Monday, February 29, 2016

February Reading

I haven't had much time to read this month, what with having a baby and everything.  :)  But I did get a few books read.  I have to admit that I read most of the first one in January and worked hard to finish it before Hannah came.
  • Lost to the West:  The Forgotten Byzantine Empire that Rescued Western Civilization by Lars Brownworth.  This book tells all about the Byzantine Empire; have you even heard of the Byzantine Empire?  I didn't know much about it.  But it was the eastern part of the Roman Empire after Diocletian divided it, and then Constantine established the capital at Constantinople.  Basically, the Roman Empire was not destroyed when Rome fell; it lived on in Constantinople until the 1400's.  The people considered themselves Romans until the day their city was sacked.  And they did immeasurable good as they defended Western Europe from the invaders coming from farther East:  the Monguls, Persians, Muslims, etc.
  • Burning Paradise by Robert Charles Wilson.  I bought a box from Novel Tea Club via Crate Joy, and this book came in it.  In an alternate reality where World War II did not happen, the world has been surrounded by an alien organism which monitors and controls radio broadcasts.  This organism also has the ability to produce beings that look and act just like humans so that it is hard to know whom to trust.  I'm not sure what else to say about this book except that it wasn't one I would have chosen to read and I enjoyed it more than I thought I would.  With that said, I still wouldn't recommend it; it wasn't that good.  And I didn't care for the foul language and gore.
  • Fit to Burst:  Abundance, Mayhem, and the Joys of Motherhood by Rachel Jankovic.  I enjoyed this excellent book about being a mother.  It contains advice that hits at the heart of what makes us Christian mothers discontent.
  • Emily of New Moon by L. M.  Montgomery.  Another charming book about an orphan from the author of Anne of Green Gables.  Need I say more?  :)
What have you read lately?  Have you ever ordered a box from Crate Joy or another place like it?

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Our Week in Pictures

Rachel cannot get enough of her baby sister.  She always wants to hold her, pet her, kiss her, whatever.  :)

Our anniversary was last week, and John bought me this gorgeous bouquet of flowers!  Isn't he sweet?!  I didn't even get him a card.  :( 

My mother has been here, too, and has been a wonderful help with Hannah.  She has also played innumerable games with the other children.

Mary isn't as smitten with Hannah as Rachel is, but she does love her bunches.

John put training wheels back onto Sarah Beth's old bicycle for Mary, and she has had so much fun riding it!  She constantly asks to go outside to ride her "new" bike.  :)

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Book Review: The Legend of the Easter Robin by Dandi Daley Macall

In this cute story, a little girl finds a robin's nest outside a window at her grandmother's house.  She thinks it's too early for robins to nest and is worried about the eggs they laid.  Her grandmother tells her to wait and see, that God has provided for the robins to keep their eggs warm.  Along the way, the grandmother tells the little girl the legend of how robins received their red breasts:  by pulling a thorn out of Jesus' brow on His way to the cross.

I enjoyed this sweet story about a little girl and her grandmother.  I especially appreciated how the grandmother keeps reminding the girl that God will take care of the robins because He created them.  While the legend isn't true, of course, it's a nice addition to this book.

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

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Two Weeks!

Hannah is two weeks old today!  It's hard to believe that she's only been here for two weeks; it feels like she's been part of our family longer than that.

She's nursing well and seems to be growing.  I feel great, other than a little tired from middle-of-the-night feedings.  :)  It's nice to be able to climb stairs without huffing and puffing, reach my feet to put on socks, and not carry around a bowling ball on my tummy.  :)

Friday, February 12, 2016

Happy Eighth Birthday, Daniel!

Today is Daniel's eighth birthday.  He is a wonderful brother to all four of his sisters.

He also loves spending time with his Daddy, learning how to be a man.

Daniel is a peace-keeper; he would rather give in and let someone else have it instead of getting into a confrontation.  We try not to let this happen too often.

He loves playing games, especially chess, and he's really good at them.

We've had a fun year with Daniel, and we look forward to many more!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Meet Hannah Grace!

Hannah Grace arrived Thursday afternoon about 4:15.  She was 7 pounds, 4 ounces, and 19 inches long.

We are all excited to have her here with us.  It's been fun to watch our other children's reactions to her.  As soon as we walked in the door, Daniel asked where the baby was, and then he said that he was so excited because he got to meet her in real life!  At supper that night, Rachel asked me how I was feeling and whether I had slept well the night before.  (No, I hadn't; does anyone in the hospital sleep well?)  Mary and Rachel love to sit next to me and pet Hannah's head, just gazing at her.  And Sarah Beth is being as helpful as she can, and as a nine year old, she can be pretty helpful!

I'm not going to share Hannah's birth story like I did with our previous babies.  All I'm going to say is that labor was agonizingly slow (for me), followed by a terrifyingly fast delivery (even for me).  I'm glad it's over!  The important thing is that both Hannah and I are doing great.  John is home this week, and he has been a huge help with her especially in the middle of the night and early morning.  My mother is coming next week when John goes back to work, and we look forward to introducing Hannah to her.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Weekly (#4) Update on January Goals

Last week was a different kind of busy.  I'm glad that I had all of my planned decluttering done along with all of the casseroles I had planned to freeze because I didn't have time for any of that.  On Monday, we started back with Classical Conversations, and I'm worn out when we get home and not good for much else the rest of the day.  Tuesday was Rachel's birthday, and it was busy with a trip to the Lego Store for her to pick out her gift and making a trifle instead of a cake.  :)  So Wednesday was like my Monday as far as my weekly chores, and I felt like I started my week behind.

But I was able to get some things done, getting ready for the baby -- which is a good thing since she's coming soon!  I finished buying the last minute things I remembered that I needed, and I got almost everything washed, dried, and put away.  The bassinet is set up, and the changing area is stocked with diapers and wipes.  I did not get the swing and bouncy seat set up, but I did get them washed.  I'm sure I'll get to them this week.

As for my other goals, I'll give a quick recap:
  • I prepared several meals and froze them for after the baby comes.
  • I did not figure out a good time to read a chapter book to my children.
  • I did fairly well with working with Sarah Beth and her Essentials school work, getting ready to start back to CC.
  • I finished Kathi Lipp's Clutter Free Academy (except for the garage).  
I think I did well!

Here is my goal for February:
  • Have the baby
I'm just keeping it realistic!

How are you doing with your goals?