Wednesday, October 29, 2008

One Week!

Now I'm one week away from the official due date! There really haven't been any major changes. This past Saturday night the contractions were coming about every five minutes for around three hours, but the fact that I could sleep through them suggested it wasn't time to head to the hospital, and sure enough, they eventually fizzled out.

When I had my appointment with Dr. H on Friday, he told me to be sure and come in and see him if I go past my due date. I'm assuming we'll talk about inducing. The thought of pitocin is not really a good one, but I think that outweighs going nine days over and having another nine pounder! It's quite disappointing to go past the due date, so I'm hoping that doesn't happen.

In preparation for the big event, we've started condensed school days. The curriculum we use combines Bible, geography, science, and writing. It's sort of a unit study type program, and we reached the end of a unit this past Friday. I didn't really want to start a new unit with all that's about to take place, so I'm just having the girls do their math and grammar, and then we have daily Bible reading and Bible time with dad on our free evenings. I'm comfortable with this schedule as I did plan ahead for this by starting school in July, so I don't feel like we're getting behind. (On the subject of our curriculum, we've been studying and reading (read aloud) biographies on missionaries. Our first one was on Cameron Townsend, founder of Wycliffe Bible Translators. It was a joy to read about him and how he allowed God to use him in such a tremendous way. We just finished reading about Nate Saint a couple of weeks ago. When we started the book, Madison commented that it was so boring. As we reached the end, I had to read the last three chapters on the same day as she just had to know what happened! I had read Elizabeth Elliott's version of the story some time back, so I knew what was going to happen. I had to compose myself a few times before I was able to continue reading. After we finished the book, we got the DVD "The End of the Spear" from the library, which was a movie made about Nate Saint and the other missionaries that were with him. It was a little hard to watch at times and we probably wouldn't watch it again, but it is definitely one of my favorite missionary stories. As these missionary men were being attacked, they could have easily used the guns they were carrying to defend themselves, but they refused as they knew where they were going and they knew that the Auca tribe did not know who Jesus was yet. What tremendous love! I'll be looking forward to reading the next biography when we begin our regular schedule again when things settle down.)

Yesterday, I was given another surprise! We always have play day on Tuesday with our home school group. These women are such a blessing, and I enjoy the weekly conversation and encouragement. One of the moms invited the group to her home yesterday, and when we arrived, the girls and I were greeted with a "Surprise!" These wonderful moms blessed us with a baby shower, and we had a wonderful afternoon of food and fellowship!

That's about it for the weekly update. Time for my morning walk around the neighborhood!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Two Weeks!

With two weeks left until the official due date, I've reached the point where that's about all I can think about. With each contraction, I'm wondering if this is the beginning. I know this is normal and something that every woman does as she is approaching the due date - at least I always have!

I'm going to the doctor every Friday now, and this past week's visit revealed that I haven't gained any weight in three weeks. I was quite surprised by that as I definitely haven't cut down on the eating! But, she said that the baby is still measuring appropriately, so maybe I'm experiencing the best of both worlds? I have been continuing my morning walks and have actually been stepping them up a bit hoping to "make something happen." Maybe that has contributed to the no weight gain. ?

I've had a couple of baby showers and have received some really cute boy clothes. I haven't really been able to find that much over the past few months - there doesn't seem to be nearly as many boy things to choose from, but my friends were definitely able to locate some of the cutest outfits I've seen. He's going to be very well dressed!

My friends at church gave me a surprise baby shower. Remember the Bible study we were having a couple of weeks ago that I blogged about? When I arrived for the Bible study, I realized it was actually a surprise for me! On my "list" of things I most enjoy, a good surprise is way up at the top, and this was wonderful!



My childhood friends gave me a shower this past Friday night. I haven't seen most of them in several months, so it was fun to get together again.

Amelia had fun helping with the packages.


I have finished getting the hospital bag packed, the camera and camcorder are charged and ready to go, and the cradle is all set up for his welcome home. We still need to go get a new car seat, and hopefully we can fit that in this week. Otherwise, Brad may be going shopping while I'm in the hospital! That would be okay, though. He doesn't have to wait on a car seat to make his arrival!

As you're reminded, I would truly appreciate it if you would please pray for the L&D and for the baby. All my deliveries have been quite normal with no complications, but I don't want to take that for granted.

Another interesting note about my deliveries is that all three have occurred on Saturday afternoon, and the same doctor delivered all three. It just so happens that this particular doctor is on-call this Saturday.....

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Mission Accomplished!

Yesterday, the Lord blessed me with energy and motivation, and I was able to accomplish everything on my to-do list. Whether you know it or not, I appreciate your help, too! :>)

The changing out of the clothes and closet organizing definitely took the longest amount of time, but I am so happy to have that taken care of. I enjoy seeing before/after pictures, so I thought I would share some of mine.

Here's my bedroom with all the clothes scattered everywhere!


A couple of hours later....


Stored clothes have been boxed and put away in the attic (Note that not all of these were done yesterday - only a couple of the boxes were added.)


The closet is ready and organized (It actually looks better in person than in this picture.)


The consignment shop bags are ready -


As well as the bags for the donation box -



After a short power nap, I tackled the car. I didn't take pictures of that since I did say I would spare you those details. When I got all the stuff out of there, I realized it needed to be vacuumed, so I took care of that and then loaded up all the bagged clothes so I can drop them off today.

I started the packing of the hospital bag but began to draw a blank as to what I needed to pack. I've always had the "What to Expect When You're Expecting" book with all my other children, but somehow I failed to get a copy this time around. That was always where I got all my information, including what needs to go in the hospital bag. Without much effort, I found a list on the internet this morning, so I'll be continuing this task throughout the weekend as there are some things I'm going to have to purchase.

Thankfully, I had a quick supper planned of Sloppy Joe's and baked potatoes, so it was only a matter of minutes to prepare our meal last night, and I was able to get some other things accomplished while waiting for the potatoes.

I'm thankful that the plan worked, and now I'm thinking I should do this every day! Hmmm....While I'm thinking about it, what do I need to accomplish today?

-We have a short, local field trip this morning and will probably have lunch afterwards.
-Drop off clothes.
-Take Major to the groomer if they can fit him in today.
-When I get home, I need to catch up on my coupon clipping and get the grocery list ready for Friday or Saturday - whenever I can fit in the grocery shopping.
-Assign some school work. This will be a short school day since we have the field trip. We'll do makeup work tomorrow.

I think that's it. Doesn't sound too bad at all!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I need your help!

All you have to do is read this. If there is just one person out there that reads this blog today, that will be a help to me.

I was speaking with a friend on the phone last night when I mentioned that this past Sunday evening I was having several contractions that were pretty close together, and I nearly started to panic because I have so many things that I feel are "undone" right now. You may ask, "then why are you blogging right now instead of doing those things?" Good question. I'll get right to the point. I need someone to hold me accountable today. Even if you don't want to, I can pretend you are. Here's what needs to get accomplished today:

*Get my bag packed for the hospital
*Do something with the piles of clothes that are scattered about my bedroom right now. I'm in the middle of changing Cari and Amelia's clothes out for the new season, as well as purging what doesn't need to stick around. The EBay sells weren't very successful, so I need to get everything bagged up that needs to go to the consignment shop, bag up what needs to be donated, throw out the junk, and store in the attic the things that can be handed down. I need to do this so I can actually take the stuff to the consignment shop and donation box when I'm out tomorrow. (I plan to stay home all day today.) Then I need to actually get everything organized into the closets.
*Clean out the car! I'll spare you the details, but it's a mess.

But first, we need to eat breakfast, do regular chores, and get the school work completed. Okay, here we go. Please pray for motivation (I'm starting to feel a little already after typing this) and energy - I need my vitamins!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Gossip/Slander

For the past several months, the ladies in our house church have been meeting once a month for Bible study. We bring our daughters, and the hostess usually provides tasty refreshments. It is such a wonderful blessing and something that I look forward to. The opportunity to meet with and discuss topics with like-minded women is something I've searched for - for a long time. We also get to do this on Sunday afternoons too, but it's nice to set aside a monthly meeting to get a little more in-depth on certain topics.

The last couple of months, we've been discussing gossip and slander. The first meeting that we did this brought lots of conviction and some serious thinking into the arena. We decided at that point we better do it again the next month to reinforce some of what we had discussed and to also be accountable to one another from one meeting to the next.

We used the book "Damsels in Distress" by Martha Peace as a starting point as she has an excellent chapter on this subject. There are many verses in the Bible regarding gossip and slander, and this is definitely something the Lord does not want us doing.

Why do women (and men, too) enjoy gossip so much? Gossip can almost be recreational for some people, and I must admit that in the past I've had friends that if we weren't talking about someone then there really wasn't much else to talk about. I now try to keep a distance from someone who I feel is likely to want to gossip. "Why?," you might ask. The main reason is I haven't quite figured out the proper way to stop gossip without appearing rude or "holier than thou." I can quickly change the subject, but once the piece of information has been spoken, it's there and probably won't be quickly forgotten.

For several years now, I can't say that I've enjoyed or participated in many gossip sessions, but I do think that slander may have been/is an issue for me. If someone did something to offend me, I could often be found finding or calling the person who is most going to sympathize with me and pouring out my sob story. Did I do this to ask for help with reconciliation with the other person? Probably not. Usually it was done to seek sympathy for myself and to make myself feel better. I have a new approach to this dilemma, which I was able to test recently. Someone did something that was really annoying and frustrating. I had that "boiling inside" feeling. But, I kept it to myself. Within a day or two, I was asking myself "why in the world did that bother you so much?" It was really no big deal. Had I ran to someone with the situation, that would have gotten them involved. I would have gotten over it in a day or two, but would they have gotten over it that quickly? Would they think of that situation every time they saw that person and would it make them think differently of that person? Yes, I think it would. That's the bad part about involving others. You and the person your irritated with may get over it and work things out, but how does that person you told work out the situation in their mind? It can make for quite a sticky situation.

I do think there are times when you do need someone to talk to. For instance, had I still been upset several days later about that situation, maybe I needed to go talk to that person and explain how I felt. What if I felt I needed to gain some insight or wisdom from someone before doing this? Personally, I would talk to my husband. But even then, I need to make sure that I'm doing it in the right spirit - a spirit of wanting to make things right and not a spirit of wanting to get my husband in the middle of it or get him upset about the situation, too.

I was discussing this with a friend recently, and she mentioned an area that she has to be careful with - prayer requests. I agree. I have seen times of group prayer requests turn into gossip sessions, and this is something else that we need to be aware of.

I could go on and on with this, but I'll just add one more thing. We need to be careful in this area in regards to our family members - husband, children, parents, in-laws, etc., etc. We can say things sometimes that are not very nice or maybe even disrespectful regarding our family members. How many times have I jokingly said something about my husband or children that may have been taken the wrong way or made them look bad? Just because I laughed when I said it doesn't make it okay.

Philipians 4:8 comes to mind: Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. I think if I keep that verse in mind, it will make this gossip/slander thing a lot easier to deal with.

Here's another good one - Psalms 19:14 -- Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.

The women/girls are meeting tonight, and once again, I'm anticipating a wonderful evening of fellowship, growing and learning!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

A Leisurely Saturday - Finally!

It's been quite a few weeks since we have had a Saturday to do what we wanted/needed to do instead of having something scheduled that we had to do. For the past few weeks, we've been having softball tournaments ---



and one Saturday we participated in our local fall arts & crafts festival ---



With all that behind us, here are some things I was able to accomplish this Saturday - things that are hard to fit in during the week.

I was able to take some time to freeze some fruits and vegetables that were getting a little soft in the refrigerator. I also got a big bag of bananas at Ingles last Friday for $.99, so I peeled, chopped, and froze most of those for making smoothies. Overall, there wasn't an abundance to deal with, but I felt it was definitely too much to throw out and waste. I had several bell peppers from my dad's garden that I chopped and froze for later use, as well as some leftover apples that I chopped and froze for cobblers, muffins, etc.




Afterwards, I took the opportunity to list some winter clothes on EBay. I had them bagged up to take to the consignment shop, but I've learned (if they sell) that the money comes much quicker with EBay. I only listed one out of the three bags. If they don't do well, I'll probably send them all on to the consignment shop.

My mom had a spur-of-the-moment yard sale, so I helped Brad load up a couple of large items to take over there. I had no time to put together any little things, but it was nice to get a couple of big things out of the way. I spent a little time there in the afternoon and then it was off to Madison's ball practice.

While we were at ball practice, Brad set up a campfire in the back yard. When we got home, we all sat around the fire and roasted hot dogs and later roasted marshmallows and made S'mores. Yummy!!






When we finished, we went inside and made preparations for bedtime before settling in for the night to watch some Texas Longhorn football.

This was my kind of Saturday - no hurries or worries!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Fall Fever

We set out on our morning walk yesterday with a basket in hand to collect various supplies from nature for a fall craft.





Taking a break --



And here you go - our fall creation! We have to give the credit to Family Fun Magazine and my sister for sharing this subscription with us. We had to make one change in regards to his head. FF used an acorn for the head, which was quite cute, but the acorns in our neighborhood made a very, very small head in comparison to the body, so we just used a cotton ball instead.



After lunch, we went back outside for some more fall photos.







Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Why Am I Excited About the Upcoming Election?

Because it's the day before my due date! I absolutely cannot think of any other reason to be excited about November 4th. We do have a McCain political sign in our front yard, but am I wearing the t-shirt, displaying the bumper sticker, or planning a celebration party in case he wins? No. I'm not.

It's been difficult trying to decide what to do about this election. Obama is definitely OUT of the question, and our family slogan has been "anybody but Obama." A friend of mine made a statement the other day that made sense. She said something like "this election will determine whether our country continues to go downhill slowly or quickly." It's sad when all we have to choose from is "slowly" or "quickly."

John McCain is okay, and I like some of the things he has had to say - especially in the pro-life realm - but does his voting record back up all that he's saying. I'm not sure. And Sarah Palin seems like a wonderful lady, but like many others, I'm not sure women were created for such a position. I've read blog after blog and article after article on just that subject. I even read one blog that had over 200 comments on it - most of which could not be backed up biblically and seemed to have more of a world view. I received a daily thought from Nancy L. DeMoss this morning that sort of sums up the reason for that:

"I think we have all been influenced by feminism—all of us. Some of the ideas that we accept as truth and as standard ideas have not come to us through our study of Scripture but have just come to us through culture." Might I add that some of the ideas have even come through the modern-day church.

Out of all that I have read, Voddie Baucham seems to have had the best article on the subject. It's titled "Did McCain Make a Pro-Family Pick?" He was interviewed on CNN a few weeks ago after writing this piece. It is wonderful, and I think it took a lot of courage and boldness to say some of the things that he said.

Here's another good article: LA Times Front Page Highlights Concerns Over Biblical Problems with Palin Nomination

And I was very inspired by what the Botkin sisters recently posted on their blog: Why Sarah Palin Inspires Us

All that being said and read, I find myself wondering again if I should be voting for someone or something that I don't believe in just to help keep someone else out of the office.... Should I be finding out more about Chuck Baldwin? Would that be a wasted vote? Do I vote my conscious or just not vote at all? Oh, the dilemma.

Note: After posting this, God reminded me that He's in control of this election, not me. Talk about taking a load off! :>)