Tuesday, December 30, 2008

We ended up having a wonderful family Christmas. It really was a beautiful day. Robert and I were both so happy. Our children, although excited about the thought of opening presents, were just as or more excited about the fact that it was Jesus' birthday and reading the story and singing Christmas songs. We eventually got around to presents, and of course, that was a blessing too. We each get three gifts, one for our mind, body and spirit. I wish there were a way to not have a mountain of gifts from the grandparents and it would make it even more special. Maybe we'll do gifts other than our family on Christmas Eve and save Christmas for our celebration. Hmmm. Anyway, it was wonderful. Joshua about had a heart attack when he saw that Robert got me The Sound of Music for my stocking. He LOVES that movie, it was too cute. So, of course, we spent the afternoon watching it.

Robert had off until yesterday and we all just had the best time, being a family. God has blessed us greatly with wonderful little clan here. Friday, we braved the stores to do some shopping and order Christmas cards....again. My Christmas card venture this year has been plagued with retailer snafu's...they will probably end up being February cards at this rate, oh well. Saturday, we got to go back down to Amish country. It was beautiful again, but in a different way than October. In October, you couldn't take your eyes off of the foliage to see the beauty in the simplicity of life down there. My favorite moment was on hte way home when we came up on a teen Amish boy in his cart, different than a family buggy, and he had a deer he had killed on the back of it. I soo wanted to stop him and ask what he hunted with and all the details, but we just waved and passed by. I got some shots with my new camera lens I got for Christmas too. I will try and get those and several other segments of our life, including my first art day with the kids up soon, but it will have to wait until next week because tonight we load up the van and at 3 am we head to Georgia for a wedding. So Happy New Year to all, may 2009 be a blessed year of our Lord.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas to all of my friends and family that we aren't sharing this joyous holiday with this year. It is nice to have a quiet just our family time to celebrate the most important event in history....ok, probably second, His death and resurrection I would count as most important, but this one is pretty big. We are blessed to be called His and tomorrow we will enjoy homemade cinnamon rolls and time together as a family, teaching our children of Christ's love. Merry CHRISTmas indeed!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Well, it is a balmy 6 degrees this morning with a wind chill of -12. I love weather forecasts. The one for today says that we might have windchills reaching -10...yup, got that one guys. Ha! It is snowing now, so that is why it is so much warmer than when we went to bed. Last we checked, it was -1 degrees outside. Those numbers just don't even make sense. I do hope that this snow hangs on for Chrimtmas, but I don't think it'll make it. We are supposed to be highs in the 20's all week except Christmas eve when it is supposed to get in the upper 30's to mid 40's with rain and hence, our snow will be gone. So sad. I hope it is in the 20's tomorrow so the kids can go play in the snow. We haven't had any snow all December, actually any accumulation and so after getting to play in tons of snow in Nov, they've been locked inside with me this month. Today is Robert's only day of work this week, so hopefully he and the kiddos can get some good play time in tomorrow in the "no".

Leah has finally learned to say Christmas. Most of the time this year she has said kimah tree, kimah song, kimah lights etc. It was so cute the way she said it, but now she says it correctly, sigh. We didn't have much fun with Joshua and new words because he's always articulated words correctly from the beginning. His first word was cat pronounced dat, but since then he's always said things right. Leah has a doozy of a time with her s blend sounds and pronouncing l's, which is hampering when your name is Leah. So, when someone asks her name, she says "I two years old". Of course, she never gets to say her name because Joshua is quick to introduce the whole family to every Tom, Dick and Harry we even remotely get close to passing in a store.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

ZERO, -23 wind chill.....
2 degrees, -21 wind chill
6 degrees, wind chill is negative 16, winds gusting over 40 miles an hour. Wind chill warning in effect, which I've learned today means you can't go outside with exposed skin....guess we made the right decision about church this morning. Dew point is -1, so we could see zero or below tonight. Wowzers!
We had a long busy but fun day yesterday. We got up and hit Target and Heinen's to finish grocery and gift shopping. Unfortunately, Target was sold out of card tables and since this wasn't a GCC function, we didn't need our 10' table. We headed home and I got the pumpkin pie baking and the chex mix made. Then I got the turkey that had been brining for two days in the sun room out and buttered and seasoned it. I did a citrus turkey and I must say it was the most flavorful turkey I have ever eaten in my life. Phenomenal. I did some citrus in the brine. Then I rubbed the skin of the turkey with an orange then smeared herb butter on and under the skin. Finally, I filled the cavity with onion, oranges and fresh thyme and sage. Seriously, I don't really like turkey but I LOVED this one. The greens didn't turn out as well as everything else. I cooked all day long! We also had carrot soufle and my corn bread dressing and rolls. We scrambled around getting ready like we were having a big party or something....we still aren't quite used to not having Gcc around. The Tomek's came over about 7 and we had a lovely dinner and it was so nice to be able to entertain again, even if it was only for another small family. It was funny because Peg kept apologizing for us having to feed all FIVE of them, lol. We tried to explain GCC but it is a foreign concept to have 50 people at a two year olds birthday party.

Anyway, we are home again today. The forecast was for the wind chill to hit 10 below zero. It isn't there yet, it is only zero right now. Robert decided and I agreed that we didn't want to take the kids out in that. So hopefully I'll get our Christmas letter all done. Our cards are supposed to be in tomorrow and hopefully I can get them in the mail on Tuesday, we'll see.

We are looking forward to Christmas. I don't know how white it is going to be, we only have a dusting of snow right now. We do have some in the forecast, I hope it is a WHoLE bunch. On Tuesday I am going to bake a batch of the cinnamon rolls from scratch. Can't wait! We'll take some over to several of our neighbors and then chow down on the rest ourselves. And then the next week, we get to go to John and Brandy's wedding!!!!!!! I'm SOOOO excited!! Their's is a marriage ordained by God and so it is a true joy to go and celebrate with them.

Friday, December 19, 2008

This week should feel productive...but it doesn't. It has been one of those where the more I do, the more things get all disorganised and piled up, but I'm making progress. The kitchen is a crazy place. I got all of the baking for Robert's work done and then had to switch into Thanksgiving dinner mode. Yes, we are having Thanksgiving dinner this weekend, again. One of the highlights of my year, every year, is getting to cook Thanksgiving dinner. And, although, we had a delicious Thanksgiving celebration with the Seagos in Texas, I didn't get to cook a single thing, since we flew in that day. So, tomorrow we are having turkey, my super veggie corn bread dressing, turnip greens, carrot soufle and cranberry compote. I'm also making a pumpkin pie and we still have a little fudge and cookies too. The Tomeks (our all star neighbors) are coming over also because they were on a family cruise for Tday and didn't get to eat either. Which brings me to my next point.....

Everyone talks about hunters in Texas. People split up their marriages over hunting and it is supposedly a dedicated sport. Well, I can now say that they have nothing on these yankee boy hunters up here. These guys are crazy. They hunt in rediculous weather. Tomorrow is going to be a high of 28 with howling wind and maybe snow....on top of the ice storm we've got going today. We are having a late Thanksgiving dinner because Mr Tomek is going hunting tomorrow. Crazy crazy man!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Well, I made over 120 cookies today. Now I have all of the cookies and fudge, to send to Robert's work with him, all bagged up and ready to go. It is really the perfect set up for me. I love baking to share holiday cheer, but really I'm not the best Santa. I hate being the one handing out gifty things. I also hate being the one receiving them. You never know if it is something you'll like and so there is that awkward moment of wondering if they are going to make you try it right then and there. This was always precarious for me in the office because I'm not a big sweets person. Thankfully, I worked in a really male dominated field and, so most of them could careless if I liked it or not; after all, they put no effort into them. So tomorrow, Robert can go around being cheerful little elf, which actually likes doing and I'm just going to be at home in my pj's feeling accomplished for getting it all baked and out the door!

By the way, the cookies I made are white chocolate chip and cranberry and they are really worth killing for when they are fresh out of the oven. Hey, I don't like sweets and I think so, so they are worth making. Next time, I'll add pecans and perfect them!

White Chocolate Chip and Cranberry Cookies
1/2c butter, softened
1/2 c brown sugar
1/2c white sugar
1 egg
1 T vanilla or Brandy
1 1/2c all purpose flour
1/2t baking soda
3/4c white chocolate chips
1c dried cranberries
next time I'll also add 1/2c chopped pecans

Cream the butter and sugars together. Then, add your egg and vanilla. Finally your dry ingredients. Fold in the chips and berries. Bake at 375 for 10 minutes. Do not over bake.

Tomorrow I need to get this house cleaned, oh and probably finishing the laundry from last week would be a great idea......Hey, I can do it ALL, I've just never claimed to be able to do it all at once.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

We are home again...at this rate, we will only get 11 new churches under our belt this year, lol. Joshua woke up from nap yesterday with a raging fever. We oiled him up and got him back to bed. He is rareing to go this morning but Little Le is down now. Hope the rest of us keep safe.
I jumped out of bed at a brisk 10 oclock this morning and headed to the grocery store.....BY MYSELF! Yup, you read that right. Robert had all three kids by himself. I was on the time clock and had a SERIOUS list. We are doing Thanksgiving dinner this Saturday and I have all of the baking for Robert's employees this week, add in our normal weekly shopping in my list was massive. So, I flew through the store like a pro, I've done this once or twice before ya know, and was back home in an hour, almost $200 lighter in our checking account. I thought I did a fabulous job, Robert wasn't as impressed with my bill. But, I am now prepared to start baking away. Today I'll do all of the fudge, in addition to our steak and greens dinner. Tomorrow will be white chip and cranberry cookies. I'll send all of that with Robert to work on Tuesday and then start the Thanksgiving prep. We are having the Tomek's over and maybe Ms. Diane also. I'm making a turkey, my veggie corn bread dressing, turnip greens, carrot soufle, cranberry compote and probably a pumpkin pie or two. Fun stuff!!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Busy day for the Lachney girls. Hannah just rolled over for the first time!!!!!!
Leah has decided it is time to potty train. I guess I'm ready. I'm hoping that since it was her idea, that it will really happen. So far today she has gone tt several times and poopy once, YIPPEE!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I think I've figured out Hannah's sudden sleep issues. I think she must be goign thru her three month growth spurt, and she is trying to roll over. She hasn't quite figured out the arm thing yet. It has reminded me that I do need to give the girl floor time, now and then. I rarely put her anywhere but in the swing or bed so that the older two don't "accidentally" plow over her. We all watched and cheered for her to roll on over yesterday, but not yet.

Pictures last night were underwhelming. I wanted and planned on having them taken before our trip at Thanksgiving, but Kohls.com killed that. I'll save my rant, but I will just say that I will not be ordering from them ever again. I love their store and that is where we get most of our clothes and almost all of our shoes but their online service STINKS! So, after I picked up my misdelivered package in Texas up, we were then ready to get them done back home. We got a rookie photographer, which is always annoying when I know more about scenes, cameras, and even the store specials than her. But, I had no hope of getting us all gussied up again in time to get cards ordered. So, the pic on our card this year isn't the best, but we are all in it. I ought to volunteer to give a "how to take kids pictures" class for the crew at Sears, because she was awful! It didn't help that they were running so far behind that Hannah was really really tired and therefore really fussy....oh, and the photo chick kept waking her up being loud, instead of having a sweet sleeping baby in the pics. Anyway, they are done. I won't get them until right before Christmas, so it will be a big sprint to get them out the door, but I'm ready.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Man, I'm SOOOO frustrated. When we were in Texas, Hannah slept thru the night 10-12 hours EVERY night.....the ENTIRE trip! Now, we are home and she is sleeping worse than a newborn. Last night I was up every other hour with her. I'm sooo tired. I already had a headache from too little sleep on the trip and I'm just miserable. Last night, I told Robert that Hannah and I are just going to have to move to Grandmommy's house and he can come visit us on the weekends.

Monday, December 8, 2008

We are back in Ohio. I'll update about our trip later, I have a yucky headache and need to get rested. We have Christmas pics on Wednesday, still need to find a skirt for me. Hannah is cute and laughy now. Leah is still feisty and Joshua is coming along with his reading.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

We're here and things are awesome. We are trying to see everyone here, but there just aren't enough hours in the days.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Hey guys,
Check out the new banner on my side bar. It is for our dear dear friends the Robisons, most of you know them. They are moving ahead to adopt a special needs child from China. So, if you have some extra cash you are looking to donate to a good cause this year, please consider their fund raiser.

ONE MORE DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Three more days and then we fly out!!!!!! I hope I can sleep between now and then....oh wait, I have an infant...yup, sleep won't be a problem, but focus during awake hours might.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

We've skipped another week of church shopping. Robert got a ticket to the Browns vs Texans game this afternoon, so we didn't go to church, again. He promises me that we are going to a great church next week, lol! We are watching the game on tv to see if we can see Daddy in HD. So far no luck. Joshua keeps yelling at the Browns to get the Texans legs, even though he says he is for the Texans...and Leah keeps running around yelling "Go Cowboys" with gusto. Can't imagine where she gets good taste from, hmmm. I think Hannah just likes to here the refs whistles blow. She fusses when they go to commercial. Can't wait until we get to watch our Aggies whoop up on the Tsips this week!!!

Other than that, I am just mentally checking my list of things to get done before we leave town. Haven't traveled with a baby in a while, so I have to remind myself of everything not to forget, like the baby monitor. I have a feeling this week is going to drag by.

I made a super yummy potato soup last night for dinner. I'll post the recipe and my review in a bit once I get kiddos down for naps.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Today's Snow Fun



hopefully tomorrow we will get to build a snow man and do some sledding

Snow Eaters Anonymous...


Notice the snow goatee.
9a.m. 24 degrees, windchill is 13. Heavy snow falling. We got 2-4 inches over night, can't really tell from my window and we've had over an inch since Robert shoveled this morning. :-)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Joshua must be going through some huge developmental stage. We cut out tv for him and his behavior is much improved. We also implemented J and L's to do lists from this website They are to-do's and not just chore charts. Their chores are on them but so are behavior to-do's. For example, Leah has to make her bed, as well as be nice to Bubba and not cry or whine. At the end of the day, Robert goes over there list and if we all decide they did good in an area, they get a big smiley face and if not then they get an X. It seems to be working well for them both.

Anyway, Joshua has also become the clumsiest thing I have ever seen in my life. Seriously. He can be sitting perfectly still on the couch and somehow, he'll just fall off and hurt himself. It is the craziest thing. And don't even get me started on walking/running without watching where he is going. People must think I beat him constantly because he is covered in scrapes cuts and bruises all over. Poor kid! I hope he out grows it soon. But, if he doesn't, I've decided he can jsut wear his out door marshmallow man suit all the time and that way he'll just bounce back and forth off of the walls with no problems. ;-)

We are expecting 4-6 inches of snow Friday night!!! YEA! That means Daddy can finally get out and show the kids how to build a snowman and play in the snow. Joshua asks him every day how to make a snow angel but it is getting dark here before 5 already and so Robert isn't home during any day time hours.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

My daughter is going have to join SEA...snow eaters anonymous. Seriously, that is all she does. She doesn't even play in it, just eats it constantly. I told Robert that every time she finds a big pile of it, she thinks she's just found an all you can eat buffett. So, I spend 30 minutes getting the marshmallow kids suited up and then they get to play for about 20 minutes. I think they might be able to play longer if they weren't eating snow the whole time!!! Oh wait, Joshua doesn't eat that much, he sticks his head in it. Yup, turns himself upside down in a hand stand and sticks his head in it. Cracks me up! But yeah, the kids are loving the snow. And really, so are we...except

We had to go pick up Robert's van from the dealership yesterday. They've supposedly fixed the problem, we'll see. Anyway, we for sure have the question "front wheel/all wheel or rear wheel drive" answered for us. We will have to buy a 4X4 Suburban next year. It took us two hours to get to the dealership and back last night and that was with Robert babying Big Truck the whole time. So, this winter I"ll be staying home if there is any snow or ice and we have to seriously tighten our belts for all of next year so we can pay cash for a new one. We were hoping to put that off for at least another 4 years or so. Oh well, the Lord has provided well for us, so we just try to be good stewards of what we have.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008



Good thing Robert shoveled this morning....you still can't see our sidewalk.
I just went out and trudged around in the snow. We had about 4 inches last night and it is still coming down steady. Joshua went out this morning and then I went out about an hour later and I couldn't see his footprints any more. I had to go out to find Leah's missing hot pink mitten. It's still missing. Apparently, when the kids were out with Robert last night, she took it off and no one noticed until they were inside. So, she can't play. I hate that. They had so much fun yesterday and it was such a nice break for me, honestly. But, it's 28 degrees and lots of snow, she has to have mittens. I'm hoping since it is supposed to get up to 36 tomorrow that this snow will melt and we can find the mitten. Those suckers aren't cheap! But this snow stuff is really fun and absolutely beautiful. And our lifestyle lends itself to hunkering down, so we're good.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Try This One!

Tonight we had these French Dip sandwiches.
http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/French-Dip-Sandwiches/Detail.aspx

And oh my, you must go try them! Robert's exact quote was "This is incredible!" I followed the recipe exactly, for once. Then, I served them open face with carmalized onions and mushrooms and some melted provolone cheese. REALLY, TRY THESE!!!! YUMMY!

We got a little over 2 inches of accumulated snow this afternoon, in an hour. I watched it the whole time. It was awesome and my kids are gonna sleep good tonight.
For Angela, here is the chicken and dumplings recipe I worked with.
http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Slow-Cooker-Chicken-and-Dumplings/Detail.aspx

But, I added diced carrots, celery and mushrooms with the chicken. I also used one can cream of chicken and mushrooms and two cans cream of mushroom. I used salt and lemon pepper and a little garlic powder to season. You don't need much salt though with all of the soup. THen, I covered it all in chicken broth. I added the biscuits about two hours before eating, but I did four cans and that was too much to get cooked. I'd think three cans would be perfect. I quartered the biscuits and I always use the cheapy cheap biscuits for dumplings. Awesome flavor!!! You'll need to stir once or twice after adding the biscuits to make sure they are all cooking.
******************************************
And for my information.
I've been making an awesome no sugar apple cobbler this fall. I use two cups Pamela's baking mix (which we LOVE, best pancakes ever), 2 cups milk, 1 Tbs baking powder, 2-3 eggs, 2 tsp vanilla, fresh ground nutmeg and some chopped pecans or walnuts. Pour it over stewed apples or any fruit! YUMMY!!!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Well, they made it home fine. Robert said he wasn't going to do anything about it. But, this morning we started the van to go run grocery errands for the week and it died about 30 seconds later and wouldn't restart. Nice! Robert is stressed. Yuck. So, dealership is closed today. We'll hear from them tomorrow. It is under 36,000 miles so it is still under the original warranty but we also have the resale warranty too. Good thing.

On a better note, it has been snowing all morning. For real snow. Big huge thick flakes and lots of them. It starts and stops now and then but it is awesome. Nothing is sticking yet, but the kids did get to go out and run around in the blowing snow and try to catch flakes....of course, I took pictures....who do you think you are talking to! Since it was snowing and it was our first real snow as a family, Robert called a snow day and we skipped church. :-)

Crock pot chicken and dumplings turned out great! I put too many biscuits in for dumplings and so I had to work through that but that was my fault, not the recipes. I'll do that again. Alot like my Mom's but easier cause you dump and go!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Pretty low key day today. Robert tried to get out and get the leaves raked to the curb this morning, but it started raining pretty good and at 40 degrees, you just can't stay out in the rain. I've been doing not much. I did dishes and got a crock pot chicken and dumplings going. Also have some brownies baking. I've rediscovered my love of cooking since we've moved up here. I realize that we were just too busy and too over commited in Texas and so I couldn't really cook for joy....it was always just hurry and cook something fast and healthy and run out the door. Or just run out the door and grab something out. It has been nice getting to slow down adn be a family again up here.
Robert and the kids have run out to pick up our milk and eggs. I hope Ada, our farmer's wife, sends something yummy like more fresh cream this week. Unfortunately, Robert just called and said the van died on him. He got it restarted, but now I'm sitting here waiting, wondering if I'm going to have to run out and get them in teh truck. I don't like this feeling. What if it dies on the freeway? Will they get cold waiting for me if they do? The winds are gusting high today, they've downed a tree in our neighborhood and it is cold and will be snowing soon. I don't like my family broken down out in these conditions. Time to stop thinking about an emergency winter kit in the vehicles and get them in there!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Snow in the forecast everyday next week. YIPPEE!!! Maybe we'll actually see some accumulation.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Ho hum. Thursday, yea! That means it is almost the weekend, and we have nothing going on, YIIPPPPEEE!!! Although there is some SERIOUS leaf raking that needs to be done in our back yard before it gets covered in snow. You should see the really cool leaf vaccuum truck they have that comes around to suck up the leaves that people rake to the curb. The kids and I were fascinated watching it.
Went and had some retail therapy this morning. Just needed to get out of the casa. It wasn't a big deal. We took clothes to Goodwill and went to Target. Robert insisted that we all have thermal under wear, and they had some for all but me, per usual. Everyone in my house is so easy to shop for, but me. We've yet to buy me anything but my snow boots. Oh well. The jeans I bought two weeks ago are falling off of me already, so maybe I'm destined to be naked this winter, lol. I ordered a vest for our christmas pics from kohls.com. We tried to get it at our store but they didn't have my size and it was the perfect vest. Anyway, the stupid site didn't update my shipping address, just my billing address and so it is set to ship to Ky and Lori at our old house. The only customer service they offer is by email, so I immediately emailed them about their error. I got a reply. Says they'll answer my email in 24-48 hours. Thanks alot, real helpful since I HOPE that it would ship sooner than that. They are quickly ruining my plans for our pics to be done before Thanksgiving. I usually have everything done before Thanksgiving, but looks like it will have to wait until after this year, grrrr.
We've had a low key week. Laundry, cooking, teaching, reteaching, discipling, rediscipling, etc etc etc wash repeat. I'm trying to cook every meal at home until we leave for our trip so we save a little money. I need to post some of the recipes I've made lately so I have htem for next year.
Get a free 8x10 color photo book from Snapfish. These are fun! I did one for Robert for father's day one year.
http://www.oprah.com/slideshow/oprahshow/20081029_tows_messyhouse/7

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Take Action Now.....Stop the Freedom of Choice Act

http://www.fightfoca.com/

Please go and sign the petition to stop the Freedom of Choice Act. Protect the women and babies in our country. This will wipe out every law of protection that's been instated since Roe V Wade. Please help get the word out, quickly!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I'm fed up with Joshua. I just don't know what to do with him. He CONSTANTLY antagonizes his sister. He can get up from time out or a spanking and immediately go right back to it. I'm just fed up to here and I can't take any more. Today my strategy is that he has no freedoms, none. He stays by my side and sits on the floor next to me no matter where I am. Any ideas out there??
If you find sarcastic humor funny, especially in the face of a failing economy. Check this out. SNL skit on the bailout.
http://guestofaguest.com/finance/the-forbidden-snl-economic-bailout-skit/?ref=patrick.net

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Recipes Please

Ok, hit me with your best soup recipes. I've never been a big soup cooker, so I'll take anything. Bonus points if it uses a heavy cream since I got some from our Amish farmer this week.

Church #11 was not a dud. I'd like to say it is promising, but I haven't been able to talk with Robert about it yet. It is a bit challenging to tell because they are teaching thru Revelation right now. I don't judge or critique anyone's escatology because #1 I haven't studied the topic enough to do so and #2 some of the greatest biblical scholars of our times disagree in eschatology. Everyone was really nice. Joshua was happy because he got to take down chairs after service. He was thrilled to get to help, and the men were a bit stupored by his enthusiasm, lol. The music was good too, although the drummer couldn't keep the beat consistently...slowed down the further we went (you music people know what I'm talking about), wanted to go give him a metronome... promising...maybe...

And, after being in the 60's all week, we should see snow in the next two hours. Tomorrow morning until noon, as well. Still not supposed to be sticking yet. I don't konw that we'll see warm weather again now. We really should have gotten those leaves raked before this...oops.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Daddy's New Baby



Yup, your eyes do not deceive you. We went car shopping to replace our beloved Baby Car....and came home with a minivan. We decided that we wanted his work car to be able to back up our truck. It is 6 years old and still trucking just fine but in the next years it might start giving us trouble. We also only have rear wheel drive in the truck and the minivan has front wheel drive which is safer in snow and ice conditions. So, he now has gone from a Porsche to a Cavalier to a Minivan. Poor guy! I'm sure he still feels studly though since he's cranking out babies every other year, lol!!!!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Thanks Mom!!!!!! Now we are ready.

Two Months Old

 


Hannah Cole is now 2 months old. She's a big girl, although we haven't weighed her in a while. She's also a great sleeper! YEA!!!! She loves her Bubba and Lele and talks to Daddy every night when he gets home from work! Too cute.
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I guess us moving to Ohio wasn't enough. I am quite unsettled this morning. I hope that this massive swing brings us all to our knees to pray for mercy. God is still in control, praise Him! I will particularly praying for my close friends who own and run successful small businesses, this is going to hit ya'll hard.

I'm off to see how our local elections went. We had elections for the state board of education here.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Looks like we'll be car shopping this weekend. Baby car is on her very last leg. We were hoping to make it to 200,000 miles but only made it to 180,000....not bad. She's a good car. I'll miss her!

Monday, November 3, 2008

VOTE! VOTE! VOTE!!!

Tomorrow is the end, thank goodness! Please remember to go VOTE!!! No matter who your voting for, please exercise your right that men and women have died to protect.

We voted by mail in ballot last week....seemed easier than dragging three kids to long lines. We voted McCain. Not because I particularly support him as an ideal candidate, but Obama is anti everything that my family believes and lives. If you haven't decided who to vote for, then vote for McCain so my family doesn't have to live in fear of being prosecuted for our lifestyle. It is about more than tax plans! Our country was not founded to be a socialists country, but that is what Obama wants. I don't want to government taking my money to use how it see fit to "help" people. I want my money that my husband works hard for to be used as we see fit and to help the charities and people we want to help with it. Besides, we'll choose charities that efficiently use our donations, unlike the wasteful spending of our government.

Thankfully, Wednesday morning, we will wake up with a new president and we won't have to hear about this stupid election anymore. It has been particularly annoying being in a battle ground state. The candidates are around here all the time and it is annoying how it stirs everyone up. I think Sarah is at the Farmers Market we went to on Saturday, today. Crazy! No matter who is elected, we are called to back and support them, and we will....only if it is Obama, it will be with trembling. Who ever is elected will be our God ordained leader for 4 years....man, I hope it isn't Obama.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

We are home today. Church #11 will have to wait until next week. Robert isn't feeling great. I don't know if it is a bug or stress, maybe a bit of both. Everyone is starting the sniffling/sneezing season with the crazy weather swings up here. This week is supposed to be nice, in the 60's all week until Friday and then back into the 40's for highs. The Tomek's say we will probably have snow that sticks in the next week or so.

We've had a nice weekend. Friday night we celebrated Reformation Day the way we have for 5 years now...breakfast out for dinner. It wasn't as yummy as Magnolia Diner with all of our friends, but we do love our Bob Evans. And Chef Mommy needed a break. When we got home, we went over to wish the Tomek's Happy Reformation Day, dressed up as their neighbors, lol. We also let the kids each have one piece of candy. The split the little snickers yesterday and will the other one another day. We are grateful that Martin Luther nailed his thesis to the door in Whittenberg!

Yesterday ended up being a big shopping day. Robert got up with the kids and let me sleep in until 10 with Hannah....that was much needed. Then, we sprung out of bed and headed to a farmers market. We stocked up on some Amish beef since our Paidom order was gone. I can't wait to try it. The man was very very nice. He even said he if putting together a grassfed beef cooking guide and needs a fajita recipe, so if I send him mine, he'll give us some free product. YES! We also got some produce from another Amish stand. You guys should see the greens, actually all of the produce, it is GORGEOUS!!! Seriously, pristine! I can't wait to cook up the greens. Nothing beats greens and corn bread. My favorite meal of all time!!!! I've finaly perfected cooking them to taste just like my Grannies! I just love interacting with the Amish. I get giddy. I wish I could make an Amish friend and learn more about them, but we don't live close enough to them.

After the farmer's market, we went and grabbed lunch at TGI Friday's. So disappointing eating out after buying such yummy fresh stuff. Then we ran over to Eddie Bauer's to try and find me some jeans to fit. It's always been hard to fit me because my legs are so long and I"ve always been skinny. Well, now I'm skinny and long legged but have a belly.....apparently no one in the clothing industry is shaped anything like me. BUT, I tried on a pair of curvy cut Eddie Bauer jeans in their regular longs and THEY FIT....COMFORTABLY!!!!! Except, they are $59. OUCH! So, we didn't buy them, I am watching for them to go on sale online and then they are mine! I have some money from my Mom to help us buy winter clothes and so I can use that. While I was shopping, Leah had a nasty poopy diaper, twice. The second time, we realized we were out of her diapers in the bag. OH NO! Thankfully I had some large prefolds that we use as burp rags and I set her up in those and we huried home. We were hoping it was something she ate and not a stomach bug because we all shared an all natrual Amish ice cream at the farmers market.

When we got home, we tried to get teh kids naps, but they had slept for an hour in the car ride home. So, we headed to the mall. I got the girls Christmas dresses at Gymboree...my first purchse there ever. They were 20% off and I had a 20% off coupon, so they were reasonably priced. We also got Joshua some shoes. I'm embarrassed to say that his were two sizes too small....the kids never complained! OUCH. I also settled on a pair of Gloria Vanderbilt jeans that will do until I can get the Eddie Bauer ones. They were cheap and ok fitting. I still have a long list of shopping that needs to be done, pronto since snow is coming, but you can only shop for so long with a 4, 2 and 8 week old. We got home just in time for bed. Makes me tired just typing it up.

Now, the kids are playing outside, and Robert and Hannah are napping. I am happy to get to sit down for a moment.....although the diapers needed to be put in the dryer and dishes loaded and lunch made.....

Friday, October 31, 2008

I'm worn out. I have managed to do all of the laundry, school JOshua, clean the bathrooms, cook and keep up with dishes (sort of) and walk about 5 miles a day holding Hannah, but I am plum (or is it plumb) worn out. I'm just not good at the whole baby thing. Once they hit a year, I'm rockin and rollin but the first year just kills me. I know alot of you say that the baby stage is your favorite part, but not mine. But, thankfully, on number three, I do know that it is just a short phase that we will survive. It doesn't help that Robert is pulling massive double/triple extra duty at work right now. The GM has figured out that Robert is a great go to guy and so, he's gone to him. He is officially managing two full departments now and it has him runnin like crazy. He gets into the office about 6 and has been getting home about 6 also. Of course, when he gets here, he is justifiably wiped out, but so is his wife, but not the babies. So, we are just holding on for the ride. Really, how can you can complain when your "hardships" are massive blessings from the Lord.

SOOOOOOO, in really super exciting news!!!!!!!!!!!!

We are coming to Houston for Thanksgiving!!!! I CAN NOT wait. I can't wait to see my friends, worship at Grace, hang out with everyone, eat at Eden Cafe, have Mexican food, hang out with friends, maybe get a moment alone with my husband since we'll have trustworthy people around our children, hang out with friends, did I mention Mexican food....we are all soooo excited! We got pretty good prices on our flights, but the rental car rates are crazy! Anyone got an extra car that can hold three car seats laying around?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

It is 9am here and 26 degrees!!! I can't imagine how cold it was for Robert at 5 this morning. Thankfully, they got our furnace replaced in time and we are warm and snuggly. And, just to prove that Texas isn't the only one with crazy weather, tomorrow we are supposed to hit 60 again!

BIG BIG NEWS coming soon!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

IT IS SNOWING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YEA!!!!!!!!!!!! I have pics to prove it, I'll post those later!

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Hannah's appointment went fine. Actually, the appointment itself was awful. They dialated her eyes but then they waited so long to get her in to check her that she fell sound alseep. So, I was holding her while a nurse was prying her eyes open for the doctor. Of course, Hannah did not like that and started SCREAMING. It was horrible. They actually slightly bruised her eye lid on one eye, poor baby.

She has an anterior polar cataract. It is "beyond tiny" in the doctors words. It is extremely rare that they ever change or grow, so they will just watch her periodically as she grows to make sure. They do sometimes affect the shape of the lens, but that would be easily fixed with glasses. He said even that isn't real common, but isn't rare. He wants to see her again in two months but Robert and I both think that would be useless. We'll take her sometime next year. No point in going into a pediatric germ factory during cold and flu season. Same reason we aren't going to the pediatrician either. They can wait until she's 6 months old and flu season is over!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Photo Tag

From Cara at To Be Fruitful and Multiply....
For this one you open the fourth photo album on your computer and post the fourth picture.
My fourth pic is of my mother Lou Juanell Stiles and Granny, maternal grandmother Billy Cole Gregg...Hannah is named after her. This is at my sisters wedding shower in 2006? Is that the right year Amie? You can see my awesome hubby in the background. He was there to wrangle Joshua, Leah was easy since she was still in utero.


!
Last night we had about 5 minutes of sleet. Today we should start getting snow/rain as the day progresses then tonight they are expecting 1-3 inches of accumulation!!!! WHO HOO! I think.

Monday, October 27, 2008

We had a lovely, quiet family weekend. Saturday we slept in (oh wait, that was a delusion of mine, ha). We ate breakfast and watched some cartoons together. Then we all headed up the road a bit and hit a thrift shop that Ruth and Sarah found while they were here. I made a very important realization there. First, thrift stores always smell alike, and it ain't good. Second, I realized why I"m not as thrifty as I used to be....I have small children. It is physically impossible to carry a 7 week old, hold a 4 year olds hand, push a two year old in a stroller and still dig thru mostly nasty, ill fitting clothing. After an hour, we gave up and came home. Robert still wanted to look, but I just couldn't rangle the kids any more. Call me a whimp, I'm ok with it. So, I vow off nasty thrift stores until I no longer have small children....unless we become really poor very quickly, even then, I think I'll hunt everything down on Craigslist from the comfort of my home.

The rest of Saturday we just hung out. Robert and Leah did run to pick up our milk for the week and Joshua and I did some puzzles, but that was it. We even went to bed early, who hoo! (oh wait, another delusion, everyone but Hannah and I went to bed early...I walked Hannah)

Sunday, we visited church #10. Not for us, although we kind of had that idea already. It was worth a try. Music was good. There were lots of slide show/skit things. The pastors message was about the election. Robert and I both walked out wondering if he was preaching for prolife or prochoice and we were pretty sure he was supporting Obama. Really weird. Next week, we'll try again. Robert did say we aren't going back to church #9. He isn't going to put an effort into a church that is so anti family, family friendly is important to us, even if we don't find family integrated.

The rest of Sunday we watched NASCAR and football and chilled out. I did catch part of the latest Duggar show where their oldest gets engaged. I just love that family! I love that they are living out what we believe in and doing it on tv.....and people actually watch!
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Much asked for kiddo update.
Joshua- Such a big boy. He's really growing up! He is such a huge helper. He LOVES Hannah and is pretty fond of Leah. He will talk to Hannah and keep her from fussing so I can do important things like go to the bathroom. He's also coming along in school. He knows all of his letters and their sounds, although he still forgets a vowel sounds now and then, but hey, they have a bunch of sounds! He is getting number recognition down better. But he is a math guy like Robert. Robert showed him the basic concept of addition one time and he adds things all the time now. Maybe I'll add in subtration too soon. He also just had a growth spurt, stinker! I had him try on all of his pants about a month ago so I could see where I was for winter clothes. He had lots that fit. Now, every weekend when Robert gets him dressed he pulls out pants that are too short. Back to the shopping drawing board.

Leah- Leah is a hoot. She cracks us up with her little personality. She can pout like anything and turn her moods on a dime. And temper, oh my! We are working thru all of that stuff. She also LOVES to "nuggle", on her terms, of course. If you ask her to nuggle, nope! Must be when she thinks of it and brings it up. Her talking is getting better, but most people still can't really understand her. Her vocabulary isn't near what Joshua's was, but her physcial abilities are way way past where he was at this point. Oh, and she's ready to potty train.....but Mommy still isn't. She's a cute girl, and its a good thing some days, lol! I think I'm going to have to have her hair cut. I was hoping that my sister could do all of my kids first hair cuts, but Leah's is starting to look like a shaggy dog. She has three layers growing in all at different lengths. Her original layer is long long, which will make me sad to cut it, but it is just hair. Hopefully, I will get it done before our Christmas pics.

Hannah- She's going thru a "I want to be held and WALKED" 24/7 phase, so I'm not getting much done. Although right now, she is sleeping in the swing, YIPPEE!!! Better hurry before she wakes up. She's 7 weeks old now and is sleeping thru the night, technically. She sleeps for almost a 6 hour stretch most nights!!!! I don't know what to do with all of this sleep....and I feel like I should be more rested. She is holding her head up pretty well when someone holds her, but not when she's on her tummy yet. She's super sensitive to my diet, which stinks. She's a super chub in her face! I have pics to share, when I can get them up. But her legs are all Stiles chicken legs, no super rolls like her sibs. She likes to coo and "talk" and smile and laugh, especially at her Daddy right after a nap. We have an appointment tomorrow with a pediatric eye specialists for her to check on the spot on her eye. I'm hoping to hear that is nothing but a dot birth mark or something. They didn't sound real concerned when our pediatrician talked to him about it.

Robert has decided that all these weird genetic defects she has are from my side, and he's probably right. I was, of course, assuming they were from his side, lol. But, when Corbin showed up with the same webbed toe, it proved that one was from me. I also think it might be related to Waardenburg's syndrome. I read up on this some when Joshua was born. I really really think our family has it. I also think it may be why my Mom is deaf, even though the doctors said it was from scarlet fever when she was a baby. But hey, that was the 40's and they didn't diagnose her for years and years later. Anyway, we carry a TON of the symptoms. But only genetic testing would tell us for sure. Maybe some day.

ok, wrapping up this book....I'll have to wait days to post again so ya'll have time to read all of this, lol!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Any time we have people stay over night in our home, I like to cook a big breakfast for the next morning (it doesn't always happen, but that is what I like to do). I usually make a yummy over night french toast. I load mine with lots of fruits and nuts, so it is healthy too. But I've always wanted something a little more to add to it. So, I found this idea on the crockpot blog that I've posted here, side note...I still like that blog but I've been quite disappointed in some of the recipes I've tried...apparently my family likes alot more flavor than theirs does, but she has some great recipe ideas, and hey, I never cook by recipes anyway...back to original train of thought....what was I talking about???...oh yeah, breakfast...so today I did breakfast for dinner. I did my usual over night french toast, we'll call it over afternoon french toast....completely different from over easy, are you following me here? Then, I made sausage and potatoes in the crock pot. I diced up some red and russett potatoes (because that is what I had), a little diced onion and to finish off some mushrooms I had, I threw those in too. Put all of that in a ziplock and added a little olive oil, salt, pepper and all purpose seasonings...then mixed it up real good and poured it in the crock pot. Next, I sliced up some sausage (chicken and apple, again, that is what I had) and threw it on top. Cooked on low until dinner time. They are both perfectly cooked and I can't wait to dive in, I've sampled enough to know it will be good. I do like my sausage to look more brown though, so next time, I think I'll brown it a little in a skillet before adding tot he crockpot, just for my picky color tastes. Both will work beautifully over night, and all I'll have to do is get up and make the coffee....oh wait, my coffee maker is programable too, SCORE!
Yes, it is that important. Every vote does count and it is life and death.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NwLY_HRt-AM

Monday, October 20, 2008

This weekend was sooo fun!
Friday, Ruth flew in to surprise Sarah for her last week here. To quote her when Sarah asked how she got here..."I flew and man are my arms tired!" Sarah didn't have a clue that I was picking her up at the airport and so when Ruth rang the door bell and Sarah answered, I think you probably could have knocked her over with a feather. It was fun!

SATURDAY!!!! We went to Amish Country. Now that is a place I could live. It was sooo pretty and life was slow, quiet and simple. It reminded me of growing up in West Texas but with horses and buggies everywhere, lol. We got lost, oh darn, and ended up eating lunch at Mrs. Yoder's Kitchen. What a FIND!!! We all raved and raved and raved about the food. It is all locally grown and harvested and prepared by them. And you just can't beat fresh local home cooked food. Seriously, we all agreed that if that was all we did, then the drive was worth it. It was sooo exciting to me to drive around and see all of the horses and buggies and the Amish people walking around. I've been fascinated with their lives since I read my first book about them in high school. After lunch, we toured a working Amish farm set up. It isn't an Amish farm anymore, but is owned by a family that was raised Amish and have since left the church. It was neat to tour the home and even neater to eat some yummies. We also got to ride in an Amish buggy. Our driver was named Lester and was very friendly. We were running behind to pick up our milk at our Amish farmers home, and so we didn't get to spend near the time that we would have liked to. We've decided that every time we have to go pick up milk (about every 10-12 weeks), we will go eat at Mrs Yoder's and choose a different Amish thing to tour. It really really was the best day. And the turning leaves are just amazing. I ooh and ahh over them every time we leave the house. God's creation at its most beautiful!

Sunday we visited church #9. It was nice. A small congregation. The music was just ok, but they had a bunch of their musicians gone. I missed alot of the sermon, but Robert and Ruth said it was pretty good. They teach line by line, so that is good. All of the ladies in the nursing room were really really nice and I enjoyed chatting with them alot. Most of the congregation are homeschoolers and there are lots of large families. However, someone came up and told Robert during the service to keep Leah quiet.....and she already was quiet. Robert was mad. So, I haven't heard his verdict on the church or not. Robert was pretty annoyed by it. It was really weird too since it is a family church that they would have such a anti-family policy. We'll see. It was the closest thing we've seen to GCC here so far.

More later....including our beach pics from today.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Picture catch up...from our weekends. First, the Horton Apple Cider Festival. Then the Mason's Rennaisance Festival in Medina and finally the Harvest Festival at Rockin R Ranch.

Last night, Hannah and I went to an ICAN of Cleveland meeting. Robert was supposed to go with us, but he had a business dinner sprung on him last minute. It is the International Cesearian Awareness Network, and is basically a support group for women who've had Csections. It was so awesome. I had gone once before Hannah was born, and it really gave me the courage and accepatance to make it thru Hannah's labor and delivery. I can't say enough about this group. If ya'll know anyone that has had a CSection, please get them to go to a meeting with this group. It is very healing to be able to talk and work thru issues involved from Sections with other women that understand. Last nights discussion was Healing from Traumatic Birth. It was good talking about all of the emotions involved with Csections. It was also fun because I got to share my success story. Another girl that was due two weeks after me also made it with her 2 week old to share her VBA2C story as well. God meant for us to be there because there were 4 women there wondering if there was anyway to have a vaginal after 2 cesarians. It was a good night and Hannah was great. I was really worried because the evenings are usually her fussy time, but she was good until we were almost in our neighborhood. Then, shhhhh don't tell anyone....she slept 5 straight hours last night! WHO HOO!!!!

Hmmm, I need to update on the kids, but I also really need to eat lunch. Tonight, Robert and I are squeezing in another date before we lose our sitter and then this weekend is a big weekend. I really have to get some pictures up too.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Two things......
First, next Wednesday's forecast...
Wed
Oct 22


Rain / Snow Showers

49°
40°

40%
Wheeeeeee!

Second, I got this in an email today and love it. So I thought I'd share.
TRADITIONAL VERSION:



The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter. The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away. Come winter, the ant is warm and well fed. The grasshopper has no food or shelter, so he dies out in the cold. MORAL OF THE STORY: Be responsible for yourself!





MODERN VERSION:



The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter.



The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.



Come winter, the shivering grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the ant should be warm and well fed while others are cold and starving.



CBS, NBC, PBS, CNN, and ABC show up to provide pictures of the shivering grasshopper next to a video of the ant in his comfortable home with a table filled with food. America is stunned by the sharp contrast. How can this be, that in a country of such wealth, this poor grasshopper is allowed to suffer so? Kermit the Frog appears on Oprah with the grasshopper, and everybody cries when they sing, "It's Not Easy Being Green." Jesse Jackson stages a demon stration in front of the ant's house where the news stations film the group singing, "We shall overcome." Jesse then has the group kneel down to pray to God for the grasshopper's sake.



Nancy Pelosi, John Kerry & Harry Reid exclaim in an interview with Larry King that the ant has gotten rich off the back of the grasshopper, and both call for an immediate tax hike on the ant to make him pay his fair share.



Finally, the EEOC drafts the Economic Equity and Anti-Grasshopper Act retroactive to the beginning of the summer! The ant is fined for failing to hire a proportionate number of green bugs and, having nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes, his home is confiscated by the government.



Hillary gets her old law firm to represent the grasshopper in a defamation suit against the ant, and the case is tried before a panel of federal judges that Bill Clinton appointed from a list of single-parent welfare recipients. The ant loses the case.



The story ends as we see the grasshopper finishing up the last bits of the ant's food while the government house he is in, which just happens to be the ant's old house, crumbles around him because he doesn't maintain it.



The ant has disappeared in the snow. The grasshopper is found dead in a drug related incident and the house, now abandoned, is taken over by a gang of spiders who terrorize the once peaceful neighborhood. MORAL OF THE STORY: Be careful how you vote in 2008.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Politics and the Economy

Ok, I've been meaning to chat about these here but haven't yet. I will. But, I'm wondering how everyone is feeling in the rest of the country. I am in a swing state, so I have a feeling that the political feel is running different than else where. So, what's it like where you live? I know I have readers in at least 5 states, so please reply and tell me what you think.
We did have another great weekend. We went to a harvest farm called Rockin R Ranch on Saturday. It was in Columbia Station, which is right next to us, so it was nice not to have too long of a drive. We got to watch their cheesy character show. The kids rode ponies. Joshua was in one of his whiney boy moods, but I think Leah loved it. Of course, I have pics to post of it. We also got to go on the hay ride and JOshua and Leah got pumpkins. We did their "Fun" house, which turned out to be a spook house....we were NOT pleased....I'm pretty sure Robert was out right mad about the false advertising. It was not a place we would choose to go and we certainly would never take our children there. After that we went and got the kids faces painted. It was small but fun. The scenery was beautiful! I just can't explain to ya'll how awesome the changing colors are! I'm still trying to get any pictures that do it justice. Maybe this weekend.

On Sunday, we went to church #9. It wasn't awful. The music was very traditional baptist (even the upbeat songs were sung at a snails pace) but they did sing some praise songs, so that was nice. The message was good. You can tell what pastors are students of the Word and those that aren't. He was. We enjoyed hearing a message with scriptural cross references and everything! The location isn't ideal for where we want to buy next year, so I don't know that it will be our home, but I think Robert said we are going back this week so he can talk to the pastor and others. After church, we went and ate at everyone's favorite (including Sarah) Bob Evans. Yummy. Then Robert and the kids took naps, or were supposed to while Sarah, Hannah and I ran some errands.

I'm pretty tired. I feel the lack of rest catching up with me, but after Sarah leaves, will be staying home on the weekends and I'll have more of a chance to catch up. That is if Hannah lets me, which isn't guaranteed. Of course, the ankle deep leaves in our backyard might get some of that rest too. And we've only had one tree lose its leaves yet, yikes!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Darcy is home!

http://darcyanne.weebly.com/

Please continue to pray for the Ramos family as they grieve.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Ya'll, these snow birds that come to Texas every year, sooooo know what they are doing! The weather up here is just amazing! The summer was so awesome not getting hot at all and this fall weather is great. We are in the low 70's/60's in the day and the 40's at night. I know that the winter is supposed to be brutal, but man, the other nine month of the year here just rock.....I'm assuming spring will be fab like everyone says too. And the leaves are turning. I can't wait to get some good pics to show everyone. I hope I can even remotely do it justice with a camera. I wish Nicole or Shona or Shannon were here to photograph the colors. We serve an amazing God! Creator of all things beautiful!

We have another busy weekend planned. When the kids wake up from naps, we are going to get Joshua's 4 year pics and the first sibling pics done. Wish us luck! Tomorrow we are going to a pick your own pumpkin farm that also has all kinds of fun hay rides, corn mazes, petting zoo, etc. Sunday will be church #9 which Robert will announce when he gets home from work. Yea!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Well, apparently webbed toes do run in the fam.... My sister called last night. Corbin, my nephew that is exactly one week older than Hannah, has the exact same webbed toe as Hannah. We were cracking up! She said she didn't notice it for two weeks. Honestly, I have no idea how long it would have taken me to
notice Hannah's, but Robert is more detail oriented than I am and he noticed it in the hospital.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

We are PRO LIFE!!!! We believe that all life is created and given by our Lord and Savior and that He is who controls when we come and go. We have friends at our church that are amazing examples of why abortion is never ok. Check out their blog. It is an emotional, moving journey, but your socks will be blessed off! We love you sweet Darcy Anne!
http://darcyanne.weebly.com/index.html

Sunday, October 5, 2008

BUSY weekend, but we had a lovely time. On Friday, we had the kids annual doctors appointment. We've found a wonderful pediatrician here. He is really really great, and was wonderful with the kids! They are all doing really well. Joshua wow'd Dr Phelps with his intellect and advances cognitively....no surprise there, he's a bright kid. He is 41 pounds and 40 3/4 inches tall...he's been a square like that most of his life. Leah wow'd the doctor with her physical advances. She keeps up with Joshua and totally surprised Dr Phelps at how flexible and stable she was physically. She was 30 pounds and 34 1/2 inches tall...she's a little on the chubbers side right now, but she'll have a growth spurt up soon, we've been seeing the signs of it coming. Hannah is great also. She is now 9 pounds and 4 ounces and 22 inches long. Not bad for a girl that was born 7 13, one month ago. She has two things of note with her, first she has a webbed toe. Robert and I noticed that in the hospital. Apparently it normally runs in families, but we don't know anyone in our families with webbed toes, who knows. We call it her lucky toe, ala Finding Nemo, lol! She also has a white spot on one of her pupils. It is weird, not like a cataract but neither we or the doctor know what it is. He is calling an eye doctor to talk about it for us.
Sarah stayed home while we went to the doctor and then when we got home, I changed out my maternity clothes for regular clothes and realized how sad a state my wardrobe is in....I have no winter clothes and man, I hope this weight comes off fast! Then, Robert and Hannah and I went on a date! We tried a Chinese buffett place that we had a coupon for....it was blah, but the company was lovely! Then, we went to the mall and got a Starbucks and bought a pair of jeans for me, so I wouldn't walk around pantsless, lol. It was a really nice evening with my husband.

Saturday we got up and went to a small Rennaisance Festival in Medina, two towns south of us. It was small but nice. We came home for afternoon naps and tehn headed out for Robert's managers home for dinner. It ended up being a really late night for us but we had a lovely time. They even built a fire so the kids could roast marshmallows, but it was so cold that the kids spent most of the time inside watching Winnie The pooh. Hannah was so wired up that I didn't get her down until about 1:30, yawn!

This morning we got up and went to church #8 again, so they could see Hannah. I don't konw if we'll go back. The people are sooo nice, but the preaching is just very lacking in depth. We'll see what Robert decides. We got home after lunch at everyone's favorite Bob Evans and got naps before we headed out to Target and Giant Eagle to do some shopping. Now, Hannah is starting her fussy time and so I am off for the night, hopefully a lovely sleep filled night. ;-)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Right now it is 50 degrees and rainy. High is only supposed to reach 57 today, BRRRRR RABBITS! Thankfully, I've made it thru the kids clothes and we are doing pretty well (thank you, ATIC!). Hannah and I are up a creek right now, but I can wrap her in blankets and really, why do I need weather appropriate clothes....isn't it enough that my children are dressed appropriately?

Had a good nights sleep last night. Hannah didn't go down until 12:45 but she slept until 5:45 when Robert got up. It was awesome! Much better than the night before when my longest stretch of sleep was 45 mintues.

I'm trying to plan out our last few weekends with Sarah. I think this Saturday we are going to Robert's managers house. There is an amish farm I want to tour another Saturday. We pick up our milk from our amish farmer on the 18th. There is a farm in Wooster that has harvest days every Saturday in October that I want to hit as well. That should about wrap up her time here....how crazy is that! We also have to get Joshua's birthday pics done and sibling pics too. Some time.
http://www.yodersamishhome.com/special_events.htm


We might have renters for our house. Our chiropractor and fam are selling their house and might rent ours. What a blessing that would be! Robert and Ky have to work out logistics, but it is an exciting prospect.

Our life is happily boring right now!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Hormones must be raging over here because Robert and I have both gotten teary eyed over missing our GCC family the last few days.

Thanks for the call Mike, email Ted and Millicent. We love you guys!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

We were going to go to church today but (ready, Mom of the year moment here)....Hannah has a cold! Yup, my three week old. Apparently I wasn't quite strict enough on the hand washing rule when returning home from the world. So, we are keeping her upright when she sleeps, trying to help her breathe....which means no sleep for Mommy and Daddy. Good times. She is so cute though. She's chubbing up in her face and thighs....I'm hoping that means my face and thighs will hurry up and slim down. I'm ready to be done with the baby pudge for a while. I weighed a week after delivery and had lost 17 of the 22 pounds I put on with Hannah, so I really don't have alot to complain about. In other news, Hannahs belly button stump FINALLY fell off on Friday. Three weeks and one day, a record for my kiddos. I thought that thing would never come off. She's also starting to smile, so cute. It isn't often or predictable enough to catch in a pic yet, but hopefully soon.j

We went to an Apple Cider Festival in Horton OH yesterday. I was hoping for more, but it ended up just being a small town street fair. It was nice to get out of the house though. I wore Hannah in my Maya Sling the whole time and we got all kinds of attention. I forget that slings aren't really mainstream. Why, I don't know? They are the handiest things! We did buy some apple cider from the Lions club and some homemade ice cream from a big John Deere wagon sized ice cream maker. The drive there was GORGEOUS!!!! The leaves are just starting to turn colors here. I'll stop and take pics on our outing next weekend. It is so pretty. We drove thru an area we will consider buying in next year. Pretty pretty pretty. It is closer to Akron than Cleveland, which cracks me up.

Baby crying!

OH YEAH! Our highs don't get out of 60's next week.....lows in the 40's. It is getting chilly here. We all wore long sleeves comfortably yesterday.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

If you need a good laugh, check this out. My friend Sandie posted about a conversation her husband had with their three year old daughter. Crack me up! So glad it wasn't me, lol!
http://spa.typepad.com/mamas/2008/09/the-big-v.html

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I'm having a doozy of a time getting on here to update. Things are going really really well here, but I spend most of my time sitting nursing a baby. Very little time for the computer. Robert brings his laptop home for me in the evenings, which would be great, but Hannah cluster nurses all evening and then fusses for her "witching" hours before bedtime.

We did end up going out to dinner on our anniversary. We just went to Longhorn Steak House, since it is close we could escape home quickly if we needed to. Hannah was perfect adn slept the entire meal, and we had some surprisingly great food. A man came up and was oogling over Hannah and went to pull out his wallet, we were expecting to see pics of his grandkids, but instead he pulled out an origami elephant made from a dollar bill. He said that elephants bring good luck and gave it to us...isn't that sweet. It is a cool little guy. We had a great time!

I would say that I am about 95% recovered from this birth....and she isn't even three weeks old yet! WHOOP! I can't believe this. Now I know why all of you lovely GCC ladies don't seem to have quite as hard a time birthing babies every two years as I did before. This is awesome! I'd still be ok if we have a little larger break before the next one arrives, but if I don't have it, I won't go into a major depression this time. I feel so good! Exhausted, new baby and all, but really good. Of course, having Sarah here makes a HUGE difference as well. I have gotten tons more sleep than with Joshua and Leah combined. Hannah is a super star sleeper so far. She even sleeps for 4-6 hour stretches at night....it is awesome! Now we just have to get Robert some sleep and we'll all be doing great.

Robert, Hannah and I went to an Indians game on Sunday. Sifco had a luxury suite and so we decided to chance Hannah and I going. It was awesome! Good food, nice couches to nurse on and a private bathroom! I told Robert that it was the only way to watch a major league game.....he thanked the GM for ruining me, lol! I told him the only thing that would have made it better was if we were there with all GCC fams. Ted and David Young would have LOVED it! Awesome seats and no stairs to climb. Oh, and I'll just make a little mention of the PERFECT weather! I think we even won the game, I'm not positive because I sat inside and nursed and watched the Ryder cup for most of it. It was a great day, and Hannah was perfect again.

I'm lining out our October calendar. We are hoping to hit alot of the Amish harvest festivals and such. Should be fun! Of course, as I keep having to remind Sarah, all things a tentative with a new baby....you just never know how the nights will go or days for that matter.

I'm working on some more picture slide shows to get up, but first I have to go check on a sleeping baby.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Anyone want to do some surfing for me? I want to find some fun fall fastivals to go to around here....some Amish harvest festivals or something like that. Ready, go!

:-)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Hit Twice by Ike...wheee

Well, I wonder how many people can say they were hit twice by Ike....other than us? Yesterday we had winds gusting to almost 80 mph and I would guess sustained winds of 40-50 mph. It was pretty crazy. We lost power for about 9 hours, it came back on about 3 am this morning. There are still over 300,000 people in the Cleveland area without power. Pretty crazy stuff.

Today is our 7th anniversary. Won't be the hippest, hottest celebration we've ever had, lol! I think we are going to 'try' and go to dinner with Hannah. Not sure where yet. Also not sure if I'm even up to getting dressed to go out, we had a really really bad sleep night last night....oh yeah, and I don't have any clothes to wear, since I'm in the live in sweats phase of this whole process. We'll see what we feel up to when Robert gets home from work. No matter what, I am exponentially blessed in a beautiful marriage that God has graciously given us. Seriously, we know that God ordained our marriage and He has been faithful to grow and protect it. We seriously have never had a "bad" time in our marriage. Not to say that we never will, but 7 years of bliss is what we've had thus far. Thank you Jesus.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

We are all here and doing good. Our house came thru Ike ok. Robert's parents evacuated there. We have large sections of our roof gone and parts of our fence down and apparently something happened to our back door because rain blew in threw it the whole storm, so it will need to be replaced, but all and all, not too bad. Thankfully we have lots of friends we can trust to help us get it all fixed correctly without us being there supervising. Still waiting on news for Robert's parents house. We think it didn't flood based on what we've found on the internet, but there are lots of trees down and such in their neighborhood. They can't go back until Tues at least.

In other news, yesterday our baby turned 4 years old. Can ya'll believe that? Joshua woke up and told me he wasn't 4 because he wasn't big and grown up, and we'd been telling him he'd be a big boy when he turned 4. So literal, lol! He is a big boy though. He's grown up so much. We all got up and went to Dunkin Donuts and he had his first donut ever. He couldn't finish it, too sweet....ha ha ha, my evil plan to sabotage his bad eating habits is working, ba ha ha ha ha.... After breakfast we went to Target to get his birthday present. First, we let him pick out his helmet and then his first big boy bicycle!!! He loves it and has ridden it all through the house. It rained for three days straight here, so he hasn't got to ride it for real outside yet, but hopefully he will today. Last night, the Tomec's came over and had birthday dessert with us. It was a great 4 year old birthday! I can't believe it has been and only has been 4 years. Seems like he's always been a part of us and other times, like he just got here yesterday. He's still our sweet boy and definitly takes after his Daddy in the overly sentimental side of things. He'll be a great Daddy someday, he's got a good example to watch. He loves his little sisters and is a happy boy.

I'll post pics later of our birthday bicycle boy and our sweet little Hannah, I'm sure Leah will sneak in there as well.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Please keep my family in your prayers. We have a big family get together every year over Labor Day weekend at our farm. One of my cousins was just killed on their way home in a wreck. She is younger than me, married and has small children. Her name was Laura and her husbands name is Vic.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Oh and for those of you wondering...yes we are just giddy about all of this awesome hurricane/weather geaky stuff!!!! But I'll save those details for Mrs Woody, who gets just as silly giddy over it as I do!
We visited church #8 this morning. What happened to church #7 you ask? Well, it was ok and still is a possibility maybe, but it is over a 30 minute drive away and I am over 37 weeks pregnant....they don't mix so well right now. By the time we would get to service, then stay and "meet" everyone afterwards, get to somewhere to have lunch, wait for the Sunday crowds and make it home, it is almost 3 and I'm just not up to that. It would be different at Grace because it is home and my family would grab my kids the minute I came in the door and I could just relax and worship, not so up here, yet. So anyway, back to church #8. It is the church our doula goes to, and more importantly it is close. We quickly checked out the website and didn't see anything too alarming...somethings that told us for sure it wouldn't be our home church, but fine to visit. Ummmm, they didn't mention that they are very very very charistmatic!!! The music was rockin and that was nice for a change. Joshua and Leah were a bit confused by all of the dancing and such, thankfully we are back row joe's right now, so they coudln't see all of the dancin going on. The prophetic utterances and healings were a little much for us, but hey they prayed to turn Gustav away from N.O., so maybe the Lord will listen. Sermon was very fluffy and I think he read the scripture he said he was basing his sermon on, not sure that he ever got there, but he talked about reading it several times. So, all and all, not for us, but it was an entertaining Sunday morning for us. :-)

This afternoon we clean out the truck and rearrange car seats to include Pod's and scrub our bedroom and bathroom....all I'm sure in vain because it'll have to be redone before this kid gets here, but hey, I'm a planner. I'm really uncomfortable these days and my sleep has gotten to the rediculous point...and if one more medical professional asks me how I'm sleeping again, I think I'll tell them I don't have time because I'm training for the next gymnastics olympic trials or some other response that is just as rediculous as their question! I'm having lots of contractions, which is different from Joshua and Leah....so maybe that means my body will get this whole labor & DELIVERY figured out this time. Who knows. Maybe it is just fun torture for me. Ha!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

We bought the world's biggest doo doo doo last weekend and got a free rug for our living room!


There is a huge air show right on Lake Eerie every Labor Day here. So, yesterday we went and met Robert for lunch on the water and watched the "big jets", as Leah screamed over and over, practice.

Friday, August 29, 2008

I think Leah has decided to potty train....guess she figured out that I was ignoring that fun little venture. She has poopied and tee teed in the potty every day this week. Sigh. Don't know that I have the energy for this, but I guess it must be done.

6 more days til Sarah gets here, I can't wait! I've been a bit more tired every day this week and I'm just ready for a break.

We have a big ole ton of stuff to do this weekend, but hopefully we will get the list knocked out and can relax some before Pod makes an appearance.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Baby Pinto has arrived!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Corbin Frank was born this morning. YEA AMIE!!!!!!!!!

Edited to clarify that this is my sisters first baby. Ours is still snug as a bug...much to Mommy's discomfort! :-)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I just spent all morning going thru the crockpot website I linked to the other day. I have a list of to tries ready to go. That way, when I am meal planning each week, I can just list which ones to do, then Robert and/or Sarah (I'm guessing this will end up being a joint venture between the two of them) can pull up the website, cruise to that date and get the ingredients for the shopping list. Easy. I have my first recipe from there in the crock for tonight, since we have an OB appt this afternoon and then our Doula, Angie, will be over tonight. Although, it is kind of cheating since it is only Taco Soup, and I could make that without a recipe, and I don't think I really followed her recipe anyway, but she was my inspiration. Dinner has been completely prepared, on my part at least, since 10 AM! WHO HOO! And the kids loved getting to help dump everything in the pot, bonus points! In case you missed it, go check out her blog. She made a resolution to cook in her crockpot every day this year. Some good stuff over there. I think I am going to do some ribs next. I think it has been since 2002 since I"ve made ribs for us.

www.crockpot365.blogspot.com

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Leah just went tee tee on the potty for the first time!!!!!!! YEA!!!!!!
Someone broke into our truck last night. Ok, we don't lock our vehicles, so I guess they didn't really "break" into it, just got into it. It was obviously young kids because they just went thru the console and glove box. Apparently they weren't impressed wi1th our sun glasses or phone chargers. They thought they were impressed with our cd's until in our neighbors yard, they realized that they were kids bible cd's and dumped quite a few of them.....oh and our owners manual. We are high class people after all! The kids and I walked the street some to see if they dumped any of our other stuff and foudn someone else's car charger on the side walk. I'll Robert around the whole block tonight to see if they find anything else. Guess I should call the police too, just to report it.

Monday, August 25, 2008

High today was 72 with a chilly breeze.
Random thoughts....cause let's face it, that is about all I have right now.
-Did you know we are going to have a baby? Just hit me on Saturday. This pregnancy has been such a rollercoaster in and of itself, it hadn't really hit me we will have a new baby soon. Cool.
-Did some last minute shopping for said baby on Saturday, hence the reason that I realized we were having a baby. Now we really do have to get these honey do's done. My house is not clean enough to labor in, much less have a new baby in.
-Olympics are over, YEA!!! We can finally get back to life around here, which will include above mentioned lists tackling and SLEEP! Praise God!
-We enjoyed the Olympics, but there were a few nights that were just down right boring. I mean really, whose idea was it to broadcast the marathons in their entirety...on prime time??????????? And I didn't feel like there was near enough coverage of the offbeat events. I like to see sports I've never heard of or know anything about. Keeps life interesting....
-Did anyone else notice how annoying the track and field people were. Really, they are already so full of themselves, why do they even need to be at the Olympics. I could have done without alot of them, even though I enjoyed watching some of the events. You just didn't see that in the other sports, for the most part.
-Ever feel like you are talking to yourself???? Well, that is how this blog feels right now. Just sayin.
-Check out this website. It has TONS of crockpot recipes, and reviews of how well they turn out. I am gearing up to get this going as our survival method for the next 6 months or so. http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/ Even Robert can open cans and dump them in.
-Should start getting our raw milk this Saturday!!!! YEA!!!
-36ish weeks pg+ Pizza Hut Supreme Pizza = Really Bad Heartburn...note to self
-Joshua and Leah talk about Sarah getting here constantly. Every time they see a plane, they say, Sarah's plane....but now it has also become, Sarah's plane, then Mrs Velarde's plane, then Mr Velarde's plane, etc. Sounds good to me! And every time we pass the airport, which is pretty frequent, they ask if we are going to pick up Sarah. Apparently, in their world, Sarah is patiently sitting at the airport waiting for us to decide to get her. Poor Sarah! I bet she needs a shower by now. lol!

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Olympics need to be over now. I just can't stay up until 1 am every night when I'm this pregnant. NOT FUNCTIONING!!!! Is it nap time yet? These kids are driving me crazy!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Ob went as well as you could hope. Not perfect, but good. I think if we can just hold him off til about a week after my due date, then we are good. The closer we get to the due date, the worse he'll be.....however, we discussed alot of other issues and he was fine with whatever we want. Honestly, he and I both know that I"m not going to the hospital until the last possible moment and so most things are a moot point....he even said as much. So, I would say we are on the same page, but maybe not the exact same book mark. We have an "understanding", ;-). We are grateful to have him. Even he mentioned that just 4 years ago, he would have gotten filed on for not making a women try to VBAC. Crazies! We do feel quite blessed because God has answered our prayer for an OB that really could care less what we do.

And on a brighter note, here are some cute kiddo pics.


Leah playing the drums.

Robert and Kids "Searching"

Big Searching Find....Cicada Shell displayed on Leah's shirt

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Quiet around here....kind of. Joshua is in a rebellion phase, glad it is hitting now and not when Pod gets here. So, I'm trying to be a consistent parent and helping him thru this. ;-)

Had our ultrasound yesterday. Everything was fine. By their stuff, the baby is measuring at 38 weeks, which is 2 weeks ahead of my original due date. I don't think that should be a big deal with Dr Gingo. My big appointment with him is tomorrow. Lots of discussions to have. Hopefully they'll go quickly and smoothly. Honestly, I'm just praying that he doesn't care that much and goes along with whatever we want.

Today is Amie's due date. Happy due date Pinto!!!! Now we can get ready to have a baby pinto!

Monday, August 18, 2008

We had a nice, uneventful weekend. Saturday we got up and took some oils and other YL stuff to a girl from a message board that I've joined here. She is having really really bad thrush issues, so I took her some oregano, melrose, Life 5 and Inner Defense. Hopefully she's feeling better today. I felt bad for her because she is on medicaid and the prescription that doctor gave her isn't working but she can't get approval to see someone else or even that same one again for three months. And people want us to have state health care???? NO THANK YOU!

We also went to have breakfast at Bob Evans. We have fallen in love with Bob Evans. It is a Cracker Barrel kind of place, but is local....at least started in Ohio, I think they are spread across the country now, but we had never eaten at one til here. We love it. Even Leah can spot a Bob Evans sign when we pass one. After breakfast, we came home and cheered on the Tomec's who are putting up a fence. Robert also got all of the empty boxes moved from the sun room to the atic over the garage....not a small feat! It was a nice, low key day.

Sunday we visited church #7 again, but at their church this time. It is nice and somewhat like minded, so that is the first positive we've found. However, the preaching seems a bit inmature to us. Robert and I both felt that way. I think we will probably visit there some more to get a better feel for things. It hasn't bowled us over like Grace did the first time we visited there, but it is a nice shower in the desert we've been trudging thru. And honestly, we are getting close to the homebound stage of things for us anyway.

On a very very very happy note.....Sarah V is coming to stay with us for a long time to help!!!! You don't konw what relief that is for Robert and I. We both cried when Vince told us that he and Ruth were going to let her come. She's even going to come for a few weeks before the baby. That is soooo awesome, especially since Robert has a business trip and will be gone some of that time. It also means I can actually have some help finishing cleaning this house and I can get Joshua and Leah's closets cleared out and cataloged so I know what we are going to need for winter. That was something I had just assumed wasn't going to get done at all. The kids are sooo excited. Leah keeps walking into the guest room (that my wonderful husband got cleaned out and organised yesterday) and saying "Sarah, nice." Which is Leah-ease for I can't wait for Sarah to get here and see her nice clean room. Joshua seems to think that Sarah will be here tomorrow, no matter how many times I tell him it will be three weeks from now. Of course, with his behavior today, I don't know that he'll make it until she gets here!

I'm doing good. Uncomfortable, but not miserable. Ready not to be pregnant any more, but not really ready to take care of a newborn. I'll be 36 weeks on Wednesday, but some peoples dates, lol. I have an ultrasound tomorrow, then an ICAN meeting on Wed and then an OB appt on Thursday. Please pray for us to have favor with this OB. It seems that no other doors or options are open to us. Thursday will be our big talk on where he sees this birth going, and me asking alot of questions that OB's don't necessarily like asked. I just keep praying for God to give us his favor in this birth and to bless us with a safe vaginal delivery. Who knows? Maybe God's plan is for us to have surgery to have all of our babies, but if it is, I hope he makes that clear, like this baby turns transverse or something indisputable.

I do have to say that I"m pretty lonely right now. I miss my GCC girls. All of you. It never mattered what mood I was in, there was always a perfect ear that I could call at GCC. Although, I still have the phone and can call, it's hard not knowing if I will be interrupting life. There, I was part of your lives, and usually knew what most of you were up to, so I knew when it was ok to call. I have some of the AP girls here, that I could call, but I don't really want to. Like I said, they aren't the same, like minded sisters, bonded in Christ. Robert laughs at me because I hate talking to people at these new churches. I'm just not the fake conversation kind of girl, and so I just don't feel like putting the effort into talking to someone I may never see again. So today, with being lonely and Joshua being on a streak, I'm just blah!

Please also keep our house in Texas in your prayers. We were having 4-5 showings a week, and now we haven't had a single anything since July27th. Don't know what changed, but we've gotten NOTHING. We did lower the price too. Who knows? God has a buyer out there for us, we just think it would be really nice for them to come along soon.