Tuesday, October 27, 2009

It started with an Onion

I'm almost at the Mother Hubbard state. You know,

Old Mother Hubbard
Went to the cupboard,
To give the poor dog a bone:
When she came there,
The cupboard was bare,
And so the poor dog had none.

Yep. My cupboards are getting pretty bare. I have food in the freezer for dinners, but breakfast and lunch fixin's are a little sparse. I did find a can of Campbell's Chicken and Rice soup. So I thought I'd make it for lunch. When I opened the can, Zach thought he saw an onion, so we had to look at the ingredient list to see if onions are in the soup. (They are by the way, and Zach is the biggest onion hater I've ever seen.) While reading the ingredients, we came across one item that will keep me from ever buying canned soup again. I mean it. No, it wasn't MSG, although that's in there. It was mechanically separated chicken. Do you know what mechanically separated chicken is? Just look it up. Personally, I prefer to know that the meat I'm eating and serving is really only meat. No spinal cords for my family thank you!

So, thank you to Zach and his war on onions. Now that I know what's in the purchased soup, I'll be cooking and freezing a bunch of homemade. In my spare time.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Breastfeeding Beyond Babyhood

Since the birth of Sophie, I've been surprised at how many people are shocked that I'm still nursing Emma. She's not quite 18 months old, and if Sophie hadn't been born, I never would have considered weaning her yet. Not unless she was ready, and she's not. I admit that on several occasions I've wished she wasn't still nursing, but for the most part I don't mind. Unless Sophie needs to be fed, and Emma's screaming (only happens in the middle of the night). Then I mind. A lot.

I've spoken with quite a few moms lately who weaned their children at about 9 months old. I don't in any way think they made the wrong decision to wean, but its not the right decision for me. Not at this time. And I wonder how many of them would have continued to nurse if our society was more accepting of women nursing their babies well into toddlerhood. So when I came across this post this morning, it was very timely. How I wish our country was more accepting, and even more proud, of women who choose to breastfeed. I guess our country first needs to be more accepting of children though. And we've got a long way to go in that area.

Monday, October 19, 2009

One Month

Its been just over one month since my last post. Its amazing what can happen in a month. For example, this:

Our precious little one was born on Thursday, September 17th at 5:46 pm. Weighing 8 pounds, and measuring 20 1/4 inches long. We named her Sophia Rose. She is priceless.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Things You Should Never Say to a Pregnant Woman

Over 6 pregnancies, I've definitely heard my share of comments about children, childbirth and pregnancy in general. For those of you who haven't experienced the "joy" of tactless comments, I'll share some with you here.

Comment: "Haven't you had that baby yet?"
In my head: "Why, yes, actually. I gave birth just the other day, but I decided that I loved looking like this, so I left the baby at home and stuffed a watermelon down my shirt."

Comment: "When are you going to have the baby?"
My reply: "Don't know, but I'm due on xx date."
Follow Up: "What do you mean you don't know? Isn't this your sixth? You should KNOW something by now!"
In my head: "This may be MY 6th birth, but it is THIS baby's first. And baby's not sharing any information at this time."

Comment: "Wow! You're really getting big!"
In my head: "I'm 9 months pregnant. What's your excuse?"

Comment: "Six children?! Don't you know how that happens?"
In my head: "Yes, and obviously we enjoy it."

Comment: "How many times have you been married?"
In my head: "Eight, but all the kids belong to the 5th one."

Comment: "Well, by now you probably don't even feel anything when they're born."
In my head: "Let me kick you in the gut 5 times, then you let me know if you feel it the 6th time."

Comment: "Was it an accident?" (This is always asked by a total stranger.)
In my head: "Were you?"

Comment: (upon learning that we have homebirths) "Oh, do you have a lot of people come watch?"
In my head: "Yes, and we'll all be there for your next prostate exam." (It amazes me how many men make this comment.)

Comment: "Aren't you getting too old for that?"
In my head: "Obviously not. But since you're senile I won't comment on your rudeness."

Comment: "Hasn't anyone taught you about birth control?"
In my head: "Yes. Its a shame it didn't work for your parents."

Yes, I have really heard all those comments and more, though lately the replies don't seem to stay in my head anymore. Must be a pregnancy thing. =)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A Guessing Game

We're waiting patiently for the arrival of our littlest one. My official due date is September 20th, but I don't put much faith into due dates. I have a "due month". I've delivered #1 11 days late (from and adjusted due date - she was actually 30 days late from my first due date), #2 9 days early, #3 2 days early (right on time), #4 9 days late, and #5 5 days early.

Up until #5 (Emma), the girls were late and the boys were early, but she changed that pattern. I wonder if it was because we thought she was a boy until 2 weeks before she was born.

We don't know what this baby is. We don't know when it will decide to arrive. We do know that God has perfect timing. Anyone want to guess what it will be and when it will arrive? We could add size to the guesses, but that's really not fair. They've been all over the place - 6 lbs. 14 oz., 8 lbs 2 oz, 8 lbs 6 oz, 9 lbs 4 oz, and 7 lbs even. Sorry, no prize for the winner. I don't have time to be creative right now - I'm making a baby!

Birthday Week

This past Monday, Labor Day, was my oldest son's 17th birthday. The calendar worked out perfectly this year, because he really was born on Labor Day 17 years ago. We spent the day celebrating with friends on an island in the middle of one of the most beautiful lakes in the area. Picnicking, boating, tubing, and rock jumping for the older kids and teens. The weather was gorgeous, the company fantastic, and the food made all the better because it was shared with friends. It was a Very Good Day!

Tomorrow is my oldest daughter's 21st birthday. 21 years! My how time flies! She's about 2,000 miles away, so we won't be able to celebrate together this year. I thought about baking a cake anyway. Just because. Perhaps I should re-create her 16th birthday cake - a triple layer turtle cheesecake that took 4 or 5 bowls to make, most of an afternoon, and was absolutely worth it! On second thought, I'd better not. She'd never forgive me for making it when she isn't here to enjoy it.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

An Unscientific Comparison of Meats

The Builder (my hubby), and I went to the local Farmer's Market and purchased a couple of pounds of ground beef from a local farm that raises grass-fed beef. I've wanted to switch from the gross factory farmed grocery store meats for a while, but I could never justify the extra cost. Food is expensive, and we need to stick to a budget. Well, we brought home the beef, cooked it, and were quite surprised. There was absolutely no fat to drain! So I figure, except for a bit of moisture loss, the pound of meat I cooked gave me - get this - a pound of meat! I should have weighed it, but I didn't think about it until after we ate. This pound of meat cost me $5.50. Yes, it was a little hard to explain to the Builder why we were spending that much when I could buy it so much cheaper at the store, but he loves me, and he's a good sport.

Just to compare, a few nights later I cooked some ground beef I had in the freezer. I forgot to weigh it (to calibrate my scale) before I cooked it, but it was 3.5 pounds of ground beef I bought for $3.19 a pound. After I finished cooking it and (attempting) to drain off all the fat, I weighed it. It weighed 2.25 pounds. So I paid for 1 1/4 pounds of fat! BLECH! My grocery store beef ended up costing me almost $5 a pound, and I never could get rid of all the fat. So for just a little bit more, I could buy much healthier, grass fed, local beef. Plus (and this could easily be a biased opinion), the grass feed tasted better.

Totally unscientific experiment completed.

One Decision

Its amazing how many changes one decision can bring. One simple choice, and a domino effect begins. Even when you know its a good choice, and the right choice, some of the changes are a little hard to handle.

My oldest son will be attending the same school my oldest daughter attended for a few years. As with her, we knew that homeschooling was, by far, the best educational choice. But, as with her, there are other circumstances that sometimes make private schooling a good option as well. So after a whirlwind of talking, meeting with the school administrator, and a LOT of prayer, it looks like Josh will be heading to classes on Tuesday. It will be nice to just be Mom again - not Mom, teacher, principal, disciplinarian, nagger of the eternal, "did you finish your school work" question. He's been home with me since first grade, except for one semester in 6th grade when he gave school a shot - he was bored.

The changes?
  • How about 3 hours a day in the car driving him back and forth? In addition to the other errands we run. Yep, that'll be fun. Anyone want to donate to our books on CD fund?
  • Sticking to someone else's schedule. I love being able to come and go as we please. Its a nice day? Lets take the day off and go play. Now we have to abide by a school calendar, no matter the weather, or the energy level.
  • Waking everyone up and getting them dressed, fed and out the door by 7:00. That should be a breeze - I'm a morning person. Except Josh, Zach, Maddie and Emma all sleep till at least 7:00, sometimes 8:00. Emma can't dress or feed herself, and we're adding a newborn in a couple of weeks. How early do I need to wake up to nurse a newborn, and a 16 month old, and make breakfast, and shower, and actually put on clothes?
  • Josh - my Fetcher of Firewood, Snowplower of Driveway, and Mover of All Things Too Heavy to Lift By Myself, will not be home for most of the day. Somehow I need to make sure the wood is ready for the day, the snow doesn't come before he needs to be picked up or before the Builder (my hubby) gets home, and I'll need to either wait for weekends to rearrange furniture or start going to the gym.
  • Three nights a week, we need to leave our house by 5:00, and one night by 4:00, to get to church so he can practice with the Worship Team. We try to have dinner before we leave, although we often end up eating in the car. Now we still need to leave the house early, but by the time we get home from picking Josh up from school it will be 3:30-ish. Crockpot cooking will definitely be my lifesaver! I'll just need to start supper by 5:00 am to fit it into the new schedule. =)
I'm sure there are other things we haven't even thought about - like school events on weekends and evenings, projects that require library time - usually assigned during weeks we absolutely cannot get to the library for some reason, packing nutritional lunches that don't need refrigeration or reheating (a lesson in creativity for everyone who needs to do this).

Looks like it'll be an interesting year!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Making It Home

I've spent the better part of the last week painting our home. Zach and Maddie helped me remove the wallpaper and border that was hung below the chair rail in the kitchen and dining area, then I got to work painting. The kitchen and dining area was finished first, and even my husband was shocked at how much better it looked. I believe his exact words were, "Those are the perfect colors." He's never said that before. Not even close. And I paint. A lot! These colors are warm and inviting - Sherwin Williams Flower Pot below the chair rail (in case you're interested), and Laura Ashley Deep Cowslip 3 above it. This is in the kitchen and attached dining area. Then I moved into the living room and painted everything Laura Ashley Deep Cowslip 2 (a shade lighter than the kitchen). Keeping in mind that two of the walls I was covering were painted a very deep purple, and all the rest of the walls were a purplish-gray, I knew a pale, creamy, yellow would be an improvement, but I didn't realize how much! The rooms in our little house feel so much larger and brighter than before. I still need to finish a bit in the living room as two of the walls reach up to the second floor. I've asked both my husband and oldest son to bring me the extension ladder so I can finish, but they've both declined. The said something about not allowing an 8 month pregnant woman on a high ladder. I hope they're planning on doing it for me, because it will drive me NUTS to see it unfinished!

Its been a lot of work, but now the only rooms remaining to be repainted are the kids' bedrooms and the bathrooms. I love how updating the paint colors to reflect OUR taste has made this even more our Home. Makes me want to keep working on it. Next step - paperwork!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Freezer Meals

In anticipation of the birth of our sixth (!) child in about 6 1/2 (!) weeks, give or take 2 weeks, I am desperately trying to get some meals prepared and in the freezer so that the first couple of weeks will be a little easier. I'm going through my recipes to find appropriate additions to the list, and I have a few favorite websites for recipes as well. My general requirements for a freezer recipe:
  • It has to be relatively inexpensive.
  • It has to be liked by the majority of our family members.
  • It has to be easy to store and prepare from the frozen state.
  • It has to be borderline healthy, although I'll let this one slide for some really good freezer snacks.
Some of my favorite recipe sites are 30 Day Gourmet, Heavenly Homemakers, and this list of great recipes. I also like to use recipes I find in other blogs. I haven't really gone wrong with those yet. My current favorite blog for recipes, especially baking is Pleasant View Schoolhouse. She makes wonderful things. Someday I'd like to meet her.

I really need to stop finding new recipes and just start compiling a good list of what I want to cook so I can get those ingredients and start cooking!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Things To Do

My "To Do" lists are a bit of a joke in our family. The children usually think I'm joking when they ask the plan for the day. My husband has pretty much stopped asking. I don't get it. I'd rather set the standard high and try to reach it than set it too low. What do you think?

Here's my list for today:

Vacuum floor
Mop Floor
Wipe down windowsills
Wash diapers
Wash 2-3 loads of clothes
Bake blueberry muffins (This would accomplish two things - use up the berries in the fridge that need to be used and make breakfast for tomorrow.)
Register hubby's car
Buy chicken bedding - Hubby did that, so I get to cross it out
Buy chicken fencing - theoretically at the same place as the bedding
Pick ripe berries - Kids did that, so again, I get to cross it out
Build a fence for the chickens so they can be evicted from the garage
Roast a chicken for supper
Mow the grass - this is for Josh to do, but its on my list anyway
Order Raspberry tea
Make Josh's book list for this school year so I know what I need to buy
Attend a 3-hour homeschooling meeting
Buy closet organizers (this will almost definitely not get done today)

Absolutely accomplish-able. Right?

Saturday, August 1, 2009

The week in review

Last Sunday we had a church picnic. The weather didn't cooperate very well, but the majority of the rain held off until close to the end. After our picnic many of us headed to the waterfront for a baptism. Well, 4 baptisms. Josh and Zach were baptized. In God's pond. Pretty amazing.Can you say BRRR!?

Maddie planned on it, but after arriving at the water's edge and seeing how cold and rainy it was, she decided to wait for a nicer day. I really can't blame her. I thought it was pretty chilly myself, and I didn't go in the water.

Josh got his separators in for his braces on Tuesday. He definitely wasn't expecting his mouth to be sore, but it was. I got to go thrift shopping and made a couple of fun purchases.

Thursday was "a very bad day". You know, those days when nothing really goes right? We had one of those. Josh had to get the upper wires on his braces, plus have the upper and lower expanders put in. My poor husband used our personal bank account to pay for a very expensive work project by mistake, resulting in a rush trip to the bank to deposit funds from another account, phone calls for him to correct the mistake, and an overall not fun experience. It was also a day that things got dropped, broken and messed up every time we tried to do something. So I think it qualifies for a bad day label.

Friday was nice. Even got to go on a surprise date with my hubby. Ok, not really a date, but it was pretty close. Josh was at youth group, Zach and Maddie were at a friend's house, and we found ourselves with a couple of hours and only one child - not counting the one that I carry with me always. So we drove home to drop off his car, drove back into town, had a very nice dinner, went to pick up all the kids, and spent about 2 hours just hanging out with friends.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Writer's block

Apologies again for my lack of posting. I think I need a new blog name. I'm not so sure that I like the fact that my name is the blog address, because even though I currently have the blog settings to make it not searchable by google, I'm getting hits from parts of the country where I don't know anyone. So my thoughts are to change the name of the blog and the blog address to something a little more anonymous. So I'm thinking. Still thinking. Nope, nothing's coming to me yet. I'll keep you posted.

Monday, May 18, 2009


My oldest daughter recently informed me that my blog doesn't even know what's happening in my life. Guess I should fix that.

Here's what's been happening:

January - The kids reacquainted themselves with the joys of snow. Sadly, we had just moved back north and didn't get sleds. No problem. They used moving boxes. We had plenty of those.Kate left. Moved out. Drove 2,000 miles away to find a new home for her and her hubby.

February - We found out we're expecting a baby. Yes, #6 is on the way, due to arrive sometime in September. Yes, we're excited. And yes, we planned it. Kate's hubby returned home from Iraq. They get to FINALLY start married life together.

March - Kate and John came for a visit. Took most of our furniture back with them.

April - Celebrated my 3?th birthday. Celebrated Tom's 4?th birthday. Celebrated Emma's 1st birthday (she's still allowed to say how old she is.) Unfortunately, she wasn't feeling very well that day. Found out we're going to be grandparents. (Woohoo!) Kate and John are expecting a little bundle in December. Josh went to Driver's Ed. Josh spent most of the month battling the flu.

May - So far, so good. We're enjoying the beautiful flowers growing in our gardens. We're trying to get a good vegetable garden growing, but I do not have a green thumb. We're battling the black flies.

So now I think we're up to date.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Yes, They Did.

I really don't want my blog to become something that is all about our Government, but right now there is way too much happening to NOT comment on it.

1) Obama's inaugural address. It sounded like he quoted the Declaration of Independence. Sounded really good. Unless of course, you are familiar with the Declaration and saw what he said by not saying it. There's a good article that explains it pretty well here.
2) Obama signed an executive order re-establishing the use of federal funds (that would be taxpayer money) for organizations that provide or support abortions. So what does a Pro-life taxpayer do? Knowing that our tax dollars are being used to murder children creates a bit of a dilemma. We are bound by law to pay taxes, and bound by the Bible to obey the law, but the law is being used for something that is WRONG! Read more here.
3) Here's a video about the economic stimulus plans and who should receive any jobs created by the package and who should receive money. It pretty much speaks for itself. View it here.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Don't worry, the Government is in control

I just found something out. I mean it. Just now, like 3 minutes ago. And I HAVE to share it with anyone (all 2 of you) who actually read my blog. Remember all the toys coming out of China that had higher than allowable levels of lead? Remember all the recalls? Well, our government was concerned. Concerned for our children. Concerned for our families. So they decided to do something about it. They decided to pass the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008. According to the vote Roll Call, 25 members did not vote, the other 407 members of Congress agreed unanimously that this was a good law and passed it. Only 3 of our U.S. Senators thought it was a bad idea.

What does the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 do? Well, have you heard of National Bankruptcy Day? No? Its February 10, 2009. Coming right up. You see, the effective date of this is February 10, 2009. You know, this act that will protect our children. What happens on February 10, 2009? On that day, all products sold to be used by children under 12 must be tested for lead and phthalates to make sure the product is safe for our kids. Sounds like a good idea, right? The burden of testing is not on the supplier. The burden is on the manufacturer and the seller of these goods. So if you are a stay at home mom and you make some dresses for little girls, you need to test the material for EACH dress you make to be sure it doesn't contain anything bad. Nope, you can't test just once and be done. You have to test each batch you produce. So if a batch is one dress, you have to test the material for that one dress. Children's books? Yep, they have to be tested. DVD's? Those too. So you see, pretty much every single thing that is sold for children must be tested. And the cost to test? Well from what I can see, it's pretty expensive. I've seen numbers online ranging from $300 to $5000. Per test. That's for each product. Pretty much puts every small business out of business. Oh, and this applies to thrift stores as well - resellers must take responsibility for testing unless the "product" is donated along with a certificate stating that the product has been tested. Theories abound that not only will many businesses file bankruptcy, but the cost of products will skyrocket to cover the new cost of doing business. There's a good article that explains things a little better here.

Boy, I'm so glad our government is on top of things and they're protecting our kids. We won't have to worry about our kids having any toys with lead in them, but then it doesn't matter. After this law goes into effect, no one will be able to buy anything anyway. Our economy will be in further turmoil, but our kids will be "safe".

Sunday, January 4, 2009

A Walk to Remember

Today, I got to spend time alone (yes, ALONE) with my husband!! Emma was freshly fed and changed, and my hubby invited me to go for a walk. With him. Alone. Josh, Zach and Maddie stayed home, Kate was out running some errands. So Tom and I suited up (yes, getting ready for an hour or more outside when its about 20 degrees and slightly breezy requires the donning of much apparel that is oddly similar to a knight suiting up for battle), and walked out of the house. Alone. Did I mention that we were alone? We started out just walking to the field hidden behind our home. Then we walked to the far corner of it, following a TON of deer trails, and looking at the fruit trees, and just dreaming about the possibilities. Our quick walk turned into a little bit of an extended walk - all the way around our land. I'll say it again for good measure - Our Land. A lifelong dream, finally came true. We have woods, we have streams, we have fruit trees, we have a field tucked away behind our home, hidden from the view of any passersby. We have perennial gardens, blueberries and raspberries. This is a little slice of long awaited paradise. I can only imagine, after dreaming of this for SO long, and enjoying it SO much, what it will be like when we finally, after dreaming of it for so long, arrive in Paradise. Oh, the anticipation!

So today, my husband and I walked around Our Land for the first time. Alone. Truly a Walk to Remember.


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