Monday, October 31, 2011

the kiddos are busy working on math, so i'll take a little break from teaching to blog about our weekend.

Brian's office had a Halloween party on thursday. this is the 3rd year they've done this for the kids and it's a lot of fun. only Margaret and William wanted to dress up. i wore my pumpkin get up. and feasted on pizza for the third time that day. mmm.

we drove to Marble Falls friday morning to go to the pumpkin patch at Sweet Berry Farms. mama met us there and we had such a good time. the kids did the corn maze. we all rode on a hayride. and then we picked zinnias in there big zinnia field.

we came home and all worked together to clean the house. the kids are really getting good at carrying their weight around here as far as cleaning and chores.

Margaret and Samuel worked on carving some of our pumpkins.

Brian's parents got here around 7:30. they hadn't been down here since August, so we showed off our latest home projects, then settled down to watch the World Series together.

the kids had their last soccer games of the season on saturday. after that we all went to lunch at El Arroyo to celebrate Brian's mom's birthday. i had made a cookie cake for her, so after lunch we came home and had that with ice cream. yum. i was so tired that i went to bed and slept most of the afternoon away. i even slept through their goodbye. i was kind of hoping i'd go into labor while they were in town to keep them from having to make another trip down, but it didn't happen.

yesterday after church we went hiking at Commons Ford Ranch. it was our first time there, and what a lovely place it is!

Lake Austin forms one border of Commons Ford Ranch

  Commons Ford RanchCommons Ford Ranch photo Commons Ford Ranch photo Commons Ford Ranch Photo

i lifted these pics from the park's site since the pictures we took yesterday are on Brian's phone.

we hiked the rugged terrain for three hours, but i still didn't go into labor. i guess she'll come when she's good and ready.

last night we had a cozy evening at home. we ate chili and baked potatoes and watch The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown. i went to bed early again thanks to a wonderful husband who takes over whenever he's home.

it was back to the old routine again this morning: up at 5 and out to exercise at 6. this is one area i've been very consistent in this year. i think i've only skipped my 4+ mile walk a handful of times this pregnancy, and that is only when we were on vacation. hopefully it will make labor and recovery all the more smoother.

we're excited about dressing and and going trick or treating with friends tonight. we didn't participate in such things when i was a kid, but Brian and i let the kids have fun with it. i know there are folks who think us evil and compromised because of it, but our conscience doesn't condemn us in it, so we continue. we also heartily celebrate All Saints Day on November 1st. =)

well, the kids need my help with school, so i'd better get back to it.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

last night i worked on my pumpkin shirt. don't laugh. it kind of looks like i've poured myself into one of Margaret's shirts. also, being makeup-less doesn't help.

i didn't get the pumpkin's face parts on straight, but i think it makes it even funnier. i'll get a better picture tomorrow when i wear it for Brian's office party. John suggested i be a whole pumpkin patch, with my belly, my boobies, and my face being individual pumpkins. LOL.
i had a dr. appointment this morning. still nothing to report, though Dr. Love and i had a good chat about scripture and biblical Christianity. he's such a great guy and i'm just so blessed to have had him for my doc all these years. he and his wife are a really cute pair. now that their kids are older, she works in the office with him, kind of managing things. they both treat me like an old friend. i guess i kind of am now as he's been doing my business for 13 years now.

we have a busy weekend coming up, so i kind of hope Hazel stays put. tomorrow evening Brian's office is having their annual halloween party. then friday we're going out to the pumpkin patch with my mom. Brian's parents are coming in to town friday evening for a short visit. saturday morning we have soccer games, and then i'm sure we'll do something to celebrate Brian's mom's birthday which is coming up next week. of course we'll have church on sunday, and then halloween on monday. i would really hate to spoil the kids fun by having to up and go to the hospital in the midst of one of their fun acitvities. but they're also very much looking forward to Hazel coming. they keep asking when it will be.

thankfully i've been getting more sleep lately. last week was rough, but this week i've been in bed before 9 and even though i've been getting up at 5 or a little earlier, i usually climb back in bed with Brian for another half hour after i get the coffee going and have my breakfast. i'm just feeling really good right now. Dr. Love even complimented me, saying pregnancy looks good on me. LOL. i guess there is something to beauty sleep.

school is going well. we're about a third of the way through in most subjects. some days are harder than others, and i sometimes spend a lot of time on the phone with the principal, but overall, i can't complain. the kids are learning to apply themselves and work hard.

the kids each planted a garden a couple of weeks ago and have had a lot of fun tending it. it makes me happy to see them so excited about gardening.

well, that's all the non-news i have to report. happy wednesday, folks.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

i had a bare wall above Hazel's bed, so i made a little something for her to look at. got the inspiration from my oh-so-creative friend, Mollie, who just published this book -

Make & Do: Paper Fascinations for Every Lovely Occasion

i used the pages out of an old copy of Katie and the Big Snow.

Katy and the Big Snow (Vol 2)

it has butterflies and ducks and circles. nothing special, but it adds a little to the room. the ceiling in that room is so high that i couldn't hang a mobile from it as i wanted, so this is the next best thing.

another fun little thing i did was dress up a lamp i bought on clearance at Target for $4. i wanted it to fit better with the flea market look in Hazel's room, so i cut some pictures from magazines and glued them to cardstock and then strung them on there. =)

Monday, October 24, 2011

wow. this has not been the best homeschooling day ever. i am just so tired and dealing with unmotivated boys has proved to be very taxing. and my methods don't work (threatening through clenched teeth, etc.). Brian came home for lunch and i wasn't even nice to him. i guess i saw him as another male needing my evil eye. ha.

we had a busy weekend. friday night was movie night with the kids. saturday morning we had two soccer games. immediately after that we went out to the old family farm house in Manor and helped my grandfather and uncle with some work out there. the Farm, as it is known in the Sparks family (my mom's side), is really old, like close to 150 years old, i think, and needs a lot of work. Brian and i worked on cutting mesquite bushes along the drive way, cleaning the porches, and some other odd jobs around the place while the kids ran around and played. we came home tired and dirty, and i made chicken and rice soup for dinner. we relaxed and watched the baseball game. this time Hazel didn't get wound up. maybe because the Rangers lost.

we worshipped with Redeemer on Sunday, then Brian and i subbed as teachers for William's sunday school class. we got together with my mom and my sister and her kids at the Austin Zoo after church. i was really tired, but it was nice to see Leah and the kids. we had the cousins over to play for a bit until it was time for them to go back to their dad's.

thankfully i was able to get in bed early last night, though i did stay up and watch game 4 of the world series. that was pretty exciting. our family loves watching sports, but we've never been much on baseball...until now.

about 2 weeks left until my due date. i'm kind of wearing down. i keep trying to stay on top of all the laundry and cleaning and all just in case she comes "today", and, well, it's pretty exhausting. i washed all the bedding today and get it all put back on. trying to put sheets on a top bunk bed while 9 months pregnant is a challenge. LOL.

well, i promised the kids i'd go check out the thrift store for some additions to their halloween costumes (they all want to be pirates), so i had better get moving.

Friday, October 21, 2011

well, we had a trial run to the hospital last night. while watching the world series last night i started cramping pretty bad. the contractions were long and painful and made me feel nauseous. after the game ended and we were turning out the light, my legs started shaking uncontrollably, just as they do when i'm in labor. i couldn't stop them for anything. since John was born so quick, we thought it best to go in to the hospital to get checked out. we were there from about 10:30 until 1:30. i had regular contractions between 2 and 5 minutes apart for most of the time we were there, but they eventually got weaker and further apart. i was only dilated at the most a cm. frustrating, but now the kids have an idea of what to expect. Mama came in to town to help and stayed the night with us. this morning we went shopping and out to lunch before she headed back home. i'm so glad the weekend is here because i sure have a lot of sleep to catch up on.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

i've been having trouble sleeping the past several nights. i just toss and turn as if i've had too much caffeine, when in reality, i keep forgetting to drink my morning cup o' joe, or can't finish it when i do remember. maybe it's God preparing me for being up with Hazel. i decided to get on up and make some bagels. i'm sure the rest of the occupants of this house wish i'd just stay in bed. i'm a rather noisy baker.

monday night Brian had the monthly deacon's meeting. i took the kids to the Lake Park to play after dinner. we'd been in the house or school room or yard all day, and they were itching to stretch their legs. we ran into the Zamora family - Ricky's family. remember the kiddo we raised money for with the Run for Ricky? i visited with the mom, Gracie, awhile. Ricky is up and down. he was in the hospital for 8 days recently and will be heading back down to San Antonio for more treatment this week. he looks pretty good, but then he always has been pretty happy and energetic even when he's felt bad. i'm not sure if i mentioned this, but Ricky is in the cub scout den that Samuel and William are in, the one Brian leads. the kids played sharks and minnows with Ricky and his brother, Jose, John's old bf from Maplewood, until it was getting late. after getting everyone showered and read to, i got my unwieldy self to bed. Brian didn't get home until after 11. those meetings always last so long!

yesterday was a fairly uneventful school day. i was pleased that we wrapped things up before 2:30. i know the rest of the homeschool world probably finishes at lunch time, but i'm just not that good yet. i worked on painting the old high chair. it was a stained maple color, but i'm painting it red. a cold front had come in early yesterday morning and brought fall with it. the kids reveled in it and played outside for hours. Brian and the boys went to cub scouts in the evening, and Margaret and i went walking at Mueller. we then went shopping for a new car seat and jogging stroller. they didn't have what we wanted in stock at the Babies R Us closest to us, so i'll have to drive down south today and get it. while there, i picked up a diaper bag for H. -

i've been kicking myself for not buying the one i saw at the boutique in Natchez, MS, while we were on vacation, and have been looking for another ever since. i couldn't bring myself to spend $80 on one when there are other things that baby and others in the house need more than a cool diaper bag. Margaret i and both liked this one for the colors and that it wasn't too "cute".

i go in to see Dr.Love this morning. i might have him take a peek at my cervix and see if i've made any progress. not that that means much, but sometimes it's encouraging. i'm a little bit worried about going into labor to fast. John came so quick. i went from feeling nothing to having him in a matter of three hours. i woke up in the wee hours of the morning feeling a bit sore, and within an hour was having regular contractions. we got to the hospital at 4:15 or 4:30 and he was born at 5:30. thankfully we are just 5 minutes from the hospital i'll deliver at, and 2 minutes from Dell Children's if there was an emergency, so my fears are probably unfounded.

well, i had better get back to my bagels. happy wednesday, y'all!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

one of those days

it is a windows open, candles goin' kind of day.

thankful for the fallish weather today!

time out for history

my brother got a hold of this picture of the old Evans homeplace in Hutto, north of Round Rock. it was taken in the 1880's. the house is still in the family, and my cousins Hudson and Luke live there with their mom. their dad, my uncle William "Bill" Evans, died a couple of years ago. this was where my great grandfather, Thomas Abraham Evans and his 14 siblings were raised. we still go out there for the annual Easter egg hunt. the house is really cool, but not literally, as it doesn't have a/c (which is basically unheard of here in Texas), and looks pretty much exactly like it did back then, both inside and out, although the house is now surrounded by a grove of trees. my ancestors were some of the first people in the area, and are credited with giving Round Rock its name.

Monday, October 17, 2011

just wrapped up school for the day. it was good...for a Monday. we also planted our fall gardens. each of the kids has a 6x8 ft. plot. they are all really excited to have their own space.

weekend was good. we had our friends, Chris and Jess over for burgers friday night. we were up and out early on Saturday to get up to Georgetown for the 5K that Margaret and Samuel have been training for. unfortunately we battery trouble with the suburban, so i had to drive Margaret and Samuel up in the truck. i realized after we were already up in Georgetown that we weren't going to make it in time, so we turned around and headed back. it was disappointing for them as they've been training for a couple of months, but there will be another next month. i was disappointed, too, as i was planning on running with them, my one last run before Hazel comes. oh well, i guess i'll give it a shot after she's born.

we had 2 soccer games that morning as well, then came home and worked around the house all day. i was all emotional for some reason and found myself crying about my sewing machine which was giving me grief, and crying that Hazel will have no new things, just hand-me-downs. i was being ridiculous, really. oh, and then the longhorns lost.

i had a lot of contractions saturday night and started having a lot of pressure and cramping. but then it went away.

sunday was good. we worshipped with the saints, and then went to lunch at El Arroyo. Brian and i enjoyed a nice long nap sunday afternoon. i got out and exercised sunday night. more contractions, more pressure. i think Hazel has dropped, though it is hard to tell since she's been low all along.

there is a sweet momma at church who is due the exact same time as me, and we think it's great fun to swap stories of how we're doing. she is expecting her 6th and is having a boy. i had a good visit with her yesterday.

i've been meaning to put some pics up here of our one room school house. it is nothing fancy, but it suits us well. it is really nice to have a place to leave everything at the end of the day and not have school books all over the house. we also have all the kids' toys out there, which is fabulous as they, too, are not all over the house anymore.

on the wall behind me are shelves that house things like my sewing stuff, all our sporting equipment, tubs and tubs of office/school supplies, and clothes that aren't currently in use.

school has been going well. everyone is used to the daily routine and it doesn't take much prodding to get everyone out to the school room in the morning. last week i made a detailed schedule for each kid for each subject through Thanksgiving. i think i enjoy curriculum planning much more than the actual teaching. it felt so nice to have all those little squares filled in with assignments.

i'm gonna go make some brownies and pumpkin pie, and throw some chicken on the grill, and then get this joint in ship shape before the man gets home.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Thursday, October 13, 2011

i haven't blogged about this yet, as far as i can remember (pregnancy brain is throwing me for a loop), but yesterday was Brian and my 14th anniversary. really, i can hardly believe it has been 14 years since we promised ourselves to each other. in so many ways it feels so new. i know this sounds corny, but staring into each other's eyes still hasn't gotten old. he still thrills me. but in other ways it does seem like we've been together a long time. there is a deep satisfying character to our relationship, a comfortableness that only years of sharing life together can bring. i am so thankful for that man.

since we'd already celebrated with a three night getaway last month, and then got a weekend without the kids last weekend, yesterday seemed rather anti climactic. but i wanted to make it special somehow. i made a spice cake with cream cheese frosting, cooked a roast, something i rarely do, but that Brian enjoys, made rosemary bread, and fixed some other good foods. over dinner we told the kids some of the funnier stories from our wedding and reception, and then Brian and i went for a walk around the neighborhood while the kids stayed home and played rough and tumble games on the trampoline.

for mother's day this year Brian bought me a couple of charms for my James Avery charm bracelet. i've had charms for all the kids, but John. so one of the ones he got me was a little boy, and the other the baptism symbol charm (a seashell) to link with John's charm to represent his baptism. so for our anniversary he had them put on my bracelet for me, and also added another, an open heart. he keeps me set with JA jewelry.
Brian has been saving up for a long time for a nice pair of boots, so i got him a gift certificate for Shepler's. he was able to get him some nice black calf skin Lucchese boots. i'm glad he did. like most husbands and fathers, he never spends money on himself. i've felt so guilty having two nice pair of boots, while he just had those work-man kind of boots.

we cuddled up and watched the baseball game together. seems like that's how we celebrate any and all anniversaries: watching sports together. and no, i don't mind. i actually prefer it to any other form of entertainment.

today i had a doctor's appointment. nothing new to report really. i must be nearing the end. i'm starting to feel worn out, and i've pretty much ceased to gain weight, topping out at a total of 22 pounds gained. i did test positive for GBS, so unfortunately i'll be hooked to an IV while in labor. being allergic to or sensitive to two of the antibiotics they generally give complicates things a little, too, but i'm sure it'll all turn out ok.

we took our school work to Northwest Park yesterday afternoon and got a lot done. i let the kids play for a couple of hours while i did lesson planning. i've got us planned out for several weeks now, at least for most subjects so i'll not have to worry about that once Hazel gets here.

well, gotta run. things to do and people to see.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

incase you've ever wondered what a 8 month running pregnant woman looks like...

just got my pics from the IBM Uptown Classic 10K.

Monday, October 10, 2011

i went in to the dr. on friday. Hazel is in position and ready for take off. ok, maybe not exactly, but she is head-down. everything looked pretty good. i'm still struggling to gain much weight. didn't gain any in the last week. i've been exercising every day, but nothing too rigorous, and i've been eating until i'm stuffed. not sure what the deal is. i've been feeling light-headed lately. i'm not sure if it is because of this, but my BP has been on the low side. i have another dr. appointment on wednesday. i'm getting pretty familiar with all the magazines in the waiting room.

Mama came and took us to lunch at jason's on wednesday. while we were there, John started complaining about his chest hurting. i took him on my lap and notice that his heart was just pounding out of his chest! Mama and i both tried to take his pulse, but he wouldn't sit still long enough for us to. he was acting fine. i called the dr. and asked a nurse what to do. she didn't seem too concerned, but i was! i was ready to take him to Dell Children's, but we decided to give it a little while. i looked up tachycardia on my phone and it seems that that is just something that happens to even healthy kids occasionally and is usually not something to worry about. as John was acting normal, we decided he was probably fine. it was pretty scary for me. my sister had a heart condition where he pulse would race and get above 200. she eventually had a procedure done to correct it. this reminded me of those scary times when we couldn't get her heart rate down.

Mama took the kids home with her for the weekend. i went out for a coffee splurge and then thrifting, then came home and did a little sewing. it felt so indulgent!

friday night Brian and i went out to dinner at Fonda San Miguel on a gift certificate from my mom and stepdad. it's an upscale interior mexican food restaurant, and we had a lovely time. it is located in a cozy old residential neighborhood and we walked around after dinner and admired the houses.

saturday morning we both got out and exercised, then went to find a place to watch the Texas-OU game. we settled on Trudy's as it wasn't crowded and this momma was starving. we stayed for the first half, but gave up and came home after that. it was sad to see the youngins get such a beating like that.

i did some more sewing and cleaning and Brian worked on some projects around here, too. it is always weird when the kids are away and we have the house to ourselves. it takes awhile to figure out what we're supposed to do with ourselves.

i did some more sewing and worked some more on getting the nursery tidied up. here is a promised pic of the sling i made last week. the one on the left is the bebe360 one i bought, and the other is my copycat one.

the most exciting news of the whole weekend is that we got a bunch of rain. it started pouring Saturday afternoon and didn't let up until Sunday. Brian and i cozied up together in the bed and alternated between watching the Rangers and Detroit and whatever college football game was on (i can't recall).

it was so good to be in church (i know, i say that every week, but it is SO true!) and worship and rejoice with the saints. after church we went out to lunch. i got out and exercised and then did some major grocery shopping because we literally had nothing in the house to eat but a box of Malt-O-Meal. do people actually eat that stuff??? not even sure why we had it. i think it had to be ten years old.

oh, and here's a vidoe of me at the finish of the IBM 10K.

Mama brought the kids back last night and now it is back to our regularly scheduled program. which means i need to put my teacher hat on and get out there.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

ok, i think i might be getting a little tired of being pregnant. less than 5 weeks to go now, but it's starting to get tiresome. ever since i had my first at 35 weeks, all other pregnancies seemed way too long even though all the others were born a week or week and a half before my due date. physically i feel good, it's just the awkwardness of having baby stuck to the front of me all the time. bending down, tying my shoes, shaving my legs, all these things are getting more difficult by the day.

i have a doctor's appointment tomorrow morning. after this one, i guess i'll start going in every week.

for some reason we've managed to finish school at 1 the last two days. miraculous, since it normally takes us much longer. yesterday afternoon i took everyone over to Mayfield Park and we hiked the trails and chased the peacocks. it was something different since we never go over there.

we've been talking more and more about the idea of moving. what we haven't decided is whether or not to try to sell now before we buy something else, or rent out house and buy another and wait until a more opportune time to sell. it is such a buyer's market right now that if we can wait, we probably should. we'll make money off our house whenever we sell, it's just how much. if we wait a could of years, we might be able to really cash in. anyone wanna rent of buy a cute little house on the upper east side?

what we are unsure of is where we'd go. neither of us want to do the suburban thing. personally, i'd love to fund an old house in the downtown of either Georgetown or Round Rock. second best option would be to live out of town a bit on a few acres.

we have a few reasons for wanting to move. one is that we think the kids need to space. for them to roam and play, we have to drive to the park. we have a decent size yard for the city, but that's all it is, a city yard. they want trees to climb and places to hide. we have trees, but they're not climbing trees.  another reason for moving is to be near good schools. we don't know what we'll be doing next year, but we want to put ourselves in a place where good schools are available to us if we choose to use them. and then, third, we think it would be good to be in a bigger house. not a mansion, but maybe a few hundred more square feet. the biggest thing for me, over size, is that it is architecturally pleasing. i don't think i could move to a mcmansion even if it had 6 bedrooms and a pool. and by mcmansion, i hope you understand what i mean.

but we'll see what the Lord provides. if He chooses to keep us here, or move us to the suburbs, then i know it will be for our good and we'll rejoice. for now we wait and pray.

well, it is that time again. time to get out and brave the dark and cold (har har - 60 degrees) for my morning exercise.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

i'm pleased to report that i survived the IBM Uptown Classic 10K without injury. i did better than i expected. not having tried to run/walk 6.2 miles since being pregnant, i was thinking i'd do well to make it in an hour and a half. i did it in and hour and 12 minutes, which was an 11:36 pace. i just haven't pushed myself in my daily walk/runs, and it was evident as my calves were killing me the first three miles. once i warmed up though, i just had to watch my heart rate. i took lots of walking breaks when i felt i was getting out of breath. it was fun and i really appreciate Brian and the kids getting up early to cheer me on.

now i'm really excited about getting back into running shape after i have Hazel! i had forgotten how good it feels to finish a long run, when your pores are all opened up and your blood is pumping.

we came home and i cleaned up real quick so we could make it to the second service. it was great to be in church. we went to lunch afterwards and then came home and napped the afternoon away.

yesterday i worked on making a baby sling. i studied the one i bought from that lady other day and tried to copy it exactly, except that i made it a little bigger. i think i did a pretty good job. i'll post a pic of it next time. i've been all inspired to sew again now that i know i have another little girl to sew for.

well, i'm off to go hunt down a neti pot for William. poor guy is having terrible sinus problems.