Wednesday, April 27, 2011

21 week update

I am 21 weeks and halfway there! Although John was asking me how I plan on surviving the summer if I am having a hard time doing things already. So, I decided to get some pregnancy workout DVDs from the library and try them out to see if any are worth buying. Tank was my "coach" and gave me pointers if I wasn't doing it exactly as the instructor and he had a critical eye on if he thought it worth doing at all. One was exercising by learning to salsa dance and was so repetitive and boring that neither of us liked that one.Working out 3 times last week made a noticeable improvement over some of the aches I have been having. One in particular worked on stretches to help with round ligament pain which I have in abundance along with the stretching scar tissue. I think I mentioned this last time too but it really is the biggest complaint I have as it is a terrible stabbing pain.

21 weeks. Can't quite see what a basketball I have here.

I no longer have any food aversions and really love food, maybe a little too much. I have more energy although not as much as I would like during the day. It kicks in more when I wish it wouldn't, at bedtime.

Baby is active, very much so but always seems to have his feet down kicking my bladder. And after seeing the ultrasound could see how close the feet are to my cervix. The other night Re-Pete was next to me on the couch with his leg leaning on my belly when the baby started pushing against him and he felt that. I thought it too soon for others to feel but I guess not.

We are not finding out what we are having but I am going to assume baby to be a boy and so will refer to him as that because I can't call baby an "it".

My last ultrasound was Monday and part of it was done in 3D which I have never had before so that was fun. I do so love ultrasounds to catch that glimpse of my baby and see all of the amazing parts functioning just as God created them to. We even saw the kidneys full and then the next picture baby had eliminated and so were no longer visible. Although baby was not cooperating very well and the tech had to keep chasing him around. He also did not want to let his face be seen but kept putting hands in front. So, my 3D pictures ended up being more blurry than others I have seen. I had hoped for a nice clear picture of detailed hands or feet but at least I got to see him and a video clip of him moving hands back and forth across his face. I am wondering if I'll have another thumb-sucker.
Very blurry but his arm is up on the side of his face.

I labeled this one just in case you need help figuring body parts out. This little one was curled up but moving all around. The boys think it has to be a boy because he is doing a taekwondo move. :)-

Monday, April 25, 2011

Girls T-shirt into a Shrug

My Mom, Sister and I went shopping last month for Easter dresses and Missy came along for her first real shopping trip. Real meaning it was an hours drive to get to the big stores. We had a great time and Missy amused us by picking out a load of dresses and put on a fashion show for us until she picked out her favorite. I was a little worried as her taste once in awhile leans toward gaudy. But she did pick out a cute dress that we all liked.

Missy's dress for Easter was sleeveless (do they even make short sleeved?!) and we all know you can't wear a dress like with our spring weather without covering up a bit. So, I had looked for a shrug to match and while I found a couple that might work I couldn't bear to spend more money for it and nothing was really what I envisioned (which is most always the case). If I could design clothes/home decor and sew I'd have everything just as I dream it to be. But alas, I'll just continue to dream. Instead I found a great website that has tutorials on re-purposing clothes and she had instructions on making a shrug out of a t-shirt. I showed it to my Mom and she had found a cute teal t-shirt for $5 with ruffles and bought it and then whipped it into a shrug.

It looked so perfect and was just as I had envisioned. There are so many projects from Make It and Love It that I want to do and they don't all look very difficult either so maybe one of these days I'll get my Mom to help me.

It helps to start with a cute t-shirt. We decided to keep the ruffles in front although the tutorial cut them off.

Finished shrug. I love it! It closes at the top with a button but Missy kept taking it off and on.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

He is Risen! ... He is Risen Indeed! 
Happy Resurrection Day from our family to yours!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Easter Garden

One of my favorite websites is A Holy Experience. I have found so much encouragement and many good ideas, especially for making the Easter season more meaningful. Last year the boys and I started making an Easter garden. But alas, the tomb we attempted to make was a flop and thus our garden never materialized. This year I was determined to make a garden. George and I picked out the plants then Pete (my gardener) and Tank helped me arrange and plant it and find the perfect rocks to use.

Another idea I found in a book that has become a favorite -- Treasuring God in Our Traditions by Noël Piper, is lighting candles as you would with Advent. But instead of the light getting brighter it grows darker as we draw near the death of God. While it is to be done over the period of lent with 7 Sundays we instead added candles to our garden and starting on Palm Sunday we lit all of the candles to signify Jesus riding into Jerusalem. Each day we will light one less until Good Friday when all is dark as the Light of the World was crucified. Easter morning the candles will all shine brightly as John 1:5 says "The light shines in darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it."

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Preparing for Resurrection Sunday

This year I have been trying to be intentional about preparing our hearts for Resurrection Sunday. While we countdown the days in great anticipation for Christmas and there are festivities everywhere we look, it is not typically the same for Easter. But yet, as Christians the real reason to celebrate is because of the Resurrection. Here are a few of  the books and music we have been enjoying to help us prepare our heart and help us understand the sacrifice the Lord made for us.

Caleb's Colt by Jill Briscoe is a book I found at a garage sale but I did not find a picture online. It is a fun story for children told by Caleb, the owner of the donkey that Jesus rode into Jerusalem.

Joel...a boy of Galilee by Annie Fellows Johnston is a Lamplighter book that was one of our favorite read-alouds. We aren't currently reading it but it is perfect for this time of year as Joel encounters Jesus. You know it is a good book when I get choked up while reading it to the children. While an older child could read this on their own I tend to like to read as many books as possible aloud as a family. It is a truly special time together.

The Very First Easter by Paul Maier has been on our shelf for years and I always like coming back to it. The pictures are well done and it tells the miraculous account in story form with parents explaining it to their son incorporating scripture references. We read through it a portion a day otherwise it can get long for the little ones.

Benjamin's Box by Melody Carlson -- this simple story corresponds nicely with the Resurrection Eggs. The first year we had the book I made my own filled eggs but alas, things always disappear around here and so this year I did buy the eggs as they come in a hard plastic container and I hoped it would help them stay put. The title page of each section has a picture of the colored egg that should be opened for that day.

Our new favorite for this year is Amon's Adventure by Al Ytreeride. We have gone through the Jotham trilogy over the years during Advent and were delighted that he "finally" wrote one for Lent. It is the story of Jotham's son and is filled with adventure and characters you will remember from the previous books. This is one to be read as a countdown to Resurrection day with 28 chapters but it is hard to read only one chapter a day. I have found George sneaking off with it to read ahead more than once.

Passion Hymns for a Kid's Heart by Bobbie Wolgemuth and Joni Eareckson Tada -- While we do sing hymns at our church I really enjoy this series of books helping children to memorize wonderful hymns of the faith and know the story behind them. This is one that we pull out a hymn or two to learn each year. It comes with an orchestrated CD of the hymns sung by children along with Joni and Bobbie.

While I am not a big fan of Veggie Tales we do have A Very Veggie Easter CD and I love the arrangements of the Easter songs and hymns, especially "Christ the Lord is Risen Today". There is a song or two that I am not crazy about and so usually will skip past those. I questioned myself on that the other day and let them listen to a silly song. That was a mistake as what was the song that I heard Missy Blue repeating over and over? It wasn't any of the hymns I was trying to instill. I am not against fun songs but when it completely overshadows the true meaning of Easter then forget it. The individual songs are available for download.

More preparations yet to come this week with hopefully a new tradition that I will share more about. I hope in this next week you too are anticipating Easter.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Spring Flowers

For behold, the winter is past;
the rain is over and gone.
The flowers appear on the earth,
the time of singing has come,
and the voice of the turtledove
is heard in our land.
Song of Solomon 2:11-12

And after searching our fields with the rest of the kids for signs of growing things my first gift of flowers has arrived from a very excited little boy. :)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Another Grandpa turns 90!

Last Sunday we celebrated my Grandpa's 90th birthday! I am so blessed to have three of my grandparents still with me. And I am so thankful that my children are reaping the benefits of having such a godly example in their lives.

We had a big celebration and one thing I always enjoy at gatherings is a "program" with various family members participating. My grandpa loves singing and has a beautiful voice, although he claims that the stroke he had years back took his voice. He may not be as loud but I still love to hear him. When I was a girl I remember each time my grandparents would visit our church for a children's program or some such thing. No matter where in the sanctuary I would be I could always hear his tenor voice harmonizing with the congregation and it would bring a smile to my face.

Grandpa & Grandma with their remaining children. My Dad is in the burgundy shirt.

This time my Dad and his brothers sang one of Grandpa's favorites What a Day That Will Be and then at the end Grandpa joined in. It was beautiful and I think there were a few tears shed. "What a day that will be when my Jesus I shall see..." My Dad, Sister, George and I attempted to sing a song called Leaving a Legacy although we had a few problems with the out-of-tune piano and then at the end my emotions got the best of me and I couldn't sing a word. The favorite was probably when the great-grandchildren all sang the beloved children's song Jesus Loves Me. It was a special day celebrating a special man.

My Grandpa is not quite the same as he once was. Obviously he has grown older and with age comes change especially with the many physical struggles he has overcome. My cousin read a poem she wrote with all of the memories she remembered about him while we were growing up and I couldn't help but wish that my children could know the same man that I have known.

My cousin Jen, my sister and I used to have sleepovers at our grandparents house and oh the fun we'd have as Grandma brought clothes from the thrift store and we'd put on a fashion show with wigs and all. What a riot and Grandpa always had his camera and egged us on. Mornings we'd sneak down to catch him with his hair all a mess and flopped in front of his face as he combed it back and once in awhile he'd do his "tarzan call" for us. Around the breakfast table he would always lead in a devotional time and prayer. And a time or two he even took us on a shopping trip. So many years past but so many wonderful memories that are too numerous to write here.

Happy 90th birthday Grandpa! I am so thankful for you! I know you have had an influence on who I am today.
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