Thursday, December 29, 2011

Induction vs. Natural Labor

As I promised two weeks ago, here is my post on whether I prefer to be induced or go into labor naturally. To answer that question succinctly, I prefer to be induced. (You could probably figure that out by my earlier posts.) Why do I prefer to be induced?
  • I'm a planner. I want to know when the baby is coming so I can plan accordingly: who will keep the other children, when to clean the house, when to pack my suitcase, etc.. Then I'm not caught by surprise as I was when I went unexpectedly into labor with Mary. (I had to hurriedly pack in the middle of the night, and I left a messy house.)
  • My labors are shorter when I'm induced. And once you get an epidural, it doesn't really matter how strong your contractions are from the Pitocin. Of course, I'm sure that part of why this labor was so long was because the residents weren't in any hurry since they were there all day anyway. With my previous labors, I had a private practice physician, and she had other patients to see so she was in a little bit of a hurry. She got there early and broke my water shortly after the Pitocin was started so I delivered quickly. (And I liked that!)
  • An induction guarantees that my doctor will deliver my baby, not whoever is on call. I prefer to have someone I know getting that familiar with me.
  • With my inductions, I got my epidurals much more quickly than I did laboring with Mary. Again, that probably has to do with the difference in a teaching versus private hospital.
So, there you go. Have you gone into labor naturally and been induced? Which did you prefer and why?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Book Review: Shadows on the Sand by Gayle G. Roper

Shadows on the Sand by Gayle G. Roper is a murder mystery, thriller, and romance novel all wrapped up in one. Carrie owns a little cafe in a seaside town, and Jase, one of the men who washes dishes for her, turns up murdered. While she does not set out to solve this mystery, she plays an integral part in capturing the murderer. Along the way, she and Greg, one of her cafe's regular patrons, begin dating, and both of them have lots of baggage to overcome as they progress.

I really enjoyed this book; I had a hard time putting it down, and I can't remember the last book I read where I had this problem. The love story between Greg and Carrie is a sweet one. Since they are both mature (not old) Christians, they know what they want in a relationship and are not willing to settle for less. There is no flirting or other silliness that often ends up in romance novels. This is a straightforward relationship, and therefore is believable. While it is obvious who killed Jase, you have no idea how it will turn out and how Andi, a waitress at Carrie's cafe, is important to the story.

If you're looking for a fun book to read, I recommend this one. I haven't read anything else by Roper, but I plan to remedy that. If her other books are half as good as this one, I won't be disappointed.

I want to thank WaterBrook Multnomah for my (kindle) copy of this book, but my opinions are my own.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

What We Did for Christmas

For the past month, we have been contemplating whether to head back to our old stomping grounds for Christmas. We hadn't been back since we moved, and it would be so nice to see my family. I really wanted to go, but I wasn't sure how it would work with a newborn. Then I had an induction scheduled for November 30, and I thought for sure that we'd be able to make it back to visit my parents and siblings for Christmas.

Well, you know how that induction worked out.

Then as the time got closer and closer to Christmas, John and my mother convinced me that heading back to my hometown wasn't the best idea. So I started preparing mentally to stay home for Christmas...which would be fine. We had a nice, small Thanksgiving, and a nice, small Christmas would be good, too.

But Mary is such a good baby, and so far she's fairly easy, so we started considering again heading up to Georgia for Christmas.

(Do you see how many times we changed our mind?)

Finally, last week on Wednesday, we decided to make the trip. And we're so glad that we did. We left Friday morning and got to my parents' house in late afternoon. One of my good friends dropped by for a quick visit. Then my younger brother and his family and my sister and her children showed up for supper. Our children had soooo much fun playing with their cousins, and Rachel was spoiled with all the attention she got.

We stayed with my sister which was really nice. And we saw some more good friends (Laura with her family and Audrey with hers) Saturday night.

And, of course, Sunday was Christmas. We had a big, Christmas dinner, and all of my family came to my sister's house for it. I felt a little guilty since I didn't prepare a single dish for dinner. But it was wonderful to spend so much time with family, especially since I hadn't seen them in so long.

Then we came back home Monday. And it's so nice to be home. As Dorothy said, "There's no place like home."

My only regret is that I didn't take a single picture. Argh!

What did you do for Christmas?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Busy, Busy

I had forgotten how busy newborns keep you. Between all the feedings and the rockings to sleep, babies are almost a full-time job in themselves! Thankfully, John is still home, helping with our other children. I'll get to the induction vs. natural labor as soon as I get a chance -- probably next week.

In the meantime, I thought I would let you know what else we have been doing. My sister and her daughter came for a visit on Monday, and it was so good to see them. We haven't seen them since we moved down to Florida in August. John has been doing a good bit with our older children, leaving me at home with Mary. He even took the older three shopping at a mall that's about 45 minutes away on Tuesday. Wasn't that brave of him? Right now, he's playing golf with the older two. I've got Rachel and Mary and clothes to fold.

Here are a couple of pictures for you:

Proud big sister. Doesn't Sarah Beth look so grown up?

Our Christmas picture. We had to wait until Mary was born to take them, so our Christmas cards will be late this year.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Mary's Birth Story

When I went to bed Monday night, everything seemed "normal." I had no idea that I was going to go into labor later that night. I got up a little before 1:00 a.m. to use the bathroom, and I realized that I didn't feel "normal." I wondered if I were in labor, but I had felt not-quite-normal several times before, so.... When I climbed back in bed, I realized that I was having contractions. They were coming about every four or five minutes, but they weren't very strong. I watched the clock for an hour, making sure that I was actually in labor. I certainly didn't want a false alarm.

A little before 2:00, I woke John up, saying, "I think I'm in labor." He jumped up so fast! I got the phone and called one of my new friends here in town. As a matter of fact, I only know her because a mutual friend told her that I would need some help with my children when I went into labor. This kind lady volunteered to help out; she also has a seventeen year old daughter who was willing to help, as well. Then I called my parents. I laughed when my mother said that they couldn't leave right away, that they would leave first thing in the morning. I knew she wouldn't be able to get back to sleep, and they would be leaving soon. While we waited for the daughter to get here, I finished packing my suitcase. When she arrived, we left.

We got to the hospital about 3:00 a.m., and my contractions were still about five minutes apart, but they were getting stronger. As I waited in the lobby for John to park the car, my mother called to let me know that they were on the way. I knew it! I finally got checked in and everything about 4:00 a.m., and I was four centimeters. Since I went from 4 cm to delivery in an hour with both Daniel and Rachel, I figured I was almost done. But I really wanted my epidural before the baby came.

Meanwhile, my contractions were getting stronger and stronger, and it was about 5:30 before I got my epidural. And that was the worst thirty minutes of my life. I won't say anything else because I don't want to alarm anyone, and I don't want to relive it. But I was thankful for the epidural when it was all over. I will say that I think the difference in this epidural and the others I have received was who gave it. My other ones were done by full-fledged doctors, and this one was done by a third year resident.

At this point, it was about 6:00 a.m. -- shift change for the residents. (Yes, I was at a teaching hospital. Never again!) The nurse's shift change was at 7:00. So I didn't see anyone for about an hour and a half. I was pretty irked by that. I really wanted someone to come in and break my water so I could have this baby. But no one was in a hurry for me to deliver...except for me.

Things continued to drag on all morning until about 8:45 when I insisted that the doctor (a second year resident which I chose because everyone else on the team was a man) come and check me. (The nurses at this hospital aren't allowed to; isn't that ridiculous?) I was hoping that she would break my water at this time, too. At 9:15, my water broke. Then I insisted even more strongly that the doctor needed to come because I was sure that Mary would be coming soon. She got there about 9:30. They got everything set up, and she wanted me to start pushing.

I pushed once, and everyone (the doctor, nurses, and John) were amazed at how far down the birth canal Mary moved. As I relaxed, waiting for the next contraction, my parents opened the door. It was too late for them to come in, but I was so glad they had made it there for the delivery. Mary arrived with the next push at 9:45. She was 8 pounds, 10 ounces which is my biggest baby. She was also 19.29 inches long which is shorter than my other babies.

And there you have it! This labor was my longest one at nine hours. My others were four to six hours long. I really think that if my water had been broken earlier, I would have delivered much earlier. Like I said, I think I was the only one that was in a hurry to have this baby. But from this side of it, I was glad that my parents made it, and they just did! And I was so relieved to have my epidural.

My cousin Angela asked me if I still prefer to be induced or if I liked doing it naturally better. That will have to be the subject of my next post because I figure that, if she's wondering, someone else probably is, too.

Friday, December 16, 2011

And the Winner is...

Last night, John took our oldest three children out for supper to give me some quiet time with Mary. And I took the opportunity to do some catching up on the computer like uploading some pictures of Mary onto facebook. You know, important things. Then Mary did one of the things that newborns do best -- she fell asleep in my arms. So I put her down and figured I would be a little productive and draw the name for the giveaway while I had the chance. I used, and it drew number 8 which is my good, real life friend Laura at Six Little Arrows. Congratulations, Laura! I will get the snowflakes in the mail as soon as I can, and hopefully you'll get them before Christmas.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

What Happened?

Are you wondering what happened to my announcing the winner to my giveaway yesterday? Well, I warned you that I wouldn't be able to draw a name or announce the winner if I were at the hospital having a baby...although I didn't have her Wednesday morning. Rather, Mary Rebekah arrived Tuesday morning at 9:45.

So I've been just a little bit busy for the past few days. I hope to draw a name and announce the winner tomorrow, but I'm not promising anything. And I also hope to write up Mary's birth story this weekend, but again, I can't guarantee anything.

We are doing well, and our other children are adjusting nicely to having a new baby in the house, even Rachel. But I may not be around much in the blogosphere in the near future.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Rachel's Antics

The other day, I left my crocheting things out because I was hoping to spend some time that afternoon working on snowflakes. (I usually put my crocheting away because Rachel can ruin hours of work in less than 30 seconds, and I don't want to take the risk.) When I found Rachel, she had pulled out several hooks from the little package and stuck them into my skein of yarn. I thought her "artwork" looked neat so I took some pictures. Doesn't she look proud of herself? Then I took it away from her before she unraveled the skein of yarn.

A couple of days later while John was out with Sarah Beth and Daniel, I found Rachel down in the playroom, playing with Sarah Beth's doll house.

Do you see that she had climbed onto the end table in order to reach it? She's not allowed to play with it because it has small pieces, and she still puts things in her mouth. As soon as she realized I had found her, she started shoving the furniture and dolls back into the house. I know that I should have taken her down immediately and disciplined her, but I just had to get the camera and take a few pictures. I have no idea how she got up there, but she did!

I told you a while ago about Rachel's vibrant personality, but she is also sneaky and mischievous. She is always looking for something to get into, as evidenced by her fun with my yarn. And if you haven't seen or heard her in the last five minutes, you had better go check on her because she will find something to get into. Sarah Beth and Daniel are not like this; they aren't sneaky. But Rachel sure does bring a lot of fun into our lives!

Do you have a sneaky or mischievous child? What kinds of stunts have they pulled?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Giveaway Times Two

First of all, I want to let you know about the giveaway that Laura is having at Six Little Arrows that is for these beautiful hair flowers. You can go here to enter. (Oh, and I "borrowed" her picture of the flowers. Aren't they pretty?)

I was inspired by Laura, and in honor of today being my due date, I thought I would host a giveaway, too. Since I've had some extra time on my hands lately, I've been doing a little extra crocheting. I found this great pattern for snowflakes, and I adapted it just a bit to make them into Christmas ornaments. I mean, who really wants orange, green, blue, red, etc. snowflakes. So I just made them all white, and the yarn has a little bit of shimmer to it which is very nice for snowflakes, too, I think. Please excuse the "tails;" I haven't gotten around to weaving the ends in yet. (But I will before I send them to you.)

To enter, just leave a comment. For additional entries, blog about this giveaway or link to this post on facebook; then leave another comment stating that you did so. The winner will receive a set of three snowflakes. The drawing will be open until Tuesday, December 13, at midnight. I will announce a winner on Wednesday, assuming, of course, that I'm not at the hospital giving birth.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


At my appointment yesterday, once again I was disappointed in my hopes and plans to have this baby. While I was more ready than last week, my doctor did not think I was ready enough to be induced. I know that my old doctor would have induced me at this stage of readiness, and I did try to change his mind. But he wouldn't be persuaded. However, he did strip my membranes. I wish he would have told me beforehand because I would have asked him not to. I don't think he understands that I don't want to go into labor spontaneously; I want to be induced. I listed all my reasons for being induced here, and here are my worries about going into labor at home.
  • John works half an hour from home, so it will take him at least that long to get here.
  • Everyone who has volunteered to keep our children, if my parents aren't here to help, live half an hour or more away.
  • My labors tend to be short, between four and six hours, but that's when I'm induced. Will they be longer or shorter without Pitocin? If they're shorter, will I make it the hour to the hospital where my doctor delivers babies.
  • Of course, if my doctor isn't on call, what does it matter where I deliver, really? If a stranger is going to deliver my baby, it may as well be at the small hospital in my town, don't you think?
  • I just don't do well without a plan, and it stresses me out thinking that I may go into labor.
  • I do not want to have this baby in the car.
We do have a plan, assuming that I don't have this baby before next week. My doctor scheduled an induction for Thursday when I will be 41 weeks. He did not schedule an appointment to check me beforehand, so he can't change his mind. It just seems so long until then. And I haven't gone that far before. With Sarah Beth, I was induced three days after my due date. With my other two, I was induced at 39 weeks.

Once again, I'm left with trying to figure out what I'm going to do with this extra week I've been given. More cookies? I'm almost done with Christmas shopping. I can't think of anywhere to go with my children. And I can't get motivated to work on these boxes that I still need to unpack. *Sigh* Do you have any suggestions?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

What's in Our (Extended) Backyard?

Since our house is on a golf course, we have an extended backyard. Sometimes in the evenings, John will take our children out to play on the fairway that is behind our house. The golfers are usually done for the day, so we aren't bothering anybody. And we have the benefit of a much larger backyard that we don't have to take care of!

The other day, John thought he heard a bald eagle out in the little lake that is on the other side of the fairway. The next day, he actually saw it. So he took his camera out and took some pictures. Here is a sampling of the pictures that he took.

You have to look closely to see the bald eagle. If you look closely, you can see his white head.

It's a little easier to see now.

Didn't John get some good pictures?!

Monday, December 5, 2011

What's Happening This Week?

After my huge disappointment last week about not being ready to be induced, I'm cautiously optimistic this week. Since I'll be forty weeks on Thursday, surely I'll be ready to have this baby. Surely. I have a doctor's appointment Tuesday afternoon, and we have an induction scheduled tentatively for Thursday, assuming.... If things look favorable, my parents will drive down for the birth and to help with childcare on Wednesday. If not, well, they won't.

I realized that some of you may not understand why I want an induction so badly, so I thought I would list some reasons. Just in case you're interested.
  • I've been induced with all three of my children so far, and I have had great experiences with being induced.
  • I'm a planner. I like to know when things will happen so I can plan for them. Having an induction (or a C-section, I guess) lets me plan. And it keeps me from having to call someone at 3 a.m. to come stay with our children.
  • My labors tend to be fairly quick (about five hours), and the hospital where my doctor delivers is about an hour away. If I go into labor spontaneously, we will not try to make it there; I will deliver this baby at the little hospital here in our small town. That's not really a problem except that I would like for my doctor to deliver my baby.
  • Being induced lets my parents know when this baby is coming so they can be here for the birth. (It's a five hour drive, so they'd never make it in time.)
Meanwhile, I plan to keep doing what I've been doing: resting and baking cookies. I have a friend and her children coming over today for a play date, and that should be fun. I have a few other last minute chores to do but nothing major.

I just hope that my plans for this week include having a baby!

What do you have planned for the week?

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Finished Object Friday (on Saturday)

I didn't get to this post yesterday, you know, since I have so much to do just sitting around and waiting for this baby to come. Really, that's pretty much what I've been doing. Oh, and baking some cookies.

Anyway, I finished this blanket a while ago, but I never got around to posting about it. I made it for Rachel because she used to steal Sarah Beth's blanket and Daniel's, and she would try to steal John's. So I thought she would appreciate having her own. I used such a vibrant color because Rachel has a vibrant personality. She is almost always happy; she walks around with a smile on her face. But when she's not happy, oh, boy! She's not happy! And her moods can change with the drop of a hat, from crying to laughing and vice versa. Honestly, we're not sure where Rachel came from because John and I (and our first two children) tend to be more even-keeled than that. But she makes a fun addition to our family!

The thing is, though, that Rachel doesn't seem to care for this blanket. She hasn't touched it since I gave it to her. I'm not sure what to do now. I guess I'll just put it away and try again later. Maybe for her birthday in January?

For more Finished Object Friday, or to add your own, head over to Fresh from the Chari Tree.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

What to do Now?

When it comes to things like "dilation" and "effacement," my doctor decided yesterday that I'm just not ready to have this baby. As I said, I'm very disappointed because we had made plans assuming this baby would be born today. My biggest disappointment comes from the fact that today is my father's birthday. Since this child is likely to be his last grandchild, I thought it would be special for her to be born on his birthday. Oh, well. I guess it's not to be.

When my doctor told me that I wasn't ready, he was disappointed, too. And he was very apologetic, but I pointed out that I was not arguing with him, not trying to persuade him to go ahead and try. If I'm not ready, then I don't want to try to force the issue. I certainly don't want to end up with a C-section just because I was impatient. Mostly, I'm taking comfort knowing that God is in control. He knows what is best for me and for this baby, and He will work things out for our best.

Since I'm not having this baby today, I'm left with a little bit of a quandary. I mean, I've basically gotten everything ready because I thought this baby would be arriving today. However, I'm left with another whole week with nothing to do. Actually, I've come up with a few ideas:
  • bake Chocolate Minty Melts. I've been waiting for the Mint Truffle Kisses to come out for Christmas just so I can make a batch of these cookies.
  • bake another batch of "Our Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies" for John because he loves them. (Who am I kidding? I like them, too!)
  • watch Christmas movies with my children to get into the mood.
  • finish the Christmas shopping.
  • crochet snowflakes as ornaments for our Christmas tree.
  • rest.
Do you have any other suggestions? If I get really ambitious, I might even make some Vanilla Wafers. Can you ever have too many cookies in your freezer? I didn't think so!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


At my doctor's appointment this afternoon, he decided that I'm not quite ready to have this baby. We're going to try again next week, but I'm so disappointed right now that I just want to cry. My parents drove down six hours to get here; some friends planned a small shower for me next week; John has made plans; etc.. We were counting on this baby coming tomorrow. Ugh! So I guess we were all wrong in my "contest" Monday. But thank you for your prayers.

Monday, November 28, 2011

A Baby Contest

Assuming that my doctor declares me "ready" at my appointment Tuesday afternoon, I'm planning to be induced on Wednesday. I thought it might be fun to have a little contest with my readers to see who can come the closest to the actual delivery date and time. Since I'm being induced, we already know the date. My other children were induced, too, and they were born at 12:01, 12:16, and 12:18, so I've been bragging that this baby will be born at noon, too. (I've probably jinxed myself!)

What do you get if you win? Well, for the person who comes the closest, I'll give you 100 points. But if you hit the nail on the head, I'll give you 1000 points. If you even get the date correct, I'll give you five points.

What can you do with these points? I don't know. As Drew Carey used to say on "Whose Line is it Anyway?," the points don't matter. (Wasn't that a fun show; oftentimes, it was too crude, but funny!)

So what do you think? When do you think this baby will be born? (For reference, here is Daniel's birth story and here is Rachel's. I haven't gotten around to getting Sarah Beth's up here yet.)

Friday, November 25, 2011

A Quiet Thanksgiving

Addendum: We found the box!! It was hiding in the playroom behind a little table. Hooray!!

Since we planned such a quiet Thanksgiving Day, I thought maybe I could be a little productive, especially since I have so much to do before our baby comes (hopefully) next week.

In the morning, we sat around a little bit and enjoyed each other's company. Then it was time for John to head outside with the older two children to fry the turkey. (And boy! was that turkey good!) Rachel had to stay inside with me because she is not trustworthy around the turkey fryer. I finished up the casseroles and got them in the oven. The pie was already made; yea for preparing ahead!

Meanwhile, I started washing all of the baby's clothes. Goodness! Babies have a lot of clothes, don't they? Is it because they go through so many outfits in one day? Is it because their clothes are just so cute that we can't keep from buying more? Maybe a combination of both?

I also washed the covers for the swing, the car seat, the bassinet cover, burp cloths, bedding for the crib, and blankets. (We seem to have lost a box in the move, the one with all of the blankets that my Granny crocheted a border around and all of the blankets that I crocheted for my older children. Ugh!!!!!) Then I put everything back together and made the crib, although I doubt she will sleep in there anytime soon because she'll be in the bassinet.

Then I sat down and put my feet up until suppertime. John and I weren't hungry, so we just fed our children some sandwiches which they gobbled up. How could they be so hungry after such a huge meal for lunch?

After supper, I was so tired I couldn't get out of my rocking chair, so my sweet husband finished putting the last load of clothes into the dryer. Today I plan to fold all of those little, bitty clothes and put them away.

Our house is starting to look like there's a baby coming!

What are your plans for today? Did you do anything out of the ordinary (like I did) yesterday?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Plans

With our having moved twice in three months and the baby coming next week, John and I decided to have a quiet Thanksgiving at home this year. Certainly, we don't need to be driving up to middle Georgia two weeks before my due date. And while I do have family here in north Florida, it will be nice to have a quiet celebration at home. (And we did invite my aunt and uncle over here, but they needed to stay home, too.)

Since we're having a small, quiet meal here at home, I'm not preparing too much, just some of our favorite dishes. John is frying a turkey breast which frees up the oven. And fried turkey is soooo much better than baked, don't you think? Oh, you haven't tried it? You need to! We are also having:
  • sweet potato casserole
  • green bean casserole
  • 5-Cup Salad*
  • Grasshopper Pie (Sarah Beth has been asking for this all year long. I haven't made it since Christmas, but every time anyone mentions a pie, she says she wants the "green one." She didn't care for my chocolate pecan pie.)
  • Sister Schubert's rolls (I'm cheating this year and not making any homemade rolls.)
As I looked at last year's menu, I realized that I prepared these same dishes. Oh, well! I reckon we're making traditions!

*If you're wondering what 5-Cup salad is, it's a super yummy salad containing five cups, hence the name. There is one cup each of crushed pineapple, mandarin oranges, chopped pecans, sour cream, and marshmallows.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Laura at Six Little Arrows, one of my good real-life friends, is having a giveaway for this beautiful baby hat that she crocheted. (I shamelessly stole this picture from her post.) If you would like to enter, you can go here. And if you don't have a baby and aren't going to have one anytime soon, feel free to go ahead and enter. If you win, I would be glad to take this hat off your hands!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Book Review: Not by Might by Al Lacy

In Not by Might by Al Lacy, John and Breanna Brockman are a happily married, newlywed couple in the late 1800's. John is the Chief U.S. Marshal, and Breanna is a traveling nurse. There are a couple of plots in this book, but the main one is how a gang of outlaws want to kill Brockman. Breanna has several patients that she cares for; one is a woman who has just had a baby, and another is a newly-paralyzed doctor.

What did I think of this book? Two words: unbelievable and unrealistic. Everyone in this story is so sweet and nice to everyone else, even the outlaws. No one ever says anything mean to anyone else, and at one point, two of the outlaws apologize to each other for arguing. Everyone that Breanna and John talk to becomes a Christian, and men argue over whose wife is the prettiest. The dialogue is disgustingly sweet. Combined with that are unrealistic plot developments. I won't go into these, just in case you read the book because I don't want to spoil anything for you.

In short, the only reason I finished this book was because I had agreed to review it.

I want to thank WaterBrook Multnomah for my (kindle) copy of this book, but my opinions are my own.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Moving Day Pictures

I forgot to show you these pictures of our children on moving day. They were funny that morning as we were preparing to leave our rental house, well, at least two of them were.

We didn't explain to Rachel what was going on, but she picked up on it anyway. She gathered her special toys together and toted them around so they wouldn't be forgotten.

Sarah Beth did the same thing, gathering up everything that she was afraid we might forget and carrying it around just in case....

Poor Daniel, though, was sick that morning. He felt pretty lousy, so we made sure to get his special toys for him.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

All I Want for Christmas...

I was going to show you just this picture this morning. We were sitting on the couch, watching television Saturday afternoon when I heard Sarah Beth say, "Oh." She had pulled out her tooth. This tooth was the third one she had pulled out. But before I could get around to posting that picture, Sarah Beth pulled out her other front tooth on Monday at lunch. *Sigh* She's going to bankrupt the Tooth Fairy.

Since I had a few pictures of my older daughter, I thought I would include some of her younger siblings.

Aren't they precious?!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Pictures of Our New House

Here are the pictures from our new house that I promised you yesterday. I'm sorry that there are so many, but there are even more on our computer!

Our living room. Yes, it's as big as it looks. The opening on the right goes down one step into our sunroom and then down a few more into the playroom.

Here is our sunroom. It runs the length of our living room. We're not sure what we're going to do with it yet, but we do know that we need some chairs for it.

Our kitchen.

Another view of the kitchen. It's dated and needs to be re-done, but it can wait a couple of years.

A view of our kitchen from the living room. Don't you love the "saloon" doors? John took them down the same day that we closed!

The master bedroom. We have a small porch through the sliding doors.

Our bathroom. Isn't the color of the sink, shower, and even the toilet lovely? This too will be redone...eventually.

What do you think of the harvest gold sinks in the kids' bathroom? Yes, the shower and toilet match.

Our house has a lot of strange features like this sink. The knob on the left is for hot water, right? Nope. It raises and lowers the drain plug. The home inspector said that he has inspected over 30,000 homes and has never seen this before.

The playroom. This room is HUGE, measuring 25 x 25. We plan to use it as a playroom and as the school room...once we get a table and storage for the school books.

Another view of the playroom.

The view from our sunroom.

The back of our house. Can you see it through all of the live oaks?

The view I have every morning as the sun comes up.

I don't have pictures of the kids' room or the baby's room because they just didn't turn out well. But the kids' room is really big and looks like a dormitory room with the two beds and Rachel's crib. The baby's room is a good size but smaller, and it's an absolute wreck right now. I've got to go through things and make it neater. Oh, and I forgot the laundry room. I really should include a picture because the linoleum is soooo ugly. Oh, well. The pictures of the dining room didn't turn out well, either, but I think you've gotten enough pictures for now!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Pregnancy Update: Almost 37 Weeks

I technically won't be 37 weeks until Thursday, but I thought that you may be more interested in knowing how the baby and I are doing instead of seeing pictures of our new house. (But I could be wrong. And I hope to get those pictures up tomorrow.)

John and I agree that I am bigger with this pregnancy than with my previous ones. I haven't gained that much more weight, only about five pounds, so we don't really understand why I seem so much bigger. The baby isn't especially big, either. Oh, well! But I really do look huge in this picture, don't I?!

How am I doing? Well, I'm tired. And I feel bulky. But I seem to be sleeping better, although I think that's because I'm doing so much during the day. I feel a little overwhelmed, too. My mother came down for the move, and she was a tremendous help, but I still have boxes to unpack. And I have things that are unpacked that need to be put away. And I have casseroles to prepare for after the baby comes. And I still have my daily chores to do. Oh, and I can't forget that I still have three children and a husband who need me as well. I feel like I have so much to do and so little time.

At my appointment last Wednesday, we agreed that I should be induced. I was induced with my previous three pregnancies, and I had great experiences. I want to be induced with this one, too. It certainly helps with the preparations! My doctor wants to schedule my induction at 39 weeks. That's just two weeks away. Two weeks! And I've got so much to do!! I think it's time to prioritize. And to realize that I may not get everything done. *Sigh*

My other good news is that my baby has turned so that she is head down, in good birthing position. Praise the Lord!

It's hard to believe that in a little over two weeks, I will be holding my new baby daughter in my arms. Where has the time gone?

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Book Review: Sunrise on the Battery by Beth Hart

In Sunrise on the Battery by Beth Hart, Mary Lynn and Jackson are on the verge of entering the social elite in Charleston. They have worked their way up from poor beginnings and are thrilled that they are about to "arrive." While Mary Lynn is a nominal Christian, Jackson is not one at all. On Christmas Eve, Mary Lynn prays that God will touch Jackson's heart and bring him to Him. But she is not prepared for what God actually does in Jackson's life. After a lot of struggling with himself and with God, Jackson embraces the Truth whole-heartedly and is willing to give up everything he and Mary Lynn have worked for. Mary Lynn is happy with her shallow faith and her social status and isn't sure she wants to stay with her husband who is so enraptured with his faith.

I enjoyed reading this book. It was enlightening to read about Mary Lynn and Jackson's beginnings through flashbacks. And it was fun to see how quickly Jackson's life changed when he believed. I was challenged in my own faith as I saw how Jackson lived out his faith and how he strove to learn as much as he could about it.

I want to thank BookSneeze for my (kindle) copy of this book, but my opinions are my own.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Finished Object Friday: A Blanket for MY Baby

I wish I could say that I worked on this blanket during all of my "off-line time," but actually, I finished it the night before we moved. And I didn't do too much crocheting because I was too busy unpacking and spending time with my mother who was here to help us move.

Anyway, I made this blanket for my baby. Since I think that every baby deserves something handmade that belongs only to him, and since I enjoy making baby blankets, all of my babies have had at least two blankets that belong only to them. (Here is the other blanket I've already crocheted for this baby.)

I found the pattern for this blanket in Crochet Today!, and I thought it would make a nice, warm blanket. Yes, we live in Florida, but I hear that it does get a little chilly here. Better safe than sorry, right? Here is a close-up so you can see the pattern a little better.

The raised stitch was something I had never done before, so I enjoyed learning something new. And the strips were single-crocheted together or else I would not have made this blanket. (I hate sewing things together.) This was a fun blanket that I will probably make some point.

For more Finished Object Friday, head over to Fresh from the Chari Tree. (Check out that scrumptious-looking cake she made.)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

I'm Back!

I just wanted to let you know quickly that we're back online. Finally, finally! It feels like it's been forever! I've got too much catching up to do to post anything significant today, but hopefully, I'll get back into the swing of things next week. I can't wait to show you pictures of our new house! And I may just have some information about my baby for you; don't worry, it's all good! Everything is still fine, and she has flipped into the correct position for birthing. Meanwhile, I will be trying to catch up with your blogs, facebook, and other things that I haven't been able to do during the past two weeks.

Friday, October 28, 2011

(Almost) Two Week Hiatus

I'm back. Yes, I know -- that was quick. The other night when John talked to Comcast about our new house, they told him it would be almost two weeks before they could get there to hook us up. Two weeks! What am I going to do for two weeks without internet? No email, no blogging (reading and writing), not knowing what's happening on facebook? What will I do?

Well, I've come up with a short list:
  • Read. With no internet, there will be more time to read, and that's always a good thing.
  • Study for the Florida law exam. This is the last thing I need to take care of in order to get my pharmacist license here. And I hope to get it done before this baby comes.
  • Get the house in order. That would be a good thing, too, wouldn't it?
  • Start cooking and baking for when this baby comes.
So I just wanted to let you know where I would be for the next couple of weeks because I don't want you to worry.

What would you do with your "computer time," if you didn't have the internet for two weeks?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Planning a Little Time Off

I plan to take a little time off blogging. My mother is coming this afternoon to help us pack up, and we're moving into our new house on Saturday. I imagine that I will be pretty busy for the next few days as we get ready for the move, and I know that we'll be busy unpacking next week. Besides, I'm in a little bit of a writer's slump; I just don't have anything to share with you. However, when I come back, I'll have pictures of our new house to show you. I can't wait!

I do plan to be around the blogosphere a little bit over the next week, and I may even come up with a new post or two for you. But my priorities are elsewhere! I hope you understand, and I hope to come back refreshed and energized by our new house!!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Book Review: Lonestar Angel by Colleen Coble

Six years ago, Clay and Eden met and had a "fling." When they discovered that Eden was pregnant, they married, but their marriage had a shaky foundation. Six weeks after their baby Brianna was born, she was kidnapped and presumed dead. Eden left Clay, and they haven't seen each other in years. Now, five years later, after both have become Christians, Clay has received a picture in the mail of five little girls at a camp for foster children along with a note saying that one of these girls is Brianna. Clay contacts Eden, and they head down to the camp as counselors to try to discover which of the girls is their daughter. But someone, one of the kidnappers, apparently hates Eden and doesn't want her around.

I enjoyed this book! It was fun watching Clay and Eden fall in love again. While the plot was a little tangled and twisty, it was easy to follow. The premise of this story may be a little far-fetched, but it worked. And the culprit, well, you've got to be following the story pretty closely to be able to figure out "whodunit." This book has love, danger, and intrigue. And it's about Christians and therefore clean. What more could you ask for?

I want to thank BookSneeze for my copy of this book to review, but my opinions are my own.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Recipe Fun Friday: A Cake and Muffins

Last week, I tried a couple of new recipes. I don't have any pictures to show you, but the sites where I got the recipes do. So go check them out!

First, I tried the Awesome Apple Cake recipe that I found on Everyday Mom. I had been wanting to bake a cake, and my mother was coming so it seemed like a perfect fit. And this recipe obviously has apples in it which makes it nice for fall. And it has chocolate chips in it! Could anything be better? Apples with chocolate chips? We enjoyed this cake, and the kids kept asking for it even after it was gone. Thanks to the apples, it remained nice and moist.

Next, I tried a new pumpkin muffin recipe that I found on Savvy Little Women. Oh, boy is this recipe easy! A box of cake mix and a can of pumpkin are all that you need. I really liked these muffins, but no one else did. John thought they were okay, but the children didn't even really try them. (I think they were distracted by Grammy.) That's okay; I'll still make them again, and if I'm the only one who eats them, so be it! They were great the first day, but they got a little more moist on subsequent days. I didn't mind because they were still delicious!

Have you tried any new recipes lately? How did they turn out?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

DVD Review: What's in the Bible?

Last month, I discovered that Phil Vischer, the creator of Veggie Tales, had come out with a new DVD series entitled "What's in the Bible?" And I told you that I would let you know what we think about them, after we had watched a couple. Well, here you go!

The first DVD, In the Beginning, talks about the Bible: how it's put together, who wrote it, things like that. There are also short cartoons about Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden and Noah and the ark. The second DVD, Let my People Go, talks about how the Bible got put together (who chose the books) and defines "salvation." It also contains short cartoons about Moses and the children of Israel. Most of the narration is done by puppets with Phil Vischer also doing a little bit.

I hate to admit it, but I was disappointed in these DVD's. I thought they would mostly tell the stories out of the Bible with maybe a little other knowledge thrown in. Instead, they give a bunch of other knowledge (good stuff, too!) with just a little of the Bible stories thrown in. That said, my children love these videos even though most of them is over their heads. And I have learned a few things, too. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm disappointed in these videos because my expectations were wrong. We enjoy the ones that we have, and Daniel and Sarah Beth may get another one for Christmas. (Shhh! Don't tell them.)

On a deeper level, I was disappointed with more in the first video. Vischer discusses briefly that some people believe that God created the world in six days and that others believe that God used much longer. He leaves it there and implies that it's really not a big deal. That disappointed me. And when Adam and Eve sin, there is no talk of the curse, no talk of a Savior who would come to rescue us from the curse. Disappointing, too. I didn't notice any problems like these in the second video.

Anyway, if you're looking for good, fun videos for your children, you ought to look into these. No, they are not complete, and there is some information lacking, but isn't there always?

Have you seen these videos? What did you think?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Update on My New Routine

Yesterday, I was under the weather. I know that it was from eating two eggs from free-range chickens. Have you had any problems eating those? Yuck! I plan to throw out the rest of the eggs the next time we head to the dump.

Continuing with my kind-of theme from last week about housekeeping, I thought I would give you a little update on how my new routine is working. Basically, it's the same, although I've had to make a few changes. The biggest one is that Wednesday is now my Kitchen Day while Thursday is my Cleaning Day. I had to make that change because we have church on Wednesday evenings, and I was wearing myself out! Besides, the clothes that I wear to clean in aren't exactly appropriate for church.

Monday is my Office Day which works out great since it is the start of the week.

Tuesday is my Errand Day, although we only usually run one or two errands. And one of those is almost always the grocery store. After doing school, we don't have much time. And I just don't think that my children would appreciate errand after errand, and I know that I would wear myself out. Besides, there aren't too many places to go in this little town! (I'm not complaining; it's nice!)

Wednesday is my Kitchen Day. I've been taking it easy lately since we're moving next week. Now is the time to use up what I have stored in the freezer, not add to it. After we move, however, I plan to start baking and cooking again. I want to fill up our freezer, especially with frozen dinners, for after the baby comes. I'll have to be careful not to overdo it, though!

Thursday is my Cleaning Day. It's nice knowing this in advance so I can dress appropriately.

Friday is my Laundry/Catch-Up Day. Our laundry cannot always wait until Friday, but I don't really mind if it doesn't. I can do all of our clothes in three or four loads with my huge washer that I love! Towels and sheets are done at other times of the week, so they don't add to my loads on Friday. Being so far along in my pregnancy and tiring so easily, I let some chores fall on Friday. It's a great day to run another errand or two, bake something else, or finish the cleaning from the previous Thursday.

As for the weekends, well, I don't plan too much. I never know what John would like to do, so I try to hold my plans loosely. The big things that I feel like I need to get done during the weekend are scheduling my next week and preparing for school for Sarah Beth. If I get those two things done, I'm happy. Occasionally, I'll be able to get another chore done which is just an added bonus.

How do you get your weekly chores done? Do you try to take the weekend off, or do you pile up your chores to do then?

Monday, October 17, 2011

Last Week's Happenings

As I told you last week, my mother came for a visit. She actually came to babysit while John and I drove down to my doctor's appointment. Wasn't that sweet of her?! And we really enjoyed her visit, even though it was a little short. But she's coming back in less than two weeks to help us move; yes, we're closing on our new house in two weeks! Hooray!! (I really wish that I had taken some pictures of my mother while she was here, although she's probably glad that I didn't. Maybe next time....)

A couple of other fun things happened last week. Sarah Beth has a couple of dress-up outfits that she loves to wear, and she decided that Daniel needed one of his own. And he agreed. Well, with Halloween coming up, it seemed like a good time to get one.

My little Spiderman! (It's the only superhero that Daniel knows about, and it's actually kind of a long story as to how he found out about him.)

Sarah Beth came out of her room one day during playtime, proudly showing my mother and me that she had just pulled her tooth. Yes, she pulled another tooth. (She has now pulled out two of her teeth.) And I didn't even know that it was loose. Apparently, she had told my mom that it was loose, but I didn't know!

Can you see the "window" in her mouth? Silly girl just won't smile for the camera.

I can't forget a picture of my little "ham." She loves to have her picture taken.

How did your last week go? Did you have any visitors? Did anything exciting happen?