Saturday, August 29, 2009

To the Beach!

Do you know the book A Fish out of Water by Helen Palmer? It is Daniel's favorite book right now, so we have been reading it a lot. As the fish Otto gets bigger and bigger, finally the firemen are called in to save the day. They hoist poor Otto up by his tail on the ladder. "Where will you take him?" asks Otto's little boy. "To the pool!" reply the firemen. "To the pool!" echoes the little boy.

Where are we going today? To the beach! We don't have a rapidly growing fish that makes our choice imminent, but I feel like yelling that today. I've felt like yelling it all week, honestly. To the beach!

Last night, Daniel and Sarah Beth got a little bit excited because they could tell something was going on, but they don't quite understand what. All I can say about Daniel is that you should see the other guy, and the picture doesn't do justice to his poor nose and upper lip.

Just kidding. He fell off the armrest twice and hit the bookshelf once on the way down. Then Sarah Beth proceeded to fall down the stairs, not all of them, just a few. I began to think they don't want to go to the beach. What do you think?

Our van is very full. To save room, we thought we would just mail Sarah Beth. Do you think two stamps is enough?

We will be gone until next Saturday, and we will not have access to a computer. There will be no new posts from me until we get back, and I look forward to catching up on your blogs then, too. Have a good week!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Book Review: Bach Biography

Can you tell that I have been doing a lot of reading lately?

Yesterday, I finished Glory and Honor - The Musical and Artistic Legacy of Johann Sebastian Bach by Gregory Wilbur. First of all, let me say that I enjoy the books in this series, Leaders in Action. It is refreshing to read a biography about a Christian where the author is also a Christian, and therefore can understand what it means to be a Christian. So many biographers ignore or downplay their subject's Christianity because they don't understand it.

I did not know anything about Bach before I read this book. Well, I knew that he composed music, but that's about all. I was amazed to find out that this man was a genius who did not care if he received acclaim from the world because his purpose was to bring glory to God. As a matter of fact, the music he wrote was not appreciated much at all during his lifetime.

In addition to writing superb music, Bach also cared about theology which you can see just from reading some of his cantatas. He took care of his family which oftentimes included extended family. He had fun, and he enjoyed teaching.

If you are looking for a good biography to read, I recommend this one.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I'm Still Here Update!

I am sorry for my lack of posting lately; I have been feeling better, but I feel like I don't have anything to say. Then I realized that I was wondering how my cousin Angela was doing, and I thought that you might be wondering just how I am doing.

One day last week, I discovered that I actually felt good, that I had been feeling good all day long. It was amazing! It is surprising to think how we taking feeling good for granted until we don't feel good...for a while. At seventeen weeks, I feel good more often than not, but there are still times when I feel pretty puny. I don't feel like I'm going to pass out in the mornings when I get up because I haven't eaten anything all night. And most of the gagging when I brush my teeth is gone which is absolutely wonderful! (I hope that's not too much information.)

Also last week, I felt the baby move for the first time. I feel him (her?) move more and more each day as I become attuned more and more to it.

I have another appointment Thursday (my second), and I hope that my doctor will schedule another ultrasound for the next one so we can find out whether to unpack outgrown pink or blue clothes. Apparently, I'm not the only anxious one since people at church keep asking me what we're having.

Is it too early to be nesting? I've created a list of projects to accomplish before this baby comes, and I hope I'm successful. I didn't do this when I was pregnant with Daniel or Sarah Beth, but I thought nesting occurred later in pregnancy. My biggest project involves redoing the spare bedroom which is also our computer room. I need to sell the old furniture and get new (hopefully, used) stuff which takes up less room. More on that later when I actually have time to start looking (and selling).

More time will come in September when we get back from the beach. Yes, we are leaving for the beach on Saturday and will be gone for a week. All of us are really looking forward to it. Well, maybe Daniel isn't, but that's just because he doesn't understand. I have to admit that I'm glad he's not running yet.

I do have some good news, at least for me! I was able to read two crochet magazines this past weekend without wanting to hurl. I have been accumulating them as they come in, waiting for this time. Finally, crocheting doesn't make me nauseous. Finally. And I found a really neat Christmas table centerpiece that I might want to work on -- again when we get back from the beach.

Goodness! This update turned out rather long. I guess I had more to say than I thought!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

My Baking Center

When I reviewed Confessions of an Organized Homemaker, I mentioned that I planned to reorganize my kitchen to make it more efficient and useful. I decided to start with my baking center.

As its name suggests, the baking center is where the preparation to bake takes place in one's kitchen. I picked this area of my kitchen where the daily newspaper and mail used to accumulate. Not any longer! I have reclaimed this area of my kitchen for my baking center. I even moved my mixer over here from its storage place, not that I use it very often, but it seems to help define the space. I love how neat and tidy it looks now that there aren't papers strewn all over it.

Underneath the counter, I used to keep our generic Tupperware, mixing bowls, and other paraphenalia. I got rid of some Corningware and put our Tupperware with the remainder. Then I moved the flour, sugar, etc. from the pantry where it was fairly inconvenient to this cleared out space. I used to have to tote everything from the pantry to the counter and then tote it back when I finished. Not any more! I even have room behind the containers of flour and sugar to store the extra. On the top shelf far left, I keep my measuring utensils. I just have to pull out that box to get what I need. On the bottom shelf, I keep the one mixing bowl I use the most with the bigger and smaller one stored behind it. I also moved the spices that I use the most when I bake (e.g. cinnamon, nutmeg) to this area along with the baking powder and baking soda. All of that is stored in the box on the lower shelf. The lower right area is kind of a catch-all for now with the colander, cake plate, and extra brown sugar.

Granted, I have not been baking much lately because I haven't been feeling well, but I have enjoyed my new baking center the little bit that I have used it. And I look forward to seeing how well it continues work in the future.

What about you? Is your kitchen efficient and useful? Or have I inspired you? Don't worry; I'm not done yet. I haven't even touched our pantry which all of a sudden has so much more room in it without all of that flour, sugar, etc. in it. I plan for that to be my next kitchen project.

Monday, August 17, 2009

What do You Want to do When You Grow Up?

Yesterday while I was listening to the radio on the way to work, the program was talking about job satisfaction. The speaker started by asking, "What do you want to do when you grow up?" My first thought was (and my longtime readers already know this), "I want to be a librarian." That has always been my answer.

The speaker went on to speak about the high rates of job dissatisfaction; in some places, as many as 80% of people are not satisfied with their chosen occupation. Wow!

I thought about it a little bit more, and I realized that I no longer want to be a librarian when I grow up. I haven't actually wanted this in a while, but I did not realize it until yesterday. When I grow up, I want to be a wife and mommy. Hmmm. I guess I am already grown up since I am already both. I love taking care of my husband, my children, and my home. It isn't a perfect job, as you know, since it is often repetitive and tedious, but I truly enjoy it.

While I know the world may look down on my chosen profession, I also know that this one is the one God has chosen for me. And I am apparently in the minority of people who love their jobs.

So, what do you want to do when you grow up?

Friday, August 14, 2009

Another Giveaway

I'm sorry I haven't been posting much lately, but it's hard to find the time since I don't want my children to think that all I do all day is play on the computer. Hopefully, I will do better next week.

Anyway, Sasha at Smalltown Mama is having another giveaway; this time it is for a travel toiletry bag which comes stocked with bottles to put your own shampoo, etc. in. I sure hope I win this bag because our trip to the beach is coming up in a couple of weeks, and I could use it!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Big Sister and Little Brother

I thought this picture was a cute follow-up to the one I posted last time. It's the same couch, but instead of the bears, it is their owners.

Sarah Beth wanted to read Daniel a story, so I set him up there with her. When she started "reading" to him, it was so cute that I had to take a picture. Of course, as soon as I showed up with the camera, they both looked up, so I didn't get the one I hoped for. But I did get an adorable smile from Sarah Beth which is unusual since she usually poses for the camera.

On a completely different, yet somewhat related, note, the more I hear about Obamacare, the more I don't want it. Did you know that there is a provision for them to send someone into your house if you have, or will have, small children? You can read about that here.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Bear-y Cute Picture

When I saw this picture this morning, I just had to take it and share it with you. These two bears are Sarah Beth's and Daniel's favorite toys in the whole wide world. You know the kind, the ones that you as parents wish you had duplicates of just in case something happens to the original. Both of my children brought their bears downstairs with them this morning before breakfast, and I tossed Daniel's onto the couch. When I went back later, this is what I saw. Sarah Beth placed both bears in this position and then covered them with her blanket. Wasn't that sweet? Can you see how loved these bears are in the picture?

By the way, one day when we were talking about the baby in my belly, Sarah Beth announced that she has Pink Bear in her belly. This is Pink Bear.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

WIP Wednesday

I don't feel like I have been able to crochet much this week at all, but this pattern works up quickly, so it looks like I have spent a lot of time working on it. This pattern is super easy, but it is also pretty. Can you tell from the picture that the yarn is kind of a lime green? I haven't decided whether to keep this one or give it away yet. Maybe it will depend on whether we're having a boy or a girl.

For other works in progress, or to add your own, head over to the Place of H.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Book Review -- Organization

After a hearty recommendation from the King's Missus, I ordered Confessions of an Organized Homemaker by Deniece Schofield from Paperback Swap (you know, so I could get it for free!). I really enjoyed reading this book as it is loaded with all kinds of practical information. To paraphrase Schofield's main message, we don't get organized just to be organized; we get organized so we have time to do the things that we want to do.

While I do not intend to follow all of the author's advice, there is a fair amount that I want to look at again to see how it can be of benefit to me and my family. I have already started rearranging my kitchen to make it more efficient and useful. When I told John this, he groaned that he already doesn't know where things are; now he really won't know. Poor thing! The nice thing about reorganizing the kitchen is that I can work on it little by little while I'm waiting. Waiting for the water to boil (because you know the watched pot never boils), waiting for Sarah Beth to finish eating, waiting for supper to finish cooking, waiting....

When the New Year rolls around, I also plan to organize as much as I can into a personal planning notebook. I think I will need all the help I can get with three little ones under four years old.

If you are completely unorganized, or if you just need a little tweaking, you might want to check this book out. I highly recommend it.