coughs.
I've been researching home school curriculum, cloth diapers, gardening stuff.  Samy has her last ballet lesson today (including a little "show" of what they've done!).  Isaac has been working hard at school.  He had a "gym show" as part of grandparents' day that we all went to.  Keith just got back from a couple days at the pastoral retreat.  And of course he's been hard at work around the house here too with the endless list of house projects and yard work.  Isaac is the cutest little helper out there!  I love looking out the kitchen window to see Isaac carrying wood, picking up leaves with his daddy or carrying food waste to the compost pile.  It's wonderful to see him learning to work hard even when it's cold outside!
I picked up a FREE Power Wheels Jeep last weekend that the kids have been driving around and around the yard.  Samy is a pretty bad driver, but is content to let Isaac drive as she rides with him :)
We're down to six weeks (actually a little less) before baby's due date and still without a boy name.  Keith and I just can't agree on a first name, though the middle name is decided.  I spent an entire day at the hospital to get my Rhogam shot (because of my blood type I have to get this shot each pregnancy so my body doesn't attack the baby as a foreign object if his/her blood type is different).  In Florida i was able to get this shot at one of my regular doctor's visits, but here in red tape Maryland, I spent an entire day registering at the hospital, getting extra blood work done, and then a wild goose chase to have a nurse give me a shot.  I'm a little scared what labor and delivery will be like :)
I've also been leading a book study of "When People are Big and God is Small" which is about fear of man.  It's been great to interact with ladies in totally different seasons of life and many of them who struggle significantly in this area.  I'm glad to be able to share what little wisdom God has given me in this area and point them to the gospel as our source of hope no matter what the sin!!
Keith is going to begin an evangelistic bible study in just a week or two with a bunch of folks who aren't sure what they believe.  We're both so excited about this opportunity for him to open up Scripture and tell them the truth about Jesus. 
Keith and our neighbor will be tilling up their large garden plot today in preparation for our joint gardening venture!  None of us know what we're doing but we're gonna give it a shot and I'll put chickens on hold for another year :)  Though the fact that they eat stink bugs sure makes me just want to throw some in our back yard!!
Hmm, I think that's most of what has happened over the last couple months.  A few pictures for your enjoyment...
The kids baking graham crackers with Samy's Christmas present

My first attempt at sourdough English muffins

One of the big snows of the year

Isaac not real happy about shoveling the driveway
Samy after her first ballet class

Freshly painted living room
New couch

Isaac's gym show (my pictures didn't turn out very good since i was far away and it was a gym)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Christmas, Christmas time is here!

You don't know how many times I've heard the kids singing the Chipmunks' Christmas song this year! :)

Our first Christmas at home and it was so much fun! We awoke Christmas morning to snow falling, but not a blizzard :) We started the day with bacon, eggs and star-shaped biscuits while we read the Christmas story in Luke. The kids were so patient waiting to open presents! We went to the living room to get started and Isaac graciously gave his presents to Samy and I, waiting to open one himself. I love seeing him grow and mature! This year we let the kids pick out presents for each other: Isaac got Samy Silly Putty, and Samy got Isaac a Beanie Baby skunk. They both loved their gifts! And Isaac had made two things for me at school: a little tea light candle holder and a sweet framed picture of him and his hand prints! He was so excited to give them to me :)
We adopted a new tradition this year (taken from the Girl Talk blog) of telling the person why we chose that gift for them to take some of the "my turn, me next" out of the morning. And also performing "Christmas services" for each other (something my dear friend Melissa had told me they've always done).
So we had a fun morning opening gifts and then Isaac and Daddy went out to play with the new remote control truck in the snow. Isaac's favorite part was letting Keith drive it while he threw snowballs at it :)

We headed out for Knoxville after church Sunday, only to drive right into another snow storm. It was way to reminiscent of last year, but thankfully it never got so bad we had to pull over and we amazingly made it in 8 hours!
It was a strange Christmas in Tennessee as my older brother didn't come in and my little brother and brother-in-law had to work, so it just felt a little disjointed or something, but a joy nonetheless! My mom and I went out shopping two mornings in a row and the afternoons were spent talking, playing games and of course lots of eating. Michelle and her girls got a seriously rockin' curling iron so almost all us girls got our hair all curled and pretty :) My hair that normally holds curl for about 10 minutes, held this one until I washed my hair two days later! And Samy was just adorable with her little curls!! Wish I'd taken a picture :)

We opened presents there the evening after we arrived. Samy was pretty tired and showed very little emotion during the whole process, but it was obvious that the stuffed Chipmunks and Chipettes were her favorites! She immediately had them around the manger so they could see Jesus :)

Onto to Grandan and Bubbe's where the weather was in the 60s! What a reprieve for us :) It was nice to get outside without shivering! Grandan had planned to set up a bed in the play room for he and Isaac, which of course Isaac was thrilled about! Jack and Sharon arrived the next evening while we were having dinner with Keith's grandparents. So afterwards we opened presents again. Linda restocked Keith's supply of Johnny Harris BBQ sauce, and Sharon and Jack selflessly gave Keith a UT hat that Keith had gotten signed by all the players his first year there (including Peyton Manning and some other big names) and gave to Sharon.  Then Aunt Sharon played some Polly Pockets with Samy while I put together Isaac's Lego helicopter and he played with Buzz Lightyear. After the kids went to bed we played a few rounds of Monopoly Deal and just laughed ourselves silly :)

We set off before lunch the next day and made a quick stop at Rock City to have some family time. Keith and I had both been when we were little, so it was fun reminiscing and seeing the kids excitement. And then onto Grammy and Papaw's for one more night. The kids didn't know we were going back until after Rock City, and boy were they excited :)
The worst part of the trip was not getting to see Keith's mom (she had to work). But she is planning to fly up soon and she left her gifts with Sharon and Jack. So we brought them home with us and videotaped as we opened (yet again!). It was so funny that after each time we opened presents the kids had a new favorite :)

What a joyous holiday indeed!  Now I'm still trying to get things put away in the midst of a cold.  Christmas tree is still up, as Isaac reminds me everyday.  Oh well, it'll be a whole year before we see it again :)