Monday, August 31, 2009

Giving Credit---CJ

What a summer!! I always look forward to September. To me it brings routine back to our life. Once the summer hit, I knew my pregnancy was going to fly by-----and it did.

But this post isn't about school, routine or pregnancy. No, it's about CJ. I have to give that kid credit where credit is due. He has been no stop with sports since March and it will not end until after Thanksgiving.

He has an enormous amount of dedication----whether it be to God, his family, friends or sports. When he has decided to be dedicated to something, he gives it his all.

I stand in awe at times at the dedication CJ has to the Lord. It is a steadfast, unmovable dedication that is not afraid to stand up to a bus load of football players firing questions at him from everything from dating, differences in religion to how he feels about the death penalty. And it isn't just the players......he will take the time to have real conversations with the coaches too. He doesn't back down when he has a bunch of teenage boys "trying" to tease him because he doesn't date. Noticed I said "trying". That is because CJ (not us) has made the decision not to date. Because he came to this place on his own, he has a true conviction---not just mom and dad saying "no girls".

On his own he reads daily. For Christmas last year we got him a Chronological Bible. He is working his way through. He also enjoys reading books on worldview. Right now he is reading a book by John Piper.

Football started last week. CJ was gone ALOT. Monday-Wednesday he left the house at 7 am and returned around 1. Thursday and Friday he was gone 7 am until 5ish and Saturday 7 am-1. LONG days. (Again, this is where his relationship with the Lord is truly tested. He is now out in the world, with no parents around.) CJ said something on Friday that I found very interesting and showed me where his heart really is in regards to our family. When he came home Friday I was upstairs resting in bed. He always comes and finds me to say hello. After jumping on my bed (yes, even at 16 he comes in and jumps on my bed) we got to talking. We started off with practice, the team ect....When we finished he got up and said "I feel pretty non-existent with the family this week. I don't like it." WOW! The world would have you think it is "normal" for a teenager to want to be away from their family. CJ didn't like being away from us so much. He is family oriented. He spends very little time in his room alone (usually only when he sleeping, cleaning it and practicing his guitar--with the amp). He likes being around us. I will take it!

CJ bringing Emily down the slide on a recent park outing.

CJ giving Emily a BIG hug after going down. He loves that girl!

I would say CJ is known by alot of different people----but true friends are but a handful. He knows the value of having like-minded friends. It is extremely important to have friends that love the Lord, respect each other and be able to share your heart with. He is faithful to his friends and would be there in a second if they needed anything.

CJ and his friends doing the Polar Plunge on January 1st, 2009.
There was snow on the ground, 30 degree air temp
But their friendship kept them warm : )

I have also seen CJ be a friend to those who others would find less desirable. He has such a heart of compassion. While others may be making fun of someone for being different, I have seen CJ lend a hand and encourage them. Baseball season comes to mind. There was a kid trying out that had one short arm (I am not sure why) and wasn't very good at baseball. I remember CJ coming home one day from tryouts upset because this kid thought whole-heartily that he was making the varsity team. CJ knew the ability wasn't there but didn't want to see this kid crushed. He encouraged him during try out and helped him out. CJ was thrilled when they ended up making this kid that team manager. CJ did everything he could to make him feel part of the team and have him join in.

I don't know how he does it. Sports are non-stop around here. From March until June CJ played on the varsity baseball team at the local high school. This meant practice/games 5-6 days a week. The day after baseball ended in June for highschool he started practice with the town team. He had practice once a week plus 2-3 games a week. He also helped Chris coach Zachary's team and went to all of Alex's games. Then on top of all that, he made the All-Star team, which meant another practice and more games during the week. There were times during July/August that he played 5 games total over a 3 day period. He did it----and did it without complaining.

CJ pitching during a game with the town team.
CJ plays many different positions including
catcher, pitcher, outfield, short-stop and first.
Each team utilizes him in a different way.

To our relief, he did get a break between baseball and football-----4 DAYS!!!! He made the most of those days. Now football season has begun and that will be 5-6 days a week (a total of over 25 hours a week). It takes dedication to work your body physically that much a week.

As you can see, I am pretty proud of my son and the choices he is making in his life. He is becoming a great young man. I am enjoying his "teenage" years. Our biggest problem----ALGEBRA!!!!! In the big scheme of things....if that is my biggest problem than I think we are doing alright.

On the surface, if you didn't know CJ personally you would think sports is his life. A few years ago I might have agreed with you. But with maturity he has put it in its proper place. CJ has this as his tag-line on his emails----I think it says alot......

"If I'm only remembered as a good athlete, I've done a bad job with the rest of my life."

Menu Monday---August 31st

Last week I made a menu, I just never posted it. There are actually a few carry over meals this week since for some reason or another we didn't make what we had planned. Those nights we did quick easy meals. Needless to say, I didn't have to spend a ton on groceries this week : )

As always, meals are subject to change according to schedule, needs or cravings. Also, I start my menu on Saturday since we usually go grocery shopping on Friday's.

OYO (own you own)
Pasta Fazole
Pizza night---take out. Chris worked a double and I was too tired to even think of cooking.

Donuts---my craving
Mac and Cheese
Chicken Patty sandwiches

Zucchini bread
PB & J

Chicken Nuggets
Fajitas and Rice

Grill Cheese
Chorico and Fries

Egg Omelet
BBQ Chicken (on grill), Potato Salad, Corn-on-the-Cob

American Chop Suey

Head on over to I'm an Organizing Junkie for more Monday Menu Plans.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Prayer Request---Laura

My niece Laura is due on Thursday for her baby. However, the doctor's office has been watching her because he blood pressure is at the highest "normal" it can be. She just called me. She was leaving the doctor's office. They told her she has the beginning of pre-eclampsia. They did a ultrasound and non-stress test. Baby looks good.

The plan is to induce her this Tuesday, September 1st. BUT, guess what....while she was having her non-stress test she had 3 contractions 10 minutes apart!!!! The midwife thinks she'll end up going on her own this weekend : )

So could you please keep Laura in your prayers. I am praying that this IS the beginning of labor and she will have the baby today/tomorrow.

Oh, one more prayer request. I haven't been feeling too good this morning. Tired and my heart was racing at about 120 for about 2 hours. It is down to a normal rate now. I just have so much I need (want) to get done.


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Menu Planning-----Assignment 2

Toni over at The Happy Housewife is continuing her series on Menu Planning. Since I do menu plan, I thought I would join in. I am sure though that Toni could still teach me a thing or two.

This week's assignment was to come up with side dishes for our meals. This is something I already have. It could use some revising so I will take this opportunity to do so. Here is what I have so far:

Lunch Sides:
Fruit---whatever I have on hand that the kids didn't eat during healthy snack time or breakfast.
Chips---I don't do this one too often.
Veggie---carrots, cucumber
Pudding---this is to be eaten after the main component of their lunch.

Dinner Sides:
Egg Noodles
Veggie Platter---raw veggies--green & red peppers, cucumbers with or without dip
Chicken Flavored Rice----this would be the pre-packaged rice from Lipton
Mashed Potatoes
Red Potatoes---when I say red potatoes I mean potatoes with tomato sauce, onions and garlic. This is a delicious way to make a roast.
Baked Potatoes

Not sure what to add to the lunch sides. You know what I noticed about my dinner menu....veggies are missing. Yes, we do have veggies. But for some reason I did not put them on my list. So here are some sides I left off my original list:

Corn-on-the cob---summer time favorite
Green beans
Potato salad---summer time favorite
Pasta Salad
Chips---on grill night the kids will sometimes have chips with their hamburg or hot dog.

I am sure I am still missing things. But one of the great things about having my Master List on the computer is I can go in and update it and print off a new one.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Baby Update---Week 35

Today I had a visit with the midwife.

Wt---up 2 pounds from 2 weeks ago (which is good since I lost a pound last time I went). This makes my total weight gain (according to them) 21 pounds. I am actually up 15 from the day before I found out I was pregnant. I lost 6 pounds at the beginning of my pregnancy before I saw the doctor (due to morning sickness). In either case, it is still not a bad weight gain.

BP---116/60. Fantastic!
Measuring at 37 weeks (I am 35 weeks and 5 days) so just a little bit bigger than number of weeks.

Today's visit was great. She said I look great : ) She couldn't believe I still have ankles (thanks to my hubby who has me off my feet as much as possible).
When she asked how things were going she was shocked because I said "good". I had no worries, anxiety or concerns this week. She looked at Chris and asked him if he gave me a happy pill before I came today.

When she felt around my belly she asked what the weight the ultrasound said. I told her 5.8 and that was almost 2 weeks ago. She laughed as she measured me. She is guessing he is about 6.8 by now (which would have me on track to have an 8 pounder-----have I mentioned I am only 4'11" if I stretch!!!!). I guess time will tell. : )-

I am on weekly visits, so I will go back next week on Wednesday. I can't believe I only have 3 weeks tomorrow!!!! It is coming VERY quickly now.

Chris put the first coat of paint on the baby's room today. LOVE IT!!! It is all coming together so nicely now. I just need to get a few big items (crib, crib ensemble, mobile and a small table to put next to the glider rocker). We are hoping to get them next weekend (the weekend of the 4th). Even if we can't get them until after Nicholas is born I am okay with that. I actually feel ready for him now : )

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Almost Home!!

I have to tell you. I am excited!! My hubby will be home in a little more than an hour and then his weekend starts : ) He works Friday-Tuesday and has Wednesday and Thursday off. So for him, today is like everyone else's Friday.

We have baby prep to do over the next 2 1/2 days.
Today we are going to pick up the paint for Nicholas' room.
Tomorrow I have a OB appointment.
Between Wednesday and Thursday Chris will be painting Nicholas' room.
I will then start setting things up (like the draws and closet).

Chris is a HUGE help to me around the house. Especially now since I have 2 speeds----stop and VERY slow. It takes me atleast 3 times as long to do anything I use to---plus lots of breaks. With 23 days until the the BIG DAY, my nesting is really kicking in. I want everything clean-clean-clean.

Of course I look forward to also spending time with him and as a family. I just love that man!!!!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Menu Planning---Assignment 1

Toni over at The Happy Housewife is doing a series on Menu Planning. She was surprised to find out that there are quite a few people out there that don't menu plan and don't know where to start. So she came up with this series to help walk people through the process. She is giving out weekly assignments to help the process.

I do menu plan. I find when I do, my grocery shopping and budget are both under better control. The first assignment was to make a master list of meals. I already have one made up for Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner along with side dishes. I have a hard copy on my computer. I have another copy in a page protector that I make reference to when I am doing my planning for the week. Next week's assignment is to list side dishes so I will only share with you this week my master meal list.

Master Breakfast Menu
1. Cereal (this use to be the standard, now it is the stand-by)
2. French Toast
3. LaMuffins
4. Scrambled Eggs with Bacon
5. Oven Omelet
6. Banana Bread (I always make 2 at a time and put one in the freezer)
7. Blueberry Muffins (I double the recipe and put whatever we don't use the first day in the freezer)
8. Waffles (I admit it, these are store bought froze waffles. I buy them when they are on sale for $1 a box)
9. Pancakes
10. Oatmeal
11. Peanut Butter Oatmeal
12. Bagels

Master Lunch Menu
1. Chicken Nuggets
2. PB & J
3. Pasta Foozle
4. Grill Cheese
5. English Muffin Pizza
6. Pizza (frozen store bought)
7. Left-overs from the night before
8. BLTs
9. Hamburgs (on the grill)
10. Mac and Cheese
11. Turkey Sandwiches
12. Chicken Patty Sandwiches
13. Chicken Roll-ups

Master Dinner Menu
1. Pizza
2. BLTs
3. Chorico and Fries
4. Grill Nite--Hamburgs and Hot dogs
5. American Chop Suey (I believe in other parts of the country you call this goulash)
6. Sloppy Joes
7. Fajitas
8. Chicken and Beans
9. BBQ Chicken
10. Chicken Tacos
11. Chicken Stir-Fry
12 Chicken and Veggies over Pasta
13. Chicken and Broccoli
14. Chicken Chili
15. Roast--in the crockpot
16. Roast Chicken (usually Portuguese style with chorico)
17. Chicken Casserole
18. Hamburg Rice
19. Lasagna
20. Steak
21. Wet Burritos
22. Chicken Parmesan
23. Sheppard Pie
24. Chicken Pot Pie
25. Chicken Bowl
26. Hot Chicken
27. Paprika Chicken with Egg Noodles
28. Portuguese Soup
29. Pork Chops (on a very rare occasion, but I have to be out for the night because I can't stand the smell of them).

As you can see most of our meals have something to do with chicken. That is because I do not eat red meat or pork. However, the rest of the family does. Because of this, I do try atleast once a week to have red meat with the meal. On these nights I either have everything except the meat, cook up a piece of chicken for myself (as an example, when I make a roast in the crockpot I just throw a piece of chicken in there with the roast while it cooks) or I don't eat what is cooked and have a bowl of cereal (Remember my post last week on Picky Eaters---I want to be an example).

I do try to mix things up while making my menu. I try to have 1 pasta dish a week. If there is 2 I have a couple of days atleast between them. I try not to have 2 spicy meals in a row and I also try not to have 2 meals next to each other that have the same base ingredients (like 2 tomato sauce based meals).

I must be doing something right. I haven't had a complaint yet : )

Unexpected Blessing

Wednesday I got a huge friends Wendy and Pam threw me a baby shower!!!! I was overwhelmed to say the least......

Yes, I started crying right then and there. I couldn't believe it. Let me set it up for you. I was thinking I was going to a girls' before school starts get together. Pam mentioned to me back in May that she would like to have one during the summer. So why would I think anything when she asked me. I asked her the night before if I could bring anything---so I actually brought brownies : )

I walked through the door and there was 12 ladies there singing to me "Rock-a-bye baby"----cue waterworks. I looked around and couldn't believe it. They were there to help me celebrate the birth of our 6th child. Wendy came over and put a button on me and Pam asked Chris if I was alright (all this while cameras were going off). I walked around for a good 10-15 minutes in a daze, taking it all in.


Yummy food

We had games, food, presents and dessert. Knowing my love of chocolate, they gave me a chocolate buffet of desserts (plus one fruit dessert for good measure). There was chocolate cupcakes, a chocolate frozen pie, a chocolate truffle, and fresh fruit salad. The favors were even chocolate!! Do these ladies know me or what : )-

Chris showing off my belly

Emily taking a break from all the action.

The girls stayed with me during the shower. They were a HUGE help.
Here Jessie is helping me open the baby swing my Mom got me.

Emily started getting really into it.
She started taking things out of the bag before me
and showing the stuff off.

Emily's favorite card.
It played "I'm so Excited".

The Ladies of my family.
from L to R
Jessie, Me, Emily, my niece Laura, my sister Glenda and my Mom

Me and Laura comparing bellies. She is due 23 days before me.
She is due on Sept. 3rd
Boy has she sprouted!!!
I am having Nicholas and she is having Nathan.

The Ladies who did this for me---Wendy and Pam.

I feel truly blessed and honored that Wendy and Pam would take the time out of their busy lives to do this for me and my family.

Thank you....I love you both : )

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Picker Eaters Beware

Are you one of these moms (or dad) who ends up making 4 different meals to suit the taste everyone at the table? Well repeat after me....

"I am not a short order cook."
"This is not a restaurant."
"It's this or nothing."

There use to be a day when I would try to please everyone with a meal. But as the family grew so did my impatience. You see, I have a house full of monkeys-----you know "Monkey see, Monkey do!" Once one child started with "I don't like that" or "Can I have no tomato sauce on my spaghetti? Can't I have butter instead?" than the next thing I know, the "monkey" would ask for it a certain way. With 5 children (soon-to-be 6), who has the time to custom make all those meals. After all, Chris and I do like to sit down too to a hot (or atleast warm) dinner.

So I have implemented a very simple but effective rule:

"You eat what is put in front of you.
You DO have the choice not to eat it.
If you so chose to complain or not eat what is placed in front of you
Than you do NOT get a substitute meal
NOR, do you get snacks the rest of the day."

You would not believe how this simple rule can motivate a child to eat---especially when they are told no snacks for the rest of the day (or the next if it is dinner).

As for complaining, I don't allow it. I do not want to hear "Jessie got more juice than me" or "He has more fries than me". If I hear this, your meal or drink are taken away. I try to make things as even as possible for the 3 middle children, but I am not about to count out fries or get the measuring cup out to make sure everyone got exactly the same amount of food. I believe in being thankful for what we DO have, not for what we don't.

There are other times that one of the children will prepare the meal (usually breakfast or lunch) and another child wants to be critical of it. Just a couple of weeks ago Zachary made English Muffin Pizza's for lunch. Jessica decided that he put too much sauce on it and she didn't like it. My response "Zachary cooking was a blessing to us all. If you don't want to eat it then you don't have to but there will be no other lunch served and you will not have snacks for the rest of the day. Go and drink your milk." This day, Jessica decided that she would rather go without than give in to the meal. That was her choice. I promise you, your child will not starve or become malnourished because they missed a meal.

You might wonder why I take snacks away. Well I have found children can (or will try) to live on snacks (I know I could!). While morning snack is always a healthy one (fruit or yogurt) our afternoon snack is usually something not-so-good (popsicles, ice cream, cookies, pudding). We don't regularly have dessert at night.

And just so people don't think I am the meanest mother in the world----I want it to be known that I do not serve exotic meals with far-out ingredients. I do understand that there may be a food here or there that my children don't like (CJ won't eat American cheese but can eat a whole pack of taco cheese himself ). I am mindful of those things, but some of the things are truly in their head (like Zachary will pick green peppers out of his spaghetti sauce but yet he doesn't in Fajitas). I do not penalize for green peppers on the side of the plate, however I will make Zachary take a bite or 2.

I will keep putting food on their plates even if they say they don't like it. You would be amazed at how a once thought of "yuck" food can turn into "yum" (zucchini and broccoli both come to mind with this one).

As for exceptions to this rule---Emily and CJ. Emily is only 2. As a baby she gobbled up fruits and veggies. Now she will only eat bananas for fruit and corn for vegetables. I do keep putting f & v on her plate. She can also be a little picky with eating. As an example, pasta with chicken---one day she will down the chicken and want nothing to do with the pasta. The next time we have it, it may be the pasta she only wants and no chicken. While we encourage her to try the other thing she doesn't want, we will give her more of the food she is eating that day. I believe it is sometimes her body looking for the nutrition it needs for the day (like protein).

CJ (who's 16) most of the time makes his own breakfast and lunch. I allow this if he: 1-cleans up his mess. 2--doesn't use ingredients that I have marked for another meal (again, taco cheese comes to mind). Lunch time for him is usually leftovers from the night before, which is a help to me---no wasted food!!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Menu Monday---August 17th

We didn't get to grocery shopping on Friday due to a busy day. I did pick up a few things to get us through the weekend. We are going today. I am trying to eat as much as possible out of the pantry the rest of the week so we shouldn't need much at the market.

We are doing pretty good with the budget. This month seem to work out pretty good. I am going over numbers to see how we offically did. I know we did lower our grocery bill and we haven't starved with me only getting what I need at the market weekly. I have also found that I am throwing less food away (is there anything worse than throwing away food that expired or went bad because people didn't know it was there.).

Here's our menu for the week, which we start on Saturday's.

Yogurt smoothies (big hit!)
Pizza Night!! Take out

Banana bread---from the freezer
Grilled cheese with apples
Tacos, rice and veggies

PB & J with a fruit (Zachary will make)
Grill Night---Hamburgs or Hot dogs, Pasta Salad, Corn on the cob

Oatmeal (Zachary will make)
Pasta Fazole
Family Night at a baseball game. Cookout included : )

LaMuffins (egg sandwich with turkey bacon on a english muffin)
Chicken Patty sandwich with fries
Hot Chicken, egg noodles, corn

Pancakes (Zachary will make)
Chicken and Broccoli over Pasta

Blueberry Muffins
Mac & Cheese (Zachary will make)
Cooks choice (after what I am sure will be a long afternoon of grocery shopping)

As you can see, Zachary is my resident kitchen helper.

Head on over to I'm an Organizing Junkie for more Monday Menu Plans.

1 Month Today!!!

Exactly one month from today, Nicholas will be born!!!!
I am so excited!!!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

NO Swine Flu Vaccination Here!

I have been hearing on the news quite a bit lately how the government is working hard to have the flu vaccine and the the swine flu vaccine ready ASAP. They want to start giving people the regular flu vaccine next month followed by 2 shots, 3 weeks apart, for the swine flu.

My family will NOT be getting any of these shots. Why? Because I do not think enough research has been done to know not only the effectiveness of the shot but also the side effects.

I have heard (and I did some reading too) about the side effects that came about in the 1970's when the government was trying to get every man, woman and child vaccinated against the swine flu. I believe the government tried putting an unnecessary scare in people then---just like they are trying to do now.

Did you know that the swine flu is.....are you ready.......the FLU! While not a barrel of laughs (especially when you have a large family and EVERYONE gets sick at once), the flu is manageable. The key---hydration-hydration-hydration! To the normally healthy person, it should pass without major complications.

It actually scares me how the government is pushing so hard lately for certain vaccines (Gardasil anyone?). It makes me wonder what part the pharmaceutical companies have in all this.

And just one last thing for food for thought----Did you know that Malaria occurs in between 350-500 MILLION people worldwide and it kills over 1 million---mostly children---a year? This sounds like more of a problem to me than the swine flu. Could it be that most of the one million that die from Malaria are from South Africa and the pharmaceuticals would NOT be making the big $$ on vaccines there? Just a thought.

Friday, August 14, 2009

CJ's Big Day!!!!!

CJ's Birthday was Wednesday and what great day it was!!!!
My day started off at 2 am. I woke up and went down stairs. At exactly 2:19 am---the time CJ was born at---I jumped onto CJ's bed and started singing Happy Birthday!

I went back to bed after that and we all woke up to VANDALISM!!! Look what happened to our Suv..........

Isn't it AWESOME!!! CJ's friends--Luke, Tasha, Brianna, JoHannah, Clara and Allison all snuck over to our house the night before around 10:30 and did this! I LOVED IT!!! I can't believe we didn't hear them and the dog didn't bark.

PEDS--Beware. Courteny Jones

CJ actually stands for Christopher Jr., however, when CJ started playing sports at the local high school he got sick of the kids asking a million and one questions. One that came up often (right after homeschooling) was what did CJ stand for. He decided to have fun with them and tell them silly names----Courteny Jones was one of the names.

Danger**New Driver**
Stay Off Sidewalk
Jo was here : )

We actually caught someone while in traffic taking a picture of this---LOVE IT!! We drove around for 2 days with the writing on the Suv (we did have to take off the balloons and tp to drive safely).

Keep back 100 Feet

Here a few of the kids wrote their names with CEE JAY in the middle

Peds Beware!!!
More names

To the back of the Suv was an empty milk jug that said "Don't drink and Drive!!!"
You have to give them points for creativity.

There was also a package on our front porch.
They gave him a "Cars" (the cartoon) birthday card
Then they wrapped 4 presents up in the local car ad newspaper.

CJ's presents
Band-aids---"In case of Boo-Boos"
Toy Car---"Car of your Dreams"
Sunglasses---"Wear When Driving"
Keys--"Keys to your Future"

Does it get any better!!!!

After breakfast we went to my OB appointment. Right after we headed to the RMV. I am not sure who was more excited about CJ getting his permit---me or him!!

CJ and I waiting in the LLLOOONNNNGGGG Line.

Chris----Jr and Sr.

CJ took his test and passed. We headed over to Olive Garden to celebrate the day. It was great having lunch just the 3 of us.
After CJ took this picture I looked at it and said "I do NOT look old enough to have a 16 year old, you do Chris, but not me!!! : )

My handsome guy!
Must be good genes ; )

Of course we had to have them sing to him.

The time has come-----
"I feel the need--the need for speed" NOT!

Chris brought CJ for his first driving lesson. Overall he did good. He just needs to learn to press on the break and a corner at 5---not 25!!! >: O

CJ then made everyone a delicious dinner, Fettuccine Alfredo and salad. We enjoyed an ice cream cake with the kids.

"Another picture Mom"

CJ re-lit 3 candles for Emily. Leading up to CJ's birthday, Emily insisted it was "her" birthday. Of course, because it was Emily, CJ fed into it each day. He actually told her she could have her birthday instead.

Emily blowing out her 3 candles.

We put the kids to bed and watched 17 Again with CJ. I don't know about CJ, but I had a fantastic day celebrating his birthday.

16, Wow! Can I tell you a secret....I know that you hear terrible things about the teenage years. I am actually enjoying them----atleast 95% of the time. If only I could get him to do his Algebra!

Pregnancy Update--Ultrasound

We just got back. We had an ultrasound of Nicholas and we spoke with the midwife afterwards.


The midwife said there is nothing to worry about, it just looks like I am going to have a good size little boy. Today the ultrasound showed he was 5.8 pounds (so I little more than 5 3/4 pounds). I will be 34 weeks tomorrow. She said I am looking at an 8 pounder by delivery.

God is so good. Wednesday I was upset but tried not to show it because I didn't want to ruin CJ's birthday. When I woke up yesterday I felt at peace. I had given it up to God the night before. I told myself that God knows if something is wrong or not. I know that God is not going to give us something we can't handle......we might not like it, but we would handle it with God leading us.

Thank you to all those who prayed.
Judy and Nicholas : )

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Pregnancy Prayer Request

I went to the doctors today. I could use your prayers.

BP 122/74
Wt---down 1 pound. Total weight is now 19 pounds.

Measuring----this is where I could use your prayers. I am 33 weeks and 4 days. I measured 36 weeks. The midwife wants me to go for an ultrasound. It was going to be next week but when I started crying she told her medical assistant to get me in this week. The midwife told me 3 different times that she is not worried (I told her I wanted her to be upfront and honest with me). She said it could be: 1- I am carrying high up. 2- baby's position or 3- I am just having a little sumo wrestler. Of course I have googled it and found other reasons too. I am trying not to think of those things.

While to most people measuring big wouldn't bother them, the nurse part of me freaked out. I worked for 5 years on the surgical floor at the hospital. If something went wrong with a pregnancy then they would send the patients to our floor to recover. I heard or saw too many broken hearts (one was too many).

There is a saying, ignorance is bliss. With Zachary I actually had atleast 3 ultrasounds at the end. I am trying to remember why. I think it was because I was on heart medication. I am not on any now.

Fear-----it knows how to get a hold of me. I am trying to rest in God's peace. I know that Nicholas is ultimately in His hands and belongs to Him.

So please pray for us. The ultrasound in Friday, August 14th at 12:30 pm.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Fortune Cookie Wisdom

Recently, Chris and the kids got Chinese food for dinner (I had pizza that night---got to blame cravings : )-

I found this gem inside one of the fortune cookies:

"Money can buy you a physician, but it can't buy you good health."

Just another reminder that money can't buy those things that are truly important.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Menu Monday--August 10th

I have been working very hard to stay as close as I can to our new food budget. I set it at $700 for 4 weeks, but I think it would be more accurate to make it $800. This would break down to $100 for meats for the month and then $175 a week for 4 weeks (up from $150 a week). This will include food, toiletries and cleaning products. This will NOT include things for baby, wipes, diapers, ect. I do not feel that what we eat for the week should depend on how fast Nicholas goes through diapers. This will be a separate expense. Also, we have to pay for "special" town trash bags. This is not included in the grocery budget but a separate one.

We did go over budget this week because I bought a few bulk items this week from BJ's---box of hamburgs for the grill, hot dogs and turkey bacon. These 3 things together came to $34 but they will be used throughout the month. My goal next week is to make our menu from as much pantry food as I can so I can try to stay within budget. I think I can do it!!!

So on to this weeks Menu. Because I have been grocery shopping on Friday afternoons, I start my menu on Saturday.

B--OYO (own your own)
L--PB & J
D--Grill--Hamburgs, hot dogs and chicken for me. Potato salad

L--Pizza (frozen)
D--Chicken Chili with Rice

B--Bagels (Zachary will be making this)
L--Grill Cheese (Zachary might be making this too)
D--Chicken with Potatoes and corn in the oven

B--French Toast
L--Hot dogs (they are 100% beef)
D--Fajitas, rice and cut-up veggies

Wednesday----CJ's 16th Birthday!!!!! Birthday Boy has his choice of menu for the day.
B--Scrambled Eggs with Bacon and homefries prepared by Dad
L--Chris and I will be taking CJ out to lunch after he goes for his driver's permit (Yikes!) The kids will be at home with my mom. They will have chicken nuggets and fries.
D--CJ has requested to make dinner. He will be making Chicken Alfredo and a salad. He has been asking a while to make this and jumped at the opportunity since it is HIS choice for dinner.

B--Oven Omelet
L--BLTs, cut up veggies
D--not sure yet.

B--Oatmeal (prepared by Zachary)
L--Mac and Cheese (prepared by Zachary. He is my chef in the making---just like his Dad!)
D--Sloppy Joes with fries.

Snacks available for the week:
Fruit, Pudding, Yogurt, Yogurt smoothie, Cheese & Crackers, Ice cream, Birthday cake, Popcorn, Popsicles, Oatmeal cookies and Brownies.

Just a disclaimer---We do have fruits and vegetables throughout the day with our meals. I don't always write it in because the kids morning snack is either a fruit or a yogurt. So then at meal time, I need to see what is available for all of us to eat.

Also, we have OJ with breakfast and milk with lunch and dinner (water throughout the day).

Head on over to I'm an Organizing Junkie for more Monday Menu Plans.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Grocery Shopping with My Honey

Since I am not driving right now, my Honey has been bring me grocery shopping on Friday afternoons. I have to tell you, I have never been grocery shopping so FAST!!! On Friday, we went to 3 different stores in 2 hours!

Going with him on Friday's has been great motivation for me to have my menu planned out and the grocery list ready for when he gets home. To accomplish this, I actually print out my menu and grocery planner on Monday (I get both from This gives me all week to start filling it in.

My grocery planner has 4 columns---
1--Refrigerated Goods
2--Dried and Canned Goods
3--Freezer Goods

In my Miscellaneous column I put my cleaning, personal care and household items down (printer ink for example). There is a space at the bottom of the paper for Notes. I split this area up into 2 sections. 1-deli items (if there is any) and 2-Fruits and Vegetables.

I know some people keep a price book. I probably should. But, I do a huge amount of my shopping at Wal-mart. Unless a grocery store is having a fantastic sale, they are not going to beat Wal-mart's prices. After Wal-Mart I head over to Target and get what I can from there before heading to the grocery stores in the area. I try to reserve the markets for my deli, fruits and vegetables.

The grocery stores start their sales on Friday and I get the fliers in the mail on Wednesday. I go through them looking for any real sales.

While making out my list I notate what store to get it from---W, Wal-Mart. T, Target. B, BJ's, SS, Stop and Shop. SH, Shaws. I also mark next to an item if it is on-sale, which store and how much it is.

I didn't realize how detailed I actually made my list until this past week. Chris and I headed to our first stop, Wal-mart. I hadn't eat lunch yet so I got a sandwich at the Subway inside the store. While I did this, Chris started off with the clip board. To my surprise, by the time I got done eating (say 15 minutes at the most) he was on his last aisle!!!! I couldn't believe it. He just had 1 thing he wasn't sure about buying and he left it for me (Salsa. He didn't see the kind we normally get). I was honestly dumbfounded and what a great job he did without me!

At first, I took it as "I guess he really doesn't need me" : (
We were talking about this on our way to the next store. He actually gave me a HUGE compliment. He told me if it wasn't for how detailed my list was he wouldn't have been able to get through the store so fast and stay within our budget. He said I couldn't have made it any easier for him. He said it was like me giving him a road map and highlighting the exact route to take and he would be pretty dumb not to follow it. Boy, did that put a smile on my face
: )

With 5 more Friday's between me and baby, it feels great to know that my husband will be able to handle going grocery shopping while I am recovering from a c-section.

Just another reason why I love this man!!!!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

33 Weeks!!!

It has been a while since I posted a picture of me and my belly. So here is a picture I took on Thursday....

I went to the doctor's a week and half ago. I never update my stats from that visit. I figured I should since I am now on visits every other week and go again this Wednesday (which happens to be CJ's 16th birthday!!!!).

Visit on July 29th
BP 116/60-----my blood pressure is better now than before I got pregnant!
Wt gain---4 pounds. Total weight gain is 20 from my first doctor's visit. If you count from the day I found I was pregnant than it would be 14 since I lost 6 pounds from morning sickness before I saw the doctor.
Measuring on target. I measured 32 weeks and I was 31 weeks and 5 days.

The only thing that was of concern to the midwife was the fact that I am "very anemic" (as she put it). I am taking 2 iron pills and a multivitamin a day. She said it is very important I get that numbers up before my c-section.

I am starting to get anxious about the c-section. I have cried many a times through the pregnancy because I wish I could VBAC. However, the hospitals around here don't allow them and the closest hospital that does is----on a good day----atleast a 45-50 drive. That is, without rush our traffic. I decided not to do that hospital for 2 main reasons. 1---I felt it was a little to far to drive doing a VBAC due to the possibility of uterine rupture. 2--The other reason was I was afraid I would go through the whole pregnancy and then end up with a c-section anyway. Then I would be further from home and it would be harder for Chris to get the kids back and forth.

I was just talking to a dear friend tonight and I was telling her about how I have been upset still about the c-section. She reminded me again that I need to focus on the end result and not how Nicholas gets here. I told her that I do know that either way--nature or c-section----I know I would be anxious. If I did a VBAC then I would be worried all the way through labor of rupture. The c-section.....I am just sick of surgeries and I had an awful first day when I had Zachary, I don't want history to repeat itself. The nurses did tell me Thursday that my doctor's patients do "very well" after a section. That is reassuring.

I will try hard to update after Wednesday's doctors visit.

Park Day

On Thursday we brought the kids to the hospital I will be giving birth to take a tour (even though I worked at that hospital for 5 years). It gave the kids an opportunity to see where I would be staying, what a hospital room looks like, and the baby nursery. If you asked the kids what there favorite part was though, it would have to be hands down seeing a real newborn up close. When we were outside the nursery there was 3 babies in there. A very kind nurse held one baby right up to the glass. The kids were in awe. They were all surprised at how small a baby really is at first. Alex surprised me the most. When asked by the staff that was giving the tour what he thought of the baby he said "the baby is perfect" : ) He has asked me several times a day since then to go back and see the baby.

After the hospital we picked up some sandwiches and headed to the park for a picnic. A good time was had by all (even me!). The temperature was just right and the humidity had come down. Here are some pictures from our time at the park. Enjoy!

Me and my Honey





Emily doing what she does best.....being cute : )

Great action shot taken by CJ

My girls.

Mommy and Emily

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

You Know your Short When.......

Chris and I headed to JCPenny today to buy me nursing bras and PJs for the hospital (btw, I don't fit behind the wheel anymore so he is now my chauffeur).

Being that I am 4'11"---if I stretch, I have always had some difficulty finding clothes (especially pants) that fit me properly. I tried on 2 pairs of pjs and, as usual, they were very long on me. I am pretty use to it and I know it is something I have to live with. So imagine how excited I was when Chris handed me a cute pair of pajamas that actually fit!!!! They were perfect. They came just to my ankles. A pair of pajamas that I won't be tripping on!!! I came out of the dressing room to show him with a HUGE smile on my face : )

I told and showed him how great they were. That is when he started laughing. Then it dawned on me.......they are SUPPOSE to be capris!!!!!! Guess what.......I DON'T CARE!!! THEY FIT!!!! We both started laughing because this, yet again, just shows just how short I really am.

Large Family?

Next month, September 17th to be exact, Nicholas will be entering the world. I am getting very excited.

One thing I have been thinking about lately is our family size. I know this is going to sound kind of a "dah" to some but here goes any just dawn on me recently that we, according to most, are (or will be) a large family.

When did this happen? At what point did we go from being an "average" family to be a "large family"? I honestly do not know. Was it when we got Jessie and Alex and overnight went from a family of 4 to a family of 6? Or is it when we added Emily? Can it be that NOW we are with our new addition coming?

I guess it all comes down to perspective. I would consider us a typical homeschool family. But why? Well, most of the families that I know who homeschool have atleast 4 children (some do have less). Some have 5 or 6. So it doesn't surprise me when I see a family with that many children. I look at a family of 12 (10 children plus parents) as large. However, when I was a mom of 2 with CJ is school, I would have looked at a family with 6 large. Why? Because the "norm" around me was families with 2 kids.

So what do you think? What do you consider a large family? We will be a family of 8, do you consider us a large family?

BTW........I LOVE being a large family : )