Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas

Well, we're leaving soon for the family cabin in the mountains a couple of hours away to spend Christmas with my folks, my brothers, and Anna. I have spent many Christmases there since I was a baby and it is a special place full of memories. However, there are lots of mice up there which I hate! Colter will be taking Anna to cut down her first Christmas tree she's ever gotten to pick out of the woods and we will be decorating it together. I suspect there will be a proposal too! We will come back down to our home the 26th and spend a few days with King Jo's folks who are coming out and then when they leave on the 3oth we'll go back to the cabin for a few days to spend New Year's with all the family, including my aunt, uncle and cousins too!

I wish you all a wonderful Christmas with your families, keeping Jesus at the center!

Kid Funnies


*Ali closed her eyes and bowed her head, "Thank You for my cookie and lots of things you give us." Jeremiah promptly copied her and said the exact same thing. It was so cute!

*Ali saying to Justus (in a sweet, baby-talk voice) "You like sister the best, don't you?"

*Ali saying to Jer, "We need to wash our hands before we eat, it's a message from the Lord." (then proceding to sing the Veggie Tales song "A message from the Lord" off of her Jonah movie.

Daddy was explaining why he calls milk "moo juice" to the kids. He was talking about how cows have milk and Ali pointed at me and said, "and her too!"

Ali told me enthusiastically she could count to 30. I was impressed. After 29 she began saying, 20-10. 20-11, 20-12.......

Monday, December 22, 2008

My Favorite Cashier

It's not too often a cashier will have a post written about them. But though he'll never know about this post lest he think I'm a stalker or something, I will tell you about all of our (meaning all of my deal-shoppin' buddies in this town) favorite cashier.

His name is Dustin and he isn't outgoing or friendly. He doesn't make small talk or goo at the baby like a lot of female cashiers. In fact most of the time he looks bored to death and like a crabby college student.

However, this guy has saved me TONS of money! Little does he know that we deal-shoppers talk about him frequently when discussing various sales going on. You see, many of the other cashiers either,

A. Cannot figure out coupons and have to call a manager


B. Are really scroogy about ringing through coupons and will tell you that you can't use a manufacter's coupon WITH a store coupon even if I know it's store policy to do so and other cashiers have done it for me a hundred times

Dustin is neither. He types in the coupons with whirlwind speed and lets you use the FULL amount on coupons. So, if I have a coupon for $4.99 off a toothbrush but that brand of toothbrush was on sale for $4, he will still give me the full amount off, meaning I got paid $1 to take it. He always lets you use Buy One, Get One coupons WITH other coupons.

For example, tonight I needed to get some baby formula. It's pricey stuff and I was so hoping Dustin would be working. In fact, that is why a lot of my friends and I shop at nights, so we can have him for our cashier. When he's not there, I just skip out on buying something if I know it could possibly wait. He wasn't working and I knew the lady who was working was going to be scroogy about coupons. Just before I headed for the check-out I heard the lady call Dustin to the front. So he was in the store, maybe on break? I quickly circled the store again, biding my time, and a few minutes later I went to the front and he was now the cashier. YES! When all was said and done I paid $4 for 2 cans of formula that normally cost $14 each! I had a Safeway B1G1 and some Enfamil coupons. Had the other cashier checked me out, I no doubt would have either had to pay 3 times that much or else would have stood in line for 20 minutes while she tried to figure out how to get a manager to discuss whether or not it's okay to use store and manufacter's coupons together.

So, my tip for the day is that in order to save even more money at the grocery store, be choosy with your cashiers. It really does make a difference!

Justus' Quirks

Well, I'm sure you are all just dying to know more about my milk supply issues since I haven't already talked about it enough. =) Okay, so this post is for Lesley, and any others who I know really do want to know....

Justus is exhibiting some weird quirks over this feeding thing.

I thought if I ever did supplement one of my babies it would be at night, in order to get something called sleep that I haven't experienced in a couple of months.

However, Justus has decided that he will only take Mama's milk from 7 pm until 8am. He wants to eat every 2 hours on average and he won't take a bottle during that time. He nurses for a long time and nurses on both sides. I can tell he's getting a lot, which is a relief.

Here's the odd thing: He WON'T nurse much during the daytime hours. My supply is starting to come back with the help of pumping (thanks to my friend Shiloh for loaning me a really nice pump) and trying to nurse him frequently before and after a bottle feeding. Yet, he won't nurse much, and ONLY ON ONE SIDE! He seems to prefer a bottle during the day. He absolutely will not nurse on one side and bites me continually very hard and turns his face away. I thought maybe it was something wrong with my body since this has been a pattern for over a week. But then I tried feeding him a bottle laying him on that arm and he would NOT take it even though he was hungry! So, is this just a baby's weird preference thing or does he have some ear trouble on that side that makes it hurt to swallow in that position? He's not fussy and doesn't seem sick. He's definitely able to communicate, even as a tiny 4-month old, what he wants and doesn't want. He is crystal clear that he doesn't want that side during daytime hours but when he's mostly asleep and nursing in the night he will gladly nurse off of BOTH sides!

In order to remedy these quirks I will have to pump more even though it is a big time committment and bottle feed him breastmilk all day since he won't nurse well and won't nurse at all on that one side (thus making less milk, which makes him even LESS likely to take that side, an on goes the crazy cycle). Hopefully he will outgrow that quirk or we will have to figure out what is causing it.

So far our little guy is guzzling about 14 oz. of formula a day and nursing at least 8 times in a 24 hour period. He is getting a lot of breastmilk in the wee hours, so I feel good about that. He must have his daddy's metabolism! This guy just never stops eating! I have noticed he is even easier to deal with since we've been supplementing. He was always such a good baby but he hardly cries at all now. He's getting closer to growing out of the outfits he's been wearing for 3 months.

Someone in my family saw Justus drinking a bottle the other day and said, "So you decided to stop starving the kid now, huh?" Way to encourage a breastfeeding mom! Ironically, one day a couple of years ago I overheard this same person and a friend eating lunch and discussing how they would both be even smarter if their moms had breastfed them back when they were babies. Go figure!

So, this is our ongoing milk supply saga. I have totally lost the guilt over using formula and though I'm working at eliminating it, if I have to use it to keep him fed, I will continue doing the half-mama's-milk and half-formula thing and am fine with that. There are perks to using both, one being that we got to go on a double date with our friends this weekend since Fireproof came to town (FINALLY!) and got to leave our 4 energetic and wild little ones and Justus with one very courageous babysitter! (Funny thing is, this babysitter was a young lady whom I used to babysit all the time when I was a teen! ) And you all probably know this already but the movie was really, really good and should be seen by every couple!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Reason

My husband discovered the reason that I've been having milk supply issues with Justus. I can't believe I didn't think of this before....

It's the absence of a beautiful and dear friend of mine.

That friend's name is chocolate.

I gave it up for the month of December.

I used to eat it every possible chance I got in whatever form (cocoa pancakes, brownies, hot cocoa, chocolate chips, etc.)

So...perhaps Justus decided that he no longer likes plain milk. "What happened to the good stuff Mom?"

(J/K Please don't take this seriously!)

Tagged Again!

Since Lou tagged me and it's my third tag, I will post the 18th photo out of my 18th folder. This is my mom with the kids when we took a walk to the local bagel shop last March for a toasted cheddar cheese bagel with cream cheese! I was 4 months pregnant at the time and always crave these delicious bagels during pregnancy!

Friday, December 19, 2008

God Blesses a Submissive Wife

One of the best Christmas stories ever for wives!

Please take time to check it out and read it! This was written by a woman from my church (yes, the sweet woman who saw me drinking a beer the other night in a restaurant!)

She shared it last year at the church ornament exchange for women and I was so blessed by it I had to share it this year. Please take time to read it and look at the picture at the end of the story! You will especially get a kick out of this story if you enjoy cutting your own tree every year.


Let me know what you thought of it!


Since I was double-tagged by Becky and Lesley, I decided to do what Becky did and post both my 6th and 12th photo out of my 6th and 12th folders. This is big sis spending time with little one-month old brother.
This is a sour-cream apple pie I made for my hubby. I was going to post on it but wasn't sure I even liked the pie or not well enough to recommend it so I didn't. My hubby loves this pie!
Since all of my friends have been "Tagged" I don't have anyone else to tag. (Unless someone proves me wrong by listing in the comments that they want to be tagged and haven't been yet).

Homeschooling Dilemmas #1--Catered-To Kids

Most of you already know that we plan to homeschool our kids and there have been some heated debates on this blog in the past over this issue.

Recently I've been pondering some things regarding homeschooling based on some observations. I know it's a busy time of year and you are all busy getting ready for the celebrations but my mind just doesn't quit and I wanted to share some of my thoughts on this issue.

I'll start by explaining that I heard this story recently but can't remember where I heard it. A grown homeschooler, beginning her first real job, had trouble adjusting and knowing where to fit in because everything had been so "tailor-made" for her needs by a very dedicated and thorough homeschooling mother that she was used to everything being exciting and fun. Buckling down to work for a boss who gave orders, instead of fun assignments, was very difficult for her.

This is probably a very rare problem with most homeschoolers due to the fact that many homeschooling families incorporate lots of work, household chores, and strict disciplined schedules into their daily routines. Indeed, all of the homeschoolers I know are being taught to work hard and serve others. Many employers/colleges specifically target homeschoolers because of their solid work ethic in a world where many young people have no concept of how to work.

I raise the issue simply to remind myself, and other women planning to homeschool, that it's something to watch out for. In trying to be good mothers, and good teachers, we do have a tendency to build on our children's gifts, interests, and delights. I think we should encourage them in these areas but also seek to impart to our children the importance of shouldering the load when we really don't want to and working on something even if it's unpleasant. This applies to all parents in the aspect of discipline, and yet it's especially important for those of us who will be in charge of our child's education. We should seek to help our children build the character qualities of discipline, perseverance, diligence, serving, humility, being teachable and working hard.

How do I plan to guard against "Catered-To Kids?"

*Routine household chores
*Teaching all of the subjects necesary for their grade level, even if they don't particularly enjoy them
*Biblical discipline and instruction (I'm listening to a series done by the author of "Shepherding a Child's Heart" right now at www.theresurgence.com) Teaching my children to submit properly to authority is the first step in helping them understand that the world doesn't cater to their needs and desires
*Training in life skills beyond the basic cleaning chores (caring for small kids/babies, changing oil on the car, raking leaves, gardening, budgeting, menu-planning, bargain-shopping, sewing, wood-work, care for pets, etc.)
*A balance between fun learning and "not-so-fun" studying
*Giving them a well-rounded background (music lessons, Phys. Ed activities, art classes, skill tutoring (example: Grandpa teaching them to make something out of wood), even if they aren't particularly interested in each thing)
*Teaching and exhorting them to love and follow Jesus. Jesus made Himself nothing and came in human likeness. He poured Himself out for us. If our kids love and follow Jesus, the Holy Spirit will help them to be humble, teachable, servant-hearted, and diligent.

If you are a homeschooling mom or were homeschooled growing up, I'd love to hear some of your own ideas on combatting the Catered-To Syndrome.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Update on Hannah Overton

If you have noticed the photo link on my sidebar mentioning Praying For Hannah's Freedom, or have gotten my e-mail about praying for her, you know it is a huge burden on my heart. I pray continually for Hannah's strength as she has been in prison for a couple of years, separated from her 5 small children and husband, accused falsely of poisoning her adoptive child. I'm on the list to be updated with news about her case and just got an e-mail this week from her aunt.

In it, she says, "The only other news we’ve gotten is that a woman in Corpus Christi who worked for CPS and is married to Detective Hess, the primary investigator, was recently arrested for making a false report of child abuse against someone else. We have no idea whether this will tie into Hannah’s case, but many of us see a connection, especially since it was CPS who filed a false affidavit against Hannah and it was Hess who decided very early on that Hannah was guilty and proceeded with a “tunnel vision” investigation that presumed her guilt. I can’t help but suspect that there was a pattern of knee-jerk reactions and playing fast and loose with the truth when it suited their purposes. Many – probably most – CPS workers and police have the best intentions. But we have all seen in recent news how a culture of corruption can develop, and the disastrous consequences that can occur when it does. Here is the article if you want to read it: http://www.caller.com/news/2008/dec/05/former-cps-supervisor-is-accused-of-making-false/#comments "

I find this amazing since I have specifically prayed, no doubt along with many others, that Hannah would be vindicated and her enemies would be thwarted and judged! God is truly answering prayer in this case.

Hannah's aunt also says, "Every Thursday the 13th court of appeals posts their latest decisions. We eagerly await each Thursday to see whether they’ve made a decision on Hannah’s case. "

So, this holiday season, please be praying for Hannah, especially on Thursdays. I can't imagine being in her shoes but she is truly one of my heroes. A quote on my sidebar says "Wimpy Theology Makes Wimpy Women" (John Piper). Hannah is one of the strongest women I know of today and does not suffer from wimpy theology!

I leave you with Hannah's most recent letter from prison. Please take the time to read it and realize the wisdom borne of suffering that overflows from her words.

Dear Brothers & Sisters in Christ, 12-7-2008

“If it had not been the Lord who was on our side” (let Israel now say) “If it had not been the Lord who was on our side when men rose up against us, then they would’ve swallowed us alive, when their wrath was kindled against us”

Have you ever really considered the spiritual battle going on around us every moment of every day? In my circumstances this has become so much more evident to me. 1 Peter 5:8 warns to “be sober & vigilant (disciplined & alert), because our adversary, the devil, walks around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.” And John 10:10 says, “The thief does not come except to kill, steal, and destroy” so, we have a spiritual enemy that is desperately trying to ruin our lives. Not just on a big scale (ex. Finances, sickness, death, separation) but also on a more personal scale, our thoughts & emotions.

You see, no matter what is going on with our circumstances the enemy can attack us and keep us locked up in fear, depression, selfishness, unforgiveness, etc. For me his favorite tactic has been fear & depression since all this started. Joshua 1:11 says, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage, do not be afraid nor be dismayed.” The word afraid here means: To dread, to fear, or to be terrified. The word dismayed is a depression resulting from continual fear meaning: To be beaten down, broken down, or fall prostrate. God commanded Joshua to be strong and courageous, not afraid and dismayed. He commanded all this when he was a new leader and was going into battle. This battle, on a human level, could not be won and the fear of this battle had kept the Israelites wandering in the desert for 40 yrs. But, God had promised victory! How would Joshua be able to put aside fears and follow God’s command? Because God was with Him! Now, we all know that God is with us always but we continue to be hit with attacks from our enemy.

How can we overcome this? James 4:7 says, “Therefore, submit to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you” Notice submit to God comes 1st. As we surrender ourselves wholly into His hands we can find peace. As we wholly submit to the Lord knowing He loves us and always has our best in mind we then don’t leave room for the enemies attacks so he must flee. When we are completely surrendered to Him, even if our circumstances seem like chaos we can relax. This is because we know who holds them in His hands. Luke 12:6-7 reminds us that not one sparrow is forgotten by God and we are more valuable than many sparrows. In Eph. 6:10-17 we are exhorted to use the armor of God in standing against the enemy. As we study this we can see that using God’s armor is allowing God to be our strength, and our guide in all we do. Our shield (above all) is faith in Him. 2 Cor. 12:9 reminds us that His strength is made perfect in our weakness. As long as we struggle to fix things ourselves, we stand in the way of His strength being perfected in us. It’s in our surrender we find that we don’t have to stress or struggle in sorrow for “The joy of the Lord is our strength.” Nehemiah 8:10b .The word strength here means: place of safety, refuge, or protection. Notice this doesn’t say He gives us strength but His is our strength. So we can say “The battle is not ours but God’s!”

Since 20/20 aired I have received so many encouraging letters. I wish I could personally write to all of you and thank you and respond to all the neat stories you’ve told me etc. Please know that each letter is greatly appreciated, and I so look forward to mail time. Thank you so much for all your prayers and offers to help.

Some of you have talked of Larry & I & the kids as if we are heroes or something. We want you to know we are nobodies but as I said earlier it’s in our weakness that He is strong.

The verse I started with was laid on the heart of a good friend of mine while we were praying at a visit a few months ago. It is so true because without our God we would be swallowed up. It’s only with Him carrying us that we can continue to go on. It’s not a heroic act at all that keeps us sane, but a faith in the One who can do just that.

I’m amazed at how God continues to open doors for ministry through this. His plans are so much bigger than us. I’ve been blessed to receive many stories of how God has used our story to touch lives for Him, even atheists attending church for the 1st time etc. It is encouraging to see fruit from our suffering.

We want God to always get the glory from our lives. I pray God continues to use this long after I’m home.

On a smaller note, God has continued to open doors for ministry here in my dorm. I’m going through Healed and Set Free with 5 women in here one on one. Another 8-12, depending on the night, we are going through a study on 1st Peter with one called Faith Under Fire. This is a daily study and it has really had an impact on the dorm, as we do it every night.

On Thanksgiving the Lord laid on my heart to do something special. For most, the day means eating turkey with family, & nothing more. So I remembered what it is really for, thanking God. It was also a good time to express the family of God. We had a neat time of communion, prayer, scripture, and even a game of Bible trivia. I think it was a special time for everyone. It helped a lot as most of us just wanted to cry all day because we missed our families. About 8 women joined for that.

We are going through an Advent book, which is new to everyone and a cool way to remember what the reason for this season is. If I’m still here I’m praying God is my strength to once again use Christmas to minister.

Please continue to pray for the women in the Bible study. The enemy is not happy and is trying to stop what God is doing, but He is bigger. And if you have any Christmas ideas let me know. I’m sure God will give wonderful ideas.

My family is going good. Getting ready for Christmas and praying for the judges to quickly make the decision to bring me home. There is no time limit for the decision making process and even if they decide to reverse the judgment now it could take awhile for them to get me home. Please pray for me to be reunited quickly to my family and for the judges to see the truth. Pray for us to have strength to continue to be faithful to His plan until we’re together again and even after. Pray for peace and joy in Him, especially during this season. Thank you for all your letters and support. It’s through your prayers that we are held up!

In His Hands,

1 Chron. 16:11, 35
“Seek the Lord & His strength, seek His face forevermore!
And say “Save us, O God, of our salvation, gather us together & deliver us….
To give thanks to Your Holy name, the triumph in Your Praise!

To read more about Hannah or watch the 20/20 show about her case, visit www.freehannah.com

When Hannah is released to go home, we will be throwing a HUGE, HUGE, HUGE party at our house!!!

Cute Little Gift

This sweet gift from one of my creative friends really brightened our day. Inside was a loaf of banana bread (with cherry pieces and chocolate chips, topped with slivered almonds) and a jar of homemade raspberry jam. It was wrapped so nicely, it made me feel like I got a gift from Monica at Homespun Heart!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Simmering Jars

These simmering jars will no doubt be one of my favorite gifts to make for folks for years to come. They are unique, creative, natural, very frugal, quick and simple to make, and very pretty. And they also won't cause your friends to gain 5# like all of that fudge people are always giving this time of year!
My mom asked me the other day if I would be interested in being hired to make cookie platters for her co-workers. She never has the time to make crafty things anymore. I suggested that we do simmering jars instead, since I was already planning to make them for my friends. She agreed to buy all the ingredients and I offered to do them just for the cost of the ingredients, meaning she has 7 jars, and I have 7 jars, and I got to make all of mine for free! The lemons, limes, and oranges were on sale in our town, which helped keep the cost down.

14 Gifts made in one hour!!! If you are short on time, this is the gift for you! Yard Sale Goods put to use: 12 new, canning jars for $3, a roll of Christmas ribbon for 10 cents, and pretty tissue wrapping paper for pennies. I used a couple of old spaghetti sauce and mayo jars for the remaining two jars.

I printed the instructions and Label on one page of address labels.

Each jar contains about 1/2 a lime, 1/2 a lemon, 1/3 of an orange, 1 long cinnamon stick broke in half, 1 sprig of fresh rosemary, 1 t. whole cloves, and water. As I made these jars, I simmered the ingredients on my stove and it smelled wonderful! You simmer the contents in a small saucepan on the stove, being careful to always keep plenty of water in the pan. Then you are supposed to put the contents back into the jar, cover with more water, and refrigerate and use again and again. How many "agains" I do not know!

Laura, at http://www.heavenlyhomemakers.com/ linked to this post by Donna, talking about making simmering jars. I thought it was a wonderful idea! I love pretty scents but don't like the artificial-smells in cheap candles or air fresheners. This is an adorable gift for a lady in your life, whether a friend, your child's Sunday School teacher, or an aunt or Grandma. Just don't give it to a guy. My husband assures me that a guy would never find these gifts cute and would promptly re-gift them. I assured him that women love them even if a guy wouldn't, and that it's probably the bachelors who need them the most!

An Added Tip: If you buy your cloves and cinnamon sticks in the spice section you will pay WAY TOO MUCH! Some jars I saw ran as high as $12 for a tiny thing of cloves. I got my cloves and sticks in the Latino section, by all the beans and salsa, where I buy dried peppers for making homemade enchiladas. These run you about 50 cents to a $1 per package.
NOTE: Meredith asked if you are supposed to simmer the ingredients before putting them into the jar for the first time. Nope! Just throw it all in a jar, top with tap water, and put the lid on! Good question, thanks for asking!

Update on Justus

Well, I took Justus to the check-up yesterday and just as we were about to see the Dr. he had to run out to attend an emergency at the hospital. The nurse mentioned re-scheduling and I just asked her if she could weigh Justus and she agreed. It turns out he's gained nearly a pound in 8 days since his WIC check-up! The clinic always does poor length measurements so I don't really believe that he's gained an inch in 8 days too, even though that's what they said. His head is growing and he's about 10th percentile now.

So, the formula has definitely caused some weight gain! However, I did a lot of reading and studying on building supply yesterday thanks to your helpful comments and I came away with a renewed committment to do everything I can to exclusively breastfeed. I realize some women truly can't, but I also know that many give up, like I was tempted to, because of sleep deprivation or worry over weight gain, when these problems can be helped in other ways. Since we only used some formula for less than a week, it won't be too hard to wean Justus from these supplemental bottles. But in order to wean him, I have to build my daytime supply up enough to satisfy him. Last night I went to bed insanely early and each time he would wake up (about every 2 hours) I gave him a very lengthy feeding on both sides so that the following feeding, there would be all the more milk built up (..the more you empty...the more you make...).

I didn't realize how much breastfeeding can become an emotional issue until now. There is so much guilt involved; guilt over what you should have been doing to keep your milk supply up and guilt over starving your baby by not giving formula earlier, guilt over "cheating" the third kid and wanting him to have all the best that the first couple of kids had, etc.

You read some of those breastfeeding articles online and come away thinking that formula is liquid poison and your child is going to die from drinking it! =) Yet lots of my friends' babies have lived through it and are healthy, cute little kids! Ultimately, I've been thinking a lot about what I know to be true about breastmilk and my own body and I know that for me personally, I would feel guilty and ashamed if I switched to all formula at his young age, and yet if my body just can't keep up, I'm not going to feel bad about using supplemental formula in order to keep my kid from starving. I will give it my very best shot, resting, taking herbs, and pumping if necessary in order to exclusively breastfeed for a year, as was my goal. I know I can breastfeed until a year, having done it with Jeremiah, and 10.5 months for Ali, and so this helps to motivate me. Formula seems way easier to use, due to the fact that your babies tend to sleep through the night faster, it's physically less painful (biting, soreness, etc.) you can pass the baby to someone else to feed, they go longer between feedings, you can do it in public a lot easier, and you can have a night off without taking baby everywhere with you, but in spite of that, I want to avoid it if I can.

The great news is that last night I noticed lots more milk at every feeding in the middle of the night so hopefully I can get similar amounts coming in the daytime too. Thanks for all of your encouragement and tips! Even though it's a busy time of year, I'm going to force myself to take some "nursing vacations" in the next couple of weeks! Thanks for your prayers!

A Cute Wreath Project

Ali made this wreath in preschool. Miss Jenny, her teacher, is about the craftiest person alive and they are always bringing home adorable projects. They traced the child's handprint on green paper to make the leaves, and glued them to a paper plate. Add some ribbons, a couple of little jingle bells, and a few holly berries and the child's picture, and you have a cute gift for the Grandparents!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Our Jesse Tree

This year, I have a strong burden to impart to my children the true meaning of Christmas. I was thinking of ways I could do that when I came across the idea of a "Jesse Tree" on several of my favorite blogs. The Jesse Tree sounded perfect for an Advent activity to do with the whole family, including our small children. Interestingly enough, I had never heard of one before! I know some really crafty folks make their own symbolic ornaments or hand-embroider them but I was running short on time this year, especially with our move. In the future, we may start collecting ornaments from yard sales, after-Christmas clearances, etc. for our Jesse Tree but for now, these paper ornaments work great! I just printed them off the computer, colored them, glued them to colored cardstock, covered them with clear contact paper, and punched a hole in the top for a piece of yarn. Since we got a late start on them, we are doing a few ornaments a day until we catch up, instead of just one. I printed off the family devotions, (I link to them below) and we talk about each ornament before we hang it up. My kids enjoy this so much and I feel great that they are learning all about how the Old Testament stories point to a coming Savior. My little 3-foot Christmas tree that I've been using since I was in my mid-teens is the perfect size for a Jesse Tree! Some folks use a paper or cloth tree, hung on the wall, and others use a bare branch stuck in a pot of dirt.
There are some ideas for doing a Jesse Tree here.
Buy some cute embroidered Jesse Tree ornaments or iron-ons to make your own at this site.
I got my symbols to print off and color here.
Family devotions to correlate with the symbols here.
Because we have friends named Jesse and Shiloh, we had to explain to our kids that a "Jesse Tree" doesn't mean a tree for Jesse Blasdel. Josiah likes to tease the kids and tell them next year we are doing a "Shiloh Tree."

Our Kitchen

Our table is so much more pleasant to sit around now because Jeremiah's booster chair can be on one end and we can use both sides. It makes mealtimes much more enjoyable!
Our gas oven and washing machine. The washing machine is really old, and while it does clean well, it shakes sooooo hard that we may have to think about buying a newer one and just putting this one in the shed.

Not much counter space in this kitchen. This is it! (Unless you count my washing machine, which I do use as counter space sometimes =) Just enough room for our microwave (on the left0 and our dirty dishes and dish strainer. The cabinets are so tall that in order to reach the top two shelves I have to stand on a chair.

We have our hot water heater in the corner of the kitchen, next to the door which leads to the pantry/laundry room. This extra space between the fridge and the water heater is nice, especially since we can fit the kiddie picnic table there when we have company. My mom may loan us a butcher block to put there which would give me a portable counter.

Our bedrooms

Ali is all ready for bed.
Jeremiah's side of the room.

The view from the door

A large closet

One side of our bedroom (I finally got sick of Josiah's old, scuffed dresser I was using and painted it the other day.)

The view from the door. To the left is a closet just like the kids' closet. I painted this dresser a couple of weeks before we moved. It was a $2 yard sale find and was a rose color. I went a little crazy with my "Fern Lane" colored paint and painted two dressers, one toybox (an antique that used to be my mom's toybox as a girl), and a bookshelf in our living room this color. I love it though!

Well, looking at these pictures, our rooms don't look too exciting! It's hard to capture a good shot because I tend to take them in the morning when there is tons of sunlight or at night when it's dark outside. Throw in a camera with dying batteries, and it doesn't look too impressive. However, we are very happy with our new rooms even if they are smaller than the bedrooms at our former place. The higher ceilings make them feel bigger though! It's amazing how different one's bedroom can look just based on the color of paint on the walls. I much prefer the white walls of our new room to the dark, paneled walls of the old apartment.


Thanks to all of you wonderful ladies for your tips on boosting supply. I appreciate them and will take them to heart. I think the biggest reason my milk is low is lack of sleep. The move didn't help what with stress levels and also my body is going hormonally crazy right now (typical post-partum hair loss, break-outs, bad ovulation pain, hunger cravings, etc), but it's mostly that they say to build your supply you should nurse around the clock, which I've been doing for 2 months now, but they also say you need rest to encourage more milk supply. How can I get more rest if I'm nursing around the clock and am a total zombie most days? This has been my dilemma.

Also, at an appointment a couple of weeks ago Justus was weighed and he was so tiny it scared me a bit! He had only gained about half a pound in over a month and a half and was 11.5#. My husband and I were very exhausted and frustrated and both felt that trying some formula was a necessity at this point. We offered it for 2 weeks before he started taking it. Instantly, in the last few days, he has started to plump up and I'm anxious to see what he weighs at his 4-month check-up today. However, I feel very strongly about the benefits of breastmilk and want to build my supply back up so we can use little, if any, formula for the duration of his first year. For a couple of days recently he didn't seem to be getting anything out of me and wouldn't nurse at all and would bite me hard each time. However, in the middle of the night especially is when I have my best milk supply so I've continued nursing every couple of hours all night, giving lengthy feedings, afraid to use formula at night lest all my milk dry up completely, but so desperately wanting to give him that formula at night so I could sleep more. I hardly seem to have any milk for him during the daytime hours. Maybe because I'm busy taking care of the other kids then?

As it is, I nurse first before I offer a bottle during the day and he drinks for about 15-20 minutes on me and then can guzzle a 4 oz. bottle of formula too. He seems to have gotten roly-poly thighs and chubby cheeks overnight. Which makes me wonder if I was starving my kid before I started supplementing? I'll check with his doctor today and see what he recommends.

I tried beer because it was recommended by a Christian pediatrician we know as well as some other friends. I know there are differing views on it. I used to be horrified when my neighbors would always tell me to drink a beer when Jer was a baby. Apparently it is common practice among all the women in Mexico who are nursing a baby. At any rate, I don't like it so hopefully with rest and more frequent nursings I can avoid having to use it or use Brewer's yeast instead! Although we normally just use the pacifier when Justus is drifting off to sleep or in stores when I can't nurse him right away, I will be trying to limit its' use until my supply builds back up.

I've looked at kellymom.com before and had forgotten about it! Thank you to all of you who gave me tips! Due to a cold snap of zero degree weather (I know...I know... that's warm to you Minnesotans!) I'm staying home a lot this week and just laying around trying to rest! Believe it or not, when Justus is well-fed, he is our happiest and easiest baby, although none of our babies have been hard and Jer, especially, was very smiley and easy too!

P.S. This time of year, I don't need any encouragement to beef up on calories!
P.P.S. Body fat isn't an issue! I have plenty! =)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Blogger Promises

Even though it bugs me when bloggers promise they will post pics of something and don't...I have found myself doing that exact thing this weekend! So, rest assured that I haven't forgotten and do plan to post pics tomorrow of our two bedrooms, our kitchen, and I'll even throw in some pics of our Jesse Tree too! Between some busy weekend activities, finishing up the cleaning on the old apartment, and having a very demanding little girl who no longer naps and can't handle more than an hour of "rest/quiet" time, I haven't had opportunity!

So, check back tomorrow!

P.S. In the meantime, I'm having some milk supply issues and am looking for tips anyone might have on boosting breastmilk. And, along those lines, several of my friends have suggested a beer a day really helps. So, one night recently, out to supper with just my mom and Justus, there I was drinking a beer out of the bottle and of course we got seated right next to the door and 50% of everyone coming in and out knew us and the rest were probably wondering why a young mom with a tiny baby was drinking beer, and along came one of my church elders to chat with us, along with his wife who is the sweetest gal at church........(you get the idea!) I think that was the first beer I ever bought and boy did it feel weird, even if believe drinking in moderation is not wrong! The beer didn't seem to help which kinda relieved me since I didn't really like the taste!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Recent Pics

Little Reindeer-Hat Brothers
Matching Christmas dresses, given to us by my friend, and blogreader, Laura Helweg. She is the same one who gave me a bunch of skirts when I was pregnant and low on outfits to wear. She is a fabulous seamstress!

Ali proudly shows off the plate of cookies she decorated at the party. Mmmm, wonder why there is frosting on her nose and cheeks?

Tuckered out from all of the attention he got at the annual Cousin Christmas Cookie party, Justus crashes on Grammy's shoulder.

Ali decided to spin wild circles in front of everyone during one of the songs at her preschool program.

Ali, did do her alphabet signs and verses well at the program, thankfully.

Mommy and her girl!

My Grandma Brown was here for 2 weeks around Thanksgiving. She went to preschool with Ali one day to help her make an apple pie.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Red Cheeks

So...I painted another dresser yesterday so it will match the other one in our room. Pics of our "New Bedroom" are coming soon...

Let me ask you: Is there some law of nature that says that if you pull all your undergarments and lingerie out of all of our dresser drawers and have them laying all over a chair in the living room, that it is guaranteed that:

*Someone will drop by unexpectedly even if you never get drop-in guests
*Someone will drop by in the 5 minutes between taking them all out of the dresser and bagging them up to stick in your bedroom
*That someone will notice them out of all of the other things to look at in your house
*That someone will be male
*That someone will be someone you will see lots of times in the future

My husband doesn't think it's a big deal, especially since the guy is married. However, I'm still groaning....

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Christmas Simplicity

As I think about celebrating the birth of our Savior, I’m asking myself, “What would Jesus do for Christmas? Whom would Jesus want to bless?” Instead of getting caught up in making the holiday perfect or sentimental for ME and for MY family and concentrating on OUR gifts and OUR traditions, I’m remembering that Jesus cares about the broken, the needy, the hurting, and the lost. I want my kids to know that this holiday is about HIM, not us, and though we can have some special family times and exchange fun gifts to bless one another, we need to keep the focus on HIM. A lot of Christians say this in word, but don't practice it in deed. In fact, many of my Christmas' were spent thinking about what I'd get, or whom I'd get to spend time with, or getting the perfect gifts for someone so I'd look good. This year, I don't just want to say the words, I want to really put the TRUE meaning of Christmas into action. In asking myself whom Jesus would care about, these are my answers:

The homeless
The poorest of the poor
Unwed mothers
The lonely
The spiritually lost
Hurting kids
The hungry
Those in prison
The sick

There are many ways you can give, whether by collecting loose change for a cause in a jar on the kitchen table, sacrificing to give a large donation, or giving of your time, your prayers, and your attention to help others. Opportunities abound around us to share Jesus with a world desperate for a Savior.

Even if the budget is tight, you can find ways to give. I found lots of nice baby clothing, some new diapers and new bottles, and warm winter hats, scarves, and gloves at the thrift store when they had their Everything-you-can-stuff-in-a-bag-for-$2 Days. For just a couple of bucks I was able to get lots of things to give to a homeless ministry and to a nearby crisis pregnancy center. I love shopping and finding great deals but hate clutter so a perfect solution is finding bargains that can truly bless the needy.
Most churches do Operation Christmas Child boxes, Angel Tree gifts and food drives for the poor during the holiday season which you can contribute to. Pray daily for an unsaved friend or family member. Volunteer to serve meals at a homeless mission. Invite some folks without family over for a meal. Have the kids color pictures for a prisoner. Write notes of appreciation to those who serve tirelessly in your church.

I don't think it's wrong to celebrate, host parties, have gift exchanges, fun family memories and church programs, but I do think that we need to keep from letting all of this crowd out the time we have to really serve and be Jesus to the world around us. These things take up tons of time and we just have to be careful. I was so committed to having a simple Dec. this year and then we had a sudden opportunity to move and things got crazy. However, in spite of the moving and everything, God has brought things to mind that I can do, even in a busy time, to bless others. There is always too much to do so if you wait for free time to serve, it won't happen. Instead, plan it into your schedule and make it happen.

The number one thing I want for Christmas is for my brother to be saved. Other concerns on my heart: the famine in Ethiopia (we have a sponsored child there), writing to Hannah Overton to encourage her in prison, having some folks from church over for meals, taking goodies to a lonely, eldery neighbor, writing notes of encouragement to those who are weary, babysitting for a friend who just experienced the loss of her baby, stockpiling goods for the crisis pregnancy center, and trying to find ways to bless some of our favorite missionaries/ministries. In addition I try to include the hope of Jesus and what He's doing in our family in our Christmas letter which goes to many unsaved relatives, and we plan to bless some of the people in our lives with some goodies that don't often get a thank-you (like the librarian, the grocery cashiers, the thrift store gals, etc.)

What ideas do you have for reaching out to those who need a helping hand this season?

House Pics!

One side of the living room
Our rug we got for 1/2 price on Black Friday! The kids love playing on it! It hides dirt well and helps pull together the living room and make it more cozy.

One side of the living room. Our little Jesse Tree awaits decorations!

My husband's favorite thing about the new house: a coat closet by the front door!

Our laundry room/pantry. To the left is a back door leading out to the driveway and back yard. My little sewing desk fits nicely in this room, hurray! We also have a big box set up for recycling; something I have wanted to do but didn't have the space to do in our former home. As usual, there is lots of laundry to fold, as you can see!

The back yard includes this large fenced portion of the yard as well as the strip of land to the right of it outside of the fence. Two storage sheds too!

A huge bathtub with a pretty, tiled wall. I was able to pull my fish bathroom decorations out again and put them to use (our last place had a walk-in shower with a door).

To the left of the house is an enormous stretch of yard which is also ours. We can fence this if we choose or move the current fence over to make our yard even bigger. We can finally pull out that fourwheeler of Ali's and let her go riding!

We have a nice front yard too and a place to drive in and park cars. The funny thing is that there is an ENORMOUS, Spanish-style home next to our home and their 3-car garage alone looks twice the size of our little house. A few houses down on our left is the River Walk, a paved trail along the river where my friend Amy and I have often gone walking with the strollers. I foresee lots of family walks there to watch sunsets over the mountains or have picnics.

I'll post again tomorrow showing the bedrooms and kitchen. Those photos didn't turn out well with lighting so I need to figure out the best time of day to shoot

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Cute Christmas Photos from a Few Christmases Ago

Moving Notes

I took a bunch of photos of the house but may have to retake them at a different time of day since there was SO MUCH sunlight, it kind of blurred things. What a good problem to have after living in a claustrophobic cave! I just can't get over how AWESOME God is!!! I always think I'd rather be guilty of praying for too much than too little, so I prayed and earnestly asked God in the last year for a home with some privacy, a huge yard, and sunlight. And He totally answered! He even threw in laundry facilities, a big pantry and a bathtub too! And my husband is majorly in love with the front coat closet. We had to throw our coats in a basket at the old place as there was no closet and no space for hooks or a coat rack. He is ecstatic about having a closet for all the shoes and coats!

Here are some random snapshots from our move:

*One plus is that I can't stand to pack dirty things so everything in our house got dusted and/or washed before being packed. A year's worth of cleaning done in a week!

*Our first night in the new house I declared I was going to have myself a hot bath after a few years of not having a bathtub (unless you count the blow-up swimming pool we would put in the bottom of our shower). Unfortunately the water was lukewarm since we hadn't turned the heater to hot instead of just warm. My hubby bought me some donuts (a rare treat) and I ate them in the lukewarm bath to unwind! The following night I did have a HOT bath and it was wonderful!

*We now have a gas cookstove and I am convinced that it cooks things twice as fast as an electric stove. Anyone agree?

*We love having a gas stove that blows heat. In our former place we had radiant heat that radiated down from the ceiling. It's kind of nice to now have a "hot spot" to stand by when you are cold.

*When scrubbing the old place, I found a tiny black footprint on the wall behind Jer's crib. It reminded me that even though these years are exhausting, someday I will miss those handprints and dirty footprints that little ones leave all over as proof of their presence in our family.

*Our washer is actually between the stove and fridge! You'll see when I post pics. I guess that was the only spot for a hook-up since this is such an old home. Oh well, it works well as extra counter-space when I'm cooking!

*Have you ever wondered what memories have been made in a home you are moving into? Sometimes I wish I could know some of the stories of the hard-working families that have dwelled within these walls. On the other hand, maybe I don't want to know some of what went on...... In leaving our apartment I was reminiscing (sp?) about how much we experienced in that little home. We had playdates, holiday and birthday celebrations, we brought both of our tiny boys home to that little place and lost many a night of sleep there due to juggling fussy newborns. We had Mexican fiestas and parties there with neighbors and tons of swim parties with Fernie and Frida in the yard. We had times of joy and times of frustration (such as when Ali used to smear poop all over her room as a tiny toddler). We had Bible Studies and prayer meetings and chatted with all kinds of neighbors in the long hallway. We loved being just a couple of blocks from almost everything in town (now we're a little further, having moved to the other side of town. But in spite of the memories we made there, it's fun to be moving on and moving up in the world!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Moved In!!!

It's been crazy folks! I would never, ever, ever, ever recommend moving with 3 kids 3 and under unless you have professional movers to do it, or lots of family and friends to help! We are finally over the most stressful week of our entire lives! I wish I could say I got through it with grace and peace and patience but my husband, kids, and brother will testify that I was cranky, exhausted, overwhelmed, and negative much of the last couple of weeks. The main reason I was so stressed is because Justus hasn't slept well in a month and especially in the last few weeks he has been waking up constantly at night, demanding to be fed all the time. His nurse said it's probably a growth spurt, but the little peanut is a shrimp and is still only 11. 5 pounds, 23 inches long, so who knows? We have tried desperately to get him to take a bottle of formula at night and even bought special bottles and try daily but he'll only take about a teaspoon of it.

So, on top of no sleep, we had to deal with sorting, packing, and moving everything and I pushed myself to get more done than I should have. I should have let my hubby do it all and just not worried about it, but being the type who likes to get a headstart on everything and knowing we were under some deadlines, I was cleaning the old and new place like mad, and running a few van loads a day across town with 3 kids in tow, trying to clean while keeping them out of the grime and keeping them from destroying all my hard work. The folks who left this house left tons of grime and of course even though our landlords had shampooed the carpets well we went over them a bunch with our own shampooer because of the animal urine scent that was so disgusting when we first looked at the place. I'm majorly obsessive compulsive about things being clean when we move in so I have to wipe down every shelf and sanitize every doorknob and light switch and make sure the floors are polished to a shine! My cracked hands are a testimony to the hours of scrubbing they have done in the last week! The place doesn't smell like dog pee anymore after the two shampooings but when I put a vaporizer in the kids' room it reeked like cigarette smoke! I guess the steam released old odors from carpet so I guess we'll be skipping out on using the vaporizer at this place! If you put your face to the floor you can still smell urine scent in some places so I plan to buy some odor-destroying product soon and I've been sprinkling baking soda all over before vacuuming too. We also got a huge living room rug for 50% off on Black Friday so it covers the majority of the living room and makes me feel good about laying my baby on the floor and letting my kids tumble and play. I've been making lots of orange-clove things to naturally make our closets and bedrooms smell good. They work really well and have a wonderful, holiday scent.

On top of moving, our lives were filled to overflowing with endless activities we couldn't seem to avoid. I had to be part of a babysitting class at church, our church had their once-a-year meeting which we really needed to attend and I needed to help babysit for, Ali had a preschool Christmas program, my mom was hosting the yearly cousin cookie party event all day Sat. where we see all our extended relatives on her side once a year, we had two birthday parties we were invited to that weekend, my brother had me help him speak in church during Missionary Sunday at our church, and there was a potluck after church. I also had a CE board meeting at church and a check-up for the kids. Throw in the fact that our phone company turned our phone off on Friday but didn't hook up our new phone until Tuesday and you have mass insanity and having to drive to my folk's house to use their phone and use the internet at church just to communicate with our former landlords. Oh, and did I mention that we had to show our old apartment to prospective tenants in the chaotic two days before our move? Praise the Lord, they decided to take it, in spite of the huge mountain of boxes and bags everywhere and because they are taking it, we will be getting half of December's rent back so we won't have to pay for rent for two different homes like we thought we would be doing this month!

I'm still not done organizing things but for the most part we were unpacked and settled after just one major moving day (Saturday) thanks to the fact that we don't have as much stuff as most Americans. My hubby worked 17 hours straight that day, only sitting down to eat lunch! We were like Moving-Maniacs, unable to rest until everything was put away!

We are grateful our friends, the Blasdels, brought us a meal so we didn't starve on Friday! A young man from the youth group helped my husband move the bulk of our stuff Sat. morning. My parents didn't offer to help, and I didn't ask considering how stressed my mom was over getting ready for her big annual Christmas party. She did watch the kids for us for a couple of hours after the big party though, which was nice! My brother helped a little bit with babysitting during nap time a couple of days. Other friends offered to help, but the thing I discovered is that it was impossible for other people to help in most areas of moving. After all, sorting and packing your stuff is kind of hard for someone who doesn't know where you want things. Also, no one else can really nurse the baby for me and attend my kids' program for me, etc. No matter how many folks help you move, or help by watching your kids, it is still incredibly stressful due to being uprooted and needing to clean two homes top to bottom and create a homey haven and routine again. No matter how much you prepare for it, it's busy and crazy. I just hope there aren't too many more moves in our future!

So.....whew! I've been dying to post and let you all know how it's going. I hope to take some pics in the next couple of days and give you all a virtual tour of our new place! We are so thrilled with it!

Life is settling down to normal again! I can't believe I actually have time to sit and blog again! Now, if only I could sleep....

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Reality of Loss

In the past couple of months 3 of my friends have experienced the loss of a baby. Two miscarried at around 12 weeks and one had her water rupture prematurely at 19 weeks and her little girl, born alive and breathing, didn't make it. It is so difficult to see my friends go through these losses and to know how to best help them. I haven't experienced miscarriage, stillbirth, or the death of a child and I hope I never have to. Because I have children, I can imagine the devastation these families must feel. I want to do everything possible to support them in these tough times.

If you have experienced the loss of a child, whether through miscarriage or other circumstances, please leave a comment letting me know how God carried you through it and how your friends encouraged you.

Say a prayer for my grieving friends and pray that God might bless them again in the near future with healthy children (as I know they all desire to have more.)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Rant Against Rude Comments

I know I've probably ranted about this before and that many of you get way more comments than I do, having twice as many kids as I do, but I just can't help but rant today about this subject again. In the past week I have once again been reminded of how little this world cares for children and how crazy folks consider anyone who has more than the usual 2-kid quota.

Comments addressed to me from a few different folks:

"How many are you gonna have? You do have a stopping point right?" When I expressed that we would likely have four or five, she replied, "Good! I'm glad you are going to stop!" (As though I'm doing something bad, like littering or something.)

"Are you done?" From someone that hasn't seen me in years and hardly knows me. Upon replying that we'd probably have one more, this gal said, "That's a lot of kids" her tone implying that I'm crazy and that she's very glad that I have a stopping point.

Comments spoken about me when the person thought I was out of earshot but I wasn't, "That's her THIRD kid!!!"

Lots of folks eyeball me when I have all 3 little ones shopping with me. I think it's strange how so many people will give me adoring looks when I just have the baby with me. Grandmotherly types will come up and offer advice or coo at the baby with the assumption that it's my first. If I mention I have two others or if folks see me with all of the kids in the cart, they immediately put on their "Wow, that's a lot of kids!" face and treat me as though I'm crazy, even though just a generation ago many folks had 6 kids.

Now, it's one thing if my good friends ask me if I'm done or want to talk about the issues of mothering and reproduction. I'm totally open to that. But people I see once a year or less, who don't know me at all, some Christian, some not, seem to think that my reproduction is their business. The main view that comes across in many of these types of quick conversations is that they hope I'm done having children, and if not they want to know how many more until I'm done, all the while acting as though being totally done is the highest goal. I wonder what they would do if I said we aren't totally sure how many children we'll have or if I said that we would have as many as God gives? They'd immediately think I was a mental case!

I understand that in today's world, larger families are the exception to the rule and usually shock and amaze people, especially in our neck of the woods. A new doctor who moved to town started attending our church and he and his wife have 6 kids. I think it's awesome! It's funny how everyone in the congregation knew that fact about him and mentioned it, even though they didn't know his name or where he was working, but they were all shocked since it's rare to see a family that size in our town nowadays.

I understand that people may be surprised to see me with 3 in such a short time (with a little under 2 years between each of them). Yet, it's not like I'm having them every 10 months! And even if I was, would they have a right to make rude comments?

I don't go around asking folks that waited 5 or 6 years between kids or folks with only one or two, "Why did you wait and space them so far? Don't you think that's hard on the kids not being able to play as much with their sibling? Is your only child a spoiled brat? Did you have infertility struggles? Why won't you have more? You must not like children!" Yet, so many people seem to think that if you have a lot of kids and you don't space them exactly like the world expects or thinks is wise, they can ask personal or unbiblical questions, like, "Was he an accident?"

Instead of being rude back or telling folks to mind their own business, I try to mention that I love being a mom and my kids are wonderful blessings. They truly are! Of course there will always be rough days as a mom, whether we have one or six, and we can vent about and pray about those rough times with our close friends, while still affirming to a culture that doesn't value families, that kids are a gift from God! Whether God has blessed you with 10 little ones or only one, whether by conception or adoption, or whether you only have nieces and nephews right now I hope that you, too, will live out an appreciation for the blessing of children. If folks are concerned that we have too many kids to provide for, it opens a door for me to talk about God's amazing provision for our family! If folks don't understand how we can do it, it's an opportunity to talk about God's grace and strength and about biblical discipline and living frugally and simply.

So you see...in the writing of this little rant post, I have reminded myself that people's rude questions can open doors to share the Gospel. John Piper would probably say, "Don't waste the rude comments people make to you!"

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Recent Photos

Justus "talking" to his big brother.
Uncle Coco is very popular with the niece and nephews!

An incredible sunset the other night.

Brudder kisses

Ali and Jer helped Mama try a new recipe. We made our healthy cheese crackers.

Justus is always chewing on things. He loves to suck and chew on everything; more than either of our other kids ever did.

I won't be posting much over the coming week due to having lots of food to make and bake for Thanksgiving and spending the holiday with my family as well as gradually packing up to move. I will likely be going Black Friday shopping too since a few things we need are on super duper deals. I wanted to share these photos via scheduled post!

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