Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Another Baby Post

He has different eyes than Martin, but he reminds me the most of Martin as a baby. 

He's also the only baby to take a pacifier. The other two fought it. He fusses if he isn't constantly sucking on something.  

It bothers Martin when the bunny is upside down. 

It seems like much longer than four days ago that we met you. Thanks for not being late. I really really hate being pregnant. It is a miserable nine months, but you make it all seem worth it. We love you. 

Monday, September 26, 2016


Martin begs to hold the baby. 

He sings to him and reads him books. 

My three boys. 

My four boys. Even Warren likes to hold the baby. 

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Sweet Baby James.

I forgot how restful the hospital is... Ha ha ha. And how creepy it is when they wake you up at 5:30am to draw blood. 

Big yawn.  

Friday, September 23, 2016

He's Here!!

James Benjamin arrived this morning in less than an hour. He's a chunk compared to his brothers.  
8lb 12 oz. 
21-1/4" long. 

Pictures to come after he gets a bath. 

We are all doing well. 

English muffins

I had a great idea the other day! Why do English muffins have to be round? Why do I spend time cutting them out and rerolling the dough and cutting them out again? I introduce you to the square English muffin. All our English muffins in the future will be this shape. They taste the same.  They are easier to make. Win win. 

Do yourself a favor and make a batch today? Or a double batch (freeze some for later). 

Also, hooray for homemade bread!!! It is 1,000,000 times better than store bought bread.   

Wednesday, September 21, 2016


We stopped by the church office today to work on ESL. It should have taken a few minutes, but everything takes longer than I expect. :) Sure, tally up 32 interview scores and assign them into three classes... Sounds easy right? The hard part is when you find interviews that don't make any sense and that don't have an interviewers name on them... So, there is no way of following up to ask questions and you just have to pray and make the best guess of what class they should be in (example: one student scored a 28 last year, she scored a 49 this year (50 is the highest) and would have rocketed her from beginners to advanced... I talked to her last week and knew there was no way she could handle that class). We ended up being there over two hours. Thankfully, we had no other plans today. 

For that time period the boys were amazingly well behaved. The church secretary let them punch holes and cut paper. There are so balls and traffic cones in the youth room that keep them amused. Then I took them to Chick-fil-A afterwards to celebrate (and because it was two hours past lunch). 

I am glad ESL starts this Thursday and soon all this registration and planning will be behind us. It is exhausting. It is kind of like a wind-up toy, you put all the energy into starting it and once you let it go it goes on its own pretty well. :) I am so thankful that God uses even our weakest efforts to bring Him glory. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

In Two Hours...

...I will be more pregnant then I ever had been before. Granted this baby has another 6 days to show up before he is truly late, but it sure would be nice if he'd follow his brothers' trends and be a bit early. 

Also, I am looking forward to waking up to feed a baby instead of just waking up and being wide awake for no good reason.  This morning I woke up at 4:11am and couldn't get back to sleep. Last night I was up from 1:30-3:15am reading because I was wide awake. Usually when this happens, I have a hundred things running through my brain, which keep me awake. This is different. It is as if someone turned on an on switch in my brain and it starts going, "I'm awake. I'm awake. I'm awake."
It is weird. 

In other news, I finished the front and back of the quilt I am working on. It is all ready to quilt.  Here is an in-progress shot of the front from a week or two ago. 

I don't know if I will be able to quilt it while pregnant. I usually stand up to quilt big projects (this one ended up bigger than I expected), but the baby isn't going to allow that. So, it might have to wait several weeks until after baby comes. It is basted together and waiting in my sewing room. Maybe I can come up with a comfortable way to quilt it... I'll keep you posted. 

I am very pleased with the progress because when I started two weeks ago I didn't think I would even finish the front. I'm glad I didn't wait until after the baby came to start it! 

Friday, September 16, 2016


Today we (Jared) helped some of our favorite people move ... Far far far away... To Mississippi. Martin asked us on the way home when we come go visit them (so that he could sit in these little chairs again). And because they are also some of his favorite people. 

So far he has only experienced people moving across town. Having conversations about real life (people moving, people getting sick and dying, things breaking and changing, etc.) is a hard part of parenting. You want to protect your children from hard things and sadness, but at the same time you know hard things help you depend on God more. In the end the best thing to do is bring it back to the gospel. The gospel give us hope. 

Everything breaks because of sin, but Jesus came to make all things new. It won't always be this way. Jesus is coming back some day. He'll take all the hurt and the sadness. 
People leave and we can't see them whenever we want, but it is a way to help us not become too comfortable on earth and help us long for our eternal home, where we will not be separated by distance. 

Because of Jesus we have hope. That is a wonderful thing! The most amazing thing. I pray for my children to not avoid hard things, but to see the gospel through them and to learn to depend on Jesus alone for strength to face whatever hard experiences come their way. 

"Like full springs in desert dreary, is the rest the cross supplies. Look to Jesus! "


We bought Martin a travel size pillow. They only had tan pillowcases in the travel size. Jared thought it would be fun to let Martin pick out his own fabric. Someone gave me a gift card for baby three's shower to Hobby Lobby and so we took a family trip there a few Saturday's ago. Here is what Martin picked. I added the blue bands to coordinate with his navy sheets. 

We may have highly suggested this fire truck fabric. :) 

We couldn't steer him away from this tractor fabric. Many other fabrics were put in the cart and taken out, but this one remained the whole time.

They took about 30 minutes to sew together. Martin even got to help sew some of the seams shut.  He's a good helper. 

I will add pictures of their bedroom soon. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Tinkertoy Love

I know I have posted about our love for Tinkertoys  before, but we just love these so much that I must mention them again!! For over an hour the boys have been playing with this "lawn mower" that I built them (by request). One of my rules for toys is that it should have multiple purposes (of course we break this rule for cars and trains and such, but I try to live by it). 

If we had a toy lawn mower it wouldn't be played with anymore. They boys would have played with it a few times. Each time would have gotten progressively shorter until it was left sitting outside and never touched (unless perhaps a cousin or friend came over and wanted to use it and then they would fight over it for a while and then ignore it for something else, like a pile of sticks or a ball). 

That's what is great about Tinkertoys, once they are finished with this in a few hours, we take it apart and either put It away or turn it into something else. It never gets old. It keeps their minds working.  

We also love our Tegu magnetic blocks, regular blocks, and Trio blocks. 

Speaking of toys with multiple purposes, have you see the new Lego sets that  can be turned into three differnt things (such as a plane, tractor, and excavator)? I always found Legos frustrating because once you built something it just sat around built. Who wants to take it apart after all that work? I could live with Legos that you can take apart and rebuild into other creations. 

Look at that face. 

Or you can build two lawn mowers! 

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Staying Ahead

Life is a bit busy right now. Isn't it always?!? I am trying to stay ahead of the laundry, dishes, food, putting away clothes, diapers, and house cleaning. You never know when a baby will show up. And who want to come home exhausted to a messy house or no food to eat? 

The dryer broke Friday night and it was going to cost almost as much to fix it as buy a new one because the motor was broken. So, we have a new dryer! I am all for saving things and fixing them as long as possible, but sometimes it just makes sense to buy something new (especially at 38 weeks pregnant - see bottom right picture for probably the only pregnancy picture I have taken this pregnancy). 

See (bottom left picture) the clothes strewn around the kitchen, drying? We hung them on every available surface on Friday night. 

Both boys had a weird 24 hour fever sickness last week. They seem better now. That slowed everything down to lots of books and hugs on the couch. We also taught Warren how to use scissors. 

My brother is in town visiting. We hadn't seen him since Christmas. It was good to visit with him last night. 

And ESL officially starts this week! 

Monday, September 12, 2016


Labor day was a relaxing day. We went to Panera (we had gift cards) for lunch so that I didn't have to cook and treated the boys to Blizzards (we had coupons) afterwards. I am not sure the boys appreciated the Blizzards.  They stared at them for a while before picking at them. Funny boys. I bet next time they will dive right in.  They are so cautious with new things, which isn't a bad thing. 

It was only after we came home that I realized the boys and I matched.  They didn't want to take pictures with each other, but they were happy to cuddle up with me for a picture.  They are sweet and giant goobers. 

Friday, September 09, 2016

Fever, Glue Sticks, and I need egg recipes!

Yes. It is 95°F outside and I am covered up with a feverish toddler and a quilt. It is making me so sleepy. 

Thankfully, I bought Martin some new scissors and a glue stick yesterday. He is enjoying hanging out next to me on the floor, cutting out random shapes, and gluing them together. Hooray, for art supplies!! 

Hooray, for an older child who can get their own art supplies out! 

The practice registration night for ESL was last night. Since I had to be at church early, I pushed the easy button and ordered $5 pizzas from Pizza Hut. That will be lunch for Jared and Martin today!

Tonight for dinner I need to use up some eggs. The chickens have laid 5 eggs two days this week (and either three of four the other days --> that's a lot of eggs - I need to start making the boys scrambled eggs more mornings. That will use up five or six a day)!! Do you have any suggestions? I'm thinking quiche and these egg muffins from ATK. What other good things that lots of eggs in them? Any suggestions?  


I went to the doctor by myself this week and the whole time I missed the boys. You think that I would enjoy the peace and quiet, but it was so boring without them. 
The last week or so the boys have often been found here, on my lap reading.  They seem to realize the something is about to change soon.  I am grateful for all the extra snuggles. We usually read a lot of books, but it has been in excess this week (if you can have an excess of books).  We have also worked on some "schoolwork". The boys have both enjoyed cutting out colored paper and gluing it to certain shapes. The baby (soon-to-not-be-the-baby) is much better at staying in the lines than I expected.  You give your oldest so much more credit.  

Although, with two on the outside and one on the inside, it gets a little squished on my lap these days. There are elbows poking me from the outside and the inside.  It is a getting extremely uncomfortable, but I wouldn't trade being their mom for all the jobs in the world. But I would trade these last few weeks of pregnancy for extra hours of labor (I am serious, you can ask Jared, labor isn't that bad (especially with pain medicine - ha), but these last weeks of pregnancy are the pits). I don't enjoy any of pregnancy. The whole thing is an achy, sickness-filled, heartburn-induced, sleep-deprived, drudgery. Also, Braxton hicks are kicking in all the time these days and it is so painful. I get them when I stand up, lie down, use the bathroom, don't use the bathroom, bend over, eat too much, don't eat enough, walk around, stand still, cough, sit, etc.  I know lots of people that LOVE being pregnant, but I am certainly not one of them.  

Two and a half more weeks!

Thursday, September 08, 2016

20 years older

One of my alma maters thinks I'm at least 20 years older than I really am. Maybe they should check their records... 

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

5 brown eggs!!!

I don't have a picture of the eggs. 

Martin and I went out to check on the chickens after lunch and found three eggs. Three eggs is good and about average. I didn't expect any more. They are usually done laying by around 2 or 3pm. We were busy in the afternoon and didn't check again. 

Jared had a meeting at church that evening and so I went to lock up the chickens. I checked one nesting box and there was an egg. Then I checked the second box and there was another egg!! What?!? So, either one of my chickens laid two eggs or all five of them laid an egg. Either way is pretty cool. Go chickens. 

Warren loves wearing sunglasses around.  I just needed a picture for this post. :) 

Yesterday was a crazy day. While I was in the shower the boys colored on their new white bunkbed with red sharpie. Yes. It doesn't come off. I'll be repainting the bed once I buy some primer paint that will cover the marker. I made it fade to a yellow orange with a mixture of toothpaste and rubbing alcohol. Who knew toothpaste was so useful. 

That was just the start of the day... The whole day had that sort of feel to it. It was exhausting. But God is faithful even I the midst of spills and messes and tears. He always provides more than you need. And Five eggs at the end of the day seemed miraculous. :) 

Friday, September 02, 2016

Is there time for another quilt before B3 shows up?

I've been wanting to make my best friend from college a quilt for a long time, but we have completely different tastes in colors. Finally, I had the genius idea to just let her go pick out fabrics with me. 

Finished! I cut most of my pieces last night and started sewing today. 

Se even picked out the quilt pattern. It is a design from Moda Bake Shop call Pixie Sticks. 
This is the sketch for it. I'm changing up the way it is made slightly... Using 1/4 yards instead of charm packs and a few other shortcuts. :) I have to beat the baby   

It is 80 of these blocks. 

Thursday, September 01, 2016

It might be...

...Baby month!! I am so happy to be within a month, Lord willing, of meeting this baby. 
Martin was 6 days early. 
Warren was 10 days early. 
Watch this baby be 16 days late to make the average. :) 

But regardless, this is definitely the month of my bff from college, my sister, and my brother all visiting!!! It will be so good to see them all. ESL starts this month too. I'll be happy to see our students again and to have the chance to each God provide everything we need to run the ministry. Happy, happy September!! 

It is also filled with bittersweet moments and missed opportunities. Saying goodbye to family when they leave is sad.  I am not teaching my class at college this year (thanks to baby three showing up). The semester started last week and I am missing teaching already. One of our favorite couples is moving to Mississippi. We will miss our monthly movie night & dinner and seeing their smiling faces at church and eating dinner with them & laughing (or talking serious matters) almost every Sunday evening. 

All these things make us long for heaven, where all will be well. Just remember the sweetness of our happiest times is just a foretaste of heaven. Praise God for His son, who sacrificed all so that we could be made righteous in Him. What a marvelous truth.