Monday, September 28, 2009

When did she get so big?

Here's my big five year old modeling her new gymnastics leotard.

She looks so grown up in this picture to me! When did her legs get so long and where did her toddler belly go? Her little round face isn't round anymore. Her hair has lost it's baby curls and now dons more mature waves instead. She has opinions and insights and is such a wonderful helper. Don't grow up too fast, Elizabeth! I don't want to miss it!

Thursday, September 24, 2009


I had a follow-up ultrasound yesterday and my low-lying placenta is no longer low-lying! Isn't that wonderful? Thanks be to God!

I thought I was doing a good job of not worrying about it and the possible complications that it could cause, but when I heard the news yesterday I felt so incredibly relieved that I had to admit to myself that worry had been causing some stress. When the doctor told me about the condition a month ago, he spelled out all of the risks and potential problems. He's done that with every issue we've encountered, large or small, but he's also very realistic and in the past he's always been very encouraging as well. He would be matter of fact about all risks, but quick to reassure that he didn't foresee their being any long term problem or that most likely the problem would rectify itself, etc. Well, none of that reassurance came this time. In fact, he seemed to really emphasize that because of my particular situation, we needed to be prepared for all possible eventualities.

Also, when I did some research on the condition once I got home, the information I found on the internet was much more reassuring than my doctor had been. It's rare that information found online is actually less frightening than what the doctor says!

So, the results of the ultrasound yesterday were a big surprise! I was just hoping for a little improvement, but instead my placenta had moved completely out of the danger zone and I'm cleared to have a completely normal delivery and have no reason to anticipate any complications!

I have to give a big thank you to all of you who said even the smallest of prayers for me and Button. Thank you, thank you, thank you! God is so good!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Good Reads

I'm an avid reader and I recently realized that I rarely post about books on this blog. Why? I have no idea. But, here's an attempt to remedy that situation somewhat.

I've read a number of great books lately. Sometimes it seems like it's getting harder and harder to find really good books to read. The problem is that once you read a few really good books, it ruins all the average or mediocre books for you. I have to admit it - I've become a book snob. If a book isn't well written with interesting characters, universal themes and original story lines, then I don't want to waste my time on it. Oh yeah, and it has to have a happy ending. I don't mean that the entire book has to be sunshine and roses, some of my favorite books deal with death and tragedy, but it must end in an optimistic or inspiring way. And yes, good must triumph over evil and the hero/heroine must have upstanding moral values.

So, here are some of my favorites from the past few months:

Father Elijah by Michael D. O'Brien. This was the last book my book club picked before it kind of fell apart. We never did meet to discuss it and I really wish we had. What a fantastic book! An apocalyptic novel, it's an amazing story of faith and spiritual warfare. It's fascinating, page turning and really made me think. I highly recommend it.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer. I have to admit that I am usually very skeptical of books that are currently on the best seller list. Usually my idea of a good book and society's idea of a good book don't exactly mesh, know what I mean? But, another blogger recommended it, so I gave it a try. I loved it! I'm even planning on giving it to another book-loving relative as a Christmas gift. The book is set in post-WWII London and is centered around a writer who is writing a book on the Nazi occupation of the Channel Islands (in the English Channel between England and France. Don't worry, I had to look it up on the map, too.). It's a wonderful, funny, real, charming, heartbreaking, endearing, hopeful book.

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. This book is the first in a series of young adult books called Percy Jackson and the Olympians and it's a romping good read. It's fast paced, exciting and incredibly creative. I plan to share this book and the rest of the series with my kids when they are a little older. The premise is that Percy Jackson is unknowingly the son of one of the ancient Greek gods. As a Hero, he goes on adventures to save Western Civilization from destruction. If you like Harry Potter, you'll love this series.

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winifred Watson. This novel was written and is set in pre-WWII London and is centered around the middle-aged, down-on-her-luck Miss Pettigrew who has one sparkling, exciting, life-changing day. This short book is fun and sweet and clever and I guarantee you will have a smile on your face when you finish it. Be sure to check out the movie after you read the novel; it's very well done.

So, there you have it. If you decide to read any of these books, please let me know. I'd love to hear what you think of them!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Small Successes Vol. 2

1. Well, I haven't actually completed this success yet, but it's on the to-do list today and will definitely happen. I'm going to buy Gustin his first set of underwear. We're going to give potty training one good go before the baby comes. If it doesn't happen, no big deal. But, he'll probably be three years old before we try again!

2. I've been fighting a cold this week and when I've been feeling particularly exhausted, I've stopped what I've been doing and sat and put my feet up without feeling guilty about it.

3. I bought a few simple, organizational items for the house this week. They are nothing particularly exciting, but now my bathroom cleaning products and Elizabeth's dress up clothes have a place where they belong and it feels so good!

Be sure to head over to Faith and Family Live to read other mom's inspiring Small Successes!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Pure joy

On Thursday this week, Jonathan brought home his book order from Scholastic Book Clubs. I loved getting books that way as a child. A brand new book all my own; I was in heaven! So, I really enjoy being able to provide the same opportunity for my kids. Every time a Scholastic Book Club order form comes home, the kids are allowed to choose one item. This time Jonathan picked a 3 pack from a series of books called Dinosaur Cove. I'd never heard of them, but we thought we would give them a try.

Well, as soon as Jonathan hopped in the van after school, he started reading the first book. By the time we got home, he had finished the first chapter. He continued to read for the rest of the evening only stopping to do his homework and eat dinner. I couldn't help but grin when we actually had to tell him to put his book away so that we could say grace. He finished the book before bed time.

I had to work so hard all evening to not let on to Jonathan how excited I was to watch him read in this way. I felt like I was about to jump out of my skin! My son has learned to love to read!

That Dinosaur Cove book was the very first book that he ever voluntarily picked up and read silently to himself. He's a decent reader, but he normally only reads when we tell him to and it is always aloud. Now he's entered into a whole new phase. As Eric said, the entire known universe is now at his fingertips. Anything he could possibly want to to learn about can be found in a book and now that he has discovered the joy of reading, his young mind will be able to learn and grow so much faster. And, I can't express how fun it will be for me to observe the whole process. It's one of the great joys of parenting!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

House Progress

This post is mainly for myself. We've been making progress on the house, but at times it seems so slow and it's easy to only concentrate on how much we still have left to do. So, to change the focus to all we have accomplished in the last couple of months, I thought I would do a picture update to compare with this post, shortly after we moved in.

The living room is the most complete. Here's before:

And after:

I finally found our family portrait and hung it over the mantle. I bought the pots and plants that are on the mantle and bought and hung the curtains. This room is really coming together (except for a couple of remaining boxes, as you can see in front of the fire place)!

I also got the kids' portraits framed and Eric hung them for me last night. I'm so glad I got that done instead of the portraits sitting in the box on my desk for months like they normally do. :)

There has been virtually no progress in the office. We are stuck on the paint color.

Eric and I both agreed that we wanted to have two colors in this room with the color above and below the chair rail being different. I prefer the lighter tone on the left and Eric wants something a little more dramatic, like the color on the right. I would gladly give in to Eric on this, especially since the office is mostly man territory, but we actually don't like either of these colors. In person they have a greenish tone to them, which was not what we were looking for. And, looking at the paint color cards, I'm really having a hard time finding anything better. I've never had so much trouble picking out a paint color!

We finally settled on a color for the master bedroom.

We'll go with the darker gray color which I think will nicely complement our pale blue bedding. The master bedroom has always been a rather neglected room during our entire marriage. But, this time around we're making it a priority to make it into the soothing sanctuary that it should be. I'm even planning on printing some of my nature/flower photos and using them to decorate the walls. I can't wait to see it finally come all together!

Elizabeth's room now has curtains, a nightstand and a mirror on the wall. We're getting there!

The boys' room, however, looks exactly as it did two months ago. The biggest hangup in that room is a very opinionated 7 year old. I want him to be able to have input as we decorate his room, but his ideas and my ideas are polar opposites. For example, he would like to paint the walls and ceiling black and then he wants me to paint stars and planets all over them. That's not going to happen! I think we may have talked him into putting up a chair rail, painting below it a dark gray and above it a lighter blue-gray and adding posters of the planets on the wall. Jonathan's room has definitely been the most debated room in the entire house!

The play room has been primed, but I still haven't settled on a color. Here it is, still in it's normal, messy state.

Any recommendations on a paint color for this room?

Now for Eric's pride and joy. He calls it "the farm".

We've already picked some black eyed peas and made a batch of pesto from the basil. Eric added two more beds a couple of weeks ago and hopefully we'll have squash and tomatoes from them before the cold weather hits. He also created a box (at the back near the far fence) for compost. It might sound silly, but we really enjoy composting our kitchen scraps and lawn and garden waste. Yes, I said enjoy! I think it's the engineer in me who loves the efficiency of the whole process. Nothing goes to waste and we use the compost to make our garden even more healthy and productive. I love it!

And, here's our most recent addition, completed just two days ago.

The kids are so excited to have a sandbox again! I'm not so excited about walking through the house and finding sand sticking to the bottom of my feet, but I'm glad they have such a great place to play and create.

So, that's it for now. Sorry for the long, picture laden post. But, it sure has made me feel better about all that we have been able to accomplish!