Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Christmas Treat for YOU!

Last week we went to see Christmas lights!  ..and I'm SO glad we chose last week when it was still relatively warm-it's supposed to be 17 degrees here tonight!  Brr...

The Fayetteville Square always does a wonderful job decorating and filling us up with holiday spirit-there are ponies to ride (although I hesitate to let the big kids ride anymore!), camels to ride, carriage rides, holiday music, warm cocoa and coffee...and funnel cakes!  Fried bread with sugar.  Yum.

We visit every year, and try to take pictures in the same place.  I can't believe that next year..we'll be Plus One! ; )

Here are some of our pictures:
Don't you just *love* the abundance of lights?  Nothing like overdoing it!

She was a camera lover tonight-rare. ; )

At least he was on the right side of the railing at this point.

They loved the dog that was under the miniature ponies' tent!

He was also loving the camera attention!  (Maybe they actually missed mom taking pictures?)

..and again!

It is super hard to get three to smile (and sit up!)

But we do our best! : )

Aww...just the girls ; )

And the sign was on an opposite corner this year.  (The boys had already run off!)
I've been monogramming some of the most adorable stuff..but I seriously have taken NO pictures!  Boo. : (  I made Mary Claire a cute little Reindeer Peace Sign (with antlers!) with her name, and a snowflake with an initial, a tie bib with an initial..and I have more shirts to do!  I asked Clay about wearing something I've sewn (I really thought he'd tell me he's too big!), but he said he wanted one to match Ethan's!  I love that he still likes to dress like his brother. ; )

Today was Clay's big eleventh birthday.  He is getting so big so fast.  I still remember the day he was born..I guess that's how everyone's mom feels!  Just amazing how in the moment it is slow going-but it just flies by.  He had a birthday cheesecake on Thanksgiving, and he chose not to have a party this year.  This morning we sang Happy Birthday to him over cheesecake and a candle, then he had some things to open (he already got his big gifts last Friday!), and his cards.  (Ethan wrote his entire card himself!  ..I mean, with me spelling the words!)  And we let him choose a restaurant for dinner.  He picked PF Chang's (it was such a hard decision for him!).  He had wanted sushi too, but they don't have any. : (  He settled, and it was still a good dinner and dessert. ; )  I'm thankful he had a good day-he was very cheerful, and I love to see a happy child!

I did find out tonight that he found a big Christmas present of Mary Claire's in our closet today. : (  ..and he told her.  ..before he told me.  : (  I'm not sure what to do.  Instinct says to take it back, but it's hard.  It would punish her more than him for sneaking around.  It can be awful hard to be a parent.

5.5 days till I know what this sweet baby is..I'm getting really impatient!  We have a Carter's store in town now, and on Black Friday they had an amazing 50% off the entire store..so we had to go!  I got three outfits..for each.  Just in case.  I don't ever get to baby clothes shop with the big kids, so I let them pick out some clothes.  Of course, Clay picked the boy clothes, and Mary Claire chose the girl clothes.  I guess I'll have some returning to do Monday afternoon..we just couldn't let a sale go by.  (And they are as excited as I am, and I'm soo thankful)  : )

ps-I think we need a contest! : )  It is almost Christmas!  How about a Christmas towel with your monogram?  I have a sweet new design:
It's an ornament!  Precious.  And I love the red/lime! : )  ..but yours could be any color ; )
I also got this adorable one I can't wait to try!  It's called Shabby Wreath! : )  It has your monogram letter in the center also.
and don't you need a treat for your kitchen?  I'm totally thinking I need one!  : )  Leave a comment, and if you don't have a blog, leave your email address! : )  Hugs!  (oops..I'll announce the winner on Sunday night, Dec. 4th after 9pm!)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Full of Thanks!

Hey ya’ll!  I’m back, I’m back! : )  I’ve so missed you-and your lives too!  I’m trying to get back on top of things (heehee)..and I couldn’t sleep (even on the kids’ break..), so here I am. ; )  (I think I’m on a new schedule…called Early to Bed, Early to Rise!)

I got a new camera (yay!) (it’s a Canon SX40HS), and today I did the first upload-and it took a while..those videos take up SO much room!  I am really hoping to catch up here, move forward, and get to some *FUN* things!  I have bought some absolutely adorable new designs for my sewing machine..and I totally need to get in the Christmas spirit! ; )

..and I’m getting there!  I remembered that I’d promised Stephanie I’d make her daughter some American Girl bedding for her fancy white bunk beds…and I finally got it done. ; )  It turned out really cute.  I looked up Sydney’s bedding online at Pottery Barn, and tried to match the colors-then I added her dolls’ names to the pillows.  I mean, how PB is that? ; )

This is Kanani's bedding ; )

Ready to mail! ; )
Friday Ethan had his Thanksgiving play-and the kids were adorable!  Monday all the parents helped take them on a “field trip” to Chick-Fil-A to sing in their Indian outfits again…this time with an audience! : )  Chick-Fil-A even gave them free kids meals (and gave the parents ice cream while the kids played!).  They did really well-I think better than at the school.

His class after the play-he's at the back right!

Afterward.  Not great, but the only one I got!

His was better! : )

With his friend, Andrew and their turkeys! : )

Chick-Fil-A welcomed us Monday with a big sign!

He was ah-ah-ah-ah on his mouth (what do you call that anyway?)

And a great picture!  (after he saw the ice cream cones!)
And yesterday, Clay had Colonial Days!  Did I take a picture?  No. : (  I was busy helping all the kids in the class make pomander balls!  There were six centers for the kids, and I only did one..but I got really good at it! ; )  We used oranges, poked holes with a toothpick about a half inch apart, then rolled them on a napkin (to dry them), then in cinnamon (to show the holes), then poked cloves into the holes.  Afterward, we wrapped them in muslin that I’d precut, and tied them up.  They smell absolutely delicious!   (I totally got the best center!)  The kids wanted to lick the juice off the orange as it dripped, and then it made them all hungry.  (Good thing there was a butter-making center with fresh bread and hot cocoa!)  I wish I’d pulled out my camera for a picture, but I got too busy!  Here’s a picture I found online, courtesy of eons.com:
This one is rather perfect (and has tons more cloves than we used!) ; )

After school, we took the kids to see Happy Feet Two-it was so sweet!  The son, Eric, really was loving this “flying penguin” (you find out later it’s a puffin), but finally comes to see his father as the hero in the end.  So precious.  And the singing was awesome!

Today I’m making dressing for dinner tomorrow, and I’m debating making sweet potato casserole (because it’s so delish!), or some pumpkin chocolate chip muffins (they are EASY-three ingredients!!).  Don’t you just love a day to eat, oops I mean, be thankful?  And boy, do we have lots to be *thankful* for this year, despite all the rough stuff.

In fact..I should give you the recipe for the muffins-they are impressive (IMHO), but so simple. :o)

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins
1 can pumpkin (15 oz)
1 box spice cake mix (I buy Duncan Hines)
1 bag mini chocolate chips (if you are making regular-size muffins, use regular chocolate chips)

Mix together pumpkin and cake mix well.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Put into mini muffin tins (makes about 48), and bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes.
*Mini-muffins have about 13.8 grams of carbs each.*

As soon as I get the kids’ shirts done (Mary Claire got a peace sign with reindeer antlers!), I’ll set up a contest.  Maybe Black Friday?  Until then, may God bless you with a very thankful Thanksgiving! 

Ps-baby is fine, and I’m growing : )  Counting the days till December 5…whadaya think?  Boy or Girl?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Just Baby Stuff ; )

Oh, Jules!  What great questions! ; )

Umm..we have a feeling it's a girl (regardless of our crazy ultrasound doctor's "boy" determination!).  He told us that at 12 weeks and six days, and now we've read that the earliest you can tell the gender is 14.5 weeks.  So..we still think it's a girl, but not enough to call it a girl name yet!

Ethan is really dying for us to have a name for our baby, but we just can't yet.  He also REALLY wants it to have a room and some furniture..I think he's actually worried.  We are procrastinating since we are nervous to start buying stuff again, and have to return it.  We also emptied out a room before, and had to kinda put furniture back in (Not Fun.).  So..we thought we'd wait until we know what it is, and we're at the halfway point.  We are just really nervous, I guess.

We do still have a baby crib, in the attic.  It's the one we used with the other kids, but we think the side that goes up and down (that's now outlawed here!) is not fully-functioning. (It actually had a three child and/or a ten-year warranty, but we've outlasted both!) We are debating between buying a new one (with the little side that folds down), or just putting the crazy side to the wall.  We still have an armoire and changing table/dresser with drawers (that matches the baby bed) (and they are still in Ethan's room), so he'd have to have some new furniture!

We still have some really old stuff we've loaned out a few times (their exersaucer, a swing, a pack-and-play, and a Bumbo seat from Ethan), but after seeing the new comfy side-to-side swings with a big papasan of a seat, I think I need one! ; )  I still have onesies for a baby, some blankets and some clothes I couldn't part with!  I'll get a new baby bag (or I'll make one!), and we'll be fine.  Oh..but a car seat and stroller-we gave ours away, so I'll need those!  Maybe I will shop a little over Christmas break. ; )

Don't you worry..when I'm sure, and I know what it is..I'll be busy.  I can't wait to get a nursery ready!  We are going to use the office in our house for the baby's room, so there is no closet (!), but I'm hoping the storage in the furniture will be enough.  When the baby grows, we'll have to do something!  We've thought about adding on, or doing some construction to add a room, but I don't want to do it while I'm pregnant.  I don't need the stress!  Mary Claire's room is huge, and actually has a sitting room off of it, and she'd love to share her room with a baby girl...so we'll see.  I wouldn't do that at first, since she wouldn't sleep very well, but it could work in a year or so. : )

I had an orthodontist appointment today, and he asked about me being pregnant-I'm pretty much showing now.  He asked how long I was not telling, and I told him until I couldn't hide it anymore! ; )  I guess I'm past that?  I have Bunco tomorrow night, and I haven't officially told all of them, so I guess it's tomorrow!  I didn't mean to keep it "secret", I just didn't want to have to tell them if something happened.  And..as things come up, I'll have to share with a few more people!  I haven't said anything on Facebook either, for the same reason..it's hard if you've miscarried, it taints everything.  (You even feel like the little boy who cried wolf!  ..I'm pregnant..I'm not.  I'm pregnant, I'm not...)  I'm so thankful I had three untainted, joyful pregnancies before I knew that bad things could happen.

So, for today..I listen to the heartbeat and count the days until my next ultrasound.  Until I know what it is, and can finally get ready. ; )

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Man Under the Tracks

Happy Sunday! : )  Did you get ANY rest today? ; )  We traveled from one event to another all day today, so I feel bad we did no resting..but we did lots of playing and visiting friends, does that count?

We have had quite a week!  Mary Claire had another choir concert at school for Veteran's Day, and Clay got to call the flag ceremony!  (He was the "Caller", and called out the commands for his boy scout den to post the colors (flag), and he did well..wish I had a good camera!!)  And I had a wonderful book group meeting on our latest book, The Apostolate of Holy Motherhood.  It's a great book-there is a mom (unnamed to protect her identity) who saw visions of Mary and Jesus for months, and she took notes and wrote everything they said.  It's amazing to see her devotion, and also the love They have for families and mothers.  Sweet, sweet book.

We've also had crazy blood sugars, and a fun sleepover!  I took Mary Claire to the doctor last Monday-she'd had high blood sugar numbers, a fever, and didn't feel well.  The doctor said she had fluid in her ears, but no infection.  He gave us a prescription to fill if she didn't get better.  I changed her pump site twice..and even the new insulin, site, and a raised basal didn't help.  Finally, I filled the prescription...and wouldn't you know it..within hours, she was back to normal.  Lesson?  Trust your instinct.  Illness destroys good blood sugars, and antibiotics?  Totally level the playing field. ; )

The sleepover?  Total other story.  I was not nervous (she was at Sandra's, has stayed over before, she's older, and she knew the drill: call if you're low, call if you're high, call if you are getting ready to eat, call before bed, call when you wake up).  But, with all those good blood sugars...she ran low!  She was 122 before dinner, then had so much fun!  She ended up at 52 right before bed (at midnight!), so she had to have some crackers and peanut butter, and at 7am, she was only 70!  Boy, I did some praying Friday night.  Nothing like your child not being under your roof to bring you closer to God!  ; ) 

We had another (well, I think I've had four this week?) God moment this week.  We pray every morning that God will show us who to help that day.  And on Thursday morning?  Clay was moved.  We were on the way to his doctor appointment (and Mary Claire was with us since was was too high to go to school, and Ethan has no school on Thursday..), and Clay saw a man by the railroad tracks with a cart and some bags.  He told me he thought we needed to give the man some money.  I didn't want to tell him no (even though we only had four minutes before our appointment!).  I gave him some money, pulled off by the tracks, and let him go.

He ran, and me?  I freaked out.  (What was I thinking?  That man could be crazy, and hurt my boy!)  Mary Claire and I started praying-she could tell I was panicking.  Then..long story short..we got him back in the car, and rejoiced!  I was so thankful he was okay, and he was absolutely thrilled.  That's all I can call it.  He had fallen, cut his knee, and three fingers were bleeding, but he didn't care.  He had no pain.

In the car, Mary Claire asked him about it, and how much he'd given the man, and Clay looked at me.  We don't talk about giving or amounts, so I told her that in the Bible (Matthew 6:3), it tells us not to let the left hand know what the right hand is doing, and it refers to us not telling others what we give.  She understood: our reward is in Heaven, not here on earth from people.  
Then after we got inside, we bandaged all his fingers (with Spider-Man, Scooby Doo and Dora bandaids).  When the doctor asked what happened to him (looking at his fingers!), he said he fell down.  That's it.  My baby earned a reward in Heaven.  And of course, that amazing feeling inside that comes from listening to the Holy Spirit! : )

Please pray for my friend, Krystal-she's now in Heaven, and pain-free.  And we also got a prayer request for Emilie-she is 36, has three young children, has been diagnosed with brain tumors, and had a massive seizure last night.  Pray that she can come home and will be healed.  We never know what tomorrow brings.

ps-I'm still good, and baby is doing well!  December 5th is our next ultrasound..and legs uncrossed-we'll know what it is for sure!  I can't wait. ; )  Sending hugs your way!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Shakespeare and Diabetes

Hey ya'll!  I'm sorry it's been so long-I don't think I've even looked at my computer since Friday or Saturday?  It's been like that.  I won't use that four letter b- word. ; )

Today I'm super thankful for Medtronic and their humans who call.  They know I need supplies-and I keep forgetting to call!  I saw a random number (at 7:30am) on caller id-but HAD to answer (curiosity gets me so many times!), and it was them, checking on us.  I know they make lots of money on our order (usually $750 for our order), but I'm still thankful for a human, not a machine, and that my brain remembers every night that I need to call... (even though they are closed).

Yesterday, Clay had a play at a *Shakespeare Festival*!  Most of the schools in Springdale had performances last night.  His GT group has been practicing after school, and getting ready for their play: A Midsummer Night's Dream.  He was Nick Bottom (a weaver) in the play.  And accidentally (after she was under a spell to fall in love with the first person she saw), Titania falls in love with him after he is turned into a donkey (hahahaha!).  It was funny to watch all the kids speaking Shakespeare's lines (albeit abbreviated!), some super fast, some with so much expression I fell in love with them...it was incredibly entertaining! : )
Yes, that's him on the right when he's turned into a donkey!
I have a sucky old camera, but I did get a picture of Clay in his "costume", and I got about 15-20 minutes of video on my iphone (I ran out of space!).  I wish I'd already gotten a new camera..I have to work on that.  The one I want is really expensive, so I'm reasoning that if I wait...it'll be more valuable to me?  I'll have "saved" up?  It'll go on sale?  Ha!  I'm missing my kids' big moments!!  I will have to remedy the situation. ; )  My blog is much less fun-I'm pretty visual!

Mary Claire came home sick yesterday, and I took her to the doctor.  If you need to come home with a small fever, I need to know why the fever.  She has some fluid in her ears, but no infection yet.  He gave me a prescription for an antibiotic if her fever stays up or if she still feels bad..but she was fine.  She felt up to going to run some errands and going to Olive Garden-and was quite animated.  Then she told me how she was going to take a nap at home (since I was taking her back to school if she was fine!).  That girl-she can work the system!  If she hadn't had high blood sugars for the past two days, I'd think nothing was wrong.  The blood tells the truth. : (

It's Diabetes Awareness Month.  Here's my contribution (incredibly unofficial):  Don't call my child diabetic (it's politically incorrect), she is a child with diabetes.  We don't label people.  (Other examples: You don't have a cancerous child, you have a child with cancer.  You don't have a handicapped child, you have a child with a disability.)  Just doing my part, ya'll, and please don't call her diabetic.  I hate that word.  :o)

and ps: I'm fine, baby's fine-woohoo! : ) Almost 16 weeks, and going for AFP (Alpha-FetoProtein) test today..boo.  But tells if they have a closed spine, so it's beneficial.  (how on earth can they tell that from blood work??)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Bats and Guns

Such a great few days. : ) We are home from Florida (after a v-e-r-y long wait at the airport for a new plane after ours had mechanical difficulties!), and we've had a day full of Halloween fun: dress up, parties, trick-or-treating, and some gorging..(the kids had some candy too!), and today was Mary Claire's first school choir concert!

The kids were all excited when we came home-we'd gotten Ethan a Francesco Bernoulli GeoTrax car and some Halloween books, and packed it in our luggage-the other stuff we'd mailed back home via UPS!  Mary Claire was disappointed we didn't have her Justice clothes, and I didn't realize-but I mailed back the new *maternity* (!) clothes I bought at Gap.  Silly me.  They should all be here by Thursday.  We'd also bought two new baseball bats and had them shipped-and they are already here!  It's a good thing we mailed them-when we got to the airport, it said no "club-like" objects!  (I'd never seen that one before!)

Anyway, the kids got some money for their grades and they've been pooling money saved, and they are anxious to spend it, of course.  Mary Claire wants the skateboard set from American Girl (..but it's backordered till December 13th!), and Clay wants a bb gun (I truly don't know how to spell that!).  I'm kinda putting him off since I am not into shooting, and I seriously doubt we can have one in our city limits!  I can't believe they are old enough to find things they want online, and that they don't ask for little things anymore.  They have grown up so much.

Halloween-we have quite the candy piles at our house!  I had no idea-we certainly didn't need all that.  And?  I bought two more big bags of candy for trick-or-treaters yesterday morning-and we hardly had any. : (  Really!  We live on a short street, and there are only two houses, and I think some people didn't think it was worth walking down here for just one house (our neighbors were gone till almost eight!)...so we have lots of candy left.  What on earth are we going to do with all that candy?  (do you need some?)

And today the fun continued..I had Bible study, Ethan had Mother's Day Out, Clay had play practice for A Midnight Summer's Dream, then he had an orthodontic appointment, then we ate out, and Mary Claire had a school choir performance!  It was a "practice" for Veteran's Day, when their school is hosting the mayor and some other special "surprise" guests. : )  It was beautiful-I just love kids' voices, they are so angelic.

And me?  Very well..still going!  I went to the doctor yesterday, got a flu shot, and I agreed to the AFP test (alpha-fetoprotein).  It's another test, that can catch 95% of spinal problems, and since it wasn't invasive..I agreed.  It's another one I've never had, but I can do it.  I had to see another different doctor since my doctor is still out, and the new one really wanted me to have it.  It's just lab work, and I have gotten braver. ; )  I have to go in after Wednesday for it.   There's apparently a date requirement for it too.  I'm learning even more than I ever thought I would about testing.

And?  I scheduled my 20 week ultrasound for December fifth..so not long till I know what this sweet little baby is!  The kids, Ethan especially, wants a name for the baby, and we don't have one yet.  It'll be hard.  I think it will be the last one, so I want it to be a good name-it feels like a big responsibility!  I've never felt this way before.
I just want to enjoy each day-we'll think of something by they time they come. ; ) Still just thankful for today!