Monday, April 28, 2008

On our way out...

Well, has any of you ever heard of the kid's show, "Yo Gabba Gabba"? We're not dedicated fans by any means, but I like the clothes they have the dancing kids wear on the show and so attempted to recreate my own version. You can print out the characters from the website. Turns out, when you use iron on transfer paper you can't see the color unless you're transferring onto a white shirt. So, our "Plex" shirt has a vintage look, not on purpose. At least it's not a boring old plain red T-shirt anymore. Oh, and the shadows on Z's forehead are not a strange haircut, but rather are from the odd shape of his forehead (he has me to thank for that).
Here's my new hired hand working the soil before I planted okra, squash, leeks, onions, bell peppers, brussel sprouts and my "eggshell starters" of spinach to go with the rhubarb you see and the raspberries you don't (they're in the back yard). We don't have a lot of room, so it was a tight fit. I bend the rules on how close to plant things...I know...I'm so naughty!!!

Ben went to WV for the weekend to help open up the family cabin so Saturday night Z joined me for a girls night with my friends, Molly, Laura, Coleen, Carolyn and Joan. Click here to see a picture of us all. After a super yummy vegetarian dinner and gourmet cheesecake we went to the stables where Molly and Co keep their horsies. Since Z only had shorts on and it was getting chilly I put his p.j.s on him for warmth. So, for his first horsie ride he traveled about five feet, bareback, in his p.j.s. He LOVED it! If I wasn't so allergic I'd move out of town and buy a farm and stable and keep all sorts of animals. Here he is with Molly...

Z with Co and Molly behind Rayah, her horse.

Must tell you about two books I've read recently and really
enjoyed. Simplicity, by Mark Salomon is a wonderful perspective on where Christians often go wrong in dealing with others. The author is the lead singer for Stavesacre, a band Ben used to play on his "Rock Radio" show on the local Christian station.

Escape, by Carolyn Jessop, is one woman's account of her life in the FDLS (Fundamental Mormonism) and polygamy. As I read it I described it to others, "It's like junk food," not that it wasn't well written, it was just so addicting, I couldn't put it down, but compared to Simplicity it wasn't nearly as edifying or beneficial. In found myself praying for those in cults a lot and women in marriages against their will. In Simplicity I found someone who understood the jadedness and cynicism that my husband I have sometimes with others that call themselves Christ-followers. It was an honest account, in which he owned his own faults and pointed to ways we can be like Christ and break out of the cultural expectations often found in churches.

I leave today for Tennessee with my giant lap child. I think I'm all packed! We'll see! Ooh, on a totally different side note - (an informal "Web World" installment) I found this link for house cleaning inspiration on my friend, Jenn's website and am giving it a shot. Can't do much while in TN, but the "Fly Lady" on there already got me to shine my sink like I've never shined it before! I'm looking forward to getting another perspective on house cleaning and more than anything, on routine and structure. I'm so erratic sometimes! Check it out if you're interested in getting her free e-mails (you can consolidate the many daily e-mails into one daily e-mail digest).

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Money for Nothin'

There are really other things I "should" be doing, so this will be short, but I was thinking it was about time to share another money saving tip. I know that there are people that really really get into following the sales at CVS , Walgreens, and RiteAid and accumulate points, use rebates and regularly get things for free. I'm not one of those people. I'd like to be, but I'm not. So, here's a post I recommend for saving money THIS week only: MoneySavingMom If you just visit her site here, you can scroll through all her posts, she's got loads and loads of great money saving tips!

Friday, April 18, 2008


My mom left on Wednesday after a very nice visit together. I'll see her again super soon (and my Dad too!) at my cousin, Rachel's, wedding in a couple weeks. So, it almost doesn't feel like they live in another country! I'm very much looking forward to my trip to Tennessee. I'm staying with my grandparents (paternal) who live there, but also get to see my entire family from my mom's side at the wedding while I'm there. Z is still technically a lap child, a 32 pound lap child, so that saved some money. Ben can't leave work to come, but plans to use our absence to get some painting done around the house that we evidently interfere with. I can't imagine how!

Yesterday, it was beautiful out and after Z's nap, we went out back to our patio, I fed him a big lunch so he wouldn't be grumpy, then gave him a grape popsickle and cut that wild Wigmop off his Scottish melon of a head. Boy does he look different now! There's one picture of it in the slideshow which I had fun making on I had a sucker ready when the popsickle was gone and we got the job done. He has never behaved so well for any hair cut!

I didn't mention that while my mom was here our Mommy Group at church had a fun outing at the roller skating rink, Stroller Skating! Unfortunately, not many of the pictures turned out, all super blurry from us speeding around and the poor lighting. But, it was lots of fun! We're going to the zoo next month together.

The answer to last post's Veggie Tale Challenge was: "Gideon: Tuba Warrior" during the counter top scene. By the way, anyone ever notice that in the show Gideon wasn't playing a tuba when he defeated the Midianites? Ben told me it was a euphonium. I thought it was a trumpet. Shows how much I know! Either way, don't buy this video just for the name, it's a little misleading, but DO buy it because it's my favorite Veggie Tale video (George Mueller story AND Gideon on it).

I'm hoping to have Ben take a picture of my growing belly soon to compare to pregnancy pics from Z. So, come back soon!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

You can't lose the memories, man.*

Savoring memories these a picture for posterity of the dimples in Z's hands. I read somewhere that kids don't get knuckles, knees or elbows until they're three. I've only got a little over a year to enjoy this cute feature on him.
I always want to remember what he looks like when I'm holding him asleep in my arms.
Here's a memory for both Grandma and Z, just being together...

Now for some fun stuff! I just reviewed your votes for our baby name list and decided that instead of posting all the results here, it was easier to just rearrange the name list on the site. So, to see the current order of names voted most popular at the top and least popular at the bottom, click on the baby names button in my side bar. If it tells you it's a private list, just try it again, it does work eventually. If you haven't voted yet, feel free to do so, I'll periodically update the order to reflect the actual order of popularity.

The countdown begins now for finding out what the sex is. Just 25 more days until my ultrasound on May 8th. I'm super excited, my parents will be back in town visiting again and will be able to go with us when we find out (if baby cooperates). My mom got to hear the heartbeat this week when I went for my 16 week appt. with my mother-in-law, (aka my midwife). The heart beat was 155 this time, down from 165 the last two times. My mother-in-law said she did a paper in college on the relationship between heart rate and sex and firmly concluded there was no correlation. She says if it's born with a penis we'll call it a boy, if not, we'll call it a girl. I think it's more fun to speculate! Tee hee!

*Extra WigPoints to anyone who can name the Veggie Tale this quote came from!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

All to the Glory of God

For years I've known I need to do something, and for years I haven't done it. It's not too hard, I'm not sure what keeps me from doing it. I've felt compelled to keep a Spiritual journal. This website is the closest I've really come to doing that. I want to have a log of answers to prayer, blessings, and messages from God. Today, I've decided is a good day to start. It may not be on paper as I imagined, but it's a log nonetheless.

Have you heard of George Mueller? I hadn't until watching a Veggie Tales short story on his life (it's on Gideon: Tuba Warrior). Ben grew up watching movies on amazing Christians at church and knew of him. Basically, Mr. Mueller felt God was leading him to show God's glory by not ever asking anyone for anything, but trusting God to provide for his every need. He and his wife ran an orphanage in England. On the Veggie Tale a reporter visited him one evening and overheard that they had no food for breakfast for the children. The reporter was concerned, but Mr. Mueller assured him that God would provide for all their needs according to His riches in glory and invited the reporter to join them for breakfast in the morning. He did and was witness to how God can provide. The local baker felt God wanted him to bake bread for Mr. Mueller and his orphanage and awoke in the middle of the night to do so. The milk cart broke down in front of their home and needed to off load milk there or it would spoil, "You can have all you want," he said. The reporter wrote an article and the Muellers were able to go on to open many more orphanages in England.

I have been praying that God would give me the faith to trust in Him so much that I too could say with confidence, "Join us for breakfast in the morning," without knowing from where it will come. This past week, I did the bills when Ben got his check and since I'd overspent on food the last few weeks (OK, months), the bills got paid, but that was it. We were broke and had two weeks ahead of us before he got paid again. I looked again and found a couple bills I had scheduled to be paid early, so that freed up a little bit, then found we had scheduled some money to be withdrawn for savings that hadn't been taken out yet, and so stopped those to free up a little more. I got my check, which was a little more than I expected it to be. Then it was Saturday night and we had to decide if we'd tithe or not. We usually do, but doing so this time would take half of what I'd scrounged up. Ben gave me the go ahead and in faith we did. We knew that God would reveal His glory this week.

Ben went away this week and ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or soup all week in Tennessee. I too, was super careful here at home eating the food I'd accumulated from the months before. Still, we were getting low. Just when I'd spent the last of our money, a check came in the mail from a relative who would probably prefer to remain anonymous for $150. We don't just get money from people very often. I broke down, knowing that even though we were in this pinch to begin with because I'd been a poor steward of the money entrusted to us, God still provided. In fact, we now have more than we had at the beginning of the week (after tithe).

What's more, I went to work yesterday, I always take a granola bar, we were out. I supervise a family visit with each other for two hours each week and can't stand to watch them eat dinner and be hungry myself. In the break room some one had set out a box of fruit/cereal bars due to their expiration date nearing. The sign said, "Free". So, this pregnant lady didn't even have to be uncomfortable for two hours while watching people eat their dinner.

Today's devotional in "My Utmost for His highest," was entitled Moral Dominion and I loved what Oswald Chambers said,
"The weakest saint can experience the power of the Deity of the Son of God if once he is willing to "let go." Any strand of our own energy will blur the life of Jesus. We have to keep letting go, and slowly and surely the great full life of God will invade us in every part, and men will take knowledge of us that we have been with Jesus." Amen.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Sunny and warm

As I sit to type this I realize I haven't taken any pictures of my mom since she arrived Friday night. I'll have to fix that. We've been having a lovely time together. Ben left yesterday for Nashville and is studying hard at a training down there. My Mom and I have enjoyed just doing everything together for a change. We're usually missing each other and wishing we could do this stuff together, and now we are. So, that's pretty neat. We went to a park yesterday to enjoy the beautiful weather and Z played in the gravel the whole time. Today we went to swim class today and had fun in the water with Z together. A lovely time was had by all.

On Saturday Ben grilled up some salmon for us that some one brought back from Alaska. In case anyone ever makes salmon, I recommend the glaze he made to go on top...scrummy yummy!!! My mom and I made these oven-baked sweet potato fries to go with it. So very good! Perhaps an odd combination, but I blame the pregnancy. I'm totally unpredictable.

Speaking of pregnancy, I do feel the baby move now. About once a day, sometimes twice, usually around 10pm at night, but occasionally in the afternoon. I've been feeling the baby for sure since week 13. I didn't feel Z until week 14, so this was early. The other night I had a dream that I had triplet boys! The funny thing is that in my dream I was elated! Until my mom moves next door, we'll be thankful for just one at a time.

It appears that 30 people have voted on our baby name list so far. Very fun! Thanks for voting, keep 'em coming! My mom wants me to add the name "Eloise" to the list, I haven't talk to Ben about that one yet. Of course he's not in love with "Vashti" and I put it on there anyways. Can I just say, she was awesome!? She was the queen before Esther (aka Hadassah, also a cool name) who refused to flaunt her stuff before her husband and all of his intoxicated buddies at a feast then got replaced as queen because of her gutsy decision. How cool is that? I guess even if I named my kid that though, the story of Queen Vashti wouldn't really come up that often...well, since 25 of you voted against it, only three of you for it, and two abstained from that one, I'm willing to consider putting it on the back burner for now. But if Ben changes his mind, I'm bringing it back into the running.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


Hi! If you have time, take a moment and vote on our list of favorite baby names! See the button in the side bar? Well, click on it and there you go! As we did with Z, we're sharing our long list. The short list is SO top secret not even my parents are in the loop. We like to have something to announce when the baby is born. Yes, we'll be sure to share what the sex is as soon as we find out. Just a few more weeks and we should know. Meanwhile, we get to dream about both boy and girl names which is twice the fun! So, join us in our dreaming. Leave me a comment with any fabulous name suggestions! You just might see them added to our list! Then again, you might not!

P.S. We'll announce the names you voted most popular and least popular later on, but reserve the right to choose whatever name we want.

P.P.S. If clicking on the name survey button tells you our list is private, just go back and try again, it should work. Thanks for your input!