Friday, August 31, 2007

Fun Book

Mom's Almanac edited by Alice Wong & Lena Tabori


I found this treasure a few weeks ago in the Bargain Bin at Barnes and Noble. It is simply adorable! The illustration on the cover is a delightful preview to the many wonderful pictures and ideas inside. The website for the book gives more information. Here is just an excerpt:

"Part reference, advice, and resource guide, and part cookbook, keepsake, activity, and crafts book, this hard-working almanac is packed with information and fun. And it has been lovingly designed to showcase more than 300 pieces of vintage children’s illustrations from beloved artists such as Jessie Willcox Smith, Kate Greenway, and Maud Humphrey. "

Mom’s Almanac is organized into seven themed chapters: The Bare Essentials, Feeding Time, Having Fun, Stepping Out, Seasons and Holidays, Preserving Memories and The Best of Everything.

I was given the authors' Christmas Almanac several years ago as a gift. It, too, is filled with beautiful images and ideas. Apparently the authors have quite a few books, all of which seem to be well-reviewed.

***
I had my weekly midwife appointment this morning. All is well with both the baby and I. Pumpkin was right there, helping the whole time. He really likes the midwife and stands along side her as she measures and pokes my tummy. He is so intent watching everything she does and of course, keeping a close eye on me. He pats my tummy and blows kisses.

After the visit he and I went to explore the new hospital near by. It's where we will transport to if there is an emergency during or after labor. It's nice enough, but I sure hope I don't have to go there! It's a nice hospital, but still is obviously a hospital and looks like an uncomfortable place to have a baby to me. I'd much rather stay home and enjoy the comforts of my own home and bedroom.

Please continue to pray for us! We are much obliged to everyone.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

No Computer, No Baby...



Sweetheart was doing some work on the computers the other night and the router melted. Don't ask. Even he doesn't know what happened. So, no internet for awhile. He got everything including my computer fixed now though.



We're all still here, right where we've been, although I think the baby must be feeling really squished by now. Nothing more has happened to show that labor will happen anytime soon. Maybe Labor Day... The baby is still really active (as is Pumpkin!) so everything is just a matter of waiting patiently. Not my strong suit, but I am really trying.


Thank you again for the verses and prayers! Keep them coming. I really appreciate them all and thank God that He has provided these friendships. May He continue to bless you all for your love and kindness.

These are some pictures Sweetheart took last weekend for us. I think these were the only two both Pumpkin and I were smiling in. He wasn't in the mood for pictures.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

At Home

Pumpkin and I are having a quiet day at home today. We are home most days, but we did go run some errands and go out to lunch yesterday. However, by last night I was so tired and sore from walking, that I think I'm done running around until our new little one arrives.

Besides, trying to keep up with Pumpkin now that he is on the go is exhausting in and of itself! But the joy, oh the joy, of seeing him walk! I'm not sure I would feel so much happiness and wonder about it all had he just popped up and walked as others his age do. As challenging as the accident and recovery were, it has made us so more aware of every little blessing and step.

I'm not too sure what to write about these days as I feel like my brain has turned to mush and I'm just waiting around for something (anything!) to happen.

I was up this morning about three wandering around the house when I remembered the eclipse. Abner and I went out back to check it out. The moon was full and so bright that I laughed to see the sunflowers turned to it in the sky rather than the sun!

Phototropism is a pretty cool thing. Yes, I taught Science. That was one of the joys of teaching Elemenrary School, the teacher can learn right along with the students on so many subjects! Besides, the more enthusiasm I could generate about something, the more the students would have about that subject as well! (For all you non-science teachers: phototropism is the growth of a plant in relation to a light source. Positive phototropism means that the plants grows towards the light, negative phototropism simply means that it grows away from a light.) Can you tell that I'm looking forward to homeschooling?

Back to the eclipse...I didn't get to see the beautiful red color that was visible later, but definitely noticed the shadow across about 3/4 of the moon. It was so quiet and peaceful outside with the concrete still damp from the earlier rain. I would have enjoyed being out longer, but was unsure how long Abner would last before he found something to bark at. I don't want to hear any dogs, not even my own, barking at 3:00 am. Now, if only our neighbors felt the same. Sigh.

Well, since Pumpkin is resting I should to! I was able to accomplish a lot the other day while he napped, but today I figure I'd better get some sleep myself. Blessings to you all! Thank you for the sweet comments and prayers for us during this time. I've also copied down the verses people have left and welcome more if you've got them!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Update and Thanks

I'm still pregnant! This is the "official due date" and, as expected, nothing's happening! LOL. I've got a few signs that things are progressing in the right direction, but since none of them can come with a timeline better than, "anytime, or up to two weeks", what's it really matter?
It's all good. Pumpkin was born a week after his due date and it is pretty typical in our family to keep those babies in there for some extra time. Besides, it's not a perfect science is it? Part of the fun is the anticipation.
The good news is that the pain I was feeling last weekend seemed to finally heal completely yesterday. I am thankful for that as it would have made labor so much harder. I've got a few things to work on today while Pumpkin naps that will wrap up little details like a map to the hospital in case it's needed, trying to get my prayer list of emails and phone numbers together, and finalizing the list for Pumpkin's packing to go to Grandma's house during the birth. (Poor Grandma! She's busily baby-proofing her beautiful home which means a lot of moving of treasures and things a little boy would find particularly interesting!)
Sweetheart has been working on restoring my computer and will hopefully have that up and running for me tonight. Woo hoo! Note to Readers: DON'T click on that little "View Next Blog" link on the top of Blogger pages. Sweetheart thinks that maybe how I ended up in the mess I did with some really nasty viruses that automatically downloaded onto my computer. Yuck.
I'm also trying to clean up the porch, deadhead my roses and fill up our bedroom with the nice roses, fix my kitchen curtain, pack up some gifts to ship, clean up the loft, work on my journal and scrapbooks and whatever else I put on my to do list. It's a pretty abitious undertaking for a naptime. We'll see...Since I was able to sleep in this morning, I'm going to try to not lay down myself.
Well, I'd better stop typing and get going! I did want to thank everyone for the sweet messages you've left as well as the prayers. Please, keep on praying! Have a lovely day!
Also, I've been writing out verses on index cards to have with me in labor. If you have any verses you'd like to share, please leave them in the Comments so I may add them to my collection.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Tea Party Planning


I love to write about tea. Lately, I've not been doing many tea postings as I seem to be focused more on babies and computers. For those of you who may be new, WELCOME. I hope you enjoy your visit!

Here are some links to past postings for helping you to plan a tea. Enjoy!

Tea Time Planner/Countdown
Types of Tea Times
Types of Tea
HospitaliTEA
Tea Etiquette
A Short History of Tea


Recipes:

Tea Sandwiches
Scones
Pumpkin Bread
Ginger Cookies

A Weekend with Victoria


Wouldn't this be fun? This is from an email I received today. If only I had a spare $250, plus airfare and hotel costs...LOL Wouldn't it be nice to be able to have some input into how they're redesigning this? It sounds like a lovely time.


"As a loyal reader of Victoria magazine, the editors would like to extend to you the opportunity to participate in a once in a lifetime gathering—a unique opportunity for dedicated readers of Victoria magazine to take a glimpse into the launch issue, and through dialogue with the editors, shape the issues to come.
Join editors, stylists, photographers, and contributors from Victoria to see what the future holds for this delightful publication. But more importantly, take this opportunity to speak directly to the editors, giving them your input and ideas—and in doing so helping steer the future course of Victoria.
By participating in this one of a kind event, you will be a member of a select group of individuals who the editorial and creative staff will turn to for ideas and inspiration."


Monday, August 20, 2007

Waiting

I'm still here.
What is it about people and their inane comments to pregnant women? Yesterday at church I saw a woman I know from Mops. I hadn't seen her since May and had only met her in March. She yelled across the foyer, "I can't believe you're still pregnant!" Ok. Smile. Try not to grit teeth. Yes, I'm due in one week. Yes, I am ready anytime. It's not exactly up to me though, is it? This is up there with the stranger I met a few weeks ago that said I looked like I was about to explode. Um. Ok. Do I know you? Nope. Lord, help me to be gracious in my words and thoughts.
My computer is completely fried. Sigh. Sweetheart is trying to salvage what he can off of it. All I really care about are the pictures. Once he taught me how to download them and I started doing it all the time for this blog, I've just been storing them in a folder on my desktop. I've got some of them backed up, but I'd still loose more than half of the pictures I've taken in the last nine months. I know. I'm married to a tech guy, you'd think I'd back up my stuff.
Needless to say, I'll not be posting any pictures today. Hopefully, I'll be able to switch some things around and download some of my new pictures onto Sweetheart's computer.
I know I should have him take a few pictures of me in these last few days. I am so big. Next time (!) I'm planning to do better at not gaining so much weight in the beginning. I had been doing the Body for Life program very diligently in the six months before I became pregnant and had wonderful results from all the hard work. Then I became pregnant and couldn't stick with it because of all the exhaustion and nauseau.
Surprisingly to me, I've have been exercising at least three times a week up until about two weeks ago. This is good, but a far cry from the six times a week I'd been doing. Also, I've not been as careful as to eating and portion control. Part of it is because I've been thinking that I'll go back on BFL as soon as possible after the baby is born and have been enjoying my freedom a bit too much.
It's a fine line for me to be want to be healthy and strong, but to not obsess about it all. I want to honor the body God created for me and take care of it, but not have it become the focus of my life. It's a process.
My midwife actually came over last night for a prenatal check. She was at a birth during when we should have met on Friday. I was planning to wait, but yesterday was such a struggle I ended up calling her to see if I could go in today. Due to her schedule, she chose to come over last night.
The baby appears to be doing fine with a strong heartbeat (and strong kick!). I am overall still her star patient with this pregnancy. However, it seems that I may have pulled a muscle or something yesterday. (DON'T PANIC MOM, IF YOU ARE READING THIS.) I've been having a lot of pain, but not really contractions. (AGAIN, MOM, RELAX. I'M DOING EVERYTHING I'M SUPPOSED TO BE DOING.) I think it may have happened taking care of Pumpkin. He's the only heavy thing I lift any more and he was a bit of a wild man yesterday.
Today has been a lot better, though I find myself thinking before moving and am really noticing those kicks, especially when they occur with the BH contractions. I'd been tensing up when they hit, but a few hours ago started to try and just relax into them. It actually seems to be less painful. (There's another one right now.) I'm considering all this to be a practice run for the upcoming labor.
I am so excited to meet this little one. My official due date is Sunday. We'll see. I don't think I've met anyone who has delivered on her due date yet, have you? It's such an amazing thing to think when I wake up in the mornings each day~Maybe it'll be today!
Will this be a boy or a girl? Will she have red hair? Will he be like his big brother? It's so exciting. I think it's funny when people ask me if I'm going to find out. I politely say that I will when he or she is born, but inwardly I wonder---if I've waited 39 weeks to find out, why wouldn't I wait a few more? Besides, I haven't had an ultrasound yet and have no plans to.
Tomorrow I need to work on the list of phone numbers and emails for my Mom to contact when I go into labor so that people can be praying. Of course, my master email and phone lists are on my computer which is why I haven't done this yet. If you think about it, feel free to pray.
We are ready here at home. We've collected up everything for the birth and have everything waiting in the baby's room. This time, I think I'll remember to use some of the things I forgot about last time, like my birthing ball, etc. After several days of contractions and little sleep, there was a lot I forgot! No matter, we still had a baby. And what a wonderful baby he is.
I was working on Pumpkin's scrapbook earlier today and enjoying all the pictures of him that I have printed out. He is such a joy. It's been a wonderful 20 months of being his Mama. It's been challenging as well. But just who he is as a person is completely fascinating to me. He has such a great personality and gentle spirit. We feel so blessed by God to be his parents. It's interesting to ponder who is on his or her way to join this little family.
Well, I just looked at the clock and realized that I should sign off and go to sleep. Sometimes it's hard to wind down and go to bed knowing that I'll be up and down all night. Although, I was completely blessed last night to only get up once in the night. I was awakened a few other times by the neighbor's dog and other noises, but was able to go right back to sleep. Bliss. I am thankful for the good night of rest. I'm praying the same will happen tonight.
Sweet dreams to you all! Ok, I just went back and reread parts of this. Is my pregnant Mommy mind showing, or what? It reads a bit like a ping-pong ball game. I doubt I could edit it to make any more sense though, at this point...
Hey, since we're going really random here I'll share my Disappointing Moment in Literature at the Local Barnes and Noble: I went out the other evening after Pumpkin went to sleep to just have a little time alone. After searching on the shelves myself, I finally asked at the counter if they could tell me where I'd find an anthology/collection of Jane Austen's works. Directly behind me was a display of classics, including quite a few individual copies of Jane's novels. I really wanted just one book with all of the stories in it. The sales associate started typing in her computer. Long pause. Blank look.
"That's A-u-s-t-e-n," I said politely spelling the last name, really trying not to be sarcastic. She deleted whatever she had typed.
"Jane?" she said.
"Yes. J-a-n-e," I said, now a bit concerned, but thinking that surely as soon as Pride and Prejudice popped up on her screen she'd recognize the name.
"Oh."
Long pause. No recognition at all.
"No. We can order it for you."
"Yes, please."
It felt like that moment in "You've Got Mail" where she's spelling out the author's name for the clerk at the bookstore that put her out of business. Sigh. I know, not everyone is an Austen fan, but one would think that a middle-aged woman working in a bookstore would at least recognize the name.
I felt like sending her over to Kelli's at The Sparrow's Nest for her "Fortnight of Jane Austen posts". Alas, we are a long way from Grosvenor Square, are we not Mr. Darcy?
Really, I'm going now...

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Matthew 11:28-29

"Walk with me
and work with me-
watch how I do it.
Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.
I won't lay anything heavy
or ill-fitting on you.
Keep company
with me
and you'll learn to live
freely and lightly."

I love how fresh and new the words of Jesus are in this passage from The Message. I usually read and study the Bible in the NIV, but sometimes I pour over The Message translation to just let His words sink into my soul. I love "the unforced rhythms of grace". That's what I want. And so I must learn from Him.
***
I will be posting rather sporadically for awhile. I have managed to completely mess up my computer, and am having to use Sweetheart's to do this posting. His computer and I don't work well together, so doing anything on it for me is a challenge. I don't know when he'll have time to fix mine. Of course, he programs computers his job everyday. Yup. That's the way it goes!
Also, we're down to the last 10 days, or so until the baby is due. I'll try to put up a post for prayer, but who knows. (With Pumpkin I labored for days and had plenty of notice, but we'll just have to see with this one!) I just thought I should do a posting to let folks know that everything (except the computer) is fine in our little world.
I wanted to also thank everyone for their sweet comments. It's been so encouraging! I am truly blessed by each one of you.

Monday, August 13, 2007

1 Timothy 6:11


"Pursue a righteous life~

a life of

wonder,

faith,

love,

steadiness,

courtesy.

Run hard and fast

in the faith."

I love how The Message translates this verse.
The word wonder always makes me pause.
I want to live a life of wonder.
I want to pass that on to Pumpkin as well.
And yet, I think it's more him passing it on to me.


I love walking with him holding my hand.
It's slow.
Really slow.
But it's so good for me.
I've spent so much of life speed-walking through it all.
Since becoming a Mommy, my life has slowed down tremendously.


Now, I wonder what I why I was always in such a hurry.
Even today, as we visited one of the schools I taught at and Pumpkin and I walked slowly down the halls and slowly back to the parking lot, I thought to myself;
I wonder if any of the teachers I taught with would notice the difference in me now.


I'm sure they would attribute it just to holding the hand of a toddler (and the slight waddle of being due in two weeks), but it is more than that.
As we walk, we talk.
He points out everything, and I mean everything, that he sees.


Each ant, each bird, each flower is noticed and mentioned.
He revels in his words and loves to tell me what he sees and knows.
He is full of wonder, and truly wonderful.
He rejoices in all of God's creation.


And I rejoice with him.
And I think about t how much I've missed along the way.
But now is not the time for regrets.


It's simply the time to live, and wonder.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

At the End of the Day

Note to Joanna--Go get a snack before reading this!

Well, we did it! My Mom came over this morning and Sweetheart took Pumpkin out to Home Depot for awhile so we could get cooking. Oh my. We chopped, sauted, boiled, baked and barbecued. And the dishes...oh the dishes. I started off with everything clean and Mom washed as we went. There are some clean dishes to put away, but to be honest, I don't even want to stand in the kitchen for even a moment longer. Except for some ice cream. I may go down there for that...But I digress. :)

The good news is that I can now have the baby. I'd prefer it didn't happen tonight, as I am wiped out, plus I want to wash the floors and clean the bathrooms tomorrow, but at least we have food.

Here's what we got made:

*2 Spinach Mushroom Bacon Quiche
*6 servings of Barbecue Chicken
*3 Chicken Pot Pies
*3 Cheeseburger Pies
*2 Chicken Enchilada Casseroles
*Huge Batches of Carrot Ginger Soup, Tortilla Soup and Chicken Soup all in nice little meal-sized containers.
*Steamed Brown Rice to add to the Chicken Soup and to make Fried Rice, all bagged and frozen in individual portions.
*Hamburger Patties made and frozen.
*Deli Meats packaged and frozen for lunches and dinners.
*Ground Beef all browned and bagged and frozen for tacos, spaghetti, whatever...
*3 Loaves of Banana Bread
*3 Loaves of Pumpkin Bread
*A Dozen Rolls
*A Dozen Whole-Wheat Pitas
*Chocolate Chip Cookies Bars
*5 Pounds of Leftover Carrots---Guess I misjudged that one! The good news is that they are all washed, peeled and cut to eat.
*All my produce washed and prepped.

Thank you, Mom. I couldn't have done it without you. Well, maybe I could have, but I'd still be cooking for a long time and then have all those dishes to do...Besides, it made the time go faster with a friend to help and visit with. Thanks Sweetheart, as well for keeping Pumpkin out from underfoot.

Well, I am going to go now and probably go to sleep soon.

Tomorrow I'll make cards with defrost/reheat instructions as well as side dish directions to put with all the things in the freezer. Not tonight. Tonight it's ice cream and a good book and a pillow...Sweet Dreams everyone!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Now We're Cooking!

Thank you ladies for the wonderful tips and ideas you left yesterday! I love the idea for lining the dishes with plastic and making casserolicles. I visited the organized home site that was suggested and decided to do my version of once-a-month-cooking. Reading everyone's tips helped me to focus and not feel so overwhelmed.

I made a plan last night and went to the store today with my very detailed list after inventorying my freezer and cupboards. I recruited my Mom to come over tomorrow and help/watch Pumpkin while I cook. She stopped in today to take the big turkey I was defrosting to her house so I had room for the groceries I bough,t and she stayed and washed produce. What a big help!

I've listed all the dishes I'm planning to make and separated out all the jobs by categories: saute, boil, bake, bbq, etc. For example: I'll boil all the chicken for enchiladas, tortilla soup, pot pie and chicken soup together. Then I'll make patties out of the ground beef to put in the freezer, then cook the rest of the ground beef and divide it up for things like hamburger pie and tacos. I'll saute the mushroom and spinach together for the quiches, then bake, slice and freeze the individual slices of quiche so that I have some easy breakfasts with protein on hand.

So far today I've peeled about 12 pounds of carrots for the carrot ginger soup, pot pies, carrot sticks for munching and more. I baked whole wheat pitas for mini pizzas and Greek chicken pitas. I made chocolate chip cookies bars for Sweetheart for now and later and three loaves of pumpkin bread. When I'm done here I'll go clean everything up and set stuff out by recipes for tomorrow. Not exactly a restful Sabbath, but I am so excited to feel like I'm getting ahead!

Tomorrow I'll grill all the chicken breasts and steaks to be frozen for quick meals. It's so nice to just defrost a few pieces of bbq chicken and make the pizzas or pitas, or just serve it along a salad and side dish.

I'll throw all the onions into the food processor and saute them all at once. From there I can just put a tablespoon or two into each recipe as needed. I'll make all the soups and assemble those casseroles. I'm planning to steam a few pot of rice, then bag up 1 cup portions to freeze. They can then be added to the chicken soup, Chinese chicken and mixed with stuff for fried rice. I'll also try to bake a few more things like banana bread, and cornbread muffins to just have on hand.

When it's all done, probably on Monday, I'll make a master list for the freezer door of our inventory. I'm planning to do cards to go with each dish to list defrosting and reheating requirements, as well as side dish items, so that Sweetheart can know what all goes together easily. I'm planning to keep all my lists and plans so that next time, I am not starting from scratch.

While I was in line at the checkout, I looked at the cart behind me. It was filled with frozen dinners and packaged foods. For a moment, I wondered what I was thinking trying to do all of this. But just for a moment. I know that all the work this weekend will pay off for the weeks ahead, plus all of us will benefit by having recipes I know we like that are healthy and delicious. Plus, I imagine that the cost of a month's already frozen dinners must be pretty outrageous compared to all that I bought and spent today. Besides, when I mentioned it to Sweetheart when I got home he said that the day I try to feed him Banquet frozen dinners is the day he will eat mud. :)

Well, it's time to go wrap up what I've done today and get ready for tomorrow. I'm hoping to clean everything up quickly and go soak in a nice warm bubble bath. Too much standing really wears me out these days. (I did several jobs today sitting down for that reason.) So long as I don't go into labor tonight, we should be all set. LOL!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Meal Planning


Help! I am trying to plan out meals for the next week or so to make and freeze for after the baby arrives. However, my pregnant mind is a complete...blank. I really want to help Sweetheart out and have some things ready to go as he'll be in charge of the home those first two weeks. We don't usually eat a lot of onions or garlic or Italian food. I'd love any recipes, or links to recipes that you think freeze well.

Photo from Allposters.com

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Pumpkin Walks!

I went out last night to Bunco while Sweetheart watched Pumpkin. Sweetheart decided it was the night to walk. Between a lot of encouragement and a lot of Cheerios, he got Pumpkin to FINALLY walk on his own!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We are so excited!!! I was bummed to miss those first steps, but more grateful that he did it.


I've had him walking around all day today and it's wonderful. Sweetheart worked with him for probably two hours walking, playing and reading and it really took. I've been amazed at how good his balance is and how far he can go for it only being the second day.


Of course, we've been too busy walking to manage to take pictures. Maybe tomorrow. He just went to bed and we're tired as well.


What an answer to prayer! For those of you who've only recently started reading here~ Pumpkin fell when he was about 10 months old and broke his femur. It was a freak accident, but it took a long time for him to regain his strength and to even crawl. We just kept getting told by the doctors that he'd just bounce back, not to worry and that he'd just get right back into the swing of things. Until he didn't. We then did some physical therapy things that helped a lot and got him moving. So, at 20 months he's finally walking.


I am so glad. We were beginning to wonder if this baby would be walking before him... I was also wondering how in the world I'd carry two at once! It's been tough enough carrying him around while pregnant. This Mama is sooooooooooooooo happy!

***
Neat side note:
The ladies in my Bunco group did a surprise baby shower for me last night. As a group they play that everyone brings a small $5 gift each month. When someone rolls a mini Bunco, they take a gift until they are all taken and thereafter winners "steal" the gifts from each other. Occasionally we do themes for gifts, or wrap them up to be a surprise until the end.

Well, last night was a night to wrap the gifts. At the end of the game, I had actually already won four gifts. But they then surprised me by handing me ALL the gifts and telling me to open them. They were all things for the new baby. What a shock!

What a great night it was. I was so blessed by the ladies generosity and kindness, then arrived home to the grand surprise of Pumpkin walking. *Thank you, Lord, for all the blessings you have showered on me. *

We're getting down to the end of this pregnancy. It's been a wonderful time without any problems, after an initial scare the second month. I've been tired, but really in excellent health. In fact, my midwives have declared me their star patient. I am the only one with no apparent complications. It's hard to believe that this little one may arrive at any time. Amazing.

Yes, I'm ready. No, I'm not ready. Can you ever really be ready? I am nesting though.

I totally cleaned out our bedroom this week, every drawer and shelf. I decided to only leave out what I want in sight during labor and delivery. So, my vanity has only a candle and a vase of roses from the garden. My dresser just has a small jewelry holder and my perfumes and lotions, just the things I use each day. Everything else is put away. The closet is even cleaned out and my nightstand. {I'll just try to ignore Sweetheart's dresser and nightstand. :) }

It's time to be getting meals frozen and more breads made as well as any other baked goods we'll want for the first few weeks. I've got to get on all that. That's definitely something I already had done at this point last time. Sigh. I can only do so much at a time these days...

God is good. He has truly blessed us during this time. My heart is overflowing with gratitude and joy!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Project Finished!!!

Woo hoo! I finally finished my Mothers Day present for my Mom. Boy, is she patient. I was beginning to think it would end up as a Christmas gift. I had decided to make both she and my Stepmother Memory Albums for Christmas, but ran out of time to finish both.


Though it may seem odd, I chose to do my Stepmother's first, as many of the pictures for her album were of her mother who passed away just a few weeks before Mothers Day. I made a mini album for her using the pictures that had been digitized for her Mother's memorial service. It turned out really neat, but I was too tired when I finished to take pictures of it to post.


Well, I bought my Mom a flip book album; one that stands on its own and allows you to flip the pages along the rings at the top like a calendar. I used pictures that my Uncle Kurt had scanned a few years back and put on disks for everyone.


The album started with pictures of my Grandparents just after they were married during World War II and went through about 10 years. I finished it all up this week and gave it to her today. She was pleased. I took a few pictures of it, but pictures of pictures don't always turn out so great, so please bear with a little blurriness.


This is the cover. It's my Mom when she was still pretty little. See where Pumpkin gets the red hair?


This is a picture of my Grandmother. They were living in Germany just after the war as my Grandpa was a part of the rebuilding efforts. I love the papers on this page, especially the one that looks like a vintage hankie. The 3-D sticker in the bottom corner looked like something my Grandmother would have worn and really finished off the page.
Wasn't she lovely?

Here's my Mom in her Father's Garden.
He won quite a few awards for his flowers.
He was such a big, strong man that no one dared tease him about it!

In fact, here is a picture of him with his German relatives after the war.
He's the guy in the back.
I wouldn't tease him about anything, would you?
(He was born in Germany and raised there until he was about seven. Then he sailed to America (ALONE) to meet up with his Mother who had moved here a few years before. Boy, is that a tale worth telling someday!)

Here's is my Mom in her tutu. Family members will laugh as they know that she was often photographed posing in various ballet positions for many years growing up.
She loves to twirl those skirts!


I love working with the old pictures. They have such a timeless quality to them. It's not always easy to find scrapping materials I like to go with them, but I seem to add buttons and ribbons to almost all of my projects these days.

I hope it's something that will bring a smile to Mom's face whenever she sees it.

Bread

"The best smell is bread,
the best saver salt,
the best love that of children."
~George Herbert



I love making our bread from the recipe in The Tasha Tudor Cookbook. It makes four lovely loaves. I use honey instead of the sugar per Tasha's suggestion, as it does make the crusts so much softer.

I slice it after it cools and freeze the slices, so we have bread ready to go whenever. I may never buy bread again! It was so good last night with our Chicken and Rice Soup.

There's no recipe for the soup, I just make it up as I go along based on whatever we have on hand. We all love it. I seem to bake a chicken a few times a month and then turn the leftovers into soup. I think it's time to start putting a few batches in the freezer for when the baby arrives...

Treasure Hunting

Sweetheart, Pumpkin and I have been treasure hunting lately on the weekends. I've had a little bit of "mad money" to play with and so I've picked up a few little things...


The McCall's Magazines are from the 1920's and have such fun pictures and articles. I'll be posting some of them soon, I hope.

The gravy boat, blue scoop, and pretty doilies were just $2-4 dollars, so I couldn't resist~ especially as my favorite color is blue. The little gravy boat is on the credenza now with some of my blue and white china. The scoop is in the sugar cannister and the doilies are still looking for a home.

Having removed most of the breakables to keep them out of Pumpkin's ever-growing reach, I may not have anything to place on them for awhile. That's ok.
This book from the 1860's is quite a find. The pictures I took of the engravings inside didn't turn out, but I'll try again later. It's in such great shape filled with wonderful stories, poems, and pictures. I found a similar Children's Nursery Book this last weekend that Sweetheart will scan for me. It has such wonderful pictures as well. I think they'll both fill the kids' room with fun!

On Saturday, the three of us ventured off to the Paris Street Market. There we ran into Joanne and her husband, Toben. We even got to meet her daughters and her father. What a fun visit! She gave me the cutest little onesie for the new baby with an adorable diaper pin design she embroidered on it. She is so sweet! She's even willing to give me sewing lessons, brave woman that she is, after the baby is born.
Oh the joy of pictures when you're 9 months pregnant...I seem to just grow all over. It was such a hot day out that we ended up leaving sooner than I would have expected. You can't tell by Joanne, though, she always looks so cute and stylish.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Wife or Mother?

I found this article the other day and thought it was very interesting. It really made me think about how I view what I do each day as both a wife and a mother. I know I say that I'm a stay-at-home-mom more than I do that I am a wife. I think part of it is that I was a working wife for seven years before I stopped working outside the home. I think though, that Mrs. Jaynes raises some interesting points with some very serious repercussions. Here's most of the article:

First and Foremost Wife or Mom?

In Becoming the Woman of His Dreams, Sharon Jaynes recalls a time when "a wife who became a mother remained first and foremost a wife." When did we change "working wife" to "working mom"? When did "housewife" suddenly become less important than "stay-at-home mom"?

Mrs. Jaynes writes of this paradigm shift:
I think the change is more of a reflection of the culture's shift of importance from being a wife to being a mother. Our focus has shifted from a home that is centered on the marriage unit to one that is centered on the children.
She quotes Dr. John Roseman, who reflects in the Charlottee Observer:
"This shift came about largely because America's shifted to a self-esteem based child-rearing philosophy, and women became persuaded that the mother who paid the most attention to and did the most for her child was the best mom of them all."
Mrs. Jaynes makes a powerful point as she notes,
Unfortunately, many times this [shift] has occurred at the expense of the marriage. The wife becomes engrossed in her children's lives, and the husband becomes engrossed in his career. Twenty years later, they look up from their cereal bowls and say, "Who are you?"

A mother should never feel guilty for putting her husband before her children. Giving them the security of knowing that their parents love each other is one of the best gifts she can give them in the long run...

I believe the best mom of all is the one who loves her husband and gives her children the security of living within the protection of a rock-solid marriage, a marriage that exemplifies and models for them what God intended.


I know that I've definitely seen this emphasis placed on the children over the marriage time and time again. I am guilty of it as well at times. Because Sweetheart and I were married for so many years before having kids, we have a very strong relationship with one another. We are each other's best friend and closest companion. I want to maintain that!

As time goes on, more kids are born, and raising children demands more time and energy, I want to make sure that I do not neglect my relationship with Sweetheart. This article really has made me think more about this over the last few days. I don't want to end up married to a stranger, nor lose who I am as a person to being a mom. At the end of it all, I want to please Jesus, not try to be the Mother of the Year.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Note to Readers

If something offends you, or you wish to be ugly about a post or a picture--feel free to stop visiting here. There is not, nor would there ever be, anything inappropriate here.

To the person who left the ugly comments earlier tonight- please note that both comments were deleted and will continue to be deleted. Get your mind out of the gutter. Leaving comments under different names, even if you include "praise Jesus", won't help. Your comments will be removed immediately. If you are trying to stir up controversy, you are not welcome here.

If you truly think there is a problem, I welcome you to leave your email address/blog address so that I may deal with it directly. Leaving comments without a way to respond back is cowardly and I refuse to let someone who won't properly identify themselves to threaten me.

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