Monday, September 29, 2008

5 Grand

Our ticker passed 5,000 hits today! Wowza, thanks so much for reading!

Graham's Pet Buggie


We made it! It's Monday. We have had a super busy weekend and I'm so thankful we've survived it. We all slept in until almost 9 this morning and the mood of the house is calm.

Jared's vacation technically starts tomorrow. Apparently on Monday's there's a lot to wrap up from the weekend so he's going in for part of a day today and then we're home free. I work this evening too so it works out great that our week start on Tuesday.

Jared's birthday is Saturday and we have plans to take the kids to the Zoo on Tuesday. We've promised them a few little trips here and there within a close proximity and I think it will be a real enjoyable week. Our plans are to go to Red Barn Farm, the Zoo, and Deanna Rose. Jared and I would like to plan a date night on his birthday or there abouts. Otherwise we are just staying home and resting. It sounds like a nice week.

I'm trying to decide whether or not to take the week off school. It would be nice to be able to come and go as we needed without much worry but at the same time we could do school first thing each morning and not get a week behind. We start lesson 61 today and we're nearing the half way point (170 lessons for the year)!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Living Free

In the midst of all the banks going under our mortgage company went belly up last night. My mom said, "So does that mean your house is free!" She was kidding of course but man I wish!

Apparently there's no need for panic. They were bought by another company and now we'll just have to write our checks late to someone else :) There surely should be some kind of kickback for the homeowners affected by our lenders not being able to pay their bills. Couldn't we have a year without penalties, a month without payment or something? After all they understand being a little strapped.

My only question is, "Who do I send my house payment to?"

Any suggestions :)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Random Thoughts 9/25/08

-Brennan Conner turns 8 tomorrow. We are heading to Grandma and Papa's tonight for a small celebration and to spend time with family. Friday we're heading to friends for the evening for more cake and ice cream and he gets a "date" with his NeNe. He's very excited!

-Quickening. The baby has begun to move. I started feeling our little peanut about a week ago and now get little pokes and prods daily. I love it...

-I don't mind working for Weight Watchers at all except for when it comes to staff meetings. I have to drive to Topeka Saturday for a 4 hour staff meeting. Add in an hour each way and that's a 6 hour day away from home...YUCK.

-Graham is doing fantastic with potty training. We've been able to leave the house without accidents. I am so very proud of him. GO GRAHAM!!

-I'm about to lose all patients with the whole "not knowing" what the baby is. Can we just find out already?! My next appointment is Oct 6 and I am hoping to schedule the sonogram right then and there :)

-Elijah is reading...Seriously. Jared and I have noticed our 4 year old sounding out simple words. The other day he wrote "MOM" on his paper and then at the bottom there was a heart and "Eli." We were playing Wii and he was reading the names above the images on pictures that weren't obvious. Such a blessing to see just one of the many benefits of home schooling. He's picking up all kinds of information.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Ravenous Beasts

Just to give you an idea of what it takes to feed a family of 4 boys I thought I'd share what they consume in an average day.

For breakfast they polish off half a loaf of bread, most of a box of cereal and easily 1/3 a gallon of milk.

For lunch yesterday they ate an entire 1 pound box of fish sticks and 6 string cheese. Throughout the day they drink a gallon of sugar free tropical punch.

I always try to make a nice dinner and last night I made some pasta with meat sauce. We used an entire box of noodles, a pound and a half of hamburger, 3 cans of diced tomatoes (to make home made sauce), plus seasonings. The kids really like to have milk with dinner so there goes more milk!

As long as they eat well at meals I allow snacks throughout the day. The boys polish off 4 boxes of pop tarts, 4 boxes of fruit snacks, 2 boxes of cinnamon grahams and countless sticks of string cheese all in 2 weeks.

The funniest part is they actually don't seem to eat that much each it's just when you add it all together its unreal. It will only get worse as they continue to grow. All those comments about girls costing so much more obviously don't take grocery bills into account. I'm sure I could buy lots of cutesie clothes for a little girl with the money I spend just on milk. Just think, what will it be like when they're 18,16,14,12, & 9!!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Stupid Gadget

I finally found a Wii Fit today. I have been hoping to purchase one since before they were available in the U.S. I frequently call Game Stop and Target in the early hours to see if they've received shipments only to get an irritated employee tell me no like they've told so many others.

Jared took today off and we decided to take the kids to the Legends for a walk and a cookie after lunch. I remembered that Game Stop often got their shipments in over the noon hour so I decided to stop in. I asked the employee somewhat sheepishly if they had any to which he replied, "Yep, we just got a huge shipment in." I have been treated rather rudely in the past when I asked this question so I was a bit skeptical. I asked, "really?" And he said, "It'd be rather cruel to tell you that if we didn't have any wouldn't it?"

Why yes! It would! So he walked back to the storage and out came my new Wii Fit. Jared and I set it up and I was the first to go. I jumped up onto the balace board and it told me I was obese (there's no way to tell the thing I'm 4 months preggers), that I have terrible posture, and asked if I frequently trip while walking since my balance is so off.

Why did I want this thing again?

Kidding aside, I have a pretty serious hip issue while pregnant and my doctor told me yoga would be the best medicine. I really wanted the Wii fit for the yoga as well as the fun games for the kids. The yoga is really interesting and I'm excited to start a daily routine. We cancelled our gym membership to save money and this Wii fit is one months membership fee but now it's mine forever. It seems like a lot of fun and the idea of being weighed everytime I (or the family) get on is motivation enough to push away that extra brownie. How can that be bad?

Jared and I are both eager to play as well as get a little healthier as a family. Fun!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Just Like New

Papa came over yesterday with his power sprayer. He worked over the entire house and it looks like it did when we first sided it. It's just beautiful. I am eager to add a new coat of stain to the decks and porch. The siding was just filthy. The boys thought it was funny to write their names in the dirt coating it. For some reason the North side was absolutely covered with mold spores. Richard put a bleach solution on it and the sprayed it down and viola...Mold be gone!!

We are so very thankful for our Papa who works so hard. We love you and we love how beautiful the house looks. Thank YOU!!

Sunday, September 21, 2008


Tonight the M&M's (Mothers and Mentors) group from our church went out for dinner at Jose Peppers. It was so yummy. It was really nice to have a night out with friends and the best chips on the planet.

Jared stayed back with our kids plus 7 more. The dads all joined up at our place to watch football and from the reports the kids did really well. It's getting to the point that they all play so well together that even though there's a herd of kids it really doesn't seem so bad.

We are really looking forward to a week from today. This last week has been so incredibly busy and this coming week will be somewhat full. The good news is a week from today our vacation starts. Jared is taking a full week off to just be home with us. I'm not sure what we'll do but I can't wait to just be home and hang out with Dad.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Get R Done

-Jared took our blue gingham chair out of our bedroom. I've been wanting to move it out to the garage for the garage sale. We seem to just use it to store clothes on and the room feels much bigger without it. Plus here in a couple months we'll need to move the bassinet in!

-Our room is rearranged and as soon as I find out what to do with all the clutter on my bed I'll be done. It's nice knowing it's all clean.

-My next goal for today is to mop my nasty kitchen floor. I swear it needs mopped daily and I only get to it about once a week.

-Brennan has a new mattress thanks to the Anderson's. He used to have a Bunkie mattress (for bunk beds) that is a box springs with a thin pad over the top. It was terribly uncomfortable. I told him he was getting a new mattress and his first comment was, "Is it soft?" So I'll need to get him some fresh sheets. He's really eager to sleep on it.

-Jared will be gone all day tomorrow (his day off) to speak in Fort Scott so the boys and I are enjoying the weather and trying to be super productive while dad's away.

-I figure we have one more time of mowing and trimming and we should be done for the season. The problem is when Dad's super busy literally every day of the week it's hard to find the time to do it. We're hoping for Sunday afternoon. I actually like mowing but mowing with 4 kids it is not easy or safe so we try to wait until we're both home.

-Call it "Fall" cleaning or "nesting" but either way I'm ready for a clean organized home and I'm having a hard time resting until it's done.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I'm Drowing in a Sea of Cotton...

I detest laundry. I'm beginning to feel the urge to purge. I can not get caught up. First of all there isn't enough hangers, drawers, or shelf space to put it all. We're wearing 1/2 summer and 1/2 winter so the shear amount of clothing out for a family of 6 is unreal.

The funny thing to me is that we don't really have a lot of clothing per person. In fact at the end of each season I go through all the clothing before storing it and remove everything that I don't really care for or stuff that is completely worn out.

This summer the boys survived on about 2 pair of shorts each and maybe 4 or 5 shirts each. That's not exactly the wardrobe of a clothes horse. So why do I feel so overwhelmed.

I think part of it is I'm a finisher. I hate leaving things undone and laundry cannot ever be truly complete. I feel beat before the game even starts. God obviously had it right in the beginning. No clothing and no one noticed or cared. Wow the life of a woman would be so much easier if it wasn't for Eve and that stinking apple. No pain during childbirth, no laundry, no stretch marks or overeating just taking care of the fam in a sinless world while enjoying God's creation.

Well, back to the task at hand.

Week 14

It's already time for our bi-weekly peak at baby. We are a full 14 weeks pregnant and start week 15 tomorrow. It's going quickly!

"14 Weeks Gestation

* The skin is almost transparent.
* The mouth makes sucking motions.
* Amniotic fluid is swallowed.
* Sweat glands develop.
* The liver and pancreas are starting to work.
* The length is about 3 to 4 inches."

My next doctor's appointment is 2 weeks from Monday (October 6). I am really starting to get giddy over the idea of this little person joining our family. It's a really starting to sink in and I'm loving it. God is Good.

I'm Hungry

Today I took the kids to the park for a couple hours. We started home around 12:30 and after eating a bowl of cereal for breakfast I was famished.

With previous pregnancies I've struggled with low blood sugars but haven't had it so far this time. Today it hit and it hit hard. I was driving home (which is a little scary) and I started sweating and shaking. Jared called and asked the boys and I to bring him something to eat. By the time I got to the restaurant I was having trouble with my vision. Jared had called in our order so I just grabbed it up and started chowing.

By the time I was satiated I had polished off an egg roll and a half, a cup of egg drop soup, and 80% of my beef with extra broccoli. I'm a little nervous that my sugar dropped so quickly. I had a decent breakfast just 3 hours before. I'll have my blood glucose test here in a couple weeks. Until then I'll do a better job of having healthy foods on hand for just such an occasion.

I had 2 great days on Core and am right back on. I started feeling better by the end of the first day. Apparently I was retaining quite a bit of water. I've been up every 2 hours for the last two nights. My goal is to follow the program 95% of the time knowing there will be occasions here and there but overall I really want to have a healthier pregnancy. I have no trouble following it while at home. Fortunately I spend most of my time right here :)

It's kinda funny to me how many little things I've already forgotten about pregnancy (like low blood sugar). It's new and exciting each time.

P.S. Apparently according to the poll several of you think we're having a girl. Jared told me tonight for the first time he's really starting to have a feeling it's a boy. We'll see...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Day One

Yesterday went just fine. I actually did really well with my eating and that alone makes me feel better, more in control I guess.

Chris and I walked just shy of 5 miles first thing in the morning. Then Amy and I headed off to Deanna Rose Farms and walked around for another 2 1/2 hours letting the kids play. We all had the best time.

Last night I had to work Weight Watcher's and Jared did school with the boys. I'm not sure but I think that is the first time he's done school with the kids and he did fine. I work again tonight and then I'm back to my normal schedule of just Monday's. I'm definitely ready for that.

I spent quite a bit of time on the computer looking up new recipes yesterday for core and found a DELICIOUS one. You have got to try this. If you're a fan of black beans or Mexican food you will LOVE this.

Spicy Black Bean Soup
Core Recipe
Servings: 8
Preparation Time: 20 min
Cooking Time: 30 min
Level of Difficulty: Moderate

The key to thickening this soup without flour? Pureeing some of the beans before cooking it. You'll love the stick-to-your-ribs texture that results.

1 sprays cooking spray
1 medium onion(s), finely chopped
4 medium garlic clove(s), minced
45 oz canned black beans, undrained, divided (three 15 oz cans)
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, or to taste
1 tsp ground cumin
14 1/2 oz fat-free chicken broth, or vegetable broth
10 oz canned tomatoes with green chilies, such as Rotel Tomatoes
11 oz canned yellow corn, drained
Coat bottom of a large stockpot with cooking spray. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until onions are soft but not brown, about 5 minutes.

Place one can of beans in blender; add sautéed onion mixture, red pepper flakes and cumin. Cover and blend on high until smooth, about 30 seconds. Pour mixture back into stockpot.

Place second can of beans and broth in blender and puree until smooth; add to stockpot.

Stir third can of beans (do not puree first), tomatoes and green chilies, and corn into stockpot. Bring to a boil, lower heat to medium and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes. Yields about 1 1/2 cups of soup per serving.


It makes quite a bit and I'm really the only one that will eat it so I plan to be having this for lunch over the next couple of days. Top it with fat free cheddar cheese and fat free sour cream and you got a delicious filling meal.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Back On the Wagon

I've decided to start back on the CORE plan today. I've been having a free for all, all you can eat buffet since I found out I was pregnant and honestly I don't feel well.

Have you ever had a time when you just ate a bunch of junk and then felt like junk? We went grocery shopping yesterday and I went ahead and stocked up on fruits, veggies, brown rice, chicken, and shredded wheat. Just a few of my staples. My goal is just to eat healthy for the baby and myself.

When I went in to the OB a week ago I had gained 12 lbs in 13 weeks. That's a little excessive. I'm not trying to lose pounds obviously but I would like to slow down the gain if possible. The healthy thing about core is that quantities are only limited to what you need to feel full. There's no calorie limitations just limits on simple carbs and basic sugars. I can't imagine that a diet full of fresh fruit, veggies, lean proteins, and whole wheat could be bad for either of us.

One thing I haven't tried while pregnant is eating healthy. So far with each pregnancy I've taken that time off from weight watching since I get bigger anyway. I just thought that since I'll be 32 when the baby gets here and it's my 5th eating well may make this whole process a lot more pleasant.

Since my weight loss of 86.2 lbs with Weight Watchers I gained 65 lbs with Elijah and 65 lbs with Graham. Lets see if we can keep this baby under the 50 lb mark if possible :)

Friday, September 12, 2008

My Daily Scripture

There is a random scripture verse on my blog and this one is exceptional. I thought I'd share it in case you hadn't noticed it.

EX 15:2 The Lord is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation; He is my God, and I will praise Him; My father's God, and I will exalt Him.

What a blessing and a truth. I will exalt Him.

Random Thoughts 9/12/08

-Slight Miscalculation. I officially have 189 days until my due date and 120 (we've completed 50) lessons left in home schooling. If you add in weekends, holidays, and sick days there's no way we're going to get done before this baby arrives. I know that I will be able to continue school shortly after the birth but I was really hoping to be done for a couple months. The good news is there won't be a whole lot to complete. I have just really struggled to get into a groove this year with the kids. There have been so many things going on that interrupt our week that consistency has been impossible.

-The trash needs to be taken out. After an emotional week and the thoughts and emotions of a loss still very fresh on our minds and hearts the mundane tasks seem well, mundane. It's not only necessary to do the day to day things but it's healthy. I remember after losing my dad I didn't know when it was okay to do basic things. Nothing seemed necessary in light of the events but getting to a new normal did give some purpose and healing. It's hard for me to find the balance between mourning and moving forward.

-Baby Talk. If you'll notice our baby ticker on the side of the page our little baby is changing dramatically. The head is a little more proportionate and it looks a lot like a baby :) I start week 14 today. Jared and I are both eager to find out the sex. It just seems so intimate when you know the baby by name and can pray for them and plan for them appropriately. I would love to take a survey and see what you all think. Pink or Blue? Quint or Hazel. (No comments about the names please. My pregnant emotions aren't handling it very well). Jared and I both feel torn. If it's a girl that would be new and exciting as well as SCARY, unknown, EXPENSIVE and a whole new world of issues we don't currently deal with. If it's a boy it's familiar, comfortable, CHEAPER and we feel we're really good at boys but then there's the fact we won't have a daughter. UgH.

-I'm in love with hummus. The other day the Cooper girls and I had a Greek day. They invited the boys and I out for a play date. I made homemade pigs in a blanket for the kids (we didn't figure the kids would want Greek). Amy and Christi made gyros, a Greek salad, and had hummus and pita pieces for snack. It was delicious and now I can't get enough hummus. YUM. I've never been to a Greek restaurant and until Tuesday hadn't ever had a gyro. Pretty good!!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A Day With the Family

Today is Thursday and Jared is home for a day of much needed well deserved rest. I had to work this morning filling in for a fellow Weight Watcher's leader. Other than that we've been together and just enjoying the rainy weather and each other.

Once I arrived home we loaded up the kids and headed to the library to pick up the last two installments of the Star Wars set. Jared has been watching them with the boys on his days off and the older two are enjoying their time with their Daddy and the Force.

On the ride home we stopped in at Cabella's and let the boys check in on the fishes and eat a sample or four of fudge.

The rest of the day we just want to lay around and be together. It's a blessing to have days like to day just to recoup a little physically and emotionally.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Baby Check

We had a doctor's appointment this morning and were able to hear the heartbeat with the doppler. Dr. Sheridan was able to find it right off and it was such a blessing to hear the thump thump of our little peanut.

We aren't due back for a month. I'm assuming that at the next appointment (We'll be approx 17 weeks) we'll make the appointment to find out the sex of the baby. It's getting closer!

This starts a very hectic and hard week for our family. Today is my first day of back to back meetings at Weight Watchers. I also work Thurs and Saturday this week as well as Monday and Tuesday of next week.

This past week was an extremely difficult one for our church family. We had a death in our immediate church family, a death in the extended family of a church member, and our church's cleaning lady had a stroke. Jared has been very busy sharing God's love and compassion with the families that have been so deeply affected.

In the mean time I am desperately trying to muster the desire and energy to school the kids. There's just so much else going on. Our church family would greatly appreciate your prayers.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Come Rest

Considering Lily
Come Rest

A little too much
Today was a little too much for me
A few falls too many and one win too few

A little too long
Today was a little too long for me
But someone is calling
Calling my name, calling:

"Come, come and rest
All who are weary, rest
Come, come and rest
All who are heavy, rest

Sometimes I try
Sometimes I try just a little too hard
Fighting the current and losing the fight

Sometimes I feel
Sometimes I feel like I'm swimming alone
But someone is holding
Holding me up, calling:

Calling me softly and sweetly
Calling me like I'm a child
Calling me though I'm not worthy
Calling me even now

Friday, September 5, 2008

Freshly Bathed

We bathed the boys last night and during prayers I felt the scene was worth capturing. Here are our 4 beautiful babies all snuggled up on the bean bag. That's worth framing.

Want Some Soup?

I thought I would let you in on the joke. Watch the following UTUBE video so the previous post makes sense.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Lovin It!

I am loving this weather (as I type this I hear wailing coming through the open windows). I love the cool air and not running the air conditioner! The kids + Nadia are all outback playing somewhat peacefully.

The bigger I get the more I enjoy clothing that covers more :) I am eagerly anticipating soft knit shirts, sweat pants, jeans, and snuggly jackets. I LOVE FALL. I want Thanksgiving, pumpkin pie, hay rides, fall leaves and jack-o-lanterns.

Yesterday at the Goodwill I picked up an adorable Pirate's costume for Graham from Old Navy. The other boys are eagerly anticipating Halloween. They all have an idea of what they want to be. It's just a fun time of year.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Random Thoughts

-Graham is doing fantastic with his potty training. He hasn't had an accident in days. I am really proud of him. Right after he pottys he says, "Bye Bye Pee Pee, Bye Bye!" He's so stinking cute.

-I made home made spaghetti sauce tonight. The boys wanted meatballs for dinner and I didn't have any canned tomatoes. Tanner asked why we couldn't just use our tomatoes out of the garden. So I grabbed up all I had and made sauce with home grown maters! It is SOO good. The funny part is when you first blend them up it's pink! After cooking it turned red. YUMM.

-Our garage sale is this weekend (hopefully). I was planning on Thurs-Sat but I think I'll just do Friday and Saturday. I'm just not quite ready. I have quite a bit of organizing to do and I haven't listed it yet. There's so much that goes into this!

-Body pillows rock. I have been already struggling to sleep comfortably. I had decided to find some sort of body pillow to help and Target was all I needed. They had a big ol' pillow for $10 and a blue chenille cover that matches my bedroom. Snuggly. I slept so good last night that I've been dreaming about going back to bed all day :)

-You've got to check out Baby Name Wizard. It is a really interesting website. Jared and I have been totally geeking out on it. It's fun to see all the different spellings and how common the names are. Click on the tab that says NameVoyager and type away. So FUN.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Sweet Baby

"12 Weeks Gestation

* The neck is present and the face well formed.
* The eyelids close and will reopen at about 24 weeks.
* Tooth buds appear.
* The arms and legs move.
* All body parts and organs are present.
* The fibers that carry pain to the brain are developed; however, it is unknown if the unborn child is able to experience sensations such as pain.
* Definitive signs of male and female gender are present.
* A heartbeat can be heard with electronic devices.
* The length is about 2 to 3 inches."

I am 11 weeks and 3 or 4 days. We are officially finishing up our 1st trimester. It's gone by surprisingly fast. I can now say that we'll find out what the baby is NEXT MONTH! We will be far enough along at the end of October. I really can't wait to know but in the mean time I am eagerly anticipating feeling our little peanut. I started feeling Graham and Elijah around week 15. We are closing in on it!

The main difference between this pregnancy and the others is I'm still sick. I struggle with nausea most evenings and in the mornings I have to force myself to eat. Once I eat I'm usually better. I laid in bed last night breathing deeply trying to overcome the desire to vomit long enough to fall asleep. I thought it had passed because I had a week or two when the nausea was gone but alas it has returned. I wish I could say I'm staying nice and thin due to the morning sickness but when I do feel well I eat and eat and eat and eat. Ummmm, an English muffin with strawberry jam sounds good....

Ahhh Rest

I am so looking forward to today. Happy Labor Day all!

The weekend at Rock the Light was fun but exhausting for my pregnant self. Apparently I over did a bit and ended up pretty sick Saturday night. I slept all afternoon Sunday and after a good nights rest last night I feel refreshed.

The concert was amazing. I didn't realize how much I liked Pillar. I look forward to downloading some of their music. Jeremy Camp was the best on Saturday. He didn't even start until 10:20 pm but he was worth the wait. That man has an amazing ministry. He really poured his heart out to the crowd and laced it with scripture. Between that and his music it was quite refreshing spiritually.

Music aside, it was also nice just to spend some time with friends and family. We had a decent sized group and had a lot of fun together.