Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!


"And the angel said to them, "Be not afraid; for behold I bring you good nes of a great joy which will come to all the people; for to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger." - Luke 2:10-12

Ah here it is, Christmas Eve, and I have a confession to make - I have been having a very difficult time finding any Christmas spirit. I want to have it, but between the nausea, vomiting, fatigue, headaches, and feelings of starvation and dehydration I have been fighting, well... its been a bit of a struggle for me this year.


But tonight, as I drug myself out of pajamas and bed (yes, tonight, I'd been sick all day with my amazing husband and wonderful children caring for me) I got ready for mass and off we went. And of course, we were late. Which was my fault because it took me forever to get ready, and even then I looked haphazard and rough, but I figured it would have to do, and we entered the church with standing room only and were relegated to the back of the narthex next to the nativity scene and empty manger. And then, an amazing thing happened. The procession began, to bless the nativity. And my family got to stand right next to Father as he blessed the nativity, and reminded me of what Christmas is about. The incense filled my nose and my being, like a wrap of comfort and hope and peace, and I felt better than I have felt in weeks. It did not last long, but in that moment, I felt such joy. We watched as the baby Jesus was placed right in front of us into the manger. I felt my slightly growing stomach and I now pray that God will forgive me for my selfishness during this pregnancy so far. For all of my complaints, and yes, even the feelings of doubt of having this baby because I have been feeling so sick. I ask my mother Mary, to keep me in her prayers and to ask for intercession for me. That even if I do not feel better, I will remember that moment by the manger this evening. Mary must have struggled far more than I, but as a mother she also must feel such empathy for me in what I am going through, and I know she will lift me up in prayer to her Son.

As my children watched the blessing of the nativity, I realized how all these little things - like being late - came together in such a perfect moment for what MY family needed most this year. What an incredible blessing on this Christmas Eve.

And now, as I log off to go and decorate our tree with the kids, tuck them in bed, and finish all the last minute things for tomorrow, I leave you with these words from Pope Benedict XVI on this Christmas Eve.

"Today Christmas has become a commercial celebration, whose bright lights hide the mystery of God's humility, which in turn calls us to humility and simplicity, ...Let us ask the Lord to help us see through the superficial glitter of this season, and to discover behind it the child in the stable in Bethlehem, so as to find true joy and true light."


From our family to yours,
have a very blessed and merry Christmas!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Magical Christmas Moment

I saw this video posted on another blog, and I just cried while watching it. So moving, so magical. Or maybe I'm just so pregnant. ;o)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Faux - Greek Avgolemono

As I sit here eating a little bowl of quick and easy soup, I thought, hmmm maybe someone else would like to try it. We really enjoy it when we have sore throats or coughs that need soothing, or when its chilly out. I am loving it for a nice evening meal before I go to bed, since it stays down and keeps me from waking up with hunger pains during the night (did I mention that me and food have not been very good friends lately?)

So, here you go. A very easy and not at all accurate version of Greek Avgolemono soup. Believe me - this recipe is not even close to the ingredients or amazingness of the real thing. BUT, it does fine in a pinch. And since I don't know how to make the real thing, this as as good as it gets around here. =o)

1 regular size can cream of chicken soup
Milk
1 medium sized lemon (or more, depending on your love for lemony-goodness)
sprinkling of thyme

Dump can of soup into a stove pot
Cut the lemon and squeeze the juice into the soup (watch out for seeds!)
Add milk (instead of water as on can directions) to desired consistency
Warm thoroughly
Sprinkle with thyme until you get the flavor you want
And EAT

So yum.

The Taylor Elves

Elf Yourself has become one of our family traditions around here. The kids find it hilarious.

So from our family to yours - have a very hip Christmas.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Prayer Request for another Mom

I don't know this mom and her little one, and I have never even read her blog until today when I clicked a link through a link through a link that led me to her blog. But as a mom myself, I can't imagine what she and her family have gone through, are going through, and will be going through.

You see, she and her little baby were hit by a large trailer. She is bruised but ok, and her son is in the hospital and will live, but it sounds as if they have a long road of physical and emotional healing to go through. Please, pray for this family. Her story had me in tears, and still does. I fully believe that our prayers can be used to just wrap this family and their little boy up in love. Please join me.

http://ourordinarylifeextraordinary.blogspot.com/2011/12/tragedy.html

Thursday, December 15, 2011

And...the decision is made

Well, Adam and I have made our final decision regarding the birth of this baby.

We are going with the OB I used with Will, and the hospital in The Woodlands. Although I would love to use the birth center, it really is too far for me personally to go during labor. During labor I can manage my pain when I can move, and I can't imagine sitting in a car for an hour without being able to actively do anything to relieve that pain. Adam is also not very comfortable with the drive, and I can not force him to do do something I know he is concerned about.

However, we have come to a bit of a compromise. We will be hiring a doula this time to have with us while I labor at home and when I go to the hospital for the birth. In the past, I realize most of my birth "issues" have come up because during labor I can not, for whatever reason, stand up for myself. I feel intimidated with the doctors and nurses around me, and because I am in no state during labor to really stand up for myself based on my past history, and Adam just isn't confrontational and is very agreeable, we realize that in order for us to make this birth better than my previous ones, we need an extra support person and advocate there with us.

Even though this isn't exactly what I had hoped for, it is definitely something I can be ok with, and I feel much better knowing I will have a doula there with us offering that extra support and care. Its a compromise we are happy with based on all of the factors we had to consider, and I feel good about this decision.

Now...onto interviewing doulas! Let me know if you know of one serving the north Houston/Spring/ Woodlands areas that you would recommend. A midwife in Conroe knows a couple doulas in training who may even be willing to be our doula for free, in order to add our birth to their training requirements. Its all going to work out, and I feel so much better now. Its like a weight is gone! No more tears. =o)

Is this getting repetitive?

Another bullet post! Yay! Haha.

1. On Sunday we are going to walk through my parents new almost completed house. Its getting very real! The move is happening soon! I am so excited to have the space and the yard for the kids. It is going to be so incredible!
2. I have to finish up Christmas shopping today. Must must must.
3. Speaking of Christmas shopping... I have a package that is delayed. Its freaking me out! As of right now, I have 1 package coming on the 22nd, 2 on the 23rd, and 1 that hasn't even shipped yet! I'm doomed!
4. I really want greek food. I love greek food. Anyone ever had dolmathes? Oh my goodness. Adam and I need to schedule a date night soon to my favorite place.
5. The kids and I are going out of town next week for a few days, leaving Adam all by his lonesome with the pets. I think he is actually viewing it as a mini-vacation, lol.
6. More Christmas cards came today! Yay!
7. All baby names sound just awful to me. This is going to be difficult.
8. It's over 80 degrees here. This is unacceptable! Its DECEMBER!!!!
9. Will has horrible cradle cap on his head. I discovered it after the haircut. One of my brothers had this too as a toddler, and still occasionally struggles with it as an upper elementary aged young hoodlum. Will does not like me picking it off. But I'm not really sure what else to do about it. So I pick.
10. Christmas is going to be weird this year. As family members get older and things change, well...things change. Holidays change. Traditions must sometimes change. I'm having a hard time with it this year. My emotional state isn't very stable lately (thanks baby! haha). All I can say is - we better still be having donuts Christmas morning. That is all.
11. Will likes to play with straws and make them talk to each other. It amuses me.
12. Abby isn't little anymore. At all. I realized this when looking at the types of things she will be getting for Christmas this year. Nope, she is definitely not a little girl anymore. How did this happen?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Margaritas



Are my favorite drink. I live in Texas, and down here they come standard with a tex-mex meal or chips and salsa! I remember now, that when I was pregnant with Will, I CRAVED margaritas. I wanted one SO badly, and of course I didn't because I used self control, but man, was it difficult. This time is worse. I'm starving - ok maybe not REALLY, but sometimes during the day I FEEL like I am starving. I get so hungry, but everything sounds so gross. Except a margarita, haha. So tonight, out of desperation for something to drink, I grabbed a bacardi margarita mix from the freezer (alcohol free mixer of course), threw it in the blender with some lemon juice (I was out of orange juice and oranges, but like I said, desperation), and some ice and then thinned it out with water. And even though it isn't perfect, and its definitely NOT a margarita, its delicious. And it isn't making me feel sick. And I'm SO thrilled. This may become a normal thing around here. And its a nice thing I can make easily when we are hanging out with friends and family and everyone is having some wine or mixed drinks.

Yay! That'll do pig. That'll do.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

I don't like thinking of titles to posts. Its torture.

Apparently the bullet post is becoming my new thing. It works.

1. I am still missing Will's hair.
2. All the presents in the house are wrapped. I ended up having to do the shopping for Adam's grandparents, so now I am waiting for more packages to arrive, so I can wrap more things. It is never ending.
3. I miss being able to eat food, and enjoy it. I can eat, but I'm miserable the whole time. It feels very sad.
4. I have been reading studies that say a glass of wine here and there during pregnancy is ok. Going to double check with my midwife/ob to get their opinion, but yes, I am very happy that I can have the occasional sip (especially on New Year's!) without feeling insanely guilty or getting myself in a tizzy.
5. I read the word piddleswap on a blog today, and I found it quite humorous.
6. The three little pigs told in Shakespearean language its absolutely amusing.
7. The Choctaw tribe makes it as insanely difficult as possible for someone out of state to get their Certified Degree of Indian Blood cards. I just want to get my kids cards, and its like pulling teeth.
8. We move in just over 4 weeks! Floors are getting redone before we move in, and I am so excited! The painting will take me forever, but that's ok. One room at a time.
9. Its not cold here. Bah humbug!
10. We are going to go to Santa's Wonderland this year! So exciting! I bet the kids are gonna LOVE it! I will have to get pictures to put up.
11. I am getting less Christmas cards this year than ever before. I hope more start coming in. This is making me sad! Every year fewer people send them out. Sniff sniff.
12. Abby is getting some really cool crackle nail polish for Christmas (ssshhh) and I think I might use it, haha.
13. I buy my own Christmas presents from Santa. It just ended up that way somehow. Its kinda sad buying your own gifts. And I inevitably end up buying things I need vs. things I just want to have. Life of a mom. =o)
14. Will is so excited about Christmas this year. He actually "gets" what is going on. He knows he bought Abby a present and what it is, and he knows not to tell her. So he keeps telling her he got her a SECRET! Haha. I love it.
15. Abby is a present counter. She wants it all to be even. I talked to her about just because someone has less stuff, doesn't mean anything. Although I DO try to get them an equal number of gifts, totaling about the same dollar amount. I guess I must have given her that "even"-ness trait.

Regret

I gave Adam a hair cut today. This meant that my sweet little curly haired Will wanted a hair cut too. He begged and said please please please. So I did it. And now I wish I hadn't. I miss his hair already. He still looks cute, but that hair! Sniff.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Bad Gifts

So, this time of year I always come across 50 million lists (yes, exactly that many) of things to buy or not to buy for someone this year for Christmas. Most of the time, the list is just junk. Either it lists items to buy that I would not have on my Christmas list, or it lists terrible items to purchase that 1) I actually do have on my list, or 2) I have purchased for someone. Hmph.

But today I ran across this list: 7 Gifts to Avoid this Holiday
And I have to say, when I got to the last item listed, I had to laugh and nearly cry. Please, please please please! Do not get your wife any kind of lingerie or undergarment for Christmas - at least not if she will be opening it in front of family. It was not that many years ago that we got to spend a large chunk of Christmas morning watching my MIL open sexy underwear after sexy underwear from my FIL. I mean, I'm glad the romance is still alive and everything, but I really didn't want to see that.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Confession

So I am going to admit something.

I'm a little scared of being in pain during labor. Because I felt pain with both my previous labors (duh). And even though I know most of the bad pain I felt was when I was forced to lay down and not when I was doing what my body said...well. I'm still a little scared. Because I've never actually made it through either of my births without giving in to pain meds, so I am a little fearful I'm not going to be able to handle it. But, really, I know I can. And I know I will. And now that I've admitted this fear, I can face it.

Right?

And it is way too early for me to be worried about labor pain. Geez I know it is. But all this talk of birth centers and doctors and midwives has my mind just all kinds of worked up. Plus being awake and overtired doesn't help any, I'm sure!

But really, as a side note. Even though I have some normal fears, and I have some stressful decision making, and I am so exhausted and feeling sick and tired of being sick and tired, I am so happy to be having another baby. So very happy! And who wouldn't be? It's a baby! So many people I know have new little ones in their arms that were born in the last month or so. I love seeing the pictures of the tiny babies. They're still "squishy". Abby and Will have long ceased being squishy. We could always use more squishy around here.

Decisions Decisions. Sigh.

So...I'm kind of at a crossroads right now in figuring out this whole "where am I gonna have this baby" issue.

I don't want a hospital birth. I DON'T. I know I don't. I wholeheartedly don't want to do it. Even though the doctor I had with Will, who I would be using again, is wonderful, I don't want to deal with the hospital. Even though my doctor is great about letting me call the shots and do what I need to do, the hospital isn't. And I know I'm going to be hooked up to bags by needles and wires and forced to lay in a bed instead of being able to move around and be comfortable, which will inevitably end in another epidural, and another birth not going how I really want it to.

But. Insurance. And money. Our insurance(s) (goodness) will cover the obgyn and the hospital birth. A Homebirth using a midwife is out of the question with my insurance. Completely uncovered. I would have to pay it all. And honestly, I just don't think that will be feasible unless we rely on our income tax return, and I feel terrible asking Adam and my family to sacrifice that money just so I can stay home.

So, on to option 3. Birth Center, which our insurance will cover only 2 places in all of Houston. 1 in North Houston near where we will be (but I have met this particular midwife and am NOT excited at ALL about using her...horror stories). OR...I can use a midwife and birth center WAY out in Pearland, which is an hour from where I will be living. And I just don't know if that is even realistic considering the number of appointments at the end of pregnancy, and I just can't imagine myself being in labor in the car for over an hour driving there. And Adam is worried about potentially having a baby in the car and being a news story, haha.

So. I have some decisions to make. And I just don't know. Sigh. So what would YOU do? Cause I am at a loss at this point. I feel like none of my options are anywhere near ideal, and I in all my pregnancy hormone glory am FREAKING out. So tell me its all gonna be ok and work out one way or another, and let me know what you would do in my situation.

Oh, I could also beg the inlaws to pay for it, but I don't think that's a good idea at all. ;o)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Christmas Carols

One of the things I find so beautiful about this time of year, are the Christmas Carols. I LOVE music (well, certain music, haha, I'm picky). But this year we are being very careful about what songs we are listening to and when. As far as the silly Christmas songs, and just the fun typical songs like Jingle Bells, etc. I don't really care when those are listened to or sung. However, when it comes to the songs about Christ, we are being careful. I don't want to spend all of the advent season singing songs about Christ's birth and how he has already come, when during advent we are supposed to be waiting anxiously for His birth. So we are trying to hold off on the typical Christmas Carols for a bit later in the season, and listen to things more appropriate to the season of Advent. I want my kids to really feel that anxiousness about sitting and waiting for Christ. I want Christmas Eve to be the magical moment when they realize, YES! He is coming! And for Christmas Day to just be a light for them, a day of joy and excitement! I feel like we have missed that in past years, because of our eagerness with beginning Christmas...well, right after Thanksgiving! I really want to make the distinction this year. I have been sharing our experiences with a few others, and people who have never celebrated Advent before, are becoming very interested and have said they would like to next year, in order to bring the focus on what Christmas is truly about, and to make it more meaningful. I'm so glad they feel that way! And I hope they do celebrate next year!

For now, here is one of my favorite songs that I have been listening to during this Advent season. Warning: you might cry. Or, maybe that's just the pregnancy hormones, haha.


P.S. Did anyone else's parish (or church) sing O Come Emmanuel this past weekend? I was like, nooooooooooo!!!!! I so wanted to wait with that one. Oh well. It is a beautiful song. We are very excited to sing it one verse at a time this year at the time we do the O Antiphons. This year is just full of so many new and beautiful things for our family! I love it!

P.P.S. I am feeling quite sick. I know this is a good thing. But, I'm starving, and I can't eat anything. Today is "go out to eat night" for our family, and I REALLY want to be able to enjoy it. And not be hungry, haha.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Bullet

Bullet post! Cause today is a busy day.
  • Today I start a 3-week job for my husband's company making phone calls from home. Easy. Lets see how it goes with the kids.... Abby is getting paid to play with Will all day, haha. Which is good for her, because she has to do work to earn money to buy her secret santa gift.
  • I feel sick today. I guess that is a good sign. 
  • We are ordering pizza for lunch. Because I am tired, have work to do, and I really want a buffalo chicken sandwich.
  • I am now slightly concerned that I won't actually be able to eat the above mentioned sandwich.
  • My Christmas cards are all ready to go - I just need to get stamps!
  • I made an insurance mistake, and now have to fill out a completely different form and send in 50 million copies of different paperwork items all over again, because I had the incorrect application. Ack! Oh well. 
  • Abby is doing better today, but is still missing Penny.
  • It doesn't help that her little brother keeps asking where Penny is... eek.
  • I'm not sure I can give up caffeine for this pregnancy. Once my current coffee runs out, I am going to replace it with decaf and then stop drinking sodas. I am going to need big time prayers when that happens. For those of you who also drink coffee to get you through the day - you know what I mean.
  • Being out of printed ink in a homeschool family, is a very bad thing!
  • I got a kids prayer book for Abby, and she likes to turn the prayers into songs. I love it.
  • Will hates wearing pants. Sigh. 
  • Our Jesse Tree and Advent wreath devotions are going well. I'm quite pleased.
  • Putting out the Christmas candy within sight of the 2 year old was a bad idea...

Monday, November 28, 2011

New Mass Translation and the Threats

Ok, so the title of this post is talking about 2 completely different things! Haha.

So, the new translation of the mass was introduced officially. We actually enjoyed it. Of course, we haven't been saying things a certain way for us our whole lives, but I thought the wording was much more "royal" sounding and traditional, which I liked, and I loved that more was sung rather than just spoken. I felt it was much more powerful to me emotionally. It is sad to me that I have seen so many articles about people complaining about the mass translation. Although I'm sure the news is making it into a much bigger issue than it truly is - at least I hope so. But as for my family, we thought it was beautiful (and my husband who is still memorizing things anyway, really liked that everyone was having to hold a paper with the words and not just him, haha!)


Now, the "Threats". We have had so many people say we are having twins, that we are nearly convinced it is! Haha. We will know on the 19th I guess! Twins do run in my family, and I feel WAY more exhausted this time around than I did in my other pregnancies (although, I do have a 2 year old running around, which I never had before during pregnancy either). I am calling them "threats" because, I dunno, it just sounds scary! Its like people are almost threatening us with it, OH TWINS! It's gonna be twins and you will be so tired! Oh what will you do with twins! Geez, I dunno - I hadn't even considered it until about 10 different people brought it up! Of course, if it IS twins I will be very joyful and thrilled, albeit a little bit terrified! Haha. And if its not, well I will still be joyful and thrilled to have 1 sweet little one.

A sad day for Abby...

Abby has pet rats. She loves them and cuddles them and plays with them. Its too cute. But this morning we found that Penny the rat had died sometime during the night. I had noticed over the past month or so, that there were some tumors (in both her rats). I talked to Abby about them, and we knew it was a possibility that one or both could pass sometime soon. I guess we just weren't expecting it to be today, or so soon. Last night Penny seemed fine, but I guess that is how it often is. We got them as older rats, so even from the beginning we knew they wouldn't be with us for that long. Abby is just having a really hard time, understandably. I'm not sure how to comfort her, so I just hold her while she cries. She is holding the other rat now, Callie, because she thinks it will make her feel better. I hope so. I tried the dogs, and they didn't bring her any comfort. So maybe holding Penny's little friend will bring her some peace. Adam is back at work today. So I had to handle the cleanup alone. It was unpleasant, but at least Abby wasn't there to see all of that. Its a sad day. I'm not sure what to do. So we will just go about our day, and Abby can lay down and cry and do whatever she needs to do today. My poor sweet girl.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Advent

...begins tomorrow! A new church year, the beginning of Advent, our family is very excited! We are doing our holidays quite a bit differently this year due to some pretty big changes we have had around here, but we are very excited!

We are going to be doing a family advent wreath, which we blessed before dinner this evening, and we will be doing a Jesse Tree and letting the kids color little paper ornaments this year to put on the tree each day. We will be celebrating St. Nicholas day with stockings, which the kids are super excited about.

I still have quite a bit of holiday shopping to do, but thats ok. Most of it is going to be online through Amazon (yay Amazon!), so it shouldn't be too bad. I'm feeling super festive and happy this year about Christmas. We aren't really going to be doing any traveling. We will visit local friends and family, but thats about it. We discussed traveling, but I've been so tired, and I have a doctor's appointment now, and with Adam's work schedule, it was going to be tricky and stressful. I didn't want to do that this year, since I'm sure next year will be mandatory traveling with the new baby, in order to meet everyone. This year we will take it easy.

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday! We found out we will be hosting the Taylor family Thanksgiving beginning next year, so someone please clue me in on how to cook a turkey between now and then, thanks! Haha.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hooray! It's Thanksgiving! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!!! I hope you are all blessed with a beautiful day, surrounded by your loved ones and delicious food! Don't forget to be thankful for everyone in your life today, and for all the things that God has blessed you with. I've had a rough morning, but I keep reminding myself of all the amazing blessings God has given me! He is so good!
I am off to go finish up my assigned foods for the year, but before I do, let me finish off with my Thankful Thursday post, on this day of all days to be thankful! =o)

Today I am so very thankful:
1. For my husband. I love him dearly, even when he makes me so mad I want to punch him. He makes me laugh, he gave me 2 beautiful children, with #3 on the way, and he works so hard to provide us with everything we need and more. He is a good man, he loves Jesus, and he puts up with me. I am so very thankful for that!
2. For my Abby. We are very much alike, and we butt heads constantly, but she has taught me so much and is probably one of the best big sisters in the world! She is such a little mom, and her heart and empathy for others is huge. She loves justice, she thinks everyone should be happy and loved, and she is just a little bit crazy and silly. I've had to learn to adjust myself a lot because of her, and she has helped me many times in my faith. She has a deep understanding of things regarding faith just naturally, and her love for God is so sweet.
3. For my William. Oh this boy. He keeps me on my toes. He is nonstop, and while he is lacking the drama that came with Abby, his rambunctious and hilarious personality has its own issues. When I am about at the end of my rope, his crazy funny antics relieve the pressure I am feeling and he gives me a moment to restart. He loves people, but in a different way than Abby. His is not nurturing so much as it is a lightening. He is so random and funny, and I don't know how I would get through my days sometimes without his humor.
4. For this new little one we are expecting. I get so excited thinking about what this baby will look like, will be like, what new dimension and blessings (and stress, haha) will be added to this family with the addition of this new babe. I am so thankful that this baby is a result of my husband's decision to follow the church's teaching about life and children, and that we were so quickly blessed with another child for our family after his heart and mind were changed. This baby, to me, is a confirmation of the gift of life.
5. For family and friends who love us and have supported us in all the changes we have been experiencing lately. With our faith, with our family, with our upcoming move, just everything. It has been such a blessing to feel loved and supported by so many.
6. That we have a home to be moving to in the new year. The space and yard will be such a blessing to my entire family, and I think it will help me a lot in managing my home and in learning to accept some things about my vocation in life that have been difficult for me. It will undoubtedly be more work for all of to have an actual home to maintain, but the benefits and joys it brings will far outweigh any of the things that might make it more work.
7. For a beautiful day to spend with family, and that we can all be together. That my husband is blessed with a job where we know holidays will always be off and he will be home with us, and that we can all be together to celebrate and be a family.
8. For family traditions and delicious food. Eating the same thing every year, and knowing what to expect, just feels so homey and comforting, and I am really appreciating that more as I get older.
9. For my crock pot being areeable, and holding up to one more day of cooking - it has a crack in it that I noticed this morning, but I think its pulling itself together for me today. =o)
10. That I am blessed with more than enough. Now I pray that I will remember that even after this day of Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Prep

Preparing for Thanksgiving tomorrow! The kids are so excited. I have mashed potatoes cooking today, and I will finish cooking them tomorrow in the crock pot. I've also got to make sweet potatoes tomorrow (we do cajun, not sweet marshmallow ones) and the green bean casserole. Yum! Listening to the kids play, singing Thanksgiving songs, and getting ready for a nice long weekend with my family. Love!

On another note, Adam's grandma has an aneurism that she has had for a while, but it has worsened and she needs to have surgery on it. They will be doing a CAT scan next week to determine the exact type of surgery necessary to fix the issue. She is obviously worried, but has also been informed that she needs to stop smoking in order to have the surgery (which we have been pestering Adam's entire family to stop doing for years anyway!). So if you could pray for her and Adam's family - everyone in the family is going to stop smoking with her to offer their support. Thanksgiving over there could be a bit cranky tomorrow... and of course we want a successful surgery and healthy Great Granny too!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Pregzilla



That's the new name my husband has given me. Isn't he just the sweetest? Although, I can't say I am undeserving. Sigh.

If this t-shirt shows up though, we might have a serious problem. Talk about going on a rampage...

Monday, November 21, 2011

To sleep, perchance to dream...

I am sooooooo tired. I don't remember feeling this way with prior pregnancies. I crawl into bed as soon as the kids pass out, I take a nap during the day, and all day I'm just thinking of bed. And when I am getting a ton of sleep (I have to admit, it HAS been nice....) I am having weird pregnancy dreams.

Today during my nap with Will (um, yay! I forgot how much I loved taking naps), I had a dream that we went to our friends house - the ones who have all my cloth diapering stuff - and the husband was asking his wife "Where is their stuff?! What did you do with it?!" And she totally lied to him and said she gave it all away or it got old blablabla, and then I looked in her living room and she had storage shelving like would be in a garage all along the ceiling (I know, odd and makes no sense, but it was there) and I SAW my big PUL bag that I had given her all the cloth diaper stuff in. So while Adam was in the other room watching them argue with each other, I climbed on furniture and got my bag of diapers and ran out of the house with it and started throwing it into the trunk - but the trunk was full of tons of baby stuff that I guess we had been going around and collecting from other people we know who I had lent it out to, and I couldn't fit it in, so I kept trying to jam it all in. I was trying so hard to shut the trunk that the trunk like ripped and I realized we had been ripped off when we bought our car because the trunk was made of cheap plastic! I was freaking out and knew we were going to get caught, so I just started shoving things inside the car on top of the kids and started screaming at Adam to run that we had to go NOW NOW NOW.

Apparently I am kinda a pregnant thief.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Picture Post!

...Because I have been so neglectful lately.


Finally, some pictures from Abby's race! It was an early morning (can't you tell? haha). We had to BE there at 7 - which meant getting up far too early in order to eat breakfast, get ready, and drive there.


This is her "Girls on the Run" group that she joined to practice and run with. They all completed the 5K, which is great!


And here is my Lady - whose name is not very fitting to her because she is not in the LEAST bit lady-like. Doesn't she just look like a naughty? I love her anyways.



Sometimes I get my camera, and find out that some little sneakies have been using it. How do I know? Because I find lovely gems like these when I download all the pictures...




Moving on...

 I've been trying some new dinners lately, and one we REALLY like is this Italian Frittata. It is
 so amazingly simple and delicious.

 

And here is a picture I took recently of my kiddos. I love it. Its really one of the best I've been able to get in a long time - sad really, haha. But it just shows them how they are really well. I love that Will's hair is just a mess and crazy. He has curls and his hair is more red than this picture, but the mess of the hair is what I deal with on a daily basis. It is untameable...but I refuse to cut it short, haha.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Cloth Diapering - Thirsties Duos?

SO - I need to buy cloth diapers again. I loaned out my diapers to a friend...and well. Lets just say I doubt they are going to be returned.

I loved my thirsties covers - and I see now they have Thirsties duo wraps. Has anyone tried these? They only seem to be about a dollar more than the regular covers, which seems like it would be more cost effective...but I'm wondering if they truly work as well as the regular Thirsties.

I'm just going to go with prefolds and my Thirsties this time around. I found before with my fitteds and pocket diapers that I had as well, that it just wasn't worth the extra effort or money for me to invest in those. So I won't be again.  I'm curious about others experience with the Duos though. So if you've used them, let me know!

Children are a Blessing!

I read an article this morning, which made me feel so sad. It discusses that the number of births in the U.S. have gone down every year for the past 3 years - while some of this is good news like the teen birth rate dropping 9% (even then I don't feel 100% comfortable saying it is "good" only because I know most of that is probably through birth control and abortion, and not abstinence as it should be, sigh,) most of the article was just so sad to me, because it shows the mindset our country has towards children.

I have encountered this attitude several times in recent weeks, and the article just reflected that same thing that I have been hearing from people I know. For example, I have been told by several married acquaintances that they won't be having children either because they want to be by themselves as a couple and don't really want to deal with children, or they can't afford it. Now, I don't know their financial situation, but I know ours, and we live on a very restricted income and keep a tight budget. Its not easy to have one parent stay home now - at least, it isn't easy to do and live the lifestyle that society tells us we should be living! We have had many people comment that we must be "rich" to be having a third child, and several have asked how we afford everything. My answer is usually "Its cheaper than you think, and God always provides". And both are so very true. Don't get me wrong, it costs money to have children, but no where near, at least in our experience, what "they" tell you it is going to cost. Especially if you are responsible about it, don't buy silly baby things you don't need, practice simplicity and modesty in your lifestyle, etc. We meal plan and budget, we cloth diaper (mostly), we breastfeed (when possible), we don't expect to be paying completely for our kids college or for them each to be handed a car, and we also don't let them watch commercials and we don't buy them every new fangled toy they see or want. We aren't in 10 different activities, and we homeschool. There is so much that can be to "save" money and live reasonably well on a limited income. What it really comes down to is what type of lifestyle are you living and what are you expecting?

In the article, parents were getting their tubes tied to avoid having children. A couple who has been longing for children stopped trying to conceive because one of them lost their job. It just breaks my heart when people turn away from these gifts of God because of a lifestyle choice, or just ignorance. I just feel so sad about it. I guess it hits close to me right now, since even though we are so excited, and so many people around us are excited, about this new baby, we also know that there are many people who have a negative feeling about our having a third child. They may not all voice it, but you can tell when people aren't excited and happy for you. I don't feel hurt or badly about it, those reactions by those people were actually expected, but it makes me just so sad for all those people out there who don't really understand the joy and blessing of having children. Even on those crazy terrible days, what a blessing! I suppose I better get used to the comments, stares, looks, etc. now. I have heard from several people with large families that once they went from 2 to 3 children all of a sudden the "comments" even from total strangers sometimes began. Adam said we should "Duggar it up" just to show them. ;o)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thankful Thursday - on Thursday!!! (Just barely)

Aha! Before I run out of Thursday! ;o)

I am so very thankful

1. That we survived the incident earlier today! And are none too worse for the wear.
2. That I have not yet been having any "morning sickness", because I think today might have done me in if I had been! haha.
3. For a delicious dinner "out" that we brought home and enjoyed with the sickies. Chips and salsa are tasty, but now my stomach is none too pleased. This has happened in both my previous pregnancies, so I'm glad I was able to enjoy that last bit of salsa for 9 months.
4. For getting to cuddle up on my couch and watch tv with my 2 kiddos this evening. They need some extra cuddle time over the next few months I think.
5. That my amazing doctor that I had with William is still in town and accepting my insurance! While it isn't exactly what I hoped for, it will be covered financially, and I will be at peace because I truly trust this doctor and I know she will listen to me and my hopes for this pregnancy and birth. What more can you truly ask for or expect?
6. For a daughter who loves to be the little mom, and is ever so helpful, even when her Mommy is having a nervous breakdown - especially when her Mommy is having a nervous breakdown.
7. For a son who will randomly say I love you, and knows when you need a little squeeze and extra love.
8. For a husband who took on sick child duty this evening for a while, to give me a break.
9. For all of our needs being met, and being blessed far more than we often realize.
10. For this beautiful day with my kids, and every moment of it, even the ones that I wished weren't happening. Because someday, its days like today that I will look back on, remember, and laugh about. And that, I treasure.

Kelli and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Poop Incident

I gave you  fair warning. This is a poop story.

And I am only posting it, because I am sure it will make some of you other moms feel like you aren't alone in the not so joyous moments of parenthood. I am sure someday I will laugh about this. But not today.

The kids were quiet and happy, so I thought I could run to the restroom. Ha! Has anyone else noticed that as soon as you take the opportunity to go to the restroom, some child desperately needs to go? We only have 1 bathroom (less than 2 months Kelli...less than 2 months...) so of course I hear this banging on the door of a child desperately needing to go. I thought, surely this child can wait just a minute. I was oh so wrong.

As I rushed out the bathroom to get the little bugger, I realized it was indeed too late. The underwear contained a bulge that indicated something terrible had just occurred inside of them. I brought my sweet darling son into the bathroom to clean him up - I wasn't mad. He tried. He just really had to go and he hadn't been feeling well. No big deal. Until he starts wiggling. You know how you try to keep them so totally still and just slowly peel the underwear down and keep the mess contained? Well this plan was about to fail, so as I was freaking out and trying to get him to listen and be still, of course he starts saying he will help and he will try and begins to wiggle all the more vigorously. Failure. Poop plops onto the tile floor. Ok - no big deal. Throw him up on the toilet and I can clean this up real quick while he sits there, then I will handle him.

But oh NOOOOOO because who should then run into the room but my not so little puppy who then begins to EAT the poop. I am not even joking. And it gets worse. You may want to grip the sides of your seat. I grab her while screaming (I lost all control here, it was just too much at this point) and flung the dog into the bathtub, but on the way there she dropped poop out of her mouth and let it fall all over Will's legs as he is sitting there ever so innocently on the potty - btw this dog who never listens and fights to get out of the tub stayed in there, I am assuming because she saw the crazy look in my eye. Either that or as God looked on in amusement he took this small amount of pity on me. However, she must have stepped in the poop when I grabbed her, because as she was running about in the tub, she was smearing poop all over it.

At this point I realize I am in over my head, and I call for Abby to come help me. She sees the mess and is just mortified, and I instruct her to run and get me the cleaner I need and paper towels. She returns with paper towels - and the wrong cleaner. I send her back. Again she returns...with the wrong cleaner. Third times the charm right? Nope. Not the right cleaner. You would think I would just take whatever she had and make it work, but no. I needed the right cleaner, because I am obsessive and crazy. So I had Abby hold down the poop situation while I went and got the right cleaner. All the while steam is coming out my nose and my eyes have glazed over and Abby is smartly keeping quiet to not tempt the mommy beast.

I come back with the cleaner, all is well. Except it ISN'T because right when all seems to be fine, when it all seems to be coming to a close, one more thing must go terribly wrong! Abby steps in the poop on her way out, freaks out, and flings all the poop clinging to her foot into the hallway and onto the carpet.

It's all clean now. And we all survived. But for a little while there... I was doubtful we'd get through it. Go ahead. You can laugh at me. I would have laughed at you.

Sick =o(

Oh dear. Looks like a stomach bug is sweeping through the house. Abby was sick last week with it, but she is old enough and at the point where she just prefers to handle it herself unless it gets really bad, so that was a breeze. Adam was feeling it a few days ago, but his stomach bug stint only lasted him about 24 hours. Will seemed to have it a bit yesterday, but this morning it is on in full force. We've been making multiple trips to the bathroom this morning. Its especially sad though because he wants to eat and drink so badly, but every time he tries we have to run to the bathroom again. He was just laying in the chair at the table, poor baby! I seem to have been able to convince him now that he will feel better if he lays down. I offered to make him a nice pallet on the floor....which he declined in favor of the couch (sigh- my couch is only 2 months old! haha).

Sure glad I went ahead and did that work yesterday even though I didn't feel like it... today may be a little rough.

I feel like this year the kids have gotten hit really hard with sickness. I can't even remember them getting sick last year at all, and this year its just been one thing after another. No good.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Whiny Me

Even though I don't have that much to get done today, cause we have already done most of what we usually get done, I am being a bum. I just don't feel like folding that last basket of laundry. Or doing those few dishes in the sink. Or repacking that 1 box the dog bit holes into (sheesh). But, I think I will do it anyway.

Do ever get in a mood? All of a sudden you just.... want to sit and be bored? Cause I do FEEL bored. I know most of the real work for the day is done, and I just gotta finish up. But I'm just kind of tired. Haha. Time to sip a coffee and git er done.

Is it ok for me to be drinking coffee??? I don't remember these things anymore. Googling.

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Beginning

I don't know if its the baby or my crazy brain, but so far I am:
  • losing my mind - I told Adam my first appointment was going to be October 19th and did he already have that day off from work... this was via email. He responded to me asking if I meant that date (being sarcastic of course, that Adam), and I assured him that yes October 19th was the correct date. He was like - KELLI!!!!! Oops. (random note - Adam does NOT like it when I say He was like blablabla or she was all like bleebleeblee, but I find myself always doing it. High school has forever changed me in some ways I'm afraid, haha)
  • Gagging on toothpaste. This has happened in both my previous pregnancies, in fact it was the thing that triggered me to take a test when I was pregnant with Will.
  • I am STARVING. I eat, and I still feel sooo hungry. But, everything sounds blah. Not bad, just not good. I remember this feeling when I was pregnant with Abby. Didn't have this issue in my second pregnancy. Signs of a girl? Abby thinks so - its what she has been praying for apparently!
  • I am sooo tired. I am a night owl and am usually up til midnight. By 8:30 I could seriously go to bed for the night. Unfortunately, my kids usually aren't and the house is usually still in disarray, so I end up staying awake later. Right now I am just waiting for poor Will to pass out so that I can then go hit the sack myself.
So, its very possible I am crazy. Its still so early I really think it probably is my mind psyching me out. But I might as well get used to it either way. =o)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Exciting News!

Well, I wasn't going to share this (as some of you already know) for a little while yet... but since today my husband and daughter managed to tell every single one of our friends and family members (haha), I guess I might as well let you all in on it!
As I'm sure the big ticker on the left clued you in - we are expecting baby number 3! Yes, that was fast. I've already been called several interesting names which I will not repeat here by family and friends, haha. But needless to say we are SO excited and happy. Of course its still EXTREMELY early yet, so prayers for healthy baby would be wonderful, and for a not too sick Mama would be appreciated.

Baby #3 is due July 24th (ish) - a long time yet. Looking at the counter is horrifying, so I might just remove it, haha. But Abby, even though she was so happy she cried (!!!!) is concerned about having to share her birthday (July 14)! She should be a bit worried I guess. My babies tend to come a little early anyway, so it very well could happen on her birthday. She already has to share her birthday with a cousin, and Will has to share his with an Uncle! This next baby has to share a birthday with someone else too I suppose. Its only fair, hehe.

We're already thinking of names and throwing them in a jar. We would like something that goes with Abby and Will (Abigail and William), and preferably a saint name. Yes, it seriously will take us the entire 9 months to agree on something! Any wonderful suggestions you have would be welcome!

Also, we are considering doing our first homebirth using a midwife. I have to call the insurance company and see what we can get covered and start trying to figure it all out, so prayers for that too please, if you don't mind too terribly much. ;o)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Delayed Thankful Thursday (again)

Should I just rename this Thankful Thursday OR Friday? Goodness! I have hardly been doing this and I already can't seem to keep up!

SO, even though it is a bit delayed, here we go!

I am thankful

1. for people who have supported us during the last couple of months.
2. for tylenol and other pain medicine, because without it I don't think I would have made it through today without having to ask Adam to stay home from work.
3. that I am halfway-ish done with Christmas shopping and wrapping.
4, to be able to celebrate the holiday season in a very meaningful way this year.
5. for leftovers, because I can just heat up dinner tonight.
6. that God has been trimming things out of my life and putting everything back in order.
7. that so many of you wonderful people blog about your faith and your home life, so that I can get encouragement, help, ideas, etc.
8. for yet again (!!!!) the cool burst of weather that has been around the past few days.
9. for comfy fleece pants on days when you aren't feeling your best.
10. the dishwasher.

On another note, I think my husband and I (and Abby who couldn't help but add her 2 cents) have decided how we plan to celebrate the holidays this year and have it all written out. I know what we need to get and have my list ready to finish everything up. Yay! Feels good to have it all figured out.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Red beans and Rice

Does anyone else just LOVE red beans and rice? My husband always has, and after years of marriage I developed a taste for it, and found a fabulous (and easy) recipe. I just threw it together and put it in the crock pot, so I thought I would share the recipe with you all.

Ingredients:

1 pound dried red kidney beans that have been soaked in water overnight.
1/4 cup dried parsley
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp garlic
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp salt
1-2 tsp Cajun seasoning  (I usually add a little more, its up to you)
1 Tbsp sugar
1 chopped onion
1 chopped bell pepper
2-3 stalks celery, chopped


Throw it ALL in the crock pot (make sure your beans have soaked and are rinsed!). I then throw in 2 chicken bouillon cubes and 2 cups of water, and stir it up real good. You can cook on low for 8 hours, or high for 4 hours. Check on it every so often to make sure it isn't running low on water, and stir to make sure it cooks evenly and nothing sticks to the bottom of the crockpot. All you gotta do is make some rice to serve it over, and you are good to go!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

O Antiphons Ornaments

OH MY GOODNESS! I am loving loving loving LOVING these! *Squeal* (Did I just say squeal? How embarassing....)





I may try to finagle this into my budget. If not, well there is always next year!
They also have Jesse Tree ornaments that are similar to this, but I think that may be too much for us this year. But I think this may be just perfect for us.

Coffee, Bread, Oatmeal, etc.

I hate having to title posts, but it seems like a required thing to do. Blah!

Moving on, haha. I was just sitting here with a hot cup of my mocha coffee concoction that I have everyday (yum!), and it just feels so nice. The warmth just runs straight through me. Hearing the coffee brew and mixing it all together just feels so comforting. That's a big thing with me lately - comfort. I want my home to feel warm, welcoming, comforting. Having people over is so hard for me. I enjoy it, but I get *stressed* out - didn't I mention that I am a loner? I have accepted much more the fact that I just like to be alone. I don't like to have a ton of friends. Not in a bad way, but it is what it is. At the same time, I don't want this to make me seem distant or somehow unfriendly or unwelcoming. So I do plan to host people in my home when we move, and I so look forward to it, but I also look forward to the peace and comfort and calm that we will have in our everyday. It feels more like how things should be.

Now, Bread. I have been using my book and making bread! I started out with the master recipe and it turned out pretty well. I then moved onto using the same recipe but with a loaf pan - ok so now we know that my family prefers this! Good to know! We have been eating an insane amount of bread. Apparently, we really like delicious bread! Thinking about store bought bread now sounds absolutely disgusting. I really need more room in my fridge. And a few other things. I don't need all the special supplies right now, I've been making do just fine. But one thing I would LOVE to have is a pizza peel and a good bread knife! I learned that my bread knife is junk. Investing in a good new one may be on the short to-do list. But seriously, this bread is so quick, easy, and delicious. I mentioned to Adam that we had some leftover store brought bread he could use for lunch since we were running low on my current loaf and I didn't want to make a new one the next day (I was trying to save it to use with dinner). But he looked so distraught about having to eat the other bread that I gave in and let him take it. I figure today the ducks will get to have the remainder of the store bread that we have sitting in the house.

Now, Oatmeal. We eat a ton of oatmeal and cream of wheat for breakfast around here. I usually get the little instant packages, but have decided that we are spending too much money when we could just be making it ourselves (we're at home all day, so really what's the rush?). Plus, the oatmeal instant packs have high fructose corn syrup, which I'd really rather avoid. Here is my problem - we think regular oatmeal is nasty. We love the flavored instant packs, but I have no clue how to recreate these. I have tried, and the kids gagged. So if anyone has some delicious oatmeal recipes or know how to properly flavor it up, please please please I beg of you tell me how you do it!

I'm also working on preparing things for the holidays. I've got Christmas cards started ( I LOVE to send Christmas cards! So if you want one and you aren't on my list, please send me your address! Really! Please!!!!) Also with Advent approaching, I have to figure out what we are going to do! I need something easy. I know we will do the advent wreath (which reminds me that I need to buy a new one since when packing things away I shattered mine, sniff), and we will do St. Nicholas Day as well as our typical Christmas Eve and Day stuffs along with family visiting and whatnot, but I'm trying to think of some other Advent things we can do that will be meaningful and not overwhelming for this noob. Afterall, we can always add in more things later, and I am on a simplicity kick. =o) But still, I'd love your ideas if you have any special things that your family does and that you enjoy!

Also, just to note, I am feeling so blessed this morning. I truly am. So many wonderful people have just come alongside our family in the past month, and offered us so much love and support and friendship. Last night I had a rough night. I didn't even realize that I would be so upset over this certain topic that came up, but I was just heartbroken and aching and longing. I know it will happen in God's timing and all will be well. And I am so thankful for all the blessings that we do have. Last night my heart was turned from aching into patient. It still longs, but there isn't hurt today. Its a good day.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Running!

My super amazing daughter ran in her first ever 5K on Saturday. I do have pictures, but I'm on the laptop so am unable to share them right now. I will edit them in later!

We are SO proud of her. She came in 14th place for her age group (which is amazing, because there were a TON of girls her age running in the race because she is part of a large girls running group that has groups all over the city, and every group in the city was at this race. We were so proud! She completed the race in 32:21. Woohoo!!! That's so awesome! That is 3.1 miles in 32 minutes! She is running a 10.5 minute mile. Whew. Makes me tired just thinking about it. ;o)

But, she LOVED the race. She wants to race again. So we are looking for one in December and one of us will run it with her. I guess its a good thing, it will get me out there running again! I am going to try to get out there early tomorrow before Adam goes to work to get a run in. Abby hasn't been feeling well since yesterday, so she won't start practicing again until she is feeling well again. Wish me luck, I might not make it back, lol!

Turns out that Adams boss ran in the same race as Abby. Adam knew he was running in a race that day for his daughter's Catholic school, but Adam didn't realize that Abby's race was for a Catholic School. We didn't see him there, but Adam confirmed yesterday that it was the same race. Wonder if Abby beat Adam's boss, hehe.

Let the Holidays Begin...

I don't know about you, but for me as soon as Halloween hits, the holidays just hit and fly by! Time speeds up and everyone is busy preparing, visiting, shopping, baking. Ah this time of year makes me smile. All the wonderful smells and the comforts of the holidays.

Doesn't it all feel magical? Like you are a little child again? When I was a kid though, I looked forward to different things. Now that I am older I appreciate the tradition, the smells, the feelings. But the magic still lingers. Something about this time of year just feels comforting, like home surrounds me.

We will be preparing for Thanksgiving soon. I have made a bigger deal out of Thanksgiving the past couple of years, and will even more this year. We sing Thanksgiving songs and hymns, and we make a "Tree of Thanks" - although this year I think I am going to change thank up and maybe do a basket or something. Not really sure. But we will start that next week. I am so excited for Thanksgiving dinner - even though this year I will be making several things so it will be more work for me, haha. Next year we may even be hosting it in our own home, so I think it definitely will be good practice for me!

Anyway, we've been listening to this song today, and I really like this arrangement. I don't know why, because usually with hymns I'm pretty traditional, but this one I just really like, and I think it makes me happy to see the kids enjoying it as well. Usually when I am listening to hymns there is groaning and people leave the vicinity...I guess I am a bit old fashioned in some but not all of my music tastes.


What are you doing to prepare for Thanksgiving? Is it a big deal, or just a practice Christmas?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Review: VocabularySpellingCity

A while back I received a free Premium membership for VocabularySpellingCity in exchange for a review of the program. It took me forever (whoops!) but here it is.

Overall, its a good online program. My daughter enjoyed the games, completed the activities willingly (which is always a plus), and understood how to use the website without issue. I was able to create my own spelling lists for her based on whatever we were studying, or words she was having trouble with. But I could also look up lists on the website and use the pre-made ones that had been listed. I also really liked the the activities included vocabulary activities as well as spelling - I think the two subjects are pretty inter-related so this made it easy to knock out 2 birds with one stone.

Here is my only issue - my daughter didn't remember anything. She played the games, practiced, everything, but at the end of the week, was clueless as to how to spell the words. I thought maybe its because it was on the computer and I was having her physically write out the words when I quizzed her myself, so I tried to have her do it on the computer instead. Still with typing them out, she got the majority completely wrong. Now, this could be something that is just connected to my child. She is a terrible speller - so another student might use the program and learn the spelling no problem. Now, the vocabulary she was able to retain (but this is something she doesn't have an issue with - her vocab is huge, she just can't spell it).

So all in all, I would say its a good program. It didn't work for my daughter, but I would be willing to give a shot with another child because I'm not sure how much of the issue was my daughter's learning style and how much was the method of using the website. If your child likes computers and doesn't have a really hard time spelling, then I would give the website a shot. I think with children who have spelling issues though, this program probably won't turn out to be the magic solution you are looking for.

Mother of Divine Grace?

Just quick post to ask-

Does anyone have experience with Mother of Divine Grace Curriculum? I am looking into it for next year, but may be using a different science and a different math. Everything else looks good to me, but I am unsure about the spelling and grammar only because what we have currently I do really like, so that I may leave as is. But I wanted thoughts on the other subjects, the layout of the syllabus, the history curriculum I am especially interested in. Thoughts?

Edited to add that now I'm also really liking Catholic Heritage...anyone have experience with them as well???

Friday, November 4, 2011

Beautiful

What a BEAUTIFUL day! The weather is cool and crisp but the sun is shining.

We've all been up early and went to the cemetery to visit Aunt Frances, and we also found Betty Jo! She is my Memaw's sister who died when she was only 6. I had no idea Aunt Frances had been buried next to her. We left flowers and said a rosary. My sweet Abby cried. She really loved Aunt Frances and misses her very much. I think going really helped her though. She was happy to leave a rose. Next time we will know to bring a rose for Betty Jo too.

I made a loaf of bread last night, and it was delicious, but turned out a little wonky. I tried again today with much better results. The master recipe bread will be perfect for lots of things, but we need some sandwich bread. So after we use up all this dough, I will try one of the sandwich recipes. Adam was concerned about this bread because he didn't want to have little bread for his sandwiches - he said it reminded him of Spinal Tap (have you ever seen Spinal Tap? Its very terrible, but its funny. I'm sure if I watched it now though, I would react to it much differently than I did years ago!) I don't have all the special items that the book calls for - baking stone, pizza handler, nonstick loaf pan. But I've been making do with what I do have, and I'm satisfied with the results. I do think I will be adding a few items to my Christmas list though! It is VERY easy and VERY fast. Doesn't take up much time at all. And its amazing how much happier everyone is when you can smell bread baking, haha!

So, I will leave you with my Thankful Thursday items, on Friday, since I forgot yesterday. Whoops!

I am thankful:
1. for so much clothing that its near impossible to get all the laundry put away (haha....)
2. that once again, a cool front blew through. That's 3 weeks in a row now, on every Thursday!
3. for you tube, where you can find nearly any video or clip you could possibly want.
4. for friends who let me talk when I need to, but understand my need to escape.
5. for my husband's boss, who is really a very good man and gives my husband a wonderful work environment, most of the time. ;o)
6. for St. Francis of Assisi, because the last few days my pleas to him to pray for me may be the only reason I haven't strangled my dog....
7. for Walmart putting their pumpkins on clearance. I got 3 for $3, and we are gonna have a bunch of yummy pumpkin seeds later tonight!
8. for my quilt. Handmade a few generations ago, and still cozy and warm.
9. for relatives who buy themselves really nice new things, and give me their really nice used things!
10. for our sponsor child, who draws me sweet pictures of things from Africa, and reminds me of what is really important.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Mmmmmmmm Bread!

My new book came in the mail from Amazon today! Don't you just love Amazon? Anyway, the book is "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day". I've decided that surely I can make my own bread! And I've seen the method online and it doesn't look too difficult at all. We will see how it goes.... I am going to be attempting to make my own bread for the next 2 weeks. Do any of you have this book, or use this method? My Aunt uses it all the time, and her bread always looks so delicious (she lives in Georgia though, so unfortunately I only get to see pictures and never get to have a taste!)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Delete

Do you ever write a big long post and realize, you don't need to post it. Not because it was bad, but because its just you needed to get it out and its now so unnecessary? Yah.

On a quick note, I've been seeking more solitude in my life. Not from my family, but from the pressures of the world on me. We need to slow down. We need to be separated. At least, I really do. Facebook got deleted today (not deactivated, but deleted). So did twitter. I'm keeping my blog, but really that's it besides good old fashioned email (haha). I feel relieved already. I need to distance myself from these wordly things, to turn to God. I'm easily distracted.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

All Saints Day

What a fun time we had trick or treating! We usually go with some other family members, but this year we kept it to just us - and I have to say I liked it much better. We got to go as a family instead of some of us being at a house passing out candy and some of us out trick or treating. It felt good to be all together.

Here is our Jack-O-Lantern - the B got messed up, but it still worked.
Abby and Will getting some treats! We usually stayed back on the sidewalk and watched, unless the doors were set far back in which case we walked up closer. But Abby usually took Will up and they rang the bell together. She was so good about helping him and making sure he said thank you. What a sweet big sister!

And here they are in all their scariness! We may be rethinking this next year. We just aren't sure. But this year the costumes were already purchased, so we went with it.

And today is All Saints day! I decided to keep it fairly simple, since we have never celebrated this before and I don't know half of what I am doing, haha! But we read the All Saints Day pages from our "Around the Year: Once Upon a Time Saints" book. We also looked up St. Abigail and St. William and learned about them. Glad I picked Saint names without knowing it. Haha! We will also be going to mass this evening. Even though for us it isn't a Holy Day of Obligation, because we intend to start RCIA as a family in January as soon as we get moved into the house (YES!!!!! We are!!!!), we decided we just do our best now to live as if we were already Catholic, because, well, it just seemed the right thing to do!

And, tomorrow we have All Souls Day! So much going on in a short few days. I love how its all connected. Tomorrow we will be going to visit the gravesite of Aunt Frances, who passed away a couple of years ago. She is my Memaw's sister, and was a faithful Catholic in her life. She had no children of her own, as her fiance died in Pearl Harbor and she never felt the urge to marry after that. My Memaw's children (my step-dad and uncles) adopted Aunt Frances in a way, and she was always at all of our holiday gatherings. There are some funny Aunt Frances memories (like the time she fell asleep on the couch and Abby and my brother Kaleb stole her wig off her head and began dancing around with it singing "I'm Aunt Frances!!!!" - so embarrassing, especially when Aunt Frances woke up, but she thought it was so funny!) Abby remembers her and cries sometimes thinking about her. So I thought it would be a good idea tomorrow to go and bring her some flowers, and to say a pray for her. I don't know exactly how purgatory works, but I know if she is there our prayers will be appreciated, and if she is in heaven then she will be praying for us. We miss you Aunt Frances! I have a feeling you may already be in heaven and have had your hand in all of the changes happening in our home. =o)

Monday, October 31, 2011

Special Prayer Request

Can I ask you to please pray for a special intention? My husband and I are hoping to add another little one to our family, if God is willing. I'd appreciate your prayers. =o)

Friday, October 28, 2011

Rice can taste.... GOOD????

Can I just say - the rice cooker is an amazing invention? My rice is no longer nasty. JOY!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Thankful Thursday - Part Deux

Today, I am thankful:

1. that what was potentially a staph infection actually turned out to "only" be shingles...
2. for modern medicine (antivirals) that are hopefully going to knock the shingles right outta here.
3. that all the sickness in the house (other than my own) seems to be going away!
4. for my husband who insisted I make chili dogs for dinner rather than hot dogs. YUM.
5. my neighbor, who watched the kiddos for me at the last minute today. =o)
6. for my parents who are letting us move into their old house soon!
7. that my husband has agreed to be open to new life!!!! *EEEEEEEEEEEEEE*
8. that Lady asked to go potty. Even if it was only 2 times. Ha!
9. for another round of cool weather that blew in today!
10. for much needed RAIN, which we have gotten to see a bit of today!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Moving - in more ways than one

Today it hit me - I am moving in 3 months (or less). I have holidays to contend with, and packing to finish. I've got floors at the house desperately needing some love, and walls that are screaming "pleeeeease remove the ugly 80's wallpaper and save me!"
And I'm excited. And suddenly extremely overwhelmed! I have a huge list going of things we need (like new beds for the kids...ouch). One step at a time Kelli!

I've also been thinking about how "unfriendly" I am. I don't think its that I REALLY am unfriendly. But, I do have a temper (shock, ha), and unless you are my immediate family, I'm pretty introverted in real life. I might be very animated and friendly when I am in a situation with other people, but I don't necessarily want to be there. I like to be alone. In my house. With my family. A good book. And just being alone. I am definitely an introvert. Being out of the house stresses me out. I like to be surrounded by familiarity and comfort. I tend to get annoyed easily, which is a bad habit too. Crud. Look at me just listing all these things out. But, I think lately I am coming to see that while others have faults or things that do bother me, good grief who am I to judge them? Look at all my issues and baggage. Maybe I should be looking at myself and my obnoious tendencies. At the same time, I know God made me who I am. He knows me and loves ME and wants me to be the person he created, but I think he also expects me to be striving to convert my heart to His every moment of the day. Its difficult, but I am becoming more aware. What do you do throughout the day, or what do you keep around, to help remind you of where your heart and mind should be? To help you get  kick in the pants from our tendency to be in this world and act in less than Godly ways? It is a lifelong journey I'm sure, but I'm excited and kind of scared to be on it.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Lonesome

Adam is on a camping trip with his buddies. They left Thursday morning. They won't be back until Sunday night. I'm having a rough time. I feel lonesome.

I'm also just a little bit terrified about going to mass alone with the kids. Why? Because I have a 2 year old son named William, that's why! Haha. He makes me smile almost constantly, so he is definitely worth it. =o)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Thankful Thursday - Pt. 1

Leading up to Thanksgiving, and because we are cutting back on our spending and it hurts and is a big adjustment, I have decided to try to take time every Thursday and make a list of some things I am thankful for. SO. Here we go!

I am thankful for...
1. the BEAUTIFUL cool weather we have been having. It feels like Fall.
2. a home, electricity, running water, etc. because so many people in the world don't have these things that I take for granted.
3. healthy children, who love each other, and love God.
4. a computer and the internet which gives me the ability to learn all kinds of nifty things easily and quickly, and to keep in touch with people in my life more easily.
5. coffee - because a day without it would be a lot less pleasant for those around me.
6. the love and generosity of people in my life.
7. my husband and all the work he does to support our family.
8. the ability to stay home and be with my children.
9. pumpkins - because they make fall special and give me delicious pumpkin seeds to munch on.
10. God - because He is everything.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

As a matter of FACT....

Everyone heard of Fr. Mitch Pacwa? I have been watching/listening to quite a bit of his debates/shows/etc. lately. Anyone else every noticed that he says quite frequently, "As a matter of FACT...." haha. I love it. He always says it when he starts to get really into a point that someone is disagreeing with.

I actually got to ask him some questions today on Open Line. Maybe you heard me. If so, please don't tell me how I sounded. I am sick, was carrying a neighbor's baby on my hip, was out of breath from walking the baby around, had dogs barking in the background, and was keeping my fingers crossed that Will stayed asleep while I was on the phone. It all worked out. AND I got some answers to a few questions I had about indulgences and relics. =o)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

My Journey

I wrote this post last night immediately following my praying of the Rosary. I didn't post it, because I feel very hesitant about putting it out there. Its very personal, but I want a record of things I go through on this faith journey that I am on. So, I decided to put it out there so I don't lose it. As I mentioned, I wrote it immediately following meditation, so reading it now I feel almost silly! But, it was very powerful for me last night, and I feel very at peace and confident now.

I am amazed at the things that can be revealed to me while meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary. Other things have just *clicked* in my head the past few weeks while praying, and tonight it happened again. I have been pestering Adam so much about WHY we can't just do RCIA this year. I keep saying its not a contract, why shouldn't we just go now, I don't understand! But he wants to wait, and do it together next year, so I agreed to wait. And yet, I still keep pestering him. I want him to change his mind to do what I want, when I want it, on my timetable. And I receive an answer I was not looking for while saying the Rosary tonight. My conversion, will be like the Joyful Mysteries. An angel came to Mary, and announced that she would be the mother of the Savior. Just as she is the mother of Christ, she is my Mother, and she is holding me now in her prayers and in her heart, and I am but a small dot in her hand that has a spark of life, and will begin to grow. She is nurturing me and loving me as I begin this faith. Mary visited Elizabeth, and Mary the Mother of God and Jesus Christ were recognized! Just as Christ was recognized, as I grow in this faith and in my understanding and in devotion and love to God, I will begin to grow and Christ will begin to be seen in me. Just as Mary had to travel far, with her poor unsuspecting (at first) husband, so do I. This year of learning and traveling towards this faith is going to be hard. There will be challenges, and I will lose things and it may not always go the way I want. But it will end in birth. Mary gave birth to the Savior of the world, and I will be born, a small infant, making my way into the Catholic church, next year when I enter RCIA. Mary presented Jesus at the temple, according to the Law, and whether I completely understand or even agree with the RCIA process, I will be obedient to the Lord and His Church, and will become a candidate and presented to the church while in the RCIA process. And finally, what a joyous occasion, and such a relief, when Jesus is found in the temple of His Father. Likewise, at the end of my journey, I will be able to be found there as well. Right where I am supposed to be. Learning, asking questions, growing in my faith, in the house of my Father in heaven. And, I am to be leading and teaching MY children then too, just as Mary my Mother, has and will lead me towards her Son.

Monday, October 17, 2011

"Let the little children come to me"

I found this article online while I was searching for "is it ok to give my kids religious books during mass", haha!

Abby, being 8, obviously does wonderfully. We have been to mass before when she was younger, and we also attended an Anglican church for quite a while, so this is all very familiar to her in many ways. She can follow along fairly well, and sits and listens well. We also have been going to the mass that has Children's Liturgy of the Word for 5-8 year olds, so she went to that and really enjoyed it - problem being that Will was QUITE upset that she left. He kept wanting to know where she was. With us homeschooling, he is obviously used to her being around the majority of the time. He did not like her disappearing like that. Now, Will does very well I think, for a 2 (almost 3) year old. Especially for his personality type, which is turned on high energy all the time. Sitting still is something this boy does not comprehend (unless Diego is on, in THAT case...). So really I am very proud of how he has been doing. If he begins to get too restless or loud, I take him out and give him a minute to compose himself and pull in the reigns, and then we come back in when he is ready. However, I wonder if other people are bothered by him. Sometimes I feel as if we are getting looks, and if I am doing the right thing in having him in there with us at mass. There is a nursery offered by the Sisters, but the more I thought about it, I really wanted him to be with us, as a family. Especially if I believe that the Eucharist is really Jesus (which, I think I have been persuaded of that, and not just in an intellectual way, since yesterday at mass I caught myself gazing longingly while I went up only to receive a blessing), then of course I should want my child to be there in the physical presence of Him as well. But, I worry about other peoples stares. If they are thinking I should just take him to the nursery that is offered. Would it be inappropriate for me to give him some religious books or items to sit with? I don't want to upset or offend others, but I feel like my son has every right to be at mass with Jesus as much as anyone else. Anyone else struggle with this? How do you deal with it?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Slowly

I am slowly easing into this journey that I am on. I have been prayin the rosary daily for well over 2 weeks now (yay!) and Abby has even been joining me every evening. I added in reading the daily mass readings last week, and have kept up with that well. This week I am adding in a Bible and Catechism reading plan - which should take me a year to complete (IF I stay on track, ha!). I will continue with the daily mass readings, but I am going to make that part of our school time so that the kids will also have a daily Bible reading that we will all do together. I have other things I want to add in - a nightly examination of conscience and act of contrition, a morning prayer and devotion, etc. But I know for now I need to ease in, especially after talking with and heeding the advice of several wonderful people that I know! For now, I feel very blessed by doing the daily rosary, and I think adding in these readings will be wonderful for all of us. I also am trying to make the day to day things into a form of prayer. I'm trying to stop several times throughout the day when the Lord crosses my mind, to offer up a personal prayer to Him in that moment. I think we will also begin reading a little bit about the saints as part of our school day - so the kids and I will be learning together, haha. I think this is something that the kids will really enjoy learning about.

Also, I know that All Saints/All Souls are coming up, quickly followed by the season of Advent. We have never celebrated these before really, but I would like to at least so a small something this year in recognition of them. Does anyone have some simple *beginner* ideas for my family? Thanks!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Known

I find comfort in this song, and yet it also reminds me how all-knowing God is. But he has known me as I am, as I was, and as I will be! I draw great comfort in knowing that someone does know and understand me that completely. I feel enveloped in his love. Last night I took the puppy out really late, and the sky was clear, and there were bright stars, a glowing moon shining down onto me, and a brisk wind swept across my face and gave me chills. I felt God with me. I felt him holding me and revealing himself to me through the beauty of His creation. I stood quietly and said a prayer.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Meal Planning and Budgetting

Alright people - do you plan out your weekly meals and have a food budget? We are moving soon so I have been given the job of tackling our food budget and keeping things in check. Here's the problem - I have no idea what I'm doing. I'm not even sure what are good, healthy, and reasonably priced options for meals. I'm not sure what I should be aiming for. SO, I need examples of what a week is like for your family, so I can have something to go on. Thanks!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Prayers Please!

If everyone could say a prayer for my sweet baby William. He is sick, and has gotten a really high fever (we're at 104 now, which is not even his highest). He tends to do this everytime he gets sick, so its not too scary, but of course I worry every time. He seems to be feeling very badly. =o(

Autumn!

Is everyone else just so happy its Autumn? I mean, even though HERE it doesn't feel like Autumn, we all pretend. We buy pumpkins. We put out fall decor. We insist on buying our kids fluffy Halloween costumes because *WHAT IT* it DID get cold (when is the last time that happened? Anyone remember? Every year I just see poor infants and toddlers sweating nearly to death). And, we do it to ourselves too, because most of the moms I meet are insisting on wearing their cute fall clothes. Even though its still near 90 degrees on most days. And we don't care. Cause its Fall DANGIT. And we want to wear our cute stuff. Summer in Texas is not pretty. Fashion goes out the window in favor of not suffering from heat stroke, so Fall is always much welcome. However briefly it visits us.

Halloween. Sigh. The kids are so excited. And I love Halloween too. But this year I'm really confused on what to do. I want them to know its more than just dress up and get candy. But honestly - I'm clueless! I want to jump right in and do all this cool liturgical stuff with them and I have no idea what I'm doing. I don't even know what half the words mean. What is a novena? What is a scapular? What is the different between Blessed and Saint? What is the difference between a Memorial, A Feast, A Remembrance. And what are you supposed to do? AH! Someone help me! But yes, we are dressing up for Halloween. Its our thing. Even us parents dress up (albeit not on Halloween, but for a Halloween party with friends). The kids are going to be a Vampire and a Zombie. Easy and cheap, so I'm on board. For the "adult" costumes, our group of friends decided this year that we would vote on each others costumes. So basically - I didn't pick my costume. All my friends and my husband got together and voted for my costume. I'm supposed to be a pregnant nun. A month ago I was rolling my eyes but whatever. Now I feel a little uncomfortable and disrespectful. Crud. It's better than Adam's costume - Green Running Man. Yikes. I'd have to exercise daily for 5 years before I'd put on all that green spandex!

With Fall also comes pumpkin seeds. Pumpkin seeds!!! I love them. Toss them in some butter and then sprinkle on cajun seasoning, pop them in the oven, and they are sooooooooooo good. I bought a pumpkin yesterday specifically for the purpose of using the seeds for my upcoming snacks. Can't wait to do some roasting tonight!

Monday, October 10, 2011

To my Protestant Friends and Family

I am writing this to all my Protestant friends and family, who have expressed concern over my family's journey so far in learning about and considering the Catholic faith. I know some of you view the Catholic faith as a branch of Christianity, while others of you view it in a more negative light and do not even consider it Christian. I feel the need to write this, so that I'm not having to explain our reasons for exploring the Catholic faith repeatedly.

I know some of you are concerned, whereas others are just confused or think it odd that we are looking into Catholicism. I want you to know that none of us take this lightly. Although my reading is going quickly and my mind is racing with information, we are in no rush to convert immediately. We are seeking God's truth and are on a faith journey, as we all will be our whole lives as we strive to convert our hearts to be in tune with that of God. For those of you who can not understand why we are looking into this Catholic faith, it is that we have been repeatedly shown that Protestantism is so divided, and that the teaching of sola scriptura leaves much room for individual interpretation (hence the division in Protestantism of so many denominations) and leaning on our own understanding rather than that of what has been given to us by Christ. We are looking for answers, looking to find the fullness of the church that Jesus established. We are studying history and writings of the early church, and have been surprised. As I said, we are on a journey, we do not know where we will end up, but we would ask that you be supportive and in prayer that we would find the truth of God.

To those of our dearest friends, who believe the Catholic church to not even be of God, I understand how difficult this must be for you to understand. I believe you are well intentioned and full of love and concern for us. I understand your desire to pray for us - but I would ask that your prayers reflect that of us finding God's truth, and not what you hold to be truth. There are so many denominations in Protestantism that claim to be the ones who interpret the Bible correctly, and there is so much division over this. I do not want to add to that. How can any in the Protestant faith know if their understanding of scripture is more correct than that of the over 20,000 other churches and groups who believe they have the correct understanding? I would ask that you research the history of the church for yourselves. Read the writings of the early church fathers. Go to unbiased sources for your information as we have had to do. It has been more difficult to find, but it is comforting to know that we are reading unbiased information. The Catholic church is not an enemy. Rather it is a group of Christians seeking after God's own heart as much as the Protestant faith is.

I love you all, and I appreciate all the concern, all the prayers, and to others all of the support you have offered as we have begun this amazing journey. Please know we don't want any ill will or argument between us. We are all seeking after the Lord and wishing to serve him. We are all on our own journey which is being guided by our loving Heavenly Father.