Thursday, December 18, 2014

First doctor visit for baby on the way!

I called the doctor and made my first appointment!  I was excited and I couldn't wait to hear the baby's heartbeat for the first time.  I was so excited that I asked Mike to go with me.  I thought it would be special for him and I to hear it together for the first time.  He decided to go along and have an appointment for himself.  He needed a physical to keep his CDL license up to date.  Perfect then!  We made two appointments, right after each other.

I picked up Mike at the shop and we stopped for a quick soup and sandwich and then headed to the doctor's office!  When we go to the doctors office, the nurse started with all the normal procedures.  Weight.  Blood pressure. She asked tons of questions and finally we got to see the doctor!  Pap.  Then we listened for the heartbeat.  We listened some more.  She kept pushing on my belly and moving the Doppler all around.  Then she said she's going to try another way by tilting my uterus a bit.  Then we listened again.  Still we didn't hear the baby's heartbeat.  Only mine.  Mine came through clear as a whistle.  She was determined to get it but finally, she stopped.  Usually, at 10 1/2 weeks pregnant they can get a heartbeat.  She also measured me and said that she thinks I am further along than I think ... the normal response that I got with each first baby visit!  I tend to show really fast and my uterus get's big quick.  That was another reason she seemed concerned to not hear the heartbeat.  What now?  Do we go for an ultra sound and check up on baby dear?  Do we wait two weeks and then go back and try again?  The decision was totally up to Mike and I!  We chose to go for an ultra sound.  Waiting through the holidays didn't seem like the stress free option!  :)

I took Mike back to the shop because by now, it was getting late.  He never did get his physical done because they don't update CDL's.  :/  I went right back towards the doctors office and pulled in at the lab.  My afternoon of excitement was not turning out how I thought it would.  I was nervous.  My hands and legs were cold.  I had to pee so bad, I mean so bad, that I wasn't sure I was going to make it to the lab door.  They gave me two glasses of water to drink at the doctors office.  I needed to be extra hydrated for the ultra sound and blood work.  I got registered and immediately asked if I can pee.  I never was so uncomfortable from a full bladder!  The lady was really nice and got me checked in fast and I was on my way to comfort!  At least from my full bladder.  My insides were still nervous.  I promise I tried not to worry.  I had a feeling that everything was OK but I was anxious to find out!  By now, Hadassah called me and said that they were home from school.  I asked her and Matthew to pray for a good report!  I also asked her to turn off the crock pot filled with lasagna because by the time I would get home, it would be over cooked.  I called Lena and told her what was up because Ashlyn was with her and Hunter.

I was taken to a private room with the lights turned dim.  The dark haired lady was very nice.  She got right to the procedure.  She squirted that warm gooey stuff on my little belly bulge and turned the screen towards me!  I apologized for shaking.  I was still so cold.  She said she hadn't noticed!  :)  She pulled in on baby and EVERYTHING IS GREAT!!!  The tiny little baby was squirming all around.  Not moving still for a second.  I hadn't had an ultra sound at all with Ashlyn's pregnancy so this was kinda new again for me after so many years.  Her guess was that because the baby was moving around so much, that was the reason for not being able to hear the heartbeat at the other office.?.  She then turned the screen towards her and began measuring the tiny bundle of love that we already love so much!  I was right about my due date too.  July 11!  I must just be one that can't hind baby too long! 

She left me see the baby again before she finished up.  She waited and waited for the baby to hold still for just a second to get an accurate heart beat rate.  173!  She printed out three pictures for me to bring home!  The kids and Mike will be thrilled to see this!

I then went to the room next door and got some blood work done that I would have had to do anyway.  Since I was at the lab, they did it in one visit!

I thanked God for the good report!  I texted Mike and sent him a picture of "the little one"!  I called home and told Hadassah that everything is fine and that I'll be home soon!

We are blessed!  We thanked God as a family for keeping me and baby safe!  We pray every day for "the little one" growing inside of me.  We pray for good health.  We pray for a good pregnancy and delivery.  We pray that this child will grow up to be a solider for Christ! 

I got home tired and hungry.  I had a little bit of headache and figured it was from the little extra stress.  The kids loved the pictures!  I thought it was so cute of Ashlyn.  She came running and said, "So where's your baby?"  She begged to go along with me for this visit but I decided not too take her along since it was my first visit with extra things to do.  I told her that I wouldn't get to see the baby but just hear the heartbeat.  Boy, I guess I was wrong.  It was actually the opposite.  When Hadassah told her that I have a picture of the baby to show them, her small mind thought I was bringing the baby home with me to see.  Literally.  I was bringing the baby along home, just not to see in person just yet!  :)

Even thought the first visit was a bit different than my other first baby visit's, I feel so blessed!  I can't wait to actually hear the baby's heartbeat next time!  As for now, I will keep eating lots of small meals.  I will fight off my heart burns and indigestions!  :)  I will try my hardest to eat all healthy things over the holidays!!!  :) 

We are blessed!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Our nativity scene ... 1.

The other day on the radio, I heard an author quote from his book, "A Walk One Winter Night".  Al Andrews read from his small book he wrote about a nativity scene.  Before he wrote it, he was not really looking forwards to Christmas.  It has become such a busy time.  A time where money gets spent a lot.  Too rushed.  He decided to go out for a walk and passing by the neighbors nativity scene set in their front lawn, he stopped to look.  He was touched to actually take in the nativity scene as "real life".  In his mind, the characters one by one became alive.  He had a moment when the nativity scene became 'real life' in his mind.  He then wrote a book about his experience.  I can't wait to get this book myself because I to am one that likes "real life". 

As I listened to the radio broadcast, I took in the words and began to wonder myself how it must have really all taken place.  Again.  I do this almost every year.  I wonder how the story of Jesus' birth really took place.  I know the Bible is true with all it says but it doesn't tell us the small details.  What about the things they ate?  It doesn't tell all the troubles they faced in detail.  Nor how many inns they asked to stay at before finally sleeping in a stable.  Or did they really sleep soundly?  The Bible gives only the details we really need to know but I just can't help but wonder how it must have been if I were there in "real life". 

As I took a look at our own nativity scene that sets on the front picture window sill each Christmas, I pondered.  Here are some of my thoughts.  I'll start with Mary since she was the chosen one to be the mother of the Messiah! 

I've been told that back then, that the girls and young ladies would have thought of being the chosen one to be the mother of the upcoming Messiah would be an honor!  If that's true, the day the angel visited Mary must have not been like an ordinary day for her.  She was young.  Maybe not blemish free since most teenage or younger people deal with acne.  Or maybe their food and hormones were that much better back then that acne was nonexistent?  She was in love with a man that she already made a promise to marry some day.  She worked hard.  She helped her mom with making clothes.  Cooking.  Carrying water pot after water pot to their home.  She helped do the laundry.  Scrub out stains.  Fold the clean laundry.  Clean the house.  She probably helped do animals chores and grind wheat.  She probably even made some yummy sweets for her family.  She was a normal girl in a small town living a normal life.

The Bible does tell us that Mary was taught much about the scriptures!  When the angel told her the news of her becoming pregnant, she was troubled and tried to figure out who was speaking and why.  The angel right away told her to "not be afraid."  "You have found favor with God.  You will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will call his name Jesus.  He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.  And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end."  Imagine hearing those words!  She didn't need to wonder what on earth it all meant!  Did she have questions?  Probably many!  But did she question the angel's words?  No!  She did ask one question though, "How will this be, since I am a virgin?"  The angel assured her that the Holy Spirit will come upon her, the power of the Most High will overshadow her; therefore the child will be holy - the Son of God.  The angel also went on to tell her about her old relative Elizabeth.  She to was expecting a child, a son.  Before the angel left Mary, he said, "For nothing will be impossible with God."  Mary said, "Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word."  Then the angel left her alone.

What just happened?  Did she just hear from God?  Surely, she said over and over again in her mind the words she heard, "For nothing will be impossible with God."  Nothing!  A baby!  A boy!  To be born through me?  How again will that happen?  The name is to be Jesus!  A name above every name!  I can't imagine all the thoughts that suddenly turned all her normal routines into a tizzy!  It's all she could think about!!!  It's all she could do to not shout out loud or tell her mom or tell the world!  Then reality probably came face to face to her!  What about Joseph?  What about what the towns people would say?  Would her own family laugh and make fun?  Or would they believe just as she did?  Again, she probably reminded herself, "For nothing will be impossible with God."

The bible tells us that Mary went quickly to visit Elizabeth.  Did she tell why she needed to go now?  Traveling wasn't the easiest back then and probably not the safest for such a young girl, but she went.  She knew God would take care of her!  She knew without any doubt that God was watching over her!!!  When she got to Zechariah and Elizabeth's house, she greeted them with joy!  As soon as the baby, still inside of Elizabeth, heard Mary's voice, the baby leaped, and Elizabeth was filled with the Hold Spirit.  She blessed Mary!  She knew that Mary was pregnant with Jesus!  She was honored to have Mary, the mother of Jesus, come visit her.  Mary rejoices with Elizabeth!  They had their own little party right then and there!  They both knew that were carrying boys that were going to make an eternal difference for the world!  How would it all take place?  Did they wonder and ponder on what the next few months would bring for both of them?  They knew they would suffer pain.  Nothing is harder than child birth pain.  They knew the people around them would be talking!  They knew that they would both have to give their sons and lives completely to God's plan!  They also knew that God was with them both!!!  Every step of the way!!!  Mary stayed with Elizabeth for three months and returned back to her home town.

Elizabeth gave birth to John!  Her neighbors and relatives were so happy that the Lord showed great mercy to her.  I think that must mean that God was right there in His presence while she gave birth.  Maybe it was an easier delivery?  She deserved it in her old age!!!  I can't imagine a ninety plus year old lady having the strength to have a baby!  God knew that!!!  :)  He cared for her.  The people wanted to name the child after his father.  But the angel told Zachariah that he was to be named "John".  Up until now the dad, the one who doubted the angel's words, could not speak.  When he went into the temple to do his priestly job and came out not able to talk!  Zachariah was also told through an angel that they would have a son and because he laughed, he could not speak until John was born.  Right here, when they named him, Zachariah spoke again!  He blessed God this time instead of laughing.  I think he may have learned a lesson here!  :)  Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit to and prophesied over their son.  John grew up and became strong in the spirit!  The bible doesn't say how old his parents lived to be but it says that he was in the wilderness until his public appearance to Israel.  John knew his reason for being born!  He was ready to preach!  Ready to tell all those who listened, about Jesus!

Meanwhile, Mary was back home getting pudgy and showing some pregnancy signs.  How was she going to explain all this to Joseph?  Did she write down her thoughts?  Did she say them over and over in mind?  Or did she completely trust that God would take care of things like this?  Maybe both.  She was about to find out that the man she loved was going to love her back just as much!!!

The bible says that Joseph was a just man.  Surely Mary knew how good Joseph would treat her!  When he realized all that was going on, he thought about divorcing her quietly.  Did he not believe her?  Was he scared?  He was probably upset, and hurt, and confused!  He thought Mary loved him!  As he considered these things, he had the surprise of his life to!  An angel appeared to him in a dream.  He was told to not fear to take Mary as his wife.  For the baby that she conceived was really, truly, from the Holy Spirit!  His name was to Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.  Then Joseph woke up!!!  Startled!  Maybe ashamed from all his previous thoughts he had had.  He got up and did exactly what the angel commanded him to do.  He took Mary as his wife!  He stood by her and cared for!  The whole way to Bethlehem and beyond!  (Let's talk more about Joseph on another post.)

It was taxing time and the whole world was to be registered.  Each person was to go to their own town and be registered.  Joseph and Mary were to both go from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David ... Bethlehem.  Joseph was to travel this far because he was from the lineage of David.  Mary was to be registered with him.  Still only betrothed.  Still very pregnant.  Still believing that God would take care of them!

They packed their things.  Both probably wondering why they must go now to register?  Or maybe they knew the prophecies well and realized that it would be in Bethlehem that Jesus would be born?  In either case, they would need warm clothes.  Blankets.  Food and water.  They would need to take extra time because traveling that far would make Mary very tired!  Both of them would be tired!  They gathered up all their things with maybe Mary's mother grabbing a warm blanket that she made just for this journey and gave it to them!  Surely, Mary would have loved for her mom to be with her.  Be with her on this hard journey!  Mary knew that Joseph would do all he could to protect her, help her and see that she gets as much care as possible!  She also knew deep inside her heart that "with God all things were possible".  They said their good byes and headed for Bethlehem.

They walked and walked and walked.  Then they finally rested!  It took them probably days to get there!  But, they made it!  They finally saw the lights of the tiny town of Bethlehem!  That may have been enough encouragement to make them go just a bit faster.  But when they got inside of town, they went looking for a room!  Not like they were tired enough, no, they were exhausted from their days of traveling!  A warm bed.  A warm piece of bread or some soup would taste so good!  Some water to refresh their dirty hands and feet!  Just one room was all they went looking for!  Somewhere out of the cold and dry!

"We have no more rooms!!!  We are completely filled up!  Don't keep asking me!  WE HAVE NO MORE ROOMS AVAILABLE!"  I can just imagine how many times this inn keeper said these words.  The streets must have been crowded with people wanting to rest!  Joseph wasn't going to give up!  He knew they REALLY did need a place to stay!  A place to rest!  A place warm and safe.  Somewhere out of the public.  Somewhere private, very private.  Mary was in labor!

Mary was breathing in and out and trying to get through the labor pains as much as she could without getting upset.  She knew Joseph was trying to find them a room.  She knew something must be available.  She also knew that it had to be tonight to get somewhere warm and safe!  When the inn keeper finally offered Joseph the only thing he had left, they were relieved!  Even though it was in a stable, it was a place to rest!  It didn't smell like home.  It wasn't as comfy as home.  It wasn't at all what they even expected but they knew ... God was with them!

Joseph got busy cleaning up the stable floors and making room for them to sleep.  Maybe Mary got that special blanket from her dear mom and cuddled tightly with it.  It still smelled like home.  It was still the only clean thing they had left, except for a few other small blankets she made for their baby boy!  They looked around at the stable while they slowly unpacked some of their bags.  Was this really where they would spend the night?  Was it really the only thing available out there?  Maybe they should have kept seeking?  No, they were so tired and knew that this was good enough!  They were out of the cold.  Out of the wind.  Somewhere away from the hustle and bustle of the streets.  Somewhere private.  They washed up and relaxed ... well, as much as possible.  Mary was still trying to breath through some contractions and noticed that they were getting harder and closer.  What did these two know about giving birth?  This was their first baby!  Was this the first signs of labor?  Were they all educated up and ready to play doctor?  It's hard to think of how it really must have been way back then.  Surely, much different than how it is now!!!  The only thing they really knew in their hearts was that if baby Jesus was to be born tonight, in this dirty stable, they would be the best and proudest parents in town!  They rolled up their sleeves and asked God for help as they waited!

Sometime during the night, Mary woke up Joseph.  She was in a sweat.  She was trying to breath in and out slowly but it was so hard to concentrate.  Her pain was great!  She knew she needed help and cried out for God to be near!  "For nothing will be impossible with God!"  She believed it with all her heart!  The angel said so!  It wasn't real long until they heard the first cries of their newborn baby!  It was a boy!  It was God's son!  They really were parents!  They were so excited and so proud and so happy to finally hold this precious, promised baby in their arms.  Joseph got Mary some clean straw and water.  They named the boy just as the angel had said, "Jesus!"  The baby was screaming and needed to be cleaned up before he was wrapped in Mary's clean blankets.  She wrapped him tight in swaddling clothes.  Joseph looked around at what they could use for Jesus' first bed.  There, in the corner of the stable, stood a manger.  He dumped out what was in it and filled it with clean, soft hay.  He brought it over to Mary and she smiled.  How special for him to help her so!  She was reminded of how special Joseph was to her and how much she loved him!  He wasn't no doctor, just a carpenter.  His skills were unique and he knew how to make a piece of wood turn into a beautiful, handcrafted piece of art.  His hard working hands were strong.  He worked with wood every day and so finding this manger was a gift from God!  After feeding the baby and holding him tight, Mary laid him in the small wooden box.  He was perfect.  In every way.  He had ten fingers and ten toes.  His cry was so soft.  He had a special peacefulness about him!  He was a gift to them from God above!  Suddenly, they didn't feel so alone.  They were a family.  They were so happy and pleased to be the chosen parents of this special child!

It was a long night.  A hard night.  One filled with such pain and joy all at the same time!  They needed rest and sleep.  God brought them through a long journey and now God would surely be with them in the next few hours, days, the weeks ahead, and even for as long as they lived.  He would lead them and guide them!  They believed even more that God's plan was perfect!!! 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Getting ready for Christmas!

This week has been a festive week of preparing for Christmas.  We finally went for our Christmas tree on Wednesday night.  We kept thinking that "when it's not raining or wet outside", then we will go for it.  Wednesday was a dry day until we went for the tree.  :)  It was snowing while we drove to the tree farm and picked one out!  I think maybe it's the nicest one yet!

On the way to the farm, Matthew was all bundled up and wanted to ride on the back of Mike's truck.  Of course, mom thought, "No way!  It's freezing cold outside and plus it's snowing!"  Daddy responded, "Sure, hop on the back!"  Then little sister thought she wanted to do that too but mama stood firm!  "NO!"  We asked Matthew soon after we left if he's warm.  "Yep!"  So we drove all the way to the farm with him in the back, open truck.

Everyone jumped out of the truck when we got the farm.  We love this place.  They always have such nice lights and greenery by the farm.  It didn't take long until one tree was picked out.  Matthew swung on the wagon while Mike and Hadassah pulled down the tree off the wagon.  Ashlyn helped too!  Matthew said, "Sweets, you don't have your gloves on."  He can be the biggest tease ever but he really does care and love her so much!  She looked at him with proud blue eyes and said, "I don't care?"  She grabbed ahold of the tree and helped drag it the truck.  We paid and headed back for home.  Everyone rode inside the truck this time.  :)  Mike and I chuckled at Ashlyn's response on the way home.

The kids decorated the tree after Mike and I got the ornaments down from the attic and the tree straight.  This always seems to be a problem!  I'm not sure if we should get a better tree stand or if Mike just likes to cut off the branches from the bottom?  One year, he cut off too many and the tree looked a tad funny until the gifts were placed underneath.  He even attempted to stick the cut branch into the trunk water base.  Funny ... but it did not work so well.  This year, however, he cut off only one branch!  I think it looks nice!  Hadassah and I strung the lights around the tree.  Then the kids hung the ornaments.  She was so annoyed that Matthew thought his monster truck ornament needed to be right in the front.  He teasingly wanted to put her special ornament in the back!  Ashlyn was busy hanging ornament after ornament everywhere.  No pattern.  No color sequence.  Hadassah would now and then grab one off and place it somewhere else.  They all decorated it with such fun and ease.



Now we have the smell of a fresh pine tree in the house!
I also baked some cookies yesterday.  I am feeling like some of my energy is slowly coming back!  I could still sleep a lot but if I chose to not take a nap, like right now, I am tired but not too bad!  Yesterday, it was else a nap or bake.  I chose to bake!  I mixed a batch of sand tarts.  Then while they chilled, Ashlyn and I mixed a batch of sugar cookies!  I'm not sure why, but they got extra puffy!  The kids love these!  Then we rolled out the sand tarts.  I rolled the dough while Ashlyn pushed down the cookie cutter.  One made one by one until the whole batch was finished.  Meanwhile, Hadassah and Matthew came home from school.  Hadassah jumped right in and helped sprinkle on the sugar and toppings.  I got the kitchen all cleaned up, again, just in time to think about supper.

It's a good feeling knowing that some of our cookie baking is started!  They make the perfect gifts or festive dessert when gathering with friends.

Today, I finished up the cards!  These are so much work but I usually enjoy it.  I thought they were extra much work this year.?.  I had our Christmas cards ordered and in the envelopes for a few weeks already.  I just wasn't taking the time to finish them up.  I wrote our family letter and printed them.  Then I printed out return address labels.  Then my Christmas label list.  I stuffed each envelope with a card and a letter while Ashlyn put on the stamps and address labels.  She did a great job with getting the sticky things straight!  :)  I finally have them all ready to go!  Oh, but first, I made my different stacks.  One stack for the mailman.  One stack for the church mailboxes.  Another stack for the employee banquet.  One for the dealers.  One for school teachers. One small stack of "extra cards" for friends that I don't have on our mailing list.  They are now all on the kitchen counter ready for me to deliver!  If you are close friends, family, employees or someone really special to our family ... yours will be coming your way soon!  Yeah!

I am reading about the nativity story in my devotions right now.  This morning I saw I had a Christmas edition of The Daily Bread, so I read that.  It reminded me of how stuffing all those envelopes is not without purpose and meaning.  We really do wish you a Merry Christmas and peace and love and joy throughout the Christmas season!

"For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given."  Isaiah 9:6

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Christmas is here!

Our Christmas season has arrived!  I know it's the December 25 but thankfully not all our gatherings wait till that one day or even week!!!  :)  We would have a holiday burn out real fast and that's anything how the real Christmas was meant to be!!!

On Sunday we had our first family Christmas dinner.  It was with the Riehl's and Ben's hosted.  They do not have a real large house but they were willing to invite everyone and join in on the party!  We all ate in the basement!  The food was hot and amazing!  We love the roast, mashed potatoes, celery meal!!!  Then later there was a huge spread of snack from foods that we all brought to share!  One of my favorites that I always look for is Allen's meat platter.  I know I called it snack but he makes some of the best lunch meat and his wife rolls it up and puts it on a platter with their yummy sauce.  I had a few pieces!!!  :)  Mommy Riehl passed away years ago so now the gift giving has come to a stop.  There's still nothing like gathering with cousins and family and play games, laugh, and watch the kids tear it up!  :)  So glad it wasn't my house!!!  Thanks again Ruthie!!!  Some of the girls did do a 'now you have it, now you don't'.  Hadassah liked that!  Matthew played outside in the mud with the boys.  They threw football and ran in the meadow.  Ashlyn was outside a little too.  Her new glitter shoes don't seem so new anymore.  But she played on the swings and then with the little girls inside.  This family gathering is always loud and a blast!  No one can out beat the Riehl Family!  :)

A hot game of Taboo ...

 Where we ate and where the Rook games began ...

Snacks ...

From there, we stopped at Dave and Suz for two games of Acquire.  Matt's and Dave's had burgers and then we helped clear up the left overs.  Thanks Suz for the invite!  Always fun to be with you guys!  We got home all tired from being away since 9 AM!  A whole day out is fun but we were so ready for showers and bed!


Yesterday was a busy day with more Christmas activities.  The kids were off to school.  Mike went to work.  (These two things I want to always consider a blessing!  If the kids are healthy - they go to school.  My hubby has a job - hence, he goes to work!)  I got busy with filling mini filo cups with fruit dip and then topping them off with fresh strawberries, oranges and kiwi.  I ate a bagel with yogurt in between to keep myself fueled.  Eating before I get too hungry is a must for this momma right now!  It really does help with any baby nausea.  The filo's went out the door at 8:30.  Ashlyn and I hung out and did some work here at home.  I needed some prenatal vitamins (in hopes that the extra iron will help with my energy level!).  We stopped at the health food store and got a bottle of vitamins!  Then we stopped in at mom Lapp's to drop off a few things.  We walked in a cookie smells!  Warm sand tarts were baking.  Anna Ruth put a few in a bag for Ashlyn!  She was so delighted and loved them!  Then we grabbed a sub at Subway before heading for the school program!  Each year, Linville does a great Christmas program and they have one at noon and one at night.  I went to both.  The kids did great with all their songs and the play was awesome!  Good job!  It did help us get more into the Christmas spirit!  We heard carols and bells!  So pretty!

Here's the big tray of filo cups that went out the door for Hershey.  Every year, Sue, goes to Hershey and sets up a Christmas food display for all the patients, doctors & nurses up there.  I'm sure it's something they all look forward to!  Filo cups are easy, they are good and they look nice.  I fill them up with fruit dip and top them with fresh fruit.  These would make a great little appetizer on your Christmas table!
Playing her piano piece at the program.
 Then doing bells!  I love these!!!
  Matthew is with his class and friends.
 Middle School Girls Choir.

With giving two programs in one day, the kids were exhausted by the end of the night!  Again, we all got tucked in ready to sleep!  What a blessing!


I've got a few things to do on my list today!  One, post this blog.  Two, finish up my Christmas cards.  Three, wrap some gifts.

I've been kinda waiting to wrap gifts till we get the Christmas tree.  We've never been so late with this before, but that's ok.  We've had lots of rain and carrying in a wet tree inside isn't ideal!  We are saying tomorrow night!?!  If not soon, we may as well skip the tree thing this year!  The kids don't want to hear that though!  I hope not all the super nice one's are picked out!!!  :)

I haven't baked any cookies yet either.  I would rather take a nap in the afternoon right now then make a mess in the kitchen.  It's a lousy excuse and I really hope that my energy will perk up here soon!  My days are getting a bit better with how I feel.  I'm thankful for that!  I actually made supper last night AND ate it!  :)  The crock pot is full of meat and potatoes right now, so I hope that will taste good to baby and me tonight!  I do hope to bake some kind of cookies soon.  Maybe next week! 

Have a great rest of the week.  We are looking forwards to a fun weekend with friends!!!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Chocolates and shopping!

It's Friday already and I still haven't shared about last weekend!  One reason is because blogging just isn't first on my list these days.  Two, I still have a Christmas letter to print and cards to send out to friends and family.  Three, I would rather take a nap than blog right now.  My energy is low and so steering it in a better direction is best.  Well, enough of excuses and lets get to the point here!  :)

Last weekend, my dad and brothers all headed for the cabin to hunt the next few days.  Mike was invited but chose to stay home and work.  The kids and I still stuck to tradition and spent Sunday night at mom's.  We played games and then slept there overnight.  Jody and her girls were there too so it was a party!

Monday morning, we started with some peanut butter crackers and then dipped them in melted chocolate!  We only do these over the holidays and everyone loves them.  They are so good!  Matthew and I had to slip out and head to the orthodontist.  He got his expander and three braces on his front teeth.  He was brave, again, and took it all in well!  I must admit that any kind of teeth work is no fun but Matthew does so well with it!  Good job, bud! 

We got back to moms and helped with coating some chocolate peanut butter meltaways.  It was a new recipe for us and Hadassah can't seem to let her fingers off of these small treats!  They are creamy inside with a thin layer of dipped chocolate over top!  Can't go wrong with chocolate and peanut butter, right?  The kids played well together and then worked on some ginger bread houses.  They decorated them and pasted on lots of different candies.  Then we cleaned up and headed to another appointment.  Mom's this time.  Mom went to an ear specialist the other week to take a look at her ear drum.  He looked at the ear but he also picked up on some 'mass' in her throat.  They took an ultra sound of it and she was now going for her results.  We decided to all go along.  Jody and mom went to see the doctor while me and the kids waited in the suburban.  We were all praying and hoping for good news!  They came out about an hour later and said that her thyroid is majorly swelled.  They will need to do surgery to take it out but it should be nothing too serious!  We were thankful that it's something the doctors can fix and that it's nothing life threatening!  Praise God!


We went out for supper and then stopped for poinsettias.  The kids and I were ready to be back home but happy to make more family memories.  Mike was at home enjoying his book in the quiet house.  :)

On Tuesday, the kids were back in school.  I did some laundry and headed out for a day of shopping with mom and sisters!  We decided to go to Christiana Mall this time and we had a great time!  The mall is huge with tons of stores!  I crossed off some Christmas name gifts and now they wait to be wrapped!  Again, we ate supper together and then headed back home to hubby and kids!  Three nights out in a row is a stretch!  My laundry and house was starting to look like a dumping dock!

I was so ready for a whole day at home on Wednesday!  Ashlyn and I cleaned up the house and organized things.  We did our loads of laundry!  We played together and acted lazy in the afternoon.  A nap for sure was on our list!  I decided to make something easy for Matthew to eat for supper!  Meatloaf, mashed potatoes and string beans went down pretty easy for him.  He is having some struggles with eating.  His mouth is sore from his expander rubbing against the inside of his mouth.  He uses the wax they recommended but it's not enough to keep some ulcers away.  He is drinking smoothies but for the most part, he is doing well.  We keep turning that expander morning and evening. 

Christmas is in a few weeks.  We still have a tree to pick out and gifts to wrap!  I hope to get my cards sent out soon too!  We are looking forwards to the first Christmas family gathering this weekend!  Bring on the spirit of Christmas!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

"Thanks"giving secret ...

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day!  The snow during the day before and night gave us a soft white coating on the ground.

I got up early to stick the 12 pound turkey in the oven.  Everyone was still sleeping so soundly.  By the time the sun came up and we were all awake, the turkey had cooked for a few hours already!  We acted lazy in the morning and I cooked up a small breakfast for us.  Dippy eggs and toast is always a must for Matthew.  Toast and jelly is what Ashlyn, Mike and I enjoy right now.  Granola and milk for Hadassah.  We listened to Focus on the Family's thanksgiving presentation of Squanto.

Mike, Matthew and Ashlyn played outside a bit while I set the table with my fine china dishes.  I love special occasions and I really love serving my family with our finest!  While the kids rolled snow to make a snowman, I whipped up mashed potatoes.  I put filling and corn in the oven.  I slowly heated up a small amount of cooked celery.  When the turkey and other fixings were all ready and hot to eat, I called the family to the table.  Matthew really liked my extra touch of grape juice mixed with some ginger ale and ice cream that was setting beside each plate.  The turkey looked great and Mike carved us some meat and put it on a large platter.  We gave "thanks" and enjoyed our meal.  Just us.  As a family.  What a blessing!

When we were finished, we cleared the table and did the dishes.  We decided to wait for pumpkin pie and chocolate cake till after our annual family thanksgiving meeting.  We've done this now for three years and it's fun to look back at my notes and see how our family grew spiritually.  We always start by giving two things we are VERY thankful for.  Health, family, Jesus, Christian friends, parents, food, water, etc..  Then we all list a 'lesson learned'.  This is something that we went though within the past year and talked about how it made us a better person!  Growing in the Lord.  Discipline.  Manners.  Kindness.

I know that someday we will look back and love these memories!  They are precious.  Then I got up for my phone because I wanted to video what was about to take place next!  We were going to let out our secret to the children!

They were so happy!!!

They screamed!

They said "It better be a boy!"  (Because he would love to have a brother.  Can't blame him for his honesty!)

"Well, now, what if it is a girl?"

"That would be ok to."  :)

Yes, we told the kids that I am pregnant.  Expecting another baby and due in July!  That's explains why I am so tired and cannot for the life of me stay awake much after 8 PM.  That explains why I've been taking extra naps, going out to eat and ordering pizza, eating toast first thing in the morning instead of waiting to fix breakfast till after the kids are off to school.  It explains why Mike has been the only one making coffee in the morning.  Why drinking out of any of my daily water bottles is just gross.  Drinking from a plastic cup is just fine for now.  Why any smell sets off an alarm to my nostrils.  The other day when I walked into the school bathroom and smelled all the different sprays used by the middle school girls after their volleyball game, I nearly gaged!  And when Ashlyn faithfully washes her hands with lots of soap and comes running up to me to smell her clean hands, that's when I try hard not to sniff.  Or why I am burning only scent free candles right now.  :)

Hadassah and I went out shopping that night.  She's been looking forwards to this night for weeks!  We decided to go early and not stay out so late!  We stopped to get 'the mom' some Chinese noodles and after we found a parking spot, we both ate the noodles.  Then we shopped.  And went from store to store.  She bought a pair of converse shoes she's been wanting.  The lines were not bad at all.  We stopped at Waffle House on the way home and shared an omelet platter.  Home by 10:30 was perfect!


Being in my low thirties reminds me that I am not getting younger and going through another pregnancy will not be like my first.  Thankfully though!!!  I had such bad morning sickness with Hadassah and that did get better with each pregnancy!  I do feel nausea through out the day but I am not throwing up!!!  I hate that!  So happy and thankful that the nausea has been under control if I eat every often!  Yikes!!!  Even a few bites of pickles, crackers, chips, canned peaches and pears or some filling granola seem to help!  I do feel a tad bad for my family when it comes to meals though.  Nothing seems better to me than going out to eat and having options to chose from!  Mike called the other day and said that he just was given a gift card for Outback Steakhouse.  "Let's go out to eat tonight," he said!  No problem!!!  :)  I know, and hope, that this is only a stage because it's been like that with my other pregnancies.  My taste buds will soon be back to mid/normal and cooking will go well! 

The kids seem really excited about adding another little bundle to our family!  We have a lot that needs to be done before July and I promise to be as patient as a "sensitive pregnant mama" can be!  Our plans to remodel the house are to get started as soon as possible!!!  ASAP ... Oh, I did say that!  My dream would be to have the remodel job finished and we would be settled in before this baby arrives!  If not, we will survive!  This mom that likes her normal routine, her things in decent order, not feel out of control ... well, I know God will give me all the grace and patience I will need.  It will require a lot of work and keeping things at a fast pace will be a must!  Our spring and summer will be an active one ... but then again, who ever has a slow or lazy summer?  :)

Remembering this Thanksgiving Season will always be a great memory for us!  We are super excited about baby #4!

The kids are off school now till Tuesday.  We set up the Christmas d├ęcor yesterday.  The outside lights are now plugged in.  :)  I cut fresh greens and holly and put them in pots outside this afternoon.  The wreaths are hung by the windows.  The Christmas music has begun!

Celebrate this season with gratefulness and joy!!!