Monday, October 19, 2009

A Full Week

Last week was quite eventful. I thought I'd share a few highlights. Monday was Zack's 7th birthday. We had planned to have his party the following evening and hit the fair during the day (since kid's could get in free that day). Unfortunately, Sam came down with a fever Monday evening and it just got worse on Tues. So, the party was postponed and the fair was off. Hailey also ended up with a high fever before the day was done. We were up a lot that night with both of them. Sam's sickness went to his chest and sinuses and Hailey's went to her stomach. Of course I didn't know this when I brought her into our bed in the night. It was a few moments later when she threw up all over me and then our bed...missing Steven somehow (interesting how that happens :) Thankfully, she seemed completely well the next day. Sam's cold has hung in there, but he's doing better now. I was sure it was swine flu and the whole family would get it. But thankfully, we've only had a few sniffles from the bunch. Of course I loaded them up with vitamins and garlic :)

On Wednesday Steven decided to re-insulate the attic, which he's been wanting to do for a while. He was off work most of the week (code for "without work"- though he's busy again this week), so he was using this opportunity to get projects done around here. This project ended up being...well....let's just say, it better be really warm in our house this winter! It said, "Quick and easy to use"...ha! Here's a piece of advice...if you have to insulate, don't use the blow-in stuff. Now I'm speaking as a mom who doesn't like extra messes to clean up... especially HUGE messes! Steven was in the attic with the hose going down the attic stairs, through the school-room and out the window hooked up to this huge machine (notice the mess):

I got to stand at the machine and feed the paper stuff into it. Remember they said "quick"? Well, look at how many of these things I had to feed in! And this wasn't all of it! There were 40 of them!
At one point the hose slipped and fell down the attic staircase and into the hallway, while still blowing the lovely insulation everywhere! Steven tried calling my cell phone (which was how we were supposed to communicate), but I never heard it over the loud machine. Poor guy was screaming at the top of his lungs from the attic, "Turn it off!!! Turn it off!!!" He has been hoarse ever since. Needless to say, another HUGE mess, which was inevitably tracked into every room of the house.
And since we had never done this before and had no idea how involved it was, we hadn't prepared a whole lot. Steven didn't realize he'd need me for the whole thing, and we didn't start until late in the afternoon. Hailey was about to wake up from her nap. I finally had all the boys go into her room with the little DVD player. Jake got her out of her crib and changed her diaper (good brother!). I made them stay in there for the next 2 hours so we could get more done and they wouldn't enter the mess in the hall! How sad! And by this point it was dinner time and they were all hungry. The machine was only rented for 24 hours so we had to keep going. We were just a tad stressed. I think this picture says it all. And this wasn't even the worst of it. You should have seen us at the end! We were covered it that stuff.
We finally stopped, got everything cleaned up, fed the kids and put them to bed. Whew! Then we got up and started again at 7am to finish. But this time we managed to keep things much cleaner. Unfortunately, the attic is now a mess of insulation and a layer of dust on everything stored up there. So, there's still cleaning left to be done :(

Friday night we finally had Zack's b-day party. We invited the Steven's family over, who also have 5 children and 1 on the way. Their son Sam is officially Zack's best friend. We were going with a Davy Crockett theme, which the boys decided would include:

a shooting contest with the BB gun (which Zack won)...
Mom even got in on the action...

Then a "candy blast" using the potato cannon. First goes in the potato, and then a bunch of candy. Then it blasts the candy all over the yard and the kids go chasing after it. It's quite fun.
We ate "squirrel" stew (actually, it was pork, but we pretended)
and dirt cake...yumm
Zack got a coon skin cap from Mom & Dad, which topped it off. He was so cute.
But his favorite gift of all was the 2-CD set of Keith Green, who he has become enamored with lately. We listen to him non-stop.
The interesting thing is that the next day Steven and the boys actually got to go squirrel hunting with our friend Mr. Robert and his 2 sons! Yes, we are officially southern rednecks. They had so much fun. They came back with 2 squirrels (though they were shot by the other boys). Here they are getting some basic gun training and getting set to go.
The hunters and their prize...
Learning to skin and clean the game (notice how interested Ben is)...

The Benton's sent us home with the 2 squirrels as well as 4 more from their freezer! I think they just wanted to get rid of them. I said, "Thanks a lot!" ha ha.... Now I guess I really get to figure out how to make squirrel stew! So who's comin' fer supper?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Requested Belly Shot

Well, here is belly shot #6. I've had a new belly shot just about every year for quite a while. They don't look too much different. This picture doesn't do justice to the actual size. The comments are already starting. When are you due? The middle of December. Wow! Do you think you're gonna make it? Sigh....(and polite smile, of course :). Next will be...Are you sure there's just one in there? I've heard them all. Oh well, I love being pregnant, even if it does look like I'm carrying an XL watermelon under my shirt :)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Boys, Babies, and Pig-Tails

Somehow I’m actually sitting here with extra time on my hands and the kids aren’t even in bed yet! We’ve actually eaten dinner, cleaned up, gotten the kids ready for bed and it’s not even 6:30pm yet! This never seems to happen, and Steven isn’t even here. He’s been doing work out of town for the last 3 days (and 4 days last week...sad), but he’s coming home tonight! Anyhow, the boys decided to go to their room and play their new favorite game…the “pull-down-each-other's-underwear” game. Their room was SOOOO loud with screaming and giggling, it was hilarious! Needless to say, Hailey and I made a quick exit to a quiet, sane room. After a bit the boys got a little tired of that game and decided to do something else. I don’t know if I should be concerned, but this is what I saw next!!

They found Hailey’s hair bows. I guess maybe they have TOO MUCH time on their hands tonight! They continued to make appearances in various girlie attire, from hats, bows & headbands to shoes and even a grass skirt! Maybe it’s good that Daddy isn’t home tonight! Those boys are too much sometimes.
On a different note, my midwife Norma visited today and we had a great time. I’m almost 31 weeks (which still surprises me…it’s gone so fast). We listened to the baby’s heartbeat and of course I called Steven on my cell phone so he could hear. The first thing he said was, “ I hear it!!” Then she palpated (felt around) my belly to feel the position of the baby. This was the really cool part. She says my uterus is really roomy and I have plenty of amniotic fluid so the baby is really easy to feel (maybe that’s also why I’m so BIG!). As we felt all the little parts, the baby would move in response to our touch. It’s really amazing because we could actually feel a little foot so clearly at one point!! I felt like we were playing with her! Ok, yes, I said “her”. Of course we don’t really know what the baby is and aren’t planning to find out. But her heartbeat has been in the high 160s the whole time (just like Hailey’s) and the boys all had heartbeats in the 140s. They say this is the trend (that girls have faster heart rates in utero), though of course it’s not certain. But my midwife has been saying “she” since the beginning. So, who knows? But I have to admit, I’m thinking pink. Anyhow, back to the cool part of feeling the baby. It really made me long to hold her (or him :). I caught myself daydreaming about cuddling my little newborn on my chest as I was sitting in the recliner today. Yeah! Thank you God for babies!!
Ok, I had to add this pic. The boys convinced me to give them pig-tails. So sad, I know. They look like Bam Bam. Please don’t hold this against them when they are older. I promise you they were shooting BB guns and bows and arrows earlier! I'm a mean mom for even posting this!

You gotta love Zack's face...he always has to be silly. And Sam....well, Sam really could have been an adorable little girl!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A Year Later....

Ok, so it's been a year since I've blogged. Pretty sad, I know. I have had so many great blogs in my mind over the last year, I just haven't gotten them into the computer! I'm hoping to change that. "Hoping" is the key word here. I often have great aspirations yet seem to have trouble following through. But lately I've been convicted of my need to share our lives with our family and friends (especially the poor grandparents who rarely see pics of their grandkids!). I apologize for doing such a poor job of this. So here goes...

First off, you'll notice we've changed our blog (this is the view from our land and our own wildflowers) and added a new title, "A Fruitful Life." The significance of this is found in the verse above, Deut. 28:2-6. It is our desire to honor God in every aspect of our lives by walking in obedience to Him. This is what He calls us to do. And even though we ought to do this with nothing in return, it amazes us that He graciously lavishes blessings on us as a reward! And this is the Fruitful Life we speak of. We thank God that He has blessed us in the city, and now in the country. He has blessed the fruit of my womb (with baby #6 on the way!!) and the fruit of the ground (we had a great big garden this year!). We don't have cattle yet, but maybe in the future:) And flocks...well, we may be getting a flock of chickens from a friend real soon! And He has blessed our basket and our kneading bowl (we have never gone hungry!). He has blessed us as we go in and as we go out. What a great God we serve! He has been so good to us and we are so undeserving.

Here is Zack with one of our squash plants when it was just starting out. It got A LOT bigger than that!! Zack really enjoyed working in the garden.

This is Steven tying up supports for all our tomato plants.

Unfortunately, I can't find the pics of the garden at it's peak, but it was beautiful! Here is some of the bounty.
Watermelon & Canteloupe

Squash, Zucchini, Tomatoes, Okra, Cucumber, Corn & Watermelon (and more that isn't here)

Enjoying the Watermelon!


We are so thankful for a successful first run at the garden. We learned a lot (especially Steven, who gets all the credit for a job well done!!) and hopefully will have more success next year.

Moving on...

We have had lots of birthdays lately. Hailey Jo turned 1 yr on June 28th. It was my first girly party and I had LOTS of fun decorating in pink!!

Then came my birthday and Ben's birthday (which we share) on August 14th. Notice which side of the cake has all the candles!!! Ben turned 4 & I turned 33.

Ben got this shirt from Grandma & Grandpa

Then came Sammy's birthday on September 18th. He turned 3!

Next month is Zack's birthday, then Steven in November, and our new baby will be born in December! Then will come Jake's in February. After that we'll have a birthday break for a while.

Here are some random pics of the kids, just for fun :)

Jake mowing the entire front yard (for the first time!). We don't have a riding mower yet, so the boys work hard keeping up the land.

Zack does his share too!

My favorite little girl!

Daddy's favorite girl too :)

Her brothers are crazy about her too...

The boys got into a puzzle craze and finished this 500+ piece puzzle! (with a little help from Mama) It made us hungry every time we worked on it!

We enjoyed a wonderful visit from Grandma & Grandpa (Steven's parents) at the beginning of this month! We had such a great time visiting, playing games, going to the zoo, visiting Natchez (Nachoz as Grandma called it:), eating pancakes and goodies and just having fun! Thanks so much for coming!! We miss you!

Well, that's it for now. Hopefully you feel caught up a bit. Don't expect this much each time...ha ha. I sure hope my next post doesn't start "A Year Later..." again!!