Grace for July, Goals for August

Life is good. Right now, sleepiness is my dominating trait. My eyes hurt from not being closed enough in a twenty-four period for weeks. But, we have a healthy happy baby girl who I get to hold and love and feed. I get to watch the other little girls love her and take care of her in their own sweet ways. Our church family is showering us with love in the form of meals, visits, gifts, folded laundry, and clean bathrooms.

And that is how July came and went. It was a wonderful, challenging month.

I just re-read my original goals for 2014 and was struck by how many of them were accomplished in the month of July, completely apart from any effort on my part. What grace to know that God is still working for temporal and eternal growth even while I’m at my weakest. That’s the way it always works, but I forget every single time.

Here are just a few examples,

Reading- I finished the book True Companion. Remember I was hoping Paul would buy it for me? He did! And it was a delightful and encouraging way to spend those nursing hours. I’ve read more of others on my list and started a new one, too.

The girls and chores- my girls have overwhelmed me with their helpfulness. We’re keeping things picked up more than before the baby! A nightly clean-up time has finally clicked; I don’t have to micro-manage it. (keeping fingers crossed)

Surfaces- don’t laugh at me, there’s actually been improvement here! I have no idea how, but it’s on the list and I’m telling you there’s been improvement.

Schooling- though it’s summer time, I realized that a lot of our goals in this area are either met or still happening. Here’s a good example of how this is happening without me at all. One of my desires for Hope was for her to read beginner biographies. A dear friend dropped off a box of books with probably twenty biographies right at Hope’s level! She devoured them! (and read them to Sophia while I napped) Abraham Lincoln, the Wright brothers, Ben Franklin, etc. So exciting.

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Now for August.

This will not be a robust undertaking for obvious reasons, but there are a few things that have to happen.

First, it’s to time to prepare for homeschooling again. I am so excited for this. All our materials are in boxes, ready to be opened, right by the front door where the UPS man left them in… May. But that’s okay! I didn’t intend to open them until August. I also didn’t intend to leave them by the front door, but too late now. I need to open those up and get them ready to go. I’d love to have the worksheets maybe pulled out and filed. I think it would be helpful to do lesson plans more ahead of time. Also, I think we could plan field trips and park days already, at least for the fall semester. This is part of a longer story, but we will have a room to ourselves for homeschooling at least for the first two months. I want to make it special, but not too involved since it will not be permanent. This includes activities or a place for the little girls. My plan is for them to more involved and present during school. We need a desk for Sophia and I would like to check a local homeschool store for some supplemental activities. Maybe I’ll be able to post about the preparation process as we go.

Second, find and use good post-pregnancy workouts. It felt so good to exercise during pregnancy! I’m ready to start again, slowly. We’ve taken several walks, but I need something to strengthen my stomach and back- they need some TLC from all this nursing. I definitely have diastasis recti or separation of the stomach muscles so I’m doing some research to make sure that the exercises I do will be a help and not a hindrance. Suggestions? Links? If I exercise one to two times a week, including a walk, I will be happy.

Third, work on table manners with the girlies. Paul got me a new table for my birthday! We love it. It was sad to see our other table go, but we had a wonderful seven years with it and had just outgrown it. Hopefully, I can get good pictures of the new one and do a post about it. Anyways, now is a great time to just review and reinforce table manners with the girls. I want to talk about it when we’re out of the situation and enforce it when we’re at meals. Also, I want to work on having the girls eat their food right away at the beginning of the meal. They all do pretty well eating whatever we give them, but sometimes there is a lot of messing around before they actually get down to business. I think it’s time for them to eat their food without constant reminders to do so.

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Especially in this newborn stage my priorities are important: rejoice, give thanks, love Paul, love the girlies, make meals (or put them on the table when sweet friends bring them), do laundry. That will be good.

The book I just started, Glimpses of Grace by Gloria Furman, is a wonderful help with many of my resolutions. As postpartum hormones swing my emotions from high to low, it’s helpful to read over and over about finding my joy in the unchanging character of God.

I’m looking forward to and clinging to the goodness of God this month. Here’s to the last three weeks of August!

Seven months down, four and three-quarters still to go!

Seven months down, four and three-quarters still to go!

Ask the Audience: Bats, of the Louisville Slugger variety

Hello there, dear readers!

While I am recovering, chasing little kids, nursing, napping, driving to doctor’s appointments resting, I thought I would put you and your endless creativity to work. = )

Here’s my situation:

While our family was in Louisville this year, we took a tour of the Louisville Slugger Museum – which was very cool. At the end of the tour they give everyone, yes everyone, a miniature Louisville Slugger bat. Everyone including our two-year-old, but that’s beside the point.

The point is that we have six bats, no, not in our house; in our car. Why? Because while my girls are pretty good, I can’t take the chance of one of them taking a swing. And all the “the kids can’t get it here places” are already taken. (Actually we have more than six because of my husband’s other trip to the museum…)

So this is where you come in. I can’t just throw or give the bats away because it was such a great memory. What I want to do is *make something* (famous last words) with the bats that will be either decorative or useful in our house. Complicating this is the matter that all our children are girls, so it can’t be too boyish or baseball-y. I’ve seen adorable headboards made out of bats, but I can’t really see that in our house.

Here is the one thing I’ve found on Pinterest:

Isn’t that sweet? I really like this one, but am not quite sure if I could pull it off. There was also a cute cupcake stand, but it only used one bat so that rather defeats the point.

What do you think I should do? What are your ideas? Suggestions? Findings? I’d love to know!!

And hopefully in about four and a half years, we’ll see what I end up making. ; )

Thanks a million,

Christie

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I could not get the correct link for the image above. Please click on “source” to go to the site. Thanks!

Zoe

Our sweet little baby is here!

Zoe Lucille was born on July 8 at 12:01 AM. She weighed 7.6 lbs. and was 20 and 3/4 in. long.

And she’s a doll. Sweet, happy, and content. We are all quite smitten with her, and I think it’s fair to say she is receiving more than her daily quota of hugs, kisses, and snuggles.

We are so thankful for a healthy delivery and baby. What a joy to be a part of God bringing a new little life into the world.

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Due dates, birthdays, what-nots and so forths

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Hello dear readers, from a nine months pregnant, not currently sleeping birthday girl.

How are ya’ll doing?

The first thing on my mind right now is how much I love my husband. I will try to spare you ushy-gushy details that you really have no desire to hear and just say that, though he’s technically not a birthday gift, he is by far what I am most grateful for right now. His love and care, his laid back, easy-to-live-with style of doing things, the way he loves our girls, the way he tells me the details about his golf outings…that, and so much more have me loving him like crazy. (also included is the fact that he totally knows that times like this can be horribly hormone-induced and gone tomorrow, but he still puts up with my sentiments.) = )

Next is that, though I’m obviously excited to have this baby, I’m so thankful for these “extra days” with our girlies. My mom is here now, so I can play and cuddle more than I feed and direct so that is making these times so special. I know that once the baby comes, they will all look so much bigger; that I will hear them laughing and playing outside my room and want to go join them, but fall back asleep from exhaustion. In some ways, I think they sense it to; I’ve been on the receiving end of so many sweet hugs and kisses. We can hold out for a few more days if that keeps up.

As far as the baby goes, I still feel really good. She still moves consistently, so I don’t feel any need to worry. I guess when you’re the fifth you have to break new ground however you can. (all the others have been early, and I am now two days late)

I dread going through labor. It’s constantly on mind. I’m trying to exchange fear with prayers for strength, faith and mercy. We never take for granted the little life that lays inside; I pray for her to be safe, to be healthy and strong. I want to hold her so badly. I pray for God to help me trust in him and rejoice in him in whatever he chooses to give us. I pray that by his grace he would be glorified.

And at night, I ask my husband to get me a watermelon airhead. And a Milky Way, just in case.

Everything is all ready, though I’ve certainly lost my ready-to-go edge. I wonder how it all will go down.

As far as my birthday goes, my list of things to do might sound a little strange. No special foods or restaurants really sound appealing. I think it might be fun to go to Salvation Army, redo a lamp just for fun, drive to Anthropologie and walk around looking for inspiration (and breathing in the awesome smells), hold my girls, and sit next to Paul at night reading together. Oh and do a workout video with my mom. I really want her to see how cute the girls are when they do it. Honestly, having a baby on my birthday would not be tops on my list, but at this point we really can’t be too picky. = )

That’s about all I have to say for now. Maybe I can fall asleep soon??

So this is how I looked three months ago - you can imagine how big I am now. Aye-ay-yay!

So this is how I looked three months ago – you can imagine how big I am now. Aye-ay-yay!

The long overdue May goals review and “plan” for June

The past month has been a blessing. I have a lot to be thankful for. When I “should” have been writing this post in May, we were packing for our first family vacation ever. And oh my, it was wonderful.

Hopefully I'll be able to share more of these pictures soon!

Hopefully I’ll be able to share more of these pictures soon!

If you remember from my very brief review in May, there were two things that consumed that month.

Paul graduating from seminary. An amazing and profoundly sweet time for our family,

He did it! Woohoo!

He did it! Woohoo!

… and Hopey finishing kindergarten. These pictures make my heart hurt; she looks so much bigger and grown up!

First day of K-5, September 2014

First day of K-5, September 2013

Last day of K-5, May 2014

Last day of K-5, May 2014

We had a special pizza lunch celebration with Paul for her last day of school. She got a special gift for finishing, too! I was so happy with how we ended and am looking forward to doing it again this year. It is amazing how much more time we have during the days now that it is summer. Homeschooling technically didn’t consume that many hours, but it surely did change the whole look of our days. I am loving summer and the girls are having a blast playing together.

So, that’s basically May in review. = )

We were able to go on vacation the first week of June and since then it has been all things baby, and house, and car, and church. Thankfully, about the third week of June my nesting instinct kicked in hard. We ran around the house doing all sorts of stuff. (Remember all that spring cleaning that wasn’t getting done? Well, nesting took care of that.) = )

After about a week of that came days of extreme sleepiness, and now I’m in a strange mix of the two. It still feels like there is a lot to do before baby comes, but I think we’d be okay. = )

So to summarize, I’m not going to list specific things for June since it is almost over. Besides that it has basically been a wild dash to do as much as possible, whatever comes into my brain or whatever I’m motivated to do at the moment.

Lord-willing, I will do a normal end of the month the post for June and make plans for July. They will be complicated. (eat, sleep, nurse)

(Okay, I wrote this a few days ago and am just now editing it and getting ready to post… we will have to see about the July goals.) = )

How were May and June for you?

Until July! = ) or if the baby comes, September! *hopefully, just kidding*

For family and friends: Super Saturday

Hope you all enjoy these pics from another one of our favorite yearly events – Super Saturday! This year was extra special because Daddy at the last minute decided to forego his studies for the morning and come with us. Everything is more fun with him!

The girls all did great. Mckayla especially loved the horses.

Enjoy!

No hesitation this year

No hesitation this year

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Not quite ready for the big slide; content to stay with Daddy and Mommy.

Not quite ready for the big slide; content to stay with Daddy and Mommy.

Waiting for the beloved horsies.

Waiting for the beloved horsies.

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Sweet smile after her first horsey ride

Sweet smile after her first horsey ride

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Bounce house!

Bounce house!

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*Side note: it took Mckayla awhile to get that bouncing here was actually okay…encouraged! But after she “got it,” wow, was she happy!

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And my favorite for last….

My sweetie who is getting way too big, way too fast.

My sweetie who is getting way too big, way too fast.

If you want to see the pics from last year, click here.

Love to all!

Christie

 

 

What the fly on the wall heard

Surprisingly, these first two are from my husband. He totally cracks me up – I thought first to put these on facebook, but then thought they’d be better here, since it’s been awhile.

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We’d been driving for several minutes where Paul and I had been quietly talking to each other with the constant interruption of “Mommy! Daddy!”

“Children!” Paul began, in a very professorial tone, “I’m trying to talk to your mother. I chose her to be my wife. I loved her and wanted to be with her and talk to her. I did not choose you. I love you very much, but you were thrust upon me. You are here no matter what. But your mother I chose. I did not have to be with her, but I wanted to and so I married her because I wanted to talk to her.”

He went on and on restating himself until finally concluding, “So please, sit there and be quiet for just a few minutes so mother and I can talk.”

It was mostly quiet with a few giggles before Sophia piped up, “Daddy?”

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The little girls were finishing getting ready for bed, I was on the couch relaxing, and Hope and Paul were talking.

He handed her a book to read to him. She didn’t want that one.

“Here, this is Anne of Green Gables; do you know what that is?” Paul asked.

Hopey shook her head.

“It’s a book that a whole lot of people like,” he began, “And do you know how many of all those people are women?”

Hope shook her head again.

“All of them.”

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A few mornings ago, we were all in the kitchen and Gracie kept opening her mouth and making an “Ah!” noise trying to get our attention.

“Gracie, what are you trying to show us?” I asked.

With huge eyes and excited voice she replied, “Two of my taste buds are stuck together and they won’t come off!”

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My children are very interested in what meats come from what animals. We’ve been eating roast beef sandwiches for lunch lately and they’ve started this funny joke among themselves. One of the little girls will say, “Mommy, what animal is this from?”

“A cow.”

“Ohhhh!” They get excited and pick up there meat to hold flat in their hand. “Would you like to pet my cow?”

I politely decline.

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Mckayla said this a few months ago, but the girls loved it so much that it has become another one of their jokes.

She was being slow to finish her lunchmeat so I kindly reminded her that she needed to finish quickly if she wanted her cookie/treat/whatever-it-was-that-day.

“Okay.” She responded happily (love when that happens), “but I can’t eat too much or I’ll have to go to the hospital.”

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Hope you enjoyed the latest installment of all the silly, random, and ridiculous things said around here.

Until next time! = )