Saturday, October 14, 2006

Meet The Shoe Dwellers ~ Mark

Awwww.....don't you just love babies? This one just melts my heart into a big pile of mushy nothingness. Mark is our 3rd born son and 6th child. He weighed 8 lbs. 12 oz. and was not born at home as we had hoped. My 20 week ultrasound found a complete previa, so we decided to discontinue seeing our homebirth midwife and go to a local Nurse Midwife who would deliver us in the hospital's birthing center. The previa migrated, praise God, and Mark's hospital delivery was wonderful.
Mark was 7 months old yesterday!!! He has 3 teeth, can crawl and sit up, says mama and dada, and thinks my boobs are balloons that need blowing up. Either that, or he'll be a trumpet player when he is grown. Ugh! Mark is generally happy most of the time, except for when he's not. ;o) We call him our high needs child, as he seems to need more of everything......except for sleep. Ok, I take that back. He is doing much better than he had been. But he can still sometimes manage to keep the rocking chair warm and rocking in the bedroom during the wee hours of the night some nights! But oh is he scrumptious! He weighs about 22-23 lbs. now. Still exclusively breastfed. I've become one of those mamas that chooses to wait longer before introducing solids. My experience has shown me that babies who eat solids tend to drink less breastmilk. They also can get constipated if their digestive system is not completely matured enough to tolerate solids. Plus, feeding solids means another thing to do during the day and a small, but nonetheless added expense to the grocery bill. So, I usually wait till around the 8th or 9th month.
Mark has killer brown eyes like both of his brothers. Not sure what his hair color will be yet, but it looks to be a medium to dark brown color.....what little he has.
I just love the first year of a baby's life. I love the look in his eyes when he sees something for the first time, or experiences something for the first time, or hears something......I just can't get enough. I'm so thankful the Lord has chosen to trust us with this precious little boy.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Meet The Shoe Dwellers ~ Erika

Erika. (AKA, Scream-ika). Yes, you read that right. If a screaming contest existed she would surely win in these categories: Endurance, regularity, and decibel level. Oh yes, she's cute, but oh so LOUD vocal. Erika is our 3rd born daughter and fifth child and weighed 8 lbs. 15 oz. at birth. She was born at home into her daddy's arms. It was our first homebirth and best delivery yet. If you haven't given birth at home, I highly recommend it if you are able!
Erika is 2 now and our most mischievous child. This child makes it her lot in life to keep us completely exhausted and continually calling out to Christ for wisdom. But we love her just the same and wouldn't trade her for
Erika is the only one of our children with curly hair. Many of you may have several children with curls, but from a family of straight haired folks, the curls are just too precious. She gets it from both sides of our families.
Erika is currently at the potty training stage, and doing quite well! She can almost count to 10 and can almost recite the whole alphabet. She's a great eater and, like her big brother Jonathan, she loves spicy food.
A daddy's girl, and a mama's helper, she will continue to be, as she melts our hearts with that killer smile of hers, and that tippie-toed prance she has as she races toward the "dandy" (candy) bowl after a successful potty session. Ya just gotta love 2 year olds!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Memorizing ABC's and Books of the Bible

When I have pre-schoolers just learning their alphabet song, I have found a great way to help them memorize it. Each time we brush teeth I sing the song to them. After a few weeks of singing it to them, I then begin to leave letters out and have them fill in the blank. "ABCDEF...." then I wait for them to fill in the blank. "HIJKLMNO...." and so on. After a couple of weeks of this, I leave more letters out, and before you know it, they can say it all by themselves! After they master the alphabet, we move on to the books of the Bible. I know there are several versions of this song. Find one you like and memorize it yourself if you haven't already. Sing it and leave books out, just like the alphabet song. They will have them memorized in just a few weeks! This has worked for me for 4 children so far!
Go and visit Rocks In My Dryer for more great tips!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Meet The Shoe Dwellers ~ Anna

Our little "Annie". She's such a sweet, joyful, happy child. She is our second daughter and 4th child. She was our next largest baby, weighing 9 lbs. 4 oz. at birth. She was a chunky infant, but is now our "Sweet Petite". She loves to be called "Tiny" and loves when others refer to her body parts (hands and feet in particular) as tiny. She has blond hair and blue eyes just like her big sister, Elyse.
Anna is now 4 years old and enjoys all the typical little girly things....dolls, pretty clothes, legos, remote control race cars, and sword fighting with her brothers Jonathan and Alex. She's probably our most lovable and cuddly child. She often holds up her arms to me and says, "I want to hold you." She is also constantly trying to smother mother her newest little brother, Mark (intro coming soon). If she were a bit older, I would never be without a babysitter!!
Anna is our most outgoing child. She always has a smile for anyone who will give her a moment of their time. At the nursing home we visit weekly, she is sought after by all of the elderly ladies there. She talks their ears off. Many of them can't reply back to her sweetness, but we can tell they savor every moment of hearing that sweet little "tiny" voice tell them about her week.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Meet The Shoe Dwellers ~ Jonathan

Jonathan is our 3rd child and 2nd born son. He was our biggest baby so far, weighing in at a hefty 9 lbs. 14 oz., and was 23 inches long. OUCH! He was such a HUGE infant! I don't know if it was my milk, or if the kid was just one of those fast growing varieties, but he was so big that he outgrew his infant carseat carrier before he was 4 months old. At his 4 month well visit he weighed 26 lbs. 7 oz.!!! At this time he was still exclusively breastfed.
Jonathan is 6 now and in the 1st grade in our homeschool. He enjoys drawing, legos, reading, spending time with his brother Alex, riding his two-wheeler, eating spicy food and just plain being a boy. Jonathan just recently lost his first tooth. He lost the second one about 2 days ago. He pulled them out himself with a piece of floss and didn't even flinch! What a brave guy he is!
Jonathan is our egg collector. It's his job to make sure all the eggs are collected from the chicken coop each day. He also feeds and waters our dog, Isabelle, every day. He's a big boy learning big boy responsibilities. He helps his daddy occassionally when it's time to stack wood.
Jonathan has made it clear that he wants to marry me one day. For now, my answer is always "YES!". Sad will be the day when he stops asking me.

A Funny Anna Saying....

We have many chickens who produce many eggs for us. We sell them to passers-by for $2 a dozen. This summer we ventured into the world of broody hens hatching their own chicks. We managed to hatch 4 batches of chicks under their mama!
The other day we were discussing how the first batch of pullets were due to start laying sometime this month. Anna, who is 4, was listening in on our conversation. After mulling it all over, she asked with a curious look on her face...

"Mommy, when will Isabelle start laying eggs?"

Isabelle is our 10 year old German Shephard.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Meet The Shoe Dwellers ~ Alex

Alex is our second born child....first born son. He weighed in at 8 lbs. 2 oz. and had a head full of black hair. His skin was so red, we called him our little indian boy (coincidently, he does have some Cherokee in him!). Having a boy was very different than having a girl. Just when I thought I had the mom thing figured out, Alex came along and proved me completely wrong. He was a curious one, alright. Always into something at the crack of dawn. We had a small incident where he climbed up onto the gas range one morning and laid across it on his belly while he emptied the cookie jar, which was on the counter next to the stove, and took a bite out of every cookie. Oh, and then there was the time when he emptied my purse and ate a whole pack of Dentine gum....OH, and then there was the time he broke all of the Christmas ornaments.....all in the wee hours of the morning while everyone else was asleep. Enter...the backwards door knob. We had to turn his door knob around and lock it from the outside to keep this kid from getting into everything! Thankfully, he has grown out of that and now spends his early mornings in bed.
Alex is 13 now and in the 8th grade in our homeschool. He absolutely loves to draw. I'm sure he will make a fine artist some day. He loves to learn Science and is quite good at it, I might add. He's finally big enough to lend his dad a hand with wood splitting and building know...all that manly stuff. A fine young man he is turning out to be. He has become a person that we can depend on around here to keep things from falling apart. He's also my Mr. Fix-It when daddy is not around (thanks, honey!).

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

What We Do With Over-ripe Fruit

If you have over ripe bananas, and maybe some apples or whatever kind of overly juicy leftover fruit might be lurking in your fruit bowl, just throw them in a blender and make a breakfast shake. I use 2-3 bananas, or 2 bananas with an apple or two, some ice...maybe 2 cups, about 2 cups of milk, 2-3 Tbsp. of sugar or your favorite sweetener, and few drops of vanilla extract. Blend till smooth (though my kids love a few chunks every once in a while). Drink quickly, as the bananas tend to become "rusty" in a short period of time. It's delicious and easier than trying to throw together a banana bread. Works for me! Check out more great tips over at Rocks in My Dryer!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Meet The Shoe Dwellers ~ Elyse

Since I'm so new to the blogging world, and have virtually no hits (what does that mean, anyway?), I guess I'll start by introducing my family. I will introduce one person a day, which means there will be 8 posts, unless you include the dog and chickens. That would make 57 posts. I think I'll just stick to 8 with a possible 9th just for our doggie.

Elyse is our first blessing. She was born just 1 1/2 years into our marriage on August 26th, 1989. She weighed 7 lbs. 15 oz. Our smallest baby. What a perfect baby she was, which was a Godsend, considering I was a first time mommy and very young. She never gave us a lick of trouble, and hardly ever a sleepless night. She has blond hair and blue eyes, which seemed a miracle to me, as I just assumed my genes (dark hair, skin and eyes) would be stronger and more dominant than my husbands (fair skinned, blue eyes, blond hair). We began homeschooling her at age 6 after a year in public school. She was a brilliant child, naturally, and remains so this day. She took up piano at the age of 10 and now at the age of 17 is quite accomplished, in my opinion. She plays for the worship service in our church from time to time. She is also learning ASL (American Sign Language) on her own, with hopes of learning more formally in the years to come. She also signs to praise music in our church occasionally. This is such a sight to see. The words of the songs seem to sink in deeper watching a person sign them, as well as listening to them. It's a ministry all it's own, and I'm so thankful the Lord has given Elyse this gift.
She is a senior in our homeschool this year. We are planning a graduation celebration sometime in June. We've had her senior portraits done recently. I wish I could scan one for you to see, as they came out LOVELY!!! But there is a copyright on them. :o( Understandably so.
Elyse will make a wonderful wife and mommy someday, as she is my right hand here in Our Shoe. She selflessly helps me with her younger siblings and does a wonderful job with meals when I can't (Thanks Sweetie!).
Elyse also works part time for the same software company her daddy works for. She gets up at the crack of dawn to get her school work done. Then it's off to the office (on the other side of the drive way) for a 3-4 hour work day. She is still in the process of getting her drivers license, but we aren't complaining. ;o)

Saturday, September 23, 2006

What a great deal!

I love getting good deals at the thrift shop. Well, on Thursday we all went to a museum in a little town near us. We don't frequent that particular town too often, so I'm not familiar with what is there for shopping. Anyway, just that morning as we were getting ready to go, I mentioned to Todd how Mark really needed some winter clothes. Though I have 2 older boys, many of their hand-me-downs aren't fitting Mark too well right now because Mark was born in March, and Jonny and Alex were born in August. So, as we left the museum a lady put a sign up with an arrow pointing to her little thrift shop behind a church. I would have never known it was there if it weren't for the sign. It's as if she was waiting for us to get to our van before putting out the sign. It was a sign advertising her summer clothes sale. Todd talked me into going in to see if there were any winter things. WOW!!! Am I glad I did. Look what I got!

5 Shirts
3 Pairs of overalls
4 Pairs of pants
2 One Piece Outfits
1 Snow suit
2 Pairs of shorts (for the girlies to wear under their dresses)
2 Ladies skirts for Elyse
2 Ladies tops (one for me, and one for Elyse)

All for the low low price of.......................................$9.50!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WooooHoooo!!! Now that's a good deal in my book! The Lord is soooo Good.


Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Chicken Pox Pie

As I was assembling a Chicken Pot Pie for dinner the other night, Jonathan watched for a few moments until he figured out what I was doing. He then jumped up and down and said, "Yummy! Chicken POX pie!!!!" We fell over laughing!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Yes, it's a shoe sometimes!

Hi Everyone!
I'm very excited about doing this, though I know virtually nothing about blogging. I'm learning, though, and hope you'll take the time to check in on the latest happenings in our shoe. Some days I feel like the old woman who lived in a shoe! I'm thankful I can look back on those days and sometimes laugh. Now I can share our moments with you.