Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Big Chubby News

She is here! Reese Emily has arrived. She was born 8lbs 2oz, 21 1/2 inches long. What a big girl, what an intense but quick labor! We are blessed!

Soon I will give the birth story because I want to record details before I forget them. I do this mostly for myself since this blog is like my journal.

Meanwhile, family has the girls while I am caring for Reese and catching a few winks. Oh, and also straightening up this house...something I won't be able to stay on top of once the girls come back.

Meanwhile, my heart is bursting with happiness and thanks at our third-born daughter. Her cheeks are chubby; she even has a double chin! But the rest of her body is skinny, just like a newborn. Her hair is dark brown and her eyes are dark blue. Right now she is wearing one of the many crocheted hats I have made for her, swaddled in a blanket and lying on the couch - sleeping.

Ah. This newborn stage is delightful.

Did I mention how much I love baby Reese Emily? I just do!!

Thursday, January 26, 2012


Wow. Every time I feel like I can't last another day with Baby Girl in my belly, I somehow do. I wake up, spend time with God, feed the girls breakfast, clean up, feed snacks, do school, feed lunch, youngest has a nap while I catch up on school and chores, prep dinner, maybe do a little crochet, eat dinner, kids to bed, relax with hubby, then go to bed. Next morning, time to do it all over again!

I am AMAZED. That though I think I can't do it, God helps me get through. I am amazed at His grace not just in this area (I mean what Mom doesn't go through the same), but grace in changing my attitude. Though my body feels sore and weak, my heart and spirit don't. He rejuvenates me with His mercies. It is exhausting to do housework. But it is never tiresome to open His Word and drink. I feel like the more my spirit hungers and is satisfied in Him, the less all the other stuff seems important.

I love the quote I heard today (paraphrased) "We often focus on what God wants us to do for Him, not who He wants us to be." Do I emit the fruit of the Spirit? Do I have less joy and peace than my unbelieving neighbors? Not just to the depth of the smile, but do they see Christ in my life? Is there a difference?

I used to dislike when speakers would ask the probing questions after their dialogue. Now I look forward to the challenging queries. They help me do what God says, not just hear. Yes, I love hearing the sermons and lectures, but I love actually getting into action, though it often catches me off guard because I immediately experience a challenge in the form of my own sinful nature. It's hard to change who we used to be.

But honestly? I look back at who I was 10 years ago, and I see change. I see less insecurity, less legalism and more of desiring God Himself. I'm sure having kids and going through trials has honed home some of that. But the work is all from His Spirit. None from me. I could never naturally just change when I want to.

The exciting thing is, He's not finished. There is more of me to change. It doesn't end until I join Jesus in heaven. "And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ." Phil. 1:6

And what's even more awesome, is that when Christ returns and takes us home, we will be like Him. I don't know what that all entails. But it will be beyond awesome. "But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like His glorious body, by the power that enables Him even to subject all things to Himself." Phil 3:21

Monday, January 23, 2012

Tonight is girls night IN. My two girls and I hang out, doing whatever fancies our whimsy. For Katie, it is taking every doggone item out of the sticker folder, piano prize box, and relocating said items to different areas of our home. For Brilla, it is practicing her piano. I saw her working on her homework earlier. Now I glance over to see her counting with head bobs and having perfect posture as she sits. (Do you sense a bit of mommy/teacher pride here?) I am pleased, because I did not ask her to do this, yet there she is, actually enjoying her piano time!

As for me, I choose to post quickly before bath time.

Our weekend seemed to last forever. As seen in earlier posts, it snowed up here. With Western Washington snow, however, comes the melting of snow, then refreezing, then more snow. It really is glorious until the grand finale: toppling trees and branches, no electricity in our homes, and the need to escape to a warm place. I

My in-laws were the welcoming escape. They are a bit south and experienced only a slight loss of power, which was quickly mended by the warm wood-burning stove. Which was even better mended by the power coming on 4 hours later. My sweet mother-in-law quickly greeted us with fresh-out-of-the-oven chocolate oatmeal butterscotch cookies and a hug. The perfect medicine for chilled bones! They let us share two and a half days with them. Did I mention the cousins and auntie showed up as well since their power went out? It was like a family reunion :)

Meanwhile, it was film time. We watched Ratatouille, Toy Story 3, Monsters Inc, Cars 2, Beauty & the Beast, to name a few. Grandpa Dick made a huge pot of stew for the second night of dinner. As I took in the full table and busyness, I was given a glimpse of what it would be like to live with 12 people altogether in one house.

It was a very fun mini-vacation, but might I confess, it was good to be back in our small home, with heat on, Sunday evening. Never thought I'd enjoy washing dishes and laundry as I did then.

There is still a frozen layer around us, but it is thin. And, I wouldn't mind another snow, except I would love for our electricity to stay on. And to be able to drive out of our cul-de-sac. I will just be content with a beautiful snow having passed and getting back into the rainy winter as usual.

And work on this Baby coming out! Here is hoping we see her precious face soon.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Can't Believe I Actually Want Rain

It is STILL snowy and icy out there!

I thought all this white stuff would be gone by Wednesday evening, but here we are, Friday morning. It has not snowed more, but it hasn't rained, either. I am wondering if I have the gumption to shovel out snow from our car, driveway, and cul-de-sac just to get to my chiropractic appointment. Those appointment are pretty important to me in the late stages of pregnancy. In fact, I don't remember a more back pain-free pregnancy than this one. It works!

As I sit here typing, I hear trees and branches crackling all around me. I take a quick peek out the window and realize two trees have already come down. We live in a heavily wooded area. All that heavy ice is bringing down those weak giants. Our front yard is also a menagerie of fallen limbs. I'm just hoping nothing falls on my car; what terrible timing that would be :(

Thankfully, I don't need to be anywhere, except at my midwife's if Baby comes. But my body tells me that is not happening soon.

Yesterday, my girls and Daddy got more snow time in. That Katie loves sledding. I still am amazed at hearty my 21-month old. She's the one who will fling herself at Daddy's lap for a "tackle". He taught her that, of course. A good 'ol football move. Lovely. She'll also run down the hallway and hurl herself into a pile of pillows. But even when she misses the pillows, she shakes it off and says "Owa?" for a small kiss, going right back to her attempts at crashing the cushions.

I got out for a good walk, too. It felt good to get fresh air, to get my muscles working together, even if it was to produce an unlovely waddle up the road and back. I then was content to get home, heat up some chai, read and get dinner started.

This morning, I awoke at 5:45 and could not fall back asleep. My nap earlier in the day probably caught up with me. Here it is, nearly 8:30 and I can hear the girls rising like little chipmunks.

Good morning!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Her Name

It is important for Michael and I to pick just the right name for each of our children. I'm sure you feel the same way. It takes us about 8 months to come up with "the one". They'll carry it for the rest of their lives. (Unless, in this day and age, they want to change it!)

We've finally decided on Reese Emily. Reese means "Radiant" and Emily after Mike's grandmother, who passed away several years ago.

And to commence the choice of her beautiful name, the wall letters I created for her room are finally done!

They match perfectly with her bedding. As you can see, we have a black/red/white theme going on. I'm a red-lover. Really could just do her whole room in that shade, but alas, our other two's room has red, and our bathroom is black/white/red. All in moderation, right?

I must tell you, I had a blast creating these letters from stuff around the house (as stated in my earlier post). The chalkboards were done with a little white acrylic satin paint (Martha Stewart), the chalkboards obviously were painted on, the letters were done with *surprise* chalk, the ribbon was on clearance at Michael's, and the rings are old shower curtain rings. Too cheap to hang a curtain on, but perfect for holding wall letters :)

Finishing this project was hugely important to me. Felt like the room wasn't complete without them! Now I'm just adding final touches on the walls, creating storage, and waiting for Reese to make her appearance.

Today, along with playing in the snow, I packed all our bags. Mine was the last to get done. Lavender lotion and neck pillow, check. Nursing tank, check. Warm and fuzzy socks, check. Baby can officially come now.

I am nesting like a crazy woman. Washed the windows, mopped the floor, dusted, re-decorated after putting away Christmas stuff, and re-organized the girls' room, trying to be creative with storage, grocery shopped and meal-planned. Crochet has also been calling my name. Have about 3 cute new hats done and 3 diaper covers. This poor girl's is gonna be smothered.

I've also been reading the Word so much lately. Digging deep, more than normal; just can't get enough. I'm also still finishing the audio book, Forgotten God by Francis Chan. I am seeing so many areas I fall short in, so much I need to work on, of course through the Spirit's power. But I also look back and see how far I've come. By God's grace. Jesus is incredibly patient and faithful to complete His work in me.


It's snowing up here in the south Seattle area! Woohoo! We are pumped. This will probably be our only day of snow, so we're making the best of it.

See my happy girls? They are itching to get out there!

Some pics of the sledding adventure. Katie was great! No whining whatsoever (except when it was time to go in).

Monday, January 16, 2012

Up Early

Baby is kicking in the wee hours this morning. I just can't get back to sleep. I had a good prayer time, I've tried counting sheep. I've been up since 4:30 and decided to make hay and post.

Just bought chalkboard paint this week. I'm making my sweet Girl's letters for her wall. At minimum, it costs $30 for inexpensive letters at Bed, Bath and Beyond. So, I decided to get creative.

I have these real cheap framed mirrors (5 of them to be exact) from the local craft store I've been unable to use for about 3 plus years. Always stopped/started using them for an art project, but they just always seemed tacky and useless. I should have posted a before photo to show their ruggedness, but I think of those things too late.

They seemed perfect for the letter project though. I painted the frames with satin acrylic multi-purpose paint. I still didn't like the mirrored look (why did I buy them then?), so decided to cover them with chalkboard paint! Yes, you can paint glass with it. You usually have to roughen up the glass before painting, but I cheated and used the back side of the mirrors instead, which already had some kind of coating.

At this point, I was in the rhythm of things. My favorite projects are the ones that come from materials I already have.

Using some cheap chalk, decorative ribbon, a hot glue gun and old shower curtain rings, I finished off the cute, red/black/white letters.

I am excited that these little chalkboards cost me about $1 each, and the rest was stuff I had stowed away. The only expensive thing was the chalkboard paint, running at $14.97 a can. However, there is a ton left I can use on other blossoming ideas. We may have little framed chalkboards all over the house now, ha!

Now, I'm feeling a bit sleepy-eyed and will try to get more "Zzzzs".

Oh, and I promise to post a pic of the letters after they are hung on the wall!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

This week is meandering by, taking it's time. It may have to do with the rain, I don't know. Perhaps since Mike has gone back to work, being with both girls all day makes everything go in slow motion. Nap times I relish. Bedtime I relish. Yes, I love my children...and I also love my breaks from them so I can love them more :)

Today we started up Bible study again after a nice vacation. It was a deep and convicting study on faith. Hebrews 11-13. Hebrews is the book that often leaves my mind boggled. But the Holy Spirit is opening my understanding and I've found many gems. Never can read God's Word too many times and get something new or realize I still know too little!

On Monday night, my husband played ultimate Frisbee in the muddy sludge. He paid for it alright. Came home with a pulled muscle and torn skin off the back of his heel. I was glad he got out to get exercise since basketball is on hold and I say it is great any time he can get out to be healthy and hang with the guys (he doesn't get to very often with work). But, I wasn't coveting being out there in the rain!

I have no exercise regimen right now. Being 36 weeks along really leaves any kind of house work and childcare as my workout. I used to have a membership at the local gym, but it got to be a hassle because I like to workout early, which meant bringing the kids, which meant they always got sick from the play area. Then we spent a couple weeks recuperating since they can't attend BSF or church with colds. Not worth it. So...I take every chance I get these days: If M needs to run an errand, I'll run it for him. When I grocery shop, I go alone and step up my pace. When shopping at the mall, I do a couple laps first before browsing. Even filling/emptying the dishwasher, making the bed and cleaning the bathroom has me heating up these days! Ha.

When our gorgeous weather comes back, then I can take walks again! The girls and I love those walks outdoors. B is old enough to tramp alongside and K is content in the stroller. I'm considering buying a double stroller to run a little after Babe comes.

I finally gave my students notice that I will no longer be teaching piano after our third arrives. It was a tough decision, since I have been teaching for 13 years. Part of me was saying, "Ohhh, you can do it." And the other part of me (common sense) was saying,"You need to devote time to the business and homeschooling your daughter. A little less money won't do you any harm." Well, maybe it wasn't just the voice of common sense, but also of the Lord, because I've been praying about this decision for some time. If any of you know me, you know I'm a go-getter. I like to be busy and I like a challenge. The Lord showed me there was nothing wrong with prioritizing and taking a break (which is not really taking a break, seeing we are adding another kid to the mix) to focus on the things He's called me to. And family is an investment.

Another big reason was - our home is small. I think I've shared that it's 980 sq ft. That means our entire living space is just that, our living space. There is no private area, no separate studio. No place to have the kiddos run around/play while I teach. I can't expect the kids to be quiet, locked away in tiny room for 3 hrs AND be quiet for teaching AND be quiet while an infant sleeps.

The encouraging word is, I may teach again some day! Especially if and when we build a bigger home, which is what my husband does for a living. Just not right now.

It's refreshing to walk where the Holy Spirit leads you. What He asks may not look like what every other believer is doing. I think we (I) get discouraged when I look around and what God is doing in another's life seems more exciting, visible, or noble. We forget though that each of us has to fully surrender to His plans, His ways, His will for His Spirit to work effectively through us! It's often a hard road, lots of sacrifice of what we want, but He promises blessing and God always keeps His promises. Amen!

On another note...

My eldest and her daddy are at church for AWANA, while the youngest and I hang out. I am enjoying watching her be totally thrilled with a kitchen drawer I pulled out, full of gadgets. She is utterly content. She doesn't get alone time with Mama very often, and this is one of those rare evenings. It will probably get even less after her little sis comes on the scene. Oh, what she has in store! *chuckle*

Still haven't taken down that Christmas decor! Hm, perhaps that's my next workout. Have a great rest of your Wednesday!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Yesterday's Post

Right now, Baby is moving up and down and all around. In my ribs, then squishing my bladder, then doing some kind of repetitive kicking motion, which doesn't she realize is very uncomfortable when I'm trying to sit at the computer?

Ho, hum.

Did you know right now is a GREAT time to buy organization containers/baskets? I went to Michael's today; lo and behold, they have a much better selection than Target. Most were 50% off. I got three for the kids' closet. Very cute! And looks so much better than things just stacked on the shelves. Remember how I mentioned I wanted to buy a bookcase for the girls' reads? Well, I was able to clear out items from the nursery closet and place then in a fabric storage container. There is room in the closet for each and every book! Glad we don't have to install another piece of furniture on the walls.

I am still unsure of how I want to finish decorating the nursery. More on that when I'm finally done.

I'm currently reading The Rose Trilogy, by Beverly Lewis. I'm on Book 2 in the series. Mrs. Lewis is an amazing author. I can hardly put her stories down. Mike and I are also watching the John Adams movie that was featured on HBO, based on the David McCullough novel. It is beyond excellent. It's not for entertainment; in fact, it's the opposite. It's tense, at times depressing, deeply intriguing, but at the same time, inspirational. It conjures up a sense of patriotism, again making me realize how much sacrifice was put into our country's freedom. Oh, that we wouldn't take it for granted! God was gracious to equip our founding fathers and early leaders of our country with wisdom, strength and resolve.

And I'm working on a crocheted hat for my niece's birthday. It's using Loops & Threads (Michael's brand) Cozy Wool yarn. It's a chunky hat, with a flowers on the side. The hat is a purplish blue and with a tannish brown flower:) This morning, I finished a hat I thought would only take a couple hours. In the end, it ended up taking more like four! It's a very pretty pink/brown/maroon/tan mix.

I sound like such a boring mom, don't I? Crocheting, watching American history film, and reading Amish books. Ha! I'm so variable, though. I truly love shopping, getting a new hairstyle, Bare Escentual makeovers, and eating out. I am someone who needs to be busy all the time, else I get bored.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Back To It

Hi there.

Did you get enough Winter Break? I did! And didn't. See, Christmas goes by like a flash, and leaves me wanting a break from all the holiday busyness. But I tell you what, we enjoyed our family days to the hilt.

We started school today. Everyone else around here has the day off...schools, work, etc. But I say Monday is a great day to get started again! Besides, today was the end of our piano break, so we might as well go full throttle and do school too.

Tomorrow I'll take down the Christmas decor. I really don't want to. It's so cheery and bright with the lights and garlands up. Oh well. Just means I'll have to leave up some winter decor. Hmmm, probably should take a look at those after-Christmas sales, at all the white stuff they have. I love white. If there's any left; I'm a bit behind.

There is major nesting going on at my end. Baby Girl's room is still unfinished. I need to paint a plaque with her name on it (yes we have a name! But, it's a surprise!) and hang up the cute little plaques I made with old bookmarks. Can't wait to finish and post pics. I'd also like to add a few other finishing touches, not sure what those are yet. I'm kind of a whimsical person and don't know what I like until it's up. I like to use what I already have or create it myself. However, I may also take a trip to the local antique and thrift shops. They have great stuff for cheap.

It is official. The two older girls are in the same room. Not only sharing bunk beds, but also sharing closet and dresser space. I want to line the top shelf in their closet with fabric storage bins, and purchase a bookshelf for all their books, including school work. I'm very excited about the end result!

Our master bedroom (which is the same size as the other two rooms) is almost complete! We recently purchased a new bed frame that's super cute, sturdy (finally!, no squeaking every time we move!). Found it on craigslist. Looks Pottery Barn style. It is rustic black, with a bead board-looking design on both headboard and footboard. And with our underbed storage and new baskets on our dresser, we have no need for extra nightstands. I'd like to finish the room with a painted verse or letters along the wall. Also, painted vintage shutters hanging up with pictures attached with ribbon.

Our house is small, so creative storage is key. I don't mind the challenge. In fact, I like it. Bring it on!

I had a strange allergy 2 days in a row. Out of the blue. I'm still trying to figure out what it was. All I can guess is a lack of sleep. Believe it or not, my allergies flare up when I don't get enough shut-eye. I think being pregnant, staying up past midnight (on NYE) then waking up at 7:30 a.m. to teach Children's Church is not a good plan!

So, that's what's going on around here. Hopefully I'll finish everything before Girly gets here. Only 4 weeks to go, more or less!

Hope you had an amazing holiday! Catching up with all your blogs to see what it was like :)