Thursday, January 31, 2013

Ruby Again :)

Ruby's Grandma Harriet made her a pretty new scarf!
"Mommy, will you put that on your blog?"

Monday, January 28, 2013

Teaching Tolerance

Sometimes homeschoolers are accused of being narrow-minded and intolerant.
In our home, we teach tolerance.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Mischief or Trouble?

Does this look like a LittleBit of mischief...
or a whole lot of trouble???

Friday, January 25, 2013

Our Oldest

Nathaniel doesn't typically make the headlines on my little bloggity, perhaps he gets upstaged by all the little people.
It also has something to do with how he ducks out of any picture and really doesn't like to smile if he is in a picture.

Anyway, the years are quickly passing before my eyes--can this son of ours really be staring down the barrel at turning SEVENTEEN???

I must have blinked.

We finally got around to handling all the details of doing Drivers Ed as homeschoolers in Minnesota (it's a bit of a hassle, but we've figured it out now.  Stinks for Nathaniel, benefits Isaiah!).  Nathaniel passed his written exam this week and starts behind-the-wheel training on Saturday.  Hopefully it won't be long until he's an official, licensed driver.

I'll keep you posted!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Hard Working Men

Have I ever mentioned how glad I am that my husband doesn't have soft hands?
Or how it doesn't bother me that sometimes his hands look dirty, even when they're not?
His hands are roughened by the work that he does,
stained by grease and oil because of the machinery that he repairs and maintains.

I remember as a child, my dad's hands looked the same way.
I never thought anything of it--I thought that was just the way all dad's hands were.
Both my grandpas had farmer's hands, too.

I must have been in my early teens when I shook hands with a man--I don't remember at all who it was--but I do remember thinking, "His hands are so....soft."  
It actually kind of creeped me out.

I know now that that man just had different work to do than my dad,
just like the men I know now who have soft hands.

Soft man hands aren't bad...they're just different to me.

I'm glad that my guys have work-worn hands.
Hands that are willing to get dirty, to just jump in and do
even if they're in clean clothes!

I remember my dad used to do this, and Dennis does the same thing:
He'll come in with some gash/scrape/bruise and I'll ask,
"What did you do?"
And he will look at it, as if noticing it for the first time, and say,
"Hmm.  I'm not sure."

(What????  If I had an owie like that, I'd definitely remember it and I'd probably want some attention for it!)

These farmer's hands may not be pretty, 
but they do work pretty hard.

The News from Here

Do you know how many posts I have saved in my drafts folder that I just haven't been able to finish?
Do you know how many things I have filed under "blog post ideas" on my computer?
Probably not--'cause that would be creepy if you did.

But say you did, you'd know that I have a lot of things I'd like to talk about, and not a lot of time to organize my thoughts and publish them into a post.

So, there are spaces between posts.
I haven't spoken much about this pregnancy.
I haven't talked much about the other kids.
Or the farm.
Or anything, really.

We'll see if I can remedy that.

Let's see.
Pregnancy:  I am 25 weeks along (or so. :) )  Baby moves around a LOT, which is always one of my favorite   aspects of pregnancy.
We no longer do ultrasounds and like the previous two babies, we didn't and won't find out the gender of this baby until we meet him or her face to face.
Boys to girls ratio at this point is 5:4.  The boys are rooting for a boy because a)boys are cool and b) boys want to "win".  {More boys than girls would mean that the boys would be "winning".  Such is the way that six-to-ten-year old boy brains work. :) }
The girls are undecided...some days they say they would like to have a new baby sister and some days they say that it would be fun to have another baby boy.
I tell them that the great thing is, the baby is what it is already and that no amount of our guessing will change who is in there!
My belly is growing quite a bit and the younger children are really noticing, triggering remembrance of when LittleBit was in there last winter.  Some have been able to feel the baby wiggle (I use the word "wiggle" instead of "kick" because one of our toddlers years ago used to resort to kicking from time to time--that kicking was naughty and I was pregnant at the time; it seemed contradictory that the baby could kick and it was cute but if the toddler kicked it was a punishable offense.  I just kept using the word wiggle for subsequent babies.)
I've been to see my midwife twice; we go back the end of February at which time I'll only have 8 weeks left until my due date. I'm excited to approach the birth of this baby in a different way as we prepare for birthing him or her here at home.  I'm a meticulous planner and Dennis is not.  I drive him NUTS if I plan too much so I'm learning to back off and not plan too far ahead out loud.
In my head, I'm planning and wondering and thinking and going over what I've read and learned in 17 years of pregnancy and childbirth.
I have had zero morning sickness which is new.  With all the other children, I have felt crummy and queasy for the first weeks and months.  I've never been violently ill, nor have I have thrown up--just felt extremely tired and nauseated.  That never happened this time and I attribute that to avoiding gluten and conquering a sugar addiction/candida problem.  I do still try to take a nap each day, but unlike the other nine times when I was drop dead tired and could not function without an hour nap, a 20 minute refresher is now sufficient for me (even with the added stress of Elizabeth being a horrible sleeper herself at night!)
In general, I feel so much better this time around, though I will admit that being pregnant at 34 is different than my early 20's. :-)  It will be interesting to me to see how the third trimester progresses; with Elizabeth, I had some swelling near the end, rendering me unable to wear shoes for several weeks.  I wore slippers instead (it was winter).  I'm predicting that since straightening out my thyroid issues by dealing with a gluten intolerance, I will feel better at full term than I have other times.  We'll see!

I'm thankful on these cold, cold days that I don't have any work to do outside like the men do here.  Dairy farmers have no choice--cows need to be milked every day and all the animals cared for especially so when the temperatures are severe, whether extreme heat or cold.  So even when I'm disgusted that the windows are all frozen shut making it impossible for me to air out rooms, or when we have to kick the front door to shake lose the ice in the jamb in order to open it--yes, even then, I'm thankful I don't have to leave home to go to a job.

Next up--an update on the kids (when I get around to it)!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Stormy Days

I was supposed to have an appointment with my midwife today, but needed to cancel due to weather.
See why?
Yeah.  Couldn't argue Dennis on that one.

I was excited to meet with her again, but mostly I was looking forward to a day trip as her office is 1 1/2 hours away.

In one way, though, I'm sort of glad there's a storm...
On my previous appointment in early December,  Dennis had suggested we make a date of the next appointment...a little getaway, even.
So he said if I worked out all the details (what to do and hotel reservations) that we could plan to be gone overnight.  I was SO excited--we've never done that in our 16 years of marriage ...gone somewhere "just because".  I've read that some people do a little "babymoon" during their pregnancy and, well, I've been pregnant/nursing for pretty much all of our marriage so it sounded romantic, fun, and indulgent.
There's not much "indulgence" in the life of a mother of ten.

So, I looked around on the internet for ideas and hotels...
but when I asked him about it to be sure that I could indeed proceed,
he said he just didn't want to be gone overnight in the middle of winter because so much can go wrong on the farm and he didn't want to leave it to the boys.
I was disappointed, but knew that he was right.

Anyway....I've been thinking about this big storm and how REALLY disappointed I would be if I had gone ahead and made all those plans, for us and for the kids, looking forward to our time away so excitedly--
oh, MAN, I'd have been pretty heartsick.

It was good that I was moderately disappointed early to save me from major disappointment now, see?
At least, that's how I'm choosing to look at it.

So I think tonight will be early bedtime and I'm going to curl up in the recliner and crochet and maybe watch a movie on this stormy evening.
Supper is just about ready to put on the table, bedrooms got cleaned today, living room vacuumed,
and the kitchen floor washed.
I did TONS of laundry yesterday so today was only a few loads.
I might actually get to sit down--wouldn't that be something??

Linnea and Christopher were going to go to a 4H activity tomorrow, but that's been cancelled, too.
Hmmmmmm, the kids have been asking about making popcorn balls--I think we'll put that on tomorrow's agenda.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Short-Haired Squirrel

While Isaiah was checking his snares this morning before church, he had opportunity to shoot a squirrel.
When he told the younger boys about it, Elijah asked if he'd shot a boy or a girl squirrel.
Isaiah answered that it was a male.
Elijah asked, "How can ya tell?"
Isaiah said, "Well, you know how to tell the difference between a male and female person, right?"
Elijah replied, "You mean, by if they have long hair?"

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

I Recommend

  • Eight Ways to Ease into a Natural Home  Whenever I talk to someone about the things that I do here in our house, it seems eight times out of ten, I'm met with a) a blank stare or b) a "you've GOT to be kidding me type look.  This blogger has said it well, so maybe it will lend some understanding to why I do what I do.
  • 10 Ways to Ease into a Natural Body  Same as above, inserting "for our bodies" where I said "in our house."
  • Essential oils for the bathroom:  Remember when I was complaining about our bathroom?  I can't believe I didn't think of this earlier, since I do nearly everything else with essential oils but whatevs.   I have one of those plug-in coffee cup warmers (same thing as a candle warmer) basically like this:
I put some water in a glass jar (it happens to be a salsa jar) and a few drops of whatever I choose for the day--lemon and lime, orange and bergamot, eucalyptus, peppermint, (you get the picture) and it sits on the counter in the bathroom.  It works really well.  I also found out that the children who had been in charge of cleaning the bathroom needed a refresher course (pun intended  HAHAHAHA!!) in the specifics of the toilet cleaning routine.  Ahhhh, much better (as well as can be expected with the number of little people and the percentage of males within our home.).

  • Last one for today:  Downton Abbey  We've just started watching it on Netflix, but I really REALLY like it--and I usually don't like many shows at all.  I'm very easily disinterested, predictable plots bore me, and I have a hard time staying awake for much of anything.  The last time I actually looked forward to watching a show like this was when Dennis and I made it through all eight seasons of 24 in four months.
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