Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Works for Me Wednesday: The Dishes

This could look like we need a lesson in how to load a dishwasher.
It'd be great if I had a working dishwasher, but I don't.
So we use it as a giant dish-drying rack instead.
It (sort of) works for me!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Changes on the Homefront

Things have been quiet here on the blog
even though things been anything but quiet here in our life.

In September our 18 year old nephew Noah moved in with us.

Christopher turned 10.

Linnea turned 15 and I didn't get any pictures. *sigh*

We had our annual family hayride at my parents' farm.

We had our 19th wedding anniversary.

The boys played a ton of football
and we drove to a lot of games.

In October my baby Cece had her 1st birthday
and started walking.

Linnea began to participate in a choir comprised of all homeschooled students that meets once a week.

Isaiah's football team had an undefeated season record.
We made it to every game, sometimes driving some pretty big distances for this farming family.
They won their section championship and made it through to the semi-finals for our state.

Linnea is going out for basketball this year and practice will start soon.
I'm excited for her but will miss her in the house knowing she will be gone often
for practice and games.

Starting in late July/early August, I got "promoted" to work in the barn.
I do the morning milkings now because Dennis has a job in town.
During football season, I also did many of the evening milkings so that we could be on the road as soon as Dennis got home from work.
I used to milk all the time up until Andrew was born so it's not exactly new to me
but Linnea and I have had to really work hard to keep the house running
with me in the barn every morning.
It took some adjusting for everyone
and the boys and I have admittedly butted heads a few times on a few things
but all in all it's been a very positive thing all the way around.

Andrew became a teenager last week
aaaaaand I didn't get any pictures on that day either.
He is really growing up in so many ways.
Today I heard him moving cows in the pasture and thought his voice is sounding more like Dennis' now.

Abram is adding words to his vocabulary daily.
He took his time speaking, but has a lot to say now!
I'm always a little sad when they change the sweet way they say some of their words...
He used to pronounce his name "A-mum" to "A-bwum"---still super cute, but I get nostalgic about stuff like that.

THM (Trim Healthy Mama) is still going well.
I highly recommend it.

I don't know how much total weight I've lost because I've been gaining
some in preparation for Baby #12 who is due to arrive in March.
(the farthest "down" I got was 65 pounds lost)
I have felt quite well this pregnancy, the only "ailment" being fatigue.
I don't know that I can blame that entirely on the pregnancy, though,
as there are several other factors in my life that are likely contributors.

I appreciate all the "checking in" since I've been posting so rarely.
I'm still here...just a tad busier and away from the internet,
perhaps a bit more guarded with what I say.

I cannot quite wrap my brain around the fact that we are almost to double digits in November.
I love the changing of the seasons and I find things to look forward to in each one.
Right now, I am enjoying the coziness of sweaters and multiple cups of tea,
kids with cheeks rosy from the chill wind as they play outside in the dusk before supper,
the quietness of the barn in the mornings
and the brisk wind that dries the clothes so quickly on the clothesline.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

County Fair

I actually remembered to bring my camera along to our county fair this year.
I am finally getting around to posting these pictures.

Elijah showed this little Holstein-Jersey crossbred calf.

 Ruby was so excited about showing this little Milking Shorthorn this year;
it was all she could talk about for weeks.
Then, the morning of the dairy show, all her confidence dissolved in a puddle 
of uncertainty and we were left with this face.
The picture didn't focus correctly, but you can still see what I mean.
She settled in after just a bit of time in the ring.
At her age, 4Hers are required to have an adult with them in the ring.
I have several to choose from, haha.
Nathaniel was Ruby's adult.
(It does sometimes feel weird to me that I have "adult" children...)

 Mr. Christopher had a round of anxiety to begin with as well,
and it was my fault.
His white show pants somehow got left home; I still don't know how it happened
though if I were a betting woman, I'd say it had something to do
with the number of 4Hers I have showing, the number of cows to milk at home before the show,
the number of children I have who are not yet old enough for 4H,
and the number of miles we live from the fair grounds.
It seems likely, anyhow.

 Isaiah has a special affinity for colored breeds of dairy cattle.
This little shorthorn earned him a trip to the state fair.




 Isaiah and Linnea each showed a Jersey

 These two little boys were too stinkin' CUTE.
Abram is in the gray shirt and Colby is in green.
Colby's mama used to show in our county, too.
Full circle...
 Monkey see, monkey do.

 One of my favorite pictures.
Andrew with his dry cow, Ingaborg.

 Monkey see, monkey do. :)

 4H friends!

 Linnea showed Grandpa Wayne's horse Princess.
Between the dairy show, the horse show and the sheep show, 
she kept me moving.

 Cece likes to do "SO BIG".
 baby teeth...

 Christopher and Elijah enjoyed watching the horse games.

Isaiah and Linnea each went to the state fair,
Isaiah with his heifer and Linnea with her sheep.

Only eight months until we do it all over again!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

This Girlie Has a Birthday

Ruby turns SEVEN today!!

This is one of my favorite pictures of her,
taken on her 5th birthday.

Happy Birthday,
Horsie Girl.
We love you!!

Monday, August 31, 2015

The Wedding

Linnea was a bridesmaid in a friend's wedding last month.
I brought my camera but only got some pictures after the ceremony.
It wasn't until I sat down in the pew that I actually took stock of my situation;
I brought seven children ages 9, 8, 6, 5, 3, 2, and 10 months to a wedding 
where there would be no other adult or teen who could help me.
I sort of broke out in a cold sweat,
then reminded myself that I had put on my big girl pants and that I could do this.
I had to.

This was taken as the newly married couple exited the church.
Elizabeth wanted to stand next to Linnea, of course.
For the next week and half, Elizabeth told anyone she could that Linnea got married.
It was her way of saying "Linnea was in a wedding" but
three year olds have a way of losing things in translation.

 Those lashes!!!

 The bubbles were a lot of fun for my crew!

 Abram, like a moth to flame, was drawn to the black dirt
next to the sidwalk.
In light khaki shorts.

 Christopher was an excellent helper to me.


 These lovely ladies...
Cece and Linnea

 Our dear friend Amy was also in the wedding.
I love how this picture turned out of both of them.

 Ivy and Ruby wanted to each take turns with 
Linnea's bouquet.

This boy, though.
Can you stand how cute he is?!?!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Sometimes Things Get In the Way

My posts have been few and far between, haven't they...
many is the time I have sat down at the computer to put together
a post and then been called away because of a spill or a tumble
or some other pressing need.

More often, though, I sit to write and I can't seem to 
piece my thoughts together well enough to hit publish.

There's this big thing in the way
and I just can't seem to write around it.
This thing has been a big part of my life 
and so much hearkens back to it
or is currently affected by it...
I can't discuss it publicly and so it ends up
that I don't discuss much of anything publicly.

I've got some pictures that I plan to post--
because I've got great subject material--
I just have to get them all uploaded so I can retrieve them here.

I took some pictures at the county fair this year,
the kids have all been to camp,
VBS was great,
and summer here in MN has been just lovely.

I really do hope to be able to work around this thing 
that's in my way.
I hope you stick around for when I do.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Monday, June 15, 2015

Six Months with Trim Healthy Mama

I started Trim Healthy Mama on December 15, 2014. 
This was taken on Cece's baptism, December 7th.

Today marks 6 months and I have lost 50 pounds, starting at 235 and now down to 185. 

I am AMAZED at the transformation of my body!  I have been this weight before, but never this shape.  Skirts and pants, as well as shirts, are longer now because my arms, backside and hips are much smaller.
I am so glad I didn’t give up on all the clothes I had stored away for “ONE day…” because now I “shop” in my own closet and storage bins!
I have lost weight with THM but have gained much: I can wear my wedding ring again after 7 years of not being able to.  I can play with my kids at a playground or run after my toddlers.  I can mow our yard with a push mower and feel good doing it. I can walk for exercise again (though I didn’t start exercising until after 40 pounds were off—my joints finally felt so much better).
I didn’t set a goal when I began because  
1) I was afraid to fail  
2) I didn’t know—and still don’t—how to decide on a number and  

I have brought eleven children into this world. 
If I ever made a comment about my weight, people would say something like “Well, after x-number of pregnancies, it’s understandable…”  But I knew that having several babies was no “excuse”—and I knew it wasn’t truth. I know now that I was pairing the wrong foods.  I was a mix of Whole Grain Jane and Farm Fresh Tess (get the book and you'll know what I mean!).  I might choose 2 slices of whole wheat toast with peanut butter and jelly and a glass of orange juice for breakfast. A lunch meat sandwich, a few chips or pretzels and an apple for lunch (which you know I call dinner), and beef roast with cooked carrots, roasted potatoes, fresh bread and a glass of milk for supper. I wasn’t eating “bad” food—it’s that the food was not fueling my body the way my body requires.
Meals are categorized according to (S) for Satisfying, (E) for Energizing, or (FP) for Fuel Pull which is all explained in the book.
I keep my menu VERY simple. With 11 children, it has to be! I typically have a fried egg with cheese (S) or oatmeal (E) for breakfast and coffee with half-and half.  For my noon meal, I often choose to fry a salmon filet and have a (S) salad with sunflower seeds, parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper with a side of cottage cheese and a strawberry smoothie to drink. I am the only one on THM in my family because I am the only one with a weight problem.  Though we are pretty much a meat & vegetables family, I also have several days in a month where pancakes or mac & cheese with chicken nuggets or peanut butter sandwiches is going to have to suffice for the crew. I will choose egg salad or maybe tuna salad for myself on a Joseph’s pita.

I don’t always have enough money for protein powder and I’ve enjoyed several (even too many!) cheat meals, sometimes out of necessity (we live very rurally so grocery shopping is a TRIP) and sometimes out of indulgence/lack of will power.  I’m sure I would have lost more by now had I stayed 100% on plan but I love that in 3 hours, I can make the next right choice!
My high blood pressure is a thing of the past & I lost fifty pounds by eating good food!!  Though it can be tempting to search the web for lots of THM recipes, I have found the recipes and suggestions in the book to be quite sufficient. I appreciate so much the work that Pearl and Serene put into the book!
I had to really search for a “before” picture of me because I always made SURE to be either behind someone or out of the picture entirely. 

I’ll call this other picture my “during” (instead of “after”) because I don’t know where THM is going to bring me on this journey!

A blog I have found to be particularly helpful is
Gwen's Nest and her fabulous Quick Start Guide

If I can do this, I KNOW you can, too!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

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