Saturday, December 22, 2007

all she wants for Christmas...




And I was just telling her to ask for practical gifts, you can't get much more practicaller, can you?

here are some quotes from the birthday girl:

ew, I hate blood

did you know #2 eats his blood, mom?

blood is so gross

I can't look at that tooth is all gross and bloody

I can't believe I am swallowing my own blood, it tastes yucky

I am going to be so ugly now

I guess eating apples is out of the question

I'll never eat an apple again

sigh, mom, the other one is loose, too, I am going to be losing teeth all night!

Happy Birthday #1

It's impossible for my brain to wrap around the fact that 6 six years and a few hours ago I was in labor for the first time. I get goosebumps just typing about it. She is a bit on the dramatic side (ahem, don't know where she gets that from) and a might bit spoiled (ahem, again) but we love her, every sassy bit of her and we can't believe how fast she is growing up.
We took 4 of her friends and the whole fam damily to dh's sisters apartment building to swim and have a party. It was practically effortless. I cannot believe how much changes in one year. The girls were all on their own. Playing and talking and figuring out the world in their little heads. #2 and #1 were tons more work than the 5 party girls. Anyway, I would do it again tomorrow sans the cake. The castle cake was a big hit. She had me at, "Oh, mommy I LOVE it.". It tasted pretty good, too. Although the frosted ho ho towers had enough sugar in them to launch a body into orbit...good thing I overdosed them all and sent them home to their families.

I haven't seen hide nor hair of #1 this morning. She has been playing with her new toys in her room. I'm waiting for hunger pains to force her to surface.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Castle Cake


Ariel is the princess under the sea and dd is turning 3 + 3!


***Kudos to Scribbit for the cake idea!

here's why I have been a bad blogger...


It's been crazy here, as I am sure every one's home is this time of the year. We are all on antibiotics at the moment, except #3, of course. She sounds the worse, though. I just can't stand to hear a baby cough. We have all had our noses swabbed or fingers pricked and the best the doctor can come up with is our blood counts are just bad enough to warrant a bit of the old zithromax.

Today I am finishing up a bit of the baking for Christmas and #1's birthday. My hands are raw and bleeding from washing so often. I am pretty much done, though. Ginger bread cookies, dipped Ritz peanut butter sandwiches, peanut blossoms, brownies with Reese's cups, homemade Snickers and Bing bars and chocolate coated pretzels are in the freezer waiting to be devoured. I just can't make it unless chocolate is an ingredient. The round cakes for the palace cake for #1's birthday are in the freezer,too. As this is my next venture. I will try an decorate it this afternoon and snap a photo. I hope it doesn't flop. Last week as we were baking I watched out the window as some construction workers were taking down a building, it was quite a site. The photo does not do it justice.

Of course the weather is looking down for tomorrow and I am planning on taking my whole family plus 5 of #1's classmates into town for swimming and pizza to celebrate her 6th birthday. Too bad I was on the ball this year and sent out invites 2 weeks early or we could have just went ice-skating for her birthday...

All the presents have been delivered. Thanks amazon.com, er um... Santa.
Most are wrapped and under the tree. I have overdone it again this year. Those $5 toys are so easy to buy and wrap and I know that the box they came in will probably bring more minutes of play time for the kids. But, I can't stop myself. Brrr, there is a definite spending freeze in my future. You know what they have been playing with the most lately? The stockings!

The Christmas cards have been sent. I wrote a quickie letter on the 6th and finally got my photos in the mail a week later. Then the magnets I ordered for some cards were too heavy and needed an extra 17 cents to mail. AARRGGHHH. But, they are out. So far, I haven't gotten any cards from anyone who wasn't on my mailing list. But I am sure I will soon and then I will spend time mulling over whether I should make up more cards and send them or not. Happens every year. I drive myself nuts.

#2 has his Christmas program tonight. The other day we were out shopping and found him a orange sherbet shirt and navy and orange tie. He was so excited. I told him he would look so sharp. On the way home he drowsily said to me,"Mom, I need to sharpen my hair" I figured he was dreaming but he continued."if I put some spray in it like daddy then I will match my sharp clothes."

I got a half of a Christmas card in the mail today from my auntie. It looked like an alligator took a bite out of it. It was in a clear window envelope from the postmaster that apologized in a few proper paragraphs that try as they might to be perfect, accidents happen. The top half of the card was gone, but the bottom part with the message from my auntie was clear as day and I thought to myself how lucky I was that it didn't get eaten from the other side...my cup is half full today, must be the antibiotics talking...

our family...

illustrated as only we should be in December, by gingerbread cookies! Don't you love my bling?

Monday, December 17, 2007

It's great to skate...


Montrose Ice Rink Now Open!

Ice Skates Available For Check-Out At Montrose General Store

For Immediate Release—The outdoor ice rink located just south of the Montrose Softball Complex is frozen and ready for action! The rink is one of the only outdoor facilities available outside of Sioux Falls, and is being maintained by community volunteers.

A variety of ice skates, hockey-style and figure, is available for check-out at the Montrose General Store. The used skates were purchased using funds available to Montrose through the Horizon’s Community Leadership to Reduce Poverty Program. Montrose was chosen to participate in the program in the fall of 2006, and is now in the action phase of the Horizon’s process. The ice rink is just one of the many projects being tackled by volunteer committees. The committees were formed during the Montrose Vision Plan meeting, held December 2.

“Getting more people involved in a healthy activity like ice skating is exactly the type of thing Horizon’s is here to promote,” said Horizon’s Community Coordinator, Martha Landes. “One of the goals was to provide more opportunities for area residents. Hopefully people of all ages will take advantage of this great asset to the Montrose community.”

Plans to improve the ice rink include bringing in some picnic tables for sitting, and possibly building some benches for changing into and out of skates. The ice skating rink committee is also looking into future plans for a winter shelter near the rink, installing an overhead light and other enhancements.

Skate donations—especially very small and larger sizes-- are also being accepted at the General Store, in addition to the twenty pairs already available. Use of the ice skates is free to the public, but the ice rink committee asks that the skates be returned immediately after use so others can enjoy them.

For more information on the ice skating rink or to volunteer your time in maintaining the rink, building benches or teaching others to skate, contact Jamie Grosdidier at 605-363-3927.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

that's what happens when Satan leaves you...



That's what Pastor said as he was drying #3's head off from the water she was baptized with. She had this great big grin on her face while he was pouring the water on her head. It was a joyful day for all of us. Welcome to God's family baby girl!

She wore the same outfit #1 wore as well as my niece and my Godmother's daughters. We feel blessed to have been able to share it as it is now almost 35 years old and considered an antique. The bonnet is especially beautiful. I wish I had a photo to share.

Monday, December 10, 2007

attention deficit


This picture is from last week. I was really going to post it, then got sidetracked, who me?

Anyway; apple crisp, nursing and keyboards do not make company. It was a sticky ooey goey mess and I am surprised the keys still work. In other computer news the right click button on my mouse has quit working. I never knew how important that little clicker was...

#1 lost another tooth and I am embarrassed to say the tooth fairy got caught in the bad weather we had and was unable to collect. My heart fell to my feet when I saw her face as she realized the fairy had not come. Amazingly enough, while we were at church that morning, she was able to visit. It MUST have been the snow that slowed her down. It couldn't be that her brain is completely fried and sleep deprivation has caught up with her in a bad way...
This morning #1 noticed another loose tooth. I am going to try and be on top of this one in case the tooth fairy's presence is requested in the next few days. Pray for me.

It's cold today. This morning the door was frozen shut. I don't like taking #3 out on days like this. BRRRRRR

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

oh no...

1 - box of pure white fudge covered Oreo cookies purchased Monday evening.

1 - cookie is a serving boasting 100 calories (almost half from good old fat)

12 - cookies in the box when purchased

0 - left in the box today

4 - people in my house that did not eat any cookies

crap

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, December 03, 2007

to the person who invented the vibrating bouncy seat!

May GOD bless you today and everyday!

SHHHHHHHHHHH, she is sleeping.

I love her, I love her, I love her.

But she won't sleep anywhere but people arms. I try to get her to take naps in the bassinet, and some days she will scream herself into a sleep coma for a short time. While I am putting my finger into her nostrils every 15 minutes to be sure she is still breathing...

So this morning after holding her close all night (just like the other 5 and 1/2 weeks of nights) I drug out the old bouncy seat. I just happened to remember batteries at the $100 dollar store last week and now we can use the vibrate function, too. I snuggled her in tight and hopped into the shower for (what I thought to be) my 5 minutes of clean up. I was conditioning my hair when I realized it. She was quiet. Not a whimper. I peeked out from behind the shower curtain. She was wide-eyed. Looking and and her lower lip was quivering, but not from crying. From the rapid vibrations of the seat. It was amazing. It was also a bit saddening. I have to resort to sudo- rocking to get her to calm down. No more screaming in my arms and watching her eyes roll back and forth in her tiny head until she finally shuts them while my head is spinning and I am completely dizzy. Maybe this is a good thing? No, THIS. IS. A. GREAT. THING.

She is currently taking her 2nd, sudo-rocking, vibrating, bouncy, chair, nap of the day. AMEN!

I wonder what all that vibrating is doing to her baby head. Are these things safety tested? Part of me doesn't want to worry, I am finally hands free again. Look out kitchen, here I come...

Baby it's cold outside...

it snowed.

#3 and I feel the same way about it.


The boys, on the other hand, love the snow. Case in point.
Dh spent the morning helping our new neighbors, (just in from California the day BEFORE it snowed) with their van. It seems that water will not work in the radiator in South Dakota like it does in Cali. Not in December anyway. There was a bit of a language barrier but dh says that they both agreed that ice was ice and there was no getting around the frozen part. One propane tank heater and a couple of hours later I think they got the van started. One more awesome reason why we love living in the village. No matter what language you speak, helping your neighbor out always makes the top of the list.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

I like to move it, move it...

On Sunday, December 2nd at 12:00pm, we will be getting together to celebrate the completion of the Planning/Visioning process to help reduce poverty in our community. EVERYONE is invited to come to the school common’s area for a FREE meal, fellowship, and to find out what plans and changes are in store for Montrose. SANTA will be there to hand out special Montrose prizes to both kids and adults. Free childcare will be available after the meal so your kids can play while you learn how you can become involved in any of the following four goals that will keep Montrose on the Move:

1. To improve the appearance of Montrose

2. The encourage the growth of Montrose

3. To provide more opportunities for all Montrose-area residents

4. To promote community spirit

All who attend will be able to take home their own copy of “Montrose on the Move - A Strategic Plan for the Future”. This manual contains the above goals for the future of Montrose, as well as the implementation processes for achieving those goals.

Come and enjoy an afternoon of fun and fellowship, and get involved with the future of Montrose. Our community needs YOU!

Wordless Wednesday...one day late

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

yes i do


and because of it, she is much happier now...although it is quite difficult to post while nursing...

This onesie is a 0-3 month. Yesterday I put a 3-6 month creeper on her for the Dr. and she swam in it. When #1 was holding her she said, "Mom, she only has one leg..." she had wiggled herself out of one leg and deposited both of her feet into the left leg.

She may be small...

She was 8lb. 8 oz. yesterday. She has been gaining a half an ounce a day which is the bare minimum. Dr. says it's slow going, but she is okay. This is disheartening for me because my other children gained at least twice that much at her age.

We discussed the reasons for the slower gain.
Theory #1; According to his brain, chemotherapy drugs lie still in fat cells (which I happen to have an abundance of). Fat cells are key in milk production. So, the latent chemo could be affecting her ability to properly digest the milk. But, her symptoms should include watery stools and, in his words, 'ring of fire' diaper rash. She has neither. She would be listless and lethargic. She is alert and energetic.
Theory #2; Breast reductions remove milk producing glands. I had several pounds removed. Less glands = less milk production. If she was hungry all the time I may need to supplement. She is content most of the day. The past couple of days she has had a fussy period right before bedtime. Yet, she has slept in two four hour chunks for the past two nights. She has been awake more often during the day. It is nice to see her eyes.

So we came up with the following diagnosis. As long as she is gaining at least 1/2 an ounce a day I can continue nursing without supplementation. I have to weigh her every week just to be sure.

but she is mighty...

#1 and #2 have already figured out that what #3 wants #3 gets.
She currently is the boss when it comes to;
  • deciding when we will have supper as a family or if mommy just nurses her and the rest of the family eats at the table
  • deciding whether we will be on time or late to any function/appointment according to her hunger and elimination schedule (which is not really a schedule at all :)
  • deciding whether mommy can spend time with anyone else, ever.
  • deciding when and how often sleep is interrupted at night (see bullet number 2)
  • deciding how often we need to run to Sioux Falls (mom got smart and started getting them off Amazon.com) to purchase newborn size diapers...(we keep thinking we are going to move up a size)
  • pretty much all decisions have to go through #3's approval these days...
The really shocking and amazing part is...these days don't last long.

the baby in the river

Last night my dh came home late from work, again. Even though it was well past his bedtime, #2 was still awake in his bed. He was reading. Dh checked on him and when he came down to see me he said, "#2 knows almost all the stories in that book." Hard to believe since neither of us have read to him in weeks. (Bad mom, bad dad). #2 loves his children's Bible. He reads it all the time. I mean, he looks at the pictures and he tells the story through those... I have read him a few stories and he picks up the rest through Sunday school and the Veggie Tales.

This morning, when #2 was climbing out of bed he said, "mom, dad couldn't find the story about the baby in the river, he needs to read his kids' Bible more"

"So do I, son." I said.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Alternative Christmas

I do LOVE to get a good buy. I enjoy finding the perfect gift for someone. But, you know what is even better? Giving gifts that someone really needs.

This year my family decided to adopt a family in need. We want to make it a family tradition. We will take the money we would have spent on each other and the 10 grandkids and either buy groceries or clothing and some gifts for a family who wouldn't otherwise be able to enjoy the holiday.

We had sort of a family meeting around the dinner table and we all decided this would be the best use of our energy, time and what little money we have to spend. We talked about the benefits to our children and our families. We talked about how we have been blessed in the past by people. One Christmas, while we were at church, someone came and put gifts under our tree and left a box of groceries. That was really neat. I remember that my brothers got football jerseys. They were so excited.

Now that we are all grown up it's time to return the favor.

black friday, NO WAY... online? OKAY!

Who has time to shop?

We drew names for my dh's family at Thanksgiving and I immediately began to sweat. I had no idea when I was going to get these gifts.

Luckily I am up with an infant all night long. I wouldn't have dreamed of fighting the crowds for black Friday, but I was up and shopping until almost 5am. I got 13 people on my list gifts (most have more than one) for less than $200. I got free shipping. I used coupons and codes for %10 off at Target. I even bought diapers at amazon while I was shopping. I used Google checkout to earn $10 for my purchase. I did spend a bit more time than I probably would have in the store but HEY I was in my jammies!

Anyway, I found this great post for shopping for toys. I have used many of her suggestions to search for good quality used and new toys. I hope you can use it, too.

Holiday Toy Gift Guide

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

it's a naughty word

but I couldn't help myself

i bid on this today...

Gobble Gobble


Project of the week; no month; no year...

Can you guess which one is #3's?

note to self; #3 does not like her hand traced

if you were a fly on the wall...

Here are some tidbits from our house these past few weeks...

#1 says "mom, she may be little, but she is the boss..." in observance of #3's takeover of the household
"when you are done feeding her, can I get a glass of water, I'm dying of thirst here" almost 6 going on 16, I think...
"She's still hungry, she is eating my face..."
"I'll change her IF it's just pee, you check first..."


#2 says "is tomorrow in the morning?"
" is it still hunting season?"
"I want chicken noodle for breakfast" why not?
"mom, I think she is still hungry, try the other bweast..."

Monday, November 19, 2007

or not...

on Friday the kids had 6 green olives and a Little Debbie cake for their after school snack

my goal is to do better than that today...

the definition of SUPER MOM

nursing baby and doing laundry and getting kids ready for school and tidying up and making breakfast and lunch and answering the phone and changing diapers getting groceries and making homemade bread and soup for supper all while wearing the baby in a new sling purchased on ebay last week...

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Some people just do good things...

How would you like to help a few great charitable organizations with just a click of the mouse? All you need to do is click this link and select which charity you’d like to help. Tiny Prints will donate $0.10 each time someone participates at no cost to you. What a great way to help make a difference!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Fun and Educational, what more could you want?


Have you heard of this site?

Check it out! I am addicted.

S is for Saturday and Shopping

Okay people.

What is almost as good as than a freebie? A coupon for a freebie!

Here is a polly pocket coupon (click on the purple print coupon button and it will open the coupon up for you) for $5 off. Wahoo! I have a little girl who would love these and I am printing a couple of coupons for birthday gifts. Target and Toyrus both have sets for $5 or less! Leave some for the rest of us, will ya?

Happy Shopping!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Thankful Thought for TGIF!

It's 9:26 am.

I spent the last 3 hours getting myself showered, #1 and #2 fed and dressed. Nursed #3 Pushed #1 out the door, while wiping the tears off her face, exactly 4 minutes before the school bell is scheduled to ring. Nursed #3. Ate my cold toast and drank my cold coffee. I have to get better at this morning routine...

Nursing #3 again. #2 is watching PBS. Reading blogs. Friends are going through awful things like watching their mom's die of cancer and struggling with cancer themselves while raising young ones. Trying to be strong for them. I have been on my knees a lot. Feeling thankful for life...

Husband got called into work again. Hospital is a busy place. Have you seen the local news lately? Feeling thankful that I made the choice to stay home...

#3 is GAINING WEIGHT at the average of 1oz. per day! I took her to an appointment yesterday and she is coming along just fine. Feeling thankful for being able to nurse her...

Speaking of nursing. MOO! It is taking more of my time than I remembered. My sister gave me an awesome baby sling to hold #3 in, but she is just a tiny peanut, so I bought a hotsling off ebay.
Feeling thankful for overdraft protection...

Wondering if, by the looks of the bank account, choosing to stay home was the right option? I hate what money does to us. It is so hard to come out ahead. We scraped up the last of our savings and bought yet another commuter car. Hopefully, filling up only once a week will help some of the overdraft problems (If dh can keep this one from crashing into deer and other vehicles). Feeling thankful for people who sell good vehicles privately for no profit whatsoever enabling us to maybe save some cash buy not filling up so often...

Nursing #3 saves us a ton in formula bills. Thinking about cloth diapers, but I am not sure where to start. It is a little cost to set yourself up and she is still in newborn size for the moment. Once her weight evens out maybe I can get a few in one size and try them out. If she didn't poo every other hour, we might be able to get in the black. ...excuse me for a moment...here is a tip for ya...rub that Vaseline all over her bum when you change her so you are not forever wiping at that sticky poo! Aren't you glad I shared? Feeling thankful I have a healthy pooing baby, even if it costs me an arm and a leg to diaper her...

The hair is back in full force. It is sort of wavy, but not beautiful wavy, annoying wavy. I dislike it greatly. I always said I wanted hair with flair, but this is not what I had in mind. I want my straight hair back. I am trying to tame it with headbands, barrettes, and YES even the curling iron. It is not working. I am dreadfully unsuccessful. I am sure it has nothing to do with the fact that I get 3.5 seconds to work with it and I am using the same curling iron I used in 7th grade.
My dear mommy got me a hair appointment for next week hoping that I can at least trim it to make it look like I am not hair challenged. I am contemplating getting the hats out again. I never had to work to keep the straight stuff looking manageable. This is way out of my comfort zone. Feeling thankful to have hair, even if it looks like I stuck my finger in a light socket...

Prenatal Vitamins ROCK! I had to get my hemoglobin checked yesterday and I passed. I was sweating this one. I have been living off of cold toast, coffee and cereal and whatever I can grab to put in my mouth while I am nursing. My goal for next month is to eat better. Fruits and veggies have all but disappeared from my fridge. I cannot believe how much I miss not being able to run up to the store and get a few things. I need to work on time management as well as eating healthy. Feeling thankful for the people who manufacture vitamins...

Exhaustion is mounting. I am trying to lie down during the day, but something always comes up. Need to add GET MORE SLEEP to my goals. #3 eats more often at night than during the day. I pump during the day, but I am too tired to get up for a bottle so I just nurse her at night. Every 2-3 hours I am up again. I am so glad my other children are good sleepers. I did squeak an hour nap out yesterday and man it was good. Feeling thankful for sleep, when I can get it...

Thanksgiving is next week. I haven't thought about it much. Don't even know where we are going to have the big meal. I have yet to plan an baptism, a birthday party for #2, and start thinking of Christmas. I think this may be the year that the lights don't go up, the presents don't get bought in time yet alone get wrapped. I think we will be wishing Baby Jesus a happy birthday without any of the extras this year. Feeling thankful for the birth of a Savior...

Gotta switch boobs... I mean breasts. #2 knows that boob is a slang word and corrects me every time. Only he says it like this,"you mean, bweastses, mom, we don't say boobs."

Happy Friday!

It's Rally in the Valley time...

Students at the local school are conducting a "Coat Drive" to help other kids who may be less fortunate. Often times we think of issues like toke to be a big city problem. However, the village has it's own need only on a smaller scale. Please consider donating "gently used" winter clothes to the "Rally in the Valley Coat Drive".

  • the drive will run from November 13-23
  • there is a need for coats of all sizes
  • please make sure the coats are in good condition and have been recently laundered
  • drop off items at the Administrative Office in the school on the above select dates
  • local families will be given first preference, a small supply of extras will be kept at the school for future use, and any excess items will be donated at the county level to other schools or families in need
Thanks for your help and cooperation in this Rally!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Turn me on...

Positive Reinforcementcard courtesy of indexed

I love my hubby...

this is my kinda fun...

Okay, I read a lot of blogs. In fact, blog reading has replaced most of my other reading altogether.

But, I still love to write. I used to journal everyday. Now I blog every once in awhile.

There are some really great writers out there. I love to read their stuff.

This is my new, favorite for the moment, blog from an mommy who also loves to write. Today's post is a story that her child wrote. She has recipes, craft ideas, she even has writing contests. I entered. You should, too.

Click on the link to find out all the rules and the topic for this month. HAPPY WRITING and READING!

November's Write-Away Contest

UPDATE: I just was reading her archives and she has COOL crafts for all you crafting sisters out there...you have to click on her craft tag to see the old posts...knitting, book and placemat purses, beading, you name it...

You know it...


Our first visit to the $100 store was barely a week after she was born.( I have witnesses, KLW and K from Paulsen)! #1 actually won the "youngest shopper in our family"award because we stopped on the way home from the hospital with her to grab some neccessities...

thanks to bil and sil for the adorable onesie!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Got this email today....it's a good one.

Beauty of Math!


1 x 8 + 1 = 9
12 x 8 + 2 = 98
123 x 8 + 3 = 987
1234 x 8 + 4 = 9876
12345 x 8 + 5 = 98765
123456 x 8 + 6 = 987654
1234567 x 8 + 7 = 9876543
12345678 x 8 + 8 = 98765432
123456789 x 8 + 9 = 987654321


1 x 9 + 2 = 11
12 x 9 + 3 = 111
123 x 9 + 4 = 1111
1234 x 9 + 5 = 11111
12345 x 9 + 6 = 111111
123456 x 9 + 7 = 1111111
1234567 x 9 + 8 = 11111111
12345678 x 9 + 9 = 111111111
123456789 x 9 +10= 1111111111


9 x 9 + 7 = 88
98 x 9 + 6 = 888
987 x 9 + 5 = 8888
9876 x 9 + 4 = 88888
98765 x 9 + 3 = 888888
987654 x 9 + 2 = 8888888
9876543 x 9 + 1 = 88888888
98765432 x 9 + 0 = 888888888

Brilliant, isn't it?


And look at this symmetry:

1 x 1 = 1
11 x 11 = 121
111 x 111 = 12321
1111 x 1111 = 1234321
11111 x 11111 = 123454321
111111 x 111111 = 12345654321
1111111 x 1111111 = 1234567654321
11111111 x 11111111 = 123456787654321
111111111 x 111111111=12345678987654321



Now, take a look at this...


101%



From a strictly mathematical viewpoint:



What Equals 100%?

What does it mean to give MORE than 100%?

Ever wonder about those people who say they are giving more than 100%?

We have all been in situations where someone wants you to

GIVE OVER 100%.

How about ACHIEVING 101%?


What equals 100% in life?


Here's a little mathematical formula that might help

answer these questions:


If:

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Is represented as:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26.


If:


H-A-R-D-W-O-R- K

8+1+18+4+23+15+18+11 = 98%


And:

K-N-O-W-L-E-D-G-E

11+14+15+23+12+5+4+7+5 = 96%


But:

A-T-T-I-T-U-D-E

1+20+20+9+20+21+4+5 = 100%



THEN, look how far the love of God will take you:



L-O-V-E-O-F-G-O-D

12+15+22+5+15+6+7+15+4 = 101%


Therefore, one can conclude with mathematical certainty that:

While Hard Work and Knowledge will get you close, and Attitude will
get you there, It's the Love of God that will put you over the top!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

43 Days 15 Hours 55 Minutes ...But who's counting?

5 minutes for Mom is at it again.

Tons of Christmas Giveaways.

I love contests and freebies.

Click on the button in the sidebar to enter yourself!

Christmas is coming!

PLEASE NOTE: Entries for all contests will be closed Sunday, Nov 25th at 10pm Eastern and winners will be announced on Monday, Nov 26th.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Shower? Who has the time?

I have been trying all week to have a piece of warm toast.
No lie. Warm coffee would be the icing on the cake.

This morning #3 was up as soon as dad left and I was in the middle of pumping. (Whoever said breastfeeding was easier than formula was DEAD wrong. Cracked nipples, engorgement, pumping to stay ahead, washing your hands so much they bleed, making sure to use bottles so #3 has no problem with nipple confusion and because who has time to nurse for an hour every 2-3 hours?, feeling like a cow... MOO!)
Anyhow, I made a pot of coffee (just so it could get cold) and fed her the bottle. #1 got up and had a low grade temp. so I got medicine for her, got her breakfast, stopped to nurse #3. Grabbed a chocolate chip caramel bar on the way to sit down. Wonder why my baby is covered in crumbs? The only time I eat is when I nurse her. Which is a lot of the time so it's no wonder I haven't lost a lot of weight yet, hmmmmm.
By this time #2 is awake and WHAT'S THIS? He looks like a tomato. A quick call to dad at the hospital to find out what #2 did yesterday as they were at grandma's. Dad said they walked some fields and #2 may have gotten a scratch or two from wild grasses. OKAY? I rubbed some hydrocortizone on it and hoped for it to disappear. The area is pretty warm so I also gave him some ibuprofen?!?!? What the heck?
Now where was I?
Okay now we are all awake and hungry so I put in toast and waffles for the kids. I get my vitamins out and set them next to the coffee mug which is now ice cold. Hot coffee is overrated. Wash the pump stuff to use it again. Get the older kids dressed. Change #3's diaper for the 3rd time in as many hours...another great joy to breastfed babies.
Kids are dressed, fed and watching cartoons.Well one is watching cartoons the other is playing with Lego's (which I purchased to help encourage independent play - but seems to require a ton of help from mommy) Now it's time for me. I grab my cold coffee and toast and head downstairs to check email. Nope,#3 is fussy. Could you ignore this face?It is now after 9 and she has been up and needs to be rocked to sleep. Perfect time to try out the swing! Get her in it and turn it on...nothing. Off and on and off and on. Needs new batteries. GRRRR.
Phone rings, dear hubby checking on tomato boy. No change.
While on the phone #2 decided to rock #3 in the swing manually.Why buy expensive batteries when you have a four year old who is perfectly content to push her in the swing? SUCCESS! It is now 10:30 and baby is finally asleep.
#2 is wanting to play a hunting game...#1 is bored and cranky. Mom is hungry and tired.Guess I'll grab that cold toast and vitamin and wash it down with iced coffee, mommy style. Uh- oh...guess who is awake again. Guess the lulling sound of clicking keys on the keyboard doesn't work, eh?
Happy Friday everyone!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Birthday blessings!


First family photo op with #3!
Chocolate cake for breakfast...this is fast becoming a family tradition!
A hug from #1 and a promise of good behavior :)


Enjoying the beautiful day!

My birthday wish...


Pastor's sermon today was about knowing God's unconditional love for us. Pastor was saying that he thinks most of us forget about God's love for us. We tend to put God in a tiny corner of our lives, maybe the Sunday worship corner, and forget about Him the rest of the week. If we could only remember God's love for us everyday, we could be a lot happier and spread the word of His love more often with others.

I know God's love.

He loves me enough to create me.
He loves me enough to give me a wonderful loving family to grow up with.
He loves me enough to find me a husband who loves me enough.
He loves me enough to give me two wonderful children.
He loves me enough to let me live through cancer.
He loves me enough to give me one more miracle baby.
He loves me enough to forgive ALL of my sins.
He loves me enough to keep on loving me even when I forget about Him for a day or two.
He loves me enough to make me keep wanting to spread His love more and more.

I wish that you will know that God loves you, too, unconditionally. It is hard to believe it.
But it is true.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

my calm in the storm



a tiny hand wrapped around my little finger
the softest skin in I've ever felt
that tiny click she makes when she is swallowing
the smell of the small of her neck
the warmth of her next to me
a smile from her perfect lips
her determination to hold her head up and look at the world around her
kisses on her head from her older siblings
watching daddy hold and rockabye her
realizing what a blessing she is to our family
our little piece of peace

to the heartless fools who stole our pumpkins...

Year after year my family spends hours creating fun pumpkins and decorating them to celebrate with the community. This year my hubby found the biggest, most beautiful ones to carve. He put my expensive candles in them for the trick or treaters last night and because we are both working on less than 4 or 5 hours of sleep at night we neglected to bring them inside.

My darling rugrats awoke this morning to an empty porch. They were teary eyed and sad as they asked me why someone would take our things from right outside our door. I had no explanation.

The part that really gets me is the fact that a stranger with evil intentions was close to my home and the windows where my children sleep. You are very lucky I was not awake nursing in the chair that faces that window. I would not have hesitated to call the authorities on you.

Stay off my property, keep away from my house and my children. Grow up and learn to play with your own things.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Boo to you...

#1 composed this song all by herself. She taught it to her brother and after dad and the kids carved the pumpkins we had to record this. They were out on the deck singing for a good half an hour before we thought to get this memory forever...

Happy Reformation Day... the reformation of our household fits right in...


Daddy and #3 the first night at home.

#3 wrapped up with her bili light to get rid of jaundice

Proud big brother and sister at the hospital seeing little sis for the first time!
It was a long night and an even longer morning, but she's finally here!
Almost one week into being a mommy of three and my world is completed REFORMED!

The story of #3.

I noticed that something was different. I thought perhaps I could be just wetting my pants, I called my sister (baby expert and mother of 4)and she agreed it was probably nothing. A few days later the amount of the wetting picked up and I finally called the doctor who said, pack your bags and come on in. Well, I didn't pack a bag, I was still in denial. It was a whole three weeks before my actual due date of Nov. 13 and the doctor had already said with my history of stubborn babies we could induced on the 6th.

I spent a half an hour on the phone trying to find places for #1 and #2. Finally, I was on the road. I called my hubby at the hospital (work) to let him know I was being admitted. I told him to stay put until I heard from the Dr. I was still pretty sure it was a false alarm.

After being admitted, several nurses checked me and took samples and confirmed I was leaking fluid. When they asked me for how long, I stammered, a week or so? The horror in their eyes showed me that I had said the wrong thing and that I was not going to receive the pregnant lady of the year award for my waiting to long to call... My doctor came in after she was through with surgery on another patient and told me that we were done and baby would be born tonight or tomorrow. She was not on call, which made me sad. I had her deliver my #1 and #2 and was hoping we could start a family tradition. But, the doctor on call delivered all four of my sisters and I was content with that. So, it was time to induce. I had no slippers, no soft robe or pillow. Just me and my t-shirt and sweats. My dh got off early to hurry up and wait with me. He had no contact solution, no change of clothes and he looked anxious.

I have this difficult uterus. It is hard to explain, so I just say it is upside down and backwards...most nurses cannot even check my cervix until I am dilated past a 2 or a 3. So, we went through the awkward phase of nurse after nurse trying to check me , which was not all that pleasant as you can certainly imagine. I think I needed an epidural just for that. We chose to take an oral medication to begin the induction. I swallowed the aspirin like pill and tried to relax. At about 8 pm my water gushed all over the floor. My husband was amazed at the amount of fluid. I won't soon forget the look on his face as he looked at the puddle on the delivery room floor. I got cleaned up and because it was my third baby they told me I could have the epidural whenever I wanted. Because I had only progressed from a 1 to a 1+ (my poor body was aching already) I decided to wait it off until I started feeling the contractions more. I had not progressed any further, but was breathing through the pain when we put the call out to the anesthesiologist. It was near midnight when he came. The "new" way to consent for the epidural is to watch a video. It used to be that the nurse would read you a list of side effects and you would sign away. Now, they have this adorable little doctor man telling you about the procedure AS THEY ARE SHOWING IT BEING DONE! It was shocking, I have had epidurals before, but have never seen the needle. YIKES. For some insane reason I went ahead with it.

The epidural took nicely to the left half of my body from my ribcage to my ankles. The right half, however, did not take. I think I felt like a stroke victim must. At about my belly button, I could feel the line of numbness. It was the weirdest thing I have ever experienced. My left leg was heavy and numb and when I touched it, it felt like marshmallow. My right leg was normal. So, the Dr. gave me a bit of a boost of more medicine which got me through the next hour or so. After that I pretty much felt every bit of pain except you could have taken a chain saw to my left ankle and I wouldn't have noticed (yep, I had time to check out the recent episode of Grey's).

It was close to 6 am now. They checked me again. I was progressing. I was at a 4 or a 5. Since every nurse is different they all say things like, "I have chubby fingers, or I have small hands, but I think she is a __" My husband rolls his eyes... the nurse predicts a baby by 10 am.

So, I said to dh. "Why don't you go and get something to eat and then come back." "No way!" He says. Apparently, last time, I went from a 5 to a nine in a few minutes and he didn't want to miss the show.

At about 630 I felt like I needed to use the restroom. This was the cue for baby to come. Apparently, I say that each time, too. It's amazing what I forget!

So, Dr. came in. I got positioned and push, push, push. The nurse on my left was a newbie. This was her fourth week on ob and she was a go- getter. She was screaming, you can do it's into my ear so loud I wanted to muzzle her. You can only take so much coaching, you know?

By this time the medication was only affecting my right leg, from my knee down. Yippee. I felt every bit of baby. It was pain but not like any other. I knew that it would be over if I could only give all my strength and push. Dr.'s eyebrows burrowed a bit. "I don't like that cord position..." she mumbled. This time, I was aware of everything. This was new to me. I saw the look of worry on the Dr.'s face. I witnessed the team of nurses anticipating the baby's birth in the corner of the room. The table was ready with all the equipment a baby might need. My husband was on my right holding the heavy leg. Same spot he was in for #1 and #2. He was anxious, but his face gave away nothing. He smiled at me and said, "one more, honey, I know you can do it."

I took a deep breath and pushed. I felt the baby slip into the hands of the doctor and the nurse. They brought her up and I saw it was a girl. I said it out loud. They quickly and effortlessly cut the cord and whisked her away to the table. It was quiet. Really quiet. I began to cry. "She's not crying" I said. I repeated it over and over. They were massaging her chest and talking about heart tones over at the 'table' in the corner. My husband left my side, only after telling me everything was going to be all right. He went to the 'table'. Everyone was blocking my view of the baby. Things started flashing through my head. Was this the plan? Is this how it is supposed to be? I was scared, and felt completely helpless. It felt like hours. Then, a cry. Thank you, Lord Jesus! I heard her cry and all at once I felt no pain. I felt nothing but thank fullness for life and for miracles and for blessings and for love. It was exhausting, but worth it.

Then, I felt the Dr. sewing me up. It was over. Just like that. Baby had to go upstairs for some blood work. I got a quick kiss and photo and off she went. It is so hard to do that. I know it is necessary, but so hard to watch them wheel her off.

It was shortly after 7am. I was not pregnant anymore. I graduated into the mommy of three club. It was a bit overwhelming. We had no name. At about midnight we decided upon the boy name and we felt fairly confident that it was a boy. We should never rely on instinct alone. I think the Lord enjoys reminding me who is in control :)

My mother, on her way to work, stopped by to give me a headband for labor. She waltzed into the delivery room near 730 and says, "here is a headband for you while you are pushing...is baby here already?!?!" Dh took her upstairs to the nursery.

Then the phone calls begin and my life is turned upside down and backwards, kind of like my insides.

There is nothing like being a mother. I feel blessed to be able to experience it. It is a special gift that should not be taken for granted. We have had so many beautiful moments as a family this past week. Many that have moved me to tears. I started thinking, oh, I should blog about that. But, you know what? Some things are too precious to share. These memories that my children and I have made will be in our hearts forever, even if I can't put them neatly in a post.

We came home a day early. I wanted my own bed and my children needed space to move around. It was nice to be home. Child rearing is NOT like riding a bike. You can't just pick up and do the same thing you did with #1 or #2. Each little human baby is unique and special and we have our own little wonderful amazing girl here. She is teaching us new things every moment we spend with her.

I am amazed by how one doctors account a baby at 37 weeks is full term. Then baby comes and all of a sudden she is early and needs special care. We are doctoring every day and her bilirubin levels are a bit too high (my husband has high bilirubin as an adult, we must talk to dr. about that...) so we have her on a biliblanket to help her liver develop. She is nursing like a pro (thank you Lord!), pooping and peeing and even sharing her gift of lung power with us every now and then for a good cry. I am a bit emotional, which comes with the territory. I hope to get my feelings in control here pretty soon. But, I always was a bit dramatic about things and I love a good cry every now and then. They are just nearer and more often now :)

I am pretty much at home all the time now. Baby needs to be on the blanket 24/7 until we hear more from the doctor. We take her off it to go in to the office and get her checked. I know I am anxious for her to be better, it makes nursing a bit difficult.

Today the kids are celebrating at school with their parties and we plan to go visit a very special birthday girl this afternoon between appointments. Hopefully I can keep my eyes dry for the part of the day that is important.

I am thankful for my strong and handsome hubby who is home for the week to help me out. I am thankful for wonderful friends and neighbors who have helped out with adorable girly and pink outfits, diapers, blankets and meals!

We have too many blessings to count and are reminded of God's love for us everyday.

(I don't have time to re-read this over and proof, so I hope you get the story, whether written beautifully or not...)

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The miracle of LIFE



Born Thursday morning October 25th at 7am. She weighed a whopping 8 exact pounds and was 19.5 inches long. She came a bit early because I started leaking amniotic fluid.

We just never dreamed that she'd be so wonderful. We feel so very thankful for her precious little soul!

When I get time I will post more photos and all the details of her miraculous birth.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Note to self

Get over it.

If someone was keeping score on my daily battles, Satan would be winning. I give in to temptation and pout, fight, and whine because I am unhappy. It's pathetic. I mean it. I have no excuse for my behavior. It is sin.

Met with the Bible Study girls last night. I needed that more than even I knew. One of the girls was talking about how at her job she used to say that Jesus was in a chair. She kept tabs on what she was saying and thinking and what others said in her office by just naming a simple chair the Jesus chair.

Light bulb! I know God is here on earth. I tell it to my children all the time. Yet, when it comes to checking myself I fail miserably.

What if God weren't here on earth? Do you know how cruel and terrible this world would be? I think there is a terrific amount of brutality as it is. How much worse would it be without the aid of the Holy Spirit? Without the touch of Jesus, how could I survive my feelings of loneliness, despair and guilt? The world would be void of forgiveness, hope, and love. Without God and His grace and His promise of eternity, this world would be...hell.

Self;

Take advantage of God's forgiveness. Wrap yourself in His love. Sing praises to the hope and knowledge that eternal life is coming. Remember Jesus is here with us in everything we do and then decide what you are going to say or how you are going to act. Pray! Pray! Pray! Start everything in confidence, knowing that God will give you favor in every situation that is His will.
When you can't see Him, trust Him...Jesus is closer than you've ever dreamed.

The Lord is my strength and my shield, my heart trusts in Him and I am helped; my heart leaps for joy, and with my song will I praise Him. Psalm 28:7

Amen

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I am not making this up...

After a weekend of semi freedom, (the kids were both gone on Saturday for most of the day) yesterday, I resumed my everyday role of cook, chauffeur, maid, kisser of owies, wife and mommy. I finished a couple of loads of laundry, put supper in the crock pot, did the dishes three times, tidied up the house, cursed at the squirrels for eating my colored Indian corn and, after the final pick up of the day, I came home to sit at the computer, after I got the kids snacks, of course.

I spent probably a half an hour on the world wide web maybe a few minutes longer. I ventured up the stairs again to check on the rug rats. On the stairway I stubbed my toe on a hot wheels car. When I got to the kitchen I noticed a chair up to the snack cabinets and the bucket of candy out on the counter. A gallon of milk was on the table, I followed the trail of rice krispies to the toy room where I found both of them eating, again, and applying makeup. I expressed my disappointment about the snacks because I knew both of them would have full tummies for supper. I gathered up the dishes and headed back to the kitchen sink. I went through the backpacks adding to the ginormous pile of papers that I will forever collect, but have no idea where to store them, so they sit in a huge pile on my counter top.

By this time it was getting late and supper needed to be assembled so I set the table for reasons unknown to me and put the food on the plates. They didn't touch a thing, but I ate well. As I cleaned up and started my fourth batch of dishes, I wondered if my husband remembered that I wanted to attend the Junior class play at 7. He had left for hunting and I hadn't heard from. him. I waited until 20 minutes till, then I called him to check and he was still in the depth of pheasant land. SOOOOOOOO...

I used a couple of washcloths a piece to clean the rug rats faces off. (What kind of person invents kids makeup that is not washable?) I combed their hair and forced their shoes and coats on and out the door we went. I spent 45 minutes watching ds climb the bleachers and explaining to dd why the curtains closed and the lights dimmed in between scenes instead of watching the play myself.

I came home to a garage that stinks like dead birds, feathers all over the sidewalk and a fridge full of pheasant and supper leftovers I will probably never eat. I was disappointed once again with my husband for not attempting to try to be home so that I could have 45 minutes of this day for myself.

The really sad part is today I am doing pretty much the same thing all over again.

This is my life. I hope there is room for baby #3. I barely have enough patience for the family as it is now.

God grant me the wisdom and patience and, well, whatever else I need to get through this.

um, DUH!

This is from my weekly email outlining what I may be feeling at 37 weeks...

Mother
This is the time that your child is completely ready, and that you yourself are ready to give birth and everything that goes with it. Only then are you really at peace. You will also become tired from having to drag your belly around all day. It's like there's a 33-pound (15-kilo) backpack full of kittens hanging on the front of your body and that is really something. . The baby will use up more and more energy from you. He fills himself day and night with (your) oxygen, food, precious proteins and minerals. Everything goes to the baby. It's no wonder that you feel dead tired sometimes. In addition, you are extra sensitive and sometimes your emotions are volatile. Your senses are heightened, especially your sense of smell. Your living environment is getting smaller and your resilience is lessening as well. You also become forgetful and your ability to concentrate is considerably diminished. You bump into all kinds of things with your big belly and sometimes you are so top-heavy that you almost topple over.

approach me at your own risk...

'nuff said

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Amen!



Praise God, from whom all blessings flow; Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host; Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Me and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

It's been a h- e- double hockey stick of a week.

I worked Monday and had a get together at the school on Monday evening. I worked Tuesday and had to man the concession stand at the volleyball game Monday night. Wednesday I was my regular old chauffeur self to my kindergartner and my preschooler. I tried to catch up on things at the house, unsuccessfully. Wednesday I called to confirm my husband's 745 am tooth extraction in Mitchell and my 115 OB appointment in Sioux Falls. Hubby needs a new front tooth because he was an active 12 year old and, well, that was a long time ago. So I called to make sure his temporary tooth would be ready. I called to be sure someone could watch my kindergartner at 645 in the morning so we could get to said appointment (he needed a driver, because they put him under) in Mitchell on time. I put the kids to bed too late, I did the same for myself.

Thursday morning came too early and we barely got out of the house before 7 am. Finally on the road and 30 miles into our trip dh's cell phone rang. It was barely 730. I listened to hubby mumble into the phone and then pronunciates very clearly that we called to confirm yesterday to avoid any problems.

Seems the tooth is still in Mitchell, but the appointment was supposed to be in Sioux Falls. HUH? Oh, and could we kindly deliver the tooth to the office and they will move our appointment to 10ish. Dh was not very happy. Driving 100 miles out of our way to deliver the tooth we were told was already there yesterday was not a part of the plan. He got the directions to the lab and we forged ahead.

Since he could not eat or drink, I did not have the heart to ask him to stop for us, so my son and I used the restroom and got a chocolate milk and we left Mitchell.

Upon arrival at our new destination, my now blood boiling husband mentioned that we called the Mitchell office yesterday and they confirmed our appointment. She said all the calls are transferred through the Sioux Falls office and WE should have clarified where our appointment was. The paper I got from the receptionist at our dental office had huge red capital font on the top that read MITCHELL OFFICE. But I guess I am supposed to ignore huge red capital font when confirming appointments.

Ds is handling this amazingly well and we help ourselves to hot chocolate and tea in the waiting room where dh's blood pressure continues to rise. We wait over an hour. His name is called. I reluctantly go back with him for the consult. We wait again. The nurse says "I heard about your morning.", which leads me to believe the office gossip hounds have spread the word about the crabby patient.

The doctor comes in and has more choices for dh. Implant vs bridge, more money vs. money. Yadda, Yadda, Yadda... Husband refuses to be put under because it is now near 12 and we have to get to my OB appointment after his surgery and he does not want to pay extra for anesthetic. He did the same for his wisdom teeth.

Ds and I go out to waiting room/house for the day and take off our shoes and lay down. We are beat. It is raining. It has been raining for days. When will it ever stop raining?

Dh comes out and asks me to take care of the paperwork. His eyes are red. He has black rings under his eyes. We are all starving. It is 1245.

I pay the required 20%. Why do we have dental insurance that doesn't pay for most things anyway? We should save our premium for times like these and just skip the stupid cleanings...

We rush out, in the rain, to the car. I drive the 35 blocks to the hospital. I leave my over tired, crabby, hungry family in the car.

I check in at the clinic. I wait. Not too long, thank you Lord. I go in to see the Physician's assistant. She does the exam. She asks a few questions and decides to do a quick ultrasound to make sure all amniotic fluid is staying where it is supposed to. I reluctantly call husband to tell him. He takes son to McDonald's and meets me in ultrasound. We wait.

Ultrasound seemed normal. We got to see a 4-d picture of the baby and he/she was smiling. We could learn a thing or two from a smiling baby. They will call with the results.

We head to the car, in the rain. We stop to replace a windshield wiper. We go through the Taco Bell drive through for baby, and mom. It is 245. We race home to pick up firstborn child at school.We arrive as school is letting out. We drive home. We feed her tacos to keep her happy. We all lie down for a bit. It is still raining.

We skip supper,dh heads to the football game, in the rain, to clear his head (shopping for me, football for him. The kids go to bed. I go to bed. The end.

I hope it stops raining today.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Reflecting a bit on HIS amazing creation...and how blessed I am because of it.

Today there was absolutely nothing on the calendar. I have not seen a tiny square that white in a long time.

This morning I felt restless. I wanted to do something, anything. But, I was tired. I wandered around the house and finally settled down in the easy chair and watched some of my dvr'd shows. I felt pretty lazy and unproductive.

Then dh and ds went to the pumpkin patch and brought home the most beautiful gourds and pumpkins. Sometimes I can't believe the shapes and colors God can make. Last Saturday, at the Apple Orchard we saw this turkey with the most amazing colored head; periwinkle blue and purple and red. It was amazing.


Later, I was walking through the kitchen, the same kitchen I walk through every day a million times. I saw my plant, the same plant that has been there for 5 years. But today, I noticed this...
a beautiful blooming flower. I was shocked. I called my husband over to look at it. We found another one, white petals with tiny stippled purple dots. Wow.

After school dh wanted to go and collect some colored corn from his uncle's field. The kids love going out into the corn field. We had a great time trying to guess what color the kernels would be before we tore back the husks. Again, I was amazed by the glorious colors in God's creation. The colors were so vibrant and beautiful. Dd was the photographer for a couple of these...(see the Goodyear Blimp, incognito as a prego?)
These are the two colorful little creations that God has given me, aren't they beautiful? On our way home we saw a helicopter spraying the fields. Talk about modern agriculture. We pulled up along side the road to let ds and dd watch for awhile. I couldn't help thinking how blessed my life has been. I am alive and well. I witness beautiful colors and amazing creations every day. How lucky am I?

Thank you Lord for your amazing knack for design!

P.S. Kris - I am gonna need your help carving these ginormous pumpkins this year!!!