Friday, September 30, 2011

a Facebook friend posted this the other day. i just had to share.

If I live in a house of spotless beauty with everything in its place, but have not love, I am a housekeeper--not a homemaker.

If I have time for waxing, polishing, and decorative achievements, but have not love, my children learn cleanliness--not godliness.

Love leaves the dust in search of a child's laugh. Love smiles at the tiny fingerprints on a newly cleaned window. Love wipes away the tea
rs before it wipes up the spilled milk. Love picks up the child before it picks up the toys.

Love is present through the trials. Love reprimands, reproves, and is responsive. Love crawls with the baby, walks with the toddler, runs with the child, then stands aside to let the youth walk into adulthood. Love is the key that opens salvation's message to a child's heart.

Before I became a mother I took glory in my house of perfection. Now I glory in God's perfection of my child. As a mother, there is much I must teach my child, but the greatest of all is love.
so tired! we've had a full day of it. we got out early to walk the Town Lake trail 3 mile loop. i then went to Luke's Locker to pick up my packet for the 10K on Sunday. after that we drove way down south to Cabella's "just for fun". we never go there, but the kids love the place, so we made it a field trip of sorts. then to Hobby Lobby, where i met up with a woman from whom i was buying a baby sling. it's this 360bebe sling


very cute, eh? they're made here in Austin. anyways, it was a size XS. hopefully i will one day be an XS up top again.

then we drove all the way back home for a few minutes where we checked on the piano tuner, who had the innards of the piano exposed which was terribly fascinating for John, who is my curious little monkey. then on to Terra Toys, which is next to heaven for my kids. since the majority of them had no cavities at the dentist check up yesterday, i had promised them a prize, so i was following through on it.

now we're back home and i'm worn out. i'm really glad we don't do school on fridays, because i feel like all of us need that break. it motivates me to push them extra hard on the 4 other days, knowing that we get a full day of fun the 5th day. and they have been working hard. generally we do school until 4 o'clock. i must be the most inefficient homeschooler, but it really does take us that long to get it all in. i'm not complaining though. i really want to teach them and not just hand out assignments for them to work through on their own. to do that requires me spending a lot of one on one time with each of them. particularly John and William. it is tiring, but also so rewarding. they've learned a lot, and i've even taught some new math concepts on my own. like wow, huh?

i'm really thankful that we have an evening at home tonight. i'm about to start on homemade pizza - two kinds: traditional and chicken pesto. and then after the kids are tucked away, Brian and i will snuggle up with some college football on tv. who cares that it's just Utah State and BYU. we'll take what we can get.

tomorrow both the soccer games are at 9 (thank goodness!), which will free the rest of our day up. we might be helping with the Bastrop fire cleanup after that. plans have yet to be solidified.

sunday is the IBM Classic 10K. i'm not very confident about my ability to run even half of it, but i'll give it my best shot. i've been walking/running 4 to 4.5 miles every morning, but running 6.2 continuously is a little different. i'm not worried about the safety of it. i've read enough to convince me that since i've never had pregnancy complications, and as i'm a fairly seasoned runner, running throughout pregnancy isn't a problem at all. the only worry i have is whether the port-o-potties will be spaced close enough.

well, off to work on dinner. hope you have a lovely weekend!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

workin on the nursery

so we've been working on a place to stick Hazel's stuff. not an easy task when you are 6 and 3/4 people in a 1700 square foot house, but the Lord has blessed and it is all coming together. we converted the playroom to her nursery. this room has had so many personalities since we moved in 8 years ago. it was the study at first, then the dining room, then the playroom, and now the nursery.

it needs some touch up on the window sill paint, but otherwise we'll keep the color the same.

i made a couple of strings of flags to tie in the rugs and the fabric in the bedding. the quilt on the futon is part of the bedding set that all the kids have used. i plan to paint and distress the high chair. it's had a little wear and tear over the past 12 and a half years.

another set of flags, and a homemade chalk board. i have something else i plan to hang above the bed. i'll post a pic of that when i do.

unassembled bed. still working on this. we had some snags with some parts that need replacing. again, same bed and bedding that the other four have used.

i've had this wire strung up for years to display the kids' artwork. i decided to use it for some cheap decorating. i found pics from magazines and ran them off on our printer. since our ink cartridges were running low on ink, it made a nice effect. oh, and there's an original pic of Margaret and Samuel when they were littles.

and this is where i'll spend many a late night with Hazel, here on the futon, watching late night infomercials.

i picked this up at Target the other night. pretty cute for mass produced junk, huh?

and this is a cabinet that Daddy made for me. it's really a kitchen hutch, but it's been converted to my diaper station. inside is my hoard of cloth diapers. in the bottom are H's clothes. i need to replace the knobs with something more attractive. that little purse was one i made Margaret to go with an Easter dress i made for her one year. seems like it was just yesterday. in reality, if i care to admit it, it was 7 years ago. =(

so that's the progress so far. i hope to get more done over the weekend.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

it's pre-5 am. i'm up because we're leaving early this morning to go down to San Antonio with Brian. he is helping to put on some civil engineering conference there and invited us to come along and share his hotel. i've been wanting to get the kids down to SA for awhile, so this will be our field trip for the week.

i had my 33 week OB appointment yesterday. i managed to pack on a few more pounds since the last visit 2 weeks ago, which made Dr. Love happy. i pretty much had to eat myself sick the last week to do it, too. 131 lbs now. i'm betting that i'll gain about 5 more before this show is over. Hazel has got my belly stretched so far it feels as if my skin could rip open. i can't see how she can grow anymore in there, but i'm sure she will.

she's getting stronger every day and i love her punshes and kicks even if they hurt a little. i can't wait to meet her!

i rewarded myself with a Starbucks salted caramel mocha frap after my appointment. i almost never get sweet drinks like that as they're just overkill to my system, but it sounded so good yesterday.

Brian took the boys to cub scouts last night. he's been recruited to head up William and Samuel's den, which i think is funny since he was never a scout himself and not really the scout type. while they were gone, Margaret and I threw on some helmets and backpacks and rode our bikes to old navy so she could do a little shopping. she found a few things, we both bought the same appliqued scarf, and i bought Hazel a swimsuit for next summer =). after we left ON, we road the Mueller trail before heading home. it was such a beautiful night, i would have loved to stay out much longer!

well, time to rouse the sleeping ones and get this show on the road.

Monday, September 19, 2011

i had a wonderful birthday weekend. though i have to admit that i forgot it was my birthday weekend. when Brian greeted me Sunday morning with happy birthday, it caught me by surprise. we had a lovely three night stay at the Claiborne House B&B. Steve and Elaine, the inn keepers, were just as warm as hospitable as always, and their breakfasts were as scrumptious as ever. Brian and i had dinner at three of our favorite places on the planet: Auntie Skinner's, the Stillwater, and Lamache's. we've been patronizing these places annually for the past 14 years. we sat for nearly four hours watching football at Auntie Skinner's on Saturday. to some girls that would be hell, but for me it was heaven. it also didn't hurt that the Longhorns looked mighty fine.

us at the Stillwater Inn on friday night -

Brian gave me these James Avery earrings yesterday morning

no other jeweler compares to JA, in my opinion.

after a hearty breakfast and hugs goodbye from Steve and Elaine, and promises that we'll be back next year, we drove to Brian's parent's house. they had a lunch ready for us and a birthday cake for me, as well as some gifts. we couldn't stay long as we were planning to meet my family in Austin for dinner at six. the drive home was uneventful. i slept a lot and read a little. we got to Trudy's right on time. my mom and stepdad were there, as well as Aunt Lucy, my grandfather, and Leah and her kiddos.

if you look close, i'm sporting a black eye from when i tried to tear down a box to put in our recycling bin the other day. it came back and popped me in the eye really hard.

anyways, everyone gave me sweet gifts and i felt very loved. it was a special day.

now it's back to work. i really don't like starting a school day when i haven't had sufficient time to plan. but we're plodding through our day ok. tonight Margaret and Samuel have boxing class downtown and William and John and I will do some swimming. Brian has a deacon's meeting which means he won't be getting home until very late. i'm hoping i hold up until i get the kids off to bed. i got out and exercised this morning - 5 mile walk with a few running spurts in there - but i never got that adrenaline surge that i usually get after exercising, just the drag. i'm trying to prop myself up with some caffeine now.

ps. i forgot to add that one of the goals we had for our weekend away was to come back with a middle name for Hazel. we accomplished that goal and she will from henceforth be called Hazel Jane.

Friday, September 16, 2011


i'm resting up here in the Claiborne House B&B in Jefferson, Texas, watching college football and getting good and hungry for our annual dinner tonight at the Stillwater Inn. we drove up to Kilgore yesterday and dropped the kids off with Brian's mom, traded cars with her, and drove up to Jefferson, getting here in time for dinner. when we come here each fall, we park the car and don't get back in it the entire three day weekend. everything is within walking distance and the town is so adorable that you just want to walk everywhere. we walked over to Auntie Skinner's kinda late last night (just about one of my favorite places on the planet, i might add) and we each ordered burgers and fries and watched the LSU-Mississippi State game. i rarely eat hamburgers, so when i do, it's like a spiritual experience. it was fabulous. when Brian and i come to Jefferson each year for our anniversary, we spend a lot of time eating and drinking and watching football at Auntie Skinner's. while i enjoyed my water, Brian drank an extra Shiner for me.

this morning we slept in, spent some time reading Scripture together, then went down to breakfast at 9. there was only one other couple in the inn last night, and we sat at the breakfast table and visited with them for awhile this morning. they were Aggies from College Station, but we still seemed to find some common ground for conversation. the inn keepers, Steve and Elaine weren't  in, but they had their help Lula, a big black woman with a sweet southern accent serving breakfast. hopefully Steve and Elaine will be in sometime over the weekend. i'd love to spend some time catching up with them.

i got in a lot of walking around town today while Brian spent some time studying for an upcoming exam he's taking for some sort of certification. Jefferson has a lot of antique stores and nick-nack shops. i looked, but didn't buy.

in other news, earlier this week Mama took me pre-birthday shopping. i picked out things for Hazel and her room. the nursery is coming together so nicely. i am using the same bedding i've used for all the kids, which is classic, amazingly versatile, and looks great even after four babies. i'll post a pic once i get the room all set up.

i've been reading The Mayflower and the Pilgrim's New World by Nathaniel Philbrick.

The Mayflower and the Pilgrims' New World

i picked it up in the youth section of the library last week as William and John are studying early American history. it's an adaptation of his book The Mayflower, this one being adapted for youth. but honestly, it doesn't read like a book for youth, and i've found it very interesting. it's been really nice to be able to indulge in hours of reading pleasure already this weekend.

well, time to get beautified for dinner for my love.

Friday, September 9, 2011


i'm sitting here in the den listening to Brian sip whisky and read little women to the kids. =) it's been a good day. i ran/walked 5 miles this morning before sun up, then met our pastor's wife and another woman at the church to finalize plans for the clothing exchange tomorrow morning. then it was off to pioneer farms for our friday field trip. they were having homeschool day, so there were lots of familiar faces there. the classical conversations group that meets at our church was there, the group i did nursery care for last year. margaret wanted to dress up for the occasion.

we stopped by the library on the way home and picked out 5 movies, the limit they'll allow you to check out at one time.

i left the kids home and ran errands for the event tomorrow. while at hobby lobby i found some wonderful fabric to use in Hazel's room - blue, green, and brown - the colors i plan to decorate her room in.

this evening i've been baking for the morning clothing swap. i made a couple o' dozen strawberry cream cheese muffins, and now i have my famous orange cinnamon roll recipe in the oven.

it's so disheartening to hear of new fires popping up all over texas every day. i feel like crying with the psalmist, how long, O Lord, will you hide yourself forever, will your wrath burn like fire?

well, time to clean up my mess in the kitchen and drag myself to bed.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

thursday, sept. 8

it's early on thursday morning. hopefully i can get a few lines written before time to go out to exercise.

school has gone well this week. we now have a for real school room to do our school in now that our outbuilding is complete. we had that building constructed on our property so many years ago (5, 6?) and just now finished it out with electricity, insulation, a/c, etc. i'm not big on making my house look like a school, so i'ts nice to have a place to leave everything once the school day is done. i'll post pics as soon as i can.

Margaret and Samuel started a boxing class at the Y. we had intended for William to take the class with Samuel, but he just wasn't ready. it's rather intense, and a lot of work. i swim with the boys in the indoor pool while they're in their class.

i went to the doc on Tuesday. everything is looking good. baby is growing and blood pressure remains low, but Dr. Love would like me to gain some more weight. surprisingly i'd only gained a pound last month, bringing my total to 19 lbs. gained. i feel like all i do is eat, and lately the diet has consisted of  pizza and burgers, that kind of thing. but i guess the regular exercise burns more than i think, so i need to find a way to get in more calories.

i'm down to the every-two-week dr. visits now. that's exciting!

the wildfires here in central texas are devastating to say the least. it is hard to believe the extent of the destruction. Bastrop is just down the road from Austin. the house i grew up in is on the Travis/Batrop county line, between Austin and Batrop. the last i heard is that nearly 800 homes have burned to the ground in that county alone. the beautiful Bastrop SP was all but destroyed, only about 50 to 100 acres of the 6000 did not burn, though they were able to save the CCC cabins and other structures in the park. Austin has been a shroud of smoke since Sunday, what with those fires out east, the Steiner Ranch fires to the west, and other fires in the north and south. yesterday the smoke was particularly bad. we're praying that some of those tropical storms out in the Atlantic turn into rain for Texas.

i had my last Meals on Wheels route yesterday. i decided to step out at this time because it's hard to keep it up while homeschooling, and also because i'll have to stop once baby gets here anyways. i'll miss those sweet people. the sad part is that i might never see them again, as most are pretty old and frail. once i return they might no longer be with us. or might have been moved to a nursing home.

we've been getting Hazel's nursery set up. the big motivation to get the outbuilding finished was to have a place to put all the kids' toys so we could convert the playroom into a nursery. that done, now i'm in the process of furnishing her room. i bought a futon on craigslist, and we'll put the crib back together as soon as we have the chance. my mom says she wants to get me a rocking chair, which would be wonderful. i have the cool hutch that my dad made for me years ago in there and that will hold her clothes and diapers and double as a changing table once i buy a changing pad. we also put the cedar chest in there, a gift from my parents when i was a teenager. i hope to make a cushion for the top of it so it can serve as another place to sit. i need to buy a new rug for the room. i don't think i'll repaint it, though the room is wedgewood blue. the blue is such a lovely blue, and i painted it not too long ago. girls can have blue rooms, too, can't they? i did when i was a kid.

well, time to hit the trail. hopefully i'll get around to posting some pics in my next post.