Saturday, December 27, 2008

Our very fun homemade Christmas

I wanted to post some pics of our Christmas Day and visit with Sam's parents.  I also can't say enough of how much they blessed us with their visit.  As previously stated, they brought our rocking chair and our bed frame and even our baby car seat and then even went to Lowe's and we got some boards to make a platform and then came back and fixed up our bed.  Then, Don got the window up on the van and he got the door open!!  What amazing generosity and blessing!!!!!!!!  Laura helped me with all of the food and took over with the boys several times and just generally loved on us.  What a big heart she has!!!  Even though I am very tired, I am so glad they came.  It was such a wonderful visit!  Plus, they were so willing to take Braden and meet my mom so that she could have some time with him during the holidays.  Amazing!  Thank you so much, Meemaw and Peepaw, for your loving and giving hearts!!!

I've also taken pictures of the our Christmas tree and the opening of presents on Christmas Day and the socks and ornaments I got from my wonderful partners in the swaps.  Enjoy!

Before the unwrapping began...
Sam reading the Christmas story
Zekey sitting still while listening to the Christmas story.
We were reading about Jesus' birth.
Meemaw, Peepaw and some very silly boys.
Braden got a book about the body from Granny and the skeleton puzzle was actually his size.
Zekey did start catching on to the process of unwrapping pretty quickly.
My mom got Braden a Joshua the Warrior set and it was a big hit:)

Zekey didn't get the whole dig into the stocking for the surprises, but I bet he will know better next year!

Yellowbuttercup sent me these ornaments.  Aren't they so pretty?  They are made by ladies in India as a way to make a living.  I love stuff like that!
Thanks, Vanilla, for the socks and the ornament!  Love them!!
Our Happy Birthday, Jesus! double layer cookie cake.  It was super yummy, too!:)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!!

We've been having such a great Christmas.  Sam's parents came on Tuesday afternoon and we have all been really enjoying each other's company.  Sam's dad managed to get our window rolled back up, so that we are able to drive the van without the plastic "window" that wouldn't stay put!  I'm so excited!  We also went grocery shopping Tuesday night at Walmart and as crazy as that is to do, it really wasn't all that bad.  We were in and out in a small amount of time.  Praise God!  We also stopped by Lowe's and got some boards because they brought our bed frame!!!  Woo-hoo!!!  Now, I don't have to get up from the bed from floor level.  My body is VERY grateful!  They also brought our rocking chair and my how nice that is.  I've finally gotten to sit in it a bit after the boys took it over for some time. :p  The boys opened their presents and man did they make out like bandits.  The cool thing is, that the presents are all things we can take with us should we have to go back out on the road anytime soon and most of them are educational in some way.  So fun!  They've been having fun playing all day.  We had Turkey and dressing, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole , jello salad and rolls.    Super YUMMY!!!  We also made a Happy Birthday, Jesus! cake and sang happy birthday to Jesus. Right now the boys are on a Christmas walk with Meemaw and Peepaw and Daddy.  Tomorrow, they are planning to leave in the morning and Braden is going to be going back with them to meet my mom on the way.  He's going to stay with my mom for several days along with his cousin Jacob.  This will be the first time he's been away from us for more than a couple of nights.  He's totally gonna be oblivious to our absence and have such a good time!  I've decided that since the window is now up that Zekey and I can go and pick him up at my sister's house in Canton next week and that way Mom and I won't have to drive but a few hours each to accomplish the switcheroo.  Plus, I have yet to see my newest nephew Graysen who was born back in August!    I also haven't seen Jacob or my sister and her husband since...yeah, I can't even remember, its been so long!  I'm looking forward to it.  Anyway,  I hope you are all having the best Christmas ever and that you are just enjoying the birthday of the best gift ever given!  MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Day two and some thoughts

Okay, I've had two nights of semi-normal sleep and am feeling much better.  I think I'm still trying to do too much, but at least I'm getting some sleep.  Woo-hoo.  Sam got to come home early yesterday, so that makes three days in a row that he's come home at 3pm!  Yaaaaaaay!  I was so excited to see him pull up unexpectedly yesterday!  I'd been praying about it and I have to say a big "THANK YOU, PRECIOUS LORD!"  for answering my prayer!!!  What an amazing treat:)  I was also able to talk to Sam about what's been on my mind so much the past few days.  I'm going to attempt to put it into words here and hopefully it will make sense.  I must warn you, its not cheery and I'm not intending to be a downer to anyone's Christmas cheer.  Its just the way it has been for me.  

For a while now, I've had a very sad view of things and at times it makes me very sad and it takes a while for me to get back to a place of contentment and joy.  Actually, I would say that is the right way to explain it: a lack of joy.  I have to ask God to give me joy and a joyful perspective despite what is going on around me because the joy of the Lord is my strength.  I need to rejoice and be glad always in Him!  Anyway, this is what I've been seeing:

I look around and I see a shell or a shadow, if you will, of what things should be.  (I only have a small inkling of what it must have been like when God first made all of creation from what the Bible says.)  I think that colors must have been so much more vibrant than we can even imagine, water so pure, vegetation so healthy and amazing to see.  People  must have been so beautiful.  Not like what we consider beauty now, but so healthy and vivacious and radiant.   I think little by little, as sin gained even larger footholds in people's lives that everything has gotten dimmer and drabber and dingier.  It affected and continues to affect EVERYTHING and EVERYONE.  

So now, I look around and see how much we as a people continue to live just a fraction of the life that God intended for us.  We put our hopes and dreams in things like houses and cars and clothes and being noticed and praised by men.  I think it is all coming to a head for me at this time because, I really used to love Christmastime.  As I've gotten older, my perspective has changed because I see the reason for this wonderful time of year getting pushed farther and farther into the background as decorations, trees, parties, santa clause, reindeer, snowmen, snowflakes, presents etc. take the place of Christ.  Does that make sense?  I'm not saying that having those kinds of things are wrong.  All of that stuff makes me think of winter and the coming holidays and all of that, but more and more, it seems like in the world, that the celebration, the parties, the actual decorations, the getting of presents and even the stress of finding, buying and giving presents is waaaaaay more important than the original reason for Christmas.  It must be that people have heard the "story" for so long and in the same way or something, that the importance has been lost.  I mean, the greatest gift of all from the Creator, our Creator, was given to us because above all else he desires a relationship with us.  Even greater than we have with whomever we consider our dearest friend or the person we love the most!  Its truly awesome:  alarming, astonishing, awe-inspiring, awful, beautiful, breathtaking, daunting, dreadful, exalted, fearful, fearsome, formidable, frantic, frightening, grand, hairy*, horrible, horrifying, imposing, impressive, intimidating, magnificent, majestic, mean, mind-blowing*, moving, nervous, overwhelming, real gone, shocking, something else, striking, stunning, stupefying, terrible, terrifying, wonderful, wondrous.....  

Also, lately I have seen and felt that the kindness that people used to have for each other has been rapidly decreasing.  More so than ever before.  I find it rare that people just smile in kindness to each other anymore.  I know that there have always been rude people on the road, but the amount of speeding and cutting in front of people and aggression seems to be on the rise.  I remember that in times past people would wait to get into stores to get certain gifts and fight over them, but that too seems to be on the incline, as well as people dying as a result of mob metality.  And for what?  A toy, a gift?  Why?  Why is that so all important?  What, really when you get down to it, is the point?

There is also the issue of the world we are giving our children.  Although, I know the domino effect of what we are experiencing now began long ago, it makes me sad to think that we are just continuing in the tradition.  I think in this country, especially, it is even more obvious because it is still such a young country compared to the rest of the world.  I think about how this country began.  I think about the principles used to found it.  (Again, not saying that EVERYTHING was done correctly or that there weren't ignorant notions and false piety and too much worth placed on rank and all that.  I could probably write a dissertation on all of that. ;)  Then, I think in 232 years how the line of what is right and wrong has been smudged in so many areas that we have arrived at our present state.  232 years is all that has passed.  That makes me sad.  The other thing that really makes me sad is that the church has been much to blame for it.  Before anyone starts getting super upset, let me explain what I mean.  In this country, at least, the government has followed closely behind the compromises of the church.  There is a trail of concession on Biblical principles through the years from leaders in the church as a whole.  For instance, birth control.  As opposed to now, the church used to actually advocate large families and were very much against any type of birth control.  But, then there was a time when a concession was made because of political pressures and its very interesting how the tide then turned.  Here's my source if you want to research it further for yourself.  Its a book by George Grant on Margaret Sanger called Killer Angel.  Look for further sources sited in the notes at the end.  The consequences for this have been extreme.  We as Christians advocating birth control and some even abortion have given up our God given right and command to take dominion over the earth.  By shear numbers, we are being out-birthed, if you will by those who have no interest in God's purpose for this world and its showing in leaps and bounds.

How about premarital sex, adultery, and homosexuality?  What used to be looked at as morally wrong, socially unacceptable and very inappropriate, is now either ignored, welcomed or applauded.  Now I know that even in the days when it was not accepted that it was still practiced, but on the whole I would say that it was not nearly so rampant as it is now. Most states at one time or other had laws prohibiting fornication and adultery.  Some states still have those laws in their constitutions or bylaws, but do not enforce them.  For me, this is just another example of the line of moral conduct based on God's rules that was drawn, has been erased and/or compromised extremely.  Oh, and there are consequences.  Teen pregnancy, illegitimate children, parents shirking responsibility for their actions, kids growing into adulthood with extreme anger and no respect for any kind of authority and then they have kids who end up worse.  Seriously, domino effect.  A side note here is that there are laws against sodomy, too, and the gay rights activists have busily been trying and succeeding at getting those laws changed/overturned.  More consequences indeed.

What about stealing, killing, destruction of property, price gouging, materialism?  All of these are addressed in the Bible, but because the church has increasingly become worried about stepping on "someone's" toes, concessions have been made to not stand up for what is right and true because we don't want to violate anyone's "rights".  (Actually, as Sam pointed out in one of our conversations, there's a difference between rights and privileges and in our country and society we often get them mixed up; i.e. driving is a privilege, not a right.  Life is a right here, except in utero.  Freedom of speech is a right, unless you are a Christian and don't agree with something and speak out against it. That type of thing.)  

So, what I'm seeing is life being compromised and lived at levels so far beneath what is possible that it is astounding.  We all are rushing around doing and doing and what is there to show for it all?  Relationships and people don't seem to be priorities any more and the interesting thing is that those are treasures that we can store up in heaven.  We can take our relationships with us when they are bound in Christ.  All the other tangible stuff that we strive for doesn't go with us.  Its just craziness to me, I guess and I feel that it is getting crazier.

And that is what I've been seeing and thinking upon for a few months now.  I wonder if anyone else sees or feels these things?  Things that make you go, "Hhhhmmmmm....."

Oh, a second thought (hehe) I thought this would interest Nessa.  There's a huge issue with dissent about global warming over on Karen Hancock's blog, she has posted a few links to the small amount of media coverage going on about it so far.  Apparently, there is a majority of the world's scientists who are now saying there is no such thing as global warming, but the media is trying to censure it.  Very interesting.  Check it out here and here and follow her links to the articles.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Much better!

Thank you, praise you, Lord!!!  I got wonderful sleep last night and I feel sooooo much better today.  I'm still planning on taking it easy today and tomorrow and the next day and then maybe I can pick it up a little bit to clean this place up before Sam's parents get here. :)  I plan on making some fudge today and possibly some cookies.  The cookies are the kind you just break apart and stick on the pan and the fudge is from scratch, but easy too, so I should still fall within my taking it easy plan. :P

I decided not to go to church today.  I really wanted to go, but Sam has to work today and even though he was very willing to leave me the van today, its pretty cold and I didn't want him to have to bundle up like the michelin man to ride his motorcycle to work today!  Bbbbbrrrrrrrr!  Also, its the Christmas play today and we didn't get here in time for Braden to be a part of it, so we would all be watching it, which would be just fine, but I don't know that both of my kids would sit through the whole thing and we would have to drive farther than usual and I would have been getting everyone ready myself and blah, blah.  I know, excuses, excuses.  I'm just not up to it today.  Not without Sam.

So, we are going to stay in and do some Christmas-y things together and just have a very relaxing day today.  I hope you all have a very blessed day and bless God's heart today!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

State of mind

Apparently, I'm in a bit of a mood.  Since, I don't have my usual sounding board available to me at this time and it always helps me to get this stuff out and in the open, I'm just going to write about it all.  Please, understand that I will be fine, I'm just needing to sort it all out and this is how I'm gonna do it.  

Last night, right before I went to bed, I started having issues.  I couldn't get my heart to stop racing and I was worrying about my kids.  This is something that I frequently have to deal with while pregnant.  So, I just started praying and giving them back to God because He is who they belong to anyway.  I know I've written about our choice to give how many kids we have to God before.  Even though we know that it is the absolute right thing for us to do, I still have a tendency to think about the world we are bringing our kids into, how I don't want to be pregnant for years and years to come, how are we going to be able to add yet another child.  That type of thing.  (Let me clarify, that these are fears that prey on my mind and they are totally not of God and I have to battle them diligently!  The truth is that God gives life and He brings these babies into this world with all of its imperfections and craziness with His purpose.  He will give us what we need to add another child to the mix and He will provide that my body is able to carry whatever number of children He gives us.  I also believe that it is quite appropriate to ask him to give us a time in between children for a reprieve.  That is where I always end up and I am getting back to that place of resting in Him, sometimes it takes longer than others.) It took me quite a while to get to sleep and ended up being yet another night that I didn't get much sleep or rest.  This is about the fourth night in a row.  Basically, here's how it all started out.  Since Sam has been working such long days and I have had the kids most of the day without any help, my tendency is to want to stay up a bit later after everyone else goes to bed to kind of have some time to myself.  The trouble with that is, since I've been preggo, my body needs to get more sleep than that.  I've ended up not getting to bed until after ten for the last week and it is obviously taking its toll.  Normally, I would get to bed by 9:45 and even though I get up during the night because of bladder purposes, I still end up getting sufficient sleep.  Well, when it rains, it pours!  On the nights that I've gone to sleep past 11, Braden has woken up during the night for some reason or other and that's on top of the having to get up to go to the bathroom, plus all the coughing and mucus mess I've been dealing with.  Anyway, bottom line is: I'm nearing exhaustion.  Mostly my fault and some circumstantial.

Then, yesterday, I took the kids to daycare for a few hours so that Sam could have time to move some things out of the rv and I could wrap all the Christmas presents.  When I got there, I found out that Zekey's teacher had died yesterday after not making it through a medical procedure.  I didn't know her well at all, but all the teachers were taking it very hard and they were all very sad and their sadness got to my heart.  So, I'm sad for them.  Also, I was going to the post office to mail a couple of packages and had to roll the windows down to get exhaust fumes from a vehicle in front of me out and ended up rolling the passenger side window all the way down before I realized it.  Now, as I thought would happen, it refuses to come back up.  Yeah.  We have a trash bag over it now, but are going to rig it in a different way with clear plastic instead.  Not that I particularly care what our vehicle looks like to others, but I must say that it is getting ghetto-licious!  Really, we have to laugh or we'd end up crying!:)

I've also been doing a lot more during the day than I should being this tired.  I've been trying to get some things done and not really resting at all.  I'm not really able to take naps during the day, cuz I can't take just an hour nap, it ends up being at least two hours or more and I wake up so stinkin' grouchy and moody and it takes another hour for me to wake up all the way.  Its pitiful, I know, but its the plain truth of the matter.  Therefore, I do not take naps.

So, I've gotten myself into a cycle of little sleep, lots of tiredness and as I've said before, that is when I am at my weakest and the enemy, of course, knows this.  So, I'm going to continue to pray and ask God for rest and restoration.  I'm going to continue to ask for renewal of my mind and I'm going to make myself go to bed at a decent hour while at the same time slowing down and not trying to do things that are not a priority.

Also, today, I have to go to walmart to get some things and would love your prayers!  I can't stand going grocery shopping anywhere around the holidays, but walmart is by far the worst and unfortunately, they have what I need and I have to go there!  Yuck!

Thanks for reading and being my sounding board today!  Its really helped a bunch.  Its always good for me to be able to name all of the things going on and know that it is all just stuff and it will pass and my God is bigger and way more powerful than anything that tries to come against me!  There's also always a growing experience.  So, there you have it.  Gotta go brave the crowds at the store now.......aaaaaaahhhhhhh!!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Taking some time

Lately, I haven't had a whole lot of time for computer stuff, but I thought today I should at least go ahead and get caught up. 

We are still in the process of getting as many things moved out of the motor home as possible, but its taking a while because some of the stuff I am not able to get and Sam has had to work such long days.  He only got a half of a day on Sunday off.  His bosses are trying to work out a more reasonable schedule.  Anyway, he's super tired and I'm trying to take over as much as I can so that he gets some rest while he's home and awake.  Prayers would be greatly appreciated. We want to be resting in the Lord at all times, but especially when we are physically and mentally challenged with fatigue. :)  We are just going to wait to get the van fixed.  We might go ahead and get the estimate done so that we can budget for that, but right now there's just too much going on and we are doing all right with what we have.

We also got to go to San Antonio for the day on Saturday and visit Nina and Padrino and of course I didn't take any pics even though I did take the camera.  It was so nice and lots of fun.  We have missed them soooooo much!  Hopefully, we'll get to stay for a weekend after the holidays and Braden might get to stay with them by himself for a couple of days.  Zekey went right in and hugged Donna when we first got there.  He remembered her!  Braden was the same way when he was very little and we hadn't seen them in a long time.  I'm telling you that these are some very special folks!

The boys went with me to my first midwife appointment yesterday.  She is super nice and comfortable to be around.  She also has a student right now and that's pretty neat.  She has a basket full of toys and Braden and Zekey had them strewed all over the exam room.  She just stepped over them all and kept going.  She has four of her own that she homeschools. She checked my weight, which has gone back down.  So, basically, I still haven't gained any.  She didn't seem concerned, which I'm grateful for.  I'm supposed to keep track of what I eat for three days as a routine thing she does.  I might get into trouble with all the carbs that I eat, but I think I'll be okay.:)  I'm also measuring at 30 weeks, which is where I am until tomorrow.  She does think the baby is facing posterior, but again, nothing to worry about.  I'm hoping this kiddo does turn around cuz it is an easier delivery if they are in the ideal position, but otherwise, this baby will come out, period.  If you are interested click here and you can view her web site and her photo gallery of the birthing center.  Yeah, our insurance isn't going to cover any of this birth so we are paying for it all out of pocket.  Her husband pointed me in the direction of a coupon on the killeen website, so we get an additional $200 off of the birthing package plus she gives a cash discount if you are paying for it all out-of-pocket.  We had to pay the first of three payments at the appointment and it was a large chunk of money, but we both feel it is worth it.  Then the boys got to go hang out at day care for a couple of hours.  Part of that time I was in the office filling out registration paper work.  I found out that we were going to have to come up with another chunk of money for the registration fee because it had been increased since we've been gone.  I'm going to go off on a tangent for a sec:  This just irritated the mess outta me.  The reason the school/daycare had to raise the registration fee is because there were so many parents not paying what they owed!  That is an integrity issue and even though I know it happens constantly in the world, I just can't stand it that it was happening to this daycare.  The people there are just so caring and they work long days taking care of other people's kids....  I'm just saying! Not only that, but because of dishonest people's carelessness, the ones who were abiding by the rules also have to pay.  Literally. So sad. Okay, moving on...The ladies in the office were cracking me up because they were trying to get a brochure for the Christmas program worked up and printed out and they did not know how to.  Plus, they were making each other laugh and I was laughing at them stuff!  Miss Misty turned to me and asked if I was computer literate and I said yes and so after I filled out the paper work I made a template for the Christmas program.   I then left to go run some errands and I finally made it to Hobby Lobby to get an ornament for my swap partner (sorry Becky!!!  It is coming! Its boxed, labeled and ready to go to the post office, I just have to get there.:)  I'm very excited that is finally done and I also made it to the post office to send my socks to my sock swap partner (sorry Mzzterry for the lateness, but they are in the mail and this time not coming from Arizona!:)  Anyway, yay!!!  When I got back to pick up the boys, the ladies in the office were still trying to type up the program and they were still in there laughing and giggling.  Yep, I joined in and went into a coughing fit I was laughing so hard.  Love those ladies!!

I finally started making some goodies.  I made gingerbread cookies and snickerdoodles the other day and sent some to work with Sam yesterday.  I'm making fudge and mixed nut clusters today.   The boys have a Christmas party at daycare on Friday, so I got some stuff for that.  While they are at daycare on Friday, I'm going to attempt to wrap all of the Christmas presents for the boys.  I have the ones we got them: the giant Mr. Potato Head from Sams that has four smaller ones with all the parts inside it and another box of larger leggos.  They already have one, but they both like to play with it and there tend to be too few to go around.  Plus, we got them several stocking stuffers cuz I just can't resist fun silly little things and I kept buying them.  Then, my mom brought the presents she bought for the boys to Arizona when she visited and so I'm going to wrap those, too.  Hopefully, I'll have enough time to get most of them done at least.

We might have Sam's parents and possibly two of our nephews coming to stay with us for a couple of days over Christmas.  That would be really fun, though, it would involve air mattresses and such.  We have a makeshift couch that consists of one of the bunk bed mattresses and the couch and dining bench cushions from the motor home.  It might be interesting, but its working for us! :p  We do have the other mattress off of the hide-a-bed in the couch if we need it and we also might even be able to use the cab bed mattress.  I'm just not sure if it actually comes all the way off.  We'll see.

I still need to take a picture of our Christmas tree.  Man, it is the most homemade tree we've ever had and we all LOVE it!!!  We may make it a permanent tradition.  I want our tree to always be kid friendly and this one certainly is! :)  Anyway, I'll take a picture soon and post it.

Also, just wanted to share a lovely occurrence.  We've been getting Netflix for many years now and they started making movies available to watch directly off of their website on your computer.  When they started this, I was really excited, but it was right about the time we got our mac and at that time they didn't have permission from apple to be able to give mac users that access.  Anyway, after we connected our internet here, I just thought I'd try it again and viola! it works!  We've been enjoying that feature of our membership and have been able to watch some Hermie and Friends and Bedbug Bible Gang movies.  The boys are lovin' these movies.  They also have some of the much older Jane Austin movies available and I decided to try and watch Mansfield Park and Pride and Prejudice. I couldn't watch all the episodes of Mansfield Park because it was such a lot of bad acting!  Pride and Prejudice wasn't much better, but I did actually make it through all of the episodes.  Its always interesting to me to see different director's takes on the same subject matter.  Yeah, I still like the 1995 version the best of all of them.  Sam and I also decided to watch an episode of the old Buck Rogers series because we happened to see it and we had joked about getting the boxed set at Sams.  Oh, yeah, totally '80s!  I do remember watching it when I was little and really liking it.  I guess for its time it was really something.  Seriously, though, all I kept thinking about while watching it was how much Spaceballs had captured it perfectly along with Star Wars and other sci-fi movies of that time.  So funny!

Oh, yeah, I wanted to make a point about the money stuff going on right now.  We may be having to come up with lots of money for everything going on right now and at one point in time that would have really stressed me out because I'm a planner and I like to have everything just so.  I like to have emergency money in savings and have everything budgeted and know how things stand.  Lately, that has not been possible and we have had plenty of unexpected expenses, but the really cool thing is that God's provision for it all just keeps on coming.  We may not "like" that Sam is having to work so much right now, but it is only for a season and it is providing the money that is needed at this time.  Its really rather amazing!  I'm excited to see what God has in store for us because He always blesses and provides in such unexpected ways and He is always molding and shaping us through each experience.

I think that about sums it up for now.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Birthing Center Visit and Daycare

As previously mentioned, there is a birthing center about 2 miles down the road from us.  I took the boys and we went to see it.  I also got to meet the midwife there and she is really nice.  The center is very well kept and homey, plus they specialize in water births (Michawn, I thought of you when I she mentioned that.:)  They take insurance, but it doesn't look like our insurance will cover it.  Seriously, I don't understand that.  From their perspective I would think they would be all over that since it is way less expensive than paying for a hospital birth!  Yeah, don't get it.  Anyway, she does payment plans and Sam and I have talked about it and we are going to go that route even if our insurance doesn't pay a penny.  I'm really pretty excited about it!

We also swung by the daycare to let them know we were back and to find out if they would be able to take on two more kiddos on occasion.  We basically stayed and chatted for an hour and a half.  The boys just played the whole time and the ladies (Miss Misty and Miss Eliza) and I just talked up a storm!  It was great.  I really have a soft spot in my heart for these ladies; they are amazing!!!  Anyway, with Sam working 6/12's  I'm gonna need the daycare from time to time.  This way, I'll be able to schedule midwife visits and go grocery shopping when I need to.  Don't get me wrong, I take the kids with me most of the time anyway when I go shopping, but it is getting harder to push the buggy around with both kids and all the groceries in it.  Plus, it will give them a break, they'll get to play with other kids for a couple of hours and I'll get a bit of a break.  win-win!  Yay!  

I'm also going to look for a play group/ mom's club, too.  Hopefully, there is one close by.  We'll see.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Wow, we have had such an interesting move!  Everything was pretty normal leaving out of the Tempe/Phoenix area.  We actually made it almost to the New Mexico state line before we stopped the first night.  We found a rest stop and spent the night and then the next day we drove most of the day.  We were about 15-20 mins. outside of Fredericksburg when calamity struck!  We got to yet another construction area and had it out with one of those concrete safety barriers.  Yeah.  Basically, the whole bottom of the rv on the passenger side from the main door all the way back lost the battle with the barrier.  On top of that, we were towing our van and the tow dolly caught the barrier, too, and the wheel got shoved back and up into our passenger side door on the van.  Oh, yeah.  Now the passenger door on the van is locked into place.  The window still works, though. :)  We had to leave the tow dolly behind and had a fun time trying to find it through our insurance, but it has been located.  Also, we are going to have to put the motor home in the shop for an undetermined amount of time for all the repairs and we will probably have to do the same with the van.  We got to the RV park we normally park at when we are here and opted to rent a mobile home instead of a spot.  Basically, with everything that has happened we are really tired.  We are still trying to move all of our stuff out of the motor home.  We are so grateful, though, that we have this option.  The owner has let us park our rv right next to the mobile home until it goes into the shop.  Even in times of uncertainty God is totally providing and guiding!  Its not always the way I or Sam thinks its gonna go, but it all works out anyway and it will this time, too.  Sam is on 6/ 12's right now, so the financial end is still taken care of even though it will mean that we have to be more flexible as a family.  We still have the awesome daycare here that I can take advantage of to get shopping and appointments taken care of.  We were able to go to church the day after we got here and I jumped right in helping in the nursery because they were short-handed and needed the help.  Also, the kids are lovin' being in the mobile home.  They have tons more room to run around and there is more room outside for them to play, too.  We are enjoying it, too, because we now have our own room at the other end of the house.  Sam is also able to get up in the morning and make noise and have a decent breakfast and have coffee if he so chooses.  Nice.  Also, even though I don't know if we are actually going to be here versus somewhere else for the birth of this baby, I do like that we are in a house with more room for the purpose of recovery if we end up being here. :)
Please just keep us in your prayers about all of this.  It could be quite overwhelming, but I don't believe we have to live or think that way.  Getting our vehicles fixed is the main headache here and I just don't want it to be all complicated.  I'm also hoping to just have to use the insurance on the motor home and be able to afford the repair on the van ourselves.  We'll see.  We're gonna be praying about it all.  Also, that there aren't any hidden issues here.
More stuff later as we get more settled and things calm down.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Belly Pics

Here are the requested belly pics that I didn't have time to take pre-move.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Our trip to the Phoenix Zoo

We went on Saturday November 22 and guess what.  It was Girl Scouts and Brownies Day!  Yep, do we know how to pick 'em or what?  Actually, it wasn't bad at all.  The way the zoo is set up, its easy for people to spread out and not get all crowded.  Zekey really enjoyed looking at all the "puppies".  He's so funny.  He's really into dogs right now and pretty much anything that is hairy and mammalian he calls a puppy.  Braden wasn't so much interested in the animals as he was in blazing the trail ahead.  He really enjoyed all the walking around and leading us.  They did both enjoy the petting zoo.  Lots of goats.  One decided to head butt Braden a couple of times on the shoulder.  It was one of the larger variety of goats.  Braden didn't get scared, he just kinda looked at the goat like he wasn't sure if it was okay or not.:)  Zekey kept going from goat to goat saying, "Ohhh!" and "Puppy!" and jabbering at them.  Funny stuff! The part they enjoyed the most was riding the carousel. They both had these huge smiles on their faces the whole time. I'm thinking that next time, all we need to do is find a place with a petting zoo and a carousel and then call it a day! ;)

Anyway, on to the pictures!

Friday, December 5, 2008

So many things...

Yep, I know I have been mia on here, but we've had a LOT going on!  Our Thanksgiving was different from usual, but still really good.  We got to see members of Sam's family that we haven't seen since 2000 and some I've never even met and I'm not sure if Sam had actually ever seen a couple of them.  We were really missing home, though, I gotta tell ya.  I called my granny and asked her to freeze me some food so I can eat it when we go home for Christmas. :)  She's going to make some extra dressing and freeze it for me.  Gotta love Granny!!!  There were only three kids there counting my two, but they had fun running around after the dogs.  The dogs had fun chasing them, too.  The food was good, but still not totally Thanksgiving for us, although I will have to say that the fried turkey was so delicious!  MMMmmmmmm!  There was also this cream cheese, graham cracker and cranberry dessert thing that was, "WOW!"  I requested the recipe and it was granted, so I should be getting it in my email soon!  Woo-hoo!  I'll even ask if I can share it!  We didn't bring the camera, so no pics, sorry. :(

We are currently getting geared up for Christmas.  As previously stated, we are trying to make most everything.  We did finally get done making the Christmas tree, though it is not out of cardboard as originally planned.  After asking at a few appliance stores for a box big enough and that being a dead end, I decided on a different tactic.  We were in JoAnne's looking for some fabric for an Advent Calendar (yeah, I'm making that, too. :)  I came upon some thick furry green fabric and I started getting ideas!  Anyway, what ended up happening is, our Christmas tree is essentially an enormous pillow with buttons sewn on it to hang ornaments and garlands from.  Braden finished stuffing it last night and I sewed it up and we are gonna commence decorating it this week.  

Braden has already made a few ornaments.  He picked up several pine cones at Chris' house for Thanksgiving and we brought them home and glittered the mess out of them!  Yay sparkly  pine cone ornaments. :)  We are also going to make a homemade pom-pom garland.  I've still got to make the rest of the pom-poms, but I get some done everyday and eventually, we'll have enough for Braden to string together.  Fun!  I thought about doing popcorn or cranberries, but decided that would be a huge mess and I didn't want to have to clean all that up.  

The Advent Calendar is coming along, too, although its turning out to be a lot more work than I at first planned.  That's usually how it goes, though!  I'll take a picture when I finish.  I'm hoping to get it done in time to use for at least half of this month!  Haha!  We are also going to make matching pajama pants for our Christmas picture this year.  Sam and I are both going to work on sewing them up.  Should be quite an interesting process.  Also, I found this really great pattern for a cone hat to crochet and decided to try it out.  I made a cammo one for Sam and then got the bright idea that I could make one for each of us out of red, white, green and cammo to go with our pj pants.  I made Zekey's last night and hope to get Braden's done today.  Mine and Sam's will get done after that.  I took some pics of Zekey in his and also some of Sam in his.  I've also finished two wash cloths, a dish towel and two scarves.  I'm gonna make some more wash cloths and start on an afghan as soon as the hats are done.  I'm telling you crocheting is addictive!!!  After that, I'm going to work on learning how to knit.  I want to make some socks.

Speaking of socks, thank you to Mzzterry for the ones she sent me for November's Sock Swap!  Very funky chicken socks!  Braden put them on and started running around the house.  He ended up keeping them on most of the day.  He's smitten, but they're MINE!  :P  The other two pair will be most welcome when we go home to visit, cuz it will be cold and I love puttering around in warm socks when its cold.  Love the foot spa stuff, too.  Now, if I can just get Sam to give me a spa session for my feet...... ;D  You rock!  Thank you again!!!  Here are some pics of the occasion:

I also got my 12 Days of Christmas package sent out and that was such a huge relief!  I don't think I will be undertaking one so involved for some time to come.  My partner has already gotten it and is waiting to open it on the appropriate days.  Basically, from Christmas Day to January 5th.  I hope she likes everything.

We also took the boys to get their hair cut the other day.  Braden is now an old pro at this and he sits in the chair and listens to instruction so well that I don't even stand by him anymore.  I just wait in the waiting area for him to get done.  This time, we were also getting Zekey's done.  I've trimmed it around the edges a couple of times, but mostly to keep his hair out of his eyes.  The lady actually cut off more than I wanted, but it still turned out just fine.  I told her no shaving and had to reiterate that when she wanted to shape around his ears and back of his neck with the clippers.  Yeah.  Anyway, I nearly cried when Zekey was done.  He looked so different!  Much more like a little boy than a toddler.  I still look at him and have a pang because of the haircut from time to time.  I must say, I did better this time than with Braden.  I waited such a long time to cut his hair because he had these curls on the ends and I knew that when I cut those off, I would never see them again!  Oh, well, I guess that's part of being a mom.

Oh, yeah, as mentioned earlier, we are getting to come home for Christmas after all.  We really didn't think it was going to happen because of timing and costs, but our God made a way!  We are actually getting sent away from Arizona and not getting sent back as originally thought. We are going to be in Killeen for the foreseeable future. I don't know if that will include the time of having the baby or not, but if it does that would be so nice. We have support there and are close to family. Braden and Zekey have the daycare that I can utilize when needed and their godparents are 2 1/2 hrs away in San Antonio! Yay! Also, there is a birthing center right down the road from the rv park that we stay in there. I'm hoping that they will take our insurance. We'll see what God provides.

Baby Update:  I now look like I'm pregnant and have gained a few pounds finally.  I'm also getting more and more uncomfy which is usual as the baby gets more active.  I've got some lovely sciatica on my left side, but again, its the usual.  I'm getting up more during the night and getting more tired, but that's not really a big deal as my kiddos graciously let me sleep in in the mornings.  I now only have the occasional urge to gag when I have to go in to wipe Braden's bottom after he poos, but I can't say I wouldn't have that same urge if I wasn't pregnant!  hahaha.  Kristina, I will take a belly pic just for you and post it soon!

I think that gets me caught up so far....

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Here's the skinny

We are getting sent back to Killeen earlier than expected and are actually leaving today!  Sam got notified yesterday afternoon and he has to report on Monday.  I know sounds crazy, but that's why we live in a motor home!  So much easier this way. :)  Anyway, I don't know how long it will take to get internet back up and running so I'm scheduling the posts that I promised to cover the weekend.  Well, we've got some arranging to do to get ready to leave, so until we have internet again.....

Monday, December 1, 2008


I know I haven't posted for a while, but I will soon.  I have a couple of posts in the wing waiting for me to upload pics from our camera.  As soon as I get to that, I will have some new stuff for you all.....