Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Modem Died!

I won't be posting or emailing for 2 to 3 days as my modem just died. Look forward to catching up with you all soon.
God Bless, Stacie

Monday, February 23, 2009

Callie, Jacob's Toy, UNO, and Life

This is Callie, Steve's brother's daughter. We are just getting to know her and it has been such a pleasure. Vern and Ethel bring her up to spend the night on their way from Salem. All the cousins enjoy playing with her. They had a great time on the trampoline this time.
This is a little doggie vacuum. It's so cute and it actually picks up some dirt!

Steve plays UNO with Callie and the kids. He was very patient!

As for life, the last couple of days have been busy and my internet has been down. The Lord spoke to me about my computer habits and challenged me to fast from the computer on Sundays. Oh my, I was surprised at how much I depend on my computer! The pull was unbelievable when things quieted down. I prayed more, read some Christian magazines, read to the kids and did my Bible study. It felt good to put my attentions on my Lord where they should be.

I am feeling lots of contractions. It is all good. I like knowing that my body is preparing itself for the birth. I am almost 5 weeks away from birth! Yeah!

Steve and I got to go on a date Saturday. Candy and Dennis watched the kids so we could go to the Fire Department Awards Banquet. It was relaxing and the food was very good. I just couldn't eat much of it. I had a bite of Steve's prime rib and man was it good!

Church was great on Sunday. Pastor Don told us what we were doing right as a church and was really encouraging. He said that the church is much more unified then when he first came. What a blessing to hear!

Pastor Steve should have started his Chemo yesterday. I hope all goes well for him and he has no adverse reactions to it.

It rained and rained today. The floor is caked with mud. I swept it twice today and finally gave up. Tomorrow, I'm going to have the kids clean it. They made the mess!

Steve is supposed to come home tonight. I'm hoping that we can watch "Against All Odds". It is all about the miracles that God has done for Isreal. Catherine recommended and I am very excited to see it.

Last night I got one and a half hour's sleep. I'm just praying that tonight will be better. I have Mom's Morning Out tomorrow (there will be a talk on submission) and then Tae Kwon Do. I will homeschool in the afternoon, so a nap is out.

I got a short massage today from the lady who is doing my prenatal massages. It felt really good. We talked more about the delivery and I am getting excited to try something new. I still need to break the news to Dr. Faherty that there will be one more person in the room. Steve isn't too sure about it, but I think he wants me to be as comfortable as possible. It's free, so I don't mind trying it at all. It can't hurt anything! When it's baby number six, you don't mind trying something new.

I'm getting excited to see all my friends at a baby shower this Sunday that my sis and stepmom are giving me. I haven't had a baby shower since my first baby. It will be fun to see everyone.

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Saturday, February 21, 2009

Impromptu Tea Party!

I have been wanting to take my MIL, Ethel to ANZAC Tea Parlor since it opened several years ago. It just has never worked out. So this morning, I called to see if we could get reservations. We were able to to get it (barely)! Ethel was thrilled to get out and do something "girlie" with two of her granddaughters! Callie and Jessica did an amazing job with their tea manners and you should have seen those two devour the cucumber sandwiches and down their three or four cups of tea!
Jessica was thrilled to get the cup her mom got last time with the golden leaf handle.
Jessica took this picture of Ethel, Callie and I. We really did have a lovely time. I didn't even need to use my gift certificate Steve got me for Valentine's Day. Ethel treated me for my coming up birthday! Wasn't that sweet? She later told me it was the highlight of the trip. It made me feel so good! I have the best In-Laws in the whole world.
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Tea Party Hats

After tea the girls (Jessica and Callie) begged to try on all the pretty vintage hats. They looks so cute in them! They are getting to be such good friends.
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Jacob's Birthday Gathering

Jacob tries to tickle his Nana Diana with Papa's stampede strings on his cowboy hat. He was having so much fun with them.
My Grandma Mary (Mom's mom) and Steve's folks, Vern and Ethel eating Pulled-Pork sandwiches.
We were all shocked when Jacob blew out the candles without being told what to do! Where did he learn that?
OK, here it is "Death by Chocolate" ready for the recipe? It's really easy...

1 brownie mix (cooked up according to directions then crumbled after cooled)
1 box of chocolate pudding prepared according to directions.
1 large carton of whipped cream
5 Hershey Skors Bars crumbled up

One layer of brownies. One layer of pudding, one layer of whipped cream and one layer of candy bars. Repeat! Refrigerate until ready to eat. You will need a LARGE bowl to put this in!
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Marcus Turns Author

Oops, these pictures are in the wrong order. Nana Diana has been encouraging Marcus to write his own books. He loves Ted Arnold's "Fly Guy" series and decided to make his own. He wrote "Fly Girl" first and now has written and illustrated about Fly Guy and Fly Girl's wedding. They are very cute! Diana made them into books and has been giving them to her second grade class to read. They loved them! She also sent copies to Ted Arnold and made Marcus his own copies. The picture above shows a sweet note from all of Diana's kids, thanking Marcus for writing these books and begging for more. I think his next book will be their honeymoon!
Nana and Marcus with his two books and another thank you letter.
If you click on this picture you can bring it up and read part of the story. The pictures are really cute, too.
This one is a little closer so you can see it better. We are all very proud of Marcus, and thankful to Diana for her sweetness of getting him started. I have not had the time to do something like this. She is an awesome Nana!
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Birthday, Facebook, Life

Yesterday, a friend invited me to join Facebook. I went ahead and did it and I now have a profile on there. I'm still not 100 percent sure what it is all about. I did notice that half of my church is on there, so it's kind of fun to see all the pictures of everyone. I think I much prefer blogging. It seems easier. So we'll see how it goes. I even saw my old Pastor on there. It would be neat to see what he is up to. I don't really want to get started on another "computer thing". Blogging is my thing because it's easier and has consolidated my emailing and made my life easier. I don't want to make things more complicated. I can get addicted to that kind of stuff really easy and I have to watch myself. Unfortunatly, I know me!

This morning started out early. Jacob keeps waking up around 5:45 a.m. (about the time I'm getting back to sleep). I felt the Lord put something on my heart for my monthly mother's devotion, but I was so tired I felt like the grammer and wording was all off. I sent it off to two different people to edit, so maybe they can help me. I kind of feel like I'm in a fog. I was able to do my Bible study after breakfast. That felt good.

Homeschooling this morning went much better then yesterday. Jess whipped through her work and so did Josh. The boys have been writing stories a lot lately and I've actually had to tell them that they have to stop writing so they can finish their other work. I'm glad to see that their confidence is up and that writing isn't so scary to them. It will be nice when spelling clicks for them. Sometimes the way they spell things drives me crazy! I'm a stickler for spelling and neat handwriting and both the boys aren't great at either. I'm trying to remember that they are kids and I think they are pretty normal in that regard. I'm just tired and don't have as much patience with it.

I took Jess and Marcus with me to run some errands. We went to the library first, where they each chose a movie. Marcus discovered the "Star Wars" series and grabbed three or four books. I love watching him discover the awesomeness of reading! I found another Mythbusters to serve as physics and science next week. They love these shows and don't even know they are learning. We then ran to the store and bought more hamburger buns for our pork pulled sandwhiches.

All the grandparents came and I invited everyone to dinner after making this huge roast. It was so easy! We threw some cheddar cheese on top and had corn on the side. I served Death by Chocolate for Jacob's "cake" and it was almost all gone by the time everyone left! Our family LOVES this dessert!

I will get some pictures posted hopefully later today of the party. It was relaxing and fun to be able to talk with everyone. I'm so glad our family gets along!

Mom brought me up my Costco order, my Azure (health food) order, a dresser, towels and washclothes (my grandma moved into a retirement home and gave me all of hers. Some are even new!), and a bunch of baby stuff from Jackie. I need to reorganize my house now!

I woke up because my hips were hurting so bad. I could hardly turn over. So I am waiting to see if some Tylonel will help. I'm going to go read now. Maybe I can get some sleep.

I need to figure out what to make for breakfast and lunch. My in-laws are here and I was thinking about some wheat pancakes and sausage. We can have the leftover pork sandwhiches for lunch. Don't you just love how I think out loud?

Friday, February 20, 2009

Happy Birthday, Jacob!

I thought I would make a collage out of my pictures of Jacob of this past year. My baby is TWO today and won't be the baby for much longer. It makes me sad, but I am excited as I watch him learn about the world around him, pray, sing, dance and listen to him talk more and more. I just love this little guy! Thank you, God for giving us our little Jaker's Man!
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Thursday, February 19, 2009

"Plumber Jacob"

He gives me this cheesy grin now and closes his eyes when he smiles.
Instead of "Plumber Joe", we'll call him "Plumber Jacob"! Cute crack! What's with it with guys scratching their bum? I just love it!
Josh is teaching him how to army crawl. He's even getting his big brother's sound effects down.
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Just Stuff

Here I am, it's almost 3:00 a.m., so why not blog when you can't sleep?

Yesterday, I homeschooled then I was able to get a massage after lunch. My back and sciatic nerve were really tight and I immediately felt some relief. He really worked my legs over and I was surprised at how tight everything is. He said it's because of my pregnant waddle. Oh my, I'm waddling again. Here comes that gigantic penguin!

The older boys and Jessica were being very disrespectful to me, so Steve had to lay down the law again about how to and how not to treat their mother. I am so glad he backs me up.

Steve burned more of his tree that he cut down. He has been burning almost every day that he has been home. I like to see him working outside, staying busy. The kids love being out there with him, too.

I'm so looking forward to gardening with the kids this year. They will be older and more helpful with the weeding. It's something we can do together and get excited about. I love to see the new growth peek out of the dirt and watch them discover it too.

I just went on Amazon.com and bought several books that I keep hearing about. I bought Summer of the Monkeys by Wilson Rawls (if you haven't read this to your boys you are missing out! We just finished it for the second time and the kids and I were in tears by the end, of course after we had laughed most of the way through it.) I got it for a penny! I keep hearing about "Passionate Housewives Desperate for God", so I bought that one. I also bought one on how to handle your anger when your kids drive you crazy. I can't remember the name of it now, but I'm hoping it will get me inspired to stop lashing out at my kids when they do "not-so-smart-kid-stuff".

I also went ahead and bought the Audio Cd set for "Daniel" (Beth Moore). I really don't think I can complete the study without the sessions. So when I'm done with "Esther" I'm going to go back and listen to all of the "Daniel" sessions again and review the work before I pick it up again. Can you tell I like to have a plan?

I found Andrew's Cubbie patch in his book and he was so sweet. He said, "Thanks, Mom, for finding my patch for me." He was so excited as he watched me sew it on to his vest. I'm so glad he likes to go to AWANAs. The kids are all excited about the AWANA Grand Prix coming up in a week and a half.

Today, Margaret is supposed to come over and share with me about the amazing financial seminar that their church put on. I'm hoping to glean some information on how to manage our finances better. I think I do a good job, but there is always room for improvement.

Good report on Josh! Trudy (his educational therapist) says that he is showing great signs of understanding math concepts. This has been such a struggle for him, so I am excited that he is moving forward in this. It makes my job so much easier if he understands the concepts behind the problems. He will get tested probably in March and as long as he shows improvement, we are safe to homeschool him. I'm pretty sure that won't be a problem.

Jessica has been giving me lots of "attitude" when it comes to homeschooling. I am working more on reading and it is more work for her. She would pick out the same phonics book over and over but I am making her stretch herself. She gets really mad at me and I have been sending her to her room until she is ready to come out and be willing to learn again. It takes her awhile sometimes, but she can't stand to be away from everyone for too long. Silly girl.

Vern and Ethel (Steve's folks) are coming up with Callie (Steve's brother's daughter). They will come on Friday and leave Saturday. Jacob is turning two on Friday, so I'll make them a nice dinner then the other grandparents will come and we'll have a little party for him. I'm going to make "Death by Chocolate" for the occasion and stick two candles in it. I just don't want to spend the money on a cake and he isn't going to remember anyway!

Mom is bringing up a dresser for the new baby. I have a great spot cleared away in a closet for it. I love free furniture!

Well, I'm getting sleepy again, so maybe that's a good sign. I'm going to try to go back to bed again and maybe get another hours sleep before I have to meet the day head-on! Praise God for His strength when I am so tired and weak. He keeps me going even when it doesn't make any sense.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Thoughts About One on One With Your Children

I loved these thoughts from Todd Wilson about the pressure of trying to spend one-on-one time with your kiddos when you have a large family. I tend to go with his philosophy. So here it is.

The Familyman

Todd Wilson, Familyman Ministries

This is an interesting topic and one that can leave you feeling a little more depressed after reading about it than when you began, especially if you have a bunch of children. Because the truth is, it gets harder to spend one on one time with each child the more children you have.
We have eight children, and the thought of having to take each child out for a daddy-date or a mommy-date sounds overwhelming and practically impossible. I know for a fact that my wife sometimes feels weighted down in this area. She's fallen under the impression that, for anything to be special to a child, it has to be one on one.

I'm not sure that is true or even good for a child. Maybe it's possible for a child to feel special even when surrounded by all the other children in a family. Maybe it's even better. And that is doable.

For those of us with more than a couple children, we can make it a point to hold one of our children on our lap and talk about the day, read a book to one of our youngest, or work on a project with our oldest. We can watch a family video and snuggle up to one child in particular, go out to eat and let child "D" sit next to us at the table, or go roller skating as a family and hold hands with one of our sons or daughters as we make our way around the rink.

If you think about it, maybe it's better to train our children that they can be special without having to be away from everyone else.

Not that I'm against spending time with a child one-on-one. There are times when I have to speak somewhere, and I take one of my children with me. It's fun to talk, work, and eat together. And my wife takes one child along with her when she goes grocery shopping each week. They rotate, and she buys them a special food treat when they go. The kids love it.

Although we do those things and you might implement them as well, you should not feel guilty because you just can't seem to get them alone for one-on-one time very often. Instead, try making them feel special within a family context. I bet you could even do that today.

Be real,

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Jessica's Turn

Here are our slightly ugly, but yummy chocolate-covered strawberries. The kids devoured them, even Jacob. Josh hated them, though.
I think Jess might be a nurse when she grows up. She insisted on giving Jacob his antibiotics. She did a terrific job, too.
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Andrew is Almost Four!

Andrew and Jacob on the changing table.
Andrew stirs the chocolate for the chocolate covered strawberries for Valentine's Day.
Jess took this picture of Andrew on the trampoline.
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Snickers Doodle Pie

Jacob is kissing Snickers' boo boo. She just came home from being spayed and wasn't feeling too hot.
Kind of a weird picture, but she still looks cute.
She contorts herself into the weirdest positions sometimes. We just have to laugh. This is her favorite place to sleep. I don't mind if she's on the couch because I have yet to see one of her hairs!
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Monday, February 16, 2009

Another Loss

We have had really bad luck with animals lately. Margaret was over watching the kids while I took Josh to his dermatology appointment. Her son, Liam, found Belle (our Nubian goat) laying in the shed barely breathing. Marcus was really upset. She was on death's door. Steve was gone (of course) so I called my back up, my dad. I turned the TV up while he came and took care of her and then took her away. I was so thankful that he dealt with it and it was done within a half hour. Marcus cried and cried.

The rest of the kids took it well. She was really old and I could tell she wasn't doing really well the past week. So another one bites the dust. I asked Dad if we really stink at taking care of the animals, and he said no, they are just old.

On a positive note, Josh finally got in to see the dermatologist and they said that the large rash on his neck is fungal. The steroid cream that was given to us made it worse, so that is why it kept spreading. He told us to get some athlete's foot cream and put it on morning and night. We are sooooo glad it isn't psoriasis! So that is a huge praise. Josh was very relieved because he has watched his dad suffer from psoriasis and knows what it is all about.

Steve just got home from being at work and a pediatric recertification class, he is now playing with his new chainsaw and is having a ball burning everything he cuts down! Men are too funny!
I can hear again, but I'm still not 100 percent well. I only have a day and a half left of antibiotics, so I need to kick this thing quick otherwise I'm going to have to go to the doctor again.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Question

The Question

Written in 2008

Dear Mothers,

This morning I was lying in bed praying for my children. One of the things I often pray for is that they would make their faith their own. I don’t want them to just believe because I’ve taught them to believe. I want them to see that God is real for themselves! That He speaks to them and wants a relationship with them.

After breakfast that same morning, I was reading my children a story about a Muslim who persecuted Christians, but then became a Christian after experiencing the love of those he was trying to intimidate. He then became the persecuted. Josh, my nine-year old, asked me the “scary question”. This is the question that all Christian parents dread. He said, “But mom, what if it’s all a joke? What if God isn’t really real?” I immediately reminded him of his brother, Andrew’s, bunk bed accident. I told him, “Andrew wouldn’t be with us today if God wasn’t real.” I then went back through the past few years. I reminded him of how God answered our prayers for a larger house for our growing family, how we wouldn’t even have had the last three children if God hadn’t spoken to me about it and changed my heart. I shared with him, that I wouldn’t be homeschooling if the Lord hadn’t kept bugging me about it until I finally said, “Yes!” My husband went on and on for about an hour dialoguing with him about God. Taking him back to Creation, to the forgiveness of sins, to what would it be like to be an atheist without hope.

It was WONDERFUL! What an opportunity God gave me to share once again “the hope that lies within us”. It was a direct answer to my prayer that I had spoken that morning to my loving God.

Josh was so inspired that he wanted to lead someone to the Lord “right then”! So he asked if he could help get Jesus into Andrew’s heart. It was precious to see him lead his little brother to the Lord! I told him that it is very important that his brothers and sisters hear about Jesus from him and that he has a huge responsibility as a big brother to help teach them.

Praise God for His goodness and his immediate answer to my prayer! Don’t be afraid or intimidated by “The Question”. It will happen and it should happen. You want them to be thinking for themselves and coming to those logical conclusions on their own about the realness of our invisible God. It is our job to facilitate those discussions and encourage them in their growing faith and of course, pray, pray and pray some more!

May God bless you as you endeavor to teach your young ones about their Savior and Friend, Jesus.

From One Mom to Another,

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

I made crepes for breakfast and turkey noodle soup for lunch. We will dip some strawberries in chocolate (a first for us) which sounds really messy! Steve is home and has been using his new chainsaw which was our Valentine's Day present to him. I also made a Pork Pot Pie for dinner and even made an extra one to put in the freezer for when the baby comes. I have eight meals in the freezer so far, so that whoever is watching the kids won't have to worry about meals while I'm in the hospital.
Steve surprised me and gave me a gift certificate to ANZAC Tea Parlor! I was shocked! He hasn't given me anything for Valentine's Day since I don't know how long. I was so pleased. Usually he takes me out to lunch or dinner. He did both this year! What a guy. He knows how important it is for me to go out and have a nice conversation over tea and scones with my friends.
It is a sunny, pretty warm day here. I even saw some daffodils and tulips peaking out of the ground. Do you know how excited I am? I am so ready for spring! I need COLOR!!!!!
Hope you are having a good one!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Trying to Cope

Thank you for all your sweet comments in regards to Jacob and I's ear infections. I am still struggling. My ear unplugged yesterday, but I woke up and now it's plugged again. It is really annoying!

I have decided to not even attempt to homeschool today. Even teachers get sick days.

Steve is home and it is payday, so we need to go shopping. This is always an odyssey when you have five children. The two older boys help push the cart, which is a huge help now.

We got our tax return yesterday, so I need to pay all the bills and see what's left so we can determine how much to put on a 15 passenger van. We have a CD and try to put some money in it whenever we can, so that we can stay out of debt when we do need to buy it.

Toni! It's great to see you comment. I'm so glad you got your computer back. Poor little Calvin, I will pray he gets better. I know how he feels.

Jessica, nice to meet you. When I have time I'll put you on my blog list. I love your name, I have a Jessica as well. How are you related to Crystal? If you don't mind me asking.

Thank you for the garlic and oil remedy. I haven't had a chance to try it, but I want to do it soon.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Ear Infections

On Tuesday, I ended up taking Jacob to the ER on suspicion that he had an ear infection. He was fussy for two days and finally started pointing to his ear and saying, "boo, boo". He did have one in his right ear so he started antibiotics Tuesday.

Yesterday, I started feeling crummy and then both ears completely plugged on me. I couldn't believe how fast it happened. I went in at 2:30 p.m. for my OB appointment and asked if he could check my ears. Sure enough, I had an ear infection in my left ear. So he started me on antibiotics.

I can hear out of my right now, but my left feels like I have an earplug in. It's driving me nuts and is quite painful.

Several people posted on my sister's blog about garlic and oil remedies for ear infections. Could you give me an exact recipe for that if you know it? I would love some relief. Praise God, Jacob seemed to be a different child yesterday. He was really feeling better. It's me that's the wimp now!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Pictures of Our Crazy Family

Josh made this cool plane out of Legos. He and Marcus both said to tell Elijah and David that they are now the "best Lego builders ever!" It must be some secret joke, Rach?
This is what we do to our children when they misbehave. Just kidding....!
Andrew said this was a tornado.
When asked if he got into the cookies, Jacob shakes his head and says, "NO!" I think the chocolate around the mouth gave that one away!
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Homeschooling Little Ones

Jessica (five) is teaching Andrew his numbers (3)
"Next we're going to do colors and shapes," says the little teacher!
This kept them busy for a long time! Even Jacob got into it.
I love you, too, Jess!
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