Tuesday, May 22, 2007


I want to go on the record here that WHISPERING IS RUDE!! In any social situation, unless there is someone speaking (or otherwise performing) or you have laryngitis, it is rude to look at someone, whisper to another, and then laugh together at your private little joke!!!!

Granted, I am little punchy these days with the move and all, but it never ceases to amaze me how easily grown adults can act like preschoolers. I am used to getting stares, comments, and even the people that I watch silently count and recount my children and then roll their eyes. I can handle that. Usually, those are immediate reactions and then I get a kinder, gentler comment after they MEET my personable crew. What I CANNOT and WILL NOT ever get used to are the people that feel the need to comment on my family to others and they don't have the gumption to either address their "concerns" with me or to wait until they get into the privacy of their own car. It AMAZES & INFURIATES me!!! Most of the time, the whisper isn't soft enough to be private and the looks that accompany them spell out what they are saying anyway, so why not take the bull by the horns and just SAY IT!!!

ARGH!! Can you tell I am frustrated?!?!?! I watched (and listened) tonight as a fellow Tball Mom (that I have spoken friendly too on many occasions) shared the details of my children (ages mainly) out loud with her visiting parents and then immediately leaned over and shared a whisper and a good laugh about SOMETHING regarding us. Then the visiting Grandma said something along the lines of well, "Better them than ME!". To which I said, "By the Grace of GOD!" Did she really think that I couldn't tell what was going on?!?!?!?! Did she think that, because I have five kids, I am deaf all of a sudden or without a thought process?!?!?!?! It just burns me up faster than almost anything else. I really think that people get so wrapped up in their own little worlds that they forget to be polite. I want to be gracious in these situations and I want to let it roll of my back, but I fail. People think that, because I had all of these children, I am someone to whom they have a right to comment on the state of my family. Sure, her comment could have been a compliment, but (See my "on the record" statement at the top of this post) why be so sneaky and shady about it. I am sure it was something that wouldn't have made me feel all warm inside.

As happened tonight, often times people see the number of my children and attach it to whatever normal, family issue we may be having. Nobody would have thought twice about a two year old throwing a fit at the ball field when they were disciplined. However, they see MY two year old throwing a fit and then they add in the fact that she has 4 siblings and then they whisper about it; as if the size of our family is the reason she is throwing herself into the dirt. Actually, she is 2 and 2 yr olds throw fits on occasion; plain and simple. I guess maybe if I had less children and more time, I could teach her more diligently to NOT react like a two year old, but honestly, I know only children that act that way well into their 40's , so there aren't any guarantees there either!

This is a VERY COMMON mistake people make and something that I wish EVERYONE would take into consideration. My children are children. They aren't robots. They aren't little clones of each other OR us (thank GOD!). They go through the same developmental stages that only-children do. They go through the same developmental struggles that only-children do. They shouldn't be expected to act differently because they have a lot of siblings ANYMORE than I should be expected to be Martha Stewart, because I have so many.

I guess the moral of this story is, be careful what you say about other people. Unless someone hands you a comment card or otherwise asks for your comment, it is probably better kept to yourself. I am certain that this other Mom was just involved in her time with her parents, trying to have an interesting conversation, and didn't intend to be so blatant about it. None the less, I was left feeling like the kids and I were in a glass case at a freak show for the rest of the night.

Now, I am going to get off of my soapbox and spend the next 30 minutes before bed peaking in on all of my sweet, sleeping blessings and thanking God for each one of them, tantrums and all : )

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Moving Day

Saturday was moving day. We had several willing hearts there to help us and, again, I was humbled by the experience. Several of the men from our care group came, along with our faithful neighbors, of course. Another wonderful neighbor took great care of our oldest four children all day. Also, a couple of the wives from the care group came and helped me clean rooms after they were cleared of furniture and belongings.

When the furniture was all cleared from the townhouse, I walked in a got very emotional. It just dawned on me how much the Lord has stretched/grown us in the last two and a half years since we moved there. We came here SURE that we were done having children, for one. Now we have Annagail and ,with her, the knowledge that God in His mercy blessed us despite ourselves yet again. We met some great friends there that we will have forever I am sure; friends that stick beside you when times get tough. Those kind of friends are genuine blessings from God. We are grateful. We have been through a lot in those, sometimes (often times) cramped, living quarters and it feels really weird to leave them. I am truly going to miss that place.

So now, here we are. This is a sweet, little, old house with lots of old charm and some quirky character too (like no electrical outlets in the bathrooms.) There are boxes everywhere!!! Nathan and I just walked around making sure that the box stacks were all stable and not too high, so my 2 yr old wouldn't cause an avalanche tomorrow. The only thing unpacked yet are the sheets for the beds! We haven't had time today, with church and a special play there tonight, to do much more. That fun will begin tomorrow. The thought of getting ALL these boxes unpacked ........zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz........... SORRY!

It is going to be and adventurous week!!

Sunday, May 13, 2007


Happy Mother's Day, Ya'll!

I had a great morning. I woke up and jumped in the shower (as usual for Sunday morns) then I was told to get right back int he bed immediately (by my 6 yr old) and all 6 of my family members brought me a tray of breakfast, two vases of flowers, a corsage to wear to church, and two couch pillows I had admired previously, It was so nice. The two vases of flowers were there because Nathan had ordered an arrangement only to get tears and hurt feelings from the kids because they wanted to pick my flowers out themselves. SO, my merciful and sweet husband picked up the flowers he ordered and also allowed the children to pick out their own. So sweet : )

After church, we went to Macaroni Grill for lunch, Yum-O! Now, I am getting a little computer time while the rest of the family kicks back for an afternoon movie : )

I hope that your Mother's Day has been as fun and sweet as mine has!

God Bless you!

Friday, May 11, 2007


I am glad it is Friday, because it means that Nathan will be home from work and school for two days. YEAH!!!

If you think of me today, please say a prayer. I have been having pains in my chest over the past three days. Although I am diagnosing myself as having pulled a muscle of some sort while packing and moving boxes, the pain has escalated and now is accompanied by the feeling that someone is standing on my chest and has also created some major swelling in my feet. I am seeing my Dr. this morning at 10:30 to rule out anything immediate. Hopefully (prayerfully), he will agree that I pulled a muscle of some sort and that will be that. I am trying not to sweat it too much, because there is nothing like a little anxiety to turn a pulled muscle in your chest into a full fledged panic attack : )

This exact thing happened last summer and it caused me to get serious about my health and lose 20 pounds. Then pregnancy happened and now I need to get serious again. Maybe this is just another wake-up call. Now that my baby is 2 months old (CAN YOU EVEN BELIEVE IT!?!?!) it is time to get back to walking and eating right. Nursing burns calories, but not as much as I need to burn.

Thanks in advance for the prayers!

*****Updating that the Dr gave me strong reflux meds & told me that if I don't feel better by the time Nathan gets home from week, I have to go to the ER for a cardiac work-up.
please Pray that I don't have to go to the ER tonight******

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Somebody really should have warned me...

about the side-effects of home-ground, home-baked bread!!!!

People told me that the kids would love it. The girls loved it from the start. It took Cooper about a week to get used to it, but now he is on board too.

People told me that we would use half as much bread, because it would fill them up so much better. It does and we do.

What people didn't warn me about was the effect it wold have on ME!! I am having SUCH a hard time using ANY "convenience" foods now. By "convenience" I mean processed. After I turned a fresh loaf out onto the bread plate today and sliced it up for the kids' lunch, i stood there for almost 10 minutes trying to convince myself to just put the cheeses slices on the bread!!! It wasn't "bad" cheese necessarily. It was KRAFT singles. It just seemed to feel like I was adding a layer of plastic to such a nutritious meal (the bread alone). The same thing happened when I was making PB & J's the other day. You just stand there, knife in hand, wondering, "IS this worthy of being put on my bread?!?!?!?!" I did indeed finally put the cheese on and grill it, but now I find myself rethinking a lot about the way we eat and it all started with THIS BREAD!!

It is amazing how, reading about for years and now actually making this bread has changed my mindset so much. We switched to real butter a while ago, because the thought of feeding the kids the chemicals that make up the non-fat stuff just grossed me out completely. We do meatless meals now at least a few nights a week. too. Now, I am starting to read about whole-eating and some of the things you read would make anyone surrender their fat-frees and sugar-frees forever.

I do think that, once things get settled in the new house and after I get curriculum picked out for next year for the girls, I am going to find our balance in this. I know that there are some things I won't be able to do (like milk my own cow to make my own cheese...YET!!!!) But I know that I CAN make several changes that will positively affect our family's health.

As I write this, I am picturing Nathan's face when I start changing things up. He will hear me out, roll his eyes at the thought of all of the changes, the new grocery budget : ), and getting the kids on board for them (not that they will have a choice : ) and then he will support me 100%.

So now back to packing for me, but I know that some of my bread-making influences read this and again I ask, "WHY DIDN'T YOU WARN ME!?!?!?!?!: -Just teasing!

Monday, May 7, 2007

We're Moooooooving!

We are preparing to move in the next few weeks and it is CrAzInEsS here : ) We have boxes everywhere already. I am on a good pace to get packed without too much fuss. Starting next Wed, we will be on the ANTI- green plan (unfortunately). Meaning, that we will be on paper plates, cups, etc until we get into the house. There just isn't any easier way to do it.

I made this really great "system" for labelling boxes. I printed our solid colors on shipping labels with the name of the room printed on them. Each room in the new place has it's own color, etc. It has been going great except that Ella has figured out how to take the labels OFF!!! So, we will fun sorting out the boxes when we get moved in.

I don't know how much I will be able to blog over the next two weeks, but I will be back when all is settled...CORRECTION...when we get tot he new house. "Settled" is not something I am looking for anytime soon : )

Be encouraged!

Friday, May 4, 2007

7 Things About ME Tag

My SIL (Heather) tagged me, so here goes. I am not sure if there are 7 things about me that most people don't already know...


1. 6 years and 3 months ago, I had never even changed a single diaper in my life. Since then, I have probably changed over a million. The first diaper I ever changed was my own sweet Graycen's in the hospital when she was born. 6 years, 3 months, and FIVE babies later, I think I would be considered a pro at it : )

2. I love to make one-of-a kind cakes for my kids' birthdays. It is a creativity that my Mom says I get from my Aunt Sandra. I love to ask them what kind of cake they want and then make it. So far, I have made a straw hat with flowers, a pirate map, a clock, a construction hat, a report card (for Nathan actually at the kids' request) and more! This June I will be make a SUPER HERO cake for Coop. I need to get working on that design!!

3. Although I have never had a single ticket issued to me, I had 8 car accidents from the time I was 16 until I was 21 (totalling 3 cars) and haven't had another one since. My first accident happened 15 minutes after I got my license!!!

4. I don't like ice. I love a cold drink and I love ice cream, but I really dislike ice in my drink. I don't really know why. It is just one of those little things about a person that make them unique I guess.

5. I am married to the EXACT person that God intended for me to be with. If you have ever heard the song,"God Blessed The Broken Road", that is my song. Through so much heartache, God delivered me to the precise man that He created me to love, serve, and glorify Him with. I was just thinking this morning that there isn't another soul on the planet that gets me the way Nathan does and loves me through it all. He is my protector at all costs and that is something that I very much needed in my life. He was born to be a Daddy to five little ones. He is the perfect man for the job.

6. I love to drive! I just like driving in general. (I know that sound funny in light of #3) When we go on road trips, I am usually the sole driver. When we drove to Buffalo, NY last Easter, I drove the whole 17 hours, both ways!! It was beautiful and it is therapeutic for me. There are two places that I hope to drive in the next two years at some point. To Neenah, Wisconsin (to visit family there and stop at many interesting places along the way) and to New Mexico (also to visit family and stop in at interesting places & with family along the way).

7. I don't fly. Obviously, I don't have wings, but I don't fly in planes either. I have flown before, but I hope to never (ever, ever, ever) do it again- not without major medication anyway. The last time I flew was to NY to visit my very dear friend. I was so excited about going, but the flights there and back nearly killed me. It isn't your average, "ooh, I don't like to fly" scenario here. I HATE to fly. On a few rare occasions when I have talked myself (or been talked) onto a plane, I have tried to leave once the plane starting moving at all. I am not scared of death. I have faced death before and I am okay with it, really. I know where I am headed and have full confidence in that knowledge. I don't , however, want to spend my last 30 seconds plunging violently to the ground from 30,000 feet. Good thing I love to drive right?

So, there are 7 things about me that you may or may not have known : ) Some are silly, I know. It is the best I got on a Friday. Maybe an 8th thing would be that I don't get much done on Fridays. By now each week, my brain and my body are tired and I just relax with the kiddos and play all day.

Who would I like to see answer these questions?

-Brandon (my BIL) Now you have been tagged twice!!
-Jennifer W. (my cuz)

Thursday, May 3, 2007


This afternoon when Nathan got home from work, our house was a BUZZ with the smell of fresh bread baking in m new....
Nathan got it for me this week and I couldn't have been more excited. My first loaf of bread (made with wheat I had just ground in the Whisper Mill I got for Christmas) turned out really well. It was yummy and the kids couldn't get enough. I ground some more wheat this evening and set up the machine to have fresh bread for us again in the morning. You can't beat that.
Why do I grind my wheat and make fresh, wholesome, wheat bread for my family? Read this article written by Sue Becker, of the Bread Beckers of GA, to learn more. I first heard of this process from the Titus 2 woman who taught the Bible study I took on The Excellent Wife . Back then I thought it was way too much for me to tackle. Then my SIL got into it and she made it seem easier and more doable. So, I thought about it and decided that one day I would try it. I read and read about the healthy attributes and FINALLY I decided to give it a try. By the time I got the mill for Christmas this past year, I had been "studying up" on what I wanted to do with it for about a year. Nutritional aspects aside, it is the best tasting bread I have had.
Before I got my Zo, I had already ground my own wheat and hand made things like dinner rolls, cinnamon rolls, banana bread, pizza crust, etc. I am looking forward to experimenting more with my ZO and making all sorts of yummy creations once we get settled at our new place. I am also planning to make a couple of loaves a week to share with a neighbor or someone that the Lord puts on my heart. I am hoping that, as I wrote about in my last post, this too will become an opportunity to share more than just my home baked bread : )

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

A Sign Of The Times

I was checking Nathan's school email account last night. (I do this, with his permission, to make sure I get housing notes and info). As the emails loaded from the web server, I noticed one of the subjects read "Active Shooter Scenario" . I sat there for a little over an hour SOBBING as I read and re-read the "what to do's" they have recommended for us and the other students should the unthinkable happen here on this beautiful, christian campus. As I read the things that we should do and say if an armed person enters a room we are in, I couldn't get VT victims out of my mind . I couldn't help but think about how scared they must have been and how devastated the parents, spouses, and/or children of those people must be now. I know that some of them knew the Lord, but for those who didn't...how hopeless.

I am so sad that we even had to get an email like this. I am angry that this evil exists and that it can create the pain that it has created in the lives of those left to heal unhealable wounds!!! As someone who struggles with fear, this terrifies me as to what my children will have to live (or die) through in their lifetime before our Father comes for us. I am grateful that the seminary is thinking and trying to be as prepared as one could be for such a horrific event. After all, we aren't in an indestructible bubble here. I am just so sad that this is even a reality in this world.

Thinking through this, I am reminded of how, so many times, people huddle together and pray for the people affected by these tragedies in the hours following the event itself. Then as the days and weeks pass, life goes on for those of us not directly affected by them. I hope that we will all continue to pray for those affected directly. Both those that lost loved ones, those in the community will carry this pain for along, long time.

In the email we recv'd, the final point listed under the heading "If Armed Individual Enters an Office or Classroom" says, "• Continually pray silently and ask for God’s wisdom." That is advice that we can all be using right now. As we pray each night for that faithful hedge of protection to be placed over our little ones, maybe we should also take a moment to pray for that lost, sad, person in a dark place somewhere who is preparing to storm Hell and end the earthly life of anyone he can when he does. How many people has God brought into my life, not in an assault or ambush, but in a supermarket or a waiting room that I could have shown light to? Instead, I bury my head in a book or claim "ME time". It is so easy for me to be too busy sometimes to answer God's calls on me to act now and reach out to someone that may be in so much need of His love and salvation. My first calling, to my family, is my most important, but it is not a reason to selfishly ignore other calls God gives me to fulfill His great commission and to tell others about the grace and mercy I have been given.

Lord, I am so sorry that I haven't been a better steward of the time you have given me here. I want to draw others to You so that they may have and know Your love the way I do. I want to seize every opportunity You give me to spread the good news that is the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Your son, Jesus. I get so wrapped up in my world, Lord, that I lose track of the fact that so many are living lives without You. They are miserable and sad and lonely.

Lord, please continue to be with those affected at Virginia Tech. The families that have lost so much need a comfort that can only come from You. I pray that they will turn to You for peace and will stand together against the evil that robbed them. Heal their wounds Lord.

Father, help me to not fear the future for my children, but to look forward to seeing them follow an example I want to give them of a person always ready to stand in the way of darkness for light's sake. May they not only learn their need of surrender and Savior, but also learn to desire nothing more than to serve You by going and telling of You. Lord, should my children one day face this evil eye-to-eye, I would give MY LIFE to know that they are secure in the knowledge that Jesus is with them and that they can claim victory over any death through His blood.

Thank You again and again Father for the family you have loaned me. Thank You for the gracious hand and hedge you place around them to keep them safe each day and night.

I love You Lord.