Monday, February 27, 2012


Hello??  Is there anyone still out there?  I think of my blog at various time throughout our insane week and kind of sigh in my head.  I feel like it's over, yet there is a glimmer of hope.  Steven surprised me with an ipad for Christmas. And I took it back to patiently wait for the ipad3, which is supposed to come out in March.   Having a computer is kind of a must for blogging.

I have no pictures to give you.  So sorry.  I won't even begin to try and catch up.  But as of this week, we are all trying to recover from some serious colds.  Well, praise the Lord, not me.  Most days I am still struggling to get everything done that has to be done in one day.  School itself is going very well.  It's just juggling all the other things that is such a challenge.  Let's see... Andrew is now 3.   If you follow my mom's blog, you know we had a fun weekend a few weeks ago when Steven had his appendix out.  That was an all-nighter, after a day by myself with the kids at the aquarium for Andrew's birthday.  I'm not complaining, though...before Steven finally got some pain meds at the ER he looked like he was in labor. Abigail is 8 months today.  She is so cute I could eat her to death.  LOVE this age, but then I'm always so happy when she's down for a nap because I can get so much more done.  She's so ready to take off crawling, she can hardly stand it.  Ummm....trying to think of other stuff.  We're staying super busy, of course, with church.  We are going through the gospel of Mark on Sunday mornings and it is unbelievably powerful.  God continues to reveal my weaknesses and inabilities, thankfully.  When I get a glimpse of His patience and mercy towards me, and what He has saved me from, and who He is, and what I am apart from Him...humbling beyond words.

My life is full.  The days are long.  I feel beyond blessed most days and so stressed out I could scream.  And a lot of times I do.  My kids HATE when I do that.  What child doesn't hate that?   Then I usually tell them, I HATE when you scream also. Ha! Anyway....I miss this and just wanted to say hi!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Catching Up

I'm back (finally) to play catch up.  Major catch up.  We've celebrated five years of Luke's life, 3 months of Abigail's, and 9 years of marriage for Steven and me.  Not to mention lots of homeschooling, another Georgia game for Steven and Luke, gorgeous fall weather, and the stuff that doesn't make the blogs.  Like...endless piles of laundry, endless mouths to feed, bottoms to wipe, and the mental exhaustion that comes from breaking up yet another argument.  But it is what the days are made up of, isn't it?  Exhausting and so incredibly fulfilling at the same time.  

I will start with Luke's birthday.  It was one of the easiest and most successful birthdays we've done so far. Saturday morning to Chuck E. Cheese, with a couple of his buddies from church.  He loved it.  He is five now and very quickly corrected Steven last night when he made the mistake of telling someone that Luke was four.  He adores Steven.  I'm pretty sure he loves me too (smile), but won't admit it so easily.  He is very much into being a boy.  And after two Georgia games now, he "wins for Georgia."  He's trying to convince Andrew to "win for Georgia."  But thankfully Andrew still loves his Auburn hat too much.  Luke is giving it a go with soccer.  I don't think it will be his thing.  His favorite part is getting a ring pop when the game is over.  He is beginning to read and on the verge of taking off like Ellie did.  He is still my sweet Luke and it tugs at my heart how big he is now.  I had to tell myself to calm down the other night when I was tucking him in.  I was making him promise he would still call me, come visit, etc. once he was grown and gone.  He grinned and said with an annoyed sigh, "Yes, mom!"

That was almost a month ago.  I meant to blog last weekend while Steven and Luke had gone to the Georgia game.  We enjoyed a beautiful Friday with just the girls (plus Andrew).  We treated ourselves after a trip to the library to a Little Caesar's pizza and we each got a Zaxby's coke.  It hit the spot.  Such a nice break from the constant meal prep and clean up in the kitchen.  Then, math lesson on the screen porch.  One of my favorite things about homeschooling-flexibility of time and location!   

I'm not sure why I didn't enjoy history more when I was in school, but now I find it fascinating.  I definitely appreciate it so much more and am now able to look at it through the lens of Scripture.  We've been studying Egypt for several weeks now.  What an amazing civilization!  Here is our Nile River that we made.  It is supposed to "flood" and then the grass will grow on the banks.  It's not working out so well, and our play-doh pyramids have drowned from the rain here in Alabama.  

Ellie continues to love reading and devours all of her library books in a few hours.  So, I suggested she try a chapter book.  I adored the American Girl books when I was young, so she checked out one of the newest ones, but I think those are still a little too much.   She wants to be Belle for Halloween because she says, "Belle loves books just like I do!" 

Now, here it is a week later and I am finally getting around to the blog.  It is another glorious fall day, so Steven took the oldest three to Chattanooga to the Children's Museum and for a visit with his parents.  

I'll wrap things up with a few more pictures of Abigail who contiues to plump up and spit up!  She is getting so much easier, although eating twice at night instead of just once as she was doing for awhile.  I'm also getting ready for a more consistent daytime nap schedule.  

I guess that just about wraps it up.   The major highlights and a few minor ones.  

Saturday, September 3, 2011

This Weekend

I made it back before an entire month passed!  Surprising, actually, because my laptop computer died.  But we are at mom's this morning, so I am taking full advantage of some Mac time.  We're at mom's because Luke has a big weekend-travelling to Atlanta to go the Georgia game with Steven.  He, Steven, and Ellie left late yesterday afternoon for Chattanooga.  They spent the night with Steven's parents last night and Ellie is staying there today while the boys go to the game.  Steven dropped off me and the younger two at my parent's house so Andrew wouldn't feel quite so left out.  

It's a little bittersweet for me.  I can kiss any hopes of Luke ever being an Auburn fan out the window after this weekend.  I will keep Andrew cheering for my team though, as long as I can.

The other exciting event that happened this week at our house is that Ellie got her ears pierced.  She did great and did not even flinch.  There was only one girl working, so she had to do each ear separately.  However, when we were at the pediatrician later for Abigail's check-up, she panicked over a flu shot.  She has had a bad cold and doesn't feel great, or she was just not in a very good mood.  A little of both.  

And here are our best efforts at a group shot.  It was a stressful few hours trying to get everyone packed and out the door, and make sure we had the right things in the right car.  Ellie didn't feel great, however she feels good enough to get a stir out of Luke.  

Initial arguing...

Still going...

Thinking of a way to get back at him...

Aggravating... (Andrew being very cooperative)

Aggravating some more...

And...success!  She got the reaction she was hoping for.

And then Steven said, "Okay, that's it.  We have to go."
So Andrew and Charlie waved bye-bye.

And so did Abigail.

Happy Labor Day Weekend...Welcome Fall!!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Monday Morning

It is actually now afternoon here at the Barber house.  But I took these videos this morning.  It is the usual craziness, and lots of cuteness, and me just trying to keep my head above water type of day.  I'm trying to "officially" start homeschool (Ellie's first grade work and Luke just a little kindergarten-mainly learning to read) next week and I continue to realize we are going to have to be VERY flexible with the schedule.

I wish I had lots of beautiful pictures of the kids to post like last time, but I think family will be more excited to see these.  Abigail is smiling and cooing now-LOVE this stage. 

Andrew is wearing me out the most right now.  He screams A LOT and grabs things from Ellie and Luke and refuses to eat things I know he likes.  And I know the older two get tired of it too, but they are a good bit older and I expect more out of them.  Like this morning when Ellie argued with Andrew over who got to push the button on the dryer.  Sooooo many fights to break up during the day.  Our sin nature and our flesh is very unattractive.  I've been seeing a lot of it lately-from children and adults.  Just looks a little calmer in children-still just as ugly in adults.  Praise the Lord that He is more patient with me than I am with my children and with others.  It is always sobering when I see Andrew's fits and think that is the same thing I do when I don't get my way, it is just on the inside-in my heart. 

I want to share one more thing that I recently ran across in my search for a fun, easy way for my kids to memorize scripture as a part of our daily routine.  Click here for the link.  It provides verses put to well-known children's songs for easy, fun memorization.  There is a coloring page for each one and for lots of the verses, bible verse strips are provided for a fun game.  When you finish the coloring page with the verse on it, you can date it, punch 3 holes and put it in a binder to have a record of the verse memorized, plus it will be a great thing to pull out for easy review.  Really, really loving it!  Plus it is FREE.

Here is what we learned this morning, with a slight interruption from Andrew regarding his coffee. Yes, he drinks coffee every morning (mostly milk with a little sugar). And like me, he is a bit cranky and frantic until he gets that first cup.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Alive and Well

With LOTS of help!  Without the help, the title of this post would be "Barely Surviving".  It really does take a village.  My mother says we weren't meant to raise children alone and I have to agree with her.  I know so many do it and it only makes me more grateful for Steven, my mom, dad, sisters, and so many friends who have pitched in and helped me get through this first month with a fourth baby.  I have truly been overwhelmed by the support I have had over the past few weeks.

Our life is slowly returning to a "new normal".  It's amazing how such a little thing can disrupt our somewhat established family routine.  Although it is already hard to remember life before Abigail.  Ellie, Luke, and Andrew continue to be smitten with her.  But it has also come with some meltdowns and Ellie on a few occasions has admitted between tears that she wished things were back to the way they were before.  I reassured her (and also myself) that it won't always be like this...that before we know it, Abigail will be as old as Andrew, talking and walking, and just as much a part of our family as the other three.  Andrew has adjusted as you can imagine a 2 1/2 year old who is having to deal with not being the baby anymore would.  Plenty of meltdowns and bad moods and taking things from his older brother and sister.  Wanting to climb on Abigail's crib, on Abigail, and throwing a fit when I pull him off-waking her up in the process.  He talks more than ever and started out calling her "A-gail." It has since developed into "A-B-gail", and sometimes just Abbie.  I'm pretty sure I will always call her Abigail, but I think it is cute that on his own, he sometimes calls her Abbie.

And for anyone who cares...she is still eating about every 3 hours at night.  Sometimes she will give me a 4 hour stretch.  I am living for the night when I wake up and look at the clock and it has been 5 or 6 hours.  We will get there.  She really is a good baby, but even great newborns are extremely demanding.  She would love to be held all the time, but she is often content to be put on her stomach to sleep, and generally does the best like that.  I know...I cheat, but I only do it during the day, and check on her often.

And now, finally pictures.  My incredibly talented friend, Ashley, so graciously agreed to come take pictures of Abigail and the other three as well (if they would cooperate).  It was very insane, but Ashley did a fabulous job and I could not be more thrilled with the results!  Thank you again, Ashley!!  Please know that these are just pictures, not reality, and it was all I could manage to get all four children dressed and cooperating for a picture.  I had my pj's on and no makeup, the house was a wreck, and my mother and of course, Ashley were all helping just to pull off a few good shots.  I would show you some more "realistic" pictures of the way things really are around here, but I haven't had a chance to pull out a camera.  Well, that and the fact that we don't have one.

Warning:  Quite a few pictures-just couldn't narrow them down.

This last one is a little more like it.  Mom is in the picture, as well as my feet, and Elmo.  However, Abigail didn't make this shot.  

Until next month...

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Abigail's Arrival

Abigail Ann Barber
7 lbs. 3 oz.  
20 in.
Born June 27, 2011 3:53 a.m.

Posted several pictures on facebook, but I didn't want to leave out my blog.  And since I have a few "quiet" days in the hospital before I go home, I thought I would quickly post.  Won't be doing much of that for awhile in the next few weeks-I'm guessing.  Anyway, the exciting news is I went into labor on my own!  Well, the best news is Abigail is here and healthy and everything went well.  But I guess she did not want to be induced, so she decided to wait until the last minute before induction and then come on her own.  Sunday afternoon around 4:30-5:00, I started having contractions that were fairly distinct-as in a definite start and an end.  Oh, and the backs of my legs had been hurting for several hours before.  Very crampy everywhere.  So, like everyone says, after awhile, you will know...the contractions didn't stop.  Steven was in Chattanooga teaching a class for his dad at his church.  Diana and Stephanie were on their way to our house from Chattanooga with the kids.  I called mom to give her a heads up that she and dad might be driving me to the hospital.  So, that's pretty much what evolved over the next few hours.  I had time to see my children (thankfully) for about 30 minutes.  Got in touch with Steven right before we pulled out.  On the way to Huntsville the contractions were still about 8-10 min. apart, but getting stronger when they would come.  I was still scared they would turn me away because they weren't close enough together.  My hope was that they would let me stay on the basis of my being already dilated at least to a 3 (hoping at that point maybe I was a 4) and that I was supposed to be there at 6 in the morning anyway for an induction.  I was right-based on that information, the nurse said come on in-we'll keep you.  Although, I do love labor details, for the sake of time, I will just tell you that I was admitted and when they checked me, I was about a 5.  Again, the contractions were getting more painful, but still plenty of time to rest in between.  Waited for an epidural.  It went well, continued to dilate to about a 7, and then things slowed down a bit.  Things creeped by after about 1 a.m.  Finally ready to push, it only took a few contractions to push through and she was here!  

I am in love for a fourth time.  It never gets old!  And I think my other children are in love too.
" cup runneth over"

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

READY for Abigail

Closing in on the last week of pregnancy.  More than likely forever.  Can't believe this chapter of my life is almost over.  But....I think as I typically do, when I grieve over something, it will be much later.  Right now, I would really like this baby out.  If I could ask her nicely, I would ask her to please not move anymore.  At all.  But she might like to ask me the same thing.  I went to my 39 week appointment on Monday (although I'm officially 39 weeks today), and I was almost 3 cm dilated!  I'm kinda proud of myself, because I've never been that dilated on my own.  I could now have an epidural if I wanted one.  IF I go into labor on my own, which would be so cool and a first.  But my doctor said, if you don't have this baby by Monday, would you like to come in and we'll induce?  When I'm not this pregnant, I always say, I want to wait and see if I go into labor on my own.  But then I get this far along and I remember why I've always said, "yes, let's get this baby out."  Especially since my last induction went so very smoothly.  Anyway, Lord-willing, we will have a baby by Monday.

Mom and I have been planning yesterday and today to work on my house.  You know, whip it into shape before all chaos breaks loose for about 6 weeks (and beyond) and you're doing good just to get a shower every now and then.  Although, she mainly did the "whipping".  My mom is so good at that.  Is it a mom thing?  Probably.  Also my energy level has pretty much flat-lined.  I get out of bed in the morning (still trying not to throw-up, but not always successful) wondering when I can get back in it.

I finally have a few pictures of some, well, actually only one sewing project, to show.  I am especially excited about it, and thoroughly enjoyed doing it.  I splurged on Amy Butler fabric a long time ago and was determined to finish this "Everything Bag" out of her Little Stitches book.  If anyone who is reading ever decides to make it, there is an error in one of the instructions.  It will save you lots of time and frustration if you go to the website and look up corrections before you get started sewing.  Also, the handles are a little too short.  I would like to go back and make them longer.  Not quite long enough to throw over your shoulder. The pictures are darker now that they are on my blog.  Frustrating.

I actually got two great diaper bags from friends at my church.  Definitely not hurting for cute things to carry all my stuff in.  I say "my" stuff, because for the last 2 years my diaper bag has become my purse.  Sad, really.  Andrew is 2 1/2 and I still carry around his diaper bag.  Mom suggested I save one of them and let her use it as an overnight bag when she gets older. Decisions, decisions...
Her crib (which was Ellie's and then Ada's) is set up in the corner of Ellie's room and Ellie has already started sleeping back in her room again, and grins excitedly sometimes at how soon Abigail will be in there with her.  Even though I have explained that she will probably not actually be sleeping in there for awhile.  The bedding is the Isabelle pattern from Pottery Barn that I found on Ebay.  It coordinates with Ellie's bedding, but not matches and I could not be happier with it.
For awhile she will be in our room next to our bed, where her little corner is all set up just like it was for Andrew.  He stayed much longer than I had in mind.  Hoping Abigail will be a better night sleeper!
Plenty of these...
So excited about all the little girl clothes I have been able to pull out again after 6 years!
A few other little things besides baby stuff that I've been occupied with.  I LONG to have a garden.  But for a number of reasons, it can't happen this summer.  My aunt gave us some cucumber seeds in April and we planted them in a large pot on the deck.  This is what we have now and it makes me soooo happy. 
I have several containers right now of growing things.  Some have worked much better than others.  This one is the best and my favorite.  I love, love sweet potato vine.  I thought it was super easy to grow anywhere, but I'm learning that it does best without direct sun.
Cilantro and Basil...
And a little friend that seems to be enjoying all of this stuff too.  He had made his home underneath a little shovel we had up on the ledge.  But my mother HATES frogs.  She said "If you love me, you will get rid of it."  And we do love her and really need her help after I have this baby, so I moved the shovel and the frog has not been back.  It looks like a toad to me, actually.  Not sure how to tell the difference.
So that is it.  Trying to keep my children very occupied and out of the house until Friday when they will go with Steven to Chattanooga to visit his family.  Just a few more days.  My house is NEVER this picked up and with all of us here, it takes about two seconds for it to be a complete mess again.

Also, highly anticipating Cars 2 in theaters starting Friday.  Anyone else making big movie plans for that this weekend?

Last belly shot--39 weeks.