Sunday, December 25, 2011

My Three Favorite Christmas Gifts

Paul.  Nathan.  Jacob.
All I need to make me happy.

(Although I did get a sweetest-ever thank-you hug from Nathan - so did Paul.  Completely melted.)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Holiday Crunch Time. (Literally.)

After we left Chateau Avalon, after a wonderful night away, we thought we'd head to the mall.  We really didn't have anything to get, we just hadn't been there in a long time, so thought we'd browse a little bit, and maybe pick up one more thing for the boys (they only have 2 presents each, and they both know what one of them are).
Well.... We never made it to the mall.
As we merged onto the Interstate in the rain, as Paul was trying to switch lanes, all the sudden the car in front of us swerved over and slammed on their brakes.  Immediately in front of us were two stopped cars.  There was no way to avoid it, and the wet pavement gave no traction.  We were going probably about 50 mph.
There were 5 cars involved, and a rumor that a sixth (the one that caused the whole thing) fled the scene.  There was a lady in the car in front of us that went to the hospital in an ambulance.  I think she had hurt her leg, and was having trouble breathing.  (Pretty sure they had hit someone, and then we rear-ended them.)  As near as I can tell, there was a fender-bender as someone was merging onto the Interstate, and they stopped in traffic.  Since we were coming around a curve, and it had just happened, we didn't see it until we were right on it.
We went in to see my doctor, just to be sure everything was okay.  I know that sometimes it's not trauma to the belly (which there wasn't), but the sudden stop that can cause the placenta to tear.  There was no evidence of that, but even so, she had me go over to the hospital and be monitored for four hours.  Baby was NOT cooperating, squirming away from the sensor and kicking it the whole time.  Obviously everything's fine. :)
It turns out the truck is NOT totaled.  I knew it would be borderline.  It was - about $500 short of being totaled.  I have mixed feelings.  I'm glad we don't have to make the decision of picking out a new vehicle (although it would have answered some prayers about what to do about a vehicle when Baby comes).  But we do have to cough up our share, the $500 deductible, and things were really tight already.  (But God has provided most of that money - more on that in a later post.)  Also, we're both a little worried that the engine block may be tweaked enough that it will have some problems later down the road.  (The radiator and battery we know moved.)
All in all, we know God has a reason He let it happen.  We decided to take the truck, even though the car gets better mileage.  (Although the car wouldn't have fared as well in an accident.)  We decided to take the Interstate, rather than cutting across on 95th Street.  We wanted to go to the mall, even though there was no need to go.  I'm not sure what He wants us to learn, but I trust His ways are higher than mine.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas Getaway!

I'm getting so excited for our Getaway.  Last year, instead of exchanging gifts, Paul and I bought tickets to see his favorite musician and planned an overnight getaway.  Even though circumstances were nothing like we imagined they would be, we still had a good time and really enjoyed it.  So much better than "because I had to" or "because you need this" presents.  This is more of a "I can remember there is more to being a woman than being a mommy" and a "my husband gets my undivided attention (and I get his!)" gift.  So we both win.
So we decided to do it again this year.  Trans Siberian Orchestra is playing in Kansas City this weekend, and Paul wanted to go as soon as he heard about it.  So we bought tickets.  We were going to stay at a downtown hotel, just to try something different, but it turns out they were more expensive than the lower-end rooms at our favorite place, Chateau Avalon (and there you get a hot tub and a free breakfast!).  And then I got an AWESOME deal on a room.  (Sometimes it does pay to procrastinate!)  They had a limited-time special of $129 for any room, excluding their two biggest.  Boo-yah!  We got their third-most-expensive room, the Camelot, which is normally $389, for $129.  So. Excited.
The only thing that's up in the air is where to eat.  We wanted to go back to a restaurant Paul took me to when we were dating (the Melting Pot, a fondue restaurant), but we got to thinking about logistics.... It is on the Plaza, so we'd have to park and walk, then go to the Power and Light District (while one concert is letting out, and people are trying to park for the second), and park and walk again.  So we decided to go over early and eat somewhere in the Power and Light District.  It turns out some good friends of ours are also going to the concert, so we're going to try to meet up with them for dinner beforehand.
Anyhow.  I'll shut up.
Merry Christmas, to me!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Baby with Attitude?

This baby has really started asserting himself (herself).  Any time I sit for an extended period of time wearing pants with a snug waistband, he will start kicking at it.  Earlier this week, he even kicked where my laptop was resting against my belly.  It is a usual occurrence lately for him to kick against the side of my belly that is laying on the bed.  Two nights ago, this baby was apparently stretched vertical, simultaneously pressing against my bladder and my lungs - not comfortable when you need to have a cold and need to pee.  It actually is reminding me a lot of Nathan when he was in my womb.
Speaking of coughing....
Whenever I start to get over a cold, I start coughing.  A lot of dry, hacking coughing.  And with each pregnancy it requires more muscles to not pee myself when I cough.  And add to that this hernia that I have above my belly button.....  I told Paul, there is a specific order of things that have to be done prior to coughing - squeeze everything, press my hand firmly over my hernia, then cough.  If any of this is not accomplished before the coughing fit begins.... Not cool.
But the good news is, today I finally feel like the coughing is taming down.  My head feels clear, and I only had one bad coughing fit today (of course, right in the middle of a store!).  I really hope it's fully gone by the time Paul and I go on our Getaway on Sunday!  Talk about a romance killer!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Overheard: (Thanks so much, Dear.)

Me:  Seriously, with all this hair, I look like one of those Samoan NFL players.
Paul:  Yeah, you do kind of look like Troy Polamalu.

Thanks, dear.
But in Paul's defense, this is what my hair looked like that day.  

That's all natural, with no curl-enhancing products.  This hair situation is getting ridiculous.

Hello, Baby!

We had a sonogram this week, and finally got to see this baby that's been asserting his (her) opinion of me wearing any clothes that have a waistband.
At first, Baby was not cooperating - he was facing backwards, toward my spine, away from the sonogram sensor.  But with enough pushing and prodding, he finally turned around, and then hid behind the placenta (you're welcome, male readers), which is right up front with this one (which the nurse said that may be the reason it took so long to feel kicks).
 Hello, Baby!

  Something about this one reminds me of Nathan.... I think it's the lack of chin.

 One of three 3D shots that we actually got....  She had to go from way on the side to get under the placenta. You can clearly see a face and hand/arm.

This one takes a bit more concentration and imagination..... The baby's face again, except it's got it's hand up there right in front of its face (you can kind of see the tiny fingers).  It was definitely trying to get away from that sensor!

Everything looks good - he was definitely wiggling around the whole time.  We even got to watch the baby swallow!  You could see his tiny tongue come out and his mouth and neck muscles move - so neat!  Since we had it done at LifeCare, instead of the hospital, their focus is on you getting to see and celebrate the life inside of you, not just measurements and data.  So it made it really special - not to mention we got a TON of pictures!  Also, they let the boys come in to watch, so it was really neat for them, too.
Based on the measurements of the head, I am measuring a few days earlier than my estimated due date - that put me closer to the 12th (rather than the 17th).  But my doctor said they don't change the due date after 20 weeks, I'm assuming because babies come in all shapes and sizes.  So we just need to be prepared for a baby any time in the middle of April!
And no, we did not find out, or even get a hint of what this baby might be!  We're going to be thrilled either way, because it's going to be a beautiful, healthy baby!

Am I Weird?

Paul helped me clean the kitchen last night (again-he is so great!), because it was pushing a week and I still hadn't managed to fully clean it.  (I keep putting dishes through the dishwasher and putting them away, but don't get to the big pans or wiping the counters, sweeping, etc.)  (And huge, major, I'll-owe-him-for-3-years bonus points for him..... He cleaned the fan blades.  They were SICK - like dust curling around the edges.  But not just wipe it with a Swiffer and it's gone - it's the sticky greasy dirt that you get in the kitchen that takes cleaner, paper towels and scrubbing to get off!)
Am I weird, or does everyone feel so much better when their house has a clean kitchen?  It's like I feel like a better wife.  Like there's hope for the rest of the house.  I woke up today and walked into the clean kitchen, and I just know I'll be able to tackle the pile on the dining room table (more accurately:  the pile that has a dining room table under there somewhere......), and vacuum and finish cleaning the living room.  I feel like it's going to be a productive day.
Although, that could be in part to the fact that I also feel like I'm on the downhill side of this cold, even though it's only day 3.  That would be a blessing straight from God.

Monday, December 5, 2011

My Christmas Mantle

First off, I have to apologize for my mediocre (at best) pictures.  I blame it on the new-to-us camera.  Our old one got dropped by a little someone and the lens refuses to operate, and so we bought an identical one off of eBay (awesome deal, too!).  But it took me 3 years to get all the presets where I wanted them on our old one, and I haven't gotten everything tweaked on the new one just yet.
That's my story, anyhow.  Because it couldn't possibly be that I'm just bad at photography.

I don't decorate our mantel generally.  Unless you call the thin layer of ash and stacks of unused picture frames "decor."  I just haven't came up with something that says YES at me yet.  But at Christmas, I do try to do a little something.  Generally, it's a swag of greenery, and any of our decorations that are breakable and need to stay out of the way of little fingers.
As I was browsing the internet, I found this entry at one of my favorite blogs.  I saw it and said YES!  
So, not yes exactly.  Because it's not for our stairs (I'd have to clean the piles of junk I've been successfully avoiding).  (Plus, can you imagine the quick work my size 12 hoofs could do to one of those?)  
And it was definitely not the mice.  
But it was the jars that caught my attention.  I have jars.  Lots of jars.  I do home canning, folks.  I've inherited jars from several people who were getting rid of theirs.  You should see our shop.
I bookmarked the page several months ago, and I knew what I needed to get.  Fake snow, and electric tea lights.  I struck out at the dollar store several times on the tea lights, so finally this weekend, we went to WalMart to see if we could find what I needed there.
Bingo!  They actually had everything.

I LOVE how it turned out.  It is probably my favorite Christmas decorating I have ever done.  The sparkly snowflakes are something Paul suggested.  I wasn't really sold on them, but I try to be open to his ideas.  And I'm glad he thought it it, because I really like the pop of color and dimension they add.  I added red ribbons to the tops of the jars to make them stand out a little more. 

(Just pretend you don't notice the cord.)

 Having a wood stove, instead of a traditional fireplace, does present some decorating challenges.  Hello, stovepipe!  You see here I do have a little something hidden behind the stovepipe that you don't really get to see from straight on.  It was a gift from Paul's grandfather, and I do love it.  I thought it kind of went with the "country" feel of using jars for decorations.

The electric tea lights are a little more orangey than I would like, especially compared to the white lights that are in the greenery.  But the good thing is, the jars still look really pretty even without the "candles" on.  Which is how they will be the majority of the time around here, because I'm a cheapskate and don't want to wear them out, and also because I'm lazy and don't want to fish lights out of 13 jars to turn them off and on.
Anyhow.  I just wanted to show off my latest creativity.  I have a couple more projects that I was planning before we found out I was pregnant, but they involve sanding and spray-painting, which I shouldn't do currently.  Plus, it's too cold for spray-painting right now.  Someday......


We should name our baby "Marais des Cygnes."

Say what?
We drove over the river that goes through town, and Nathan asked what "that water" was called.  I told him the name of the river was the Marais des Cygnes, and he told me we should name the new baby that.  (It means "Marsh of the Swans."  And no, I have no idea why.)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Halfway and Kicking!

We're halfway through this pregnancy - 20 week,s today!  The last 5 weeks or so have really gone fast.  I've definitely felt the baby moving the last two weeks.... Stirrings, gentle nudges.  This weekend, during the evenings when I was reading, I felt a couple real kicks.  Paul had been working nights, and I told him his baby has been pretty active - hopefully he would get to feel him (her) move soon.
Last night, I felt a kick, and Paul put his [cold!] hand on my belly.  Apparently the baby protested it, because he felt him move.  Later, when we were in bed, Paul put his hand on my belly again, and the baby gave him like 5 big kicks in the span of about a minute - the biggest I've felt so far, and the most at once.  I'm happy he got to feel it.
The baby is 10 inches (head to heel) and 10+ ounces.  So tiny, yet 10 inches sounds so big!  (Both boys were just over 20 inches when they were born.)
I am over the food aversions, I think.  Some stuff still just doesn't sound good (noodles), and other stuff has started to give me heartburn (juice) - but I'm actually cooking again.  (Balancing the checkbook and realizing how much we spent going out the last couple months has kind of sealed that!)  I had a violent craving for cheese dip last weekend....  Like, could not think about anything else.  In all the time I was pregnant before with either boy, I've never craved something so much that I made a special trip to town to get it.  This hit me Friday, and I ignored it, tried to shut it up with other food, and finally at 10 PM, sent Paul in to Applebees to get me cheese dip.  He got two orders.  I ate one that night, one the next morning, and that cured it for about a day, but by Sunday night it was back.  Monday morning, I was in town, buying ingredients to make yet more.  I may or may not have eaten an entire batch (1 lb of white cheese, 1/2 cup milk, 7 oz jalepenos - blenderize it.  El Mezcal's recipe.) by myself in 24 hours.  Thankfully, I think I finally shut that craving up.
I'm at the in-between with being tired.  I can get by without a nap, but then I fall asleep ridiculously early (by 8 on the couch last night - out like a log until 11:30 when Jacob woke me up).  But I don't need that much sleep, so I wake up at 5 - but then I'm tired because I woke up so early, which leaves me needing a nap, but since I had a nap, I wake up early........ Vicious circle.
Nathan is pretty excited about the baby.  Jacob still doesn't really get it.  He points to or pats my belly (or just as often, my boob) and says "baby," but that's about as far as it goes.  He does really like the babies at church, and is very gentle with them.  Nathan had decided this baby will be a girl.  We're not finding out, so we were trying to prepare Nathan for the possibility that it could be either.  He was very adamant we were having a girl.  So I said, "Well, what if we had a boy?  Then we'd have three boys at our house like Charlie does [his good buddy from church]."  Well, now he's decided that would be a cool thing, and now he's adamant we're having a boy!  So yesterday, I was having the, "Well, it could be a girl.  God has it planned exactly how he wants it....." conversation with him, and he told me God would be mad if we have a girl.  Oh my....  But I think whenever the baby gets here, he will be so excited about being a big brother, it won't really matter.
Next week we're having a sonogram.  My doctor didn't order one at the hospital, like she is supposed to for 20 weeks - at my last appointment, both of the boys had checkups at the same time with her, so there was a LOT going on in that room....  I'm assuming she forgot.  However, I've already had four sonograms this year (miscarriage, diverticulitis, checking on an ovarian cyst, and then earlier with this baby), so I'm 99% sure my insurance would deny payment - I want to say we had to pay like $500 for the second sonogram with Jacob.  (Our insurance only covers one per pregnancy.)  Maybe it was a God thing, because a nurse that goes to our church contacted me and asked me if I would be a "model" for training on the new sonogram machine at the local pro-life women's center (LifeCare).  I'm really excited about seeing this baby!  So I will have pictures next week.
There's a LOT going on this weekend.... It's our church's annual Bethlehem outreach.  I'm cooking nightly meals for the 100+/- volunteers.  I didn't volunteer to do anything else, but I'm on standby to fill in [non-speaking] parts.  I also signed up to make 16 dozen cookies, and I want to make cinnamon rolls (4 dozen) for one of the meals.......  Yeah, it's going to be crazy the rest of this week. :)

Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday Shopping?

I'm not much of a shopper anyways, but seriously - you couldn't pay me enough to go shopping today.  I looked at Facebook right after I woke up, and friends were talking about people being trampled, fights over items, displays being knocked over, and lines wrapping around the outside of stores.
Is there really any deal good enough to put up with this?  Doesn't this take away from the meaning of Christmas?  Doesn't it kind of take away the "joy of giving" when you admit, "Well, I had to kick an old lady in the face to get the last one, but I got it!"
Seriously.  Is this what Christmas is about?  That's not the message I want to send to my kids, and not the message I want to send to everyone I'd meet today - "Yes.  Christmas is about STUFF."

Thursday, November 17, 2011


"I think we should name the new baby Eichenberger."

(Yeah, that's my maiden name, for any who don't know.)
We were talking about a neighbor with a unique ("funny") name, and I told Nathan, "Do you know what Grammy's name and Pa-pa's name, and Uncle JC and Aunt Sissy's name is?  It's Eichenberger."   To which he answered the above.
Sorry.  Not happening.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Sin and the Gospel

I don't know if it's the changing season, but we've been dealing with some majorly bad attitudes in Nathan.  I know part of it is he's learning to express his opinion and assert himself, but.... Oh my.  I also know, as much as it's hard to admit it, that it is his sin nature rearing it's ugly head.  We're trying to discuss about how bad attitude (yelling, throwing, stomping, screaming, disrespect) is sin and it makes God sad.  To which he sometimes replies, "No it doesn't."  (And tell me that's not sin nature!)
A few weeks ago, Nathan did pray to ask Jesus into his heart.  Even though I don't think it's for real yet, I was still really happy because it's a step.  Mainly the reason I don't think it's for real is because he doesn't admit he's a sinner.  He acknowledges that there is bad stuff inside of him, but not that he's done anything bad.  So that tells me he can't really be accepting Christ, because that involves confessing and turning from sin.
The whole conversation arose from our family Bible reading.  We're going through Romans, and it talks a lot about sin.  When we read, I re-word things to put it on his level.  (Like, instead of Romans 3:23 "All have sinned" I say, "All have done bad things," and we talk about age-appropriate examples of sinning.)  It didn't come about from me telling him a cute story, or me preaching at him, but what he picked up from hearing the Word of God.  It reminded me of a quote from the book my best friend and I are going through during Sunday school hour in the nursery - Shepherding a Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp:
People frequently ask if I expected my children to become believers.  I usually reply that the gospel is powerful and attractive.  It uniquely meets the needs of fallen humanity.  Therefore, I expected that God's Word would be the power of God to salvation for my children.
That kind of sums up my belief.  I can preach all I want, but it's God who will attract my children.  Let me tell you, it does kind of scare me to think I can't control this decision in their lives.  It's the one thing I want most for my children, to love and accept Christ.  But it's not something I can do for them, or force them to do.  It's their own personal decision, and it's the most important one they'll ever make.

New [to Me] Laptop

This is my first post from my new-to-me (us) laptop.  Paul's parents gave us their old one when they got a new one.  We've had it here for a couple months, but I just haven't had the time or energy to try to learn how to use it.  It's just easier to use the desktop, where all my files and bookmarks are kept.  Plus, we don't have wireless Internet, so either I'm tethered to the desk, or I have a cord strung across the living room.  (To type this, I'm working in "offline" mode.)
And we've talked about wireless, but whereas it does has it's advantages, it does have its disadvantages, too.  So for now we'll stick to the wired type. :)
But I'm determined to learn it.  It's cold now, so I don't have outdoor obligations and distractions, so no excuse to avoid it any longer.  I told Paul this is MY computer, and he won't be playing any games on it (which he does) or installing any games on it (which he has).  Guess I don't threaten convincingly enough.
One reason I wanted a laptop was so that I could work on projects (the bulletin for church, organizing my photos.....blogging) without secluding myself to our front room.  I can sit here in the living room while the boys play or watch a movie, and still kind of interact with them.  One of the reasons I don't want wireless internet is to avoid the temptation to spend all my time that I'm with them on the internet.  I read somewhere that "family time" isn't really family time when the parent spends all the time on their iPhone (or in this case, the computer).  That stuck with me, and it's the same concept.
So, in the future - forgive my typing.  This keyboard and my ape hands don't seem to get along.  Although - with the computer on my lap rather than on a desk, I don't seem to drag across the mouse pad nearly as much.

18 Weeks

I don't know why, but this information just made me happy:

Head to rump, your baby is approximately 5 1/2 inches long and weighs almost 7 ounces. He's busy flexing his arms and legs — movements that you'll start noticing more and more in the weeks ahead. (From a weekly update I get from

5 1/2 inches is getting pretty big.  There is a reason for my belly (although it seems like I was this fat even when Baby was the size of a peanut).  I'm starting to feel movements.  Halfway is getting closer, and every day fear of miscarriage diminishes.
I've reached the size I can't hide it.  And I'm okay with that.  I make jokes about being fat, but I love my belly.  It means I'm growing a life.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

True Love = Chipotle

Paul's parents offered to keep the boys overnight last night (Sunday), because they hadn't done an over-nighter (or much at all) over there for a while.  So Janice took the boys home from church, and I went home to be productive while I had an empty house (Paul was working).
Or..... not.  But I did manage to clean the living room and bedroom.
On a side note - has anyone else ever noticed it's not so much cleaning as just migrating all the junk to another room?  The living room looked great - cleaned, organized, dusted.... But you should have seen the dining room table!  That's where all the "this doesn't belong in here" stuff ended up.
Anyhow.  Back to our kid-free night.
The original plan was Paul would pick up Applebee's to-go on the way home from work, and we'd rent a Red Box movie and actually start it before 9 (10) o'clock (which is when our kids finally go to sleep).  Oh the bliss of the thought!  A grown up movie, without having to worry about getting up to put someone back to bed or that the volume is too loud.
Paul texted me Sunday morning as I was getting the boys ready to go to church.  Chipotle for supper?
Be still my heart.
I love Chipotle.  LOVE.  Paul is not a fan.  So for him to suggest it..... I knew it was just for me.
We ended up watching Inception - I'd heard a lot about it, and my brother loaned it to us a month or two ago, but we'd not gotten around to watching it (due to time/children constraints).  But even starting it by 8, I was still out an hour in to the movie.  (Chipotle in my belly = narcoleptic effects.)
I did keep waking up off and on to kind of have an idea of what was going on.  But what I noticed most is that the movie really has striking similarities to the books I'm reading right now, The Circle series by Ted Dekker (Black/Red/White).  Like enough to make me wonder if the writer of the movie had read the books (which were written in 2003).
So it really was a great night by ourselves - and a great morning of sleeping in until the unheard-of hour of 9 AM.  Even if I did fall asleep.  Paul is used to it by now.  And having gotten up at 5 AM for work, he was ready to crash by 11, too. :)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Overheard: Major Brownie Points

We had a late rose bloom on Paul's rosebush - a beautiful red rose, rivaling anything at a florist.  Knowing it was supposed to freeze tonight, I cut it and brought it inside.

Nathan:  "Is that flower from Daddy's rose?"
Me:  "Yes, isn't it gorgeous?" [confused look] "Do you know what 'gorgeous' means?"
Paul:  "It means, 'Mommy.'"

*pitter patter heart*

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Overheard: Subtle Insults

Me:  "Nathan, I can't pick you up.  You're too big."
Nathan:  "I'm big.  And Jacob's big."
Me:  "Is Daddy big, too?"
Nathan:  "No.  Daddy's just short."
(He's not really.  He's 5'9" - shorter than me, but not short.)

Paul:  "Are you going to grow up and get big?"
Nathan:  "Yeah.  And you growed up and got almost big."

Nathan:  "Daddys don't have big bellys.  Only Mommy does."

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Someday I'll get to an update.  Let me give you a rundown of a normal day:
The boys wake me up about 7:30.  I may or may not try to convince them to snuggle in bed so I don't have to get up.
I fix breakfast, we eat and read the Bible.
I set the timer for Nathan, and quickly check my email and Facebook.
Timer goes off and we start school.  It usually takes about an hour.
I set the timer again and we practice violin for as long as his attention and my patience last (like 20 minutes) - and some days my patience is shot by the time we get done with school, so I don't even bother, or I make Paul do it later.
I do a little housework, we go on a walk, or I let them play until lunchtime.
We eat.
I let them play, telling myself I'm not that tired and that I think I can get by without a nap today.
I get them in bed for their naps, and realize I'm falling asleep myself.
Resistance is futile:  It's naptime.
Wake up, try to be productive (lately: huge fail)
Fix supper.
Play with boys, do projects.
Put them to bed.
Veg out, because I've resigned myself to the fact that productivity is futile.
Sleep some more (usually with weird dreams).

Two things about this pregnancy that are driving me crazy:  Being tired all the time, but not being able to sleep (or not sleeping well), and being hungry all the time, but the thought of everything makes me want to gag (which means I never want to cook).  I haven't been sick, it's just that all food (except fast food or junk food, go figure) just sounds gross.  But once I just buck up and eat it, it's fine.  I had a salad today, that I wasn't sure I'd be able to choke down (but the only other choice was hot dogs), but two bites in, I was enjoying it.
Anyhow.  This pregnancy may be the death of this blog.  So I apologize.

Saturday, October 29, 2011


I can't tell you for sure what I did today, but it may not have been cleaning house.

What I told Paul after he woke up this afternoon (working nights) and the house was literally a pile from one end to the other.  (Okay, so three rooms.  But still.  Literally.  Pile.)  Between toys, laundry, our child-sized table and chairs, and a huge pile of blankets the boys made for kitten snuggling, it was one huge booby trap.
(Oh, and I was taking a nap when he discovered it.)

Monday, October 24, 2011


Mommy, I like your big hair.

Which he immediately redeemed himself by saying,

It's like on Jacob's movie. [Rapunzel on Tangled, which Jacob got for his birthday.]

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Some of My Favorite Recent Pictures

I've been bad at getting updates lately.  Between teaching Nathan's violin and preschool daily, I haven't had much free time.

So in lieu of a detailed update, I thought I'd just share some of my favorite pictures from the last couple months.... The pictures are more interesting than my ramblings anyways.  Most of these are pictures I intended to use for a blog, but just never got around to it.  (Typical.)

This was on Mother's Day (so it's a few more months than just "the last few").  I love them, and I think they're so cute when they are dressed matchy-matchy.  My handsome guys!

 Why colored bubbles only sound like an awesome idea.

He's quite fond of torturing the cat (in love).  And the cat just takes it, so it's his own dumb fault.

 Nathan found a tiny baby snail (on top of a "normal" size snail shell, which is about the size of a nickel).  I thought the photos with him in the background were hilarious.

 We have some old, old Bugs Bunny cartoons - the ones from World War II, with jingles about war bonds and saving tin.  One on there is the national anthem.  He always stands up when that one is on.  (So proud of this.)


My rock stars.  (I may have posted it before.)  I did tell Nathan to do the "peace" sign.

We expanded our play set.  It now has two platforms.  The next step will be a playhouse built on the area where Nathan's bike is parked..... Someday.  The new platform will lead to a loft above the playhouse.

Jacob is a picky eater at mealtimes.  But when he wants to eat something, he'll eat anything.  These pics:  a whole boiled egg - in the shell, and a stick of butter.  He also ate half a decorative gourd - straight through like an apple, chalk, crayons, and markers (which he has to try at least once a week).

The boys watching the final Space Shuttle launch.

It has been DRY.  This is our feet after a very short walk down the grass at the side of our gravel road.  It's October, and it's still no better.

 Nathan is coming along on his violin.  Jacob is now very interested as well, but it's very obvious he does not have the patience to even bother trying to teach him yet.  It's like, "I want to hold the violin.  Okay.  I'm done."

 The lighting was just perfect the evening I took these.  My boys just look like they're glowing (which they always do to me :) ).

The favorite pastime this summer was removing all of my landscaping bricks from the edge of my front flower bed, hauling them in their Tonka trucks, and then lining them up or stacking them on the sidewalk.  I just finally reclaimed them two weeks ago, and so far they haven't been destroyed again (yet).

More "I don't see the point of these flowers."  We took this large planter down off the deck rail after Jacob pulled it off on himself.  They proceeded to pull the flowers, because they were on some prime dirt for farming. 

 As a "last hurrah" of summer, about the beginning of September when it started to cool down, I filled up the dog's water pool (it's very dry, so he needs a place to drink and splash).  The boys proceeded to strip down and go skinny dipping in the COLD water.  They loved it.  (Incidentally, they have not asked to swim since. :P )

 I love any picture of our house and yard.  It just makes me feel so peaceful.  Home must really be where your heart is.

We had one of those crazy spiny squooshy balls, and it popped.  (I didn't know it was possible.)  It makes for an awesome silly hat, though!

Nathan turned 4!  I made him a worm cake, which looks PATHETIC compared to the one in the magazine I got the idea from, but he loved it.

My parents got Nathan and Mackenzie (my niece; her 5th birthday was the same week, so we had a double party) globes.  It is perfect timing for school, learning about the world God created, and showing them where their Aunt Sissy is.  (Carlsie, my youngest sister, is in Zambia for 2 years with the Peace Corps.)  
Here, they're showing us where Zambia is.

This face.  It makes my heart melt every time.  What is it?  Is it the puppy dog eyes?

 And his smile just lights up a room.  Seriously.  Heart bursting.

Of course, this guy is getting pretty darn handsome.  His smile can just say T-U-R-D sometimes. :)

And the Real Reason for No Posting......

A couple more pictures.........

(Sleep is pretty much my priority right now.)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Public School

The more I hear about what kids are learning in public school - from each other, not the teachers (although don't get me started on that aspect) - the more I'm sure we made the right decision to home-school.  Pornography, masturbation, and gay sex acts..... from 10 year olds.
Some may argue, "Well, you can't protect them forever."  You're right. I can't protect them forever, and I don't want to.  I just want to protect them until they're old enough and mature enough to know right from wrong, to know how to respond when they are confronted with wrong and evil.  To know that just because friends are talking about and doing something, there is another option - to walk away from the crowd.
I'd rather explain things myself than have them exposed to a picture of something that confuses and alarms them. (Homosexuality is talked about in the Bible. We read the Bible as a family.  It will come up.)  We recently were talking to a friend, and he told us of his 20-year struggle with pornography, after he was exposed to it by a "friend" in 5th grade.
Okay, so homeschooling doesn't necessarily control the content of their conversations with their friends.  But it helps control who they're talking to and where they're talking about it.
And, yes, I will be "one of those" parents.  Even though the boys are only 2 and 4, we already have rules about girls in their bedrooms, and they're not allowed to go into girls bedrooms.

Saturday, October 15, 2011


I woke up with this song in my head:

Rain makes corn
Corn makes whiskey
Whiskey makes my baby
A little frisky

GAAH!  I've only heard it once ever, so why do I wake up with it going over and over in my head?  And why can't I get it out?
(I have no idea of the title or artist, but it's a country song.  I heard it earlier this week on a YouTube farming video Paul was watching.  This is the only part I remember.)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Dear Son:

Nathan, as much as you would like to try to fight it, naptime around here isn't negotiable. It's a sacred time.
At least until you're old enough to clean the house or something while I take a nap myself.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Pardon Me While I Brag on My Kids.....

Have I mentioned that I love having boys? I must admit, I am kind of (a lot) intimidated by the fact that we are raising future men and fathers. Will they be kind, polite, brave? Will they be hard workers? Will they be strong Christians, leaders?

But for now, they are boys. They love dirt, mud, animals, water, anything with wheels, climbing, building (and destroying) things.

It seems like they challenge my authority constantly at home, yet when we go out, they make me so proud. I don't worry about going to the store with them - they don't throw fits or beg for items. (But don't get me wrong - I'd still rather go shopping without them!) Taking them to a church potluck on my own (when Paul is working) is a breeze - they eat, they play, I get to socialize. I guess it goes to show that consistency with discipline does eventually pay off.

Jacob amazes me. Two months ago, he barely had 5 understandable words. Now we can understand almost everything he says (it's not perfect, but we can tell what it is). He even says, "I love you." (Ah Lahl Lou.) Talk about how to melt my heart! He is still 10x more snuggly than Nathan ever was, which sometimes is a pain (in the middle of the night, anyone?). But I guess I should enjoy it? He is starting to sing recognizable songs (Twinkle, Old McDonald, and B-I-B-L-E, mostly). He won't be 2 until later this month, and he's fully potty trained himself (my plan wasn't even to start until about now.) He's decided that boots and a hat are essential components of his wardrobe when he leaves the house, which thrills me, because it means he has identified with, and wants to be like his daddy.

Nathan has got a mind like a steel trap..... When he chooses to use it. He can sing songs word-for-word that he's only heard a couple times. Yet when it comes to the Alphabet, he claims he "doesn't know" on most of the letters. (Although it could be an audible vs. visual learning thing, I guess, because he can sing the whole song with no problem.) We started preschool with him, about an hour a day (depending on how many battles of wills we have), every day. He really seems to have it on numbers, but the letters are slow coming. He's writing his name now - every day it's a little faster and a little less coaching. His violin is coming along..... We're still not really pushing him. He's graduated to his real violin (he was learning posture on a toy), and is working on drawing the bow straight and crossing strings. I think he sometimes gets frustrated, wanting to play music, not realizing all this other stuff has to be perfected before you can make it sound like music.

When it comes down to it, I am very proud of my boys. Not because they're adorable (which they are), but because they're good boys. They're "all boy" boys. They are future men.