Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Help! My Child Won't Eat!

I need some advice, please, from those of you with more parenting experience than I have. What do you do when your child won't even try a new food? I fixed a new dish tonight with ground beef, corn, peas, potatoes, and cream of mushroom soup in the crockpot (so there was nothing objectionable about it at all). Sarah Beth took one bite of the meat and later one bite of the potatoes, and that was it. I could not get her to open her mouth for another bite. Meanwhile, she was fussing because she was hungry. I put her in her crib for a few minutes to cry by herself, but when I got her out again, she still would not even try one bite. Lately, she has gotten more picky about what to eat. We have a hard time getting her to eat green vegetables. Usually, she likes corn, but she wouldn't eat it tonight. I finally gave up and made her a peanut butter and honey sandwich. Do you have any suggestions? I'm at my wits end. She's 20 months old, so she's too young to understand that that's all she gets.

Recipes

Mykidsmom asked for some recipes the other day, but she did not specify which ones. I'll give you two of my favorites from that day. I mean, really, you can't beat chocolate chip muffins or homemade bread, can you?



My chocolate chip muffin recipe is from All Recipes. I love that site because people can rate recipes as to how much they like them. Even better, people leave comments on how to improve recipes. I really appreciate that because I am no good at experimenting with recipes. If I make something, and it doesn't taste good, I just don't make it again. I have no idea what to do to make it taste good. Oh, yeah, I'm giving you the improved recipe.



Chocolate Chip Muffins
Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 heaping tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips


Directions:
In a large bowl, combine the first five ingredients. In a small bowl, beat the egg, milk, oil, and vanilla. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in chocolate chips. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups 3/4 full. Bake at 400 degrees F for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack.


This recipe makes a few more than a dozen, about 14 or 15 muffins.


Homemade Wheat Bread
This recipe is from Crystal at Biblical Womanhood. I really like it because the bread machine does all the hard work, but the bread bakes in the oven and is so good. We use this as snack bread; I still buy bread to use for sandwiches.
Ingredients:
1 cup warm water (110-115 degrees F)
1 tablespoon milk
2 tablespooons oil
4 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole-wheat flour
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons dry yeast



Directions:

Put all ingredients in the bread machine in the order listed. Set on dough cycle. When dough cycle is finished, take dough out and shape into a loap in a greased bread pan. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 20 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Work in Progress Wednesday


Here is the blanket I have been working on. It did not take me nearly as long (or with as much aggravation) as I thought to sew the different rectangles together. I spread it out to take the picture, and Sarah Beth immediately sat down on it with her "treasures." Toddlers think the weirdest things are great fun. I only need to finish the last round of edging, and I will be done. The yellow skein at the bottom of the picture is to make a dishcloth from this website that Mrs. H recommended. I have not been thrilled with ones I have made in the past, but I am going to try again thanks to Mrs. H's urgings. By the way, you need to stop over at her blog to see the bear her daughter is making.

This blanket turned out much bigger than I expected, so I need to make another one that is small enough to use in the bassinet and in the car seat. I think I will do one like this one, but in a heavier yarn since it is winter. The pattern was fun to work on, and it worked up quickly. I've got two weeks; do you think I can get it done? If not, I've got one of Sarah Beth's old ones I can use.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

My Husband

John said three things last night, and he followed each with the words, "Are you going to put that in your blog?" This happens every few days where he asks if I will put something he says or does in the blog, and I always tell him no. Honestly, it doesn't even occur to me to put those things here because usually it would not be respectful to him. However, since he asked that three times last night, I thought I would today.

(As you may recall, I don't write about John very often in here, and I am trying to remedy that.)

As we were eating supper, John asked me what I wanted for my birthday. I have to admit that my first reaction was to ask, "Are you sick?" My birthday is April 14 which is two and a half months away. This man waits until the last minute to shop; last year he went out on my birthday to buy my gifts. I had not even thought about it yet because I figured I had another two months before I needed to come up with something. I do want my mom to make me some napkins, but he can't help with that.

Then John noticed my new watch. This is not the one that I bought with the gift card my parents gave me. No, I bought this one with the gift card to Wal-Mart my co-workers gave me as a baby gift. I am the kind of person who likes to know what time it is even (especially!) in the middle of the night, so I wanted a watch with a light that was digital so it wouldn't tick-tock in my ear in bed at night. This will be my middle-of-the-night-feeding-the-baby watch. I wear it now when I'm home cleaning to keep my nice watch nice. Anyway, John just noticed it for the first time last night which doesn't surprise me since I don't usually wear it when he's around. By that time, I'm showered and wearing my good watch. I only mention this because of his follow up comment, "Are you going to put this in your blog?"

The third thing, however, got him into his own hot water. Remember those Girl Scout cookies I found yesterday? I told him about them, and he said that he remembered that they were from my box. My box? Oh, yeah! John likes to gobble up treats when we get them; I like to savor them. What ends up happening is that John eats 75% of the treats, and I only get 25%. I am selfish; I admit it. So when I buy treats, I usually buy two boxes or bags, and this only happens a few times a year. That way, he can eat his as fast as he wants, and I can savor mine as long as I want. It annoys him because his are gone in a couple of days, but mine still sit on the counter, but he can't have any. Anyway, that's what happened with those cookies. Apparently, I took so long eating them that I forgot I had them! I was still going to share with him, but he didn't want any. I have to admit that I didn't try too hard to persuade him. Now I have some more for today!!

My silly, sweet husband, already concerned with my birthday, noticing new things about me, and letting me eat my own cookies. What a sweet, wonderful man I married. And I haven't even mentioned what a terrific father he is!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Making Your Home a Haven

I do not know how to cross things off my list, but I will let you know as I get things done. Our morning routine is done, as is the planning stage. Under planning, I have gotten the house tidied, my Rite-Aid SCR done, supper in the crockpot, the phone call made, and the freezer cleaned out. I cannot vacuum until Sarah Beth wakes up from her nap; she hates the vacuum, but if I leave her in the bed for a few minutes while I vacuum when she wakes up, she is okay. Do you have that problem?

Sarah Beth is now awake from her nap which means that I have refreshed my spirit and vacuumed. The bread has been baked, and it is good! I made my list for my errands tomorrow. The only thing I did not get to was sewing those buttons on. I hate sewing buttons on. I wish, well, I wish I didn't have to do it!!

Crystal at Biblical Womanhood is hosting Making Your Home a Haven Monday. I like to join in because it gives me the extra push I need to get things done around the house.

1. Refresh your spirit. Since Sarah Beth and I woke up at the same time this morning, I did not get a chance to read my Bible. I find that my best time for this is when she is in the bed. I will refresh my spirit later when she naps.

2. Tackle your morning routine. We have a very simple one. I get up and get dressed. Then we eat breakfast, and I dress Sarah Beth for the day. I put away the breakfast dishes and brush my teeth. If there is a load of laundry to be done, I throw that in as well.

3. Take time to plan. I keep a running list of the things I need to do for the day. When I think of something, I write it down on the day of the week I want to get it done. It doesn't always happen, but I do try. Today's chores are:
a. Tidy up the house. Does your house seem to get dirtier and you get less done on the weekends? Mine does, and so I spend some time on Mondays just putting the house back together, so to speak.
b. I crocheted bunting for this new baby. I finished it well before Christmas, but I still haven't sewn the buttons on it yet. I need to get that done!
c. I want to get my Rite-Aid single check rebate done today.
d. I need to make my shopping list for tomorrow. I'm going to Rite-Aid, CVS, Walgreens, and Wal-mart.
e. I need to get supper in the crockpot. (I love my crockpot!)
f. I need to make a phone call.
g. I have another phone call to make, but I cannot make it until this evening because they work during the day.
h. I want to bake some bread.
i. I need to clean out the freezer to make room for the food I am storing up for after this baby comes.
j. I need to vacuum the great room and our bedroom.
4. What's for dinner? We are having a new recipe I found in a new crockpot cookbook. It is chicken with mushroom sauce. I hope it's good. We will eat it over rice, and we have some leftover corn to go with it.
5. Do something. My "something" was to clean out our freezers. We have two full-sized refrigerators which we need since I only go to the grocery store once a week. Three gallons of milk plus orange juice plus apple juice plus another half gallon of whole milk for Sarah Beth just won't fit in once refrigerator. Here are my before pictures:
Here are my after pictures:
(There's my little helper's head in that last picture.) I found a bunch of old stuff that I needed to throw out. And I found a little surprise! There was half a sleeve of Girl Scout Cookies - thin mints- way in the back. I'm sure they're still good, and I'm looking forward to a nice afternoon snack. Well, maybe I'll wait until this evening and share them with John. He would appreciate that. As you can see, I've been collecting different cuts of meat as they go on sale so that we will have a well-stocked freezer when this baby comes. I buy big packages and divide them into indivual freezer bags to freeze. I thought I needed to buy a bunch of veggies, also, but I found tons when I emptied out the freezer. No need to buy more! Money saved!! There's not a whole lot of room left, but I think I can find room for another casserole or two.
The bonus project is to bake something special. I plan on baking some bread this afternoon, but that's not all that special. I did bake some chocolate chip muffins last night. I even doubled the recipe so that half is in the freezer. I don't know if those will last until this baby comes, though! I can't really call it a craving, but chocolate sure has tasted good lately!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Little Boy Thou Gavest Me

I read this poem last night before bed, and I really enjoyed it. I found it in Verses of Virtue which was compiled and edited by Elizabeth Beall Phillips, and I thought you might appreciate it, too, especially those of you who have little boys.

Dear Lord, I bring to Thee my son
Whose tender years have scarce begun.
In this wee frame I know full well
A living soul has come to dwell
Who needs Thee now at childhood's gate,
Ere he shall grow to man's estate.
I covenant through hours apart
To pray for him with fervent heart,
To teach Thy Word with winsome voice
By day and night until his choice
Be but Thy blood for sin's deep stain,
And my small son is born again.
Then onward shall I pray the more
And teach Thy precepts o'er and o'er,
That he may grow, each boyhood hour,
By Thine indwelling risen power.
Lord, some small boys with none to care
Will never hear a mother's prayer;
Prepare my son with love aflame
To reach them with Thy saving name.
And make him, Lord, a polished tool,
A learner in Thy highest school.
A mother's part seems, oh, so frail!
But Thy strong arm can never fail.
To teach, to pray, to stand are mine;
Expentantly I yield to Thee
The little boy Thou gavest me.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Vision Forum Giveaway


Crystal at Biblical Womanhood is hosting another Vision Forum giveaway for a $100 gift certificate. I would buy Sarah Beth a Libery doll with a Dolly Madison dress, and I would put them away for a couple of years until she is old enough to appreciate them. If you haven't entered yet, you definitely should soon!

Television

I found this paragraph on The Biblical and Christian Worldview for the 21st Century, and I thought it was interesting and that you might agree.

12. Turn off the television!
I wonder what sort of reformation and revolution might occur if all true Christians turned off their television set or removed it entirely from their homes, and used that time in serious Bible study, family worship, and works of mercy and ministry! That the television occupies the central place of the home, that is, its altar, is symbolic of our culture, and the impotence of American Christianity to change lives radically or affect the culture in any meaningful way.

I know that too many times I turn on the tv because I am tired and/or lazy and don't feel like finding anything else to do. I do try very hard to keep the tv off when Sarah Beth is awake because I don't want her getting used to watching it or even just having it on. I watch a few minutes in the morning while I am feeding Sarah Beth her oatmeal to catch the news for the day. Then I watch the evening news to see if anything important happened during the day. I usually watch a little bit, also, during her naps while I crochet.

I have a great respect for people who don't even own a television, but there are things about owning one that I enjoy. And I don't think that it is necessarily wrong to own one as long as it isn't worshipped (or watched all the time).

Similarly, the other thing that occupies too much time and attention from our families these days is the internet. I know that I have to keep an eye on the time when I am online because the time can get away from me so quickly when I am reading your blogs or doing a little shopping. I try to stay off the internet in the evening when John is home because I had all day to do what I wanted to do and it takes me away from the little bit of time we have together during the day.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Catching Up


I wanted to post another picture of the cutest little girl in the world because I haven't in a while. I don't want you to forget just how cute she is!


I also want to thank everyone who left advice on getting lipstick out of clothes. I was not able to get it all out, but most of it did come out. Like I said before, the outfit is pink, so you really don't see the stain unless you look for it. Good enough!
My lifelong dream is about the be realized, I think, I hope. Our church is going to start a library, and I will be suggested as the new librarian! Oh, what fun!! I've always wanted to be a librarian. Of course, this is not the best time, but you've got to seize opportunities when they arise.
I had another doctor's appointment today. Everything is fine; that's what she always says. I like having uneventful pregnancies! My hemoglobin was a little low last week, but it's back up this week. She wanted to know what I did. Well, we had more red meat over the week than usual: spaghetti, chili, and stew. Yummy! It's hard to believe that I only have three and a half more weeks left.
This week I got the bassinet set up. I also washed most of our little boy's new clothes and folded them, but I haven't put them away yet. I need to know where the crib is going in the room, and I still need to get some clutter put away. It's baby clutter like a swing and Exersaucer, but it's in the way.
At some point, I need to pack my suitcase. I can't get motivated to do it, though. I don't have that many maternity clothes, and if I pack them away, I won't be able to wear them. Ugh! I think I will keep procrastinating on that one. By the way, can you think of anything I may need at the hospital that I may not have thought of? I've done it before (obviously), but I still worry that I may forget something. Thanks!
Oh, and one more thing. My guy dropped out of the presidential race. I was supporting Duncan Hunter, but he did not get much other support. You probably haven't even heard of him. Now I've got to choose someone else. Ugh!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

WIP Wednesday


Once again it's time for Work-in-Progress Wednesday hosted by Mrs. H at the Place of H. This picture is not really a work in progress because I finished it this past weekend, but I wanted to post a picture of the finished blanket. I am still working on the bobble blanket, and you can see pictures of it here and here. I have one more purple rectangle left to do, then all the trim in white. Then comes the fun part (the part I actually hate), sewing all the pieces together. Oh, well. It must be done!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Jewelry

Last night, I went to a Premier Jewelry party that my sister hosted. John had a meeting at church, and my sister's husband didn't mind keeping Sarah Beth along with their three children upstairs in their playroom, so I went. John asked me before I left if I needed any new jewelry, and no, I really did not, but I thought it would be nice to get out of the house for a little while and be around other adult women.

Yesterday, before I left for the party, I tried to recall the last time I bought jewelry. Other than the watch I bought after Christmas with a gift card, I realized that I have bought no jewelry since I went to the last jewelry party my sister hosted which was about six years ago. The last jewelry that I was given was a replacement engagement ring (yes, I lost my engagement ring), and that was three years ago.

I decided it was time to buy something new. I picked out a pearl bracelet and earrings, faux, of course. I did not even look at necklaces because right now is not a good time for those with little, grabby hands. I cannot remember the last time I wore a necklace. Honestly, the only jewelry I wear is my new watch (which I love!) and a pair of gold stud earrings that John bought me for Christmas several years ago. I am looking forward to my new purchases coming in and being able to wear something new and different. Won't that be fun!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Rite-Aid Rx Transfer Deal

If you transfer a prescription to Rite-aid, they will give you a $30 gift card, and $5 ones for the first two refills. There was a coupon in yesterday's paper, but it is also online here. I guess it would work for new prescriptions, but it does not say. They must be desperate for prescriptions!

Differences in Pregnancies

Have you noticed a difference in your pregnancies? I have been thinking about it lately. I have heard that no two pregnancies are exactly alike, but mine have seemed pretty similar. Then I started really thinking about it. I did not have as bad morning sickness this time as I did with Sarah Beth, but maybe it was because I had her to take care of. I have been warmer with this pregnancy which is nice since it is winter right now. The biggest difference I have noticed, however, is how the babies move. Sarah Beth would stretch and look like an alien wanting out of my belly. It did not hurt, but it was fun to watch. (Actually, it grossed John out!) This little boy kicks more. He does not stretch so much, but he will jam his little bottom up into my ribs, and it hurts! I am not sure what he did last night, but I had a spot on my belly about an inch in size that just hurt. I am not anxious to have him out because I know the best place for him right now is inside of me, but I do wish that he would not hurt his mommy so much.

Have you noticed differences in your pregnancies?

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Lipstick Stain

Someone (I won't name any names, but her initials are SB) got into one of my tubes of lipstick last night. I knew she was being too quiet; I knew I needed to go check on her. That'll teach me! Do you know a good way to get it out? She got it all over her clothes, and it was a cute outfit that I don't want to throw away. At least, it is pink, so if I can't get all of the lipstick out, it shouldn't show too badly, I hope. I should have taken a picture, but I was too upset. I will be glad for any help you can offer.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Moving

Addendum: The lady that was supposed to come look at our place today cancelled. Apparently, she was called into work or something like that. All that work I did yesterday for nothing!! But now my house is really clean and neat, so maybe not nothing.

John asked me this morning if I had blogged about our trying to sell our house. I told him that I had not because he had asked me to keep it quiet. (I'm sorry, Laura and Ivy; I wanted to tell you.) Well, he released me this morning from my "vow of silence."

When we got married, I rode horses a lot. I owned one that I boarded at a local stable. John became involved in riding as well, and we bought another horse. Our dream was to own our own farm which we finally did -- and do. The problems (they're not really problems!) started when I got pregnant. Pregnant women should not ride once they start showing; it throws off their balance. I had to stop riding when I was pregnant with Sarah Beth. After having her, it was still hard to ride with a newborn. Finally, I was able to ride again. But I got pregnant again. John does not like to ride by himself, and he does not want to be gone from us to go ride. So he has not ridden much the past couple of years, either. As a matter of fact, he has not ridden his horse since September.

We came to the difficult decision that it does not make sense to own a farm and horses if we are not going to ride. We tried to sell our place in the spring but got discouraged. We recently put it back on the market with a different (and hopefully better) agent with the determination to see it through this time. We still have a few horses to sell, and we are not having much luck with that, although a woman is looking at John's horse this morning. We've got our fingers crossed about that one because we think it would be a good match. We've known her for years.

I like living out here in the country. I like how quiet it is, how there is no traffic, that the grocery store is really nice but never busy. I like the solitude. John has a great commute to work: it is about 20 minutes with almost no traffic or traffic lights. We would move into a nearby suburban neighborhood that would be very different, but John and I both grew up in similar neighborhoods. John's commute would be horrible, though. They are doing a lot of construction on the interstates around us. It would probably take him 45 minutes to an hour to get home, and it would be an unpleasant drive.

Anyway, I am writing all of this for the reason that someone is coming to look at our house today. I have a few last things to do, then Sarah Beth and I are leaving to go run errands and take a nap (her not me) at my mom's house.

I would like to say, "Please pray that our house sells quickly," but I am not sure that I want it to. With this baby coming in a month, I don't feel capable of packing up the house. And I certainly don't want to try with a newborn. I would really rather we not sell for five or six months. However, God could use our selling the house now to show us (me!) that we cannot do it all ourselves, that we need to ask for help. John and I both have huge independent streaks running down our backs. I have been praying for God's will to be done. That is what I ask you to pray as well. Thank you.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Who's Your Pick for the Next President?

Do you know who you are going to vote for in the primaries? I wasn't decided until yesterday. John McCain is too liberal. Rudy Guiliani is pro-abortion, and I won't vote for someone who is not definitively pro-life. Mitt Romney worries me, not just because he is Mormon, but also because he has flip-flopped on some important issues, like abortion. I figured I would vote for Mike Huckabee, but lately I have heard some disturbing news about him that paints him as more of a liberal. Our slate of candidates is not very good, is it? I just want a true conservative to vote for.

A few months ago, I read about another candidate that interested me in World Magazine. (Can you tell I like this magazine?) His name is Duncan Hunter, and I hadn't heard of him since because he is not in the top tier of candidates. I saw a yard sign for him yesterday; it had his website on it, so I checked it out to see if he was as good as I recalled. He is. First of all, he is staunchly pro-life. He wants a constitutional amendment protecting the life of the unborn and defining life at conception. He also wants to build a fence to keep illegal aliens out. He does not think that children born to people who are here illegally should automatically be citizens just because they are born here. (I've been saying that for years.) He wants educational choice, and he wants to protect the right to homeschool. He wants to protect our rights under the Second Amendment to keep guns in the house to protect it. I could go on, but if I have piqued your interest, you can read more here.

I know that he won't win any primary, and so he will not be the Republican presidential candidate. But the primaries are a time to vote for who you want to be the president, and I want Duncan Hunter to be our next president.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

WIP Wednesday

It's time for Work in Progress Wednesday again, hosted by Mrs. H.



This is my Bobble Blankie that I blogged about last Wednesday. I took a close-up, hoping that the bobbles would show up, but they didn't, at least not very well. I'm sorry. The blanket will be made up of 9 of these. I have one more blue and two more purple rectangles to do. (The purple yarn came today!) The two yellow, two green, and two of the blue rectangles are done. I am using TLC Baby Yarn for this project. Since this baby is coming in a month, I need to get it finished!
This is the blanket that I decided to make with the yarn that I didn't know what to do with. (See last Wednesday's post for that one, too.) The colors are so bright and bold. I really like it, and John does, too, which is a very good thing. The yarn is so soft. It is Lion Brand Micro Spun. I can't wait to use it with this baby. This one, also, is small to be used in the car seat or bassinet. I need to get it done; thankfully, both patterns are easy and work quickly.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Husbands

John does not usually read my blog. I think he just doesn't find it interesting. He found it the other day, read some of it, and commented later that he is not mentioned much. I had nothing to say except that it seems that none of the women's blogs that I read comment much about their husbands. Why is that? Do you have any ideas?

I love my husband, and I am glad when he is home to spend time with Sarah Beth and me. I am looking forward to the two weeks that he will take off when this new baby comes. He is a sweet husband and a great father. No, he's not perfect, but neither am I. Do I not write about him because he is not here most of the day? I don't know. What do you think?

Monday, January 14, 2008

Good News!!

I had a doctor's appointment today with an ultrasound. My doctor thought that our little boy was breech, and she wanted to know for sure. I was concerned because I don't want to have a C-section. Anyway, he's not breech!! His head is down just like it's supposed to be. Hooray! Everything else looks good and normal. I'm not dilated yet, but she said that I really should not be yet.

I started counting down the weeks until I'm due. I thought I had six weeks left; somehow I miscalculated. I only have five. And my doctor wants to induce me a week early because of this baby's size. Sarah Beth was almost 8 pounds when she was born, and my doctor doesn't want me to have one bigger than that. So, I only have four weeks before this baby comes. I'd better get moving! The crib needs to be set up, his clothes need to be washed, I need to finish cleaning out his room, etc.. Oh, and I have casseroles to make. Oh, my. It sounds like a lot with only four weeks. But it will be okay if it doesn't all get done. I'm not going to wear myself trying to get it all done.

I was induced with Sarah Beth, and I didn't think it was a big deal, that is, once I got my epidural. Lovely, lovely epidural! I would almost rather be induced this time just because of Sarah Beth. We would be able to drop her off at my mom's house the night before and not have to worry about her. But we will have to see; this little boy may want to come early which, at this point, would be fine, too.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Birthing Babies in Poland

Just in case you need a reason to love American health care, here's one for you.

I have a friend Ivy who moved to Poland with her family this summer. No, she's not a missionary; her husband is Polish, and his family lives there. She is pregnant and due at the end of May or the beginning of June. Obviously, she needs a place to have the baby. The problem is that there is no anethesiologist at the hospital in the town where she lives who does epidurals. She went to a birthing clinic a couple of hours away to check it out. There were good things and bad things about it. If you are interested in more details, please check out her blog. She could also use a bunch of prayers for wisdom to know how and where to have this baby. I feel so bad for her, and I do not know what I would do in her place.

Making Your Home a Haven -- The Nursery


Before I start, I have a confession to make, actually three confessions about this challenge. First, I did not do any of the work; John did. Second, we did not do it on Monday but on Saturday. Third, I wrote this on Sunday.

As I told you last week, the nursery was (and still is) a wreck. It had a bunch of junk in it that needed to be taken to Goodwill. Most of it was too heavy for me to move which is where John came in. And he had to do it on his day off for obvious reasons. I needed to write this on Sunday because I have a doctor's appointment Monday and will be gone all morning and into the afternoon, running errands and such. I don't think I will have time tomorrow, so I'm writing it today to post tomorrow so I can be a part of Making Your Home a Haven.


Here are before pictures:






Here are some after pictures:





As you can see, it is still a mess in there, but the two (yes, two!) tvs, the tv stand, the dog gate, the two chairs, and the bean bag are gone. Hooray! Now I can get to real work in there. I just need to get John to move the Nordic track into the spare bedroom.
P.S. Thank you, Babychaser, for teaching me how to download pictures off the internet into my blog. It's not hard at all when you know how to do it!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Coupon Give-away

Marva over at Blessed Frugalness Times Two with Twins is giving away a bunch of coupons. If you're interested, head on over there to enter by commenting on your favorite frugal shopping trip. Who can't use $200 worth of coupons?!

More This and That

I just got back from a depressing trip to the grocery store. Somehow, when I was making my list for the week, I underestimated what I would need to spend. Usually, I overestimate so I end up being able to buy a couple of extra things with the leftover money. Oh, well. I am starting to stock up on some things so we'll have plenty of food on hand when this baby comes. I figure if I start now, I can spread the extra cost over several weeks and it won't hurt so bad.

I got my order in from Vision Forum the other day. I've been needing to update my reading list, so I am going to do it now. I cannot believe I bought so many books, but I know that I will enjoy every single one and probably read it several times. And I know that I will want some good reading when this baby comes.

John promised me that he would go to Goodwill today and take some of the accumulated junk out of the new baby's room. I cannot wait. It's such a wreck in there. I will take some pictures so you can commiserate with me. I will take before and after pictures because I think it will be a big change. Then I will finally be able to get in there and start getting things ready for this baby. Twice this week people have asked me how I'm going to decorate the nursery. Honestly, I hadn't thought about it. My sister has some pictures she is going to give me, so that will help. Poor baby! At least, he's a boy and probably won't mind nearly as much as a daughter. I hope!

Friday, January 11, 2008

This, That, and Advice

This morning I woke up to the most wonderful sound: rain! For those of you who don't know, we have a bad drought going on right now in Georgia. You may have heard of Atlanta's troubles in the national news. We're several hours from there, but we are still in a drought. Of course, it seems like we're always in a drought, but this one is more serious than usual. Anyway, I love the sound of rain, but I love it especially now. And I'm glad that we're staying home today.

I am looking for some advice from those of you with more experience in mothering than I do, especially from those of you who have more than one child. I know that I need a double stroller; which do you prefer: tandem or side-by-side? I won't need one for a while because I intend on putting Sarah Beth in the stroller we already have and carrying our son in the Bjorn carrier my sister handed down to me. Do you prefer a sling for a newborn? One of my friends just got an Ergo and loves it; what is your opinion? I would appreciate anything you can offer. Thank you!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Work in Progress Wednesday

Addendum: I found a use for that yarn! I'll have that blanket to show next week, also.


Mrs. H over at The Place of H has a place to post works that you have in progress. Here is mine. I am crocheting a baby blanket (guess why?!). I need to finish the blue rectangle and do two more and then two more purple. Then I will put a white border around all the pieces like the yellow ones have and sew them together. Hopefully, it will be small enough to use in the bassinet or in the car seat. Unfortunately, I cannot find the purple yarn in town, and I hate to order just one skein of yarn.
I've got another blanket I was working one, but after five rounds, it just wasn't fun to crochet. (I crochet because it's fun, and I refuse to work on something that I do not find fun.) I love the yarn, though, so I just need to find something else to do with it.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Faith

My dad sends out an e-pistle every week, and this one had a good synopsis of faith. I thought I would pass it along in case it helps you.

Remember that faith is an action, based upon knowledge, with an expected result. That result may or may not occur because of reality. I start a trip to Atlanta, based upon knowledge of a particular route, with the expected result of arriving safely and on time. However, reality (in essence, God’s Providence) may intervene with a flat tire, a traffic jam, even an accident, perhaps a serious one. My knowledge may be faulty and I get lost and never get there. And, if I never get in my car, I never really exercised faith (action) in the first place.

DIY Deliveries?

Have you heard about the newest fad in childbirth? It's a do-it-yourself labor and delivery. I heard about it this morning on Good Morning America.

Christina Schafer is one mother who decided she wanted to take a different approach with her fourth child.
She gave birth for the first time at home and didn't even have a nurse present. "Being at home, it's your domain. You're the one in charge, not the doctor," Schafer said.
Giving birth to her son at home allowed Schafer the opportunity to move freely during labor. She monitored the baby's heartbeat herself and when she was ready, she pushed the infant out into a birthing pool, located in her bedroom.
"I'm doing this because I think this is the safest option for him and the safest option for me and I'm not taking it lightly. It's not some kind of hippie decision," she said before her son was born.

The safest option? What if something goes wrong? I have heard about a lot of people having births at home with a midwife, and if that's what they want to do, that's fine. But having a baby at home by yourself? It sounds to me like there is the potential for disaster. As for me, I will be glad to have my baby in a hospital.

What do you think?

Monday, January 7, 2008

Making Your Home a Haven

Crystal at Biblical Womanhood has a Making Your Home a Haven Challenge (is that the right word?). I decided to participate since I have a lot to do in our new baby's bedroom and closet. I chose to start on the closet today because there is a lot of stuff in his bedroom that I am unable to move, like the Nordic Track, two tvs (why two?), the tv stand. Hopefully, John and I will get to that this weekend and make a trip to Goodwill. We need to get moving as this baby is due in less than seven weeks. Here are a couple of before pictures of the closet. In the first one, you can see my "help." She "helped" me get this closet in such a mess, although I have to admit that I have been throwing things in there just to get them out of the way.



First, I gathered all the boy clothes, sheets, etc. that need to be washed. I probably ought to get started on that soon, or our little boy won't have any clean clothes to come home in. I had to pick a few pink ones out and put those in Sarah Beth's closet. Thankfully, I had already sorted most of them. I also took the few newborn girl's clothes I had bought and put them in her closet. Back in the early fall, there were two big consignment sales here in our area. I didn't know yet what I was having, so I bought a couple of outfits for either, just in case. Here is my load of laundry, or I should say "loads."



Then I took out other things that didn't belong in a baby's closet, like my crutches from when I broke my leg, a couple of pictures I had cross-stitched a few years ago, etc.. I also removed the bassinet. I probably should put it together soon, but I need to wash the linens first. I don't know about you, but I like to wash everything so it's fresh for my new baby, even though it was clean when I put it away. It has been almost two years. Here is my after picture. It looks a lot better, doesn't it?

Thanks, Crystal, for the inspiration to get started. I needed it.

New Mixer Contest

Do you need a new mixer? I found this contest on Christine's blog. I don't really need a new mixer, but I'm sure I could find some use for it!

A Cowboy’s Wife is having a contest on her food blog! You can win a Hamilton Beach® Stand Mixer and she’ll ship anywhere so everyone is eligible!
The Prize:
The winner will receive a brand new Hamilton Beach 4.5-qt. Eclectrics Stand Mixer, Pineapple Yellow!!
About the mixer:
From Hamilton Beach’s “Eclectrics” line, this all-metal stand mixer comes with a host of accessories - a Flat Beater for cakes and cookies, a Dough Hook for bread and a Wire Whisk for whipped cream or pudding. The 4.5-qt. stainless steel bowl comes with a Pouring Shield that helps prevent splattering while in operation. The pouring shield has a built-in chute for adding ingredients. Powered by 400 watts, the stand mixer has a two-way mixing action to ensure all ingredients are incorporated into the mix. The quick-release, tilt-up head assists when removing the bowl. 9 x 14 x 14-in. When you’re ready for a kitchen re-do, don’t call in the carpenters! Instead, “counterscape” your kitchen with Hamilton Beach’s retro-designed, affordably priced electrics in happy, sun-saturated colors. Their “Eclectrics” line includes updates to those classic appliances from the 1950s. All of their “Eclectrics” are available in six colors: Apple Green, Moroccan Red, Pineapple Yellow, Intrigue Blue, Sugar White and Licorice Black.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

A Funny Thing Happened Today...

This morning at church, one of our elders came up to me, saying, "I found your blog." My first thought (and question) was "how?" My second thought was, "I hope I haven't posted anything bad." The thing is that only a few people at church know that I have a blog: my parents (who don't even know the website of my blog, much less read it) and a couple that we know (she has a blog, too). He did a Google search for an author I reviewed a while back. Apparently, there isn't much information about John K. Reed, so my blog popped up. Obviously, our elder is familiar with our family and recognized us. I was too chicken to ask if he continues to read my blog or not; I may find out at church tonight if he reads this post! Anyway, my point is that you never know who may read your blog.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Book Review of The Legend of the Firefirsh

The Legend of the Firefish by George Bryan Polivka is the first in the Trophy Chase Trilogy. This book is unusual in the fact that it is Christian fantasy. Unlike most fantasy books, this one has absolutely no magic or witchcraft in it. In fact, it could almost be historical fiction except for the names of the countries and the firefish.
In this book, Packer Throme joins up with pirates who hunt the legendary firefish in hopes of becoming rich. During his time with them, he learns what it means to trust God implicitly in all circumstances, and he discovers what happens when he relies upon himself to get out of his troubles. Meanwhile, Panna Seline, the girl Packer wants to marry, runs away from home to find Packer. She has her own set of adventures and, also, learns to trust God more.
The plot was okay, but a little too neat at times. The characters were, for the most part, believable. The writing was not as good as I am used to but better than a lot of Christian fiction. The gospel comes out clearly, but at times, Polivka is a little preachy, much more so than Janette Oke in her novels. Would I recommend it? Yes. Will I read the next one in the trilogy? Yes. On a scale of 1-5 with 5 being absolutely wonderful, I would give it a 4.
I could not figure out how to put a picture of the book here. If you know, please leave a comment so I can add one to my later book reviews. Thank you.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Silly Girl!

How did the high chair get into my bedroom?



This is how!




Can you tell how much Sarah Beth loves her baths? She climbed in there all by herself this morning. It's the first time she's done it. I found her when I went looking for her to feed her lunch.









Books!

I see a lot of people with sidebars of the books they are currently reading, and there will be 5 or more books in the list. I don't know how they do it; I like to read one or, at the most, two at a time. I ordered a couple from Amazon.com, and they arrived yesterday. They are books that were recommended in World Magazine. I usually have a few that are in line to be read, and I thought I would start a sidebar of that information. When I am done with a book, I will try to give a quick review, just in case it might be something you would like to read, too. By the way, I've got a whole bunch coming from Vision Forum. I'm not sure what I was thinking except that I am going to be homebound in a couple of months with a new baby and would need stuff to read. However, I think I will want light reading which is not what I ordered! Currently, I am reading another book recommended by World Magazine called The Legend of the Firefish. I don't have too much left and will probably finish it today or tomorrow when I will write a quick review.

For those of you who don't know me, I love to read. More than that I love books. I have a running joke with John that I want to be a librarian when I grow up, and he responds that I am on my way to having enough books to start a library. Sarah Beth seems to have inherited my love for books. Here she is surrounded by them!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Winter, Finally!

Winter is finally here in Georgia. Yesterday the high was 37 degrees with 20 mph wind and gusts up to 30 mph. I thought my face would freeze when I went outside to take care of the horses. Thankfully, it doesn't take long to feed them. Even more thankfully, my heavy barn coat zips over my big belly. I was afraid it wouldn't, and that I would need to wear a vest backwards to cover my belly with my coat tied shut. That suggestion came from my husband. I'm glad I didn't have to do that.

Today we woke up to a temperature of 18. The high today is supposed to be 45, and the wind is only going to be around 5 mph. Much better. I'm heading out to Wal-Mart in a little while. Sarah Beth needs a hair cut, I need a few things, and John asked me to get a new lamp. We need one in the well house to keep the well from freezing, and the one we had out there died. We've been using one of our bedside lamps, but you have to touch it to turn it on which is a hassle since the well house is boarded up. John wants one he can turn on, leave on, and just plug in when we need it on.

I have to admit that I am excited about wearing my new leather jacket that I got on Monday. I wasn't really planning on going out again this week and was debating putting off my trip to Wal-Mart until next week. But John asked me specifically for that lamp last night, and I do need to go to the post office anyway. Besides, it's nice to get out of the house a couple of times a week.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Blogoversary

Tiany over at Less of Me/More of Him is celebrating her two-year blogoversary with a give-away of some of her favorite things. Here are a few of mine:

1. My little girl's sweet, mischevous smile.
2. Any compliment from my husband.
3. The smell of something good cooking (I've got a chicken on the stove right now!)
4. A good night's sleep. I don't get those very often any more, and I won't for a while!
5. Pride and Predjudice -- the book. Everyone talks about how good the movies are; have they not read the book? It's one of my favorite.
6. Getting done with a crocheting project and having it look exactly like the picture.
7. Having time to read a good book.

If you haven't been to Tiany's blog, you ought to check it out.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Housekeeping

One of my friends told me about these worksheets she found on the internet that help her keep organized with her housekeeping. I checked it out and started using them this summer. There is a daily checklist along with different tasks to do everyday. I find them useful because it breaks down big tasks into smaller ones that I can accomplish. For example, one of Monday's chores isn't to clean the refrigerator but to clean the top shelf. Cleaning the whole refrigerator overwhelms me, but I can do one shelf. The other thing is that there is a space for a check mark when you get done, and I love that! If this appeals to you, check it out here. Unfortunately, these worksheets are not free, but they are not expensive, either. And I do not get any kind of commission.