Wednesday, September 29, 2010

bring on the babies!

Alternately titled 1 down, 5 to go.

You may remember that I had previously shared that I am one of six expectant mothers at our church in my pregnancy announcement post. Well, one of five now, to be exact.

This picture was taken two weeks ago at Kim's baby shower (3rd from right). The baby boom has now officially begun! Isabel (2nd from right) and her husband Will welcomed James Raymond yesterday morning. I hear rumblings that the next of us will not be far behind. I am 2nd to last in line (by two days) in the due date lineup.

Most exciting, for me, is my sister's upcoming due date. I will be flying to Michigan alone for three days next week in hopes of seeing my new niece or nephew, possibly even attending the birth if he or she has not arrived before I get there. Penny and I were pregnant together two years ago when Ethan was born four months before Ingrid. I attended his birth, and it was amazing. Penny worked so hard for him! I can't wait to meet whoever it is that she is carrying so attractively in her pregnant belly. Seriously, she should be America's Next Top *Pregnant* Model.

Penny and Ethan

family renewal night

Last week was sort of a rough week in the parenting department. A combination of things have made us realize (not for the first time) how much we are in over our heads with this whole raising children thing. It is humbling, but good, because we are reminded to depend more on the one who does have wisdom, and who gives it out freely to those who ask (James 1:5).

We have made a commitment together to focus on parenting more purposefully, with God's help, on a daily basis. It is so easy for me to get in a rut of just "getting through the day" with my children. Then, at the end of the day, so often I realize that I have not accomplished a thing towards helping them reach our ultimate goals for them. So we've made some changes; hard changes, some of them, but we know they are for the better.

To commemorate our renewed efforts together, Jessie surprised me by taking the night off from his second job so we could spend some family time.

We headed to one of our favorite parks, where we cooked us up some hot dogs, and just enjoyed each other while

playing in the dirt

watching the local dumpster diver's antics

jumping off of boulders

climbing up stairs...

...and down stairs

running through shell paths

throwing rocks in the water

stopping to smell the roses daisies

getting our faces good and dirty

and visiting the "bus bathroom"

(always a source of great excitement at this location).

I'm excited to see what God will teach us this year about raising children. We are so blessed to have them. Sometimes we may miss out on things because we have the great responsibility of raising them, but the new experiences that we have, and the lessons we learn through watching them grow more than make up for them.

I love our family - and I'm so grateful to be sharing it with this guy.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

the many faces of...












Monday, September 27, 2010

sunrise walk

The girls have been waking up earlier lately. As a result we have been able to start many of our mornings like this:

Its a very blessed way to begin the day.

Although there are certainly some things I am finding hard to adjust to because of this new arrangement, I can't deny that there are some definite perks.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Car Keys, Cattle and Carnage Part V, in which the other shoe boot drops

Part I

Part II

Part III

Part IV

We tried to enjoy our week as best we could, biding our time until Friday (Read: Payday). Finally Jessie was finished with his workweek and ready to join us at the condo.

His plan was to have the locksmith out as soon as he was done, and to drive directly down to Naples in our newly liberated van once the locksmith had cut the key. He called me when the locksmith was on his way over, assuring me he'd call again once he was on the road. A half hour went by. No call. I waited a few more minutes, but could bear the suspense no longer. I called Jessie. "Are you on your way yet?" Silence - and then, "Babe, you know how we could pull the key out of our ignition even when the van was running?" "Um, yeah?" "The locksmith cut the key, and it fits in the ignition, but it won't turn over since the ignition has a flaw." I imagined having to replace the entire steering column next, all because we lost our stinkin' key. But Jessie was talking again. The locksmith had just informed him that he happened to have an ignition for our model of van in his truck. He was sure he'd be able to get the old ignition out with his equipment. For $90 plus his service charge, we could have the new ignition installed and a key that actually worked in it.

A half hour later Jessie called me. I had no expectations by this time. But, he informed me with jubilation that he was actually driving in our van, and on the way down to join us! We were so relieved! Finally we had transportation again. We felt rueful about the expenses we had already accrued in this fiasco, and had yet to pay out before the truck would be usable again, but at least things were finally looking up!

We were able to have a lovely time with family despite the fact that we'd had so much wind taken out of our sails the previous week. We headed home Sunday night after bidding farewell to our visiting family. It had been a great time.

By late Monday morning things had gotten back to normal for the most part. I started unpacking the bags from our stay at the condo after breakfast. I carried an armful of clothes into the girls' room to be put away, and almost stepped on a set of keys lying on the floor just inside their doorway. Sudden realization coursed through me, and my voice was shrill almost to a screaming point when I called Jessie to come and look. He arrived quickly, and his gaze followed my pointing finger to rest on the set of keys lying ingloriously in the doorway. He stared at them stupidly for a moment, and then, in a flash of sheer brilliance, he turned to Eliza (who was just barely two at the time). "Eliza", he said sweetly, "Can you please put the keys back where you found them?" Eliza, delighted to oblige, scooped up the keys without hesitation and pitter-pattered down the hallway. She reached the coat closet and confidently pulled open the door, sat her little bum on the floor, selected a pink cowboy boot from the assorted shoes cluttering the floor of the closet, and dropped the ring of keys inside.

A few addendums:

Now, I assure you, in our previous search Jessie had thoroughly searched this closet, shaking each shoe and looking inside. However, we found that when a set of keys is lodged deep inside the toe of a size 8 pink cowboy boot, they do not rattle, and are not visible from the top. And since this all happened in July, the boots had not been worn at all for several months at least.

Thus ends the saga of the keys. Well, not quite ended. The truck parts did take 6 weeks to arrive, and when they did, they were the wrong color. But we had them painted and Jessie spent the entire next Saturday successfully repairing the truck.

The End

Monday, September 20, 2010

28 weeks

This baby's movements
feel more personal every day.

And I'm feeling great!

Friday, September 17, 2010

painted pigs

I'm not a big fan of painting. For one thing, especially with a ratio of 3 toddlers to 1 mom, its messy. For another thing, I never know what to do with the, er, art, once its completed. Plus, its messy.

So, I decided that, for now, painting should only be done with purpose, and preferably with 2-parent supervision. But, the girls LOVE painting, and frequently request it. So, I thought I'd better set about finding a purpose. And we found one in aisle 6 of JoAnn Fabrics. Pigs. Contrary to the claim of the cat from "Babe", that "pigs don't really have a purpose", I think we'll all agree that pigs really do have a purpose. For one, they are tasty. For two, they are handy for stashing coins in if they are hollow and made of ceramic.

It cracks me up that Eliza simply cannot keep her tongue in her mouth when she's engrossed in a project.

I rather like the color scheme that Ingrid chose for her pig, and the end result was, I think, my favorite of the three.

Theia's advanced years show when she's doing this type of project. You can tell she actually started out with an idea in mind of how she wanted her pig to look.

Then there was Eliza's pig, which Jessie promptly dubbed "The Hogstrosity".

All finished and set aside to dry.

We finished up the project the next day with googly eyes and $1.95 apiece.

Theia was not pleased when she found out the coins she had deposited were intended to stay inside the pig indefinitely.

I don't remember exactly why there were tears involved, but I'm sure there must have been a very good reason.

Thursday, September 16, 2010





Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Car Keys, Cattle, and Carnage Part IV, in which we curse used car lots.

Car Keys, Cattle, and Carnage, Part I

Car Keys, Cattle, and Carnage, Part II

Car Keys, Cattle, and Carnage, Part III

At the dealership we paid our $20. to have a duplicate key made, and shifted our attention on the way home to the issue of getting the truck repaired. Of course we knew that we needed to repair it out of our own pockets since it was not damaged in an accident related to company business. Jessie felt pretty confident that he could get most of the parts used and repair it himself, cause he's studly like that. We knew that the parts would still add up to quite a handy sum though.

After we got home and put the girls down for their naps, Jessie meandered out to the van with the intent of taking it to the filling station, since it had been very low on gas before it had been rendered useless for the weekend.

I knew it was an ominous sign when Jessie returned to the house wearing a defeated look on his face less than 2 minutes after walking out. "Hey babe, you know how our ignition key has never worked in the passenger door?" I waited. But apparently he wanted a response, or for me to make my own inferences. "Um, yeah?" I could vaguely see where this was headed. "I think the ignition on our van was switched out before we bought it." "Meaning..." "This key doesn't work in the ignition." "But", he added helpfully, "It does work in the passenger door."

There really should be a limit to cruel ironies, I decided.

I mentally included "new ignition assembly" on the list of car parts I would be requesting over the phone from various salvage yards on Monday.

We spent most of the week at a condo in Naples with my sister's family, because they were vacationing there, and Jessie has business that takes him down several times a week anyways. While there, I busied myself with making calls to various scrap yards and car parts stores. I discovered through the course of days that 1) the parts for the truck could take up to 6 weeks to obtain . 2) a new ignition assembly would do us no good since the old one cannot be removed without using the original key. 3) our only option was to have a locksmith come out and cut us a new key for the current ignition. 4) People who own scrap yards invariably talk like Larry the Cable Guy.

To Be Continued.

Monday, September 13, 2010

{it was a very} happy anniversary

Thanks to our good friend (and cousin-in-law) Lesley, we were able to have Friday evening and Saturday morning to ourselves for our anniversary. Its been a long time since we had one of those dates.

First we enjoyed

the sights

around downtown

St. Petersburg

and took


of pictures


each other

Then we went home and talked about how wierd it was to pull up in our driveway at nighttime and walk in the house without having to carry in any children, fix them a snack, and tuck them in for the night.

We decided to get up early the next morning and watch the sunrise, since we wanted to maximize our time together, and we've never watched a sunrise together. Seriously never.

So we headed to the Skyway fishing pier area before dawn

and watched

the sun


I can't wait to do it again.

And then Jessie made me pose for a million pictures.

I like having my picture taken when I'm pregnant. Its so fun to look back and remember, and we hardly have any of my previous pregnancies.

I love living in Florida

Since I had been so cooperative, he even let me take some of him.

Is it just me, or does this guy look like he eats a lot of studly salads?

Obviously we aren't very skilled at taking arms-extended-self-portraits.