Saturday, August 30, 2014

Some Weekend Reading

1.  One of the funniest things I've ever read. 

2. It's time to arm yourself with information, Mamas. 

3.  A series of posts that talk about commonly held myths or lies in obstetrics.

4.  We expect too much out of post-partum mothers.  "{Our} country is one of the only utterly lacking in a culture of postpartum care." 

5.  A new blog I've recently discovered.  Excellent post.  

Friday, August 29, 2014

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Professional Help

Who is lucky enough to get a football player in full gear
to put dishes away for their family?

We are.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Waaaaaait For It

 BitBit wants to get up on the "hiya" (higher) swing

 I told her to use the swing that she can reach.
She disagreed.

 She really wanted her own way...on the "hiya" swing.
Imagine that--a willful 2 year old.

She was not willing to give up her way
and I wasn't willing to heave my 8 month pregnant body out of
my lawn chair to do it for her.

She became increasingly unhappy.


It didn't seem to bother Ivy much.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Something New

Linnea won a trip to the State Fair again this year.
(click here  and here to see her trip from last year.)
She tried something new for our county fair with showing a sheep
and that is what she won her trip on.

Linnea and "Stevie"

It was a new experience to have a project in the sheep barn.
Abram was and is pretty brave around any of our animals.
I don't have any pictures of the kids getting ready for the fair with any
of their other projects (my camera lens was broken)
so these pictures are courtesy of the friend of ours who owns the sheep.

As I was saying,
Abram liked the sheep.

Linnea left on Wednesday morning and will be back late Sunday night.
Dennis and Elijah are going down with my parents tomorrow
because our club's musical entry also won a trip to the State Fair.
Elijah is very excited to see the event of which he has only heretofore heard stories!

Isaiah will leave on Sunday morning
as his state fair trip was earned with a non-livestock project.
He made a bow out of some sapling branches.
I don't have a picture of it,
but if it concerns Isaiah, it's very difficult to get a picture.

I am glad for the ability to text the kids when they are away from home;
when I was a kid at something like this, there was no way to communicate like there is now.
It's much more reassuring for both kid and parent, in my opinion!

Thankfully, both Linnea and Isaiah have had jobs this summer
that have provided for their expenses at the fair.

I wish I could have gone down tomorrow 
but someone needed to stay home here with the littles
and for the kids handling the farm work while Dennis is gone for the day.
Also, I'm pretty sure I would not have had the energy
to navigate the masses of people and the sprawling fairgrounds.

I hope my mom takes a few pictures so I can see a little of what they were up to!

When Disney's "Frozen" Is a Large Part of Your Life

We were having pizza for supper.
Ivy looked at the one that had pepperoni and black olives on it
and said, "I think I'll wait until the next pizza comes out of the oven.  
This one has black Olaf's on it."

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Basketball Buddies

A friend from church sent me this picture that she took of 
Christopher and Andrew playing basketball with their friend Krosby
during the kick-off night for VBS.
Okay, they weren't actually playing basketball when she took the picture
but you get what I mean.
These two of my boys especially love sports
so any opportunity to play ball with have them doing so!

Monday, August 18, 2014

34 Weeks

Thirty-four weeks along with Baby #11
and I am remembering this post from when I was pregnant with Ivy.
(The only thing different is that I've not dealt with indigestion at all this time.)

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Farm Dogs

I tend to think that farm dogs are different than town dogs.
Basically, a farm dog's job is to bark when someone drives in the yard and when animals are where they aren't supposed to be.
It is expected that they will tolerate the kids' attention
and it's a bonus when they enjoy the kids' attention.
Our dogs do not come in the house (except for when Molly's being a big wimp and she pushes her way in during a thunder storm) so when the kids play outside, the dogs generally come close for some lovin'.

We currently have two dogs, Molly and Copper.
Molly is our smart dog and Copper, well, notsomuch.
When Molly is tired of the attention, she leaves.
Copper never tires of the attention and he never leaves--
he pushes in even closer.
Abram likes to pet Copper and Copper knows that this is a good way to get some attention.
The problem is that it stops Abram's swing from swinging and Abram gets mad.
Abram then pushes against Copper with his foot so he can kind of swing, but he pretty much just ends up bumping against Copper.
Copper doesn't get the message, Abram gets mad, Mom has to yell to the dog to get away.

Elizabeth was just about to fuss at me to "hep" her get up on the "hi-ya" (higher) swing, that's why her face is like this.
The older kids were all gone the day I took these and I tell you, it feels weird to "only" have three to take care of and watch.
It's sort of a reprieve and more work all at the same time.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Ivy's Got da Moves

Ivy and Ruby were the lucky ducks who got to go with Grandma and Grandpa to a rodeo this summer!
My dad had won tickets and their "dates" for the evening (friends of theirs) had to decline at the last minute so my mom called here and asked if anyone wanted to go.
Um, YES!!
My mom sent me this picture of Ivy doing some dance moves while waiting for the rodeo to start.
The kids (well, the younger ones anyway) enjoy seeing themselves on "the blog" so I decided to post this one.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Silly Faces

Now that I can use my camera again,
Ivy thought I should take a series of silly-face pictures.

So we did.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Elijah's Growing Up

Our kids have participated in Awana for several years
and this summer Elijah, Ruby, and Ivy got to ride in a parade
with the church where we go to Awana.
It was an "advertisement" for Awana so the kids each wore their vests/t-shirts.

After the parade there was a free pork supper at the church;
they had face-painting and some lawn games going on as well.

All Elijah wanted was a beard.
He got one.
(my mom took this picture on her phone)
He was absolutely tickled with his new look!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

So Thankful

A friend generously gave me a lens that she was no longer using, so now I can take pictures again!  
Humbled by her generosity?  YES.

The weather this week has been absolutely gorgeous, so as I learn the ins and outs of this different lens, I sat outside with Ivy, Elizabeth and Abram and took a ton of pictures.

After lots of  "oh, so that's what that setting does with this lens..." (delete & try again), I think I have it mostly figured out.

I missed the whole month of July photographically speaking, but now I'll be able to keep better track of my kids---photographically speaking.

 Beautiful flowers from my beautiful friend Gretchen.
She and her husband are talented gardeners.

 Elizabeth Grace and her baby.

 Ivy Joy

 Elijah and Ruby
These two....
Christopher loves working with Dad more than life itself so when he's off with Dad,
Elijah and Ruby team up very well.
They were making a fort this day in the woods
so that left Abram, Elizabeth, and Ivy on the yard with Mom.

 A quick group picture before they left the yard.

my sunshine baby

Abram is really cruising now!
Walking outside is a little trickier because of the uneven terrain, 
but he's going to master it soon!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Can It Really Be August Already?

Whoa.  Where did June and July go?
I no longer bemoan the swift passing of summer as I used to do when our kids went to public school.  Every passing day of summer was one more closer to them being gone all the time and that made me sad.

August should slow down a bit for our family when compared with July.  With Bible camp, our county fair, and VBS, each week was FULL.  Which leaves little time for the work that needs to be done on a farm and in a house, not to mention the stress of "running" here and there and trying to keep enough in the gas tank to get there and back.
Linnea and Isaiah will both have a few days gone at the State Fair toward the end of the month; the older three kids all have off-the-farm jobs that they are gone for but at least I don't have to run them there.  Days that I can stay home all day---consecutive days---are the most productive and the least stressful for all of us.

Abram has started walking!  Finally.  He is, at 15 months, my latest walker.  In all fairness, there were many obstacles to him learning to walk.  Namely, all of his siblings who pick him up and carry him wherever his little heart desires.  Also, our floor space is limited and often strewn with toys that either a) trip him or b) catch his attention and he decides to play with them.
Add to that the fact that Elizabeth thinks she needs to intercept his every move, and well, you get a 15 month old just beginning to walk.
He has gone from 1-2 steps to the entire hallway and getting back up on his own when he falls in just a matter of days!  I'm bummed to have no pictures of it as my camera is still not working.  The last picture I was able to take was at the end of June.  Bummer.

That camera was a once-in-a-farmer's wife-lifetime for me.  We've not ever spent as much at one time as we did when we bought that $450 camera at the end of a particularly good bean harvest four years ago.  My brother-in-law, a photographer, says that all electronics are just plastic and they wear out so very quickly; that I take a lot of pictures and it's just time for a new one.  *Sigh*  Ain'tgonnahappen.

Today was a different sort of day.
To back up a bit, Linnea and Isaiah were at camp all this past week (Sunday through Thursday) thanks to a generous anonymous gift to the camp for our family.  It was also the week of our church's Vacation Bible School.  Our church also has a Baseball Clinic prior to the evening VBS to which I sent Andrew, Christopher, and Elijah.  Nathaniel was out of town for work Weds-Friday late, so thankfully, Dennis' parents generously helped with rides.
I'll admit, getting Ruby, Ivy, Elizabeth, Abram and me out the door on time fed, in clean clothes and with hair done was a challenge by myself.  I was a mess most days.  I've been very tired lately and my legs have been swelling more (just normal pregnancy stuff--no worries, just uncomfortable) that I wear out very quickly.
Linnea worked all day Friday and today and is spending the night at a friend's house tonight.

My brother came from ND today and cut down some trees for us. (THANK YOU, AARON!!!!!!)  The younger boys pulled branches and hauled them away.  Dennis was haying and Isaiah was fencing.  The three little girls and I cleaned house; I couldn't let them go outside with the tree cutting going on.  We got a lot done and made a big dinner and then the girls rode with my brother to my parents' house this afternoon.  They'll sleep over tonight and go visit my grandma tomorrow for church and the afternoon.  She lives an hour away so I don't see her much, but my parents will usually check if they are making the drive to see if anyone wants to ride along.

All of that to say, I only had Abram in the house this afternoon.  Nathaniel had left for work and the other boys were all outside doing stuff.  I don't know if it's ever been "just me an' Abram"....he played very nicely, and wanted to show me everything.  I was very tired by this point and so I sat in the chair and made a grocery list/menu plan and folded some laundry.  Not too long after, he crawled up in my lap and we both fell asleep.
Yes, I took a nap. 
And it was a good one.
n hour long.
This simply does not happen.
I woke up on my own--not because some came to ask me something.
Not because someone screamed because of something someone did to them.
Not because I could hear nothing and "nothing" in a house full of little kids is usually not good.
I woke up rested, and thought to myself, "Is that what a nap feels like?"
I'd forgotten how lovely sleep is.

My brother headed back home to ND after delivering the girls to Grandma & Grandpa's house for me, but he posted on fb quick that he had reminded Ivy that she needed to share with Ruby.
Ivy said, "But I just wanna share by myself."
Ivy is four and is stuck in that strange land between toddler and big girl....she typically over-reacts to anything Elizabeth does to her (and Elizabeth is quite pleased with the reaction she gets--she can tell, she's makin' her mad!).  If I'm there and can remind Ivy to use words and not scream, I can usually head off a melt-down.  But it takes near-constant diligence on my part and I often fall short there.
Anyway, I thought his post was funny and wanted to put it on my blog so I'll remember it.

Ruby is counting down the days now until her birthday because it's now less than a month until September 1st.  She is SO excited that she will be SIX before the baby arrives.
Christopher and Linnea both have September birthdays and our anniversary is at the end of September.  We'll see if Baby gets his/her own day or doubles up on one of these!

Isaiah and Dennis went fishing tonight a caught a very nice string of bass; it was good for the two of them to have some downtime.

Nathaniel has been working a lot so we are beginning to understand what it's like when adult children are spreading their wings.  The younger ones get very excited when he comes home; Elizabeth and Abram in particular.  He's always been very good with little people so that's no surprise.

It will be very different in the morning, getting only boys ready for church.  As Elijah pointed out to me earlier, I AM THE ONLY GIRL IN THE HOUSE TONIGHT.  This is weird.  On the big plus-side, I should have to hurry in the bathroom much. :)  And all of the boys' hair can be done with a sweep of a comb--and they can do it themselves!

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