Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Highlights

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. I feel like it came and went especially fast this year. Being on the other side and doing the mom thing is exhausting!! But so fun. I am ready to catch up on some rest this week. Here are some of the highlights.

Remember the Santa's Village? Here is the ice maze...

After Ellie's Christmas program and about 3 sugar cookies

On stage with some of the other "santas" in her class

My Paula Deen peppermint cake that I was very rushed to make. It could've looked better, but it still tasted good.All set and ready to go...
Tearing into the medical kits that I dove for at Toys 'R' Us just a few weeks before.
Luke enjoying his Elmo slippers, Handy Manny pajamas and school bus. Ellie with her slippers, new pajamas, and homeade apron made by mom (the stockings in the pictures above were also made by mom!) And finally...enjoying a stocking stuffer-Big Bird grape foam soap. Ellie isn't mad by the way, just being really silly.
Can't wait to see everyone else's pictures!!!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Dreary Weather

It has been raining now for like four days and I'm trying to be thankful for it, but I'm really ready for it to go away. Now, if I had no children or a husband or a house to take care of, I might could enjoy curling up in front of movies for a few days, but that is not the situation here.

Ada and Laura Beth have been visiting this week and I love not being alone all day with kids, but Ada and Ellie aren't exactly to the place where they play well together. Ellie likes to pretend a lot with things being a certain way. Ada wants to join in, of course, and do what Ellie is doing, but doesn't quite know how to play like Ellie would have her play. If Ellie is in the right mood, she is patient, but if not, forget it. Meanwhile, Luke would be content just watching movies and it is hard not to let him when things are dreary out. But I think it is hard for Ada to understand how anyone could possibly sit still for more than a second and she gets frustrated with him when he doesn't interact with her more. LB and I have been constantly working at "resolving" all these situations. It is so exhausting.

LB, Scott, and Ada left today for a long Christmas weekend with Scott's family. So, tonight our family headed to Huntsville. We have been wanting to take the kids to Santa's Village-a setup up downtown with many Christmas activities for the kids to see and do. We splurged and first went to Outback. This is by far and away Steven's favorite restaurant. It's pretty high up there on my list as well. We used to go there all the time, back before there were kids and I was working and our budget looked a little different. We haven't been there in so long, and tonight was one of those meals that just hit the spot. I made myself miserable. Here I sit, almost 5 hours later, still feeling the effect of eating way too much at dinner.

Anyway, back to the hadn't rained all day, so I was very excited that it looked like Santa's Village would work out tonight. But, wouldn't you know it-just as we are getting ready to leave it starts raining again. Just enough to get us to Huntsville, and it seemed to be over after dinner. So we got to Santa's Village and I guess everyone else had been cooped up in the house for too long as well, because it was jam packed, and muddy! There were people dressed up as different things (gingerbread men, snowmen, etc.) Luke was terrified. And then when we got to the "elves workshop" there was a tower with working trains going round and round. He wanted to stay there forever and when we finally pulled him away, he had a meltdown (they are starting to become somewhat common these days). There was a little ice maze and every 20 min. there was a machine that shot out fake snow. This seemed to be the highlight. But other than that, it was not so much fun. Overall, however, it was a really fun night.

And now I am going to curl up and go to bed and hopefully wake up to a much less full stomach (less full of food, I know it will still be full of a baby) and some drier weather!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Christmas Thus Far

So, you haven't heard from me in awhile for several reasons. The holiday season kind of came in with a bang. After Ellie's hospital stay she has made a slow, but full recovery (which I am extremely thankful for) and we were busy with that plus Thanksgiving. The next week we enjoyed a quick, but great visit from Steven's parents. (who, in case you didn't know, live in Albuquerque) The day they arrived we had a Christmas dinner at our church-which Steven's dad spoke at. It was excellent! Everything-the food, the speaking, the fellowship, the decorations. Several of the ladies in the church decorated the tables-so fun! His parents' visit was a huge blessing. I am extremely blessed to have what I think is an out of the ordinary in-law situation. They are the most kind, gracious, loving people you will ever meet! Diana (Steven's mom) is incredibly gifted in the area of interior design and "did her thing" with much of my house. I am thrilled over it.

I would have pictures-but that is mainly why I haven't been blogging. Our computer situation is the pits right now. Our main computer (which I do all of our picture stuff on) is so messed up. I did manage to make a Christmas card on Kodak gallery, after spending at least an hour working on it, only to have it freeze and then having to start all over. Anyway, that really leaves Steven's laptop which he always has with him. So, then by nighttime when there is finally time to blog, I don't feel very motivated anymore and I can't do pictures on it anyway. So...all of that to say I am pretty bummed because I have great pics to share and a lot really has been going on.

As for Ellie and Luke updates-they are doing well. Very much enjoying the Christmas season. As I type this, Luke is asking for "ar pess" which for awhile I thought he was asking for "Laura Beth". Then I quickly figured out he is saying "Polar Express". He is absolutely OBSESSED with this movie. We discovered it on TV one night and recorded it. He would seriously watch it over and over and over if we would let him. Ellie enjoys the one line where the little geeky boy says "stupid underwear". So, we've now been introduced to that word and try not to encourage it, but it is pretty funny when they both crack up over that line.

Ellie is upstairs putting up a fight over going to bed. Ellie and Luke typically go to bed at the same time, but today Ellie did not have a nap and did have a full day at school and is clearly ready for bed. She is doing much, much better. And I am so thankful, because that in between stage was pretty rough-a lot of whining and extreme meltdowns. Her school program is next week. She has been singing a lot of Christmas songs. Her class (3 yr. olds) are going to be Santas. She sings "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" all the time. Which, I haven't ever really thought about it, but now that I have a child who sings it and pays attention to the words, I don't really love it. Think about some of the words "you better not cry, you better not pout...he sees you when you're sleeping, he knows when you're awake...he knows if you've been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake" It's not a huge deal, I don't think any permanent damage will be done. But it really goes against what I want Ellie and Luke to understand. That they can't be "good" on their own, Christ is the only one who can produce that in them. Not to mention, he sees you when you're sleeping and awake sounds a little weird to me. Anyway, like I said, not too worried about it, just thought I would throw those thoughts out there.

One more thing about Luke. We had a major breakthrough yesterday. He desperately needed a haircut and if you keep up with this blog, you have seen what that is like. So, I told him where we were going and needless to say, he wasn't thrilled. Well, I couldn't find a parking spot and I could see several men waiting at the barber shop. It was kind of rainy and I just thought I don't want to deal with this today. So, we went to Wal-Mart and I decided to give their "salon" a shot. There was no wait and I sat down with Luke in the chair. At first he panicked, but then for whatever reason, he got okay. He did great and even laughed at one point because he said it tickled. I was so proud of him, I let him pick out a car (another major obsession these days!!). He was very excited about the car...until today. Mom and I were back in Wal-Mart (I'm there a lot). I guess he thought this was a new thing that we got to do every time we were there-pick out a toy. He saw several things he wanted and when we told him we couldn't take them home, he flipped out!!!! We tried offering the car he had just gotten yesterday-but all of a sudden it was old in comparison to the new toys on the shelves. This was a new thing for him-a tantrum in public-and I mean a tantrum! People were looking and he was so upset, like, he was having trouble catching his breath. I guess it's to be expected-he is almost 2 1/2.

As for me and this pregnancy, things are moving along. I feel as though the first trimester went by pretty slowly because I was so sick. The second trimester flew by and now things have slowed down again a bit. Christmas definitely helps, though. I mean, as soon as Christmas as here, we are looking at about 6 weeks. Some days I think I can definitely do that, others, I think no way. My back bothers me a lot and I have Braxton-Hicks quite often-especially going up and down our stairs, bathing the kids, bending over, etc., etc. This is the first house I've been pregnant in that has stairs, so maybe, just maybe I will go into labor on my own. I have been induced twice and would love to experience that, but I also don't want a 10 lb. baby. So, we'll see. For now, I'm trying to enjoy these last few months of putting kids down and having free time, sleeping all night, and all that stuff you take for granted until you have a newborn.

Alright, can you tell I haven't blogged in awhile? If you're still reading...I hope you are enjoying this Christmas season thus far!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Home From the Hospital

This is the third time I have tried to type this post and I have accidentally erased it both times. The second time I was almost done and it was quite a detailed post. So, I am getting tired now, but still wanted to try and do this. Last time I blogged Ellie was very sick with a very high fever. To make a long story short, it only got worse. I called the doctor on Monday morning because she had coughed all night long and woke up complaining that her mouth/throat hurt and was crying (clearly in pain). The doctor wanted to see her again to make sure it hadn't developed into something more.

Praise the Lord we called when we did and he saw her when he did, because she ended up having what the radiologist described as "early, but relatively large pneumonia". I can't believe I am writing the word yesterday, because it feels like days and days ago, but yesterday was maybe one of the worst days of my life. We drug Ellie (in the cold and rain) from the doctor's office, to have blood drawn, to have chest x-rays, then had to wait awhile on the results, then back to the doctor's office. All the while, the Motrin/Tylenol isn't really touching it anymore. Every time we had to get her out, she would scream or moan that she didn't want to go in. I kept telling her we were trying to make her feel better and we were going home soon. I asked her pediatrician if he could give her a shot of antibiotics so that it could get in her system faster. There wasn't any at the office, so we drove to the pharmacy to get it, then back to the doctor's office. I'm not really sure what changed his mind, maybe seeing how sick Ellie was, but when we got back to the doctor, he said he wanted to admit her to the hospital. At that point, I lost it. Crying, not screaming, mainly because she was absolutely miserable and I had been telling her we were about to go home. But also from relief, because she was so sick and I knew they could make her better faster.

When we get to the hospital, she is completely beyond her breaking point, and we still have to do the whole IV thing. They tried her right hand first and dug around for what seemed like forever with no luck. Then they tried her left arm and thankfully that was successful. She was hysterical the entire time. I know there are much worse things for your child to have to go through, but that one is pretty bad. It was the most wonderful feeling when she was finally admitted to a room, had the antibiotic going into her, and was asleep. It was a rough night of sleep because Ellie and I were sharing a twin hospital bed and Steven was on a pull out couch. But I was just so thankful to be there-especially when her fever went up to 104.7 in the night. It was such a relief to have the nurses treating her and deciding what to do instead of me.

I was a little disappointed this morning when she didn't seem much better. But she made significant improvement as the day went on. The doctor wanted to see her oxygen level go up(which it did), and her breaths per minute go down(which happened as well). They also wanted to see her up and moving some and coughing well, so as to break up that stuff in her chest. She did both of these things. So, after one more dose of antibiotics this evening we were able to go! I am so thankful to be home I could almost cry. I am also thankful for so many other things, but here are some of the main ones:

1. That we were in the children's unit, not the PICU, and that Ellie was in the hospital for something very treatable.
2. That we have health insurance (not good), but that we have it.
3. This may sound awful-that it was Ellie and not Luke. Ellie is much better with doctors. (Last time she had a shot she flinched a little-Luke gets hysterical if a doctor listens to his heartbeat.)
4. That this baby is still in my tummy and I wasn't trying to also nurse a baby during all of this.

Also, if you knew about this and were praying for us, thank you so, so much!! I have to say that it has been so crazy these last two days I haven't prayed nearly as much as I should have. God has been gracious to us, far beyond what we deserve. Please say a prayer that Ellie will keep getting better and completely back to normal very soon.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Seriously Sick Little Girl

I went to Huntsville on Thurs. (yes, again) for my doctor's appt. and I got a call from Ellie's teacher at school that she was burning up and didn't seem to feel well at all. Steven went and got her and took her to mom's house until I could get home, because, well, let's face it, most dad's aren't too good at the sick/nurturing thing. She threw up shortly before I got there and she only started feeling worse the rest of the night. Her fever got up to 104 under her arm. To make a long story short, she is still sick, with a fever that today was up to 104.4!

We took her to the doctor yesterday and he checked out several things. It looks like it's just some kind of virus. He didn't seem too concerned about the fever being that high. But it certainly makes me nervous when I see those numbers. She has never been lethargic and is always willing to drink, so that is good. I hate to see her feeling so awful and I also hate feeling so helpless. I'm also praying no one else gets it. That would make for a really fun Thanksgiving! Luke has pretty much stayed away from her except for once when I told him Ellie was sick. He then wanted to play doctor and check her out (they pretend this a lot when Ellie is well). So, time will tell if anyone else is catching those germs. If there is anyone reading this who has had a similar experience with such a high fever, I'd love to hear about it!

Needless to say, it has put our Thanksgiving preparations on hold for a few days. I had wanted to be a little more prepared for company and do some things ahead of time, but oh well, life throws curve balls. There are worse things, for sure. We just want Ellie back to normal.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Successful Huntsville Trip!

So, yesterday I was in Huntsville running several errands with mom and Luke, while Ellie was at school. I wanted to peek in Toys 'R' Us and look at the tricycles. That is going to be Ellie and Luke's main Christmas gift. I have looked at Wal-Mart, but wanted to price them there as well. If Ellie had been with me, there is no way I could've gone in there. Too much! Almost too much for Luke. But Ellie's personality is this-she can't be happy for what she has, she is always worried about what she doesn't have or others who have more. (Ex. Steven brought Luke one gift from Greece (trucks) and Ellie got a couple of things. Yet she couldn't enjoy her toys, she wanted her toys and the trucks) I think we probably all have a little of that in us. Luke enjoyed it, because I let him try out a tricycle, which ended up being a good thing, because the one I was going to get him was just a little too small.

So, on the way in the store, there was a sales guy from the Huntsville Times. He asked if we wanted to register for a shopping spree at Toys 'R' Us. Why not? So, then he asks me if I read the paper. I was like, you are just the person I would love to talk to! Actually... I began to tell him the whole ordeal about not getting the coupons and how frustrated I have been. He set me up for around $6 a mo. to get the paper delivered each week to my door and guaranteed to have all coupons in it!!! I have his name and #, if there are no coupons, I can just give him a call. How great is that! And...I got a $5 gift card to Toys 'R' Us for signing up, and Luke was able to ride home with a little Lightning McQueen and Mater! He is obsessed with those guys right now.

Also...LB sent me a blog that matches great deals with coupons that you can print off of her blog. So, I went to Publix and took advantage of several buy one get one free (BOGO-I am having to learn all this money saving lingo). So, this is what I got-someone tell me if it is a good deal:

2 bottles of Crisco EVOO
2 (64 oz) Juicy Juice
2 Coffeemate creamers

And my total was $9.77. I needed the olive oil, and creamer immediately, and always, of course, need juice. If this grocery game works and I can drive to Publix once a week and shop (with gas so low right now) and if it saves me as much as it says it can, I would be one happy mama! Publix is so, so much nicer than Wal-Mart. And just maybe, I could go by myself and have about an hour in the car with just me and my thoughts!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Just Another Barber Monday

My last post keeps reminding me of how long it has been since I blogged. Or at least, it seems like a long time. Mainly because Steven has been to Greece and back since then. So, I was a single mom for about 10 days. That may sound worse than it was, because we actually went to visit my aunt and some of my mom's family for over half of it. However, the last few days were pretty long and I honestly don't know how single moms do it.

But God is good and brought Steven home safely, quite tired and suffering from jet lag, but nevertheless, he is home and we are all very thankful...Luke especially! He has been like a little crab hanging onto to Steven.

Things are getting back to normal and today we spent our usual Monday at home. Steven takes Mondays off because he spends most of the weekend studying. I really look forward to Mondays because typically we don't have anywhere to go, and Steven plays with Ellie and Luke, and we get stuff done around the house, and I don't really have to "get ready". But because Mondays seem like such "free days" to me, I sometimes get overwhelmed. Where do I start? And my expectations are often too high for what I can get accomplished in a day.

Today it was rapidly approaching mid-morning and really nothing had been done and Ellie and Luke were soaking in a little too much morning TV. I decided I would give some Christmas card pictures a shot. I thought I would get them ready and take them outside, rake some leaves, let them play and get some exercise, killing several birds with one stone, and somewhere in the midst of all that capture the perfect Christmas card picture. Not so much! I had them fixed and ready to go and realized the battery in the camera was dead. So I would charge it a little, take a few pictures, then have to charge it some more. I got maybe one that could possibly be used. Ellie would cheese for the camera, or pout because she had to put down her hot pink bucket (didn't think that would go so well with red and green) and Luke was so busy with his "BIG truck" or looking for big trucks. Most of the pictures ended up something like this

Another thing I was frustrated about today- our newspaper (for like the last 6 weeks) has decided not to put all the coupon booklets in. One of my friends here in town called about it and they said if they run out they were instructed to leave the coupons out of the outlying areas. I, like several other blog friends, am trying to be very wise with our grocery budget and clip coupons and save, save, save. How in the world am I supposed to do that with no coupons? They must think we country folk don't want to save money.

Anyway, I did run to CVS today to take advantage of a few sales. While I did get a lot for my $, I can't seem to make the total ring up to practically nothing, like I keep reading about. Very frustrating! LB keeps talking about the Grocery Game. I'm going to have to give it a shot.

Tonight Steven had a meeting right after dinner, which left just me and the kiddos to fend for ourselves once again. Things went well, but Ellie is having a rough time these days and my belly is getting bigger and heavier, which unfortunately, at the end of the day, leaves me with not much patience for her fits. She is having so much trouble taking instruction. It has worn me out the last few days. Sometimes I want to scream, and I think I actually have, why can't she just "get it"? Just obey me. Just do what I say the first time. Hmmm...good thing the Lord doesn't treat me like that. I so desperately need just an ounce of His patience and wisdom to teach her!

So, was today a "successful" day? In spite of my agenda to get things accomplished, and in spite of my lack of patience, compassion, and kindess-did my family see Jesus in me? Yikes! I pray that God used me today on this mission field that He has called me to.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Prayer for Our New President

I have already had God very strongly convict my heart on the subject of praying for our new President-elect and the other leaders of our country. I am sorry to say in the past it is not something I have thought much of or remembered to do. So I am going to steal something directly from my sister's blog (thanks, LB) and ask you to please click here and read how we, as Christians, should respond to the new leadership that will soon be in power.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween and a Few Other Things

So, I'm on somewhat of a blogging hiatus for a little while. I guess we've been lazy about having virus protection and it was only a matter of time until our computer got a virus. So it has, and if I want to do any posts, it is on my mom's computer. There have been a few posts and pictures I have wanted to do lately, but wasn't able to. Therefore, now that I am posting, the subject matter is on a few different, unrelated things.

The only other main thing really, is Luke's new bed (a bunk bed). I singlehandedly put it together last weekend. Not because Steven was unwilling to help, but because he was gone and I was stubborn and determined. I have now put together 2 cribs and a bunk bed during my pregnancies. I also moved a little furniture. (Now that I am approaching my third trimester, the nesting thing is kicking into high gear). Ellie, on the other hand, was unwilling to help. She is starting to move past the phase where it is always fun to be "mom's helper" and it has become more of a hassle to her. Anyway, I got the bottom part of Luke's bed put together and have included a few pictures of his first night in the bed. This includes his new bedding, which has a variety of balls on it. Much more exciting for him than his "farmyard friends" crib bedding. The top part of the bunk was finished the next day and you would have thought there was a playground in his bedroom. Ellie and Luke absolutely loved it! I finished it near bedtime and I don't know why I didn't see it coming, but it was almost more than Ellie could handle that Luke was going to be sleeping on this brand new "playground" and she was headed to her room that still is just a mattress because her bed is still not ready. Steven and I are more than willing to let Ellie sleep on the top bunk as much as she wants really, I mean, isn't that part of the fun of having a sibling so close in age? It's just that we knew they would not go to sleep this first night because the ladder would be too tempting if they were both in there together. BTW, we have now attempted to let her take a few naps in there, and it always ends up in her being escorted back to her room. So, anyway, that is what these first pictures are.
The last pretty much speak for themselves. Today was Halloween. I am kind of a sucker for holidays, especially now with kids. I like an opportunity to do something fun and a little out of the ordinary. So, we went to McDonald's for lunch and they were giving out candy and treats, which made it very hard for them to eat their lunch. Tonight we went to mom's and then went trick-or-treating on her street (because we don't have any neighbors for miles). Ellie was a fairy/princess, Luke was a train conductor. (We already had these dress-up costumes at home and for budget's sake that is what we went with). They were all about the trick-or-treating. It was rather cold and I kept asking them if they wanted to go home or go to more houses. The reply was always "more houses". Luke absolutely loves candy. Mom says he is like a drug addict with candy. And it's true. He kind of goes into a trance while he's eating candy. And he is very serious and seems to be concentrating on every bite. It is so funny. So, tonight was a dream come true for him. That's about it. Hope our computer is up and running again soon.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Pumpkin Patch

I think every family has pumpkin patch pictures this time of year. But I can certainly understand why. The weather is beautiful this time of year, the kids LOVE it, and it makes for some great family pictures. So here are ours...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Five Quirks

Okay, I have been tagged again, by my college friend, Lindsey. This is hard stuff!

1. I am actually going to steal one of Lindsey's because it is that freaky! I had never seen a picture of an animal with human characteristics, but now I have and it is so wrong. I am not going to post it here, because it is so wierd, but mainly because I am lazy. You can click on Lindsey's name and look at it on her blog if you are curious.

2. My mother has a set of sterling silver that we have always used on special occasions (Thanksgiving, Christmas) and I have never liked the taste of it. As beautiful as it is, I have always preferred a regular fork because of the funny taste.

3. It bothers me when people are critical of something that they have never been through or experienced. Until you have walked in someone's shoes, you can't know exactly what it is like. I didn't always feel like this, the Lord has taught me a few lessons the hard way.

4. You know when you're in a movie theater and the preview ends and it gets quiet for a few moments? It makes me crazy when you can hear everyone munching their popcorn all at once.

5. And I don't know if this is really a quirk, because I'm sure it drives everyone in the world crazy, but we have been getting a lot of solicitor calls lately. And they are all around the dinner hour. What in the world are these people thinking? Last week when Ellie had a stomach virus she threw up on our new guest bedroom carpet (and I was trying to get dinner ready). We seriously got about 5 calls within 45 min. I finally answered one and started telling this poor guy (who probably just needs a job) about her stomach virus and how I was pregnant and on my hands and knees cleaning up throw-up. He just hung up, probably thinking "psycho!"

I have some pumpkin patch pictures to post, but I will do that tomorrow. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go watch the Biggest Loser and eat some dessert!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Second Post for Today-Luke's Haircut

I just finished my 7 random things, so please keep reading after these pictures if you are just dying to read 7 things about me. I am pretty tired, but I have to show you what Luke's haircut was like today. I know it is almost cruel to take pictures when he is being so traumatized, but I really wanted this on camera. I mentioned awhile back how he hates haircuts, but today I think was the worst. He absolutely 100% knows where we are going and flipped out when we walked in the door. Usually, he just buries his face in my shoulder and doesn't start screaming until we are in the chair. But today it started as soon as we got there. We had to wait awhile, so he calmed down a little and even enjoyed a sucker for a little bit. As you will see in some of the pictures, Ellie felt pretty big today. She has discovered that she does like haircuts and kept reminding Luke of that. She was very sweet to him though, and would repeat the things mom and I said to him in a very soft voice, while rubbing his arm and calling him "sweetie".

I've Been Tagged

I have been tagged by my friend, Brooke. Thanks, Brooke! I'm just glad it wasn't that one that was going around a long time ago where you had to list 100 facts. 7 is hard enough. Anyway...

1. I play the flute and piccolo. I haven't actually played in a really long time, but I played all through high school. (High school and several college friends know this, but not many others)
2. While we're on high school...I had a few pretty serious high school relationships. I know there are CERTAINLY exceptions to the rule, but for the most part I think they are a waste of time and they serve no purpose. (Although I absolutely believe God can take anything and use it for His glory)
3. I don't mind throwing up so much. Don't get me wrong, it isn't that I like it. I just throw up rather easily, so it's more like I'm used to it. Steven, on the other hand, hasn't thrown up since we've been married. I have never seen him get sick.
4. I have never been stung by a bee, wasp, or anything like that. It makes me kind of paranoid about it because I think surely it will happen to me before I die.
5. I do not feel like I am a picky eater at all and don't have a lot of tolerance for those who are. However, I don't care for the following: celery, olives (green or black), beets (only tried them once), and cauliflower. I'm sure there are others, that is just off the top of my head.
6. I can be rather blunt and I'm not a very sensitive person(mainly to Steven, unfortunately). Nor am I very touchy/huggy. I don't feel Steven and I are typical of most husbands and wives because he is more sensitive and is a hugger/says "I love you" quite often.
7. I guess I will end with another food fact. About what I do like. If I was going to pick my favorite meal it would probably be my dad's steak on his charcoal grill (medium rare), baked potato with butter, sour cream, cheese, and maybe a little (homeade) ranch dressing, sauteed mushrooms, and a salad with all the toppings (including that same ranch dressing)! Oh, and of course a great dessert, but there are too many to pick from. He will do this meal on special occasions and sometimes just whenever he is in the mood. Are any of my family members amening to this right now?

Now I am to tag seven more people: (no pressure) Mom, Sarah, Kate, LB (I know you did the 100 things before, so only if you feel like it), Esther, Lele, Stacey

Thursday, October 16, 2008

THE Question

So, the other day I was sitting on the couch and Ellie says "Mom, how did the baby get in your tummy?" Hmmm...good question, Ellie. I told her that God is the author and creator of life and He is the one who decides when it is time for a baby to grow in a mommy's tummy. At first I was going to say something about a mom and daddy being married, but at some point, we will run into a mom who is not married. Besides, the answer I gave her is the absolute truth, the rest is just details, right?

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Lacking Front Door...

This is my attempt on a budget, well pretty much nothing, to make my door look fallish. Mom gave me the pumpkins, the grapevine wreaths were $5 each and the ribbon was $5. I had no idea how much wreaths cost when you buy them all put together, and my door will always be double because of the two doors. I like natural better anyway, and I am determined to make it look good without spending a fortune. I was planning on sticking things in the wreaths to add color, but all the fake stuff was just too much (if I were to get enough to even make it look good). So I'm thinking as the leaves really begin to turn colors, I will stick them in there. Any suggestions??

Sunday, October 5, 2008

A Sleepy Anniversary

Well, today Steven and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary. Six years ago if you had told me that six years from now I would be 21 weeks pregnant with our third child, I would have had a hard time believing it. Especially since we said we were going to wait 3-5 years for our first child, haha! Which, we laughed about today and both agreed, we are very thankful to be where we're at. Even with the everyday stresses, we are so blessed beyond what we deserve.

When I was pregnant with Ellie we said we would have a date night once a week and I think we did it for a little while. Three and half years later (I am very sorry to say) they are very few and far between. We do, however, try to make it a point to celebrate our anniversary. It's so funny because several months ago we would mention how we would like to do this or that for our anniversary and as the date approached and the budget got tighter, it got reduced from an overnight thing, to a full day out with lunch, a matinee, and then dinner, then finally to just matinee and dinner. And since we couldn't find anything we were just dying to see and didn't want to waste $12 on a movie, we decided to do just dinner. We were both so sleepy that we (or at least I) almost felt drugged, in spite of a few extra caffeine doses. A nap would've been good, but I knew if I went home to sleep then I would see all that needed to be done around the house and feel like I needed to be doing something (not that I would actually do it-I just didn't even want to think about it). So we headed to Chattanooga and ended up driving to Signal Mountain and went to Signal Point. It was beautiful and very relaxing up there. We went a few other places in Chattanooga, ate dinner, got some coffee and came home. Conversations are so different and easy to have when you aren't refereeing fights or cutting up food. It was a very refreshing day off, out of the ordinary, and very beneficial, I feel like, for our marriage. Tomorrow everything will go back to normal (or really, it already has, because as I type this, I am yelling into Ellie's room she needs to be quiet and go to sleep) But for today it was a wonderful little breather from all the reality of a marriage after you throw in a 2 yr. old, a 3 yr. old, a pregnancy, and a very real mortgage!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Healthy Baby Boy!

We found out this morning we are having our second boy!! I am so very excited about that. I had really been thinking lately how that is what I felt like would be best. It really seems like to me that Luke could use a brother. However, God's ways are not always our ways (thank goodness!!) and I just didn't know if that was what He had decided was best for our family. The four of us went for the ultrasound and it went really well and was super fast. We saw his "boy" part almost immediately. I actually saw it at exactly the same time as the ultrasound tech did and knew. It was pretty obvious. She was great and even did some 4D pictures for us. He looks very healthy and his face looks a lot like Luke to me (just from what I can tell). No pics to post because I don't have a scanner. Ellie had said it would be a girl very often and refers to the baby as a "her". But she hasn't seemed in the least bit sad. Luke had no clue what was going on and was much more interested in the toy that was in the room. He kept saying "wook! wook!" I thought he was talking about the ultrasound pictures, but he was talking about the toy. He will get it soon enough. So we can cross all our girl names off the list and just focus on the boy names. (which we have almost decided) I'll let you know when a decision has been finalized. So there is my news...just as promised!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Lots of Pictures

Do you like the creative title for this post? I have a hooked up computer, and several downloaded pictures just waiting to be posted. They are very random and go all the way back to July. These first two are some I thought were cute from a youth cookout we had during the summer. We have some of the dearest people in our church and I am so thankful for them. They are so sweet to Luke and Ellie and got out this train which they loved. These days Luke can't get enough of trains, big trucks, or motorcycles.

This day Steven was gone somewhere so I decided to take them to something our town has once a month called "First Monday/Sunday". I basically went because we had nothing else to do and I had seen a slushie machine that morning and thought they would enjoy that. I got some boiled peanuts for myself, which they ended up liking more than the slushies. Isn't that always the way it is? And I just thought this picture of Luke was cute.

This is our very first morning in the new house. I think Ellie and Luke are eating peanuts, marshmallows and drinking who knows what out of regular cups. Notice there are no booster seats and they are sharing the table with plants. We still have a lot to do, but have come a long way from the first morning.

This is what our master bedroom looked like the first week or so. Stressful! Notice Luke lounging on the floor and eating an apple. He wasn't worried about it.

Ellie slept on this air mattress for several weeks. We now have her an actual mattress. But still no bed, because it is an antique and we are having trouble getting it together. Our temporary paper accordian shades are $5 at Home Depot and have served us well, although we don't want them forever. Ellie's are in the process of being made. I hope to have you an after picture of Ellie's room soon.

This is the upstairs hallway. Notice the shop-vac. We borrowed it from some friends and it stayed with us for several weeks. There was so much dust to be vacuumed up from construction. Just when I thought I had gotten it all, I would open a cabinet and there was some more.One of the highlights of our new house is the walk-in shower in our room. Ellie and Luke absolutely love it. It makes bathtime/showertime so much easier on everyone. It's big enough I can still wear a t-shirt and not get too wet. And they can move around and play. It is working well as my belly is getting bigger and it's harder to bend over to bathe them.

And finally...Luke's birthday. I know I posted about it, but no pictures. So I won't say much, just give you the pics.

This was during the day on his birthday. Bless his heart, he was pretty bored, not so exciting at home with me. I let him watch quite a few of his favorite shows.Things picked up a bit later when we went to mom's house for a little cake and a few presents.Then, on Friday (2 days later), the official cake. Which, by the way, do you remember my homemade Cinderella cake from Ellie's third birthday? This one was about $15 from Wal-Mart. So good, so easy. I'm pretty sure we will go this route everytime. The present from Steven and me. I thought it would keep him busy for days. He has enjoyed it, but not like I thought. So, there are lots of other things that have been going on, but those are some highlights.

It's such a process to move and get things the way you want them, not to mention an expense. And now that we have our new mortgage, we're having to be much stricter with our budget. So, I'll do what I can and the other stuff can wait. I struggle with getting impatient or feeling unproductive when a few days go by and nothing gets organized, or we still need something to be finished. And this is the biggest house I've ever had to clean, which means more vacuuming, more dusting, etc. God often convicts me that these things are not bad, but they are not eternal. I pray for His perspective on my daily ins and outs. When Steven taught through James a few months ago, I was really hit with verse 13-15 from Chapter 4 "Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow, we shall go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit." Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we shall live and also do this or that." I often have so many plans for things to be accomplished in a days time and feel at the end of the day that it was not "successful" if I didn't check off enough on my list. I know the truth, but often have a hard time getting it into my head and heart. Praise the Lord that He continues to sanctify us and He is patient with us in the process!

One last thing...Thursday is the big ultrasound!! I am getting very anxious to find out if this new little person is a boy or a girl. We'll take the entire crew. I promise, promise, I will let you know on Thurs. evening if at all possible. I can't promise any cute or creative ways it will be done, but nevertheless, I will post the news.